Chapter 1 : Eccentric
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It all started with a fish.
His name was Paul, and he was the best fish a girl could ever ask for. Which, in fact, I did ask for him—begged was more like it, actually. I’m not sure why I wanted a fish so badly, but I did, and my parents finally got me one as soon as the owl with my Hogwarts letter swooped in through our kitchen window. It was possibly the greatest day of my eleven-year-old life.
Now, being the lovely little girl that I was, my parents endowed their trust on me by giving me the responsibility of looking after him while I began my studies at Hogwarts.
You can imagine the looks I received when I carried Paul’s rather hefty tank down the corridors of the Hogwarts express, water spilling from the sides every now and again. It’s like these kids have never seen an eleven-year-old girl carry a fish down a train before.
. . . What?
Haven’t you seen that before?
One boy in particular was giving me rather nasty looks. He had glasses on, but they were rather crooked and tight on his face, but behind them were the most gorgeous green eyes I’ve ever seen. His hair was black and unruly, sticking in every which way. I would say that he was cute, if it weren’t for the booger hanging from his right nostril. He was standing next to a pasty girl with red hair who had blue eyes, no freckles and looked completely apathetic.
The boy stepped forward, and cleared his throat, “Excuse me, but what’s with the fish?”
I surveyed him for a moment—he looked like he was my age—and disregarded his question and posed one of my own, “What are you supposed to be?” I inquired rather snootily—I was quite the stuck up little eleven-year-old—motioning to his hair, “A hedgehog?”
He patted his hair down subconsciously, looking rather hurt. Who knew that eleven-year-old boys were so insecure about their hair? He opened his mouth again to speak, “W-well, what are you supposed to be?” He gestured to my fish, “A . . . fish lady?”
Nice come back, stranger.
I paused, unsure if I should be taking this kid seriously or not. I decided not to, because it’s sort of hard to take anyone seriously when they’ve got a booger hanging out of their nose, “Yes,” I said, “Now move it. I’m trying to find a compartment where Paul and I can have some privacy.”
“No,” He insisted, stepping in front of me as I tried to walk around him and his redheaded gal pal, “You haven’t answered my question yet. What’s with the fish?”
“What’sit to ya?”
He glanced to his companion with such a look that clearly indicated he thought me to be completely bonkers. The girl nodded, and she stepped forward, cracking her knuckles as if she was about to pound me in the face or something.
I think I should probably be frightened by now, but something about her lanky arms and skinny bod only made me want to upset them more. So, rather stupidly, I asked, “Did your freckles run away this morning when you put on that shirt? For real. What are you even supposed to be? A day walker or whatever?”
She scoffed, cracking her neck this time, “Is that supposed to imply that I’m white or something?”
“You also forgot the part where I called your shirt ugly.”
Her eyebrows furrowed into a deep glare and she growled like she was some sort of animal or something, “You’re getting on my last nerve right now, fish lady. Just answer my cousin’s question already and then you can leave!”
Who did these lunatics think they were?
“No,” I exclaimed rather haughtily, pushing through them before they could so much as blink. Unfortunately, my huge trunk mucked things up. It got stuck in between their bodies, pulling me back with full force. In surprise, I dropped the tank nestled in my arms and watched, horrified, as it crashed to the ground. The glass broke into millions of pieces, water flooded the corridor, and Paul lay flopping around on the wet ground.
“Paul!” I cried, dropping to my knees as I watched my beloved fish’s body slowly begin to quit its movements. He died then and there on the Hogwarts express for everyone to see, and I promptly burst into tears.
And that’s how I became best friends with Albus Potter and Rose Weasley.
Ironically, it all ended with a fish too.
And when I say it, I mean my friendship with Al.
It was the summer before fourth year, and I was staying at Rose’s house for a week. The Weasley’s greeted me with their usual hospitality.
“Hey, marshmallow legs.” Hugo greeted me through the cracked door, eying my legs—which, I will admit, were a bit pasty but were in no way pudgy. I worked out this summer, thank you very much, Huge-O.
“Hugo!” A voice reprimanded. The door opened fully to reveal a smiling, slightly aged, bushy-haired brunette.
Mrs. Weasley extended her arms to me. I smiled and gave her a side hug rather awkwardly. “Here,” She continued, “Let me—erm—take that from you so that you can get your things settled upstairs.” She took the tank containing Paul the Ninth from my arms and set it on the small table in the doorway. Don’t ask what happened to Paul the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth. I don’t like to talk about it.
“Thank you so much for letting me stay here, Mrs. Weasley,” I said all courteous and whatever, “I’ll be down in a second to get Paul the Ninth here.” She nodded, eying Paul briefly before turning around and walking to the kitchen or something.
It’s funny that Mrs. Weasley tries to act like she doesn’t think I’m a weirdo when I know that she thinks I’m completely insane. I’m not sure why she finds my attachment to fish so odd, but she does. I have an inkling that she resents me for it. I don’t blame her, though. If I were a mom I wouldn’t want my daughter hanging out with a psychopath like me either.
Anywho, I walked up their staircase and put my things in Rose’s room. Hurriedly, I ran downstairs again to retrieve Paul before something could happen to him. You couldn’t leave Paul alone too long when there were Weasley’s around. That just spells out death, heartbroken misery, and cramped wrists from writing my mum so much for a new fish.
I mean—why do you think Paul the Ninth is Paul the Ninth?
I ran upstairs again, this time with Paul, and set him on the nightstand Rose put next to the spare bed just for him.
“AHHHHH!” was my bloodcurdling response to whatever bozo who scared me to the point of practically peeing. Erm, except not really. That’s kind of gross. Anyways, along with the unattractive scream, I jumped about a foot upward into the air and two feet backwards right into the nightstand that held my precious Paul.
Don’t sneak up on me, or you will pay.
Don’t kill my fish, or you will pay.
And never laugh at me when you’ve accomplished both of the above within the two same seconds, or you will pay. Big time.
I stared at Paul’s flopping form, preparing myself to turn to the horrible monster that made this all happen. The horrible monster that was laughing at me.
Quite sexy, actually.
I think I’m ready.
I turned around, looking quite menacing if I do say so myself, and glared at the intruder, the murderer. And you want to know who it was? It was one of my supposed best friends, pointing and laughing at the anguish Paul and I shared. And you know, even if Paul is like dying right now or whatever, I still think my anguish could beat his.
Is that sad?
“Al!” I screeched, sticking the pointy finger of blame right in between his green eyeballs, “You insensitive slut!” His laughter died almost immediately as soon as he realized the depth of my anger, “Hurry and go get a cup of water or something from Rose’s bathroom before I kill you.” He nodded, following my orders like a trained mutt.
I was faintly aware of the water turning off and then on from the bathroom connected to Rose’s room, but I was a bit focused on scooping as much of the spilled water as possible into my hands so that I could bathe Paul in it.
You know, so he wouldn’t die.
“Here!” Albus yelled, running into the room with Rose’s big mug in hand. I yanked the cup from his hands, perhaps with a bit too much force because it sent me flying backwards. The mug fell out of my hands, and I watched, almost as if it were in slow motion, as the cup twirled in the air, water flying every which way. The mug fell right on top of Paul’s fragile body.
I sat up frantically and spun around, arms flailing. I felt my elbow collide with something hard, heard someone grunt in pain, and then there was another body lying on top of mine.
I guess I must’ve elbowed Al in the gut or something.
“Albus!” I exclaimed, forgetting the dead fish on the ground and rubbing his back to help soothe the pain, “Are you alright!? Did I get’cha in the gut or something?” His face was all contorted in pain (I would know—his face was about two inches from my own), and he was spluttering and spitting all over. He shook his head in answer to my question, and suddenly I understood. My eyes widened.
I sat up immediately, helping him to his knees as well.
“Crap!” I yelped, “I am so so so so so so so so so sorry, Albus!”
“D-don’t worry ‘bout it, Liza.”
I hugged him tightly to tell him how sorry I was. You know, I may say that I’m going to kill you and whatnot, but I’m too much of a wuss to actually follow through with it. Not that I’ve ever for realled considered killing someone; that was just an exaggeration. Anyways, he laid his head on my shoulder, burying his nose into my neck while I patted his back.
We stayed like that, until he stopped writhing in pain.
I’m not sure what it was, but even through his face being contorted in pain, his spit flying everywhere (including on me), and the vulnerability he was exposing to me, he still looked really cute. Then all of a sudden, my heart sped up like it was on over load and I knew.
I was in love with him.
All through dinner that night, I couldn’t focus on anything. I was all dizzy and out of it. I didn’t even notice Rose walk into the room with her mug, take one look inside it and scream like she just saw a zombie or something. And that’s saying something, because zombies are really scary. I mean—they eat people for crying out loud!
“Why is there a dead fish in here!?!?”
And, of course, all eyes turned to me.
But that’s a story for another day.
The point was that I fell for my best friend, and that is never good. In his eyes, I was still his awkward best friend, but to me he was my everything.
Presently, it was the summer before sixth year. I felt an odd sense of déjà vu as I stood outside the Weasley household with my trunk by my side and a tank with a fish in my arms. Although, this time, it wasn’t Hugo or Mrs. Weasley at the door, but Rose. I didn’t get much time to check if it was actually her, because I was bombarded with a pair of two lanky arms around my neck almost immediately as soon as the door opened, but I could tell it was her by the squeal that was currently screaming hello to my eardrums.
“Hey, Rosie. Missed me?” I asked, successfully balancing Paul in my arms while I hugged her back.
“Of course! Haven’t I told you how boring things get when you’re not around?”
“In the Weasley home?” I scoffed, prying her arms away from me, “Puh-lease.”
She rolled her blue eyes, “Whatever, ho. Let’s go find Albus.”
After putting my stuff in her room and making sure that Paul the Fifteenth was safely placed on the nightstand, we walked across the street to where the Potters live and banged on the door until a disgruntled savior of the Wizarding world opened it.
“Yo, Mr. P-rizzle.”
Unlike Rose’s parents, I think the Potters actually like me. Let’s face it, if there’s anyone more insane than I am, it’s Harry Potter.
We can relate.
His annoyed expression almost immediately turned into one of bemusement. Yeah, I told you. Harry Potter has a soft spot when it comes to me. It’s almost like I’m a second daughter to him. I hope not, though because that would mean that Albus is like a brother to me . . . and I don’t really believe in having not so family feelings for, well, family.
“Hey, Elizabeth!” And then the savior of the Wizarding world bumped his fist against mine like we were old chums—which, of course, we were. “Come right on in!” He extended his arm towards his home in invitation, “Albus is upstairs. Do whatever you want, just remember that we’re having dinner at the Weasley’s at five.”
I nodded, giving him one last smile before dragging Rose upstairs.
“I swear,” She grumbled, yanking her arm away from my grasp, “My own uncle loves you more than he loves me. He was so engrossed with you that he didn’t even notice me standing right next to you! He is such a ho. I bet it’s because he wants you to marry Albus, and he knows that you would oh-so-willingly oblige.”
“Stuff it, will you?” I snapped, looking around to see if any Potter’s were eavesdropping on us, “Someone might hear you.”
“Eliza,” Rose said, raising her eyebrows in such a way that gave me an inkling that she was enjoying my paranoia, “Everyone knows your feelings about him. The only one still clueless about it is the object of said feelings. You make it really obvious.”
“I am inclined to agree with Rosie on this one,” A voice piped in to our right, making me jump nearly right out of my pants. I turned to the little eavesdropper with a glare, and it didn’t surprise me at all to see James Potter, Albus’ older brother, smirking back at me. His arms were crossed over his lean bod, his hair was a little more disheveled than usual, and he was still in his pajamas. Geez, it was like two o’clock.
“Well, you can stuff it too.” I growled at him.
He held his hands up in defense, “If it makes you feel any better, I happen to know that Al thinks you’re hot. So if you ever think he’s ignoring you or trying to look anywhere but at you, then don’t think he’s mad at you or anything. He may just be trying to keep his thoughts toward one of his best friends rated PG, if you know what I mean.”
I just stared at him quizzically.
Actually, I didn’t know what he meant.
“James,” Rose butted in, rolling her eyes, “Elizabeth is a pureblood. She doesn’t have a clue what a movie is, so she’s definitely not going to know what PG means.”
“Whatever,” James groaned back, most likely because he has to explain himself or whatever, “Basically, Albus tends to think of you in much more than friendly ways from time to time,” He eyed me up and down before continuing, “Especially when you wear things like that.” Subconsciously, I pulled my shirt up. I didn’t think twice about my outfit when I walked out the door this morning. Now, I’m debating whether I should run to Rose’s and change.
But it’s summer, and I’m not going to go change my shorts just so that I can boil in some jeans.
“Go away, James.” Rose commanded, grabbing his shoulder and pointing towards the stairs. If he didn’t hurry and descend them soon, then I may just push him down myself. He shrugged, stepping around us and going downstairs.
Good choice, Jimboy.
I’m not sure why I was so angry at him. Usually girls love to hear that their crush thinks they’re hot or whatever, but it was the way that he said it that sorta made me mad. It was like he was trying to get my hopes up or something.
As Rose would say, what a ho.
Rose barged into Al’s room, opening the doors without even knocking. I followed in after her, looking around the familiar room where we spent most of our time together in the summer. I’m not sure why we used this as our sort of ‘hiding spot’ when Rose’s room wasn’t covered in dirty socks and underwear and didn’t smell like a gym locker, but we did.
“Hey, cousin!” Rose shouted, poking Al in the back. His bare back.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .
Anywho. It looked like he was still sleeping. His face was pressed into his pillow, and I think I heard him snoring. His boxers were sticking out of his pajama bottoms, his blanket only seemed to be covering his feet, and he looked utterly adorable.
“’M tryin’ to sleep.”
“We can see that,” I said, sitting on the bed next to his sleeping form. Rose took a seat at his feet after pulling the blanket off of the bed so that she could sit comfortably.
“And frankly—” Rose continued for me, winking in my general direction.
“We could really care less.”
And with that, my arms wrapped themselves around Al’s torso to restrain him while Rose tickled his feet ruthlessly. Albus is very ticklish in his feet. It’s actually really amusing ‘cause me and Rose aren’t ticklish at all so he can never really get us back. Almost instantly, Albus’s body jerked about like he was being tortured or something.
Come to think of it, he sort of was being tortured.
“S-stop—ha ha ha he heh he hah—you g-guys! Stop!” He was getting angry by now, but it sort of wasn’t intimidating at all considering how hard he was laughing, “I’m s-s—ha ha ha!—serious here! Stop it, you—he he hah ha—y-you dumb ogres!”
“Dumb ogres!?” I asked in mock hurt, hugging him more tightly so that it would hurt him and not because it felt nice to have him so close to me, “That’s it, tickle him more, Rosie!” Rose, with a devilish smile on her face, pinned down one of Albus’ kicking legs so that it wouldn’t smash right into her face and tickled it with absolutely no mercy.
“A-Alright, I’m s-sorry! Hah ha ha ha!” He squealed, “Just stop p-please!”
We released him, “Only because you said please, Al.” Rose chirped, offering him her hand to help him out of bed—which he ignored. I watched, bemused, as he grumbled and stood up, raking his fingers through his uncontrollable hair. I’m convinced that Al’s hair is really a weird alien that has attached itself to his head and claimed dominance upon it.
That would explain so much.
Al sauntered over to his dresser and pulled on a shirt, and then walked into the bathroom to perform the rest of his morning ritual. I heard him brushing his teeth, a loud clamor that indicated that he fell over or something—probably changing his pants, and I heard a sharp intake of breath as if he injured himself somehow. He came out, rubbing the side of his face tenderly, fully dressed and looking smoking. “I cut myself shaving.” He told us, “Stupid razor. I wish I was seventeen already so that I could do everything by magic.”
“But that’s what happens to hoes,” Rose said brightly. Al and I rolled our eyes. ‘Ho’ was probably Rose’s favorite word ever, “They get cut.”
“I thought you slapped hoes,” I disagreed, “You know, like this?” And then I reached over and slapped Al right across the face, ignoring his protest of a rather annoyed sounding, ‘Hey!’
“No, you cut hoes!” Rose insisted, “You know, like ‘ho, I'mma cut you’.”
“But Al cut himself, so does that even apply here?”
“Maybe he realized how much of a ho he is, and did it on purpose.”
“I really don’t think that’s what happened.”
“How would you know?”
“Well, how would you?”
“Al’s my cousin!” Rose exclaimed as if it were obvious, when it really wasn’t, “We share this weird freaky connection that allows access to each other’s thoughts."
“No we don’t!” Al chimed in, looking at Rose like she was crazy. Rose waved him off.
“Ha!” I cheered with glee, pointing my finger at her in a sing-song sort of way, “Al said you guys don’t, so that means I win here.”
“I don’t think that was really the point,” Al said to me. He looked kind of annoyed, but I know that deep down he was really really amused, “I thought you guys were arguing over whether you slap hoes or cut them.”
There was a moment of silence where Rose and I just stared at him.
“Shut up, ho.” We said simultaneously, and then we both slapped him across the face and left the room.
I suppose that settled it.
“Yo, Mrs. P-rizzle.”
Mrs. Potter smiled from across the kitchen counter, where she was cooking, probably so she could bring something to the dinner we’re all going to at the Weasley’s. After staring at me for about seven seconds, however, her eyes widened and her face went from delighted to horrorstricken in record time.
“Elizabeth!?” She managed out of her spluttering mouth, “What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here! Y-you’re not coming to dinner are you!?” At her words, my excited mood dropped, being replaced by one of hurt and rejection.
“Mum,” Albus groaned, sitting down on one of the stools, “I thought you liked Liza?”
“I-I do, but . . .” She spaced for a moment, “Oh, I have to go talk to Hermione!”
And then she ran out of the house like a rampaging, crazy lady. Rose took her seat on the left side of Al, and I sat on his right numbly.
“That was weird,” Rose mumbled to us, “Aunt Ginny usually fawns over you as much as Uncle Harry does. I wonder what’s up.”
“She hates me!” I fretted, “What other solution could there be!? She’s never going to want me over at your house ever again, Albus! She’s not going to want me hanging out with you anymore! And once Ginny does that, Hermione and Ron are going to follow her lead in a heartbeat. Oh, Merlin! I’m going to be friendless for the rest of my life, and grow up with nothing but a house full of fish!”
“Will you relax, Eliza?” Al asked, placing a warm hand on my shoulder, “She loved you yesterday when she and dad wouldn’t shut their traps up about you. I’m sure that there is a reasonable explanation for her strange behavior.”
“How is her hating me unreasonable?” I asked, “I’m an extremely annoying person, therefore it’s extremely reasonable for her to hate me.”
“You’re not annoying,” Al disagreed, “You’re just . . . eccentric.”
“No, you’re annoying.”
“Don’t mention it.”
“Anyways,” Al interjected before things got ugly. Just ‘cause Rose is my best friend doesn’t mean I have to get along with her. You saw her when we first met! She called me a fish lady and was ready to pound my face in! It’s sometimes hard to forget things like that, “We should probably head across the street for dinner now.”
And so we got off our lazy bums, and began our journey to across the street.
“I thought you said you invited Scorpius over today,” Rose accused Al, although her voice sounded a little put out, “and yet, I haven’t seen him at all this entire day.”
“I did,” Al replied, “He’s got family stuff going on today, but he’s coming a little later. You know, spending the night. But don’t worry, Rosie, you’ll get to feed you freaky obsession with him soon . . . you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.”
Rose opened the door to her house, grumbling.
And that’s when it happened.
Someone screeched in what I assumed was fright and then Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Potter were charging at me with deranged looks on their faces. Like they wanted to kill me or something. It sort of scared me, and, don’t tell anyone this, but I think I peed a little bit. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, they tackled me to the ground.
Of course something like this would happen to me.
“’The bloody hell?” I heard someone curse.
This was probably quite the sight. Who would have ever thought that I would be in a big pile of ulnas and femurs that belonged to Hermione Wealsey and Ginny Potter because they tackled me into it? What crazed women!
“Elizabeth!” Mrs. Weasley said into my ear, rather frantically if I do say so myself, “You can’t go in there!!”
“Because you can’t!” Mrs. P-rizzle yelled from somewhere near my tummy.
“But I’m hungry!”
“Well . . .” Mrs. Weasley began, pausing for a moment as if she were thinking, “The food exploded! I guess we’ll have to order pizza or something!” By now, there was a hefty crowd of Weasley/Potter members surrounding us, looking at the spectacle like the three of us were crazy. You know you’re loony when people as weird as the Weasley/Potter’s look at you strange.
“Hermione,” I heard someone say softly, in an almost concerned manner. I think it was Rose’s dad, “The food hasn’t exploded . . . now get off of Elizabeth and come eat.”
Mrs. Weasley sat up and sent the most spine-tingling, gut-wrenching glare at her husband that I have ever seen. If I were him, I probably would have run away screaming like a little girl. She got up and sauntered over to her husband, pulling on his ear rather roughly so that his head was level with her mouth.
“Actually, honey,” She hissed, “It did explode, because, you know, I made—” She looked around hesitantly before continuing, “S-A-L-M-O-N. I wasn’t exactly aware,” She growled the word, “that Elizabeth was coming over today.”
I was vaguely aware of all the eyes that were burning into the back of my head, but I was a bit too caught up in my own thoughts to really care.
Is that Jamaican? Like ‘I made sal, mon!’
But then what is sal?
Ah, Mrs. W-fizzle, Jamaican me die here!
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS SAL, MON!?!?
“What’s wrong with salmon?” James piped up.
Mrs. Potter rolled off of me and looked at her son with wide eyes, and then turned to me to see what my reaction was. In fact, I think everyone besides James—the bozo—was staring at me with wide eyes . . . like I was about to faint or something . . . and, you know, I think I might.
She made fish.
I think that was my last thought before everything went black.
*A/N: This story is a bit different, mainly, I think, because of Eliza's character, but I think it's got spunk. I am a little worried about Elizabeth coming off as annoying or whatever, so let me know what you think of her and Rose and - most DEF - Al.
Reviews are always appreciated ;)
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