Chapter 1 : Train Trip
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“Get out of the way or go.” I turn to see a gangly boy with an unfortunate amount of grease coating his black hair and pale skin (an unfortunate combination even without the oiliness). The large, hooked nose is just the finishing touch, and the black eyes that are above it are glaring directly at me. His hostile expression immediately has me on the offensive, and I glare right back at him.
“Oh, well excuse me,” I shoot back. Heavy sarcasm. He responds with a roll of the eyes and shoves past me, rolling his trolley. The Greaser, as I decide to call him, heads straight towards the barrier, looking like he’s determined to smash right into it. But the trolley and himself slides right through, and a blink later, he’s vanished. Huh. Oh yeah. Thank you, Mr. Arse. Making sure I’m not attracting any more wary stares from the Muggles, I lean against my trolley, heading after the Greaser and through the barrier.
I walk along the aisle of the train until I find myself an empty compartment. I’m really not in the mood for the awkwardness of attempting to assimilate. After struggling to shove my luggage into its own little compartment, I collapse onto the seat, releasing a contented sigh as I put my feet up. Well, Hogwarts has to be better than being home-schooled by two constantly busy magical parents who hadn’t even wanted me to be born in the first place. Yes. Definitely an improvement.
Not a minute into my “me time,” the compartment door slides open and two laughing girls start in, stopping when they see me reclining on the seat. I instantly notice that they’re both really pretty, and by an extension, must be part of the popular crowd. A crowd that people like me do not mix with.The way they dress is clearly just further proof of this. One of the girls, the taller of the two, has auburn hair that stops at her shoulder blades, and is inspecting me with interest. The other has blonde, shoulder length hair with curious, bright blue eyes.
“Hello.” The red-head speaks first, her voice both formal and polite, as she wears a smile. “Mind if we join you?” All of the other compartments must be full, else I’m sure they wouldn’t even be considering sharing the same breathing space with me. Clearly I’m not anything like them.
“Nah, go ahead,” I reply with a shrug, pulling my feet off the seat and adjusting myself so I’m at least sitting somewhat normally.
“Thanks,” she says, offering another smile as she walks in, bubbly blonde friend in tow. The both plop down opposite me.
“My name’s Lily Evans,” the speaker says. Redhead is Lily. Note taken.
“And I’m Audrey Dorr.” Ah, so the blondie finally speaks. She offers an unnecessarily large grin. Really, the amount of friendliness is a little offsetting. Well, as long as we’re going through the motions, I may as well give up my name as well. Though I hate the thing with the fiery passion of the sun. Who names their kid what my parents named me? Oh, right. Parents that didn’t want a baby.
“Dessie Fox.” Short and to the point. I quickly offer them a small smile of my own to make up for being brief. Don’t want them thinking I’m a complete arse, though I doubt the little small things would ever mean we were to be pals. Honestly, this compartment was probably a last resort.
“Dessie Fox? I’m sorry, the name isn’t ringing a bell,” Audrey says apologetically, a seemingly sincere frown on her face. “I always feel so awful forgetting names. What year are you?”
“Erm, seventh, I think,” I say, reflecting back on the informational letter my family received. Yes, it made sense. I had turned seventeen back in May, after all.
“You think?” Lily asks. By her expression, she’s trying to figure out whether that is a joke and if she should be laughing or not. Audrey is wearing a similar look.
“Well, yeah, I’m sort of new here,” I explain with another noncommittal shrug. Oh, fantastic. I just gave myself the title of ‘new girl.’ Bollocks.
“Oh! Right! You were taught at home, right? By your parents?” Audrey questions, snapping her fingers as though that brought the thought on. I look at her, eyebrows raised in surprise.
“Yeah, I was,” I tell her. “How’d you know that?” The thought that everybody already knew my life story was a little unnerving. Maybe “life story” was a bit of an exaggeration, but still.
“Oh, the boys. They know practically everything that goes on around the castle. Probably because they take so many trips to the Headmaster’s office,” Audrey says with a grin. Lily has a different reaction, rolling her eyes and looking annoyed. The train gives a whistle and a lurch, beginning to move away from the platform.
“The Boys?” I ask, because let’s face it, the way Audrey said it makes the distinct impression that ‘boys’ should be spelt with a capital B.
“Mhm,” Audrey says with a nod. “Lupin, Black, Pettigrew, and Potter.” She peeks at Lily out of the corner of her eye when she says the name ‘Potter’ and Lily just scowls.
“Yeah, those are the boys alright,” the redhead says, now making ‘boys’ sound like an insult. “Troublemakers, the lot of them. Always pranking other students and bothering them and being complete arses all year.”
Audrey frowns and shakes her head. “Lily, you aren’t being fair. Remus?”
Resigned, she sighs and rolls her eyes, giving in. “All right, Remus is fine. Plus he was made Prefect back in fifth year. But the others are awful.”
A raise of the eyebrow from Audrey. Lily gives a valiant effort of ignoring this, but in the end she fails.
“Ugh, okay, Pettigrew is too simple to be a criminal mastermind. But Black and Potter are gits.”
Looking smug, Audrey smiles and nods, falling back against the seat before looking back at me. “Fair enough. And there you have it! Lupin and Pettigrew are fine. At least, Lupin is fine. Pettigrew is slightly abnormal and doesn’t quite fit in. Black and Potter are detention junkies.”
Ah, so I’ve just had the rundown on the boys. From what they said of Pettigrew, he almost sounds like the type I’ll most likely fit in best with. Slightly abnormal. Not quite fitting in. Oh yes, that sounds like good ole Dessie.
“Well, those can’t be the only boys in the school,” I say, eyeing the two girls. Lily shakes her head vehemently.
“Oh, Merlin, no. That’s the male population of the seventh year Gryffindors. And you’re looking at part of the female portion. There’s also Alice Prewitt, but she’s a little...occupied,” Lily says with a grin, glancing over at Audrey, who giggles. I just sit there looking confused. Audrey, noticing my expression, decides to fill me in.
“She’s got a new boyfriend. Darius McManus. Hufflepuff. They’re a little busy “catching up,”” she says with another giggle and a wink. I laugh at the implications.
“Ah. Say no more,” I reply, smiling. This was a little odd. They were both being nice to nerdy little me. Was it “befriend an unfortunate soul” day? Maybe I missed the memo.
“Well, should we get changed?” Lily asks. She’s met with a groan from Audrey.
“Already?” she complains, but stands with Lily anyway. I follow their lead and we all start changing into our uniforms, complete with jumpers, plaited skirts, tights, and little black flats. Audrey manages to convince Lily to hold off on putting on our plain black robes and so Lily pins a shiny little badge to her jumper instead. I look at it curiously once we’re all seated.
“What’s that?” I ask, peering at it. Lily grins, Audrey groans, Lily shoots Audrey a glare, and said girl settles for a pout.
Swelling proudly, with a grin on her face, Lily states, “I’ve been made Head Girl this year!” I can tell she’s holding in a squeal. Judging by her excitement, I’m sure that Audrey must have heard this little proclamation loads of time, which explains the groan. I try and work up an excited grin for her, not fully knowing what this means.
“Oh, well, congrats!” I say at least somewhat enthusiastically. This works for Lily, who beams. Now that we’re all changed, we look at each other a bit awkwardly, not one of us knowing what to do next.
“So. Do you wanna give each other makeovers?” Audrey asks with an excited grin, leaning forward in her seat. I can only stare at her. It’s now my turn to figure out if this is a joke or not. Weren’t makeovers more like...cliché novel material? This sort of thing actually happens to people? Weird. But Lily apparently agrees.
“Yes! Dessie, we’re doing you first. New raw material,” she says with an evil grin. I cringe, already nervous. Oh sod. All I can picture are evil instruments of torture that make people pretty. I contemplate making a run for it.
“Brilliant!” Audrey all but squeals. “Alright, the hair needs to come down first. We’ll work from there. Because look, it’s all long and wavy and there are just endless possibilities.” And so off they go, discussing tactics for the impossible task of making me look decent.
An hour later, they sit across from me, analyzing me. Lily raises an eyebrow, and she and Audrey exchange a significant look.
“That bad, huh?” I ask with a smile. Honestly, I’m feeling a little disappointed. I was hoping that with all that makeup they stuck on my face and the hairstyling via wand would’ve made me look..I dunno..
Both of Lily’s eyebrows are now raised as she looks at me. “Are you kidding, Dessie?” She smirks, and horror floods through me. Maybe they were just trying to have a laugh this whole time. How bad could they have sabotaged my already awful appearance?
“Give me the mirror,” I demand, a touch of anger coloring my voice. To think I trusted them. The corners of Audrey’s mouth now twitch up in the ghost of a smile as she holds up the mirror. The eyebrows of the girl in the mirror shoot up in surprise. I quickly come to terms with the fact that said girl is me. My plain brown eyes are lined but in a tasteful way; not like some of the raccoon girls I’ve seen. And my eyelashes look like they could cause I tornado if I blink. Blush, lipgloss, the works. The glasses are still there. There’s not much they can do about those. My hair is down, and the waves are now controlled. The mirror doesn’t show my hair’s end, but I know it extends all the way down to the small of my back. I never really realized how long my hair is compared to most people. Lily and Aubrey had been gushing over its thickness, stating with jealousy how they wished theirs could be as long as mine without looking stringy.
“Wow.” That’s the most articulate response I can come up with.
“Oh no, you don’t like it!” Aubrey exclaims, already frowning. “We can do something different if you want! Do you want a different hairstyle? Or maybe a change in makeup coloring?”
I laugh, shaking my head as my hand goes to my hair (which is, get ready for this shocker, brown). “No, I mean wow as in wow, you guys are artists!” I can’t say it out loud, but for once, I’m not feeling nearly as ugly in their midst. I almost look like I could belong with them. Be their friend. Guilt sweeps through me. I can’t believe I thought they had been trying to make me ugly. Well, uglier, that is.
They beam from the praise and start talking about how great I look, how lovely my hair is, how cute my glasses make me, etc. I can only sit there. I’m not good at taking compliments. It’s even more difficult when I don’t believe a word they are saying (My glasses making me look cute? Really?). A knock on the compartment door interrupts them. It glides open smoothly without permission from us.
Standing in the door is one of the fittest boys I have ever seen in my life. And that is no exaggeration. He’s smiling, leaning against the frame with his arms crossed. He’s got glasses himself, and his hazel colored eyes are trained on Lily.
“Hey, Evans,” he says, a hand going to his ruffled hair and messing it up even more. He wastes no time, instantly fitting himself between Aubrey and Lily before leaning over to murmur something in her ear. I can’t make it out, but apparently it’s not something Lily particularly enjoys. Her expression instantly turns revolted and she shoves against him, trying to scoot closer to the window.
“Shut it, Potter!” she snaps. I just watch on in surprise. I haven’t seen this side of the redhead yet. “You are such an arrogant prat!”
“James,” a weary voice reprimands from the doorway. I turn to see yet another boy. He is pretty cute himself, and has a small little smile on his face, shaking his head in amusement at the one known as Potter. “You need to learn some self-restraint. Sorry about him, Lily. Hey, Audrey,” he says, smiling at her before sitting next to me (there’s no room on the other seat, not with three people already sitting there). He gives me a friendly smile as well, so I do the only thing I can; return it.
“Please, control him, Remus. You’re Head Boy, aren’t you? Fix this,” Lily complains to the boy beside me, shoving James’ arm off from around her shoulder. “Knock it off!” she snaps irritably. Remus’ expression turns confused, James’ smug, and both look like they’re about to say something but don’t have the chance as another voice interrupts.
“Rejected again, Prongs? Really, this is just starting to be pathetic,” says a voice filled with amusement. I turn to look at him now, and have to work not to gape like a fish. Honestly. Wow. This one has to be even better looking than the Potter boy, which is definitely a feat. His hair falls just slightly into his eyes, which are gray; and are now looking curiously at me. I try not to blush as I mentally slap myself for even thinking about blushing. Honestly. I’m not the type of girl to swoon or go all weak at the knees.
“Hey there,” he says, though his tone is clearly asking for a name.
“Oh, right! Sorry guys,” Audrey says, the first one to apologize. “This is Dessie Fox. The new girl.” There was that cursed term again. Sod. “She’s a seventh year, too. You know, the one you lot said had been home-schooled?” The boys nod knowingly, with smug smiles on their faces. “Well, Dessie, this one here is James Potter.” He gives me a nod and then continues to harass Lily. “This is Remus Lupin,” she gestures towards the one with the friendly smile sitting next to me. “And that there is Sirius Black.”
He smiles at me. Either he’s cranking up the charm or just is naturally charismatic, because I’m awfully tempted to blush again. And then want to roll my eyes at myself. I really need to get a grip. He must be one of the better looking guys at Hogwarts, and it would make sense that this lot would gravitate towards Audrey and Lily. They are probably some of the prettier girls at Hogwarts. It all makes sense. And I am so clearly out of his league, it isn’t even funny.
“Pleasure,” I finally manage to say, addressing the whole compartment now. I glance over to the one harassing Lily. “Potter, you better stop that before Lily hexes you,” I tell him with a raised eyebrow and an amused smile. “If you hadn’t noticed, her wand is out.” The possibility is so prominent that everybody can’t help but grin at each other.
“It wouldn’t be the first,” Sirius jokes. He’s rewarded with a glare from James. “What?” he asks, looking innocent. “You’re too confident for your own good, Prongs.”
“Oh, you’re just as arrogant, Black,” Audrey says good-naturedly, stating it like it is a well known fact. Which, I remind myself, it probably is.
“But I have a reason to be confident, Dorr. I don’t get rejected at least once a day,” he points out, giving James a significant look. The receiver of the look fakes a yawn and puts his arm over Lily’s shoulders again.
“You know, today could very well be the day,” he says, waggling his eyebrows at her suggestively. She shoves his arm off again, nose crinkled.
“Ugh, in your dreams,” she grumbles. He fakes a look of remorse.
“And what pleasant dreams they are, Evans,” he says with a nod, still managing to maintain the pout on his face.
“Oh give it a rest, will you?” She shakes her head while the rest of us laugh. I glance at James, who has dropped the pout. Instead, he glances at Lily out of the corner of his eye. An actual frown, however small, is on his face now. He catches me looking and it’s quickly replaced by a grin and a raised eyebrow. I look away quickly, embarrassed, and muse about he and Lily’s strange relationship.
My thoughts are interrupted when Sirius plops down between Remus and I. “You don’t bite, do you?” he teases.
I raise an eyebrow. Why are they all actually talking to me? You’d think they’d all just ignore me for the better company around. But I decide to play along anyways. “Only when I’m hungry and, I have to say, I have the appetite of a hippogriff at the moment.” I hold my tummy and smile evilly, which pulls out appreciative laughter from the others.
“Damn. I’m surrounded by monsters then,” he smiles, elbowing Remus in the ribs. Lupin shoots Black a look that I can’t quite place, elbowing him back, which causes Black to bark out a laugh in reply (seriously, it sounds like a dog bark. I’m not kidding).
The rest of the train ride was surprisingly pleasant. The highlight for the boys...okay, and for me as well, was when a trolley rolled by selling sweets. We treated ourselves and talked about our favorites. Peter Pettigrew appeared a while later, the last of the seventh year Gryffindor boys. His appearance was very out of place amongst the other boys. Probably how I look in comparison to the other girls. He’s short, pudgy, and unfortunately rat-like in his features. When the boys asked where he’d been, he’d blushed furiously, looked down, and refused to answer. At least while there were girls present. There wasn’t any room for him to sit down, so he stood for the remainder of the train ride, with much complaining I might add.
As the train slows, we all rise and begin to file out of the compartment. Surprisingly, they don’t all immediately separate from me and go their own ways, as I expected them to do as soon as we weren’t forced to share a compartment. In fact, they continue to chatter to me as we shuffle down the aisle, Hogwarts robes now on, of course. I smile, wondering if, for the first time ever, I have made some friends.
A/N: I know what some of you are probably thinking. Where did all the other chapters go? What's going on, you crazy woman?! Well, I'm rewriting my story, of course! You see, Misplaced Trust and I hit a little rough patch in our relationship. We went too fast from the start, and decided it would be best to take a break from each other for a while. But now, we're ready to start fresh, and try and make this whole thing work! ;] So stick with me! The first few chapters should be coming in rapid succession! Anywhozers, please feel free to leave comments/critique/questions in a nice little review. I would love that oodles and gobs! =]