Chapter 1 : Chapter One, Mate.
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My mum is crazy. Possibly and most likely certifiable. For one, she has the maturity of a twelve year old and two, she talks to herself.
Nothing too shocking, just a bit of... chatting. Honestly, if I didn’t find the fact that she talks to herself about mismatch socks or gnomes hilarious I’d have shipped her off to the funny farm ages ago.
But I love her.
Even if she is nuts.
“Jeanine,” I moaned into my cereal bowl, “It’s way too early to be cheering about school. I need at least three more cups of coffee before I start any hollering.”
She frowned at me as she peeled apart her seventh orange, her current food addiction. “Honey, don’t call me Jeanine. And you really shouldn’t drink that stuff. It stunts your growth and you’re so short already. Probably because you drink that gunk like it’s water.”
I snorted, making milk travel rather uncomfortably up my nose, “Yeah, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that we, the Walkers, are a family known for producing short women. Let’s forget genes and blame it on the heavenly caffeine, shall we?”
She threw an orange peel at me, “You’re very sarcastic this morning. What’s got you so down in the dumps, button?”
I sighed and pushed my bowl of cheerios away from me so I could rest my elbows on the shiny countertop, “I don’t really know. I guess it’s because it’s my last year at Hogwarts. I can’t really believe it. Starting today, I’m a seventh year.”
She grinned at me and winked, “Believe it baby. You rule the school!”
I snorted again before getting up to wash out my bowl. We do everything muggle style at home. My mum’s a witch and she went to Hogwarts and everything, but when she was like twenty she met my dad (muggle) and gave up magic to be with him. Even though he left six years ago, she still hasn’t done any magic.
Told you she’s crazy.
“You all packed?” She asked me around a mouth full of doughnut. My mum eats nothing but junk food. Oh, and oranges.
At least she won’t get scurvy.
“Not at all.”
She looked at me with disbelief, “You know we leave in fifteen minutes right?”
I nodded as I lazily flicked through the Daily Prophet.
She put her hand on her hip in a very mum way, “So, who do you think’s going to pack your trunk for you, huh? Because I’m certainly not going to do it-”
“Tiff, your trunk’s packed!” A voice yelled from upstairs.
“Thanks Alex!” I called.
Mum slowly turned to look at me, her eyes in a suspicious glare, “Was that Alex Collins?”
“Yes, yes it was.” Ooo, Witch’s Wardrobe Dress Shop is having a sale!
“Did he pack your trunk for you?” Her tone was disapproving.
Whatever, she talks to plants.
“Mm-hmm.” I wonder if they have a shipping service... I’ve been needing new clothes for ages...
“Tiffany Walker. You know that boy is in love with you and you’re totally abusing that knowledge!” She finally cried, exasperated by my lack of response.
I rolled my eyes and tossed the Prophet aside, “I’m not abusing anything. He offered and I accepted. He insisted, more like. Probably to sneak a peek at my knickers.” I snickered.
Alex Collins is my next door neighbor. And he’s in love with me.
He and I have been friends since we were three and ever since he learned exactly what that funny thing in his pants does, he’s been not so subtly professing his love for me periodically.
It’s a bit embarrassing, actually.
But he goes to Hogwarts too so there’s no way to avoid him. Not that I really want to avoid him, exactly. We really are friends and I enjoy his company when he’s not all lovesick puppy dog.
But, in total honesty, I’m secretly glad he’s in Ravenclaw and I’m in Gryffindor. It just makes things a little easier and makes me love my common room that much more. My goal this year is to get him a girlfriend.
One that isn’t me.
“La la la I didn’t hear that!” My mum cried, her hands over her ears.
“And you wonder why I’m the mature one.” I smirked as I got up and stretched.
“She’s smirking at me, can you believe that? Quite sassy, she is.” My mum said to herself.
“I can hear you, you know.” I laughed.
She looked up at me, startled, “Oh, did I say that out loud?”
I threw the Prophet at her, “Of course you did! Honestly, Jeanine, you’re never going to get a man if you don’t realize you’re saying what you’re thinking. That could get awkward if you don’t like something about a guy on a date and you just happen to say it out loud.” I laughed at the thought of my mum humiliating some poor bloke by speaking her thoughts.
“Don’t call me Jeanine! And who says I want a man?”
“Hey, it’s cool if you swing both ways. I accept you either way.”
“Shut up and get your boyfriend.” She rolled her eyes.
And she calls me sassy?
“He’s not my boyfriend!” I called behind me as I walked upstairs.
“And I’m not a lesbian!” She shouted after me.
We have a special relationship.
“Alex? You ready to go?” I asked as I opened the door to my bedroom.
He’s on my bed, his back to me and hunched over something. He turned around when I came in and smiled up at me.
“Yeah, I’m ready when you are.” He really is quite handsome. Blonde hair, blue eyes, tall, broad, and muscular frame. Happy eyes, friendly smile. Too bad I think of him as a brother.
“Whatcha lookin at?” I sat down next to him on my ultra soft and comfy bed.
He showed me. It was a picture of us that I kept with a collection of other pictures of my friends on my bedside table. We were about six when the photo was taken, our arms slung around each other and various teeth were missing. The picture me wrinkled her nose and smiled as picture Alex tickled her sides.
“We were so cute.” I sighed.
“Still are, I reckon.” Alex nudged my side, smiling.
“Eh, maybe you. Me, not so much.”
Alex shook his head in disbelief. “You really are dumb, Tiffany Walker.”
“Say, I think that’s the best compliment I’ve gotten all week!”
“I’m here to please.”
I shoved him playfully, “Come on loser. Jeanine says it’s time to go.”
He chuckled behind me, carrying my trunk as we walked out of my room, me saying a silent goodbye to all my furniture. “I can’t believe you call her Jeanine.”
“What else would I call her?”
I scoffed, “Don’t be ridiculous, Alex. Why would I ever do that?”
He snorted, “Beats me.”
“Tiffany, let’s go! Oh, hello Alex. I can’t believe we’re running so late! And I really wanted to practice my muggle driving, too.” Jeanine was panicking.
“Yeah, why do you think I took so long?” I muttered to Alex who laughed and turned it into an obviously fake cough.
“Well, I suppose... we’ll just have to Apparate there. I’m not really in practice, so bear with me. Ready kids?” She pulled out her wand and I gaped.
She still has that thing?
And she’s going to actually use it?
I bemusedly took my mum’s left arm as Alex maneuvered two heavy trunks to grab her right one. I took a deep breath as Jeanine twisted on the spot, sending us into darkness, my lungs completely restricted and my head pounding.
We appeared right outside King’s Cross station and I gratefully sucked in lungfuls of air as I blinked in the bright sunshine.
“No time for breathing, we gotta go!” Jeanine grabbed me, pulling me awkwardly behind her.
I checked my watch. “Merlin Jeanine, we’ve got twenty minutes before the train leaves!”
“I know, I know, I just want to make sure everything’s okay before I leave.” She fretted.
I shook my head, “You’re crazy, you know that?”
“You tell me daily, oh dearest daughter.”
I shrugged. It was true.
We oh-so casually leaned against the barrier between platforms nine and ten and when the coast was clear we fell through the barrier, finding ourselves on the bustling platform nine and three-quarters.
Students squealing at one each other, parents sniffling their way back through the barrier, owls hooting at one another and curses from people who tripped over a wayward cat filled my senses. I breathed in deeply.
Finally on my way home.
“I have to go find some friends. See you later, Tiff? I’ll put your trunk in an empty compartment.” Alex said, two steps already towards the scarlet train.
I hugged him quickly, “You’re a life saver Alex.”
He smiled and after a hug from Jeanine disappeared into the crowds.
I turned to my mum who had already begun to look tearful. “Mum, don’t cry! I’ll be home before you know it, I promise.”
She pulled me into a strangling hug and whispered, “You called me mum.”
I laughed weakly while attempting to breathe, “Don’t get used to it.”
She giggled and pulled away, taking my face in her hands, “Write to me. Weekly. Pinky swear.”
And she held our her pinky solemnly.
I took it in mine, “I pinky swear to write weekly.”
She smiled and pulled me in for another hug, “Good. Now go find those friends of yours before you start getting all emotional on me.”
I laughed and pecked her on the cheek. “Love you Jeanine.”
“Love you Tiffany.”
And with a twinge to my heartstrings I turned towards the train and boarded for my final year.
I located my trunk and its accompanying compartment and sat down by the window to wait for my friends. I looked out the window and my reflection stared back at me, a girl with blonde hair and green eyes.
“TIFFANY!” A roar came from the doorway and I looked around just in time to get a face full of black hair.
“Ugh!” I spit the hair out of my mouth.
“Tiff I missed you so so so so so much! Really, life is just so boring without your snide and sarcastic comments.” Adriana Campbell squealed.
“I missed you too Addie. What would I ever do without your amazing compliments?” I laughed.
“Let your ego wither and die, probably.”
“Oh, so true.”
“My ladies!” Jennifer O’Conner shoved her way past people to get to our compartment, knocking over some poor first year and flying on top of us when she’d finally made it in. “Girls! I have gossip!” She announced when she found her own seat.
Jen always has gossip. I really don’t know who her connections are, she doesn’t have any friends besides Addie and I. “Pray tell, gossip queen.” I teased her.
“James. Potter. Is single.” She said it dramatically but she bounced up and down in her seat excitedly.
I rolled my eyes.
James Potter. Movie star handsome, yes, arrogant jerk I can’t stand, also yes.
His ego could suffocate the entire planet if he let it out of its cage long enough.
“No way! This is amazing!” Addie squealed.
“Yes, now you both have your chance.” I drawled sarcastically.
It wasn’t like Addie and Jen didn’t actually have a shot, they’re both gorgeous. Addie has the whole dark and exotic thing going with her shiny black hair and big dark eyes, while Jen’s brown hair always curls perfectly and offsets her pale skin and sky blue eyes beautifully.
It was more like they were so sure someone like Potter would never look at them that they placed him out of their league on purpose, if that makes sense. Nothing really makes sense with them.
They’re boy obsessed idiots.
But they’re my idiots.
“Stuff it Tiff you’re ruining my daydream.” Jen informed me.
I snorted, “I apologize. Please, continue to fantasize.”
“Thank you.” She nodded politely before giggling.
I shook my head indulgently and leaned my forehead against the glass, watching the scenery pass me by.
Something’s different about this year. I can feel it already. I can’t tell if it’s good or bad just yet. It’s just... different. Maybe it’s supposed to feel this way, since it’s the last year and all.
“So Tiff, how’s Jeanine?” Addie asked me some twenty minutes later, once they were done discussing just how perfect Potter’s hair is.
I smiled, “She’s good. Still crazy. Still single. The usual. How’s your mum?”
Addie sighed and flopped back in her seat, “She got married again.”
Addie’s mum is, I hate to say it, a cougar. She only dates (and marries) younger men. It drives Addie nuts.
“Ooo, I’m sorry. How old this time?” I asked curiously.
She eyed me suspiciously and I didn’t blame her. Every time Shannon (Addie’s mum) gets remarried, we place bets on how long until the divorce.
I won last time. They had to cough up forty galleons.
“Twenty-nine.” She rolled her eyes.
That’s a record for Shannon. She usually stays in the thirties. “Oh boy, I’m saying six months.”
“No way.” Jen scoffed, “A guy that young? I’m betting three months.”
“You guys are both wrong. I give it two weeks, more like.” Addie smiled smugly.
I whistled, “That’s a risky bet, Campbell. You sure you’re up for it?”
“Positive. You guys haven’t seen them together. They fight. A lot. It’ll end soon.”
The lunch trolley came trundling by and I got up to grab some grub, pulling money out of my pocket, “Nah, they’ll stick it out. Six months, I’m telling you.”
“Whatever, Walker. You’ll be eating your words and shelling out the dough, just you wait.”
I snorted as I picked out three chocolate frogs, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
“What will you believe?” Noah Parker asked me, smiling as he arrived at the trolley.
I couldn’t very well tell him that we were placing bets on the impending downfall of a marriage so I said, “I’ll believe Dumbledore has dinosaurs on his drawers when I see proof.”
It was the first thing that popped in my head.
Noah laughed loudly, surprising me. Usually he’s really quiet, barely speaking above a murmur and only chuckling softly. “I would pay money to see those.”
“Join the club.” I smiled at him.
Noah Parker is attractive, I will admit.
Not the flashy kind of attractive like his friends James Potter and Freddy Weasley, I think his quiet hotness is better. He’s got sandy blond hair and really pretty ocean blue eyes. His nose is always buried in a book, something his obnoxious friends tease him about but I think it’s sweet and sort of sexy. He’s tall and wiry, but has broad shoulders that I adore.
“So how was your summer?” He asked me as I blushed at the fact that I’d just been appraising his looks.
I leaned against the doorframe to my compartment, running my fingers through my hair, “Eh, it was alright. Nothing special. Yours?”
He tore open one of his chocolate frogs, biting into it before it could hop away. When he finished chewing he grinned, “I spent most of it at the Weasley’s. It was great.”
Why is he talking to me?
I mean yeah, Noah and I get along fine and we talk when we’re partnered up in class or something, but other than that we rarely have a conversation that doesn’t involve school.
Mostly I try to keep away from his friends and their arrogance and I think his friends steer clear of mine. It’s well known that they obsess over boys and them especially since they’re so popular. Beats me why. They’re bullies and pranksters and yet they rule the school.
Welcome to Hogwarts.
I smiled at him, “Sounds like your summer was better than mine then. I’m so glad to finally be heading back to Hogwarts, the ol’ Walker residence was getting pretty stuffy.” I laughed a bit to show I was joking.
“Amen to that sister.” James Potter sidled up to us, smirking that cocky smirk he thinks makes girls want to drop their pants and leaned against the wall next to Noah.
I used all my willpower not to roll my eyes as I watched his bright green eyes travel the length of my body.
“Done checking me out yet or do you need more time?” I scowled, trying with all my might not to hex him.
He held up a finger, “Almost done.”
I wanted to slap that stupid grin right off his smug face.
But instead, being the classy lady that I am (insert ladylike snort here), I took the high road and said sweetly, “Anyway Noah, it was nice catching up with you. See you at school, yeah?”
I smiled and turned to head back in my compartment but Noah shot out his arm and put his hand on my shoulder, “Wait! I want to give you something.”
I cocked my head to the side, “Yeah? What is it?” What could Noah Parker have to give to me?
He placed something in my hand and smiled crookedly, “A present.”
And with that he and James made their way back to their own compartment, eyes following them longingly the entire length of their journey.
I looked down at the chocolate frog card he’d put there.
Smiling gently up at me was Albus Dumbledore.
I grinned big as I fell back in my seat.
Soooo.... Whatcha think? It's a bit different from my other story but I got that writing itch and this is what came out of it :)
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