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Chapter 3 : A Much Needed Best Friend
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As I said, I was the only girl on the Slytherin quidditch team and at times I thought the boys were going to murder me. Of course, before a certain someone and I had a falling out, they were all perfectly nice to me. Well, I was a much better player than they all were because I had to deal with Crab and Goyle hitting bludgers my way while trying to catch Vaisey's wild passes and still managing to score every time. I gave our keeper, Bletchley, quite a workout.
As I finally reached our field I mounted my broom and kicked off, quickly soaring high above the ring of trees surrounding the pitch. My hair was tied back in a ponytail and the cold air gave me goosebumbs up my neck. I shivered in the cold and then turned the handle of my broom down and dove sharply towards the ground before performing a triple barrel roll as I leveled out near the ground. I took a hand from my broom and, lying flat against it, and let my fingertips gently grace over the top of the grass. As the other end of the field approached at a blinding rate due to my speed, I pulled sharply up and went spiraling into the sky. I let out a large sigh and a small smile as I closed my eyes, feeling the warmth of the sun breaking through the clouds on my face, as I did a back flip.
It was silent on the field as it was too cold for any animals to be out. That's why it was easy to hear my mother's voice from a distance when she said "She's out on the quidditch field." I halted in midair. Who was she talking to? My keen ears were straining to pick up any sounds of approaching footsteps as my eyes scoured the trees to see any protruding figure. A twig snapped behind me and I whipped around so fast I almost gave myself whiplash. A chuckling voice came from the shadows beneath the trees.
"A leettle jumpy are wee?" I'd recognize that French accent anywhere.
"Jacqueline!" I squealed as she stepped onto the field. I sped over to where she was standing, jumped off my broom and gave her a big hug. We spoke in French to each other, my accent coming back automatically.
" Très bien mercis, et vous ? Je vous ai manqué tellement ! Va-t-il comment Beauxbatons et chacun?"
"Je suis bon aussi, chacun est simplement parfait et l'école est… école. Alice et Sophe vous manquent beaucoup et Reve fait aussi."
Which translated to:
"How are you?" said Jacqueline.
"Fine thanks, and you? I've missed you so much! How is Beauxbatons and everyone?"
"I'm good too. Everyone is simply perfect and school is...school. Alice and Sophe miss you and Reve wonders about you." My cheeks blushed slightly at the mention of Reve's name.
Now for those of you who don't speak French, I'll do you a favor and translate our conversations.
"He wonders about me?" I asked.
"Oh yes! He is always wondering what you're doing and how you're faring in England." I giggled in response.
"What a sweetheart. Let's go inside, it's freezing out here!"
We walked back to the house chatting about things I'd missed at my old academy, how glad I was to see her and what she was doing here.
"I'm just here visiting you while my father takes care of business with some executives of his that got transferred to the English Ministry." She said.
"So then since they're working at the Ministry of Magic, you'll be down here visiting with your dad a lot, right?" I asked excitedly.
"Well, I wouldn't say 'a lot' but yes, I'll be visiting every five months or so, as long as my father's employees keep their positions." She smiled broadly.
"Oh Jacqui! That's great!" We'd been best friends ever since our first year at Beauxbatons and I was incredibly glad to see her. I hadn't seen anyone from France for almost two years. The crunching sound the snow made as we walked was so pleasing to hear, it was like it echoed my happiness at seeing my best friend again.
My mother opened the door as we were nearing the house and yelled across the yard to us, "Come on girls! If you want hot chocolate, come get it while it's still warm! S’il te plaît! "
We sprinted the small distance to the house, her hands landing on the wall a split second before mine. She grinned and said, "I win!" We giggled and entered the house.
Upon entering the kitchen the aroma of our drinks and something I couldn't quite place filled our noses. "Is that..." I sniffed the air, "Profiteroles!" I shrieked as I looked over my dad's shoulder into the oven. My mom nudged me with a smile as she leaned in with floury hands to help him place the remaining pastries on the cookie sheets. My parents refused to use magic when making old family recipes. That is, when they actually did the cooking. Usually it was the house elves who cooked, with the exception of me and my hobby for baking.
"It smells wonderful Mr. and Mrs. Badeau." Jacqui said.
"Well thank you Jacqueline." My mom threw her a smile over her shoulder. I loved when my parents broke out our favorite family recipes from France. It always made me feel like our home country wasn't hundreds of miles and the English Channel away. I sighed inwardly as I remembered our life in France.
Every morning I'd wake up and open my window on the third floor, taking a deep breath and inhaling the scent from the flower box below the sill. Everything about that place made you feel like there was nowhere else on the planet you'd rather be, from the small cobbled streets to the wonderful aroma of fresh bread as you walked by the bakery. There were small ornate signs above each shop that made finding the right store easy without clouding the sky with huge, bulky signs. Mail was still delivered by a cute boy on a bike and you bought milk from the milkman in old-style bottles. The sun smiled down on you in the spring and summer, the light breeze blowing in off the sea was your friend. It rustled your hair and whispered in your ear how nice of a day it was and told you it couldn't wait until you were outside enjoying the sunshine. And of course, the French cuisine was the most wonderful in the world. You didn't have to own the largest, most advertised restaurant in town. No, the best places were the small, family owned, hole-in-the-wall delicatessens. You'd walk in and everyone there would greet you with such enthusiasm it made you feel as if you owned the entire world. Whoever said that the French were incapable of being nice was extremely confounded. We just didn't like the excessively nosy tourists sticking their flashy cameras up our arses. And every night I'd lie awake under my fluffy covers, the window pulled open and a soft breeze blowing in with the moonlight, as I stared out the window over the shingled rooftops of my beloved town at the waters of the Mediterranean sea. And then the gentle melody of the waves rolling up on the shore would lull me to sleep.
"Can you hand me that spatula dear?" my mom asked me from the sink. Saving my reveries for another time, I leaned across the island to grab it and slip it into the soapy water. My dad bumped into me as he tried to squeeze between my mother and me.
"Alright, I can see too many cooks are in the kitchen. Briny, give us a holler when the Profiteroles are done." Woody and Briny were on the other side of the kitchen washing and drying the dishes my parents had used. "Will do Miss!" she squeaked with violent nods of her head. Jacqueline and I headed up the stairs to my room.
"So," she said once my door was closed and we were in the privacy of my room. I could tell what she was wondering about by her tone and the look on her face.
"I'm alright I guess. I can't get rid of the memories though. They keep haunting me!"
After a pause, and a guilty glance at Jacqui, I continued. "He's in my dreams and everywhere I go, everything I do, he's there! I keep having moments where I can't tell whether I'm seeing reality or I'm actually reliving each memory in full-scale d-detail." My voice faltered on the last word. I paused and swallowed, trying to stop coming tears before they formed. When I calmed myself enough to whisper, my voice quivered uncontrollably and I had to stop between sentences.
"When the wind blows I feel his fingertips on my arms. If people are talking in quiet voices I hear him whispering in my ear. I see two people together and I can't help but hate them in envy. I see him where ever I look and all it does is drive the knife in my heart even deeper." I couldn't keep it in any longer. The tears flowed freely down my cheeks as Jacqui pulled me into a hug.
"Ah, mon pauvre ami." My poor friend, she said. "He is a completely asshole"
"A complete asshole" I hiccupped as I corrected her english.
"Yes, thank you. And I know you don't believe me now, but you are so much better off without him. He's a scumbag and you can do so much better. He doesn't deserve you and any boy who would do this is not worth caring about." And though I couldn't see it at this point, she was completely right.
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