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Sweet as Sugar by smashed_crayon
Chapter 1 : Posh Dinner Parties, Cute Reporters and Freckly Nicknames
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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Words can't even describe how amazing this CI by Flightless @ TDA is - But I'll give it shot anyway: Pretty, amazing, breathtaking, perfect, quite black & white, of a gerneral squarish shape... well you get the picture (:

 

 

 

                                                 

 





 

“Dominique you blonde mountain troll, hurry the hell up or I will blast this bloody door down!”I rolled my eyes at my reflection, ignoring my sister’s threats.

“I’m nearly finished Vic! Can you wait a little while longer? You still have a whole sodding hour to get ready for Teddy!”

I heard my sister huff and stomp off. I think it’s the veela in us. Makes us feisty.

She had gotten even worse ever since her and Teddy had ‘officially’ gotten together. I mean, we all knew they had been snogging in the garden shed for years. She wasn’t fooling anyone. Whenever he was over, come 6 pm, she got up, yawned and said ‘I think I might go to bed...’ Five minutes later, if you cared to look around, Mr. Lupin seemed to have disappeared too. Hmm, wonder where he’d gotten to?

Sure, I was happy for her and all. When she wasn’t trying to drag me out of the bathroom so she could fluff that perfect red hair of hers.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Allow me to explain my current situation: Tonight was one of the Potter family dinners. I don’t know how the word family ever found its way into the name, because it was more ‘unknown red-haired relatives, remotely close friends, and any other random who cared to show up’, making for a very crowded household.

And of course, Teddy was going to be there. So my sister was trying to shorten my time in the bathroom, just so she could make herself look perfect for him.

Which was complete Bullocks, because she was already the very depiction of perfect. Look up the word in the dictionary and under it you’re sure to find a picture of her sparkling blue eyes and perfect pout.

 

Chasing any thoughts of my sister from my head, I wrapped a towel around my steaming body, and one around my hair, still wet from my shower.

I couldn’t see why Victoire couldn’t just use our parents shower. I know maman was very picky about it, but a bit of sweet talk and voila! She could take all the time she wanted.

I pushed the door to my room open, closing it behind me as I stepped onto the plush white carpet. The lavender curtains were open on the full length window to my left, which was currently looking over a sunset beach.

I had two outfits laid out on my bed, making for the toughest decision I have had to make since leaving Hogwarts. I let my towel fall around my feet as I surveyed the dresses:

There was a white lacy one, short and cute, and a long grey one made of flowing material, with no straps and an Empire style waist. Tonight was supposed to be a formal event, with ministry workers invited, and some pretty important guys from Uncle Harry’s work coming along, which made me hesitate.

Cute, or elegant?

I finally settled with elegant, seeing as it was, after all, a dinner party, and you never knew who turned up to these soppy events.

I pushed the white dress aside and smoothed out the grey one, trying to decide if I would need a bra with it or not. I decided with yes, but after thorough inspection of my underwear draw, I realised that my black strapless was nowhere to be seen.  

Cursing, I grabbed the towel off the floor, wrapped it around myself again and stormed out of my room, letting the door slam shut behind me; I found maman in the kitchen, cleaning up the mess from the cake she had just put in the oven.

“Victoire stole my clothes again!” I whined, causing her to drop her wand to her side and turn to me, hands on hips, grey eyes flattened.

“En Français, Dominique,” She requested calmly. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. She was always insisting we talk in French, saying that if we didn’t keep it up, we would forget it.

“Victoire m’a piqué mes habits,” I repeated. Fleur smiled approvingly at my French, before giving her wand a flick, and turning back to her cleaning.

“Va régler ca avec elle. Je suits occuper, moi.” She told me, turning her back to me and pointing her wand at the dirty dishes, making them bubble up with suds.

I scowled at her slender back. ‘Go work it out with her. I’m busy’. I huffed and turned my heel, trudging out of the kitchen in search of a certain red-headed sister to talk (read: scream) to.

Go figure that she was already in the shower, with the door locked. Naming it a lost cause, I stomped back to my room, slamming the door shut behind me.

This was not a good start to the night. I was angry, impatient and pissed. And when Dominique Weasley is angry, impatient and pissed, she generally stays that way for while, and during her time of anger, impatience and pissiness, among other things, she enjoys scaring small children, smashing valuable objects and talking about herself in the third person.  So bring on the breakables, people.

I snatched my dress up off the bed, making the light material swish up gracefully. I scowled at the beautiful fabric, before pulling it over my head. Stupid Victoire taking my stupid bra that I need with this stupid dress to hold up my stupid boobs.

I twisted around to zip up the side, and turned to inspect myself in the full length mirror standing in the corner. The dress fit nicely, flowing down to my feet in a cascade of swirling fabric. It felt soft against my skin. One coat of red lipstick and some heels, and I was good to go.

Once my makeup was done I sat in front of the mirror, holding my hair to the nap of my neck, trying to decide if I should wear it up or down.  That’s me: undecided. Whether it was about what to have for lunch to what to do with my life, I could never make up my mind. So me getting ready to go somewhere important? Yeah, that usually involved a lot of yelling and a breakdown or two. Whenever I got dressed up with my friends, I would be the one running around in my underwear, screaming about how the world was going to end if I didn’t find anything to wear NOW.

I finally settled with down, dropping my hold on my hair and letting it fall around my shoulders in a tumble of loose curls.

Once I was ready, I skipped (or as close as you can come to skipping in heels and a full length dress) down the hall. I was feeling happy now (did I mention that people introduced me with a ‘meet Nickie, she’s bipolar!’? No? Good, because they don’t. And I’m not) It was a beautiful night, I was going to a party and everything would be just fine.

Huh, if only. Now I wish I had of just given up at getting ready, chucked a good ol’ tantrum and stayed home. Because all my troubles started with this night. Troubles I wouldn’t have minded missing out on. But I didn’t give up and I didn’t stay home, and I did go to that goddamned party. Life’s funny like that.

My family was waiting for me in the living room, all very dressed up and classy. Louis, my fifteen year old brother was looking very handsome in his black suit. My father, Bill was wearing a similar outfit, and I noticed that he had removed his earring for the occasion. Maman had on a beautiful silver dress, looking not a day older than she did in her wedding day photo. Victoire was lounging on the couch in a very short, very tight black sequin dress, her dark red hair tied up into a messy bun. And to think she had needed a sodding hour.

Once I had joined the my dear little family, making our fivesome complete, Louis grabbed hold of Papa’s arm, Victoire heaved her slim frame up off the couch, and in perfect unison, we twirled on the spot, four loud pop’s echoing around the room as we disappeared, leaving a now empty and silent household behind us.

 

 

I apparated onto some sort of hard stone, and may have tripped on landing because I may be a little clumsy. But it also may have been because of my dress. It’s very tricksy, my dress is.

I was standing on a cobble stone driveway that led up to a gihugic house, its many windows lit up by golden light.

 “Allez,” Said Fleur, ushering us up to the front doors. Papa rung the front door and it was soon answered by a pretty redheaded witch in an emerald dress.

“Hi! Come in,” Ginny exclaimed, opening the doors wide. We all scuttled inside, and Mrs. Potter shut the wide double doors behind us. “About time you got here. Harry’s been going ballistic. The French minister arrived half an hour ago, and he needs a translator.”

Giving the rest of us a quick kiss on the cheek, Ginny took Maman’s arm and swooped her in the direction of a group of self absorbed looking men in stiff black robes.

Sighing, I turned to the rest of my family. I didn’t even want to be here in the first place. These dinner parties were so dull, and everyone always looked so stuck up and obnoxious.

Victoire was standing by the coat rack, glancing around hopefully, and I grinned, giving her a gentle shove in the direction of the throng.

“Go on, go find Teddy,” I told her, and she turned a light shade of pink before walking off, disappearing in the crowd.

“Freddie mentioned something about a new top secret Weasley product,” Louis said, looking rather eager, which was honestly a little worrying. Nothing that excited my little brother bode well. He shot me a mischievous grin and shot off, soon disappearing in-between two of the snobby champagne drinkers.

Why Uncle Harry and Auntie Ginny even invited these people was beyond me. The party was as un-Weasleyish as anything could ever get.

Where was the flying food? Where were the loud laughs? And where were the indoor Quidditch matches, the dung bomb fights, the family rows?

I felt decidedly uncomfortable in this high-class atmosphere.

Now that half my family had wondered off, I was left standing at the door with my father. If anyone looked out of place here, it was papa.

With his long red ponytail, shark tooth earring and stubble lining his jaw, he was as incongruous as a zebra among a herd of bay racing horses.

Papa glanced down at me, and his face lit up into a roguish grin. Papa and I got along well, because unlike maman, he knew how to smile. I seemed to have inherited his dislike for crowds, too.

With one last resigned sigh, I hung up my coat and stepped hesitantly forward.

I had to admit, the room looked beautiful. I had been to this house countless times, but tonight it had been done up with candles and chandeliers, and the normally quaint looking room had been transformed into an explosion of gold and flickering shadows.

A valet of sorts was walking by, carrying a platter of champagne. Even though I hated the stuff, I reached over and plucked a flute of the pale bubbly drink off his tray.

I lifted the glass to my lips, took a very small sip, and wished I hadn’t.

It was worse than that time I drank half a bottle of skelgrow as a dare.

This stuff was foul.

Grimacing, I placed the glass back on the tray of another passing valet, ignoring the slightly haughty look he sent me.

“Freckles!”

I turned around at the sound of my unfortunate nickname, grinning broadly.

“Molly!” I screamed at the sight of my cousin, earning me a condescending death glare from the nearest stiff-robed snob. I assaulted my cousin in a tight embrace, squeezing her until she choked out that she was slowly dying from lack of oxygen.

So I let her go and admired from afar. Olli had messy, crazy strawberry curls, the most impish set of blue eyes I had ever seen, and a splattering of freckles dusted across her nose. And yet she insisted on giving me the bloody nickname.

Tonight she had decided to wear very short, very revealing navy blue silk dress, and I was guessing that her main motive for her choice of clothing was that it would tick her parents off the most.

Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey, Olli’s mum and dad, were the kind of people who enjoyed the environment we were in right now. 

And Olli, well, she was the complete opposite. She was crazy, loud, and absolutely insane; she terrified the hell out of any grown, self-respecting man. Her goal in life was to laugh as much as she could, skive off her parents as often as possible, and also, if she had time along the way, design her own clothesline for Gladrags.

Maybe you’ll say it’s strange that my two best friends were also my cousins, but with a family as big as mine, there wasn’t many other people left in the universe to choose from.

Ha, just kidding. But really. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Gorgeous as always, Freckles,” Olli said with excitement, grinning broadly. Olli smiles a lot. “Love the dress. Did you just get here? Oh, Rox has something to tell us, too. You should see the new Ministers assistant. He’s a dish. I wonder if he’s working tonight...”

“Deep breaths, Ol,” I told my friend soothingly. “And thanks, yes, nothing different there, no, wonderful, and I hope so.”

Olli raised a delicate brow at my answer. “How come that memory never helped you out during your History of Magic tests?” She asked me, and I rolled my eyes.

“Because History of Magic, unlike an ordinary everyday conversation, is boring as sod.” I explained calmly. “You said Rox had something to tell us? Where’s she at?”

We ended up finding Roxanne out on the terrace (yes, the Potters had a sodding terrace), in deep conversation with a scruffy, young-ish looking guy with a crop of messy brown hair. When she spotted us, she motioned us over eagerly.

Roxanne was my other favourite cousin/friend. She stood out from Olli and I ‘cause of our light complexions. Roxy was a dark, chocolate skinned African goddess, damn her. I would Avada Kedavra for those exotic looks of hers.

“Hey girls,” She greeted when we reached her and the messy-haired bloke. “Have you met Tom? He’s the-”

“Editor of the Daily Prophet.” I finished for her, recognizing the guy at last. Tom grinned and held out his hand for us to shake. He looked like a nice enough guy, kind brown eyes, genuine smile, and all that tosh.

I glanced at Roxanne, thinking of how she wanted to be a journalist. One of things that I didn’t have in common with my two friends, was a vision for the future. Both Olli and Rox had their goals set out, clear as sunshine, with a step-by-step guideline on how to reach their dream.

Rox had been interested in journalism ever since she was in third year, when she started writing a couple of articles for the School Newsletter. She really was very good, and I had no doubts that she would become chief editor someday.

Molly had always loved clothes, making clothes, buying clothes, cutting up other peoples clothes (namely mine), and she had an amazing fashion sense. It was obvious that she was meant to be working around, well, clothes, and even though right now she was serving ice-cream at Fortescues, she was going to be one sassy, sexy clothes designer one day.

I, on the other hand, had no bloody clue what I was going to do with my life. I just walked around in circles, painting meaningless paintings, taking photos, writing poems, learning to sing, getting Maman to teach me how to cook, Louis to teach me how to play Quidditch, Victoire to teach me all about dragons (her dream was to become just like Uncle Charlie), and all the while, I just couldn’t make up my mind.

I had been hoping that as soon as I graduated, it would all become clear and I would have a sudden epiphany on what I was supposed to do with my life. But that hadn’t happened. I was still just as clueless as before.

My next dead-line was receiving my NEWT results. Maybe that was going to give me a little insight.

“Tom, this is Molly Weasley, and Dominique Weasley,” Roxanne said, introducing us to her journalist friend. We smiled and exchanged banalities (“Lovely evening.” “Yes, quiet.” “Nice weather, don’t you think?” “Yes, quiet.”) And then Tom said there was someone he needed to talk to; saying his goodbyes and nice-to-meet-yous, he walked off, leaving us alone on the terrace.

I’m death eyeing you right now, Mr. Potter. That’s right. Psh. Bloody terrace.

As soon as Tom was out of view, Rox let out an excited squeal and started jumping up and down.

“He wants me to start writing a column for the Daily Prophet!” She exclaimed, looking at us in wide-eyed delight. Olli and I gaped at eachother for a few seconds, before screaming even louder than Rox had, and showering her with hugs, congratulating her on her new job.

I knew she was good, but I hadn’t known she was going to be offered anything straight away. We were only a fortnight out of school, for Merlins sake, and she had already been given a job in the Daily Prophet?

She told us that Tom had read some of her articles in the Hogwarts journal, and thought she had ‘real potential’ (the quote marks are to indicate that those were his exact words and not to hint that I thought it wasn’t true, because it most definitely was).

The conversation then turned to or NEWT results.

“Of course Nickie is going to get an ‘O’ for charms,” Teased Roxanne, her eyes twinkling. I flipped my hair back and smiled indulgingly.

“Oh shucks you make me blush,” I joked, and by jib earned me a jab.

Ha. Jib Jab.

Funny.

“The wonderful Molly Weasley will ace all her NEWTS, of course,” Roxanne continued, and Olli tipped her head back and laughed.

“With a ‘Troll’ for each one!” She chuckled, and Roxanne and I shared The Look.

You know the one you give a person when you are both mentally rolling your eyes at the same thing, and want to share it with someone?

Roxanne and I share many of those Looks.

This time, it was because we both knew Olli was an incredibly smart Witch, she just wasn’t very academically minded. She was amazing at Transfiguration, Professor McGonagall having even advised her to think about becoming an Animagus, but dear Molly thought there were more important things in life.

Namely, the Minister’s new assistant.

“Mr. Assistant is looking rather lonely over there,” Olli mused, eyeing the poor boy mischievously. “Maybe I should go keep him company...?” The Look made its appearance again, and I shot Olli a flattened gaze of my own.

“He’s surrounded by a crowd of people, Missy, I think he’ll manage. Really.”

But Olli wouldn’t have it.

“But none of them have boobs,” She pointed out, jerking her thumb at the group of corporate men in dark robes huddled around the poor assistant.

I eyed them too, and tilted my head to the side. “I dunno about that...Mr. Tall-hat looks like he has a descent pair on him...”

Roxanne chuckled and I sent Olli a grin. She smirked back.

“You will both be squirming with jealousy when I have had a decent shag by the end of the night, and you haven’t,” She said loftily, and, downing her drink, strutted her way over to her victim...euh, sorry, her ‘object of interest’.

The conversation drifted back to our NEWTS when she left. Roxanne was fretting over opening her results alone.

“I’d say you could stay at mine tonight, but Maman’s in a right foul mood. Anyway, Teddy’s staying over, so Vic’s sleeping in my room. Maman thinks that the two are too sex craved to keep their hands off eachother for one night.”

“She’s probably right,” Roxanne mused, but then her face fell. “We can’t stay at mine.” She explained. “Aunt Muriel came up for the holidays...”

We both shuddered.

Aunt Muriel was our Great, Great Aunt, and she was the nastiest, grumpiest, bitterest old bint I knew. The whole family couldn’t understand why the lady wasn’t dead yet, because she was probably nearing her two hundreds. But she just lived on and on, much to everyone’s despair.

I had been mentally scarred by Aunt Muriel. It happened the first time I met her.

I was only a small girl, at the tender age of ten...

 

 

Flashback

Location: The Burrow

Date: The day I lost my innocence (and my faith in humanity)

 

 

“ ’Old still, ma Chéri, Or I weel never get dis ‘air right.”

I winced as maman pulled at my short blonde curls, plaiting them into a neat French braid. I had never liked having my hair done, because sitting down for too long made my legs go twitchy.

“Dominique, attention!” Maman exclaimed, when I tried to pull my hair out of her grasp after a particularly tight pull. “Your Great Aunt Muriel iz coming to vizit. You must look parfait for ‘er, or she weel criticize every sing about you.”

“But maman, I don’t want to look parfait! I want to go play outside with Al and Freddie!” I moaned, making Maman sigh wearily, carefully tying a pink bow onto the end of my braid.

“Dominique, you must understand, your Great Aunt izn’t a nice person.” Maman said, and my ten year old mind picked up on the slight humor riddled in her tone.

Come on, she’s not all that bad,” Said Papa, striding into the room. “A little bitter, maybe, but-”

“Bill, she told me I was not worzy of you, and dat she couldn’t zee what you liked about me! On our wedding day!”

Papa chuckled and planted a light kiss on Mamans cheek. “Well I think you’re perfect.” He murmured, and I stuck out my tongue and scrunched my eyes up in a disgusted grimace.

My parents laughed at my expression, and maman stroked my cheek lovingly. “Go play, ma Chéri.” She said, and I happily jumped down from my chair and skipped out of the kitchen.

James had said something earlier about a Gnome trapped in a garden pot, and I wanted to go see if he had been telling tales or not...

 

One hour, two Gnome bites and five face-fulls of mud later, I was running around screaming, chasing a terrified Fred Weasley with a garden spade.

I caught sight of Molly, hiding behind the garden shed, and she motioned for me to steer Freddy over to her. I grinned and gave her the thumbs up.

“Watch out!” Al screamed, a moment too late, but Fred had already run smack-dab into Molly’s trap.

Laughing wildly, I gave my crazy haired cousin a high five.

“So, anyone else want to trip Freckles over?” Molly asked the rest of the boys imposingly, placing strict looking hands on her hips. They all whimpered and shook their heads.

“Kids, we have to – Nickie, what have you done to your hair?” I looked up at Victoire, who was standing at the back door, looking even more imposing than Molly had. I scowled and felt my braid. Or what was left of it.

Vickie sighed, walked elegantly over to me, and began pulling careful fingers through my mass of blonde knots.

James stuck his tongue out at me from behind her back, and I responded by doing likewise.

“Vic, why are you wearing that dress?” I asked my sister, frowning at the short material. My sister blushed and didn’t look at me, continuing to try and tame my hair.

“It’s because she luuurves Teddy!” Cooed Rose, who had just popped up next to Molly. I made an eww face, and Rosie giggled.

“Victoire and Teeddy, sitting on a broom, making babies under the-” 

“Shut it, Olli!” Vickie growled, turning even redder. “Who taught you that, anyway?”

Molly grinned. “James.” She said, pointing an accusing finger at the culprit. James tried to look innocent, but gave up and grinned instead.

“Maman isn’t going to like your dress, Vic,” I said wisely, but my sister just shrugged.

“I don’t care what anyone thinks.” She said nonchalantly.

“Except if it’s Teeddy...” Teased Rose, while Victoire tried to look unabashed.

“He isn’t even coming today, anyway.” She muttered, looking away. Us little ’uns laughed and tried not to look too embarrassed at the exchange.

 

That was the last innocent moment of my life.

Five minutes later, my happy-go-lucky attitude would disappear, and my sunshine-coated view of the world was going to shatter into a million pieces.

I was never going to be the same again.

“Kids, get inside!” Aunt Ginny yelled, standing at the door. Vickie scowled at being called a kid (she was, after all, a big girl of fifteen), but we all traipsed in in single file.

The kitchen was a mess. Half my family was running about, looking terrified and grief-stricken, and when maman caught sight of my messy hair and muddy clothes, she let out a wail of despair.

I glanced over at the corner of the room, where Uncle Ron sat huddled in a terrified ball as his wife tried to lure him out with words of reassurance.

“She isn’t going to kiss you, Ron, now come out, your even worse than George!” Hermione paused and seemed to think about it. “No, maybe you’re not. But still!”

I was suddenly very, very reluctant to meet this Great Aunt of mine.

“Rox, Freddy, go get yourselves cleaned up!” A scared looked Angie was saying to her kids. “I have to go and get George out of that closet in the attic...”

Uncle Harry poked his head through the door that led to the living room, looking worried. “Gin, love, Muriel has started insulting my manliness. What do I do?” He whispered, shooting a terrified glance over his shoulder. Ginny looked up from where she was wiping little Lily’s face clean, and laughed.

“Just be thankful you don’t have it as bad as Bill,” She answered, eyes twinkling. “She never stops commenting that long hair of his.”

“Dominique, come ‘ere!” Maman grabbed my hand anxiously, and pushed yet another frilly pink dress into my hands. Where was she keeping these things? “All dat time on your ‘air for nozing!” She glanced at my limp curls sadly, then looked around nervously. “Louis, viens la!” 

“We need something to appease her,” Auntie Hermione said, wringing her hands about desperately, “Do we have any finger food, drinks?”

“I think she’ll be insulting Harry’s manhood for some time, we’ll be fine,” Ginny answered with a wink.

 

“Ginevra that cardigan makes you look like an omelette. Victoire dear, does your mother really let you dress like a hooker? This wine is incredibly bland, I’m a hundred and seven years old, I don’t know if I can stomach this.”

Uncle Ron rolled his eyes and whispered under his breath, “She’s been saying that for twenty five years.”

“I must say, you lot breed like gnomes. Who’s that boy?” Aunt Muriel stuck her chin out in Teddy’s direction, and Harry hurried to explain who he was, pushing his chest out in an attempt to seem more masculine.

“That blue hair is ghastly.” Was all Muriel said. “Ronald, come here, I haven’t had my kiss yet.”

I stifled a giggled as Uncle Ron’s ears turned a deep red, and I saw Aunt Hermione hide her smile behind her hand.

It went on like this for a while – a steady stream of insults, leaving no space for any of us to answer. She went through all the kids one by one, and finally, after asking poor Olli whether the thing on her head was a ginger cat or a pumpkin with skin disease, she turned to me.

“What’s your name, girl?” She barked, looking down at me from under her spectacles.

“Domin-”

“Speak up, I can’t here you! No use mumbling into your hair. You have unnaturally pale skin, I must say. Very washed out. What do you want to do with your life?”

I, of course, answered what any ten year old girl would answer

“I want to travel around the world on a flying carpet.”

Muriel looked aghast. “What a terrible dream. How on earth are you going to manage that?”

“Well, James has-”

“I say give it up now, while you have a chance.” Auntie Muriel said gruffly. “It’ll come to nothing. Mark my words, girl, don’t get your hopes up for anything special in life. You’re going to live an uneventful, boring existence. Trust me, I’m a hundred and thirty two years old, I would know.”

She said all this with cold, un-caring calm, shooting the words straight into my hopeful ten year old heart like a poisoned arrow, slashing straight through my faith and confidence.

“Pretty face, but not much brains,” She said, patting my head sadly. “James, my boy, did you stick your finger in a bucket of electric eels? You look like you’ve been struck by lightning!”

 

She was a bitter old hag, there was nothing else to it. I mean, really, you’re going to live an uneventful, boring existence? Who says that to a ten-year old in a pink dress?

“How about Olli’s?” Roxanne suggested, referring to where we could stay tonight. My gaze flattened, and I gave her The Look II.

This one was the one that said ‘I’m still your friend, but I’m judging your sanity’.

“Good point,” Said Rox, interpreting my Look. “I don’t want to be in the same room as Uncle Percy when he finds out that his eldest daughter only scored one NEWT.”

“Have faith in your cousin, Rox!” I exclaimed, shooting her an amused half smile, but my mind was elsewhere.

I was just as nervous about my NEWTS as Rox was, and likewise, didn’t fancy opening them alone. I was still waiting for that epiphany of mine, the one where I suddenly realize what I want to do with my life.

“Nickie?” Roxanne’s voice drew me out of my thoughts. I glanced up at her, and realized that Tom had joined us again. “Tom wanted to introduce me to some people...you’ll be right by yourself?” She asked, smiling slightly. I could tell she was trying to contain her excitement.

“I’ll be fine,” I said, and shot her a reassuring grin. She scrunched up her nose in a half happy half nervous expression, and followed Tom off the terrace.

It didn’t take long for me to follow them. Inside it had gotten a little louder, the many flutes of champagne having reached the guests vocals cords by now. I grabbed a glass of elderflower wine from a floating tray; Weaving my way through the laughing crowd, I sipped it and searched desperately for an exit.

The door to the first floor seemed closed, but I knew Aunt Ginny wouldn’t mind me going up to get away from the noise.

As soon as the door swung shut behind me, and the voices died down, I let out a sigh of relief. It was darker up here, and I had a little trouble climbing up the stairs.

I couldn’t shake off that feeling that I was wasting my life, while everyone around me was seizing opportunities. Everybody I knew seemed to have something –I know this may sound dramatic – to live for. I wasn’t feeling like this just because of what Aunt Muriel told me, seven years ago (though it definitely helped). It wasn’t even because I didn’t have a dream, or a view of the future.

It was because everything that came my way I seemed to dismiss with a wave of my hand. Job opportunities, party invitations, dates. I don’t know why I always refused. It seemed daft, I know, but that was just my problem.

Let’s review this, shall we?

Roxy: Is currently working for the Daily Prophet. Boss may also be slightly good looking.

Molly: Enjoys free ice-cream on workdays. May currently be shagging important businessman.

James: Insanely attractive. Has invented many spells and is writing book.

Louis: Average of ten compliments a day.

Vickie: currently dating Teddy Lupin. The man is a beast.

Hugo: Has five or six girlfriends. Am being dead serious, Lily gives me all the details.

Rosie: Owns her own head of curly red hair.

Albus: Three times runner up and four times winner of Witch Weekly’s most dashing smile award.

Lily: Has supreme Quidditch skills.

Lucy: Brightest Witch of our generation.

Freddy: Has George Weasley for a father.

Nickie (aka Freckles): ‘Pretty face, not much brains’ (Quote Aunt Muriel, aka beast-of-terror).

 

Now, who seems the most likely to end up thirty and owning eight cats?

Me, that’s who. My gaze is flattened, my brow furrowed and my mouth turned down; and I am aiming this expression at YOU!

Feel the wrath of my eyes of steel. FEEL IT!

My wanderings had ended me up in the library. It was a whopping big room, the walls covered with rows and rows of leather bound volumes. There was a desk in the corner, and the thin streaks of moonlight creeping past the swaying curtains were the only sources of light around.

I placed my glass of wine down on the cluttered desk, enjoying the feeling of solitude that came with a room that smelled of books and dusty parchment. There was just something about that smell, you know? Like everything else in the world is just a story, and this place, the place where you are, is the only real thing.

Who knew I had a flare for poetics?

The pale curtains were moving gently, pushed by the slight breeze whispering through the open window. The wind pulled at my hair and picked up my dress, and I didn’t miss the slight smell of jasmines it sent tumbling through the air.

“Good evening, Beautiful,”

The voice had come from behind me, pulling me out of my reverie with a start and a strangled yelp. It was low and husky, nearly a whisper but not quiet.

And the chill it sent down my spine was all too familiar.

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AN: I started writing this, like...around the prehistoric times. Not exactly, but close.

So the start of this chapter is even suckier than the rest of it, because I couldn’t be bothered editing everything in it, and back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, well, I was and even worse writer than I am now.

Forgive me for being lazy?

I’d still like to hear (read, whatever), your thoughts about this. Tell me what I need to work on, and all that.

So review, dear reader. Or forever carry the weight of your dismissal on your shoulders ;)

– Tia

 


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