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The Human Factor by SexyDoorFrames
Chapter 4 : The One Where Cassie Almost Eats Gryffindor Toast
 
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

This chapter was inspired by Greys anatomy, haribo and annoying friends. Oh, and you!

Authors Note: Hello! How are you all today? I don’t usually do fast updates like this but this is a special occasion! I have been part of HPFF for five years. Yeah, I know. I seem old. I feels it! I would have never made it this far without you, my readers. I’d probably given up ages ago. Five wonderful years and I’m still happy to be here.

So to anyone I’ve ever spoken to ever, thank you so much and here is to the next five years!

Oh! Thanks for all the support I’m getting on this story! It makes my day. In this chapter, Albus returns, there is no Scorpius and you meet Pippa’s best friend, Cassie Holmes. I’d love to hear what you think of Cassie! And this story in general!

Comments and opinions are always welcomed. Reviews make the world go around.

Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my Beta








Chapter Four –
The One Where Cassie Almost Eats Gryffindor Toast



Amazing chapter image by GryffindorGirl153


“What’s the worst that can happen? I get a big head and a desire to save people?” - Cassie Holmes





“Cassie, get the hell out of bed now before I start going hell bitch on your ass.” I shouted at her but she wouldn’t budge. I had never met a lazier girl in my life. She would sleep for days if I let her. “Cassie.” I warned but she didn’t open her eyes. I tried tugging the blanket off her but Cassie has man strength. I ended up falling backwards and onto the floor.

Alright, that hurt. Now I was going to kill her cause falling on the floor ruins my reputation as a badass.

I picked up a jug of water that always sat on a side table but no one ever used.  I then proceeded to dump the whole jug of water on her. She growled at me as she jumped out of bed quickly. I smirked; she now had a soggy bed. “I hate you.” She muttered like she fully meant it. “I’m drenched. I can already tell this is going to be the best day ever.” She rolled her eyes before she grabbed her clothes then she walked like a zombie towards the bathroom while muttering that she was going to find a new best friend as soon as possible. “I will get you back for this!” She yelled before slamming the door.

It was obvious that someone wasn’t a morning person.  She is like a monster until she’s had breakfast and coffee.

 I heard the shower switch on as I began to make her bed. It took a few minutes until I was satisfied that the blanket was straight, the corners matched up and there were no crinkles ruining my wonderful work. Cassie would never appreciate this, she wouldn’t even notice it but her bed wouldn’t get made otherwise and I couldn’t even think about that happening. It freaked me out too much.

 Cassie emerged a while later looking human with her trademark ruby red lips. Cassie won’t let me near her lipstick ever since I used her favourite shade to write ‘Damien Nott sleeps with a teddy bear’ on the wall of the great hall for fun.  Both Cassie and Damien didn’t speak to me for a week. I was quite the loner that week, I almost took up reading.

“You’ve put your hair in an alarming high ponytail.” I looked at her as I picked up my neatly organized bag. “It looks awful.”

“Yours is in a plait.” She noted stony faced as she folded her arms across her chest grumpily. “It’s a Monday… I’m trying to find the will to live.”

I paused for a few dramatic moments. “Did you find your will to live?”

Cassie rolled her eyes as she ignored my last comment. “Let’s go to breakfast. We’ve got classes to get to so that we can become the best witches the world has ever seen.” She grabbed my arm and began dragging me towards the great hall. She was a girl on a mission and that mission was to get food. I’d joke about this with her but she’s got her crazy going on. You don’t want to mess with Crazy Cassie; she may kill you with butterflies and rainbows. That would be the worst kind of death.

I snorted. “I don’t think that’s going to happen, for starters, you’re lazy and I’m stupid.”

“Your self confidence amazes me sometimes.” Cassie smirked. “And is that your opinion of me? I’m going to get that on my grave.” She sighed happily as if she was imagining it. “Here lies Cassandra Norma Holmes -”

“-She was lazy and loved pigs.  She will be sadly missed.” I finished for her.

“Unless, I come back as a ghost and I haunt the living dead out of you.” Cassie laughed. “And I don’t like pigs, I prefer dragons.”

I had to drag Cassie back to reality before the dragon daydream took over. “What the hell is the living dead and how can I get rid of it? So just in case you die, I’ll be alright.”

“I don’t know.” Cassie shrugged. “My Mom used to say it after Cactus the cat bit the dust.” She paused before putting on her old woman crackly voice which is meant to sound like her mom. It doesn’t. I’ve met her mom. She’s sounds normal. “Cactus is going to come back and haunt the living dead out of us. Just watch! He will.”

“Did he?”  I asked slightly interested.

“No, he didn’t.” Cassie flicked me in the forehead as I frowned. “Pippa, my mom and dad are both muggles. If Cactus did come back and haunt us, they’d be petrified.”

I suppose that was true. If I was a muggle and I saw a ghost; I’d never leave my house ever again. I’d become agoraphobic, die of hunger and then Binksy and Lucie will eat my face so I will be an ugly corpse. 

As soon as I entered the great hall, Damien was waving me over. I had spent the whole of yesterday avoiding him and wondering whether Saturday actually happened. I mean, does this mean I’m now somewhat friends with Scorpius? Does he think I’m a weak willed girl who can’t fight her own battles? I sighed. Scorpius was the least of my worries at the moment. I felt like if life had a face, I would punch it until it made sense. I sighed as I walked over to my brother.

I had told Cassie that Rose Weasley was a crazy witch who needed a chill pill. She figured something was up when she found me cleaning everything she owned.  She then tried to cheer me up by pretending to be a turtle. She put a pillow on her back and crawled around the room slowly. Cassie makes a good turtle.

It also made my day better.  I didn’t tell her that though. I never tell her.

“Hello Damien.”  I looked at him, someone clearly hadn’t brushed his hair this morning. Cassie started helping herself to Gryffindor toast which I immediately whacked out of her hands. “Gryffindor toast is bad.” I scolded her as she wrinkled up her nose in fury. The Gryffindor toast just lay on the floor. I had an urge to pick it up and place it on the table but I resisted the urge.

“What’s the worst that can happen? I get a big head and a desire to save people?” She looked at the toast with disgust.  “Actually, I’m not very hungry.”  I had put her off Gryffindor toast. My nice deed was done for the day.  Maybe even for the year. Maybe for my whole entire life. The Gryffindor’s at the table were glaring at me and Cassie but I ignored them and Cassie seemed to be in a world of her own so she hadn’t even noticed.

“I’ll ignore that Pippa.”  Damien said before he took a sip of his orange juice as I accidentally wished he would choke on it.

“Ignore what?” I said innocently as I crossed my arms across my chest. “Hello James.” James looked at me with a small smile on his lips before shaking his head softly.

“Hi Pippa.” James said cheerily. “How are you?”

“I survived the aftermath of annoying Rose Weasley.” I may have answered James but I directed it to Damien. “Thanks for that Damien, thanks.”

He leaned casually in his chair. “No problem.” He grinned. “Now tell me what happened.”

I ignored the fact that it seemed to be more of an order than a request. “Well, me and Scorpius spent ages trying to find Rose and-“

Damien cut me off. “-Are you telling me you willingly spent time with Scorpius?” He eyed me with uneasiness.

I shrugged. “What’s the problem? You hang out with him sometimes.”

“You hate people.” Damien answered snottily. “And idiots.” That was true. “Scorpius is both.”

“You’re both of those things and yet I still manage to put up with you somehow.” I told him, feeling slightly defensive.  “So will you shut up and just let me finish?” Damien just nodded. “Right, we found Rose who took an extra dose of bitch that morning.” Damien frowned but James laughed, I grinned at him. I wish James Potter was my brother, but I also found James Potter a little bit attractive so I guess it’s sort of good that he’s not my brother cause that would be weird. Still though, James has a much better sense of humour that Damien. James gets my humour, Damien doesn’t. “To sum up our epic journey, you haven’t irritated her.” I eyed my brother carefully. “She was happier when I told her I was there for you and not for me.”

Damien shrugged. “People are always happier to see me than you.”

I drew in my breath. Okay. I must not punch my brother to death. I cursed him in my head as I smiled sweetly. “Only the girls, my dear brother, the boys are always happy to see me more.” James started to choke on his milk and Damien looked like he was about to murder me.  “Just ask around.” I winked. This was too fun. He was actually taking me serious. He hardly ever does that, infact, I think this may be the first time.

Cassie snorted before deciding to join the conversation. “Pippa, you are not a seductive goddess, you are just a general loser.” I frowned at her. Cassie would ruin this. “I suppose you have a nice face though.”

“Thanks.” I muttered. “You’re a great friend.” I told her sarcastically.

Cassie tossed her hair over her shoulders in that dramatic way. “Thank you. I think so too.” She winked at me.

“You do know that by hanging around with me it makes you a loser too.”

Cassie pondered this before finally saying. “I’ve changed my mind, you’re a seductive goddess.”

“And the world is thankful for that.” Fred Weasley piped up. I looked at him as my brother gave him a dirty look and he just laughed. Fred Weasley was a fifth year Gryffindor whose talents were getting into trouble and then getting himself out of trouble. Fred had charisma that I had never seen before, you wanted Fred to be your buddy, you wanted Fred’s heart to belong to you, but with people like Fred, they belonged to everyone. No claims, he was a bird who couldn’t be caged. To cage him would be criminal. He sprinkled little drops of gold dust everywhere he went; bringing smiles and laughter. Not a lot of people could do that and no one did it better than him.

“Shut up Fred.” My brother frowned at Fred but we all knew that there was a smile that was trying to escape.  

Then James’, Fred’s and Damien’s expressions all darkened. I looked to see what they were focusing on; Nathan Morgan had just walked into the great hall. I closed my eyes for a few moments.

Nathan was one of the most aesthetically pleasing people I had ever seen but there was something dangerous lurking behind those eyes. If you looked closely, you could see it. It was there in every step he took and it was hidden in his lazy smile. It was just waiting to crawl out and make an appearance.

I shuddered involuntarily as I opened my eyes.

I had inherited a slight hatred from my brother towards Nathan that sometimes went a bit wonky. Damien hated Nathan and I had never understood why. Damien had never told me. In fact most of the guys I knew hated Nathan. I shrugged; maybe it had something to do with jealously? Nathan not only could have the pick of the whimsical females, he was also the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, a strangely coveted job.  Something in which made both Damien and Albus his rivals. Nathan stopped in front of the Gryffindor table which never happened.

“Hello Cassandra.” Nathan smiled at her.  “How are you?”

Cassie shrugged nonchalantly. “Hello Morgan.”  Cassie doesn’t even like Nathan yet they exchange pleasantries every day. It was something I couldn’t really figure out. Cassie doesn’t talk about it much.

He turned his attention away from Cassie for the moment. I thought he was going to pick an argument with Damien or James, who I was standing in front of. Instead he focused on me.

“Hello Philippia.” He spoke in that cool tone of his. He called me Philippia.  It shouldn’t feel strange because that’s my name but it did. Maybe it was because no one actually called me Philippia anymore or maybe it was the fact that it had been spoken to by Nathan Morgan. Either way, I felt odd and I didn’t know why.

It wasn’t like I hated my name. I don’t. I’m not going to threaten to slaughter you if you call me the name my parents put on my birth certificate. I like my name. People just didn’t seem to call me it. Ever. Even my parents only used Philippia when I had made them angry, otherwise I was Pippa.

Nathan was still staring at me with those fatal eyes. I avoided them as much as possible. I didn’t like eye contact, especially with strangers I couldn’t make my mind up on. Nathan was something I couldn’t shove into a box that easily and that unnerved me. He was crawling out of ‘My brother’s enemy, you must hate him’ box with ease and probably didn’t even realize or maybe he did and was actually an evil genius? That could be the case.

 “Hi.” I squeaked as that’s all I could manage. He must think I have problems. I do but I didn’t want him to know that. I want him to think I was amazing, cool and normal but he must think I have speech problems.  Life is great sometimes. I wasn’t going to seduce anyone with awkwardness. I guess I wasn’t a seductive goddess. I’ll guess I’ll just have to be human.

“I’ll see you around, Cassandra.” Cassie shrugged like it was nothing. Sometimes, my best friend was the epitome of cool. It usually appeared when boys were involved. She transformed, I did too but in opposite ways. She became flirty with bags of confidence. I became tongue tied and I found it hard to exist in those situations. “And, you too Philippia.” I managed to nod like it was nothing, which surprised me because my stomach was churning.  Nathan gave one last wave before walking towards the Ravenclaw table. Ah, what a creepy dream boat! To keep up appearances, I put my hate face on.

“You know him Pippa?” Fred said, like he was disappointed in me or something. I couldn’t think of anything to say so I just glared darkly. I didn’t want to be a disappointment but in my eyes, I had done nothing wrong. Was I supposed to ignore him? Probably.

“What the hell was that?” James asked, thoroughly confused just like I was.

“I hate him.” Damien hissed and crossed his arms angrily like a small child. “Who does he think he is?”

“Nathan Morgan?” Cassie interjected helpfully. Cassie wasn’t even fazed when Damien threw the dirtiest look he could muster; she just stuck out her tongue at him.  “What’s the big deal?”  She asked, a little naively. Either she has gone stupid or she is trying to push Damien's buttons.

“We hate that guy.” Damien, Fred and James all said at once. I feared that they may have spent time practising that. If so, they are geeks to the highest degree. 

“And what is he doing talking to you?” Damien wondered a little bit too harshly. It seemed like he was implying that I wasn’t worth Nathans time, which is quite the insult, because if I wasn’t worth the time of someone he thought was lower than low, who’s time was I worth?

“And what is wrong with me?” I asked offended. I mean don’t worry about me, it’s not like I have feelings or anything. Damien opened his mouth before closing it again. “Choose your next words carefully, Damey.”  I smiled as sweetly as I could manage. Damey was something I had called him ever since I could speak because Damien was too much of a mouthful.

I was waiting for Damien to insult me, to become the disappointment of the day but he surprised me. I had forgotten what it was like to be surprised.

 “…Nothing?” Damien looked puzzled at my anger as he probably chose the best answer. He always does this and I always forgive him. Not this time.

I glared at him. “You are no longer worth my time.” Damien stared at me, before shaking his head and turning his back on me. He had a nerve in giving me the cold shoulder.  I flicked him in the back of the head before turning to Cassie as I began my plan to ignore my brother for the rest of eternity because he was an idiot and he deserved it. “I don’t feel like breakfast anymore.” I told Cassie whose smile then turned upside down. I no longer wanted to eat; I just wanted to get the hell out here.   “I’m just going to go.” I hoped she would let me just leave quietly. I hated it when she caused a fuss.  She hated it when I caused a fuss. Together we caused fusses that no one needed.

Cassie frowned. “You want me to come with you?” She offered, nicely even though I knew we were moments away from a non-food induced grump.

“No, I’m fine.” I lied. “I just need to get away from Damien.” This was true. “You stay here and get some breakfast; otherwise you’ll be a monster and I won’t be able to deal with you.” She grinned at me. “And we don’t want that.” I said as I thought about the last time Cassie woke up late and skipped breakfast. She ended up being whiny and had the vilest temper ever. I ended up taking her wand after she hexed my brother (he looked at her funny apparently), several frightened second years, Fred (for smiling), Scorpius (for being himself), an angry professor and me (for calling her a moose). Then I stamped on her foot and I made her swear to get breakfast everyday.  I wanted to make it an unbreakable vow but Cassie is a wimp. Our conversation went something like this;

 ‘What if I sleep over one day and miss my alarm? Then we’re both dead.’ She asked, with wide eyes.

‘We’d cross that bridge when we come to it.’ I told her smartly.

“You are an idiot.’ She stated simply. ‘We wouldn’t be able to cross any bridge; we’d be dead, therefore immobile.’

‘I suppose you’re right.’ I huffed. ‘Next time though?’

She thought about it deeply for a moment. ‘I suppose’.

That was fifth year. We have yet to make an unbreakable vow because for the moment, plain words work just as well. Plus Damien banned me from making an unbreakable vow, but it wasn’t like I actually listened to his advice at all because normally his advice is idiotic and will only lead to everything getting ten times worse.

“Okay, Pippa.” Cassie smiled. “See you in Potions.” She got up to head to the Slytherin table and I got up to leave.

I strolled out the door, cursing my brother underneath my breath to an oblivion. I would have to figure out some way to annoy him. Damien hadn’t even bothered to say thank you for talking to Rose Lollipop Weasley. I think that’s what annoyed me the most. Damien just always takes while never giving anything back. It was a flaw of his I had still yet to accept.

I crashed into some hefty person who sent me spiralling to the floor. I hissed as I felt the floor scrap my elbow. I glanced at it quickly, it was bleeding. My face curled up in anger as I looked up to the person who had knocked me down.

Albus Potter.

That’s just typical.

“Sor-” He started but then noticed who he had knocked over and just stopped talking. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow. 

“What the hell Potter?” I yelled at him, as I scraped myself off the floor as gracefully as I could manage. “You are a clumsy oaf!”

Albus frowned. “You’re the one who walked into me you twat.”

“I don’t think that is what happened.” Although I couldn’t be quite sure because I wasn’t really paying attention. “And you’re so fat…” That was a blatant lie and I think Albus knew that because he just sniggered.  “I mean, look at my elbow” I shoved my bloody elbow in his face. He didn’t even look disgusted, this boy was pure steel.

“You’ve cut it.” Albus replied blankly. “That’s…nice?”

“Nice?!” I yelled angrily. “If it scar’s, I’m suing!”

“Do you even know what suing is?” Albus asked sardonically.

I thought about it. “No, I don’t but Cassie talked about it once and I gathered it was a bad thing. So ha!”

“Oh, Nott, you are an idiot.” He ran his fingers through his hair as he stepped closer to me. He was almost close enough to touch. I took a small step back automatically but I could still smell him, that musk with a hint of cologne.  “It’s actually laughable.” I glared at him as he learned forward to tuck a piece of my hair behind my ear that always fell in front of my face. “You act like this little Slytherin who belongs here, but you truly don’t, in fact, I think you’re a Hufflepuff.”

I felt offended. “Your sister is in Huffepuff.”

Albus shrugged. “How did you end up in Slytherin anyway? You’re too stupid to be cunning and you’re failing a lot of classes, so ambition must be low on the list too.” He was teasing me. He was trying to annoy me and it was working.

“I’ll show you why I’m in Slytherin, Potter.” I told him, trying hard to contain my explosive anger. “You’re going to have to watch your back.” He thought he knew me? He needed think again.

Albus rolled his eyes. “Bring it.” He then turned around and strolled into the great hall, leaving me in the hallway.

I will get him back. I will destroy him. I believed that we all had light and dark inside us, but the dark was winning at the moment and it had been for a while.

Then a plan started forming in my head and it was genius.  I was going to join to the quidditch team. Albus loved quidditch, it was his thing. He had been Captain since his fifth year. I wasn’t planning on joining the quidditch team to make myself wonderful and popular. No, I was going to destroy it from the inside. I needed to get on the team of course, which meant I had to learn how to play quidditch. I had only played once in an unofficial game, it involved me, Scorpius and Damien. Scorpius was violently sick, I fell off my broom trying to dodge the falling sick and Damien came close to beating us to death with his broom. It wasn’t a great attempt at the ‘beautiful’ game but I didn’t think quidditch was that hard, I either had to chase something or catch something, all while trying to avoid an early death by bludgers.

It was decided, I was going to become the new Slytherin Seeker.

I had chosen seeker because catching the snitch gave the team one hundred and fifty points.  That pretty much means whoever team catches it wins. So, I would let the other team seeker catch the snitch thus resulting in Slytherins loss. I would get away with this about two times until Albus kicked me off the team, maybe longer if I looked like I actually was trying. And I could do trying. Trying was easy, succeeding was the bitch.

Of course, this plan had flaws; first I needed to get rid of the current seeker, which I didn’t think would be that difficult. I just have to find out who it is; I should stop zoning out when Cassie talks about quidditch. Then I had to get myself on the team, which could be hard considering Potter doesn’t like me and all. But I was determined. This was going to happen. It wouldn’t just stay in my imagination, it would become reality.

Of course, Albus wouldn’t only be the casualty in this plan. Cassie was on the team and she would be angry with me if she found out what I was going to do. This is why I wouldn’t tell her. Even if she did find out, I was certain she wouldn’t stay mad at me for long. She never could.  I would have to fine tune my acting skills of course. I had garnered a few through the years, I could cry crocodile tears on command but I can never cry about the things that hurt me. Tears were only good for manipulation. I also had my ‘doe’ eyes as Damien calls them.  The look that so far has pretty much allowed me to get my own way or get out of trouble after the plans I mastermind go wrong. I thank my mom and dad for some semi-decent genes. I’ll just ignore the shortness, that I look a tad weedy, small ears, the fact my hair gets frizzy when it rains and I go cross-eyed if I stare at something for too long. That’s right, just focus on the good things.

I was a champion.  I was a winner and it was time I showed this to Albus; Nott’s do not take anything lying down.

He wasn’t going to know what had hit him. Even though my wrath shouldn’t be a surprise, especially to him.

It’s time to learn your lesson Albus Potter.


 







Next Time On The Human Factor

 

For the first year of our estrangement, I missed her.  For the second year of our estrangement, I hated her. Now, it was the third year of our estrangement and I didn’t feel anything towards her. She would always own a small part of my heart but I was okay with that. While she was my friend, she was a good one. So I felt like she deserved that part of my heart. It wasn’t like the part she owned was active. It was the dead, wasteland part. It was a no go area, proceed with caution.

I wanted to say many things to her, but the words that were worth saying frightened me.  Perhaps if I had said the words that were on the tip of my tongue then we maybe, we probably wouldn’t be in this situation, careless chatter instead of heavy silence.


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