Chapter 6 : And then further complications arise...
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“How was your date?” Felicity asked in a sing song voice as I re-entered the dormitory. I briefly wondered why the three of them were still here, but I guessed they could have gone to Hogsmeade and returned within the time I’d been out. I’d taken a long walk on the way back to sort out my thoughts, and wonder exactly why I’d given James an open invitation to ask me out on another date...
I hadn’t exactly come to a conclusion, and had instead got distracted by thoughts about when Dom’s diva-fit would end, and whether it would be before my seventeenth – in two days time. Doubtful.
“It was...nice,” I said, with a small smile. That was the word to describe it, even if the word ‘nice’ was empty and stupid... that’s what the date had been – nice. It was pleasant, and left me with good feelings – it was nice.
“That bad?” Danielle asked, with a laugh.
“No, it was really... no, it was good,” I said definitely, before I sat down on the side of my bed and considered this for a second...It had definitely been pretty wonderful as dates go, but had it really been a date? It was more a getting to know each other type thing, which wasn’t like what they’d probably think of dates but...
Oh sod it. I’d had fun.
Then the door flew open framing a truly terrifying figure. Dom was in the doorway, her hair wild and angry looking, her chest heaving and the remains of Benson Flint’s vomit after what looked to be some emergency cleaning, still on her T-shirt. For a split second, I was sure she knew I’d been on a date with her cousin... but her anger didn’t seem to be directed at me.
“I HATE my family!” She screeched, and this assault on my eardrums caused me to step back quickly. “I hate them all!” The girl was part Weasley and part Veela, so it was a given that her temper was truly terrifying.
It was rare that she got really angry, she instead existed in a permanent state of ‘pissed off’ which was scary enough, but angry Dom? Angry Dom was scarier than a herd of dementors, and I was pretty sure that my Boggart was Dom in this state, only my Boggart would have all this anger concentrated in my direction rather than at her family (this is a bit of a lie, but I’d rather tell people that Angry-Dom was my Boggart than think about it’s true form).
Dom made an incomprehensible shriek of rage. Then she pulled the ruined t-shirt over her head so violently that I’m almost certain it ripped, and threw it at that floor and kicked it under the bed. Then she was stood there in one of her prize red push-up bra and a pair of jeans, with steam coming from her ears. Well, okay, the steam was a figment of my overactive imagination.
Then she turned to me.
“Well!” Dom screeched. “Find me something else to wear Autumn!”
Despite being the pushover of the century, normally even I would not stand for being yelled at by my supposed best friend – I hated being yelled at more than anything else – but Dom was upset and wasn’t exactly in control of her emotions. Plus, I didn’t know what she’d do if I didn’t hand over one of my t-shirts sharpish. So I did.
She pulled it on over her head, and whilst she was distracted by the T-shirt I mouthed at the others to clear off. They stayed glued to their beds, grinning their faces off and watching as Dom’s family issues manifested themselves into a total mental breakdown. I suddenly felt highly irritated at them – why couldn’t they just leave? And my eyes narrowed in their direction.
Jessica, who’d looked least delighted when the scene unfolded, attempted to pull Felicity towards the door.
Dom noticed where my gaze was directed and whirled around. “Oh SOD OFF!” She yelled, pulling out her wand and brandishing it wildly in their direction. It almost seemed like Danielle was going to pull her own wand out and a full on duel was about to break out, but Felicity and Jessica dragged her out.
“Pathetic losers!” Dom yelled as the door closed after them.
“Dom?” I asked tentatively. Her anger seemed to have lost its edge somewhat, and now she looked like she was about to burst into hysterical tears. “W...what’s? What’s happened?”
“My sodding family!” She declared, then she slid down the side of her bed and the tears started. “I hate them! I hate them all! I don’t want to be associated with... with... bloody heroics, and with PRANKS, and QUIDDITCH, and stupid red hair!” She pulled at her ‘strawberry blonde’ locks and then buried her face in her knees. “And I don’t want to be associated with sodding, Louis with his stupid girlfriends, and and with VICTORIE, and her stupid PERFECTION!” I nodded, sitting down next to her. “I mean! Why can’t, I just be me?” I nodded again. Then she sniffed loudly and pulled her head up. “It was James,” She clarified. “He spiked Benson’s drink with this potion and he threw up all over me, he’s been really sick! I had to walk him all the way back to Hogwarts, and... I just wish they’d stop trying to ruin my life!”
This was my fault.
I pulled out a bar of emergency chocolate from my trunk and thrust it into her hands. She stuffed several cubes into her surprisingly large gob, before letting the packet drop from her hands and burying her head again.
“Well,” She muttered. “I’m not going to put up with this time – I’m going to get him back.” She said, now with a frightening glint to her tear-leaking eyes. “I’m going to make him wish he’d never been born, and you’re going to help me.”
Hi, I’m your sister. Do you remember me? We shared a house for a couple of years? I then moved abroad to research material for my book? I’m a bit like you, only better in every way.
Nah, I’m kidding, I’m only better in most ways.
You’re seventeen! Well, actually, I don’t know if you are seventeen yet – this might arrive a bit early, or a bit late. You never know with owls. Egypt is good fun, but I haven’t got much further with the book. Then again, I didn’t think I would. I just wanted to see the tombs, if I’m honest. You’d like it here. How’s Oliver? Still Gryffindoring it up? You probably haven’t seen much of him now the years started. If you see him, tell me I expect a response pronto – I need to hear from him!
How’s Dom? Still a drama queen? I expect so. Really, you should find some new friends or something, that girl is the limit.
Most importantly, how are you? I’ve missed you, I really have. I can see your expression of disbelief now, but September and October always make me think of you. I bet you love that. Anyway, I’ve enclosed your birthday present. It’s a watch, as is tradition.
If anyone upsets you on the big day, just go talk to Oliver. He’ll make time for you. That boy cares about you a lot, you know – well... you’ll see. I just realised you might get this after your birthday, in which this whole letter will be pointless... but, I’m sending it in good time so really, it should be fine.
Oh, I almost forgot. You should read ‘An Alternative History.’ I can’t remember the author’s name, but it’s got some really interesting ideas. There’s a particularly good theory about wand lore which I’ve been studying... well, I guess you’ll have to wait till my book is finished!
I’m going to try and come see you all soon, promise!
Lots of love,
I shook my head at the letter, but it made me smile slightly. I fingered the edge of the parchment and wondered when April had sent it, if she was in Egypt then... I always found it strange reading letters from the past. In the past two weeks say, anything could have happened – she could have fallen in love and gotten engaged, or she could have finally finished the book to the delight of her publisher... anything could have happened.
Although the former were all doubtful.
You’re three days early and your punctuation makes me tired. Everything’s been pretty hectic here, I’ll have to tell you when you come and visit (note this is meant sarcastically, I do not believe you will come and ‘see us all’ any time soon, based on past experience), or when I can be bothered to draft out a proper reply. I’ll write a proper letter to you on my birthday, and send it with Oliver’s owl.
I also think you should accept that Oliver will never write to you – he doesn’t do letters. Oliver does Gryffindor. He’s on the Quidditch team now, by the way (don’t be offended, he didn’t tell me either) so I think I might go and watch his first match next weekend.
Hopefully there won’t be anyone who decides to ruin Tuesday, but I doubt anyone would be so considerate as to leave me alone. So I’ll be waiting for their contribution, as per always.
I’ll get the book from the library at some point – thanks.
Please enclose some pictures of dismembered bodies from the tombs; I’ve been feeling particularly violent as of late. School is stressful, but definitely not due to academic reasons. Herbology is still easy, care of magical creatures remains my favourite, and Defence is the bane of my life.
Autumn (the superior sister)
“Dom, I’m just going to send a letter to my sister.”
“Hmm.” She replied, bending over her piece of parchment and scribbling menacing things down, that I would probably be forced to listened to very soon. She was scheming. It was terrifying, but apparently her anger at James, which was incidentally all my fault, had outweighed her anger at me for whatever it had been in the first place – so I was forgiven. As long as I silently helped her ‘destroy’ James Potter, who I’d just gone on a date with.
“Bye,” I said, slipping out the dorm and breathing more easily. Naturally I hadn’t got a clue what I was going to do – Help Dom? Warn James? Tell Dom the truth?
Definite no to the latter, I wasn’t suicidal just yet. Still, it was only the second month of term...
I wondered up to the owlery, running the piece of parchment through my hands and being vaguely aware that April would probably complain about it being so tatty...
“Autumn!” A voice called from right behind. My heart stopped beating in my chest; I made a high pitch yelping sound and immediately stopped walking.
Then there was laughter – laughter which I was beginning to recognise a little too well.
“Stalking me now, are we James?” I asked.
“That would have been a lot slicker if you hadn’t just had a heart attack.” He mocked, falling into step next to me. “Owlery?” I nodded.
He waved his own letter in front of his face in response. “Who you writing to then?” James questioned.
“Ah... the estranged... April was it?”
“Glad to know you were listening Potter,”
“It’s too be expected, surely? Or is Sean Taylor not a listener?”
“More of a talker.”
“More of a starer.”
“Can’t blame him, and I’m not even going to ask about McLaggen.” I laughed at that. “So what’s your sister like?”
“Enthusiastic,” I replied, feeling tired even thinking about it. “She’s extremely bright, and most of the time she forgets people can’t keep up with here. More energy than I’ve ever had, I’ll tell you.”
“Writing to you for your birthday?”
“Goodness James, you were attentive,” I said appreciatively. “And that’s a clever deduction – bonus points.”
“What’s your brother like?”
“He’s sweet,” I answered. “Well, no he used to be. I still think of him as sweet, but I guess he’s a bit more ladish now. With the odd sweet moment.”
“Is he protective? Should I be worried about him having words considering I’ve taken you out and all?”
“Well...” I said with a smile. “He has got a bit of a temper. What does he play, anyway? You didn’t say?”
“Oh, Beater,” James replied. “I forget you don’t follow Quidditch.”
“I do, I just have no idea who’s in what year, if I’m honest. I’m doing it again, talking about myself,” I said looking to James with a strange expression on my face. “I promise you I’m not like this with anyone else; usually I can’t get a word in edgeways.”
“There’s nothing wrong with talking about yourself,” James returned as we reached the owlery. “Anyway, I want you to talk about yourself.”
“You’re interesting,” He replied as a very dark owl landed on his shoulder. My own owl flew over towards us and nibbled on my ear affectionately.
“Interesting?” I questioned, feeling my forehead crease in confusion.
“You steal my invisibility cloak, set a rabid chicken on me, sneak into my room to apologise – accidently exploding my bed and finding my diary, where you then decided to leave me a message, commenting on a pair of my boxers.”
“Well, okay,” I admitted. “If you look at it that way, then I might appear quite interesting but -”
“You’re Dom’s best friend too, that’s pretty interesting – I don’t know how anyone can put up with her for long periods of time.”
“ – Dom is genuinely lovely,” I interrupted.
“You have some strange set of morals that everyone else seems to be lacking,”
“I’m a Christian,” I replied to that. “But honestly, James, that was all just a bit of a mistake – I’m not interesting. I’m a bookworm.”
“You poisoned Benson Flint.”
“About that,” I interrupted. “I...er... Dom blames you, and she’s on the war path.” My owl nipped my ear; I frowned at her and offered my arm out too her. “And, she’s roped me into ‘destroying you,’ so...”
James took in my worried expression and laughed.
“Autumn, you can’t prank for toffee, let alone ‘destroy someone’ and Dom, well... I’m more than capable of dealing with Dom. Merlin, you’re hilarious.”
“Sorry?” I questioned. He shook his head at that one and proceeded to tie his letter onto his dark owl’s leg. “Who’s the letter too?”
“Mum,” He sighed. “Lily ratted me out about ‘losing’ the cloak. Given it’s such a historical artefact and all...” arm for her to hop down onto.
“You’ll be murdered?”
“Essentially, and no one wants to be responsible for tarnishing the Potter name with scandal and murder. My owl’s much faster, so hopefully it’ll get there before Mum has a chance to write a Howler.”
“Why aren’t you scared of owls?” I asked. James looked up, startled.
“Well,” He said slowly. “I couldn’t come to Hogwarts if I was scared of Owls – I’d look like a right prat, screaming or fainting every morning with the post.” I laughed at that. “So they made me get myself an owl – and I picked this fellow here, the biggest and darkest owl in the whole shop. Then I got used to the post, and well, there’s always been owls flying in and out of the house – letters from the ministry, invites to Weasley conventions and what not, I’m just used to them I guess.”
“To April,” I told Comet, stroking her feathery head. “As fast as you can, if you please. But don’t wear yourself out – it’s a long way.” She seemed to nod, before using my arm to take off, and then she was flying out across the sky. “They are beautiful though,” I said, watching as she soared through the sky, in what looked like the direction of Hogsmeade...
“Where is she, your sister I mean?”
“Egypt.” I replied, turning back around, away from the window – and instead watching all the owls looking at us with their wild eyes. “I should get back; Dom’s scheming might get out of hand without me.”
“All right,” James said, beginning to tie his own letter to the dark owl’s leg. “I guess I’ll see you in Herbology on Monday?”
“Yeah,” I answered, feeling rather strange as I walked down the owlery steps. I wrapped my arms around myself and frowned. I was... Interesting? And, apparently... Hilarious?
Dom was right. James Potter had definitely been dropped on his head as a baby.
“Promise me you’ll be nice to him? He feels so embarrassed about the whole throwing up thing,” Dom said, holding me back from entering the great hall for breakfast. “And I just, I really like him Autumn – he’s different.”
“Oh, I know you don’t approve but... your my best friend Autumn, you have to like him – you have to get on, you just have too.” I frowned. I was apparently, off the Dom hit list – at a price. I had to pretend that Benson Flint was actually a human being, rather than a very creepy cheating Slytherin. “It would mean so much to me!”
“Fine.” I agreed. She threw her arms around me.
“You’re actually the best,” She declared, linking her arm threw mine as we walked into the Great Hall. I caught Felicity’s eye, who’d been walking just behind me with the others. She raised an eyebrow in my direction as if to say you fell for that? You utter moron, I ignored it and instead took my placed next to Dom at the Ravenclaw table. I swallowed back my doubts.
“Benson,” Dom smiled, when he came over a few minutes later. “This is my best friend Autumn,” She said with a winning smile. Despite her break down yesterday, it seemed that Dom was genuinely in a good mood. In a good enough mood to forget how ‘unsupportive’ I’d previously been, and in a good enough mood, it seemed – to be actually smiling. This was big. “Autumn, this is Benson – my boyfriend.”
Well, holy shit.
The last time Dom had a boyfriend was...
“A pleasure to meet you Autumn,” He leered. I inwardly cringed, but outwardly smiled.
A horrible thought struck me. Benson Flint almost certainly had heard that I’d been on a date with James Potter... and would almost certainly put two and two together, and work out that I’d poisoned him...
Dom didn’t talk to anyone, but Benson Flint had a whole Quidditch team as his mates, and all the Slytherin’s hero worshipped him, of course he’d know... Of course... I’d have to talk to him. Convince him to stay quite... apologise for poisoning him... and hope that he didn’t kill me.
I looked at him. He raised an eyebrow – he knew, he so knew. I silently begged him with my eyes to stay quiet. He nodded briefly, and then did the leering thing again. I’d have to talk to him, at some point – without Dom thinking I was trying to hit on him...
Why did everything keep getting more and more complicated?
A/N - Please tell me what you want updated next/what you thought of the chapter. Still hating on Dom? Wary about Flint? What about April and the other girls from the dorm? Basically.... Reviews please :D
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