“There is no way you are wearing that. It’s your birthday!” Lily complained, shaking her head at my outfit.
I glanced myself over, unsure why my clothes were so offending. “But it’s my birthday. Shouldn’t I get to wear what I choose?” I demanded.
“Not when you choose that. Sweatpants, really?” She gave me an incredulous look. “At least put on some nicer pants.”
I grumbled as I searched for a new, Lily approved outfit. “But it’s my birthday…” I muttered angrily.
“Open my present.”
“You’re so demanding.”
She chucked the wrapped package at my bed. “It’s because I care, dear. Please? I want to be the first to give you a present.”
I rolled my eyes but snatched the present up, and tore off the paper. “What the hell is this?” I narrowed my eyes at the golden brown bottle she had given me.
“Tanning solution so you can be darker than Sir Nick.” She explained with a grin. “You can wear skirts without fear. Open the other bit!”
“Oh, this is nice.” Lily had given me a necklace in addition to the tanning solution. I wasn’t a big fan of jewelry, but I am willing to wear some tasteful pieces from time to time. It was a pendant with a plum colored stone in the shape of a tear-drop hanging off the silver chain.
Lily beamed at me. “It will make your green eyes pop. You like purple.”
I carefully fastened the necklace on before resuming searching for my outfit. The party was going to take place in the common room. I didn’t know that many people at school, but birthdays tend to be one of those events where everyone celebrates with you. It’s a little odd being told Happy Birthday by first years I’ve never spoken to before, but still nice.
“There. Is this good enough for you?” I asked Lily, gesturing to the clothes on my bed. I had picked out a nicer black t-shirt with white flowers on it, and short but flowing sleeves. Lily couldn’t stop me from wearing jeans though.
She waved a hand at me vaguely, busy applying mascara. “Lovely. Just as long as you’re not going to wear those ratty sweatpants.”
“They’re comfortable!” I protested.
“You’re turning of age, Eva. You don’t look like crap at your 17th birthday.”
I pulled my hair up in a bun before slipping on a pair of sandals and wandering down the stairs. Dominique had been in charge of decorating, since Lily claims she has absolutely no talent or interest when it comes to things like that, and Lorcan had conveniently disappeared. The room looked lovely, with white and purple streamers hung up. It was much like the party we had had after winning the match against Hufflepuff, only on a smaller scale, and with less red and gold about.
Dominique let out a squeal, and gave me a tight hug. “I told Lily not to get you that tanning stuff.”
I laughed, hugging her back. “It’s okay. It’s Lily being Lily. I’m used to it.”
“Evs!” Lorcan had snuck up behind me, and gave me a kiss on the cheek. There were some glares from the Gryffindor girls, but it was a fairly commonplace thing for the Scamander boys to do. “Happy birthday, you old coot.” He wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “Eat, drink, be merry. I’ve got to go find my dolt of a brother.” He explained before wandering off.
“The boys have a bit of surprise for you.” Dominique explained.
“They worked together on something?” I asked fearfully.
Dominique rested a hand on my shoulder assuringly. “Yes, and it was fine. It’s a sweet idea. Anders came up with it, and Lorcan actually agreed. It’s for you so they managed to call a truce.”
I relaxed at that. I didn’t want the boys to get into an argument on my birthday.
“What’s been going on with them lately? I mean, I get that Anders is being a bit of a tool, but Lorcan is never this…aggressive when they disagree.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. He’s… He’s protective of me. He doesn’t want to see me get hurt by anyone, and his brother is no exception.”
“Excuse me?” I looked up to see Anders and Lorcan standing side by side in front of the fireplace. Anders muttered something before giving his wand a tap, and placed it to his throat, serving as a microphone. “First off, thank you for celebrating Evangeline Winters’ birthday with us. We’re the Scamander twins, and you all probably know that we’re Eva’s best friends.”
Lorcan stole the wand from his brother. “Eva’s a saint for putting up with the two of us for all this time, and we thought it was about time we did something special for her so-”
“So we decided to share some stories with you all. Specifically, the stories of how we each met Eva.” Anders added. I let out a small gasp like noise, placing a hand to my mouth. Dominique winked at me. Anders had thought of this?
“And since I met Eva first,” Lorcan drawled, “I think it’s only fair that I get to go first. This is for you, Winters.”
He cleared his throat before beginning the tale. “It was first year, and I was sitting in a cabin on the train by myself while my brother was off pissing or something. The cabin door was open. The train stopped abruptly for some reason I don’t remember anymore, and this scrawny little thing who was walking by fell on my lap. It was quite a first impression, trust me. She had her nose in one of those Muggle comic books. What was it again, Evs?”
“It was an X-Men comic.” I called back, shaking my head.
“Right, one of those things.” He smirked, rolling his eyes. “Well, of course, when a girl falls on your lap you don’t just let her walk away. We started talking about our families, and the usual stupid small talk. This was after I got her off my lap, of course.” The crowd laughed. “Eva got my attention though because the girl wouldn’t let me get away with anything. She still doesn’t. Eva is always challenging everything I say. She kept me on my toes then, and she still does today. You’re the best, love.” Lorcan gave me a wink before passing the wand back to his brother, and stepping to the side.
“Well, my first meeting with Eva wasn’t nearly as eventful as my brother’s, but I think that story is pretty hard to beat.” Anders ran a hand through his hair. “I came back to cabin, not from the bathroom! I wasn’t going to the bathroom, you eejit. I think I had been looking around or something, and I came back to see my brother chatting up a girl. At first I just thought he was trying to charm her as best as he could at eleven, but after listening to Eva’s responses I changed my mind. She wasn’t charmed a bit by my brother, and was more than holding her own in the conversation. That was when I decided that I liked her. Anyone who calls Lorcan on his shit is a friend of mine, and I’m proud to call Eva my best friend after all these years. So, happy birthday, Eva. Hopefully you’ll keep me around for the next one.” He grinned at me as our housemates cheered before turning off his wand and sticking it in his pocket.
Lorcan walked over to get himself a drink, but Anders hurried over to my side. “We’re dorks, I know.”
I pulled him in for a long hug, smiling widely. “I loved it. You thought of it?”
He nodded proudly. “I wanted to do something since I wasn’t really involved in the planning. I haven’t forgotten about you, Evs. Oh!” Anders hurried over to the table that held a small stack of gifts. “This is for you.”
“Didn’t Lorcan say he got a gift from the both of you?” I asked, raising an eyebrow as I took the box.
“Well, I wanted to give you something. It’s a special birthday.”
“So I’ve been told.” I rolled my eyes, gesturing towards Lily who was chatting up Lorcan while nursing a drink.
Anders grabbed me by the wrist, and tugged me away from where we had been standing. My eyes widened slightly. “There. It’s a bit more private.” He had led me into one of the alcoves in the common room. “Are you going to open it?”
“Right.” I felt my cheeks grow warm as I removed the paper. “You didn’t. Anders!”
He grinned at me cheekily. “Happy birthday.”
“No!” There had to be something else in the box. Anders could not have actually gotten me what the sides advertised. “Anders! These things are so expensive!”
“It’s your 17th birthday, and you’re my best friend. I’m allowed to spend as much as I want on you.” He protested. “And I know you’ll use it.”
I rubbed my thumb against the box of my new telephoto camera lens. I’m a photographer for the school’s newspaper, and I’ve always been fascinated by photography, both Muggle and wizard. Still, Anders present was an astounding surprise. The lens he had gotten me was one used by professionals, not something that the typical student owned considering they cost thousands of pounds. I knew that the Scamanders had money, but I hadn’t realized that they had this much to throw around.
Rolf’s family had money from the Fantastic Beasts book. The Scamanders were a fairly old wizarding family, although not always wealthy. Newt Scamander had purchased a sizeable manor house in Dorset with the profits from his book, a house that his family still lived in. The Scamander fortune had expanded through Rolf’s marriage to Luna. After her father retired from publishing The Quibbler, Luna took over, and turned the tabloid into a magazine for publishing articles on Magizoology. She and Rolf had kept it up for about a decade before deciding they were more interesting in making discoveries than publishing them, and had sold the magazine. My dad had told me that they had made a more than decent amount of money, as the magazine was quite reputable by that point.
“Thank you. That’s… That’s not enough.” I murmured. “I can’t wait to test it out.”
Anders chewed on his lower lip in thought for a moment before speaking. “The gift isn’t enough. You deserve better than that.”
“I shouldn’t be trying to buy you off to apologize for the way I’ve been acting lately. I know I’ve been busy lately, and I guess I was so caught up that I didn’t even notice the way I’ve been treating you. Not until Lily and Lorcan ganged up on me earlier this week.”
I bent my head. “Quidditch is important to you.”
“Not as much as…” He closed his eyes.
“As what?” I asked softly.
“Quidditch isn’t as important to me as my relationship with you is.” Anders said finally.
It was so nice to hear him say it. So I hadn’t just been imagining how close we had been, and I wasn’t overreacting. “Relationship? Our friendship.”
“Yeah, our friendship and… Eva-”
: DUN DUN DUN! Thanks to all my lovely reviewers for... reviewing. Review Question: Which of the twins' birthday speeches was your favourite?