Disclaimer: JAY KAY ARE BAYBAY. She owns dis joint. RESPECT.
Made by the wonderful ahoythere at TDA
* * *
“Could you please get that disturbingly filthy wand of yours away from my potion?” Scorpius Malfoy says to me in a snooty tone, his nose upturned.
Smarmy Scorpius Malfoy is smarmy.
And boy do I hate having to work with him in Potions class. From time to time Professor Heptor seems to find it humorous to pair us up with the Slytherins. And I always get stuck working with this slimy, snotty tosser.
However! Nothing, I repeat, nothing, can get me down today. Or this week, or last week. Al and I have been so blissfully happy that I can’t even attempt to be snarky, pessimistic, or even a little bit negative.
Scorpius Malfoy being a prat? No problem. That’s nothing a little Muffliato charm can’t fix.
I sink back into my seat, allowing Scorpius to finish our potion all by his lonesome. Not like he wants my half-blood help anyway. Al is sitting just in front of me working with Lorcan Scamander, perhaps the only Slytherin who doesn’t make me want to vomit. My mind is swimming with memories of our last good snog (this morning on the Quidditch pitch. No idea how we ended up there) and I’m wondering vaguely if he’s thinking about the same thing.
Meanwhile, the Hogwarts grounds have finally warmed up a bit. As February has rolled in, we’ve actually been able to comfortably roam the grounds (i.e. no wool jackets) and spend more time outside. Rose is still dating Ri-Slime and still blissfully unaware of his treachery. I have been expressing my stress over this to Al very often, begging him to let me tell her the truth. But of course he just keeps telling me to let things run their course.
I’ve even tried to corner Sterling a few times to get the details on whether or not Riley’s still after Rose’s knickers. And, most unfortunately, the answer has been the same firm ‘yes’ as it was before. I’m starting to get a funny feeling about this Sterling bloke, too, for he said he would make Riley change his mind, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Dara was thrilled to find out that Al and I are a thing, squealing about double dates to Hogsmeade and what-not, a private joke for Al and me. It’s a little unsettling that Dara and Daniel are still going together. And the worst part? Trying to ignore the looks Daniel continues to throw at me every time he and Dara are together. I’m hoping to God he’s not trying to make me jealous.
I mean, firstly, it’s never going to happen, bud. And secondly, if Dara ever found out, it’d be the end of our friendship forever. She’d be humiliated.
“I say, do you have no shame?” Scorpius spits at me.
I blink, having just been pulled out of my reverie. “What?”
He jabs a cautious finger at my side of the potion. “You’re doing it all wrong. Great Scott, what are you, a hippogriff?”
I lean back slightly, smirking. I take in his sublime posture and silk neck scarf. “What? Jealous that I’m snogging Al and not you?”
He goes bright pink.
When the bell rings, I pop up, grabbing Al’s hand. “Last class of the day,” I mumble to him, “wanna go up to the common room?” I add suggestively.
He raises his eyebrows. “You’re willing to skip a meal?”
I hadn’t thought of that.
I chew the inside of my lip, thinking hard. Empty common room or Treacle Tart? This is a toughy.
“Yes,” I finally reply, only really halfway decided.
“Common room it is then,” he chuckles, pulling me out of the classroom and throwing his arm around my shoulders.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see that,” Ivy says, ploughing through us and stalking off in the other direction.
“Don’t react, Laney. Don’t do it,” I mutter to myself, bending down to pick up the mound of books I’ve dropped.
“Here, let me,” Al says, grabbing the books and dumping them into my bag. He helps me up, kissing my cheek.
I notice his concerned expression. “What’s wrong?” I ask, crinkling my brow.
“I’m worried about her,” he says darkly.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t disagree. I watch her disappear around the corner of the corridor. “She cried in Muggle Studies the other day,” I point out. “Do you think it’s because of us…?”
Al sighs. “Yeah. I do.”
We head up the many staircases, kissing as we go, all mention of Ivy forgotten. The common room is empty when we arrive, just as anticipated. I drop my bag down on the ornate rug and belly flop down onto the couch, groaning slightly at the whiplash in my neck. Al laughs, sitting down on the rug in front of me.
“You know,” I say thoughtfully, “my parents used to tell me about relationships and what they were like.”
“Really?” asks Al, looking amused.
“Yeah,” I reply, considering this. “They always knew what to say.”
“Do you miss them?” he asks me, not unkindly.
Brave of him. Not many dare delve into Laney Becks’ parental territory.
“No,” I say without hesitation. “Yeah, I miss having a family. But not them.”
He grabs my hand. “Come here,” he says, pulling me down onto the floor with him and kissing me. “They’re idiots ditching you.”
“I know.” I laugh slightly, kissing him back. “Don’t get too carried away like Daniel and Dara do though,” I add, taking note in the predicament we’re in. Might be kind of odd having Lily trod on us, snogging on the floor.
“That reminds me!” He pulls me up from the ground, dragging me to the boys’ staircase.
“Woah there,” I sputter, “where are we going?” I look nervously up the stairs. Boy better not be thinking what I think he’s thinking….
“I want to show you my dorm,” he says, smiling. “What’s wrong?”
I cough a little. Dorm? That’s got a bed in it. No, that’s got about five beds in it. Al isn’t like that, though. He’s a good guy. We have boundaries, too. And I’ve been lenient! I snog the lights out of this boy every day and he still wants more…?
After a moment of observing me, I see the realisation. The ding! moment when he understands what I’m thinking. And to my great surprise, he laughs.
“Why are you laughing?” I say defensively, my cheeks heating.
He shakes his head. “I wanted to show you something, Laney, not jump you when you’re least expecting it.”
Now I know I’m radish red.
“Come on,” he says, still chortling to himself.
I pout a little, but follow him all the same.
When he pushes open the door, I feel almost as if I should look away. Liam’s dorm was nothing, but the room of the boy I’m seeing? Seems wrong. Like I’m peeking into the deep down gushy insides of my boyfriend.
Eurgh – did I just say the word boyfriend?
“Here,” he says, pulling me through the doorway and over to one of the beds. He smirks at me.
“What?” I ask shrewdly, feeling like I’m missing something.
“Laney,” he says pointedly, “look at the Daniel’s bed.”
“Al, what are you talking about? I – oh.” My heart stutters. Words clog up my throat. Blood drains from my face.
The image before me is nothing short of horrific: pictures of me in every location I can ever remember being in clutter the wall behind Daniel’s bed. Bits of my hair – my hair! – are tacked to the bulletin board, not to mention three of my missing socks and my wand cosy I lost ages ago.
I choke. “Fucking hell!”
Al dissolves into laughter, leaning against the bed frame for support.
“This isn’t funny!” I roar, shaking from head to toe.
He’s been stalking me! Daniel Osiris has been worshipping the bloody ground I walk on!
I rocket onto the bed, using Al’s shoulder for assistance, and begin grabbing at things at random. My missing Potions paper from last term; my lucky pebble I found by the Black Lake in first year; a nibble of Treacle Tart I had been eating; one of my bras!
“That tosser!” I screech, trying desperately to tear my possessions off of the wall.
Al, meanwhile, is doubled over, laughing so hard it looks like he might piss himself.
Pictures I rip from the wall flutter down onto him, clearly not helping the situation.
After a few more minutes of unresolved ranting, I collapse onto the bed, hair in every direction. If Al thought I was crazy before…
I grind my teeth so hard my jaw is pounding. “Why, exactly, did you feel the need to show me that?” I hiss.
“I’ve been meaning to forever,” he replies, tousling my tangled hair.
“And you didn’t think to return any of this stuff to me?” I ask through my teeth. I can practically feel the crazy seeping through my words.
“You can’t,” he chuckles, “he’s got some spell on them that makes them fly right back into place after you take them off. See for yourself.” He gestures at the wall behind me.
I turn to see a completely untouched, unharmed Laney Becks Shrine.
I stare, bewildered at it, my mouth forming a slight O. “I guess he won’t be bringing Dara up here in a tizzy,” I squeak, barely audible.
Al erupts into laughter.
Covering my face with my hands I say, “I’m going to need months of counselling for this.”
“James?” I ask furiously, snapping in his face.
“I swear he’s gone catatonic!” Lily exclaims, jabbing him in the neck with her wand.
“Maybe we should just put him out of his misery…?” suggests Avery Coote, James’s best mate.
“He’s been this way for weeks,” Blaine Donahue, another sixth year boy, states, shaking his head dismally. “The only thing he’s let on is that it’s about a girl. Merlin only knows who – he’s involved with half the school!”
“Oh!” Avery says, looking like he’s made a big discovery. “Maybe it’s Mildred Snorkin! He was snogging her all the time first term and then, all of the sudden – bam! – no more Mildred! I bet it’s her,” he says proudly.
Lily stares at him. “No, you idiot, he ditched Mildred Snorkin because, well, it’s Mildred Snorkin!”
Avery looks sincerely disappointed.
“We’ve tried everything,” continues Donahue, looking frustrated. “He won’t eat, won’t sleep, won’t hardly play Quidditch! Bloody hell, whoever this girl is, she’s really kicked him in the bollocks.”
I stare down at my shoes, trying to disappear into the sofa. I have a feeling it wouldn’t be the best idea to tell them about what I witnessed, particularly not with James sitting right next to me, potentially having some sort of manic episode.
“Should we take him to Madame Smitty’s, do you think?” asks Donahue, looking tentative.
“He should be fine,” Lily says, not looking entirely convinced. “Laney?” she asks, causing me to start.
“Y-Yes?” I ask, my voice cracking.
“What’s with the jump?” she inquires, wrinkling her brow. I pretend to be politely confused. “Anyway – where’s Albus?”
“He’s hanging out with Rose, why?” I reply.
“No reason, I just want to know if maybe he saw something,” she says absently, glancing nervously at her brother.
I sigh, feeling increasingly guiltier. But then something occurs to me. I glance at my watch. “Crap! I’m late!”
I jump up from the couch, wildly searching for my bag.
“Er – to what?” asks Lily, confused.
“I’ve got a meeting with Professor Wilkins right now to discuss careers,” I say, finally laying my hands on my bag. “See you,” I say, and I fly out the portrait hole.
My hands are shaking.
Dammit, stop already!
I swat at one hand with the other.
Well that didn’t work.
“Please, Miss Becks, I’m asking you to just tell me something.”
I sniff. “A – er – concert pianist?”
I can practically taste the facepalm as she stares at me.
“Now why exactly would you go through seven years of wizarding school to become a musician?” Wilkins asks me in a seemingly forced tone.
“Because it’s my passion!” I squeak.
This is a lie.
I much too much like slamming the keys of a piano to annoy those around me as opposed to actually playing.
However, I am in a bit of a pickle. I don’t have any idea what I’ll be good for after Hogwarts.
Wilkins suggested a few jobs, but honestly, nothing appeals to me. Just makes me nervous.
Sometimes I get the feeling I’m like milk; good for a while until I get out into the real world, where I start to curdle and expire.
Yes. Exactly like milk.
I push the toe of my shoe around on the carpet. “Do I have to decide today?” I ask.
She tilts her glasses down her nose at me. “No… but Miss Becks, I must say, I’m concerned.”
“Why?” I snap. The motion is harsh, but I’m not surprized by it. I don’t like when people make a farce of me.
She peers down a very long piece of parchment, a slightly befuddled expression on her face. “You’ve missed almost seventy different classes in five years, your record of detentions is nearly a foot in length, and you’ve got student complaints by the tenfold. I’m sorry, Miss Becks, but I have to ask … do you care about your future at all?”
I narrow my eyes at her. “No.”
She looks startled. “But, Miss Becks, I –”
“I think we’re done here,” I half growl, standing up. I begin to let myself out, but I stop. “You know, Professor, I may not be the best student at this school, and I may not leave here to become some Ministry official, but at least I know who I am, unlike half the people at this bloody school.”
It’s weak, and I could’ve done better, but my mind is swirling with frustration. Do I care about my future? What the hell kind of question is that!
Nope, I think after a certain point I’ll just take to lying on the ground and pretending to be a rock.
Oh wait, never mind, that’d be caring too much, wouldn’t it?
On the way up to the common room I somehow run into Dara and Daniel three times, one of which Daniel “pretended” to think I was Dara and tried to hold my hand. I attempted a Leg-Locker Curse but he turned magenta-coloured instead.
I shrugged and continued on my way.
Al is waiting for me in the common room when I arrive, and I plop down next to him grumbling about the events of my meeting. He seems only mildly interested and I start to notice after a while.
I am not a jealous person. Mean and at times, justifiably violent, sure, but not jealous. But as I’ve had about zero to no experience in dealing with a boyfriend, it’s hard for me to decide what this odd burning is in my stomach when I notice his lack of interest.
I decide to test him.
Because I probably have nothing better to do.
“And then she asked me if I ‘cared about my future.’ Bloody bitch. So anyway, I stood up to leave but started to feel really weird and then – WHAM – I was a fucking werewolf! I completely scared her out of her arse – literally, she was without arse after I morphed. So then I lifted a great gnarly paw and swung at her desk, destroying all the pictures of her with those idiotic Ministry officials and what not. It really was great fun. I even had lunch with a unicorn later on.”
I stare at him.
“Mmm,” he replies, glancing behind me and looking back to his notes on Tobuscon Turnips and their genetic variations.
I scrutinize him. “Al.”
He nods, “Sounds brilliant, Laney. Glad you know what you want to do now.”
I grind my teeth.
He makes a note on his parchment.
I flick him in the side of the head.
“Bloody hell!” he says, recoiling. “What did I do?”
“You aren’t listening to me,” I point out.
“Sure I am,” he replies.
“I just told you I turned into a werewolf.”
“My point exactly.” I lean back in my chair.
He looks slightly abashed. “Erm, sorry, you’re right, I wasn’t really paying attention.”
“’Sallright,” I shrug, petting Presto. “What’s up?”
“It’s stupid,” he mutters, looking back down at his work.
This is tempting. ‘It’s stupid’ is such an easy way out of a potentially emotional reveal. But, alas. I’m a girlfriend now – a significant other. Must do my duties.
“I’m sure it isn’t,” I say, attempting to sound warm. Probably failing.
He raises a brow at me.
Yes, definitely failing.
“I’m just worried about Ivy,” he mutters after a moment, glancing back over my shoulder. “She doesn’t have any friends anymore, Laney. Like five third years have even started a Pygmy Puff Rights Group against her name.”
I ponder this for a moment, even turning back to glimpse the very sullen looking Ivy herself at one point. I hate her. That’s the truth. But if I’m being honest, the hatred is rather unjustified. Where did it even come from? The best I can gather is that we just didn’t like each other at first sight, and that stemmed to a freaking blood battle in which she screwed me over for Al.
I consider my words for a moment or so. “Look, what she did to me wasn’t right. What I did to her wasn’t … well, it was great fun but it wasn’t exactly nice either. I guess I’m just trying to say that if I’ve moved on, she will. I didn’t have one friend for two whole years in this place. She’ll find some Slytherin to make things better soon enough.”
He laughs gently, and I must say, he looks convinced. Huh, maybe I do have some wisdom after all.
And now I am craving pickles.
“Al, do you have any pickles in your dormitory?” I ask excitedly.
“Yes. Do you have any?” I’m eager for my pickly delights.
“Er – no pickles, sorry,” he says, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
“But …” he trails off.
“Olives? Banana peppers? Anything else that might be pickled for twenty four hours and served to the common public?” I bounce a bit in my seat.
“No, I was thinking more along the lines of a beverage.” He gives me a sly look.
“Alcohol?” I ask, confused. I laugh. “Since when do you drink?”
“James gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday. Just some firewhiskey,” he adds.
“All right,” I say, intrigued. “Where shall we congregate for this?”
“My dorm, tonight at eleven, all right?”
He kisses me and stands up. “I’ve got Seeker practice. See you tonight.”
I hate relationships.
Accept in the case of Al and me, which is more of a bickering snog-fest at best. But I love it that way.
What I do hate? Relationships like Dara and Daniel.
“No you’re cute.”
“No you are.”
“IF YOU TWO DON’T SHUT UP –”
Al grabs my arm. “Laney…”
I am on the edge of my seat, almost ready to murder the ghastly couple cuddling in the bed opposite Al and me. It was a last minute decision of Al’s to allow Daniel and Dara to join us that night in their dorm. I can’t help but be disappointed – I was hoping to wreak some serious havoc with Al as drunk monkeys, but it’s become a more sober affair. What with dividing two firewhiskeys amongst Al, Daniel, Dara, Fred, Carter, and me.
I have been less than excited.
It also doesn’t help that I can see in plain sight the Laney shrine covered by merely a sheet.
“I love you like I love the smell of the pavement when it rains,” Dara sighs.
Fred looks livid.
I motion for my wand.
“We – we could play chess?” Albus suggests frantically.
“Al, can I talk to you?” I hiss, pulling him into the corridor.
“Erm – sure?” he replies as if I was waiting for a response.
I shut the dormitory door behind me.
“This isn’t what I expected out of tonight.” I scowl.
He shuffles his feet. “I know, I’m sorry. But we’ll only have to put up with them for a few more hours. Can you do that?”
I gasp. “Hours? Hours? Not trying to be high maintenance here, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll make it that long, Al. Can’t we just ditch this and go snog in the common room or something?”
He smirks. “Just give it one more chance. If you are still ready to kill them in thirty minutes, we can ditch.”
I pout. “Fine. But I demand some Treacle Tart from your lunch tomorrow.”
We walk back into the dormitory and sit down.
“How about a game of Truth or Dare?” Dara suggests giddily as we re-enter the room.
Everyone looks a bit weary. “That sounds… fun, I guess,” says Carter thoughtfully.
No one else replies.
“Brilliant!” Dara squeaks
I want to hit her.
“I’ll go first,” she continues, sitting cross-legged on the floor. “Laney, truth or dare?”
“What are we, eleven?” I hiss. “I’m not playing.”
“Don’t be snob,” she snaps. “Truth or dare?”
I scrutinize my small but fearsome friend. “Truth.”
I have no problem lying.
“Have you ever fancied anyone in this room other than Al?”
“Carter,” I answer immediately. “Long time ago.”
She looks surprized at my willingness.
“You did?” Carter asks, looking taken aback.
“Sure,” I reply.
I feel Albus tense slightly from next to me.
I pat him on the head.
“Okay, Laney,” she says slowly, looking more than politely surprised. “You’re turn.”
“Dara, this is codswallop. Who really –”
“Laney, just do it!” she snaps.
“All right, fine,” I growl. “Fred.”
His head snaps up from his sultry body posture. “What?”
“Truth or dare.”
He narrows his eyes. “Dare.”
“Lick Dara’s face,” I say instantly. I leer at her.
“NO!” she shouts, recoiling. “No.”
“Dara,” I say, sneering at her, “don’t be a snob.”
Her face contorts with deep frustration. “Fine.” She looks sadly at a very nonchalant Daniel.
“I’m not going to lick that, Becks,” Fred says, though his eyes deceive him.
“Yes you are.” I shove him towards Dara. “It’s the rule of the game. If you don’t lick her then the game will mean nothing. It will be a pile of hippogriff shit on society.”
“You’re dramatic,” he points out.
“I know. Now do it.” I give him another shove. And I know, deep down, if either of them truly cared, they would never have let me make this happen.
“All right then, Valentin,” he says, hunkering down, “don’t move. I don’t want to end up licking anywhere else.”
She looks enraged, but squeezes her eyes shut all the same.
“Go on, Freddy Boy.” I snicker.
After successfully giving me a rude hand gesture and smirking slightly in Daniel’s direction, he leans in and licks Dara up the side of her face. She instantly shoots backwards, slamming her head into the bed post and screaming. She rubs the side of her face furiously.
Even Fred can’t help but laugh.
“That was gross,” Dara whimpers, not look at Fred.
“All right, Daniel,” Fred says, a seething look on his face. “Truth or dare.”
“How about truth?” Daniel asks excitedly, bouncing a little.
“Do you fancy Laney?”
“WHAT?” Dara jumps to her feet.
“I mean no!” Daniel says hastily.
Dara hesitates for a moment. “Okay,” she says, taking his hand and popping back down again.
I clench my fist around a plastic spork.
Where did I get the plastic spork?
That is a story for another day.
“Laney!” Daniel says enthusiastically. “Truth or dare?”
“Be nice, Laney,” Al whispers.
“Dare,” I hiss.
“Okay!” he says, bouncing up and down. “I dare you to snog me!”
I jump up, aghast. “LEMME AT ‘EM, LEMME AT ‘EM!” Al holds me back as I flail my limbs towards Daniel.
“Laney!” Al gasps, “Relax!”
After a few more minutes of prolonged struggling, I go limp.
“Are you calm?” Al asks.
I take a deep breath. “I’m calm.”
“Good,” Daniel says, “now kiss me!”
“OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”
“OW! OW! WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!”
And that is story of how I stabbed Daniel Osiris with a spork.
Author's Note: I literally adore
this chapter for some odd reason. It holds a special place in my heart. And mark my words -- you have not heard the last of that spork.
Also there may be something else in store for next chapter that has been seemingly forgotten. Can anyone guess what it is?
This chapter is deticated to Lily, Robbi, and all others who have been so kind about JO on Twitter.
Love you guyz.