Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Hey guys! You miss me? Guess what I should be doing? Studying. Guess what I'm not doing every again? Studying. AP CHEMISTRY IS DONE! And the rest of my AP tests can go to HEEEEEELL. Anyone else taking an AP class? Let me know in a review, I'd love to find out how many of my readers are geniuses like me.
All real ladies will check to see that something really is what she thinks it is before she goes insane about it.
“I worry about your sanity sometimes, Dommie.”
“It looked like a Howler to me,” I protest, crossing my arms over my chest.
For the past ten minutes, James has battered Fred and I incessantly about our immense “stupidity”; apparently, anyone with at least half a brain could distinguish a Howler from a piece of scarlet parchment, which is, according to James, the Potter family parchment of choice. He finds this hilarious, of course. He and Penelope got quite the laugh out of it, as did Lorcan when he appeared only a few minutes after they did. They’ve forgotten all about the letter in this room from James’ mother, who has just been informed of Penelope’s pregnancy, and they’ve focused entirely on making fun of Fred and I.
I don’t find this funny at all. It was an honest mistake, okay? Scarlet parchment usually means that it’s a Howler. How am I supposed to know that Potters, Gryffindor freaks that they are, use scarlet parchment on which they do all of their correspondence? According to James, Aunt Ginny found the scarlet parchment a year or so ago in a stationary shop and has used it for all of her letter writing since then. Seems ridiculous to me – how can you read a letter written on scarlet parchment!? – but the Potters, especially the matriarch of the family, do as they please, and no one tries to stop them.
Yes, yes, I’ve known them for my entire life – they’re in my bloody family – and I was clearly around when Aunt Gin made the switch to scarlet parchment, but it’s not like I receive letters from Aunt Ginny weekly, and we all know that James never writes me during the summer. There’s no way I could have known about it, and it makes perfect sense that I would confuse Aunt Ginny’s precious scarlet parchment with a Howler. Howlers are scarlet, for Merlin’s sake. Give me a fucking break.
James waves the piece of scarlet paper at me again, his eyes lighting up with enjoyment. He loves when I do something idiotic – which this was not – and he gets to be around to witness it. I wish he would just open the damn letter and get this over with, instead of teasing me for being unable to properly identify a letter. It’s not my damn fault, for Merlin’s sake.
“Do they really look so similar, Flower?”
“James, I hate you.”
Penelope, even though she still smiles in amusement, reaches over to pat James on the leg. “Love, why don’t you open the letter and leave Dom be? She doesn’t have her wand on her, but I don’t doubt she can cause some damage.”
Without even hesitating, James nods at Penelope, the two sharing some kind of silent communication as they lock eyes and smile at each other, agreeing to leave me alone and probably silently discussing something else I don’t even want to think about. Ugh. Gross. Then, James unrolls the parchment and holds it up in front of his face.
While his small, curious audience stares at him with impatience, waiting to hear of the intimate details of his mum’s letter, James scans the letter, surely reading as slow as possible just to piss the rest of us off as much as he can. Then, when he’s read the entire thing, he drops it onto his lap and makes the strangest face I’ve ever seen, wrinkling his nose, furrowing his brow, curling his lips… ah, James and his facial expressions; you can’t ever tell if he’s happy, excited, angry, sad, what have you. It’s just impossible. Let’s cross our fingers and pray that his facial expressions aren’t passed on to the child now forming inside Penelope’s womb.
“James! What does the letter say?” I cry.
“Mate, you have to read it to us,” Fred protests when James shrugs his shoulders at me. He, like me, was thoroughly convinced that it was a Howler, and now that we’ve learned the true identity of the letter, his curiosity has peaked.
James makes another odd face. “Well, I don’t know…”
“James!” Penelope shrieks, struggling to grab the letter from James’ lap.
However, the boy is too fast for her, and he snatches it up, launches to his feet, and holds it above his head so that she cannot reach. As she jumps up and bounces about in a circle around him, trying to take it from the bloke, James grins smugly and proudly. He does this to Penelope often – actually, he does this to anyone who’s a bit shorter than he – and he enjoys himself way too much.
“You’re making a pregnant woman jump,” Lorcan points out calmly, crossing his arms over his chest and watching James and Penelope with a bemused look on his face. “I’m not sure if it’s dangerous for the baby, per say, but I can tell you without a doubt that doing such is frowned upon.”
Immediately, James stops in mid-game, dropping his arms to his sides and giving up his amusement for the sake of his girlfriend and future child. Penelope takes his opportunity to snatch the letter; she passes the roll of scarlet-colored parchment to me, sighs contentedly, and plops back down on the sofa next to James, who has taken up a pose of pouting.
Ignoring my cousin, I hold the letter up to my face and begin to read aloud for the attentive audience of three people.
Your mum is too distressed to write. She screamed bloody murder, threw the letter at me, and promptly burst into tears. I’m assuming she’s a little upset. Which sounds about right, considering what you’ve just announced – in what I deem to be a slight misuse of communication – without even the tiniest bit of warning.
As your father, I should be disappointed in you, but you’re seventeen now. You’ll be eighteen soon, and you’re already legal wizard. There’s not much I can do or say to scold you; you cannot be punished, although you know your mum will try. We can’t take care of you and your mistakes anymore. This is your responsibility. You’ll do fine, though; Penelope has a good head on her shoulders, and you’re in love with her. She’s settled for a prat like you, much like your mum settled for me.
I wish you the best, son. Your mum will write as soon as she’s sane. Don’t be afraid to owl if you need us. Longbottom will let you use his fireplace if you need to Floo home for a chat. Take care, and congratulations. I love you, son.
PS – Your mum stopped crying long enough to tell me to tell you that you are the biggest idiot of a child she could ever ask for; also, she loves Penelope very much and wishes her the best, and if Penelope needs her, she shouldn’t hesitate to owl. You, however, will be hearing from her later.
PPS – Please, please, please don’t name your child after me. There are too many Harrys in this generation. I don’t think I could call my own grandson Harry with a straight face.
“Wow,” I say, letting the letter fall from my hands onto the floor. “I – just – wow.”
James bites his lip and squints. Oh, the facial expressions. “I didn’t expect him to be so understanding about it.”
“Are they really not angry with me…?” Penelope questions, craning her neck towards the floor as if she’s trying to catch a glimpse of some part of the letter I forgot – on purpose, of course – to read out to everyone else. I notice that my best friend has paled considerably since the opening of the letter. “They’re not mad at me at all?”
James looks at Penelope incredulously. “Why would they be mad at you, love?”
We all look at Penelope with similar looks of amazement. We’ve worried about James since Penelope’s announcement earlier this morning, and we’ve worried about the reactions of Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry, and we’ve worried about a million other things… but have any of us sat down and been adequately concerned about Penelope?
Apparently not. Hence the extreme waterworks that are now on their way.
The dark-haired girl covers her face with her hands as all of us stare at her; she hates being stared at, I know, and with pregnant hormones attacking her at a great speed at all hours of the day, she hates being stared at even more than usual.
“I’m the one who h-has to c-c-carry this problem around for everyone to s-s-see,” she wails into her hands, stuttering and stammering over the majority of her words. “This is all my f-f-fault! They should be a-a-angry with m-me!”
I exchange a look with Lorcan. The waterworks have landed. There’s nothing we can do about it now. Better find a boat…
James wraps a comforting arm around her shoulders. “Oh, Penelope, don’t blame this on yourself!”
“But it’s all my fault!” she sobs.
Fred furrows his brow. “I can’t handle these crazy pregnant girl emotions,” he mumbles to the rest of us, standing up and awkwardly rushing out of the room as fast as his gawky frame will carry him away.
I wish I could be like Fred and run away, but I’m the best friend. I’m morally obligated to suck it up, stick around, and make her stop crying. Damn it. If you had told me two years ago when I met Penelope and befriended her that she would be pregnant and annoying the fuck out of me every single day, I wouldn’t be sitting here – nah, just kidding! I would’ve still befriended her. She’s my best friend, anyway. As annoying as she may be.
Which is very fucking annoying. You don’t even know how annoying she is.
“Penelope, this isn’t your fault,” Lorcan begins, trying to help James out on his failed mission to comfort Penelope.
See, James has never been able to comfort Penelope, even though they’re madly in love and perfect for each other and whatever else you want to say about their flawless, annoying relationship. He just can’t make her stop crying, no matter what he does. That’s what Lorcan and I have always been around to do. James is just not a comforting person.
“Yeah, Penelope, it’s both of your faults. If you want to turn it around to blame James, you can, but realistically, it’s the both of you. After all, it takes two to – ”
“Dominique!” James interrupts and glares at me.
I shrug. “Hey, just making sure she knows that both of your faults…”
No one said I was too great at comforting people, either. ‘Cause I’m definitely not.
Like I said, lemme know if you're taking AP classes and tests this year. I'm taking AP Chem - check! - AP US History - the bane of my existence - and, of course, AP Language and Composition - which I am sadly going to fail, because my teacher is nuts. I wish I could take more! :(