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Paparazzi by naughtforreal
Chapter 3 : Jobless but Peachy.
 
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 It has been two days. Two freaking days since I got fired. I was a complete disaster.

And not only that, I also look horrible. It seems like being jobless didn’t suit me in any way.

 
Mom was hysterical. She had yelled at me for like, two straight hours. Dad looked sympathetic. And I feel really awful. I’ve been staying in bed, sulking and all those things depressed people do. I also chucked Phil (my new camera) on the bottom of my closet just to avoid remembering the incident. And I blame HARRY POTTER’s son. If it wasn’t for that twit, the interview would’ve ended up nicely! I would be taking Cole and HARRY POTTER (seriously, I need to stop.)’s picture and I would go home with my paycheck.

 

But nooo, Albus Potter has to come and strut his face by being all witty to me! I should’ve punched his cute face.

 

After Mum had calmed down, she offered to talk to Cole about it. More like, demand what’s going on and start a fight. But with Dad’s help, I managed to change her mind. Cause if not, there would be a ruckus in the Ministry. Complete with screeching nails and banshee shrieking. Shudder.

 

And so, here I am, stuck in my parents’ house, all looking horrible and jobless. Thank you, Merlin, for chucking life’s crappy moments at my face.

 

Ah, but who knows? This day might be good.

 

“You look terrible, Sweetie!”

 

Or um, not.

 

“Thanks, Mum,” I said sarcastically as I descended the stairs. I have decided to leave my room to get some fresh air but all I get is a comment on how terrible I look. Not that I deny it. I do actually look horrible. Like a clown with a smudged makeup except for the lipstick part. You get the point.

“Would you like something to eat?” Mum offered, standing up from the couch and proceeding to the kitchen. I followed her and slumped on the kitchen chair.

“Well, your dad went to work and it’s just the two of us here,” she said, handing a plate of buttered toast. I felt my stomach grumble. Wow, I think I’ve been starving myself.

“Mum,” I said, chewing. “Dad always goes to work and it’s always the two of us here…”

She rolled her eyes. “My point is, if you wanna spend time together. You know, some girl time…”

I stopped chewing; looking on what I think is thoughtful. “I dunno,” I said “I’m not in the mood for some shopping and definitely not for some make-over or a trip to the salon or something,”

Mum sighed. “Oh, well, we’ll just wait for Rupert.”

I looked at her, the toast still in between my teeth. Rupert’s going home? “He’s coming home? From Egypt?!” I sputtered out my toast.

Mum smiled. “Yes, dear. He has Gringotts appointments here and um, Ministry business.”

“Wow, it’s been like, two years since I last saw him.” I said excitedly. Rupert and I were really close—since it has always been the two of us whenever Mum and Dad wasn’t around. I really miss him.

 

The doorbell rang. I stood up excitedly and went to the door and opened it.

 

“Geez, Car, you look terrible.”

 

It was Danny. He looked crisp, clean and well-suited. Next to him, I probably look like a troll. Maybe he has a point.

 

“What are you doing here?” I said, crestfallen that it wasn’t Rupert.

“I miss my best friend,” he said in mock hurt, and closing the door. “I haven’t heard from her in ages and well, what happened?”

I groaned. “Forget it.”

He plopped down on the couch. I sat down across from him. “Come on, Carla, I came all the way here just to know what happened when I found out you weren’t on the office.”

“Quit it. I know you already know what happened.” I said, rolling my eyes.

He sighed. “Well, it’s amusing to hear it from you,”

“Look, I’ve been doing well since I got out of Cole’s clutches,” I lied. “Remembering it will only double on how terrible I already look.”

“Well,” he said, smiling, “I have to agree that you do look terrible.”

I threw a throw pillow at his face.

“Daniel?” Mum called out from the kitchen. “Is that you?”

“Yes, Mrs. Skeeter!” he called back.

“Holmes,” I corrected.

“Right-er-Mrs. Holmes.” He said before pulling out a light purple envelope. “You’re going.”

I eyed the envelope. Is that a Ministry Ball invitation? “No way,” I said, grabbing the envelope. “Where’d you get this?” I opened it:

 

See you at seven o’ clock in the evening at the Burrow’s backyard in semi-formal attire. Glad you could join us!

 

“Huh?” I said, feeling an anti-climax. “There’s no purpose why you’re going.”

“Flip it.” He said, whistling.

 

I did. On the back was written, Rejoice at the fully stamping out of unjust pureblood laws!

 

“That’s just it?” I asked, puzzled. “Are they wasting their time or what?!”

“It’s not an official Ministry Ball, Carla.” Danny said. “They didn’t publish it on the prophet, did they? So, I think it’s a cover up for someone getting engaged.”

“Yeah, and it says the Burrow.” I said, catching up. “So, this engagement stuff is happening on this party. And it was thrown by the Weasleys? I don’t understand why they have to cover it up.”

“Paparazzi, Carla, paparazzi.” Danny winked at me. “Mind if you be my date?”

“How did you even get an invitation?”

He grinned. “Lorcan.”

I gaped at him.

“Seriously?! He’s here? Why won’t people tell me anything, anymore?”

“That’s because you’re busy sulking in the depths of your bedroom.” He said pointedly.

I ignored him. “So, what did he say?” I gushed out instead. Next to Danny, Lorcan was one of the best people I’ll ever know.

“I think our old pal’s in a hurry. He just gave me this and left.” Daniel said, pocketing the invitation.

“Why wasn’t I given one?” I said sadly.

“Oh come on,” Danny said, grinning then he handed out a purple beaded bracelet. “Scamander would have to die first before he forgets us.”

I smiled and took the bracelet. “Purple, huh?” I said, examining it. “Handy, got loads of purple in my closet.”

Danny stood up. “Well, see you, then. Pick you up at quarter to nine, yeah?”

“Hang on,” I said, standing up, too. “Today? Today’s the party?”

“Tonight.” He said, fixing his suit.

“I can’t go. Rupert’s coming home today.”

“Really?” he said, pausing.

I nodded.

“Well, you have to, Car. You have to cover this up. This is the only help I could give.”

Pop! He disapparated.

I groaned and buried my face on the throw pillow.

 

Now I’m stuck in a sticky situation. If I go, it could’ve helped me apply in a new job. I mean, come on, covering up a secret engagement party? That’s galleons. But I would miss seeing Rupert-this is the only chance I could spend time with him before he got busy on his work, again.

 

Mum entered the living room with a plate of biscuits. “He left?”

I nodded then took a biscuit. Mum sat down beside me.

“Well, what is it that he said?” she asked.

“Some secret engagement party for me to cover up,” I replied. “Tonight,”

“Then go!” Mum said excitedly. “That’s exactly what you need-two in one!”

“How about Rupert?” I said “I wanna see him, too.”

She rolled her eyes impatiently. “Rupert will be staying for two weeks, Carla.” She said. “Now I have this really lovely purple dress you might want to wear—”

“How did you even know it must be purple?” I said, eyeing her skeptically.

“Well…” she puffed out her short curls. “Can’t help but overheard…”

I sighed.

“Honey,” she rattled on, “Danny’s right. This is your opportunity. Go for it.”

She stood up and went upstairs.

 

Alright, I’m going for it. But then, I’ll be ruining lives. Oh dear, why do I have to remember the things that Potter said?!

 

Someone tumbled out the fireplace that made me jump off the couch. I whipped out my wand. “Who’re you?”

 

The man blinked and fixed his clothes. Then, he grinned at me so unexpectedly. Oh. My. Zeus.

 

“Carla? What happened to you? You look terrible!” Rupert said, pulling me into a hug.

“That’s the third time I heard that,” I said hugging him back. He chuckled.

“Well, it’s true. Have you looked into a mirror, lately?” he teased, letting go.

I shrugged. Wow. This is Rupert? He looked different. He’s not my rugged teenager brother anymore. “And what happened to you?” I asked. “You looked like you got Dominique Weasley for a girlfriend.”

Rupert’s so in love with that girl. Even when he’s still at Hogwarts.

He grinned. “Well, I did.”

“Who?” Mum said suddenly, her hands on her hips at the foot of the stairs.

“Mum!” Rupert greeted, making his way to her. “You’re looking good.”

“And you’re still the same, darling.” Mum said, hugging him.

They both sat down on the couch.

“So, who is this girl?” Mum demanded.

“She’s Bill Weasley’s, my boss, daughter.” He grinned. “Dominique Weasley.”

Mum raised an eyebrow. “Weasley? You mean, in relation to Arnold Weasley?”

“Arthur, Mum.” I corrected. Did I mention I have this bad habit of correcting people?

Rupert nodded. “How many Weasleys are there in the Wizarding World?”

“Many, darling,” Mum said, scrunching up her nose. “They breed like rabbits.”

“Mum!” Rupert and I chorused indignantly.

She rolled her eyes. “I’m sorry,”

“Okay, this leaves me wondering how,” I said to Rupert, who was grinning madly.

“Long story, Car…” he paused “Where did you get that?” he pointed on the purple bracelet. “You’re not going to Victoire and Teddy’s engagement, are you?”

“Oh, so it was Lupin and Victoire.” I said, snapping. “I’ve been giving it a thought for a while…”

“Oh, so you are going,” he said. “Who sent you one?”

“Lorcan through Daniel,”

“And I was supposed to invite you, too. You know, to meet the whole family.” He said, shrugging.

“Does it also happen to be the celebration of stamping out pureblood laws?”

He nodded. “I think that’s some excuse to hide it from the paparaz—wait, you’re not exposing this up, right?” he eyed me doubtfully.

“I’m jobless.”

“You got fired?”

“Yep,”

“I won’t let you do this,”

“Whipped,”

“No! You’ll be ruining lives, Carla!”

“Fine, I won’t go!”

“That’s not what I’m saying.”

“Are we arguing?”

“Yes, and I’m serious.”

“You are whipped.”

Mum stood up. “That’s enough! You two aren’t going,”

           

Oh darn.

 

* * *

 

I hastily stuffed Phil in my purple purse before chucking him out again. I caaan’t decide. I’m suck at making decisions on my own. Mainly the reason why I’m stuck at my parents’ house. Boo Hoo.

 

“Carla!”

 

It was Danny. I hastily checked my watch: its five minutes before nine! I fixed my untamed curly hair then checked if there’s still a trace of my morning ugliness before heading downstairs in my lavender cocktail dress and flats. Ha, I’m never wearing heels, again.

 

“Hey,” I said to Danny, who was wearing dark purple under his tux. I slipped on my black leather jacket. What? I love this jacket.

“Hey,” he greeted. “Just saw Rupert. Him and Dominique, huh?”

“Yeah,” I rolled my eyes. “It’s making him weird.”

He laughed. “That’s what happens when a guy’s in love.”

“Gross,” I commented but laughed, anyway. “Hey,” I said, looking serious.

“Hm?”

“I won’t be bringing Phil.”

He smiled. “I see you’re not the ruthlessly unflappable paparazzo, eh?”

“Shut up. I’m not ruthlessly unflappable.” I flushed as Rupert descended the stairs.

 

Then after a few moments, we’re off.

 

* * *

One word to describe the party: awesome.  It was held at the backyard of the so-called Burrow but it was great. There was blasting music, delicious-looking food and awesome people.

 

As Rupert went to Dominique, who was in a cute Aphrodite dress, Danny and I made our way to Lorcan, who was busily talking to Rose Weasley.

 

“Carla?” Lorcan said in surprise, hugging me. “Haven’t seen you in ages,”

I hugged him back. “Me too,”

“You know Rose, right?” he said, motioning to the pretty redhead in a purple summer dress.

“Isn’t she the smartest witch in our batch?” I complimented. I really like Rose Weasley. She’s friendly but can still be quite intimidating.

Rose laughed and waved off her hand. “Don’t say nonsense,” she grinned.

We went to have drinks when Rupert pulled me to meet Dominique.

“Hi!” she said “I heard so much about you!” she hugged me.

I was forced to hug her back.  “I…heard so much about you, too.”

That was a lie. Not only a while ago did I learn that she was already my brother’s girlfriend. And he’s being secretive about it. I just hope she won’t ask what it is.

“Did you meet Louis?” and before I could answer, she was calling out for Louis. “Oi, Louis!”

I looked at Rupert for some explanation. He just grinned and shrugged. Bloody brother.

Louis, who turned out to be a very cute guy with soft-looking silver blond hair and pink lips, had his eyebrows raised at Dominique. “What?”

“This is Carla, Rupert’s sister,” she introduced. “Carla, this is my brother, Louis,”

I smiled politely at him. “Hey, Louis,”

He is so pretty. I wonder if he’s even masculine.

“Hey, Carla,” he grinned. “Wanna join us on that table?”

Dominique rolled her eyes. “See you guys, later.” She said waving us off with Rupert.

 

Okay, now what? Don’t tell me I’m stuck here with Louis Weasley. No! I might do something embarrassing.

 

“Sit with us, Carla,” Lorcan said suddenly, pulling me to where Louis went. Oh, I guess I’ve been standing over there like an idiot, huh? “The engagement’s starting.”

 

And so it was, the music had died down, the people took their seats and stood in front was the most adorable couple. Man, I should’ve brought Phil here.

Lorcan and I took our seats—the only seats left. I was in between Lorcan and some guy I don’t know. Danny was across from me beside Rose and her brother, Hugo.

 

“Hey,” Victoire said, grinning.  “As you all see, Teddy and I are already engaged. After all those years of bickering, who would’ve thought we’d end up with each other?”

“I do,” Teddy said, grinning. “Cause even though I know you’re quite a snob, you’re still the most beautiful person I know…”

Aw, aren’t they sweet?

“For the most sickening couple ever! Cheers!” Someone called out, raising his glass. It was James Potter.

“Cheers!” the crowd chorused.

 

Then the music blasted louder and people stood up from their seats, enjoying themselves.

 

“When’s the big day?” I said loudly and absentmindedly to the guy next to me.

“I dunno,” he said as I keep my eyes on Victoire and Teddy. “About two weeks after, I guess.”

“Wow,” I breathed out, “They sure are crazy about each other,”

“You have no idea,” he chuckled. “I’m Al, by the way,”

 

What?!

I snapped my head to look at who I’m talking to. Looking back at me, with the same wide-eyed expression was Albus Potter.

We swore at the same time.

I should’ve known better. Of course, he’d be here. His cousin’s getting married to their family friend. How stupid.

 

“I see we’ve met again, huh?” he smirked.

“Like that is pleasant,” I snapped. “I don’t want to be nowhere near you, anymore.”

He grimaced.

“The feeling’s mutual,” he said, “But well, I have to make sure you don’t snap out pictures with that nasty camera of yours.”

“Leave me alone. You have done a lot of damage in life already!” I felt my body shaking in rage. “Thanks to you, I’m some jobless person now! Plus, I don’t have my camera right now, Potter so I’d think before I’d speak if I were you,”

He looked uneasy.

“Yo,” Louis said, scooting over to us with some girl he’s dancing with. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” I said, gulping all the wine of the nearest glass. “Jobless, yeah, but peachy…” I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and plunked down the wine glass that I nearly broking its stem. “See ya!” I said before getting away from there.

 

Yeah, well, everyone got some style, don’t they?

 

I made my way through the dancing crowd to go to the food table. My stomach’s grumbling. I haven’t eaten dinner, yet.

 

“Hey!” someone yelled, tugging at my hand. “Wanna dance?”

I can’t help but smile at this redhead stranger. He looks goofy but still cute. “Sure,” I yelled back, my hunger flying away. “I don’t know who you are, though.”

“I’m Fred,” he said, pulling my hand and spinning me around. “Is that enough?”

I giggled. “Hi Fred, I’m Carla,”

Shut up, you. I’m not drunk.

“You’re cute.” He said as the song switched to some fast muggle music.

“So are you,” I said, feeling up the wine. “Oh my God, I love this song!”

 

He laughed as we both bopped to the music. Then after a few more songs, the hunger came back.

 

“I’m hungry,” I muttered.

“What?” Fred yelled over to the loud music.

“I’m starving!” I called out for him to hear.

He grinned. “Me too. Let’s go get something to eat.” He led me to the long table filled with food.

“So,” he started casually, handing me a plate of nachos and cheese. “You and Al know each other, huh?”

I looked at him bewildered.

He grinned. “I saw you two talking to each other,” he explained, shoving a handful of nachos in his mouth.

I snorted. “More like skirmishing,”

He chuckled. This guy never seems to get tired of laughing. “What? Lovers quarrel?”

I scrunched up my nose in revulsion.  “Merlin, no.” I said incredulously. “I hate the bloke. He seems too nosy,”

Fred furrowed his eyebrows. “You’re the first one to get irritated to Al,” he stated as I shoved some nachos in my mouth.

I shrugged, gulping some wine to help my swallowing. “Maybe I’m the first one he irritated,” I said jokingly.

He grinned. “Maybe.”

I drained the rest of the wine and made a face. I really hate wine. It tastes harsh. “Do you guys have Coke or something?” I asked.

Fred shrugged. “I dunno,” he said “Just try to get used to wine, it’s not that bad. I think the oldies forbid firewhiskey which is a shame, I love that stuff.”

I tried not to contradict him and poured some more wine. Well, that would have to do since I’m thirsty and all. I had too much salt already.

 

I had six more drinks before I finally lost it. Fred was cracking up some jokes that I don’t even understand anymore. All I know is that I’m laughing my throat out.

 

“…then he said, he prefers four slices because he can’t seem to finish eight! Ahahahaha!” he burst out hysterically, clutching his sides from too much laughing.

“Hahaha!” I laughed along with him. Great, I’m getting drunk with someone I don’t even know.

“Oh lookie!” he said, pointing to someone. “It’s Albums! Oh wait,” he frowned. “That’s not right. It’s…er, I forgot. It’s cousin!”

I burst out laughing. Fred went to Albums and dragged him along.

“Hiya, Albs,” Fred said, wearing a triumphant grin.

“Hey Freddie,” Albs greeted “And…you.”

“She’s Carly, Albums.” Fred slurred. I giggled, trying to focus my eyes. It’s getting blurry.

Albums snorted. “Albums? What the hell, Fred?”

Fred shrugged. “I think you owe Carly an apology, couzie,” he said. “After all, you ate all four slices. Ha ha!”

Fred and I high-fived each other, still laughing.

“Drunken people,” Albums muttered.

I scowled at him. “Shut up, Albums.” I paused and giggled. Albums? Ahaha! “You are a bad kitty.” I scolded mockingly. “I hate kitties. First, you ate all four slices then you get me burned! Ha-ha. Get it? Fired? Burned? Never mind. Ahahaha.”

I took a glance at Fred and he was making his way back to the dance floor, wriggling his butt to the music. Oh great, now I’m stuck with Albums to endure.

“Me leaving,” I told him, standing up abruptly, making my head go dizzy. I clutched it.

“Y-you okay?”

I nodded. “I have to get my toenails curled.” I excused. Wait, am I supposed to curl my toenails? “I mean, I have to get Danny curl it for me.”

 

He laughed. I huffed, whirling about too fast that I didn’t saw that there was a post behind me.

 

BAM.

 

I fell back into someone’s soft arms. I absentmindedly touched my head.

 

“Oh, look,” I said, motioning to my hand. “It’s bloody!”

 

And the last thing was everything went blue. Um, I mean black.




* * *

 A/N:

 Hey, I’m not so good in portraying drunken people but I hope it’s still cool. Thanks for reading but please, please, please review! Writers really appreciate that. Even a small comment on something. Plus, it builds character!!

 Thanks for those who reviewed in the past, anyway. You know who you are. I heart them soooo much!!!


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