Sixth year seemed to be just flying by. Before we knew it, Christmas break was here. I was making a brief stop at home before heading on to stay with the Potters. I almost always stayed with Lily or the twins for the holidays now. There was no way I could take being trapped at home for an entire school break, and my family didn’t care about my absence.
“You’re coming tomorrow afternoon, right?” Lily asked as the train was pulling into the station.
Lorcan rolled her eyes. “You’ve asked her that about half a dozen times today already, Red. Answer has yet to change.”
“I’m just checking!” She whined, hitting Lorcan. “This break is going to be great. I haven’t seen my brothers in months. I actually miss them! All the cousins are going to be around, and Uncle Percy is throwing this big New Year’s Eve masquerade thing.” She glanced at me. “Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey are big on being showy. They’re kind of braggy since they think they’re less dysfunctional than the rest of the family. They’ve both got sticks up their-”
“Lily!” Dominique yelped, silencing her cousin. “I don’t like Uncle Percy any more than you do, but he’s still our uncle.”
Lily leaned back in her seat, resting her feet on the bench opposite her. “If he didn’t have Weasley hair I would seriously question that.”
“It should be fun.” Lorcan added. “The party, I mean. I love it when your Uncle Charlie gets drunk.” He smirked at the memory. “Eva, you’ve finally gotten your membership card to the club!”
“Lily, thank your parents again for having me.”
She waved a hand, dismissing the idea. “Eva, you’re part of the family. You’re like another niece to them. They’ve already got about a million, what harm will one more do?”
Lorcan sighed heavily. “I wish we had parties at our place. It’s perfect for it. Too bad Mum and Dad aren’t cool.”
“They’re just insane.” Anders said with a grin. “Eva, if all those gingers drive you insane, you can always stay with us, you know. Mum loves you. You’re like the daughter she never had.”
“She likes to study me.” It had been funny at first, but now it was just kind of creepy. Especially the time when I caught Mrs. Scamander with a notebook and a pair of binoculars.
“That’s her way of saying that she likes you.” Lorcan tossed an arm around my shoulders.
Dominique glanced out into the train’s corridor. “I think it’s our turn to get out.” She got to her feet. “Eva, have a great holiday! I should see you on Christmas. Maybe I’ll be able to come over and hang out with you guys.” She gave me a quick hug.
“OhmygodEva!!” Lorcan squealed in a high-pitched voice before pulling me in for an incredibly tight hug. He lifted me off the ground and spun me around, causing Lily and Dominique to scream as they attempted to dodge my feet. “You have to write me every day, okay? I’m going to miss you so much!”
“You’re insane. Put me down!” He unceremoniously dropped me before strolling out of the cabin.
Anders smiled softly at me as he helped me up off the ground. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. I’m used to it. He seems to think I’m like a backpack or something the way he’s always tossing me around.” I shook my head.
“Have a nice Christmas, Evs. I’ll see you at the party.” He murmured, taking a step closer.
I looked down at my feet. “You’re still holding my hand.” I pointed out.
“Yeah…Well, um…” Anders pulled me in for the most awkward hug of my life. It was halfway between a bro hug and a normal hug. He held me to his chest, but patted me on the back. It lasted a bit too long before he finally pulled away.
“Terrible. I don’t know what that was. Well, I should go before Lorcan blows something up. You can’t trust him on his own for long.” Anders let out a laugh. “Merry Christmas, Evs.” He gave me a pat on the shoulder as he left the cabin.
I didn’t really want to leave the train. Why did I have to even stay with my family for a day? It wasn’t like we liked each other. The Potters and Weasleys were more like my family than the people I was actually related to.
After taking a deep breath I finally left the train. My dad was waiting for me on the platform, a bit of a relief. He was the most tolerable person in my family. Mum was distant and detached. She was a bit of a loon, but not like Luna, who was a happy crazy person at least. Mum was just depressing. If I have to be around crazy people, I’d pick happy ones in a second. She had stayed home, but my brother was there, of course. Dad couldn’t come to Platform 9 ¾ on his own since he was a Muggle.
Charles has always been Mum’s favourite, since he looks like her. This seems a bit narcissistic, but that’s not it. I don’t think my mum ever really loved Dad. He was nice, and he liked her, so it made sense. When they had kids, she liked Charles because he didn’t remind her of Dad. He had been a Ravenclaw in school, just like her.
Me on the other hand? I look like Dad, which was sort of like the dementor’s kiss. I was a reminder to her that she was married, and married to Dad. Mum never really got over this school boyfriend of hers who died when she was 15. Apparently he was the one great love of her life.
How can someone have a great love at 15? We don’t even know who we are at 15, let alone what we want.
“Eva! Let me take your bag for you.” Dad exclaimed, taking a step forward. “How are you? Classes going well?”
I gave him a one-armed hug before handing him my bag, and gave my big brother a nod. “Good. Classes are fine.”
“What are you taking, again?” Charles asked, letting out his inner Ravenclaw. The nerd. At least I was a cool nerd who read comic books.
“Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, and Defence.”
Charles had dropped Care of Magical Creatures after O.W.L.S and had take N.E.W.T. level Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, and History of Magic. He works as a secretary for the Wizengamot, which sounds like it could be cool, but I’m sure he makes incredibly boring. Charles is boring, plain and simple. Charles Boring Winters.
“I saw your boyfriends, Eva.”
Charles snorted at that. “Boyfriends? You have more than one?”
“Dad!” I whined. “The Scamander boys are not my boyfriends. They’re just my friends. Who are boys.”
My boring brother raised an eyebrow at that. “You’re still friends with those boys? They’re the sons of Rolf and Luna, correct?”
I crossed my arms, just like his. “Correct, Charles. You’re still taking notes for a living, correct?”
He scowled at me. “Do you have any idea what you’re going to do after school?”
I hadn’t really thought much about that, truth be told. But I still had time to figure it out. It wasn’t a big deal. Charles was the only person who actually had their life figured out before graduation. “Not be the Wizengamot’s bitch.” I suggested with an innocent smile.
“Eva! Be nice to your brother. He’s the best Wizengamot bitch there is, I’m sure.”
“Not helping, Father.” Who says that? Everyone calls their male parent their dad, or some other cool or at least normal variation. Who says Father anymore?
I linked arms with Charles, causing his scowl to darken. Maybe I’ve been spending a bit too much time with Lorcan. “Don’t worry, Charlie. I’ll be out of your hair soon.” I grinned up at him. “Do you have a girlfriend yet?”
“I do not.” He said firmly. “And even if I did, I would only have one.”
I accidentally stomped on his foot with the force of a baby elephant. “I do not have a boyfriend! And I don’t have two! I’m not a slut, Charlie!”
“What is wrong with you?” He yelped. “Don’t call me Charlie!”
“Charlie, Charlie, Charlie!”
Yes, I’m immature as hell. I blame it on the holidays.
“Cho!” My dad called as we walked through the front door. “We’re home! Eva’s here.”
Let’s just say she didn’t exactly come running to greet me. “That was a nice warm welcome.” I rolled my eyes, glancing around the hallway.
Dad frowned slightly. “She’s around here somewhere. I’ll go find her.”
I shook my head. “Not necessary, Dad. I’m fine. I’m going to be in my room.” I ran up the stairs, not looking back. If I didn’t see my mum before I left for the Potters’ it really wouldn’t be a big deal.
My room was my favourite place to be at home. It was about as close to Hogwarts as I could get. I’d set it up so it was fairly similar to my part of the room at school, or as close as you could get a suburban bedroom to a castle. It was done up in Gryffindor colors, which had gotten rather amusing reactions out of both Charles and my mum. Next to my bed I had dozens of pictures stuck on the wall, and the smiling faces of Lily, Dominique, and the twins cheered me up. I laughed particularly at a shot of Lorcan and Anders from second year when they had had matching, terrible haircuts.
I turned to see a flash of brown go past my window, and I walked over to see what had gone past. An owl was waiting outside the window of Charles’ room with a…pink envelope. I perked up at the sight of it, and ran to my brother’s room to intercept the letter. The owl seemed a bit reluctant to give the letter to me, but I told it I was going to give it to Charles, and it seemed happy. I am now the owl whisperer.
Charles had lied about the girlfriend thing, or at least I hoped he had, considering the letter he had just received. Some girl was writing him love letters. Legitimate, sappy love letters. It got a bit disturbing towards the end, more like part of a romance novel than a love letter. Phoebe Bellona was the name of my new best friend. Oh, Charles was going to hear all about her from me.
I flopped down onto my bed, and closed my eyes. There really wasn’t anything for me to do, so I might as well take a nap.
Apparently I was getting good at napping. I glanced over at my clock. I had slept for three hours. I was three hours closer to the Potters and Weasleys. And the twins. I’m probably the only person at Hogwarts who hates coming home for the holidays.
Mum was sitting at the table when I got to the dining room. She lifted her head, and stared at me for a moment before nodding slightly.
“Hi Mum.” I said weakly. She was getting creepier every year.
“Evangeline.” She ran a hand through her hair. “How is school going?”
“Well.” I hate small talk. Really, I’d prefer silence.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
She was probably hoping that I’d have a boyfriend in Hufflepuff, just like she had. If I was just like her then she would be more interested in me. Except I’m not just like her, so I’m screwed on the maternal front.
“Eva has two boyfriends, actually, Mum.” Charles said quickly. Git. “The Scamander twins. Luna and Rolf’s boys.” Luna and Rolf’s boys. Like he was of their generation. Pompous bastard.
Mum arched an eyebrow at that. “That’s-”
“Charles has a girlfriend! Her name is Phoebe Bellona, and I’m pretty sure they’ve had sex considering how she seems fairly well versed with his-”
“How do you know?” Charles screamed, in a high-pitched voice. “You little-”
“I’ll write to Phoebe!” I threatened. “We’ll become best friends!” I doubted that would happen. If she liked Charles then there was something severely wrong with her, and she was probably boring as hell.
“You’re a wretched little girl.” He snapped.
“And you’re a pompous old man.” Don’t you just love family?
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