Dominique flopped down onto Lily’s bed. “I hate dress shopping.”
Lily rolled her eyes at her cousin’s comment. “You love dresses. You’re just as girly as me.” She retorted.
Dom wrinkled her nose. “I didn’t say I hate dresses. I love dresses. I hate shopping for them. You have no idea how terrible it is. Mum went and Victoire. It was awful. How is it possible for someone who is a good six inches taller than me, who has had two children to be three dress sizes smaller than me?” She demanded. “It’s not fair. Victoire already has a husband. I don’t even have a boyfriend.”
Lily and I exchanged a look. Poor Dominique had gotten the short and stalky Weasley genes. Her mum and older sister were both tall and ethereal looking. Victoire had gotten her mother’s nearly white blonde hair, while Dominique’s was a pale red. She was sort of the odd one out in her family. There was Fleur and her blonde daughter and son, and then Dominique who favored her father. I understood what she was going through, since I was in the same situation. At least her parents liked each other. Fleur loved that Dominique was all her father’s.
“Oh, shut it. You’re going to look fantastic. Stop acting like you’re our fat ugly little friend.” Lily, always the kind one. “What? Don’t look at me like that. Why should I beat around the bush? Dom is already being dramatic enough.”
She sighed heavily. “I do like my dress though.” Dominique stated before beginning to pull it on. She had gotten a long dress like me, in a pale aqua color. It had a single strap , and a knee level slit. A band of rhinestones cut diagonally across her stomach.
“The twins are going to freak out.” I threw a pillow at Lily.
“What, because I’m wearing a dress?”
She stared blankly at me. “Because you’re going to look hot, my dear. They’re not blind.”
“And they’re not interested in me, either.” Well, Lorcan was on some level, but we were still keeping that side of our relationship a secret from everyone else. I didn’t mind. My friends already harassed me enough about the twins.
Dominique and Lily exchanged a glance. “And we don’t have a million cousins.”
“Lily, have your brothers seen your dress yet?” I asked, ignoring them to glance at myself in the mirror. What was I going to do with my hair?
She snorted at the idea. “What do you think?” Lily’s dress was…something only Lily would wear. I loved her, but one of these days someone was going to mistake her for a stripper. Her black dress had a corset like front that made her chest look huge, and the lace sleeves and neck piece that created a hole above her chest drew even more attention to it. Plus, most of the back seemed to be missing from her dress. “It’s too late for them to make me wear something else now. Isn’t it great?” She spun around.
“You have issues.” Dominique murmured, frowning slightly.
“So do you, dear. So do you.” She turned her attention to me. “Oh, just let me do your hair and makeup.” Lily insisted.
“I can do it! I’m not an invalid!” I protested. “I’m just trying to figure out what to do with it.”
“And if I let you do that, we’ll be here all night. I know that you’re fully capable of making yourself look like a girl. Let me help you so we can leave at a decent hour. Think of this as a bonding moment.” She snatched my hairbrush from me.
“Your boys don’t talk to you much beforehand, do they?” If they did, they would realize what a menace Lily truly was.
Lily began gently brushing out my hair. “Eva, talking isn’t what either one of us is interested in, is it? You two are both so depressing. Dom, you look fantastic. You’re going to find a nice boy tonight since Uncle Percy invited all of Britain, and he’s going to ask you to dance. Eva, I’m going to do your makeup for you because I know what I’m doing. It’s New Year’s, and we’re all going to get a good snog at midnight.”
Dominique made a face at Lily. “How is this any different from every other night then? Don’t you always get a good snog at midnight?”
She winked at us. “And that is exactly why Eva should trust me to do her makeup.”
Lily couldn’t control everything though. I insisted upon wearing my Converse under my dress. It was long enough that no one would see, and this way I would be comfortable. Lily and Dom were going to end up kicking their heels off in two hours, max.
“No. No way.” James snapped, glaring at his little sister. “I’m not going to let my sister go out looking like…like she’s going to go work on a street corner.” I don’t know why Lily had been so concerned about me finishing with my hair and makeup quickly considering the fight she was getting herself into. James had nearly had a heart attack when she had come down the stairs.
“You’re not in charge of me!” Lily yelled back. “I’m not a little girl, James. Who are you to talk? We all know that you and Cecilia are sharing a bedroom, and you aren’t married. Why are you allowed to shack up with your girlfriend and have loads of pre-marital sex but I’m not allowed to wear a dress?”
James spluttered at that. “A dress? That’s not a dress! That’s a bandage attached by some string. That dress is going to give boys all the wrong ideas about you.”
“It’s a little too late for that.” I whispered to Dominique. She elbowed me in the side.
“What’s all the noise abo-” Ginny froze at the sight of her daughter. “Lily Luna Potter, what possessed you to buy that dress?”
Lily stared at her mother with wide eyes. She always said that Ginny was the one who let her get away with the most, since she had been the youngest child of seven, and the only girl. She knew all about having older brothers meddling in her life. “Mum! What am I supposed to wear, a burlap sack?”
“That sounds a lot more appropriate than what you have on.” Ginny sighed heavily. “At least put on a cardigan, and I’ll let you go.”
“What?” James cried, looking at his mother with a horrified look on his face.
“She’s a grown girl, James. Besides, you know that your uncle will kill us if we arrive late.” She ran a hand through her hair exasperatedly. “Where is your father?” Ginny shot Lily another look. “Get that cardigan now before I completely change my mind.”
“Is it like this at your house?” I asked Dominique.
She shook her head quickly. “Are you crazy? Mum is far too ah…sophisticated for that. She wants to be cool so badly.” She rolled her eyes. “Dad tries to be overprotective, but Mum always wins him over in the end. It’s rather disgusting.”
I had seen at Christmas just how affectionate her parents could be. I touched a hand to my hair nervously. Lily had put it up in a curly updo. “It will be nice to see the twins. Anders sent me a letter a couple days ago.”
“Eva, you really shouldn’t mention them to us as long as you insist there’s nothing more going on between you and either one of them.” Dominique said slowly, glancing at me worriedly. “Don’t take it the wrong way, but… Really, it’s just too tempting.”
This was getting ridiculous. I couldn’t even mention my two best friends to my other friends?
We finally made it to Percy’s, although James and Al were still furious about Lily’s dress. Lily insisted that they would get better once we were there since their girlfriends were supposed to be there. She had been right. Percy’s home was more of a mansion than a home. The trees in front were covered with twinkling lights, and there was a line outside the door. Percy and Audrey seemed to be greeting each person individually as they entered.
“Tie my mask for me while we wait?” Lily asked, holding it out to me. Her mask was white with black stones on it. She really enjoyed dressing up for these things far too much. She had gotten a mask for me with my dress that was pearl colored with bronze feathers coming off of it.
“They really went all out for this, didn’t they?” Dominique murmured, glancing around. We could hear music from here, faint orchestra music.
Lily smirked. “You know how Uncle Percy loves a show. It makes him feel important. He has a major complex problem because he grew up poor.”
“Bloody hell, who is this?” A voice called from behind us. Dominique grinned at the sight of her older brother.
“Cutting in line, are you?” She teased, giving her brother a quick hug. Everyone seemed to love their brother except for me.
Louis wrapped an arm around his little sister’s shoulders. “What do you mean? You said you would hold a spot for me, ma petite cherie.”
“Laying the French on rather thick tonight, aren’t you?” Lily crossed her arms, amused.
“He’s going to be trying to woo all the women tonight.” Al chirped. “You’re French when there are women around, and English when it’s all blokes.”
He flashed us a grin. “You know me too well.”
Dominique frowned slightly. “What happened to Mister I’m-too-busy-for-a-girlfriend?”
“That’s a rather long surname.” He teased. “I am too busy. That doesn’t mean I can’t be incredibly charming though.” Louis kissed his sister’s cheek. “I’m off to see if I can sneak past Uncle Perc. There’s bound to be a woman up ahead who will let me sneak in with her.” He gave us a quick wave before sauntering off.
“Cheeky bastard.” James muttered, shaking his head.
Lily laughed at that. “As if you wouldn’t be just as cheeky if you didn’t already have a girlfriend.”
He looked offended. “I was never as bad as Louis! For one, I just have boring English parents without cool accents.”
“Hey!” Harry protested. “I resent that. I think I’ve got something a bit cooler than an accent.”
James rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes, you’re terribly cool old man.”
It took us another ten minutes before we reached the front of the line. Percy flashed us a false smile. “Ginny! Harry!” He shook both their hands. “Dominique?” He guessed, squinting slightly.
She nodded. “Hi Uncle Percy.”
“Your parents are in there somewhere, and I believe I saw your older brother go slinking in not long ago.”
We tried not to giggle at Percy’s use of the word ‘slinking’. It was entirely appropriate for Louis Weasley though. The boy did slink.
“Well, have a good time.”
We barely waited for him to finish before we hurried in the front doors. James and Al quickly broke off from our group to find their girlfriends, and Ginny and Harry went to join their in-laws. It didn’t take long for me to spot the twins. They were at the buffet table, of course, loading up on food.
“You’re not going to go up to them, are you?” Lily asked, following my line of sight.
I shrugged. “They’re busy eating. I want to look around a bit first.”
“Eva!” Helene Praxis exclaimed, hurrying over to my side. I smiled at the sight of her. I should have guessed that she would be here. First off, because Percy had invited all of Britain practically, as Lily had said earlier. Second, because if I remembered right, Helene’s father was the head of the Department of Magical Transportation. Exactly the type of guest that Percy Weasley would have.
“Hi! It’s so strange seeing you in a dress.” I blurted.
She glanced herself over, laughing. “I know. I live in my Quidditch kit.” She brushed her dress with a hand. “You look great. Hi Lily. Dominique.” She smiled at both of them.
“Quidditch Girl.” Lily greeted uncertainly. “You play… Chaser?” Lily never stopped being outspoken, did she?
Helene blushed. “Sorry, I don’t know if I’ve ever introduced myself before. Helene Praxis. You’re right.” She smiled weakly.
“Lily has terrible manners but she’s fairly harmless.” Dominique said with a bright smile. “Ignore her rudeness. It’s nice to meet you.”
“I ought to go find my friends. I just wanted to come over and say hi.” Helene explained. She gave me a quick hug before joining a group of girls in her year.
“Do we like her?” Lily asked after Helene was out of earshot.
I rolled my eyes at her question. “Yes, we like her. Helene’s a sweetheart, and she’s not afraid to give Anders grief.”
Lily shrugged. “If she’s willing to torment Lorcan, then she’s my best friend. Anders isn’t bad though. She has potential for being a decent sidekick.”
“Did I hear my name?” Lorcan asked, a plate of food in his hand. “Well, you are clearly Lily.” His eyes rested on her chest for a moment too long. “Only Red would wear a dress like that. You must be Dominique. And you…” A small smirk brightened his face. “Well, you should be Eva, but there’s no way that’s possible.”
I hit him lightly on the arm. “Shut it.”
“Oh, you are Eva!” He exclaimed. “Lily, what have you done to her? She looks like a woman!”
“I am a woman, you arse.” I muttered. “I wear feminine clothing.”
Lorcan sighed. “Evs, love, don’t get pissy at me. You look hot. Stunning. Mouth watering.”
Lily and Dominique exchanged a look next to us, but I ignored the pair of them. “Oh, that’s good enough. You don’t look too bad yourself, even if you are underdressed.”
He looked offended. “Underdressed? What are you talking about?”
“You’re wearing a t-shirt.” I froze. “Bloody hell, I’m turning into Lily!”
Lorcan let out a loud laugh. “I have to wear shirts with buttons every day at school. I hate them.” He stroked his gray t-shirt lovingly. “I’m wearing a suit jacket and tie. That’s rather formal, wouldn’t you say?”
“You’re wearing jeans.” Lily pointed out, crossing her arms. “Uncle Percy must have had a heart attack when he saw you.”
He shrugged. “A minor one. Mum and Dad were there, so he just marked me off as Loony Luna’s kid.”
“There you are! You ran off when I wasn’t looking, bastard.” Anders complained, holding a matching plate of food. “Hey guys. Shit. Eva?”
I groaned. “Yes, it’s me. You two are idiots.”
“Don’t compliment her!” Lorcan said quickly. “I already gave her enough compliments for the evening. We don’t want her head to explode.”
“Too bad. Eva, you look beautiful. You want an egg roll?” He offered.
“Yes! Lily has been starving me today.” I gladly accepted the appetizer from him. “I see your mum is dancing.”
Lorcan let out a moan, looking down at his feet. “I can’t look.” Luna was infamous for her bizarre dance moves. She looked rather like an otter having a spasm.
“We’ll let you talk.” Lily winked at me. I could have hit her. What was she doing? “Dom, let’s go find you a man for the evening.” She dragged Dominique after her, holding her tightly by the wrist. Dom glanced back at me with a look of terror on her face.
“Should you help her?” Anders asked worriedly.
I shook my head. “Lily’s on the warpath. If I tried to get in her way now, I might lose a limb. That doesn’t sound really appealing right now.” I explained before finishing off the egg roll and reaching for a Deviled Egg off Anders’ plate.
“How was Christmas with the Weasleys?”
I held up a hand in front of my mouth as I finished chewing. “Absolutely mad.”
“Sounds brilliant.” Lorcan smirked. “Anyone get set on fire?”
“No, but there were fights and duels. And Quidditch.” I said, glancing at Anders. He perked up at the mention of the sport.
“I should talk with Al. Doesn’t one of Lily’s cousins play professionally?” He asked excitedly. I already regretted bringing it up.
I nodded. “Molly plays with the Harpies. James is with the Games Department.” I added. “They’re around here somewhere. Want to dance first?” It was the only thing I could think of to keep him from scampering off.
Anders stared at me with a surprised look on his face. I didn’t blame him. “Since when have you liked to dance?”
I shrugged. “I don’t really, but we can’t do much worse than your mom.”
Lorcan nearly choked on his steak. “She’s right, Anders.” He said after he’d cleared his throat. “I’ll be here eating. I call next dance though, alright?”
Anders smiled slightly. “Let’s dance then. I’ll return her.” He put his plate down on the empty table next to us. “My lady.” He took my hand and led me over to where everyone was dancing. “You do look great.” Anders glanced at me nervously before lightly placing his hands on my waist.
I felt my cheeks grow warm. I wasn’t used to the twins complimenting me this much. “You don’t look too bad yourself.” He was more dressed up than Lorcan, wearing a sleeveless navy blue sweater over a light blue long-sleeved shirt.
“I’m not a very good dancer. Got it from Mum, I’m sure.” He smiled weakly.
I rested my chin on his shoulder. “You’re fine. It’s a slow song, anyways. You just shuffle a little, and you’re good to go.” I closed my eyes. “I’ve missed you.”
“We’ll be back in school before long.” He murmured, pulling me a little bit closer.
I was quiet for a moment. “That’s not what I meant, Anders. I’ve missed you at school. I’ve missed getting to spend time together just hanging out. I feel like the only time I see you anymore is in class or at meals.”
Now it was his turn to be silent. “And… You don’t like that?”
“Of course not! I’ve put up with you for all these years, so clearly I like having you around.” I pointed out.
He laughed softly. “Well, I’m sorry then, Eva. I’ve missed you too. It’s just… Quidditch, you know?”
“Hugo would love it if he heard you say that.”
I chewed on my lower lip. “You know, he’s right. It’s the closest thing to a girlfriend that you have. You spend all your time thinking about it, and talking about it. Doing it…” I said, smiling slightly. I really was starting to turn into Lily. “And I can’t help but feel jealous.”
Anders pulled away slightly. “Jealous? Would you feel just as jealous if it wasn’t Quidditch? If I actually had a girlfriend?”
I paused to think that over. Would I? My problem with Quidditch was that it took up all of Anders’ time. If a girlfriend did the same I would still be jealous. “I-”
“That’s my queue.” Lorcan bumped his brother out of the way as a faster song started. “Your food is calling you.”
“You’re getting a little too good at interrupting.”
He smirked at that. “Were you having a deep and provocative conversation with him about the meaning of life?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, I was. We were so close to reaching an answer.”
“Well, too bad. I’m a little jealous that Anders got the slow song.” Lorcan said before bursting into disco dance moves.
I wasn’t sure what I was more surprised by, his jealousy or his dancing. “What are you doing?” I asked between laughs.
“Dancing!” He grabbed my hands and started shimmying, making me shimmy with him. “Shall we tango?”
“You’re an idiot.”
Lorcan winked at me. “I know. I’m your favorite idiot though. You’re my hostage until another slow song comes on.”
“Your hostage? Why are you so eager to slow dance with me?” I asked, shaking my head.
“That dress is rather appealing, although I have to say, I’d like to see you wearing something like what Lily’s got on.” He smiled wickedly at me. “Especially since your chest is bigger than hers.”
I hit him hard on the arm. “Pervert! You’re lucky that Charles isn’t nearly as protective as James and Al are, or you’d be dead right now.”
“Isn’t that him?” Lorcan asked, gesturing over my shoulder. He spun us around so that I could see better.
“It is! That must be his new lady friend.”
Lorcan stood up straighter at that. “New lady friend? You didn’t say anything to me about your brother having a lady friend. This is a rather exciting development. I think I ought to go over and introduce myself to her.”
I laughed, holding onto his wrist tightly. “As amusing as that could be, it’s probably not a good idea. He sort of screamed at me when I found out about Phoebe, and called me a retched little girl.”
He pouted, but pulled me back in to dance. Lorcan leaned in until his lips were nearly brushing against my ear. “I’d like to know what you’re wearing under that dress.”
I froze in shock. Had he really just done that? We were in the middle of a massive party. How many people had seen? Had anyone heard? What had possessed him to say that to me? Lorcan was never this forward normally, not even when he was joking.
It all made sense when I came out of my temporary coma. He was already almost to Charles and Phoebe. Bastard! He’d just been trying to distract me. I chased after him, glad that I wasn’t wearing heels. “Lorcan! Lorcan!” I yelped, causing more than a few people to turn and look at me.
“Charles!” He exclaimed loudly.
Charles turned to face him, breaking away from Phoebe. “Oh. You’re one of Eva’s boyfriends, aren’t you?”
Lorcan nodded as I made my way to his side. “We should go.” I hissed, tugging on his arm. He wasn’t willing to go anywhere.
“I am. Charles, sir, there was something I wanted to ask you. Man to man. You see, I am devastatingly in love with your little sister. She is my reason for living. My world isn’t heliocentric, it’s Evacentric. Being around her makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and I want to go hug a puppy or something. I would also like to make her an honest woman since she’s pregnant with my child. Anyways, sir, Charles, sir, I was wondering if you would grant me permission to marry Eva.”
“What?!” Charles shrieked in a voice even higher pitched than my own. “You’ve impregnated her? Why I-”
“He’s joking! He’s joking!” I said quickly.
“Of course I’m joking. Eva and I aren’t shagging, although if we were, she could very well be pregnant since we would undoubtedly be shagging like rabbits. Well, it was nice seeing you again, sir. Oh, and you too, lady friend. Alright, I’m going to go not die over there.” Lorcan said quickly before running away.
I stayed rooted in place. Charles was nearly purple in the face, and Phoebe looked like she had been stupefied. I was never going to live this down.
“He’s drunk.” I lied before running away after Lorcan. I found him up against a wall, collapsed on the floor from laughing so hard. He was shaking, tears flowing from his eyes, and no sound was coming out. “I hate you. Charles is going to tell Mum and Dad after he kills both of us.”
“It was worth it though. It was so worth it.” He choked out before falling over onto his side. “Did you see his face?”
“I cannot believe you mentioned shagging like rabbits to my big brother.”
Lorcan grinned widely at me like a drunk. “What would you have preferred? Like Weasleys?” He burst into laughter again.
I had another dance with Anders, this time a fast one, but I spent most of the night with Lorcan hiding from Charles. He was still furious, and I knew I was going to hear about it again soon. He’d probably send me a Howler.
“It’s almost midnight, you know.” Lorcan murmured, glancing at his watch.
“Really? It’s about time. You’ve made me drop down and start crawling at least three times so far tonight.” Thank god for Percy Weasley’s extremely sterile house.
“You had fun though. It was an exciting night.” He wrapped an arm around my waist.“You can never have a normal holiday as long as you have either me or Red around.”
“I’ll have you know that Lily is one of the more tame people at Weasley family holidays.” I insisted, causing Lorcan to shake his head in disbelief.
He ran a hand through his hair. “Not possible. Although… Then again, she’s related to all of them, so she can’t stir up that much trouble.”
I let out a loud laugh. “At least Lily has some standards. Although… She probably has some third cousins twice removed or something around here somewhere.”
“Third cousins twice removed? What would Charles say? He probably wouldn’t be surprised. I should have listened to him. He was trying to warn me!”
I feigned a hurt expression. “But… But… You said I was your reason for living!” I whimpered. “I thought we had something! Have you forgotten about that special connection so easily?”
“Never, my heart!” Lorcan picked me up and spun me around. “Eva?”
“Are you wearing Converse under a ball gown?”
“I love you.”
The countdown to midnight had begun. The new year was almost here. This year I would start my seventh year, my final year at Hogwarts. I would figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life.
Lorcan set me down gently, as opposed to dropping me like he usually did.
He gave my hands a squeeze.
His face brightened with a grin.
I smiled back at him. Albeit insane, tonight had been fantastic.
Lorcan winked at me.
He pulled me suddenly towards him.
One of his hands was on the back of my neck, and cheers burst out around the room. It all faded away around me, as Lorcan roughly placed his lips on mine.
He was kissing me. Kissing me in public, for the very first time. I didn’t understand why. What had happened to the easing into things thing? Did he want to be in a relationship? No, that was crazy. This was Lorcan. My best friend, Lorcan. I was here, he was here, we’d had a fun night together, and it was midnight on New Year’s. You were supposed to kiss someone, and I was here with perfectly capable lips.
His lips were on mine, soft and moist, and nothing else around us mattered to me. How could I notice anything but Lorcan when he was kissing me like this? I was stuck to the spot once again by him tonight. My breathing hitched slightly as I kissed him back, hesitantly resting my hands on the back of his neck.
A very happy new year to me.
We finally broke away, and I blushed slightly as Lorcan wiped his mouth off on the back of his hand. He was grinning. Now that I was back amongst the land of the living, I glanced around the room.
Anders, my Anders, Anders Scamander, was talking to Helene Praxis, his Chaser. This wasn’t strange behavior. Anders talked with Helene almost every day. He did not, however, talk to her when they were barely two inches apart. He did not smile at her every day like he was smiling at her now, nor did he laugh the way he was laughing now. And Anders Scamander would certainly never have a hand on Helene’s upper arm the way he did now.
: Ma petite cherie translates to "my little dear" or a similar term of endearment in English. *hides from mob*