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Chapter 2 : There Really is No 'Fun' in Funeral
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Her nod conveyed more than words would have, and I savored the short silence we shared. I knew that it was her way of telling me everything would be okay.
“Miss Beaumont, likewise,” she told me. I watched as her wrinkled hand reached out to grab mine, and without even thinking I embraced her, noting the softness of her black dress robes with glittering swirls and how she actually hugged back.
“Sorry,” I apologized, grinning unabashed. I wasn’t sorry at all, and she knew that as much as I did—if not more. “I heard that you gave quite the memorial,” she raised one eyebrow at me, and I shrugged all non-committed-like. “The walls talk.”
“The walls talk,” she repeated, mulling over the words and staring at me with curiosity. “Of course. And all this time, I thought it was the gossiping students.” She winked at me and I gaped. Since when did my Headmistress actually have a sense of humor? “But we have more important matters to discuss.”
“Must we?” I sighed, looking around and noting several people watching our exchange, quite nosily. “But the party is just beginning,” I gestured to a few students sleeping on a pew. She sent me her infamous look, and I blushed. Somehow. “Fine, what are these grave matters you speak of?”
“I understand that you have not created a will,” she told me and I just nodded. I’m seventeen—why would I have a will? “I also understand that you choose not to depart with any of your possessions.” Again, I nodded. “Now, I was enquiring about your living arrangements?”
“I honestly haven’t gotten that far, McGonagall,” I admitted. When would I have had the time, really? The hour ago when I woke up as a ghost, or when I was being killed? “I suppose I should finish my school year—that is if I’m even a witch anymore.”
“That is quite all right,” she told me, putting a hand on my shoulder as I started to panic. What if I’m not a witch? That’s the only interesting thing about me! I’ve lost my identity! “I’ve found that the ability to perform magic as a spirit,” clearly people think ghost is a bad word or something of the sort, “differs on the person. But I have faith in you. And please, return. It would sadden me to see such a great education wasted.”
“It has been a long run,” I agreed, smiling slightly. “But I have a question—why is it that I may touch people, and yet go through them at the same time? Am I always sentient or only occasionally?”
“That question pertains far past my knowledge,” she said, not noticing how dejected I felt. I’m just looking for some answers. Naturally, it’s too much to ask for. Why must life be out to get me? “I was wondering, however, if you felt qualified to return to Hogwarts next year and teach. I heard the Transfiguration teacher was looking to retire.”
“Is that so?” I asked, fighting to hide my smirk. “I could never follow in such a brilliant witch’s footsteps.” She raised another challenging eyebrow. I’m surprised she hasn’t patented it yet. “Of course, I can always try.”
With that confirmation, McGonagall winked, and then swept past me, probably to mingle with the Minister of Magic. What was the incredibly handsome Kingsley Shacklebolt doing here? And more importantly—why were these other famous figures?
It was awkward, to say the least.
There were far more people than I expected to be here, and yet it wasn’t calming in the slightest. Rather, I was growing more uncomfortable with each passing second, as people eyed me with interest.
Yes, I understand how it’s rather odd to attend your own funeral, but to be fair it isn’t like I asked for one. My maman took the matter into her own hands, which meant that there were red roses everywhere. Everything was red, down to the ribbons around the pews, the dress I wore in most of the pictures featuring me, and there was even a red carpet.
People were milling about, treating it as more of a social event than a place to celebrate a loved one’s death. But apparently I wasn’t a loved one to most people—I was just an excuse to dress up and miss school.
My maman was acting as if nothing happened, that I wasn’t dead, that I would never grow old. She was in denial, so I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my favorite color is actually silver. I think that she would murder me, force me to come back again, and murder me another time just for good measure.
At times I accidently floated into people, and then I had to apologize. It was annoying and unbearable. I felt confined in my own translucent skin. People were either tense or nervous around me—usually both—but at least it was amusing. I can't even count the number of people succeeding in avoiding me at my own bloody funeral.
Aren’t I the guest of honor?
That’s how these things work, I suppose. I’m not really complaining, or anything. I’m just getting used to being seventeen forever. At least if I had to pass away, it was during my prime, right? Although someone really should have at least warned me, because now I’ll look like a slag, forever.
I think I’ll make a huge fortune if I figure out how to make clothing for ghosts. Perhaps there is a spell for that. Does my magic even work?
I just have so many questions, and the only person I know with answers is Moaning Myrtle. People honestly can’t expect me to go to her. She’ll probably end up crying about how I stole her spotlight, or something equally ludicrous.
The girl is such a diva.
Even when I was alive—that’s going to take a while getting used to—I rarely ever cried. I, still to this day, believe that if I cry it shows weakness. Other people are allowed to, it’s fine, but not me. Crying means that I am broken, and I don’t want to be broken.
Broken is for squares.
And I’ve got to be the shortest ghost at Hogwarts, too. I must have just not hit my growth spurt yet, because there was no way I was going to be 4’11” for the rest of my life—the alive life I’ll never have.
“You look gloomy,” someone observed casually, and I turned to see a beautiful brunette beauty smirking. She wore a grey dress and matching cardigan, and I grinned. Everyone else was wearing black. It was horribly dreadful. They should all have more spirit.
“I can’t help it,” I laughed, nudging her arm and then falling through, almost to the floor. This is embarrassing. I don’t know if I’m able to control when I can and can’t touch things. I suppose this time is of the latter. Merlin, I’m starting to sound like Professor Binns! Kill me now! Oh, wait. “I’m just feeling a little grey.”
“Something tells me I’m going to be hearing a lot of that joke, or other variants,” Molly Weasley the Second teased, reaching up to ruffle my hair and then letting her hand fall limply at her side. Bugger. “Well, at least you’ll never have another bad hair day, right?”
“Ah, the silver lining,” I agreed, subconsciously petting my hair and realizing that I could still actually feel it, and it felt soft as per usual. Thank Merlin. My hair is my life—er, my after life? “Do I get a week off for my own mourning?”
“What’s there to mourn?” she joked, and I fought the urge to smack her playfully. But of course, I can’t do that. I think she noticed my annoyed face, as she widened her startlingly blue eyes innocently and I couldn’t help but smile. She isn’t my best mate for nothing.
I smoothed out my clothing, ignoring the curiosity I was met with from all over. When I died, it had been a weekend, so I wasn’t in school uniform. I had been running around the Forbidden Forest in a sundress, barefoot. What will people think? ‘Look, it’s that ghost who doesn’t wear shoes!’ “Bollocks,” I stage whispered, “people are staring. I’ve no idea why, really. Is there something on my face?”
We giggled for a few good minutes 'cause I'm just so bloody hilarious, until I settled on glaring at every visitor who had the indecency to stare at me wearily. I’m a ghost, not a mass murderer. People need to stop stepping on eggshells around me. I’m the same as I always have been, really. I’m just less alive.
People are going to think I was this idiotic individual, who couldn’t even perform a proper patronus.
It couldn’t be farther from the truth. I floated over to where my coffin was, eyeing it cautiously as if it was going to swallow me whole. So far, only Molly 2.0 and my Headmistress had come up to me. It was disconcerting. I thought that after I died, people would stop talking about me, or at least in front of me. I suppose I was wrong, once again.
“Georgette,” a deep voice drawled, and I turned to see a certain Mr. Davies in his Hufflepuff glory—of lack of. We always did beat them at everything. “You’re looking drop dead gorgeous.” I smiled despite myself, and his grin made his blue eyes crinkle. His inky hair was tousled to perfection, and I rolled my eyes at his surprisingly girlish ways.
“You can’t do that,” I told him, flicking him on the nose affectionately. He clearly felt something, and I could see the shock register on his face. Will I ever get used to being a ghost? Or more importantly, will others? “Only I can make those jokes. It’s a death-right!”
He held up his hands in surrender, and I laughed before sighing. It was times like these that made me miss everything, but then I would catch him glancing at another girl when he thought I wasn't looking, and I would be furious again.
It was simple, really. One day, I was dating the hottest, most loyal, most brilliant Hufflepuff Michael Davies, and we were the golden couple of Hogwarts. We never fought, but that was mostly because he couldn’t keep up with my logic. We went slow and steady, and he never pressured me—probably because he knew I would hurt him. But we were happy. One day we were together, and then the next day, we weren’t.
Naturally, a girl like me isn’t so easily ‘broken.’ It wasn’t like I couldn’t handle a breakup—although this was my first. I was merely shocked that he had cheated, after dating for two and a half years. We were each other’s first everything and I somehow deluded myself into thinking that meant something to him.
But I won’t dwell about my past.
“I’m terribly sorry,” he told me in his velvety smooth voice. Whenever I was angry, he could calm me down in an instant. I could fall asleep in his arms, with him whispering to me. “Did death make you more sensitive, or something? I don’t remember you being so snappy. Bit of a turn off.”
You’re the turn off!
“That’s probably because the last few months of our relationship I did my best not to piss you off,” I explained casually. It was the complete truth. “I never actually suspected you of cheating, but I did find that you were always inexplicably angry with me. I suppose it was because I wasn’t as wild as that slag?”
She was a year older than us, and we hadn’t interacted much, ever.
There was the occasional snide comment I would offer when she plotted to break up perfectly happy couples, but nothing serious. I had no idea what they were doing behind my back. I was naïve and far too trusting.
“I can't remember the last time I had a proper snog,” he told me randomly, whispering into my ear and sending all-too-familiar shivers down my spine. I cursed my dead body’s reactions. “I’m curious here—can you?”
My breathing was slowly returning to normal, and I regarded him with a bored expression. Do I even need to breathe anymore? I suppose not, but it feels natural. “I don’t see why that is any of my concern,” I told him flatly. “Or yours, for the matter.”
He just pouted at me with full lips and irresistibly brilliant blue eyes, running a hand through his purposely messy, perfect hair. He knows that I hate it when he does that.
“But babe,” he mock-whined. “I’m just curious. You can’t hate me for that.” I already do. “Don’t I have the right to know what you’ve been up to, lately, before you died?”
“Let me think,” I hissed, staring straight into his breathtaking eyes. “NO. Or have you forgotten you’ve no longer any claim on me? Then again,” I laughed bitterly, “forgetting seems to be your forte. I do recall a time that you ‘forgot’ I was your girlfriend and slept with some pathetic bimbo.”
He didn’t even bother to hide his smirk, obviously reveling in the fact that I was responding at all. I knew I shouldn’t be, but he made me so mad. He’s supposed to be nice—it’s my funeral! “I’ve apologized for that, you know,” he said lazily, twirling some of my silvery hair around his finger.
“When did you apologize, exactly?” I asked incredulously, leaning farther away from him. “Before or after I saw the pictures as evidence from ten different people? I can’t even recall a single, ‘Sorry, Georgette, but I’ve been cheating on you.’ Or am I mistaken, Davies?”
“Sorry Georgette,” he chuckled, “but I’ve been cheating on you.” How dare he try and turn this into some joke? I’m still not completely over it. It’s a bit of a sore subject, one avoided at all costs. “Now that we’ve settled that, how about a quick snog before this is over?”
“This is not a joke!” I snapped, my full chest heaving as I glared at him. “How dare you treat this like it’s all pretend? You cheated on me, Michael Davies. I’m not just going to get over that. And I don’t even know if we can snog!”
“Baby,” he sighed, shaking his head slightly at me. “Babe, come on. Don’t do this. You know I never wanted to hurt you. And you know that we’d been fighting for a while. I thought things were over…”
“Fighting? Over?” I asked him in disbelief. Is this his idea of an excuse? He couldn’t have even been a little creative? “Did you imagine all of our relationship? I don’t remember fighting much, or breaking up, or giving you permission to be with other women. Unless you count the fight when I asked you to stop flirting with my best mate. Was that our breakup?”
I stared at him, expecting an answer, but I honestly should have known better.
Michael was about as reliable as I was blonde—did I even have a hair color anymore? It’s just never going to happen. I learned a long time ago to stop holding my breath.
Suddenly a wicked gleam appeared in his eyes, and I swallowed loudly. “So,” he said, suddenly joyous, “are you saying that we never technically, properly broke up? Does that mean we are still together, Babe?”
My hands quickly flew to my mouth in terror, knowing that he was completely correct. Sure, I’d said the classic line, ‘Get away from me, you cheating pig. I think we need some time off,’ but after that, I never officially ended it. Bollocks. Strike me down with lightning,
“Brilliant,” he smirked, leaning down to catch my lips with his—but I was quicker. I’ve always been quicker. Before he could even blink, I’d rolled away and was already floating next to Molly, leaving him dumbfounded and with a more determined face than ever. That can't be good.
It never is.
I then noticed everyone watching us, and a silver blushed graced my cheeks. How completely embarrassing! Even as a ghost I can't control my body? I thought things were supposed to be looking up, finally ?
I was glaring at whoever dared a glance at me, when two large individuals sandwiched my body in a comfortable hug. My brothers, George and Grant, were grinning down at me, ruffling my hair and otherwise disrupting my emotional mumblings.
“I couldn’t help but over hear,” George smirked, and I rolled my eyes, “you’ll be finishing the school year with me? I can actually breathe again, no offense. I was actually going to offer switching places. Imagine, having to do my homework for once? The bloody horror!”
“You are such a slacker,” I teased, but I was telling the complete truth at the same time. “This would be why I am far more superior, resulting in me being put into the best house possible—Ravenclaw. Merlin knows that Gryffindors are gigantic pricks—every last one of them.”
They stared indignantly at me, clearly not feeling the same way—although they should. Grant settled for squeezing my side, causing me to yelp out in surprise and receive even more attention. People really need to be taught proper funeral etiquette. This is all wrong.
“Does this mean you are going to become best mates with Moaning Myrtle and date The Grey Lady?” Grant asked, and I contemplated it. Well, I considered some it of. Will I stick to ghosts only? I have the feeling that if I do, it definitely won’t be by choice. “Why do I have to be the older one? I’d like to be there for that.”
“I was thinking of marrying the Bloody Baron, actually,” I smirked.
“Hilarious,” George said dryly. “You actually think you’re allowed to date.”
I chose not to remind them that I have, in fact, dated men previously. I also didn’t dare utter a word, telling my brothers that I have even gone as far as to engage in inappropriate activities without being in a relationship. They don’t need to know about my trysts, and hopefully I will be kept in the dark of theirs. I prefer to keep my food in my stomach, not empty the contents everywhere.
They left after another battle of the wits, which I won, as per usual. Even dead, I’m still a bloody intellectual, and a damn smart one at that. I floated over to the largest picture of me, taken a mere few weeks ago courtesy of Molly.
My long red hair was flowing around me like lion’s mane, but it had been straightened. My grey eyes were lined in black and my lashes were made impossibly long. My lips were painted a bright red—almost as bright as my hair—and plump. My freckles barely stood out against my tan face. I was wearing a simple black dress.
I was beautiful.
Even at such a measly height that I couldn’t even breach five feet tall, I was quite the sight. With my vertical challenges, my legs looked long, my curves were perfect, and my chest was admittedly too large for my comfort. But I could hold my own, even when compared to my gorgeous, brilliant in every subject, all around perfect best mate. And that was something in itself, entirely.
What was I now? I was like a shade of my previous self, a shadow. My skin was a pearly white, my eyes a shimmery grey, and my hair a shining silver. But it didn’t make me happy. I wanted color. I wanted a lot.
I didn’t want to be forced into this state, where I would never age, and instead I would see the people I love grow old around me. What was I going to do in one hundred years, when they all died?
I smacked my cheek lightly, and shook my head. Why was I stressing over things out of my control? These thoughts were far too morbid—even for a funeral, and especially for my funeral.
“Stop hitting yourself,” a voice grinned, and I turned.
There was Louis Weasley in all his part-veela-part-my-best-mate glory, grinning down at me from his obnoxious tall height. His bright blonde hair was begging to be touched, his blue eyes twinkling, and his face was gorgeous. He really was just a pretty, super duper pretty boy.
“It’s not like it hurts,” I responded. “I can’t touch people.”
“Oh, thank Merlin!” he exclaimed all obnoxiously—everything about him is just obnoxious. Several people glared for breaking the silence, but I loved it. “My prayers have been answered! We can finally stop you from groping me every possible chance!”
"Why would I even want to grope you?" I asked, ignoring how obvious the answer was. Honestly, if you just look at him, it's so easy to tell why he had girls falling at his feet for all of our seven years.
Even as a firstie they couldn't get enough.
I suppose it was always a good thing that my feelings were merely platonic. He can't have babies with anyone less than a supermodel and/or veela. It's the way things have to be. It won't change. All these annoying slags just have to deal with it.
"You know," he mock-sighed. "You honestly take the 'fun' out of funeral. I'd much rather we got back to the groping part. You were always excellent with your hands..."
His mother gasped.
“Lou-eez!” I tried not to snicker, but Fleur Delacour-Weasley looked angry beyond belief. And she’s part veela. They are scary. “What are you doing? Disrupting poor Georgie! Non, Lou-eez! Non!”
I smirked, listening to the French accent that only ever came out when she was truly angry, as people around me milled about, ignoring and pointing and laughing and making my life miserable.
At least I can throw a great party, right?
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