Chapter 2 : Train Mayhem
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After hearing Scorpius’ “task” for me, I was completely convinced that my lovely cousin belonged to the loony bin. Of course, so did I but let’s not dabble in unnecessary details, shall we?
However, if by some mysterious force of nature Scorpius managed to get Rose (highly unlikely), their children too would be carrot-haired Weasleys. I bet that our uptight pureblood-obsessed ancestors would be turning in their graves. Not that they weren’t already, considering that half of the Slytherin house was now populated with half-bloods and even Muggleborns. But really - what did they expect - we magical folk were so rare that pure blood sounded almost unnatural in our case.
Actually, taking in mind my obsession with Professor Berry, I was probably the thorn in the eye of our ancestors (ahem, more like the loose nail in their coffin) long before Scorpius. Professor Berry was a Muggleborn, but there were few wizards around that were as talented as him. And of course, he was sexy as hell, which clearly was the most important thing in the whole matter.
Again, I digress. My seventh and final year at Hogwarts started with me, Scorpius, Uncle Draco and Aunt Astoria standing on the train platform. I really don’t understand why they needed to see us off. We were seventh years for Merlin’s sake, not some stupid kids that needed to be cradled. At auntie’s request, we were there inappropriately early (“Well-mannered people are never late!”) and I was looking around for my Slytherin dorm mates Chloe, Pippa and Lorraine. They were nowhere to be seen and could I blame them - what kind of freaks arrived so early at the platform? Scorpius was about to give me an answer to that question.
“Albus, hey mate! Here!”
The Potter kind of freaks. Oh the enchanted awkwardness! I myself did not know the full story, but apparently uncle Draco and Harry freaking Potter were some kind of archenemies at school. Somehow everything ended in a kind of semi-understanding because they didn’t seem like people who were just itching to pull out their wands anymore. That didn’t mean they were friendly at all though, they just nodded to each other politely when they met and generally adhered to the “if you don’t step into my tiny little pond, I won’t be sending my squid squad after you” policy.
With a kiss on the cheek from Auntie and a goodbye from Uncle Draco, we were sent off with the Potter kids to the train. Lily Potter quickly left us to go to her friends, while I continued down the train with the two boys. As Scorpius chatted animatedly with Potter, I couldn’t help but wonder how these two so entirely different boys could have ever become friends. While Scorpius was loud, boisterous and blunt, Potter was quiet, reserved and surprisingly sarcastic at times, a skill that my cousin never mastered. He was a rude at times, even a bit cruel in his ways and jokes, though never with any real intention to harm. Potter on the other hand was almost too polite and nice with everyone but I could never really feel if he meant those things behind that good boy façade. And Scorpius just put his heart on the table. Apparently, this strange combination somehow worked for them.
I almost didn’t notice that Potter had entered an empty compartment and Scorpius had followed suit. Before I could do anything though (not that I had any intention to sit with them), my lovely cousin turned to me and said:
“So... see you at the feast, right?”
Which of course translated loosely to - Amelia, scram. How rude of him! I did so much for this ass and he didn’t even want to sit through a ride with me! Oh no, this was not going to be forgotten, Scorpius Malfoy! ’I hope Rose Weasley hexes you to oblivion while you try pathetically try to get her! Preferably with a Bat-Bogey hex!’ My glare was probably already drilling a hole on Scorpius’ face when Potter also spoke.
“Would you like to sit with us? Only Rose and Natalia are joining us, so we have a lot of space.”
That’s what I was talking - Albus Potter - always so immensely, yet distantly polite. He surely must have known I wouldn’t have enjoyed sitting with them and probably wouldn’t have liked it either since for all the years in the same school we had rarely talked, but offered it anyway. I did not enjoy such… empty and meaningless politeness. And no, no no. That was going to be a compartment made of hell for me. Potter, haughty Weasley, and a love-struck Scorpius. Even then, I swore that I could see some sparkling in his eyes at the mention of Rose’s name. Of course, that was complete crap, because you cannot really see emotions in people’s eyes, but he almost convinced me in the opposite. And worst of all – Natalia Byrne would be there too – Rose’s sort of best friend. Don’t ask me, I do not keep a detailed log of their lives. Extremely ambitious, though without Rose’s undeniable intelligence, she was also (strangely enough) one of Hogwarts’ most bubbly and friendly residents. How on Earth isn’t that annoying? I was always convinced that she was secretly some evil mastermind but years passed by and there was overwhelming evidence against my hypothesis. Well, you win some and you lose some.
I suddenly realised I must have spaced off and the two boys were waiting for a reply.
“No, thank you. I have to find my friends. Goodbye for now.” Eloquent as usual and eager to go away quickly, I slammed the compartment door a tad too enthusiastically and made off to find empty seats at the back of the train.
As I passed by the compartments, my thoughts drifted to my upcoming last year at Hogwarts. That definitely wasn’t my favourite thinking exercise, considering how terrified I was at the prospect of starting a life outside the comforting walls of the castle. How did they expect of me to already know what I was going to become? Some of my friends like the ever-ambitious Lorraine already had the answer to that question. She had already applied for an internship at the Daily Prophet with the clear thought of becoming its editor-in-chief one day. I could never understand how that girl aimed so boldly for the stars. Never stopping, never faltering, she became Slytherin prefect of our year, got as many O.W.L.S. as Rose Weasley and won numerous Ministry of Magic essay competitions. She was the epitome of the Slytherin ambition. Pippa, too, our doe-eyed dorm mate. You’ve never met a girl so obsessed with Quidditch as she was. Her deceivingly small frame hid some monstrous Quaffle-throwing skills and an iron-clad determination to get into a major league team after graduation.
And then there was me. Sigh. Maybe I could become a bounty hunter, after so much experience stalki… doing research on professor Berry I was bound to be qualified for it. I levitated my trunk to the rack above as I mentally cursed my friends for not arriving earlier and leaving me alone with my thoughts. Never a good idea. Minutes seemed to pass like hours when (finally!) my savior and best friend Chloe arrived followed shortly after by Laurie and Pippa. Cue lots of hugs and girl talk. And gossip of course. Stuffing our faces with various types of sweet things, we discussed at length the “biggest” news for our girl pack – Chloe’s latest break up with her on-and-off boyfriend – Slytherin’s chaser and serial dater Aidan Shaw. If what he did could be classified as dating in this universe anyway. I always felt a bit guilty bad-mouthing him (“That cheating jerk face!”) since he was my first friend from my childhood but I had to stand as a pillar for the much-debated girl friendship. Truth be told, it always surprised me why Chloe always went back to him after a while, but who knew – maybe this was what the thing called true love was all about. If it was true love indeed, I declare it unhealthy, illogical and frankly a bit moronic.
The last pack of Bertie Bott’s was almost finished when I noticed Pippa get that “I have some raunchy news to tell you” look at her face. Out of the four of us, she loved and thrived on gossip most. Laurie was always too busy to be so devoted to it, Chloe was rather the subject of gossip than the one spreading it and I was honestly too uninterested in people that weren’t me to care for it. But Pippa – oh how she loved it! She loved spreading it, finding it and most of all making it up for laughs and kicks. Ah, true Slytherin at heart that one.
“So girls,” she started, her blue eyes sparkling mischievously, “Guess what I accidentally heard while passing by the sixth year Gryffindor compartment.” I had no doubts that she heard it absolutely by chance, and not while snooping with extendable ears. Of course not.
Silence. You may think the friendly thing to do would have been to politely ask what she had heard but we could almost see her face becoming purple from not telling us what she learned. It was all too funny for us not to enjoy it.
“Ok, ok, I am telling you. I have two big announcements. Firstly, guess who are Hogwarts’ newest hot couple?”
The atmosphere in the compartment visibly shifted. It was always intriguing to find out whose names are going to annoy us incessantly throughout the future months (if they managed to stay together that long).
Chloe, who probably already imagined Aidan having a new conquest asked nervously and in glass-shattering high pitch. “WHO?”
Visibly happy that her gossip had caused such a turbulent reaction among us, Pippa threw us a satisfied smirk. “Gryffindor’s own Albus Potter and Natalia Byrne.”
It was my turn to turn up the volume in the compartment.
“WHAT THE BLEEPING HIPPOGRIFFS?” All eyes turned on me.
“Why are you so surprised Amelia, it’s not like you care.” Laurie brushed off an imaginary dust from her shoulder.
I admit my reaction may have been a bit over the top but for all the years at Hogwarts, we’ve rarely if at all heard Albus Potter, the boy wrapped inside a mystery, wrapped inside an enigma, wrapped inside a pumpkin pudding, to date anyone. To date cow face, on top of that.
“That’s it! I am just surprised. I thought Scorpius would have told me such big news.” That secretive twat. “If we had a school paper, I am sure it would have been the headline on the first page in giant bold letters. And probably a sickeningly sweet photo of them waving royally at the camera too. Bleh.”
“Well, never mind, it’s true,” quipped in Pippa. “Natalia apparently told Dominique Weasley and… you know, the rest is history.” Yep, part-Veelas are apparently not renowned for their secret-keeping ways.
“But how did that happen, it’s coming out of nowhere! I don’t like illogical plot developments around me!” I just couldn’t stop myself, could I?
Laurie eyed me suspiciously. “It’s not illogical at all, if you ask me. You know how it happens – he liked her “eyes” and she liked his last name.” Not to forget her legs that went all the way up to Avalon.
Uninterested in the current conversation, Chloe took out a nail polish from her bag. “I think they suit each other well. The Gryffindor cow… uhm beauty, and the star seeker of the school. It’s almost like from those awful cheesy romance novels. I hope they live boringly ever after. By the way, Laurie, you still haven’t told us the big news. Did you get Head Girl?”
I adore Chloe but sometimes I just want to hit her with a bludger. Not that I can. Unlike my talented cousin who is (in my unhumble opinion) the actual star seeker of the school, I, to put it bluntly, suck at Quidditch. It’s not the flying part per se, I do fly well, but I’ve got the hand-eye coordination of a dead rhinoceros. Thank Merlin I never even tried out for the team, otherwise the mortality rate of the Quidditch Cup would have put to shame the one of the Triwizard Tournament.
But never mind my non-existent Quidditch skills. If Laurie had gotten Head Girl, I doubt she’d be sitting with us now. She’d be looking much happier at least. And frankly, I think we all knew that Rose Weasley would be the new Head girl together with her cousin Potter so it was (expectedly) insensitive from Chloe to ask that question and rub it in.
Laurie frowned. “No, it’s not me. I don’t know who got it but I am pretty sure I hate them now.”
“It’s Rose Weasley of course. Who better be a Head girl than the all-knowing amazing and wonderful Rose?” I made a dramatic gesture with my arm. “And now, my lovely ladies, the Potter-Weasley clan rules over Hogwarts.”
“Well, if any of you actually bothered listening carefully to me, you’d remember I also had a second thing to tell you,” pouted Pippa. “And it’s actually connected to the first one in a way.”
Silence fell once again in our compartment and I felt a dark foreboding feeling wash over me. I gulped and whispered what I wished wasn’t true.
“Rose is not the Head Girl. It’s Natalia, right?”
It was Laurie’s turn to shriek out ‘WHAT?’ while Pippa gave a silent affirmative nod.
Oh holy sheep. Maybe Natalia was an evil mastermind after all.
A/N: I am a horrible person for not updating for so long. I promise next chapter will follow really really quick. Especially since the chessboard was set so to say in these two chapters and now it’s action time. ^_^
P.S. Reviews are always love. ^_^
Edit: I am so sorry for the delays. I've just been so so busy. But I've edited some small typos and errors in this chapter and after the queue reopens, you'll get the next one. ;) Happy holidays!