Chapter 1 : This is the Start of My Story
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Ahmazing banner by shudder @ tda (of course)
Disclaimer: I own everything you don't recognise. The rest belongs to JK and whoever else I may make a reference to.
Author's Note: I've had an idea for this story going on my head for a while now and I've finally put pen to paper (: .. :D So .. I've always wanted to write a story about someone who's in James and Freddie's year instead of Albus and Rose's, so this is my attempt. It's a bit different to my usual and a bit of a sad one :( - but I hope you enjoy.
This is the Start of My Story:
So, as I start this story that shall examine the peculiar, morose and unpleasant life of the very sarcastic, blunt and typical Amorette LeMaine, I wonder, at what part shall I start my story?
Dramas would usually start at the most peaceful stage of one's life. A time when everyone is rational and acting sane and then drama would blossom, people would change and others would search how to stop it.
A romance would start at the time of change. Movement to a new place, a meeting with a new person or the breaking up of an old one. A romance would start at a time where a romance could begin.
A comedy would start smack-bang in the middle of everything. Relationships would be half bloomed, arguments establishing and friendships strong.
But what if the story I'm telling is neither of these? What if my story is a mixture of heartbreak, pain and ultimately, death? What if my story is a tragedy?
Of these places, which do I start mine? Do I start with the day after my first Quidditch match? Do I start from the day I came to Hogwarts? Or do I start in the middle of sixth year, when escaping from drama was the only thing you could focus on or you'd be pulled right into the middle of it?
Even as I ask myself these questions, I know where I should start my story, because if anything, my story is not a comedy and only a little bit of a drama, so I'm left with a splash of vivid romance, that in turn is the only happiness that could be brought from a tale such as this.
Still, where do I start? The day I moved from Beuxbatons to Hogwarts? The day I broke up with my first and last boyfriend? The day we first kissed?
No. I'll start on a very ordinary Summer's day, as I stand in my Maman's shop, manning the counter.
Working in Quality Quidditch Supplies occupies most of my time during the Summer holidays. It's a morbid affair, filled with sweaty days and longing for ice cream from the parlour directly in the window's view. Most of the customers are either old, rotund males lost in the memories of their glory days when Quidditch was everything or young first-years, eager to get their first brooms to try out for their house team. On occasion you would get the sexy, toned, Professional Quidditch player who would knock your breath away, when they asked for the price of something, but those were often stolen quickly by Bianca, who favoured herself to be the supplier of all the wealthy and popular Quidditch players. It didn't help that our inherited Veela blood ran thicker through her veins than mine.
Of course, it was one of those days. The Quidditch World Cup Final was coming up and as it was being held in England coaches from each team had become regular customers. Bianca, of course, had almost become friends with each one and at night she would find a reason to come into my room and debate whose friendship with her was stronger and who would be less disappointed if she supported the other team. It was all a bit of a brag to her and I knew it. But being me, I put up with her continuous bragging, I knew she needed something that had a leverage above me. She tried to hide the fact she was jealous of the grades I managed without even trying, but I could see right through my younger sister.
In turn I gave her the famous Quidditch players and the captains and I got the sweaty old men and annoying first-years who remembered your name and face all throughout the Summer and into their year at Hogwarts. So, that day, while she chatted with the Bulgarian coach, Viktor Krum and flirted shamelessly with the somewhat older man, I stood at the counter, sweating under the blinding sun, mouth watering at the children eating ice creams under the shades set up by the parlour. My foot tapped at the ground impatiently and I paid no attention to the three wandering customers browsing through our many different varieties of Quidditch supplies. My mind was focused solely on the ticking of the simple, gold clock on the opposite wall.
I had seven minutes until my twenty minute break and I was determined to make the most of those twenty minutes, even if that included paying off my sister so that she wouldn't tell my parents that I had bunked working for a few minutes. Time is precious. Of course I didn't understand the full extent of that statement for a long time.
“Excuse me, Miss?”
Those were the words that pulled me out of my reverie. I looked up only to find bright sunlight obscuring my vision. A few glances around, though, and I managed to find the dark shadows that were clearly talking to me. I stepped around the counter and made my way towards them, being cautious of the abundance of items sticking out from their shelves.
I passed a dumbstruck, balding man who was staring open mouthed at Viktor Krum. One hand was halfway towards a box of broom plucker's and the other held the book, Quidditch Through the Ages. The corner of his mouth held a shameless drop of drool and I couldn't help but feel a little disgusted.
Nevertheless I scooted around his awestruck figure and smiled at the tall, round-faced woman. She smiled back awkwardly and instantly I was relieved. Tough buyers were always the easiest to spot in a room. They stood themselves staunchly and waited for you to come to them. They made themselves look uninterested and waited for you to sell it to them, then try and convince them with a lower price. But mostly, the difficult buyers never smiled.
Along with inheriting the traditional blonde Veela hair and charm, Bianca also inherited the Delacour social skills. She had a knack of charming her way into people's good books and becoming best friends with someone within a matter of hours. Bianca also inherited the business skills. Maybe it was the slightly too short skirts or the perfected French tinge of an accent that I had never attained. Whatever it was, somehow, Bianca was always the seller, I however, was nothing of the sort. And as the woman in front of me looked far too nervous and friendly to be any sort of haggler, my mood was slightly elated. Though not too much, as one look at the clock told me I still had seven minutes until my break.
How is it that only seconds pass and yet it still feels like minutes?
I forced a warm smile at the woman, noticing that a surly, awkward boy was standing behind her looking absolutely uninterested. I recognised him as a student at Hogwarts. A Hufflepuff no doubt, as I could vaguely remember seeing him wearing bright yellow robes during a Quidditch match. He couldn't be older than a fifth-year and as I saw him looking at Bianca anxiously and putting some distance between himself and his mother, it was confirmed. Definitely a fifth-year.
“Hello,” I said in my best business-y tone. “How can I help you?”
She seemed a little shocked about something in my voice. I passed it off without a second thought.
“Er, I was wondering which Broomstick Cleaning Kit you would recommend?” she replied, awkwardly.
She held out two very similar brands and words my maman had drilled into me at a young age came to my head. Never choose a product over another. It was always: state the qualities of each of the type and let them decide. I was never one to obey the rules set out by my maman, though and I wasn't going to start now, so instead of telling her the different properties of each product, I went out and told her the truth.
“Honestly, I'd choose this one,” I said, pointing to the one in her right hand. “I think it gives off a better shine and the other kit runs out a lot quicker.”
“So …” she said nervously, fiddling with the two boxes. I had honestly, chosen the more expensive item and I wouldn't have been surprised if she thought I was all for the profit. So much for not following the rules. I interrupted her before she could speak again.
“I mean, obviously this one is the more expensive product and while the other one is cheaper, the oil is thicker on the wood and I honestly think Halswell's Broomstick Cleaning Kit gives off a smoother and shinier finish. It does, however take longer to apply.” I gave her a not-so-reassuring smile and somehow she seemed reassured.
Behind me the doorbell jingled and a few sets of feet could be heard entering.
“Should I go with Halswell's then?” she asked, unsure.
I abhorred it when people asked me questions like that.
“It's completely up to you.” I paused, waiting to see if she had a word to put in. If she did, she didn't bother saying it. “Is there anything else you need? Or can I go back to the counter now?”
I was awfully blunt when it came to awkwardly leaving someone and I think she realized. She gave a quick nod as a, go ahead, and before I turned I took another look at the clock.
Six more minutes until my lunch break.
I spun on my heel only to find three more figures in the shop, each of them standing in front of the desk. One of them was tapping his foot while another one ran his fingers through his hair. The drooling man had moved himself closer to Viktor Krum and now seemed like he was desperately trying to eavesdrop on their conversation. Bianca had a perfectly manicured hand on Mr. Krum's toned arm, every few seconds he glanced at it anxiously, too rude to shake it off. At least he knew where to draw the line.
I turned back to the three dark figures in front of me. From behind all of their hair looked extremely similar. Each one had the same shaggy, just-got-out-of-bed look, especially the one with the raven hair that had auburn highlights in the sun. The one with red hair had slightly longer locks, while the blonde one was probably what would happen if you put the two styles together. I stopped in my tracks as I realized who he was.
“Louis?” I asked to the blonde-haired shadow in the middle of the other unfamiliar ones. He turned and the other two followed suit. I noticed the faces of fellow Gryffindor's, James Potter and Freddie Weasley, but I only had eyes for my favourite cousin and I barely noticed their presence. “Louis!”
“Hey Rette,” he said, using my strange and deeply thought-out nickname that everyone called me. He pulled me in for an awkward hug and I tried not to feel a little uncomfortable, it didn't really work. He pulled me out of the hug and looked me up and down. “Stop growing.” was his comment.
“I'm not the one who's six-feet tall,” I said, getting behind the counter to serve the woman who had asked about Broomstick Cleaning Kit's, she had gone with the less expensive one. So much for wanting my opinion. “That'll be fifteen Galleons and three Sickles.”
She handed the money over silently and the boy behind her burned red at the other three's silence. No one said a word and even though it was in the least bit uncomfortable for me, I could almost feel the awkwardness emitting off the three boys. Finally they were gone. I glanced up at the clock.
A minute had passed since my last glance.
I turned back to Louis. Even though I deeply favourited Louis from all my other cousins, I knew I wasn't his favourite, with all those amazing Weasley's to compete with, how would I ever have had a chance? Because Louis was a Weasley, someone who was accepted into society without a second thought and even though I was related to one, it was without a doubt that it was a by a good distance.
“So, what brings you here?” I asked, leaning my hip against the counter. The other two were discussing Quidditch. Not surprising, it really was all you heard about when your parents owned Quality Quidditch Supplies.
“I was coming to see Tante Gabrielle, actually,” he said, leaning against the counter too.
“Not me?” I pouted.
“No, not you,” he said, trying to sound disgusted, but failing. He finished with a smirk. “Is she up?”
“Well she's either up or out the back,” I explained, “unless she escaped out of the window or got out while I was dozing on the counter.”
“What are the odds of that?” he asked, sarcastically.
“Which one?” I asked, pretending I couldn't understand his sarcasm. “Escaping out the window or sleeping on the counter? Because I'd like to bet high on this counter. What with all this, comfortable wooden surface” I ran my fingers along the dark wood. “and this plush, soft sofa.” I pointed at the hard-backed, neglected chair that was never used. It did look rather lonely sitting in the corner, covered in a layer of dust that had been collecting since the start of the Summer. But honestly, you only sat on that chair if you liked the feeling of a numb arse, which, surprisingly no one did.
“The window, Rette,” he said, exasperated but playing along. Did he have a problem with my deep running sarcasm? It may have been the lowest form of wit, but I used it to the highest degree. I could've given lessons on sarcasm if I felt like it.
“Well, that depends on how likely it is that Harry Potter walked down Diagon Alley the same time Maman was looking out the window.” I said, confidently. “Because I'm sure that if she saw him she would want to take the quickest route to get by his side.” I swore I heard James' teeth grit at his fathers name.
Louis snorted, unattractively. “Considering Uncle Harry's in Peru at the moment, I have a feeling the odds would be quite low.”
“Oh, yes,” I said, with unwanted formality. “That would probably make her more likely to fly out the window, considering she's been so far away from him, for such a long time.”
It was no secret my, very married and in the least bit single, maman had a little crush on her sister's husband's sister's husband and the only person that was oblivious to it was luckily my father and Mr. Potter, himself. To the rest of the family, however, it was blatantly obvious and something Bianca and I despised, but found rather funny at the same time.
Louis laughed and looked over his shoulder at the pair of deeply intrigued teenage boys. They were obviously arguing, Freddie was holding one book in each of his hands, trying to convince James which was better, while James interrupted.
“Coming?” Louis shot over his shoulder. They both looked up and mumbled something at Louis. I certainly didn't understand what they said and by the look of it, neither did Louis. He shrugged, gave a quick smile and ducked around the counter. He was gone in seconds.
I looked back up at the clock.
Four minutes until my break started.
I gazed back over to Bianca and the coach of the Bulgarian Quidditch team, Viktor Krum. It seemed James looked over at the same time, because there was an excited exclaim of “Viktor!” and the coach turned around and beamed at him. Bianca blushed, but looked pleasantly excited about the famous company around her. She smiled, showing off her pearly, white teeth and unconsciously adjusting her top lower. I rolled my eyes and turned away, only to find a Weasley in front of my face.
“Yes?” I said as an automatic response.
Hey! I worked in a Quidditch shop, what else did you do when someone came up to the counter and looked you straight in the eye, demanding some unknown notion.
“You know your Quidditch, don't you?”
A bit of a pointless question, but …
“Of course,” I said, tapping my fingers on the desk. “I kind of have to.”
“Can you play?”
“Fairly well.” I answered. It felt like he was giving me a round of twenty questions. The next thing I knew, he would be asking me whether I fancied him and my knee-jerk reaction would be throwing my reputation as an emotionless bitch to the winds. Unfortunately I had no such reputation, as I was too much of a nobody to get one. Not that I was complaining.
“And yet you don't play for the Gryffindor team?” he raised one eyebrow.
“I don't play that well, Fred.”
It felt foreign calling him, Fred. He had always been Freddie and nothing else, but for the past year we had drifted apart, somewhat. It's what happens when your closest guy friend finds out you've been crushing on him for three years and doesn't feel the same way. It was for the best, really. James and him had been fighting on and off for three months and it all stopped when our friendship dwindled. It also gave me a reason to remember my two friends who I had forgotten about during our friendship. The three of us were never the same though, and halfway through the holidays I had had absolutely no contact from the other two and I wasn't bothered. I had changed a lot and I knew it, they just didn't particularly like it.
“Well,” he pondered something. “Considering you are distantly related to a Weasley, you are technically allowed to attend the traditional Weasley Quidditch Games.”
I raised my eyebrows, while he pondered some more, with a dent between his eyebrows. The traditional … what? Weasley Quidditch Games? Did I hear right? Was there such thing as the Weasley Quidditch Games? I didn't have time to ask.
“Yeah, so … you guys can come …” he mumbled a little.
I was pretty sure he expected an answer, but I didn't have one. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. I stood there, staring at him, slightly dumbstruck. Did he think he was making sense?
“Um, what?” I asked, not exactly sure what to do.
“Oh, yeah, sorry,” he said, almost coming back to reality in a way. “We have this annual Weasley gathering thing each Summer and since you're practically related, you can come. Plus we need another two players for the Quidditch team, so you and – Bianca can play. What do you think?”
“Bianca can't play Quidditch.” I replied quickly, obviously not sure what my answer should've been.
“She can still go,” he added, hesitantly.
It pained me to realize how awkward things had become between us. Once upon a time I would've turned up to his house one Summer's morning just because I felt like it. Now, we could barely ask the other to come around to a family get-together without being hesitant and unsure. It was all my fault and I knew that. But you couldn't help what you felt, right?
“Yeah, I guess we could go,” I said, trying to smile the way I used to around him, I'm pretty sure it failed. “Will there be adults there, too?”
“Yeah, it's like the whole Weasley family, but you're parents will probably be allowed to come.”
“No.” I said, too quick and he looked rather surprised at my answer. “I mean – my parents will probably be too … busy to come.”
He gave me a small, awkward smile. “Right. So, I'll see you and Bianca there. It's at James' house. Have you been there?”
Blunt. I know.
He pulled a piece of scrap parchment and an old quill off the counter. “It's on Saturday,” he said, while he wrote. “Everyone's arriving around twelve,” he handed me the piece of parchment “but feel free to come later, the games start around two and we'll need you then. See you there.”
With that he took off up the stairs after Louis, and James quickly followed. The whole affair had been awkward and formal. Too formal. I looked down at the parchment. It was the address to James' house. It was a start, maybe Fred and I would be friends again soon.
He didn't know my feelings for him were most likely long gone and I didn't plan to tell him.
Suddenly Viktor Krum was in front of me, his hands filled with varieties of different Quidditch products. Bianca had been ushered away by another customer. The look of distaste and annoyance on her face and the angry glares she threw at me because Viktor Krum wasn't buying from her, were enough to make me smirk evilly at her.
“That'll be …” I looked down at the pile of products and pulled out a paper bag. He sure had a collection of items. I smiled warmly and counted them up. “Seventy five Galleons, twelve Sickles and four Knuts. I'll knock off the Knuts, though.”
He smiled and Bianca came over, giving me a huge, fake smile. She tapped her hip against my slightly higher one and fluttered her eyelashes.
“Break time, Rette.” was her way of telling me to piss off because it was her duty to talk to Mr. Krum.
I looked up at the clock. It wasn't really my lunch break, it was two minutes away, but I took her suggestion as a promise not to tell our mental maman. I skipped away from the desk and pulled off my horrible badge, putting it in my pocket.
It was a relief to get outside of the dark Quidditch Supplies shop. It had been a surprisingly slow day for our maman's shop, but I was still exhausted to the max. I collapsed into a chair beside the ice cream parlour. Jake, the guy who worked the parlour came over with my usual and took the seat beside me.
“You're out early.” he commented while I took a huge, painful bite into my chocolatey ice cream.
“AMORETTE ESTELLE LEMAINE, EET EEZ TEN MINUTES UNTIL YOUR BREAK STARTS!”
I froze in my seat.
Way to make a scene, Maman.
I looked around at the frozen on-goers around the street and the angry blonde woman half-hanging out the window, my face slowly getting more and more scarlet. My gaze switched to the giant, antique clock that stood high above Diagon Alley. Turns out the old clock in the shop was ten minutes early. I turned back to my fuming maman and the slightly amused cousin in the background and sighed.
Welcome to my life.
Author's Note: So ... what do you think. It may be obvious, but I'm not exactly fantastic at introductions ... (: but all stories have to have one - unfortunately. So this is a bit out of my comfort zone .. my character is kind of based on a person I've been thinking about for a while and I'm trying to make her ... deep ... in a way. So give me a shout out on what you thought about it. I tried my best .. :D
Up Next: Introduction to a whole heap of characters, not many of them overly important.