Chapter 3 : you walk and talk like youíre some new sensation
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A special thank-you goes to Daanana, for her very helpful reviews for this story that have made this story better. This chapter is for her.
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“What do you want, James,” Dom, who had stopped everything she was doing as soon as the door opened, asked.
James just shrugged, deciding to sit down and make himself quite comfortable. Which including his arm somehow managing to make it’s way around my shoulder. I gave a small scowl at that.
“Just thought I’d come and say hullo to my favorite cousin,” he replied with a smirk, “and her closest friends, of course.”
Of course, we all know the real reason he was there; he did this kind of stuff every chance he got. But I wasn’t going to let him win that easily.
“Oh, Congrats by the way,” James said to me, turning his head so his breath softly hit my ear, “on becoming Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. I reckon we’re the youngest captains in a while. Though, I heard McCoy –”
“James,” Dom said in a threatening tone, “Sarah’s not –”
“No, Dom,” I interjected, a sudden wave of bravery coming over me, “I can handle this myself.”
“And you,” I said, turning towards the dark haired boy, trying to ignore the fact that his smirking face was only centimeters away from my own, “Don’t think that just because I wasn’t picked first doesn’t mean I'm not good enough. At least it was my skills that got me the position, unlike some people that I know…”
Yeah, that’s right. Not only did I insult James Potter’s Quidditch ability, but, I used his family name against him. Wow, I even surprised myself with that one.
Now, don’t think that just because I said that, I'm super prejudiced against stuff like that, or something. Like I said earlier, the Weasley/Potter parents have to be some of the coolest people I know. But, I had heard stories of the war, and how the Weasleys/Potters were some of the most well known war heroes from that time. Of course, having only one wizard parent, I never grew up being totally immersed to from a very young age like some people, but I had heard stories from Dom, and some of the others, and a lot of people seemed to think that those last names were some of the most popular names in the wizarding world. And I knew, for the most part, that that bothered James to no end.
So yeah, even I was surprised when the words came out of my mouth. James looked as if his own sister hand come and slapped him across the face, his smirk replaced with a small, slightly opened, frown. Dom and Avril looked surprised as well, looking from me to James, and back to me, over and over again, eagerly waiting for something to happen.
But, still, he wouldn’t be the infamous James Potter if he didn’t always have to have the last say in everything. It only took a moment for him to gain his composure, plastering that goofy smile on his face yet again.
“Oooooh, been taking lessons on how to be a feisty one, have you, O’Connor?” He asked in a mock tone.
I rolled my eyes dramatically (Wow, Dom really has been rubbing off on me the past few summer months), and pushed his arm off of my shoulder.
“Yeah, yeah. And don’t flatter yourself with this, Potter,” I muttered, causally dropping his arm in his lap like a dirty sock.
“Oh, but Sarah, love,” he responded, placing his arm right back over my shoulder, ‘You and I both know you love it, deep, deep down.“
A cheeky smile played on his face. And I was surprised that the though of slapping him right across his sorry face had crossed my mind.
You see my banter has never been this witty when it came to James Potter in the past. I would usually just turn away, my pale cheeks turning a bright red, and I would just sit there with an angry look to my face. Usually Dom or Avril, sometimes Ari, and Minnie, when she cared to join us, would usually stick up for me, until James grew bored of me, and left. Of course, I would think of some nasty, usually un-clever, words, though most of the time, I would just keep them to myself.
Before I could voice my thoughts, however, the door opened again and a small group of rowdy Gryffindors – three boys, and one girl – came in, and I knew that this was when the real tormenting started.
This was James’s band of merry men, aka the bane of my existence. Frank Longbttom, Callen Stryker, and Fred and Roxanne Weasley; although considerably less annoying than James, they were the reason that James often did what he did. He needed fuel to power his ulta-big ego, and this was the exact group that would be more than willing to do just so, whenever he needed.
Frank Longbottom was the first to come in; he stood a good few inches taller then the rest of them, and had the trademark blonde hair that all Longbottom children seemed to have. However, unlike his sisters (did I mention he was a triplet, and one of his sisters was my best friend?), his hair seemed to fall straight, reaching about shoulder length. He was essentially James’s right hand.
The next person to come in – or, should I say, the next two people to come in were Fred & Roxanne Weasley, quietly whispering to each other. They were a few shades darker then the rest of the Weasley clan, which isn’t surprising because of their mother, Angelina. Of course, I instantly noted that Roxy had dyed her hair over the summer – a bright red, to match some of her cousins’ hair, for sure. But, other then that, Fred and Roxy were the only two that didn’t inherit any painstakingly obvious Weasley genes, though the instant you heard them talking, you would know exactly who they were related to.
Fred and Roxy were followed by Callen Stryker, aka my favorite one out of the five (which wasn’t saying much). And that was only because he was usually the most responsible of the five of them; he always made James stop before things got to far, and he was always pretty nice to me, whenever the others weren’t around. His light brown hair was sticking up in every direction, staying put because of the large amounts of the jell he used.
I remember the first time I met them all quite vividly; we were all roughly eleven years, old, and it was the first day of our first year. In fact, I probably hadn’t been in Hogwarts for more then a few hours when it happened. I was clearly excited over the fact of being sorted; I didn’t care that I wasn’t in the same house my father had been, just knowing that there was a place that taught magic was good enough for me. So, I was excitedly talking to Dom and Minnie, two other first years who had been sorted into Hufflepuff, and for some reason, decided that they wanted to sandwich me in between them during dinner, and not really paying attention to much else as we headed towards our new Common Rooms.
And that was when it hit me; I didn’t know where it had come from, but all of a sudden, a spell came hurtling towards me. Of course, I was in awe of it, just like everything else in Hogwarts, so I had little common sense at the time to get out of the way. So, it hit me squarely against the chest, causing me to go flying back and hit the castle wall.
I was already in tears at this point; curled up in a little heap on the floor, I covered my face with my robes, letting the tears fall for a second, before I got the nerve to get up off the floor. Except, once I got up, everyone gave a little gasp, and I frowned. Why were people staring? I quickly made my way towards a set of armor, using the reflexive surface to see my reflection. And what I saw in that reflection was terrifying. Instead of my long, wavy dirty blonde hair I was used to see on the top of my head, there was green hair that could only be described as looking like vomit. It was short, only reaching to about my ears, and it was just horrific. Another wave of tears flooded from my eyes, this time I used no effort to hide them from everyone else’s eyes. And you know what’s worse?
After the initial shock, everyone just laughed. I had never been more humiliated in my life, and though looking back on it, there probably would’ve been a million other things that could’ve been done that were worse, but for a little, quiet, shy eleven-year-old Hufflepuff student, it was pretty traumatizing.
Anyway, as the laughter filled my ears, and my face turned a bright red, I looked up, and saw James staring at me, with his eyes wide and a big grin on his face, laughing with the rest of them. I saw him giving a high five to a tanned boy next to him, whom I latter learned was Fred, and I just knew he was the one who must’ve cast the spell.
The next day, after my hair had gone back to normal, Dom had talked to James for me. He came up and tried to apologize, saying that it was meant to hit Dom, not me, but the damaged had been done. James knew my weak points, and has been using them against me since day one.
Of course, the pranks never ceased, only increasing in embarrassment. Second year, among other things, they had decided to enchanted my quills to go out on a rampage when I started using them, writing incorrect information on important essays, and saying silly things like ‘I piss my pants,’ and the like.
Third year, as I said earlier, was the year Dom & Avril were at war with James and his hooligans, so I was the butt end of to many particularly nasty jokes to remember. And last year … well, that’s a whole other story entirely.
And now this year… well, I certainly didn’t know what was going to happen, but I can imagine that it’ll have to do with Quidditch in some way, though I wasn’t going to let him get away with it…
“James, mate,” Frank said as they all came in, snapping me out of my trip down memory lane, “Where’ve you been? We’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
“Well, I’ve been here,” James said, “And you’ve found me. So, no need to send out a search party, then, right?”
“Sarah,” Frank greeted when he noticed me sitting there.
“Frank,” I replied.
I pleasantly nodded towards the others, who mumbled their own versions of hellos to me and the others.
For some reason, we (Avril, Dom, Minnie, and I) had found ourselves maneuvering around, so that the other four could sit down. After a while, there was a small silence between the nine of us, all cramped in the compartment. It wasn’t an awkward silence, but it certainly wasn’t comfortable either. There was a lot of easily noticeable tension between us all, but we had all gotten used to it by now.
Before any more words could be exchanged, the train lurched forwards again. We were almost to Hogwarts.
“Well, as fun as this is,” I abruptly said, standing up rather quickly, “I'm sorry to tell you guys this, but you have to leave. We have to get into our uniforms.”
James smirked at me, while the others sat there, frozen in place. Yeah, I'm not one to normal instigate things. They were surprised.
“Get,” I said, snapping them all out of their thoughts, motioning them to move with my hands. James was the only one who didn’t get up, and start heading out the door.
“Are you sure you want us to leave, O’Connor?”
I smacked him on the arm for that.
“Get,” I hissed. He just laughed, though he got up and followed the others out.
As soon as he was out, I quickly ran up to the door, putting a locking charm on the door so there wouldn’t be any other interruption. I turned around, finding Dom brushing her fingers through her hair, staring up at the ceiling, Avirl was aimlessly going through her purse, and Minnie’s nose was still in her book.
“Yeah, a lot of help you lot were,” I spat out towards my three friends. It wasn’t until then that I noticed that I was angry, like I wanted to throw a book at someone’s head.
“Hm…?” Minnie said, finally looking up from her book. I rolled my eyes yet again as she gave me a curious look.
“You didn’t really need our help, though,” Avril said with a huge smile, as she seemed to find what she was looking for in her purse, “You sure told them off all on your own.”
“Yeah, did you see their faces,” Dom asked with a similar smile on her face, “who knew our little Sarah-kins was growing up!”
It did feel good. I mean, as good as being angry with the prat who’s been making your life hell for the past four years can feel. But, it was empowering. I thought it would’ve been a lot harder to stand up to Potter and his friends like that, but it wasn’t hard, really, once I started going. I wish I had found this sudden spurt of bravery before. I felt like I could take on a lot more then just James Potter and his friends.
“We’ve got to get our school uniforms on, girls,” I said, remembering why I had kicked the unruly group of Gryffindors out of the compartment, “we’ll be reaching the Hogwarts station any moment, now.”
The girls nodded silently, and then we all went to get our robes out of our respective trunks. I pulled my outfit with ease, although I had to do a bit of digging when it came to the awful black flats I had been dreading about all summer.
Quietly, the four of us got dressed into our school uniforms, occasionally saying a few words about one part of the uniform or another. Soon enough, the four of us were looking in a rather large mirror that Dom had conjured up. Dom, Avril, and Minnie were putting on make-up, though I had opted out of doing that; just a quick dab of some cover-up, and a little mascara had always done the trick for me, and I wasn’t going to stop that tradition any time soon.
“Come on, Sarah,” Dom said while fixing the eyeliner on one of her eyes, “Don’t you want to look good for Briscoe?”
A small blush crept onto my face; Briscoe Wood had been my boyfriend for a total of nine and a half months; he asked me out right after we got back from Winter Break last year, and we’ve been going strong ever since. Though I hardly got to see him during the summer break; his father had decided to take him and his sister to some extensive Quidditch training. So, I was extremely excited to see my boyfriend, and they all knew it, too.
“I think I look perfectly fine.”
At least as fine as I could look in these horrid school uniforms. In my opinion, the school uniforms were just a drag, in general. I mean, it was bad enough we had to wear stuffy black robes during the day (which was right hot during the summer season), but we also had to wear these thick cardigans and the color was a horrid gray that made me want to stab my eyes out sometimes, just so I wouldn’t have to look at it.
I spent the next few minutes listening to Dom give me make-up advice (Things like ‘Bronze is a good color for you; it brings out the high lights in your hair,’ and ‘Try wearing a bit of lip-stick, it attracts boys to your face.’), before I looked out the window, and saw the all familiar station coming up on our right.
I un-charmed the door, and quickly slid it open, revealing the busy corridor. I grabbed my trunk, and with the other three, I made my way towards the closest exit, excitement for the year coursing through my veins.
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