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The whispers follow me wherever I go. I hate them, have always hated them. People think talking in whispers makes anything they say ok, but it really doesn’t. Especially not when they’re whispering so loud I can hear them across the Great Hall. “Do you think she knows?” I don’t even bother looking for whoever is whispering. I used to, but lately I just haven’t had the heart.
“How could she? Girls like her have got no brains.” Girls like me. They’re talking about my appearance. They’re always talking about my appearance. Well guess what? I hate the way I look. I wish I was like Teddy and could change myself with practically no effort. I’d look normal, still pretty, but a very bland pretty.
“That’s so awful, Vi!” She’s laughing and doesn’t really mean it, but now I know who’s talking. Kylie never does mean it. She hates me, though she’d never say as much to my face. Violet on the other hand, she’s told me a number of times. She caught me in a broom cupboard with her boyfriend last year. It didn’t matter to her that he fed me a love potion. Does she think I like coming to my senses with some random bloke’s hands all over me? That really cemented my reputation as a slut.
If I really cared I could sic my friends on them. Not that my friends think of me better than that. They’re so fake I think they’ve forgotten who they really are. Sad, isn’t it? Not that I’m any better. “Victoire!” A shrill squeal alerts me to the presence of one of them. It’s pretty pathetic when you can’t tell your friends’ voices apart.
I plaster a wide smile on my face and turn around. “Yvette! Hi!”
Yvette’s probably the second prettiest girl in the school, after me. With her long shiny brown hair and large green eyes, guys drool over her. When I’m not around. For that reason she hates me more than the rest of them and fakes it even more. “What happened to you this morning, girlie? We woke up and your bed was empty.” She helps herself to a piece of toast and picks at it. Yvette never eats more than absolutely necessary. She always gives the rest of us disgusted looks when we eat more than she thinks is acceptable. “Did you hear about Flora Schiller?”
Yvette’s already forgotten she asked me a question, just the way I like it. The good thing about my friends is that they care more about themselves and don’t notice if you hide anything. “No. What did she do this time?” Flora is a year above us in Hufflepuff and Yvette’s always telling me these horrible things about her. I’m sure half of them aren’t true, but no one really cares.
“She was totally hitting on Harrelson.” Harrelson is the new potions professor this year and he’s only three years out of school. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also quite attractive. I doubt it was Flora who was actually flirting with him. In all likelihood, Yvette’s probably just upset that Harrelson turned down her advances.
“Slag.” It’s easy to talk to Yvette because I always know what I’m supposed to add to the conversation and it isn’t much.
“I know, right? Do you think we should report her to McGonagall? I mean, she could totally get in trouble if things ever went further with Harrelson.” Yvette nibbles on her toast silently for a moment, before conjuring up a look of fake concern. “I mean, if their relationship went further, they could both get into deep trouble and we wouldn’t want that, would we?”
I shake my head, although I know Yvette’s more concerned with Flora’s reputation than her wellbeing. “Course not.”
She wrinkles her nose at me. “Will your veela blood really burn all those calories?” I nod just like I do every time she asks the question which is at least weekly. All of my friends are obsessed with my veela blood. Frankly, I wish I didn’t have it. “Ew alert. Lupin’s headed your way.”
This surprises me. Teddy doesn’t like Yvette at all and generally ignores her. Yvette likes Teddy even less. He’s not the hottest guy in school and she can’t understand why. Teddy just doesn’t care about those things. Usually he only uses his abilities for specific occasions and leaves his hair plain brown and curly most of the time. “Hey Vic.”
Yvette groans, but I ignore her. “Hi.” My voice isn’t as excited as it was when I greeted Yvette because Teddy doesn’t require enthusiasm with every syllable I speak.
“You sound thrilled. Bad day already?” I glance at Yvette and shake my head. She wouldn’t understand. To her, any day as the most beautiful girl in school must be a perfect one. “Well I got a letter from Harry saying Lily showed her first sign of magic yesterday.”
“Shocker,” I say sarcastically and Yvette shoots me a little grin. Teddy only scowls. It isn’t very cool to be involved in your family, but Teddy’s very big on it. Both his parents and his grandfather were killed in the war so he’s been raised by his grandmother and Harry.
“She’s your cousin, shouldn’t you care a little more?” Teddy’s still scowling at me and I inwardly cringe. He’s so sincere all the time it makes me feel incredibly guilty. He’s also the only person in my family who still likes me.
Yvette finally steps in. I’m surprised she kept her mouth shut for this long. “Victoire’s barely even seen the girl. Don’t expect her to care about something minor that happened in Lila’s life.” She knows Lily’s name, she’s just pushing Teddy’s buttons. And she always knows exactly the right ones to push.
“It’s Lily.” Teddy looks really angry now.
“Whatever wolf boy.” This time Teddy’s face starts turning red and even I glare at Yvette. I can’t believe she called him that! He’s really sensitive about his father being a werewolf and his own wolfish tendencies during the full moon. That’s about the meanest thing you can say to him.
For a moment he just stares at her, getting his anger under control. When he does speak his voice is a low monotone. “Ten points from Gryffindor for harassing a fellow student. And a detention this Thursday with Professor Fletchly.” He gives me a hard look before adding, “I suggest you choose better friends Vic. Yours seem to be lacking a few key qualities.”
“Prat,” Yvette says the second he walks away. “I don’t know why you spend time with him. Or let him call you Vic! It totally sounds like a guy’s name.” Everyone used to call me Vic before she told me it was a guy’s name. Now it’s just Teddy. “Besides he’s such a goody goody. No wonder McGonagall made him Head Boy. I wonder if he even knows how to have fun.”
I doubt Yvette would consider anything Teddy does ‘fun’. At least not by her standards. “Yeah, totally.”
“I can’t believe he really thought you would care about your cousin. She’s only like, five.” Lily turned seven a few weeks ago, but I just nod along.
“Hi Victoire!” Kylie’s excited voice cuts into our conversation. “One of the Slytherin girls was talking bad about you. I thought you might want to do something about.” There are probably a dozen girls in here talking crap about me, including Kylie herself.
“If you think I care about some slimy Slytherins, you’ve really underestimated me. I’m much more interested in the conversation you were just having with Violet.” I give her my biggest fake smile and already she’s shaking in her boots.
For a moment I want to tell her I avoid heard everything she and Violet said, but I let that idea drop. That wouldn’t turn out well in the long run. I don’t want to piss her off as well as her friend. “You and Violet always seem to have such a good time and I was sitting all alone. You should have joined me.”
The color races back into her face. “Oh, sorry. We didn’t mean to leave you sitting alone. That was- er thoughtless of us.”
She stands there for a moment too long, blushing slightly. I think she knows I heard, but it’s ok since I didn’t call her out on it. Maybe she’ll change her opinion and start thinking I’m nice. And maybe I’ll start looking normal and Teddy will be my best friend and Dom will respect me instead of black mailing me. She was the one born to be popular, but I’m the one with all the veela looks. I’d give anything to have her normal blond hair with Dad’s amber eyes instead of looking perfect.
Anything. “Goodbye Kylie,” Yvette says pointedly. Kylie practically falls over herself trying to get away from our seats. “Poor girl. You’ve almost got to feel bad for the dumb and ugly ones. At least we’re gorgeous.”
“I think class is starting in a few minutes. Where are Meghan and Terra?” It’s nice to have a bit of a buffer for me and Yvette. It gives her someone else to talk to instead of focusing everything on me.
“Hung over. They were smashed last night, idiots. You missed a great party.” All our parties are the same, so I doubt I missed anything. It starts out with loud music in the common room, a lot of grinding, then all the girls getting drunk and snogging blokes. It ends with puking and a massive hangover.
“They’re skipping potions this morning. They’d rather have the detention even if it means missing out on our sexy teacher’s face.” Yvette winks and stands up, most of the toast still on her plate. “Aren’t you going to ask what Michael did at the party?”
Oh crap, I had hoped she’d forgotten about that because I really don’t want to talk about Michael. There’s something going on with him lately. Part of me wants to know what it is, but mostly I’d rather stay in the dark. “What’d he do?” Since she so obviously wanted me to ask.
“Sat in the corner moping all night.” Yeah, right. Yvette may be my friend, but we lie to each other about anything and everything. If Michael sat in the corner moping all night then I will be incredibly shocked. He’s not a horrible guy, but he’s also not one to get caught up in sadness. If he was having a bad time, he’d just leave and go to bed. “Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard?”
“So sweet! I’ve really got the perfect boyfriend, haven’t I?” Teddy doesn’t like Michael either. He says Michael’s a player, but I think it’s because Michael’s a seventh year, too old for me. Michael’s great, though. I’ve been with him for four months now and he’s not perfect, but definitely not a jerk like other guys.
A bell suddenly rings and I drop my books in shock. Instantly, two little fourth year boys run over and pick them up for me. “C’mon, we’ll be late for Harrelson. I do not want another detention.”
The boys are still staring at me, awestruck. “Er, thanks.” Their faces turn red and Yvette grabs my hand impatiently.
“Don’t thank them! They’re insignificant little twerps. We expect them to pick up our books.” Yvette struts down the nearly empty corridors and hurry along behind.
When we finally reach the potions room, the instructions are already on the board and Harrelson frowns at us. “Miss Torey, Miss Weasley, how nice of you to join us. You don’t happen to have a note on hand, do you?”
Yvette smiles easily. “Sorry, no note Asher. Oops, I mean Professor Harrelson.” She giggles and touches him on the arm gently. It’s so disgusting. Sure, he’s attractive and everything, but he’s a professor.
“I won’t be able to let you girls off for this. How does five points each sound?” It isn’t like that’s really a choice. What happens if we say no? “Just try not to make a habit of it, alright?”
“Of course, sir.”
“Good, now sit down.”
We start pulling out ingredients for our potion and Yvette elbows me, giggling loudly. “Did you see that? He couldn’t bear to give me detention. If I wanted, I could be snogging him tonight.” Yvette may talk big, but she’d never do anything with a teacher. That’s not her style. She just wants the whole world to be in love with her.
Too bad for her I’m the one with veela blood.
I tune out her ranting, only adding the occasional “totally” or “mhmm”. Potions is my favorite class because it’s so simple. Unlike charms or defense that require brains and thought, in potions all I have to do is follow the directions. Potions is the only class I’m actually good at because being brainless helps. Thinking only gets you into trouble.
“How did you get it so clear?” Yvette’s potion has a green tinge to it, like green glass. She must have missed one of the steps, but I can’t tell which one. I can follow the directions of potion making, but not the part that takes intelligence.
To the table on our right, Michelle Atkins is sniggering at me. I can tell it’s at me because she keeps whispering to her friend and saying my name. Yvette either doesn’t hear or doesn’t care. Atkins scribbles something down on a note and tosses it to me. “Who’s that from?” Yvette grabs it and scans it quickly. “That bitch!” I read the note over her shoulder. It’s short, only a sentence long, but that sentence could mean anything in the world.
Watch your back- and your friends.
A/N: Here's the first chappie of my new fic! The next chapter won't be out for a while because I want to get a banner and a beta before I do, but then I'll start posting as fast as I can get them validated!
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