Not just any owl, mind you, but a cute brown owl. It had an unusual name; Snickers. He had been named after a Muggle candy bar, one that its owner thought was absolutely delicious. Now, this owl had no idea that the letter attached to its leg was one that would bring devastating news. In fact, the owl thought it was being mighty helpful. After all, Snickers didn’t have a lot of work to do.
So Snickers flew into the Great Hall the next morning, swooping down to sit on Kara Queen’s shoulder. He held his leg out so that Kara could take the letter off before accepting a piece of toast that James Potter offered him. After the letter had been untied, he spread his wings and flew towards the Owlery.
Immediately after taking the letter, Kara frowned, the handwriting familiar. Her mother only wrote to her when something was wrong or when she wanted something from her daughter.
James continued complaining about Professor Sinatra and how it was rather bothersome to go to the Astronomy Tower at midnight. He enjoyed his sleep and wanted everyone to know that.
But he suddenly fell silent when he noticed that Kara wasn’t giving any sarcastic comments. In fact, she was as silent as a mouse. “You ok?”
No, she wasn’t. . It was only the first week of October and Kara was receiving a letter. Sure, it could be a delayed birthday card since her birthday was last week, but she highly doubted it. Usually she didn’t receive a letter until the middle of January, February at the latest.
“Yeah, I’ll see you in Herbology later,” she said distractedly before getting up and making her way out of the Great Hall, her hands gripping the letter tightly.
James glanced at Michelle, who watched her friend with worried eyes. “Is it something I said?”
Michelle shook her head. “No, it’s her mother.”
And for some reason, James understood. Kara didn’t talk about her family at all, but James had crashed enough of the family gatherings to understand that they did not get along. All he had to do was remember the last party at the end of the summer he had snuck into with Scorpius; Melissa had not greeted him with warmth. Granted, a lot of ex-Death Eaters was at the party, but she didn’t even try.
He was about to stand when Michelle shook her head and stood up before making her way out of the Great Hall. This wasn’t something James, the one with the perfect home life, could handle. The only thing that was bad about James’s life was that his father was famous, and even that wasn’t that bad. His mother wasn’t a serial bride and his father wasn’t a deadbeat.
Michelle turned and found Kara sitting on a bench, looking at the unopened note. “Want to talk about it?” the blond asked.
Kara shook her head. “She’s probably just writing to me to tell me how I’m such a bloody disappointment. She probably got a letter about me throwing stink bombs at first years again.”
“Want me to read it to check for negatives?” Michelle offered. Kara shrugged and handed her friend the letter, who promptly skimmed it quickly. She handed the letter back. “It only says one thing that you should be concerned about.”
“Your father’s back.”
Kara blinked. “What?”
Michelle nodded. “He came looking for you on your birthday apparently, and your mother wants to warn you that he’ll be staying Hogsmead. She used rather rude and vulgar words to describe your father. Oh, I think she mentioned the stink bombs, but she mainly was bashing your father.”
Kara’s face hardened and she took the letter out of Michelle’s hand. Without saying a word, she turned and started her way towards the dormitory, knowing that the only way to compose herself was to skive off classes for the day and lie in her bed.
James came out of the Great Hall and watched his best friend wander down the hall before turning towards the blond. “What happened?”
“Her deadbeat father is back and wants to be in her life.”
Kara looked out the window during Charms class, her mind wandering. The letter was still in the bottom of her school bag, but she didn’t even bother reading the details. Her mother was most likely complaining about her ex-husband and how Kara should associate herself with that man, but she couldn’t help but wonder about him.
Jason was everything Melissa wasn’t, or so Kara had been told. He was tall, dark and handsome and actually cared about people. Why he had left his only child, well, Kara had no idea. Honestly, it probably had something to do with her mother more than anything else.
Her eyes glanced away from the window and down to her piece of parchment that was empty except for the date October 5th. Or, well, she had thought it had been empty. Now, instead of a blank piece, there were enchanted figures flying around on broomsticks, a couple of them hitting the edge of the paper and a couple hitting each other. She let out a soft chuckle before looking at the tall, dark and handsome next to her.
James knew how to make her feel better. He just did. There had never really been a way for him to know, he just did. When she was upset, he knew whether to leave her alone or not.
A burst of butterflies erupted in her stomach suddenly, and Kara returned her gaze to the window. That had been happening more often than not, and it was rather bothersome. James was her best friend and completely immature. Granted, she was just as immature, but that didn’t mean she was looking for a man just as immature.
Her attention returned to the parchment, which now had I don’t know a thing about Merlin’s pants, but I’d love to get into yours written below the cartoon. Kara busted out laughing before attracting the attention of the Professor.
“Ms. Queen, is something amusing?” Professor Picoult asked his voice stern. Kara tried saying no but just started laughing harder, her face turning red. James chuckled next to her.
“Detention tonight, Ms. Queen.”
That shut Kara right up. “But Professor; we have a Quidditch match against Slytherin tonight. I can’t!”
Picoult just smiled evilly. “Either perform the detention during the match or I can double it for the weekend.”
Kara starred at the professor, her mouth wide open. Every student in the classroom was looking at her. How in bloody hell was this fair? The answer was that it wasn’t, but considering Picoult was the Slytherin Head, she had no say.
Blasted ended skank.
“Double is fine, professor,” Kara said, glaring at the professor from her desk. James gapped at her. Obviously, today was not the best day for his best friend.
The rest of the day was filled with snarky and rude comments. One first year had the audacity, or stupidity, to tell the brunette that she must have her snarky pants on. Of course, this poor first year was soon sent to the hospital wing for a broken nose. No one said anything else about her attitude, and James was sure to have a bag of chocolate in his back pocket. She was probably PMSing at the same time, which would be just his luck.
Once it hit three o’clock, Kara sprinted to the Quidditch locker rooms and changed into her maroon robes, knowing that she was going to take all of her aggravation out on the Slytherin team. Fred clapped her on her shoulder when they were about to go out, whispering words of encouragement. She glanced at Aaron, who had been seen spending more time with Rachel O’Riley, and he smiled in return. They were in a mutual relationship, making James happy; the last thing he wanted was for his two chasers to hate each other.
The group exited onto the field and was surrounded by the cheering of students and professors. Kara got to her spot on the field and watched as James and Slytherin Captian Felicia Nosewaver shook hands, hoping that the handshaking would intimidate the other.
It didn’t work.
When the whistle blew, she kicked off the ground and flew right into the first phase of dominance. James threw her the Quaffle and she threw it to Aaron who zoomed around Noseweaver, Dorsey and Dawlish before scoring on the keeper. All the houses but Slytherin cheered.
If Gryffindor won this game, they would be in first place. James had reminded the team that he had never won a Quidditch House Cup and this would be the year, even if he had to kill someone for it. After all, it was his seventh year.
“DO THE GOLDFISH!” Kara screeched at James and Aaron before swerving out of the way from an oncoming Bluddger.
It had to be one of the most bloody and dangerous games Kara had seen and participated in. Most of the time, a bloody nose was a rarity, but not today. One of the Gryffindor Beaters broke an arm and the Slytherin Keeper broke a rib and fractured a rib. Kara was covered in bruises and her whole body felt sore as she flew around, throwing the Quaffle around likes no problem.
It was when she heard the crowd cheering that she realized that maybe the Snitch was in sight. She threw the Quaffle at James and turned, just in time to see Al Potter grasp the Snitch in his hand.
Oh thank Merlin.
James grabbed his younger brother, when on the ground, and hugged him tight, random words leaving his mouth. Kara placed a kiss on the younger Potter’s cheek and pronounced to the group that there better be a party tonight for Al’s brilliant snatch.
No one disagreed and the party was to start at eight.
“I brought all the food up a little while ago, Jamesy, so all you need to get is the firewhiskey hidden under your bed.”
“I don’t have any firewhiskey under my bed!”
Kara looked at her best friend in disbelieve.
“It’s in my sock draw. I’ll grab it now, though. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” She let out a snort before levitating food onto a table. James came storming down the stairs with a dozen or so bottles of whiskey, one of them already uncorked. He placed the uncorked bottles onto a table and brought the opened one towards his best friend. She took the bottle and took a long healthy sip out of it before passing it to her friend, already feeling the fuzziness surrounding her mind.
This was what she needed, she realized, as the party started up. She needed something strong to drink, something that would make her forget what was going on with her mother and father. God, he just knew the best timing. Kara listened to her mother, and Melissa often said that Jason only came around when he wanted or needed something. The brunette hoped that wasn’t the case that maybe he really wanted to get to know his daughter, but she wasn’t quite sure. While she hated her mother, she knew her mother wanted to protect her only daughter. It wasn’t Melissa’s fault that she was a rotten daughter.
Kara giggled when she noticed that someone had fallen over and she glanced at Rose, who was talking to Scorpius. Such a cute couple, even if they weren’t dating yet. Kara knew, or hoped, they would eventually.
“Woah, Kar, lay off the firewhiskey,” Michelle mumbled as she sat down next to her friend. She removed the bottle that Kara hadn’t even noticed she was drinking out of. “The smell is all over you.”
“That’s alright,” Kara responded, leaning her head against her best friend’s shoulder. “A little never killed anyone.”
Michelle sighed and stood up, placing the bottle on a table. “Call if you need me. You’re too drunk to have a conversation with.”
Kara giggled and nodded. Too drunk. She was not too drunk if she could remember everything from earlier in the day. She needed to have a little bit more to drink. She grabbed the bottle that Michelle had placed away and took another sip. How this bottle had gotten into her possession, she had no idea. Maybe James had never taken the bottle away. Maybe he knew this was exactly what she wanted.
Oddly enough, he always knew what she wanted or needed. He was always there for her. Her eyes found his lean and fit body within seconds and her face turned red when she saw what he was doing. James Sirius Potter was seducing a sixth year girl. Already.
No. Kara would not sit here and ponder and mope about what he was doing. She didn’t even like him. She stood up and stumbled towards where he was and tapped him on the shoulder. James turned and was about to say something but Kara grabbed his hand.
James looked at her and the sixth year that was flushed. He had been in this predicament many times before, but never had Kara intervened before. Granted, she looked tipsy or drunk, but that had to mean something.
“Never thought you would ask.”
And she dragged him onto the dance floor, her hands wrapped around his neck and her body grinding against his. Their lips were so close to meeting, and she let out a very un-Kara giggle.
They danced and danced and danced. No words were spoken, but laughter was exchanged between the two. The alcohol the two had drunken earlier was seeping through their system, and soon enough, they were the last two in the common room.
The music was off, but that didn’t stop Kara from resting her head on his chest and relaxing into his grip. Michelle was right; it was impossible for a girl and boy to be best friends. She couldn’t hold back her urges too much longer.
The two stopped swaying and he rested his forehead against hers, her sweet smell intoxicating him. James knew that if he kissed her, things would change. There would be no going back, no way for him to pretend that this hadn’t happened. She meant too much to him, and he knew that.
So when their lips met in the middle, he knew it was perfect. And suddenly, he needed more. He pressed her against the wall, his hands untucking her top and her hands were unbuttoning his shirt. Something was digging into her back, the sound of snoring from the dorms was too loud, but the two could care less.
Everything was perfect.
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