Chapter 7 : Maybe It's Not My Weekend, But it's Gonna be My Year
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Manage me, I'm a mess
Turn a page, I'm a book half unread
. . .
Maybe it's not my weekend, but it's gonna be my year
- All Time Low
Unfortunately, after a while, infuriating Al became less funny and more of a pain in my arse.
So, knowing that Seamus was into me, I was a little more willing to hang out with my brother. He never seemed to have a problem with his ‘baby sister’ tagging along, especially if I brought Catherine. What he did mind was Seamus and I flirting.
It took him a while, but he eventually caught on to the lingering looks and the ‘accidental’ touches. He also seemed to realize that I was hanging around more often, not because he was my big brother and I idolized him, but because I thought his friend was good looking.
Seamus and I were able to ignore most of Al’s moans and whines as we flirted and became better friends, until one day, Al took it just a tad too far.
It was just a week or so after class started. Seamus had been consistently flirting with me and I was hoping that he might ask me to the first Hogsmeade if things kept going in the direction they currently were: fantastic. Really, lately I found myself daydreaming about Seamus and in general, the only thing I daydreamed about were super fun adventures. One night we were sitting on the sofa in the common room when –
“Woah, there, leave room for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!” He seemed to literally appear out of thin air. I mean, we were at Hogwarts, so it was entirely possible, but I tended to think that Al wasn’t that smart. More likely was that he just snuck up on us, ready to cause trouble and butt in where he didn't belong.
He jumped up and smushed himself between us.
“So what you mean to tell us,” I began, annoyed, “is that you’re not only God, but Jesus and a ghost as well?”
“Yeah, you know it,” Al said, in the douchiest way possible.
I rolled my eyes and tried to push him a way be it seemed as though he had glued himself to the damn sofa. Or maybe he was just too big now for me to move myself.
"You know what? Fine. I give up; I've got to get some work done anyway." I sent a nasty look Al’s way and got up to get my books. If this had been the first instance, I would have laughed it off, but I just couldn't take Al treating me like a five year old anymore, not that he had the grounds to do so anyway.
Now, if him jumping between Seamus and I had been the extent of his torture, I would ignored it and moved on, continued my budding relationship with Seamus and gone on with my happy little life. However, what happened next just proved to me that it would be a long, hard road and most likely not worth the outcome.
In Al’s defense, I think he thought that I was far enough away that his next words wouldn’t reach my ears. But I wasn’t. “Seamus, man, seriously, come on. Lupin’s still a fucking little girl. She hasn’t even kissed a bloke yet. Do you really want that do deal with? . . . Do you really want me to deal with?”
“Al, this thing with Lupin is harmless. I think she’s cute, I like her. I wouldn’t hurt her if that’s what you’re worried about,” Seamus assured him.
At this point I had stopped in my tracks to listen. I hadn’t turned back around just yet; I was waiting for the perfect moment to strike. “Look, I know you don’t really like her. Well, that’s not true. But you ‘like’ anyone that’s mildly attractive. Go for someone in our grade, go for Cat; go for a First year for all I care! Just not my baby sister!”
I figured this was a good time to make my presence known. "Aldan Black, you are the most hateful person in the entire world. I hope that when you finally mature enough to have a decent relationship with someone, some annoying, nosy idiot follows you around and treats you like you're five, when you're perfectly capable of making your own decisions."
I saw Seamus’ cheeks turn pink and startled; even Al had the sense to look abashed that I’d heard him. I grabbed my bag and was just about to turn around when I said, "And it's not like you even have any decent right to butt in like this. You're not Dad for Merlin's sake. In fact, you're the last person in the world who should be telling me what to do, you vile heap of dung." I spat.
After throwing a hateful look at my brother I turned and really did leave this time. He was just so infuriating that I couldn’t handle it. It wasn’t even like he was the perfect older sibling who corrected everyone else. In fact, I was the perfect one. Will was a sort of a nutter and Al was every parents’ nightmare.
But me? I was fourteen and never even had a boyfriend because I hadn’t found the right one yet; I had O’s and E’s in every single class and I got along with my parents ninety-nine percent of the time. Honestly, they couldn’t ask for a better, more mature, reasonable child; yet Al saw fit to butt into my business on a daily business because he thought that he knew better.
I stormed up to my dormitory and picked up a handful of my books just to slam them to the floor, one by one.
“Angry much?” Maranda, one of my dorm mates, asked.
But before I could respond, Sabrina popped her head out of the bathroom door to inquire about the commotion. “Hey, who’s making all that noise?” Her eyes locked on me. “Ah, Lupin, I should have known,” she laughed.
Besides Catherine, they were my closest friends here. We shared a dorm, so we had definitely grown close. We were in all the same classes, sat at the same table, and spent countless night up together whether we were gossiping about boys or struggling over terrible, terrible assignments.
“Yes! Angry very much!” Knowing that someone would wake up and trip in the morning I picked my books up and piled them next to my bead again. “That spawn of the devil that is masquerading as my brother has gone and intruded where he doesn’t belong, again.”
I flopped angrily onto my bed, scrunching up my legs to my chest and folding my arms over them tightly. I was pretty much a human pretzel. Then Sabrina came out of the bathroom and coaxed me out of my pastry shape, encouraging me to tell the whole story. I huffed loudly and sprawled on my bed, ready to begin the epic tale of how Aldan Black ruined my night and possibly the rest of my life.
"Okay, so you guys obviously know what's been going on with me and Seamus, considering that's all I've been talking out since we got back to school." They all nodded. Both Sabrina and Maranda were sitting on my bed with me, leaning against the posts.
"Well, today Al took his attempts to sabotage my relationship with him- before it even started, might I add- just too damn far." And so began the (not even exaggerated) story.
There was much comforting and agreeing that Aldan Black was a complete arse. Sabrina offered me her best chocolate and Maranda offered to punch Al in the face. I declined both offers.
Although, a minute later I recanted and accepted the offer of chocolate. Seriously, who turns down chocolate?
By the end of the night, I decided that it would be better for everyone if Seamus and I broke it off before it went to far and Al pushed us off the Astronomy Tower or something. 'Cause that would be bad. Sabrina made a joke about Seamus and I being able to be together after the push, but I gave her look and I think she quickly realized it was too soon for jokes.
And so the next morning I met up with Seamus outside the Common Room before we headed to breakfast. “Look, Seamus. I can’t take Al and his ridiculous nonsense. I think it’s best if we just give him what he wants. Sure, I’d be letting him win, but it would be a lot more peaceful for the both of us,” I said plainly as we began to walk to the Great Hall.
Seamus nodded. "I guess you're right, Lupin." He shrugged resignedly, but then a devious smirk spread across his face. "Although… I have to admit it was kind of fun watching Al squirm with all our flirting. I think I'll miss that."
I laughed loudly and wholly agreed, nudging him in the shoulder. "I guess we'll just have to find other ways to make him nutty. Have you ever given much thought to dating Cat?" We walked, laughing, to the Great Hall.
But just because I was no longer trying to get with Seamus, didn't mean that I had to stop hanging out with them; I'd grown quite fond of their company over those past few weeks and continued to hang out with them almost everyday. That's what made me want to try out for the Quidditch team, actually. Seamus, Dean and Aldan were planning on continuing on like past years, and heartily encouraged me to try out.
I was planning on trying out for Chaser - the only Quidditch position I was good at. Being tall and awkward, Seeker was not for me, and not having very good aim, nor was Beater. Keeper was definitely out; I was a little jumpy, and there was a one-hundred percent chance that I would be playing dodgeball with the Quaffle instead of trying to stop it from going through the hoop. I could definitely chase a flying ball though. In fact, I was damn good at it.
Unfortunately, I soon realized that if I were try out and make it, Harry would have to cut someone who had already been a devoted member of the team; so obviously, the chances of me landing the spot were slim to nothing. I didn't think I could take that sort of rejection.
The rain pounded onto the windowpanes in the library, where Catherine and I were huddled on the couches by the fire, both of our noses buried in books.
It was a rainy Saturday in late September and we could barely see out of the windows; it was so rainy. I was sure that the lake was going to flood, with all the rain. Most students were in their common rooms, which caused the irritability and grouchiness to spread as fast as the plague in a crowded room with no windows. Cat and I had decided it would be better to head to the library where it was quiet and we could get something done.
It was silent except for the occasional scraping of chairs against the floor or the scuffle of parchment being rolled or unrolled. I loved being in the library on these kind of days, when I didn't want to be outside anyway and it felt like I was tucked away in a cozy tree house or something, and could just relax completely. I stretched my warm, socked feet out and nuzzled them a bit under Cat's legs; she shifted a bit to make room.
She clearly didn’t realize that I was trying to steal her body heat. Or, perhaps she did and just didn’t want to share.
I was doing some reading for History of Magic. I’d had a lapse of attention in the last class, partially because I’d eaten too much chocolate and couldn’t focus, and partially because Professor Binns was dead awful.
I was actually getting into it, and kept my nose buried in my book.
The Global Wizarding came to a close in 1945, when famed wizard Albus Dumbledore made a final stand against Gellert Grindewald. At the close of the battle, Dumbledore took Grindwald’s wand and sent him to Nurmenguard, which Grindewald had used on his own personal enemies during his reign.
I continued reading as the textbook went more into detail about the battle, occasionally glancing over at Cat who was studying for Potions, one of her best subjects. It fit her really; Potions was all precise measuring and careful counting. Myself . . . well, I was less of a fan of the horrible excuse for a class.
As it was nearing noon, a group of people that I had never seen before burst into the library and ran up to the couch. Well, okay, that was a lie. The group of people was Dean, Seamus and Al, and I knew them very well. But I did not want to admit that while Madam Pince was fuming only metres away.
Cat and I turned our heads to look at the approaching boys. "Oh, how nice to see you," Cat said sarcastically, closing her book with a huff and sitting up. She knew too well that if Al, Dean and Seamus were storming into the library that only meant one thing: they were up to something.
"Hey, peeps," Aldan said.
Peeps? Who the hell says peeps?
My brother was a strange individual.
He flopped down on the couch between us, grinning. Seamus took the chair next to Catherine, and stretched his long legs onto the sofa by her head, grinning. She shoved them off without another look, and laughed smugly. Dean took the chair right next to the fire, closed his eyes, and relaxed in the warmth.
"Guess who has come up with the best idea to spend this gloomy and terribly boring day?" Al looked to us eagerly and doesn't let us answer. "I have of course! We are going to sneak out of Hogwarts and head to Hogsmeade to have some actual fun." He looked at our books disapprovingly, raising an eyebrow.
"Aldan! We can't sneak out!" Cat whispers sharply, looking around to see if anyone is listening. "That's the stupidest idea ever. You're going to get caught and just end up with months and months worth of detentions. You're leaving the grounds unsupervised," she said, scandalized.
I was pretty hesitant too. As much as I loved Hogsmeade, sneaking out in broad daylight was just plain stupid.
"Oh don't be such a goody-two-shoes, Cat, it's not that big of a deal,” Aldan said cockily to Catherine. “We'll be back before dinner and won’t get caught because we can take a secret passageway. I know Lupin has found a few, though I haven't had the time to look."
Well, I knew that it wasn't so much that he hasn't had the time, but that he was too lazy, and was always in detention. But he wasn't lying about me knowing where some of the passageways were. I had only found a few, but knew there were probably several that I had not yet discovered. One of them did conveniently lead to the Honeydukes cellar.
"Aw, come on Cat, it'll be so fun! No one will be there so we'll get to go wherever we want. Couldn't you go for a nice, hot Butterbear right now?" Seamus urged an apprehensive looking Catherine. But she was stubborn and shook her head.
Aldan turned to me and smirked. "Come on, let's go! Show us where the passageway is and we can spend the day and be back by dinner, let's go."
I stalled for a second, weighing the options in my head. On one hand, I knew that if we got caught it would mean detention for a long time. Not to mention, I was perfectly happy sitting here, reading, relaxing and spending an easy Saturday with Cat. There would be some wizard’s chess and cocoa too, probably.
But on the other hand, the thought of a warm Butterbeer and fresh fudge from Honeydukes was more than tempting.
Dean piped in. "Yeah, come on, Lupin! It'll be a great time. I have to stop at Zonko’s and we all know how much you like Zonko’s . . .” He grinned at me, his white teeth gleaming in contrast with his dark skin. "Let's get out of here. Besides, you need to come . . . You’re the only one who knows the secret passageways."
And then they were all looking at me with big, puppy dog eyes. Well, save for Cat, who had figuratively glued herself to the sofa, and wouldn’t likely be getting up until dinner.
"Fine. I'll go," I huffed resignedly and shut my book.
Aldan jumped up and shouted, "YES!"
Madame Pince suddenly appeared around the corner and gave him a very frightening look.
"Let's get out of here." Even Cat agreed to get up and leave; Madam Pince could probably scare Dumbledore out of the library with her bat-like figure and scary, shrieking voice.
"So, which way, little sis?" Aldan asked, clasping his hands in front of him and spinning on his heel. I looked at him with raised eyebrows and just continued on. He was unusually chipper. It was annoying.
I led them up flights of stairs and once or twice we had to stop and hide from Peeves. He was singing a well – edited, explicit version of the Hogwarts song. A charming fellow, that one was.
Just as we were about to round the corner we ran into three sixth years. Specifically, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
“Oh- er, hi,” Harry said awkwardly. Clearly he was very uncomfortable. Al and him had an awkward past. When we were younger, Al made it very known that he hated Harry. As we got older he managed to tone it down, realizing he looked like an idiot. But in more recent years, Al had hopped back onto the anti-Harry Potter train; our Dad had taken a special interest in Harry and Al felt neglected.
I wish I could knock some sense into Al . . . Of course Dad would take an interest in his dead best friend’s kid. Especially when Harry had no one else. Dad was sort of a surrogate father to Harry, now.
Al nodded moodily towards Harry and his friends. What a catty little boy. I mean, would it seriously kill him to say one word to them?
“Well, er, we’ve got to be going-”
“You stole my Dad!” Al cried, cutting Hermione’s quiet voice off.
Oh, dear Godric Gryffindor. Why have you let this happen?
“Al, let’s go.” Dean pulled at his shoulder and cast an apologetic glance towards Harry.
“Seriously! It’s not fair! I’ve worked for his affection my entire life and you got it in an hour!”
I was literally dying of embarrassment.
“Al, you haven’t worked for anything a day in your life. Now, calm down and let’s go. You’re embarrassing us all.”
And it was true. Catherine had literally just turned and begun to walk away.
Seamus grabbed the arm that Dean hadn’t already taken a hold of and dragged their crazy, lunatic friend away. His cries of, "Fuck you, Potter! Fuck you and your ugly hair!" could be heard getting quieter as he was pulled farther and farther away.
“We’re really sorry about this,” I said, and called Catherine back to come with us. She ignored me and continued to pretend she didn’t associate with us.
In fact, it wasn’t until about 5 minutes after we reached the One-Eyed Witch statue that Catherine finally caught up with us. When she did, she only had one thing to say. “You, sir, are an idiot.”
"There's no way I'm going. If you lot want to get detentions every day for the rest of the year, fine, but I'm not going to join you." She folded her arms over her chest and bore her eyes into me. I knew she wanted me to stay with her, but I really liked hanging out with the boys and I really wanted some Butterbeer and Honeydukes chocolate. As much as I wished Cat would just get over it and come, I knew she wouldn't.
It was silent for a few awkward seconds, while Cat tapped her foot and I burned a hole in the floor; I was staring so hard. Finally, Seamus- bless him- piped in.
"You know what? I don't really think I'm up for the trip. Cat, do you mind if I hang back with you? We could just go to the library and catch up on our homework." He flashed her a very charming smile and she begrudgingly agreed.
"That sounds great Seamus. I'd love to stay in the castle and hang around like normal people!" She stomped away and Seamus was quick to follow her with a bit of a scared look in our direction.
As soon as they were out of earshot, we burst out laughing.
"Oh, man, she’s hilarious,” Dean said, still laughing.
“A fucking riot,” Al agreed.
I nodded. "You have no idea." I straightened up and looked at the statue, tapped my wand at the hump on the witch and said, "Dissendium.”
The humpback on the witch slid back to reveal a small passageway.
"Cool," Aldan marveled, then headed in first. I rolled my eyes and motioned for Dean to follow him. I heard the statue slide close behind me and then it was completely dark.
We walked in silence for a few minutes, each of us concentrating on getting to the end of the tunnel and out of this claustrophobic nightmare.
"Fuck!" Al swore in front of me, and I heard a sharp smack that was his thick skull against the statue.
"Watch it, Black!” Dean yelled after he stumbled into my brother. Clearly, we were at the end of the passage.
I sighed loudly and stopped walking. "Lumos," I whispered, and the tip of my wand cast a dim, glowing light in the passageway. I could see Al and Dean hunched over like I was; we were a fairly tall group.
"Now why hadn't I thought of that?" Aldan wondered aloud. At this point, both of them had lit their wands as well.
As we continued on, I whispered under my breath, "Because you’re too damn stupid. Honestly, where would you be without me?"
After what seemed like hours (but was probably only twenty minutes) we finally reached the Honeydukes cellar.
"Oi! I think we hit the jackpot!"
What are we looking for, Al? Gold?
We all climbed up the ladder quietly, until we reached a floorboard that lifted up to reveal the back of the store. No one appeared to be there so we clambered up the ladder and into the cellar. It smelled faintly like the sweet heaven that was Honeydukes chocolate, but mostly it smelled like dust.
Dean went to peak around the bend and then motioned for us to come. However, I grabbed their arms and held them back. I mean, how suspicious would it look if three kids just popped into the store out of nowhere? Very suspicious, methinks.
"We can't just sneak in all at once, you dolts, we have to go one at a time and linger for a bit to distract the shop keeper."
I heard Aldan sigh loudly behind me and I whipped my head around to glare at him. He just raised a brow at me. Apparently he didn’t find me very intimidating.
Dean walked casually into the store and pretended to be looking very closely at some Fizzing Wizzbees. Then he turned to the storekeeper and struck up a very serious conversation with him, completely distracting and allowing Al to walk in undetected.
As soon as Dean gave the signal (three taps on his left foot and I circular motion with his thumb) Al quietly climbed the stairs and quietly slid into the shop.
“’Scuse me, sir,” Al said, completely butting into the conversation. “Are those cockroach clusters made with real cockroaches?”
I couldn’t decide whether it was Al’s idea of a distraction, or if he was really rude enough to interrupt someone’s conversation like that. I decided not to give him the benefit of the doubt.
However, a distraction was a distraction, whether it was purposeful or borne out of stupidity.
I popped into the store and began browsing. In the end, I left with some Pumpkin Pasties (I was a pumpkin fanatic) and some fudge for Cat, who had been particularly grumpy the past few days and needed some cheering up.
Aldan, Dean and I hurried along the cobble street towards Three Broomsticks. It was still raining and we needed to take cover. Luckily, we didn’t run into teachers once we got inside; I’d worried that we might.
After we settled into a booth in the cozy pub. Madame Rosmerta came over and took our order - three Butterbeers and a slice of pumpkin pie to share.
"No way! I want my own!" Aldan protested, and so it was. Al gobbled down his like someone was going to pop out from under the damn table and steal it from him. Dean and I shared a piece of pie that tasted fabulous, if I do say so myself.
“You know, Rosmerta really is the coolest. I can’t imagine how many students come here when she knows they’re not supposed, and she’s never said a word. She’s wonderful,” I declared. There was a consensus among my companions.
We stayed for a while longer, but when the rain started letting up, we knew we must move on, for there were more things to accomplish that day. Just as we were about to leave, we spotted a familiar face coming in the doorway.
"Poo! It’s McGonagall! We have to hide in the loo, or something." Immediately we all jumped up after throwing money down on the table and moved towards the loo as discreetly as possible. We weren’t excellent at it, but considering that we were who we were, I believe we were pretty inconspicuous.
We huddled around the door and watched as Professors McGonagall, Flitwick and Sprout took seats in the exact same booth we had been sitting in moments before.
I turned back to Dean and Al, scowling. "Well, this is just great! Now we're stuck here and can't leave until they do!" I jerked my head in the direction of the pub. “Who knows how long that'll take? Oh, Merlin, we'll be stuck in here all damn day!" I slid down the fall, upset, and collapsed into a heap on the floor. I hoped it was clean enough to be collapsed on.
I could feel Al and Dean's eyes on me and they didn't even attempt to hold in their quizzical stares. I tended to go to pieces under stress. They really should have known that by now.
Al leaned against the wall, looking perfectly at ease. Damn him. Damn him and his not caring if he gets in trouble! “Lupin, are you magical, or not? Seriously, you’re ridiculous.”
He pulled out his wand and expanded the window so that it reached all the way to the ground and widened just enough to let us get through. We swung it open and leapt out into the side alley before anyone could get into the bathroom. With a flick of his wand, Al had righted the window.
I stared in amazement. The same boy who couldn’t even magic himself a sandwich had just contorted brick and glass, then set it right. I couldn’t even begin to get it through my head. I could only stare.
“What?” he said, defensively. “I know some things.”
After the debacle I was just eager to get back to the common room and pretend like I’d never left the castle. Al and Dean took pity on me and did their Zonko’s shopping quickly. Luckily for my psyche, the trip back to the castle was much less eventful than our visit to Three Broomsticks.
When we got back, we found Cat and Seamus sitting close on the couch, laughing.
“Well, it certainly looks like you two had fun,” Dean remarked.
Seamus nodded and Cat did too. “I’ve actually got some work to do,” Cat said, after we’d all settled down to talk. She got up and left without further fanfare.
I sighed. “I suppose I should get something done, too. I was supposed to. Got a little distracted by terrible ideas of Hogsmeade.” I glared pointedly at my brother and his friends before smiling to let them know I was totally joking, and heading off after Cat. (Obviously I had to have a quick chat with her before I started working.)
I dragged out of the common room – I found walking to be a lot more difficult when I was going somewhere unpleasant and homework was very unpleasant.
“So, did you have fun today?” I asked Cat, when I finally caught up with her at the top of the staircase.
“No, why are you asking me that?” Cat angrily said.
“Oh, um, I was just wondering. You seemed to be laughing a lot.” I was taken aback by Cat’s slightly hostile response.
“Well I wasn’t! I don’t understand why you can’t just not stick your nose into my business!”
I couldn’t do anything but stand with my mouth open. “Okay, mad, mad person. When Cat inhabits your body again just tell her she can talk about whatever it is that’s bothering her.”
Rolling my eyes, I turned around and headed back to my dorm to study. Upon arriving there, I picked up my textbook and began to read about Summoning charms. Sometimes, all the people around me were just mad as fuck.
Hard as I tried, I just couldn't concentrate on charms. My mind wouldn't let me be: my crazy brothers, my successful parents, my more outgoing (and, in some instances, more crazy) friends. Sometimes, I felt as if I got caught up in it all, shoved to the middle of the pack and eclipsed by their vibrancy.
I suppose the root of my thoughts lay in Al and Cat. It really didn't bother me that Cat and Seamus seamed to be getting on well. Honestly, it didn't. What did bother me was that Seamus and I had been driven apart by my overbearing brother, and my luckier-than-me best friend was now practically with him.
But that was it. It was the last time that I'd let anyone put me in my place. I mean, unless I wanted to be in my place. And even then, it would be on my own terms!
"Yeah!" I cried.
"Can I help you, crazy?" Maranda asked from her bed.
"Only by making sure I am in control of my life! Me and no one else!"
Maranda kept the look that clearly said, 'I think you're mad,' but she agreed.
No longer distracted by glum thoughts, but empowered by the thought of telling Al off, I still couldn't study.
Tomorrow, I decided. And I fell asleep to happy fantasies of taking over the world.
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