“Aloha cuz, what’re you doing here?” Jet says to Scorpius as he pushes in front of me in to the hallway.
“Jet! Piper!” Scorp gives us these massive hugs and then leans in to us.
“Rose and I are dating! It’s been a month, I’m just visiting her,” he smiles, and I know that if his skin was prone to blushing, he would be blushing right now. N’aw Scorpy.
“What?! Awesome!” Jet says hi fiving him.
“That’s really cool Scorp,” I beam. I’ve known he’s liked her for ages, even if he didn’t tell me. Well, he didn’t really have the chance, seeing as I haven’t seen him all summer and he was a little distracted last year with the whole nearly-killing-Fred thing. He could have written though…
“Yeah, I know. Go on then, your friends are upstairs. I’ll meet you up there.”
I drop my bags and run upstairs, this time beating my twin brother, elbowing him in the face for good measure. Don’t get me wrong, I love him and everything and we hardly ever argue, but someone like Jet needs a decent push in the right direction as to who’s in charge. Me. I’m twelve minutes older and therefore twelve minutes wiser. I know what’s good for him.
A massive ginger head, topped with flowers and sequins pops out of a door just across from the landing.
“Lily!” I squeal.
“Piper. We need to talk.” I get in return.
Okay… so that wasn’t what I was expecting.
She opens the door and lets me in. I’m faced with flowers and glitter and bright colours exploding from Lily’s room. Lily’s idol is Luna Lovegood, owner of the Quibbler and a family friend. I think everyone can see that Luna's awesome, if a little eccentric. Lily has taken hold of the eccentric and multiplied it by numerous degrees. Even in her Hogwarts uniform, you will never see her without a felt flower or dodgy hat on. She’s even gone and replicated the radish earrings her uncle Ron told us that Luna wore when she was our age.
“So, you know Jet’s here.” She says solemnly.
“No shit Lily.”
Lily doesn’t like swearing. She says it ruins her mellow.
“Jet’s here which means Hugo’s here –“
“Why don’t you call him Peachy, Lily? Everyone else does. Even HE calls himself Peachy.”
“His name’s Hugo. Not... Peachy.” She spits.
Hugo is a disgusting name. I think everyone agrees. So we were trying to think of a nickname for him in second or third year, when everyone starts caring about what everyone else thinks. And we couldn’t come up with anything but Hug, or Huge… they were all stupid and pretty much confidence stabbing, until Louis (as a joke at first) was like “How about Peachy-Keen? To emphasise the way you feel about your studies,”
We all started laughing until Hugo said “I like it, Peachy. I want to be called Peachy from now on.”
We had a baptism type thing in the boy’s dormitory and everything. Now I think about it, Peachy’s a more stupid name than Hugo, but he’s had it for four years now so he’s stuck with it.
Lily carries on. “As I was saying, Hugo’s here which means Lorcan’s here which-”
My eyes nearly pop out of my face. “Lorcan’s here?!” I squeak. I dive for my makeup bag out of my overnight bag, packed for three weeks and for school. I’m staying at the Potter’s (Jet’s staying at Peachy’s down the street) while mum and Aunt Astoria are away doing something for Greengrass Enterprises in Russia. To be honest, I’m not sure what Greengrass Enterprises actually sell… it’s something like shoes or perfume. Something girly.
“Stop interrupting me Piper!” Lily pinches me. The mascara I was using pokes me really hard in the eye.
I have never felt this much pain.
“OW. FUCK.” My eye waters, I look in the mirror and see the black and grey streaked down my face.
“You should really sort that out, love,” the mirror tells me drearily.
“Well done, Sherlock.” I mumble.
“See, this is why I don’t wear make-up.” Lily mutters, pulling out some tissue from the box on her bedside table.
“You don’t wear make-up because you don’t need it, Lily.”
“And neither do you.” She says simply.
I roll my eyes.
“Anyway,” she carries on brightly, “Lorcan’s here, which also means…” her tone drops slightly, “um… Louis is here.”
Louis. The only one out of the four Gryffindor Sixth Years who I despise with all my being. Well, not ALL my being, I mean, he’s pretty hilarious and fun to hang out with. Maybe a third of my being. I might even push it to a quarter. Anyways, there’s a bit of him that I don’t like. And that bit would be the arrogant bit. The bit that thinks he can just go around flirting and asking people out all the time, even while still going out with someone. That someone used to be me. Stupid bit.
“Sorry I didn’t warn you earlier,” Lily sighs.
“Ugh, never mind, that wouldn’t have changed anything. I’d still be staying round here. And he’ll be staying at his house. So it’s cool, when he’s being a knob I can stay out of his way.”
Lily looks at me, frowning slightly.
“Well, the reason Louis’ here is because his passport ran out… so he didn’t go to France with his family…they still went though. So like, he’s kinda staying here with Hugo…?” Lily gives me this nervous smile.
Peachy lives in the same street as Lily.
Which means Louis lives in the same street as me.
Jet and Louis and me together.
Jet and I get on really well. However Jet turns in to the exact replica of Louis when they’re together. So because Louis is an arrogant prick, Jet’s an arrogant prick. And seeing as I hate arrogant pricks, when I’M around them, I want to get an axe and go all Nearly-Headless-Nick on their arses. It does tend to put a strain on mine and Jet’s relationship.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. Just talk to Jet. And remember you’ll have me here. I’ll keep an eye on things too.” Lily says soothingly.
I nod, relaxed a bit by Lily’s words, and say “I need to unpack my stuff.”
“Need any help?” Someone opens the door and ducks his head round the corner.
“Peeeeachy!” I jump over my suitcase to hug him. “How’ve you been?”
“I’ve been good, mate. Um, you know Louis is here?” He bites his lip nervously. Wow, everyone seems to get pretty nervous when they mention Louis in front of me.
“I’ve heard.” I notice Peachy breathes out slightly in relief at the fact that he wasn’t the first messenger.
“What’re you going to do?” he asks.
I have two options. I can either carry on being a total bitch to Louis (as much as I hate to admit it, SOMETIMES I’m in the wrong, and am just being spiteful. The majority of the time, he’s the one being a douche though.) OR I can act nice and civil, making everyone around me feel less uncomfortable and awkward.
“I’ll be nice,” I say grudgingly.
“Thank Merlin.” Lily groans.
“Coming upstairs? We’re all going to James’ room.”
“Awesome,” I grin.
James and I have a weird relationship. Like, he was a total dick to my cousin Scorp for years until it all came to a head last year and everyone said sorry for doing whatever they did. It’s still a bit weird between the older ones and Scorpius, but James has always liked me and we’ve always been friends. He’s like a member of my family – ish. He takes care of me anyway. It’s why I could never take sides in the whole James against Scorpius thing. With Molly and Fred however, I was definitely on Scorp’s side. Molly’s a bitch and Fred’s up himself. Or they used to be. I don’t know about now. We’ll see I guess.
I go in to James Attic Room and a mass of people are spread around there. Like, literally twenty people. James is lounging on his bed, reading what looks like a Quidditch magazine, Fred and Molly are sitting on the sofa near the window (waiting for their NEWT results, no doubt) and Al, Scorp and Rose are playing exploding snap with Dominique, who graduated from Hogwarts last year. Lily goes and joins them. Nearly-fifth-years Lucy and her friend Scarlet Corner are painting each other’s nails, Lorcan’s younger brother, Lysander, lying next to them, waiting for them to finish. Lorcan, Jet and Louis are bewitching objects to fly around and hit each other. Peachy bounds over to join them. I carefully avoid that group of people and go over to sit with James.
“Hey Pipes. How’s your summer been?”
“Good.” I quieten a little, “So I hear you’re not being a douche to Scorp anymore. I’m proud.”
“I wasn’t being a douche.”
I raise my eyebrows.
“Okay fine, I was a bit of a douche. I’m not going to be like, friends with him now though. I’ll be civil.”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing with Louis.”
He nods. “Still want to tap that?” He asks.
“Um… no. That ship has sailed. It sailed like a year ago, keep up.” I say.
“So what ship have you jumped on now?” He asks cheekily.
“Go away. I’m not on any ship.”
He lowers his voice. “I hear you’re trying to jump on Lorcan’s ship.”
“Fuck off James.”
“AAH so it’s truuee!”
He laughs and nods towards Molly and Fred, “We’re getting our NEWTs today.”
He shrugs. “I want to do Quidditch, so it’s not really going to make a difference. Fred wants to be an Obliviator and Molly wants to work for the Daily Prophet, so they really have to get their grades.”
And then a lava lamp hits me in the face, knocking me to the floor.
Stupid fucking objects whizzing round the room.
“SHIT. I’M SO SORRY.”
If that’s Louis’ voice, he’s dead.
“Piper, Pipes, you okay?”
I hear murmurs of “fuck,” and “is she alright?” coming from in front of me.
“Yeah, I’m all good.”
I open my eyes to see Lorcan standing in front of me.
“I’m absolutely fine. “ I smile my most dazzling smile at him and he smiles his already-dazzling-without-effort smile back at me.
Then, from behind all my worrysome friends, the two idiots start howling with laughter.
Ah I’m so embarrassed. I can feel my face going red. Unfortunately, Jet and Scorpius got the whole unable-to-blush gene, whereas I… well I missed out on it. Go figure.
“Fuck you Jet.” I say. “and go die in a hole, Louis.” I add quietly.
“Oh, but Piper, you’d be ever so sad if I died, you have to admit.” Louis walks forwards, holds out his hand to me and helps me up. Nobody else thought of doing that. Gah, I feel dizzy.
Huh. He got hotter over the summer.
“You okay?” he asks, summoning an ice pack for me from no one in particular. How considerate.
James shouts out “And let the debate begin!”
“But what about NEWTs?” Molly almost screeches.
“Forget about NEWTs,” James says, waving his hand around. “Okay, so Piper, you can do the honours, seeing as you just got hit in the face by this retard,” he puts his arm around Lorcan’s shoulder, grinning at me.
Ah wait, let me explain. So basically, every summer (or at least the last three, when Jet and I have been here) all of the kids staying at the Potter/Weasley household(s) have this massive debate about a subject. This year, it’s my turn to pick. Last year, Dominique picked the topic “Who’s hair is the best?” expecting herself to win. That was boring. But Lily won, which was good.
“Hmm… whose name is the best? I’m High Inquisitor!” I smile.
“Okay, basically, we have to sit this one out.” Al says, gesturing between Scorp and himself.
“You can fight for it if you want,” I laugh.
“Nah, there’s no point. I want to see the carnage though.” Al rubs his hands together.
The next couple hours or so sees James, aged eighteen, shouting at fifteen year old Scarlet (and her screaming back at him) that James Sirius Potter is a sexier name than Scarlet Corner. Jet just sits there going “Jet’s an awesome name, Jet’s the best name, my name’s Jet and I’m the best,” over and over again. James then turns to him and goes “Greengrass ruins everything though doesn’t it?!” At that point, I gave up my role as High Inquisitor and just let them at each other.
Really, this debate is just between those three. Everyone else is just sitting there, either because their last name is Weasley, and so obviously they can’t win this debate, or because, like me, they don’t care to argue. Lorcan, who's sitting with Scorp and Al on the floor across the room, and Lysander are part of that group of people, which also involves me.
“Hey Piper,” Lysander says smiling at me.
“Hey!” I shuffle along so he can sit next to me. “Enjoying the show?” I ask.
“Yeah, nice subject.” He smiles again. Awh, this boy is so cute. “So like, my brother fancies you.” He says.
“Yeah. Um, just thought you should know.”
“Thanks.” I say, kind of stunned. Lorcan fancies me? Well… that could be Lysander just making things up… but why would he do that?
“Also, Louis fancies you. I heard them both talking about how hot you are. I have to say, I agree.” He continues, wiggling his eyebrows.