Chapter 2 : My Knights in Shining Green Armour
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I skipped the shoot. Can you really blame me? In an attempt to revive me Cathy called an emergency healer to her office. Thanks to some well casted spells, I very quickly regained consciousness but the healer insisted that we postpone the photo shoot. I would have spoken out against the healer’s orders but really I need this time to think about how my life has just turned upside down.
I have very wisely decided to call an emergency meeting with all my best advisers on the current code red situation. You see, when it comes to big decisions I’m as about as useful as a talking sponge. I’m an extremely indecisive person: it took me two months to figure out if modelling was what I wanted to do in life, and even then I was scared I had made the wrong decision. This time however I do have a reason to be indecisive because my life is about to massively screw me over.
I hate the bloody git.
Embarrassingly, he probably doesn’t even remember me. We never had the relationship that included “screaming in the middle of the halls because of all the sexual tension, and eventually making out in a broom closet”. It also wasn’t a “Potter was madly in love with me and I rejected him every time” sort of thing either. Oh no, the very idea is beyond laughable. I never had the confidence to defend myself from a house elf, let alone the son of our saviour.
My relationship with Potter was solely a: “he made my life miserable by occasionally mocking me, thus lowering my already withering self esteem.”
In other words, he was my bully.
It is so ironic that now after all these years I am in a situation where he is signing up to be in a relationship with me. I know for a fact that he doesn’t realise that “Arielle Merle” is the gangly bespectacled girl (and I use the term loosely) he used to poke fun of.
I wasn’t the only one he picked on but I was definitely the most sensitive. I used to curse the day I ever got in James Potter’s way, because even though I was in a year lower and in a different house, he would still find the time to mock me in the corridors. In fact, he had the bloody time to mock me all the way up until his fifth year when he became completely immersed in OWL’s and his precious Quidditch reputation. He may have forgotten it but I will never forget that he made me feel like the biggest pile of hippogriff crap.
Potter disliking me meant everyone was quick to follow. After all, if Potter’s doing something it must be right thing to do. Right? My only friends (again, you must appreciate the looseness of the term. I really cannot emphasise the extent to which this term is loose) disappeared faster than you could say “quicksand”. Until all that was left was a creepy Hufflepuff that used to occasionally sit with me in the library.
But he was so bloody weird, I would’ve honestly been better off without him. I may have been socially inept but the bloke handed out free period pads to girls in the corridor. If that’s not a sign of a future maniac stalker than I’m not an award winning model.
So now I’m currently pacing my apartment in the hopes that my advisers will show up soon. I would usually call over Sophia or Keira, but this time round I don’t feel like sharing my romantic life with my annoying siblings.
Well done Arielle, it’s not like your non-existent romantic life is all over the covers of Witching Hour?
That’s beside the point dammit!
My apartment is rather big. It’s made up of loads of white walls (a common feature of many apartments actually), with massive splashes of shimmering colourful paint thrown on them. The result is a rainbow effect that can begin to hurt your eyes after a while if you’re not used to it. Which I think is a very clever idea. It’s like a warning sign to unwelcome guests (cough, mum, cough) who stay far too long. After around fifteen minutes they cannot handle the blaring colours and eventually shove off- leaving me some much needed sleeping time.
The furniture is a mixture of modern chic with classical vintage pieces; similar to my fashion style. I, once more, think it adds a unique and stylish twist to my flat. However, when Cathy first entered it she thought she’d stumbled in on an indoor garage sale (never mind the fact I don’t own a garage). For the next fifteen minutes she wandered around my flat grading the “merchandise” on a scale of one to ten, and eventually declaring she wouldn’t go near any of it with a barge pole. In case you’re wondering, none of my furniture made it to four.
Well at least Rookie likes my furniture. Although as much as I pretend he can, he really cannot speak. So I guess I’ll never know if he actually likes my decor. For all I know he could’ve ripped my cheetah printed beanbag to smithereens yesterday?
That would actually make a lot of sense….
Rookie is my faithful German shepherd who lives with me in this lonely apartment. He is my baby, and nobody messes with my baby or there will be hell to pay for.
He’s also my only reliable friend that isn’t related to me or legally obliged to stick around.
Three sharp knocks resound around the apartment and stop my restless pacing. I nervously unlock the door to find my two wisest advisers waiting with wide grins. Whoever said Slytherins weren’t faithful lil’ buggers were mistaken, because true to their word Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy have dropped everything and ran to my door.
I give off a very womanly shriek and pull them both inside. Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are the two cutest beings I have met; minus my baby brother, of course. Albus has this raven black hair sticking up in all directions which match his big emerald eyes perfectly. Scorpius is a dirty blonde with these mysterious eyes and the cutest smile ever.
I swear I wanna eat these boys up.
They give an amused chuckle, kick of their shoes and slouch on the sofa. “Okay what’s the problem love? All I could hear on the phone was you screaming about how shit you life is,” Al says amusedly. There’s no need for the customary idle chit-chat. I don’t usually get enough time with these boys- so I might as well get down to business.
“That’s because it is Albus!” I dramatically cry, flinging myself onto the carpet in front of them.
“Go on spit it out Ari! Scorpius and I need to leave for the Burrow soon,” Al insists, whilst gently poking me with his foot.
“I-I-I…you know Cathy right?”
“Isn’t she your really annoying agent that practically controls your life and that you constantly bitch about?” Scorpius confirms, and I nod in approval. I have raised these boys well.
Scorpius and Albus are my bitching buddies- they’re my only friends who listen. It may seem weird but they understand me extremely well. If I was too ramble to my best girl friend Megan she would tell me to get the hell over myself; Sophia wouldn’t have the time or patience to listen; Keira would laugh her arse off and suggest we all get wasted, whilst Kieran …well I want to preserve his innocence.
“Yeah that’s the one Scorp. Anyways she wants me to become the face of Quality Quidditch supplies new line of broom design products!” I exclaim brandishing the parchment containing all the legal details in their faces.
“That’s great…?” Al hesitantly says. I sigh; since Albus wasn’t in the same Hogwarts house as me he has no idea about my abysmal Quidditch skills.
Scorpius gave Al a questioning look and tentatively responded with “Um…yeah I know that loads of guys who think girls that play Quidditch are really fit?”
I gave him a withering glare because due to this new contract there will be no more guys for me.
…Not that there where any in the first place.
“That’s not it idiot,” I hiss through gritted teeth. It’s a miracle I’ve managed to abstain myself from collapsing into a sobbing heap on the floor. After all, it’s not everyday your conniving agent and merciless mother sign you into a fake relationship with your childhood tormentor.
Dear Merlin, looking back on the situation it sounds so terribly unrealistic. Like those dreadful Fifi Lafolle romance novels that mum occasionally reads. About three fourths of that book is intense snogging, whilst the last quarter is made up of everyone forgiving each other and taking moonlit strolls down deserted beaches whilst a symphony orchestra plays in the background.
“Whilst keeping me in the dark, my mother and confounded agent have signed a contract agreeing to a fake relationship. This relationship was created in the pathetic attempt to boost my publicity. This bloody contract means I will have to partake in a relationship with that bleedin’ Potter kid!” My arms are falling like there’s no tomorrow and I’m certain my face has flushed an unattractive puce.
I’ll admit it. I did expect Scorpius and Albus to start gushing words of comfort as soon as I revealed the cause of my early demise. But all I got was blank stares, open mouths and a thread of drool on Albus’ half.
“But I’m right here? I didn’t sign up for a fake relationship with you,” Albus says. His brow is knitted together and his eyes seemed to be going cross eyed in an attempt to figure out this mind boggling conundrum.
“You blithering idiot! Not you…the other Potter! Your brother,” I yell.
Their apt response to this terrifying news makes up for their earlier dimwittedness. “That bitch!” Scorpius exclaims whilst leaping to his feet and throwing his hands up in the air.
“Merlin almighty, well that prat can jump of a bridge!” Al agrees and stomps his foot. I almost giggle because it is quite hilarious to see him freely slagging of his own flesh and blood.
But then I decide that giggling will lower the seriousness of this dire situation.
“Cathy has severe issues. If she thinks I’m happy about sentencing myself to months of torture then she’s got another thing coming! I mean sure Potter may be a little wittle itty bitty famous and good for my image-.”
“Though only ever so slightly,” Scorpius interjects.
“Exactly, the prick’s probably so vain that he already has a relationship with his reflection in the mirror.”
“Obviously,” Scorpius agrees.
“I bet throughout the entire relationship he’ll be off shagging a new slut every day!” I say, really getting into the spirit of bitchiness. Scorpius and I both turn to Albus who apart from the first insult has said nothing. Why is he disturbing the flow of the slagging off session? He knows that we’ve reached the point where he adds his insulting comments- yet he is intently staring at his hands.
“What the hell is wrong with you Potter?” I question. Scorpius flicks his forehead.
Albus suddenly looks up smirking and I begin to feel scared; because something that can make the most angelic person I know come across as a severe nutcase isn’t good news.
“Well I just thought up of something so devious that it will blow you away. I was thinking why don’t you just follow the contract without causing a fuss and date him?” I open my mouth to shout at him but he cuts me off. “Think about this properly. The contract states you have to actually be seen spending time with each other. You can spend that allotted time relaxing at the Burrow with me and Scorp. Cathy can’t yell at you because technically you’re just following her contract and doing your job. I can introduce you to Nana Weasley and all my cousins; it’s a win-win situation!” Al finishes excitedly with a big shit eating grin.
My first impression? Well shit this boy is dark wizard material. I don’t care if his Daddy defeated Voldermort but this man is an evil genius who can manipulate any crap situation into profiting him.
I suppose it also hurt me. I know that because of my messed up schedule I am hardly ever free to visit Scorpius and Albus. Whenever we do meet up it’s for a gossiping sessions or just a quick catch up. These hurried meetings are always at my apartment or a quaint muggle café. I have absolutely no idea where they live or who they live with. Hell, I don’t even know what they do in their spare time.
Ironically, the reason I became friends with Al and Scorp was because of Potter himself. It all started when my naive first year self accidentally corrected a grammar mistake the outrageously popular James Potter made as he walked by. He angrily mocked me and snapped that I wasn’t part of the conversation anyways, so I should duck out my “nerdy Ravenclaw nose” out of other people’s business. I was rather upset at the high whiny voice he used to imitate me and the way he laughed at me with his other Gryffindor friends.
Forget rather upset, little twelve year old me was distraught.
I suppose I never learnt from the first time. The second incident happened a week after. I was sitting on the Ravenclaw table for lunch and I bossily reminded him and his Gryffindor friends of the rules. I very clearly stated in my loudest voice: “You’re meant to sit on your own table. You’re not Ravenclaws; shouldn’t you know that by now?”
I should have realised from the stony faces of my audiences that I was in for shit from that point onwards. I was constantly picked on whenever Potter passed by with his gaggle of minions. Oh sorry did I say minions? Whoops-a-daisy I guess they were meant to be his friends.
Pshh, but everyone knows he was paying them to hang out with him. It’s not just me who thinks that, right?
I began to spend my afternoons moodily kicking grass in the deserted Quidditch pitch. I was alone, cold and most often snivelling back tears.
But one afternoon that all changed.
Well, when I say “all changed” don’t take it too literally. It was still bloody cold (after all, Hogwarts is in Scotland) and I still uncontrollably snivelled.
You see, Albus heard about the way his brother showed me up in front of a corridor of people and once afternoon came to console me. Yes you heard me right. This boy’s middle name is perfect, (let’s conveniently forget that years ago he told me it’s actually Severus).
At first I was rather reluctant to talk to the small bespectacled boy, who was only trying to help. But all my scepticisms vanished when he solemnly stated “James is a prat to everyone, but he was just born that way.” That started an unusual friendship for the both of us. We often hung out on the deserted Quidditch pitch, or in the deepest corner of the library; were we devoured hefty textbooks like the wimpy nerds we were. Correction: are.
Ahh, good times, good times.
Albus soon introduced me to Scorpius, who reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me at all. I soon learnt that James didn’t like him either because of his background and family history.
That made me feel extremely foolish: here I was moping over a boy making a few snide comments, when Scorpius was being stereotyped because of his fathers past actions in the war. After that I never complained over the teasing I suffered. Yes I flailed terribly for scathing comebacks, cried in my dormitory and felt like half of what he said might be true, but with a constant reminder of poor Scorpius’ suffering- I never complained to a single teacher.
“Al…” I began, after I found my voice- which if you’re wondering, was somewhere around my bowels. “James is still an arrogant, immature arsehole who I don’t want to spend time with.”
“You haven’t met him for four years and you still insist that he’s the same person he was back in Hogwarts? As much as it pains me to admit this, but James has ever so slightly matured since then."
“Okay let’s not talk about James anymore. Tell me all about your trip to Paris for Gladrags.” Scorpius hastily suggests, as soon as he sees my gaping “WTF ALBUS?” face.
The rest of the visit is spent discussing my life and making fun of others, because that’s what we do best. We’ve been chatting away for half an hour and suddenly Scorpius jumps up in shock. “Sorry Arielle but we’re so late for dinner at the Burrow.”
“Oh” I mumble- feeling extremely disheartened. After all, I am being rejected for annoying family members. I’m over-bloody-joyed that my company is so very highly sought after.
“Come with us you crazy bint,” Al offers seeing my pathetic loneliness.
“I can’t, but why couldn’t you two just fall in gay love with each other, get a civil union together and move next door?” I moan, whilst they exchange amused looks. “Scorpius are you sure you aren’t passionately in love with Albus?” I hopefully ask. They’ve broken down into fits of laughter but Albus’ appear somewhat strained. Oh joy to the heavens above, it’s good to know I’m taken so seriously.
“No love. I have a girlfriend who I happen to be passionately in love with, remember?” Scorpius says, chuckling.
Well that’s news to me!
“Bloody hell, seriously?” I incredulously question. I cannot recall a single moment when Scorpius had told me about this girlfriend of his. Hummph, maybe she’s imaginary.
“If you hung around us more you would know all about her Ari, in fact I think you two would be good friends,” Albus says, giving me a pleading look with his big green eyes.
Damn him to hell. He’s making me go on a guilt trip for being so busy all the time. It’s sadly working, I’m such a crap friend I didn’t even realise Scorpius is in a relationship. I need to be more involved in their life: I always feel like they know every detail of mine (due to my constant whining), but I forget that they have lives too. Albus is now giving me a scarily knowing look; as if he knows exactly what I’m thinking. He probably does, he’s dark wizard material remember?
“That’s great and all Albus,” I chirp with false enthusiasm and a wide smile. “But I have an absolutely riveting family dinner awaiting my presence.”
“Good luck with that,” Scorpius hurriedly says. They both snicker in unison- having heard all about my crazy family- and abruptly apparate on the spot, leaving me to face my doom alone.
Slytherins are the most annoying twats, untrustworthy prats and not too mention cowardly gits. Who deserve to rot in the slimiest dungeon in existence, before being eternally banished to the damp depths of Professer Flitcwick’s boxers.
And no, I am not overreacting, thank you very much.
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