Chapter 8 : Prank
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“Alright losers,” Dom shouted. “Lily’s tortured you long enough, get your arses down here. Lily you’re seeker, woo hoo everyone saw that coming. Now that that’s the easy bit over and done with, let’s look at beaters. Scamander, you’re up.”
This was the first time she’d said a word to him, and sure enough, Lorcan looked hurt as he climbed onto his broom, shooting her a wistful look before putting on a fierce some display of beating. Even Dom was impressed by how much he had improved since he was first selected for the team as a replacement in James’ era. Following him, the potential new recruits lacked his finesse or strength, although Lily had been correct. Her friend Kelly was indeed a nasty piece of work on a broomstick and sure enough, she was Dom’s second beater. Keepers were next and again, it didn’t take long to whittle it down to Roxanne, who was able to defend the hoops from Dom’s onslaught better than anyone else. However, it was chaser where the biggest let down came for Dom. It turned out that as good as Jake was, he didn’t hold a candle to his bigger sister and, whilst he still did enough to earn a chaser position, Dom found herself worrying that her three Quaffle dealers were quickly become her biggest weakness. Whilst she was better than most of her team, Jake and the other chaser: Sam Guiney, a 7th year, were not as good flyers and Dom knew she was going to have her work cut out in order to get them ready for their first game against Slytherin. Still, it was a team game, she reminded herself and, if all else failed; she could rely on Lily to bail them out of trouble. Said red-headed Potter was looking pretty happy as she passed Dom and the reluctant Captain patted Lily’s shoulder. She was so much like her brother, Dom knew that much. The rest of the pack of people who had come to support and try out slowly vanished until Dom found herself alone, packing away her equipment. Behind her, a throat cleared and her heart stopped momentarily. Sure enough, Lorcan Scamander stepped out of the shadows, helping her with the chest of balls as she heaved it back towards the Changing Rooms.
“Thanks,” Dom acknowledged cautiously, aiming to head back towards the castle until Lorcan put his hand out and stopped her, causing her to wheel round so she was facing him.
“Nique,” Lorcan said quietly. “We haven’t spoken since that evening in detention. If I made a mistake, let me know now, because you’ve been avoiding me.”
“You didn’t make a mistake,” Dom replied equally quietly. “And I haven’t been avoiding you as such. It just felt rushed and I wasn’t expecting it. I know you like me Lorcan but I was still at the flirting stage, I didn’t expect it to get so serious so fast. If I’m honest, you caught me completely off-guard and I just needed some time to adjust and to think about what it is that I want.”
“And what is it that you want Dominique?” Lorcan whispered in her ear. Dom bit her lip and ran her hands through her hair agitatedly.
“I want you Lorcan,” she confessed. “But I don’t want things to get out of hand and escalate faster than either of us can control. I like you Lorc, I do, but I sense you’re more into this than I am and I don’t want to follow you at 100mph and fall into a pitfall.”
“You are sweet Dom,” Lorcan chuckled, rubbing her shoulder reassuringly. “I must say, I didn’t realise you could be so heartfelt and serious. I like this side of you as much as I like the flirtatious demon that you manifest at times.”
“Stop it Lorc, you’ll make me blush,” Dom laughed, for the first time relaxing and allowing his hold on her, nestling into his embrace as they hugged and he kissed the top of her head. “Why can’t everything in life be this easy? Beating the Slytherins? Acing NEWTs? Finding a career?”
“Because life needs to throw us a curveball every now and then to keep us on our toes!” Lorcan chuckled. “It keeps things interesting, and it wouldn’t be fun otherwise.”
Dom agreed and, her new boyfriend in tow, she headed up to the common room to finish off a mountainous essay set by McGonagall.
It was the first weekend of the year and Lily glanced around the hall. For a breakfast, it was unbelievably packed, as if everyone had arrived down at the same time. James had his first match of the season that evening and she’d threatened him under pain of death to owl her with the results so she’d know by the time the Prophet arrived. Lily heard a very loud and familiar yawn and glared furiously at Kelly, who sidled in alongside looking as though she’d got up seconds earlier.
“What sort of time is this?” Lily asked with a raised eyebrow. “Whatever happened to meeting half an hour ago for breakfast?”
“Overslept,” Kelly murmured, tucking into her food and ignoring Lily’s mutterings. “I’m surprised you still put so much faith in me Lils, I’m pretty much guaranteed to fail. Focus your energies on something a lot more positive, such as talking to Hugo about Hogsmeade.”
“I’ll get round to it!” Lily protested quickly, suddenly very interested in her breakfast. “It’s not Hogsmeade until October anyway. I’ve got all the time in the world to talk to the idiot. Besides, don’t you think you should talk to him beforehand anyway, even if I do as well? Oh shit, what the fuck is that?”
Even as she spoke, the table was wobbling and shaking violently. Looking around the hall, the Gryffindor table wasn’t the only one that was shaking, as all four house tables, as well as the teachers table was rocking back and forth and with a great lurch, they took off, depositing their contents and students, who fell on the floor throughout the hall in a huge slump of bodies, which had pumpkin juice and bacon rained upon them. Lily caught a rasher in her mouth and chewed thoughtfully as the five levitating tables seemed to liquidise, forming a giant blanket that seemed to cover the entire length of the room. It was a chocolate brown and seemed to engulf the ceiling, hovering there threateningly. Lily realised what was going to happen and swore loudly, reaching for her wand as many in people in the room had come to the same conclusion and ran for the doors, only to find them solidly locked. Lily screamed and so did many around her as whatever was levitating the “tables” (for there was no other word to describe them) stopped and the entire room was covered in the sticky substance they had become. Girls screamed; consumed entirely by the thick brown substance that made it nigh on impossible to move. Some laughed, the hilarity of the situation, particularly of those around them, became evident and Lily froze for a second, realising that she alone was protected from the substance. Examining her arms, they were clean and Lily grinned like an idiot, turning to Kelly, who was as filthy and sticky as everyone else, looking as though someone had tried to drown her in treacle.
“How come you got lucky?” Kelly whinged, but they were both distracted by a louder scream as someone (by now everyone looked the same so it was impossible to tell who) was levitated into the air, spinning so fast she was probably going to be sick. Then, out of nowhere, hippogriff feathers fired at her from all angles, sticking to her like glue. The girl was then deposited back amongst the chaos, with a label saying “Roxanne Weasley” clear in the air. Lily winced at Roxanne’s pain and had put two and two together quick enough so that when the doors flew open and James Potter and Fred Weasley stood there triumphantly, she wasn’t surprised. People charged, running towards the pair who pirouetted and vanished into thin air. Roxanne was left stumbling through the Hall, tears flooding her eyes. She pushed her way through the crowds, raucous laughter reserved for her by those who had been pranked by her. Lily smiled to herself and pulled out her Marauders Map, and sure enough, James and Fred were standing right behind her. The room had dispersed and she and Kelly were standing alone amongst the carnage.
“Cloak!” Lily ordered, holding out her hand half amused, half irritated. “Who gave you permission to go through my things James Sirius Potter?”
James whipped off his old invisibility cloak and handed it reluctantly to his sister, whom he had given it to when he had left Hogwarts, along with the map. He was grinning as much as she was and Fred had a glint in his eyes. Lily hugged her brother, whilst Kelly looked on, less than amused.
“That was seriously good!” Fred was raving. “Did you see the look on Roxanne’s face? Priceless. Bloody priceless. She’ll never mess with me again. That’ll teach her to turn me into a pizza. Mate seriously, half the school are going to be showering shit off them for weeks, that stuff won’t come off easily. Good luck getting it out of your hair Longbottom.”
Kelly glared furiously and started muttering counter-charms, syphoning off as much of the crap as she could. Fred was grinning more and more as it failed and James couldn’t contain his own giggles as she wrestled with the junk, failing miserably to clean herself.
“How permanent is that permanent sticking charm?” James asked but upon the murderous look on Kelly’s face, quickly replied: “I’m joking. It’ll come off in the shower, honest. It’s just enchanted so no magic can get it off, only good old fashioned hot water. It’ll just be funny to see how many idiots give up when they realise magic isn’t working. Now we’d better get out of here before Minnie…”
“Before I what?” McGonagall cut in furiously. James and Fred looked at each and then ran. McGonagall didn’t bother chasing as Lily shouted James a good luck for that evening. He turned around in time to salute and then McGonagall shook her head, hurrying off to find a shower of her own.
Jake knew that Roxanne would be in a bad way before he found her. And when he did, it did nothing to allay his fears. He knew where she’d be; because he knew her well enough to safely say that the only place she felt safe in Hogwarts when things fell apart was a small alcove behind a tapestry on the second floor that almost nobody knew about. Sure enough, she was sat, knees against her face, her arms hugged tightly around her. She looked up in terror when the tapestry moved but relaxed herself when she realised it was her best friend. He sat beside her, not attempting to say anything for a few moments, as he wiped some feathers from her cheek. She smiled weakly at him then went back to sobbing. Jake put an arm around her, not even bothering to clean either of them up, he’d already tried and magic simply wasn’t working.
“I’d ask you if you were alright,” Jake said quietly. “But the answer is fairly evident. I’m here if you want to talk or if you just want the company. But I can go if you’d like.”
He made to leave as she made no inclination, but then her hand wrapped a vice-like grip around his arm, pulling him back to her side. Roxanne clung to him like a lifeline and rested her head on his shoulder, her tears rolling down his arm. He hugged her tightly and thought about her. Despite all her bravado, all her Gryffindor spirit and all her fire, underneath it all, he alone recognised how fragile Roxanne truly was. She was deeply insecure and the pain and humiliation that had been inflicted on her threatened to overwhelm her. Jake looked for the words but none that could ease her sorrow wrestled into his head.
“Thanks Jake,” Roxanne said suddenly. He turned to look at her. Her skin and robes were stained and her hair was a matted tangle of feathers. She had never looked more vulnerable but Jake didn’t care. He could imagine everyone in the school looked similarly. “I know how stupid I must be to you, crying over this like one of those weak little girls out there.”
“No Rox,” Jake soothed. “You were embarrassed in front of the entire school, singled out. Anyone could be forgiven for shedding a tear or two. And you’re so much stronger than them, you can recover. And in a few minutes, you’ll be able to walk out there with your head held high, as if nothing in this world can bother you. And it can’t. You’re strong enough to resist all that and I’ll be right here by your side. Always.”
Roxanne managed a smile and hugged him tightly, kissing his cheek gratefully. She stood, still shaking slightly but he steadied her and wiped away her tears. She looked at him and took a deep breath.
“I need a fucking shower!” she announced, sending Jake into a bout of laughter. She offered him a shaky hand up, which he took, the contact lasting a moment longer than it might have before she pulled her hand away, her slight, almost non-existent blush hidden by the crap covering every inch of her body. She slipped out from behind the tapestry, happy that nobody saw her and her hiding spot was still rendered a secret. Jake followed moments later, feathers sticking to his body in awkward positions. By now, the hallways were virtually abandoned, everyone had either gone to shower or gone into hiding to protect their dignity. Roxanne didn’t envy the girls who adored their looks and spent hours on their hair and makeup, only for it to be ruined as they became identical blobs, covered in sticky, smelly shit.
“Hey Roxy!” a girl greeted her, and as Roxanne turned she was looking at Mary King, a girl from her dorm room. “How are you feeling? You took a bit of a battering back there!”
Roxanne winced. Mary could be a tad callous at times but she was essentially harmless and meant nothing by it. She was the most innocent girl alive and her beaming smile made it impossible not to like her.
“I’m alright, thanks for asking Mary,” Roxanne replied, smiling despite herself again. And she was. To an extent. “What about you, you’re remarkably calm, considering…”
“Oh it’ll wash out!” Mary chuckled. “To be honest, I’m enjoying the ambiguity of everyone in the school looking almost the same and at trying to figure out who everybody is, although most of them are rather hacked off about what happened. Especially some of the top year girls, they can be real cows. I bumped into Dominique and Rose though; they seemed fairly good natured about it. But then they would be. They grew up in a Weasley household.”
Roxanne smiled again. Mary was right of course. On every point. Growing up in a Weasley household meant that pranks such as this one did occur; you took it in your stride and carried on as if nothing had happened. And it would wash out. As long as she laughed it off, her embarrassment would be no more than those who took it to heart and stressed over it.
“I’m going to go and clean up,” Roxanne said eventually, her smile finally a permanent fixture. “Thanks Mary.”
“Anytime Roxy,” Mary replied cheerily. “Bye Jake.”
“Bye Mary,” Jake said bemused, before following Roxanne down the hall. “What was all that about Rox?” he asked, raising an eyebrow but laughing nevertheless.
“I have no idea,” Roxanne replied honestly. “But it made me feel a lot better.”
There were quite a few things in her life that made Lily Luna Potter feel stupidly uncomfortable. Any mention of her parents’ teenage years, whether it was their passionate love or their saving of the world; anything to do with Albus since his disappearance; all the stupid things she did as a baby; her first crush, a muggle who poured ice cream on her head were all good examples. But nothing made her more uncomfortable than when Kelly asked her to do something she really didn’t want to do. Partly because Kelly knew all those things and frequently brought them up, but also because asking her cousin what he thought about her best friend, who in her mind, made a wretched couple, was not high on her list of things to do before she died. Murdering Kelly was fairly high on that list.
“Hi Hugh!” Lily cried enthusiastically, abandoning any pretence of subtlety as she flopped alongside him, earning her a funny look from Rose as Hugo dropped his book long enough to smile at her.
“Hey Lils,” Hugo replied, his own voice lacking the zeal of hers, but for Hugo, it was practically passionate. “I was just thinking about talking to you.”
Rose’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. It never ceased to amaze her how much Lily could get out of her little brother. The only other people Rose had seen him react to like that were his best friend Neville and, rarely, Rose herself.
“Really?” Lily replied, trying not to let unease settle in her voice and masking it with a surprised grin. “What for?”
“It’s about Kelly,” Hugo whispered. Lily didn’t know whether to be relieved or worried. “I was wondering if you knew whether or not she had her eye on anyone. I was thinking on asking her to Hogsmeade, but if she’s seeing someone else there’s no point. I mean sure, she can be a bit intimidating and on the train she almost scared me to death, but there’s something about her, she’s actually worth talking to. For starters, she’s bloody hilarious.”
“Yeah, she’s a fucking comedienne,” Lily muttered to herself. “You know what Hugh?” Lily smiled but inwardly she was still squirming on the subject. “I don’t think she is seeing anyone at the moment. And if you asked her to Hogsmeade, she would probably think that might be fun. I am too good a friend to these two,” Lily added the last bit to herself.
“Really? Thanks Lils!” Hugo beamed like an idiot and Lily tried not to smile too flakily as she left him to his reading, knowing full well that when this blew up, she’d end up right in the middle of it and she was not looking forward to having to pick up the pieces, no matter how much she cared about Hugo and Kelly.
A/N: Hello again everyone :) First dedications. This is for Elizabeth, for making sure everything i write is grammatically perfect (hopefully xD), for my family because obviously they house me and feed me, the friends who have read my stories and encouraged me and for Rockstar, my inspiration without whom there would be no Lost Potters. And of course, this is for you the readers, without whom I wouldn't have an audience or any feedback. So please please keep reading and keep reviewing and the next chapter, things get very interesting...
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