I deeply inhale to prepare myself for the mayhem within, and ring the bell. My parent’s house is in a mainly wizarding neighbourhood in a completely random area. It’s not London but it’s not exactly the countryside either: it’s in the middle of somewhere. My parents and Keira still live here together. Sophie with bump, her husband Ralph and my little niece Scarlet own a small cottage. Kieran got his own flat the second he graduated from Hogwarts and gets Mum- who clearly loves him more than the rest of us- to regularly do his laundry and cooking. The boy is a complete pig.
The muffled sound of plates crashing from inside and cries of a woman echo before the door is suddenly flung open. My blonde haired brown eyed niece Scarlet is impatiently staring at me.
Scarlet is three years old, meaning Sophia had her when she was twenty four. In my book that is pretty young, and I honestly have no idea why you would want a kid at that age. My opinion is obviously irrelevant as Sophia was elated when she found out she was pregnant. Be that as it may, I love Scarlet; she is the cleverest little girl I’ve met. Her massive doe brown eyes that are framed with pale lashes observe every single thing. You cannot hide anything from her and she also has an annoying talent for creating awkward moments.
“Hello Auntie Ari!” She chirps happily, putting a podgy hand in mine.
“Yo Scazzy sup’ home-dawg?” I joke, earning a frightened frown from my toddler niece. This just goes to show how cool I am.
My own three year old niece now doubts my sanity. Great, that’s another person to add to my ever growing list.
People who seriously doubt Arielle Merle’s sanity
1.) Cathy Karls
2.) Mum ( also known as Patrica Merle)
3.) Sophia Merle (soon to be Butler)
4.) Megan (currently away travelling)
5.) Albus and Scorpius (they don’t count as separate people; they’re one being).
6.) Scarlet (although I doubt this is a recent development).
We both walk into the large open plan kitchen and dining room. The old timber structure and chipped wooden floor is scrubbed clean. Well worn red rugs lie in front of the large fireplace. Dad’s sitting in front of the steadily burning fire with a fresh copy of the Daily Prophet. Dad always sits down and reads the prophet in exactly the same position, every morning and evening, like clockwork. Just watching him so immersed in the paper gives me the strangest nostalgic feeling of being home.
Mum’s on the other side of the room in the kitchen area. She’s enchanted the kitchen appliances to do different jobs: The knife speedily chops vegetables, the chicken seasons itself, a violent whisk whips a bowl of cream with frightening force and a foamy sponge washes a steadily growing pile of dishes. All this is going on as she instructs Keira how to properly crack an egg.
Sophia and Ralph are sitting by the oak dining table and reading with scary concentration. The book is titled “Pregnancy urges and how to get rid of them.”
Horny parents much?
I notice everyone but Kieran is here. No surprise there then.
“Hello Mum, Dad!” I smile sweetly and give them all a cheerful wave. Dad beams and waves back whilst mum rolls her eyes.
“Hey Sophia, Ralph, Keira,” I trill, in an attempt to keep upbeat. Everyone blatantly ignores my unusually happy greeting. I have decided I am going to be dazzlingly positive and make sure the rest of my family don’t find out about the terrible James Potter situation. Ignoring issues is my forte; it works really well for most things, so why not James Potter?
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Keira questions. Okay, so I failed miserably on the upbeat front.
“Nothing…” I nervously trail off, suddenly thinking that the rest of my family have heard about the Potter situation.
“Actually we are going to have a nice little chat about nothing
as soon as Kieran gets here,” Mums happily informs me. It’s sad to see the day James Potter can put a smile on my sadistic Mother’s permanently frowning face. This is, my dear friend, the most sombre of days.
“Saw your East Beach photo shoot, you looked like a slut,” Sophia bluntly informs me, whilst massaging her inflated stomach. My sister’s a right charmer, isn’t she?
“I have to agree with Sophia on that point my darling,” my dad adds in his “I’m concerned that males are perving on you”
Well yes, that was the whole point of the East Beach photo shoot. We travelled to a windy, rocky beach for the shoot. I don’t know about you but “East Beach” conjures up an image of the sun beating down upon golden sandy banks and glistening turquoise seas. In reality East Beach was a grey, rocky beach with billowing gales so strong I nearly fell a cliff. For the entire shoot I was in a range of “abstract” swimsuits which I was told to be artistic in, whilst the picky photographer snapped shots.
Pah, abstract? One of the suits was completely white with a blue dot in the middle. This apparently represented our “dying communist nation”.
“Well isn’t being a slut her job?” Keira interjects, with what she thinks must be a helpful comment, it really isn’t. I hate it when clueless people assume that’s what modelling is about. I scowl at her and shoot her the finger. Just my luck that crafty Scarlet skipped back into the living room in time to see it.
“What does that finger thing mean Auntie Ari?” she curiously asks. Mum tuts disapprovingly, Sophia groans in annoyance and Ralph and Keira struggle not to laugh. “What finger thing Scazzy?” I reply, feigning innocence.
“This,” she says, demonstrating by raising her own small middle finger and flipping us all off. I gape at her in shock whilst Keira and Ralph raucously laugh.
Sophia smacks Ralph across the chest and he immediately sobers up. “Scarlet Butler don’t you ever let me see you do that again or no more chocolate ice cream for you!” Sophia sternly yells. Dear Merlin, she can even use the scary mum voice.
Yes, she is a true mother now; we have officially lost her my friends. Let us take this time for a moment of silence for our lost comrade Sophia Merle (soon to be Butler) who is officially lost in the land of “terribly un-cool and scary-as-fuck paranoid Mothers”.
“Alrighhht mum! But what does it mean?” she curiously insists. I feel like smacking my head on the hard wooden table, but I wouldn’t because that would be ruining my appearance and causing self-harm which would break my contract with Cathy. Honestly I shouldn’t worry about causing self-harm at the moment. Sophia is going to bloody ravage me to minuscule pieces for teaching Scarlet the finger.
Au revoir, mes amies
. Alas! A long life was not meant for me. My fate is written in the sparkling stars. It states that Sophia will almost surely murder me, and if I still don’t die I’ll get Cathy to set her rabid Poodle on me.
“It means that I love Keira very much and it’s my own special way of expressing my overwhelming love to her. Okay sweetheart?” I sweetly explain.
“But I’ve seen Kieran do that to Nana and Mum loads of times. Does that mean you do it to everyone you love?”
“NO! You can only do it to your very special sister. Kieran is stupid so he obviously doesn’t know that…” I cunningly say. It seems to have done the trick as Scarlet understandingly nods. “Yes he is very stupid almost as stupid as my rosey flower,” Scarlet agrees.
Speaking of the devil himself, Kieran waltz in the living room with a beaming peroxide blonde at his arm. I haven’t seen Kieran in two weeks, that may not seem like a long time to you but it seriously is. I love Kieran so much and adore teasing him in front of his ‘ickle girlfriends.
Did I mention that he still reminds me of a cute toddler with his adorable dimples?
Yes he has dimples, bless his soul.
“Kieran!” I squeal and engulf him in a massive hug. Kieran is the only family member which isn’t shorter than me so he really does give the best hugs. He squeezes me with his bony arms and laughs.
“Oh Ari you messed up psycho.” He chuckles and squeezes me comfortingly. I am using my signature pout that graces magazines covers all over the world…which just makes Kieran laugh more. Suddenly there is an ear splitting squeal as if a cat has just been stabbed repeatedly with a rusty blunt dagger.
“OhmygoshKeiranyouneverintorducedmetoyoursister!” Mystery girlfriend clinging on to Keiran gushes. He visibly winces and rolls his eyes.
Mum and Dad are giving disapproving looks from the corner whilst Sophia, Ralph and Keira are taking bets on how long I can go before snapping. Yes, as you may have guessed this has happened many times before.
“Hello there…?” I trail off, wondering what to say to girl of the week number 16465
“My name’s Emily! Ohmygosh you are my idol! I just love you so much. I follow all your interviews and I even saw you yesterday on “Romilda Vane’s Hot Topic
”! You looked so fierce and sexy on the East Beach photo shoot! I just love what you’re wearing even now. Can I just say I am a massive fan of your work and I absolutely-.” Emily is cut off by Kieran covering her mouth with his hand. She doesn’t seem to have noticed and is still yakking on in muffled tones.
It isn’t until I don’t respond to whatever garbage she was saying, that she realises what Kieran is doing. Instead of flipping out- which I frankly expected- she beams at him, pries off his hand and smashes her lips into his.
Believe me when I say that at this very moment I feel like vomiting up the contents of my stomach. I wanted to shut up Emily but not by corrupting my younger brother’s innocence. She’s definitely very enthusiastic, they’re already lost in their own saliva world.
This is foul.
Sophia and Ralph have hastily ushered Scarlet out in to the garden to play “Catch the Hippogriff”,
whilst Dad is reading the newspapers as if his life is depending on it. Mum is speedily cutting cucumber with surprising ferocity and Keira? She is currently walking over to Emily with steely determination in her eyes.
More shit is about to go down.
With cougar like reflexes she grips onto a thick bunch of Emily’s hair and pulls her off Kieran. “Kieran this is the same Hufflepuff girl who stole my boyfriend back in sixth year!”
Kieran is looking extremely disgruntled and Emily has considerably paled. Nobody wants to face the wrath of Keira Merle she holds the worst grudges against people who screw her over.
You anger Keira Merle and you regret the day you were born.
She’s nearly as bad as my mother.
“Wh-a-a-at?” Emily splutters and tries to hold onto Kieran who shakes her off and steps back from the drama.
“Don’t you remember I used to go out with Robbie Adams until one day I found this girl and that git sucking face in a broom closet!” Keira shrieks with a manic look in her eye.
Dammit, and I was looking forward to scraping through this family dinner without bursting an eardrum
“I-I-I-t wasn’t me!” Emily quails under the ferocious intensity of my little sister’s glare.
“DON’T LIE!” Keira roars.
“C’mon Keira you said you were dating Robert Adams just because he was popular,” Kieran reasons. Oh joy to the heavens above, the boy finally intervenes!
“That is beside the point! IT’S THE PRINICIPAL OF IT!” Keira yells. I have officially decided it time to interject with my Ravenclaw intelligence before my Gryffindor siblings send someone to ST. Mungo’s A&E.
“Fake dating someone just to increase your popularity is so morally wrong Keira!” I scold.
I am such a hypocritical blithering fool.
Mum has the scowl of death etched on her face, and I’m pretty sure she is about to join this highly intellectual moral debate.
“What crap!” she exclaims. Yes, the soon to be grandparent of two is blatantly swearing. Don’t blame when Scarlet loses all morals and childlike-innocence at the age of three. Actually, now that think about it Scarlet completely lost her innocence the day she was born when Kieran shouted out in the maternity ward “Bloody fuck, I’M NOW AN UNCLE!”
“No mum it is not crap! It’s wrong on so many levels,” I insist, with my very own special hand gestures to emphasize my point.
“What wrong about it?” Mum questions loudly. “You’re getting more popular by the second, getting good publicity, receiving free gifts and fan mail and not too mention the lovely company!”
Kieran is completely clueless, whilst Keira is still holding onto Emily’s hair with a vice grip. Thankfully Dad has joined Sophie, Ralph and Scarlet in the garden to escape our filthiness. Phew, I wouldn’t want to mentally scar him through this emotionally traumatising argument.
Now back to the filthiness of this emotionally traumatising argument.
HOLY SNAPES ON A PLANE! My mother is one messed up lady.
“MUM! That is so sick I would never use him anyone for publicity. I will make my own way in this world without getting a free lift to the top on a Quidditch player!” I yell.
“Have you ever thought that maybe he wouldn’t mind giving you a free lift to the top of society? Maybe he wouldn’t mind being seen snogging Witch Weekly’s Hottest Witch? Ever thought of that!”
“Have you ever thought that maybe that git emotionally scarred me at a young age?!” I retort. Okay so I might be slightly exaggerating with the emotionally scarring bit.
“That’s a complete exaggeration Arielle! Sophia told me exactly what he used to say to you. It wasn’t emotionally scarring just immature teasing. Get over it!”
Well she would say that. I never really told her about the full extent of my suffering at Hogwarts. She just assumes it was mild teasing in corridors. After meeting Scorpius I completely bottled up. The only people who really know about my bullying are the witnesses, bullies and my two trusty advisers.
“But Mum, I cannot get over it! It doesn’t matter how talented, rich or famous he is. I don’t give a flying fudge about the son of the chosen one!” Mum is looking rather smug that I’ve come to admit that James Potter is talented; Kieran and Emily are equally puzzled as to what we’re arguing about and Keira? Keira is now squealing at the top of her voice with a grin the size of Jupiter.
“OH MY GOD ARIELLE, YOU’RE GOING TO OUT WITH JAMES POTTER!?”
I frown at Mum over the dining table. She rolls her eyes at my childish pout and signature sulking face.
“Stop being such a baby Arielle.”
“You’re the one who’s being a baby,” I mutter in an undertone- causing Mum to once again roll her eyes.
As you can see our mother daughter relationship contains a lot of eye rolling. It’s very healthy actually. I’m sure this way our eyeball muscles are getting a lot of exercise and are in tip-top shape.
“You’re twenty old years now and soon turning twenty-one! I want you to stop being so immature and go along with this process to make life easier for me and Cathy.”
Dad is upstairs with Keira playing monopoly, Sophia and her little family have returned to their own home after dinner and Kieran and Emily have apparated back to his flat after we erm…calmed Emily down.
After Keira announced at the top of her voice that I was going out with James Potter (when I’m evidently not) Emily had a fit of fanatic fan girl happiness. Seriously, she jumped up and down and squealed “Oh my Merlin! I’m so happy for you. You two are like the dream couple! How could I miss this juicy gossip in Witching Hour
? Have they reported it yet? Am I the first to know? Should I tell them? I think I should, right?!”
Thanks to Keira letting the cat out of the bag Kieran had to silence her again. I tried to tell her that it wasn’t true but she was absolutely fixated on the idea of me and James Potter being a dream couple.
By the end of dinner she was referring to me as Mrs Potter.
I gave Kieran strict instruction to stop Emily from spilling these rumours to any magazine. I very explicitly said: “Do whatever it takes to keep her quite: I don’t care if you dump her body in a lake or drug her with pumpkin juice.” To which my lovely little brother replied “Oh it’s okay Ari, I’ve got some nocturnal activities planned for us that will leave her exhausted in the morning…if you catch my drift.”
I actually freaked out and repeatedly slapped him on the head to chase out the wrackspurts which are evidently addling his brain.
“We both know that Emily girl won’t keep quiet about what she’s heard forever. It’s just best for you to accept it and move on.”
“Mum, Emily is very trustworthy…I would trust her with my life and first born child,” I stubbornly insist. Mum gave me a sceptical look to which I reply with an exasperated sigh- the one I reserve especially for her. “Why are you so fixated on the idea of me going through with this?”
“First of all Arielle you have no choice in the matter so stop acting like you can change the bloody situation. If you don’t abide by contract there are fatal legal consequences. And secondly it is all for your own happiness!”
I gape at her. Out of all the responses I expected from my mum it definitely wasn’t for my own emotional welfare. “If you cared about my own happiness you would let me carry on living alone,” I grumbled.
Mum snorted and snapped “Don’t think I don’t realise how lonely you are Arielle. You’re constantly running to and fro one office to another. I only get to see you at these occasional family dinners! You’ve been unbearably moany ever since that idiotic Derek boy left you and in any case don’t you remember I knew
Ginny Potter at school and I’m sure any child of her’s is lovely. All I want is for you to be able to spend some fun time with someone who isn’t Cathy. Is it that to much for me to want for my own daughter?” she finishes her ramble with a huff.
I refrain from reminding Mum that she was a snotty Ravenclaw who never spoke to Ginny Potter, instead I opt for another eye roll. Merlin, our family is so damn dramatic. Mum’s weekly theatrics lessons have clearly paid off as I’m starting to feel guilty once more.
NO, SNAP OUT OF IT ARIELLE. SHE’S LULLING YOU INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECRUITY!
“What do you hope to achieve by sulking here when you could face what’s to inevitably come and meet the boy?”
Good question Mum. Frankly I don’t know the answer to that one myself. I guess I’m naturally a sulker. Whenever I’m upset I delay the inevitable and run off to have a good sulk before I’m usually dragged back kicking and screaming.
Merlin, I really sound like a spoilt bitch, don’t I?
“Just think about it Ari,” Mum softly mutters, before patting my hand and trotting of to wash the dishes.
Sweet Rowena, I hate it when everyone else is right.
Hey guys! I'd just like to thank all the people ( i feel like I’m at an award ceremony) who favourited, reviewed or read the last two chapters. You guys are seriously amazing. You have no idea how much it helps me get what you like and spot my mistakes.
This may sound like a slightly odd question but when it shows you how many people have "read" your chapters is that people who just click on it or something else?? Okay i'm being silly :)
OKAY KEEP ON BEING AMAZING AND REVIEW....you know... if you want ;)
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me apart from my OC'S.
edited: 12/4/12. Chapter 4 is taking long because a virus corrupted all my word docs. I'm having to re-write it.