Chapter 8 : It Won't Be Long
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“Sorry girls that’s all you’re getting tonight,” I told the three girls that surrounded me. “I can pick it up where I left off tomorrow night or something.”
Each of them groaned, but I knew that they were just as tired as I was. I had been trying to explain James and I’s story to them, but I had only gotten as far as the seventh-year party that Roxanne’s older brother, Fred had thrown a bit into my fifth year.
“But I’m not even in the story! All you said was that you asked Jason where I-” She yawned, effectively cutting off her own argument, and she seemed to accept defeat. Roxanne sighed dejectedly and got into her bed. Alexis followed suit but Elise stayed on the floor with me. She was looking at me strangely at that point, and I was unsure as to what she was going to do. In fact, I thought she might have threatened me.
Instead, she leaned forward and hugged me, whispering into my ear, “Thank you for letting me be a part of this. I’m sorry for everything that happened before.”
Being the emotionally unstable teenager that I am, I almost cried. I laughed shakily and hugged her back, only releasing her when I felt her yawn into my hair. I laughed again got into bed myself, saying, “Goodnight girls.”
Nobody replied, but I wasn’t surprised as they were all sound asleep.
The next morning at breakfast, all of the girls were pestering me to tell them the rest of my story, but I was unrelenting. After all, it would be extremely embarrassing if anyone overheard that particular story. “Not until tonight,” I told them.
“That’s a little bit provocative of you, Lia,” a voice said behind me. I let out a girlish squeal, jumping up and throwing my arms around one Jason Longbottom. “Whoa, calm down, it’s only been two years. “
He said the last part sarcastically, holding me at arm’s length to inspect me properly. I couldn’t help but grin up at him, “I missed you, Jason.”
“Me, too,” Jason told me, sweetly. “You know, I couldn’t even convince my dad to tell me where you were off to, and he didn’t tell me you were coming back. Can you believe the cheek of that man?”
Jason threw me a wink as he joined our group at the table, with one arm around my shoulders. He looked at my friends, full out grinning. “So are you happy to have this one back in your ranks?”
“You know it, Jas-y-pants,” Elise told him, sticking out her tongue. I raised an eyebrow at the nickname and nudged Jason’s side. “Oh, Jason and I went out last year and to annoy this bunch we came out with some excellent nicknames for each other. Didn’t we, love-muffin?”
Roxanne and Alexis grimaced, but nodded to verify Elise’s story. I laughed at that, tossing a piece of blueberry muffin into my mouth. It was then that our head of house, Professor Flitwick joined us with blank pieces of parchment floating behind him. “Mr Longbottom, shouldn’t you be at your own table?”
“I already have my schedule, Professor. It’s one of the perks of having your dad as head of house,” He said, a sudden look of innocence sweeping his face of the previous joking that was occurring. “I thought it was imperative that I welcome back Amelia, instead of sitting with my fellow Gryffindors.”
“Miss Dubois,” Flitwick said, smiling up at me. He had been a big fan of mine before I left, but I knew his opinion would have been affected by what had happened in fifth year. “What classes are you thinking about taking this year?”
“Transfiguration, Charms,” I paused, trying to recount the subjects I had received adequate marks for. I wasn’t sure what I would be doing after Hogwarts, so I was just thinking about a general education. “Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures, sir.”
“A fine selection, Miss Dubois,” Flitwick said, still smiling at me, “I expected nothing less. It seems I’ll see you this afternoon in Charms.”
I nodded, taking my schedule and looking over it while Flitwick handed out the rest of my group’s schedules. Jason whipped out his own schedule and we compared them, noting that we had Charms, Potions, Defence and Care of Magical Creatures together. He smiled at me as he picked up his bag, swinging it over his shoulder and getting off the bench, saying, “James and I will see you in Defence in half an hour.”
“Sorry, Sweets, I’m not in Defence, but Elise and Roxy are,” Alexis said when I looked at her, quite upset with the information Jason had offered before his departure.
“Stop being such an eejit, he’ll be too embarrassed to say anything in class,” Roxanne told me. She then stole a piece of my muffin, because that would comfort anyone. Scowling, I took another piece of my muffin and went back to looking over my schedule, only to notice that Roxanne was waving at somebody on the Gryffindor table “Lucy is coming over.”
Right enough, the little redhead made her way over, past the Hufflepuff table and sat down to Roxanne’s left. “Talked to Jimmy?” Roxanne asked the moment that Lucy had sat down, waiting eagerly to see if the gossip mill was turning yet.
“Nope,” Lucy popped the ‘p’. “But, I did talk to Lily and she said that she wouldn’t say who the girl is. She did say, though, that it was a seventh year and that she was short.”
The last comment was not very appreciated, thank you very much Lily. I snorted derisively and rolled my eyes at the comment, trying to keep the gossipmongers of Hogwarts off my scent. “There are tonnes of short girls in seventh year, that hardly narrows down the search. Plus, the term ‘short’ is all relative. For instance, Roxanne may appear to be short when she stands next to her brother or James, but she looks tall when she’s around us. That was a silly clue that Lily gave you.”
“And who are you?” Lucy asked me, somewhat rudely. She placed on hand on her hip and cocked her head to the side, looking up at me condescendingly. I don’t know how it was possible to do so, but Lucy Weasley could do it. Funnily enough, I had seen her mother in the exact same position when Roxanne had tripped over her own feet and then giggled about it. This wasn’t ‘lady-like’. Audrey Weasley was a sweet woman, but she was very concerned with appearance in the public eye. When there was no possible way of being seen by outsiders, she was fine with being a normal mum, from what I’d heard but she was a completely different person out of her home.
“Amelia Dubois,” I told the second year, trying not to roll my eyes at her behaviour. I offered her my hand to shake and she took it unsurely, just as Lily sat down beside me. Apparently, Ravenclaw was a more popular breakfast spot that when I had left. I smiled at her, hoping she wouldn’t give me away.
“Hey,” she greeted us all, taking a piece of my muffin and looking at us all. She glared briefly at Elise, but I didn’t question it at the time. “So, is everyone ready for some spiffing classes?”
“Sorry, Lils, we’re in Ravenclaw,” Roxanne told her younger cousin. “We don’t joke about our education.”
Roxanne kept a straight face for a while before she burst into laughter and the rest of us joined her. Lily and Lucy were not as impressed with Roxanne’s joke as we were. We were used to the stereotype that said we had to love going to classes and would constantly be up for learning some new, complicated spell. Well, we aren’t always like that, okay?
“Shit, I may not be excited for it but we have class now,” I said, picking up what little remained of my muffin and finishing it. “Let’s go, Elise, Roxy. I can’t be late for my first class back at Hogwarts, hurry up!”
My voice ended up slightly hysterical for the last words but they got the message and joined me in my quick-walk to the Defence classroom. As per tradition, it was a different teacher to who had taught me when I was in fifth year, which I was thankful for. I didn’t like that the teachers all had a warped notion as to who I was, now. I was not a slut and I only had a vague moment of irresponsibility that should not tarnish my reputation as a good student.
“Well, seventh years, it seems we have a new student!” The professor announced happily. He was younger than I would have expected, and far too attractive to be a professor. He looked to be about 23, the same age as Jacob. “I must say, it’s quite odd to have a transfer this late in the game.”
“She’s not a transfer, she used to go here,” Edith Collins, a Gryffindor, told the professor. “She left in fifth year.”
I was actually quite impressed that Edith knew anything about me, having had very little contact with over the years we had been in the same classes. In fact, I really didn’t speak to many people in the first five years of my time at Hogwarts.
“And does she have a name?” The professor asked, looking from Edith to me with a kind smile. I returned it and nodded my head.
“It’s Amelia Dubois,” I told him, still smiling. In fact, I think I may have even batted my eyelashes. He was dreamy.
“Dubois?” He repeated my last name, eliciting a nod from me. “Any relation to Jacob and Matthew Dubois?”
“Yes, sir. They are my older brothers.” Perhaps I had been right in my analysis of this man’s age. If he went to Hogwarts, it was probable that he was in Jacob’s year or they could have crossed paths in some other way; Hogwarts wasn’t a massive school.
“Jacob’s a good friend of mine; now that I think of it, he did mention meeting up in Hogsmeade for a butterbeer now that his sister was at Hogwarts…” The professor wasn’t really talking to anyone, just think aloud. “To be honest, at the time I assumed he was talking about your first year, but this makes sense too. Anyway, I’m Professor Winston, your new Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher.” He added an extremely attractive smile at the end of the sentence and I almost swooned.
We were all standing at the back of the class, because Professor Winston was going to assign us seats based on aptitude in DADA, and I was stood in between Roxanne and Elise. Elise whispered into my ear, “we call him Professor McHottie (apparently it’s from a TV show that Roxy watched or something).” I nodded at this comment; it seemed a wholly appropriate nickname for this particular male specimen.
“Amelia and Edith,” the professor called us first. He wasn’t looking at his register, merely looking along the line of people. It seemed I would be sitting front row- how distracting. Other people were placed, and Roxanne ended up directly behind me, with James beside her. Jason was at the very back, alongside a Slytherin girl I knew to be quite intelligent, and Elise was across the aisle from Roxanne with a Hufflepuff. In the past, my classes had been split by houses, pairing different houses for different subjects but the classes were smaller this year so all the houses were mixed together. “We’ll be starting the year with a review of the unforgivables. Can anyone name them for me? Roxanne.”
“Sir, the three unforgivable curses are the Imperius curse, the Cruciatus curse and the Killing curse.” Roxanne supplied and I beamed at her. The professor nodded his head and wrote what Roxanne had said on the blackboard. All of the students, me included, dutifully wrote them down as the professor was.
“And can anyone tell me how to administer these aforementioned curses?” The professor asked. Of course, I knew but I didn’t want to offer up any more information as I had spoken quite enough for one class. This seemed to be an anti-Ravenclaw quality of mine: not wanting to have everyone’s attentions because of my intelligence. James didn’t share my sentiment. “Yes, James?”
“Imperio, Crucio and Avada Kedavra,” James stated.
“Succinct, but correct,” Professor McHottie said, smiling. This was, clearly, his constant facial expression. “Now, let’s have somebody from the back. What colour the light would be upon the administering of any of these curses? Rebecca.”
“The killing curse makes a…green flash,” Rebecca, the Slytherin next to Jason, said unsurely. “And the Cruciatus makes a red light? And the Imperius….”
“Makes a multi-coloured effect at the person’s head,” I finished off for Rebecca, and she smiled gratefully at me.
“Right you both are,” McHottie flashed us both a smile (so out of character, I know). “Now who hasn’t answered a question yet?”
The whole double passed with McHottie asking a lot of questions and us being able to collectively answer most of them. He did stump us all with a question about how to defend yourself against the killing curse. Everyone had thought that it was unavoidable, except in rare cases (i.e. Harry Potter or Voldemort) but it turns out that if can be blocked by a solid object. Who knew?
It was a good start to seventh year, and I concluded that I like defence, and I like Edith. She was particularly nice to me throughout the class, even if it was just small talk about what classes we were taking, the future and how attractive our professor was. After that class, however, I had transfiguration, which I was dreading. I felt like the professor already hated me, which was quite likely considering our sole encounter.
Just as in McHottie’s class, we would be assigned partners. Roxanne and Alexis had opted out of continuing with Transfiguration, but Elise joined me at the back of the class and I knew Jason was also in the class, so I hoped I would be sitting with either of them. Then again, I had discovered that I was quite anti-social prior to my departure from Hogwarts so perhaps sitting with somebody else would be good for me.
“Miss Dubois, Mr Potter,” Professor Armstrong announced our names first, unfortunately. “You’ll be at this desk here, front and centre.”
Again, what joy?
“No need to look so upset, Amelia,” James told me as I sat down next to him, scooting my chair as far away as possible. It’s safe to say that that ended up being one of the longest classes of my life. Not only was James jabbering in my ear the whole time, trying to be funny (which he rather was) because he knew how much I appreciated a sense of humour, but also Armstrong took every opportunity she had to ask me a question, even though we had barely started the topic.
After transfiguration, I had a free in which I worked on my transfiguration homework. Well, it wasn’t homework per se but she said that it would be discussed our next class. It was a review of some things covered in the sixth year syllabus so I’d already learnt it but it wasn’t fresh in my mind. Anyway, I got through it in my free and then went off to lunch, plopping down in the precise place I had been for breakfast.
“I wish this day would end so that you could finish the story,” Roxanne grumbled while I put some pasta on my plate. “Maybe if you just used code names…”
“Patience is a virtue,” I told her, scanning the hall for the rest of our foursome.
“Oops,” Roxy said, “I forgot that. I should really pay more attention to you, oh Sensei.”
“And sarcasm is the lowest form of wit,” I said. Roxanne dramatically threw her head into her hands and I continued eating my lunch- because I’m the mature one here. I felt my phone vibrate and I stood up abruptly, “I have a phone-call. I’ll be back in a while.”
“Hey, baby” I said into my MagiPhone as I stepped into the entranceway and walked over to the main staircase. I stood just off to the side, so that nobody could see or hear me, and so I would see people before they approached me. I heard unintelligible words through the phone and I laughed softly, feeling a dull ache in my heart.
“Hey Amelia,” Jacob said to me. “How was your first night back? And classes? Did you meet Archie?
“Slow down, Jake. I meant to message you guys last night- I had a meeting with McGonagall. She said that I can stay with jazzy every weekend, every Wednesday and for a week every month as long as I stay on top of my schoolwork and-“
“That’s brilliant, Amelia. The little muffin misses you, you know.” Jacob cut across and I sighed, waiting for him to realise he’d interrupted me. He hated it when people interrupted him so this was unacceptable. “Sorry, what were you saying?”
“Thank you,” I said, politely, “I was saying that I could only do that if I kept my grades up and if I stayed out of trouble and whatnot. My first night back was good, I talked to James, apparently he’s going to ‘win me back’ but I don’t know what-”
“That prick, if he thinks you’re going to give him the time of day, he’s got-” Jacob interrupted again and I cleared my throat. “Okay, I won’t interrupt again. Unless absolutely necessary.”
“As I was saying, I have no idea what he means by this, we were never really together, you know? That’s irrelevant though, because last night after I got back Roxy was demanding answers from me about James, so I decided to tell them-”
“Amelia, we’ve talked about this,” Jacob said with a sigh. I’d like to point out that he was interrupting me. Again. “It might be easier for you not to keep secrets but if you tell just one person then other people will know and they’ll judge you for it. Not to mention how it would impact Jazzy, I can’t believe you told people.”
“Calm down, I’m just telling them about the stuff with James before Jazzy came into the picture. You’re so judgemental sometimes, Jacob.” I raised my voice a bit before realising I was in the entrance hall. So I lowered it to a harsh whisper, “I’m sorry but even if I had decided to tell my best friends it’s not really your business- I’d trust them with my life. Better yet, I’d trust them with Jazzy’s life, and I know they could handle the secret. Before you interrupt, I don’t plan on telling them, but if I do then the only thing I’m concerned about is them judging me because of it.”
“Sorry, but you know how I feel about Jasmine,” Jacob said. I hate it when they play that card. They used to do it with me. Like, if I asked to go out and play by myself, my brother would say no, just ‘because they loved me so much.’ It’s not that I don’t believe the reasoning; it’s just irritating. “Did you meet Archie?”
“I have no idea who you’re talking about.” I said, wondering why my brother would know anyone that goes to Hogwarts. Then something clicked. “Do you mean Archie Winston?”
“Yeah, he’s your Defence teacher?” Jacob asked me.
“Then yes, I did meet him. He seems like a good teacher so far. He did mention you, said something about you sending him a letter asking to get a butterbeer or something like that,” I told my brother.
“Your daughter’s crying. I have to go and feed her. Tell Archibald Eros Montgomery-Winston I said hi, and let him know that I told you his full name. Love you, little sis.”
“love you too. Give Jazzy my love,” I said as I shut my MagiPhone.
“Who's Jazzy?” A voice asked from behind me.
Author’s note: apparently, I love ending with Amelia being interrupted. Anyway, hope you’re enjoying the story. Let me know what you think!
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