chapter image by lilscratchy at tda
I was late. It was my first class since I’d been let out of the hospital and I was late.
I didn’t think, out of all the time I’d been at Hogwarts, that I’d ever been as late as this to a class. I didn’t even know how I could be this late. Madam Phillips had let me out of the hospital wing an hour before I usually got up and I hadn’t even gone back to the dorm. Straight down to breakfast is where I went, had a little chat with Emily and then I set off for my first lesson which was Charms.
Charms was one of my three worst subjects and also one that Louis had to tutor me in. Let’s just say that I wasn’t the most gifted person when it came to using the wand. That was a bad trait to have when you were a witch.
As I reached the door to the Charms classroom, I stopped and took a deep breath. Not wanting to make a scene, I slowly opened the door attempting to do it noisily. Unfortunately, nothing ever ran smoothly with me.
The whole class turned to stare at me and I stared at the floor in embarrassment.
When I looked up, the Professor was giving me a stern look and for a moment I thought I’d get to detention. “Get to your seat, Miss Kent,” was what she said. “I’ll let you off this time as you’ve never been late before and you were in the hospital wing but – “there was always a ‘but’ “– if you’re ever late to my lesson again, I won’t hesitate to give you detention.”
I spoke quietly, “Yes Professor.”
By the time I had taken my seat at the back of the classroom, my face was beetroot red and Professor Huffington had started the lesson. I knew that I had to pay attention if I wanted to pass on my N.E.W.T’s but it was hard when I had Emily kicking my leg repeatedly under the table.
Usually in lessons I would sit next to Breanne but she had chosen to sit on the other side of the classroom next to Liam McMaster. He and Breanne had a ‘thing’ going on, it was more of an on and off relationship. One week they were together, the next they hated each other’s guts. Today was obviously one of their ‘on’ days.
I turned to face Emily and shot her a questioning look.
Emily glanced at Professor Huffington to make sure she wasn’t looking before talking. “What was all that about?”
“I was late?” I said, unsure making it come out as more of a question.
“No, what’s all this about you being in the hospital wing because of Louis? What did he do?”
I sighed; I should have seen this coming really. It was Emily after all, she was starving for gossip.
“It wasn’t Louis’ fault, it was mine. We were whomping willow hopping and a branch was coming towards me. Louis shouted for me to get out of the way but, like the idiot I am, I just stood there,” I told her, feeling secretly amused as I watched her facial expressions change rapidly. She went from confusion to shock to horror.
“Wow,” she gasped. “I wish Louis cared for me like that…”
Emily didn’t mean what I thought she did, did she? No, she couldn’t. Emily knew how I felt about Louis and if she liked him too then that would bring my current status of never going to happen
down to absolutely impossible, not even worth bothering
. Safe to say, I was in a dilemma of sorts.
Common knowledge had it that Emily was a better candidate for a girlfriend (if you were to call it that); she was funnier than me, more talkative than me and a lot prettier than me. Whereas I was shy and self-depreciative. It wouldn’t take a genius to guess who, if given the choice, Louis would pick.
“Not like that,” Emily hurriedly said. “It’s not like I fancy Louis or anything. No he’s, like, yours and everything but I don’t know I just kind of wish I had someone to care for me. I mean I know I’ve had boyfriends and I have friends – like you and Breanne – who care but Louis barely knows you yet he still cares about you as if he’d known you all his life or something.”
I took in Emily’s words with some confusion. Louis couldn’t have cared about me that much, he was a Gryffindor – it was part of his personality to want to help someone in need. It just so happened that the person in need was me.
“Nah, he doesn’t really care that much about me. It’s just his… Gryffindor chivalry,” I pointed out lamely.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Emily smile.
“Well I heard he thinks you’re sweet.”
I didn’t believe it and I tried not to blush but when had I ever been able to control my blushing? That’s right, never. I was just a blushing machine.
“Who told you that?” I asked.
“I overheard it… somewhere. Maybe I heard wrong…” Emily trailed off with some uncertainty.
I didn’t get a chance to reply to her as Professor Huffington sent a warning look in our direction. A look that said: If you don’t shut up now, you will be in detention quicker than you can say marauder.
Emily leaned into me. “Did you hear about that Slytherin? What’s-her-face… Evelyn Smith. You apparently she…”
And that’s when I zoned out; I had no interest what so ever in Emily’s gossip. Poor Evelyn, it was probably something untrue and just plain mean as that was the only gossip that ever interested Emily. Sometimes I wondered how she even got into Hufflepuff. I mean, I understood the whole ‘family ties’ thing but really, she’d be much better suited in Ravenclaw or even Slytherin.
Just not Hufflepuff.
“Hey, Loria! Look Louis, it’s Loria,” squealed a voice which I immediately recognised as Zoe’s.
I had been on my way to lunch where Emily was waiting for me – I still hadn’t spoken to Breanne. Well, more like she hadn’t made any effort to approach me and, honestly, I was too scared to go up to her. To me, it seemed like I had something wrong and she was in a mood with me.
For some reason, and out of character for me, I continued walking. Usually I would have turned round and stood while they spoke to me but I could almost smell the food from the Great Hall and I just wanted to get there, have my lunch and get to my next lesson. That was all I asked.
“Loria!” Zoe called.
This time I had to stop. She was with Louis and I didn’t want him thinking of me as the rude girl he is forced to tutor. Being thought of as shy was fine by me but rude just… wasn’t. I didn’t like rude people therefore I myself wouldn’t want to be called rude. To me, that was the ultimate insult.
I stopped and turned around, smiling shyly.
Hand in hand, Zoe and Louis strolled towards me. Each step closer they came, the brighter shade of red I felt my face get. Students passing in the halls were staring at me. They were probably wondering who I was and why two of the most well-known and popular people in the school were calling me.
“Hi, Lori.” Zoe smiled brightly at me.
“You alright?” Louis asked.
“Er, yes… I’m great actually, yeah!” I exclaimed a little frantically.
Both Louis and Zoe stared at me as if I belonged in some sort of mental hospital. Because I, Loria Jane Kent, was a blithering idiot in front of – not just the boy I’d fancied since I was 11 – but in front of anyone. Really, I should have just been banned from any kind of social interaction right there on the spot. It just wasn’t safe for either party involved.
“That’s good.” Louis smiled a genuine smiled.
We all walked together down the corridor, me in silence with Zoe and Louis whispering presumably sweet things to each other. At that moment I realised how truly lonely I was. I’d never had a boyfriend – ever. Breanne and even Emily had always overshadowed me.
Which is why, at that point, I made the vow to become more outgoing and less socially awkward. Actually doing it was harder than it sounded by the end of my seventh year, I was going to be a changed person. That gave me five months.
“Can I talk to you for just a second?” Louis turned to face me as he said this.
I stared at him. Remember Loria: outgoing, don’t be awkward.
“Er.” Or maybe not. “Y – Yes, yes of – er – of course.”
It was progress.
“I was thinking that we could squeeze in an early morning tutoring session tomorrow morning. Is that ok with you?” Louis smiled his award winning smile which made me weak at the knees. How could I say no?
In fact, I couldn’t say anything so I just nodded. For Louis, this was a good enough answer.
“Great.” He beamed. “I’ve gotta go, told the cousins I’d play Quidditch with them.”
He gave a pink cheeked Zoe a kiss on the cheek and smiled at me before running off. This left me alone with Zoe. Could the situation get any more awkward?
“Isn’t he just amazing?” Zoe gazed at Louis’ retreating back.
Apparently it could.
“Oh, er, yeah he… he is.” I attempted a smile but I expect it looked more as if I was in pain.
But even if it did, Zoe didn’t notice. She just carried on chatting away about Louis not realising that she was stealing my man, the love of my life. In fact, she had stolen them and I couldn’t do anything about it. That was the worst feeling, knowing that what you want is within reach but someone else has swooped in – knocking you right out of the way so you fall on your face – and taken them from you.
Really, it wasn’t a nice feeling.
I made my excuses to leave Zoe and hurriedly walked away. Just as I was turning the corner, however, Zoe shouted to me.
“Do you want to tag along to Hogsmeade with me and Louis?”
Say no, say no, say no.
“Er, yeah, ok.”
I really was the biggest idiot ever.
Back in the dorm and still no sign of Breanne, I was sitting at the bottom of Emily’s bed while she read Witch Weekly. As well as gossip, she loved to read so Witch Weekly was like a heaven sent thing for her. Well, if you could actually count Witch Weekly as proper reading material – which most people including myself didn’t. It was just a load of rubbish.
“Wow that Dominique Weasley’s a bit of a wild child. You would’ve thought that after her claim to fame in that modelling thing that she’d be a bit better behaved, wouldn’t you?”
Dominique Weasley? Wasn’t that… that was Louis’ sister. I shuffled up next to Emily and peered over her shoulder at the magazine where Dominique could be seen stumbling out of the Leaky Cauldron. I guessed it had been ‘Night club night’ because the famous model (not super, yet) Dominique Weasley wouldn’t be caught dead in such a place. Unless it was night club night, from what I had read she was a regular down there on that night.
I wondered if Louis was like that or would he become like that. Their sister, Victoire, wasn’t from what I’d heard. But then again, she wasn’t exactly famous so I guess I wouldn’t know if she was similar to her sister.
Despite being the youngest, I’d heard that Louis was actually quite protective over his sisters. Although he sort of had to be considering how bloody beautiful they were. They were admired by many people – particularly men.
Louis’ whole family was beautiful. I’d seen his mum once at the station and I was, to say the least, quite overwhelmed. I didn’t even know it was possible to be that beautiful. Seriously, they couldn’t all be fully human. No human was that good looking.
“Dominique is so pretty.” Emily sulked.
I chuckled at her frowning face.
“You’re pretty too, Ems,” I told her.
“So are you, Lori.” She grinned.
I blushed, she was just saying that.
“No really,” Emily said. “Louis is a fool if he can’t realise who perfect you are for him.”
This just made me blush deeper. I really needed to get some more control over the heat and colour of my cheeks. Now it was just beginning to get embarrassing.
“You… you really think so?” I asked quietly.
“Yes! You’re a really sweet girl, Loria and Louis is a really nice boy. If you’re not perfect for him then I don’t know who is.”
“Zoe is,” I mumbled.
“Zoe? No way. Zoe’s pretty and she seems nice enough but her and Louis… well something just isn’t right between the two of them. If you get what I mean?”
“But she loves him,” I moaned.
“She thinks she loves him. They haven’t even been together that long. They had a secret relationship about two week before they came public and that still isn’t long enough for her to know if she’s in love with him. For all you know, she might find someone better suited to her. Merlin, I know who.”
“Who?” I asked.
Emily just tapped her nose secretively and winked. But I had to admit, I did feel better than I had. Even if what Emily had said wasn’t true, the possibility of it was what kept me together. Louis and I still had many tutoring sessions to come and no matter what it took – he would be mine.
hooray for speedy updates? I'm loving this short queue although it is getting longer so I thought I'd speed through this chapter to get it in a validated. I think it was the quickest chapter I'd ever written? Anyway, I hope you like it and we finally get to properly meet Emily woo;)