Disclaimer:The OC's and parts of this plot belong to me. The story title belongs to Taylor Swift and the rest of it is J.K Rowling's, I do not claim ownership. Thank you for reading.
A crackling red light soared towards Coralie, she managed to duck just in time so that it hit the lamp behind her instead. With a echoing crack, it smashed into tiny piece- little shards of glass flying across the floor.
“Jacob!” Marcelle yelled, glaring daggers at the boy in question who only twisted his face slightly in response. With a flick of her own wand, she cleaned up the mess on the floor and repaired the lamp.
“You need to stop ducking Coralie, start throwing spells back at me” Jacob said sternly, running his fingers through his hair before sighing and pointing his wand directly at Coralie again.
“I’m sorry, reflexes!” she squeaked, holding her own wand straight in front of her.
“On three” Coralie nodded at this, squeezing her wand tighter. “One, Two” Jacob paused, closed his eyes for a brief moment before he continued. “Three”
“Expelliarmus” Jacob’s wand flew out of his hands and towards Coralie who caught it only to have it slip from her hands.
“Better, now again” Coralie groaned at this and threw her brother his wand. Ever since the ‘cat-fight’ between Shelena and herself, just two weeks before, she had returned home for Christmas break and Jacob had become obsessive about teaching her how to duel properly. Though he said it was in case she ever needed to protect herself against Shelena, Coralie knew that Jacob was far more interested in being able to duel full stop.
“Don’t you think it’s time you gave it a rest?” Marcelle interrupted before Jacob could break her favourite lamp, yet again.
“Mother, she won’t be able to protect herself if we stop” he replied, he was moaning so much that he actually sounded like a little boy under the age of ten who had just been told to quit at something, rather than a twenty-one year old man who had been asked to stop duelling his younger sister.
“You both need a break. Come sit down and get some lunch” Jacob made to interrupt at this but Marcelle quickly cut him off. “I promise Cora won’t forget everything if she goes the rest of the day without a duel”
“I suppose we can continue this tomorrow” Jacob solemnly agreed, dropping his wand back into his pocket and rubbing the sweat off his hands on his pants.
“You will do no such thing” Marcelle replied with outrage before turning on her heel and disappearing into the kitchen. If her mother hadn’t have mentioned it, Coralie probably wouldn’t have remembered- Tomorrow was Christmas Day, it didn’t feel like it at all. Sure, they had put up decorations and things but Coralie had been spending all of her time practicing spells that she had barely had time to breathe.
“Mother, that is hardly fair” Jacob called after her but quickly dropped the subject when she screamed back a response at him, he sighed and headed up to his room- most likely to look up more spells for Coralie. Honestly, she was happy that she would get a chance to have a break tomorrow- her arms were so sore from constantly throwing spells around and the days were starting to mash into one.
“Coralie, sweetheart” Her mother’s voice bought her back into reality and she grabbed her jacket from the back of the couch before heading towards the kitchen. She sat down next to Angus who sent her a bright smile and took a bit of the ham and cheese croissant her mother had made.
“Have you found anything yet?” Coralie asked him. Every member of the Bennett family had been given a job, Jacob was to teach Coralie how to duel, Marcelle and Allisyn were researching the curse and trying to work out how to stop it or even what it did, Violet and Angus had been placed on ‘Millen research’- basically they were to find out as much as humanly possible about the Millen family.
“We’re still trying to find the smallest Millen, there’s absolutely nothing on them whatsoever” Coralie frowned at this, she knew Angus was trying his hardest and she always knew that the fact that he couldn’t find anything really bothered him.
“You’ll find it eventually” Coralie responded and Angus sighed in response, taking a sip of his orange juice.
“What if I don’t find it quick enough though?” It was the question that could have been left unsaid, it was on everyone’s mind but no one had voiced it until now. It was the most difficult question to answer and really the one Coralie didn’t ever want to think about or answer instead, she wrapped her arms around Angus’ side and placed a kiss on his forehead.
“Don’t worry, I trust you” she whispered and Angus sighed again, resting his forehead on Coralie’s shoulder. So much for a Merry Christmas.
Christmas in the Millen household was similar but different in every way. For one, their Christmases were never perfect to begin with- in fact their mother hated Christmas more than any other time of the year, not that she was particularly fond of any other day really.
But just like the Bennett’s were doing a good thirty miles or so away from them, the Millen’s were training. Unlike the other family though, this was not a joint effort in fact- Leo spent all of his time in his room doing what Shelena guessed to be as writing more childish letters to Coralie, her mother was either out or asleep and her little sister was hardly any use.
And so, like always, Shelena was completely alone. With this thought, she let out another strangled scream and threw a pile of her little sister's books against the wall. She hated feeling so pathetic, like she wouldn't be able to with this problem by herself- oh, how she wanted to be able to.
Who would help her though? Honestly, she wouldn't have helped herself if she was in someone else's shoes. It had taken her up until that stupid little fight with Bennett to realise that her old friends didn't want her anymore. She understood why, she had changed.
She wasn't Shelena anymore, not really- she was some faker who was doing a terrible job. Before fifth year, Shelena had been so good. Sure, sometimes she got a little moody but in her heart she always tried to do the right thing. Then things had changed, it wasn't just her- Lily changed, Sirius changed, Nathaniel changed and everyone else.
The only difference was that they had changed for the better and Shelena certainly had not. She wanted to lie to herself, believe that it was everyone else's fault but it wasn't. And now, she was alone.
A sob caught in her throat and before she even realised what was happening, tears were streaming down her face and she collapsed against the wall, letting herself slide down to the floor.
She wished she had stopped herself before this had gotten so bad. The old Shelena, the real Shelena wouldn't have wanted her friends to suffer because of some silly curse that was laced in her blood and that of Coralie's. She didn't want Coralie to die because of it, just like she didn't want to die herself.
They were just teenage girls for Merlin's sake, just normal teenage girls who should have been allowed to be carefree and go shopping and giggle about boys. All of them, not just her and Coralie, had matured too fast.
That didn’t mean Shelena could stop now though, this was a fight for survival now- one that she had bought on herself and though she knew Coralie didn’t deserve to suffer she wasn’t about to take it either.
The familiar surroundings of the Potter Manor materialised around James, he’d walked down this same corridor so many times that he could make his way through it in the dark without even having to think about it. It was dead silent, something that James’ mother would have made a point of- it was hardly ever quiet with both James and Sirius around. And yet, that night was silent.
This scene wasn't much different to the real life occurance that had only happened two nights ago, it had been replaying itself over and over again in James' head. He knew how this dream would end as much as he tried to drag his feet along the corridor and to head back to bed rather than to continue, he couldn't.
He wondered if Sirius was going through the same sort of thing, then again Sirius had still been fast asleep at the time. It wasn't until James woke him up that he even knew they were gone.
His parents that was, their parents, really.
James wanted to believe that they had just gone off on another one of their missions and they'd be back in a few days time. Their mother would go all out with cookies that he and Sirius would eat in an hour or less then she'd laugh about how her sons wouldn't have survived without her- it was true. Their father would then tell them stories of the daring duels and raids they had encountered on their mission, both James and Sirius would listen attentively.
It was from these stories they had decided to become aurors, while James had been listening to them ever since he was little Sirius had picked up on them quickly when he moved in two years ago now. Their parents had laughed and joked about it, expressing their sorrows for Mad-Eye Moody who would most likely train them.
If James or Sirius had been undecided before as to their future career paths then by now, they were certainly set in stone. They were both determined as each other to lock up the Death Eaters who had taken their parents from them for as long as they possibly could.
It wasn't only their parents they wanted to become aurors for, it was all their friends too and even some people they didn't know. They knew their rights and wrongs and they knew what they had to do to make sure they were followed through with.
James refused to let his parents death be in vain.
The news of the Potter’s deaths passed quickly through Wizarding England, every family that was either fighting for their cause or were just simply neutral knew of them. In the same week as their funeral, James had received more sympathy letters than the total amount of letter’s he had ever been sent in his life before. It seemed his parents touched more people’s lives than he had previously thought.
Both he and Sirius were sick of receiving letters from people they had never heard of before telling them how close they were with their parents. James had taken to leaving one of the house elves- Mickey, to open the letters and giving him the ones worth reading. The ones from Remus, Peter and some of the girls mainly.
“Master James, someone is at the door” The Potter’s second house elf- Fane, squeaked. James jumped slightly at the sound, dropping a letter he had been reading onto the desk in front of him and heading towards the front door, Fane following closely behind but hiding himself behind James when he opened in the door in case it was a muggle.
“James” He fought back a groan and the overwhelming want to slam the door in their visitor’s face.
“Shelena, if you are here to see Sirius he doesn’t want to see you” Shelena pursed her lips together and pushed her way into the house anyway, she didn’t care if he didn’t want to see her- she was here to see him.
“Go get Sirius, will you?” She turned to the house elf who looked ready to respond smartly to her before thought better of it and scampered down the hallway.
“You can’t just turn up here anymore” James started, his voice stern as he watched her slip over to the fireplace. Above it hung a picture of James and Sirius, they were both smiling at the camera and laughing about something. He watched as Shelena ran a finger over Sirius’ face, he wanted to step forward and tear her arm away but he stopped himself.
“I’m just here to make sure he’s okay” Shelena respond with a smile, it would have seemed sweet enough if James had known her as well and had he not noticed the familiar glimmer in her eyes.
“He’s fine, now you can leave” she chuckled slightly, plopping herself down on the regal couch. She crossed her legs and waited silently.
“What are you doing here?” Sirius’ voice interrupted the silence, he stood at the bottom of the stairs firmly- not wanting to move any closer to Shelena.
“I came to see you” Shelena smirked, standing up from the couch and making her way over to Sirius who still did not smile or move. Once she got close enough she leaned up slightly and placed a kiss of his cheek which he blankly ignored.
“And now you’ve seen me, so you can go” Sirius replied and she scoffed at this, before her mouth twitched slightly- the ends curling into a sadist smile.
“Tell me Sirius, has Bennett come to visit or is she too busy banging Peakes?” At this, she turned on her heel or strutted from the room. The front door slamming shut before Sirius even blinked, and then within seconds he had yelled out in frustration and stormed back up to his room leaving James alone with his thoughts once more.
Coralie could hardly believe the amount of snow that had fallen in the past week. Most of the town was now covered in a few thick layers of snow that had people slipping and sliding all over the place. Violet now had a purple bruise on the side of her left arm to remind her not to attempt to run up a hill covered in snow next to a fence.
Coralie was heading into town that morning; she had received a letter for Nate only two previously and had agreed to meet with him. As much as she wanted to see him, she always wanted to stay inside wrapped up in a blanket in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea and a book for the reminder of the holidays.
Instead, there she was in the main street of the town dressed a short dress that Violet demanded she wore, a pair of tights and a jacket. She wondered if she would freeze to death before Nathaniel got there or whether her body would hold out until she saw him.
“Hey” Coralie shivered slightly and turned to wrap her arms around Nathaniel who chuckled and hugged her back tightly, placing a small kiss on her forehead. “You a tad cold, eh?” Coralie only glared at him in response, slipping her fingers in his as he led her into a little cafe- she was more grateful for the warmth than anything else.
“How was your Christmas?” she asked, taking a sip of the tea that Nathaniel had order for her.
“Good, good” He grinned, pouring a packet of sugar into his own tea. “And yours?” he added but cut her off before she got the chance to reply, “Cat fight with any of my other ex-girlfriends?” Nathaniel chuckled, leaning back into his chair.
“Of course love, everyone of them” Coralie replied with a wicked smile before she too burst into chuckles.
Author’s Note: SURPRISE! Yep, extra chapter for you guys! I know I said I’d be posting on Monday’s and Friday’s but it’s sort of hitting me that this story is really coming to an end quite quickly and therefore I want to get it all finished. I am going to be writing a sequel which I am going to be giving you hints about in the author’s note of the remaining chapters. So I will see you all on Friday with the next chapter!
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