Chapter 2 : When to Shove Her in the Lake
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So I suppose you may be a bit confused. After all, I did jump into the story rather quickly. I'll go back to the beginning of this story, which really began with me meeting Taylor.
I can say that I was never as nervous as I was that day on platform 9 and 3/4, getting ready to board the school train. My thoughts kept drifting over to the thought of Slytherin. James had spent all summer telling me about Slytherins. How they lived in a swamp underneath Hogwarts with beds made of snake scales and dragon hide. That all they learned was how to hex somebody and how to keep a snake for a pet.
But what scared me the most was the thought that I could be bad. What Dad said about the hat giving me a choice helped a lot, knowing that I had some control over the situation, which is what got me away from my mum and dad and onto the train into a compartment with my cousin Rose and another blonde boy who was already sitting by himself. He introduced himself as Scorpius, and Rose and I introduced ourselves formally as well.
We quickly began discussing Hogwarts, and what we had heard about it, which, with Rose's knowledge of Hogwarts, a History, was a lot. Rose treated (treats) that book like the bible.
About an hour into our journey, we were interuppted by the door slamming open. That was what struck me about Taylor, she was blunt and fierce, to the point where she was violent.
"Have you lot seen my brother? My height, with my hair, except shorter, of course. Vacant look in his eyes, drool down his chin?" A girl of average height with long brown hair and brown eyes stood before us, leaning against the door. She was wearing frayed jean shorts and a T-shrit with famous, old, muggle band named after bugs, printed on it.
"No, we haven't." Said Rose.
"Darn. I'm Taylor, by the way. Taylor Ackhart. You do know that you forgot to brush your hair this morning, right?" She said towards me.
"What?" I asked, incredulous.
"Your hair looks like you stuck your finger into an eletric socket. I'm surprised there aren't birds living in there." She explained.
I scowled. "It's not my fault my hair's messy. It's genetic. And what's an electric socket?"
"That's too bad. You don't know what an electric socket is?" She had a look on her face that clearly said You-seriously-don't-know-that?
"No. Raised by Wizards." I explained. "You a muggleborn?"
"Yep. Me and my brother both." She seemed almost proud.
"That's so cool! My mum is muggleborn, so she knows all these different muggle things." Rose exclaimed.
"Yeah, I guess. It's just how life was for me though. Wizard stuff is way cooler."
They went on talking about these sort of things for a long time. Frankly, I lost track after she explained how cars worked. She spent a lot of time on that, and apparently, knew a lot, and couldn't wait to dreeve. Whatever that meant.
After a while, she went to change into her robes and look for her brother. Rose, Scorpius and I changed as well, as it was growing dark and we would be there soon.
We were all sitting anxiously when the train came to a stop at the Hogsmede station. Hagrid waved us all over to the boats. Rose and Scorpius got on a boat with Frank Longbottom, leaving me with Taylor and her brother, Brad.
I was still mad at Taylor for making fun of my hair, but Brad was cool. We clambered into the boat, Taylor almost falling into the lake right then and there, as she posseses the grace of a giraffe on rollerskates. Haha. Funny mental image.
Once we were all settled into our boats, they began to glide across the glimmering lake of their own accord.
"So, I'm curious. Do you use grease to get your hair like that, or does it naturally look like a rainforest with monkeys swinging around, messing it up further?" Taylor asked, honestly curious.
Me, posessing the mind of an eleven year old, responded to her question by shoving her, and of course she stumbled, falling back into the lake. Of course, her brother immediately started freaking out, but Taylor came up, laughing. I breathed a sigh of relief, because Brad looked like he was ready to push me into the lake. Before he could do so, as he still looked kind of ticked, I reached out an arm to help Taylor back into the boat.
Probably the worst decision of my first year. Because of course, she reached out to grab my arm, which she did, but instead of me helping her, she just pulled me over the side instead. I came up to her laughing really hard, snorting once or twice. Brad was laughing too, and of course I realized how stupid I looked, so I laughed too.
Hagrid pulled us back into our boat, sopping wet and laughing hysterically.
And just like that, we were best friends.
Well, Taylor and I were, but Brad was still sort of mad that I pushed his sister into the lake in the first place. But, we became friends shortly, and also became good friends with Tanner Wood, then later on, with Frank Longbottom and Scorpius Malfoy who were already best friends, and also with John Harvey, the other bloke in our dormitory, who was a pretty cool guy, and good mates with Tanner. Probably not the best idea i've ever had, but they're my friends, so what are you gonna do?
I don't mean to get all serious on you people, but this little story is something you should know.
In the summer before fourth year, Taylor and Brad were staying at my place for the remaining two weeks of the holiday before school started up again. It had been a great summer, us three exchanging letters every other day and meeting up whenever we could. We had spent the first six days of their visit chilling by the lake several blocks down from our house. We had been playing in the water, sipping lemonade, playing football in the sand, as it was a muggle beach, and having spitting contests. (Mature, right? Yet totally amazing)
Taylor and Brad had been teaching me and James to play poker in my kitchen when the phone rang.
Our phone is usually a prop, as we live in a muggle neighborhood. It came with the house, and hardly ever gets used, except for when Uncle Dudley calls (which means it's time to have dinner with them. Ugh.) or when Taylor or Brad want to chat, them being muggle born.
Obviously, Taylor and Brad were with us, and we had just had dinner with Dudley's family not two weeks ago, so I had no idea who it was. I shrugged at James, who also looked confused, and got the phone.
"Hello, may I please speak to Mr. or Mrs. Potter?"
"Sure, just a minute. MUM! Phone's for you!" I called out the window, where my mother was gardening.
"Coming." She entered the door and took off her gloves, taking the phone from me. "Who is it?"
I went back to the table and sat down.
"Yes, this is... Uh huh, are you positive? What for, if I may ask?" She glanced over at us and covered the mouthpiece with her hand.
"Al, James, why don't you go out to the lake for a bit with Taylor and Brad?" It wasn't a suggestion.
We obliged, confused. We spent the whole way there debating who it was that had called.
"Probably the mafia, wanting something to do with your dad." Suggested Brad.
"Nah, he's too good to be involved with anything that cool. It's probably some sort of muggle bank thing or something." James said.
"Maybe someone died." I suggested. "Do you think it'd be Uncle Dudley? That'd be a right shame."
"Yeah, then we'd have to spend dinner with only Aunt Agatha and Vermillion. I swear that girl grows more every time we see her. Up and out." James joked.
Taylor elbowed him. "That's mean. She's still your cousin."
"Second cousin. I think." James said. "I'm not sure what she actually is."
"Yeah, pig or goose." I added.
Brad and James laughed, while Taylor just shook her head, clucking her tongue.
We had fun at the lake, but eventually the sun set and it was time to get back to home.
When we got back, we heard my dad quietly discussing something with my mother in my dad's office. I didn't hear what it was because they stopped the moment the door shut.
My mother appeared in the doorway. "Taylor, Brad, could I talk to you please?"
They looked confused, but went on in anyways.
James and I were shut out and my mother threatened to take away our weekly flying privleges if we so much as tried to eavesdrop.
My mother knows us well. Sometimes a little too well.
We decided to wait upstairs in my room for them to finish talking.
It took about three quarters of an hour before I heard doors slamming.
James and I ventured out of my room to see Brad run through the front door, yelling Taylor's name.
We went down the stairs quickly but quietly to see my parents in my dad's study, whispering to each other.
I slipped out the door on my own. I couldn't see what way Brad and Taylor had gone, so I started jogging down the street one way, hoping that I was right.
I spent the time running thinking about what could have made Taylor so upset that she had run out of the house, and for Brad to chase after her.
I arrived at the muggle park about five or so blocks from my house and noticed a lone figure on the swings. I jogged over, slowing as I reached them.
She didn't aknowledge my presence as I sat on the swing next to her. I just sat there with her, not exactly sure what I should say.
One half of my brain was shouting at me to ask what had happened, but the more reasonable half told me to just wait until Taylor was ready.
We sat together in silence for what felt like ages, gently swaying in the breeze, watching as a mother tried to convince a young boy that it was time to leave, as the sun had just about set.
They left, and the street lights came on, bringing with it a cool breeze. The street was cast with a warm glow from the lights.
"My dad was arrested." Taylor said, finally, quietly.
I sat and listened.
"Muggle police men discovered that he had commited fraud. They took him out of the garage this morning. He has to go to court and serve jail time."
"What kind of fraud?" I asked cautiously.
"Apparently he had cheaped some people out, making sure that cars weren't completely fixed, so that people would come back. He even purposefully destroyed someone's engine. That's how the police caught on."
She breathed in deeply. "Apparently he's been doing it for years."
"Taylor, what ever happened to your mom? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, I'm merely curious."
She looked out into the sky, at the many stars that had begun to appear.
"She left us when I was two years old. I don't know why, but my parents had a lot of money issues when I was growing up, so I always assumed it was about that.
"But now I don't even know that. Now I realize that she probably left because she knew the truth about my father, but didn't bother saving me and Brad from him. She knew that he was a bad person..."
And right there, she broke down into tears. It was the first time I had ever seen her cry, and still the only time she'd ever cried while I had known her.
I put my arm around her gently, hesitantly, as an awkward fourteen year old would do. She leaned into my shoulder gratefully, and we stayed like that for a long time.
After some time, Brad found us. He sat with us as well, not even bothering to scold me for having my arm around his sister. Eventually, Taylor got up and wiped the tears from her eyes. Brad got up and gave her a big hug. We walked down the street together, not saying anything. We came across the lake, and as if it was already decided, went and sat down in the sand, throwing rocks into the water.
Taylor leaned against me and had her feet in Brad's lap.
"Your dad isn't a bad person, you know." I said after awhile. "Some people just tend to waft towards the gray area sometimes. My dad always tells me about how people will do bad things to protect their families or friends. My dad robbed the biggest Wizarding bank in the world with my aunt and uncle. But he had a good reason."
They quietly listened as I explained this.
"Of course, that doesn't mean I'm suggesting we go rob a bank." I added.
"We wouldn't make it past the front door." Joked Taylor feebly.
"The front steps." Brad added. He got up, gently putting Taylor's feet in the sand, and went over to the water's edge.
Taylor and I joined him. Taylor wandered away, splashing water as she went. She followed back, splashing Brad with a huge kick of water.
"Oi!" He shouted indignantly, rubbing water out of his eyes.
He shoved some water back at her, which missed and hit me. I retaliated, splashing the both of them, who were now laughing. I laughed along, and a huge splash fight ensued.
I was just dodging a huge splash Brad had sent my way when something jumped on my back.
"You're going down Al!" Taylor cried, and I toppled down in the water under her weight. I jumped back out, shaking water from my face and hair, and couldn't help but retaliate.
I mean, what would you do?
I shoved Taylor into the water, and she squealed, going under.
I was grinning as I helped her back up, but Brad of course, had to get back at me for that, and he shoved me down again.
This brings us to present day, a couple of days after our first meeting of the Dare Jar Club. The Slytherin common room stunt had been a hit, and the teachers had no idea who to pin it on. The Slytherins were all pissed at the Gryffindor house in general, but it was all in good fun. Minus one or two scuffles and a broken nose.
Me, Taylor, Brad and Tanner were sitting by the lake after classes, relaxing and studying, enjoying the cool fall breeze. Taylor and I were standing with our feet in the water, with Brad and Tanner sprawled out in the grass behind us.
"So Taylor, swore at McGonagall yet?" Tanner asked casually, referring to Taylor's dare, which I knew for a fact she had neglected to do it yet.
"No." She said. "I'm working on it."
"Well hurry up, because she's coming this way." I said, noticing McGonagall parading down the hill towards Hagrid's hut. She would be passing right by us, so it was the perfect chance for Taylor to do her dare.
"Okay, fine." She said, turning around towards McGonagall.
"Hey McGonagall- F[censored for the sake of your innocence]!" She shouted.
She then dived down below the surface of the lake. McGonagall's head whipped around, her eyes wandering around, then settling on me. Oh kumquat.
"Potter! Detention tomorrow for innapproipriate language at a teacher! And It will not be pleasant!"
I smacked myself in the forehead. Of course, she would see me first. Brad and Tanner were laughing, and so was Taylor, who was now breaking through the surface of the lake. I was glaring at her, pissed for getting me a detention.
"And that is how a dare is done, gentlemen." She said, laughing, taking a bow as Brad and Tanner clapped.
I responded by shoving her into the lake again.
Hey, she deserved it for getting me a detention like that.
And Brad shoved me in seconds later anyways, which I had to admit should've seen coming.
Obviously, nothing's really changed when it comes down to the essentials.
But who am I kidding?
A/N: What did you think of this chapter? Please review! Was it too serious? Too not serious? too.... i don't know, corny? Let moui know, via the pretty box about three inches below this message!
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