Chapter 7 : Lottie and Thomas
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CREDITS: Absolutely none (yes, none) of this would be possible without my amazing friend/beta/master Abi! (crazy717/phoenix_tearPatronus) She's the best!
(Yet another) simply ... gah ... by Camila @ TDA.
I stumbled into the Defence classroom to find everyone staring at me, including Professor Patil.
“Ten points from Slytherin. Try not be late next time,” she greeted in a dry tone.
“Technically, she isn’t late, Professor. Class doesn’t start for two minutes,” Scorpius defended, checking his watch.
“Fine. Take back the ten points.” The professor glared at Scorpius and me both. I sat down quietly next to him, who was tipping back in his chair nonchalantly. Seeing as though Scorpius was a Malfoy, she automatically grouped him with Al, Piper, and I. Welcome to the Death Eaters, Scorpius.
“Thanks,” I muttered to him, pulling out my book and my wand.
“Today we will be practising non-verbal shield charms. I will choose the pairs.” I groaned. This wouldn’t be good.
“Potter and Wood, Longbottom and Weasley, Dalton and Malfoy, Warrington and Stebbins . . .” the professor continued prattling on, but I had tuned it out, shooting a panicked look at Piper. She looked scared for me, but I gulped and steeled my fear. I would just jinx the prat until he couldn’t form a coherent sentence; I was a Slytherin after all, not a Hufflepuff. She nodded, seeing the resolution in my eyes. I moved to stand across from him, Scorpius at my right, Owen across from him. I smiled; I could ‘accidentally’ hit him with a curse today as well.
“All right. Partners on the right side, you will attempt it first.” I bit back a retort; Al, Piper, Scorpius, and I were all on the right side. I wonder how she chose which side would start. I put all of my anger into my magic, trying my hardest not to get hexed.
“I heard you murmur it under your breath, Potter!” Layla screeched, after her hair-removal jinx hit Albus’s silent shield. He hadn’t been the first to achieve it, as Scorpius had, but the jinx had bounced off and hit its caster. Layla Wood was screeching, her hair lying around her on the floor.
“Mr. Potter! Ten points from Slytherin!” The Professor announced, aghast. I snorted; anyone who knows Al would know how strongly he is opposed to cheating. And he calls himself a Slytherin! “It would be a detention, but it seems you and . . . Ms. Warrington . . . are a bit busy at the moment,” she slipped in, her eyes lingering on me, a satisfied glint in her eye. She knew! Scorpius grabbed my wrist, ready to restrain me. Prick. I wouldn’t have done anything; I was on probation for Merlin’s sake!
“I didn’t hear him mutter it,” Piper spoke up, “and I was standing right next to him. He didn’t cheat. Rose is standing on the other side of him. Did you hear anything?” I stood there in shock; Piper would never disrespect a professor.
“It’s true,” Rose added, her face set. She and Al had known each other in the womb. She would defend him even if Al murdered someone.
“Ms. Wood?” Professor Patil asked, her lips pursed.
“You don’t believe me?” Wood exclaimed, shocked. “Why not? It’s obvious he’s lying; he’s a Slytherin! That Longbottom girl, too! And Weasley’s obviously been confounded!” Scorpius’s grip on me tightened.
“Let . . . me . . . go. I know I can’t bloody do anything, or I’ll be expelled,” I seethed. I knew the consequences and I wasn’t going to go hex her in broad daylight! That would just be plain stupid! No, I’d hex her on her way to one of her midnight rendezvous.
“Well . . . if Ms. Wood truly believed Mr. Potter cheated, school policy states I must believe the victim, so-” Piper cut her off, me biting my tongue. I couldn’t get in trouble.
“School policy also states that the defendant can do just that . . . defend his or herself. Albus has two witnesses who both back his story, and Ms. Wood can hardly be qualified a victim! It was her own curse; Albus just defended himself, also doing what you told him the goal of the lesson was!” I love it when my best mate gets all nerdy and quotes the rule book, throwing the professor’s defence right in her face.
“Well then. I’m sorry Ms. Wood, but for Ms. Longbottom’s cheek I shall keep the points taken-”
Scorpius swore, (though it was disguised as a cough) after releasing my wrist.
“-and Ms. Weasley, would you please escort Ms. Wood to the Hospital Wing? Class dismissed.” I ran up to Piper, who was seething. Al was standing beside her, fists clenched and face white with rage. You’d think he’d be used to it by now.
“I love you!” I called, hugging her before throwing her over my shoulder. She was surprisingly light, and I ran away, oblivious to her protests. “Oi! Al! I’m kidnapping your girlfriend!” Al smiled, the first genuine smile I had seen all year.
And, yes, I had done all this because I had missed the smile (and Piper, but his smile is so cute that I’m saying I did it for him).
I carried Piper all the way to the dungeons, where I dropped her on her bed, and saw her giggling.
“Did you just kidnap me, Nick?” I nodded, breathing heavily from carrying her all the way here. “Why?” she asked quietly.
“Well, in all of my self-absorbed sulking slash angst fest, I had forgotten that I had not had a real chance to talk to my best mate about her summer or her general well-being.”
“And, ‘Piper, can we talk later? I haven’t seen you in forever’ wouldn’t have worked?” she asked sarcastically.
“That takes the fun out of it, though,” I replied, grinning. “So. . . what I’m interested in is a certain git with black hair. Anything to share?” I cut to the chase.
“There’s nothing between me and Al,” Piper replied sharply, but I couldn’t help but notice her slight blush.
“Mm hmh,” I said sceptically, but let the matter drop. “So how was your summer?”
“My mum yelled, my dad continued his affair with his plants, my brothers refused to speak to me and put various bugs and poisonous plants in my food, so I hit Luke with a knee-reversal jinx, causing my dear mother to ground me for using magic outside of school. For three bloody weeks, whereas when Luke hit me with the same hex when he was a fourth year, she just told him not to use magic outside of school.”
“So it was fun, eh?” I answered cheerily, knowing how much Piper detested her family.
“Just the best. How’s Quidditch?” I groaned at Piper’s question.
“Your boyfriend is cheating on you with his broomstick. He’s obsessed!” I even did a ‘coo-koo’ sign to emphasize the meaning; that’s how crazy Al was!
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Piper replied sharply.
“Mm hmh . . .” I replied sceptically. Piper blushed, and I let out a whoop of victory and got up and jumped from Piper’s bed to mine. Eventually I managed to start acting like a sixth-year instead of a six-year-old.
“Speaking of boyfriends; how’s Charms with Owen Dalton?” Piper waggled her eyebrows suggestively.
“The Puff? He’s funny, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to poke them with spoons . . . or knives,” I defended.
“You sound like Lottie and Thomas . . . and that’s not a good thing,” Piper pointed out. I remembered what Alyssa told me.
“Speaking of our favourite third years; ‘Lyssa says we have another family meeting tonight ‘cause of them.” Piper groaned. “Now I don’t seem too bad, now do I?”
“Well . . . no. Everyone, I mean every Slytherin, knows that Lottie and Thomas are just joking around. You, however, are much more serious,” Piper reasoned. I was astounded.
“Are you saying Lottie and Thomas don’t follow through with their schemes? I’m pretty sure they just put up “EVIL MINIONS: WANTED” signs in the common room, and they poisoned the entire Ravenclaw Quidditch team last year, before dressing up like Voldemort and throwing sandwiches at the Hufflepuffs!” I shot back. Piper giggled.
“Don’t forget when they hexed the Gryffindors to sing their undying love for us every time they came within jinxing range for a week,” she reminded me. “Crazy Uncle Nick,” she added, and I groaned. That was Lottie and Thomas’s endearing nickname for me. They called Piper ‘mum’, and Al either ‘dad’ or ‘Lord Aldemort’.
“I’m not that bad.” Piper shrugged. “Seriously?” I asked incredulously.
“Don’t we have Charms to go to?”
“Stop avoiding the question, Mum!”
“I’m not avoiding it!”
“Fine. Then I’ll ask Al what he thinks.” At this point Piper burst out into hysterical peals of laughter. I glared, but followed her out of the common room.
“Do you think I’m worse than Lottie and Thomas?” I asked as soon as I saw Al. He looked confused for a minute, then looked as if he was trying to think of the best way to phrase his answer. (Piper was still laughing, in case you were wondering)
“Well . . . “ he settled with.
“I told you!” Piper shouted.
“He didn’t answer!”
“OI!” Piper and I looked at the sound of the voice. It was Owen Dalton. “As amusing as it is to watch you bicker like three-year-olds . . . do you really want Professor Creevey to walk in on this?”
“Yes,” I replied bluntly, while Piper said the exact opposite. Owen rolled his eyes at me, before walking to our table. I didn’t follow.
“Nick?” Al asked innocently. “Do you really want to be in detention for the rest of the year?”
“Why would I want that?” I asked, confused.
“Because, if Creevey walked in on that, you would be in detention until you graduate,” he finished, smirking. I smacked him. “Now what’s with all this I hear about my favourite third-years?”
Piper and I explained what happened. I left out the part about my tiny victory with her and Al, and told him about the meeting. He groaned.
“What could they have done? They’re third years, and it’s only the second bloody week of school!” Al moaned, but I just raised an eyebrow. We already had detention for the next month, and it was only the ‘second bloody week of school’.
“It might not be bad,” Piper suggested. “Maybe they're planning one of their weird competitions. You know, like when Al won the award for best future evil genius for our house to rally around and take over the world.”
“They called you Lord Aldemort for weeks,” I said wistfully. Al looked disgruntled.
“Still do. Either that or Dad,” he remarked, slight annoyance in his eyes.
“And I’m Mum,” Piper added, rolling her eyes. I couldn’t help my next comment; they set themselves up for it.
“Smart kids.” I received a punch from Albus and a slap from Piper. “Why do I hang out with you lot? You’re abusive, you are!” Piper’s face fell. She took what I said to heart.
“Don’t say that. You shouldn’t be so laid back about it, Nick. I’m worried sick about you, and you’re just making jokes like it was a prank you pulled,” she said quietly. I mentally cursed, because I forgot they knew . . . I couldn’t make light-hearted comments like that anymore.
“I forgot, Piper. I don’t mean it-” I started, apologies bubbling up from my mouth, but Al cut me off.
“Just drop it.”
Why was Albus being so cold to me?
“Sorry,” I apologised quietly, my face red. I really didn’t mean half the dung I said; Albus should know that. I don’t deal with bad things well. . . I run. Or pretend it doesn’t exist. He knows that. And suddenly, there came my temper. I was sick of Albus being so bloody pissy all of the time.
“What’s this I hear about a Lord Aldemort?” Owen jumped in, having returned from dumping his bag by our desk.
“That’s Albus,” I said coldly, staring Albus down. He didn’t flinch, and I cursed mentally. Owen didn’t seem deterred, either. Bloody Hufflepuff.
“That’s cool. What else do they call people?” he said, slightly too eagerly. I glared, but Piper smiled.
“Well, Albus can be Lord Aldemort, or Dad. I’m Mum, and Alyssa and Rhys Montague-” Owen interrupted her.
“-yeah, they’re Masters, and Nick here is Crazy Uncle Nick,” Piper finished, still smiling politely.
“That’s pretty wicked. And they’re third years?” I nodded. Owen let out a low whistle. “The Hufflepuff third years are too scared totalk to the sixth and seventh years, much less do what they do.”
“You haven’t been there when they’re plotting the deaths of approximately three quarters of the world’s population, or trying to recruit minions, or minioning Alyssa and Rhys, or-” Albus said dryly, before I cut him off.
“He gets it. Come on, Owen, let’s go to our desk; Creevey’ll be here soon. Albus, you might want to do the same. He might not be so happy to see you after-”
“I get it, Nick,” Albus said. He sent me an odd look, which quickly turned to annoyance. I left, Owen following, and Piper and Albus talked. Piper looked angry, then concerned, until she finally laughed at what Albus said.
Damn. Now I couldn’t stay mad at Albus; he just made Piper laugh. She normally didn’t smile for at least an hour after we, (meaning Albus and I) had any sort of fight, no matter how small. Most of the time she was lost in thought after something happened, Merlin knows about what.
Oh look . . . they’ve resorted to flirting.
“Come again?” Owen asked from next to me. I hadn’t realised I had said the last bit out loud. I was still staring at my two best mates, and Owen put the pieces together. “Ah . . . you just want them to get together, because they’re so sickeningly cute, but you’re also wishing they don’t so you can watch Albus suffer for whatever he did before I jumped into your conversation.” Since when were Hufflepuffs so observant?
“Since when were Hufflepuffs so observant?” I asked. Owen let out a loud laugh, before hardening his expression and glaring at me. That made me laugh; Hufflepuffs can’t glare to save their lives.
“Since when were Slytherins such pricks?” he shot back after my laughter, and I looked at him seriously, before smiling.
“Around the same time we decided mass murder was the best from of diplomacy,” I said cheerfully, and Owen banged his head on our desk. He did that every time he realised he couldn’t win the particular argument (he prefers the word debate) we were having. Piper and Al were still undergoing what I decided to call The Mating Ritual, (note the caps) so they didn’t notice.
“Love, for someone who hexed the last Hufflepuff who called Slytherins Death Eaters, you really like proving that she’s right,” he commented mildly, but I still punched him on the shoulder. He yelped- I cackled evilly. Piper and Albus were now at their respective seats, but they were continuing The Mating Ritual.
“Ten points from Slytherin for harming Mister Dalton. Please refrain from using Muggle violence in the future, Miss Warrington.” Albus and Piper both glared at the professor, before sending me a ‘warning’. Owen looked apologetic. I just shrugged, and Creevey started his lesson.
“I swear to Merlin, Dalton,” I hissed, Owen having stolen my quill once more. Creevey still prattled on, but Owen decided he didn’t want to pay attention today. (as if he ever did) I, however, decided to be a good little snake today and take notes. And Owen, being the dolt he was, decided to steal my quill to doodle a funny scene involving Professor Creevey, a hippogriff, and Professor Longbottom. I’m not allowed to say anything more; it’s highly inappropriate. Piper would have burned the parchment and yelled for a good half hour had she seen it. And she wondered why Lottie and Thomas call her mum.
“Do you need this quill, Warrington?” he shot back, emphasizing my last name.
“Yes!” I exclaimed, and Owen shrugged.
“Okay.” But he didn’t give me the quill back. I quietly put my head on the table. This already long day just kept getting longer.
“Er . . . Nick?” Owen asked some ten seconds later. My head was still down, but luckily Creevey had chosen to ignore me today. Instead he pounded on Albus, which I was fine with as of now. So I just sat there, finding the desk to be increasingly comfy. “Nick!” he hissed, but I just moaned. Then he poked me. Then again. And again.
“What?” I finally asked, out of sheer annoyance.
“You can have your quill back,” he said, but I just glared at him. “but only if you say please . . . and with a smile.” How was this kid not a Slytherin?
“Please let me have my quill back so I can stab you repeatedly with it,” I said with a plastic smile on my face.
“Not what I was looking for, but I’ll give you the points for creativity,” he relented. Owen gave me my quill, and I stabbed him with it (only once). “I didn’t think you were serious!” he yelped.
“I’m a Slytherin, honey. I take my threats very seriously,” I said airily.
“Mad woman,” he muttered, and I almost stabbed him again, but the professor just had to get in the way.
“Now attempt the spell,” he instructed, before glaring at Owen and I, “Silently, please.”
“Do you have any idea what we’re supposed to be doing?” I asked Owen quietly.
“Twenty points from Slytherin!” Creevey announced. My head shot up from my notes.
“What for?” Piper asked incredulously. “I didn’t do anything, Nick was reading her notes, and Al was-”
“Mr. Potter was talking, Ms. Longbottom. After I specifically said I wanted the class to be silent,” he said.
“He was saying the incantation!” I blurted. I got three looks telling me to shut it. I ignored them.
“You lot can cast non-verbal spells, can you not?” he asked sharply, his face turning red.
“Sir, we’ve just started them. Only Piper and Ow-, I mean, Dalton can really do them,” Albus cut in.
“It’s a great time to practice, then.” I fought the urge to retort, instead settling for glaring at my notes. Thank Merlin Owen knew not to pester me.
“You may go,” Professor Longbottom finally said, after two full hours of cleaning the roof. Albus and I stood up silently and walked gingerly off the roof, and into the castle. My arms were sore from scrubbing, and I personally believed a better idea for cleaning would be to enlarge the sponge before sitting on it and sledding off the roof.
“How many days left?” I asked Albus, forgetting I wasn’t on good terms with him.
“Too many,” he replied, rubbing his shoulder. He had slipped and went tumbling off the roof. Thank Merlin for the charms, otherwise Albus would have died. I was terrified as I saw him fall, and the rest of the time I constantly glanced to make sure he was still there. I now how he felt when he saw me fall off . . . and pitch myself off of the roof.
“Is your shoulder okay?” I asked quietly.
“Yeah, just a little sore,” he replied, but I saw him wince as he moved it.
“Not believing it. Show me,” I ordered, feeling a sense of déjà vû. Only a day or two ago were the roles reversed.
“I’m fine, Nick,” Al said irritably, but I just raised an eyebrow.
“I do know my fair share of healing spells, ” I offered, and Al sighed, before peeling off his wet shirt. He had knocked down his bucket when he fell. “Turn around,” I ordered, and Albus did. The back of his shoulder was a mess of black and blue. I touched it lightly, and Al clenched his fists. He was trying not to wince. “Conteret emendandum,” I muttered, and traced my wand over each bruise. One by one they disappeared.
“Thanks, Nick,” Al said gratefully, rolling his shoulder to test it out. I nodded, but I couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room: Charms.
“Listen, about Charms,” I started, after nearly five minutes of silence. It took that long for me to work up the courage.
“I know, Nick. Me, too,” he said, but then he continued. “But Piper’s right: you can’t keep joking about this. It’s hurting her, everything. She cried for two hours after you told us; she’s terrified, Nick,” Al told me, trying to meet my eyes, which were currently on my trainers. They really were at the point of falling apart.
“I didn’t know,” I said, still not looking up.
“Piper didn’t want you to, that’s why you didn’t know. She’s tough, Piper is. But you can’t keep acting like it’s nothing, because we both know that’s nowhere near true, and it scares Piper even more. She is terrified, and I am to. To think that at any given time, you could be-” Albus said, and I couldn’t take it any more.
“I know, all right?” I cut in, not wanting to go down memory lane.
“The point is, you don’t have to act around us anymore,” Al reassured me, putting his arm around me. I still couldn’t meet his eyes.
“I know,” I said quietly.
“Nicole Warrington, look at me,” Albus commanded. My brown eyes, filled with my guilt, met his green eyes, blazing with worry and a twinge of anger. “You just can’t pretend it’s okay anymore, because it’s not. You’re not alone in this, you don’t have to freakin’ bottle everything up inside,” he said, squeezing me tight. “Now it’s three against the world.”
“Thanks, Al,” I said gratefully, and he let go. “Now let’s go. Alyssa will have our heads if we’re late for the meeting.”
“Let’s make it a race,” he said, grinning evilly. I nodded, and we both took off down the corridor.
“I WIN!” Al roared triumphantly, but I was only a step behind it.
“Sore winner,” I said, sticking my tongue out, before realising our entire house was watching.
“Thank you, Al and Nick, for gracing us with your presences. Now we can finally start the meeting,” Alyssa said, smiling slightly. Neither of us blushed, but hurried over to Piper nonetheless.
“Before we start, a reminder that the Quidditch team has practice tonight-” cue groans, “-and to not lose house points because you can’t control your mouth.” Alyssa’s gaze found us, but we stared back innocently. “Now, the main reason for this meeting: Lottie and Thomas, take it away,” Alyssa said wearily, looking like she was regretting this.
“Thank you, Master,” Lottie said, before smiling evilly at us. I repressed a groan. “About this whole ‘we’re taking over’ thing, Thomas and I come here to offer our assistance. This does not mean we’re turning all ‘flowers and rainbows, let’s go help people’, however. We want to make it very clear that we’re still plotting world domination. Speaking of world domination, we will be having what we like to call ‘The Minion Games’ tomorrow. All first years are required to participate. Thomas, take it away, this was your idea. I personally don’t understand why we’re helping-” I had forgotten how painfully short Lottie’s attention span was, and her amazing ability to ramble.
“Please hurry. I have five essays I need to write,” Rhys cut in calmly.
“If we have any chance of winning the house cup, being good won’t cut it. The other houses outnumber us three to one, and the only way we can win is if we cause them to lose major points,” he said, grinning evilly.
“Merlin, please tell me this isn’t going where I think it’s going,” I muttered to Albus.
“This is where me and Lottie come in. If, and only if, you give us free creative reign, we will cause the other houses to crumble from the inside out. And, we promise to refrain from our normal extracurricular activities, such as kidnapping Hufflepuffs to use as bowling pins, or stalking James Potter-”
“Wait a minute! You never told me we’d have to give up annoying him! He was the most fun!” Lottie pouted. I looked at Albus, who was watching this unfold with a bemused expression.
“Please discuss this later,” Alyssa and Rhys said at the same time.
“Yes, Masters,” they replied in equal unison. This was freaking me out.
“This is creepy,” I said at the same time as Albus. Oh Merlin! They were contagious!
“Anyways . . . what do you lot think?” Rhys said, standing up. “I think there is some merit to this, but if we’re caught, it’s over. Are you will to take the risk?” I had the perfect answer. I was all for this; it made perfect sense.
“I am. We said we’d do anything to prove ourselves, and dirtying our hands a little isn’t exactly an abstract concept to us. We can play dirty, it’s not like the other houses are fluffy little bunnies,” I stated, and murmurs arose.
“All right then. Lottie and Thomas, you do have to check your ideas with me or Rhys first, so we can be sure you won’t be expelled . . . or sent to Azkaban,” Alyssa decreed, and Lottie and Thomas squealed before hugging her.
“Thank you, Master! You won’t regret this!”
“And feel free to continue harassing James!” Albus added, before pulling out a large book.
“What is that for?” I asked, eyeing it suspiciously, afraid it was going to attack me.
“Were you even in Charms last week? We have to read it and write an essay about it by tomorrow.” I swore, and Piper laughed.
“Come on, I’ll help you,” she said, and I let out a sigh of relief. Maybe today hadn’t been so bad after all; I had friends willing to help me write a thirteen-foot essay that was due tomorrow, and our mission hadn’t failed. Yet.
That was a new record, in my world.
A/N: Hey all! I can't believe this is at chapter SEVEN already!
And . . . you guys got to see some of their plan, eh? What 'cha thinking about that? Any thoughts/opinions on Lottie and Thomas? (dear Merlin I love them- they're so weird :D)
Also- Conteret emendandum simply means "mend the break" in Latin. I needed a simple healing spell, so I played around on Google Translate.
Thanks for reading, and please leave me a review! I love hearing what you think . . . and it affects how I write. (especially ships- not so good with those . . .)
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