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Staying Afloat by nednedned
Chapter 2 : Unicorns, Cheering Charms, and Rose-ventions
 
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Brilliant chapter image thanks to onlyInevitability@TDA! There may be some coarse language in this chapter and beyond, so be forewarned. Anyway, enjoy chapter 2 :)

 

I was in the zone, hitting the bludgers away from the team. I worked seamlessly with Fred, and heard a sudden intensity of the cheering of the crowd. Albus was neck to neck with Ravenclaw’s seeker, Paul Davies. They pulled into a sharp dive and were nearing the ground. All the Quidditch players stopped to watch as well.

 

They were getting even closer… Davies pulled out of the dive 10 feet away from the ground but Albus kept going… I couldn’t look and promptly hit a bludger towards the Ravenclaw keeper in anticipation.

 

All of a sudden, I heard a cheer and Albus was holding the fluttering snitch in his hand triumphantly. His bright green eyes caught mine and he started flying towards me. His broom changed into a unicorn and then…

 

“AHHHHH!”

 

I was soaked as I opened my eyes, sat up, and saw Maya and Rose shaking with silent laughter, bucket in hand. Grace was smirking from her perch on her bed. I groaned and flopped back onto my drenched bed. This happened every year. On each first day back, my lovely roommates decided that they had to wake me up in the most sadistic and cruel way possible.

 

They interrupted my awesome dream, too.

 

A unicorn just came into play, for Merlin’s sake!

 

… And Albus Potter’s green eyes.

 

Sigh.

 

Maya poked me, which snapped me out of my internal reverie. “Get up, lazy arse! Classes start in half an hour!”

I noticed that my friends were already wearing their uniforms. Just the way they wore it showed their personalities off to a T.


Maya had her skirt rolled up, but not to slag length. She also had her tie loose and robes hanging slightly off her shoulder. She couldn’t care less about lessons. Grace’s robes enveloped her small frame. I could see little pink flats poking out of the bottom. Rose, however, had hers completely wrinkle-free and bright with cleanliness. Her brand-new prefect’s badge shone with her pride.
    
 The three grabbed me and shoved me into the bathroom, throwing my scrunched up robes in after me. After getting changed I twisted my hair into a simple braid and raced out the dormitory, Maya, Grace and Rose after me. Couldn’t miss breakfast, after all!

 We reached the Great Hall in record time, racing inside the giant doors to the second table from the left. Most people were finishing up. My stomach was growling as we sat down beside the 5th year Gryffindor boys.
 

Caleb and Luke looked up from mouthfuls of food at us. Grace wrinkled her nose.

 

 “Ew gross, Luke! I can’t believe I’m related to you!”

 

Luke and Caleb snickered while Grace just plopped down at the table, looking disgusted.

 

We all followed suit. I was sitting across from Albus again­ – really hoped no weirdness was heading my way – and Rose was beside me, facing Scorpius.


Scorpius looked delighted with this new development. He wasted no time in starting to tease her; regardless that it was seven in the morning.
 

“Weasley! How darling to see you!” He exclaimed dramatically. I suppressed an internal laugh.

 

“Shut up, Malfoy.” Rose was occupied with the giant mound of pancakes on her plate.

 

“Isn’t it a beautiful day? The sun is shining, the birds are singing… absolutely spiffing!”

 

I nudged Maya, who was on my other side, and we looked up at the Great Hall ceiling for indication. It was currently thunder storming. With extra lightning.

 

Rose just stabbed her pancakes with more viciousness, determined to ignore Scorpius.

 

“Weasley, why are you ignoring me? You wound me!”Scorpius was getting more into it by the minute.

 

Rose looked angrily up from her plate. She looked murderous. Hmmm.

 

“MALFOY. I am TRYING to eat these pancakes - *stab* - in peace!” she stabbed the pancakes again. “So would you PLEASE sod off before this fork ends up in your eye.” She glared.

 

Yikes.

 

Note to self. Never get in between a Weasley woman and her food.

 

Scorpius gulped visibly. He was saved from explaining himself as Professor Longbottom bustled over with our schedules.

 

“Roberts; Grace, Roberts; Luke, Vasquez; Maya…” he read out the many names and passed them out to the fifth years.

 

“Finnegan; Amelia!” he passed mine over to me and I looked it over. Hmm, not bad. The only blip was the double potions on Tuesday mornings. Ugh.

 

“So Amelia, how’s your year looking?” A voice that I recognized to be sitting across from me sounded. I looked up to see who the voice was for then realized it was me. Well, you can’t blame me! No one really called me Amelia anymore. I turned and saw Albus expectantly awaiting my response.

 

“Oh, y’know, not too bad, got a decent schedule this year, ooh, Care of Magical Creatures, yay! I wonder if we’ll work with unicorns again? I love unicorns…”

 

I glanced up and Albus was looking at me like I was mental. Again.

 

Sigh.


"Here, just take a look at it…” I mumbled as we switched papers.
  
I scanned his page. We had about half our classes together. We shared Care of Magical Creatures (oh, the unicorns), Potions, Divination (naptime!), and Charms. Not bad – enough classes to feed my Albus addiction, but not enough that he always saw me in my crazy state.

I had normal moments too, honest!


Okay, maybe not too many.
 

After exchanging all of our schedules, I was happy to see that I had all of my classes with at least one friend. Transfiguration with Caleb, Luke, and Scorpius would be especially fun.

 

After eating, we set off to our first class of the term. For me, that was Charms. I set off with Rose, Grace, and Albus - the others wanted to eat some more breakfast before they left.

 

Blimey, they were worse food-wise than me!

 

I walked along with the others along the twisting corridors. Occasionally, we passed students from our year that were in different houses and exchanged pleasantries.

 

House rivalry had improved quite a bit from when Dad was here, from looking back at the stories he told my brother and I. Gryffindor was quite friendly with Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff naturally. Even with Slytherins, there were some inter-house friendships present. The only reason why my friends and I did not really interact with the Slytherins was due to the animosity they displayed towards Scorpius, whom they considered a “traitor”.

 

Oh well. He had us, right?

 

Teasing Rosie could always cheer him up.

 

We entered the classroom with a few minutes to spare and took our usual seats in the middle. I always wanted to sit in the back to enjoy the weirdness that Maya, Caleb, and Luke would end up displaying, while Scorpius and Rose would always want to sit in the front so that they would not miss any of the lesson. Plus, they figured that if we were not in the back, we would tend to control ourselves more.

 

Damn prefects.

 

So, we had an unspoken compromise to keep everyone happy – we sat smack in the middle. Not too much in the back for Scorpius and Rose, and not too much in the front for the rest of us normal folk.

 

Professor Flitwick came twiddling in just then, and hopped up on his desk to see us all clearly. Blimey, he was getting old. Dad said that Flitwick and McGonagall were at Hogwarts when he was young! Though McGonagall wasn’t the headmistress then.


“Settle down, class! As a back to school treat, we will be learning cheering charms to keep you students happy for the first day!” Flitwick squeaked.
    
As a younger student, I would always see 5th years coming out of Charms occasionally laughing and smiling like mad. Who wouldn’t want to try that?
 

We all whooped and cheered (ha!), except for Maya, who looked confused at the jubilant mood of the class.

 

“Why is everyone so happy?” She continued to look around for the source of exuberance.

 

“Cause cheering charms cheer you up and make you feel awesome for the rest of the day, you dolt!” I lightly smacked her across the back of her head with my notebook.

 

Don’t get me wrong, Maya wasn’t an airhead. In fact, she was the best – tied with Albus – in Defense against the Dark Arts. She was just, well, slightly slow sometimes.

 

She whacked me back and we started giggling.

 

“Wow, you guys haven’t even tried the charm yet and you still look like you're about to die from laughter!”

 

We looked up and I saw Albus turned in his seat, facing us. He was sitting directly in front of our tables.

 

I was determined not to make a fool of myself in front of him for the third time, so I smartly kept my mouth shut. I smiled and shrugged at him.


Maya was off again, laughing like mad at my new tactic. It wasn’t even funny! I looked indignantly at her while still trying to smile at Albus.
   
Maybe it was time to say something before I looked like a mute.
 

“So, er Albus, excited for Quidditch tryouts?” I attempted a smile as well.


There. That looked normal.
  
 “Oh yeah, it’s going to be great this year. I wonder who we’ll get as the third chaser?”
 
Ooh. He can respond in a normal fashion. Interesting.
   
“Yeah, I guess we’ll have to see. I heard your sister was finally trying out this year with a spot open?” I tried to put an inquiring look on my face.

YEAH ANOTHER NORMAL REPLY, SCORE FOR LIA!
 

“Oh yeah, Lily! I don’t know though, I want her to stay safe and not get hurt or anything…” Albus had a protective look on his face.


Aww, Albus cared for his sister! So sweet.
 
I was about to let out another one of my award-winning replies when Flitwick squeaked for us to get started on the cheering charms already.
 

Albus smiled at me before joining Scorpius to get to work.

 

Maya looked at me with a mischievous look on her face. I gulped for two reasons, to be exact. One, she would grill me on my weirdness while talking to Albus, and two, she would also want to be my partner for the lesson. There was no way that could happen! Sure, Maya excelled in DADA, but in Charms she was… abysmal.

 

I squeaked and latched onto Rose’s arm, who was on my other side. She wouldn’t accidently end up make me tap dance for the rest of the day.

 

Grace ended up joining with Maya. It was a good thing too, as Grace was the best at shield charms.

 

                                                                                                                                               


After our first few classes of the day, we set off for lunch. We still had huge grins on our faces from Charms. I linked my arms with Grace, Rose, and Maya as we skipped into the Great Hall.

I sat down and piled my plate as high as it could go. I was just about to take a bite of my awesome plate creation when I was quite rudely interrupted, if I may say so myself, by a tap on my shoulder.


I looked up and saw none other than Cole McLaggen. Well, that was unexpected.
  

So who was Cole McLaggen, you ask? He was none other than one of the 6th year Gryffindor boy heartthrobs, including James Potter, Fred Weasley, and my brother (bleh). I used to go out with McLaggen last year. It didn’t work out too well; we had different interests and he had wandering hands.

 

*Internal shudder*

 

Anyway, I wasn’t complaining about him standing in front of me. He was quite fit, after all.

 

“What do you want, McLaggen?” I asked him, genuinely curious.

 

“Back to a last-name basis now, are we Finnegan? I see how it is. Anyway, can we talk in private?” He motioned to outside the Great Hall.


I shrugged and got up to follow him, before I caught sight of my epic lunch plate. I sighed wistfully.

 

Oh, food. I’ll come back for you, don’t worry!

 

As I turned to follow McLaggen, I looked back to my friends' faces. Rose and Grace were looking apprehensive, while Maya, Luke, and Caleb were grinning devilishly and wiggled their eyebrows. I couldn’t help but laugh inwardly.

 

McLaggen pulled me into an abandoned corridor. “Listen, Finnegan, I know we broke up a bit of time ago-“  

 

“You don’t say?” It was time to go the sarcastic route.


He raised his eyebrows but continued. “Anyway, I think we should get back together.” He smirked at me.

"What?” It was my turn to raise my eyebrows.

“Yeah Finnegan, I mean I think we ended things too fast last time…” His fingertips started trailing up my arm.

 

Okay, so the boy was fit, you can’t blame me for not doing anything!

 

Getting together with McLaggen wouldn’t be so bad anyway. There wouldn’t be any of the whole first-few-dates awkwardness (as we got that out of the way already) and he was one of the most popular guys at Hogwarts, after all.


Then I thought of my unrequited crush on Albus. I mean, it was clear that he didn’t feel the same way about me, anyway. How could he fall for his cousin’s weird best friend? And besides, if I went out with McLaggen, Albus would finally notice me for something other than my rambling… I hope.

That’s actually not a bad idea at all, McLaggen…”

 

                                                                                                                                                

 

I skipped back to my friends and my glorious plate of food. They were all looking at me eagerly, trying to find out what happened with McLaggen.

 

“Well? Huh? LIA! I can’t take the suspense!” Maya looked as if she was going to burst – Caleb and Luke followed suit as well.

 

“Calm down, Maya!” I took a deep breath before telling them all. “McLaggen and I are on again.”

 

“GET SOOOOMME!” I heard Luke holler, while Caleb fist-pumped. Rose, Grace, and even Maya looked subdued at this news; like they were worried. What was with that?

 

They had the look on their faces which meant “we shall ambush you in the dorms to grill you and/or lecture you”.

 

I hadn’t even told them my awesome Get-Albus-Potter-to-Notice-Me plan.

 

Speaking of Albus, the boy in question was looking oddly conflicted.  How weird.  

 

Scorpius raised his head from his plate and turned towards Rose. “Hey Weasley, why not follow Lia’s trend? Go out with me?”

 

“Drop dead Malfoy.”

 

Oh, silly Scorpius. He asked out Rose almost every week. She never took him up on her offer and tried to act coolly disinterested.

 

I know from the girl-talks, though, that she really did care for him.
   

Really, really, deep down.

 

Scorpius had a slightly hurt look on his face – really now, has he not learned? – and brushed it off with a smirk.

 

I think Maya, Grace, and I would have to stage a Rose-vention for Scorpius. If he still liked her that much, he would need to learn how to go about it.

 

My inner plans to get Scorpius and Rose together were interrupted by the sixth year gryffie boys sauntering towards us. James Potter, Fred Weasley, Cole McLaggen (again!) and Ryan Finnegan – my brother.

 

“LIA!”

 

“FREDSTER!”

 

Fred came running towards me and pulled me off my seat and into a spinning hug. I started laughing and pushing him off when I got super dizzy.

 

Fred Weasley the second – or as I sometimes call him; Fredward – was the other beater on the Gryffindor Quidditch team along with me. Since we had to be able to coordinate together almost without thinking, we got close over the years. It was completely platonic, though – he was like an older brother to me. He gave me advice from a guy’s point of view on my boy troubles, while I helped him with his many lady issues. He was a womanizer, big time.

 

We did our customary fist bump and started eagerly gossiping about Quidditch tryouts and which annoying Quidditch prospect we’d hit the bludger hardest at.


When observing the table while Quidditch fan-girling, I saw James sidle up to Maya. They were always on and off, and tended to have a friends-with-benefits relationship mostly. While it disgusted most of us, they were fine with it – after all, both were too antsy to be tied down.
 
On the other side of these two sat Rose and Scorpius, now bickering. This could be about two things: either why she won’t agree to go out with him, or just boring old prefect talk. 

Across from them, Caleb and Luke were in a popcorn chicken battle to see who could catch the most in their mouths. Random girls were standing around them, giggling.
 
Grace was… HEY, Grace was staring at Freddie! The one who was currently reciting the new memo from the head of the International Quidditch League!
 

I wiggled my eyebrows at her. She flipped the bird at me.

 

Crikey.

 

Just then, McLaggen sidled up to Fred and I, winking at me with a smirk on his face. “Hey Fred; Finnegan. The next period’s about to start; better get going!” He took Fred away to their next 6th year subject and as he passed me, he poked my side smirked even more.

 

The nerve!

 

He was right though, as our group suddenly got up and gathered their books. Lunch was over.

 

I didn’t even get to eat that much of my food. Poo.


                                                                                                                                               
  
Thanks so much for reading! Please leave a review; it'll make me super happy :) I might even give you a muffin!

 


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