Chapter 1 : What time do you call this?
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He is late, again. It’s no surprise really; when is Hugo Weasley ever early or – heaven forbid - on time? Hugo calls it being fashionably late, I call it forgetfulness. He’s clearly forgotten the time we’re supposed to be meeting. Maybe, like last time, he thinks I had said eleven o’clock instead of half eleven – pathetic excuse, really.
Don’t take that the wrong way, I never actually believe him when he makes these excuses because that’s all they are – excuses. Chances are he overslept, plain and simple. It doesn’t surprise me; he’s always looking for an excuse to stay in bed longer while also having time to style his hair to look like he’d just rolled out of bed. According to Hugo, the girls love it (really, Hugo?). Unfortunately, said style takes at least half an hour to get right thus making him even later.
I stand outside the ice cream parlour, becoming increasingly impatient. He can’t be any longer, surely. I’m sure he’s coming through the Leaky Cauldron right now.
But he still doesn’t show.
With a sigh, I walk into Florean Fortescue’s ice cream parlour and take a seat at a table; it’s a sunny day outside so most people are sitting outside. I prefer it inside; it means there are no flies landing on my sundae. I hate when that happens, it puts me off completely.
The waitress approaches me.
‘The usual?’ she asks.
I nod. ‘Yes, please.’
‘Okay, it will be with you in about five minutes.’
‘Okay.’ I smile. ‘Thank you.’
The waitress walks away and I rest my head on my hands. A quick glance at the clock tells me that Hugo is thirty five minutes late. I’m starting to worry; Hugo is never longer than half an hour late.
My ice cream is placed in front of me and the waitress smiles at me before walking outside to take another customer’s order. All alone, I eat a spoonful of ice cream, what a great way to spend my birthday and last day of the summer holidays.
I was supposed to be going out for lunch with Mum and Dad but Gilderoy Lockhart’s doing a book signing or something which Dad just had to go to. It seems that getting a book signed by Gilderoy Lockhart is more important than his daughter’s fifteenth birthday. Obviously Mum had to go along just to keep him out of any trouble.
It’s tradition for me and Hugo to go out for ice cream on each other’s birthdays and it’s also the one day Hugo tries to make an effort to be on time. It looks like today I’m everybody’s last priority. Not that I care, it’s only my fifteenth birthday. I think I’d be more annoyed if it was my seventeenth because that’s when I come of age.
This sundae tastes so good. There are little chunks of chocolate and toffee with toffee sauce and a chocolate flake stuck into the vanilla ice cream. It’s heaven in a tall glass bowl. I’ll never know how they manage to make the ice cream here taste so delicious. Nowhere else is this tasty, I’m sure they have some sort of secret recipe for the ice cream instead of buying it. If I could, I’d buy it in the bulk.
I’m so lost in my own thoughts that I don’t realise how quickly I’ve finished my sundae. I find myself digging for the last few chocolate chunks before the glass is empty. The glass is empty and there’s still no sign of Hugo. Did I mention he’s my best friend? Yeah, great best friend, I couldn’t ask for one better. Please note the sarcasm.
Just as I stand up to leave (after paying of course) Hugo waltzes in as casually as if he were on time. His hair is , as expected, looking as if he’s just got up but looking closely I can tell he’s put a huge amount of effort into it.
When Hugo spots me he holds his arms open and hollers, ‘Happy Birthday, Tea!’ If he expects a hug, he has another thing coming.
I stare blankly at him but that stupid grin is still plastered on Hugo’s face. What a git. He’s an hour late for my birthday sundae and he has the nerve to act like nothing has happened? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: what a git.
Furious is an understatement, I am positively livid.
To express my anger, I begin hitting Hugo’s chest with my fists. I’m not very strong so I’m unsure how effective this is but it releases some of my anger and calms me down slightly.
‘You do realise this doesn’t hurt, right?’ Hugo smirks at me.
‘Yes, I know and shut up. You have no right to smirk you…you…bad friend,’ I bite back. As you can see, insulting people and come backs are not my strong points.
Nevertheless Hugo looks affronted and, dare I say it, hurt.
‘Do you know what day it is?’ I ask when he doesn’t say anything.
‘Of course I do,’ he scoffs.
‘Tell me then.’ I glare at him.
Hugo looks around the room for a couple of seconds before something clicks and his expression turns to that of realisation with some worry thrown in. Now he knows why I’m so angry with him.
‘It’s, er…your birthday isn’t it?’ he asks meekly.
I nod stiffly.
‘I am so sorry,’ Hugo says. ‘I overslept because I stayed up all night owling some Gryffindor girl and I have a present for you…somewhere.’
‘You don’t, do you?’ I ask and I’m trying to be annoyed, I really am, but it’s Hugo and I find it so hard to be mad at him. I always have done.
Hugo shakes his head and he looks truly apologetic.
‘Don’t worry about it…at least you showed up in the end.’ I sighed and Hugo embraced me in our signature bear hug. This made me feel so much better despite the slightly crap start to my birthday. I guess I can’t really blame Hugo, whoever this girl is kept him up pretty late and if he wants to spend half an hour on his hair in the morning, so be it.
Now I’m just looking forward to what the day has in store for us now.
‘So,’ I say as we walk out of the ice cream parlour, ‘who’s the girl?’
I laugh as Hugo’s ears tinge pink and he mumbles something that I can’t make out.
‘Come on, you can tell me.’ I giggle at Hugo’s expense; he seems really uncomfortable which makes it all even funnier.
‘Eleanor Kirke,’ Hugo mumbles again.
I have to think about this, I’m sure I’ve heard of an Eleanor Kirke in Gryffindor yet I can’t seem to put a name to a face. If anything, I’m sure she’s not in our year. I can recall Jenna, Susannah, Katherine and Amy but not an Eleanor.
‘She’s not in our year, is she?’ I ask, still unsure of myself.
Hugo’s ears go from pink to a fiery red, he shakes his head. ‘No, she’s in the year above,’ he mutters.
This sends me into loud guffaws. I never knew Hugo had it in him, who knew he was that gutsy enough to talk to an older girl – an older girl in Gryffindor too!
I nudge Hugo as a joke and he lets out a weak laugh. Maybe I’m taking it too far; I know I’m not the best person to come to with this kind of information. No matter what, I’ll find a way to make a joke out of it. A joke that I think is funny but to everyone else, it’s just annoying.
I look at the ground. ‘Sorry.’
At this, Hugo snorts. ‘Don’t worry about it; it’s not like I expected anything different from you.’
I hold a hand up to my chest and pretend to wipe a tear from my hair. ‘You know me so well.’
‘Well, five years of friendship have to amount to something,’ says Hugo.
‘True, true – but wow, five years? That’s…a long time,’ I say.
‘Yup,’ replies Hugo.
It’s weird really, to be friends with someone so long you know exactly what they’re going to do next. Against other peoples’ friendships, ours hasn’t even been that long but it feels like it has. Here comes the nostalgia.
Moment passed. Hugo and I, we’re an unlikely pair. Our duo was not something initially expected of the two of us. On that first train ride up to Hogwarts when he had beaten me at exploding snap, we began our long friendship full of twists and turns.
Don’t get me wrong, I have other friends but none as close as Hugo. I don’t have a hard time trusting people – if anything, I trust them too easily – but I don’t feel as comfortable telling any of our other friends most of the things I can tell Hugo.
For the record, I’ve never forgiven Hugo for beating me at exploding snap that time, I was so close and then boom! I’d lost an eyebrow.
We walk down the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley, occasionally stopping to laugh at whatever silly pose Gilderoy Lockhart is pulling in the numerous posters advertising his book signing.
‘Shall we go?’ asks Hugo as we approach the book shop. ‘Just to laugh at all the women, I’m sure we’ll find a couple of ones who fainted.’
‘Oh bloody hell, no!’ I exclaim. ‘My dad’s in there probably screaming like a fan girl.’
‘Your dad’s a legend.’ Hugo laughs.
‘He’s a fool,’ I retaliate.
My dad is definitely not a legend. He’s a 38 year old man with a Gilderoy Lockhart obsession (bear in mind that Gilderoy Lockhart is about 50-something now), something about that doesn’t sit right with me. There’s nothing legendary about that, I think Dad’s just an idiot and should just get over his childhood idol.
As much as I try to resist, Hugo manages to drag me into Flourish and Blotts were we are greeting by screaming and flustered middle aged women. I pray that I’ll never end up like them lusting after a man who doesn’t even remember the past thirty years of his life.
Instead of buying a book and actually getting it signed, we flop down onto the bean bags in the children’s section. From here we have a great view of the flailing, fainting and fan girling (fan woman-ing? Because most, if not all, of them can hardly be considered girls anymore).
This isn’t what I expected to be doing on my birthday but I wasn’t complaining, not in the slightest. In fact, despite the let down earlier, it’s turning out to be better than I ever could have wished for. Who wouldn’t want to spend their fifteenth birthday laughing and cringing at all these women waiting to get a glimpse at Gilderoy Lockhart with their best friend?
‘Gilderoy!’ I hear one particularly deep voice that sounds very familiar shout. Please don’t tell me it is who I think it is. ‘It’s me, Trevor Birch! You remember me don’t you? I use to send you tonnes of fan mail.’
Oh lordy. Right now, I feel a tiny bit ashamed to call him my father. My poor Mum having to put up with him all day, I can only imagine how excited he’s been for the past few hours in the queue.
I look at Hugo who is rolling on the floor with laughter. If this was anybody else’s Dad, I’d be doing the same except it’s not, it’s my Dad. The shame of it all, oh the shame.
‘Let’s go,’ I say through gritted teeth but I can’t help smiling slightly – Hugo looks really cute, childlike almost, when he laughs.
Still laughing, Hugo follows me out of the stuffy shop into the fresh air and rain. It’s chucking it down out here, I knew I should have listened to Mum and brought an umbrella with me. A word of advice: if your Mum says to take an umbrella out with you, don’t question her and just take the bloody umbrella.
‘My hair!’ exclaims Hugo, running to the closest source of shelter.
I follow him, giggling. ‘Isn’t it supposed to be the girls who say that?’
‘Shut up, just because you take no pride in your hair,’ he retorts.
My hand flies to my head self-consciously. It’s not that bad, I was short of time this morning. Unlike Hugo, when I arrange to meet at a certain time I will get there at that time despite what state my hair is in. Anyway, it’s in a ponytail which I don’t think looks too shabby. Ponytails are nice; I like ponytails – presentable hair without the time and effort. It’s perfect for me.
We go back to Florean Fortescue’s where Hugo buys me an ice cream to make up for earlier.
‘I’ll buy you some tea as well if you want.’ Hugo smirks.
I make a face of disgust. ‘Ugh, no. You know I hate tea.’
Hugo’s nickname for me is, ironically, tea. Maybe not so ironic because the reason this nickname came to be was because of two things: one, it is, in a way, short for my name, Tia, and two, I hate tea and Hugo thinks it’s funny to call me Tea.
Hugo makes a face of disgust back at me. ‘What person in their right mind hates tea?’
‘Me,’ I say.
‘Weird girl,’ he mutters.
Even after we’ve finished our ice creams, Hugo and I spend the next hour bickering over which is better: tea or coffee.
He obviously thinks tea. I say coffee (although I’m more of a mocha kind of girl) because the moment I say tea, I’ll lose my nickname since Hugo won’t find it as funny. And my nickname is, as much as I hate it, my identity.
A/N: eep! so this is my first ever chapter of my first posted fanfiction, I'm feeling so excited right now (and worried). So what do you think? Was it a good attempt? Did it bore you to tears? Please, please let me know! :)