Chapter 1 : You Are So a Hufflepuff
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I hate being a Hufflepuff. Both of my brothers were placed into Gryffindor, as well as my parents. So why did the sorting hat put me in one of the lamest houses ever? That is a question I’m still trying to answer.
I had always planned on being in Gryffindor, ever since my parents told me stories of their years in school. My determination only further intensified when the Potters moved in next door.
Now that was a shock. Being the only wizards within a five mile radius, my parents hadn’t expected to see the most famous wizarding family in history answer the door on that hot summer day. We had heard of the new family long before they actually moved into the house, and felt it was our duty to bring over some apples we had picked from our backyard. My dad had nearly dropped the basket when the vanquisher of the dark lord, A.K.A Harry Potter, opened the door.
They were very sweet and became fast friends with my parents. Likewise, my brothers, Erick, Adam, and I became friends with their children, James, Al, and Lily. James was the same age as my brothers, and Al was the same age as me. We jumped over the fence separating our two yards every chance we had.
When James, Erick, and Adam left for their first year of Hogwarts, life became considerably duller. But Al and I filled the void by constantly discussing what we would do once we reached Hogwarts. We eagerly awaited the return of our siblings on holidays, craving those tantalizing details of the school we would shortly call ours.
Al and I nearly peed our pants with excitement when we found ourselves on the Hogwarts Express the very next year, and nearly fainted when we took our first steps into the great hall. The night sky twinkled above us, and the entire hall fell silent upon our entrance. We each waited somewhat patiently for our turn under the sorting hat. Finally, my name was called.
“Heart, Bethany.” Professor McGonagall called out, her keen eyes staring down the bridge of her nose at me.
Al gave my arm a tight squeeze before letting me walk forward, not that I needed the encouragement. I was positive of my house, Gryffindor of course. My whole family had been placed there. Wasn’t it just common sense that I would end up there as well? I mean, isn’t that why Al and I had practiced Gryffindor cheers during the summer holiday? Every chance we got it was, “Gryffindor, Gryffindor, you’re the house I’m playing for!”
I had no doubt in my mind that once I put on that old moth-ridden hat it would scream out, “Gryffindor!” and I would find a seat next to my two brothers, awaiting Al’s admittance as well. However, when I sat on the slightly warm, highly uncomfortable seat, the only thing I heard was confusion.
“Hm, not quite Slytherin material, yet not Ravenclaw either. Gryffindor would be a good fit, but you would do well in Hufflepuff.” I almost snorted at the preposterous suggestion by the sorting hat. Hufflepuff? Maybe all those years of service to the school had finally turned the hat senile… if a hat could even become senile.
The sorting hat opened its mouth to speak, and I was just about to stand and make my way over to James and my brothers when the hat screamed, “Hufflepuff!” The hall fell silent. Everyone knew my parents, and my brothers and James had become quite popular. Everyone knew they were in Gryffindor, so why wasn’t I?
Adam and Erick, who had begun to push people out of the way to make a spot for me, watched dumbfounded. James, who had stood up to start a chorus of cheers, cursed and sat back down. I numbly made my way over to an awkwardly clapping Hufflepuff table and sat myself down next to another first year who had just been sorted.
I enviously watched Al get sorted into Gryffindor and claim a spot next to his brother while the whole house began to sing cheers. The little wanker even had the nerve to join in. This was of course a mistake. Al and I were practically the same person! Okay, scratch that. One of us did have higher testosterone levels than the other. Well, it’s not Al’s fault he’s afraid of spiders.
Anyway, the point was that Al and I were practically twins. How could he have made it into Gryffindor while I was stuck at the Hufflepuff table? I was so much braver than all of those wankers combined! Who did they call when there was a big bug/spider? That’s right, me! Even in the wee hours of the morning if their was a bug I was expected to grab an old shoe, walk down the hall or crawl over the fence and beat the crap out of it.
My so-called friends and family kept shooting me pity filled glances that I returned with glares full of loathing. How dare they leave me at the lamest table belonging to the lamest house. I planned to give them a piece of my mind when we were dismissed from dinner. I was going to march up to them and kick them right in the shins. Yeah, some real serious stuff there. But sadly, I never got the chance to show off my awesome shin kicking skills because my new lame head of house came to usher us to our lame common room.
She told us a bunch of junk like how Hufflepuffs aren’t stupid, and how we’re all really nice and stuff. I mostly stuck with the kid I sat next to at dinner. He was scrawny and only slightly taller than me. He had short brown hair that was a nice contrast from his pretty sea-green eyes. Strangely enough, he seemed very happy to be in Hufflepuff. He kept babbling about how his mother was in Hufflepuff and how it was his dream to get into her house. Obviously this kid did not dream big. He said his name was Cal.
“Would it be alright if I asked you what your name is?”
I raised my eyebrow in question. Was this kid for real? “Sure, it’s Bethany. My friends used to call me Beth.”
Cal looked confused, “Used to?”
“Oh, I can see the confusion. See, my friends are now dead to me so I currently have no friends.”
Cal looked a little too excited, “That’s great, I don’t either!”
I gave him a pat on the shoulder, “I could kind of tell.”
Cal flushed and looked down. Normally I would feel bad for saying something so mean but with all the disappointment I had recently suffered I really didn’t care.
The next day I trudged to my classes with Cal on my heels. I quickly figured out that when he said he didn’t have any friends he meant he wanted to be my friend. And seeing as I no longer had any friends, I welcomed his company with less than enthusiastic, slightly open arms. I survived the day pretty well. I was kind of proud of myself. But then the bomb hit, herbology with Gryffindor. The last thing I wanted to do was hear about Al’s amazing experience in my house.
As soon as I stepped into the green house Al was at my side, his beautiful green eyes crinkled in worry.
“Oh my gosh Beth, I am so sorry you didn’t get sorted into Gryffindor house. Maybe we can go to the sorting hat and ask it to resort you. I’m sure you’ll be in Gryffindor-“
“Al,” I cut him off, “It’s okay, I really don’t care,” I lied.
“Yeah, I mean Hufflepuff house is really great.” Another lie.
“But you’ve always dreamed of being in Gryffindor, I mean even your brothers are in the house-“
“I said I don’t care Al!” I snapped, marching off to a table with Cal close behind. I spaced out a bit during Professor Longbottom’s talk. I knew I should be paying attention, but I was too busy thinking of ways to torcher Al. Sadly, none of my ideas were that bad. The meanest thing I could think of involved spilling some water from one of the watering cans on him.
“You seem upset,” whispered Cal.
“Really?” I spat through gritted teeth.
“Yeah,” nodded Cal, missing my sarcasm, “and I think I know why.”
“Do you now?” I tried to calm down. After all the kid was trying to help.
“Hufflepuff isn’t all bad you know.” He began lamely.
I huffed, blowing some fringe from my face, “I know, but you have to understand it from my side. I’ve dreamed of being in the house of the Lion for so long. In comparison, the house of the badger just seems lame.” I let my head fall in my hands and gloomily turned back to Professor Longbottom.
“Badgers are cool, too, you know.” I wasn’t expecting Cal’s voice and I ended up dropping my quill in surprise.
“Badgers are cool, too.”
I snorted, “Yeah, okay I’ll play along. Why are badgers cool?”
“Well, when they want thy can take down creatures much larger than themselves such as wolves.”
I grinned, “No joke?”
Cal nodded, obviously happy that he had given Hufflepuff some props in my mind.
“Can they take down lions?” I asked.
Cal looked a little shocked, “Um, no I don’t think so.”
“That’s too bad,” I growled.
There was a moment of silence between us before he said, “You know, our houses are friends.”
“Gryffindor house and Hufflepuff house… they’re friends.”
“So… why can’t you be friends with Al?”
His question rendered me speechless. I sat there, opening and closing my mouth for a good five minutes before I huffed again and turned back to the front. I could hear him chuckling under his breath, cocky little wanker.
After herbology lessons I walked up to Al. “Hey,” he said.
“Hi… I was thinking about it and maybe we can still be friends.”
Al beamed and pulled me into a tight hug. “Good Beth, because you’re one of my best friends and I was really upset when we weren’t sorted into the same house. Wanna sit at the Gryffindor table at lunch? I’m sure your brothers and James wanna see you.”
“Sure!” I reached behind me and pulled Cal forward, “Only if he can sit with us, though.”
Al nodded, “I don’t think that will be a problem.”
The other time I hated being a Hufflepuff was when I turned a corner and found James shoving his tongue down the throat of some Ravenclaw girl. I was in my third year and about to meet Al and Cal (heh, that rhymed) in the library. I was skipping along, my blond curls flying out behind me when I heard some type of animalistic groan. Curious, I slowly turned the corner to find James and some brunette going at it.
Don’t mistake me for a prude, I had run into my brothers snogging with many different girls and I always handled the situation very maturely. If you consider screaming, “My eyes, my beautiful eyes!” mature. But for some reason, running into James made me freeze.
I wanted to run away, scream, and for some odd reason cry. My stomach twisted uncomfortably. I thought I was going to barf, and my chest felt like it was about to cave in. But for some strange reason, my feet could not move.
Sensing another presence, James pulled away and turned to me. “Hey, Beth!” He said it casually as if I had caught him tying his shoe.
“U-um... hi.” I mumbled lamely. “Who’s your friend?” I nodded to the blushing brunette.
“Hm? Oh, this is Suzie. You know her right?”
“Yeah, of course. Hi, Suzie.” Whore. That’s a lie, Suzie’s not a whore she’s actually very sweet. She helped me with my potions homework back in second year. But seeing her grab James’ arm made me want to claw her face off.
Suzie gave a small little wave before moving behind James, little sleaze bag.
“So… uh… did you want something?”
“What?” My attention was pulled away from Suzie and into James’ big brown eyes. Were they always that color? I mean, I remembered them being brown but not that brown. They were a deep chocolate color, the kind that would be melted onto strawberries. This seemed fitting as the Potter’s had a strawberry patch lining the fence in their back yard.
“Beth?” James voice snapped me back to reality.
“I asked if you wanted something.”
My mouth hung lamely open for a while before I actually spoke. “I wanted to know the new Gryffindor password. I was hoping to talk to Al,” I supplied.
“Huh? Oh, sure but I’m pretty sure he’s waiting for you in the library.”
“Oh… well thanks then.” I forced my feet to move forward one step at a time. I had to say something, anything. But the only thing I could manage was, “Carry on with what you were doing.” That’s when I turned around and ran.
Before I rounded the corner I could hear James mumble, “She is such a Hufflepuff.”
But now, now is when I really hate being a Hufflepuff. I’m currently stomping in front of the fat ladies portrait, throwing out every Gryffindor password I can remember from the past six years.
“Gillyweed, Woflsbane, Blast ended Skewt!”
“No, no, and no,” The fat lady hummed back.
I let out a frustrated scream. If I were a Gryffindor I wouldn’t have to guess. I could throw out the password, march up stairs and kick some serious arse. I almost attacked the fat lady, placing both hands on either sides of her frame. “You can give me a hint right? Come on I thought we were friends.”
At that moment the portrait swung open and hit me in the face, causing me to fall backwards onto my rear. “Ouch.” I mumbled lamely.
“Wocher, Beth.” The person who had left the common room was busy laughing their head off.
Great, just great, “Maybe you could help me up instead of laughing at my pain, James.”
I felt a hand grab my elbow and lift me off the floor. I avoided his face because there was sure to be a smirk there.
“Are you looking for Al? Because I think he went down to have tea with Hagrid.”
“No that’s not why I’m here!” My anger won out and I looked up into those big chocolate brown eyes. Uh, oh…. No Beth! Remember why you are here. “You sir, are an arse.” I gave his chest a poke just for good measure. His rock hard chest… Merlin. Quiditch really is the best.
“Excuse me?” James’ chocolate eyes crinkled in confusion.
“What?” I was quickly pulled out of my sinful thoughts.
“You just mumbled Quiditch.”
“Did I?” James nodded, “Well that’s because what I’m mad at you for involves Quiditch.” It does actually, so that was a nice cover.
James clucked his tongue, “Is it about us beating your lame excuse for a house?”
“No it does not, and don’t call my house lame!” I snapped angrily. I’ve acquired a substantial amount of house pride over the years. I’m quite proud of myself. “This has to do with how you landed my best friend in the hospital wing!”
“I did not land my own brother in the hospital wing.” James scoffed.
“I mean my other best friend!”
He snorted, “You mean that lame Hufflepuff chaser? It was an accident.”
My jaw hit the floor, “Cal is not lame, and you didn’t have to fly that close to him!”
“I was aiming for the snitch.”
“You could have left a good two feet in between you two. There was absolutely no need for you to slam into his shoulder when he was headed for your goal.”
James waved a hand dismissively, “I nudged his shoulder a little.”
“You knocked him off his broom and he broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder. It was so bad that Madam Pomphrey is making him wear a sling this week.”
James rolled his eyes and began to walk away, but I grabbed the back of his robe and pulled him back towards me. Yeah, I used to play the muggle sport Hockey… no big deal.
“Whoa, nice strength there, Beth.” He gave me a little punch on the shoulder, causing me to take a step back. My glare, on the other hand, was unwavering.
“Aw come on Beth, will you forgive me?” He spread out his arms wide.
“No,” I growled.
“I think someone needs a hug,” He took a step forward.
“I most certainly do not need a hug-“ The rest of my tirade was cut short because my face was squished into James’ hard chest. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down and caught wind of something sweet. I buried my face into his shirt to get a better whiff of the scent, strawberries. It reminded me of home, of the days when we were younger, helping his Nana bake a pie. It’s the smell I attribute with summer and the whole Potter family.
“Do you forgive me curly top?” James pulled on one of my curls.
“I guess,” I mumbled. “I just wish you would be a little nicer as the Quiditch captain.”
James let me go, laughing. I clung to his shirt a split second longer and sucked in one last strawberry breath. “Nice, in the game of Quiditch? You are such a Hufflepuff, Heart.”
I watched him from behind as he walked away, a little annoyed that my heart was beating so fast. Why did this kid have an affect on me? I’ve known him since I was six. Ever since I saw him kissing Suzie Coldwater back in my third year, I’ve been head over heels for him.
He isn’t that great. His black hair that’s always messed up in a sexy way is hardly anything to scoff at. His dreamy brown eyes are yesterday’s news. His muscles are mediocre, and his cute butt… Oh Merlin, I’m in trouble.
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