When youíre smart like Gemma and Charmaine, you expect certain things from them. Like Pippa and I always expect Gemma to be the peacemaker of our petty fights, never the cause or the starter, and how Iím starting to expect that Charmaine will always be the one to break the ice and all awkward silences and the one who has a sense of humour to suit us all.
This was not on my list of expectations.
"Look Olivier, just because youíre best friends with the Head Boy doesnít
mean that you can go around deciding what we should do!" Gemma snapped, crossing her arms irritably. Her normally bright eyes were icy blue with fury. Charmaine didnít look any less terrifying.
"Bit much coming from you
," Charmaine sneered, eyes narrowed. "Youíre best friends with the Head Girl!" I hid my face in my hands in disbelief. Things in the morning were fine. Pippa and Gemma had taken to Charmaine well, and we bonded instantly while Elias was busy. Then poor, unsuspecting Pippa had to go and comment teasingly on the Prefectsí list to me. Gemma and Charmaine had started on their shared duties as Prefects, and then this happened. I mean, if they were fighting, surely they would have taken out their anger on Pippa
and not each other.
"Do you think they would notice if we left?" Pippa muttered to me out of the corner of her mouth, looking exasperated with the arguing.
"I doubt it," I mumbled under my breath. "I swear, we could just walk away and they wouldnít realise it until they needed us to confirm something or another." Pippa grinned teasingly at me.
"Wanna do it right now?" I grinned right back at her. When Gemma was in one of her moods, this was what we always did, and I had so hoped we didnít have to use the technique again. Pippa opened the door with just the slightest creak, and I held my breath, waiting for the storm to break. Nope, Gemma and Charmaine were still arguing.
Pippa and I, Iím ashamed to admit, giggled cheerfully like the little girls we were as we ran down the corridor, but hey, you never know! Maybe Gemma and Charmaine would
realise we werenít there anymore sooner than any of us would have liked. I think we were about to make the long, long way back down to the Hufflepuff Common Room (the one bad thing about being a Head is that the Study is on the top floor) until we crashed spectacularly into someone else. Or, I
crashed, more like. Pippa kept running, but slowed down to a halt when she heard the unmistakeable sound of me falling over.
"Hey, Lucy, right? You okay?" I think in that one moment my heart properly stopped when I looked right up into the eyes of my longtime crush, Cameron Donovan. Pippa held a hand up to her mouth, grinning like a maniac as she gestured to the staircase, and I gave her the tiniest of nods and she disappeared without me. This was a once in a lifetime chance. Everytime I wanted to talk to Cameron he was either with a girlfriend or with his friends or just pretty much elsewhere.
"Umm, yeah," I squeaked, before clearing my throat. I sounded like an eight-year-old, for Merlinís sake. "Iím okay, but I think I should be asking you
that." I tried my best dazzling smile on him, but he just looked confused. Boys, honestly. "Sorry for crashing into you, I didnít mean to." I donít think he really got who I was until he properly looked at me, which I only knew he did because he did a double-take.
"Oh! Youíre Gemmaís friend, right?" I put on a false smile. Sure, I liked him, but I was tired of being called ĎGemmaís friendí or ĎPippaís friendí all the time. Canít I just be known as ĎLucyí for once in my life? Surely the red hair gave me that
at least. "And Head Girl, too!" Cameron steered me to the side of the corridor so that we werenít in anyoneís way, and I almost fell over at him actually touching
me. "Tell me, Lucy, how did
you manage that? You werenít even made Prefect!" His beautiful blue eyes glinted, and my mind raced with romantic fantasies like the teenage girl I was.
"I donít really know," I admitted to him rather shyly. I wasnít used to talking to boys, strange as it seemed - I didnít have any older brothers, but my male cousins protected every single girl of the family, except for the ones who really didnít need it, like Victoire and Molly for example. I was only comfortable with talking to Elias because I disliked him and vice-versa and things like that just come to you. "I didnít really do
anything in particular, per say. Thatís something youíd probably have to ask Professor Evora." Cameron frowned in disappointment, and I wanted so, so bad to say something - anything! - to wipe that frown off of his face.
"Ah, well, thatís okay, Lucy," he assured me, but now that he had nothing else to say, an awkward silence fell between us and I found myself thinking of where Pippa was and if Gemma and Charmaine were still fighting and what Elias was doing and why was I still here?
"Oh! Lucy!" Cameron suddenly cried out, eyes lighting up as if a lightbulb had gone off in his head. "I have one more thing to ask you." I blinked up at him, eyes wide, wondering what on earth he was going to say. "Are you and your friends free, like, the next Hogsmeade trip?" He caught my eye, and I frantically ran over the schedule for the trips in my head - but the schedule was non-existent, because Elias and I were that bad of Heads, and major procastinators, or, at least, I
was. Iím pretty sure Elias wasnít.
"Iím not sure," I said truthfully. "Iíll have to ask Gemma and Pippa and maybe Charmaine, and probably Elias too, since sheíll end up dragging him along or something - and wehavenítexactlyplannedoutthetripsyet." The last came out in a rush and a jumble of words, and Cameron raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry, didnít catch that last bit. And...?" I took a deep breath, and squeezed my eyes shut in anticipation for the sure-fire disappointment that was going to radiate off of him. He was so much like Gemma it was crazy - Cameron was one of those people who planned their life right down to the tiniest detail, always knowing what to expect.
What I wouldnít give to be one of those people.
"We havenít exactly planned out the trips yet," I mumbled pathetically, not daring to look at him, but eventually, curiousity won and I cracked open an eyelid to see what he had to say. Cameron stared at me, speechless.
"You havenít -"
"Iím sorry!" I frantically said. "We were meant to work on it last night but Charmaine was there and then this morning my friends wanted to meet her and Elias disappeared -" He held up a hand to stop my rambling, chuckling. I practically swooned there and then, but that would have looked bad for my reputation as a no-nonsense, rule-abiding, not at all embarrassing or awkward Head Girl.
Not that I have one, but still.
"Hey, Luce -" I kid you not, I really did
almost fall over at that one. He gave me a nickname! Sure, the first nickname people think of when they hear my name is ĎLuceí, but that was just a minor technicality and I hate technicalities anyway, so it didnít matter that much. "- itís okay, I get it, youíre busy and all, being popular and whatever." If possible, my eyes widened even more. He thought I was popular? Well, it was certainly news to me.
"LUCY!" Two unfortunately familiar yells echoed down the corridor, and I wanted to hit myself. Here I was, having a romantic moment for once with my all-time crush, and Gemma and Charmaine decide that right now is the perfect time to scream my name like banshees. I have such
a lovely life, I know.
"Yes?" I sighed wearily, turning to face them. They didnít look like they were fighting anymore - in fact, Gemma looked as if she might just replace Pippa and me with Charmaine, which would be a right slap in the face for the two of us and
Elias, let me tell you. "How can I help you?" Gemma noticed Cameron and her eyes widened, catching mine instantly and mouthing ĎSorry!í
"You and Pippa disappeared!" Charmaine accused, pouting like a little child. "We were so worried! We thought the Bloody Baron had come to kidnap you, or something!"
thought the Bloody Baron had come for them," Gemma corrected her automatically, and I had to suppress a smile. Good olí Gemma was back, and Merlin, was I glad. Charmaine waved her hand airily at her, dismissing it.
"Technicalities," she said in an off-hand sort of voice, and I agreed with her immediately. It was at that very moment that she spotted Cameron, and her eyes, too, went wide, darting from me to him so fast that I thought that they would fall out of their sockets. "Oh, sorry, Lu." Barely three days of knowing her and already she had a nickname for me. "Were we interrupting something?" I flashed them a false smile, stepping away from Cameron.
"Nah, weíre fine, Charmaine," I assured her dismissively. "Sorry for running off on you, though. I donít know where Pippa went, she went ahead without me." Gemma rolled her eyes in fond exasperation.
"That girl, I swear," she muttered under her breath, though it was still loud enough for the four of us to hear.
"Iíll get her," Charmaine volunteered, obviously wanting to get away from the sudden awkwardness of the situation, but when she disappeared, if it was even possible things got a little more awkward.
"Gemma." Cameronís eyes landed solely on my brunette friend, and I bit my lip in disappointment, although I had expected it. A good five minutes of talking to me, and then I was ignored the moment Gemma appeared. Go figure. "I -"
"Iíll talk to you later, Cameron," Gemma muttered, embarrassed, not daring to glance at me. "Iím a little busy at the moment, as you can tell." Cameron glanced around us, confused, obviously wondering what other things she had to do.
"At patrols, then?" he offered instead. For the briefest second, Gemmaís eyes glanced at me, but refocused on Cameron just as quickly. She was obviously wondering whether I was even going to let
them be on patrols together anymore.
"At patrols," she whispered, and satisfied, he turned on his heel and left us alone in the corridor. A frown on her face, Gemma turned to me. "Lucy -" But I dismissed her at once. Not now, not where anyone could hear us if we were loud enough.
"Gemma, itís okay," I managed to say, half-smiling. "Really. Go back to the common room, or to the library, if you want. I have to go find Elias." At that, Gemma raised an eyebrow, but I couldnít tell what she was thinking this time around.
"If you say so," she said sceptically, and started to walk away, but only a bit further away from the corner of the corridor, she turned back to me. "And, Lucy?" I wheeled around, intent on finding Elias like Iíd said and scheduling those Hogsmeade trips once and for all, but Gemma was one of my best friends, and if need be, Iíd give up the world for her.
"Yeah?" Gemma looked uncertain, as if she wanted to tell me something really, really important, but her eyes cleared, returning to its normal, determined blue, and she waved it off with a mere "Nothing, nothing."
Well, that was a little strange, even for me, but what followed was just a little bit stranger, and thatís saying something. A younger girl - a first year, definitely - ran past me, but I caught her by the shoulder before she could run away. Sure, she was probably running for a good reason, but people (me) could easily end up tripping over. Gemma would be proud of my rule-abiding.
"Woah!" I exclaimed - Merlin, she ran fast
. Suddenly, I realised that I knew that familiar face. "Annalise?" Annalise Halding whipped round to face me, fire in her eyes, but they calmed instantly when they recognised me.
"Lucy!" she cried out, relieved. "Iíve been running away from -"
"Halding!" an angry voice interrupted us, and a boy with the Gryffindor crest like Annaliseís came stomping round the corner, but the thing that really struck me as strange was the hastily thrown on cloak, half-buttoned shirt and not to mention the sticky-looking jelly tangled in the otherwise probably neat brown hair. "If you werenít a girl, Iíd -" He abruptly stopped when he spotted me, and went red in the cheeks to match the jelly in his hair.
"You are so
, so lucky the Head Girl is here," he snapped, glaring at Annalise, though his face was still the colour of a tomato and thus, he didnít look very threatening. Annalise stuck her tongue out at him, and he scowled. "Or otherwise, Iíd hex you so
"And what exactly would you do to me, Ashford?" she taunted, stepping away from me and effectively shaking my hand off of her shoulder, glaring daggers right back at him. "You donít even know
"Try me, Halding," he spat, pulling a wand from his robes, and Annaliseís eyes narrowed as she started to take out her own wand. I think this was the right moment to intervene, because much as I was interested to see two first years duel it out, I doubt that I would leave the scene with my Head Girlís badge still pinned to my robes.
"Woah, woah, woah!" I interrupted, snatching their wands quick as lightning from them, ignoring their protests. "What is going on here? Annalise! Explain!" Annalise scowled, crossing her arms.
"Well, I might have caused a little bit of trouble -" she started meekly.
"She switched my shampoo with jelly!" the boy interrupted, glaring daggers at her. Annalise rolled her eyes, though she looked slightly sheepish when she turned back to me.
"And then he started chasing me, and I ran into you, and now, here we are." She gestured at our surroundings, while the boy rolled his eyes. I took my own wand out of my pocket, and with a wave of it, the jelly had all but disappeared.
"And your name is?" I asked, directing my question towards him. He smiled, though his cheeks were flushed pink.
"William Ashford," he replied. "And thanks." Annalise rolled her eyes again, nudging William with an elbow.
"Heís not usually this quiet, though I wish he was." William scowled at her. "Lucy, Ashford has a crush
on you." William shoved her, but not hard enough for her to fall to the ground, though she did stumble a bit.
"Shut up!" he yelped. "I do not
!" Annalise sniggered, trying to muffle it with her hand, but only in vain - though not before shoving him back just as hard.
"You do too
"Thereís one thing I still donít understand," I interrupted, stopping Annalise and William from going into a classic ĎDid Not, Did Tooí fight that would probably take forever, seeing as the both of them were so stubborn for mere first years. I would hate to see what they would be like when they were my age - scratch that, Iíd hate to see what they would be like a year from now. "Why did you switch Williamís shampoo for jelly?" Annalise stared at her shoes, and Williamís arms were crossed, both of us waiting impatiently for her answer - I still had to go and find Elias and schedule those Hogsmeade trips.
"He pushed me into the lake," she mumbled to her shoes, and William gasped in outrage at the accusation.
"I did not
!" he fired back, fuming visibly. "I never touched
you, Halding! I had nothing to do with you or Trevor falling into the lake!"
"Then why did Trevor tell
me so?" she shot back, hazel eyes narrowing dangerously at him. William gaped, lost for words.
"I donít know!" he said finally. "But I didnít
push you into the lake, I promise." He paused, obviously wondering if he should say what he was going to say next. "And Iím sorry." Annaliseís head snapped up, and even I stared at William, who was so red in the cheeks he might as well have been a strawberry.
"I - what?" she asked breathlessly. "Did you just say -" He grew irked.
"Yes, I said I was sorry," he snapped. "Donít take it personally. It doesnít mean weíre, erm, friends
or something like that." If it was even possible, Williamís face turned a brighter shade of red, and he switched to staring intently down at his shoes. Annalise rolled her eyes again half-heartedly.
"I never said
we were," she pointed out, before turning pink. "And, um, thanks. I think." Well, if this was as close to friends the two stubborn first years were going to get, then I was sure as hell taking it.
"Good!" I said at last, pleased with their progress - even if both William and Annalise refused to look at each other, preferring to look at the ground instead with faces flushed.
"Annalise! William!" a voice called, echoing down the corridor, and at last the pair looked up to see a girl who looked a lot like Annalise, down to the hazel eyes and the auburn hair.
"Fee?" I called out curiously, and Felicia Halding came running faster down the corridor, coming to a stop once she made it next to me and the two first years.
"Oh, Lucy, thank Merlin you found them," she gasped out, relieved. "Iíve been looking for these two for ages
- Trevor and I were worried sick
, you two! You think itís funny to run halfway round the castle when you just arrived a couple of days ago? Well, let me tell you something, itís not
!" Annalise and William looked to the ground with identical sheepish expressions.
"Sorry, Fee," they said humbly in unison. I watched in utter jealousy. Huh! So I had to pry the information from them, along with stopping them from getting into a first year version of a duel, and yet they donít even give me a single "Sorry to bother you, Lucy". I expected too much from the students of Hogwarts, personally.
"Sorry to disrupt your afternoon, Lucy," Fee said kindly, practically voicing my thoughts out loud, and my eyes softened. "I hope these two werenít any bother." I shook my head with a kind smile.
"Nah, itís fine, Fee, really." Liar
. My first duty - well, sort of, anyway - as Head Girl, and instead a mere Prefect does it better than me. Of course I was bothered. I was supposed to set an example, for heavens sake. "You two be good for Fee, okay?" Annalise nodded eagerly, and William blushed some more. All the time Iíve spent with him, and heís still redder than a tomato.
I watched wearily as they disappeared around the corridor, Annalise and William already starting to bicker some more. I think I was just about to take a break before dinner and head back to the Hufflepuff dorms when a taller figure with unfortunately familiar dark hair ran into me. Thank God, I managed to stop him by holding out a hand, though it bloody hurt
"What the hell, Elias?" I snapped angrily. I wasnít in the mood for this - I just wanted to go back to my dorm already. "Whatís the rush?" Elias raised his eyebrows, holding up his hands in mock surrender and backing away so that my throbbing hand wasnít on his chest anymore. Note to self - quit stopping people running by, youíll only get hurt.
"Merlin, Lucy, whatís gotten into you
?" he asked, eyes curious, but I kept glowering, so he dropped it. "Fine then, be like that. Iíll get it out of you eventually." I couldnít help but roll my eyes. So cocky. "Two things. Firstly, weíre - no, youíre
bad at planning."
"Excuse me?" I squawked indignantly, sounding like a bird who was getting its feather plucked off one by one.
"- and we need to schedule everything. You know, the Hogsmeade trips, the Prefectsí meetings -"
"I agree with planning the Hogsmeade trips," I said, jumping in instantly, thinking of Cameron and his asking me if my friends and I were free for the coming Hogsmeade meeting. "But canít the Prefectsí meetings wait for later? Itís only once a month, after all." Elias, this time, was the one to roll his eyes, and I had to resist the urge to whack him over the head for being so annoying.
"See what I mean?" he said under his breath, half to himself, but just as quickly turned back to me. "Weíll get on those Hogsmeade trips tonight then and
the Prefectsí meetings." I sighed, but I didnít complain. Elias was in some of my classes, and I knew he could argue up a storm.
"And the second thing?" I prompted, half-tempted to poke him like Pippa sometimes did to Gemma or me. Elias inhaled and exhaled deeply, eyes downcast as if he really, really didnít want to say this, but had absolutely no choice in the matter.
"And secondly - Lucy, I need your help."
A/N: And, done! I severely apologise for such a long wait - but Iíve got it up now, so :) Another thanks goes to Siriusly3 - sheís so quick at this thing, and is ever-patient with me and my slowness. Ooh! Before I forget - I own absolutely zilch of what you recognise. Lucy, the Weasleys, Potters, Neville, etc. etc. are all J.K. Rowlingís, and the title, Great Expectations is from the novel by Charles Dickens - it just fit this chapter so well, so I borrowed it. In fact, the only thing I truly own is the plot and my OCs. One last thing - a cliffie! And my first, too! What an accomplishment! Reviews are love ;)
A/N Take Two: Phew! Hereís the edit. A lot less to do than the last chapter, since I only changed the first few paragraphs and fixed a name, but nevertheless Iím glad Iím getting through this quicker than I first expected.