Chapter 6 : Normalcy
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“Oooh, look at this one Bridget!” Lily whispered excitedly as she picked yet another book off of the display shelf. This one was titled “Ways to Pass Exams Without Really Trying.”
I forced a smile and pulled my sweatshirt closer to myself as we continued down the aisle at Dervish and Bangs. Most girls attempted to look nice whenever it was a Hogsmeade trip, but I had decided this morning that I didn’t care enough to try. Instead of getting up to do my hair and makeup I slept. The result was a pony tail that resembled a rat’s nest and the kinds of clothes that weren’t supposed to leave your room. Lily on the other hand looked perfect, as usual. Her bright red hair was curled to excellence and her sweater matched her bright green eyes perfectly. Even Marlene, who usually takes my route and sleeps in, had decided to dress up for today. Next to the two of them at breakfast I looked like a troll in between two veela. Either that or a relative of a hag. Maybe both.
That always seemed to happen to me. Even when I would have a good hair day, it would never stay down. Somehow I would put it up without noticing and then just give up on it all together. I hadn’t worn a dress since my mother’s wedding to Brian, and that time I was forced. Bridget Daniels doesn’t do dresses. All they do is get hiked up and leave you in compromising positions. I would wear sweats and a t-shirt every day of the week and sit alone hating the world if I could. Then I’d be a much happier person. Trust me, happiness is hard to come by.
“Urgh,” Lily sighed, snapping me out of my daydreams. “It’s him.”
I turned my direction towards where James Potter and Peter Pettigrew were making their way through the doorway. The little bell sounded as it snapped shut behind them. James had the anxious look in his eye that he always had whenever he was Lily hunting. Peter, on the other hand, looked mildly bored. He always seemed bored, daydreaming, or laughing at Black’s ridiculous jokes. I never understood why it was that they were so fond of him. He even had one of the stupid Marauder nicknames, although his was the worst. I mean who would want to be called Wormtail? That’s worse than Moony, Padfoot, or Prongs.
“Honestly Lily,” I said as James caught my eye and beamed. “I dunno why you don’t just go on one date with the guy. Who knows, maybe he’ll realize that you’re a creepy perfectionist and give up. Either that or—Oh, hello.”
“Er, who were you talking to?” James asked me with his eyebrows raised. I quickly turned to where Lily had been just seconds ago, but she wasn’t there. I looked down and saw her crouched on the floor in a fatal position with her finger pressed up to her mouth, begging me to not say anything. I rolled my eyes and shook my head before looking up to Potter who was staring at me uneasily.
“Just myself.” I yawned as he and Pettigrew exchanged glances. “I was contemplating this book or this book.” I picked two randomly off of the dusty shelf and put it down where Potter could see it. Inwardly I cringed as we both read the titles at the same time. One was called “Madame Jacob’s Hair Care Removal Spells” and the other was “How to Obtain the Woman of your Dreams”. Well, this was fantastic. Based on the look I was receiving Potter was thinking the same thing I would be thinking. If how I act most of the times I’m around him wasn’t enough, now he would really think I had problems. It wasn’t just Black pushing my buttons, oh no. I really was off my rocker.
“Er—alright…” James trailed off for a moment before shaking his head a little I guess he decided he was better off not knowing. “Have you seen Lily?”
“I think she’s down at the Three Broomsticks drinking firewhiskey with some of the regulars!” I told him brightly. James’s expression turned from confusion to shock in less than a second. Luckily he was still working over what I had said when I received a kick in the shins from where Lily was perched on the ground. I stumbled a little, looking down and winking at her. Her facial color now matched that of her hair. Giggling, I looked back up to James. But before he could formulate a conclusion the doorbell twinkled again and in walked Black and his blonde bimbo. The smile was immediately gone from my face as I downright glared at him.
“Ah, hello Prongs!” He greeted James with a pat on the back before turning to me. “Daniels, I thought it was your disgusting hair I recognized.”
I smiled at him sarcastically. “When I push you out of a tower sometime soon remind them to check out your head, because no other bodily injuries could be as fatal then the one you already have.”
“You already did that, remember? The "accident" back in second year? And they did check my head. They found nothing.” He said proudly as he threw a hand over Blondie’s shoulder. I shook my head at his overwhelming stupidity.
“Guys,” James threw a hand on the shelf rather violently as a few books fell below onto Lily’s hand. I covered up her small yelp with a snort. “Lily is at a bar with men.”
“Evans in a bar?” Black looked between James and me. “Who the hell told you that?”
“Big Wilfred,” I received another kick. “You know, that older man who always talks up Madam Rosmerta?”
“I can’t have this!” James looked on the verge of hysterics. He ran a hand through his disheveled hair and took off his glasses haphazardly. Sirius rolled his eyes at me and then turned to Blondie who looked confused. How suprising. I actually kind of started to feel bad. Despite Lily’s hatred for James, he was actually a pretty decent guy. Much better than his arse of a best friend at least.
“Are you talking about Lily Evans?” Blondie asked in a high pitched voice.
“Yeah, and you need to relax mate.” Black said to Potter. “I doubt Evans could step down off her pedestal of perfectness long enough to accompany herself with regulars at the Three Broomsticks. Who told you that anyways, Daniels?”
All eyes turned to me as I flashed a smile. Blondie’s eyes caught mine and quickly I started to glare. “What?” I snapped to her, suddenly annoyed again. “Is there something on my face?”
“No, you just look like shit.” Black said in an arrogant tone. He turned to Blondie as if I wasn’t there. “Don’t mind her. She tends to act distastefully blunt when she meets new people.” He paused to shoot me a smirk. “Let’s go Jessica, we can leave Bridget with “Madame Jacob’s Hair Care Removal Spells” and “How to Obtain the Perfect Woman”.”
“Why would you want to remove your hair?” Peter asked me stupidly.
“It’s not for my head, prat.” I snapped, not thinking before I spoke. Black let out his bark like laugh and my cheeks flushed red. Even James, who was off in Lily Land, had a bit of a chuckle. Fantastic. Now they all thought that I needed hair care removal for places other than my head. Bloody brilliant.
“Bye Bridget.” Black said with a final laugh. Instead of responding I gave him the finger and received an ugly look from the store clerk. Jessica followed after him looking confused. That was how Black seemed to like his girls. Stupid and confused.
“I don’t see what Big Wilfred at the Three Broomsticks has over me,” James said in a frustrated voice. “I mean, a lot of girls want this!”
I rolled my eyes as he gestured to his body. If Lily could only see what was going on…
“Do I smell bad? Do I resemble someone horrible from her childhood? Tell me Bridget! What did I do?”
“You didn’t do anything.” I shrugged my shoulders and put the books back on the shelf. “Lily is Lily and you are you.”
“Well what does that mean?”
I sighed, getting frustrated. “Okay, so you know how bloody annoying Marlene and Black where last year? All lovey dovey and shit?”
“Yeah…” He trailed off, clearly not catching on.
“Well you and Lily would never be like that! Black plus Marlene equaled lovey dovey, but you plus Lily equals disaster. Get it?”
He seemed to think about it for a moment before smiling. “Wow! Thanks Bridget! I’ve been going at this from a completely wrong angle!” He immediately sprung for the door with Pettigrew hot on his heels. “I’ve got to get over to the Three Broomsticks now!”
I sighed deeply as finally I was left alone again. But before I could really reminisce something hard collided with the side of my head. “Bloody hell—”
“She’s with Big Wilfred at the Three Broomsticks?!” Lily shrieked as I dodged her book this time. “She’s drinking firewhiskey?!”
“C’mon, it was funny!” I protested as she hurled it at me again. “Alright! I’m sorry!”
“Sorry, sure you’re sorry!” Lily slammed the book back where it belonged and huffed before sitting on the floor. I chuckled a little and sat down next to her. “And why in the name of Merlin did you pick books about women and hair removal?”
“They were the first ones I could find, alright!” I snapped. “I was a little preoccupied with covering for you!”
“True,” Lily sighed before meeting my eyes and smiling. “So it wasn’t for your hair, huh?”
I shoved her in the side as she laughed. God only knew how long I’d be hearing about that one. I had to remember to write a book about my life one day. I’m sure my misfortune would be considered universally entertaining.
“How long do you think it’s going to take him to realize that you were here the whole time?” I asked as I picked at my nails.
Lily seemed to think for a moment before shaking her head. “Never. Potter tends to only see the good side of people. He’ll think you would never lie to him.”
“Did you just compliment Potter?” I asked her in a louder voice. She shushed me as her cheeks reddened. “It’s alright Lily, acceptance is a big step.”
“Shut up!” She hissed as she looked around. You’d think I had said a terrible swear word to a three year old. “Of course I think Potter is an arse for only seeing the good in people! Trusting the wrong types of people leave you in trouble.”
I rolled my eyes at her. “Lily, you’re just like him.”
“I am not!”
“Yes you are.”
“Excuse me, but if you’re not going to buy anything then please leave.” The saleslady said stiffly. She eyed us from our hiding spot on the floor darkly as if we were about to blow up her precious store. Lily immediately sprung up and muttered an apology. I slowly followed after, eyeing the lady with distaste.
“Actually, I was interested in these two books.” I said to her, thrusting “Madame Jacob’s Hair Care Removal Spells” and “How to Obtain the Woman of Your Dreams” into her surprised hands with a smile. “That won’t be a problem, will it?”
Two hours later I was sitting between Kat and Rachel at the Three Broomsticks. Lily had finally decided that it was safe to enter without Potter spotting her. Unfortunately, the place was so crowded that we were stuck sitting with the castle lunatic and her gossiping accomplice. Kat had already given me a pep talk about her personal space and how I needed to start respecting it. I wanted to pour Butterbeer on her side of the table for a good laugh, but based off of Lily’s glare when I tried I changed my mind. I truly was a mastermind when it came to driving Katherine Brady off a cliff mentally. Rachel, on the other hand, was just muttering to herself as she scribbled down something for her gossip column. I was almost positive that no one read her column, but somehow she had convinced McGonagall that it was a good idea back in fourth year. Alone, they’re annoying, but together? They’re terrible. If I had it my way I would be back in the castle doing something productive, like sleeping or eating. Instead I was here ready to silence the two of them with my wand.
“What’s a synonym for chunky? I’ve used it like three times already.” Rachel asked us as she chomped on her gum loudly.
“Fat?” I offered. She rolled her eyes at me.
“Jesus Bridget, people don’t want to read about that.”
“But isn’t that your point?” I asked her as I sipped on my Butterbeer. “Doesn’t not using fat make your entire idiotic column a lie?”
“It’s not idiotic!” She shouted aggressively. Part of me was getting ready to defend myself from her sharp looking quill.
“She didn’t mean it.” Lily said in a tired voice.
“Yes she did.” Kat said with a glare in my direction.
“Why don’t we sign a peace treaty?” I asked her with an evil smile. “I won’t get near your bed or any of the shit you hide in there and you’ll stop being so abnormal.”
“I am not abnormal; you’re the one who’s a freak!” Kat shouted with a deranged look in her eyes.
“Right. But remember, Katherine dear, that I’m not the one who sleeps with three different protection charms around my duct taped bed perimeter.”
“That’s for my safety!”
At this she just growled to herself and scooted farther away from me. I chuckled and finished the rest of my Butterbeer. This Hogsmeade trip was so typical. It started out with shopping for useless things and then buying even more useless things, and then it ended with me surrounded by psychos. A lot of my days end like that though. I guess I can’t really pinpoint it just to Hogsmeade trips.
I saw Anastasia sitting across from Benjy Fenwick on the other side of the pub. She was laughing and using her hands as she talked. I couldn’t help but smile. Anastasia had had a good number of relationships, and most of them ended with her throwing a sharp object in the bloke’s general direction. But Benjy didn’t seem like the typical scumbag she usually took interest in. He was his years golden boy. All of the teachers and students loved him. Even I didn’t have a problem with him. He played Quidditch, received all twelve O.W.L’s, and was rumored to already have a job when he left Hogwarts working for the Ministry. He was good looking too, in that preppy schoolboy way. His clothes were always perfect and his hair was always pristine. Not that I was looking.
“Hello!” Marlene said happily as she pulled up a chair on the other side of Lily.
“Where’s Remus?” I asked her with a sly smile.
“He went to go find James and the others,” She looked over her shoulder. “They’ll be here soon.”
“What?” Lily asked sharply as she slammed her Butterbeer down on the table. “I have spent my entire day avoiding James Potter and then you decide to invite him over? That is not okay!”
“Calm down Lil’s,” Marlene rolled her eyes. “You act like he’s a terrible person.”
“Oh, he is!”
“So what did you all do?” Marlene turned to me, obviously not in the mood to argue.
“Oh, the usual. Shopped for Lily’s never-ending need of supplies, bought some really interesting books,” I reached down into the paper store bag and plopped them on her lap. “Went to Honeydukes to calm Lily down with a bar of chocolate, hid in a bathroom stall together while Potter Lily hunted, and then came here.”
“Hair Care Removal and a book about attracting girls?” Marlene raised her eyebrows and snorted. “You wasted your money on this?”
“You actually bought that?” Black had come up out of nowhere above Marlene’s shoulder and picked up one of the books. “Christ Daniels, I thought it was a joke.”
“It was!” I hissed. “Don’t you have somewhere else to be, like say snogging blondie’s face off?”
He grinned and gestured over his shoulder to where Jessica, Potter, Pettigrew, and Lupin were making their way through people to get to us. I rolled my eyes and sunk lower into my chair. Lily looked about ready to blow up. This was a sign that she had enough with the whole hiding thing today. Chances were that she’d tare Potter to shreds before he even had the chance to say anything. Marlene, on the other hand, was beaming to Remus. He smiled shyly back.
“Do I sense jealousy Daniels?” Black asked me with a smirk. I gave him the deadliest glare I could muster.
“I wouldn’t snog you if someone paid me a thousand galleons.”
“Don’t worry, sweetheart, the feeling’s mutual.”
“Hello all!” James said breathlessly before turning to face the exploding girl. “Hello Lily!”
“WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM POTTER!” She screeched. I cringed as James expression turned sad.
“Well I was just saying hello!” He huffed.
“I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!”
Her cheeks were turning really red now. People all around us were whispering. At this point in my time of knowing Lily, I was used to the occasional freak outs. Instead of trying to calm her down I just sighed and continued to drink my drink. It was useless to stop her now. She’d just turn it around on me and list all that I had done wrong so far today.
“Five sickles she smacks him.” Black said in a low voice to me as they continued to argue.
“No, she’s too emotionally drained for that.” I muttered. “You’re on.”
Not even one minute into it she smacked James across the face and marched out of The Three Broomsticks looking slightly deranged. Marlene muttered some words under her breath before getting up and going after her. This left me with the Marauders, Jessica the blonde haired bimbo, my psycho roommate, and the Hogwarts gossip columnist. Great. I reached into my bag and handed Black five sickles reluctantly. James sat down in the seat Lily had been in stunned.
“I don’t know what I did.” He said.
“You didn’t do anything mate,” Black patted his shoulder. “She’s just got a stick up her arse. A very large stick, that is.”
“Shut up .” I muttered, but in reality I agreed. Lily was so in denial when it came to how good James really was to her. All he wanted was to make her happy. Unfortunately her happy never occurred when he was around. There was something about him that irked her. I think it all started when he began to call Snape Snivellus back in first year. Lily had always had a soft spot for Snape, even though lately they weren’t speaking.
“It’s just I try so hard!” Potter moaned desperately. “It’s like she doesn’t even want to try!”
Oh no James, whatever would make you think that? It only took six years to come to the correct conclusion. And something still told me that he wouldn’t put two and two together. He was way too passionate about destiny and all that bullshit. Back in third year he told Marlene and I that he envisioned their first kiss on a beach at sunset. Now whether he was being serious or not, I don’t know. But the look in his eyes made him seem pretty set on his sunset kiss. Conveniently no one had told him that Lily had already had her first kiss, and others after. If James caught wind that a bloke was interested in Lily he’d make a big deal out of it and scare them off. This pissed Lily off to no end, but I think I’d be pissed off too. Most guys know to just stay away by now. As much as she cringed at the mere thought, she was known by the male population at Hogwarts as James Potter’s girl.
I sometimes wished that I could be graceful and likeable like Lily was. Neither of us really had boyfriends, that was Marlene’s job. She always seemed to have a boyfriend, and if she didn’t she was interested in someone. I had only kissed two guys before. The first time was in a shed at my sister’s sweet sixteen party. How romantic, right? Then the second time was two summers ago when my mother forced me to go to some stupid sleep away camp to sort out my anger issues. I guess she didn’t look that far into it, because it turned out to be a hippy type camp. I spent most of my days doing illegal things with my camp buddy, Kendrick. Kendrick took my apparent “anger” and “hatred for the world” as cool and actually kissable. We still saw each other now if I needed some more illegal things that he was bound to have, but we were just friends. He was way too happy all of the time for me to actually care about him like that.
“What’s in Butterbeer?” Jessica asked loudly, snapping me out of my daydreams. “Does it have calories?”
“All food and drinks have calories unless you want the shitty tasting ones.” I said in a cold voice. She looked away from my stare and instead looked to Black.
“Not diet ones.”
Well congratulations Sirius Black for picking the stupidest girl Hogwarts has to offer. I rolled my eyes at her and looked to Remus who was laughing silently. I shook my head to him as if to say that I couldn’t believe I was sitting here and talking to these people. He shot me a glance that spoke the same idea. Remus and I got along well. I think if he would stop being so damned shy all of the time we could actually have a full conversation.
You see, there were three kinds of girls at Hogwarts. There were the imbeciles like Blondie Jessica and Rachel, then there were the negative world haters like me and Kat, and then there were the positive happy people like Lily and Marlene. Quiet, loud, small or tall you would always fit into one of the three categories. For guys, there was obnoxious arsehole and quiet arsehole. Every guy was an arse, but their classification depended on how well they hid it. For teachers, it was scarily awesome like McGonagall or Borderline Mental like Slughorn. The stereotype list went on and on. Hell, even House-Elves had their own categories.
“We should probably go back,” Remus said to the table as he looked down to his watch. “It’s almost dinner time.”
Slowly we all got up from the round table and made our way outside of the bar. I found myself walking next to a depressed looking James Potter.
“Hey, Potter—it’s alright.” I said with a small laugh. His miserable look worsened, he obviously hadn’t caught onto my lightening of the mood.
“No it’s not. Every time Bridget, every single time, I seem to screw it up.”
“No you don’t…” I trailed off when he shot me a knowing look. I was so shitty at lying. “Well maybe you should stop trying to hard then. Maybe that will make you stop screwing it up.”
“What d’you mean?”
“Well, how many times a day to you compliment Lily, or tell her hello, or do something pratty to get her attention?”
He seemed to think for a moment before shrugging. “A lot I guess.”
“Right, so don’t you think that she would notice if you just stopped?”
“I dunno, maybe, but—”
“But what? This is brilliant!”
“No, it sounds like you want me to start ignoring her. That would only make room for competition!”
“But competition can be a good thing!” I felt myself truly smiling for the first time today. “If you gave Lily enough space to realize that men are arses then she’d realize how good you really are to her. Let her go out on a date with one of those preppy prats she thinks are attractive and then she’ll come crawling back to you.”
He seemed to think for a moment as we continued to walk. The expression on his face couldn’t be placed, but I took the silence as contemplation. Up ahead Black and Blondie were walking as they sucked each other’s faces off. I had to do all I could to keep from throwing up my Butterbeer on the side of the path. It amazed me that Blondie could walk and kiss at the same time. She didn’t remind me of the type to be able to handle multitasking. A little ahead of the disgusting PDA was Kat and Rachel who were in a deep discussion about god knows what with Holly Stephens from Ravenclaw. Personally, I was happy to be walking with heartbroken Potter. The rest of them were too wacko for this time of day.
“Well,” James said finally, drawing my attention back towards him. “I guess it couldn’t hurt to try…”
“That’s brilliant!” I said with an excited squeal. Potter looked at me strangely. I guess he had never heard me make such a girlish noise before. To be honest, I don’t think I ever had. But hey, it wasn’t every day that people put their love lives into my hands. I had to take advantage of the reaction seeing as this would most likely be the last time anyone would ever be dim enough to do so.
“When should I start?”
“Tomorrow.” I said, trying to be businesslike. Give it a rest for two weeks, maybe three, and then someone will catch her attention. Let that play out and then come to be the shoulder to cry on. You should be repulsively in love by Christmas.”
“What a great anniversary date!” He exclaimed.
I just rolled my eyes and kept on walking. Sometimes I wished James could be a little more normal, but in a way his naivety was cute. Who knows, maybe him and Lily wouldn’t be such a disaster after all. I shook my head and smiled to myself, who was I kidding? There was more of a chance of me shacking up with Black than Lily and James being in a full functioning relationship.
A/n: I had a lot of fun writing this chapter. Favorite parts would be fantastic;) I answer every review and I love to get them! What did you think of Jessica the Blondie and James? I want to make it clear that Bridget isn't jealous--not really. At this point she doesn't have feelings for Black. Her hatred is for realz. You see more of James in this chapter than before. I love James, just saying:) Thanks for reading and I'll update as soon as I can! Love, Izzy.
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