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The Middle by purplewings721
Chapter 8 : Consequences Are Overrated
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 22


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Disclaimer: Everything that's not an attempt at a plot line or OC belongs to Jo.






 “What in Merlin’s name is wrong with you two?!”


Matilda Ramsey didn’t even wait a minute after Calvin left to get Hagrid, before she turned on the fifth years with a surprisingly amount of vehement. Then again, considering how she had just been showered with pieces of glass, I suppose her anger wasn’t totally out of place. But that didn’t stop the two from looking at her in complete and utter fear.

 

I was trying really hard not to laugh at the way Malfoy and Al simultaneously gulped at our Head Girl. It was the first time I saw Malfoy show any sign of remorse or shame for his actions, his cheeky smile vanishing at the sight of Matilda Ramsey’s wrath. They hadn’t reached the point of looking like they were about to cry for their mummies, but judging by the way the Head Prat was all but frothing at the mouth, I knew it wouldn’t be too long.

 

“Oh give it a rest, Ramsey. They’re just kids,” Castor Greengrass muttered, still holding onto the invisible creature. He was strangely protective of his cousin and Al. Both were the youngest members of the Slytherin Quidditch team, and with Castor as the captain, I guess it made some sense that he would look out for the two. Still, I always found it weird how he was always keeping an eye on them. Especially since he and James sort of hated each other.

 

Actually, it was Dare who had the real problem with him, but with my cousin being the loyal best friend that he was, I guess he had to hate the brooding Slytherin by default.

 

“Potter here is a Prefect!” she reminded, intensely glaring at Al. “He should have known better! Look at all the damage these ‘kids’ created – a girl was even sent to the Hospital Wing! I am going to have a serious word with the Headmistress about making sure she gives him the proper punishment. A Prefect!”

 

At the threat of possibly losing his badge, Al’s face turned a ghastly white. His green eyes went wide with terror and his lower lip began to subtly quiver.

 

“Calm down, Matilda,” Dare remarked, not wanting to be one-upped by his rival. “There’s no need to scare the kid. And you heard what he said about it being an accident. He was only trying to stop the whole incident.”

 

Matilda Ramsey narrowed her eyes at her fellow Head, offended that he wasn’t siding with her. “Of course you’d think that. You’re so soft when it comes to discipline, just like your brother. I don’t know why McGonagall would choose someone who was so obviously biased towards his friends and their relatives as Head Boy, especially since most of them are troublemakers.”

 

I winced at her comments, knowing perfectly well how offended Dare would be by what she said about him being soft. His eyes immediately darkened from their normal brown to an almost deadly black and his jaw set in that stubborn way of his that I was so familiar with. I could see the snappy comment that was about to escape his mouth, which I knew would only make things worse for him, so I quickly jumped into the conversation and cut him off.

 

“You know, Ramsey," I began, walking out of the corner that James and I had been watching everything. My cousin looked at me with worry, probably thinking that I was about to say something incredibly stupid (which I was), but I ignored him. “Insulting the Headmistress’s choice for Head Boy falls under the category of disrespecting authority. That’s liable for a detention.”

 

The glare I received from the Head Prat would’ve made anyone else wet their knickers, but I was too much of an idiot to be intimidated by her. Besides, I was still relishing in the moment of using the very same words she had used on me against her. Merlin, did it feel good to give her a taste of her own medicine.

 

“You little hypocrite,” she seethed, nostrils flaring. “What gives you, of all people, the right to lecture me about how I talk to Dare?”

 

What I was about to say would probably be the dumbest thing I’d ever said in my entire life. And I knew that once those words left my mouth, I would regret it for the rest of said life. But I was enjoying riling her up and me being the reckless instigator that I was, didn’t really care about the consequences that would follow.

 

“Oh I don’t know,” I began, going up to Dare so that I could put an arm around him. I felt him stiffen at my touch, which probably should have been a warning sign for me to stop, but I was already too far in to quit now. “Maybe the fact that I’m his girlfriend.”

 

The look on Matilda Ramsey’s face was absolutely priceless. 

 

She had her mouth open so wide I could practically see her stomach, her pencil-thin eyebrows seeming to have disappeared altogether. Her face went so pale you’d have thought I just told her that her mummy died or something. And don’t even get me started on all of the spluttering. God, I was having such a hard time trying to keep a straight face.

 

“B-but that’s… that’s impossible!” she screeched, her cheeks flushed with frustration. “You two hate each other!”

 

I could have sworn that there was a hint of jealousy in her tone. Although why she would be jealous was beyond me. Who in their right mind would want to date someone like Dare?

 

“That, Ramsey, would be called sexual tension,” Castor remarked, and the light-heartedness I was feeling from Ramsey’s ridiculous reaction was suddenly replaced with a nauseating sense of déjŕ vu.

 

There was a wicked glint in his eye and an uneasy feeling began to settle at the bottom of my stomach. The memory of that meeting about the bet suddenly flashed in my mind and I racked my brain to see who had been in attendance. Just like the Andies, neither Castor nor his cronies had been there.

 

Bollocks.

 

“I beg your pardon?” The Head Prat exclaimed, offended.

 

“Yeah, Greengrass, I beg your pardon?” James repeated, looking both disgusted and confused. It was like breakfast all over again.

 

A devilish smirk made its way onto Castor’s face and his friends glanced at each other with amusement. They all had that expression of knowing something that no one else knew, causing for my stomach to feel like it was being tossed around by the Whomping Willow. I made the mistake of catching Klinton Pucey’s eye and he sent me a sinister wink.  I tried not to shudder.

 

“Oh don’t be so naive, Potter,” Castor replied, his tone suggestive and allusive. “Minnie’s far too fit to be truly hated. Whatever it is that White’s been feeding you about not standing your cousin is all a cover up. Everyone knows that he’s wanted to secretly shag the living daylights out of her since fourth year.”

 

The amount of awkwardness that was in the room was enough to suffocate a full grown mountain troll.

 

James turned away from Castor, who was looking creepily triumphant, to stare at me and Dare. It was hard to tell what exactly he was thinking, his hazel eyes filled with all different kinds of emotions that I couldn’t pick out. I glanced over at Dare to see what his reaction was to all of this, but it was like he had turned to stone. There wasn’t a single expression on his face, not even a slight blush. He looked exactly the way he did when he first found out Calvin was going to be our new professor, and that’s when I knew I screwed things up big time.

 

Oh, hell.

 

“Uh, James?” Al asked, nervously breaking the silence.

 

The fear of what would happen to him because of the whole ‘crashing a thestral in the middle of a class’ thing seemed to disappear, now replaced with a growing concern for his brother. His voice seemed to shake James out of whatever daze he had been in, although I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. A spark of anger flashed in James’s eye, a signal that his usually dormant Weasley temper had been ignited.

 

In less than a second, my cousin was crossing the room, fists curled as he headed straight for the cocky Slytherin. I tried to stop him, knowing exactly what he intended on doing, but I found myself rooted to the spot. Before I knew it, James had knocked Castor to the floor and was punching the hell out of him.

 

“Potter!” Matilda Ramsey cried, rather shocked by the sudden event. “Potter, as Head Girl, I must demand you to stop beating Greeengrass this instant!”

 

Right, because ‘demanding’ someone to stop fighting actually worked.

 

After Ramsey, Vinny Goyle was the first to react. He jumped from his spot, leaving Nott and Pucey to hold onto the threstral, and moved to aid his friend in the fight. A small gasp escaped my lips as I watched Goyle tackle my cousin to the ground. James was definitely one of the strongest in our year, his broad stature and years of being a Beater giving him quite the advantage. Unfortunately for him, Goyle was also a Beater and just as stocky. They were evenly matched, although James did have his fiery temper to his gain.

 

“Aren’t you going to do anything?” I asked Dare, staring at the way he just stood there with disbelief. He looked back at me dazed and I knew that he had been caught completely off guard. He had probably expected James to attack him.

 

He ended up not having to do much, though, because Calvin had returned with both Hagrid and McGonagall. Hagrid, who was too preoccupied with the safety of his threstral to notice the three seventh years going at it on the floor, went straight for the invisible horse and relieved Nott and Pucey from their duties. McGonagall, on the other hand, wasn’t as absentminded.

 

“What is the meaning of this?” she barked, and the boys immediately stopped their fighting. Their faces were all bruised and swollen with cut lips and nasty black eyes. James was breathing heavily, still too angry to say anything. Castor, who had received most of the damage, cleared his throat before speaking up.

 

“There was a slight disagreement,” he answered, wincing from the pain in his mouth.

 

“A slight disagreement?” she repeated incredulously. “Never have I seen such a barbaric display before in all my years as Headmistress. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves! Especially you two, Potter and Greengrass. Look at the example you are setting for your younger relatives. It’s no wonder they managed to crash a thestral into Professor White’s classroom.”

 

At the reminder of their actions, Al and Malfoy turned a bright red. They were probably counting on James and Castor’s fight to distract McGonagall from their own misbehaviour, which was rather foolish on their part. Everyone knows that McGonagall has the memory of an owl.

 

“As for you two,” she began, turning her attention to the fifteen year olds. “Don’t think that just because their actions were far graver than your reckless joyride that you are off the hook. All five of you will be having letters written home as well as serving detention.”

 

“If I could add something, Headmistress,” Matilda Ramsey interrupted, “I would also like to point out that the younger Mr Potter and Mr Greengrass are also Prefects and that their behaviour is most uncalled for.”

 

“As honourable as you think your intentions are, Miss Ramsey,” McGonagall replied coldly, “I am perfectly aware of Mr Potter and Greengrass’s positions, what with me being the ones to assign them after all. Although, I must say I’m beginning to regret my decision.”

 

The Head Prat turned a bright shade of red, having been put in her place. I covered my mouth with my hand, hoping to hide the smirk that had made its way onto my face.

 

“Professor, the incident with the thestral was all an accident!” Al called out, hoping to change her mind about removing his badge. “I was only trying to get Scorpius down, when it took off. Honest!”

 

“He’s telling the truth, Professor.” Malfoy added, sticking up for his sensitive best friend.

 

“Accident or not, Mr Potter, it does not exclude the fact that you and Mr Malfoy caused the school quite some damage,” she told him sternly. “However, seeing as though it is still early in the year, I will allow both you and Mr Greengrass to keep your Prefects privileges. That is, if you two do not step out of line for the rest of the term. You will, along with Mr Malfoy, Potter, and Goyle, still have to serve the detention.”

 

The acknowledged pair both nodded their heads in silence, gratitude flooding their faces. Although, with one look at Matilda Ramsey and I could tell that she found this decision an injustice. But I guess since she had already been put into place once (twice, if we were counting the moment earlier today where Calvin had told her she was being a distraction), she decided not to say anything.

 

“Miss Ramsey,” McGonagall called, and the Head Prat whipped her head around. “I believe that you already have a detention scheduled for this Saturday, am I correct?”

 

“Yes, Headmistress,” she answered, “But I was only intending for Weasley to serve it.”

 

Damn, my detention was this Saturday? Maybe I should have read that letter, after all.

 

“I’m sure you’ll find room for a few more,” McGonagall said offhandedly. “Now, about this mess. Professor Hagrid, if you would please take the thestral back to the stables. Mr Potter and Malfoy, you two will be cleaning this classroom under the supervision of Miss Ramsey – with no magic, mind you, while Professor White escorts these three hooligans to the Hospital Wing where Madame Pomfrey can clean them up. Everyone else, back to your common rooms.”

 

It was a little impressive how she was able to list off all those tasks, without even breaking a sweat. With one last stern look at the room, the Headmistress strode past the doors with Hagrid and the now infamous thestral following behind her. Calvin shook his head at everyone and left with James and the two Slytherins, muttering under his breath something about how he should’ve taken that desk job in London. And since there wasn’t anything left for me to see – and I sure as hell wasn’t planning on sticking around with Matilda Ramsey – I followed McGonagall’s instructions and began to head off towards my common room.

 

I barely made it around the corner when Dare stormed up to me and yanked my wrist back, forcing me to turn around and face him.

 

“Watch it!” I cried, as I accidentally fell on top of him. Thankfully, he was able to balance himself and stop us from falling to the floor. Unfortunately, however, he had to use the nearest wall to keep us steady, meaning that he now had me pressed up against the stone barrier.

 

Oh Salazar, this wasn’t going to end well.

 

“Why the hell did you tell Matilda bloody Ramsey that we were dating?” he demanded. He was so close that I could literally see the anger that was radiating in his eyes, his fierce gaze fixed upon my own surprised one.

 

“It was the first thing that popped into my head,” I admitted weakly, finding myself a bit unnerved by the proximity of his face. Thankfully, his glasses provided the smallest of barriers between us, but with his hand still firmly wrapped around my wrist, practically burning my skin as he held me in place, it was getting hard to concentrate.

 

“Why did you say anything in the first place? I had the situation completely under control until you had to butt in! God, you ruin everything Minnie!” he exclaimed, roughly letting go of me so that he could run a hand through his hair.

 

“If it weren’t for me, you probably would have said something to her that would have made you lose your badge! I was doing you a favour!” I shot back, my confidence (and temper) rising now that we were no longer in contact. It was rather unsettling how the simple touch of his hand could wipe my mind completely blank.

 

“Why do you care so much if I get into trouble?”

 

Oh hell, why did I care so much?

 

“Because we’re supposed to be friends!” I answered, remembering the bet. “And why do you care so much about what I told Ramsey? It’s not like she actually believed it.”

 

“You weren’t exactly alone when you said that, Min. Not only do we have to worry about the Slytherins spreading that rumour, but now I have to deal with my best friend thinking that the two of us having been sneaking around his back!” Dare explained, his tone borderline hysterical. “Do you have any idea what he’s going to do to me once he gets out of the Hospital Wing?”

 

I rolled my eyes, “I can talk to Al to make sure that Castor and the rest won’t tell anyone. And you don’t have to worry about James. He’d never lay a hand on you.”

 

“Did you not see what he did to Greengrass in there?” he asked incredulously, obviously not finding my words very comforting. Judging by the slightly crazed look in his eye and his insistence on not believing me, I could tell that the fight had really shaken him up. However, my mind was too busy racing around with a billion different thoughts to pay him any sympathy.

 

“The only reason he went off on Castor like that was because that idiot kept going on about you secretly having feelings for me, which we both know is absolute rubbish.”

 

Or at least, I hoped it was rubbish.

 

But it wasn’t like I could let Dare know of my doubts. And yes I did have doubts. I mean, two different people on two different occasions mentioned the two of us having… that particular type of tension. And with something so specific as… that kind of tension, it was getting hard to believe if those two occasions had just been massively disturbing coincidences or not. But again, Dare could never know of these doubts I was having, because then maybe he’d start to get the impression that I was the one who had feelings for him. Which of course wasn’t true, but who knows if he would believe that. And so, in order to keep him from mistakenly thinking that I might buy into the ridiculous notion about the two of us having tension, I made sure to give him an extra hard glare. Like I was challenging him to tell me otherwise. And Merlin, did I hope that he wouldn’t tell me otherwise.

 

A few moments passed where he didn’t say anything. He just stood there, looking at me with an unreadable expression on his face. I searched his eyes hoping to find something that would ease my nerves, but I’ve always been horrible when it came to picking out emotions that weren’t blatantly obvious. I could feel my heart racing faster and faster as each second without a response passed.

 

“It is rubbish, right?” I finally asked, not being able to handle the silence. My voice seemed to break whatever trance that Dare had fallen into, the bloke shaking his head as if to get rid of his thoughts.

 

“Of course it’s rubbish,” he replied, looking at me as if I were stupid. “Why in the world would I have feelings for you?”

 

Well, excuse me! I wasn’t that repulsive, you know.

 

“Sorry, I forgot about how atrocious I was,” I snapped. “Silly me for thinking that there was a slight chance a bloke might like me.”

 

“No, damn it. I didn’t mean it like that!” Dare apologized, swearing under his breath as he quickly tried to correct himself. “You’re perfectly likeable, Min. And definitely not atrocious. Merlin, you’re like the farthest thing from atrocious. Terrifying yes, but on you it’s actually quite charming. In a sick and twisted kind of way.”

 

It was hard to tell if he was insulting me or if he was really just this bad at apologizing. Either way, it was still confusing.

 

“Not that you’re sick and twisted,” he continued, obviously flustered. “Because again, you’re the farthest thing from that. And all I meant from before was that it would be weird if I liked you. Because you know, we’re friends. Or rather, trying to be friends. And you’re James’s cousin, and he’s practically my brother, so in a way you’re kind of like my cousin too. So if I did like you it’d just be really sick and weird. And… and I think I should shut up now.”

 

That last bit was possibly the only thing he’s said that actually made any sense.

 

I stared at Dare for a while, trying to figure out how I was supposed to respond to such an explanation. I could tell that my silent staring was making him feel a bit nervous, but since he had just done that to me, I figured it was only fair for him to have a turn. Eventually I gave up on trying to decipher his rambling, although I still wanted to know what had made him ramble in the first place, and decided that it was best if the both of us just moved on from this whole entire experience.

 

“So I think maybe we should just forget about all of… this,” I told him, and I was relieved to see him nod enthusiastically.

 

“Forgetting would be great,” he agreed. “But what are we going to tell James?”

 

“The truth,” I said simply.

 

And with that the two of us headed off to Gryffindor tower, relieved that we managed to get things slightly sorted out, but still dreading the unavoidable confrontation that awaited us.











 

“Let me get this straight,” James began, looking at me incredulously as he held an ice pack against his black eye. “The whole reasoning behind you telling Matilda Ramsey that you were Dare’s girlfriend was to piss her off. And the only reason why you interrupted the two of them in the first place was because you were trying to be a good friend to Dare and save him from getting into trouble, despite the fact that it led to Greengrass saying those ridiculous accusations that, even though I knew they couldn’t be true, made me want to beat the bloody life out of him and ended up with me getting my arse kicked by Goyle and a bloody detention on Saturday?”

 

“Yeah, I think that’s the gist of it.” I answered sheepishly.

 

We were in his dormitory, having skipped dinner to avoid all of the questions and gossip that no doubt have sprung up from today’s events. James and I were sitting next to each other on his bed, eating from the pile of food Freddy had snuck us from the kitchens. Freddy ran into a bruised and aching James in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady, arms full of baked goods and a mouth full of questions about the incident. The two of them then made their way up to the seventh year dormitory, where they found Dare and I waiting for them.

 

When James saw the two of us sitting together talking (about how we were going to break everything to him) on Dare’s bed, he went ballistic. He started going off about how we had betrayed him for not telling him about us and all of that fun rubbish. Dare being the bloody coward that he was, immediately froze up at his reaction, leaving me to calm my cousin down and to yell at Freddy to stop laughing. He apparently found the whole idea of Dare and I being ‘an item’ absolutely hilarious.

 

Anyway, it took a good ten minutes until I was finally able to get James to settle down and then it took another fifteen to explain to him everything that had happened. The only reason it took so long was because Freddy wouldn’t stop making ridiculous comments about the two of us, which of course only baited James even more. But it was finally done, and now the four of us all sat quietly as we waited for what would happen next.

 

“That has to be the most twisted thing I’ve ever heard,” James finally said, his tone no longer filled with anger. Dare and I let out a sigh of relief, whereas Freddy just snorted.

 

“Well, I got to hand it to you Min,” he began. “You sure know how to make your way around a bet. I could have sworn that that whole incident would’ve cost you it.”

 

“It’s called will power,” I remarked, feeling so much better now that I didn’t have to worry about James hating me.

 

Of course he could never truly hate me, but I still couldn’t stand the thought of him being angry with me. And even though it was a false alarm, I now know that it would be an absolutely terrible idea for me to get together with Dare. Not that I ever planned on doing it of course, but it was still good to know what would happen if I ever lost my head and agreed to date him.

 

“So, Dare,” Freddy began, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “Just because you and Minnie aren’t dating, that doesn’t mean you still don’t have feelings for her, right?”

 

Why? Why would he ask a question like that? I swear, it was like his life mission to make everyone in the entire world feel absolutely awkward.

 

Dare, who had been sitting on his own bed with a look of relief, suddenly started spluttering and turned three different shades of red. I also wasn’t in my most collected state, but that was just because Freddy’s question had thrown me off guard. Fortunately for us, James answered his question for him.

 

“Of course he doesn’t!” he said, “You don’t think my best mate would have told me if he’s been harbouring feelings for my cousin? Give him a little credit, Freddy.”

 

“I was just double checking,” Freddy replied, throwing his hands up defensively. Although judging by his smirk, I could tell he wasn’t completely convinced.

 

Great.

 

Just what I needed – another person under the impression that the two of us had ‘chemistry’ (or whatever it was they called it).

 

“Well, now that we’ve got all of that settled, I think I’m going to head off to my room,” I announced, before Freddy could go and make another awkward comment. “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”

 

“But it’s barely eight o’clock,” James protested. “Stay around for a bit and talk. Besides, we still haven’t gone on an adventure yet this year. We should plan something.”

 

I rolled my eyes at the way James called our pranks ‘adventures’, but decided to stay put. He was right – it’s been more than a week since we’ve been back and yet we still haven’t gone around and stirred up some trouble. Last year, we managed to fit in three different pranks all on the first day. Then again, considering how I was on ‘probation’ with Longbottom and all of that fun jazz, I guess I shouldn’t be sneaking around the castle causing mischief. And James wasn’t exactly in the best position to get into trouble either, what with McGonagall catching him in a fight. The only one who could truly risk a midnight prank was Freddy, but it’s never fun fooling around alone.

 

“I don’t think an adventure is a good idea right now,” Dare pointed out, as if he had read my mind. “You’re already extremely lucky that McGonagall only gave you a detention for the fight. If she caught you out after curfew, I doubt she’ll be as understanding.”

 

This seemed to make sense to James, because he let out a defeated sigh and nodded. I was secretly thankful for Dare’s ever reliable role as the wet blanket, not really feeling all that up for a night of running around the castle. Not that I’d ever admit that, of course.

 

“Well, what should we do then? We’re already all out of food now, thanks to Min.”

 

“Oi!” I protested, lightly smacking my cousin’s arm (I was only being gentle because he was still pretty sore from the fight). “Show a little gratitude. I applied ointment on your back when no one else would.”

 

Madame Pomfrey had given James a small container of Soothing Cream to apply on the spots that were especially sore every two to four hours. When Goyle had tackled my cousin to the ground, he had accidentally (well, I guess it wasn’t really an accident since he was trying to beat him up and all) bashed his shoulder against the hard floor. After the whole explanation scenario, James had begun to moan about his shoulder aching and how he couldn’t reach it. At that, Freddy and Dare both pretended to become highly interested in the tile pattern of the dormitory floor, leaving me to be the one to rub the cream onto his wound.

 

Freddy rolled his eyes, “You’re the one who wants to be a Healer. Dare and I were just giving you the opportunity to have a little practice.”

 

I hate it when he makes a point.

 

“I still can’t believe that you want to be a Healer,” Dare commented, shaking his head with disbelief. “I never pegged you as the type that would have a career where you had to help people.”

 

Oh great, not these comments again.

 

“I never pegged Minnie as the type to have any kind of career,” Freddy added.

 

The amount of faith my cousin had in me was just astounding.

 

“Right, so I think I’m going to leave now,” I threatened, jutting out my chin at their semi-insulting comments. I wasn’t really offended by them but anytime an opportunity of making them feel guilty presented itself, I made sure to take it.

 

“No, don’t go!” James exclaimed, grabbing a hold of my wrist and yanking me back down on the bed. “We promise we’ll stop picking on you, won’t we mates?”

 

The two gits nodded their heads, although I knew that they weren’t completely sincere. But still, James was giving me the puppy eyes and those were next to impossible to resist. I let out a long sigh, dragging it out so that it would seem like I really didn’t want to stay, but ended up doing it anyway. Besides, who knows if Nat was still upset over the whole breakfast incident, and I wasn’t really in the mood to put up with her. Maybe an evening in the boys’ dormitory wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. It’s been a while since I spent the night there and since we couldn’t go out pranking, I might as well enjoy their company.

 

“Fine, but I’m going to need a pair of pyjamas. I swear this uniform is going to be the death of me,” I told him and his face beamed at the realisation that I was staying. He quickly threw me a pair of shorts and one of his many tee shirts, which I then proceeded to change into in the loo. By the time I came back out, they were all dressed for bed and talking about – you guessed it, Quidditch.

 

“I can’t wait for the European Cup this winter. Dad says he can get us box seats at the England versus Portugal match during holiday,” James said excitedly, wrapping an arm around me as I curled up next to him.

 

 He was a bona fide snuggler and one of the few people in my life who I actually felt comfortable hugging. I wouldn’t be caught dead cuddling with Freddy or any other cousin, but for some reason, it felt natural with James. Besides, the way his body practically radiated heat, it was like he was born to be a human pillow.

 

“Portugal’s been bloody amazing this season,” Freddy pointed out, having made himself comfortable on the floor in between James and Dare’s bed. “I hope your dad can get us in, because that’s going to be one hell of a game.”

 

“When is it?” I asked, hoping that it wouldn’t conflict with any of the plans my mother had in store for us this holiday.

 

Christmas time was never as enjoyable as it should be, thanks to Mum’s incessant need for ‘family bonding’. Practically every single day was filled with some form of outing or activity, making it next to impossible for me to hang out with James or any of my friends. Usually whenever it would start becoming more than I could handle (which was normally around the first five days), I’d start acting up so that Mum would ship me off to the Potter’s so that I wouldn’t ruin what was supposed to be a precious moment together as a family. I honestly had no idea where she came up with all of that rubbish.

 

“The Prophet said it was going to be three days before Christmas, although the League hasn’t officially announced it,” Dare answered from his spot on his bed.

 

I think I’d be able to piss off Mum by then.

 

“Well, let’s hope Uncle Harry can get us in. That’d probably be the best excuse I can use to get out of the house,” I remarked, although that last bit got muffled by an unexpected yawn.

 

“Don’t tell me you’re tired already?” Freddy teased, “You’re getting weak on us, Min.”

 

“Oh hush, it’s been a long day.”

 

“Everyday’s a long day for you,” he countered, and I found myself unable to disagree with him. It was true, practically every day this past school year (which really wasn’t that much, but who was counting?) has ended with me feeling utterly exhausted. And here I thought that I would have it easy, since I was only taking six classes. God, I hate the NEWTS.

 

“That’s what happens when you choose to pursue something as competitive as Healing,” James lectured and I grumbled at the fact that he was right.

 

“And becoming a professional Quidditch player isn’t?” I retaliated.

 

“Not when I’ve got connections like Mum and Mr Wood to help me out,” he remarked, making me roll my eyes. “Besides, if that doesn’t work, then I’ll just do what Freddy’s planning on doing and work with Uncle George in the shop.”

 

And now I knew why my cousins could have never been sorted into Slytherin. Their lack of ambition was just remarkable.

 

“You know Min, Dad would love it if you came to work for him.” Freddy told me, “He could care less what we get on the NEWTS. The only reason I’m still in school is because Mum’s forcing me to.”

 

To be honest, I had been planning for the longest time to work for Uncle George and for precisely those reasons. Over the summers, James and I usually did help out around the shop and we loved every bit of it. However, as fun and exciting as it could be, a small part of me felt like I would be settling. I mean, yeah for the past six years I had been planning on settling and living the mediocre life that I thought was my only option. But ever since Professor Longbottom told me that I actually had a chance at getting into Healing School, well, I actually kind of wanted that to happen.

 

“If I don’t get into Healing School, which at the current moment is probably what’s going to happen, I’ll go work for him,” I promised. “However, that won’t mean I’m not going to try.”

 

“Atta girl!” James exclaimed, ruffling my hair. “Now enough with the career talk, it’s making my hair turn grey. Let’s play a game of Exploding Snap or something.”

 

 And with that, all talk of the future and school was finished. Dare, who had been quietly observing everything this whole time, went to get the cards out from his trunk while the rest of us made a circle on the floor. It was nice to just sit there and relax with the guys, without a care in the world. Even later on in the evening, when Eli and Devon came bursting in with question after question about what had happened, the mood still didn’t change. It didn’t take much to satisfy their curiosity, them being the simple minded fellows that they were, so a quick summarization of what went down was enough for them. It also helped that they had brought snacks, which makes everything better.

 

It was the first time this term that I felt completely at ease, which was rather ironic considering all of the chaos that occurred today. Not a single time did we mention the impending detention or the giant mess that had been our Defence class. Instead, we just fooled around and had ourselves a grand old time.

 

Besides, there would be plenty of time later this week to worry about things like consequences. We’d deal with our parents’ Howlers when they arrived, if they ever did. If my parents hadn’t written to me yet about getting a detention on the first day, then I doubted they would arrive now.

 

Consequences were so overrated, anyway. 




A/N: And there's chapter eight! I still have to go through and edit somethings - mainly grammatical errors and such - but I wanted to get this up already, so you'll just have to bear through it until I get around to fixing things. Hope you enjoyed this and if you'd please leave some reviews, that would be lovely. I don't know if I can get the next one up before the queue closes, but I'll see what I can do. Thanks again for reading!

-Camila :)

 


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