Leah-Eve Oakley was standing at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, and not for the first time, she was wondering just what types of things her two best friends had been getting up to throughout the summer holidays. Right now she was looking for them, because as usual they were cutting it very fine, it was just getting to five minutes till eleven o'clock and Sirius Black and James Potter hadn't even come through the barrier. Moony was already on the train saving a compartment for them, probably with Peter. Why did they always have to be late?
Lee sighed and tossed her hair over her shoulder, the last lengthening potion probably hadn't been a good idea, because now it fell down her back in a thick waves stopping a couple of inches above her jeans. At least it would make a proper ponytail now, she looked down waiting for the loud laughter that would mean James and Black had come through the barrier. She hadn't seen her friends all summer, her family had insisted on her spending practically every waiting minute with them, using the excuse, "we won't see you till next year!" very frequently.
In some ways the summer holidays were just about clothes shopping, she hated how shapeless robes made her look. While at Hogwarts usually she opted for the simple black jersey and plain grey skirt, without the robes over the top; but really she was never more comfortable than in a pair of Levis and Converse.
A shout interrupted her reverie on clothes, looking up she saw James and Sirius come hurtling through the barrier.
"Quick! You guys are so late, I honestly thought you weren't coming at all." Lee hurried forward and helped them load their trunks into the train's luggage compartment and jump onto the train just as the final whistle blew.
"How've you been Leah-Eve? Long time no see." said Sirius as she tried to retrieve her bobby pin that he'd just pulled out of hair to inspect, "what do you call this?"
"Ugh. Don't call me that, Black." Lee shuddered at her full name, "and it is a bobby pin."
"Who's Bobby?" said Sirius laughing, "is he gay, or does he just like hair pins?"
"You know how I love it when you two fight, really adds to the ambient noise," said James, as Lee drew breath to make a snappy retort, "hurry up Lee and tell me what Lily's been saying this summer."
Sirius and Lee gave a simultaneous groan and Sirius swatted James' head with the pin.
"Hey, give us, you'll break it!"
As the train slowly rolled out of the station, the three friends swapped anecdotes about their separate summers in exuberant voices. They found their apartment after some searching, the train was swamped in first years.z
"Moony! Good to see you mate, how's that furry little problem of yours?" James really had less tact than a bull elephant. She'd written to him several times through the summer telling how Moony had been worried by irregular moon patterns and that he'd almost escaped once.
"All right thanks." Moony's voice held only a touch of annoyance, he knew what James was like. The bull elephant nodded happily and leant back in his chair,
"Hey Sirius, did you really set your mum's eyebrows on fire, by accident?" the group gave a collective laugh as Sirius leaned forward and began describing his escapade.
A knock at the door interrupted this story. It was Lily Evans and Alice Freer, two girls also in the third year and friends of the collective group. James squashed Sirius in order to make room for Lily, apparently 'the love of his life' but she sat next to Lee with Alice. After a good long gossip about a couple of other people in their year the talk returned to Quidditch, this time only the Inter-house Cup at Hogwarts.
"So, are you failures going to get onto the team this year?" James asked in his best uppity, arrogant voice that he usually reserved Slytherins, especially Snape, then apparently seeing the looks of incredulity on Lee's and Sirius' faces he added, "I was only joking! You'll get in this year, don't worry." Sirius and Lee had tried out for the chaser and beater position respectively, two years running and, both times the two positions had been filled by older players. But Lee was optimistic about her chances this year, she'd decided to not trial for beater but for chaser, the same as Sirius.
The talk turned to the other's families, and Lee turned away to watch the scenery flashing by. She hadn't ever spoken to anyone about her family, not even James or Sirius. The truth was that she was embarrassed by her family, all she'd ever told them that her mother was dead and that her father was somewhere abroad. It was true that she didn't know anything about her birth mother except that she'd been a foreign witch, but her of father and grandparents she knew more. Unfortunately. Gellert Grindelward, her grandfather had been in love with her grandmother when they were reasonably young and had Lee's father, about thirteen years ago. But all that really mattered was that her grandfather was one of the most famous dark wizards that the wizarding world had ever known. Her mother was dead and her father was gone, so she had been brought up in a small orphanage on the outskirts of Godrics Hollow. Her father left her outside it's doors, for years she'd thought she was just strange until the letter had come. Her grandfather was alive, but in Nurmengard, his own prison, her grandmother dead like her mother. And her father? Gone for over a decade and showing no sign of return. She planned to never tell her friends anything, they were better off not knowing who she was related to so closely.
A voice broke through her dark thoughts, Sirius had thrown something at James, probably about something James had said, bull elephant tact again. Watching Sirius laugh and dodge the object, as it came flying back at him, Lee was startled by how much he'd grown up over the summer. He'd filled out and his hair had been cut back nearer to his scalp so that the dark curls nestled in near to his head. He was getting pretty good looking as he got older, and Lee thought he was beginning to realise it himself. Shoot, when had it all got so complicated? They'd arrived at school four years ago, been put in the same house, realised they lived relatively near each other and became the best of friends. Now they werein the fifth year, what if Sirius and James got girlfriends and forgot about her? For as much as Lee loved Alice and Lily it was nothing compared to the easy companionship that she felt about the boys, especially james who she was far closer to. And, although Lee wasn't going to admit it, she would be deeply jealous if one of them, especially Sirius, got a girlfriend.
"Penny for them? You're quiet tonight." It was Alice, who, Lee thought never said much either.
"Nothing important," Lee said, then shaking her head, "Reminiscence, I wouldn't recommend it." Alice looked thoughtful,
"You're lying." The condemnation in Alice's voice was so sharp it brought Lee up short, she'd never thought Alice could be capable of such an outburst. But she was right, although Lee had no intention of telling her anything about what she'd really been thinking.
"I need to go to the bathroom," Lee said abruptly. Once there she tidied her hair unnecessarily and stared at her face, one that she hardly knew. A small, neat nose, golden eyes and average sized lips with very white teeth. Lily had always teased her about her obsessive teeth brushing but it had been instilled as a key value in the years that she'd lived at the orphanage and old habits die hard. She hardly ever looked at herself, or if she did it was only to fix her mascara that she always wore to lengthen her pitiful lashes. She knew she wasn't ugly, but her face had a hard quality that she saw in teachers or orphanage workers sometimes. At least she had tanned well over the summer, perhaps her mother had been of Middle Eastern origin, and Lee liked to think that maybe she was a desert princess, rolling over the sand on a camel. But fantasies were what they were, and useless because of it. She sighed as she washed her hands unnecessarily and had just stepped outside when a mound of blond ringlets greeted her.
"Leah-Eve! It's so good to see you!" Lee winced not only at the name but at the girl's bright pink lipstick and ugly glasses.
"Hey Rita, how's things?"
"Oh pretty great, I got new glasses! See? They're amazing aren't they; I got them from an advertisement in Witch Weekly. Oh I can't wait to get back to Hogwarts can you? Oh look! There's Patrick Gordon, I've got to say hi to him! See you later, Leah-Eve," Rita hurried off down the corridor after Patrick, poor guy. After Slytherin girls Rita was definitely Lee's least favourite person, a Ravenclaw third year who seemed to collect poisonous gossip and then regurgitate nasty things when they were least wanted. Lee only kept her on good terms because she was so like a scorpion that it was best to keep her where you could see her.
"Leah-Eve! Oh my gosh, Leah-Eve, I've missed you so much! It's so good to see you!"
"Black, you have no idea just how funny you are," Lee turned to him, as he walked up the corridor from the direction of their compartment, "what are you doing here? Don't tell me you're looking for dear Rita?"
"Sure I might go see her now," Sirius laughed, "she'd probably drool when she saw me."
"I wouldn't be too confident, Patrick Gordon has caught her eye already," Leah grinned, "and compared to him, you're not even a flobberworm."
"I'm startlingly attractive, even you've noticed, which, I've noticed is no mean feat," Leah turned to look out the window, because her cheeks had flared up stunningly, and she had no intention if telling Sirius that he was right.
Once she had composed herself she said,
"I've got eyes, but that doesn't mean I'm watching in any way but as a friend," when she turned she saw that Sirius had come closer and was watching her very intently.
"Something's on your mind, Lee, I just wish you'd tell me what it was," he turned away, and Lee only just caught the, "then I could help you."
Once he had walked back into the compartment and the door had slammed behind him, Lee had slumped back against the wall. She knew she was going to cry and welcomed it. The summer had been full of sleepless nights, wondering about her future, and here past, which she couldn't keep hidden forever. But she hadn't cried once, the orphanage carer would've made her talk to a muggle counselor if they'd found her crying and so she'd controlled herself. And she promised that she would, but when Sirius had seemed so open, and ready, she'd known that it wouldn't be secret for much longer. And so, she cried, not for a long time, but long enough to make a mess and a trip to the bathroom necessary.
The compartment was rowdy when Lee returned from the bathroom and she knew that that her eyes were still bloodshot, and so it was obvious she'd been crying.
Lee hurriedly started up conversation with James about his summer and his love letters to Lily, she knew they'd been coming very often, from James' tawny owl. And of course he had to ask her about her romantic conquests over the summer.
"Now that sounds like a fascinating story little Mudblood, why don't you tell us all?" unnoticed by all, the compartment door had slid open just enough for Bellatrix, Sirius' cousin to over hear their conversations.
"Get out, Bella, that's none of your business," Sirius had immediately jumped to Lee's defense, which Lee thought was sweet, but if he knew the truth he'd be suitably repulsed. But what right did Sirius' mad cousin have to come and tell her what she was. She'd probably be impressed if she knew the truth.
Lee's bad mood didn't wear off until they caught they'd gotten off the train and into the horseless carriages. The feast was delicious as usual and watching Sirius surreptitiously stuffing peas into James' cloak was one of the funniest things she'd ever seen. Professor Dumbledore's speech was as ridiculous as always, and his top hat was resolutely purple, while the hat that Mcgonagall was wearing was more suited for a funeral than a welcome feast . Soon everyone was yawning and thinking about the feather beds awaiting them but Dumbledore seemed to have one last message for them.
"Students! I know how much you wish to make haste to your comfortable in your dormitories, but a final notice is in order. You may want to know that the house cup will be beginning early this year, in November, in light of the previous years lack of final," he smiled down at them, "but that is all, you may go. Sweet dreams."
Lee was walking with Lily just ahead of Sirius as they made their way up to Gryffindor tower.
"Hey Sirius," a voice called out from behind them, it was Rita, "did you know the next Hogsmead visit is the weekend after Halloween? We should meet up."
"Er, maybe Rita, I'll probably be going with Lee and James," Lee got the feeling he was trying not to laugh. She chanced a look behind and saw that he was gazing at a random point over Rita's shoulder.
"With Lee? As in Leah-Eve Oakley?" Rita looked sounded annoyed, and Lee had a hard time not walking back and saying 'hey I can hear you talking about me, you jealous bitch.'
As she looked back at the floor in front of her she heard an amused Sirius reply.
"Er yeah, she is my friend," Sirius definitely was trying not to laugh.
"I know, but she totally likes you and I mean she might think she has a chance if you don't get a girlfriend soon, and I mean," Rita lowered her voice, probably trying to be seductive, "it would totally ruin your reputation."
"What reputation? I'm just an average fifth year Gryffindor that the girls go crazy for, so how would she damage this 'reputation'?" Sirius wasn't laughing now, he actually sounded kind of angry.
"But she's like, really ugly, and no one likes her, she's always angry about something," Rita said defensively.
"Listen Rita, I'm not interested," Sirius paused, "and isn't Ravenclaw tower that way?" Rita made a sound not unlike a kettle steaming and hurried away down the adjacent corridor. Lee couldn't believe what she had just heard, she'd always thought that Rita considered her a friend and now to think back about what she'd just said. It wasn't even worth thinking about. But more surprises seemed to be coming her way.
"I heard that," James said to Sirius as they walked up the next set of stairs, they must have thought Lee was absorbed in a conversation with Lily to overhear them, "you don't think Lee heard any of it do you?"
"No, well, she didn't seem to, she didn't turn around or anything," Sirius said, "that Rita, she's a total bitch."
"Yeah, well I kind of worked that one out didn't I? But she's jealous isn't she, and not everyone is like Lee, self control wise."
"She's so wrong though isn't she? I mean, Lee is freaking hot," Sirius said quietly, Lee had to strain to hear it, "even more so over the summer."
"She's a friend, Sirius, I honestly don't see her like that, maybe she is, but that isn't any of my business," James sounded pretty condemning, but when had that ever stopped Sirius, Lee wondered.
"No, seriously, should we tell her about what that bitch said?"
"Hell no! She'd probably go murder Skeeter in her bed, you know how pissed off she gets," James stopped for thought, "just tell her that Skeeter's a bitch, she'll get the message."
"You sure? She's hot when she's pissed off," Lee could hear Sirius grinning, and in spite of herself she was too.
"How do you know?" asked James.
"Last year, I broke her quill and dropped her fourteen inch history of magic essay in the fire. By mistake!" he added quickly. James burst out laughing and they began talking about James' letters to Lily.
Later that night, once Alice had finally stopped talking to their other girl in their dorm, Tash, Lee could think straight. So Rita was after Sirius and hated her, her loss, thought Lee stretching out on her bed so her feet dangled off the end. And then she fell soundly asleep, and wasn't troubled by a dream all through the night.
This is my first copy, my friend that edits my work is being slow so this is only a draft, spelling and grammar is definitely not all correct.
Please comment below, I'm completely open to criticism, good or bad.
Above all, I hope you enjoyed it xx
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