Disclaimer: Nothing in this story, bar the OC's and parts of the plot, belongs to me. Everything you see here is the wonderful Jo Rowling's. Thank you for reading.
To Keziah, who waited ever so patiently for this day. I hope I didn’t let you down.
You have been cordially invited to Coralie Bennett’s 18th surprise birthday celebrations on the 23rd of August beginning at 7:30pm. Please floo to the ‘Bennett Manor’ at the appropriate time and R.S.V.P to Marcelle Bennett before the 20th of August. Thank you and we hope to see you there!
With a wicked grin Leo folded the invitation back up and resealed the envelope, turning it over to chuckle slightly at his sister’s name that was elegantly scrawled across the paper. He stood up from his seat and headed upstairs, knocking once on Shelena’s door before entering.
“This just came for you,” He informed her, throwing the letter at her and watching her rip it open with a smirk on his face.
“I wish you wouldn’t read my mail, dear brother. You got your sticky paws all over it, how am I supposed to stick this in my scrapbook now?” Shelena smirked, folding the invitation back up and placing it beside her bed.
“You must inform me as to how you got such a wondrous invitation all by yourself,” Shelena’s smirk only grew wider at this.
“Oh, it was simple dear brother. Though I must admit, I find it quite amusing that I’ve already gotten closer to the Bennett’s then you ever did,” Leo made to interrupt but Shelena brushed him off with a simple flick of her fingers, “I do believe that Anastasia will be receiving one any minute now.”
“I thought I told you to leave this to me,” Leo’s face had turned slightly red and despite his angry tone, Shelena laughed at him.
“What can I say? I got bored watching you play around with empty threats; I’m prepared to do this my own way now,”
“Pull Anastasia out of your stupid plans right now, we agreed before we started this thing that she wouldn’t be involved. She’s only sixteen Shelena,” Shelena let out a high pitched chuckle at this.
“Are you forgetting how old I was when we started this? I’ve lived with this stupid curse all my life, you promised me that you’d stop it but you haven’t done anything to help us- you’ve made them stronger, she never suffered the affects of the curse only their mother knew about it, we could have gotten rid of her by now,”
“Anastasia isn’t you, she was pure and innocent- you were never either of those things. This isn’t her battle so stop whatever you’ve made her do now,”
“I was five when this curse started playing up; those nightmares used to drive me mad every time I closed my eyes so excuse me for not reminding pure and innocent after I felt like I was burning to death every night. “ Shelena’s voice dropped slightly, she stood up from her bed and moved so that she was in front of Leo. “I left all my friends when I was fifteen because you said you could stop my nightmares, I left Sirius to get rid of her and you know what happened?”
“That was your own fault, I didn’t tell you to go off and get involved with every guy at Hogwarts while you were with him.” Leo responded, his eyes burning holes into Shelena’s with every word he said.
“I lost him, to her. She stole Sirius, she stole my friends and now I intend to steal all of that back from her, and you mark my words- when I’m through with her, Coralie Bennett will be nothing.”
“My mother is going to be wondering why the hell it has taken us this long to get cake, I mean we’ve been out for four hours Nate,” Coralie swung the bag that contain the cake that her mother had practically begged her and Nathaniel to buy.
“It’s not my fault we got lost,” When Coralie sent him a look that said that she thought otherwise, he let out a cry of outrage, “Hey, you’re the one who’s supposed to know where to be the cake in this town.”
“This is ridiculous, I’m the birthday girl Nate- you’re supposed to be nice to me,” Nathaniel rolled his eyes at this.
“Funny how you’re accepting being the birthday girl now but when I tried to give you a present, you denied everything.” Coralie didn’t grant Nathaniel with a response as she handed him over the cake and dug through her bag for her keys, once she finally grasped onto them she pushed them into the door and swung the front door open.
“Mum, we’re home,” She called out, furrowing her eyebrows slightly at the darkened room.
“SURPRISE!” The lights switched on and Coralie watched as her friends and family all threw streamers towards her and Nathaniel to say that having streamers thrown at her was Coralie’s birthday wish would have be very farfetched, considering she wasn’t that big of fan of streamers- it soon turned out that Nathaniel felt the same way.
“Ouch, you hit me in the eye,” Nathaniel exclaimed, sending a one-eyed glare at Tyler who shrugged his shoulders in response before turning to Sarah.
“I told you I’d get him in the eye, and you didn’t believe me!” He said calmly, while a few people laughed (clearly these were the ones who didn’t know Tyler at all), Sarah only looked outraged.
“Stop it,” She shouted, “Stop blaming your evil actions on me!” At this, Coralie had to laugh out loud as she stepped forward to hug Sarah. It was only when she pulled away that she noticed the cute Scottish barman, which Sarah had taken a fancy to, standing behind her friend- she smiled at him before sharing a knowing look with her friend.
Then Coralie was pushed through the crowd and hugged and wished a ‘happy birthday’ by more people than she would remember seeing in the morning. By the time she’d reached the end of line, she had forgotten most of the family members she had seen though she had noticed that her father was nowhere to be seen.
Music had started playing and people had begun to dance before Coralie had really been able to process the thought or reach her mother who was discussing something that was apparently very funny with James and Coralie’s aunt Giselle.
“Come on Cors, dance with me!” Lily screamed over the music, pulling Coralie towards the ‘dance floor’ that was really the dining room without any tables or chairs. Despite her attempts, Coralie was soon swept up in the crowd and had lost sight of her mother long ago- she supposed she would have to wait to question her as to her father’s whereabouts later.
Though, three hours later that time had still not come and Coralie believed that she’d danced with almost everyone at the party or at least, her feet seemed to think. She was beginning to get tired and sick of this whole thing. Luckily for her, Alice seemed to note this and pulled Coralie off the dance floor and towards where the rest of their group of friends were standing.
“Good birthday Cors?” James asked with a grin which Coralie returned instantly.
“Yeah, not bad,” She paused for a moment, “Enjoyed flirting with my mum earlier?”
“Well, she’s single isn’t she?” He responded with a wink.
“While that might be true, Must I remind you that you are not” Lily interrupted as she snaked her arm around his waist, he smiled down at her and placed a kiss on the top of her head. The group separated into different conversation- Coralie found herself discussing the in’s-and-out’s of all of her female cousins with Sirius when Shelena joined the group.
“Hey, I haven’t seen you for ages beautiful!” She exclaimed, throwing her arms around Coralie who hesitantly returned the hug, “Oh, how was France? And your best friend- Emma, was it? How was her funeral?” At this, most of the room fell silent and turned to stare at Coralie. Most of the people in the room, especially her family members, knew quite well who Emma was.
“Uh,” Coralie whispered, the smile falling from her face in seconds. Her breathing became quicker and she became aware of everyone staring at her, nobody knew but Nathaniel and Shelena and it seemed that Nathaniel was also frozen to the spot.
“Cora?” Angus whispered, making his way over to Coralie from where he had been standing with Jacob. “What is she going on about?”
“Oh, you didn’t tell anyone. Oh Merlin, I’m so sorry Cors,” Of course, anyone who knew Shelena saw through her lies and fake smiles but everyone still remained to stare at Coralie.
“Emma’s not dead,” Violet stated, her voice sounded confident though the tone did not quite match the uncertainty in her eyes. Coralie knew it was really a question; it was the question on everybody’s lips at that moment. “Is she?” Coralie’s eyes fluttered closed and she took a deep breath, trying to ready herself to grant her sister’s answer with a question but before she had a chance Nathaniel cut in.
“Oh no, Emma didn’t die,” He exclaimed, placing his hand on Coralie’s shoulder before squeezing it slightly. “You must have got her confused with someone else Shelena, Merlin’s beard sometimes you can be quite ditzy!” The response was enough for Coralie’s extended family, they turned back to their own conversations but for the rest of her family and all of her friends- her hesitant had said it all. They knew it was true now and not even Nathaniel’s excuse could tell them otherwise.
“You should have-“ Lily started, she paused upon gazing at Coralie’s face.
“Come on, let’s go,” Nathaniel whispered, pulling her close to him and leading her out of the room. He directed a fierce glare at Shelena who was still pretending to be innocent, the rest of their friends watched the two of them with a mixture of sympathy and feeling of betrayal. Coralie couldn’t look back.
“Nate,” She whispered when he finally sat her down in her bedroom, he shook her off with a wave of his hands before plopping down next to her.
“It’s okay,” He replied calmly, she watched him nervously for a moment before she rested her head on his shoulder and promptly burst into sobs. “Oh, sh. I’m here, I promise we’ll set everything right. We don’t have to tell anyone, we can lie.”
“We can’t, they’ll believe her,” She responded between sobs.
“Cora, how did she know?” He asked in a whisper, her sobs became louder before they calmed down a bit and was able to answer.
“She was there when I got the letter, I didn’t tell her on purpose,” Nathaniel nodded and placed a kiss on the top of Coralie’s head. “Please don’t hate me.”
“I could never hate you, because I love you Cora,” At this, Coralie smiled slightly those she was still crying a little.
“I love you too Nate.” She whispered back.
“I must say, that was the most exciting birthday party I’ve ever been too,” John exclaimed as he and Sarah made their way back along the deserted street that led to Sarah’s house.
“Shelena- the blonde one, not the birthday girl, the other one,” Sarah paused for a moment.
“The less pretty one, you mean?” Sarah chuckled slightly at this but nodded.
“She’s kind of a- excuse my indecent language here for a moment, but she’s kind of a bitch to be honest,” This time it was John’s turn to laugh.
“I picked up on that, actually.” Sarah grinned, linking her arms with John’s as she pushed through the little gate that led up to her house. “Besides the drama, I had a really nice night,”
“Me too,” Sarah responded with a little half-sigh, half-chuckle. “Do you want to do it again sometime, without the drama preferably.”
“Yeah, I would like that,” He replied with an infectious grin that soon passed over Sarah’s features as well.
“Goodnight then,” Sarah whispered, turning on her heel to open the front door but John grabbed onto her arm at the last minute and pressed his lips to hers, she responded whole-heartedly. As they broke away, she let out a little giggle and watched as John headed back out of the gate- letting out another giggle when he tripped slightly. When he disappeared around the corner, Sarah rested her head on the front door and grinned widely before pushing the door open and heading up to bed.
Authors Note: There it was, this is definitely my personal favourite chapter so far in the sequel (I know it's only five chapters in, but still!) so I hope you also enjoy it.
I will not be posting this Friday, and next week's update will not be on Friday either but instead earlier in the week. Normal updates will return after that! Thank you for reading guys!