This just came to me earlier so I've written the first chapter, just to set the scene, please review and tell me what you think :)
ONE - Not in the Mood for Human Interaction
ONE - Not in the Mood for Human Interaction
The Gryffindor common room was alive with calm chatter, the crackling from the fire place and a drowsy atmosphere after a luxurious feast. Groups of students lounged about the place with books, exploding snap and games of chess while Effie Addler sat alone in an arm chair.
Her dark, messy tangle of curls tied with a band on top of her head, she had her feet resting on the arm of the chair while she painted her nails. The frown on her face was a clear indication that she wanted to be left alone.
By now most people found her too intimidating to approach anyway. She was the girl with no friends, who shut everyone out and hexed people if they got on her nerves. She didn’t talk to anyone.
Well, with one exception. It was surprising that the one and only person she would tolerate for any length of time was the loud, popular, always-centre-of-attention James Potter.
“Effie, come swimming with me?” James plastered on his most charming smile as he leant on the back of the arm chair. He had sauntered over from where his friends were sitting by the window.
Effie looked at him “Okay.”
James’ face lit up “Really?”
“No” she replied, deadpanned.
“Why not?” James whined.
“It’s January. I’m not going swimming.” Effie replied flatly.
James pouted “Where’s your sense of adventure? Skinny-dipping in the lake - it’s living life on edge!”
Effie ignored him and inspected her newly painted toe nails. They were a shiny hot pink. She caught a seventh-year eyeing up her bare leg and shot him a cold look with eyes so dark they were almost black. He dropped his gaze quickly.
“Please? For me?” James pleaded.
Effie gave a bored roll of the eye and got up, walking away from James and towards the dormitory stairs. If she didn’t want to participate in a conversation then she just wouldn’t and right now she was bored of James’ swimming-in-the-lake idea. Before she could reach the stairs though, he had grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off her feet. Effie gasped and struggled in his grip.
She sighed when his hold didn’t loosen. “I think we’ve had this conversation before – the one where I told you to stop manhandling me whenever you don’t get your way or I will kick you in the balls so hard you can say goodbye to all those beautiful babies, Jamesy” she said in a falsely sweet voice.
James grinned and dropped her back on her feet. He could have easily restrained her – being a tall seventh-year and Quiditch Captain it wouldn’t have been a challenge to overpower her physically. However, despite being a year younger than him, he’d witnessed Effie produce some of the most merciless hexes and jinxes he’d ever seen. That girl could do things with her wand that would make you regret getting on her bad side.
“Of course, darling” He teased.
Effie ignored him and walked up to her dorm, while James returned to his friends, who had been watching in awe. Nobody could talk to Effie like James did. She had been known to hex people who had simply tried talking to her and here was the overly confident cocky-guy; the only one to have a real relationship with her. His friends tried to put it down to him being the son of The Chosen One, but they all knew it wasn’t that.
They had become friends when Effie was in her fourth year. James, like everyone else, had noticed her because of the way she simply did not care about what anyone else thought. He had approached her with the confidence that he approached all girls.
“What’s a pretty girl like you sitting on her own for?” He’d asked, grinning.
Effie eyed him up and down before replying “Avoiding self-centred twats like you”
“Aw, c’mon, you don’t mean that.” He said, flashing his ‘I-know-you-want-me’ smile.
She’d responded with a ‘No-I-really-don’t’ glare and went back to gazing out across the lake, fanning herself with the book in her hand. Of course she knew James Potter, his Dad was the most famous wizard alive – but James didn’t need his inherited fame to make him popular. This boy was fully aware of his looks and he used them, with his natural charisma, to charm his way through everything.
James, not one to give up and not one who was used to being turned down, crouched in front of her “It’s a lovely day and you look rather hot” he’d winked “fancy a swim?”
“Go. Away.” She looked him right in the eye. She did not enjoy many people’s company and she most certainly didn’t enjoy his.
James pouted “Are you sure? Because-”
Before he had a chance to finish Effie had tired of his presence and promptly shoved him backwards so he landed sprawled on the grass.
He looked mildly surprised and Effie got up, deciding the only way to rid herself of the unwanted company was to find somewhere else to sit. James, however, had other ideas and as she stepped over him he grabbed her ankle, sending her down onto the grass.
She shot him a death glare “You’re going to regret that.”
James got to his feet and wiggled his eyebrows “Oh yeah?”
Effie stood up “Yeah.” she said, getting out her wand.
Before she could hex him though, he’d taken a run and collided with her, his body propelling them both over the short stretch of grass and into the cool depths of the lake. For a moment they fell in slow motion, legs flailing, fingers outstretched. They landed with a loud splash, submerged in bubbles, limbs tangled.
The impact of the water and the force of James barrelling into her had knocked the breath out of Effie and as she surfaced she gasped for air, shocked.
James bobbed up beside her, grinning and asked “So are we friends then?”
After that Effie had soon learnt that the only way to deal with James was to give in. Perhaps their friendship worked because they both had the same blatant disregard for any rules. And if his ideas were too extreme or she couldn’t be bothered, she would do what she was best at and walk away.
“Effie, your stuff is lying all over the floor” Rose Weasley complained promptly as Effie entered their dorm.
Effie rolled her eyes and with a lazy flick of her wand, sent all her possessions that had previously been on the floor, soaring into her open trunk. She threw herself down onto her bed and took out her book.
“That’s not exactly neat and it’s hardly practical. You’ll only be chucking everything out again when you need to find something tomorrow” Rose replied irritably “why don’t you-”
“-Shut up, Rose.” Effie sighed, boredom evident in her voice. She had little patience when it came to Rose, especially when she tried to force her prefect ways and rule-abiding-manners on her.
“Well it’s not just you who has to live here-” Rose began to reply, but Effie flicked her wand again and silenced her.
Rose continued to move her lips furiously, but no sound came out. Her face went red and after trying for several more moments to shout at Effie, she stormed out.
From across the room their dorm-mate, Frankie, smirked. She’d watched the scene without comment and she didn’t bother trying to make conversation in the silent dorm.
Effie Addler was a mystery to everyone. Even as a first year she was shockingly blunt, extremely sarcastic and totally careless. Now in her sixth year at Hogwarts she astounded both students and teachers with the way everything she did was carried out with an I don’t care attitude. There were few people she actually spoke to; the occasional Slytherin, Gryffindors she was forced into close proximity with. She didn’t have much patience for the Hufflepuffs and although she could keep up with the Ravenclaws intellectually, their smart-arse attitude got on her nerves.
Even James, her one ‘friend’ didn’t know much about her background. But then that was probably why their relationship worked. He didn’t feel the need to ask questions, he just liked spending time with her and although she didn’t quite understand why, she liked spending time with him.
Effie’s other roommate then entered. Daryl wandered in and said casually “Rose has gotten rid of the silencing charm you put on her and she’s headed your way, spitting fire” as she sat down on Frankie’s bed.
Effie sighed and got to her feet. She should have known that a genius like Rose would get rid of it quickly enough. She’d probably used a non-verbal spell.
Having an argument with Rose was not something she saw as productive, so she exited the dorm and began to walk across the common room towards the portrait hole.
“Effie!” Rose’s voice called out angrily from behind her.
Effie ignored her and stepped out of the common room, shutting the door on Rose’s cries of “It’s past curfew!”
She wandered along the deserted corridors lazily, barefoot. Luckily the only prefect she came across was a Hufflepuff and she gave him such a glare that he didn’t utter a word. She wasn’t a stranger to detentions – she got them not just for her disregard for the rules and being rude to teachers, but sometimes James managed to drag her unwillingly into his pranks and she would end up bearing the punishment with him.
Unconsciously she found herself heading up to the astronomy tower. It was somewhere she often went to when she’d had enough of the other people – mainly because it was quiet and empty, especially at this time of night.
Or rather, it was usually empty.
As she got to the middle of the room she spotted a boy with an angular face and dark blonde hair lying on his back on the floor, gazing up at the sky. Scorpius Malfoy turned to look at her.
She paused for a minute, before turning silently and heading towards the door.
“Don’t leave on my account” He called.
Effie stopped. She thought about it. Scorpius was in her year, one of the few people she didn’t mind sitting with in class. It caught a few stares, a Gryffindor sitting with a Slytherin, but given that it was Effie Addler, nobody was overly surprised. In truth, many people took one look at her cold exterior and the way she would often just ignore people and wondered why she was in Gryffindor at all. It had been said many times she was much more suited to Slytherin and she herself wondered why the hat had sorted her into Gryffindor. Not that she would rather be in any other house.
She liked Scorpius because he didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with constant chatter, or stupid jokes (like James did). So she walked back over and lay down beside him.
The floor was cold and not the most comfortable of surfaces, but she could see why he had chosen to lie here. Looking up she could see the dark sky, so huge it was all she could see, dotted with white stars. They didn’t need to say anything to agree that it was beautiful.
It was oddly calming, looking up at the mass of darkness. It was a calm night but the slight cool breeze just added to the peaceful atmosphere. Effie let it wash over her and her thoughts faded away until her mind was blank. It wasn’t often that she managed to clear her mind completely of the suppressed anger and emotion she kept under wraps.
She didn’t know how long they lay there in relaxed silence but after what seemed like hours Scorpius spoke quietly “You’re freezing.”
It was true, the cool night air and the stone floor had eventually turned her bones cold and her skin was covered in goose bumps. Her toes were icy from having no shoes or socks on.
Effie sat up “I’m gonna go, before I get hypothermia or something” she flashed a smile.
“Yeah, your lips are nearly blue and as attractive as you are, it’s not a good look on anyone” He joked with a grin.
She narrowed her eyes “I could pull off the blue-lipped-look, just watch me.”
He rolled his eyes, getting up “I don’t doubt that” he said, offering a hand. She took it and he pulled her to her feet.
They walked together down the tower and when it came for them to go their separate ways he merely said “See you tomorrow, Effie.”
“Yeah, bye” She replied over her shoulder, before making her way back to Gryffindor Tower.
+ + + +
The next morning Rose was, predictably, not happy with Effie. She woke her unceremoniously by yanking back her bed hangings and declaring she had to get up. They bickered for several minutes before Effie threw a candle at Rose and reluctantly stomped off to the bathroom for shower while Rose huffed off down to breakfast. Groggily, Effie got ready, dragging her uniform on and emerging from the girl’s dormitories with her messy hair hanging tangled round her face, her shirt half tucked in, her tie skewered and her expression dark.
As she swung herself over the bench at breakfast to sit beside James, he surveyed her appearance and said mildly “You look nice.”
She smacked him over the head, helping herself to some toast “Don’t talk to me” she replied flatly.
James laughed while his friends glanced at her warily. Fred Weasley actually shifted up the bench, away from her.
Effie rolled her eyes. She couldn’t get away from James’s friends, they were often nearby, and she definitely couldn’t escape his many cousins. The Potter-Weasley clan were responsible for fifty per cent of the population of Hogwarts, Effie reckoned, and she often thought they must all be sex-addicts to reproduce at such a rate.
“Rose isn’t happy with you” James told her cheerfully.
“I’m not happy with Rose” Effie growled.
This only made James laugh “Al told me you silenced her again.”
“She’s getting quicker at removing it” She replied, disgruntled “now that we’ve started doing non-verbal spells all the time it’s not as much of a challenge.”
A fifth year sitting across from her asked Effie to pass the pumpkin juice.
“You can do magic, get it yourself.” Effie snapped.
James shook his head “Don’t mind her; she’s just in a bad mood because we didn’t have sex last night.”
Effie shot him a dirty look and said “You couldn’t pay me enough” as the fifth year’s eyes widened and she knocked over her drink before turning and whispering frantically to her friends.
James grinned cheekily “Try me.”
Effie rolled her eyes “I’m going to Charms” she told him, getting up.
James got to his feet too “I’ll walk you.”
Effie didn’t argue. Unfortunately what James Potter wanted, James Potter got. She allowed him to walk with her to her Charms class where he stood with her as they waited. He attracted a lot of adoring looks from the girls who were also waiting, something that did not escape his notice.
He grinned and slung an arm over Effie’s shoulders saying in a false pompous voice “Well, I’d better be off darling”
Effie raised an eyebrow “Go away, James.”
“Whatever you say, darling” He replied in the same manner, he set off for his own class, giving his younger brother Al, also in Effie’s year, a salute.
Al rolled his eyes and grinned at Effie. She shook her head in exasperation. This was their way of agreeing how much of a tool James was.
The Charms teacher, Professor Hofton – an aged man who had a kind face - arrived and they filed into the class, taking their seats. Effie chose to sit at the back on her own. She was not in the mood for human interaction. She lounged back in her chair and blocked out the sound of the Professor talking. She had got an O in her Charms OWL; it was the subject she excelled in. It was for this reason that Professor Hofton generally overlooked her neglect of the rules.
Other teachers, unfortunately, weren’t so lenient or forgiving. Her next class was Potions and while she was perfectly average at the subject, she and Professor Murdock did not see eye to eye. Murdock was a woman in her late thirties but age had not been kind to her. She had greying mousy brown hair that she kept pinned up and narrow eyes that always seemed to be fixed on Effie suspiciously.
This was something that had been brought on when Murdock caught her out past curfew in the middle of a rather heated snogging session with a Slytherin from the year above, in an empty class room when she was in her fifth year. Murdock had been far less than impressed and when she demanded to know what was going on, Effie had impatiently offered to draw a diagram. Needless to say their relationship had been travelling steadily downhill ever since.
Effie sat beside Scorpius and copied what he was doing, rather than straining to read the instructions written on the board. Neither felt the need to mention the night before, or participate in idle chit chat, though for different reasons. Effie didn’t speak unless she could be bothered, felt particularly strongly about something, or thought it was worth her time. Scorpius only spoke when he had something important to say.
“Looks like Ramona’s got the hots for you” Effie observed after noticing the dirty looks she was receiving from the Slytherin girl across the class.
“Or she could have the hots for you - I’ve heard rumours..” Scorpius grinned.
Effie laughed and eyed Ramona as she muttered something to her friend. Usually Effie was quite able to sit beside the Slytherins contently – though usually for a short space of time, before their devious ways meant they started getting restless and having confrontations – but she had never gotten on well with Ramona. Her bitchiness irritated Effie beyond belief and her snide comments had earned her a few hexes over the years.
Distracted by the evil looks the two girls were throwing in the direction of Effie, Scorpius chucked in a handful of bat wings. Effie copied him.
Simultaneously both their cauldrons began to fizz and their potions turned an ominous black colour, bubbling threateningly.
Effie looked in alarm at Scorpius, who frowned before his eyes fell on the jar of bat wings and widened.
“What did we do?” Effie asked glancing down at their potions, which were now producing copious amounts of black smoke.
Scorpius cleared his throat “We weren’t supposed to add bat wings. I picked them up by mistake.”
Effie didn’t have a chance to reply because Murdock had appeared, looking disapprovingly at the disastrous substances brewing in their cauldrons.
“What in the name of Merlin have you two done?” She asked, her lips a thin line.
“We added bat wings by mistake, Professor” Scorpius supplied.
Murdock frowned “How did you both manage to add in something that was not written on the board?”
“Obviously I copied him” Effie replied, jerking her thumb at Scorpius.
Murdock raised her eyebrows “Are you incapable of reading instructions for yourself, Miss Addler?”
Effie’s face clouded with a sour expression. “Evidently” she replied, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
This displeased Murdock even more and she said “I suppose I’ll be grading this week’s work on your essay then – unless you have once again failed to complete your homework?”
Effie looked her in the eye and said mockingly “I couldn’t find anyone to copy off, Professor.”
Murdock scowled “Then you will be completing it – on your own- in detention tonight” she turned on her heel and went off to inspect the rest of the class’s work.
Effie slouched in her chair huffily while Scorpius looked amused “You don’t help yourself, Effie” he said.
“So I’ve been told” she replied bitterly.
Thank-you for reading! Please leave me a review and let me know what you think, like/dislike!
- April - currently reviewing all published chapters and contiuing with the next one :)