I know I'm witholding information in this chapter but it all comes out in chapter three so please keep reading and let me know what you think?
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TWO- Running Away From Things That Hurt
The next morning at breakfast Effie received an owl.
She rarely got mail and she knew who it was from and why they were writing before she’d even opened the letter. She recognised her aunt’s handwriting.
As I’m sure you know; your mother’s hearing was today. I don’t think it will come as a shock to know that she was convicted as guilty and she’s been sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this on your own - though I’m sure you’ve been coping like you always do.
The house has been sold and the money is already in your vault at Gringotts. I’ve boxed up your stuff and anything I thought you would want to keep and it’s all in the spare room at our house – where you’re welcome to stay during the holidays.
Effie stared long and hard at the words. Andia was factual and straight to the point.
The letter wasn’t surprising; she had expected it. But the reality, after all this time of waiting, still made her catch her breath slightly. She had not seen her mother in months now and she had not ever expected to see her again anyway. She didn’t want to.
But her home, the house she had grown up in, was no longer hers. She had been spending her holidays in the house alone - she had preferred it that way.
Now she was homeless. She had no home. Sure, she could stay at Aunt Andia’s but she knew Andia would spend the whole time trying not to look at her. And she knew why: Effie was the spitting image of her mother. Every time Andia looked at her, she saw the one person she hated most in the world - Isis Addler.
Effie folded up the letter and placed it in her bag. She wasn’t sure why she wanted to keep it (though the urge to just rip it to shreds was there); she supposed it made it official. It proved that this was all real.
“What’s up Effie? Run out of fourth years to scare?” James took a seat opposite her, grinning.
“Those fourth years deserved it” She told him matter-of-factly.
“I think you made one of them cry” James said.
Effie ignored him.
“Wanna’ skip class with me?” He asked a few moments later.
Effie shrugged “Okay.”
She had Potions and she’d seen enough of Murdock in detention last night. So when they’d finished their breakfast they wandered back up to the common room. Unfortunately Rose had a study period and she was not going to be happy if she saw them when she knew they were supposed to be in lessons.
They both backed hastily out of the portrait hole before she spotted them.
“Glad to see you’ve thought this through” Effie remarked dryly.
“Don’t worry I have a backup plan, have you no faith in me?” James replied, pretending to be hurt.
Effie rolled her eyes and waited expectantly for his so-called backup plan. He probably didn’t have one. James wasn’t one for forward planning and when things went wrong he generally just made it up on the spot.
Before Effie could point this out though, he had pulled out a shiny material from his bag and threw it over them. Of course, his invisibility cloak.
James’ dad was the famous Harry Potter so she wasn’t overly surprised when he had told her excitedly that his dad had one and had now given it to him. Effie was not easily impressed. It did come in handy though.
“Let’s go up to my dorm, it’ll be empty” He said.
They gave the password and luckily the Fat Lady in the portrait was dozing off and didn’t seem to realise that there was nobody there. She swung forward and they crept in, pulling the portrait door closed behind them. Rose was too absorbed in her studying to notice it.
They crept past her and up the stairs and into the seventh year boy’s dorm, where they pulled off the cloak and sank down onto James’s bed.
Effie had been up here countless times before; she and James often lounged in his dorm when they didn’t want to sit in the common room, so the mess and posters were familiar.
“Effs, what do you wanna do when you leave Hogwarts?” James asked as they lay on his bed eating his stash of Honeydukes chocolate.
“I dunno, I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve got another year after this so it never really crossed my mind” Effie replied, slightly wary of the out-of-character seriousness in his voice.
“What about when you had your careers meeting with the Head of House?” James asked.
“I told him I wanted to knit tea cosies” Effie stated honestly “He told me to get out.”
“What did you tell him?” Effie asked him.
“Well I thought about being an Auror. I mean, that’s the only thing I ever really wanted to do, but if I do then everyone will just think I got in ‘cause of my Dad” James sighed. Of course, this was the down side to having a Dad who defeated Lord Voldemort at seventeen and then went on to become head of the Auror department.
“So I was thinking maybe Quiditch...But then people will just think I made the team because of my Mum...” and that was the down side to having a Mum who was on a famous Quiditch team “I’m not good at anything else though”
Effie sat up and looked at him “James Potter that is not true. I’ve seen you meddle fantastically in hundreds of situations where it really wasn’t any of your business. You do it all the time, in fact”
James rolled his eyes “And here I thought you were going to say something nice, for once.”
Effie shrugged “It’s been known to happen. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood to boost your already huge ego”
“And that is why I spend so much time with you-”
“-Some would call it harassment” she interjected.
“-because you always boost my spirits, even when what you say is neither kind nor flattering” He grinned wryly.
“Well, you need someone like me to keep you grounded every now and then or those fan girls of yours would let you get way too arrogant” Effie joked.
“And you need someone like me to keep you from getting so scary that nobody ever approaches you” James replied.
Effie smacked him.
“Seriously though, Effs, why do you push everyone away?” He asked, this time his voice was softer, more serious.
Effie swallowed. She didn’t want to think about the answer to that question. She knew why she pushed everyone away, why she disliked the idea of ever letting anyone close to her. Merlin, it was only because he was so stubborn and unwilling to give up that she had allowed him to become her friend.
She could feel James shift his weight on the bed and she hoped that he would not sit up and look at her. She knew she wouldn’t be able to answer with him studying her like he so often did; as if she was an interesting exhibition in a museum.
He didn’t. Instead his fingers found her hand and he gave it a squeeze, holding it.
“I..” Effie didn’t know what to say. Somehow I don’t let people get close to me because everyone I was close to hurt me seemed a bit to ominous and would most likely lead to questions about things she didn’t wish to divulge.
Her chest seemed to contract. She liked James, she really did, and however much she might like to deny it, he meant a lot to her. But he was already closer to her than anyone else, she didn’t need him being any closer.
So she did what she always did. She got up off the bed and she walked out.
Once again Effie was running away from the things that had the potential to hurt her, and in a totally unlike-Gryffindor way, she was refusing to face up to them.
+ + + +
Sitting in the Library, Effie figured that it would be on the same day she received the letter from her aunt, James would ask her why she pushed everyone away. He had a knack for things like that, even when he was unaware of it.
Effie had never divulged information about her family, even before everything that had happened. Now she was even more careful to make sure nobody knew anything.
After she’d walked out of James’ dorm she’d marched through the common room – past a startled and disapproving Rose – straight to the Library. It was one of her favourite places to sit when it was too cold to go outside because the rules meant that it was quiet; people didn’t go there to talk, ergo she was rarely disturbed. She could sit at a table in the corner and read, or simply just sit there. On her own, the way she liked it.
She sat in her usual spot not even bothering to pretend that she was doing anything. She just sat there.
Shortly after she’d arrived though, someone took a seat opposite her. Looking up she found herself facing Scorpius Malfoy. He didn’t say anything, just kept those serious eyes looking at her intently.
She liked Scorpius’ company because while she liked having someone to sit with (contrary to popular belief it wasn’t that she enjoyed being alone) all the bad things about being with other people were not an issue with him.
He got out a book and started reading. Effie leant on the table with her elbow, her head propped up with her hand, doodling on a piece of spare parchment. They sat like this for a while.
After a long time Scorpius put down his book and looked at her, indicating he wanted to say something. Effie met his eye.
“Why are you skiving? We’re supposed to be in Potions” He said.
Effie shrugged “James wanted to doss”
Scorpius frowned “You’re not with him now, though?”
“I got bored of him” She lied easily “Why are you skiving?”
“I got bored” He replied simply.
Effie wondered if this was true or whether he was merely withholding information. Though, she supposed, she was hardly one to criticise for not being honest.
“Ramona not fun enough for you?” Effie teased.
“Potter not fun enough for you?” Scorpius countered.
Effie grinned “Touché”
He gave a low chuckle and pulled out some chocolate, offering it to Effie.
She shook her head “I’ve just eaten a ton with James in his dorm”
He raised an eyebrow playfully, helping himself to the chocolate “Do you make a habit of hanging around in seventh-year boy’s dorms?”
“I do when they have chocolate” She replied matter-of-factly.
Scorpius grinned “Is that all it takes, then?” He joked.
Effie rolled her eyes, crumpling the parchment she’d been doodling on into a ball and chucking it at him. He dodged it with ease – Effie remembered he was on the Slytherin Quiditch team. She sighed, resigning to knowing that she would never out-do a Quiditch player physically.
“Good one” She said, sarcastically.
Scorpius grinned “I thought so.”
“Of course you did, you’re a Slytherin” Effie replied.
“Har. Har” He said, deadpanned “this coming from the Gryffindor who everyone thinks the hat sorted into the wrong house.”
“I can’t help where I was sorted and I have no idea why the hat sorted me into Gryffindor – not that I’d rather be in any other house – it wasn’t feeling particularly indulgent about its reasoning” Effie told him.
“Well, I can’t help where I was sorted either” Scorpius reasoned.
Effie gave a sigh “I suppose it’s not your fault that you have a very devious Slytherin mind” she smirked.
Scorpius pulled a face of mock horror “You think I have a devious mind? How could you?”
“Quite easily” Effie replied dryly “I’m sure you’re not in Slytherin for nothing”
“While the reasoning behind your housing is yet to be seen” Scorpius raised his eye brow “And anyway when have you ever seen me do anything devious?”
“Well it wouldn’t be very devious or cunning if I saw it” Effie pointed out.
Scorpius laughed “My point still stands”
She rolled her eyes “Well I suppose I have little evidence to support my accusation so I’m willing to let it slide”
“How generous of you” Scorpius replied wryly.
Effie gave a falsely sweet smile “That’s me”
“Isn’t it just” They both looked up to see James leaning against a book shelf, watching them with an amused expression.
“I didn’t know that you knew where the Library was, James” she smirked.
James came over to the table they were sat at “Very funny. I came to find you – I didn’t realise I was interrupting this cosy little meeting” he eyed Scorpius suspiciously.
Scorpius stared back at him while Effie said “You’re not interrupting any cosy little meeting, what’s up?”
“I wanted to talk to you” He replied turning back to her “preferably alone” he added, with a glance at Scorpius.
Scorpius rolled his eyes “I’ll be off then”
“See you later” Effie said as he gathered his things and headed out of the Library, nodding to her as he left.
James took his vacated seat and looked seriously across the table at Effie “You know, if you didn’t want to talk about it, you could’ve just said. I wouldn’t have pushed it, there was no need to walk out.”
Effie sighed “Sorry. I didn’t know what to do” she refrained from adding on so I ran away, she thought that was more than enough information.
“You left me all on my own” he pouted “am I really worse company than Malfoy?”
“James you know that yours is the only company I ever spend time in for very long” Effie rolled her eyes “and Malfoy’s alright.”
“Yeah, well we have family history so I’ve been brought up by the Weasley side of the family to dislike the Malfoys. My uncle Ron in particular.” James replied.
“Yes, I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with the fact that he’s on the Slytherin Quiditch team and is what stands between you and the Cup” Effie said.
James was very competitive about Quiditch. Everyone knew that the winners of the cup would be determined by the match between Gryffindor and Slytherin in the spring. Each house wanted it just as badly and this year both teams looked to be in with an equal chance.
Effie wasn’t a fan of Quiditch. She found it fun to watch – and James would never let her miss a match; whether he was playing or observing he would drag her down to the stands – but she didn’t play the game herself. James had tried to teach her but he had failed miserably when he was unsuccessful from even persuading her to get on a broom.
James came from a whole family of Quiditch players – both on the Potter and the Weasley side. He was a chaser like his mum and Al was a seeker like his dad. Effie wasn’t sure about their thirteen year-old sister Lily as she wasn’t on the team.
“Pfft we’re going to beat them hands down. Malfoys not even that good” James scoffed.
Effie rolled her eyes “It’s almost the end of the lesson, I should go get my stuff for Herbology”
“I’ll come with you” James replied as they got to their feet and headed out of the Library. They walked through the quiet castle together up to Gryffindor Tower.
“Rose knows you’ve been dossing” James informed her.
“I know, I walked past her out of your dorm” Effie replied “Did she see you?”
James nodded “Yeah, there was no point hiding under the cloak, she’d seen you leave my dorm she knew we were both up there. Luckily I managed to smooth talk my way out of a lecture and she didn’t dock any points” he grinned proudly.
“How did you manage to bullshit your way out of that one?” Effie wondered. James could sweet talk anyone. He had the charisma that meant whenever he got caught breaking the rules, he always found a way to lessen the punishment.
“Told her you and I needed a heart to heart” James winked “She believed me because everyone thinks we’re shagging anyway”
“I wonder whose fault that is” Effie looked at him pointedly.
James slung an arm round her and ruffled her curls “C’mon who doesn’t love a bit of gossip to spice things up every now and then?”
“Me” Effie replied bluntly.
James laughed as they gave the password and entered the Gryffindor common room. Rose looked up from her book, eyed the arm James had slung over Effie’s shoulders and went back to her work.
As Effie departed up the girl’s dormitory stairs she realised James had probably done that on purpose to back up his excuse earlier. She shook her head; that boy was as cunning as a Slytherin and people wondered why she wasn’t in that house.
+ + + +
Effie worked alone in Herbology. She wasn’t a huge fan of the subject but luckily the plants they were working with weren’t vicious or aggressive so she could manage on her own. She’d got an E in it for her OWLs but had taken it for NEWT just because it seemed like a good idea and she liked Professor Longbottom. He was the Head of Gryffindor.
Thinking back to James’s question about what she wanted to do after Hogwarts, Effie realised that she had not been lying when she told him she’d never thought about it.
It hadn’t really crossed her mind, what with everything that was going on at home, she didn’t have time to think about it.
Now in class, sitting on her own, she did have time though. She thought about what she was good at and what she enjoyed. Charms, was the obvious one. She was naturally gifted at charms, like her father. And Defence Against the Dark Arts was a talent she’d inherited from her mother. They were her two Outstanding OWLs. Transfiguration, Herbology, Potions and Astronomy she’d gotten Exceeds Expectations in. She liked Astronomy because she enjoyed looking up at the sky and the stars. She’d dropped Divination, History of Magic and Care of Magical Creatures like many other students. But in a spur of the moment she had taken Muggle Studies. Apparently it was a much more popular subject now than it once had been before the War. And being pure blood she had grown up in a wizarding family, so the Muggle world was unfamiliar to her and she had to admit, she did find the subject interesting.
She frowned. She had no idea what career would be suited to her abilities and her interests. She wasn’t like James, who leaned towards the professions his parents were in. Her father had been a Healer, not something she’d ever really been interested in and her mother had been an author on Defence Against the Dark Arts. None of her class mates knew that Effie’s mum had helped write some of their text books on the subject; she’d always used her maiden name for publishing so it credited her as Isis Kendrall rather than Addler.
Lost in her own thoughts, Effie jumped when someone nudged her and told her it was the end of the lesson. She blinked, grabbed her stuff and followed the class out of the greenhouse and up to the castle.
At lunch she sat on her own. She couldn’t be bothered to listen to James rant on about Quiditch with his friends and she had never had the patience to sit with her roommates. She and Rose weren’t on spectacular terms as it was and though Frankie and Daryl were alright, they were the typical girly best friends. Though she could have a conversation with them, if she sat with them for too long they started offering to paint her nails and asking her about boys.
Effie preferred to paint her own nails and she had no inclination to share any history on the topic of boys.
So she sat there eating her lunch and reading her book, on her own. Looking the full image of the cold bitch that everyone’s too scared to talk to.
Okay, so what do you guys think of the characters and stuff so far? Any good?
thanks for reading, please review and i'll be so happy!