Chapter 4 : The Home of House Elves
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As much as I yelled that a councillor was the last person that Charla really needed to see right now, I was only dismissed from the feast after pudding. Luckily I was allowed to skip the speeches and all that Jazz!
I found myself sprinting up to the Gryffindor tower only to get there and realise there was no way Charla would be in there since there was no way she would know the password before the rest of us did unless she was a secret psychic... which to be honest I doubted. In some ways this gave me hope because bloody councillor Chang would probably not have found her yet, unfortunately this also meant I really had no idea where she would be.
Why did Hogwarts have to be so bloody big?
Actually it was quite useful that everyone was at the feast because it meant there were no teachers to tell me off for running in the corridors, and when I did eventually find Peeves (me and him are actually on pretty good terms) he was quite happy to tell me (for the price of if I swore to give the next Slytherin I saw a tickling jinx) that Charlie had headed down to the Kitchens.
Obviously, I thought, slamming my fist against my head, Char can’t go ten minutes without food, let alone miss a feast!
I burst into the kitchens and was immediately swarmed by House Elves telling me Miss Charla was there and bringing me Hot Chocolate. Rosie would hate me for this but I really did love the helpfulness of house elves, they’re pretty cool.
‘Charlie,’ I called out, forcing my way through the sea of House Elves to the back of the kitchens where Char sat looking glum and eating ice cream.
‘Hey Bob,’ nudged the nearest House Elf, whom I actually knew by name, ‘bring me some ice cream and chocolate biscuits.’
‘Hey Char,’ I sat on the counter beside her and wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulder.
‘I wondered when you’d turn up,’ she laughed slightly.
‘You aren’t really angry at Dom are you?’ I asked uneasily. Family arguments were never settled easily, and Char counts as family.
‘What if she thinks it’s ok to tease Rory?’ Char began to tear up... oh dear I really can’t do two major break downs in a day.
‘She won’t Char, she loves Rory!’ I insisted; Charla didn’t look convinced.
‘Rory was expelled from Beauxbatons!’ Char admitted in a hushed voice.
‘WHAT!?’ my head whipped round and I stared at her aghast, ‘No way, Char, Rory is way too innocent.’
‘She lost it James, they bullied her and teased her and things were hard between her and mum so one day at school she was furious and blew up their entire Ice Hall.’
‘I want an ice hall,’ I whined.
‘Concentrate Lunatic,’ Char managed a laugh and pushed my shoulder, ‘this is serious, if she gets expelled again it’s the Salem Witches Institute for her!’ she paused for a moment and then whimpered, ‘that’s in America.’
‘Honestly Char,’ I said raised my eyebrows and leaning back against the wall, receiving my ice cream and biscuits from Bob and offering some to Charla. ‘They’ve kept me in this place for the past six years and the worst I’ve had a letter home on every occasion, let’s face it, if they won’t expel me for forming an alliance with Peeves, blowing up twenty two toilets, swamping the entire dungeons several times, setting fire to the Slytherin common room, nearly killing the Giant Squid, teaching Gwarp and the Centaurs to swear in fifteen languages and blowing off a chunk of the Astronomy tower (and many more), I really doubt you’re sister will be expelled for blowing up something, the worst will be they’ll send her to Councillor Chang... but I guess that’s just as bad.’
I was pretty pleased with myself to see that Char was actually laughing by this time so wrapping her up in a big hug wasn’t as awkward as it could have been with tears and whatnot, nor was pressing my lips to her forehead and slipping my hand into hers as we made our way out to leave.
And then she tripped over a house Elf. Typical Char, I though as my amazingly amazing quidditch reflexes kicked in and I caught her, putting her straight. Her face was inches away from mine. So close I could smell her watermelon lip gloss... so close I could kiss her.
The weirdest thing was, before I stepped away, I momentarily wanted to kiss her!
We made it back to the Gryffindor tower just as the prefects arrived with the ickle firsties. Somewhere in the bunch of about ten kids I recognised the face of Sophie Weston, the last kid to be sorted this evening, I pushed through over to her and muttered in her ear just as the others began to scramble through the Portrait Hole.
‘Hey Weston,’ her head turned slightly, flicking my face with blonde ringlets. ‘James Potter,’ I stuck out my hand, she took it and grinned.
‘I know you; you’re in the same year as my sister?’ She whispered in return.
Weston, Weston, I wracked my brain for another Weston that I would possibly know.’
Mini Weston rolled her eyes, ‘Roisia Weston.’
It clicked, I knew Roisia, sweet girl, she’s in my quidditch team, bloody brilliant beater, but no one called her Weston, since everyone loved Roisia everyone called her by her nickname, Sisi.
‘Ohh, yeah, well fancy joining her on the team?’
‘You don’t even know if I can fly?’ Sophie smiled suspiciously.
‘You look like you can, I’ll let you know when they are, be there and don’t be late.’
I turned back to see Charlie, eyebrows raised and arms folded, a smile tugging the corners of her pretty lips (They aren’t that pretty, just complementing, you know, nothing like I wanna kiss her or anything... which I don’t, isn’t that obvious?)
‘What,’ I protested and pulled her in for another hug.
‘You think about Quidditch too much!’ she sighed and pulled me through the portrait hole, reminding me the password; Kinky Kangaroo! Who comes up with these passwords?
‘I like Quidditch, and you need to be at tryouts too!’ I warned.
‘Wouldn’t miss it for the world darling,’ she grinned, before standing up on tiptoe and kissing my cheek.
I don’t know what surprised me more, the kiss or the wolf whistle from Freddie in the corner.
‘I’m going to bed James,’ she smiled and shot a scowl at Fred before waving and wondering up the girls staircase. She blanked Dominique completely.
‘Domi,’ I sat down beside my cousin and took a good look at her, and to be honest, it’s probably the worst I’d ever seen her. Her eyes were swollen and puffy with tears, her strawberry blonde curls are falling out of her previously neat plait and her mascara has run terribly. Her nose is red and she honestly looked like she’s going to breakdown all over again.
‘Domi are you ok,’ she looked at me and it’s also the most vulnerable I’d ever seen her, usually she’s so confident and composed, now she was a wreck.
I slapped Freddie across the arm for good measure and scolded him for being so careless then let Dom crawl into my lap and held her tight like I do with Lily when she’s PMSing and teary.
‘I didn’t mean it, you know that right,’ Dom sobbed, ‘I love Rory, she’s my favourite person apart from Char who I’m not related to, I didn’t mean to call her a Bumblebee!’
‘S’no good telling me Love,’ I said, adjusting so she sat beside me rather than on my lap, ‘tell Charlie and you know she won’t hate you forever, you’re best friends.’
‘No James,’ Fred corrected, ‘you’re Charlie’s best friend, you know it, she loves you more than anything in the whole world, I wouldn’t be surprised if she loved you more than she loves her parents, more than she loves Aurora.’
‘Not helping Fredster,’ I sighed, but I had never even considered that before, there was no way that Charlie loved me more than her sister, they were the closest siblings I knew.
‘Sorry,’ Fred muttered, before spotting Claire and bounding over to her like an oversized puppy. The sight made Dom laugh a little.
‘Look Dom, an apology is all it takes, and please I don’t need another girly breakdown, I’ve had so many today it’s unbelievable.’
‘No probs James, I might just head up and unpack,’ she left without a goodbye but a smile instead and something told me she wasn’t going to apologize. If it was something Dom couldn’t stand it would be apologizing, it apparently gave her the feel of being weak.
‘Ahh,’ Freddie sighed, sinking back into the seat beside me.
‘What’s up with you,’ I say, looking him over quickly.
‘I think I’m in love,’ he sighs again, and I think something’s seriously wrong with you! I declared in my head.
‘With CLAIRE?’ I spluttered, disgusted.
‘No you nitwit,’ he sighed again (ok something is certainly wrong with this bloke. ‘With Sisi...’
I burst out laughing and pat him on the back, I know this isn’t the first time he’s been in love with Sisi, to be honest, he’s been in love with her multiple times, he’s going to end up marrying her, I’m certain of it. But for the minute I’m glad he’s over Claire. Then it strikes me.
‘What did happen with you and Claire,’ I ask, confused.
‘Too clingy,’ he gives an explanation, I can’t disagree with him there, but I was more proud that I was right he wouldn’t last with her!
‘So back to trying to win the heart of dear Sisi?’ I teased. He nodded, looking forlorn, ‘did you know her sister arrived this year, another Gryffie.’
Fred’s head turned, ‘didn’t know she had a sister, which one was she.’
‘I think I did actually, she mentioned Sophie once in practice, small, blonde, Quidditch build but looks nothing like Sisi.’
Roisia is exceptionally tall for a girl, like super model tall. She has incredibly long legs and is only about an inch off Freddie in height. She has ebony ringlets and very pink lips matched with sea green eyes. She is stunning I must admit.
Speak of the devil and the devil shall appear, because Sisi turned up and wraps her arms around my neck then winks at Fred and squished in between us. ‘Hey Fredster.’
Although Sisi came with supermodel looks she certainly never got the super model attitude. To me, she was honestly just one of the guys.
‘I saw Charlie was back, I couldn’t believe it I was so happy I missed her Quidditch,’ Sisi laughed and fell back into the sofa, her ringlets spraying out behind her.
Fred looking like he was about to faint. Idiot.
‘Speaking of Quidditch I met you’re sister,’ I said casually.
‘Oh you did... how’s that got anything to do with Quidditch?’ Sisi asked, a little confused.
‘I want her to try out.’
‘We have no spaces left on the team if we keep the old team.’ Sisi pointed out.
‘I am not keeping the old team.’ I scowled, thinking of our lapse in skill last year.
Lily and her worst enemy Amber Coal were my fellow chasers. Which meant cooperation was a big issue. Lily and I played fine together but Coal was shunned because no one liked her and because she’s an idiot.
Sisi and Fred were Beaters and Albie’s my Seeker. (If he wasn’t so brilliant I would kick him off the team, or he would kick himself off because he hates Quidditch) Lastly our Keeper graduated last year so the spot’s still open.
‘I need a Keeper and a Chaser, there’s no way I’m keeping Coal another year!’ I said after a few concentrated seconds, ‘what does Mini Weston play?’ I asked.
‘You’re in luck, you may find you’re lil Keeper, but don’t be giving that Chaser spot away too quickly, Char will want it!’ She reminds me. There was no way I’d forgotten.
In fact I’d been thinking about Charla all evening, which was odd because I never thought about her so much. It never even crossed my mind that I might possibly be able to kiss her an enjoy it, now that was all I was wondering.
Suddenly a screeching filled the room, ‘it is way past ten o’clock dearies and you lot are up early tomorrow, if you don’t clear out there will be detention till Easter for all of Gryffindor.’
A short plump woman with beatle eyes and the most horrific clothes stood in the doorway calling instructions in the most sickly sweet tone I’d ever heard. I’d never seen a person so nasty looking.
‘Did I forget to mention they hired the Umbridge Reincarnate to get us all back to being well behaved young adults?’ Fred whispered as we scarpered up the stairs to the boys dorm, and Sisi ran up to her own.
‘I didn’t know Umbridge was dead,’ I muttered back. Thinking of the stories of Dads old teacher.
‘She must be,’ Fred said, ‘because there is definitely no room for both those hags on this planet.’
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