From down the rows of tables, I could hear Al hoot with laughter and nearly double over from his hysterics. I felt my face burn, and I got out of the punch with as much dignity I could muster. The cold beverage ran down my legs, and I stifled a shudder.
I gathered up the end of my robes and twisted, making all the juice seep out while glaring at everybody, as if daring them to join in laughing.
Of course, a Slytherin, Ethan Flint, broke the silence by snickering, provoking the entire Great Hall to erupt into giggles and sneers.
And of course, my temper flared, and I lunged for the pastries, rubbing the whipped cream and cookies crumbs into his hair.
And, as fate would have it, McGonagall choose that moment to look up from her breakfast and spot me in the middle of my “hair rubbing attack.”
“Nicole Davis!” she screeched, standing up abruptly. “What exactly do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m giving this jerk what he deserves!” I yelled back at her cheekily, head locking Flint, who looked just about ready to pass out.
“Davis, you stop that immediately!” McGonagall started running over to me with her wand extended. “Reducto!” I dodged it and whipped out my own wand.
“Davis.” Her voice was furious beyond belief. “Come with me.” Flint stuck his tongue out at me, and I glared menacingly before following McGonagall out of the Great Hall and into her office.
“Sit.” She ordered lividly, pointing at a chair. I obliged and prepared myself to hear one hell of a tongue lashing and was surprised when she sighed. “You descendants of Blacks have always been fiery ones.” She said warily, rubbing her temples. “I wonder what Elladora would say about your behavior this time.” I winced slightly at the mention of my mother’s name. She sighed again. “You do know I’m supposed to inform her about every single mishap you cause.” McGonagall watched me carefully as I stiffened. She pressed her lips together into a straight line, and I rolled my eyes.
“Whatever.” I shrugged. “There’s not really much she can do about it, can she?” I swallowed, hard. “What’s she going to do, send me another Howler?” I groaned inwardly, remembering the humiliation of being yelled at by my mom publicly through a stupid letter.
She raised an eyebrow. “The worse has passed.” I explained nonchalantly. Her hawk-like eyes pierced through me, as if hunting for my secrets.
“I cannot and will not fulfill all of her desires.” I mumbled through gritted teeth. “It is not her choice in how I should live my life.”
McGonagall smiled slightly. “Sometimes you remind me of Sirius.” Her voice softened to some extent.
“That’s what they all say.” My voice was pained. Our eyes met, and an understanding was passed through us.
“Alright, then, Davis.” Her voice returned to usual. “Detention tomorrow evening, 6 o’ clock.”
I nodded curtly and got up out of my chair without her consent. As I walked out of the door, I heard her call out to me, “And Davis?” I turned around slightly. “Albus will be there too.”
I would’ve sworn she winked.
“Ooh,” James cackled back in the common room. “Somebody got in tro-o-o-o-uble!”
“Shut up.” I growled nastily, snapping my book shut. “Just go away.”
“Aw, but Nikki,” he explained. “Since Albus-poo is gone right now, it is officially my job to push you as far as I can to the brink of insanity!”
“Huh.” I sourly retorted. “Well, tell ‘Albus-poo’ that I want peace and quiet right now.”
“But—“ he started.
“Oh, the lot of you, just shut. Up.” Rose growled. “Why won’t you just go upstairs, Nikki? Everybody’s getting ready for Hogsmeade.”
“No!” I objected for the millionth time. “I don’t even have a date either, so it doesn’t matter.” I admitted, blushing a bit in shame.
She huffed and walked away, leaving me in awkward silence and a monster to control.
“Nananananana,” he broke the silence, softly chanting under his breath. “Oh, does Nikki not have any admirers? Nanananan—“
“Shut up!” I interrupted, glaring.
He continued, louder than ever. “Nanananana! Nanananana! Na—“
I kicked his shin, and he immediately cowered down. “Ow!” he yelped, rubbing his terrible ‘wound’.
“Yeah, well, serves you right.” I said triumphantly, reopening my book to try and find my page.
James moped around and complained some more before I finally growled in frustration and left his sorry old self, giving in and escaping to the girl’s dorms.
“Nikki!” Molly Weasley chattered excitedly, beckoning me in. Mobs of people crowded the dorms, gossiping, trying on new outfits, and performing make-up charms.
Laughter was in the air, sending tingling, warm sensations traveling down my spine and directly to my heart. I let a smile slip from my lips.
“Nikki, dear,” Roxanne let out her best posh accent, placing a delicate hand on her hip femininely. “Come in, come in! Beauty salons to the left, mademoiselle. Let me lead you.” She lunged for my hand and dragged me over to the rows of chairs. I didn’t resist her, and I laughed merrily the entire way, waving at a surplus of familiar faces.
“Nikki Davis, third year, Gryffindor.” Roxanne informed Victoire, who was holding a pink notebook and looking simply stunning with her blond hair piled princess-style on her head and wearing a shimmery blue dress.
“Oh, Roxanne, for Merlin’s sake, I’ve known Nikki since she was born!” she rolled her eyes playfully, quickly scrawling my name into the notebook. She grinned at me. “Yo, Nikki!” I smiled widely in reply.
“Alrighty!” Dominique breezed in, looking just as amazing as her older sister. “Nikki!” she embraced me for a few seconds and ushered me into a seat. I saw Roxanne wink at me and depart, heading for the door to guide more newcomers. “So! Any particular look you want for this ever important occasion?”
“Um.” I blushed. “I don’t know. You choose for me.”
She raised a single eyebrow. “No ideas? What do you think your date will like the best, then?” she asked.
“Um.” I felt my face heat up some more. “I don’t have a date.”
“Nikki!” she shook her head, scolding me.
“Oh well, no one asked me anyway.” I sighed. “It’s not like there was a chance of it anyway.”
“Those…those jerks!” Dominique frowned. “Well well well, after I’m done with you, they’ll be sorry that they never asked!”
And with that, she gently forced my head down on the headrest and began doing her magic.
“Oh…my…Merlin.” I gasped, facing the mirror in complete awe. “Dominique, what did you do? Is this even me? What kind of dark magic did you perform to make me..to make me…so..so..”
“Stunning? Beautiful? Amazing? Dazzling? Completely and totally gorgeous?” she offered, smiling, rolling her eyes.
“Yes!” I agreed, bobbing my head up and down. “And this..” I lightly put a finger to my eyelashes. “Are they really..?”
She giggled. “I know! It’s astounding, isn’t it? It looks like fireworks are practically exploding from your very eyes!”
“Exactly!” I whispered in wonder. “They’re like..little jewels embedded on! Oh! They’re sparkling, Dom!”
She laughed again, beaming. “You look beautiful, Nikki!” she winked. The ringing sound of Victoire’s voice brought me back to my senses. “Another one, Dominique, Elaina, whoever’s ready!”
“Thank you!” I squealed quickly, jumping up and down, hugging her.
“Oh, alright, alright.” She kindly detached me from her shoulders. “Round 2 is over there,” she instructed, gesturing to her right.
I stopped. “Round 2?” I asked dryly. “There’s a round 2?”
She giggled. “Of course, silly! What are you going to where? That?” she eyeballed my casual green t-shirt and ketchup-stained pants.
“No, no, of course not.” I said sheepishly, hurrying over to the swarm of girls surrounding a massive wardrobe. “Thanks for everything, Dom!” I called out over my shoulders. She winked in reply and started helping the next girl.
Areida Bell stood in front of a huge waiting line, smiling and rapidly scribbling names onto a piece of binder paper.
“Nikki!” she cried out and hugged me. “You look amazing! And—“ she paused mid-sentence. “Nikki Davis, what in the name of Merlin are you wearing?”
“Um..” I blushed. “Uh, I dunnno—“
She interrupted me, wailing, “Fashion emergency, people! Let her through! Let her through!” The horde of people parted like the Red Sea, letting me through to what looked like some huge mall center. Racks of clothes were everywhere, and piles of clothing were being handed back to other volunteers, who swiftly flicked their wands to place the garments back to where they originally belonged.
“Oh, Merlin.” I breathed.
“Marvelous, isn’t it?” she asked mindlessly. “Anastasia! Fashion emergency here! Handle this girl here while I help the others. Areida disappeared amidst everybody, and Anastasia sashayed over.
“Hello there, sweetie.” Her voice was soft and sugary. “You’re in quite a predicament, aren’t you?” she carefully scrutinized my clothes. “Mm, turn slowly, sweet.” I turned around for her, and she smiled happily. “Excellent figure, sweetie. Perfect. Everything here will go well, but we want the very best.” Anastasia began pawing through the racks. “Hm. Try this.” She handed me a pair of skinny jeans, a turquoise top with earthly stones embedded on it, and brown sandals and pointed to the fitting rooms. “Come out when you’re finished!”
I drew the curtains tightly around the opening and undressed: I slid the top over my head easily and tried on the sandals. A perfect fit. Finally, I began painfully inching the skinny jeans up and was triumphant when I managed to close the buttons. Then I started hopping around, screaming, “Oh, Merlin. Oh, Merlin! Oh, oh, oh, Merlin!”
Anastasia peeped through the curtains. “You alri—Oh, mother of Merlin, you look fabulous!” She grinned.
“Yeah?” I breathed heavily. “Well, these jeans are cutting off the blood circulation in my legs!”
She pursed her lips, trying to conceal laughter. “Yes, well, you look amazing!”
“To look amazing, I must forfeit my legs.” I looked at her sorrowfully.
“Yes, well, fashion comes first, doesn’t it?” she laughed, shooing me away. “Go and get your final touches done. Then you’d be ready for Hogsmeade. I hope you have a great time!” she gushed.
“Haha, thank you for everything!” I thanked her and moved on. “And you too!”
I caught a flash of my reflection and smirked.
“Yeah, Natasha Benson?” I murmured to myself mischievously. “You think you’re pretty? Get ready for me, and we’ll see who wins a perfect date in the end.”
A/N: Oh my gosh, guys. I haven’t updated in forever! And, in addition, this chapter was relatively boring, wasn’t it? This chappie was more of a filler—more action will come later, ok? Don’t hate me, please (even though I deserve it!). I would still appreciate reviews, though! ;) xx