Chapter 2 : Chapter 1: In which Carter and I act like complete dorks
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High school. The dreaded words. Not that it’s so scary anymore, considering I’ve been going to school in this same ratty old building for years. But it’s still school. Why would anyone ever want to go to school?
Except for James and all my cousins who are always excited to go back to school. To go to Hogwarts. … Fuck them. But not Albus. Actually, he’s probably excited, he just tries not to show it because he knows it would upset me. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my brother? Al, that is, not James. James is a prat.
My favorite place in St. James’ is the library. Simply because it’s Carter’s favorite place. And the table we normally sit at, one in the far back, hidden in shadows, surrounded by the musky smell of far too many really old books, is a great spot to watch others.
“Isn’t he just dreamy?” I sigh to Carter, staring across the room to a boy who’s undoubtedly on some sports team. He’s got blonde hair that’s just the right length. He’s tall, but not too tall. He has crisp blue eyes that look like ice. And his smile has blinding white teeth.
Carter glances up from behind his book, pushing his glasses back up his nose gently and lets his blue eyes follow my gaze. His eyes land on the guy and he shifts uncomfortably before muttering to me, “Uh… If I answer that does it imply that I’m a queer or something?”
I roll my eyes a little, quirking a piece of red hair around my fingers. “No,” I scoff. “Of course not.”
Carter frowns, snapping his book shut and looks back at the boy. His frown deepens a bit and he turns his soft blue eyes back on me. “Then… Yeah. I suppose he’s attractive. Why do you ask?”
“No reason,” I sigh, resting my cheek on the palm of my hand as I swoon a little.
Carter rolls his eyes. “You don’t even know his name, fire. It’s highly unrealistic that he’d ever talk to you.”
Yes, it’s certain. If Carter had magic he’d be a Ravenclaw. And before you ask, yes, he called me fire. We used to joke around that my hair always looked like something was burning. Hence the nickname fire. Only Carter calls me that. It’s special. He’s special.
I snort a little, letting my eyes drift over to Carter and away from the boy. “And because of your vast experience with the popular crowd you obviously know who he is?” I ask sarcastically.
“As a matter of fact I do,” Carter informs me, his I-know-everything-and-you-don’t look crossing his face. “His name is Vaughn Norton.”
“Been watching too much rugby?” I tease him, grinning a little.
Carter shakes his head, running a hand through his messy black hair and offers a slight smile. “No. I hate rugby. But I was looking through papers a few nights ago.”
“Planning on becoming a hacker or something?”
“No. Where do you come up with these ideas in that head of yours, fire?”
I giggle a little. “Come on, Carter! You’re no fun! Loosen up a little. Live!”
Carter juts his bottom lip out, looking for all he can like the poster child of a petulant kid. I roll my eyes and his pout cracks into a wide grin. His blue eyes glimmer with light and he leans over to ruffle my hair. “I’m an office assistant, fire. There’s a difference.”
“Sure there is,” I say conspiratorially, smirking at him. “Or you just don’t want anyone to know your secrets.”
Carter snorts, picking his book up off the table and searching for the page. “Whatever,” he finally says. “You have Chem in a few minutes, fire. I’d get up if I were you.”
“Spoil sport,” I inform him as I pick up my bag and make my way out of the library towards the Chemistry classroom, waving to Carter until I can no longer see him. After I round a few corners I walk while looking out the window, playing a little with my hair. Until I run right into someone and tumble to the floor.
“Sorry,” he mutters as I gasp an apology, hoisting myself off the ground. I stop when I notice who he is.
Vaughn. At least, that was what Carter had called him. And Carter’s usually right, as much as I hate to admit it.
“Hey…” I finally say, trying to find my voice. “You’re… Vaughn Norton right?”
He looks wary. “Yeah,” he mutters, straightening his clothes. “And you’re fire, right?”
I blink, surprised to hear Carter’s nickname for me come out of his mouth. “Wh—what?” I demand, my mouth feeling dry.
“You’re fire. Or at least that’s what that loser bookworm Albright calls you.” He just called Carter a loser. I blink again, trying to find my voice.
“My… My name is Lily.” I manage to sputter.
“Yeah… Potter, right?” He quirks a blonde eyebrow flashing me a slight smile. I nod, my mind going blank at his smile. Damn, he’s really very attractive. His smile grows a bit wider and he says, “Pretty name.”
I’m about to say something else, thank you, maybe, when a blonde girl comes skipping up and hooks her arm through his, saying, “Vaughny! I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”
I feel my nose wrinkle as she pulls him down the hallway. Vaughn shoots me an apologetic look over his shoulder as he’s pulled away.
A frown crosses my face as they disappear around a corner. She’s clingy. And it’s kind of creepy. I sigh, shaking my head and make my way to the Chemistry classroom, wondering how some people can deal with girls like her.
My favorite hangout after school is Carter’s house. His mum is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in my life. For instance, today Carter and I walk to his house, and the moment we enter the door we’re greeted by a smile and a, “Do you kids want cookies?”
Which is why I’m lying on Carter’s bed with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies and a rather large glass of water- there was no milk. Carter settles down in the seat at his desk, fiddling with a frame. The photo catches my eye. It’s a picture of Carter, his mum, and his dad.
I know a lot about Carter, but I don’t know what happened to his dad. Carter doesn’t talk about him. Ever.
Noticing my eyes following his hand Carter lets go of the picture quickly and mutters, “You got enough cookies there, fire?”
I feel my face flush a tad, but I can’t hold back a slight laugh. “It’s not my fault you wouldn’t take any.” Biting my lip, I reach down and grab a cookie off the plate, setting the plate and glass on his nightstand where they’ll be safe and walk over to him. “You sure you don’t want one?” I question.
Carter rolls his eyes, looking up at me from his sitting position. “I’m fine. Promise.”
“Eat it!” I exclaim, pouncing on him.
Carter splutters in surprise before pushing me off of him, trying to turn his face away from the cookie. I land very gracefully- or not- on the floor with an oomph and Carter jumps up out of the chair, darting around to the other side of his bed, watching me through his glasses like I’m some wild animal he’s studying. I hoist myself back up, smirking at him. “Come on,” I tease and Carter shakes his head, lips sealed tight. I make a noise in the back of my throat before glancing around for a way to get Carter more involved in this. My eyes light up when I see it, and, grabbing my cup of water sneakily I move a tad bit closer and flick it, landing all the water on his face.
I hold back chuckles as Carter blinks slowly, his mouth falling open a bit. Then he looks at me and mutters, “Oh, you’re going to get it!”
He jumps me, pulling me onto the bed and tickling me. Peals of laughter and shrieks erupt from my lips as I struggle against him, wiggling my body to try and get out from in between him and the bed.
Carter’s laughing too, and suddenly I gain enough leverage to roll on top of him and pin his hands down.
“Eat it,” I order, shoving the cookie at him.
Carter grins slightly. “You have my hands,” he informs me. I roll my eyes and shove the cookie in his mouth. He makes a muffled noise of protest before swallowing the cookie. “Perfect,” he murmurs softly, and our eyes lock.
A weird feeling washes over me as we stare at each other silently. Carter’s blue eyes are brimming with some emotion that I can’t figure out for the life of me. I’m about to open my mouth to say something, anything, when there’s a knock on the door. I let go of Carter’s hands, turning to look as the door opens. It’s his mum, and that’s when I realize how awkward this is.
I’m straddling Carter. Who’s staring at me all weirdly. And he’s wet from all the water I threw at him. His mum is probably wondering if we’ve gone insane.
I move quickly, throwing myself off of Carter and next to him on the bed, trying not to turn red. Carter glances at me, a hesitant look on his face.
“I just wanted to see if you two were alright,” his mum hedges. “I thought I heard screaming.”
“Oh, we- we’re fine, Mrs. Albright,” I stammer, suddenly finding my shoes very interesting.
Carter sits up, pushing his dripping hair out of his face and says, “Everything’s cool, mum. Promise.”
“Alright then,” Mrs. Albright says. She gives one last glance around the room before shutting the door. Carter and I stay silent until we hear her footsteps fade down the stairs.
Carter lies back down on his bed with a sigh, readjusting his glasses before he props himself up on one elbow, turning to look at me. “Why are you embarrassed, fire?” He inquires, which is a weird question coming from him, considering his face is tomato red too.
“I… I don’t know,” I mutter, dropping my head into my hands. “I just… Feel like that shouldn’t have happened.”
He looks hurt. I don’t know what I said. Finally, Carter lets out a slight sigh and says softly, “It’s okay, fire. My mum doesn’t care.”
I groan, rolling over and burying my head in his pillow. Carter rubs my back comfortingly, gently, but he seems unsure if he’s doing the right thing. I sigh a little, closing my eyes, just wanting to forget the world.
I wake up a few hours later, rolling over and groaning. The first thing I hear is Carter’s voice, saying, “You better have not drooled on my pillow, fire.”
“What?” I grumble incoherently, blinking a few times as I look in Carter’s general direction.
Carter grins at me, running a hand through his messy black hair. “You fell asleep. I thought I’d let you take a break.”
I blink, jerking upright and look at the clock. It’s nearly ten. “Oh my god,” I gasp. “My parents are going to kill me.”
Carter suddenly seems to notice the time and his eyes widen. “I’m so sorry, fire. If I’d have known I would’ve woken you up earlier.”
“It’s fine,” I gasp, grabbing my bags. Finally I stop and look at Carter. “What were you doing for the past four hours anyway?” I ask, wrinkling my nose. “Watching me sleep or something?”
“N-no,” Carter stammers. “Of course not. That’s ridiculous. Why would you ever suggest that?”
I glance at him sidelong before giving him a quick hug and declaring, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” Before I can even hear his goodbye I’m flying down the steps and out the door. Thankfully, Godric’s hollow isn’t too far from Carter’s neighborhood- what a piece of luck- so I make it home in about fifteen minutes.
Breathless and frazzled, I open the front door quietly, planning on sneaking inside without my parents noticing. That plan is ruined, however, as soon as I enter the house. They’re both sitting on the couch and look up at me the instant I start up the stairs.
I stop moving, gulping slightly to myself.
“What on earth were you thinking?” Mum finally says. “Getting home so late. You had me worried sick.”
Dad doesn’t say anything, just stares me down with those green eyes of his.
I open my mouth and then close it again before offering, “I lost track of time?” Which is true. I can’t help it if I know they won’t believe me.
“Don’t feed me any lies, Lily Luna,” my mum snaps, standing up from the couch, red hair flying in every direction.
Oh, I’m in trouble now. “I’m not!” I exclaim. “I was at Carter’s house and I lost track of time!”
“The Carter we’ve never met?” Dad asks, arching an eyebrow. “How are we supposed to know it’s safe for you to be around him?”
“Because I spend all my time with him?” I snap, losing patience. Carter is the best thing I have in my life. They can’t take him away.
Mum glares at me. “We’re just concerned for your safety, Lily.”
I snort. “The hell you are.” Mum starts to protest and I cut her off, continuing with, “You don’t care about me. I’m the screw up. Go baby James.” I can’t bring up Al. Because I know. Al’s different too. He just hasn’t got around to telling anyone other than a few people yet.
Dad frowns. “You know that’s not true-”
“Of course it is!” I exclaim, glaring at them. “I’m not blind you know! I’m a squib. A bloody squib. I go to a muggle school, have friends with no magic and will never become a qudditch player or an auror. I’m weak and pathetic, and really, you could probably live without me. I’m just here.”
“No, you’re not-” Dad tries to start again, but I’m on a roll.
“I come home almost every night to an empty house. We don’t eat dinner together, and the only person in this house who’s ever smiled at me since my eleventh birthday is Albus! James calls me a freak and twenty thousand kinds of curse words. And you’re never around. Neither of you. Of course I don’t mean anything to anyone.” I never have. I’ve never been wanted. I’m just the screw up.
“Lily!” Dad exclaims, frustration in his voice.
I take a step up the stairs, shaking my head. “You don’t get it,” I mutter. They don’t understand how difficult this is for me- they never think about me, only themselves. They don’t seem to understand how much being pulled away more and more from my family hurts. They just don’t get it.
I don’t like being segregated. I don’t like feeling like I don’t belong. But that’s all I ever feel in my family. I’m not a witch. I don’t have any magic. I’m a freak of nature amongst the Weasleys. No one wants to be associated with me.
Except Albus. Which is why my brother means so much to me. He’s the rock that I’ve always needed. He’s always been there for me and always will be. And I hope I can always be there for him when everyone finds out about him. Not that I suspect that will be happening for a long time, but I’ll still be there for him no matter what. Al’s my big brother. He’s special to me. He always has been.
I breathe out a huff and storm up to my room, slamming the door shut behind me as I throw myself onto my bed. I can’t help but wish that I’m back in Carter’s room, eating cookies and laughing with him about how crazy and ridiculous everything is.
I want to be anywhere but here.
A/N: Well... There's chapter 1. Some opinions would be most appreciated.
Anyways, the next chapter of this story should have Al in it. Which I'm extremly excited for. He's one of my favorite characters in this story by far.
"I don't feel that way about him," I moan. "Not everyone can be so lucky as to be best mates with their soulmate."
"Soulmates, huh?" Al mutters. "I doubt anyone else will see it that way."
I snort, finally peering up from the grey dusty surface of the dashboard. "Who gives a shit about anybody else?"
Al's eyes sparkle a brilliant green and for a moment I can see why Scor fell so hard for my brother. "This is true," he agrees, chuckling.
A review would be most appreciated. Thank you for reading!
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