Chapter 1 : Disturbance
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by paradox. @ tda
featuring our lovely milly swanson
I watch as he ruffled his sandy blonde hair absentmindedly, a habit of his when he gets lost in his own words. Teddy continues on with his story but truth be told, I’ve stopped listening a little more than a minute ago when I realised he was telling me yet another one of his many ‘spectacular’ and ‘epic’ pranks. Instead, I’m staring down at the vast grounds of the castle; it was just beginning to turn a golden hue as the sun rose from beyond the Forbidden Forest. The waft of crisp freshly cut grass fills my nostril and I’m overcome with a sense of home, a feeling I also associate with hugs. Teddy gives great hugs; come to think of it, he’s like a Labrador, when he’s with you, you have all of his attention and he is loyal till the end of time. It’s one of the many reasons why he’s my only friend and probably why I feel no need for venturing out and finding new ones.
Oh, and there’s also the fact that I find socialising in big groups slightly panic-inducing.
Teddy and I met in first year, but like with the rest of the population, he never really got to know me. Not many people did but of no fault of theirs. I don’t suffer from bullying or teenage cruelty; the truth of the matter is I have never been a very vocal sort of person. People are scary. It’s a wonder why I was put into Gryffindor. I am as brave as a field mouse.
In any case, it wasn’t until my brother came onto the scene as a wide-eyed little pain in my bum in my third year that Teddy and I properly met.
My baby brother was sorted into Slytherin, which meant he felt he had to prove himself to the older kids, which really meant I would be constantly worrying about him from the get-go. Needless to say, within the first month, Marcus had managed to insult a couple of fifth year Ravenclaws, who then decided that the kid deserved to be put in his place. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have tried to take on fifth year boys—being that I was an exceptionally small third year at the time. But with my brother, I never think. I’m extremely protective of him, so much so that I forget my initial retreat reaction from groups of people.
I remember clear as day walking up to them, my hands on my hip. I don’t think they thought I posed much of a threat since their laughter rang out across the empty corridor but in my three years of reading everything I did come across this fascinating spell that I had always wanted to try out. I managed to singe a few of the boys but on the third one, they all quickly dispersed as he went up in flames.
He wasn’t hurt, fortunately, but I was lucky. Thankfully, those boys didn’t want anyone to know a girl upstaged them and my brother, Marcus definitely didn’t want anyone to know that he had to be saved by his sister, a Gryffindor, so my moment of bravado and miscast spell remained a secret.
So where does Teddy play into this? Well he saw the whole thing and is the only other person who knows about it. Needless to say, he followed me around like a puppy for the next month till he finally badgered his way into becoming my friend.
I admit I’m not really that brave. I guess people would really describe me as ‘sweet’, although I absolutely loathe that word for many, many reasons. But I am nice. I always want to see the good in everyone. I want to believe people are truthful, honest and kind but I know that just leads to heartache. I’m an optimist at heart but I’m also not an idiot. I know statistically you’re more likely to get disappointed, so I keep my friends minimal, in my case, a grand total of one.
After my usual early morning rendezvous with Teddy, I return quickly to my dorm before anyone notices. It isn’t as if our friendship is a secret but in fifth year, Teddy and I accidentally bumped into each in the Astronomy Tower early one morning. We realised we were both early risers and we’ve come to watch the sun rise every Monday morning since then.
I slip into the dorm, grateful that the other girls are still fast asleep, and crawl into bed.
Hmm, maybe a little snooze today…
“Morning Milly, you off to breakfast?” my roommate chuckles “What a dumb question! Of course you are!”
She looks at me from her perch on the edge of her bed, her golden blonde hair lying in a plait to one side and her crystal-clear blue eyes looking at me politely. Victoire Delacour-Weasley is a saint, in every sense of the word. She is nice, she is stunning, and she is intelligent. It’s not a wonder that most girls in the castle have taken a great dislike to her over the years but then they get to know her and it’s quite difficult to hate her.
I return her smile. “Yeah. I have some last minute reading to do so I thought I’d go early and get some peace and quiet.”
Of course I am lying. Early breakfast equals less people.
She nods. “Smart plan. Well, I’ll see you down there. Adele and Rachel are taking their time, as usual,” and Victoire rolls her eyes good-humouredly.
Adele Tomlinson and Rachel Chung are my other two roommates. They’re also lovely girls from the little that I really know of them. Adele is girly and has an unhealthy obsession with the opposite sex but is an all around decent person. Rachel, on the other hand, is loud and boisterous but I assume she has to be considering she is on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
I don’t wait for a response and make my way out of the dorm in long quick steps. It’s not that I don’t like Victoire or the other girls. I just don’t think I’m cut out for their kind of eventful lifestyle. I like calm. Think of me as a solitary sailing ship on a lake with no wind, just bobbing up and down, serenity as my only companion; that is who I am. The only disturbance in my metaphorical lake is my brother and occasionally, Teddy, but both have grown to realise that unless it’s a life or death situation, don’t bother.
I am blissfully bobbing up and down on my metaphorical lake, imagining a metaphorical mountainside surrounding it with slopes covered in white smooth snow, when several male voices broke through my daydream. At first it was hard for me to pinpoint where it was coming from but everything clicked together in a slow checklist type fashion.
Left Corridor, third room. Three male voices. One familiar voice with a distinct Queen’s English twang. It belongs to Marcus. He’s in trouble.
Without thinking, because with my little brother I never do, I run and shove open the door to find Marcus cornered in an empty classroom by two of my fellow Gryffindors: Gregory Rowle and Geoffrey Wood. Both Gryffindor boys have a wand in their hands and out of the corner of my eye I see a third wand lying on the floor underneath a bookshelf. Marcus looks angry.
Again in my non-thinking state, I raise my wand and stare steely-eyed at Gregory and Geoffrey. “I really don’t care what my idiot brother did but… but I hardly find it fair to corner a wand-less boy two years your minor.”
Both boys look a bit baffled, which sparks Marcus to lash out at me. “Milly, I don’t need your bloody help!”
“Marcus, shut up, will you?” I throw back exasperated. “I will get to you later!”
I turn back to stare at the silent Gryffindors and wonder just how far they’ll push me. My ship is rocking and I feel that my once placid lake is now spiralling savagely like a whirlpool, making me feel rather nauseas.
Geoffrey is the first to recover. “Look, Milly, this isn’t really your fight. I suggest you scurry on out and mind your own business.” His voice has an edge to it. It seems now that he has regained his composure he is none too pleased with having me burst into his testosterone fuelled dance-off.
“Unfortunately the boy you’re about to teach a lesson to is my business and I suggest you put away your wands and we’ll forget this whole thing,” I tell him. I am now clenching my wand firmly and trying desperately to look as confident as I sound. Although I am absolutely positive my hair is loose from its bun and I am sweating through my uniform. Oh goodness, I really am feeling very nauseas now.
“I don’t know who you think you are but your brother tampered with a whole bunch of our Quidditch equipment this morning. If we hadn’t caught him, Merlin knows who could’ve gotten hurt!” Geoffrey practically shouts, and the volume and the sheer size of him make me feel quite small.
It’s just not fair. It’s like a big black bear fighting against a tiny little rabbit—I being the rabbit of course.
My first reaction is to scowl darkly at Marcus who has the decency to look scared and my second reaction is to send a small spark of fire at his arm like I did those many years ago with the Ravenclaws. It is generally harmless now that I’ve perfected it but it did manage to singe his robe straight through until you could see the hairs of his forearm.
“Marcus, go!” I growl at him. “Go before I do worse to you… but you can bet your sorry bum, I will deal with you later!”
Without further encouragement, Marcus bolts from the room not before picking up his wand. The door slams behind him and I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding, feeling the whirlpool begin to slow down its swirling and the ship swaying back to normal now.
“What the fuck!” Geoffrey roars, the expletive and decibel of his voice startling me. I had been so busy trying to calm myself down I didn’t even notice the six-foot something boy standing so close in front of me. But now that he is, I do notice that his eyebrows are so narrowed they almost touch. “Why couldn’t you have just minded your own bloody business? This did not concern you!”
“It’s my brother,” I say in a placid voice or as placid as I could make it.
“Oh god, save me that bollocks, you know as well as I do your brother deserved what was coming to him!” Geoffrey roars, and my ship is now rocking back and forth with such tumultuous force I’m worried it will just topple over. The whirlpool has subsided but a storm is coming and I did not like it. “Fuck it, whatever!” He lets out a loud sigh and just as I thought this was all over, he adds scathingly, “But next time, stick to being sweet and silent, okay?”
He grabs Greg and begins to walk past me when something inside me snaps like a piece of timber.
“Don’t call me sweet,” my voice is quiet but it’s loud enough to stop both of them from exiting the classroom. “And don’t assume you know anything about me.”
I shove past them but hover just outside the door. I don’t know what compelled me to say it but before I could even stop myself, I all but shout ‘asshole’ at him and leave.
This is not good. My lake has a new disturbance and it comes in the form of a bad-tempered Quidditch captain.
A/N: Hi guys! It's been a WHOLE YEAR since I've written anything HPFF-related... Real life kidnapped me and stole me away so I am truly sorry about that. I know I have two huge novels that are still WIP and I need desperately to update them, but I can't help it! When inspiration hits, I just write and write and write. This is the product of that inspiration. I hope you like it :) Please leave a review!