A/N: Hello world! I know school has just started again, bummer. I'll still try and keep as dedicated as possible to this story. I hope you like this chapter!
"Dorcas, get your flabby arse up and out of bed! You've to meet the Fortescue's at ten!"
"My arse isn't flabby, it's quite firm, thank you!"
"Whatever it is it's going to get a spanking if it doesn't get down here right now!" I pushed the covers off quickly and ran for the stairs; but not before tripping over my own feet. Why did Harley and I have to leave at eight? Ten thirty would give us plenty of time to get to the platform and on the train- Oh, right- the little mocking head in my voice reminded me- Harley doesn't do magic.
"We have to leave at eight to get there by ten. I won't have you miss the train again." I stared up at her from the kitchen table, glaring through my eyelashes.
"You know too well that wasn't my fault," I grumbled. It was cruel she had said that, but that's Harley. I'm just as cruel I suppose. I missed the train my third year back to Hogwarts because mum and dad had died just three weeks before on their flight. I was pretty shaken, and, on top of that, mum was the Care of Magical Creatures professor. They hadn't found a replacement teacher in time, so the course was cancelled. It came back in my fifth year, but I dropped it completely.
"Yes it was your fault. You over-reacted," she said consolingly. I really did love my sister. She just aggravates everyone. I don't know what we would do if we weren't an old pureblood family. Every job she gets, she gets fired from. Apparently, she knows how to do everyone else's job better.
"Let's go, we'll be late if you spend another second on that tea." I threw her the keys and locked up with my own. I sat down in the passenger seat of the pickup truck and levitated my trunk and owl cage to the back. I let Melon on my lap and she purred as I pet her. Harley gave me a warning look about the magic and I stuck my tongue out at her. We pulled down the road, and passed Hestia's house. I sighed loudly, clearly seeing Hestia's lights were still out.
"Roll up the windows, Dor." We were going to pick up Lily. She lived on Elm Street, which was next to Spinner's End. Harley had never felt comfortable driving down here.
"We'll be fine, I've got my wand, remember?"
"As if you can do any good with that. By the way, you look horrible." I looked down at my attire and slapped my forehead. I'd forgotten to dress. Thank god we'd learned clothing transfiguration. I changed my soft shorts into some jean shorts and a blue blouse, as it was still warm and humid out. Lily's house came into view and Harley stopped in front of the house. Wand in hand, I marched up to the front step and knocked on the door. A door creaked open slightly and a timid voice came out, "Dorcas?"
"Yes it's me fool, who else would go into public looking like this?" She slammed open the door and screeched loud enough to wake the poor birds trying to sleep.
"Dorcas! You've come for me!"
"Yes, well, the general idea is to make it to school on time, and seeing as Harley won't apparate for her life, we're stuck leaving at ungodly hours," I said pessimistically.
"Oh enjoy life, would you? Let's go." She shut her door, and skipped out to my car. She slid into the back and grabbed Melon from the front seat. I was going to sit in the front, but decided Lily could help me look more presentable. I pushed Lily over a little and she scooted to the other seat.
"Once you're done with my cat, would you help me with my face? I can't come in looking like this!"
"Sure, I've learnt some glamour charms and I've been wanting to try them out," she said enthusiastically.
"Good to know I'm your number one choice for a lab rat. Hurry, we're almost at Alice's." She looked at me accusingly, "Fine. Hurry, please," I begged.
"That's better. Now hold still." She waved her wand around a couple times and then clapped her hands together in delight. "There, it's perfect."
"Do you have a mirror," I asked, as she handed me one. I appraised myself and looked up. "I do look good. Thanks a bunch Lils." We sat in silence for a few minutes while Lily caught up with my cat. I swear they must have a long distance relationship or something. She looked up as if she suddenly remembered something important.
She leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Hey." I looked at her, confused by this, and responded.
"Oh for heaven's sake, what," I practically yelled.
"Shush! She," nodding her head at my sister, "Can't know."
"Okay, well what is it? I'm a terrible guesser," I said truthfully.
"Alright, but you can't tell anyone, especially Marlene. Huge mouth, that girl." I nodded and looked at her expectantly.
"Okay, well this summer," she paused.
"I saw Nick." I stared at her for a couple seconds. Why was he the first thing she brought up? The slimy git had no reason for being in a muggle neighborhood. He should go back to the loving family at home. They would keep him all shiny and clean in the huge mansion of his. Hell, they could probably buy him a girlfriend. I cleared my throat, realizing I still had yet to answer Lily. "And? Pray tell what was he doing?"
"Kissing that girl you used to be friends with! What was her name? Whitney, Wilma?"
"Wendy, her name is Wendy," I said, seething. If there was one thing worse than Weids being in a ten meter radius of me it was him kissing a girl in that same vicinity. I folded my hands over my lap and acted as civilly as possible, trying not to raise my voice.
"Did you speak with Mr. Weids?"
"So you bloody tell me you saw Nick Weids, and then, even worse, tell me he was snogging the girl who killed my social life, then have nothing else to say?"
"Yes," she said quietly, cowering. I was about to blow up, believe me, I was. But then I realized that would just give Lily more reasons to talk so bloody loudly into my ear. Harley spoke for the first time since Lily got in the car.
"We're here, mongrels." I smiled for the first time that day, excited to see Alice. Lily, Alice and I were really best friends. Wholly and completely. There is nothing I've never told them. The thing about me is I don't lie. I just can't do it. Believe me, I've tried. Alice is our little secretive one of the group. She doesn't like to share details about her and Frank, or divulge into where she brought her underwear. Lily, on the other hand was a loose cannon, in the most realistic sense possible. One minute she was perfectly happy just pissing to herself, and the next she was blowing up in everyone's faces. And when one thing came out, everything did. That's actually how I found out about a lot of things, now that I think about it. Say what you want, but there is one thing I'll never be, and that's perceptive.
We came up to the gates in front of Alice's house and Harley said something into the speaker. The gates opened and we drove in. I always loved visiting Alice. Her house was so scenic, right out of a princess novel. She was the generic perfect girl. Harley stopped the truck abruptly and we clambered out, ridden with joy. Lily grabbed my hand and dragged me up to the front steps. We were running and I felt happy for the first time that summer. I actually felt really happy.
Alice opened her door and smiled at us, before hugging us tightly.
"So, how was your summer?" I laughed loudly, something I did when I genuinely thought someone was joking.
"A picnic," I said rolling my eyes. "It was just the usual, you know. Harley being a right pringle about everything." When we were in second year, Lily had brought some chips from home, called Pringles. I hated them from the moment I tried it, so Pringle was associated with unpleasantness.
"Tell me about it! My parents have barely let me out of the grounds! They keep going on and on about keeping safe," she said in one breath. Alice's parents came into view and we quickly hushed it up.
"Mrs. and Mr. Fortescue," I exclaimed. I loved these people so much. They were like big cuddly teddy bears you had the urge to hug all the time.
"Hello darling," said Alice's mom. See what I mean? She's the only one that could be cool and call someone darling.
"Are we ready to go mum?"
"Yes, go collect your bags and put them in the foyer. We'll be with you girls in a second. I need to speak with Harley." That's when I noticed Harley had walked in with us. I was standing there, contemplating what they had to talk about, when I heard my name coming from the stairs.
"Dorcas! Come on," whined Lily. I rolled my eyes, she was so whiny sometimes.
"Alright, alright, don't get yourself all worked up." I followed the girls into Alice's room where she was in the middle of telling a story.
"... a tree and I couldn't get him down! So I call mum and dad and tell them to bring me a ladder from the garage. They said, we don't have a ladder sweetie, just levitate him down. I've been spending too much time in our muggle vacation home. I'd completely forgotten I could do magic!" She looked over at me and Lily, "How can you guys go so long without magic?" I had a confused grimace on my face. Not do magic? Lily spoke up first,
"Not do magic?"
"Yeah. You guys use magic in your muggle neighborhood?"
"Well, I keep it inside, but I couldn't live without magic." Alice looked very frustrated with herself for a few seconds before running downstairs screaming, "Mum! Dad! You said I couldn't do magic!" Lily and I caught it and looked at each other before bursting out into laughter. Ah, it felt good to laugh.
"C'mon, she's forgotten her things. Help me carry it down?"
"I think you can manage Lils, I've got to use the utilitarian facilities, I said, jumping off the bed and skipping down the hallway.
"I bet you don't even know what that means," she screamed after me.
"So what? I heard someone else say it once. It sounded cool." My voice trailed off and I locked myself in the bathroom. I didn't actually have to go, I just loved Alice's bathroom. It always smelled like roses and vanilla. I picked up the flower shaped soap and held it close to my nose. Yes, that's the smell. Roses.
"Dorcas! We've to go," called Lily from downstairs. I put down the soap sadly and was about to walk out when I paused. I turned around and slipped a bar of soap into my pocket. I love that smell. I trudged down the stairs, seeing Lily's, Alice's, and my trunks in the foyer. Lily was holding Melon, playing with her paws.
"Bye, pipsqueak. Be good, do your homework," Harley recited to me. I heard that little speech every year.
"Yeah, I'll try. Goodbye. Don't use all our money." She scoffed,
"There's not a way anyone could spend all that in three months. Don't worry." She left and a heavy air hung around us. Everyone knew there wasn't too many fuzzy, cuddly feelings between me and my sister.
"Okay, hold hands everyone." Coming from anyone else, I would've slapped them, but it sounded so right coming from Alice's mum's mouth. God, I love the woman like my mother. We all grabbed hands and bags and were whisked away onto platform ten.
"Ugh, I hate apparition. It makes me want to hurl," I said, actually woozy.
"Just take a minute before you go on the platform. Let Lily and Alice go first." I waited for Lily and Alice to go through, while stabilizing myself, when I was pushed over by a couple of huge kids. That was it. The marauders were here.
"Hey! Watch where you're going freaks!" All four heads turn around simultaneously, and I laugh silently at their freaky synchronization.
"Dorcas," James said, smmiling brightly. He was the first to come over and help me up. We embraced and my smile was back. Oh, these guys.
"Hello Dorcas," said Remus politely. We embraced quickly. "It's good to see you." I smiled back at him.
"You too, Moony."
"Hey Dorcas," Peter said timidly, putting his arms around my shoulders quickly.
"Peter. Doing well?" I questioned.
"I had a great summer," he answered, smiling crookedly.
"Doe!" Sirius said, grabbing me from my embrace with Peter. My legs swung around before he let me down.
"Leave me alone!" I exclaimed, pushing him off of me. "I think you're still harboring some of that flu you had last year. You look horrible." He cracked a smile, but I think he knew I wasn't joking. He really did look sick. Nevertheless, he attacked me again in a ferocious hug. I peeled myself off of him and said,
"Let's go, you tossers. I'm not allowed to miss the train this year." I led the way and went on to the platform. Lily and Alice must have assumed I would find my own way to their compartment, so they went on and left without me. They walked ahead and went through the wall to the train, even though I had stopped to tie my shoe. I realized I was taking way too long to tie my shoe when the clock chimed eleven and the train began to take off.
"Fuck! Buggering shit!" I was walking around frantically, wondering what I would do about Harley, when she got a note that I wasn't at Hogwarts. Then, all of a sudden I was surrounded by huge arms and I heard a whisper in my ear.
"Hold on tight." I knew that voice, too well. The one that gave me chills in the night and sometimes actually scared me. I opened my eyes to the inside of a compartment with some 7th year Ravenclaws in it. I turned around and slapped my attacker. How dare he embarrass me in front of 7th years? God I hate him.
"Don't ever touch me again, Nick."
"There used to be a time when you asked me to touch you. Begged, actually. Sometimes screamed." He had whispered that last part into my ear, but I heard it. I also heard his friends snickering. I turned to face him.
"The only reason I'm not hitting you again is because you got me on the train. And let's make it clear that it was you who begged for me." I walked out of the compartment, my head held high, and of course he just had to talk back.
"At least I'm not the virgin, Doe! Little Bambi is so precious." I whipped out my wand and turned around, stalking back towards him, when an arm reached out of a compartment and pulled me inside. The marauders were all sitting in their respective corners, except for Remus, who had saved me. Admittedly, attempting to attack five seventh years might not have been that bright, but hey. The Virgin Doe? As if I hadn't heard that one before.
"Do you really think it was smart to attack five seventh years? Who are all Ravenclaws!" Remus was too logical. I thought of all sides of the equation.
"At least they weren't Slytherins, am I right?" Peter, Sirius, and James all nodded, Remus just shaking his head.
"So boys what's up," I asked, grabbing a licorice wand. I plopped down between Peter and Sirius, my head hanging off the seat, my legs in the air.
"You're gonna get hurt like that stupid." Sirius was such a pessimist. Although, he had nothing on me.
"Hey, I happen to be very agile."
"Oh really?" I nodded my head up and down, my bangs flying around annoyingly. He pushed my legs down while still reading his stupid little newspaper. I tumbled down and ended up scraping my knees. I also had new splinters to remove. Great. I sat up on the floor, very disgruntled.
"There was no call for violence!"
"You signed the waiver first year Dorcas. Any injuries that happen in our compartment we cannot be held responsible for," Peter so kindly reminded me.
"Thanks," I spat at him. "Now does anyone know where the civil people are? Alice and Lily?" No one answered me, typically. I sighed realizing that only one person would know where they really are.
"They're in the compartment two down from this one to the right. They're in the one with the emergency exit, number 102." That boy is seriously creepy.
"Okay, I'll catch up with you later then," I said. I looked up to see that no one had so much as flinched.
"I'm scratching my butt?" Again silence. "My top's off?" All I got from that were a few grumbles and unintelligible grunts.
"Ugh, fine. Be that way." I left and almost walked into the poor trolley lady. Old cranky bitch. I put on my 'Lily smile'.
"I'm so sorry."
"That's quite fine dear. Anything from the trolley?" I grimaced at her, smelling her old lady perfume. I was suffocated.
"No thanks, I'm full right now." As I was about to enter the compartment, I added something.
"And by the way, lay off on the perfume. It could kill someone in close quarters." She opened her mouth to answer, a little offended. I amended my sentence to make it sound like a compliment.
"On the other hand, if you're about to be murdered it's a good weapon!" I slipped inside the cabin before she could answer or get me in trouble.
"There you are Dorcas, we were so worried!" Oh great, here we go.
"Thanks Hestia. How've you been?"
"My grandmother died over the summer, actually." My eyes froze. I had no idea how to answer that.
"It's okay, though. We knew it was coming."
"How does that make it okay," I screamed, exasperated.
She's just tired, Hestia. It's not your fault," Alice said, saving me.
"Oh sorry, Dorcas. We'll be quiet," she said, nodding at Marlene. Well, that didn't help. I wish she would just tell me I was being insensitive, just once. I stared at her for a few more seconds, making sure she was serious. I shook my head and turned to Lily.
"So guess where I was?" She didn't even look up from her newest book to answer.
"How do you know," I asked. She folded the corner of her page and sighed.
"We all know you end up there eventually. So, actually, I wasn't all that scared." We can always count on Lily to be logical.
"Well there's more to it than that," I said, turning my nose up. Being predictable wasn't one of my proudest traits.
"Yeah?" I had her, she seemed interested now. Once Lily heard about something, she had to know about it.
I looked around. I don't completely trust Hestia and Marlene.
"Why don't we go to the loo?" Lily nodded discreetly and Alice's head popped up. She knew going to the loo on the train was code for gossip. I gave her a look and she understood to stay and watch the others. Lily and I got up and started down the hallway to the compartment that only fit two people comfortably. It was always empty.
"So? What possibly could have happened in those twenty minutes?" Oh great, she was enthused already. Perhaps I had built this up a tad much. I ignored her and opened the door. We shuffled inside and locked it.
"Okay, so you know how I, once again, barely made it on the train?" She nodded encouraging me to go on. "Well I was just standing in front of the barrier when the clock chimed eleven. To be honest, I don't know how the marauders got on either, but that's not important. I was standing on the platform, absolutely freaking out when someone grabbed me from behind." At this she looked shock, but didn't interrupt.
"So they said something to me, I don't really know exactly what, but I knew the voice." She finally understood and took my hand in consolation. I shoved her off. I really do hate human contact. "So after we apparated, I turned around and slapped him right in the face. Then there were, other things said, wands drawn, but the point is, he touched me! God I hate him so much!"
'Wait a second, wands drawn? No one was dueling, correct?"
"Yes, yes Lily. All magic was stowed safely in our wands."
"Okay then, what else did you say? Or he say?"
"Well, he said, and I quote, 'There used to be a time when you asked me to touch you. Begged, actually. Sometimes screamed.'"
"He didn't!" I nodded slowly.
"Then I said, ' The only reason I'm not hitting you again is because you got me on the train. And let's make it clear that it was you who begged for me.'"
"Wow," she mumbled, "Good line."
"Yeah, thanks. And that's where it got a bit messy. He said something about a virgin doe, and I got all threaten-y with the wand."
"Are you hurt? He is a seventh year, you know!"
"No, Remus saved me."
"What?" Oh, I hadn't explained that.
"After I was going back at Nick, Remus pulled me and I've already been scolded, so you can save the riot act."
"Oh thank god Remus is sensible." I wish I had brought Alice, too. She would've congratulated me for being so bold. Whatever, Lily. The lights started to flicker and Lily looked up.
"Looks like it's time to go change." When we got back to the compartment we found that everyone had already changed.
We changed quickly and there was a knock on the cabin. Hestia, who was closest to the, creaked it open and said, "Hello," in that quiet voice of hers. The next we heard was, 'Oh, it's you,' and then the door opened fully. Of course, she was the only one that would let Nick in. He turned to me automatically and the others shrank back into their seats.
"Yes? Anything you wish to add," I asked mockingly. He looked frustrated for a second, but pushed it away and forced a smile.
"Will you come with me? I have to talk to you." I crossed my arms over my stomach.
"Oh for heaven's sake, move," he said, grabbing my arm in the process. He took me down to the end of the train before I stopped him. Ignoring my aversion to human contact, I put my hands on his chest.
"You need to stop this," I said. Confusing him.
"Stop what? We haven't done anything."
"It might come as a shock to you, but I was actually hoping not to have to speak with you all year."
"That hurts, Doe. It truly does," he said, feigning chest pains. I stood there, clearly doubting him.
"Seriously though, we should talk."
"Alright, we're well confined. What is it you just need to say?"
"I'm sorry," he said. I'm sorry, he said.
"Okay thanks, then." I shoved him out of the way as the train came to a slow stop.
"Wait, that can't be it," he said, grabbing me back to him. Kids started filing out, and he rolled his eyes and dragged me into an empty compartment.
"Why? I don't care what you're sorry for! This is done please."
"This is done please isn't a sentence," he said and I gave him a look.
"But that's not important! What is, is that I still love you." I laughed automatically as I heard that.
"Done with waiting for the 'Virgin Doe' as you so quaintly put it, is the highlight of our relationship. Bye." I left the compartment, very satisfied and walked out to the platform.
This was going to be a bad year, I knew it.
I took out the soap and sniffed it daintily. Ahh, that's better.