Lovely image by Magic_Pheonix!
(You may have already seen this. Explanation at the bottom)
One Month Later.
He stopped talking to me. He stayed away from me.
But he didn’t stay away from or avoid anyone else. He was always there during meals, classes, and when we were just hanging out.
But then he began to disappear. His voice vanished from conversation. His laugh wasn’t among the others when someone told a joke. Soon his name seemed almost dangerous to say, so no one did. No one talked about what happened either, and I didn’t question it. If he stayed away, I was safe; all of us were safe.
It started two weeks ago that I noticed James missing from the table and all conversations. I didn’t dare ask because everyone seemed on edge. Freddie sounds like he’s ready to curl up in a ball and die. Anna is living in the belief that everything is ok, and as a result talks way too enthusiastic.
Polly and Pierce are holding onto each other like they are the next ones to go. Dom is quiet. Trust me, that’s worrying enough. And Charlie and Kate still can’t be in a room together.
Every time we ask Kate or Charlie what is going on they say some excuse and run in the opposite direction. Kate once turned her curtains into stone so we couldn’t talk to her about it.
It’s exhausting trying to keep up.
I hope that just for today, today please, that everyone is normal. Just for today is all I ask then we can go back to our weird ways.
“Happy birthday!” Anna cheered hugging Isa tightly from behind. February 10th. It’s my birthday. My 17th birthday.
“You’re of age now!”
“Yea I am,” Isa said smiling. The Great Hall was louder than usual for breakfast that day, and of course Anna’s voice rose above them all. Freddie looked longingly at Anna and then looked grumpily at his plate when she ignored him.
“It’s your birthday?” Dom said astonished.
“Yep. I’m 17 today,” Isa said nonchalantly.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Freddie asked his head snapping up to glare at her while sounding very offended.
Isa shrugged. “I never did anything for my birthday for the last 5 years, so it didn’t really occur to me to tell you.”
Anna sat down next to Isa and nodded fast. “She told us when her birthday was when she was at her first Meddlers meeting. Remember? No? Well I remember because it was the day before Ja—well you know.” Anna cleared her throat and bit her bread.
“Oh yea, I remember,” Dom said thinking.
“What’s happening?” Polly asked. She and Pierce walked up hand in hand and sat down next to Freddie.
“Its Isa’s birthday,” Freddie said.
Polly looked wide-eyed at Isa. “Really?” Isa nodded. “I didn’t get you a present!”
“That’s ok, I—”
“I DID!” Anna screeched into Isa’s ear. Several people looked around at Anna and gave her disgusted looks. Anna took out a paper bag from under the table and placed it in front of Isa.
It was a blue bag with a giant pink bow on top. Anna had written “Happy Birthday Isa” on the side and covered it in stickers.
I haven’t received a birthday present from anyone besides Mum, Dad, Taylor, and Mason ever. My extended family really weren’t involved in our life at all. I never met anyone on my mum’s side and only met my dad’s dad once when I was three.
But this year I got a present from Anna. I could care less that the rest of them didn’t, it’s not like I gave them fair warning. The simple fact that someone remembered from so long ago makes me want to cry.
But I won’t. Everyone would freak out, and then chaos would ensue.
“Err—could you open it for me?” Isa asked nervously.
Anna placed a hand over her heart and looked happily at Isa. “You want me to open your present? I’m so honoured!” Anna gingerly took the monstrous bow off the top and placed the giant bow on Dom’s head. Dom slapped Anna on the arm and threw the bow into a bowl of scrambled eggs. Anna rubbed her arm and ignored Dom’s angry grumblings. She opened the bag and reached inside and took out a hat. It was a black and white speckled knit hat. Anna gave to Isa and Isa ran her fingers over the carefully knitted fabric.
“A hat?” Isa asked.
Anna smiled at her and nodded. “Yea. My mum made it. She had my dad enchant it to smell like vanilla.” Isa smiled and smelled the hat. Oh Merlin. I love the smell of vanilla.
“I know it’s not much and it’s kind of a shitty ‘congrats! You’re of age!’ gift, but—”
“I love it,” Isa said kneading the knitted hat in between her fingers. She smiled at the softness, and then she tugged it on her head. The hat was perfectly sized. It came right over my ears and crossed through the middle of my forehead. The vanilla aroma surrounded me and I breathed in deeply.
“So Isa,” Freddie said taking a drink of water. “You are the birthday girl today. What do you fancy doing to celebrate?”
Isa sat for a second. She pressed her lips together in a hard line thinking about what she wanted to do. I am really not one for huge celebrations. I never celebrated my birthday at all before, and I’d really just rather do something low key. Or not celebrate at all...
What to do? What to do?
“I call a Meddlers meeting,” Isa said drumming her hands on the table.
“A Meddlers meeting?” Polly asked. “For what?”
“For what?” Dom said before Isa could say anything. “I wonder what we could possibly talk about Polly.”
“Glennie?” Anna asked. No one responded for they all knew the answer. A silent threat had been present ever since that night nearly a month ago. Since then, they’ve been too scared to do anything.
“It’s about time we did something,” Isa said firmly. “And I have a couple ideas.”
Freddie cheered and smiled happily at Isa. “I love when you have ideas!” Freddie pointed at Isa and the others smiled.
“Someone needs to find Kate and Charlie and tell them,” Pierce said.
“I’ll do it!” Dom volunteered. “I have class with them next.”
“As do I, cousin dearest,” Freddie snapped. Dom rolled her eyes.
“So 5 o’clock then?” Isa said. Everyone made some type of noise that made Isa believe that they agreed. Or were at least listening. “Now go to class,” Isa commanded.
“Yes ma’am birthday girl!” Pierce said standing suddenly and saluting. Isa chuckled and stood up. Linking arms with Anna they exited the Hall with Isa still wearing her new hat.
I was walking down the corridor after potions. This was the time James used to walk with me, but since he dropped off the face of the Earth, I have fallen back into my old ways of counting my steps.
I must say that I am very impressed that I did this for so long. It’s bloody annoying and rather confusing. I can do it, yes I can. But it’s just harder than just walking with someone.
But today, when I heard this voice, a smile threatened to break my face and a huge wave of relief spread across my body. Happiness filled every part of me and I felt a presence that had been missing for nearly two months.
“Taylor!” Isa said stopping and turning around to her voice.
Taylor stopped in front of her sister and huffed a few times trying to catch her breath. I would tell her that she’s out of shape, but I don’t want her taking it the wrong way and leaving me again.
“Taylor, I’ve actually been meaning to talk to you,” Isa said after Taylor calmed her breathing. Taylor straightened out and studied Isa.
“Me too,” said Taylor guiltily. “I’ve just been thinking about New Years.”
“Me too.” Isa turned her head to the floor not daring to look up. She was scared Taylor would see the absolute heartbreak on her face. But Taylor felt the same; she felt as bad as Isa did.
“Isa,” Taylor said as though she was tired. “I don’t know what to say.” Taylor sniffed then threw her arms around her sister’s neck. “I’m sorry and happy birthday!” she cried into Isa’s shoulder.
“Taylor! You should not be sorry at all! I was being so stupid. I don’t know why I didn’t tell you. I just wanted you to have a great holiday.” Isa gently wrapped her arms around Taylor’s waist.
“Merlin! I’m the idiot that didn’t talk to you for almost two months! I don’t even know why I didn’t talk to you. Yes, you lied, but that’s not the first time you lied to me!” Taylor and Isa started walking down the corridor.
“Well I’m still really sorry about that. I should have told you. And then the fire—”
“I was such a bitch!” Taylor said suddenly stopping them. She grabbed Isa’s arm and Isa turned towards her. “I told you that you were that reason Donny is dead!”
I had half forgotten about that. I was so focused on my discretions against Taylor, that I had totally ignored what broke me into pieces. Ignored and wanted to forget completely.
Isa didn’t respond. Her eyes grew whiter and she looked down at the floor.
“Isa I didn’t mean it. Donny's death was an accident. I wanted to drive too, and—and,” Taylor sniffed loudly, “I miss him too. It’s not your fault. At all.” Her voice was strong and steady.
“Thanks,” Isa said weakly looking at Taylor with a small smile on her face.
“I have a present for you too. Mum and Dad sent it about a week ago with a letter telling me that I couldn’t stay mad forever and other stuff like that,” Taylor said with a wave of her hand. Taylor brought out a box from her bag and opened it carefully. “This is mum’s locket. Heart shaped and rather beautiful. She put a small picture of Donny inside for you.” My coming of age present.
Taylor gently took Isa’s hand and placed the locket in it. Isa curled her fingers around it and touched the smooth metal. This feels exactly like something Mum would give me. Simple and beautiful. It’s meaningful and thoughtful. I’m allowed one cliché moment on my birthday right? Because having a picture of Donny in the locket just makes him closer to my heart.
Ok cliché moment over, but it will feel nice to always know he is nearby. Standing with the locket and my sister whom I haven’t spoken to in over two months has made me realize how miserable I have been. The fall out with Taylor and what she said had broken me almost completely. It tore me away from my family and tarnished my last memories of my best friend. The deal with James is just so far beyond me that I have given up.
I lost two best friends and a sense of self. Pushing all of those thoughts out of my head, I stepped forward and hugged Taylor tightly.
Taylor immediately hugged Isa back. “You ok?” Taylor asked quietly pulling away from their hug.
“I’m fine.” Isa smiled wiping a rogue tear from her cheek. “Thank you.”
The bell chimed loudly. “Oh shit, we’re late.”
“Unfortunately we are. I love you Tay.”
“I love you Belle. Happy birthday.” Taylor wrapped Isa in a hug again before running in the opposite direction. Isa smiled and looped the necklace around her neck and she continued down the corridor to her next class.
“Welcome Meddlers!” Freddie announced. They were in the Room of Requirement for their Meddler meeting regarding a squeaky voiced menace.
Like always, the room was different than it was before. The room looked as though they were in some hut made of bamboo and the table was entirely glass, glass so clear that it appeared their papers and book bags were floating. Their chairs were simple stools with spinning seats.
“Pierce! Can you bloody stop spinning?” Freddie said angrily. Pierce stopped momentarily and smiled deviously at him.
“These chairs spin?” Isa asked excitedly. Soon everyone was spinning except for an angry Freddie. It’s my birthday, I can do what I want.
Plus spinning chairs are awesome. Oh shit. I’m getting dizzy. Stopping now.
In hindsight, spinning that quickly was a bad idea. But I’m 17, I can spin on a chair if I want to.
“Do you want to bring down the witch or not?” Freddie said. Everyone stopped spinning and nodded. “Ok good. Now the floor is open for ideas.”
“Birthday girl first!” Kate piped up. Oh Merlin no!
“Isa? You got anything?” Freddie asked posed at the chalkboard. I want other people to go first. I hate being the first one and feeling like an idiot when everyone else goes and their ideas are far superior to mine.
I hate being the first for anything! Someone had to blow out one birthday candle when I was younger because I was afraid I would do it wrong.
I can’t even see the birthday candles, and yet I would insist.
“Someone else go,” Isa said turning on her seat slightly.
Anna laughed. “Isa’s aversion to going first strikes again! I’ll go!” Anna cleared her throat. “What if we use Polyjuice potion to change one of you into James, and have her catch ‘James’ snogging someone else?”
Freddie wrote a summary on the board. “I don’t know,” Polly said. “That’s not really James though.”
“James may be a ladies man,” Charlie said. “But he doesn’t cheat on them.”
“He’s more of a snog and dump kind of guy,” Pierce said nodding.
“He sounds like a lovely character when you put it like that,” Kate said rolling her eyes. Pierce shrugged.
“It’s the truth. There’s something about Glennie that’s keeping him around,” Pierce said scratching his head. “Something—err—magical.”
“Are you suggesting Glennie has been slipping love potions into his food?” Freddie asked.
“It’s possible,” Dom said. “Think about it. Do you really think James would just abandon us? For her? I mean if it was someone like Isa I would get it.”
“Me?” Isa said incredulously. “Why me?”
“Because you’re cool! Glennie’s a bitch,” Dom said. “Glennie wouldn’t get on with the rest of our family. But you have Peeves in your control. Even Uncle George and Fred couldn’t do that!” Thanks, I guess.
“Anyways!” Freddie said. “Kate?”
“Hire first years to profess their love for her?” she said after thinking for a second.
“What?” Pierce said. “Hire first years? That has got to be the craziest—”
“Not craziest, Pierce.” Charlie interrupted Pierce and looked at Kate with an eyebrow cocked. “Maybe the stupidest. Smartest witch in the entire school and you come up with that? I thought you were better than that.”
“It was just an idea,” Kate said shrugging acting as though Charlie’s jab didn’t affect her. “All rough ideas are stupid.”
“Actually I think it’s mostly yours that are. Weren’t you the one that suggested that we set the Slytherin common room on fire?” Charlie leaned forward glaring at Kate.
Kate rolled her eyes at him. “No actually. I think that was you.”
“No that was me,” Freddie said but was ignored by both.
“Just admit your ideas are stupid!” Charlie yelled.
“My ideas are not stupid!” Kate yelled back. “Smartest witch in the school is not some fake award like your fittest bloke award. Oh wait you weren’t even the fittest. You can in—what?—fourth?”
“At least I wouldn’t get the drabbest date award,” Charlie snapped. “McLaggen was complaining for weeks!”
“Excuse me but—”
“Alright that’s it!” Isa yelled over their angry voices. Kate and Charlie stopped arguing and turned towards Isa. Everyone looked at Isa with similar look of surprise. Isa was frowning and glaring at Kate and Charlie.
“You guys,” Isa said standing up and placing her hands on the table, “have got to stop fighting! Now you have no where to run, and before we continue, you two are telling us what happened.”
“But—” Kate started.
“No,” Dom cut across. “Isa’s right. What happened to you two?”
Kate and Charlie exchanged glances, the first time they actually looked at each other in over a month where they didn’t look angry.
“Alright,” Kate sighed looking away from Charlie. “It started before the quidditch game, you know the one I’m talking about.” Everyone nodded as Charlie stared down at his thumbs, twiddling them as though it was the most important thing. Kate continued, “Well that day I was wearing a necklace, a necklace that has been in my family for several centuries.”
“I don’t like the sound of this,” mumbled Anna.
Kate ignored her and continued talking. “Well as Charlie and I were walking down, the clasp of the necklace got caught on my scarf and I stupidly tugged it trying to separate the two, and the necklace broke. Snapped clean off my neck.” Kate rubbed her neck where a necklace would lay and sighed. “Luckily I noticed it right away, but I didn’t have any pockets that zipped.”
“And that’s where I come in,” Charlie said leaning forward. “She gave me the necklace and I zipped it in my jacket pocket.”
“Like hell you did,” Kate hissed at him.
Charlie made a face at her and turned back to the group. “I did. I promise. So later on during the party, Kate comes up to me, piss drunk, and demands for the necklace back. I reach into my jeans, and it’s not there.”
“Wait—” Polly said before Charlie could continue. “You said jeans this time.”
“And why would you have your jacket with you at the party anyways?” Dom asked scratching her head. Charlie looked around wide-eyed.
“You didn’t put it in your jacket did you?” Kate screeched pointing a finger at Charlie.
Charlie looked around panicked for a second. He let out a big breath and rubbed his eyes. “Fine so there might be a slight possibility that I didn’t put it in my jacket pocket like I told you I did.”
“HA!” Kate said triumphantly.
“So you’re mad at each other because he lost your necklace?” Isa asked.
“Precious family heirloom more like it,” Kate grumbled sitting back down. “And now that he admitted to it—”
“I didn’t admit anything! Will you stop accusing me of everything?” Charlie complained. He slouched lower in his seat and glared moodily at the table.
“I’ll stop accusing you when you stop being guilty,” Kate snapped.
So here are the facts:
Kate had a necklace that was a precious family heirloom that she accidentally broke.
She gives said necklace to Charlie for safekeeping.
Charlie loses necklace.
Kate asks for it back and Charlie can’t find it.
Arguments ensue over the truth of what happened to the necklace, and as a result their friendship falls apart.
Over a necklace. They are mental. Completely mental.
“Can’t you just accio it?” Freddie asked.
“It has protective enchantments on it,” Kate sighed. “It’s gone. My mum and dad are going to kill me!”
“They might understand,” Polly said.
Kate shook her head sadly. “The necklace is worth over 10,000 galleons. I’m dead.”
“10,000 galleons?” Freddie shrieked jumping to his feet. “And you were just wearing it around?”
Kate opened her mouth and closed it. Open. Close. Open. Close. Etc etc.
“Well I know not to do that now!” she protested. Freddie slammed his head into the palm of his hand and Pierce shook his head shamefully. The girls sighed exasperatedly and exchanged looks. “It’s not like I haven’t been looking! I’ve been out almost every single night.”
“Wait, Charlie’s been mysteriously missing as well. Is that where you were every night?” Pierce asked Charlie, who nodded in response.
“You went out looking?” Kate asked shocked staring at Charlie incredulously.
“Of course I went out looking,” he snapped. “I felt awful! You are, were, my best friend and I had just acted so carelessly. Of course I went out and bloody looked for the damn thing. Did you think that I just let it go?”
Kate’s mouth fell open. “I—I—I don’t know what I thought,” she stammered quietly. It was quiet as Kate cast her eyes down and looked a bit ashamed. Charlie folded his arms and huffed. There was no noise except for the flickering of the fire in the corner.
“Well,” Isa said finally sitting up a bit straighter in the wooden chair, “it’s good we finally talked about this, yea?”
“I mean I thought they snogged,” Freddie said shrugging. Kate and Charlie looked at him appalled.
“I would never snog this ungrateful git!” Kate exclaimed flourishing her hand in Charlie’s direction.
“I’m ungrateful? Really Kate, really?” he said giving her a look of mock disbelief. “Hypocrite.”
“I may be a hypocrite, but at least I’m not liar.” She smirked and flipped her hair before settling back in her seat. Charlie’s nostrils flared angrily.
His lips curled up in a smile that looked to be borderline cruel and he stood up. He popped his hip out and placed a hand on it. “I’m Kate,” he said in a fake high voice. “I’m smart and I’m pretty.” He walked around the table in a ridiculous form of a strut. “I wear 10,000 galleon necklaces. But when someone,” he grabbed the back of Kate’s chair and rocked it back on the hind legs, “accidentally loses it. I will automatically assume they’re out to get me.” He dropped the chair back down roughly. Kate gripped the table looking alarmed.
Charlie giggled several times and strutted back to his chair.
“What did I just witness?” Dom said.
“I think I’ve gone blind,” Polly said. “Isa you’re not alone!”
“I need to wash my eyeballs,” Freddie mumbled rubbing his eyes.
Kate stood up just then. “Oh no,” Anna said.
“Mates,” she said in a low voice slouching down. “I’m Charlie. I don’t do much besides eat and sleep.” Kate began walking around the table to Charlie with a saunter made to show off muscles. “I lie to my best friend, but that’s not a big deal! No!” She finally made it to Charlie’s chair, but she didn’t just hold on to the back of the chair; she climbed into his lap like he was Santa. “I mean,” she wrapped her arms around his neck, “why have the trust of a friend when you can have great hair?”
Charlie stood up and Kate fell to the floor. She stood up rubbing her lower back and glared at him.
“I’m sorry alright?” Charlie said glaring back at her.
Kate expression softened briefly and she tried unsuccessfully to mask her shock.
“I was careless and stupid. I didn’t put the necklace where I should. I thought it was any old necklace so it didn’t matter if I zipped it safely. I thought, ‘hey we can just accio it if it falls out’, but fuck!” Charlie said angrily running a hand through his hair.
Kate had shrunken back as he talked, and Charlie towered over her glaring. The rest of them sat awkwardly around the table watching.
“I think the plan is fine,” Charlie said harshly not taking his eyes off of Kate. He then pushed back his chair and walked out of the Room of Requirement.
Kate stood up and brushed herself off. “I—err—agree,” she said sitting in Charlie’s vacant seat. “The plan sounds good.”
No one responded. Kate sounded sad and broken. She might have realized what she’s been saying really has taken a toll of Charlie.
Recently talking to Charlie has been like talking to a child. Avoiding something he doesn’t want to talk about, not acknowledging its existence, and not making an effort to right it.
Obviously I was mistaken about not making an effort. Charlie’s been going out every night just as Kate has. He’s desperate to find it because he misses his best friend and he knows he screwed up, but until about 2 minutes ago, he was too proud to say anything.
Kate left soon after and left the rest of us in silence.
“What plan?” Polly finally asked. Freddie shrugged.
“We should probably wrap this up,” Isa said tracing her finger along the table’s smooth edge.
“Yea. We need to talk to Kate about,” Dom said making a gesture at the surrounding room, “you know—all of this.”
“I actually have an idea,” Isa said scooting forward in her chair. Everyone around the table turned and looked at Isa. “Have you ever heard of Peeves the Poltergeist?”
“So did you talk to Peeves?” Dom asked Isa the next day. Yes I did. It was very interesting. Peeves took my asking him as permission to pelt James with water balloons sporadically all day. Not what I meant.
Then I talked to him again, and this time I clarified. He’s very excited.
“Yep. One week,” Isa said.
“One week for what?” Charlie came up to them. He wedged his way in between them and threw his arms over their shoulders.
“Peeves,” Dom said. Charlie nodded knowingly.
“Isa, library?” Charlie asked. Isa nodded and Dom waved goodbye.
We walked together in comfortable silence. Charlie occasionally pointed out things I couldn’t see. He enjoys describing things to me and he is rather good at it. He knows I don’t really know what things look like, but he still does it.
It’s kind of sweet if I’m going to be honest. Also if I’m going to be honest, I think he and Kate would make a good couple. I half hoped they were sneaking around, but alas not all of my cliché teenage fantasies come true.
We made it to the library and set our stuff down, and soon after Charlie disappeared. A chair scraped back after about 10 minutes.
“You know,” Isa said not waiting for him to talk, “it’s not polite to just ditch someone.”
“I would never ditch you.” Isa stopped reading for a moment before lifting the book in front of her face.
“What are you doing here?” she asked. My voice came out higher and slightly scared. Maybe just really surprised.
“I came to talk to you,” James said leaning forward.
Isa didn’t look up from her book. I wasn’t interested in what he had to say to me. I really saw no point in him being here.
I told him exactly that without looking up.
“There is so a point in being here!” he cried sounding offended. “It was your birthday yesterday!”
“Key word being yesterday. James, you haven’t talked to me in a month!” Isa finally looked up and grey eyes met green. “Your girlfriend locked me in a closet and then you stop talking to me!”
“I know, I know! Sorry about that.”
He’s saying sorry? Excuse while I roll my eyes dramatically at him. I could hear him laugh nervously and I knew he was running a hand through his hair.
“That was a weird thing to say,” James said rubbing his hand across his face. Isa nodded and looked back down at the book in front of her. “I’m sorry, I just—I just don’t know what to say.”
A hand grabbed the back of James’ chair and tugged it back. James stood up quickly.
“James,” Charlie said sitting down next to James. James looked at Charlie with a slightly frightened look on his face. Salvation thy name is Charles Turner.
“I need to go,” James said awkwardly. “Happy Birthday Isa.”
Then I remembered. I remembered something that made me feel awful. I wish I had remembered, even after everything happened.
“Happy Birthday James,” Isa said quietly as James left. James paused as he turned the bookcase and cracked half a smile before leaving.
The sweet sound of revenge. It’s like music to my ears. It’s like a fountain of Nutella. A puppy with the softest fur that accidentally steps on your face when you’re playing with it, and you should be mad, but it’s just too freaking adorable so you’re not.
“Glennie stop screeching, it’s just a rug.”
“JUST A RUG? JUST A RUG? ARRRGGGHHHHH!”
“This bint,” Pierce said massaging his temples. Polly rubbed his shoulder affectionately. “This better be worth it.”
“Come on,” Freddie said, “she can’t put up with Peeves fucking with her life forever.”
Glennie stormed into the Great Hall at that moment covered in chocolate syrup. James was behind her walking awkwardly. Behind them, a rug inched its way around them and placed itself right in front of Glennie. She stepped on it and the rug pulled itself from under her, and she crashed to the ground.
“James looks miserable,” Dom said placing her chin in her hand.
Leaving Glennie’s destruction up to Peeves was brilliant. It was. We didn’t need to come up with any crazy shit and Peeves had fun. Although I’m not sure how he was able to enchant random inanimate objects to chase her around. The chocolate was also brilliant.
“Looks like she can’t get the chocolate off,” Kate said. Laughter erupted throughout the Great Hall as Glennie tried spell after spell. Trying to make it disappear made it plaster onto her arm.
Glennie cried in frustration. Basically our plan was to unleash Peeves against Glennie. We’re hoping that James will be fed up with her whining and her voice that makes children cry and just break up with her.
Please! Make the screeching stop!
Oh no. No. It just got worse.
Peeves flew into the Great Hall cackling. He started singing, “James is a tool for putting up with this fool,” more cackling, “Don’t settle, come on Jamesie! Meddle!”
Basically a song asking James to break up with Glennie. Peeves is secretly a poetic genius, except it’s not secret. Bring it up and Peeves will actually throw everything you love into the lake. Taylor smelled like the Black Lake for two weeks.
Glennie screamed again as Peeves dumped a bucket of newts on her head. “Bloody fuck!” she screamed. “James! Control him!” She pointed angrily at Peeves who was yelling his poetic break up chant.
James sputtered glancing between Peeves and Glennie. He glanced over to the table where Isa and the others sat before looking back at Glennie.
Glennie was wiggling uncomfortably as a newt squirmed its way down her shirt. She squealed as three climbed out of her hood and on top of her head. “This is all their fault!” she roared pointing at the Meddlers. They looked around innocently before Glennie stormed out of the room. James followed after with Peeves right behind him.
“Should we go after them?” Polly asked as Peeves looped out of the room.
“Nah,” Pierce said. “Peeves is just getting started.”
Over the next two days, Peeves stole all of Glennie’s clothes, bleached her hair, and dumped some sort of gooey slop in her shoes. Peeves left the Meddlers out of his little rhymes thankfully.
Then after three days of pestering, Peeves let our names slip.
“Gleninny!” he screeched. Glennie’s scream filled the room again, and according to Dom, this time she had gym socks dumped on her. Peeves is big into dumping disgusting things on people. “That’s from the Meddlers!” Peeves screeched as he flew away. Dom grabbed my arm and began running in the opposite direction.
“She knows and she is not happy,” Dom said finally able to breath. Isa scratched her head.
“Fuck,” she said. “Peeves you dick!” Isa yelled into the air. Glennie now knows we are the ones ordering the attack. She now knows whom to blame. She now knows who to take her revenge out on, and it’s not going to be pretty.
“What should we do?” Dom said.
“Warn everyone and hide?” she suggested. Isa nodded and Dom looped arms with her again. They walked down the hallway cautiously, Dom looked around corners and Isa kept a sharp ear out for Glennie’s voice.
That night at dinner, they got there early. I don’t know why we bothered to go early. Dinner is served to everyone at one time, so it made no sense.
“We are alone,” Freddie hissed. “We’re like sitting ducks.”
“Freddie’s right,” Anna said looking cautiously at the door. Several students past, but there were no sign or Glennie, Peeves, or James. “She could come in at any moment.”
“I have a good source that said she is in the Ravenclaw common room right now,” Pierce said looking up from his doodle.
“Good source? Who?” Dom asked.
“Just a good source. Reliable. Trust me we’re fine for another,” he glanced at his watch, “12 minutes.”
“Twelve minutes?” Polly asked. “Who in Merlin’s name is your source?” Pierce shook his head and closed his lips tighter. “Pierce,” Polly said sternly.
“Someone close to her,” Pierce said looking up.
“You’ve been talking to James haven’t you?!” Charlie exclaimed pointing a finger at Pierce. Pierce ground his teeth together for a second before nodding slowly. “Mate!”
“He came to me alright!” Pierce defended as some students began to trickle in. “He was miserable. Glennie’s been driving him up the wall. But he was too scared to break up with her because he was afraid that he lost us forever!”
“But why you?” Dom said.
“Oi!” Pierce said and Dom shrugged. “He came to me because he knew all the girls would just get mad at him because of what happened with Isa, Freddie is too busy trying to win back Anna,” Anna paled and Freddie slammed his head onto the table, “and Charlie is too busy ranting about Kate to hear anyone out!”
Does he not realize that by breaking up with Glennie he could have avoided the last miserable month?
“He wouldn’t have lost us forever if he had just broken up with Glennie,” Kate mumbled. “And let’s face it, he still hasn’t lost us forever.”
They turned to James who was standing warily a few feet away from them. He was paler than he had been. His messy hair was still as messy as it’s always been, but it didn’t seem to look the same next to his crestfallen face.
Freddie opened his mouth to speak, but he was cut off. “There you are!” Glennie shrieked stomping up to James and grabbing his face. James looked surprised and disgusted while she snogged him. Her skin was blue and it seemed as though a fake eyelash sat on her cheek. James pushed her away and wiped his mouth.
“Now you,” Glennie said coldly before snapping her head to the table seemingly unfazed by James’ obvious rejection of her snog. “I don’t know what the fuck your playing at, but it’s not working.”
“Playing at? Whatever do you mean?” Dom said innocently.
“Shut up slut.” Dom’s mouth dropped open. “Peeves has been after me for the last couple days and I know it’s because of you. The Meddlers are just so fucking clever.” She laughed sarcastically. “Is this revenge for locking your blind freak in a closet. Yes well she should have stayed there. The world would have been better off without her.”
I felt Freddie and Charlie loop protective arms around me. Glennie can’t hurt me. She can’t.
“You’re all so pathetic,” she snapped. “Protecting her like you’ve known her for years.”
“We have known her for years,” Anna said.
“No. As I recall you ignored her for years.” Everyone around the table paled slightly and looked at Isa. Freddie tightened his grip around Isa. “What’s so special about her? She’s pathetic,” No I’m not.
“She’s useless,” Don’t listen to her.
“And a huge waste of space.”
“Glennie, shut up.” Glennie looked surprised at James who was clutching his head as though he was in physical pain.
“You never talk to anyone like that, got it?” he said pointing at her. “Especially Isa.”
“Don’t talk to me like that! I’m your girlfriend,” Glennie yelled throwing her arms above her head. Several people looked at Glennie curiously before she glared at them.
“Like fuck I’d ever stay with you after what you just said,” James snapped. “I believed you. Trusted you. And they were right. Like always.” Glennie gaped at him, but didn’t leave. “Do us all a favour Glennie,” James said pushing past her, “and fuck off.”
Glennie screamed in frustration before turning and stomping in the opposite direction pushing two first years out of the way as she left. James left out a long breath before grabbing a bread roll. “I’m really sorry,” he said quietly to the table.
Freddie smiled and clapped him on the back. “Good to have you back mate!”
A few days later, the next Gryffindor quidditch match was scheduled.
“Good luck Anna!” Freddie called waving enthusiastically at her. She turned and smiled at Freddie and waved back. Freddie turned back to the group with a huge smile on his face and he sighed like a schoolgirl with a crush.
“How’s the plan going?” Isa asked with an amused smiled.
“Plan?” Polly asked moving closer to Pierce to shelter herself from the cold.
“Plan to make Anna fall in love with me again,” Freddie explained. “Be myself, is the gist of it. And good! We have been spending more time alone and it’s felt completely normal. We went for a midnight snack binge a few nights ago.”
“How romantic,” Dom said dryly. Freddie shot her a glare and a very specific finger.
“No it was nice. It wasn’t awkward, she wasn’t snapping at me, and it felt exactly how it was when we were dating. I just hope it’s working.” Freddie rubbed his gloves together and shivered.
“It is,” Isa said. Freddie stared at wide-eyed. “She’s come to me several times in the last week or two saying how nice you were and random jokes you told her that made her snort.”
“Congrats mate, sounds like you might be tied down again,” Pierce said clapping Freddie on the back. Freddie smiled stupidly and ran his hand through his hair.
“Come on,” Kate said. “We have to get our seats and you need to be in the changing room.”
“Before James makes your robes hot pink again,” Charlie said trying to stifle a laugh. Freddie shot him a glare before jogging to the Gryffindor changing rooms.
Polly tugged on Isa’s jacket sleeve and pulled her towards the stands. Kate stumbled after them. Dom had opted to sit with Lysander for the game and promised to meet up with them later.
“It’s great isn’t it?” Polly said breathing happily.
“What is?” Isa asked.
“Everyone is getting back together. The Meddlers are healing themselves,” Polly said.
“All except for Kate and Charlie that is,” Isa said. Kate scowled and huffed angrily. “You two are the only two holding out. James and I reconciled, Anna and Freddie are on the road to recovery, Dom isn’t hiding anymore, and Polly and Pierce are still in their honeymoon phase.”
“Oi! Oh wait—that’s very true,” Polly said giggling.
They settled into their seats and a few minutes later they were joined by Pierce and Charlie.
The stand were loud, but you could hear the whistles being blown to start the game. The players zoned around the pitch, students in the stands screamed, and teachers attempted to watch the game unbiased. But you could definitely see the triumphant in McGongall’s face as Gryffindor made another goal.
It felt good. All of us coming together as friends again. I know I keep saying it, but it was great! Having everyone mad at each other was awful and I would hate for anything else to happen—
There was a sharp tug on my arm and I snapped my head around to the cold voice in my ear.
“Don’t think this is over. James may not be mine, but I can make your lives miserable,” the unmistakable voice said. I ripped my arm out of Glennie’s grip. I was half confused why no one else had noticed her nearby and half angry about what she said.
“Is that a threat?” I said.
“Yup. As you may know, I’ve been planning.”
“I do know. What are you going to do? Lock me in a cupboard again?”
“Who says I’m targeting you?” I heard her move away and her footsteps walking back in the stands. I thought our dealing with Glennie was over and done with. She’s not dating James. She has no business with us. Leave us alone.
A week after the final banishment, everything had returned to normal. Well besides Kate and Charlie as they were still ignoring each other.
James returned to our table and I loved hearing him again. His laugh was as infectious as ever and his humour just the same.
That night at dinner the guys were late. The girls sat down and speculated where they could be.
“Skipped?” Anna offered. There was a resounding scoff around her. “Right. Silly of me.”
“Maybe they’re planning some ridiculous stunt?” Polly offered biting her dinner roll. Kate and Anna shrugged.
“It’s possible,” Kate said.
“Charlie still ignoring you?” Dom asked.
“Yep,” Kate said sadly casting her eyes downward.
“Wait there they are!” Polly said smiling and waving them down.
The guys spotted them and made their way over, Charlie leading the pack.
Charlie walked up to the table and placed a silver chain next to Kate’s plate and sat down next to her. She swallowed her food and looked at the chain. She slowly put her fork and knife down and picked up the chain.
A pendent hung down from the chain. It was a sparkling silver leaf with wisps of white circulating through it. Kate stared at it in disbelief. She lightly grazed the surface of the leaf with her thumb and looked at Charlie.
Charlie paid no attention to Kate at his right and instead picked up the spoon and scooped mashed potatoes on his plate.
“Is that—” Dom said disbelieving. Kate looked back at the leaf and nodded but she didn’t say anything. “You found it?” Dom asked Charlie.
“Yep,” Charlie said shortly as he inhaled the pile of food on his plate.
“Where’d you find it?” Kate said meekly.
“Quidditch shed. Must’ve fallen out when you pushed me into the snow.”
“Oh. Err—I’m sorry,” Kate said placing the necklace back on the table.
“Don’t worry about it. Last two months were pretty stupid anyways. Can you pass the butter?” Charlie said shrugging.
“Yep,” Kate said.
The rest of their friends watched this exchange. Kate and Charlie didn’t say anything else to each other; both just continued eating and occasionally reaching across the other to get salt or pepper.
“So wait,” Pierce said. “That’s it?”
“It what?” Kate asked.
“You two are fine now? No more fighting?” Polly asked.
“Yep,” Charlie said as Kate nodded.
“I got the necklace back and I apologized,” Kate said.
“Is this how it usually works with these two?” Isa asked.
“Well they’ve really not gotten upset at each other before, so we really don’t know,” James said eyeing Kate and Charlie nervously just as much as they rest of them were.
“I got the new Twitchin’ Witchin’ album last week,” Charlie said to Kate. Kate smiled.
“Lucky bastard,” she said glaring at him. “How is it?”
“It’s pretty decent. Oh there’s one song that I think you’ll really like. ‘Toad Mode’.” Charlie smiled slightly at the name and Kate laughed. “It’s about an animagus. You’ll like it.”
Kate smiled trying to stifle her laughter. “Alright, I’ll listen to it. I trust you.”
Charlie smiled broadly when she said this and she smiled shyly back at him before turning back to her food.
And just like that everything really was back to normal.
A/N: YAYYY NORMALNESS!
So are you ready for apologies? I'm sorry it took so long! I just started college so I have a lot more work, and I also hit sort of a roadblock which my beautiful friend Gillian helped me with.
So if you have been reading this story for a while you may have noticed either that there are suddenly fewer chapters or that I have already used this chapter image. Well there is a reason for that. I'll let you in on a little secret: this story is also their seventh year. I realized that I was going to have a lot of chapters if I kept doing what I was doing. So I made chapters longer with more in them and combined older chapter so there wouldn't be an unusual amount of chapters. If you read all of this you deserve a gold star!
So please fill the grey box monster with what you thought. Reactions? Dissappointments? Surprises? Please tell me!
Oh and hey DFTBA!