Chapter 23 : The Downfall
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I wound up in hospital again, unconscious for almost two weeks, and missed the first day of school, again. I’m beginning to think this is going to become some kind of tradition.
But you know what was cool, I got the whole Hogwarts express all to myself. Ok well technically it wasn’t all to myself, the train had to make an extra trip up to Hogsmeade carrying a couple of Hogsmeadians (people who live in Hogsmeade), and, believe it or not, Victoire.
Vic hadn’t been up to Hogwarts in a while, not since she graduated five years ago, or thereabouts. But apparently she had urgent business... urgent business in the form of Teddy Lupin. But that doesn’t matter, because you know what the best thing about spending a couple of hours Vic? Victoire loves sweets just as much as I do, so by the time the sweet lady (who apparently works on the express every time it travels) past our carriage (because we had a whole carriage to ourselves) she was clean out of sweets... and I’m not even exaggerating.
‘We’re going to get fat!’ Victoire laughed, chucking some Every Flavour Beans in my direction so they bounced off my head.
‘Hey,’ I protested, ‘the Healer said I was supposed to be careful with my head, are you gonna put me back in hospital?’ I pouted, mock snootily and stuck my nose in the air.
‘Yes Jamie,’ she leant over and ruffled my hair fondly... she was the only person allowed to do that... she was also the only person allowed to call me Jamie, because she’s my oldest cousin and she’s a girl and she always buys me sweets. None of my other family members respect this rule.
‘So you looking forward to seeing Charla,’ Vic drawled, kicking back in her seat. Despite what everyone thinks, Victoire is quite laidback... and she likes to tease everyone about their crushes/relationships/non-existent-love. ‘You know she was quite worried when you pulled your whole die-for-your-one-true-love act.’ She giggled.
I didn’t say anything but I could feel my cheeks burning red.
‘You guys are so cute!’ Vic teased, pinching my cheek.
I stuck my tongue out at her, ‘you know I’m only five years younger than you!’ I pointed out, ‘I’m not a baby.’
‘You’re in the same year as Domi Dearest, Jamie, you’re always going to be a baby to me.’
‘Whatever,’ I sighed, biting the head off a Chocolate Frog. ‘Watsatime.’ I said with my mouth full.
‘Time for you to get a watch,’ Victoire smirked.
‘That’s the rubbishest comeback ever Vicky,’ It was my turn to smirk, Victoire lets you call her pretty much anything, I mean, Ted went through a phase of calling her Pixie, simply because Victoire actually responded to it. And she has tonnes of nicknames; Vic, V, Toire, Tori, Victory... anything you can get out of Victoire or Sophia... except we had to stop calling her by her middle name because her daughter is now Sofia.
‘It’s time for you to go and change into your robes,’ Victoire snapped, her eyes narrowed. I stood up and dragged my trunk down from along the carriage. I hadn’t bothered to lift it onto a luggage rack, it wasn’t like it was in the way.
As I lifted the lid, Vic gasped, forgetting her momentary irritation with me. ‘James?’ she looked up at me wide eyed, ‘how do you find anything, it’s so messy!’
So when I said V was laid back... did I forget to mention she’s a little bit of a perfectionist.
‘Tidy it,’ I shrugged, sauntering off to find a place to throw on my crumpled robes.
I didn’t really believe Vic would take me up on that but I left the Hogwarts Express with my trunk repacked and everything folded neatly. And Victoire and I parted at the entrance to Hogwarts, we had taken a carriage up together but upon reaching the Great Hall, I had to get my trunk up to my dorm and Victoire was urgently needed in... The Head’s office?
‘See you Jim Jam,’ Victoire pressed a kiss to my cheek and ruffled my already messed up hair again. ‘Take care.’
‘Bye, V!’ I nodded to her and turned, trunk in tow, making my way up the marble staircase.
The halls were bustling with pupils, some who knew me (and actually dared to talk to the James Potter, yeah that’s right, I’m famous!) said Hi, and that they were glad I was feeling better. But the first person I ran into that I actually wanted to see was Roisia, about three meters away from the Portrait of the Fat Lady.
Or technically, she ran into me.
‘James!’ Sisi squealed delightedly, leaving a wandering group of Huffelpuff girls and barging straight into me. ‘It’s so good to see you, I can’t believe what you did!’
‘I’m alive!’ I reminded her, but was ignored.
‘And you’ve missed so much, you missed Mallum’s first class, she’s going bonkers, and there’s a new girl,’ she gushed, just as Charla, Fred and Dom caught up with us.
‘Hey,’ Charla snuggled up against me, pressing her cheek against my chest, ‘I missed you.’
I dropped a kiss atop her head and wrapped my spare arm around Dom, nodding to Freddie. ‘Hey mate.’
‘Good to have you back,’ Fred grinned.
And then another voice sounded.
‘Er, Fred, I thought you were in the Library?’ this voice had a very girly British accent. Probably because it belonged to a British girl. The girl had dark, cropped pixie hair with streaks of maroon dyed into it and shiny grey eyes. She had a pointed chin and a wide smile and stood around as tall as Sisi.
‘Oh, hi,’ she grinned her eyes resting on me, ‘You must be James Potter, the one that was in hospital?’
‘Yeah that would be me,’ I returned her smile, ‘sorry, but I, uh, I don’t know you.’
‘Aw don’t worry,’ she reached out and took my hand, shaking it gently, ‘I’m Jessica Moon, the new student. You can call me Jess.’
~ ~ ~
By the end of the evening I had found out about Jessica that she was in Gryffindor as a seventh year, like us, finishing off her NEWTs. She had moved here from Africa, where her parents, both magical, had been trained as Muggle Doctors.
She had learnt she too was a Witch at seven but her parents decided to keep her there and a Professor was found that could educate her in all rounds of Academics.
She had grown up mostly among Muggles which meant she fit into both Muggle and Wizarding communities but there had been an unstable government in the country she lived in so her parents had decided to move her back.
She had technically been in England a year before being able to enrol at Hogwarts.
At aside from all of that, Jessica was nice. She was funny and laughed a lot and really seemed genuinely great.
Now I’ve heard a lot of stories about new kids coming along (on the rare occasion) and screwing everything up but this time... it might be different.
~ ~ ~
‘Good Morning Class.’
Whatever Sisi said about Mallum being driven crazy, she quickly recovered once I returned because she seemed as faux-happy as normal and was busy trying to get us to learn to use a microwave. What the Hell, I thought this is what you did in Muggle Studies.
I took up a seat at the back, waiting for pre-planned drama to ensue. As I knew it would. Did you know there’s a club now? It’s called ‘The Take Down Of Mallum Comity’!
You think I’m kidding? I’m not, I’m the president!
So we had already planned this, right to the last moment, I mean, you can’t go wrong spilling Hot Water all over a desk... so hot it burnt a whole right through the desk...
I love magic!
So with a gaping hole in Jessica’s desk – we would have to fill her in later – and a very furious teacher who was ranting and raving, we gained an audience with the Headmistress.
‘Now class,’ she asked very calmly, ‘what is the meaning of this.’
Just as rehearsed, Ari Chang promptly burst into tears claiming the Muggle Appliance had reacted badly with the Magical Aura. It was the kind of thing Ari would say, she was into Divination and Aura’s and all that stuff.
‘Well,’ McGonagall asked, turning to Mallum, ‘Why are they using Muggle Appliances in this class?’
‘Because,’ Mallum puffed out her chest, ‘they need to learn how to live! They were mannerless, knowledgeless beasts before I came along.’
‘Quite the contrary I believe, Professor Mallum,’ the head smiled a thin, unfriendly smile, ‘Hogwarts has always prided it’s students in being well mannered-’ I had to refrain from scoffing, ‘-and intelligent.’
Now I had to refrain from laughing... we have Lorcan and Lysander in this school and she really thinks we’re intelligent?
‘And you were given a lesson to teach these students how to best keep up with homework, and the likes, not how to work Kettles or sit like old people.’ McGonagall pointed out.
‘But- I-’ Mallum spluttered desperately.
McGonagall held up a hand to stop her, ‘consider this a warning, teach the students what you said you would, and everything will be fine.’
Well would you look at that, Mallum was supposed to be holding a lesson to teach us how to do homework, I knew Minnie couldn’t have been that bonkers!
Our class was dismissed from the lesson long before it had ended, giving us two extra periods before lunch rather than one, while Charla and Sisi went up to the library.
‘Hey,’ I raced up ahead through the crowds and spotted a bright red head that didn’t belong to any of my cousins. ‘Hey, Jessica. Jess!’ I reached her just as she turned into an empty courtyard, startling her into dropping all of her books. ‘Oh I’m so sorry, let me get that for you!’ We both reached down, our hands brushing (oops) to grab her books.
‘You took Divination?’ I raised an eyebrow, handing back a large textbook. The character on the front kept glancing into a cup of tea leaves, holding up a hand as if in realisation and then repeating, over and over again.
‘It was an easy pass,’ Jess explained, ‘I got an O in OWLs because I bluffed my way through the whole thing, if you make it up, sounding believable they’ll give you a good grade.’
‘Right,’ I laughed, strolling along side her ‘so you what was Africa like?’
‘Well... hot... and nice I suppose... you could get into clubs and bars at thirteen and all and cinema’s were cheap,’ she sighed, ‘my brother, he’s a Squib decided boarding school would be better for him.’
‘Oh?’ I gave her a questioning look but Jessica only shrugged.
‘You have a free now? Would you like to come sit by the Lake with me?’ she smiled shyly, and looked down at her toes.
‘Of course,’ I took the books from her hands and walked along side her, laughing at her jokes and chatted about her family. Her Squib brother Luke and her time in Africa.
‘So you’ve lived in Godric’s Hollow your entire life?’ Jess asked stunned, having moved a few times.
‘Well... yeah, I guess... I mean, you could say I’ve lived at Grimmauld Place too... and The Burrow.’ Jessica looked confused to I filled her in, ‘Godric’s Hollow is technically My House, my parents all designated me and my siblings houses for when we’re older cos-’
‘They have the money,’ Jessica teased.
‘Well, yeah, and also they doubted I would ever get a job so they couldn’t just give me a place to live and not my siblings,’ I pointed out, ‘so Albie has a house a couple of rows down from mine, Lily has a house near our cousin Rose and Hugo’s current house and this summer my parents are moving to Grimmauld place with Lillers and Al until they’re old enough to move out. And the Burrow is like a family home... a whole family home, the Weasley Household. My grandparents are full time residents but most of us stay there a lot.’
‘So what, you’ll just stay in the same house because it’s yours?’
‘Yeah probably... Charla might move in with me...’ I trailed off.
‘You’ve already asked her to?’ Jess sounded, possibly more shocked than when I told her me, Lily and Albus already had houses.
‘Not exactly but it’s been something we’ve talked about since we were kids, our plan!’ I chuckled.
‘Wow,’ Jess giggled, ‘I wish I had a plan... like yours I mean... move in with someone I love and live happily ever after.’
‘There are plenty of guys here at Hogwarts, you’ll find someone.’
Jessica lifted her head and looked at me with sparkling eyes and a shy smile, ‘I hope so.’
Well who would have guessed, a new student, from Africa... and who can see straight through Miss Jessica!? Sort of a filler, just getting James back to Hogwarts and whatnot. Well anyway, Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling and I don’t own anything, thanks for reading and please, please leave a review!
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