Chapter 1 : Hello
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I wake up and I feel alone
I was just asleep
Right where I belong
Inside this sad, sad song
-We Intertwined byThe Hush Sound
“Connolley get your skinny ass moving!”
“I’m going as fast as I can!”
“Well your fastest sucks.”
James Potter is an asshole.
He’s always been rude to me. Sometimes to the point of cruelty. He’d pick on me in the halls when we were younger, and heckle me as I sat in the common room.
“Why can’t you be prettier.”
“Gain more weight, you look like a toothpick.”
“Take a shower Connolley, you smell like you’ve been sleeping with pigs.”
The public humiliation had stopped at that point.
The reason it stopped was because this year I decided to try out for the one open spot on the quidditch team.
Well, I got it.
Boy, did I get it.
All the bullying takes place on the field now, because when we’re in public, we’re supposed to put on a ‘unified’ front.
He’s not even captain but he’s got the team turned against me. They all laugh at his jokes, mainly at my expense, and they all go along with it when he tells me I suck.
Which I don’t.
But alas, James Potter’s word is law.
“Why can’t you be even a little better Connolley? I mean, honestly.” Was all he said to me at the end of a brutal day at practice.
I just took a deep breath and walked away.
Two days later, I was walking out onto the pitch, and he stuck his foot out and tripped me so that I fell face first into a pile of mud.
The week after that he hit a bludger at me and broke my arm.
He even let me fall off my broom.
It was years of torture.
But it was the pitch that broke me. Because no one really saw it, so no one really felt for me.
So at the end of my 4th year I packed up and left.
I ran away to America, and I never looked back.
That’s never what I expected to hear. Not from James Potter.
But that’s what he said to me on the train as he passed me.
I glanced after him as he passed me. I shook it off.
Then later, in the great hall he said the same thing.
He said it again in the common room.
Then it hit me.
He had no idea who I was.
Perfect. How was I supposed to show him how much I had changed? How much I had grown? How could I show him what a mistake he had made when we were younger, if he had no bleeding clue who I was?
The next time we spoke, it was an actual conversation.
“Hello, I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m James Potter.” I looked around the corridor to make sure he was speaking to me.
“I’m Kate Jennings.” Why I said that? I have no idea.
Because my name is Piper Connolley.
“Well Kate, I must tell you, I think you’ve just beat all the girls in our grade out for best looking.” I blushed.
“Thanks.” I muttered.
“Mind if I walk you to class?”
“Uhm, I actually have Charms, I’m not headed that way.”
“I have Charms too, this is just a short cut.”
“Oh.” I said dumbly. But I followed him none the less.
We wandered up a flight of stairs, behind a tapestry and into a hidden hall behind a statue, but we arrived directly outside the Charms room in less than five minutes.
“Well, thanks for showing me that.” I said as we walked into the classroom.
“Anytime. Sit by me?” He asked giving me the famous James Potter crooked smile.
“Uh, I actually have plans to sit here.” I said sitting down next to a cute boy.
“Oh.” James said, looking disappointed and slightly angry. “Hi, Kendrick.” He greeted the boy next to me.
“Hey Potter.” The boy greeted back.
“Lucky you, getting to sit with Katie, eh?” The Kendrick boy looked puzzled.
“Uh, yeah.” Was all he said. James gave me one last grin, waved, and took his seat two rows in front of me with his best friend, Tannor Cutting.
The boy next to me turned to face me.
“I thought your name was Piper Connolley? You’re new right?”
“Yeah.” I said blushing. “He just got it wrong.”
“Dunno how you get Katie from Piper. But hey it’s James Potter we’re talking about.” The boy said shrugging. “I’m Jake Kendrick by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Jake.” I said giving him a smile. His cheeks turned pink and he turned to face the front of the class, not saying another word to me.
“Welcome, welcome!” Called the professor. “I’m Professor Hughes, the new Charms teacher. I’m going to start your seventh year making sure everyone knows everyone! Now, I’m going to start with roll call, then I’m going to switch your seats around.” The class groaned. “I know, I know! But trust me, it will be good for all of you to branch out! It’s your seventh year after all! Time to meet new people!”
I just looked over at Jake who shrugged as Professor Hughes began to take roll.
“Here.” I said weakly, as people turned to get a look at me. James being one of them. His jaw dropped. I avoided his gaze.
“Uh, yeah.” Tannor said, elbowing James in the ribs. James turned back to his best mate and they started muttering, every once in a while looking back at me.
I tuned out the rest of roll, and focused on the black spot on the desk in front of me.
“Piper Connolley?” I heard my name being called. I looked up in surprise. Tannor Cutting was standing in front of me, holding his belongings in his arms. Jake was gone from the seat next to me.
“I dunno if you were paying much attention, but, er, I’m your new Charms partner.” He said, running his hands through his hair.
I don’t really remember much about Tannor if I’m being honest. He was never mean to me like James was, and he wasn’t on the quidditch team with us. He was always there, but never in the forefront. But I looked at him now. He had sandy brown hair and dark green eyes, freckles dotting his nose. He was cute, but nothing special when he stood next to his best friend.
“Oh.” Was all I responded. He sat down anyway.
We didn’t speak until class was almost over.
“So, James told me your name was Kate?”
“Yeah, he doesn’t really pay much attention to detail does he?” Tannor shifted uncomfortably.
“He does when it’s a girl, and a pretty one at that.” I just starred at him.
“Right. Well, I may have told him my name was Kate. So what?”
“Why didn’t you want him to know who you were?”
“Answer this honestly Cutting, if you were me, and James Potter had made your life a living hell when you were at this school before, would you want to tell him who you were and risk inducing the same pain? Or would you rather keep the torture at bay and lie about your name?”
“Er, what do you mean by torture?” I rolled my eyes at him as the class was dismissed.
“You know perfectly well what I mean.”
“It wasn’t that bad.”
“What planet do you live on?” He shifted uncomfortably, but I smiled warmly at him.
“Just because I left because of James doesn’t mean you have to feel bad about it, you were young, and you never really participated. I forgive you, James on the other hand, has some forgiveness to earn.” Tannor smiled at me.
“Well!” Said a loud voice from behind us. “Getting chummy with Connolley are we now?” Tannor cringed.
“Hello James.” I said sweetly. He glared at me.
“So you’re a liar now too? Kate?” I rolled my eyes.
“Get over yourself Potter.” He looked dumbstruck.
“You do know who you’re talking to right?” Was all he managed to splutter. I stood.
“See you around Tannor.”
“Bye Piper.” Tannor said, eyeing James wearily. James just watched me go with his mouth slightly open.
I felt giddy. I had never stood up to James Potter before. Never.
And now that I knew I could, he would never make me feel worthless again.
“Oi!” Came a voice from behind me in the corridor. I turned, but it was James, so I kept walking.
“What do you want Potter?”
“You can’t tell me to just get over myself!”
“I know the task seems daunting, but you can get through it.” I said, stopping and turning to him. He glared.
“I’m James Potter.”
“And I’m Piper Connolley. Big whoop. I still don’t see your point.”
“It means you can’t talk to me like that!”
“Well I just did.”
“Yeah, I know! So stop it.”
“I’ll stop talking back when you stop being an ass. Deal?” He blanched.
“You look like an idiot standing there with your mouth open.”
“I bet you’re used to having your mouth open.” He snapped. I just smiled.
He wanted to play like that? Fine. I could play by those rules. And I could win.
Let the games begin.
Why did I say that? What kind of person makes a comment like that to a girl? But I didn’t get slapped. Instead I got a smile. which in all honesty, seemed worse.
But Piper Connolley always got me going.
In a bad way.
I watched her walk away and just glared after her.
“Mate, what the hell was that about?” Tannor asked, coming up beside me.
“I hate that girl.” Tannor just sighed.
“You always said that was the case.”
“She just, fires me up. I can’t help it!” My best friend rolled his eyes.
“James, you need to just take a deep breath. Besides, I’m not sure what she does that makes you so mad, it’s not like she’s ever snapped at you before today.”
“Maybe that’s it! Maybe it’s just because she’s so docile that I don’t like her!”
“You don’t like someone who doesn’t talk back at you when you’re rude?”
“No I don’t! People should stand up for themselves. Those are the people who earn my respect.”
“But she stood up to you today and you still snapped.” Tannor pointed out. I frowned.
“Well, that’s just because it was the first time. I wasn’t used to it. I took me by surprise is all.” Tannor laughed.
“Yeah, I bet that’s it. Whatever mate, let’s just go find the others.”
The others consisted of my cousins Dominique and Fred Weasley as well as Lilah Yates and Brody Hunt.
But when we arrived at the Great Hall for lunch, I had to stop in shock at the sight before my eyes.
Lilah, Brody and Dom were all sitting at the end of the Gryffindor table with non other than Piper Connolley.
I watched as all three of my friends laughed at something Piper had said and something in me snapped.
“What the hell is going on here?” I asked as I stomped over, Tannor in tow.
“Oh hey baby cousin.” Dom said brightly.
“Why are you consorting with the enemy?” I demanded. Dom scoffed.
“Why are you such a prick? Leave Piper alone.” I glared at my cousin.
“Mate, just calm down and let her sit here. She’s never done anything to you.”
“Shut up Brody. You didn’t hear what she said to me just a minute ago.”
“I told him to get over himself.” Piped up the girl in question.
“Maybe you should listen to her instead of ostracizing her.” Lilah commented lightly, staring at her nails as if she were bored with the conversation.
“No one asked you Lilah.” She just shrugged and continued to study her cuticles.
“Well, she’s sitting here so you can just grin and bare it for the rest of lunch.” Dom said rolling her eyes at me. And I did. For the rest of lunch I put up with Piper Connolley and her annoyingly witty humor and cute laugh. Blast it all.
“Well, I better be going. I have Potions next.” Piper said, standing up. Dom pouted.
“Well I’ll save you a seat at dinner okay Pipes?” Piper smiled at her.
“Sounds great. See you then.”
“I actually have to see a Slytherin about an aging potion.” Brody grinned, looking a little too excited about the potion deal. “So I can walk you to the dungeons.” Piper nodded, then she turned and walked away out of the hall, Brody by her side.
“You’re quiet James.”
“Good observation Lilah.” I snarled.
“Hey.” She said, putting her hands up defensively. “All I’m saying is I missed your idiotic banter.” She swept her long black hair behind her head.
“Whatever.” I muttered.
“Well. I have a free period, so I’m going to go take a nap.” Dom said brightly, standing up. Tannor stood as well.
“Same, except I’m going to actually study.” He looked at Dom pointedly, but she just shrugged and grinned. My cousin Dom everyone, ever the devoted student.
“Right well I have to go meet up with Freddie.” Lilah said pushing back from the table.
“Where was that little punk?” Dom asked. “I can’t believe he missed a meal.”
“Something about shagging a Ravenclaw.” She shrugged. “But he told me to get him before we had Care of Magical Creatures so I’ll need to find him somehow.” She said eyeing me with a meaningful look.
“The maps in my trunk.” I sighed, standing up as well.
“What are you off to do Jamesy-poo?” Dom asked brightly.
“I have potions.” I answered with a bitter taste in my mouth.
“Ohh!” Laughed Lilah. “With Piper? Wish I could see that!”
“Yeah, yeah, laugh all you lot want but trust me when I say soon you’ll all see what I see in her.”
“Which is what?”
“A stupid, annoying, not funny person.”
“Mature.” Lilah snorted.
“Feminine.” I retorted. She stopped laughing and glared.
“Right. Well. Bye all!” Dom said yawning. The she skipped out of the great hall, Tannor trailing after her. I could practically hear his eyes rolling at her as he walked away.
“I guess we better be off as well. Walk me out?” Lilah said holding out her arm. I linked mine with hers and we strolled out of the Great Hall together.
“Right well, have fun in class.” She said, grinning cheekily. I groaned, but headed towards the dungeons. And Piper Connolley.