Chapter 2 : I Really, Really Don't Want to Go Home
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A/N: I’m not J.K. Rowling. I don’t own any of this, except any characters you don’t recognize! The rest of this fanfic is from Madison’s POV, not James’s.
“MADISON FLINT, YOU GET OUT OF THAT BED RIGHT NOW!”
I groaned, and my eyes were assaulted by the morning sunlight as my curtains were yanked open, because somehow, I was lucky enough to get the bed that faced the sunrise. Honestly, on my last day of sixth year and the only day I had slept in, this was the awakening I received? I curled up tighter, wrapping myself up in the warm blankets and shielding my eyes from the blinding light. Maybe if I just ignored her, she’d let me have my peace.
Before I had time to react, I felt Alexa Thomas’s body crush mine, as she belly-flopped onto my bed.
“Geroff me.” I mumbled into my pillow. This was why I ran in the morning. So I could successfully avoid this kind of wake-up. But I had let myself take a break today. Except now I was being crushed by the 55-kilo girl who I called my best friend.
“Unless you get up, Maddy, I don’t think that’s happening anytime – “ She was stopped midsentence as I rolled over, successfully throwing her off of my bed. She hit the ground with a satisfying thud.
“Fine, fine, I’m getting up. Relax.” I mumbled, as I threw my legs off the side of the bed, and stood up. I looked over at Alexa, who still stared at me, shocked.
“What was that for?” She said, pouting, as she brushed herself off. She was already fully dressed, in a pair of white shorts and a fitted hot pink T-shirt, her shoulder-length brown hair straight and styled perfectly, despite just being thrown off of a bed.
“Um… Crushing me? Anyways, haven’t we established that being obnoxious in the morning will only get you hurt?” It was true. One time in fourth year, she had tried to drag me out of bed by my foot, and only succeeded in getting a black eye. That was a tough one to explain to Madam Pomfrey.
She rolled her eyes, as I turned on my heel to go into the bathroom. I turned the shower on as hot as it could go, trying to ignore the inevitable: we were going home today.
If I could stay at Hogwarts over the summer, I would. Spending two months with my parents was positively torturous.
I washed my hair, letting the sweet scent of freesia and strawberries take me away, as I recited the introductory sentences in my Transfiguration book mentally. Transfiguration was my favorite, and best, subject, and I had read the book so many times that I had practically memorized the entire thing, and repeating the words in my head had an almost calming effect.
Transfiguration is an art, one that is both difficult to master and beautiful to behold. The primary focus of advanced transfiguration is –
“OI! MADDY! Hurry up, will you? I’m starving” Alexa yelled into the bathroom. Breakfast was her absolute favorite meal, and she wouldn’t miss it for the world. In fact, she insisted on arriving early every morning so that there would never be shortage on her favorite foods: all of them. How the girl stays so skinny is forever a mystery to me.
I quickly dried off, dressing in jeans and a royal blue tank top. We all wore Muggle clothes on the last day, since there was really no point in wearing robes for the few hours we had left at the school.
I quickly performed a drying spell on my hair, and pulled it up into a ponytail. I didn’t put on any makeup. I wasn’t aiming to impress anyone, so why apply the effort? It simply wasn’t worth it, even though my mother would positively rip my head off when she noticed I avoided the massive set she sent my for Christmas holidays. The makeup helps that pitiful complexion of yours, my mother’s voice rang out in my head.
I stole a quick glance in the mirror. What looked back at me was a five-foot-nine girl with wild blonde curls cascading down her back. A woman should be petite, and you’re a monster. The mirror girl’s eyes were a midnight blue, swimming with sadness, matching the frown she wore on her face. I quickly avoided her gaze.
I quickly walked out of the bathroom, and back into the dorm, where Alexa was standing, waiting for me. The other inhabitants of the dorm had already left, probably to say their last goodbyes to their friends from other Houses. I was friends with some of them, but not nearly as close as I was to Alexa, Hogwarts’s resident beauty queen and heart-breaker extraordinaire. Honestly, we couldn’t be more different.
“Are we in a better mood now?” She said, tapping her foot.
“Well, I’m not going to hurt you again, if that’s what you’re asking,” I shot back, letting a small smirk creep onto my face.
Her mood quickly changed. “Aren’t you excited, Maddy? We’re done with sixth year, and we have the whole summer ahead of us!” She was smiling, and jumping around excitedly. Merlin, she has too much energy in the morning.
I hadn’t exactly told Alexa about my parents. Yes, she was my best friend, but I really didn’t want anybody knowing about that part of my life. As far as she knew, my parents just didn’t like company, and that’s why when we saw each other over the summer, it was always at her house.
“Sure, Alexa.” I said, trying to smile at her. “Ready to go to breakfast?”
At that, she turned excitedly towards the door, and ran out, as I chased after her, out of the common room and onto the staircases. Fortunately, catching up to her wasn’t exactly difficult, seeing as she was shorter than me and not athletic at all.
We entered the Great Hall and walked quickly to our seats, since we were some of the first people to arrive for breakfast. Alexa rapidly loaded her plate with eggs, bacon, and the like, while I looked regrettably at it all. You can’t eat junk food, child. You’ll get even fatter. I finally scooped a few pieces of fruit and some porridge onto my plate, and nibbled cautiously.
“Morning, Flint,” a smooth voice said into my ear. I whipped around, only to find myself face-to-face with the one and only James Potter II.
Behind him were his three best friends, Fred Weasley, Gavin Wood, and Liam Johnson. Some of the teachers, like Flitwick and Headmistress McGonagall, jokingly referred to them as the Mini-Marauders, but no one except Potter himself seemed to understand the joke.
Fred Weasley was the womanizer of the group, and Potter’s best mate. He had caramel-colored skin and black hair and was quite tall, taller than Potter. He went through girls faster than he went through food, which is saying something because he ate A LOT. He’d probably shagged all of the girls in Hogwarts over fourth year, except me and maybe a few others, since I’m pretty sure Potter put me off limits to him. In addition, being part of the massive Potter-Weasley clan, he was as good as a celebrity in the Wizarding World. His father ran a huge joke shop in Diagon Alley called Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, and it was probably from him that Fred had developed a massive love for all things prank-related. First years and particularly nasty Slytherins were his favorite targets.
Gavin Wood was the son of Oliver Wood, the famous Quidditch player turned coach for the Chudley Cannons, a team that had taken a surprising upturn in the past few years, almost making it to the World Cup last year. He had sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, and most girls in the school wanted him. He basically lived and breathed Quidditch, and not much else save girls and his friends was that interesting to him.
Liam Johnson was the final member of the group, and unlike the others, he didn’t have famous parents or anything like that. In fact, he was Muggle-born, not that it mattered to anyone. He was also extremely attractive, with light brown hair and melt-worthy green eyes. He was also a total gentleman, and the only boy out of the four I actually talked to out of my own free will. In addition, he was the studious one of the group, and usually buried himself in a book if he wasn’t causing mischief. Of course, all of the boys were brilliant, but Johnson was the only one who actively put effort into his schoolwork.
“Potter, do us all a favor and bugger off.” I snapped, not wanting to deal with him at all today.
“What, can’t we be civil in the mornings?” He smiled at me. I glared back.
“Potter, we can’t be civil ever, what makes you think that the time of day has any effect on that?” I rolled my eyes and started to turn back to my breakfast.
“You’re so sexy when you snap at me.” Alright, that was it. I was getting out of here before this escalated any further.
“If you won’t go away, clearly I’ll have to,” I said, as I got up and moved to leave the Hall.
“Wait, Flint!” Potter said, as he grabbed my arm. “I have a question for you!” A familiar expression was forming in his eyes.
I quickly yanked myself out of his grasp, and walked as fast as I could towards the exit, knowing what was coming next.
However, before I got out the door, Potter shouted across the Great Hall. “WILL YOU GO OUT WITH ME?”
“NO, POTTER!” I replied, feeling a familiar heat creep up into my cheeks as the nearby students sniggered. For good measure, I flicked my wand behind me (I have rather good aim, if I do say so myself) and heard the general laughter that ensued as the other students noticed that Potter now had red hair and a nose to match, and his shoes had tripled in size, giving him the appearance of a clown. Well, at least now the exterior reflected the interior…
It wasn’t like this was the first time this had happened. Potter’s been asking me out like this since third year. I’m pretty sure it’s an ongoing joke between him and his friends. All I know is that he’s been hounding me, and I’ve turned him down every time, throwing in the occasional hex.
It’s not that Potter isn’t good looking, because, admittedly, he is, although I will never say that out loud. He has dark brown, almost black, hair, which is wild and sticks out in all sorts of weird places, and brown eyes. He’s beaten Gilderoy Lockhart’s record, and has won Witch Weekly’s Best Smile Award for six years now, which is kind of creepy, considering he won it first when he was eleven. This is exactly why I find most girly witches absolutely ridiculous. He’s also tall, probably six-foot-three, and extremely well built from Quidditch.
It’s that he’s so damn arrogant all the time. Sure, his father’s the Savior of the Wizarding World and all that, but that doesn’t give him the right to prance around the school like he owns the place. He and his friends pay practically no attention to teachers, save Wood, and constantly pull stupid pranks. And half of the staff doesn’t even care. It’s sickening.
I ran up to the dormitory, where I noticed I hadn’t exactly done much as far as packing. We left in a matter of hours. I had put it off because, just maybe, if I didn’t pack, then maybe I wouldn’t have to go home at all. Hey, I can dream.
I started neatly folding my clothing and placing it inside my trunk, followed by my numerous textbooks and pleasure reading books, and finally, my more delicate items, like the pictures of my friends and me and my favorite bottle of perfume. Finally, I placed my valued Nimbus 3000 on top, sitting next to a well-worn pair of pointe shoes. I shut the trunk quickly, and glancing at the gold watch that I received for my seventeenth birthday, I realized it was almost time to head to the train. I left my trunk in my room, knowing that it would magically find its way to the train, and hurried down to find Alexa before we left.
Alexa and I had gotten onto the train quickly, finding an empty compartment with ease and stretching out across the seats. I laid comfortably on my stomach, lazily flipping through a copy of Hogwarts: A History that I had accidently nicked from the library in first year, holding on to the last remnants of the castle that remained until next September. Opposite me, Alexa prattled on about all her exciting plans for the summer.
“ – and then I think we’re going somewhere in Egypt! Isn’t that cool? Plus, think of all the hot Egyptian guys…” She trailed off, with a dreamy look in her eyes.
“I’m so jealous of you, Lex,” I replied honestly, “You have such an exciting summer ahead of you, and I’m stuck at home.”
“Yeah, it kind of stinks that you can’t come over at all this summer, but I know you’ll still have a good time!” She looked at me brightly.
Once again, the girl’s never met my family. My family and good time could never be used in the same sentence without some sort of negative in there as well.
I heard the compartment door slide open, so I rolled over to see who the intruder was, and lo and behold, once again we were face with Potter and Co.
“Dammit,” Wood muttered, sticking his head into the compartment, “This one’s taken too.”
“If it’s just firsties, kick ‘em out!” Someone from outside the compartment yelled. I couldn’t see who was speaking, but I recognized the deep tone anywhere: Fred Weasley.
The door slid open farther, and all four looked in.
“Well, I guess this is good enough,” said Weasley, as he sat down next to Alexa, who glanced at him awkwardly before picking up a copy of Witch Weekly she had dropped earlier and beginning to scan it for anything interesting. However, both of us knew she wouldn’t, since she only had the magazine so that we could make fun of all the stupid things it said. Like voting an eleven-year-old Most Charming Smile. Did he even have all his teeth in yet?
Wood sat down next to Weasley, and Johnson sat opposite him, so guess who ended up next to me? My favorite person ever.
“Whatcha reading?” James asked annoyingly as he peeked over my shoulder to the massive book sitting in my lap.
“Nothing,” I muttered, as I shut the book.
My head had begun to throb, although whether it was from the stress of going home or the fact that I was stuck spending the rest of the train ride next to Potter I didn’t know. I rested my head on the cool window, ignoring the idle chatter between the boys, and let myself drift off to sleep.
I was dreaming.
I sat by the lake, on a blanket, and there was a pair of arms wrapped around me. I didn’t know who it was, all I knew was I felt immensely safe in his arms.
“I love you,” He said, squeezing me tighter as he spoke.
“I love you too.” I found the words tumbling out of my mouth, and despite the fact that I was speaking to an apparent stranger, saying it felt natural, and I knew in my heart that they were true.
Suddenly, I felt a pair of lips on mine. The kiss was gentle, not a full-on snog, but the romance fireworks went off in my head nonetheless. He pulled away and I opened my eyes to find myself face-to-face with none other than …
I felt the train skid to a stop, and stirred. Whatever I was leaning on stiffened. Wait… as far as I remember, I fell asleep on the window, but I’m pretty sure that windows don’t tense up.
I opened my eyes, and looked at where my head had once been. I saw a chiseled shoulder, and looked up, locking eyes with Potter.
Shit. Somehow I’d moved in my sleep and ended up on his shoulder. Merlin, this is awkward.
I looked away quickly, unsuccessfully trying to hide the blush that was appearing on my cheeks. Of all the people I could have slept on, I chose the bloke who’s most likely to make a big deal about it. I focused my eyes on the window, but the sight that greeted me there was no better than the one I had just turned my eyes from.
Out the window, all the parents looked expectantly at the Hogwarts Express. They were so excited to see their kids, and were flashing huge smiles at the train. Then I noticed my mother.
She stood in a far off corner, refusing to socialize with anyone. Her own sister stood not ten feet away, holding hands with her husband. However, Aunt Astoria and Uncle Draco had long since dropped their pureblood superiority complexes to much more acceptable levels, even getting along with Muggleborns, and as a result, my mother was bitter towards them, upset about the decline in the value of good blood. Her hair was slicked back into a tight bun, and her lips were pursed with impatience. What a wonderful greeting.
“I wish I could give you a better goodbye, but my family has to be ready to go in ten minutes, and Collin is never on time!” Alexa hugged me tightly, reached up to grab her trunk, and ran off to find her third-year brother. I stuck my head out as she left.
“Write to me!” She yelled, as she flew down the hallway, bumping into a couple of Hufflepuffs along the way, but not seeming to care.
“I will!” I called back, turning back into the compartment. Great, I was in here with a group of boys, one of which I had been sleeping on moments ago.
The three guys walked out, telling Potter they’d meet him on the platform.
Did they really leave me in here with him? And here I was, thinking the other boys were at least halfway decent.
I suddenly felt extremely self-conscious. Oh Godric, had I said anything while I was asleep? Anything that might have given away what I was dreaming about?
“Potter, did I – erm – say anything while I was asleep?” I mumbled awkwardly, not knowing how to bring up the subject, but knowing I needed an answer.
He stared at me awkwardly for a few seconds before answering. “No… why?”
“I just – I talk in my sleep, that’s all. “ I muttered, hoping he would end the conversation there.
Fortunately, he took the hint. Unfortunately, the change in subject was no better. “Flint, I can tell something’s bothering you.”
I was shocked. “W-what?”
He looked at me oddly, and continued, “I guess I just got a feeling, that’s all. You look upset, and I’m just wondering why.”
“It-it’s nothing.” I quickly replied, hoping my eyes wouldn’t betray me. I’d been told my emotions were clearly visible just by looking in my eyes.
Obviously they did, because a look of concern flashed over his features. “Yes, there is, but if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine,” he said politely, as he pulled my trunk out of the overhead shelf and handed it to me. “Have a nice summer, Madison.”
I stood there, dazed for a few moments. However, I shook myself out of it as I was reminded of my mother’s impatient glare. I grabbed my trunk, and hurried off the train. It was only then that I realized we had gone through a whole conversation without him asking me out.
He had called me Madison.
A/N: There you go, the first (real) chapter! I hope you like it, and whether you do or not, please review!
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