Chapter 3 : C is for Carefree
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Author’s Note: Welcome to chapter 3! Obviously I don’t own the world of Harry Potter…wish I did, but I don’t. Hope you love this chapter as much as I do.
Charlotte Present Day
Charms was considered a pleasant class by the students of Hogwarts. Charlotte was particularly fond of this class and her teacher—Professor Macmillan. Although he was pompous and occasionally liked to show off, she believed he was a genuinely good man.
Liam, on the other hand, loathed any and all hours he spent in that classroom. He flicked his wand lazily at the goblet full of vinegar that he was supposed to be changing to wine.
It turned mud brown. “Now, now Liam.” Said Professor Macmillan, “the wand movement is more like this.” He flawlessly changed the murky liquid into wine.
“Congratulations,” said Liam sarcastically, “you can do sixth year magic.” He clapped his hands together disrespectfully.
“Twenty points from Gryffindor,” Said Macmillan, blushing furiously, “I do not allow cheek in my classroom.”
“Unbelievable,” said Liam, glaring at the Professor, “why don’t you go do your job instead of standing around here criticizing me. It looks like Valerie Finnegan just blew up her goblet.”
“Now look here,” Macmillan started again, but Liam cut him off.
“Just leave me alone, dad.”
Liam Macmillan’s dad walked away with one final look of disappointment at his son. Angrily, Liam waved his wand at a nearby goblet of vinegar and it turned perfectly into wine.
“Good one,” Charlotte said in a small voice.
“Thanks” said Liam looking uncharacteristically glum.
“Your dad is proud of you Liam,” Charlotte said, “no matter what you might think.”
“No he isn’t,” Liam snapped, “he forced me into continuing Charms just so that he can criticize me whenever he gets the chance. It was a wasted effort though; I already know how disappointed he is of me.”
It was common knowledge that Liam Macmillan, the Professor’s son had only received an “acceptable” in his Charms examination. Everyone assumed Liam just wasn’t good, but Charlotte had seen him in action.
She suspected that Liam chose not to do well on the exam. Liam was an extremely talented wizard. He was good enough to take Transfiguration, DADA, Charms, Potions, Herbology, and Care of Magical Creatures at the NEWT level.
Charlotte looked over at Talia to see if she noticed Liam’s outburst. However, Talia and Holden were too busy sneaking gulps of their wine when their professor wasn’t looking. Charlotte secretly thought that Holden wasn’t a good influence on Talia.
Talia caught her looking, “what?” she mouthed defensively. Charlotte merely raised her eyebrows, but didn’t say anything.
She looked to the other corner of the room and saw that Valerie Finnegan (Slytherin) had indeed blown up her chalice. Her desk was charred and smoke was still rising.
“She can be so daft,” Al whispered to Charlotte, “I don’t know how she managed that.”
“Slytherins…” Charlotte muttered, “Have you seen Talia yet?”
“Hard to miss, she’s not exactly sneaky is she?” Talia was now overcome by a fit of giggles. Thankfully, Macmillan was still reprimanding Valerie at the other end of the room.
“I’m not really sure she should be showing up to DADA tipsy.”
“Your right, Teddy would know the moment he saw her.” Al agreed, “I’ll go sort her out.”
“Rather you than me.” Charlotte said. Al threw her an amused look and headed over. Charlotte watched as he vanished Talia’s wine. He left Holden’s, Charlotte thought this was because Al would like to see him in trouble. The Slytherins had Potions next and Baddock was very strict. Very little got by him.
There was only ten minutes left of class when Macmillan told everyone to pack up, “Your only homework is to practice.”
“Excellent,” Liam hissed, “no homework.”
While Charms was easily tolerated, Defense Against the Dark arts was actually a class that students looked forward to.
Charlotte, Al, Liam, Talia and Rose walked into the classroom after lunch to find that most of the students were already there. This wasn’t surprising; nobody wanted to be late to DADA, especially not to the first class of the year.
Professor Lupin was no where to be seen, but already all the students were sitting down quietly, waiting for the lesson to begin.
The bell rang and there was still no sign of Teddy.
All of a sudden, a student in one of the middle rows stood up. Charlotte furled her brow; she had never seen him before. Then, without any warning, the student’s features started to change before their eyes. He shot up about a foot, his hair turned dark brown, and his face was soon the face of their Professor.
Teddy Lupin walked to the front of the classroom and stared at everyone. He looked slightly irritated, “Can anybody tell me the mistake you all just made?”
Not even Rose’s hand was in the air.
“Okay, I’ll tell you,” he said, “You all failed to take in your surroundings when you entered the classroom. I’ll say it again and again, you need to be observant. Hannagan and Westbrook, you two were on either side of me and yet you failed to notice that I didn’t belong?” Hannagan and Westbrook were sixth year Hufflepuffs.
“Sir,” said Johnny Westbrook, “we assumed—“
“Exactly!” Lupin interrupted, “all of you assume that everything is okay, you assume you will be safe wherever you go, you assume that nothing bad will ever happen to you.” Lupin was pacing the room now, like he often did when he was feeling passionate about his lecture.
“You are lucky to have grown up in a world where your biggest worry is what classes to take and getting a date for the Hogsmede trip coming up this weekend. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing!” Teddy said noticing the few disgruntled looks around the classroom.
“I’m saying that you need to be prepared for anything, it’s foolish to believe that you will go through your whole lives without facing a dark wizard or creature. If you don’t believe me, then ask your parents. I’m sure none of them expected that they would be affected by a wizarding war when they started at Hogwarts. I’ll tell you again what I’ve told you at the start of every year: this class will turn you into survivors.”
“Okay, so today we are going to review the shield spell and begin to attempt it nonverbally. Break into small groups; I’ll walk around the room to help if you need it.”
“Depulso” Lupin said once everyone had gotten up. The desks and chairs were all pushed away to clear a space in the middle of the room.
Talia, Al, and Charlotte found an empty space and turned towards each other. “Okay everyone!” Lupin shouted over the chatter, “First have each partner cast a shield charm verbally.”
Without any warning Talia shouted, “Tarantallegra!” and pointed her wand at Al. Everyone assumed the jinx would hit Al, but at the last second he had waved his wand.
The spell collided with the shield and bounced off, heading back towards Talia. She unfortunately was not as quick as Al. Possibly because of all the wine she had the period before.
The moment the spell hit her, her legs started dancing uncontrollably. “Damn you Albus,” she said angrily, still doing her little jig.
“You asked for it.”
Lupin walked over at that time and set her right. “You need to improve that reaction time Talia,” he said, “are you okay?” he asked after looking at her closely, “you look a little flushed.”
Talia mumbled something incoherently.
After Charlotte and Talia both performed a successful shield charm, they moved on to nonverbal.
“Ready?” Al asked Charlotte. He was about to send a hex at her and she was going to try and deflect it without saying anything.
She nodded. “Stupefy!”
She concentrated with all her might, but somehow knew it wasn’t enough. She was only able to produce a very thin barrier. The spell tore through it easily and the next thing she knew she was on her back, unable to move.
Charlotte sat up stiffly, “we should really put down some cushions,” she said, rubbing her back.
“Sorry,” Al said sheepishly.
“Don’t worry about it,” Charlotte said, “let’s go again.”
She and Al both tried five more times apiece before class was over. Talia didn’t seem interested in working with Al anymore so she had joined Rose and Liam. Al successfully blocked Charlotte’s spells twice, and Charlotte blocked Al’s once.
“Good work today everybody!” Lupin said excitedly, “five points to everyone that managed to produce the shield nonverbally. Next class we are going to take a bit of a field trip. So I’ll need your singed forms I sent out over the summer. For homework, kindly write a foot long essay on the theory of nonverbal spells. Everyone is dismissed, except I need to see Talia and Al for a moment please.”
Everyone filed out except for Charlotte who didn’t know whether or not to wait for her friends. “You can stay Charlotte,” Lupin said.
“You wanted something Teddy?” Talia asked. They all used his first name when they weren’t in class.
“I’ve known you since you were a baby Talia,” said Teddy, “but next time you show up to my class after drinking, I will not hesitate to put you in detention for a week.”
She hung her head guiltily, “yes sir.”
“Good,” he said brightly. Talia left for Arithmancy which she had with Rose.
Teddy turned to Al, “I’m going to your house for dinner tomorrow night Al, you want me to pass anything along?”
“You’re going there tomorrow?” Charlotte asked.
“Yeah I haven’t seen Harry in a while and I thought I’d stop by…why?”
“Could you please ask how my Granny’s doing? She hasn’t responded to my last letter.”
“You only sent it yesterday,” Al pointed out, “It probably hasn’t even reached her yet.”
“Never mind that,” said Charlotte impatiently, “Will you?”
“Of course, I’ll even see if she wants to join us for dinner.”
“Thank you so much!”
“No problem” he said looking bemused.
“So Teddy,” Al said, “Where are we going next class?”
“Well you’ll find out next class wont you?”
“Come one, tell me.”
“Patience is a virtue dear Albus.”
“And you call yourself a friend.”
“No, I call myself your teacher. Speaking of, as a teacher I was disappointed with you today. I couldn’t believe you didn’t realize there was something wrong when you walked into class. I thought I’d taught you better than that.”
“I did,” Al said.
“I noticed you, but I didn’t want to ruin the affect of your speech, it was good by the way. Charlotte noticed too.”
“What?” she asked, “No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did,” Al said patiently, “when he stood up you realized that he wasn’t a student.”
While she was considering this Teddy said, “You guys better get going, next period is going to start any minute.”
“We have a free period,” Charlotte said cheerfully.
“Care to hang out?” Al asked Teddy.
“Wish I could, but I have first years next so…”
“Right,” said Al, “we’ll just be going then.”
It was still pretty hot, being as it was only the beginning of September. Al and Rose walked down to lake and sat on the dock. They put their bare feet into the water and relaxed.
Charlotte tilted her head back and enjoyed the warm sun on her face. When she opened her eyes again she caught Al looking at her. “What?” she demanded.
“Nothing, you just look really calm.”
“Why wouldn’t I be calm?” She asked. Charlotte knew that Al was still suspicious about her being sick again, but being back at Hogwarts was really good for her. She missed Granny terribly, but it was almost nice to not have to see Granny’s withering face everyday. She felt awful for thinking this, but it was the truth.
Al went back to looking at the lake. Feeling a bit reckless Charlotte shifted so that she was lying on her stomach. She dangled her arms and face over the side of the dock. She put her fingers in the water and soon enough she felt something gnawing at them.
“What are you doing crazy?”
“Come here,” she whispered, “quietly.” Al scooted closer to her and then suddenly Charlotte scooped up the plimpy that was nibbling at her fingers and tossed it at Al.
“Aaargh!” He yelled obviously surprised. The plump little fish was flopping around trying to get out of Al’s hands. Al finally seemed to get his head and tossed the little guy back into the lake.
He looked down at his hands which were now slimy and gross. Then he looked back up at Charlotte. She caught the glint in his eyes and jumped up quickly.
“Don’t you dare,” she said warningly. She would back up, but she was trapped between Al and the lake.
He slowly rose up his hands, wriggling his fingers. The suspense was killing her, “Stop Al,” she said laughing.
“Your face…” he said seriously.
“What about it?”
“You’ve got something on your cheek.”
“No I don’t.”
“Now you do!” he yelled and sprung forward trapping her face between his two hands.
“UGH!” She pulled away. She was extremely torn between anger and amusement. “You foul little—“
“What?” he asked smirking. Charlotte yelled again wordlessly and shoved him into the lake. It was clear that he wasn’t expecting this because if he was Charlotte doubted she would have been able to push him an inch.
But since he wasn’t bracing himself he went stumbling backwards. Then, once again displaying his fantastic reflexes, he caught Charlotte’s arm and pulled her in with him.
They splashed into the water together. They surfaced a second later laughing uncontrollably.
“This is vaguely familiar,” Charlotte sputtered out.
“Yeah, I have the weirdest sense of déjà vu.”
Charlotte dipped under the water again and wiped the rest of the slime off her face. When she resurfaced again she saw Al swimming back to the dock, she followed. After he had hoisted himself up, he reached out and grabbed Charlotte’s hand.
He pulled her up easily and performed a drying spell on each of them, “Come on,” he said, “if we don’t hurry we’ll be late for potions.”
She looked around and realized that almost everyone that was, like them, enjoying a free period outside had gone back inside.
They barely made it to Potions in time. “Take a seat,” Baddock said crossly. Charlotte assumed that he was just cranky because he didn’t have an excuse to take points from them.
It was common knowledge that Malcom Baddock was in the Slytherin house when he attended Hogwarts. He had the slight coldness that seemed to come with the territory, but at least he was fair.
Charlotte took her seat next to Talia. The other partners were: Rose and Scorpius, Al and Valerie, and Liam with Holden. Baddock preferred that students worked in pairs. Rumor had it that this was just because it cut the potions he had to grade in half.
“Today we will be brewing a Hiccoughing Solution; supplies are in the supply closet, instructions can be found on page 142.You have forty-five minutes. Get started.”
Charlotte felt her pulse quicken slightly upon hearing the number four. She forced herself to take care of getting the supplies.
After she was done, she and Talia got to work. They worked extremely well together, possibly because they were best friends.
Talia was really good at preparing the ingredients—she could cut roots into exactly even pieces and could skin a shrivelfig faster than anyone Charlotte knew. These talents came from Talia’s love of cooking.
While Talia prepped, Charlotte manned the potion. She was careful to follow instructions exactly. She rarely missed a step.
Other groups were not as fortunate as them. Rose could be counted on to snap at Scorpius many times a lesson, and he was not above putting a silencing charm on her when she got annoying.
Al had to deal with Valerie’s rash actions. She almost never thought before she acted. Everyone was shocked when they heard that she was continuing potions at the NEWT level. Al needed to watch her as well as concentrate on what he was doing.
Liam would never get along well with Holden, simply because he was dating Talia. They worked in stony silence, neither willing to talk to the other.
By the end of the lesson it was apparent that Talia and Charlotte did the best. “Ten points to Gryffindor,” Baddock said, “for having the best potion in the room. Homework is to summarize the chapter on the draught of living dead”
“I could have beaten you two if Valerie hadn’t thrown in the frog spawn without looking at the directions first.” Al grumbled on their way to the Great Hall for dinner.
“Oh sure!” Talia said sarcastically.
“I could have too,” Liam cut in, “if your boyfriend wasn’t such an idiot.”
“Well he’s much more intelligent than you, you can’t even tell the difference between a pygmy puff and a puffskein.”
He stared at her in shock, “That’s because they are nearly identical! Pygmy puffs are just an alteration of a puffskein.”
Talia, very maturely, ignored him.
“I can’t stand Scorpius!” Rose fell in step with them, “he’s insufferable.”
“Sure you can’t,” said Al.
“Sure he his,” said Talia.
“That’s right sweetheart,” said Liam.
“Whatever you say, Rosie” said Charlotte.
“I take it back,” yelled Rose, “you guys are the unbearable ones!”
She started to walk away and Liam said in an audible whisper, “Hear that? She takes back what she said about Scorpius.”
“I heard that!”
“You were supposed to!” The rest of them laughed and poked fun at Rose and Scorpius all the way to dinner. When they entered the hall Al turned to them.
“It’s Monday” he said with an apologetic look, “I’ll see you guys back at the common room.”
Monday nights were family nights for the Peasleys. They alternated which house table they would sit at and everyone was expected to go. Even Teddy left the staff table and joined them.
Al had told Charlotte that she was welcome many times, but she wouldn’t feel right about it. Charlotte, Talia, and Liam had established that Monday nights was when they were allowed to sit with their boyfriends or girlfriends (if they had one.)
Because of this rule Talia walked straight towards the Slytherin table. Charlotte and Liam, both being single, sat down and ate together.
They ate and chatted about their first day back. But then around dessert time Liam got distracted.
After a few minutes of letting Liam glare at Talia and Holden, Charlotte cleared her throat.
“Sorry,” he said, shaking his head, “I don’t trust that guy.”
“Of course you don’t.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, nothing,” Charlotte said vaguely. Liam was about to say something, but she cut him off, “I don’t really want dessert, I’m going to head up to the common room.” Then she got up without another word and walked out of the Great Hall.
She had intended on going straight to the common room. However, her feet seemed to steer her towards the library of all places.
She decided that she may as well get some work done while she was there. She finished her DADA essay and was a paragraph into her potions one when she started to get sleepy.
Soon after, her pen slipped out of her hand and she fell asleep right on her book.
Albus Present Day
He was talking to Freddy, James, and Teddy about the upcoming quidditch season at the Ravenclaw table.
Freddy was captain of the Slytherin team and a damn good chaser.
James was captain of the Gryffindor team and was also a damn good chaser.
The two of them were also damn good friends.
This made everything damn complicated.
They could talk for hours about quidditch. Al cut in occasionally, being the seeker of the Gryffindor team, and Dom was always trying to force herself into the quidditch conversations.
She was a beater on the Hufflepuff team. Freddy and James refused to listen to her opinions because “Hufflepuff has as much of a chance of winning the cup as Voldemort does of returning from the dead.”
Al noticed when Charlotte left the hall alone. He couldn’t go after her though because his family would never let him leave dinner early.
He turned his attention instead to Molly (Ravenclaw) and Lucy (Hufflepuff.) They were debating who to bring to Hogsmede; this was boring to Al so he turned instead to Lily (Gryffindor.)
He loved Lily so much. He and James would do absolutely anything for their baby sister and they were both extremely protective over her.
“Our first ever Hogsmede weekend” she was saying to Roxy (Gryffindor) and Hugo (Hufflepuff), “I can’t wait!”
“We need to go everywhere, especially my dad’s shop. I’m running dangerously low on stink pellets.” Roxy said flipping her dark hair over her shoulder.
“You are just like your dad,” Al said tousling her hair, “is he going to be at the store this weekend?”
“I think so,” she said, “I hope so.”
“Of course.” Roxy said… she was a total daddy’s girl.
“I’m going to touch the shrieking shack!” Hugo was saying animatedly to Lily now. “I heard it’s haunted.”
“Hugo,” Lily said, “you are such a prat, it’s not—“ Al shook his head at her and mouthed “let him think it is”, “safe.” She finished, catching on.
“You can’t stop me,” he said, “I’m going to touch the wall, you’ll all see!”
“Fine,” Lily said, “I won’t stop you, and I’ll even go with you.”
Al recognized the glint in her eyes.
She was up to something. He couldn’t wait to figure out what.
He finished up his treacle tart and joined the rest of his family in saying goodbye. They would all see each other tomorrow, sooner for the ones in the same house, but it was customary to give everyone a hug after family dinner night.
He finally hugged Louis (Ravenclaw) and set off for the common room with Rose.
“Flobberworm” Rose gave the Fat Lady the password. They climbed into through the portrait hole and headed over to where Talia and Liam were sitting talking and doing homework in their usual spot by the big window. Apparently they had made up.
Al sat down in his usual chair by the window and Rose sat in the chair across from Talia. “Where’s Charlotte?” he asked after a few minutes.
“I don’t know,” said Liam not looking up from his essay.
“I thought you said she came here when she left dinner?” Talia asked him.
“Yeah that’s what she said she was going to do.” Liam said.
“Then where is she?” asked Rose.
“I said I don’t know,” he said, “When I got here I didn’t see her.”
“She’s probably just in our dormitory” Talia said, “I’ll run and check.” She ran up the stairs…and then she ran back down the stairs. “Not up there.”
Al had a really bad feeling in his stomach. She had seemed normal today, good even. They had fun all day. Did something happen after dinner? Did she have a panic attack?
He could tell the same thoughts were going through Talia’s head. They got up at the same time, “Let’s go look for her,” said Al. Talia nodded.
“I’m sure she’s fine,” said Liam. Al and Talia were the only ones that knew about Charlotte’s fragile condition; therefore, they were the only ones freaking out. Rose had sat down and gotten out her homework.
“Just wait for her to turn up,” advised Rose.
“I think we’ll just have a quick look around,” said Talia. She headed towards the portrait hole pulling Al by the hand.
They ran around the school checking everywhere they could think of. They both grew more and more frantic by the minute.
“Where the fuck is she?” Talia yelled after they checked the kitchens.
“Let me think,” Al said running his hands through his hair, “we haven’t checked the library.”
“She hates the Library.”
“I know, but we’ve checked everywhere she likes to go…”
“Lets see.” And they took off toward the library.
Al pushed open the library doors and scanned the room. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw a blonde head resting on a book in the far corner of the room.
The lake water had made her hair dry all funny and it was sticking out at weird angles.
“Thank Merlin,” Talia said, “well can you handle this? I said I’d meet Holden.”
Al nodded and walked over towards her. She actually looked peaceful when she was asleep. “Come on Charlie,” he said gently, “wake up.”
She stirred and then shot up looking confused. “What the?” she mumbled.
“You fell asleep,” Al explained pulling her up by her hand.
“I’m tired,” she said annoyed. Al had to work really hard not to laugh.
“I know, here get on my back.” She obediently hoisted herself onto his back and rested her head on his shoulder.
He carried her all the way to the Gryffindor tower.
Author’s note: Please leave a review!
Attention: I think I might have changed a few ages of the Potter/Weasley kids so here’s some clarification: James, Freddy, and Dom are seventh years. Al, Rose, and Molly are sixth years. Louis and Lucy are fifth years. Lily, Roxy, and Hugo are third years.
Peace out Girl Scout.
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