Chapter 1 : "Little Friend"
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I shake my head at him and continue to scratch at my parchment, making Fred’s nose reflect that of the penguin’s beak. I hear Hugo make a disgusted noise from the back of his throat, but I ignore it until I hear him hiss, “Stewart, you need to pay attention to the lecture.”
I scribble down my response to his completely irrational hissings, and push it to his side of the table so that it lies on the flat surface in front of him. I wait for him to read it, but his face is fixed on the ghost’s drones. I shift uncomfortably in my chair and stare at the side of his face, but he is making a show of ignoring the parchment in front of him.
Well, his loss. It was a very witty remark. I sigh and pull out another parchment to doodle on when Hugo turns to me, his eyes narrowed into slits. I shiver unconsciously and slowly put the parchment back into my satchel. He can be very intimidating when he wants to be. His brown eyes shoot flames of death at me, while his reddish-brown hair seems to point up, into threateningly sharp daggers. Fred and him have the same brown eyes. They are cousins, after all.
I clear my throat in discomfort and attempt to retrieve my initial parchment from in front of the beast that is one of my best friends, but Hugo slaps my hand away, “If you have something to say, say it Harrison.”
I glare at him, but refrain from speaking. I’ve been having troubles with my, “little friend” today.
Hugo’s face falls in sympathy and he opens his mouth to say something when a piece of parchment hits the back of his head. I look behind him and see Roxanne Weasley, Freddie’s little sister, smirking at me.
I quickly lean down and grab the piece of parchment and open it up. Big, curvy scribblings cover the page:
Is Stuttering Stewart not paying attention to the lecture? Too bad, you might actually understand Binns. You both speak “plonker” quite fluently.
I glare down at her, but she turns away. You’d think she’d give me a break, it is our seventh year. It’s not like she had to take this course with Hugo and me, she could have filled the credit in with Divination or Care of Magical Creatures. I sigh and scribble my response.
Well, I’m not sure if I’ve mastered Binn’s type of dialect. You’ll have to tutor me in that aspect some day. Perhaps I could borrow your notes?
I hand it to Hugo to approve of, and he snickers before tossing it to Roxanne’s desk. I don’t bother watching her read it to see her reaction. The hour is up and Professor Binn is excusing us.
As Hugo and I gather our stuff, I slip my doodle of Freddie in my satchel. Fred Weasley graduated last year, leaving behind his dreadful little sister. I miss the bloke, really. He was like an older brother to me. We always got into all sorts of trouble. The kid couldn’t settle down in one spot for more than a minute.
Roxanne passes our table, stopping briefly to mutter, “Cat got your tongue, St-t-t-tuttering St-t-t-ewart?” I glance at her. Her naturally wavy brownish black hair falls down her shoulders, her deep brown eyes are narrowed, and her full lips are puckered in a frown. I let my eyes glance down at her form. Geez, when did Roxy get so fit?
She snarls, waiting for my response, but I just shake my head before turning to leave, Hugo following.
“Hey you git, get back here!” I hear Roxanne yell at our departing figures.
I see a flash of light and feel something slither up my throat. Hugo is watching me with worry as I fall to the ground and hurl up whatever it is tickling my throat. A big, brown slug splats onto the floor and I stare at it in complete shock.
Roxanne races over to me and kneels beside me, “I’m so sorry, Stewart. I didn’t mean to,” she whimpers as I heave up another slug onto the floor.
“J-J-Just leave,” my voice cracks from lack of use.
She doesn’t leave, but stays kneeling next to me, her hand is raised as though she wants to touch me. Hugo steps over to her and lifts her from the ground, “Look, Roxy. Go find Lily and tell her that her boyfriend is heaving up garden slugs.”
Roxanne nods and steals another glance at me before jogging off. Hugo sighs and crouches next to me, “I’m sure she really didn’t mean to curse you, Stewy.”
I wave him off and attempt to gulp down the next slug, but his mucus form clings onto my esophagus. This is truly revolting. I pull my wand out and try a few different spells on my throat to no avail. I heave up another slug before moaning, “Where d-d-did she learn this c-c-c-c-,” I cringe and decide to use a different word, “hex?”
Hugo waves his wand, cleaning up the few slugs on the ground, “I haven’t got a clue.”
I nod my head, wincing as I feel another slug climb up my throat, “It’s qu-quite imp-p-pressive.”
Hugo looks at me as though I’ve gone insane. I turn and heave another slug onto the tile floor.
We hear footsteps echoing in the corridor and we turn to see a worried Lily running towards us, a trailing Roxanne following, “Are you okay, Stewy?” she asks when she reaches us. She pushes Hugo away and takes his spot, rubbing my back while sending glares at Roxanne.
I nod my head and smile at her. She returns my smile and kisses my forehead before pulling me up off the ground, “You know, Madame Pomfrey boasts about seeing everything, but I don’t think she’s had to fix something like this before.”
I smile at her attempts to cheer me up as her and Hugo pull my arms around their shoulders to carry me to the Hospital Wing.
Roxanne watches us, her lips quivering, “I’m really sorry, St-”
Lily cuts her off, “You’ve done enough today, Roxanne. Just leave us alone.”
Roxanne winces at this remark, but stays standing in her spot.
“C-C-Come on L-Lily, she c-can join the p-p-party,” I cringe at my stuttered words.
Lily frowns at me, “Stewart, she’s the one that cursed you.”
“She ap-p-pologized,” I shrug.
Lily drops my arm, sending Hugo and I sprawling onto the floor, “Fine, she can take you to the infirmary,” she pouts.
Hugo groans under my weight and pushes me off of him, “Lily, you’re being ridiculous,” he says to my beautiful girlfriend.
Lily Luna Potter is, in all honesty, the most beautiful girl that has ever made my acquaintance. Well, she’s the one of the few girls that actually speaks to me. She has long, red hair, big, brown eyes with flecks of green, and a smile that could turn any man’s heart to her. I don’t know why she confessed to having feelings for me last year. I’m an incredibly average looking bloke, with a serious speech impediment.
I take after my father. Black as coal hair, sharp cheekbones, and incredibly dark eyes. However, my “little friend” as my late mother called my stammer, is not hereditary. Actually, most children have a stammer when they first learn to speak, most grow out of it. I didn’t.
I groan and heave up another slug. Lily’s eyes soften and she helps me off the ground, “Sorry, I am being ridiculous, aren’t I? I’m just tired of you forgiving Roxanne so easily,” she mutters before helping Hugo off the ground.
“She d-d-d-d-,” I pause and stare at the slug I heaved on the ground for a moment. This word refuses to come out. I take a deep breath and rephrase my response, “She ap-p-poligized.”
Roxanne clears her throat, “Er, can I help in some way?”
Lily turns and glares at her, “You can leave and never come back,” she hisses before storming off.
We stare after her, “Perhaps we should get you all fixed up before arguing again, eh mate?” Hugo states, flicking his wand at the slug on the floor.
I sigh and shake my head, “It’s m-mostly worn off.”
“Right, well, you go deal with Lily and I’ll take Roxanne,” Hugo says.
I nod in agreement and chase after the upset Lily. I hear Roxanne complain behind me, “I’m right here, you know. You don’t have to talk like I’m not around.”
As I jog down the corridors, I think about the first time Lily kissed me. Hugo and I had returned to the Gryffindor common room after a particularly harsh quidditch practice. She was crying on the couch. . .
“L-Lily?” I whisper, frightened. She never cries.
“Stewy, you’re back already?” she asks, voice cracking.
I nod and sit next to her. I’m not entirely sure what to do.
“Why didn’t you tell me that Roxanne put a dungbomb in your tea?”
I shrug, unwilling to say anything unless it is extremely important.
“Stewart, you can’t let anyone just push you around like that,” she whispers, grabbing my hand.
I wince, Freddie said that Roxanne was just playing around. She doesn’t mean anything by it all, but Lily doesn’t think that. In fact, she doesn’t like it when I call myself, “Stuttering Stewart.” I mean, if the rest of the school does it, why not? It’s not like calling myself that will make my stutter worse. It comes and goes as it pleases. No amount of speech therapy will change that.
“Look,” Lily sighs, scooting closer to me, “I just don’t want you sitting around and taking the stupid pranks. I want you to tell her to bugger off, because you’re really something special, Stewy.”
“W-What?” I respond. My heart is, ironically, stammering against my chest.
She smiles and pulls my chin towards her face, “You are a force to be reckoned with, Stewart,” she whispers and softly kisses my lips.
I break myself from the memory when I find Lily in an empty classroom. She’s crying, again. It’s very unnerving to see her cry. I walk to her and pull her into an embrace. She cries into my robes and I kiss the top of her head.
After a moment, she pulls away and glares at me, “I thought I told you to stand up for yourself.”
I sigh and scratch the back of my head, “It r-really was an ac-c-c-ident, Lily.”
She shakes her head and pokes me in the chest, “Just promise me you won’t let her get to you.”
I smile and wipe a tear from her cheek, “I p-p-promise.”
A/N-Hello! If you have a second, please leave a review :D Thanks for reading! -soapman333