Chapter 1 : Problem Number One
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“…. And then he dumped me b-b-because he said I wasn’t g-good at s-s-snogging!” With that, Alana Thomas flung herself onto me and started sobbing on my shoulder.
I grimaced. She wasn’t one of those ‘gentle crying’ types of girls. She was the ‘crying with humongous amount of snot’ type. And she was getting all that snot all over my shirt. My new shirt, if I might add.
All the same, I patted her consolingly and let her sob on my shoulder.
Now before you start wondering as to why I am not pushing away a snot infested girl, who is not my best friend, away from me and making her sit on couch instead, I should tell you that letting people cry on my shoulder is a part of my job description.
What job you ask? Well let me introduce myself.
My name is Coral Carter. I am sixteen years old and I am Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s official guidance counselor.
Counselor? At sixteen? What a joke.
That’s what you’re thinking isn’t it?
Well, trust me I hadn’t planned on this. It just sort of happened. You see, apparently, according to my best friend Rose Weasley, I have a knack of helping people. I always helped people. I couldn’t help it. Be it homework or a bad break up – I couldn’t sleep until that person’s problem was solved or was feeling better.
First, the whole helping thing started out between my close knit group of friends, then to the girls of my year and then to my house mates and then finally to the whole fucking school.
THE. WHOLE. DAMN. SCHOOL.
I don’t even know how that whole school got to know about my “helping abilities”.
People would corner me in corridors, the great hall and hell, some even managed to break into the Gryffindor common room to get me to help them sort out their problems.
Of course, being me, I helped out each and everyone one of them, no matter how long it took. However things started to get out of hand. People would barge into the middle of classes or in the middle of the night, into the dormitory to get my advice.
I didn’t know whether to feel flattered or think of them as desperate.
McGonagall thankfully took control. She gave me permission to use one of the empty transfiguration classrooms as my “office” and allowed me to keep it very professional. Now, I see my “patients” as I like to call them (makes me sound very professional) every Mondays and Thursdays, 5-7 pm.
“There, there.” I said to her. It was the only response I could think of.
How did you console a girl whose boyfriend dumped her because she wasn’t good at snogging?
“I-I’m a terrible person! I should g-g-go to hell because I’m not good at snogging! Nobody will ever want to b-be with me!” She wailed through her tears.
I stepped back and glared at her. “Now you’re just blowing this all out of proportion. Stop being a fucking idiot. You know he probably just told you that because he couldn’t think of another excuse to dump you.”
Now here’s a little fun fact about me. As much as I love helping people, I am also an incredibly blunt person. Sugarcoating things just isn’t my style.
Alana stopped crying for a moment and blinked at my outburst. “So I am good at snogging?”
How would I know?
I took a deep breath. “Look Alana. I don’t know how good your snogging skills are.”
Tears started leaking out of her eyes again.
“But.” I said hastily to avoid another round of snot and tears, “Why don’t you test those skills out? Go to bar in Hogsmeade. Snog some dude. Ask him for his opinion on your snogging, he’s going to think you’re weird but it should be a risk your willing to take. Give you some security about your…err snogging skills.” I told her.
“And you should forget about your stupid ex-boyfriend whatever-his-name-was. He isn’t worth thinking about. Especially if he dumped you because of your snogging. If a guy really likes you, he won’t dump you because he thinks you can’t snog. He’ll probably teach you how to snog.” I added as an afterthought.
“T-thanks Coral.” Alana hiccupped. “For being honest. I needed to hear that I was acting like an idiot. I mean I’m just so insecure you know? He was my f-first boyfriend and I really liked him.” Alana started crying again, and flung herself once more onto my shoulder and getting her lovely snot all over me.
I groaned inwardly. Not again.
You know, I wouldn’t have bothered buying a new shirt if I knew this was going to happen.
* * *
After finally convincing Alana that she was going be okay without her ex and seeing two first years about their ‘who poked who first’ problems, I finally trooped back towards the Gryffindor common.
“Sugar Quills.” I tell the Fat Lady, tiredly.
“Well come on in.”
As soon as I step into the common room, my maniacal Quidditch captain James Potter immediately tackles me to the floor.
Why hello floor. Long time no see.
“WHAT THE FUCK JAMES?” I scream at him, attempting to push his sweaty body off me (and failing). “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?”
“You.Missed.Practice.” James said through gritted teeth. “How could you do that Coco? Don’t you want to win? This is my last year here! Do you not care a least bit about the fucking team?”
“So couldn’t you tell me that without pouncing onto me?!” I yell from beneath his bear like body.
He considers my words for a moment. “Yeah I could have. But this option seemed more dramatic.”
It’ll be dramatic when you won’t be able to have children after I’m done with you. Arse.
“Great. You made your point. I missed practice. Now, GET OFF.”
“Not until you promise to never miss practice again.” He said, giving me a hard, angry look.
“Well then don’t schedule practices on the days when I act as counselor.” I tell him coolly, narrowing my eyes at him. “The people who need help are just as important as Gryffindor winning the cup.”
“I. Don’t. Care. I am not getting off of you unless you promise. Pinky promise. You can’t break those sons of bitches.” James told me.
What are we? Five?
“Fine!” I let out a frustrated cry. “Now get your sweaty body off me.”
“Not until you cross your pinky with mine.” He said primly.
“I said fine didn’t I?!”
“CROSS THE PINKY’S.”
We crossed our pinkies and James thankfully lifted his body off mine, gave me a grin and walked away to where his best friends Fred Weasley and my brother Seth Carter were sitting.
I made my way up to the sixth year dormitory to find my three best friends playing exploding snap on my bed.
Let me introduce you to our little clique.
First off, there is Rose Weasley. She’s inherited the typical Weasley genes - red hair and the blue eyes. Rose is the little techie of our group, as I have so fondly named her. How much ever she loves studying, she’s an absolute Quidditch nut. Too bad she can’t play to save her own life.
Next, is Chanel Clarke – the absolute girly girl. You’ll recognize her by her blonde hair and green eyes. Chanel is the ‘innocent’ one of our group. Talk about anything perverted – you’ll find her covering her ears. Bless her virtuous little brain.
And finally, the last one out of our group. Laura McKenzie. This hispanic black haired, brown-eyed chika is the tomboy of our group. She, along with me is part of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, although she plays chaser while I play keeper.
“Hey Rocky! You’re finally done with your helping shit!” Laura grinned at me.
She definitely has her way with words.
Yes, my nickname is Rocky; thanks to these loons I call friends because they felt sorry that I had the misfortune of being named after a bunch of colourful underwater rocks. I frankly quite like my name. Coral - such a pretty name. Unfortunately I was either called Coco or Rocky.
It’s funny how everyone in our group hates their name. Rose hates her name because Rose sounds like a prudes name. So she is known as Ro.
Laura hates her name because it’s too girly. She only goes by the name Kenny. If you ever call her Laura, there is 110% chance she’ll break one of your body parts. Trust me, she’s done it before.
Chanel doesn’t particularly hate her name but since all of us had a nickname she wanted one too. She’s known as Nell.
“Yes Kenny. I’m done with my helping shit.“ I said, putting emphasis on the shit.
With that, I flopped down on the bed right on top of all their exploding snap cards.
“Rockyyyy.” Rose complained, “I was about to win.”
“Sorry Ro.” I gave her, my ‘I’m so adorable. You just can resist me’ grin.
“Coco, what’s that on your shirt?” Asked Nell, pointing her finger at my left shoulder where Alana had so kindly given me a souvenir.
“Alana Thomas’s dried snot.” I say nonchalantly.
“EWW!” Ro and Nell screamed jumping off the bed while Kenny sat there looking disgusted.
“Why exactly do you have Alana’s snot on your shirt?” Rose asked.
“Because I thought I’d customize my shirt. You know, give it a new look” I say sarcastically.
“Har har. You’re so funny.” Rose responded dryly.
“Your face is funny!”
“Your nostrils are funny!”
“My nostrils look fine, thank you very much!”
“Don’t insult my-“
“Look how much ever I want to hear about you guys argue about Rocky’s nostrils, it’s dinner time and I’m starving. So Rocky, get your ass in the shower. The sooner you’re done, the sooner I can eat.” Kenny barked at us.
I scrambled up to my feet and ran towards the shower. You do not want to disobey Kenny’s orders in matters where food is concerned.
I know I’ve made Kenny sound like some violent psychotic bint, but really, she’s quite a sweetheart.
“HURRY UP YOU BITCH. MY STOMACH NEEDS SOME OF THAT DAMNED BACON.”
I stand corrected.
* * *
“YUMMM. This bacon is so gooood.” Said Kenny, shoving as much bacon as she could into her mouth. Not all bacon could fit so some of the pieces were sticking out of her mouth.
“Looking attractive Kenny.” Ro smirked, voicing my thoughts.
Kenny glared at her.
“Yo yo yo. What up, what up, peoplesss.” With that lovely greeting, Louis Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy and Jake Matthews, seated themselves across the table.
“Dudes.” I greeted them.
“Hi Louis.” Nell greeted him breathlessly.
I think now would be a good time to mention that Nell has a teeny-tiny crush on Louis. And by teeny-tiny crush I mean I mean intensive snogging and stalking. Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. Louis and Nell are snog buddies.
Try and contain your enthusiasm.
Apparently this whole snogging thing has being going on since the fourth year, but they had kept the whole thing a secret. The rest of us (by that I mean Me, Kenny, Ro, Scorpius and Jake) had only found out last year, when Rose was on her prefect rounds and had caught them in an abandoned classroom.
Poor girl spent half an hour washing her eyes trying to get rid of the images. They’re that revolting. And no, she’s not exaggerating. Once we all found out, they didn’t try to hide their relationship and they basically snogged during any free time they got. Breakfast, free periods, after Quidditch practice…you get the picture.
Sadly, Nell fell for him, while Louis just took it as ‘friends with benefits’. Nell hasn’t given up though. She still has hope that one day he will truly fall for her.
And that is the revolting (and sort of cute) story of Nell and Louis.
“Hey babe.” And then he grabbed her face and started snogging her.
YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?!
“Not during dinner you perverts!” Jake yelped. The rest of us had extremely uncomfortable expressions on our face while we looked at the ceiling or at our plates.
Not that they stopped. They continued playing tonsil hockey.
Five painful minutes passed when Kenny muttered, “Oh enough of this shit. It’s really hard to enjoy my bacon like this.” With that she whipped out her wand and muttered a spell, which immediately pushed them apart.
“Hey! What did you do that for?” Louis protested. He tried to get close to her again but was unable to due to some kind of invisible wall.
“It was really hard to enjoy my bacon.” Kenny shrugged. “And I think the others were going to throw up.”
“Oh thank you Kenny.” I sighed in relief. My eyes had started to hurt from staring at my plate.
Everybody else murmured their thank you’s while Kenny sat there smirking.
“You may now worship the holy ground that I walk upon.” She smiled smugly.
We all began our mindless chatter, which raged from Quidditch to the topic of ‘which professor would it be most fun to see get drunk’.
“I vote for Slughorn!” Jake declared.
“Oh please! The guy would start mumbling about how he helped defeat Harry Potter by giving him that memory!” Scorpius scoffed.
Yeah he probably would. Slughorn never went one lesson without bragging about the fact that the war couldn’t have been won without his contribution of giving Harry Potter that memory.
“I vote Minnie.” Ro said enthusiastically, “She’s so uptight all the time! Some alcohol would really help her get loose!”
“Nah Slughorn would be better!” Jake said dismissively.
Suddenly there was a loud yell, which came from behind us. We all turned around to see where the noise was coming from.
The Slytherin table.
The yell came from Dean Armstrong, a sixth year Slytherin, who was currently lying down on the ground getting his lights punched out by none other than Slytherin’s golden boy – Albus Potter.
The entire great hall stared in shock. Albus Potter engaging in violence? Not possible. That kid was a firm believer in Gandhi. You know the whole non-violence thing. Never had he resorted to violence even if he was angry. And here he was giving poor Dean a bloody nose and a black eye.
Suddenly there was a loud bang and Albus flew behind, hitting the bench. The person who shot the spell was McGonagall.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS MR.POTTER?” McGonagall thundered.
“THAT FUCKTARD PROVOKED ME. WHAT THE SHIT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO? SIT THERE LIKE A FUCKING NINNY?” Albus yelled back, standing up.
Shock crossed McGonagall’s face. I don’t anyone had spoken to her like that before. Hell, I don’t think Albus had spoken to anyone like that before.
Let me tell you a little bit about Albus Severus Potter. Besides the fact he has an extremely wonky name, he is the school’s poster child for perfect Hogwarts teenager. He had perfect grades; I mean the bloke got all ten O’s in his O.W.L’s, the only person in the entire year school to do so. And along with being a model student, he was also Slytherin Quidditch captain since the fourth year and he had already secured the house cup twice, sadly beating out Gryffindor. He was polite and well mannered and as I had mentioned before – a peace loving dude.
Not to mention he was an extremely good looking bloke with his inky black hair and his beautiful green eyes.
“Detention Mr. Potter!” McGonagall said furiously.
Albus let out a short laugh.
“Yeah detention is going to be so bloody helpful! After one hour of cleaning cauldrons I’ll be a new person again right?” He sneered “Well I’ll be there. But don’t expect anything out of me.”
With that he stalked out of the hall with everybody staring behind him.
After he left, the entire hall broke out in whispers.
“What was that?”
“That was so disrespectful!”
“He looked so hot.”
The bloke was giving someone a black eye and all you can think about is how hot he looked? What is wrong with this world?
Our entire group looked at Rose and Louis for answers. After all, they were his cousins. They should know something.
Louis shook his head. “Don’t look at me. I have no clue what’s going on.”
“I have never seen him like this before.” Rose whispered, looking troubled.
I rubbed her arm soothingly. Rose and Albus were really close. If she didn’t know this side of him that means there was something really wrong with him.
Rose and Louis ate their dinner in silence, while the rest of made small talk. After dinner, all of us normally hang out in the great hall until it’s empty but today we decided to head back up to the common room.
We were making our way back to the common room when a first year rushed up to me.
“Are you Coral Carter?” He asked, panting.
I smiled at him. “That’s me.”
“Professor McGonagall wants you in her office.” He said
I frowned. Why would she want me in her office?
Maybe it’s about the transfiguration homework I didn’t turn it. Three weeks into school and you’re already in trouble. Way to go Coral.
“Hey I’ll see you guys later, yeah?” I nodded at my friends and made my way to McGonagall’s office.
I knocked on the door.
I entered to find myself in a large brightly lit room decorated with several odd looking ornaments, the floor covered with a Persian carpet and the walls covered with portraits of previous Hogwarts headmasters.
I see McGonagall standing with none other than Harry and Ginny Potter.
“You wanted to see me?” I ask, hesitantly.
“Ah yes. Coral, I assume you know Mr. and Mrs. Potter here.” She said.
I nod at them politely.
“Well.” She continues briskly “You’re here because we need you to help Mr. Potter deal with his personal issues in a more...” She paused. “Civilized manner.”
Hold up. They want me to help HARRY POTTER?
“What?” I ask blankly.
“Albus Potter, Ms. Carter. Please keep up.” McGonagall said briskly.
Oh right. Albus. Stupid me. Why would Harry Potter need my help?
Insert mental slap.
“Hold on. The kid got in a fight and you think he has issues that he needs my help for?” That sounds sort of ridiculous. I mean the kid got in a freaking fight. Half of the male population does. You don’t see their parents being called to the headmaster’s office to consult them and ask for their permission about counseling.
Hell, I’m not even a freaking counselor. I’m just some amateur who just likes helping people.
“I don’t think that would be necessary professor. The kid got in a fight. Half of these blokes do.” I said, hoping it didn’t sound like I didn’t want to help.
“Please Coral.” I heard the soft voice of Ginny Potter. Her face was streaked with tears and her voice sounded rather wobbly. “This isn’t just one fight that he has gotten into. He’s completely changed over the summer. He’s become moodier, more irritable; he doesn’t spend any more time with his family. He got into plenty of fights with the muggle boys in our neighborhood during the summer. And now I hear he’s fighting in school. I don’t know what’s going on with him.” Ginny’s voice broke.
Oh. This was the teenage boy’s ‘angst’ phase. I’ve seen Louis, Jake and Scorpius go through this phase last year. Unluckily this ‘virus’ hit them all at the same time. It was freaking hell.
“Please Coral.” She looked at me with her big brown eyes. “You have to help him.”
“I-“ My voice faltered. “Sure.”
I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS.
“It’s settled then.” McGonagall said, her voice definite. “You’ll see him on Wednesday’s – 7pm.”
Okay, don’t give me that look. It’s not like I don’t want to help him. I do. Helping people is my thing.I love helping people. Granted, that i may not always be patient with them and tend to lose my temper quickly, it's something that I'm good at. The reason I find these ‘find your inner peace’ sessions, unnecessary is because a boy doesn’t need help because he’s going through his teenage angst phase.
And it’s not as if I can say no to the Harry Potter. He’ll freaking avada kedavra me off this planet if I uttered the word ‘no’.
Okay, I am exaggerating a little bit here. He won’t kill me. But it would be highly disrespectful if I said no to helping his son, considering the man saved the whole wizarding world and all that jazz.
“Thank you Coral. We greatly appreciate this.” Mr. Potter smiled at me.
I smiled weakly.
“You may leave now Ms. Carter.” McGonagall said, gesturing towards the door.
I turned the doorknob when I heard McGonagall’s voice.
“Ms. Carter, please keep this information to yourself that Albus Potter will be seeing you to resolve his issues.” She said.
I gave her my word and left.
As I walked back to the Gryffindor common room, I had a very strong gut feeling that this was not going to go well.
A/N: Hello! :) So what do you guys think? Good? Bad? Let me know through a review! I will give you all virtual cookies if you do. Promise.