Chapter 2 : Fancy a Cup of Tea?
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“Hey Roxy, can you hand me the syrup, please?” Lily asks a confused Roxanne. Apparently I’m not the only one who sees the strangeness this morning.
“Sure thing, Potter,” Roxy mumbles as she pushes the syrup to Lily.
Lily smiles at her as she pours the syrup all over Roxy’s outstretched hand.
“Thank you,” she says once she finishes off the bottle.
Well, there you go. That explains it all.
Roxy attempts to remove the layers of syrup off of herself, but doesn’t comment on the whole mistreatment of sugary goods. I take pity on her and wave my wand, cleaning her hand and arm. Nonverbal spells were actually the first I learned. Our charms professor got frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t properly pronounce the spells out loud, so I went the extra mile to avoid verbal incantations.
Lily pouts at me, “Stewy, what’d you go and do that for?”
I shrug, not really wanting to say anything.
Lily rolls her eyes at me and gets up from the table, “Find me when you’re in the mood to talk,” she tells me before leaving.
I watch her departing figure before turning back to Roxanne, “D-Do me a favour and d-d-don’t st-t-tart a c-c-c-c-c-conflict with her, ok-kay?”
She nods, understanding my horribly stammered words.
Hugo skips over to us, watching us converse with a small smile, “I passed Lily in the corridors. She looked ready to hex a kitten. What’d you say, Stewy?” he asks, sitting down and filling his plate up with pancakes.
Not much, I say in my head, but I don’t respond to his inquiries. He knows, he’s just making conversation.
Roxanne begins to shuffle around in her seat. She’s been awfully nice to me ever since the slug incident this past week. This must be the result of her and Hugo talking, but I can’t think of what he’d say to make her back off.
I guess I should be the one telling her to back off, but I’ve never really cared for the torments. Freddie always told me that anyone seeking to do me harm is not worth my time. Although, he was a lot like Lily and would get back at his sister for the ruckus she caused me.
Roxanne isn’t my only bully, well, if you can call her such a harsh name. Ironically, the Ravenclaws took me in as someone to torment. I never really knew the reason behind this, but I’ve never been on those ‘claw’s sides for anything.
Maybe they think that my stammer somehow inhibits all of mankind? That wouldn’t be a very smart assumption, but whatever.
It’s ironic that the Ravenclaws despise me, because the Slytherins don’t seem to care. They pick after the Hufflepuffs all the time, but they walk past me like I’m invisible. Maybe that’s their punishment? I’m not worthy of their taunts?
Whatever the reason, I’m just glad that I don’t get in too many people’s ways.
Hugo and Roxanne are chatting about some homework assignment. Homework...not a fan. It’s not that I don’t do it, I just find that my test scores even out the amount of assignments I “forget” to turn into my professor. The professors don’t complain, which is nice. Perhaps they feel sorry for me? That’s a thought.
I sigh and get up from the table. Both Hugo and Roxanne look on the movement with curiosity, and I’m forced to explain my departure with hand gestures. I point to the library book in my bag, and Hugo seems to pick up on the little charade. Roxanne, however, is a different story.
“Where are you going?” she demands, tilting her head to the side while she waits for my response.
I practice the tongue movements before attempting to converse, something my speech therapist suggested, but I know the action won’t help. I clear my throat, “Library,” I say without stammer.
I don’t know who’s more surprised by the clear word, me or Hugo. We both drop everything and stare at each other in amazement.
“Holy Hufflepuff!” Hugo shouts, getting up from the table and throwing himself across his food to tackle me to the ground.
Roxanne is beaming, lighting up her big, brown eyes.
I attempt to push Hugo off myself, to no avail.
“Did Stuttering Stewart just say something without a stammer?” Roxy teases from her spot on the table, watching as I struggle to break from Hugo’s hug. Recently her teasings have been just that, teasing. Nothing really hurtful, just her being herself, I guess.
For a moment, I allow myself to have hope that the next statement will be fine. I open my mouth to respond, “Ap-p-parently so.”
Oh no. Well...that celebration was short lived.
Roxy’s face falls in sympathy, “You’ll get it, Stewart,” she nods her head at me in determination.
I finally wiggle out of Hugo’s embrace, getting up and dusting off my robes. I nod at her, signalling my understanding.
Hugo hops off the ground, “What did you do differently when you spoke a few moments ago?” he asks out loud.
I ignore him and leave the Great Hall. I don’t want them to see the tears that have formed from my frustration with myself. I’ve had this stammer for years, but I’ve never felt this upset. What the devil is wrong with me? I can’t even say simple phrases taught to children!
Geez, Stewart just pulls at my heartstrings. Now that Freddie’s gone, I can now claim my spot as his best friend, but he’s still blocks everyone out. He was so open with Freddie. I was always jealous.
We became friends over something as simple as quidditch.
I’ve always felt pressured to play, you see. My father, Ron Weasley, was the king at his time. My dad taught me basic keeper skills, but I was always a deadweight on a broom, even he could see that.
When the time came for me to try-out for the team my third year (they generally don’t allow first and second years to even attend try-outs), I fell off my broomstick. Everyone laughed, even my cousins. Stewart was the one that helped me off the ground and took me to the infirmary. We both didn’t make the team that year, but I’ve always loved the kid.
Roxanne clears her throat next to me and I roll my eyes at her, “Don’t you even think about complaining about him leaving like that.”
“Why not?” she whines, hitting her head against the table, “Shouldn’t someone go after him to make sure he’s okay?”
“That’s Lily’s job,” I shrug.
The four of us were always together. Stewart, Lily, Freddie, and I, we made up a small group of friends and we designated certain jobs out to each other. Lily was always in charge of cheering someone up emotionally, like me our fifth year when I nearly failed Divination. Freddie was in charge of providing the comic relief with his pranks and stupid jokes. Although what he said half the time was complete rubbish, he always cheered us up. I’m in charge of education and making sure everyone keeps their head. We’re here at Hogwarts to learn, and sometimes they need to be reminded of this fact.
Stewart...Stewart was just our natural leader. It sounds strange, having a leader that barely talks, but when he does speak, it’s always so powerful. He chooses his words carefully, with intent behind each of them. Despite the stammer, the things he says have always put him at the forefront of our group.
It’s a no wonder that Lily was so attracted to the kid. Yes, that’s right...was.
There’s something different about Lily this year. It’s like she’s tired of being the emotional support, or something. The old Lily wouldn’t have retaliated to Roxy in front of Stewart. She always would go and do little things, like making Roxy trip in front of the bloke she fancies, or something subtle like that. Yup, something’s different about my cousin.
“Lily’s job?” Roxy hisses up to me, “What the hell, Hugo?! Friends comfort other friends whether they think it’s their job or not.”
“You could comfort him,” I smirk at her.
She blushes, stabbing her pancakes with a little more force than necessary, “No, I’m not his friend.”
I sigh, “Sure you are, Roxy. Stewart’s never really despised you for being horrid to him.”
Her blush deepens, but she doesn’t respond.
Yes, that’s right. My own Roxanne Weasley has got a strong fancy for Stewart Harrison, the boy she teased relentlessly since our first year at Hogwarts.
I found out the other day after our little slug incident...
We watch as Stewart races down the corridors after Lily.
“All right, Roxanne. You know what you’ve done wrong, you know how everyone feels about it, now go away. I’m not in the mood to talk to demons,” I say to the girl next to me, my wand hand itching to hex her down.
She looks at me, tears are running down her eyes. I’m shocked, what is going on?!
“I’m truly sorry, Hugo. I really didn’t mean it this time around,” she cries into her hands.
I shake my head at her, “But you always mean it, Roxy.”
“Why should I believe you?” I counter, eyes narrowing into slits.
She bites her bottom lip and looks around before leaning in and whispering, “Look, you can’t tell anyone. Promise me.”
“Fine,” I reply, curious to know what she’ll say.
She sighs in relief, “Okay. Well, don’t make a big deal out of it, because it doesn’t change anything, okay? I might fancy Stewart...a little.”
What?! I was expecting some tragic excuse, but this?! What will Stewart say?
Roxanne grabs my wrist, “You have to promise on your life that you won’t tell!”
Not tell?! But...Roxanne rips me from my thoughts with a sniffle. She’s crying because she’s so confused. Whatever feelings she has for Stewart are just remorseful, she can’t really like the kid she’s bullied for over six years, right?
“Fine, I won’t tell anyone as long as you promise me something,” I say.
She wipes away a few more fallen tears, “What?”
“No more of your stupid tricks on Stewart. We’re all tired of it, Roxy,” I sigh, removing my hand from her grasp and rubbing the indents her nails left.
“Okay, but no making a big deal of this, please? I don’t want anyone to know.”
“Why? Is it too embarrassing?” I snap at her, wary of her idiocracy.
Her eyes widen, “What? No, I just don’t want to bugger up his life anymore than I already have.”
“Oh,” I say, taken off guard a second time.
I shake myself out of my shock and nod at her, “I promise not to say a thing.”
Roxanne pulls me from my memory by hitting my arm, “Go fetch Stewart and make sure he’s okay!” she hisses.
“I’m sure he’s already with Lily,” I wave her off, getting up from my spot and packing my things.
Her face falls a little, but she plays it off, “If he’s still upset the next time I see him, you’re next cup of tea will not taste refreshing,” she threatens.
I shiver, what have I gotten myself into?
A/N-It's a bit short, but jam-packed full of information :D What do you think? Leave a review, or shout your opinion at your computer. The former is a bit easier for me to comprehend :P
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