Chapter 1 : Saved From Certain Peril
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“By Mum, Dad,” I, Taralyn Kyra Rivers, tried weakly as I stepped toward the Hogwarts Express to begin my sixth year at Hogwarts.
They didn’t look up at all. I sighed, unsurprised.
Instead, they continued to hug my brother and sister good-bye, ignoring me. Figures. It’s not like they ever cared anyways. I was gone for almost the entire summer, and yet I’m sure they didn’t even realize I was gone. No, only Ravenclaws head boy Tom and prefect Elizabeth were worth anything to them. A Quidditch-loving rule-breaking Gryffindor troublemaker was a waste of their time and money. Not that it made a difference. My grandma did leave me a rather immense fortune when she died, stating that I was the only one who wouldn’t spend it on useless shit. Her words, not mine. My whole family resented me for receiving the fortune over them.
Except, of course, for Elliot. My awesome, fun-loving, caring twin brother. I loved my brother with all I had. My parents didn’t care for him much either, so we had to stick together. He didn’t go to Kings Cross with us though, because he had spent the last week of summer at his friend’s house. My brother was a lot like me, and we were inseparable. He was also in Gryffindor. We both had spent about half the summer with our friends, and the other half hanging out together away from the house.
My other siblings were pompous, annoying goody two-shoes who kissed up to my parents all the time. They were, in my parents eyes, perfect. My parents believed Elliot and I needed to focus more on school, and less on sports. More on studying, less on friends. Ha, yeah, because that’s going to happen. That’s about as likely as Ron Weasley approving of Scorpius. In my opinion, Scorpius is the most adorable little kid in the world. Or maybe Albus Potter… he’s a pretty darn cute kid. I love those two, they’re like the little brothers I never had…
Anyways, so yeah, my parents don’t like me. Which brings us back to the Hogwarts express. I looked around for my two best friends, Grace Alexander and Cameron Hanson. They were both in Ravenclaw, but they were still my very close friends, and had been since first year. The girls in Gryffindor were nice to me, and we talked all the time, but I usually hung out with Grace and Cameron.
I turned. Cameron and Grace were walking toward me, grinning.
“Hey Cam! Grace!” I exclaimed happily, hugging them each.
“Hey! How was your summer?” Grace asked me, as we made our way onto the train and searched for a compartment.
I shrugged, making a face. “It was alright, I guess. They noticed me enough to feed me at least.”
“That’s good then,” Cameron smiled.
We entered an empty compartment soon enough, and train left minutes after. “So um… how are you?” Grace asked me.
I shrugged. “Fine. Anything new with you guys?”
“What? No! Why would you assume something’s new!” Cameron exclaimed way too quickly. Grace glared at him.
I narrowed my eyes. “No reason.”
Following a rather long moment of uncomfortable silence, I finally said, “Alright guys, what’s up?”
Grace shifted. “What do you mean?” She asked uncertainly. Cameron looked nervous too.
“I know you two better than that. You’re hiding something,” I accused.
“Erm…” Cameron stammered. “We uh…”
“Spit it out!” I demanded.
“Well, Grace and I are kind of… dating.”
My jaw dropped.
Grace smiled hesitantly. “Yeah… for two months now…”
“Don’t be mad!”
“Mad?” I asked. “I’m not. Just shocked. When did this happen?”
“Just one day at some Muggle movie we were watching, you with your brother I think,” Grace explained.
“Right. And you just suddenly decided, ‘Hey, let’s date each other,’?” I raised an eyebrow.
Cameron rolled his eyes. “No we did not, we were just talking and suddenly… we were snogging.”
I made a face. “Oh lovely. My two best friends snogging.”
Grace rolled her eyes. Hmm, maybe they are good together. “Oh come on Taralyn, it’s not like you’re never going to witness it.” With that she leaned over and kissed Cameron.
I choked on my own spit. “Oi, no need for the PDA!” They both laughed as I started shielding my eyes from them.
“Grow up Lyn!” Grace teased. I hated that nickname. Her and Cameron called me it all the time, and I didn’t want to offend them so I just let them. But really, it’s a rather annoying name. I mean, Lyn… really? So not me at all. I’m getting sidetracked again, aren’t I?
At first, it was fine. We played exploding snap, Grace and I gossiped, the two of them told me about their summers. We acted just like we always did.
The only difference? Grace and Cameron would every once in a while to make some nauseating comment or snog or hold hands. It was, to be frank, disgusting.
I felt like a third wheel. They had a huge amount of inside jokes that they would incorporate into our conversations that they would get, but I wouldn’t. I think half the conversations were them trying to explain to me why these jokes were funny, but really they weren’t. Then later on the ride we hit a bump and I flew out of my seat onto the floor.
They laughed at me.
That’s sadism, that is.
Right. Well anyways.
“Hey, erm, Lyn?” Cameron asked suddenly. He looked uncomfortable.
“What’s up?” I asked, confused.
“Would you- um, er… do you mind if we…” He trailed off looking helpless.
“Would you mind giving us a few moments in private?” Grace finished for him.
I raised my eyebrows. Grace sent me a significant look. Oh Merlin. EW!!!!! “Um… sure… I guess.” I stood up and left the compartment, feeling more awkward than ever before.
I wandered down the hall of compartments feeling pretty upset. Was this going to happen a lot now? I mean, yeah, they’re dating, but we were still friends. I had never before been asked to leave by them. It was just… different. Not to mention the idea of them getting in on in our compartment is kind of disturbing… very disturbing actually. In fact, I think I may be permanently blind from the mental images…
I stopped and glanced to my right. James Potter, Fred Weasley, Elliot, and William, or Will, Sawyer sitting in their compartment with the door open.
I sometimes had more fun with my brother’s friends then with my own. James Potter was more like his grandfather and uncles than his dad. He loved pranks and having fun, and was very laid back. He was also Elliot’s closest friend. The two were always together, so I had to endure him all the time. I didn’t mind though, James was nice to me. He was pretty fun too. Fred Weasley was probably the most kind and considerate of the lot. He was a mix of both his parents. He had the responsibility of his mum, and the mischief of his dad. Elliot, as I mentioned earlier, knows me better than I know myself. He is quite literally my best friend. Then there’s Will Sawyer, who is like my second brother. I mean that almost literally, as he is our cousin. He’s a lot like Fred, kind and calm, yet mischievous and funny.
“Oh, er… no. My friends just kind of… um… kicked me out.” I said, making a bit of a face.
“Some friends you have,” Will snorted.
I shrugged. “Yeah, well, they’re dating, and wanted some… privacy.”
James and Elliot both looked irritated. “Your two best friends kicked you out so they could get it on in your compartment?” Elliot asked in disbelief. Hey, those were my words!
“Way for tact,” Fred said with fake enthusiasm.
James grinned. “Well, Miss Rivers, you could sit in here if you’d like.”
“Gee, how thoughtful,” I grinned, sitting down next to Elliot.
“So do I need to go yell at your friends, Tara?” Elliot asked. I smiled. Elliot had always called me Tara, and soon his friends caught on. Everyone else called me Taralyn or, ugh, Lyn.
“No, that’s alright,” I answered. “I don’t mind.”
“Yeah, we’re much better company anyways,” Fred grinned.
I laughed. “Right, sure, let’s go with that.” Then I turned to Elliot. “So how was the end of your summer?”
Elliot and James exchanged a smirk. I raised an eyebrow.
“Well, after covering all of Albus’ room in silly string, we played Quidditch in the backyard-”
“But then Hugo fell off his broom-”
“And Uncle George and Uncle Ron had a duel, but all the moms got mad at them so they had to stop-”
“Then Teddy came over and we all terrorized Roxy for a while-”
“Oh and then Rose brought Scorpius home, Uncle Ron hated that-”
“Hermione had to force the chair out of his hands-”
“I gave Lily a haircut-”
“We wrestled an alligator-”
“We went skydiving-”
“We fought off an aggressive army of tigers without using any magic-”
“OI! Shut it you two, now you’re just being ridiculous!” I interrupted. Everyone in the compartment was laughing.
Elliot laughed. “You love us, Tara, You know you do.”
I rolled my eyes. “Uh huh. Sure.”
“You should hang out with the girls in your dorm more,” He said suddenly. “That way if Alexander and Hanson continue to shut you out like this-”
“They’re not shutting me out,” I interrupted. “They just wanted some alone couple time.”
All the guys looked at each other warily. “Well,” Fred said. “If they are dating, they’re going to want that couple time more often than not.”
“So if they continue to do this,” James continued, “then you could at least hang out with the girls in your dorm or us.”
“Yeah, and we know for a fact that at least one person in there who will hang out with you, Dom’s in there. And I’m pretty sure the others will to,” Will added.
I smiled. “Alright, sure.”
“So, speaking of those girls, Fred did you hear about a certain Teagan Jackson becoming single this summer?” Elliot smirked at Fred, who turned red.
“Yes. Maybe. So what?” He asked quickly.
James smirked as well. “Oh come on mate, just ask her out already before you lose your chance.”
Fred was about to reply when we were interrupted.
We turned. Walking past the compartment was Dom Weasley, Teagan Jackson and Danelle Hopkins (And yes that’s Danelle not Danielle). In my opinion, all of them were very nice, smart, and fun to be around. Danelle, or Dani as she preferred, was especially nice to me since day one. I think it’s because Teagan and Dom had been really close friends even before Dani came along, so she often felt sort of excluded… Oh hey, I could relate now!
Fred turned ever redder. Yikes, I hope for his sake that they didn’t catch any of that conversation. Luckily for him, they didn’t seem to have heard.
“Hi Dani, Teagan, Dom, how goes things?” I smiled at them.
“Taralyn, what’re you doing here?” Dani asked in surprise.
Dom and Teagan looked surprised as well. “Oh, er they told me I could sit here, so I did,” I answered.
“What about Grace and Cameron?” Dom asked.
“Well, they started dating over summer, and-”
“They did!? Oh that’s so cute!”
“-And asked me to leave so they can have some privacy,” I finished.
Teagan, who had exclaimed the comment, frowned. “Oh… Sorry about that.”
“If it happens again, feel free to come hang out with us!” Dani said happily.
Teagan nodded. “Absolutely. We’d be happy to provide some company.”
I smiled at them, grateful for the offer. “Thanks guys, I may take you up on that.”
“You should. We’re far better company than this lot,” Dom grinned, gesturing to the boys.
“Sorry boys, it’s true. Alright, well, see you school!”
I waved as they walked off.
“See?” Elliot said. “Told you. You should hang out with them more often. Although don’t listen to Dom. We’re much better company.”
I laughed. “Sure, Ellie, sure.”
James grinned. “Ellie? How degrading.”
I smiled. “Yep, only the best nick names for my dear brother.”
“I should get better names for helping to save you from dying of boredom or other certain perils as you wandered down the aisle.” Elliot sniffed.
“Oh alright, but only because you lot saved me from certain perils,” I rolled my eyes.
“What can we say, it is our duty to help a damsel in distress,” James winked, making me laugh.
The ride finished pretty quickly. When the train finally stopped I stood up to leave.
But the moment I took a step, I tripped over the doorframe.
Smooth Taralyn, smooth.
The guys snickered at me. “Smooth, Tara,” Elliot grinned.
“Thanks Ellie,” I mumbled, my voice muffled by the floor.
I wound up walking with the boys into the feast, and sitting with them. I looked over at the Ravenclaw table where Grace and Will were watching me with shocked looks on their faces. Normally I always sat with them. I smiled at them before turning my attention to my food.
Holy Mother of Merlin… CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! Yum. I remember my first chocolate chip cookie… I was four years old. It was the same day that I won a blue crocodile in a Muggle crane machine thing at some restaurant. I named him Fred. This was before I met Fred Weasley of course. He’s only a couple inches long, and he’s plastic… but he’s still a good friend.
“Um… Your best friend is a blue plastic crocodile?”
“I share my name with a blue crocodile!?”
“Shit. I said that out loud!?” I cried at Will, who had asked the first question. The others were laughing uncontrollably.
“What exactly is it about him that is so appealing to make him your best friend?” James asked me, still laughing.
“I mean Fred? He’s a ruddy plastic toy! I can’t share my name with plastic!”
“Oh Merlin,” Elliot muttered, he had heard my explanation before.
I dropped my head down onto the table. “For your information, Fred is a very deep, complex character. He comes from Australia and aspires to be a world-famous artist, painting magnificent scenery pictures. This, of course, was after he reached enlightenment many years ago. However when he realized that this dream was impractical he decided to settle for a more realistic career. Right now he’s in my dorm though, he’s on his break from law school, he’ll return in a few weeks.”
They all stared at me. “And when did you decide to go with this story?” James asked.
“When he told me all of that.”
“Bonkers,” Will coughed. I flipped him off.
“And you named him Fred?”
“As in the same name that I possess?”
“As in, me Fred!?”
“For your information I had him far before I met you.”
“Alright, well, you’re officially mental.”
“Gee, thanks, Fred.”
“Any time dearest Tara.”
I laughed. This was probably one of the best parts of hanging out with them. They didn’t hold something like embarrassment over your head. Unless you’re in Slytherin of course. But that doesn’t count.
“Did he say Tara?” Asked Dani, who was sitting next to me and across from Dom, who was next to Fred and Teagan.
“Yeah, they decided it fit better than Lyn,” I made a face saying Lyn… I always do.
“Oh, really? Can’t imagine why,” She smiled.
“Oh yes I know, Lyn is just lovely and so me, can’t you tell?”
“Oh yes, I’m sure you love it.” She laughed.
“Absolutely,” I laughed with her.
It wasn’t until the feast was over that I got a chance to talk to Grace and Cameron.
“Lyn! What was that about?” Grace asked me, as she and Cameron caught up and walked with me out of the Great Hall.
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“I think she means you sitting with those Gryffindor guys. Since when do you talk to them?” Cameron asked.
I shrugged. “All the time?”
“But why? You know as well as we do that they’re pompous jerks who like playing pranks on innocent people!” Cameron exclaimed. Looks like he forgot about Elliot.
I narrowed my eyes. “They are not pompous jerks. And the jokes they play are harmless! I find them pretty funny actually.” I decided to test them and not name my brother just yet.
Grace rolled her eyes. “Oh please. Funny? They’re lazy and they think they’re so great because they get off the hook with so much. The whole lot of Gryffindors, they’re all the same! They hold themselves above everyone else because they’re so bloody proud. They’re just arrogant. All of them.”
I glared at her. “Elliot’s in Gryffindor in case you forgot.”
Cameron faltered. “Oh, er… we forgot about him… sorry Lyn.”
I glared. “No you’re not. And did you forget who else is in that house? Me.”
Grace’s face turned to shock and regret. “Oh Merlin, I forgot… Lyn wait! We didn’t mean that!” I ignored her as I stormed away toward the Gryffindor tower.
I entered the common room and went straight up to my dorm, feeling hurt and annoyed, but mostly furious. They didn’t know anything about any of the other Gryffindors! And if they believed that all Gryffindors are arrogant and proud then I guess that includes me too. Seeing as I was placed in Gryffindor after all.
“Are you okay?”
I jumped. Dani was sitting on her bed watching me angrily unpack my things; she looked slightly amused and slightly concerned.
I shrugged. “Yeah, I’m alright. Grace and Cam were saying how all Gryffindors are pompous and too proud, and they started insulting my brother and his friends. I guess they forgot that I’m in Gryffindor too.”
She frowned. “Well that’s not fair, they don’t even know them! And as for arrogant, you are nowhere near it, trust me.”
“I agree,” said Teagan. “Seriously, just hang with us. We will appreciate your awesome Gryffindor pride.”
I grinned. “I think I will.”
“Yeah and besides, who wants to spend all the time with the Ravendorks anyway?” Dom wondered. We all laughed.
I smiled at them. “Thanks guys.” They smiled back.
“No problem,” Dani said. Well I’m going to bed, I’m exhausted. See you tomorrow.” The others yawned in agreement.
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