Chapter 2 : Testosterone Levels Rising
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I glanced down at my watch to see that it was only thirty past ten o'clock. I'd been at the station since eight, not because I was that eager to go back to Hogwarts (though I knind of was) but because the only bus that took me to Kings Cross left my orphanage at seven in the morning. I'd never really unpacked and everything I owned fit without an expanding charm in one trunk so it wasn't an inconvienence to get up that early. The hardest part was being the first student to arrive at platform 9 and three quarters year after year.
I was going into my sixth year at Hogwarts so seeing all of the families sending off their children didn't make me too sad any more. I looked up from my book though when I heard a little girl standing in front of me gasp and point excitedly. Sure enough, it was the Wotters, or the Weasley and the Potter families. The little girl's mother softly reprimanded her not to point and I was reminded of my own mother. I was only six when my mother died but I still remember how beautiful and elegant she was to me. To her, being rude was the worst thing you could be.
The station was slowly filling up with people and I stood up, trying to spot my best mate. Giles easily stood a head higher than most so it normally wasn't a challenge to find his mop of blond hair amongst the crowd of Hogwarts students and parents.
“Hey there Beautiful”, a voice whispered seductively in my ear causing me to jump in the air and reach for my wand in my pocket.
I sighed when I turned and saw that it was only Giles grinning mischieviously.
"Can't you just say 'Hello' like a normal person?" I exclaimed with exasperation.
“Course not, I have entirely too much fun this way." Giles slowly leaned back, a small smile on his face.
"You seen Ethan yet?“
I nodded, surprised that Giles missed seeing the Yaxley's 'grand' entrance. Yaxley Sr. acted like every occassion he was at was important and had an effortless way of clearing the pathway for himself and his sons.
"Least he doesn't have to worry about Ethan," said Giles with a grin.
I just chuckled. "Come on, let's go find some seats. Ethan can catch up later."
Giles and I met first year on the way to Hogwarts. Some might find it odd that a penniless nobody of a girl was friends with sons of two of the oldest pureblood families but it was really just luck that brought us together.
I had been wandering down the train, unsure where to sit before I finally went into a compartment full of first year girls that were later sorted into Slytherin. The girls took one look at my shabby hand me downs and asked rudely if I was lost. I gave them a look equally as frosty and said apparently I was.
Everywhere I looked, all of the compartments were full. I was furious and feeling extremely sorry for myself by the time I stumbled into a compartment near the end of the train. When I say stumble, I literally did stumble. I tripped in the hall way and sort of fell into an open compartment where two boys were sitting and conversing. One of the boys was tall and a slender build with sandy blonde hair and green eyes. The other boy was shorter and stockier with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. They looked up at me, startled by my sudden appearance, then glanced back at each other. The brunette shrugged his shoulders at the other boy, as if to say, ‘I don’t care’, and the blonde nodded back before turning to speak to me.
“Aww, Hello there, how do you do? I’m Giles Jugson and this is my mate Ethan Yaxley,” said Giles as he rose and hefted my truck into the overhead compartment.
His frank politeness and quick acceptance baffled me into silence. “Ugh, well thank you. I’m Isabelle. Ugh, Isabelle Besin,” I said awkwardly. Both of them nodded politely and gestured for me to sit down.
Perhaps it was good manners or mayhap it was Giles keen sense of reading people that made him accept me so quickly that day on the train. Either way, after the sorting ceremony we were both placed in Ravenclaw and Ethan in Slytherin. Giles and I stuck together after realizing we really didn't fit in with most of our year.
See Ravenclaw is separated into three groups. The first were the ‘blood traitors’. Usually friends with a few Gryffindors but too good for the Hufflepuffs. The second group was comprised of all of the ‘loners’. These were the stereotypical bookworms of Ravenclaw...You know, the ones that made all of us look bad. The third group was the smallest. It was the small minority of the house that probably should have been placed in Slytherin but for reasons unexplained were placed in Ravenclaw. Giles and I were the only first years in the last group so we mostly kept to ourselves and hung out with Ethan during common room hours.
I've always been grateful that Giles accepted me that day on the train even though I'm not quite sure why he did. He, Ethan and I became an unstoppable trio. They drove me crazy at times but there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for either of them.
“That git Malfoy is the new 5th year prefect, how they could allow another filthy blood traitor on is beyond me,” said Ethan, snapping me back to the present.
He was sprawled on one end of the compartment while Giles was at the other end with his feet propped up. I ended up on the same side as Giles in the middle of the seat but had to shove off Ethan’s foot as it nudged my transfiguration book.
“Oy! Watch it Yaxley!,” I said as I glared at him. The tosser just smirked at me and put his foot back up so I grabbed his shoe and attempted to pull him off his side of the bench. Ethan being a bulky Quiddich player obviously had no problem staying put though.
Giles just sat and laughed at my struggle before finally speaking up. “Alright, stop playing footsie with Belle, Yaxley, I don’t think she’s your type-.”
“Please, I’m everyone’s type,” said Yaxley crossing him arms and pretending to be hurt. I didn’t miss the subtle glance between them.
I’ve known since first year that there was more to Ethan and Giles relationship than what they let on. It was in the small glances they would give each other when no one was looking or the way they would talk when no one but me was around. I knew I was Giles best mate but that Ethan would always be something more, and that was fine with me.
Same sex relationships may be fine in the muggle world but they were yet to be accepted in the wizarding world. Especially not in the pureblood community. Giles and I never spoke of his relationship or lack of relationship with Ethan, just like we never spoke about my past before the orphanage. We both know there’s more to the story but don’t press it with one another. Our friendship works out quite well that way.
Giles already faced enough scrutiny from his father for failing to be a Slytherin. Although Jugson Sr. had finally accepted that Ravenclaw was better than the other two houses, he still felt his son had yet to display any qualities of the future head of the Jugson family. Giles’ grandfather, Dean Jugson, and his son Jared had managed to get away after the battle of Hogwarts scott free since no one was able to identify either as a death eater. His father’s sister Kimberly had married into the MacDougal family, another strong pureblood family, but also another family that could not be directly traced back to the original death eaters.
I often wondered if Giles’ parents were Knights my father had known. I assumed they were but of course couldn’t question Giles about it. Knight weren’t yet common household name in the wizarding community after all.
The door of our compartment slid open as Evander Yaxley and Kane MacDougal walked through the door. Evander was Ethan's older brother and Kane was Gile's cousin. Both were seventh year Slytherins and like Ethan and Giles, they had all grown up together. They weren't always so accepting of me though and even went so far to tell Giles to get a 'proper' friend or in other words, one with a less questionable bloodline. They finally gave up though when it was apparent that I was going to stick around no matter what.
In our third year, Evander and Kane's fourth, Yaxley Sr. was brought before the wizarding council for conspiracy against the ministry. Three fourths of the school treated the Yaxley brothers like they were the death eaters who killed Voldemort. Nothing came from the questioning but everyone associated with the old pureblood families were ostracized due to the negative media attention. Even Ethan and Giles said they wouldn't blame me if I didn't want to be seen in public with them but I told them we were friends no matter what. Since then, Evander and Kane have gradually accepted me even though the rest of the Slytherins had not.
“Always with your nose in a book, Besin. And here I thought you weren’t the stereotypical Ravenclaw."
Kane plopped down next to Ethan, kicking his feet out of the way and Evander shoved aside Giles to sit down entirely too close next to me.
“And what would you know about being stereotypical, Yaxley?" I said inching my book away from his prying eyes and finally snapping it shut with a loud thud. " I heard you already tried to hex the youngest Potter. Once a Slytherin, always a bully it looks like."
I smiled sweetly at him, not letting him see that I was slightly unnerved by his close proximity and startling clear blue eyes staring back at me.
“Aww Besin, don’t tell me you have a soft spot for those blood traitors," said Yaxley as he casually draped his arm over my shoulder. "Or maybe it’s the eldest Potter that has you worried? Hear he has quite a fascination with you…We’ll have to do something about that now won’t we."
Giles and Ethan exchanged a rather amused look. Prats. They’re under the bizarre opinion that he fancies me. I’m sure he only fancies annoying me though.
“You’ll do no such think Yaxley because none of that is true. I could care less about Potter,” I spat angrily. “The only reason he likes to bother me is because of his stupid quidditch rivalry with you and Ethan.”
Evander was the Keeper and captain of the Slytherin team this year and Ethan was a chaser. To say the rivalry between Evander and the eldest Potter was intense was an understatement. Potter and Yaxley had been at each other's throats since day one but only towards the end of last year had Potter even noticed I existed. Evander stood up for me when one of Potter's teammates accidently tripped me with the tripping jinx and ever since then I've been on Potter's radar...unfortunately.
“Aww come now Belle, you and I both know that’s not the only reason. That's not the impression I got after our late night meeting last term."
I cringed when I heard Potters unmistakable voice. It was Evander's fault for not shutting the compartment door all the way when they came in and now Potter and his best mate and cousin Freddy Weasley stood in the door way of our compartment looking as if they were completely welcome.
Potter shot me an exaggerated wink as he said the last line and causually leaned against the door frame waiting for the fireworks.
The testosterone level rose significantly in our compartment and I could clearly see both Evander and Giles grip their wands tigher in their hands. Ethan tensed but did nothing and Kane, well Kane on the other hand, looked completely amused and put his arms behind his head as he leaned back and watched the ‘show’ in front of him.
Evander stood until he was eye to eye with Potter. Both of them tensing their wand hand just waiting for the other to make a move.
“Enough,” I said standing up and stepping between the boys.
I wasn’t about to let them get into a stupid fight before the year had even started. Especially when both Potter and Evander were on their last warning. Headmistress McGonagall had told both of them last year that one more duel between the two of them would result in suspension of their captain badges.
I glanced sharply at Evander but he did nothing but glance down at me and continue to glare over my head.
“It’s alright Besin, everyone knows you'd never stoop to Potter's level. He's just here to rile us up and defend his sister’s honor. Isn’t that so Potty head?” said Evander as he gently but firmly put his hand on my shoulder and maneuvered me behind him.
“I’ll only tell you once. Stay away from Lilly,” said Potter with a hard glint to his eyes. “You’re lucky Rose blocked your hex at the last moment or I’d have fun experimenting the new hexes I learned on you.”
“Why, what’s the matter Potter? Afraid you can’t hold your own against me?”
Weasley quickly put his arm out in front of his cousin who looked ready for battle. “We didn’t come for a fight, Yaxley,” said Weasley as he gave a pointed look to Potter. “But you want one? We’ll give you one…on the Quidditch pitch. We’ll see who can or can’t hold their own then.”
Evander never lost his cool and just looked at Weasley and Potter and chuckled. “The two of you aren’t a threat on or off the Quidditch pitch. But fine, Quidditch it is. I look forward to it.” He said the last with a slow drawl and lowered his wand as if dismissing that the Gryffindors were ever a threat.
Luckily the train whistle blew, signaling the coming arrival at Hogwarts.
“Come on,” said Ethan, standing up and pinning on his prefect badge for the first time. He really only was a prefect when it benefitted him.
“Let’s go. Get moving Wotters, I’d hate to doc points this early in the game, Eh?” The boys did one final stare off before Potter and Weasly left the compartment.
“Practice tomorrow, 5 am sharp.” said Evander to Ethan and with that last word he and Kane left the compartment to get their luggage.
“Well…”, said Giles drawing out the word. He looked relieved and disappointed there wasn't a duel with the Gryffindors.
Ethan just clapped him on the back then turned to get our luggage down from the overhead bins. “Shall we?” he said looking at Giles and I.
We stepped off the train and Giles and Ethan’s owls hooted appreciatively at finally getting fresh air. The boys walked slightly in front of me, still talking about Quidditch and the near fight on the train. I simply sighed. I could already tell that it was going to be a year unlike any other.
A/N: What do you think so far? I'd love your feedback so go ahead, write a review :) Thanks for reading!
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