Chapter 2 : Testosterone Levels Rising
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“Hey there Beautiful”, my best mate Giles whispered in my ear as he wrapped his arms around my waist.
“Careful, don’t want to make your mate Ethan jealous, huh babe?”, I whispered back.
Giles slowly leaned back, a small calculating smile on his face. “Don’t know why you’d think that but hey, I’m willing to spread myself thin.”
“Okay, Casanova,” I chuckled, “ let’s go find some seats.” Giles and I nodded to Ethan, who was still across the station talking with his father, and stepped onto the train.
Giles and I met first year on the way to Hogwarts. I had wandered 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 the rest of Ravenclaw was 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 and select other Slytherins during common room hours.
“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.
“Always with your nose in a book, Besin. And here I thought you weren’t the stereotypical Ravenclaw.”, came a new voice snapping me out of my thoughts. I’d been so lost in my thoughts that I hadn’t even noticed that Ethan’s older brother, Evander, and his best mate Kane MacDougal, Giles’ cousin, had sat down in our compartment.
“And what would you know about being stereotypical, Yaxley? I heard you already tried to hex the youngest Potter. Once a Slytherin, always a bully it looks like, “ I said putting my book down on the seat and looking Evander in the eye. Evander’s clear blue eyes stared back at me.
“Aww Besin, don’t tell me you have a soft spot for those blood traitors. 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,” said Evander.
Giles and Ethan exchanged a rather amused look. Prats. After the annual Yaxley ball last spring when Evander and I danced, they’ve been 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 Giles.”
All of the boys played Quidditch on their respective house teams. Evander was the Keeper and captain this year, Kane and Ethan were Chasers and Giles was Keeper on the Ravenclaw team.
“Aww come now Belle, you and I both know that’s not the only reason,”said Potter shooting me an exaggerated wink. He and his mate, Freddy Weasley, stood at the door of our compartment. Potter, casually leaning against the door frame with his arms crossed and a look of feigned innocence on his face.
The testosterone level rose significantly with the Gryffindor’s arrival and both Evander and Giles rose and drew out their wands at the two visitors. Ethan tensed but remained seated, apparently deciding, for the moment, to do nothing. Kane, on the other hand, looked amused and put his arms behind his head as he leaned back and watched the ‘show’ in front of him.
“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, Potter’s here to defend his sister’s honor. Isn’t that so Potty head?” said Evander gently but firmly putting his hand on my shoulder and maneuvering 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. “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.
“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 he didn’t actually have to 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.
Bring it on Hogwarts.
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