Chapter 10 : I Just Want to Party
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I know, you were probably starting to question it, but I'm here! Sorry for the delay. Hopefully the freedom of summer will make this updating thing WAAAYYY easier and more regular for me. :) Well, story time, right?
Disclaimer: Due to my lack of mansion and lack of classic car collection, I doubt I am JKR.
Chapter Ten: I Just Want to Party
Dorothy didn’t really understand how her life had changed so radically so quickly. Somehow, she’d gone from shy and in love with James Potter to shy and screwing around with James Potter to not-as shy, not screwing around and not even friends with James Potter, as well as Hufflepuff Quidditch player. She had two new best friends, who were actually in her own house, and she always had Freddie by her side through it all. Not to mention, all this had happened within the first two months of her seventh year!
“I love Halloween,” Fiona said, laughing as the trick she had placed at the entrance of the Hufflepuff common room scared a group of third years who were walking in.
Hope snorted as the girls screamed. “You’re a horrible human being.”
“Hey,” Fiona said, flipping her long dark hair over her shoulder. “I’m just getting people into the Halloween spirit.”
“Can we go to breakfast now?” Dorothy asked, placing her hands over her rumbling stomach. “My tummy is crying like that poor first year was earlier.”
“Ooh, food sounds nice,” Hope agreed as Dorothy’s stomach let out another low groan.
Fiona sighed and nodded. “Alright, we can go. I wanted to see what happened to Bruce, but whatever.”
Dorothy smiled as she let up off the couch. “You’re wonderful.”
The girls made their way through floating jack-o-lantern lined corridors, listening and laughing at Fiona’s predictions about her planned pranks for the day. They approached the staircase that took them up to the ground floor of the castle where the Great Hall was and hurried up the steps. “Thee!” someone called once the three Hufflepuffs had emerged from the stairs.
Dorothy turned. “Oh, hi, Lily,” she said with a small smile. “What’s up?”
Lily closed the gap between herself and Dorothy, looking to be very overwhelmed. Her normally stick straight and flowing red hair was frizzing into a small monster, and it was obvious that she had put her eyeliner on while walking to the Great Hall. “I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind coming to Gryffindor Tower around four thirty to help set up for Roxy’s party. Rose has detention with Malfoy, and we could really use an extra set of hands.”
“Oh, um, yeah, sure,” Dorothy said, mentally running through her plans for the day. “Shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Fi and I could help too if you need it,” Hope said quickly, before Fiona could protest.
Lily’s face broke into a grin. “Really? You wouldn’t mind?”
“’Course not,” Hope said, shooting Lily a sparkling grin. Fiona pinched Hope’s arm, shaking her head furiously. Hope slapped her hand away. “It’d be our pleasure.”
“You guys are life savers!” Lily gushed. “We’re just meeting in the common room, password’s novum inde. Fat Lady just changed it.”
Once Lily had disappeared within the Great Hall, Fiona turned on Hope. “Really?”
“Oh, shut up,” Hope snapped. “Lily needs the help, it’s the least we can do.”
“The only reason we’re even going to this party is Longbottom! Can’t I just have fun?”
“Act a bit more like a Hufflepuff, would you?”
“So this is what the Gryffindor common room looks like,” Fiona said thoughtfully as she ran her hand over one of the scarlet armchairs walking into the main lounging area. “It’s so…Gryffindor-y.”
“Shocking,” Hope said as they followed a snickering Dorothy to the large group by the roaring fireplace.
Freddie, who was lounging in front of the fire, saw them and winked.
“Oh, good, you guys are here,” Lily said. She frantically skimmed the parchment in her hand and let out a breath. Dorothy silently noticed that her mildly poufy hair had grown exponentially throughout the day, and her eyes widened as it seemed to start moving by itself. “I think that’s everyone. We should get started.”
Lily followed the instructions Rose had left her before she’d had to report to detention with Malfoy, and soon everyone was split up around the large room, wielding their wands to transform it into something worthy of a surprise Halloween Sweet Sixteen.
“Damnit,” Hope grunted, realizing her positioning on the sofa cushions wouldn’t supply her with the angle she needed to hang the other side of the large “Happy Birthday, Rox!” banner. Stretching her non-wand arm out for balance, she stepped up onto the back of the sofa and precariously pushed upwards onto her tiptoes, trying to contort her body into the correct position. “I can’t…fucking…see where I’m…supposed…to put…this…damn…thing!” She leaned forward a tad more, wand extended by the tips of her fingers out in front of her.
“Merlin, Hope!” Dorothy said as she turned to see her friend’s balancing act. “Be careful!”
“Born…careful…” she called back, giving her wand a quick flick to attach the banner to the stone wall. It fastened just as her toes slipped off the wooden frame and onto the upright pillows, sending her body sprawling forwards, face first towards the ground. She yelped and braced herself to hit the floor but instead heard a grunt of exertion over the loud bang of a box being dropped as she landed against the cushioning of a leanly muscled chest and two strong male arms wrapped around her.
She opened her eyes, having not even realized she shut them, to see she was in James Potter’s arms. “You okay?” he asked, his voice thick with concern.
“Um, yeah,” she stammered. Her eyes frantically searched his face, not truly understanding how she had wound up in his grasp rather than with a face full of carpet. “Can you put me down now?”
“Oh!” James said, quickly placing her feet back on the floor. Hope took a large step away from him and straightened her robes. “Sorry.”
“Yeah,” she said, watching as his hand ran through his thick black hair, her brow furrowed in displeasure. “Just because you caught me doesn’t mean I like you.”
“Mutual, sweetheart,” James shot back, frowning.
“Are you okay?” Dorothy said, having dashed across the room with Fiona when they’d seen her fall.
Hope turned to them and gave them a shaky smile. “Fine.”
Fiona looked over to James and said, “Good catch, Potter.”
James shrugged and bent down to pick up his box, quickly walking away from them.
“I told you helping out with set up was a bad idea,” Fiona said. “You could’ve died!”
“Oh, please, Fi,” Hope said. “It was not that bad.”
“You did a front flip into his arms,” Dorothy said. “If he hadn’t been there, you’d’ve slammed your face into the ground.”
“It was surprisingly graceful for you,” Fiona said, wrapping her arms tightly around her best friend’s shoulders. “You’re damn lucky, Jacobs.”
Hope laughed, shaking the strong pull she’d had to James during the two seconds she’d been close to him that had left her heart pounding in her chest. “It’s a gift.”
“Have you seen Freddie?” Dorothy asked Rose. The party was in full swing now, and somehow, everything was up to the ridiculous standards of Rose Weasley.
“Haven’t seen him in a while,” Rose answered, throwing back the shot in her hand. “But I’m currently trying to drown the memories of today’s detention in the hopes of never reliving them, so I may have just missed him.” She shot Dorothy a sassy grin and picked up a bottle of Firewhiskey from behind the bar. “Having this might be a bit more effective than that damn glass. Have you checked up in the dormitories?”
“The dormitory?” Dorothy asked, watching as Rose took a long swig of the liquor she’d just snatched. “What would he be doing up there?”
Rose shot her an “oh please” look. “Do I need to explain to you the birds and the bees, Thee?”
“No!” Dorothy said quickly. Rose let out a snort of laughter as Dorothy’s face blossomed into a tomato. “It’s just, um…it’s Freddie. He wouldn’t be, um…”
“Having a drunken shag?” Rose filled in.
Dorothy cleared her throat, her face turning an even darker shade of red. “Um, yeah. Not tonight, at least. It’s Rox’s birthday.”
“Oh, love,” Rose said, lowering her bottle. “Freddie may be a sweetheart, but he’s male. And men live for drunken shags, screw the time or place.” She paused and cocked her head, chuckling lightly at herself. “Well, they live for any sort of shag. Just because Freddie sticks to your side like glue doesn’t mean he doesn’t have needs. From how close the two of you are, I’m impressed he doesn’t walk around pitching a tent all the time.” Dorothy’s blush, which had faded slightly, was revived at this comment. “Honestly thought the bloke was gay for a while.”
Dorothy choked on the breath she took. “G-gay?”
“It was a logical conclusion,” Rose said shrugging. “He’s not though, if you’re curious.”
Dorothy nodded stiffly, muttering a quiet “I’m aware,” wishing she had gone up to someone else to ask about Freddie. Rose knew absolutely everything, but she was painfully blunt when it came to conversation. She said too much sober, but when she drank she became like a coarse encyclopedia that never seemed to know when she should stop talking.
“Walked in on him quite enough times to be confident in that one, really—”
“Okay!” Dorothy said quickly, squeezing her eyes shut, trying to push the images of her best friend shagging random birds out of her brain. “Thanks for the help, Rose.”
Dorothy walked away, trying to concentrate on something else. Sure, she knew about Freddie’s indulgences in the area of women. The two of them talked about everything. Honestly, Dorothy knew way more than she ever wanted to about Freddie’s sex life. She knew he wasn’t some sort of innocent, but it was never something they focused on. Neither one of them cared that Freddie had meaningless hook-ups and Dorothy was untouched. He was just her Freddie, and she was his Dorothy. But that still didn’t make it okay for a drunk off her ass Rose Weasley to insinuate that he was skipping out on his little sister’s birthday party to get laid.
“Oi, Longbottom!” Fi called, stumbling over to Dorothy.
Dorothy turned just in time to catch her drunken friend as she tripped over the couch foot. “Having a good time?” Dorothy asked.
“Brilliant,” Fiona answered, hiccupping and letting out a guffaw of laughter. “Bloody brilliant. I should’ve come to more Gryffindor parties over the years. This is awesome.”
“I’m glad,” Dorothy said.
“Oh, Merlin, not again,” Hope said from behind them. Dorothy turned her head, just as Fiona puked on her shoes.
“I don’t feel so good,” Fiona said.
“Shit,” Hope said, dropping the drink in her hand and running behind Fiona to catch her as she passed out. Dorothy looked down at her feet and pulled a face, quickly Scourgifying her shoes. “She always passes out right after she pukes. Her body’s way of telling her she’s had enough.”
Dorothy wrapped her arm beneath Fiona’s back, taking some of the weight off of Hope. “Let’s go find her a bed.”
The two Hufflepuffs dragged Fiona upstairs to the sixth year boys’ dormitory. “This one’s Al’s,” Dorothy said, and the two deposited Fiona on the mattress ungracefully.
“You sure he won’t mind?” Hope asked.
“Nah,” Dorothy said, closing the curtains around Thee. “He’s the most mellow bloke I’ve ever met. He doesn’t flip over anything.”
Hope nodded and looked back at her best friend’s sleeping body, leaning over her and brushing a lock of brown hair out of her sleeping eyes. “Does he have an extra quilt?”
“There’s probably one in his trunk,” Dorothy said pulling it open. After a bit of digging, the girls drug out a large, dust filled quilt, shook it out a few times to allow the shattered quill pieces and scraps of parchment to hit the floor, and then laid it over Fiona.
“Ready to head downstairs?” Hope asked, walking over to the door.
“I’ll meet you down there,” Dorothy said, following Hope. “I wanted to see if Freddie was in his dormitory, I haven’t seen him in a while.”
Hope nodded. “Alright. Come find me when you’re done, some fifth year has been following me around all night.”
Dorothy laughed and agreed. Hope turned down the steps to return to the party while Dorothy made her way up the steps to the seventh year boys’ dormitory. It was closed, as she had expected, and didn’t hesitate to open the door.
But rather than seeing a bunch of rowdy teenage boys, a sight Dorothy had become quite accustomed to over the years, her senses were invaded immediately with the grating wails of some girl who was very pleased. The smell of sex and sweat invaded her nose, and as she turned to Freddie’s bed, she caught the eyeful of her best friend ramming himself into some leggy brunette.
Dorothy wanted to run. She wanted to be able to turn around and not look back and pretend that this never happened. But her feet were stuck to the floor, her body frozen. The only thing she could do was let out a short screech.
Freddie’s head turned over his shoulder and his carefree face turned into a scowl. “What’re you doing here?” he snapped, not bothering to stop his movements. “Get the fuck out of here, Dor. You’re not ruining this for me, too.”
“Oh, fuck, yes!” the bird shrieked.
Dorothy’s wish came true. She turned and ran.
Dorothy stumbled down the stairs and back into the raging party. Her head was pounding, her thoughts swirling, her eyes filling with salty tears. She felt as though she couldn’t breathe. “Thee!”
Dorothy looked up. She groaned out loud to see James, the very last person she ever wanted to see, making his way towards her, concern evident on his boyishly handsome features. She choked out a sob, her heart throbbing. She didn’t even know why she was so upset.
“Hey,” James said, taking her face in his hands and lifting it so she would look at him. “Thee, what’s wrong?”
“I—” Her voice broke off as another gut wrenching sob exploded from her chest. “I can’t do this right now, James.”
She tried to push out of his grasp, but he just held her tighter. “Thee…Dorothy.” He wrapped his arms tightly around her, crushing her against his chest. She fell apart in his arms, her hands fisting in his shirt, unable to restrain her emotion. “I’m sorry,” he whispered in her ear.
“S’not your fault,” she replied, holding him tighter.
“Not for this,” he said. “Though I am sorry you’re so upset. I meant about before. I was a git to you.”
Dorothy pulled back from his grasp slightly, tears still pouring down her face and snot threatening to drip from her nose. She sniffed unattractively, her bottom lip trembling. “It’s okay, James.”
He didn’t say anything. Their eyes met and they held each other’s gaze. The party seemed to drift away, leaving the two of them with no one to stand in their way. He moved slowly, hesitantly, as if asking her permission. Dorothy leaned towards him, her eyes slipping shut in silent consent. Their lips met. It was soft and sweet, a simple sharing of mutual affection. Her heart was pounding so loudly she feared James would hear it.
But, to stay true to the night Dorothy was having, the kiss was short lived. Just as she opened her mouth to James, an earsplitting shriek caused them to jump apart.
“JAMES POTTER, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?”
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