Chapter 1 : The Runaway Adventure
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The Runaway Adventure
Dominique Weasley had had enough. No one seemed to realise how difficult being the middle child was, no one understood the daily struggles that she had to endure. They had recently moved from the house by the sea to the streets of a small village and she didn't know anybody, but her parents obviously didn't seem to care. Which is why, at 8 and a half years old she decided that she would run away.
She had always been an adventurous little girl and would often collect travel or resort brouchure's whenever they decided to visit muggle London. She would flick through the magical atlas they had at home that allowed the reader to zoom in to impossible lengths on places all around the world. It was quite exciting to discover a whole new culture and learn more about each place. When she was older she was going to be the most famous wizarding explorer the world had ever known. Which is why running away was starting to sound more and more like the ideal idea.
She had informed her parents of this at breakfast one morning, her arms crossed and her eyebrows raised as she gave them the news. She pursed her lips as she awaited their response, believing that they would immediately be remorseful and start to treat her the way she deserved to be treated. They didn't. Instead they shook their heads despairingly and fussed over their newest child, the demonic one, who stole all their attention, and told her to 'stop being so silly'.
The cheek of her parents to say such a thing after all that she had been through. Her promised bed time stories had been scrapped once the 'Thing', as she liked to call it, started roaring and getting all blue in the face. Her Daddy wouldn't play catch with her anymore, because the snivelling bundle of his couldn't stop releasing its bowels every second, and Mummy said that from now on she had to brush her own hair. Herself. It was far too much for Dominique to bare.
She blamed 'Thing'. If only he hadn't been born. It's not like he did anything useful, she had tried playing with him but he'd just scream and cry and at one point he had been sick all down her favourite frock.
Her sister wasn't much of a playmate either. In fact, she didn't seem to have much time for Dominique these days and much more time for the boy next door. She would spend most of the day tossing her hair over her shoulder and smiling like a moron while he pretended he wasn't looking at her. It was stupid really, especially because Teddy liked her a lot and Dominique much preferred Teddy to Jonathan. At least Teddy played with her! Teddy knew all sorts of cool tricks and could make his hair change colour. But Victoire didn't seem to notice Teddy all that much, despite his adoration for her.
Victoire was the silly one. Not her. She wouldn't even listen to Dominque when she said she was going to run away. She just tittered and asked her to pass her the jam. And even after she had received the jam, she didn't listen. It was infuriating.
That night, Dominique brought out her little daisy patterned suitcase that had been tucked away under her bed and filled it with the necessities - her dress up pixie dolls, her stuffed, welsh green dragon 'Wilbur' she had received from her uncle Charlie and her crayons that were magically made to never run down or run out. She had left the door open purposefully so that her parents would see her and realise the big mistake they were making. However they didn't see it that way. Infact, the only response she received from them was that it was past her bed time and she had to put her nightie on. He didn't even notice the way she was making a show of putting her items into the suitcase and zipping it up extra slow.
Well, she vowed, they'd be sorry.
Once everyone had gone to bed and the clock chimed twelve times, Dominique sat up, her excited and fearful state had kept sleep at bay. She was slightly nervous now. Did she really want to leave her parents? Perhaps she should give them a second chance. But her stubborn nature rose within her telling her that she had given them plenty of warnings. Her little feet padded against the floor daintily as she scurried about for her suitcase. Grabbing her favourite toy, Porridge the Pheonix, she opened the door - toy and suitcase is either hand. She hesitated on the stairs, casting an eye over at her parents bedroom. They seemed to be snoozing quite peacefully - not giving a single thought to her declaration of freedom. She huffed, her cheeks puffing out as she carefully manouvered down the stairs, her weight not heavy enough to make a noise. She sauntered through the kitchen and the livingroom, imagining them calling after her in agony that she stop. It was almost painful that this thought was only her imagination.
As she opened the door, the overwhelming sense of triumph filled her veins and she felt her heart pump in her chest, gaining speed as she raced out of the door and down the street. She felt elated at the idea that she had so much possibility now. No one would be around to tell her that she couldn't have too many sweets before tea or to not bring home bugs.
After much deliberation she decided that she would go to California.
She wasn't sure why she wanted to go to California, her aunt Ginny had been before and had said how amazing it was. When she had asked to go, her parents had said no. Well, no one could stop her now, after all. She planned to make California her destination although she wasn't all that sure how to get there. But she would find out, ask some people where it might be and then she would make her way there. She felt her limbs shake with sheer happiness at the idea of being able to do whatever she liked. Such freedom was at her fingertips that she felt power surge through her body and made a broad smile stretch across her face - showing a gap in her lower set of teeth.
She twirled a little, her suitcase bouncing against her leg. Porridge flew with the added help of her small hand, soaring beside her as she twirled. She giggled and held him to her chest. The night air was particularly cool and she had forgotten to bring a jacket but Porridge's warm, fluffy fur kept her skin heated. She turned her head back to look down the street. She could see the house in the distance, could see it's pretty coat of turqoise that her mother had insisted on. She wondered if anyone had noticed she had gone yet. Maybe they were searching for her now, panic on their faces.
She bit her lip, a worried crease forming on her face but she pressed on.
The euphoria at her freedom and the adrenalin that had consumed her tiny body had diminished and her mind was now filled with nothing but worries. What if Mummy and Daddy didn't want her anymore? What if they were glad she decided to run away so that they didn't have to do the job themselves? Her brow creased and she saw the neighbourhood park appearing on her right. Well, perhaps she could stay at the park for a while.
You know, take a stop before America.
She walked through the gates, feeling a little spooked at how eerie it all was. The park was only illuminated by the sparse lamp posts that were situated around the perimiter of the park. She tried to imagine what it looked like in daytime to help her calm down but all she could see were the terrifying shapes that the trees were making and the way the swings creaked ominously in the wind. She bit her lip. Perhaps she could try having fun and take her mind off of it. She sat down on the end of a seesaw and kicked into the air but she didn't go very high and it was very tiring having to be the one pushing. Her Daddy would always do it for her and make funny noises whenever she'd soar into the air...
Her face crumpled slightly.
Just then she heard a 'psst' and a rustle from the bushes and she herself jumped in her little seat, her face pale and beaded sweat forming on her forehead in fear. She tentatively turned her head to peer at the bushes and saw a small body there. Her mouth opened and she almost shrieked had the form not interrupted her.
"Oi! It's okay, I'm Joey!"
Was that supposed to make her feel better?
She stood up from the seesaw and narrowed her eyes at 'Joey's' hiding place. She squinted in the dark and saw the figure stand up. It was a boy with thatched black hair on his head and mud on his left cheek. His leaf green eyes sparkled as he looked at her and he gestured to her to come closer. She hesitated for a moment, deciding whether or not to trust him, before moving slightly closer with Porridge and her suitcase in hand.
Once she had moved closer, she saw that he was slightly older by perhaps a year or so and he too had a suitcase which was sticking out of the bushes. It was decorated in images from some kind of cartoon. He beamed at her, pulling out his blanket and setting it on the ground for her to sit on.
Well, he seemed nice. She sat down, giving him a polite smile.
"I'm Joey!" He repeated, the smile lighting up his features.
"Dominique," She replied giving him a toothy grin in return whilst wrapped her little arms around her torso in an attempt to keep warm. He looked a little confused as she said this, his eyebrows uniting momentarily in a frown.
"Isn't that a boys name?" He asked and she looked scandalised.
"No!" She told him indignantly, her bottom lip jutting out at his assumption that she had been given an unfeminine name. "It's French."
He nodded and 'ahh'-ed as if he had determined whether or not it was indeed French. She shivered lightly in the cold air, and the bush did little to stop the onslaught of the wind from making her blonde curls whip about her face. She felt something heavy drop on her shoulders and found to her surprise that Joey had brought another, heavier blanket with him and was currently sharing it with Dominique. She rewarded him with a smile and said, "But you can call me Dom, if you want."
"Alright, Dom." He grinned, "What are you doing here?"
"Well, what are you doing here?" She replied, her eyes questioning. He shook his head.
"I asked first!" She pouted but agreed that yes, he had and therefore she must now follow the rules of answering first.
"I'm going to America." She announced proudly. His eyebrows shot up.
"Really? I'm going to Australia!" He smiled and she frowned,
"Where in Australia?"
He frowned this time, scrunching up his face as if trying to think of a destination - which is exactly what he was trying to do. "I don't know. Somewhere with Kangaroos."
There was a stilted pause.
"Aren't your parents coming with you?" He asked and she flushed, her face turning slightly blotchy from the colouring.
"I'm going to go by myself, I do it all the time." She lied, squaring her shoulders and watching as he looked at her with awe. It felt good.
"Wow! I'm going to go by myself too...I was going to take my brother but..." He trailed off and Dom frowned at him.
She felt a bit bad about lying, Mummy had told her that she should never lie. Joey was staring at the seesaw in the distance that was gently creaking. She bit her lip, looking at her little pink shoes that had gotten muddy from her treck. Mummy was going to be mad.
No, she wasn't.
The voice in Dom's head taunted and she felt gloomy and moody now. She missed Mummy and Daddy and Victoire and even, dare she say it, 'Thing'...maybe she had made a mistake? She kicked a small stone with the toe of her shoe, watching as it barely moved. Before she could process what she was saying, she started spilling her thoughts.
"I ran away." She whispered, laying her head on her knees. Joey looked surprised for a moment and his cheeks bloomed a little pink. He shifted slightly, his hands meshing together like he was battling with himself.
"Me too..." He mumbled, his eyes looking a little sad as he copied her movements and laid his head on his knees, looking at her face.
"Why did you run away?"
"Well, why did you?" He asked her back, and she smiled triumphantly.
"Nu-uh, I asked first!"
He gave a little laugh and then his expression grew somber as he sobered up. "Well...my Mummy and Daddy were shouting really loud and I couldn't sleep. They're always yelling and I thought they might stop...if I run away..." His expression contorted into one of dismay as he seemed to have come to the conclusion that this wasn't the best idea he'd had.
Dom swallowed. Her Mummy and Daddy barely ever got mad at each other or shouted at her, only when she'd almost eaten that berry and they said they'd only shouted because the berry would have made her ill and they were scared she'd eat it. Dom suddenly felt very small. Her reasoning behind running away hadn't been for the same reason. She had just...felt unappreciated.
Guilt swelled within her.
"Maybe they don't love each other anymore." He mumbled and she couldn't help but shake her head, wanting to erase the sad expression from his face.
"I think your parents just get mad at each other sometimes, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. I get mad at my sister a lot...but I still love her. But even if they get mad, they still love you don't they?"
He looked at her and gave her a small smile, "Yeah, I guess you're right...what about you?"
Dom's face grew hot, realising just how stupid her reasons were. She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth and her face crumpled. She had just been so lonely, she didn't have any friends here since they had moved from their little cottage by the sea and it even seemed like her family didn't want to talk or play with her. She begun to cry and Joey seemed a little stricken by the sudden change in her.
"It's okay, Dom." He mumbled, patting her back and looking around almost frantically despite the fact that there was no one there. "I d-didn't mean...to make you cry." He ran a hand through hair and it stuck up even more.
That's when Dom blurted out how she didn't feel like her parents wanted her anymore and how she didn't have any friends and how horrible everything had been. Joey had put his arm around her, making her feel warmer and her sobs slowly transformed into mere sniffles.
"I think they love you a lot, Dom. The baby probably can't do a lot, babies can't usually do much can they, so it needs your parents help? Maybe they're just a bit busy but they still love you!" He told her and she nodded slowly, her eyes red and her nose pink. "My brother Jon doesn't have time for me either, he's always looking at this girl next door with a fancy name...'Vic-tory?'" He scrunched up his face and Dom's mouth popped open.
"Victoire?" She asked.
"Thats it!" He grinned and then frowned at her expression, "What?"
"That's my sister! And you're Jonathan's brother!" She let out a smile as she felt like she had solved a mystery. "You're my neighbour!"
He froze and then a huge grin spread across his lips and Dom saw the freckles on his cheeks glow in the sparse light from the street lamps. That's when she felt drop of rain hit her ankle that was sticking out of the bush.
"Quick, lets go home before it starts pouring!" Joeys grabbed her hand and she snuggled porridge and her suitcase to her whilst Joey grabbed his blankets and his suitcase. They flew from the bush and through the gates at the park entrance. There was nothing in the world that Dom wanted more than to go home at this very moment. She felt the streets whiz by in a flurry and felt Joey's hot palm in hers, pulling her along.
As they turned into their street, she saw the little blue house that she had never recalled missing so much than right now. She smiled broadly as they came close and Joey dropped her hand and walked over to the gate of his house. Just as she was about to do the same, she heard his voice.
"Yeah?" He grinned and rubbed his nose that was covered in dirt.
"Want to be friends?"
She felt elated, and her whole being seemed to shine and she grinned too thinly and said, "Best friends."
And they never broke that promise.
A/N: This was written for the 2013 House Cup. I hope you guys like it, it was based off my own experiences with running away - which I did as a child. Dom seemed to have a more adventurous time than I did but I also handled being away for about half a day so... I win! ;) Ahaha, thanks so much for reading!