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Chapter 1 : And So Begins Seventh Year...
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“Mel!” a voice yelled excitedly in the distance, and Melody was sure she knew who it belonged too. She could swear she had told them a million times that she hated that nickname. And hate was still a generous word to use…it was more like detested.
She turned away from her mother for a second, who had looked up at her nickname being yelled out as well with a knowing smile on her face, and scanned the crowd of students gathered on the platform before the Hogwarts Express.
A flash of honey-coloured hair caught her eye and Melody knew immediately it was the one she was looking for. She couldn’t see her face yet, but just a few seconds later Scarlette came bursting out of the crowd and she was blinded by the long waves of dark blond hair as one of her best friends enveloped her tightly in a hug.
Melody laughed a real laugh out of joy as she detangled herself from Scarlette. “It’s good to see you too,” she smiled, genuinely happy to see her best friend. They had met up once over the holidays and spent a week together, but when it came to best friends a week was far too little time in a space of two months.
She barely had time to recover from almost being strangled by one best friend before she spotted her other best friend, James Potter, a few feet away with his parents and that in itself probably knocked out any breath that was left in her system. She was barely even paying any attention to Scar’s parents who had joined them and the conversation that was taking place between them and her mom.
He sent a warm smile in her direction as Mrs. Potter fussed over him and his other two siblings, before directing his attention back to his large family of Weasleys and Potters that were gathered around the same area. They would have time to catch up later, but for now saying goodbye to their families was priority as they were both close to their families. Melody found it hard to take her mother for granted like most other teenagers her age, as she knew what it was like to lose a parent…
“Earth to Mel! Are you even listening to me?” The laughing voice of her best friend brought her back to the present as she turned back to Scar.
“Sorry,” she smiled apologetically, hugging her friend again. “I’m so excited to see you, but you know how overwhelmed I get on the first day back.” It was true. With seeing so many people for the first time after two months, people you usually lived with, it could be overwhelming having to take it all in at once. “And you know I hate being called Mel!” she complained.
“I know, I just missed you,” she said gently, “and Melody is such a mouthful.”
“I know but I really don’t like Mel… or any nickname for that matter,” she said. Scarlette rolled her eyes, as they had had this conversation many times before. Only one person knew her reason for hating the nickname Mel, so Melody couldn’t really blame Scarlette for not understanding. It didn’t make it any less irritating though.
Melody turned back to her mom, who was having polite conversation with Scarlette’s parents, glancing at her watch. There were ten minutes left to leave for Hogwarts. “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Wilson,” she smiled at her best friend’s parents, hugging Mrs Wilson.
“All Right there, Melody?” Mr. Wilson responded.
“Never better,” she beamed, referring to being back at Hogwarts and with her friends again. She looked over to her mom, whose eyes were sad. She knew how hard it was for her mom to leave her, especially after her father died. It was hard to let the one person left in your family go away for months at a time. Her mother, Sapphira Turner, was one of the strongest people Melody knew in spite of her breakdowns. After all she had been through; Melody was amazed that her mother could even be standing there.
The two families easily separated back into their own groups as she gave her mom a tight hug. She was never good at expressing her feelings to her mom, but in her heart she felt how much she was going to miss her. Her mother kissed the top of her head lightly. “Have a good year sweetheart.”
She smiled back up at her mom, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” she promised. They both knew Christmas was a sad time for them both, although last year had been extremely tough. It had been the first Christmas with just the two of them, the first Christmas since the incident with her father…
“I know,” was all her mother responded. She was sure her mom was remembering last Christmas too, though neither of them said anything about it. The train whistled a warning that they had one more minute to get on the train. As usual, the students who still had to board began hustling and giving their loved ones hasty goodbyes around her. “You better hurry now,” her mom urged.
She gave her mom another hasty hug goodbye, gave Scarlette’s parents a quick wave and grabbing their trunk handles both girls hurried onto the train with the remaining students. The doors closed a few seconds later and they didn’t even have time to find a window to wave goodbye as the train started to move and picked up speed.
“That was a close one,” Scarlette commented, as they walked along looking for a compartment.
“Isn’t it always?” she joked, causing Scarlette to nudge her lightly in response. They always tended to rush on at the last minute, and their fourth year was a particularly memorable incident as Scarlette had bumped into her crush and gotten so caught up in talking to him that she hadn’t realized the train was about to leave. It was a small incident in reality but Melody had played it up and teased her so much about it that it was now a standing joke between them.
As they walked further down the train, Melody was caught off guard suddenly when someone picked her up and spun her around jovially, roaring with laughter, before letting her down and wrapping her in a warm hug and she took in his familiar scent, one that made her feel slightly weak. She smacked the person’s arm lightly as she knew very well who it was, but hugged him back all the same.
“Hey let go, you’re going to suffocate me…and you messed up my hair!” she complained, although her brain screamed in protest at her words as she would rather stay there forever. Or would that be her heart? Whichever one it was, she ignored it. It was stupid for feeling/thinking that way.
James responded by hugging her even tighter for a second before releasing her and ruffling the back of his own dark hair, messing up his own hair further. “It’s not my fault you can’t pull off the messy look,” he grinned cheekily and to which she smacked him again, but as usual it backfired and hurt her own hand instead while to him it probably felt like a feather hitting him. Quidditch players were way too muscular for their own good.
“And here I was hoping that a couple months away from a castle of girls chasing after you would deflate your ego just a bit,” she commented wryly, crossing her arms.
“Never,” he winked, to which she just shook her head. She knew he was just joking around, but sometimes she legitimately had to wonder about him. He turned and nodded his head to Scarlette, who had been observing the two of them with a knowing look that made Melody wonder what was going on in that head of hers. “Scarlette, had a good vacation?”
“Yes, but I’m glad to be back,” she replied, as the three of them began walking along the corridor pulling their trunks behind them again. They stopped outside a compartment with a mixture of their fellow seventh years, as well as a few sixth years. Seeing his best mate Fred, James pulled open the door and Melody and Scarlette followed him inside.
They acknowledged everyone in the compartment, which consisted of a few people from their own year- Fred Weasley, Aiden Wood, Anna Davis and the sixth years Ruby Robins, Mason Peakes and Edmund Coote, before storing their trunks away and settling into seats. Melody found herself between James and Aiden, with Scarlet sitting directly opposite her.
Melody lay back against her seat, resting her head comfortably on James’ shoulder and not really paying attention to the lull of conversation around her. She was content to just close her eyes and relax while the others chattered away.
“Did you hear about Libby Thompton’s parents?”
A little while into the train ride, a sharp voice caught her attention and caused her to open her eyes again. Imogen Skeeter, daughter of the famous Rita Skeeter, had entered into their compartment. Melody groaned inwardly. Whatever Imogen had to say usually upset her, as it tended to be gossip and Melody was not one for gossip nor did she like bad news of any kind; and Imogen’s gossip was usually on the negative side.
Edmund sat up slightly. “No, what is it?” It was common knowledge that Edmund had a slight crush on Libby since their second year. No one teased him about it but it was obvious to everyone.
Imogen’s eyes were wide with excitement of the news she was about to give, but there was something grim in her expression. “They found her mom home alone last night, Avada Kedavera-ed. And her dad is missing!” Melody stiffened and the world around her seemed to have taken on a surreal nature and she felt as if her heart had stopped inside her chest. Libby’s parents had been Aurors too, just like…
Everyone in the compartment was uncomfortably silent, and Edmund’s face fell. She felt Scarlette’s eyes on her and James shifted slightly closer and rested his hand over hers subtly, as a gesture of silent comfort as he knew she would not want him saying anything in front of the others in the compartment.
Imogen’s eyes fell on Melody and they widened even more as she realised why she had not gotten the dramatic reaction she had hoped for; they were all holding back their reactions for her sake. Because she knew that a year ago, it had been her Imogen was going around speaking about. A year ago, it had been her that everyone was staring at and her family that was being gossiped about. She did not need to relive that, even if it was not her this time.
“That’s terrible,” Anna said softly, while the others mumbled their agreements.
She ignored the rest of their conversation, while a familiar ache in her heart had returned so strongly that it almost blocked out her surroundings and she struggled to keep a brave face. She also felt her heart aching for Libby. If anyone had an idea what the girl was going through, it was her, and it was not a very nice thing. She felt James’ fingers brushing over hers soothingly, as she blinked a few times and tried to look normal.
It had been just over a year now since her father had passed away. The loss of a loved one was something you never truly got over, as Melody was learning. The wound never really healed. The bleeding might stop, and you could bandage it, but it was ever present like a dull ache in the back of your mind. Whenever salt was poured over it though, the pain would return as fiercely as it ever was.
She looked up to see that Imogen had departed. Everyone in the compartment kept casting her worried glances, as they remembered all too well the period of depression she had went through during the beginning of last year. Ever since then her friends had all seemed worried that something might trigger it off and she might return to her state of grief. She smiled reassuringly at them, grateful for the concern even though she hated pity of any form. “I’m fine,” she said calmly, though there was a slight edge to her voice.
They seemed to take the hint though and gradually the conversation built back up to where it had been interrupted, with everyone joking and talking back and forth though James and Scarlette cast a concerned glance in her direction every so often. Melody tried to take part in the conversation here and there to convince them that she was okay but was silent for the most part.
As the sky began to darken outside and evening fell upon them, the boys left the compartment so the girls could change into their school robes. “Are you sure you’re okay?” Scarlette asked her softly, as she adjusted her red and gold tie.
“Not here,” she muttered, pulling on her own robes. She really didn’t feel like ripping open that wound here in front of all the other girls. Melody was not the type who liked to show emotion in front of others. Even her two best mates, Scarlette and James, did not often see the depths of her emotions and half of the time they saw it because she often found herself unable to lie to either of them. She would feel too guilty and they knew her too well anyway.
The boys returned shortly after, their own robes already on, just as the train was slowing to a stop in Hogsmeade.
“You girls finished? You know we wouldn’t have minded staying,” Aiden smirked, speaking to all of them though his eyes were twinkling in Anna’s direction.
“Oh sod off, Wood,” Anna grumbled, though a slight shade of pink had appeared on her cheeks.
Melody looked up at James and couldn’t help smiling at the playful grin on his face. They had both taken a bet last year on if Anna and Aiden would finally get together, and who would make the first move. Melody that reckoned that Aiden still needed to grow up a bit and then Anna would be the one to give him her attention. James figured that either way they would be together by Christmas.
“I always win,” he whispered in her ear as a reminder, as he passed her to walk out of the compartment. She repressed a slight shudder as his breath had tickled her.
“Not this time,” she disagreed as she followed him out. It was sort of true though. Not that she’d ever admit that to him.
As they exited the train together, Melody realised that Scarlette had left slightly ahead of her and she couldn’t spot her in the dim light of the lanterns around them. That was okay, they’d meet up back in the great hall.
She took a light hold on the sleeve of James’ robes so that she wouldn’t lose him too, and they made their way toward the carriages. Spotting one with a mixture of his family members they jumped in.
Albus, Rose, Louis and Roxanne all greeted her cheerfully. There was one other non-family member, Scorpius, who got along well with Louis as they were in the same year and house.
“Hey clan,” she grinned. Whenever she was surrounded by a group of Weasley/Potters she had found it easier to just call them all clan, a nickname that had stuck now. “And Scorpius,” she acknowledged with a kind smile. “Everyone had a good vacation, I presume?”
“Well it’s good to know you guys are happy to see me too,” James grumbled, referring to his family members not greeting him as well.
“Oh it’s not like I’ve seen you every day of the vacation,” Albus rolled his eyes while the others laughed. “
They chattered and bantered away for the remaining ride to Hogwarts, while Melody stared out the window lost in a world of her own.
Melody entered the dormitory for seventh year Gryffindor girls, and saw her trunk already in front of her bed as always. Her owl, Pipper, was probably in the owlery as she saw the empty cage next to her trunk. House elves were so wonderfully efficient. She walked over to her bed and too sleepy to empty her trunk she just crawled into her four-poster bed.
She heard someone else come up into their room, and soft footsteps made their way to the bed next to hers. “Melody?” came a whisper from the bed, which she recognised as Scarlette.
She grunted sleepily in response, turning over to face her best friend.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she questioned cautiously.
Did she? Did she want to talk about what had happened last year? ..About her father’s murder? Sure, it had come up a few times in conversation but Melody had always quickly changed the subject. She had dealt with it, but in a half-way sort of manner. She still remembered that day clearly, far too clearly.
“Melody?” Scarlette prompted. She had been silent for a full minute now.
“Probably not, Scar,” she murmured. “I think I just need some rest for tomorrow. Thank you for asking, though. Goodnight.”
Mel. A stab of pain went through her heart at the sound of that nickname.
She closed the curtains around her bed, uttered the muffliato charm as softly as she could and buried her face into the pillow she was hugging, finally letting out the tears she had held up since that moment on the train.
A/N: Thank you to those who read this. Soo this is my first fanfic in years and my first attempt at a Next Gen fanfic so I hope it wasn't too bad and that you liked it and would like to see more. Reviews are more than welcome, whether it be positive or constructive criticism- just don't be too harsh. Let me know what you think so far, it would be greatly appreciated. :)
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