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I Just Can't Help Myself... by Hazel Bludger
Chapter 12 : I Just Want to Move On
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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Hey again! Sorry it took so long for me to update, how silly of me to have deluded myself that I would be better at this updating thing... Anyway! Let's get on with it, yeah?

Disclaimer!: Nope. Not even close to JKR.






Chapter 12: I Just Want to Move On

 




“Do you need to talk, Thee?”

Dorothy looked up into her father’s eyes, horror settling in. “Oh, Merlin.”

Neville stood nervously, shuffling papers on his desk. “Now, I know your mum gave you the, uh, the talk a few years ago—”

“Dad,” Dorothy interjected. “Please. Please, just stop.”

Neville couldn’t bear to make eye contact with his daughter. “I just want you to know that you can talk to me about anything.” He paused momentarily. “Including boys.”

“Dad!” Dorothy cried.

Neville sat back down into his chair. “I’m here for you, Thee. And I want you to be able to come to me. And I know quite a bit about seventeen year old boys. And if I need to write a letter to Harry because his boy is bothering you, I will—”

Dorothy squeaked. “What?” she yelped, jumping from her chair. “What have you heard?”

Neville flushed. “Nothing,” he said too quickly. “Just that you were involved in a bit of conflict with James Potter and Jennifer Brady a couple weeks ago. Conflict of the heart.”

“Bloody hell,” Dorothy muttered, slumping back into her seat. “Dad, I appreciate your concern, but I swear that there is nothing to worry about.”

Neville stared at his daughter, mentally debating whether she was telling the truth. “I was an Auror, Thee. I can tell if you’re lying to me.”

“I’m not,” Dorothy said quickly. She chuckled at her father’s skeptical expression. “I promise, Dad. If there was something really bothering me, I’d tell you.”

“You would?” Neville asked.

Dorothy blushed. “Well, yeah. Probably.”

Neville smiled and leaned back. “Oh. Well then. Good.”

“So, can we be done with this conversation now? We’re supposed to be eating lunch together, not in interrogation about my love life.”

Neville nodded, smiling softly. “Of course. So, what else has been going on with you?”

She took a large bite of her turkey sandwich and shrugged. “There’s a match against Gryffindor coming up. Have you decided who you’re rooting for yet?”

He laughed. “I’ll be cheering for you, Thee.” Dorothy smiled. “But I’ll still be wearing scarlet,” he finished. Dorothy scowled and tossed a chip at his face. “Oi, you,” he scolded, popping it into his mouth.

“Call yourself my father, yet won’t even cheer on my team. That’s low,” she teased.

“I’m loyal.”

“Mhmm,” she said. “If that makes you feel better.”

“You’re against Ravenclaw first, leave me alone.” Dorothy snickered at her father’s puppy dog expression. Neville sighed and tore a piece of his own sandwich off and tossed it into his mouth. “Anything else exciting going on? How’re your lessons?”

“Fine,” Dorothy replied. “I am fourth in my class, Dad.”

“And the lessons with Professor McGonagall?”

“Brilliant,” Dorothy said beaming. “She’s contacted the Ministry to set up an appointment for my test.”

“You still don’t know what your form will be?” he asked.

“You know the rules, Dad,” she told him. “I can’t fully transform until my test. All I know is that I’m small from the size alignment phase.”

Neville pulled a face of obvious displeasure and shrugged off his curiosity. “Course. Have you had your meeting with Finch-Fletchley yet?”

“No,” she responded with a pout. “He’s pushed it to tonight, and I had to get Rox to cover my prefect duties.”

“Well, make sure you get him to give you the application tonight. You want to owl it in as soon as possible.”

“I sent him a note, asking him to have his portion filled out before our meeting even begins,” Dorothy said.

Neville nodded. “Good. You’re sending it in right after your test, right?”

“As long as I pass it,” Dorothy corrected.

Neville smiled. “I have no doubt that you’ll pass it.”

Dorothy bit her lip to hide her smile. “You have to say that. You’re my dad.”

“I don’t remember reading a handbook…”

“Just eat your sandwich.”

***

Dorothy lifted her hand to knock on Professor Finch-Fletchley’s door and hesitated, her heart racing. What if he thought she wasn’t qualified? Being an Auror was her dream. If he refused to give her a recommendation, she would have no idea where to go next.

Taking a deep breath to steady herself, she knocked twice on the wooden door. “Come in,” a voice called.

Dorothy opened the door to see Professor Finch-Fletchley behind his desk, reading glasses low on his nose. His feet were propped on his desk as he flipped through a large file Dorothy assumed to be her own.

He peered over the top of his glasses and said, “Take a seat, Miss Longbottom.”

Dorothy nodded and sat in the chair in front of her. His office was nothing like her father’s; there was no warmth or musky dampness or relaxing smell of plants growing in the corner by the window. Things were in order and not coated in a thin layer of topsoil. There were posters of Muggle musicians and actors on the stone walls next to book cases stuffed with Muggle books and toys that Dorothy didn’t fully understand.

“So,” Professor Finch-Fletchley began. “You want to be an Auror.”

Dorothy nodded. “Yes, sir.”

He nodded, leaning back in his seat and removing his feet from his desk. “Well, you’ve certainly got the marks. OWLs look good; you’ve been working hard after that ‘Exceeds Expectations’ in Potions?”

“Yes, sir,” Dorothy said. “I’ve been working tirelessly for the past two years to prepare myself for NEWTS this spring. Professor Patil believes that I will have no problem scoring an ‘Outstanding’ on the NEWT examination.”

Professor Finch-Fletchley clicked his tongue softly, his eyes scanning the file before him. “And you’ve been taking private lessons with the Headmistress? What for?”

Dorothy swallowed thickly. “As Transfiguration has always been my strongest subject, I felt that a good way to enhance my application to the Academy would be mastering the Animagus form.”

Professor Finch-Fletchley’s head snapped up in surprise. “Really?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And how close are you to full transformation?” he asked.

“Professor McGonagall has contacted the Ministry to schedule my examination. I should be a fully registered Animagus within a few weeks.”

He grinned. “Well, that’s just brilliant.” Dorothy let out a breath she hadn’t even realized she’d been holding. “Just one more question I have for you,” he said, setting the file down on his desk.

“Yes?” she asked, nervous energy once again exploding in her stomach.

“Why is it that you want to be an Auror?”

Dorothy blinked. How was she supposed to answer this question?

“Take a moment to think, Miss Longbottom.”

There were so many reasons, so many explanations. But to put into words something she had simply known her entire life seemed impossible. “I—,” she faltered slightly. “I want to help people. The way my father did.”

“Go on,” Professor Finch-Fletchley urged.

“I remember when I was a little girl reading and hearing so many stories of how your generation saved the Wizarding World. How my father looked Voldemort in the eye and told him he would never win. How even after the war, he went to the Academy with Harry and Ron to become Aurors, and continue to protect our world.” Dorothy paused momentarily. “It seems unjust for me not to do the same.”

Professor Finch-Fletchley nodded, patting the file on his desk. “When I heard that you were interested in pursuing a career in the Auror Department, I was worried. I didn’t classify you as a witch who had the strength to handle such a demanding and dangerous life choice.” Dorothy felt the blood drain from her face. “But,” he continued, “I now can hand you the Academy application and my personal recommendation with confidence that you are making the correct decision.”

Dorothy smiled. “Thank you so much, Professor.”

“Have you considered also applying for the Hallows program?” he asked as he pulled the Academy application and his recommendation from his top desk drawer.

“The two-year intensive?” Dorothy questioned. He nodded in confirmation, passing her another piece of parchment. Her eyes scanned the application for the prestigious program. “I’ve thought about it, more so as a dream. I never considered myself properly qualified to be accepted.”

“Think about it, Miss Longbottom,” Professor Finch-Fletchley urged. “I think you may be surprised.”

***

“The Hallows?” Freddie said incredulously, looking up at her from the application. “You’re not serious.”

Dorothy shrugged her shoulders, shoving a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth. “I dunno. Why not?”

“Why not?” Freddie repeated. “Not only would you be gone for two years, which would be horrible, but that program is incredibly dangerous! The majority of Aurors that die in the field are a part of the Hallows program.”

“Of course they do, Hallows are assigned the most dangerous missions,” Dorothy said, snatching the application of out of his hands. “They’re the best of the best. And two years isn’t that long.”

“Two years is a bloody eternity!”

Dorothy shook her head. “Well, okay. It is long. But it’s not like I would be completely out of contact. We’d have the journals and I can owl. Not to mention, there’s no chance that I’d ever be accepted. What’s the harm?”

“My health?” Freddie said with a small chuckle. Dorothy rolled her eyes. “Okay, I’ll admit, it is a great opportunity. I just can’t imagine two years without seeing you.”

Dorothy leaned back against the refrigerator and laughed. “You’re sweet.”

“Miss Thee, Winky would like to tell you and Mister Freddie that it is after midnight,” Winky squeaked.

“It is?” Dorothy asked in surprise.

Freddie checked his watch and nodded. “Damn,” he muttered.

“Looks like you’re spending the night, Fred,” Dorothy said. “Thanks, Winky, I appreciate it.”

Winky grinned. “Winky is happy to help the Miss.”

Freddie stood, holding his hand out to her. Dorothy looked from his hand to the bowl of ice cream in her lap. “But my ice cream,” she whined.

He rolled his eyes and said, “Bring it.” He grabbed her upper arm and hoisting her to her feet. She yelped, juggling the bowl in her hands. The spoon clattered to the floor.

She shot him a glare. “Was that really necessary? My spoon is now dirty.”

Freddie bent over and picked up his empty bowl and handed her his used spoon. “Use mine.”

Dorothy scrunched up her face in dislike, but took the spoon from his hand. “We should go. I don’t want to wake up Fiona again. Our window of her consciousness is quickly closing.”

Dorothy laughed, following him out of the kitchens. “She’s really not that bad.”

“I like the girl fine,” Freddie said. “I just don’t want to get yelled at again, because then Hope wakes up and then the two of them plot against me and cut holes in my socks.”

Dorothy let out a snort of laughter. “You’ll be fine.” They approached the barrels that were the entrance to the Hufflepuff Common Room, and Dorothy tapped out the rhythm, opening the passageway. “How am I supposed to crawl with my ice cream?” she moaned.

Freddie smirked. “You’ll be fine,” he mocked, pushing her forwards.

“You’re so mean to me,” Dorothy pouted. “And I’m letting you sleep with me.”

“Sounds like your problem, not mine,” he teased. “Maybe you should have higher standards.”

“Merlin!” Dorothy cried, laughed as they entered the round, warm common room. “Someone forgot their Anti-Prat pills today!”

Freddie grinned and set her ice cream down on the arm of the sofa next to them. He wrapped his arms around Dorothy, pulling her into his chest. Dorothy’s arms wrapped under his arms and her hands gripped his shoulders. Her face rested on his chest, sighing as the familiarity of his heart beat filled her ears. She felt his lips against the top of her head and smiled. “I love you, Dor.”

She squeezed him tighter. “I love you, too, Freddie.”

Freddie pulled back, a sad smile on his face. “Let’s get to bed, yeah?”

Dorothy looked at him, confused. “Oh,” she said. “Yeah, sure.”

***

Dorothy woke up the next morning to a bright flash. “Bloody hell,” she grumbled, stretching. “What was that?”

“Fiona took a picture,” Freddie said softly, squeezing Dorothy’s shoulder.

“I told her to,” Hope said, smiling as she brushed her shoulder length red hair. “You two look bloody adorable in the morning. It was about time we had a picture.”

“And I really love my camera,” Fiona said happily, cradling the device like a baby. “I’ve been taking a bunch all morning.”

Dorothy turned her head to see Freddie looking down at her and smiled. “How do you always wake up before me?”

Flash.

Freddie grinned. “It shows my dominance.”

Dorothy snorted. “Of course it does.”

“Can you two get up?” Hope said. “We’re almost ready to go to breakfast.”

Dorothy groaned loudly as she rolled out of Freddie’s warm embrace. “This world is cold.”

“Dora, you’re in Hufflepuff,” Hope said. “It’s never cold here.”

“Semantics,” Dorothy huffed as she swung her legs out of bed and stood, stretching with a high pitched yawn. She turned her head back to Freddie, who was still lounging in her bed. “You coming, Mr. Dominant?”

Freddie closed his eyes and sighed, stretching his arms out above his head. His thick muscles rippled with the action, and Dorothy, Hope, and Fiona found themselves studying the motion. “Yeah,” he said, as his body relaxed. He climbed out of bed clad in his usual sleepwear, boxers and his undershirt, and noticed all three girls were staring at him. He smirked and pulled the thin white shirt over his head, revealing his toned mocha chest. “Like what you see?” he said, laying a hand over his six pack abs.

Fiona lifted her camera and took a picture. She smirked. “It lasts longer.”

Laughing, Freddie tossed his shirt at her and walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

“That’s a chest I’d like to lick chocolate off of,” Hope sighed.

Dorothy shook her head, snapping out of it. “Merlin, stop,” she said. “One, his ego doesn’t need to be any bigger. Two, ew, it’s Freddie.”

Fiona grinned. “You want a copy of the picture?”

Dorothy glared. “No, I don’t.”

“Hippogriff shit,” Fiona said, tossing Freddie’s shirt to Dorothy.

***

Dorothy was sitting on the bench in the Hufflepuff changing room, looking down at the pads in her lap. She took a deep breath, toying with the aged leather as Hope rattled out encouraging snippets. “Alright, Thee?” Greg asked.

Dorothy looked up at the small, freckled boy and smiled. “Yeah, just pre-match jitters,” she said. She frowned slightly as she saw that the worried look on his face had not fallen. “Are you alright, Greg?”

The blonde boy nodded furiously. “Course!”

“You’re allowed to be nervous, Greg,” Dorothy said.

“I know,” Greg said. “But Marcus, Jesse, and me have got this down. Ravenclaw hasn’t got a chance.”

“But?” Dorothy asked.

Greg looked around to make sure no one else was in ear shot. “I’m nervous.”

“You’ll be brilliant,” Dorothy said. “As soon as you get in the air, it’ll be like nothing can stop you.”

Greg nodded. “Yeah, probably.”

“Hey, squirt,” Fiona said as she came over to them and ruffled Greg’s hair. “Longbottom.”

“Hi, Fi,” Greg said with a disgruntled smile as he attempted to straighten his hair. Dorothy smiled up at her.

“Ready to go whoop some Ravenclaw arse?” Fiona said with a grin.

“Absolutely,” Dorothy said, standing and pulling on her pads. “Is it time to go?”

“Practically,” Fiona said. “Hope’s about to round everyone up for the—”

“Campfire!” Hope cried.

“—campfire,” Fiona finished lamely.

Dorothy and Greg chuckled, and then the three of them joined the rest of their team in the center of the changing room. All seven players sat on the ground in a circle. “Okay,” Hope said, taking a deep breath. “It’s time to come together as a team. We are practiced, precise, and passionate.”

Hope looked up at each of her team mates and smiled at them. “I am so proud to have each and every one of you on this team. We are the comeback team. And that’s how we play. Despite everyone else’s doubts, we blow their expectations out of the water. I just want you guys to focus on your love of the game. Have fun.”

“Let’s whoop some Ravenclaw arse!” Fiona said chuckling.

“Let’s kick Gryffindor out of first place for the Cup,” Marcus said smirking.

“Let’s give them a game they’ll never forget,” Dorothy said.

“Alright!” Hope said, jumping to her feet. The rest of the team joined her. “Hands in!”

“1…2…3…HUFFLEPUFF!”

***

 Jen Brady let out a loud grunt of exasperation as she bulleted the Quaffle at Dorothy, who blocked it with ease. This is how most of the game for Dorothy had gone. Jen, determined to score on Dorothy, had been firing wild and erratic shots that were as hard and fast as a Bludger.

“Just drop it, Captain!” one of the Ravenclaw Chasers, Liam Davies, shouted. “Focus on the game!”

“Fly, Davies,” Jen shot back, zooming off down the pitch after Greg, who was about to score.

“Oi!” Jesse cried.

Without even bothering to look, Greg tossed the Quaffle to his team mate, knowing he could see more than Greg could. Jesse scored easily, and the score rose to 90-0, Hufflepuff.

Jen was visibly losing it. Taking the Quaffle from the Keeper, she shot down the pitch, ignoring every other player in the air but Dorothy. Firing her fifteenth shot of the match, Dorothy caught it as well. She let out a shriek of frustration, watching as Dorothy tossed the Quaffle to Marcus, and the Hufflepuffs started their way down the pitch again.

“Felicity,” Jen demanded from her fifth year Beater. “Give me your bat.”

“What?” Felicity asked, nervous from her Captain’s erratic behavior.

“Just give it to me!” she shouted.

Felicity quickly handed over the bat, and Jen flew to the closest Bludger and slammed it.

“Oh, Merlin,” David Humble, the Quidditch announcer said, his voice tired of Jen’s antics. “Seems as though Ravenclaw Captain, Jen Brady, has taken Felicity Burrow’s bat and has—Bloody hell! The usually calm and cool Jen Brady has…Oh, Merlin. That…that does not look good. And it’s Madame Drummand with the whistle…Madame Whittle is on the pitch, followed closely by Professors McGonagall, Longbottom, and Gryffindor’s very own Fred Weasley…Circe, is she even breathing after that?”






DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNN!!!!!!!!

What a cliff hanger!

Lucky for you, I know where I'm going for chapter thirteen, so it shouldn't be too long of a wait.

What'd you think? How's Neville? Professor Finch-Fletchley? Freddie? Hope and Fiona? Not too much fo James...miss him? How's Dorothy? Love it? Hate it?

LET ME KNOW! Last chapter almost starved to death. Read and review, this is a growing story and needs its sustinance!

Peace, Love, and Potter,

~Becca~


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