Chapter 4 : Christmas Surprises
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“Listen, the guys are going to try to sway you Ellie. You have to stay strong.” Angelina told me.
“Angelina, I don’t want to be in this right now, if they offer a way out I’m going to take it.”
“No! Trust me this won’t be as bad as it sounds.” Katie pleaded with me.
“Katie it already is.”
I was jolted out of this ‘flashback’ when I stepped into the common room. When I crawled through the portrait hole, I stepped into a war. Well, girl war. Two third year girls were standing across the common room yelling at each other. Not mentally prepared for this, I flipped out.
“What the bloody hell is going on?!” I screamed, shutting them both up.
“That, that bitch just stole my boyfriend!” One of them said.
Seriously? THAT was the reason for waking up half the castle on a Saturday morning, especially when that certain half of the castle was hung-over from the night before.
“You girls are thirteen years old, and you’re worried about boyfriends? Please, mature a little. Go take this petty little fight somewhere else, because honestly, no one wants to deal with something as pathetic as this. Seriously? Act your age, not like a whore.” I snapped at them, leaving them speechless. They hung their heads and scurried out of the common room as fast as they could.
I shook my head in disbelief where did that come from? Wow, I’m never THAT bitch who gets involved in fights. Maybe this bet really is changing me.
Anyway, as I was saying before, they made me swear to go through with this bet in exchange for helping me get Cormac McLaggen.
Oh, shit. Pretend I didn’t say that. It’s embarrassing enough having Angelina, Katie and Alicia know I have a crush Cormac, let alone the whole school. Or worse, him. I can’t help it; the heart wants what the heart wants. I mean have you seen his eyes? They are beautiful; when I look into them I can feel myself getting lost…
Okay, sorry. That’s the end of that. Not another word. Except that Cormac doesn’t even know I exist so I need the girls’ help. Okay done, from now on we’ll call him… cake. Cake, good, I like it.
So anyway (again), I made this promise to the girls and no matter how tempting Oliver’s offer was I couldn’t take it. It was also the fact that Angelina wanted to screw with Oliver and the twins. This bet was turning into a full-fledged attack; coming from both sides. I fear more for my personal safety then if I lose this bet right now.
I was sitting in the common room lost in thought (again) when I heard a tapping at the window. It was my owl Bruce Wayne (my friends and I went to a muggle movie over the summer, and I’m obsessed, it’s a problem). “Hey Wayne.” I said as I opened the window and retrieved my letter. It was from my dad.
Just checking up on you at school! How is everything? Are the Weasley boys giving you a hard time again? If so just tell me and I’ll come out and sort it all out for you. Just kidding! I can see the look on your face right now.
I also wanted to tell you that I want you home for Christmas. I know you were planning on staying at school, but there are some things I want to discuss with you. No worries it’s all good things!
I also realize it’s early December, but I wanted to get you before you made any Christmas plans to stay at school with your friends.
Hopefully you haven’t yet. (They are more than welcome to visit over break).
I hope this letter finds you in good health and I look forward to seeing you in a month!
Lots of love,
Ugh, Brielle. He’s the only one that ever calls me that. Other than my mom. But, she’s not really in any position to be calling me Brielle. Or should I say calling me at all.
“What’s this?” Fred came over and grabbed the letter out of my hands. He read the first line and looked at me with a grin on his face. “Brielle? Here I always thought your real name was Eleanor.”
I grabbed the letter back and said, “Come on Fred, you’ve known me for six years. You heard my name at the sorting.”
“Yeah, but it’s not like I remember or was much less paying attention.”
“Of course you weren’t Fred, I wouldn’t expect any less from you.”
“Ha-ha good. By the way I would love to visit you over break.”
“I’m sorry what?”
“I’m coming to visit you over break.” Fred said again.
“Where did this come from?” I asked completely dumbfounded.
“Your dad invited me.” He said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“I’m sorry, my father? When did you speak to him?” I asked.
Fred gave me a look and motioned to the letter in my hands. Oh right, what my dad said. Well, it looks like I’m having visitors over break.
“Bye Ellie! Have a good break. I’ll see you when you get back, don’t be too crazy.” Angelina said to me as she hugged me goodbye.
“Oh trust me, I think my Christmas break won’t be crazy at all. I’ll be sitting home with my dad making and eating fudge with the occasional visit from Tiffany.” I shuddered at the name. Tiffany is my dad’s girlfriend. Yes, girlfriend. My dad likes her, but I can’t stand her. I’m not too worried because it isn’t that serious.
With one last hug, I boarded the train. Quickly I found the compartment with Fred, George, Oliver, Katie and Alicia in it.
“Ah, Ellie. We were just about to send out a search party for you.” George said.
“No I’m fine don’t worry. I was just saying bye to Angelina.”
“I feel so bad that she’s staying at the school while the rest of us are going home. I wish she could’ve stayed with me.” Katie said.
Pretty soon Katie and Alicia were talking about their plans for break, Fred and George were discussing the best ways to sabotage their older brother Percy and Oliver fell asleep.
My thoughts drifted as I stared out the window. Angelina was staying at school because both of her parents were visiting her older brother in Cambodia. He’s over there doing charity work, or bank work, or maybe something with dragons? Who knows, Angelina doesn’t really talk about it.
Everyone else is going home for Christmas, and everyone, except Oliver and Katie are visiting me. Oliver’s working at some qudditch camp and Katie’s family is vacationing in America for two weeks. She’s really excited but I don’t see how America is going to be all that interesting. Now if it were somewhere like Fiji or the Bahamas I’d understand.
All too soon the Hogwarts Express pulled into Kings Cross and it was time to say our goodbyes. We got off the train and went through the barrier towards muggle London.
“Have fun at your camp Oliver. Don’t be too harsh on those kids, we know how you like to make people cry.”
“Don’t say that Ellie. Have I ever made you cry?”
“Not yet, but I’m waiting for it.” I said with a smile. Oliver laughed and walked away.
“Bye Ellie! I wish I could come visit you, but I’ll be too busy partying with those Americans!” Katie squealed as she wrapped me in a bone-crushing hug.
“Don’t party too hard. I’ll see you when you get back. Send me an owl and maybe we can meet up if it’s not too late.” I said, giving her just as painful a hug.
“We’ll see.” She said as she bounded away towards her parents.
“My turn.” I turned and saw Alicia with her arms open.
“You don’t need a goodbye, I’m seeing you in like, three days!” I said.
“I want a hug anyway!” Alicia and I hugged and she too went towards her parents.
“Well, as much as we want to stay.” Fred said.
“Our mother is waiting for us.” George finished.
“Don’t worry. I’ll see you two in a week.” I hugged both of them and I turned and went to find a taxi.
“Brielle!” My dad exclaimed when he saw me coming up the front walk.
“Dad!” I said, equally as excited. He gathered me in a hug and said, “Wow, you look great honey! I’m so happy you decided to come home for Christmas.”
“It’s not like I had much of a choice.” I said under my breath.
“What’s that?” He asked.
“Nothing.” My dad took my bags into the house and I followed him.
Dad dropped the bags in the front hall and went to go find
Tiffany; of course she’s here. Home sweet home. I live in a Spanish Villa in England. My room is all the way at the top. But I have to say it’s the best room. I have the whole floor to myself. It’s not really a floor; it’s more of an extension to the house.
I brought my bags up to my room, with only a little bit of trouble. I collapsed on the bed finally glad to be home. As much as I love Hogwarts, I love my house too. It’s right on the coast, so in the summer the beach is wonderful. In the winter it snows, but only a little. Just enough to make my house look like a gingerbread house.
“Brielle!” My dad’s voice rang throughout the house. Groaning I got up and made my way back into the foyer, and not finding them, made my way into the kitchen.
“Brie Brie!” Tiffany squealed and she ran over to give me a hug. Mid hug she must have felt me stiffen up and she let go. “It’s so good to see my little Brie Brie again.”
“My name is Brielle. Not Brie Brie.” Tiffany’s been calling me Brie Brie ever since she and my dad first started dating. Tiffany is this peppy petite blonde, who has a never-ending supply of energy. She’s 39 and my dad is 45. She’s not a gold digger, trust me, she has just as much, if not more, money then my family has. But the whole relationship just sickens me.
“How’s school going? What year are you again? 4th?” Tiffany asked.
“6th.” God, I hate this woman.
“Oh that’s right! I’m sorry. Brie Brie you just grew up so fast! I remember my days at Hogwarts.” Tiffany was going to start reminiscing again.
“Right, didn’t you graduate last year?” I know it was rude but I wanted to get out of there.
“Brielle!” My dad scolded me.
“Sorry Tiff, you just…look so young!”
“That’s alright Brie, I understand.” She pinched my cheek in what she thought was an affectionate manner.
“How about we go to that restaurant on Main Street that you love so much?” My dad asked me.
“No thanks dad, I’m kind of tired from the trip, rain check?” All I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could.
“Sure thing pal.” He kissed me on my head and I walked out and made my way back up to my bedroom.
I should’ve gone out to dinner with him and Tiffany, but I really didn’t want any ‘news’ tonight. I don’t know what it is. But I have a feeling it isn’t good. As long as I avoid Tiffany and him together, he won’t be able to tell the two of us. We’re probably moving or something. But still, I’m avoiding the problem.
“Brielle!” My dad’s voice called from the depths of our mansion. Excited I squealed and slid down the banister between the second and first floors into the foyer.
“Elle!” I heard a voice scream my name.
“Alicia!” I called back with just as much excitement. I dismounted the banister and hugged Alicia.
“Woah Ellie, at least let me put down my bags!”
“Sorry, sorry. You’ve just saved me from the most boring break in the history of the world though, I have to be excited!” I’m not even kidding. For the past three days I’ve done nothing except spend my time on the beach with the crazy tourists and lock myself in my room. Tiffany has been spending so much time here, she should just move in. I’m kidding, no one wants that; except my dad and her.
“I forgot how much I love the Ramsey Mansion.” Alicia said when we got to my room.
“Ha-ha. You are more than welcome to move in, we have the room.”
“I might just take you up on that.”
“Okay, so you have two choices of where you want to sleep. I set up a guest bedroom, the one you like. Or we can share my bed up here.” I knew the answer already, we’ve been doing the same thing ever since she first came to visit me and we were both terrified of the dark.
“Do you really need to ask?” Alicia gave me a look.
“I was being polite! I didn’t know if you were sick of me yet.” I laughed and went into my closet, “Get changed, we have traditions to uphold.”
Twenty minutes later we were dressed in bikinis and sundresses sitting in my kitchen. It’s tradition that whenever one of the girls comes to visit me we go for a swim in the ocean and spend the night on the beach, pulling an all-nighter no matter what the weather is. Not only is it fun, but we also spend the whole night talking and getting closer, so we maintain our bond of friendship. It’s better when it’s all four of us, but you can’t have everything.
“I want pasta.”
“I haven’t had pasta since the summer, Hogwarts’s pasta sucks. You also make the best homemade sauce.” Alicia said.
“All right, fine. Homemade pasta sauce with angel hair, just the
way you like it.” I said smiling. I love making my pasta sauce. I never get a chance to make it because my dad hates tomato sauce.
While I was making dinner for both of us, Alicia went around the kitchen getting snacks for us for tonight. All the usual; cookies, sodas, chips and of course her homemade cookie dough.
We finished eating and made our way out to the beach. Not many people were out there, only tourists taking pictures in the snow or on the dunes. No one was crazy enough to take a swim.
“Beat you in!” Alicia yelled, pulled off her sundress and ran into the water with me right behind her.
Together we dove through a wave and came up shivering.
“Is it just me or is it a little colder than last time?” I asked through chattering teeth.
“La-last time we did th-this it was the mi-middle of summer. O-of course it’s colder.” Alicia responded equally as cold.
“How long have we been in here?” I asked.
“Only like 2 minutes.”
“Damn.” In addition to swimming we have to stay in for at least 15 minutes. Unless it’s a hurricane, then our tradition is allowed to be broken.
“How did we get this tradition again? It’s not really healthy, considering we’re freezing ourselves and then we’re going to gorge ourselves sick with junk food.” Alicia asked.
“I don’t even know. You guys used to only visit in the summer. That’s why I guess.” I replied.
We sat (swam I guess) in silence for the remaining time; there wasn’t really anything to talk about with a wave interrupting us every other minute. After 15 minutes we sprinted out of the water and dried off.
“It may be crazy, but it’s very satisfying afterwards.” I said as I changed into my sweatshirt and sweatpants.
“We’re insane. If the boys saw you now they would be calling you a color.”
“It’s different when it’s just you and me or just the four of us. I can’t be crazy on demand!” I said. It’s true. When you let me be myself I will surprise you.
“This whole bet is just messed up.”
“I completely agree. The only reason I haven’t backed out is because of Cormac.”
“I still can’t understand how you have feelings for him. Yeah, he’s really attractive, but he’s a year younger than us.” Alicia said as she dove into her cookie dough.
Taking some I said, “His attractiveness makes up for his age. Anyway, age is just a number when it comes to love.”
“Woah! Slow down there girlie, you might hurt yourself. Ellie Ramsey? In love? Is it true?”
“I never said I was in love!” I picked up some sand and threw it at Alicia, “I said age is just a number when it comes to love. I’m not suggesting anything. Changing topics, what’s the deal with you and Oliver? You two seem mad or something at each other.”
“No, we aren’t mad at each other.” Alicia didn’t look me in the eyes so this must be serious.
“Come on Leesh, you know you can tell me anything.”
“You have to promise you won’t tell Angelina.” Alicia looked scared, almost, hurt. I’ve never seen her look like this before; she’s always been the strong one in our group.
“I swear on our friendship that I won’t tell her, or Katie.”
“I slept with Oliver.”
Silence. This was not what I was expecting. Why would Alicia do that? She knows that if Angelina finds out that it’s the end of our friendship; maybe forever.
“Ellie? Say something. Please?” Alicia looked at me with pleading eyes.
“Why?” Was all I could say.
“It was just the heat of the moment. Oliver was so tempting and I tried to say no, but he wouldn’t listen. Then when he kissed me, I couldn’t pull away. It was better than a dream. But now I regret even taking that walk with him.” Alicia started crying and I moved closer and hugged her.
“It’s fine, Angelina won’t find out. I promise.”
“No. That’s the thing. Oliver is threatening to tell Angelina if I don’t make them win this fucking bet.” Alicia was crying harder. I didn’t know what to say so I sat there hugging her.
Finally I said, “We’ll fix this. I promise. I’m not sure how yet, but we will. You saved my neck third year and now I’m saving yours. I can’t believe he’s using that for blackmail. We’ll get him back.”
“Oh god I feel like an idiot. First making that stupid mistake, and now crying.” Alicia broke from our hug and wiped her tears.
“Don’t you dare feel stupid! I would be crying too if I was in your situation. You know Angelina might not care all that much too.” Alicia looked at me and laughed. That’s a lie; Angelina would murder her.
Last year, we were in our 5th year, Angelina and Oliver dated. They were really serious and together for a long time, almost a year. Surprisingly he didn’t hurt her or cheat on her, they just fell apart. They broke up at the end of the year, and decided if they would get back together when school started up again in the fall. Oliver decided halfway through summer that he didn’t like her anymore, so they decided to just be friends. Everyone knows that Angelina still has feelings for him; she was really cut up when he officially ended it. Oliver knows she stills likes him. Angelina is going to be so mad, for example, back in 3rd year, she and I liked the same guy. She didn’t talk to me for two months when he chose me to be his partner for a Transfiguration project. The only reason she started talking to me again was because Alicia convinced her it wasn’t my fault. But if she got that worked up over a stupid project imagine what she’ll do to Alicia.
We sat on the beach for the remainder of the night. For the first time ever we didn’t fall asleep. We stayed up all night and talked about everything.
“I miss this.” Alicia said as the sun started to come up.
“I miss this too. We need to have a sleepover when we get back to school.”
“Elle, we sleep in the same dormitory.” Alicia laughed.
“I mean the four of us, in the room of requirement. We can do our traditions!”
“We don’t have an ocean, and we might get in trouble. But other than that I love the idea Ellie.”
“Since when has getting in trouble ever stopped you?” I asked.
“It never has.” She agreed, “Let’s ask the girls when we get back, but I’m sure they’ll love the idea.”
“Yay! Now I’m excited to go back. We should probably go back to the house now, it’s getting late, or early?” I said.
“You mean your mansion.”
“You call it a mansion, I call it home. What’s the difference?” Alicia and I laughed. We packed up our stuff and made our way back to my house.
“Bye Ellie, if you need me at all owl me. Maybe you can come stay at my place if you need to.” Alicia said as she hugged me goodbye.
“Thanks Leesh. These past two days were a good break from my dad and Tiffany.”
“Oh don’t be dramatic. Tiffany isn’t too bad Brie Brie.” Alicia smirked and dodged the pillow I threw at her, “Calm yourself. I’m kidding. Like I said, you are more then welcome to spend some time at my house. Don’t give the Weasley twins too hard a time when they get here okay?”
“I promise I won’t. See you in a 10 days.” After one last hug Alicia got into the car and drove away.
“I love your little friends! The two of you are so cute!” Tiffany bounded into the foyer after Alicia left.
“Fuck you.” I whispered to myself.
“Sorry, did you say something?”
“Two words, one finger. Figure it out.” I left Tiffany standing in the foyer with a blank expression on her face.
I was halfway up the stairs when she shouted after me, “Love you too!” She gave me a thumb up. How stupid do you get?
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