Chapter 1 : How I got stuck with Pettigrew
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THE BLAIR BITCH PROJECT: Chapter 1: How I got stuck with Pettigrew.
“Hey Girl. Pass me the toast, will yah?”
I oblige my best friend’s request as I plump myself on the Gryffindor bench next to her.
During the summer, she had removed her braces, discovered Muggle contact-lenses and purchased a stock of anti-frizz hair potion. Only a week after her makeover, she modeled for Witch Weekly’s Robes & Rogues photo shoot and has since become one of the most sought-for girls at school.
Yawning, I ask the aforementioned diva sleepily:
“What class do we have this morning?”
“Awww man. Way to start 6th year!” I complain as I pour cornflakes into my provided bowl, “I swear Slughorn has a grudge on me! I don’t even—“
“Good morning darling Lilypaaaad!!” Sharron carelessly interrupts my ranting as she salutes the other Gryffindor girls in our year. I curse inwardly at the thought of having to small talk over breakfast with the ‘popular type’.
“Hey Sha-sha! Hello Blair! How are you two fine-looking minxes doing in this early morning?” the red-haired beauty called back lightheartedly.
Ok fine. I’ll admit that Lily Evans is friendly enough. Scratch that. Make it: ‘Lily Evans is adorable.’ She’s the kind of girl that’s perfect in every way: grades, character, looks, popularity, boys, taste, you name it! The kind of girl you should be hating out of jealousy, but she’s so damn nice that you just can’t. Know what I mean?
“Yo. Can you pass the coffee?”
Thalia and Marsha, on the other hand, are all too different from their idol. They’re the type of flighty young things that’s minds revolved around two subjects and two subjects only: boys and beauty. All those successful in these areas receive their immediate admiration and all those that aren’t, well… let’s just say they didn’t receive their attention.
To make things short: I’m not secretly rejoicing at the fact of having to be in their presence. I don’t despise them as long as they keep out of my hair. I’m sure the feeling is mutual.
“Hey, freak. Are you ignoring me?” Marsha persisted with an irritated edge to her usually composed voice.
“Come now Marsha, don’t be crabby.” Lily intervened airily, breaking away from her budding conversation with Sharron. “Besides, Blair’s no freak.”
“Yeah Marsha, Blair’s no freak.” Thalia chimed in sweetly. Did I mention they backstab each other?
“Freak was a joke, right B.P.? Just an affectionate nick-name between old friends.” And she bates her eye-lashes playfully, silently challenging me to deny our oh-so-beautiful amity. Instead, I just chug down what feels like half a gallon of orange juice and, after ‘later’-ing in the group’s general direction, make my way out of the Great Hall.
Gryffindor my ass. A little voice cheekily resonates in my thoughts. Meh. I’m not in the mood for a quarrel. Besides today is the first day of school: nothing, and by that I mean NOTHING, will ruin these 24 hours.
“This year, as well as the work in class and the expected amount of assignments, you will also be preparing an additional two Analysis Portfolios.” At these words, the classroom erupted into a chorus of not-so-stifled groans. Extra homework? Was he joking?
Unfazed, the potions teacher continued his tirade: “Professor McGonagall and I believe this task is a brilliant initiative for you young students: it will permit your budding intelligence, perseverance and creativity to blossom!” Another wave of grumbles echoed through the classroom at the mention of the tawdry metaphor.
“Now, just a couple precisions before you choose your partners: The study will be on the subject matter of your choice (relevant to the 6th year curriculum of course) and the required length is of five and a half scrolls, complete with diagrams and sources. The first semester project is due in February, the second one in June. Any questions?”
Slughorn. You are the sunshine of my life. How, please enlighten me, did you and your self-centered mind ever come up with such a vicious program?
“—that’s right Mr. McCormick; you will be doing two of these this year. And yes, Miss Simons, you can choose your partners, but it can’t be the same one twice. Anymore questions? No? Good. Go ahead and find your ally: be sure it’s someone you like! After all, you will be spending many hours in his presence from now on.” He announces breezily before chucking at his own lame humor.
Sadistic squib! I abhor you with every fiber of my body, you disgusting toad-like, megalomaniac—
“Excuse me? Beatrice is it? We’re the only ones left so… Will you be my partner please?” a squeaky voice interrupted my mental assassination of the potions teacher. I turned around.
“Peter Pettigrew?” I wonder aloud. He was the person I least imagined myself talking to. Not that I find him disgusting or pathetic like Sharron, it’s just that he and I revolve around two very different planets and I never thought we would collide. Ever.
“Umm… I mean…” Glancing on my right, my brain confirms with a pang that ‘Lilypaaaad’ and ‘Sha-sha’ are paired together as well as everybody else. Hurt, I answer slowly, guarding my voice from sounding too resigned to my fate: “Yeah. Ok, let’s do this.”
“Thank you! See you in the library Friday after lunch?”
“Until then, Beatrice.”
“Oh. I’m really sorry.” He added with a pitiable air. It looked like he was genuinely embarrassed for not knowing my name. Huh. What a weird persona.
“Whatever, it doesn’t matter. See yah later, I guess.”
Uuugh. I hate awkward conversations. There so, well, awkward. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one that tosses and turns at night whenever she recalls the many uncomfortable moments of her short life. All those around me just seem so carefree! At home or at school: I don’t know how they do it, and it bothers me. Not that I care that much about my image (it’s convenient not to know that many people) but nobody likes being judged.
I obviously need to talk to Sharron. We haven’t had a ‘spill the beans’ emotional laugh-out in a while; just thinking of our past adventures brings a smile to my face. She’s such a good friend when it comes to my various forms of complaining! Why she’s staying with quirky and immature me instead of joining Lily’s group of friends is a mystery.
“Merlin’s beard Blair! I am so soooooo sorry for not being your partner (you know, for the first semester ‘Analysis Portfolio’)!” Sharron apologized uncomfortably as I entered the Common Room that evening before dinner. She inhales deeply, saving herself from a heart attack and continues just as run-on-the-mill: “It’s just that Lily asked, and since you were too occupied staring a hole through Professor Slughorn, I just accepted without thinking. It was just on the spree of the moment type of thing I swear! We can still be partners for the second semester! Please don’t be angry with me!”
“I’m not angry with you.”
“No, no! Please hear me out—wait, you aren’t?” she asked disbelievingly, startled by my forgiving response.
“I like Lily too. I probably would have accepted at your place. Besides, as you said, there’s always the second semester.” To assure her of my sincerity, I added a nice smile to the lot. How generous and docile I’m proving to be. My mother would be proud.
“You have no idea how relieved I feel right now.” Sharron admitted, straightening her robes mechanically.
“I can imagine.”
“No you can’t. Are you ready for dinner?”
“Not quite—just give me the time to chuck my school bag between my bedposts!” I let in playfully as I lunged towards the Gryffindor Girl’s Dormitory Tower, my childhood energy rediscovered.
“Never change, Blair.”
“What’s that?” I called back from the first flight of stairs.
AN: Ok. Sooo… The introductory chapter. A little boring maybe, but a structure can’t stand if its foundations are weak.
BTW: The title of my story is really 'The Blair Bitch Project', but for understandable reasons, I can't keep that as my official title.
I’m not going to beg but… everybody likes reviews, so be a friend and leave one if you have time ;)
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