Chapter 6 : Hirrandipopping
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Sophie and Autumn.
Hirrandipopping CI by visenya. @TDA
The week flew past, and Saturday evening came sooner than expected. I had abandoned Sophie to Isabel and Charlotte – who were also participating in tonight's events – in the Great Hall, under the pretence of needing a sweater, and was now sprinting to the Ravenclaw tower to make sure the preparations were complete. As planned, we'd royally ignored Sophie's birthday so far, not even wishing it to her, and I could see that she was more than a little upset about it. My only consolation was that soon, we'd be able to make up for it – or so I hoped.
Roxanne and Dom were already there, a big cardboard box in between them.
"We've got everything. Dom pulled a crazy in Honeydukes and bought enough food to save our entire family from starvation," Roxanne gestured to the piles of sweets. "I got the paint from dad and he also gave me this," she held up a disc of silver the size of her palm, "newest Weasley invention. It makes you inexistent sound-wise within half a mile radius."
"Genius!" I high-fived her. "What about the cat?"
"In my dorm already, I'll bring him along tonight," Roxanne grinned. "All we need to do is carry the food to the boathouse, which we're going to right now so we don't bother with the box afterwards."
"Here," Dom tossed me a tube of paint. "Take this and hide it with the sound stealer."
"There are no side effects, right? Nothing typically Weasley?"
"In the sense that it's going to turn back on you? No," Dom laughed. "This is part of their defensive line, and dad uses it regularly."
"Well, you never know," I mumbled, embarrassed. "The birthday present I received from George last year, which was supposedly from Roxanne, was a trap, remember?"
Roxanne chuckled. "Wasn't that the notebook?"
"Yes, that would be the faithful guardian of my secrets," I quoted the words that had been scribbled onto the back cover, "when actually, everything I wrote appeared inside the twin notebook you had."
"How did you find out again?" Dom asked.
"The first thing I wrote, due to a lack of inspiration, was Roxanne's a bitch, which she of course immediately saw, and, indignant, she came barging into the dorm."
Dom laughed at her cousin. "You were so offended, the picture we got of your face still makes me giggle today."
"Don't worry, this time it's entirely safe. I told dad that if it backfired I'd make sure to tell Nana who broke her favourite vase over the summer."
"And I'd be certain to let dad know who it was who sent Louis a box of condoms anonymously when he was twelve," Dom added brightly, "so really, I think we're safe. Roxanne also managed to sprinkle itching powder down his robes as she hugged him goodbye, the type that you can activate from a distance with a spell, and we've got that on our side."
I stared at them in a mixture of horror, amusement and admiration. "I am so glad to have you on my side."
Dom shrugged in mock modesty. "What can I say?"
"We're amazing," Roxanne finished. "Now go back before Sophie gets suspicious. What was your excuse anyway?"
"I came to get a jumper." I fished around at the pile of clothes that had been unceremoniously dumped at the foot of my bed, dragging out a navy jumper by the sleeve. "Roxanne, try to be here around half past midnight, okay?"
"It's yes, your majesty," I replied jokingly as I ran back down the stairs again.
Unable to sleep, I crawled out of bed at midnight. Sophie slept soundly, far too regularly for it to be natural, and I figured that Charlotte had after all placed a sleeping charm on her. In any case, it was far better than a sleeping solution.
Isabel, the lightest sleeper, was the first to wake up at the sound of my rustling around the sombre room.
"It's okay," she said in a normal voice. "Charlotte's pretty good, and Sophie won't wake up."
I pointed my wand at the ceiling, bringing the lights to life. This was enough for Dom to shift about, and a good prod in the shoulder got her fully awake.
"Fucking hell," she muttered thickly, pushing her tousled hair out of her eyes, "no need to be so violent."
"Language, Dominique!" Isabel and I chorused in a perfect imitation of Roxanne.
"Oh, piss off, Tonjon."
"That is a hideous nickname," Charlotte commented, eyes closed, her head still pressed against her pillow.
"Not as hideous as your face," Dom retorted grumpily. Charlotte automatically raised her hand and displayed her middle finger to the rest of us.
In case you hadn't understood, neither of those two are particularly morning people. You know those cheesy romantic novels, where the heroine says, "and then I found myself snogging the bane of my existence?" Dom or Charlotte can't snog the bane of their existence because that would be waking up and getting out of bed. Sure, they're early risers, they just don't like it.
"Right, enough," Isabel ordered. She had, like me, slipped into jeans and a thick, woolly sweater, and was now pulling her black robes over her head. "Get up, you fat lumps."
Grumbling, they obeyed, and I smiled appreciatively at Isabel. "You need to teach me."
"I grew up with four dogs. It helps."
"I have more free will than a dog!" Dom's words came out distorted by a massive yawn and the shirt she was pulling past her head.
"You don't, because you, too, are a bitch," Isabel replied sweetly. I stifled my laughter at the sight of Dom's face that had just popped out, her mouth wide open, with her hair completely electrified by the struggle it had just put up with. Isabel leaned over smoothly and pushed Dom's jaw up, closing the gap between her teeth with a snap. "Now get dressed, and move it. Autumn, get over here so I do your hair properly, you look like you've got a haystack on top of your head."
She pulled the messy red mass into a tight bun, then did the same to herself. With the hoods of our cloaks lifted, we'd look like we had no hair.
Once we were identically dressed, entirely in black, Dom began to apply the paint to our faces. She was finishing with Charlotte when a discrete knock was heard, and Roxanne walked in, cat carrier in hand, her attire similar to ours.
"Yep," Dom quickly smothered her features with the glowing mixture before moving onto Roxanne. Once she had finished, she eyed our group critically before making the room dark again. We could see nothing of each other except vague blurs, small movements of our cloaks, and our faces, that radiated a strange, pale light. I found it extremely hard to recognise who was who: we all seemed to carry pieces of each other, Dom's cheekbones, Charlotte's dark eyes, Isabel's nose and Roxanne's mouth. We looked downright creepy, and Sophie was probably going to die when she saw us, but it was too late for any of that now.
"So, we all group around Sophie's bed, Charlotte lifts the charm, we kind of hum her awake and once she screams, Autumn petrifies her," Dom reminded us. "On the count of three…"
Sophie had the time to emit a blood-curling scream that probably woke everyone in the country up before she went as stiff as a board.
"Shh!" Dom hissed over our hysterical giggling. She and Roxanne were leading us out, excusing themselves from the task of carrying Sophie around. "Filch is prowling nearby, do you really want us to get caught?"
"How do you know?" I asked, slightly sceptically.
"Dad has better hearing than your average wizard, remember? It's genetic. Now silence, we're almost there."
"We've got the sound stealer anyway," Roxanne reminded her.
"Yes, but he can still see us if he decides to come this way."
"He's not," Roxanne showed Dom something I wasn't able to see. "He's going in the opposite direction."
We abruptly turned, pushed past a tapestry that hid a door, and stumbled outside in a heap, nearly dropping Sophie to the floor.
The walk to the boathouse was the easiest part of our journey, because it was sloping downhill the entire time. I looked up at the clear sky happily, thankful that it wasn't raining, which would have made the entire thing more complicated. Sophie, despite her small size, was starting to weigh quite heavy – slippery grounds would have increased the risks of her falling out of our grasp.
Soon, the boathouse came into view, the light coming from it reflecting on the dark water it was surrounded by. Roxanne ran forward, magically unlocked the door, and we trooped inside hurriedly. Sophie was dumped unceremoniously on the old wooden floorboards – in our defence, it was an accident, and not from very high – before we pulled her out of her forced slumber.
Instinctively, she yanked out her wand and pointed it at our faces, slowly standing up. We didn't move, letting her take a closer look at us. Soon enough, her grasp loosened, and a disbelieving smile crept up her face.
"You're a bunch of idiots," she whispered shakily. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Erm… Happy birthday?" Charlotte offered.
Sophie blinked at us a few times, before moving round the circle we'd formed and slapping us all, one after the other.
"I really thought I was being kidnapped," Sophie grinned apologetically. "You guys gave me the fright of my life. Not to mention I thought you'd forgotten, and I was planning on a way to make you feel properly guilty tomorrow. Well, today," she glanced down at her watch, then back at us. "Sorry about your cheeks, by the way."
"We deserved it," Roxanne admitted. "Are we allowed to give your present though? For forgiveness?"
Sophie shrugged, attempting nonchalance, until the cat carrier was placed in her lap. She opened it carefully, and the kitten stepped out, immediately snuggling against her.
"I'm going to call it Caesar," she declared, scratching it in between the ears.
"Bit pompous, don't you think?" I teased.
"Not everyone gets to get called Autumn Jonquil," she replied immediately.
The rest of the night was spent talking, drinking and eating, until approximately four in the morning, where we all lay on the ground, surrounded by bright wrappers.
"I'm trying to think of a word that describes properly how amazing this was," Sophie's voice rose up from my left.
"Hirrandipops," I offered, suggesting the first word that went through my head.
Sophie laughed. "Absolutely. It was a hirrandipopping birthday. Thank you, you know. You're the best friends I could ask for."
"Oh, we know," we all replied simultaneously, dissolving into laughter.
We found it slightly less funny the next morning when Caesar proceeded to wake us all up after less than four hours of sleep. The weather was horrid, constant drizzle chilling everyone to the bone, and both Charlotte and Sophie were slightly hungover and very crabby. After lunch, they shooed the rest of us out of the dorm to take a nap, an activity Dom joined them in, while Isabelle curled up in the common room with a book.
Sighing, I dragged myself to the library, Potions book under my arm, and threw myself onto a seat in a secluded corner. For about an hour, I scratched an essay about Wolfsbane without interruption, until a shadow loomed over my parchment.
"Hey," Louis slid onto the bench next to me. "Need any help?"
"Nope, I'm okay," I replied, writing down my conclusion.
"How was last night?"
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. "How do you know what I was doing?"
"Do you really think Dom and Roxy would have gotten to Hogsmeade in the middle of the week without any help?"
I grinned. "Fair enough. Last night was great, I'm just really tired."
"You know, someone who'd hear only that last part could interpret that the wrong way," Louis waggled his eyebrows at me laughingly.
"Oh, shut up," I poked him in the stomach before adding the final full stop of my essay. He laughed loudly, and I clapped a hand over his mouth to stop him from attracting attention, quill still in hand. It traced a long inky line across his cheek, which made him laugh even harder, and I couldn't stop myself from smiling slightly too.
"Come on," I slid my essay in between two pages of my textbook, "we're disturbing those trying to work."
"Oh, I got a letter from Victoire," Louis told me as we walked out of the library. "I owled her about the wand swap thing, asking if she'd ever come across something similar."
"Nope, never heard of anything of the sort. She suggested that you try to cast a Patronus though, so we can compare."
I looked at him in alarm. "Cast a Patronus? That's N.E.W.T level, I have no idea how to do that."
"I could teach you. If you haven't got any plans, we could fit in a session now."
"Okay, sure," I smiled. He grinned back and tentatively held out a hand, which I took. We made our way down a flight of stairs, and Louis guided me towards the Hospital Wing. I was more than a little puzzled, until he turned right instead of left, and ran his hand along a stretch of wall. A door appeared at his touch.
"After you, madam," he laughed, releasing my hand.
"What is this place?"
"Head boy and girl headquarters," Louis said smugly. "Also known as the place all Weasleys gather to scheme."
It was a small but cosy room, illuminated by two wide windows. There were a couple of armchairs, a bookshelf, two desks, and that was it.
"Let me guess," I pointed to the desk that was the most cluttered, "that one is yours?" He nodded sheepishly. "Can I look?"
I moved closer, looking at the photographs scattered all over the surface. There were a lot of his family: Louis and James, Louis and Lucy, Louis with Dom on his back, their blond hair tangled together, a photo of all the cousins together, probably taken at Christmastime. There was also one of Louis and Fleur, next to an older photograph, obviously taken before Bill and Fleur's divorce as they were holding one another by the shoulder, but the most surprising photograph was one of Louis and me.
We were sitting by the lake, talking; I was obviously holding back a smile, then my eyes popped out as Louis said something before I whacked him over the head with a roll of parchment.
"When was this taken?" I asked, picking it up. "I don't remember this."
"Last summer, I think. Dom took it."
"I wonder what you said to deserve me hitting you."
"Darling," Louis drawled mockingly, "I'm always willing to have a pretty lady hit me."
I slapped his arm, and he winked maniacally twice before gently prying the picture out of my hands and putting it back on his desk.
"Now, back to business if you will," he motioned to the centre of the room. "We'll start without wands, so that I can explain the theory without risking the loss of a limb."
"Thanks," I commented drily.
"Anytime. Right, so in theory producing a Patronus is quite easy. The spell is Expecto Patronum, and you need to think of a very happy memory in order to conjure your Patronus. And yes, that is it, except that it's very difficult to actually produce one. Wands out now, and think of your happy memory."
"Does it work if it isn't exactly a memory?"
"Well, just the thought of people. I don't know if this makes sense, but for example if you say happy moment it's not a particular memory that comes up, I just see my sisters and my friends."
"You soppy creature," Louis teased. "Try it, I have no idea."
Wand out, I focused intensely on the people I loved, their faces dancing around in a whir until they were all blurred together.
A thin stream of silvery gas streamed out, looking more like a the produce of a leaking faucet than anything else, and I bit my lip, amused.
"Well, that was anticlimactic."
"If you'd managed on first go it would've been surprising. You can try a few more times, but it's quite tiring eventually so I won't let you practice for hours."
After a few inconclusive tries, I let myself drop into an armchair.
"That is exhausting," I admitted. "I don't see how people manage to produce a Patronus when they're under stressing circumstances."
"It gets easier once you manage, don't worry."
"There's my silver lining."
He grinned. "Always is one, is there?"
"No. But when there is, it's best to find it. Life would be too depressing otherwise."
"And on those wise words, ladies and gentlemen, I think it's time for dinner."
A/N: I AM MORTIFIED, FEEL FREE TO PELT ME WITH ROTTEN TOMATOES.
Yes, it has been almost six months since my last update, and I'm really, really sorry, especially because this was supposed to be a birthday present for Sophie who so happens to be born on the 19th of March. Hence, I sort of failed on that level.
However, in the past six months, I've had the excuse of exams, moving 900km away from home, being without Internet except for on my phone, and, taking the biscuit, horrible writer's block on this story.
Thanks to my super awesome friend Claire (yes, I am calling you super awesome only because I don't need to see you everyday anymore, don't let it get to your head), however, I think I've gotten back into gear again and hopefully updates will be more regular!
Thanks so much for your patience, and I hope that those of you who are still reading this might take a moment to let me know what you thought of this chapter?
THANK YOU AND AGAIN I AM SO SORRY. ♥