Chapter 2 : Chapter One: Damn You, James Potter.
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The Hogwarts Express took off about an hour ago, and now I’m settled into a compartment with Rose, Al, Lily and Hugo. Lily and Hugo are comparing Chocolate Frog cards and laughing at the ones with their parents on them. Rose and Al are reliving their trip to Greece to me, but they don’t realise I’m not paying attention. My mind is focused elsewhere.
Like, for instance, the weird thing that happened to my body when James Potter walked up to us earlier at the station.
James Potter, I thought. That annoying little prat that has done nothing but embarrass me or play jokes on me since my first year of Hogwarts. He’s immature, Quinn… don’t even think about it.
But I do think about it, despite my efforts. I mean sure James is… okay, I guess. He’s tall, and handsome, and—your best friend’s brother! I officially name that voice in my head Smart Quinn. She seems to have my best interests at heart, so she must be the smart one.
Oh Merlin, I’m naming voices in my head… I don’t think I like this thing going on—whatever it is.
“Quinn!” Rose’s hand is waving in front of my face and I wonder how long she’s been doing that. “What has gotten into you?”
I’d like to know the same thing.
Before I have to answer to any questions, the compartment door slides open. The gorgeous Dominique Weasley stands in the doorway. Dominique looks like a supermodel, but that’s no surprise considering her mom is Fleur Delacour who is quarter-Veela, making Dominique one-eighth Veela. She smiles her contagious smile, “Mind if I join you?”
Naturally, everyone nods and shifts to make room for her. I like Dominique… until I have to sit beside her, like right now. She shifts her long silvery-blonde hair over one shoulder and smiles again. “How was everyone’s summers?”
“Good!” Lily beams, “how come your lot didn’t come with us to Greece this year?”
Dominique leans toward Lily, a smirk on her lips and a twinkle in her blue eyes. “I can’t tell you that.” She sits back again, “but you’ll find out soon enough!” Sometimes I wish I had been born a Potter or Weasley. I feel like their lives are always so exciting and mysterious. Don’t get me wrong, I am more involved than most, seeing as I’m a close family friend… but that’s mainly with the Potters and the Granger-Weasleys. As for the Delacour-Weasleys and the many other Weasleys, I only know things I find out from Rose or Albus.
Rose looks at Dominique suspiciously as if saying, “you had better tell me.” Dominique winks at her, probably confirming that Rose will be the first to know… which usually means I’ll be the next to know because Rose can’t keep secrets from me.
“Oh, come on!” The door to the compartment slings open and everyone starts at the sudden invasion. “You can’t have a family party without inviting me!” My stomach does a little somersault thing and in all honesty, it pisses me off. Actually, James pisses me off. Who the hell does he think he is, barging in here? Who said he could put fairies in my stomach and make my cheeks burn? I certainly didn’t, and I won’t allow it either. I have to make everything go back to normal.
I scoff, “says who?” Yeah, that sounds like the old Quinn when James is around. I think.
“She missed me,” James smiles ear-to-ear. Cheeky little bastard. “You missed me, didn’t you, Pips?” He practically sits on Rose’s lap to move her away so he can sit beside me, which pushes me closer to Dominique and for a second I’m self-conscious again. I shrug that away. I don’t want James thinking I’m attractive. That would just open up an enormous can of worms and I hate worms, so I don’t want them anywhere around… not even as a figure of speech.
“Don’t call me that,” I snap. James always calls me Pips when he wants to annoy me, which just his presence alone seems to be doing recently. “Lily, how about passing me a chocolate frog?”
James throws an arm around my shoulders and pulls me into his chest. The smell is surprising. Usually when I smell James, it’s after Quidditch matches and it’s far from pleasing. But what I smell now is intoxicating. I can’t pinpoint the exact scent but it’s an earthy spearmint sort of smell… fresh and clean and… oh, no. I shove James away from me, and mentally shove the feelings with him. He’s laughing. He thinks he’s innocently messing with me like always, but it’s far from innocent. To me, that is. He opens his mouth to say something else, but is interrupted.
“Have you seen Lysander?” Lorcan Scamander, son of Rolf and Luna, shows up in our compartment. He has short blonde hair, but it’s a little longer on the top and kept messily swooped back. His blue-grey eyes are wide and dreamy like his mother’s. He’s handsome, but oh-so strange. His twin brother is the same way, but he has shoulder-length wavy blonde hair that he usually ties back.
“Erm… no…” Lily is the first to speak. “When did you see him last?”
Lorcan frowns and his eyes go a little hazy. “To be honest, I’m not quite sure.” He comes back into focus and smiles, “Anyway, I must be going. See you all shortly!” And he walks away.
“He is so weird…” Lily says, “But so hot. I don’t get it.”
The compartment erupts with laughter and just briefly, I forget I’m having a problem controlling my new thoughts about James. I say just briefly, because not even a minute later, James says, “So, Pipsqueak!” He chuckles at my eye roll. “Who do you fancy?!”
I nearly choke on my own spit. No matter how hard I fight it, I can feel the burning sensation creeping into my cheeks. I try to laugh but it comes out more like a smoker’s cough.
You’re so bloody awkward, Smart Quinn says. Not to mention obvious!
And that’s when I sort of settle down and sink into my seat. Trying to play off the fact that I just made an absolute fool of myself, I cross my arms over my chest and shrug, “No one. I don’t fancy anyone.”
When I see how everyone is looking at me, it’s obvious they know I’m lying. Especially Al and Rose who know me better than anyone else. My eyes dart around to each face staring at me. I feel like they’re expecting me to defend myself, but I’m not entirely sure how to go about that, so I just repeat myself, “No one.”
“Right…” Al is looking at me like I’ve gone mad… which who knows? Maybe I have. I’ve heard womanhood can do that to a girl. “Well, that was weird.”
Not helping, Al, but nice try…
“James, who do you fancy?!” Thank God for Rose… always knowing how to change subjects wh—
Wait. What did she just ask him…?
I tune in, wondering what James will answer. He smirks. That’s never good. “Well, there may be a few on my list.”
“A few?” The words spill out of my mouth before I can stop them. They sounded a lot more jealous than I need everyone to pick up on. I put my Old Quinn act back on, “Leave it to James Potter to pass girls around like Quaffles.” This earns laughter from everyone, even James. Maybe Old Quinn isn’t so far gone.
I’m noticing a lot of different Quinns… Is that normal?
“You think I’m bad?” James says, “You should see your brother. There’s a reason I’m not in the compartment with him right now.”
“That’s really repulsive,” It really is. My stomach is turning, definitely with nausea this time. “I’m scarred for life now, thanks.”
“OH!” Lily bellows, “Oh! Ew, no!”
“Glad to see you caught up, Lil.” Al chuckles and shakes his head at his little sister.
Everything in the compartment returns to—relatively—normal and I’m starting to think that maybe my predicament isn’t nearly as burdensome as I suspected. After another hour passes, Lily and Hugo have fallen asleep and I’m on the verge of sleep myself. One by one, we all seem to start drifting off into naps. My head is getting heavy and starts to tilt…
One pixie… two pixies… three pixies… fo—
My head collides with something hard and I jerk awake. James, still asleep even after our collision, drops his head onto my shoulder. The fairies in my stomach are starting to feel like biting doxies. What happened to good old-fashioned muggle butterflies? Just when I thought I could handle this… he has to be all sweet and fall asleep on my shoulder.
A loud snore echoes in my ear.
Ugh… Damn you, James Potter.
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