Chapter 1 : Sendin' Some Love
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I straightened my robes, playing with my hair a bit, as mom droned on to us about us “looking so grown-up” and “cute.” Tuning mom out, I glanced around anxiously for any of my friends. I didn't want my mother to act embarrassing around them. Although they've all already met her, it's practically inevitable for mom not to be embarrassing. It's one of those little things you just, “got to love”.
Mom pulled Alice and me into a tight embrace, squeezing my shoulder. “Now girls, send Daddy some love for me, alright?” She smiled warmly, nodded, kissing both of our heads, and patting my shoulder, continued, “Well, be off now dears.”
As we jogged off, lugging our trunks behind us, I whispered to Alice, “Sending some love to Dad will be the last thing I'll do.” Alice snorted as we climbed on, quickly finding and taking an open, available cabin. Getting comfortable, I stuffed my trunk away with Alice's and took the window seat, propping my head up on my hand, staring out the window.
It was pretty quiet except for Alice's blabbing, and my light humming, (which actually turned out to be not as “light” as I thought.) “Augusta, you need to stop listening to that muggle music.”
“And I should because..?” I paused, looking over at her, cocking an eyebrow.
“Because!..,” Alice leaned in, looking around before whispering, “Wanda said it gives you warts.”
“Oh really?” I stifled a laugh, “And you heard this from Wanda?” Alice nodded vigorously, a wild look in her eyes, as her hair turned out in wisps. I chuckled slightly before whispering, “Well, Wanda was lying.” Alice pouted, and sat back frustrated in her seat.
“Can't you just let me have my way for once?” I covered my mouth to keep from laughing as she got up, huffed, and retorted, “I'm going to get some snacks.”
As she closed the cabin door, I returned back to my staring out the window, and humming. It was peaceful and I was quite enjoying the silence until a knock on the door jostled me out of my thoughts. I jerked my head toward the door. A boy stood there, and I usually don't notice, or care, but this boy was attractive. Very. Attractive. He smiled, and mouthed, “Mind if I..?” I half-nodded, half-shrugged, as he slid open the door in and sat in the seat opposite from me. “Thanks. Everybody else just kinda shrugged me off, like whatever.” I shrugged once more. Why wasn't I saying anything? I kicked myself for being so awkward, and swallowed, looking around. What a nice..wall, I thought sarcastically.
“Oh! How rude of me. I'm Duncan. Duncan Kelly.” I glanced back at Duncan, and suddenly, I knew who he was. He was captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. It took so long for me to recognize him because normally I spend time in the common room by the fire, enveloped in my own thoughts.
“And you're Augusta Longbottom...?” He inquired, pointing a finger at me hesitantly, smiling cheekily. I nodded, and kicked myself again for not opening my mouth.
For some strange reason, it was dry. “Do you talk?” My eyes widened, and finally, I managed to get something out. It wasn't much but It was a start.
“W-what?” He laughed, and grinned.
“She talks! Good, good, I didn't want to talk to myself, and have you think I'm, you know, bonkers!” He whirled his finger in a circular motion on the side of his head near his temple, making a strange face. I laughed, and snorted. Oh great. Way to ruin the moment, Augusta. You SNORTED. I could just feel my cheeks burning with embarrassment and astonishment, I knew I was as red as a Weasley's hair. I managed to sneak a glance at Duncan, he was looking at me, his mouth open, a smile curling on his lips. Even better, he's going to laugh at me. “Did you just...snort?”
I covered my face, and mumbled, “Yes.” He chuckled.
“C'mon, it's not that bad. I'd like to snort. I mean, all I can do is, well, play quidditch.”
I looked up, head tilted slightly to the left, smiling. “It's more of a curse actually.”
“What?! How?! I'd love to snort.”
“You'd love to sound like a pig?” I laughed, shaking my head. Duncan shrugged, and grinned. The moment was great, I could probably live in it forever. Someone like Duncan was talking to me? Oh, this would be a great story for everyone at lunch. Suddenly, the door opened with a loud jolt, and Alice was standing there, looking back between me and Duncan, smiling smugly. I shook my head slightly at her.
“Well, hello there. And who might you be?” She gestured towards Duncan, who opened his mouth to answer, but she cut him off, “Oh, wait. I know. You're Augusta's BOYFRIEND!” She had that crazy look in her eyes as she said that, and I put my head in my hands, looking at the floor, shifting my feet awkwardly. Oh, Alice, why must you do this to me? Alice plopped down next to me, studying Duncan closely, as he chuckled, shaking his head.
“Uh- no. Sorry. I'm her...er...friend! Yes, I'm her friend.” I moved my hands, pinching the bridge of my nose. Oh train, please arrive at Hogwarts now. PLEASE. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to block them out as Alice played 20 questions with Duncan except he had no time once so ever to answer.
The gods must've heard me, because the train abrubtly lurched to a stop, and I jumped up eagerly, grabbing my trunk off the shelf, and dragging it down the aisle. “August! Wait up!” Duncan's voice called from afar. Did he just call me...August? Had he literally just created a nickname for me? I sighed, and stepped off the train, greeting Hagrid.
“Well, 'ello 'der, August. 'Yer ready for the year ahead?” I nodded happily at Hagrid, then heading on to the fields where the carriages were. Along the way Duncan caught up with me, and we ended up, going over in a carriage together, just adding on to more time for him to talk me up.
“August.” I rolled my eyes, trying not to smile, and let him win. “Aye, you like that nickname. You're smiling!” I shook my head in reply, trying to muster a straight face. (Not very well am I at making and keeping straight faces, may I add). He leaned forward, tickling me, “Yes you do!” I laughed, and tried to pull away.
“Duncan, stop!” As I said this, he stopped, and Hagrid, who was not very far away on another boat looked over, sending me a look. I glared at Duncan, although it wasn't very menacing. “Duncan.” I hissed. He just laughed, as we arrived at the school.
Since Duncan was in Gryffindor, (How ironic), we also walked together to the common room. I reached my room, leaving Duncan, and finally, with a sigh of relief, placing my trunk down. Footsteps receded from the bathroom and I looked up to see my best friend, Rose Weasley. “Rosie!” I exclaimed, as I embraced her in a tight hug. As we pulled away, she held my hands, looking me over.
“Hi Augusta!” I laughed, and hugged her again. Pulling away, we crossed over and sat on her bed. We had a little frame of time to catch up before dinner, and I planned to use every second of it. I told her about my summer, not forgetting to include the story where Dad tried to make dinner, and it ended up tasting like the earwax flavored jellybeans. We both shivered in disgust, and laughed. “Can you believe your father, is teaching Herbology?”
“Tell me about it! Is there a way to drop that class?” I giggled, as we got up from the bed, and going down to dinner.
James kept the table well entertained through dinner, as we all laughed, catching up and telling tales. Dinner was great, and then Duncan came over. “August! Hey August!” My eyes went wide. Oh no. No. No. Not here. James, Rose, and Lily all looked at me, as Duncan ran over, plopping himself down next to me on the bench. “Hello August's friends?”
James cocked an eyebrow, saying, “August...?” I closed my eyes, pinching the bridge of my nose.
“Oh, that's my nickname for her.” I heard Lily snicker, and I glared at her, as she wiggled her eyebrows. James just stared judgmentally at Duncan, until Rose punched his shoulder an hissed,
“James. Stop it.” He glanced over at me, and then sighed. Duncan whispered to me,
“Did I do something wrong...or..?” I shook my head.
“No, James just-” It was hard to explain. Why did James do that? I didn't even know. Duncan stopped me.
“It's okay, I understand.” I nodded awkwardly, as the food disappeared, and we all got up to go back to our common rooms. It seemed like the longest walk back to the common room ever, as the silence between us was painful, the only thing filling it was Rose's and Lily's constant whispering.
As soon as we reached the common room, and I sat down on my bed, Lily and Rose joined me. I took a deep breath, and nodded. They quickly unloaded about a million questions on me.
“Who is he?”
“Are you two together?”
“Did you see James' face?”
“Are you and James..?”
“Why didn't you tell me?”
“How long have you known him?”
“Did he kiss you yet?”
“Duncan! He's quite the catch. How'd you do it?”
I held my hand up, suddenly stopping the infinite flow of questions. Clearing my throat, I prepared to answer them all. Taking a deep breath, I clarified everything, “His name is Duncan. Duncan Kelly. He's captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. No, we are not together. Yes, I saw James' face. He's always like that when one of us has a friend that's a guy. Have you been living under a rock, girls? No, James and I are definitely NOT together. I didn't tell you about Duncan, Rosie, because I didn't think it mattered. I've known him since the train ride, which I didn't see you two on! Which was frustrating. Anyways, I met him on the train ride, he's just a friend. No, he didn't kiss me. We're not together I just met him.”
Sadly, that didn't stop the questions. I don't know why I wasn't surprised. They continued with their pestering questions. I laughed lightly, ending all questions by replying, “Girls, he's just a friend. I swear.”
“Oh.” Lily drooped, and then yawned. “Well, I'm going to bed, G'night!” She hugged Rose, and kissed my forehead, getting up, and trudging sleepily out of the room. Who knew letting her lose all her fuel would tire her out? Lesson learned. Note to self; always let Lily get all her questions or ranting out. I looked at Rose, and she just smiled, and walked over to her bed, and crawled in.
“Good night, Augusta.” She turned her lamp off, the light that was once illuminating the room gone. I drew the drapes around my bed, and pulled the covers over my head, yawning.
“Good night..” I mumbled, and I fell asleep, dreaming about Duncan Kelly.
The next morning was as a usual one would go. I got up early with Rose, and we got spiffed up for classes together. Now, when I say, “spiffed up”, don't go thinking we were wearing make-up. It was simply us taming our bed-head, and adjusting our dress robes. The conversation was different though. It was different because there was none. Just silence. I attempted several times to fill the empty spots, but Rose never replied. I tried to act indifferent about it, but for some reason Rose just stared at me. Stared, and stared, and stared. And stared..until finally, I got so fed up with her irksome stare, I just yelled. “Rose! Don't you have something better to do than to stare me up and down like I'm some..some display in a store! Gosh, you're making me feel like I'm standing here naked! And if this is about Duncan, I just met him yesterday for merlin's sakes, we're not getting hitched. So, just stop!” I don't even know where that came from. Suddenly, I guess, it was just, scream at Rose time. I instantly regretted those words after I said them. Rose snapped out of her stare, and looked at the ground, her cheeks flushing red as her hair, as she cleared her throat. “Rose...I-” She held up her hand, stopping me, and shook her head. I didn't want to make her feel any worse, and the elephant in the room was the largest one I'd seen, so I left. It was still a bit early, so I just walked the corridors.
At one point, as I was aimlessly walking, I heard footsteps. I started to freak out silently. Who would be up at this hour?! Well...besides me, and Rose. But still! Who?! Filch?! My heart started to beat at a million miles per hour as I frantically glanced around for something to hide behind. Quickly, I sprinted to the end of the corridor, and stood, back against the wall, breathing heavily. The footsteps rounded the corner and began to walk slowly down the hallway. It was dark down here, and my night vision was poor. I didn't have my wand with me, of course, just my luck, it was back in Rose's and mine's dorm.
“Lumos!” I heard a voice whisper from not very far. I held my breath, and squeezed my eyes shut. Please don't see me, please. PLEASE. It felt like a million years, but It sounded like they left. Exhaling, relieved, I began to round the corner. But when I did, I just about jumped five feet in the air. There, in sweatpants and a tight, grey t-shirt, with his wand pointed at me, was no other than Duncan. I placed my hand over my heart, and glared at Duncan.
“What are you doing up?!” I hissed, fixing my eyes on him angrily. Duncan just smiled his cheeky smile at me, and whispered,
“Taking a little walk. I couldn't sleep. What are you doing doing up in the wee hours of the morning..and why on earth, do you have your robes on-” he began to laugh, “For merlin's sake, August, did you sleep in those?!” His laughing was quite loud, so I smacked his shoulder to shut him up.
“Of course not! Who do you think I am? Gosh, Duncan. I always get up early to get ready early, and I just so happened to want to take a walk.”
“Oh..well then.” Duncan chuckled, as I rubbed my temples, sighing annoyed. Mocking me, he sighed obnoxiously, and rubbed his forehead.
“Duncan! Stop it! You look weird doing that! People are going to think you're bonkers!”
I glanced around worriedly, just waiting for someone to pop around the corner any second. Dumbledore, Filch, or even another student!
“Who's going to judge me, August? There's no one awake.” I kept looking around, and could just feel the worry lines on my face. Duncan shook his head, grabbing my shoulders firmly, turning my head to his, leaning in so our noses were touching. He smiled, and continued, “August. Chill. No. One's. Awake.” I nodded weakly, and he laughed lightly, letting go.
We started to walk down the corridor together, and when we got back to the Fat Lady's picture, I opened my mouth to say the password, but suddenly, Duncan grabbed me, silencing me. Shocked, I stood there, as he pressed his lips to mine softly, pulled away, smiled his classic one at me, and walked off down the corridor, probably continuing his “walk.”
“Ooh, who was that?” The Fat Lady whispered, “He was cute!”
I shook my head, “No commentary Fat Lady.” She opened the picture after I whispered the password, but I looked back once more for any sight of Duncan before stepping in.
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