Chapter 6 : Honeydukes
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Coralie’s letter remained a mystery –who read it, not who wrote it. In the mess of classes, meals and sleep, she had completely forgotten to be on the lookout. She wished she had the ability to forget about the letter completely, but she did not seem to have that gift – at least, not yet. By the time she remembered, it seemed as if the reader had long forgotten, too. She considered asking one of the girls – probably Lily, as she was still the one Coralie felt most comfortable with, though she was growing closer to all of the girls as each day passed.
At home, she’d never had a great number of friends. She was happy with just having Emma and a few other girls who’d tag along every now and again. But here at Hogwarts, she found that she actually liked having a bigger group of friends. Each of the girls were widely different from one another, but in their own little ways they all reminded her of Emma or of her old life in general. It was a weird sort of thing, but Coralie still felt grateful for the little reminders.
Kiki was perhaps one of the craziest and most honest people that Coralie had ever encountered. She didn’t care about what people thought of her and though sometimes she lacked tact, she knew how to make her friends feel better. But more than anything, Kiki was determined. Determined to find the hottest boy in the school, determined to pass the year without a single moment spent studying, and determined to make Coralie feel welcome. Sometimes this meant Kiki did silly things like speak in a very bad French accent all day or exclaim very loudly how much she adored “le fromage.” It was only when she threatened to start doing the can-can every morning and night that all the girls decided it was too much.
The other girls were less creative with their ideas, but all seemed willing to go completely out of their way to make sure that Coralie was comfortable. Sometimes this made Coralie tear up a little; she just hadn’t expected them to be quite so nice to her. Most of the other Gryffindors were the same, though they only really got to talk when they were partnered together in class, Coralie had already become quite fond of Remus. She found it hard to imagine that anyone could not like the boy – he was so kind to everyone (at least as far as Coralie had seen, though she doubted he had a mean bone in his body). Remus’s friends were nice enough, though sometimes Coralie couldn’t stop herself from laughing at James’s antics, especially when Lily was around. Though she knew her new friend hated it, she had to admit that the two of them would have the most adorable couple.
“Sometimes I feel like you just leave planet Earth for a while and we’re like your land crew down here, making sure you land safely,” Kiki exclaimed, raising her eyebrows at Coralie, who had just noticed that Kiki had been staring at her.
“Oh, leave her alone, Ki!” Miranda teased, winking at Coralie, “Her mind is probably way more exciting than anything you’ve got to say to her.”
Kiki pretended to be shocked, “I’ll have you know that I actually have something extremely exciting to tell Coralie about. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s probably one of the most exciting things she will have heard this year.”
Coralie raised her eyebrows at her friend’s dramatics. “Go on, then. You’ve got me intrigued now. I suppose I can spare a few more minutes down here on Earth for you, but you better make it quick. I’ve got a date with a cute alien that I just don’t want to miss.”
“Ooh, we’ll come back to that cute alien comment soon. I thought you’d know me well enough by now that you’d know not to tease me with comments about cute” – Kiki paused for a moment to think – “boys. Merlin, we are weird sometimes. Anyway, back here on planet Earth, and more specifically here at Hogwarts, there’s this thing coming up next weekend.”
“Oh, Merlin. This is your exciting news? This?” Mary exclaimed, shooting looks of disbelief at Kiki before shaking her head in disappointment. “I really expected better of you, Ki. I really did.”
“Oh, shut your mouth!” Kiki cut back, turning her full attention back to Coralie. “This upcoming weekend is incredibly important for the students of Hogwarts.” Beside her, Alice scoffed but went back to eating pancakes when Kiki shot her a filthy look. “It is a time when we are all able to escape the tight binds of this school and truly enjoy ourselves like teenagers should be able to do. It represents our freedom, our strength, a break for our seriously tired brains and bodies. It is the place where dreams are made and fulfilled. It is beautiful.”
“I feel like you’re advertising Disneyland or something. I fear I’ll be seriously disappointed if people aren’t dressed up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse,” Coralie commented, chuckling as Kiki looked outraged.
“It is better than Disney. It’s bigger.” Kiki paused. “Okay, that was a lie. I don’t know the exact size of Disneyland, but it’s probably bigger there. The point is this! This is perhaps one of the most exciting weekends of your life. Therefore, you must spend it with all of us. You literally don’t have any other options.”
“I feel like you are all asking me out on a date or something, though incredibly dramatically and indirectly. I don’t even know how to respond to something like this. Oh, it’s just such a surprise! I never knew you all felt that way about me,” Coralie exclaimed sarcastically, sticking her tongue out at Kiki, who had buried her face in her hands.
“The truth is, Coralie – the moment I met you, I just –” Miranda broke off as the girls all broke into fits of laughter. Though Kiki was pretending to be distraught, it was obvious that she was hiding her own laughter through the way that her shoulders were shaking.
“But really, are you talking about those little village trips?” Coralie asked. The moment the words came out of Coralie’s mouth, Kiki’s head snapped up and she turned to face Coralie with a surprised look on her face.
“’Those little village trips’? Oh, you wound me!” Kiki shouted. She was so loud that a bunch of Ravenclaws sitting at their own table had turned around at the noise, though Coralie could hardly believe that it had taken them that long to actually hear what was going on at the Gryffindor table. “They are not simple ‘little village trips.’” Kiki used her fingers as quotation marks. “It’s Hogsmeade, Coralie. You only think of them as ‘little village trips’ because you’ve never been. Coralie Whatever-Your-Middle-Name-Is Bennett, I swear on Merlin’s pants that you will enjoy Hogsmeade. In fact, if you don’t love it, I will willingly pay for you to go to Mars or whatever to live with your cute little alien boyfriend.”
“Wow, it must be pretty amazing if you’re willing to do that.” Coralie widened her eyes and stared at Kiki who was nodding encouragingly. “I suppose I’ll have to accept your offer then. So yes, Kiki, Mary, Marlene, Miranda, Alice, and Lily – I would love to accompany all of you to Hogsmeade next weekend.”
“That’s what I thought,” Kiki said smugly, sticking her tongue out at Mary, who was shaking her head again. “Now if you don’t mind, I’d rather eat the rest of my breakfast in peace, without all of you making a big show of things.” Kiki didn’t even have time to think before Alice had hit her in the arm with her heavy book bag.
“So, where are we meeting on Saturday?” Lily raised her eyebrows at James, who had joined her on the couch, awkwardly squeezing himself between Lily and Coralie, who’d been critiquing each other’s Ancient Runes essays.
“Excuse me?” she asked, looking past James to send Coralie a pointed look. Coralie just shrugged her shoulders in response and went back to Lily’s essay.
“I said, where are we meeting on Saturday?” When Lily sent him another confused look, James continued. “You know, for our date?” From his place on the armchair, Sirius let out a bark of a laugh.
“That’s funny. I don’t ever remember agreeing to going on a date with you. Not this weekend, and not ever. Coralie, tell me. Do you remember such a thing?” All eyes turned to Coralie, who slowly put down the parchment and her quill.
“I can’t say I remember James ever asking you, but then again, I’m just the new girl, remember? How do you expect me to know these sorts of things?” Sirius laughed again, and when Coralie turned to face him, he grinned at her. She didn’t grin back.
“Did I say something wrong?” James asked, and when Lily sent him a pointed look, he turned his attention back to Coralie. “I meant to you. Did I say something like that to you?” Both Coralie and Lily were taken aback – neither of them could help the surprised and puzzled looks they wore on their faces.
“Uh, no,” Coralie managed to say once most of the surprise had worn off. “I was just being – I don’t know. I just didn’t want to get involved, really.” James’s face lightened significantly.
“You’re quite witty, you know.” James chuckled, returning to his normal self. “Maybe we’ll have to go to Hogsmeade sometime instead. I could do with some new friends. You see, Cora, the ones I’ve got aren’t very supportive of me.” James sent a sharp look to Sirius, who was laughing again.
“I would, but unfortunately I’m fully booked this weekend,” Coralie responded, rolling her eyes at Lily, who just shook her head in response.
“All the boys are already chasing after you then?” Sirius asked dryly, raising his eyebrows at Coralie. In the corner of her eye, Coralie could see James mouthing something to Sirius, who was blatantly ignoring him and instead,focusing all of his attention on Coralie. Both Lily and Coralie scoffed before turning to each other and chuckling.
“You could say that, Black. Cora here has six dates for Hogsmeade this weekend,” Lily retorted teasingly, winking at Coralie, who laughed again in response. Neither of the boys seemed to pick up the joke as they shared a look between them.
“Who?” James asked, and Sirius nodded in agreement. Coralie shrugged her shoulders.
“Just, you know, six of them. They’re all pretty cute, if you ask me,” Lily cut in before either of the boys could say anything else.
“Yeah, there’s this ginger one in particular.” Lily giggled before she could stop herself.
“Yeah, that one. Phew, that one is definitely going to be the best date.” Both Coralie and Lily threw their heads back in laughter at that while the boys sat there silently and stared, still incredibly confused about what the girls were talking about. “You guys really don’t get it at all, do you?”
“I don’t understand why Bennett’s love life would be so funny to the two of you, but –”
Coralie scoffed at this and Sirius sent her a confused look.
“Love life? Uh, yeah, right. I’ve been here for less than a month. It’s not like boys are throwing themselves at me,” she responded dryly, sending Lily another pointed look.
“What about your six dates? What about this ginger?” James asked, clearly still very confused by the entire exchange.
“My six ‘dates’ are the girls, and the ginger would be the lovely, amazing Lily,” Coralie replied, laughing at the boys’ expressions as they realised.
“Why don’t you have a date, though?” James asked, as the girls shared another look between them. “Padfoot here could take you. Right, Padfoot?” Sirius – or Padfoot, as he seemed to be nicknamed – nodded.
“Look, I’d really rather you didn’t, Black. Maybe if you could just keep your hands off one of my best friends then everything would be better, and maybe Shelena would still be here,” Lily spat. Beside her, Coralie could feel James tense up, and though she didn’t really understand what had happened in the past, she could tell that Lily may have taken it too far. Sirius didn’t say a word; instead, he just stood up and stormed upstairs to his dormitory. After cursing under his breath, James stood up and nodded to Coralie before following after his friend. He didn’t pay a single mind to Lily, who sat on the couch, frozen and tight-lipped.
Coralie couldn’t dismiss the hurt look that had passed off Sirius’s face, but she followed the now furious Lily upstairs, only glancing back in time to see James come back down the boys’ stairs, his hands tugging on his already messy hair in frustration. She motioned towards where he had come from. He shrugged his shoulders and frowned.
Maybe there was more to Sirius Black than met the eye.
Hogsmeade, just as Kiki had described, was beautiful. As Coralie followed her friends into the streets, she couldn’t help glance around in an attempt to take notice of everything. Her friends laughed along as she pointed to the crooked chimneys on top of the little brick buildings and the contents of shop windows as they passed. Every now and again one of them would have to backtrack and pull her along to catch up with the others.
Luckily for her, she didn’t look completely out of place. Many of the third years who were also experiencing their first Hogsmeade trip were copying Coralie’s behaviour, and they were much louder than she was. Even if they hadn’t been, Coralie wouldn’t have cared. The village was just so breathtaking, and there were so many little things to notice. The girls had already agreed on where to take Coralie first, but she hadn’t been listening carefully enough to know where that was, so instead she just followed with without question.
“Okay, here we are.” The girls stopped and all turned to stare back at Coralie; each of them wore a mixture of amused and excited expressions. Coralie raised her eyebrows at them.
“This, Coralie, is Honeydukes,” Marlene stated, motioning to the shop behind them.
Coralie gazed over the little shop. From a distance, maybe it wouldn’t have looked like much, but standing up close, Coralie could see the bright pink banner that read “Honeydukes. Homemade Sweets.” On either side of the wooden door were two big shop windows, filled to the brim with sweets of all different kinds. She could see massive rainbow lollipops and jars overflowing with brightly coloured sweets. Inside, the jars continued for what seemed like miles on end. As her friends disappeared down aisles in search of their favourite sweets, Coralie carefully examined row by row, jar by jar.
Some of the sweets looked similar to things she had tried before, but most of them bore no resemblance to any of things Coralie had grown up eating. But everything looked so good, she had no idea where to even start. She went to reach for a jar of something called Sugar Quills when a hand reached out and snatched them up before she could. She was prepared to let them go when a voice cut through her thoughts.
“Sugar Quills, eh?” Coralie turned to face Sirius, who was leaning against the rack, Sugar Quills in hand.
“I don’t know, actually,” Coralie responded. “We didn’t have them back home. We didn’t have most of this stuff back home – it’s all very different. I don’t know where to start.”
“You’re kidding?” he asked, his brow furrowing slightly. “Wow, you need a serious lesson in Honeydukes sweets. Luckily, I’m a bit of an expert.”
“You don’t like to brag though, right?” Coralie teased, following Sirius down the aisle as he picked jars off the shelves and passed a few back to her.
“Those are my personal favourite. Fizzing Whizzbees,” he said, passing her a jar filled with little circular sherbet-like sweets. “They make you hover off the ground for a bit. There’s a rumour that they include dried Billywig stings, and that’s what levitates you.” Coralie scrunched up her nose at that. Eating dried Billywig stings? She thought she might pass on that. “Hey, don’t make that face. I swear they’re good.”
“I might take your word on that one,” Coralie replied, going to place the jar back in its rightful place.
“I’m going to buy some anyway – my stocks are running low. You can try one of mine then.” Coralie nodded in agreement, passing the jar back to Sirius. She ignored it when their fingers brushed together.
“Cora!” The sound of her name shocked Coralie, and she jumped slightly, knocking into a jar that was sticking further out on the racks then any of the others. For a moment she expected to hear the smashing of the glass, but then she noticed that Sirius had somehow managed to catch it and place it back on the shelf.
“We’ve been looking for you everywhere. Are you ready to go?” Mary asked. She glanced over Sirius but didn’t make any comment.
“Yeah. Uh, I’ll see you later, Sirius.” Coralie smiled, feeling incredibly awkward, and followed Mary back down the aisle to where the rest of the girls were waiting, all very carefully watching Sirius. He stared right back at them.
“I’ll bring you some of those Fizzing Whizzbees tonight, okay, Cora?” he called after her, and she meekly nodded in response.
“What was he doing? Was he bugging you?” Kiki asked when they’d made it out of Honeydukes and back onto the street.
“Uh, no. He was just helping me pick out some sweets,” Coralie responded, though she almost wished she hadn’t – she didn’t miss the look that the girls all sent each other. “Is there something wrong with that?” For a second, none of the girls said anything, then Alice shook her head and broke the silence.
“Of course not. You should just watch out for him. He has a habit of loving and then leaving girls.” Lily scoffed at Alice’s response, but when Miranda sent her a sharp look, Lily tried to cover it with a cough.
“Don’t worry,” Coralie said with a shrug. “He’s really not my type.” Lily looked like she wanted to say something else, but she stopped herself.
“See, this is why you’re our friend,” Mary grinned, throwing her arm around Coralie’s shoulder. “You’ve actually got common sense when it comes to Black.”
Authors Note: As you can see, I’m starting to post these at more reasonable intervals again. I’m also trying to write ahead quite a lot so that there won’t be massive gaps again, so I’ve already written Chapter Seven and that should be up pretty soon. If I’d planned this better, I would have the Christmas-y chapters up around Christmas but they hopefully won’t be too far off (otherwise I feel like the spirit of the chapters just isn’t the same).
There’s just two things I wanted to clear up. Lily seems a little bit bitchy in this chapter, but it’s just because she feels like she should defend her friends- I promise she’ll go back to the usual sweet, but slightly fiery Lily soon. Also, Coralie. She’s a bit sassier in this chapter, but that’s how I see her- as she grows more comfortable with Hogwarts, she will become more like herself, which hasn’t been seen yet.
Anyway, thank you all for reading this chapter. I hope you liked it, and if you did, please consider leaving me a review. I’d love to know what you think.
P.S. 'Le fromage' is cheese.
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