Chapter 18 : I Just Don't Think I'm Ready
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BUT, it's still a chapter! And I'll do my best to get the next one up as fast as possible. I promise I love you all and this story! I already know how it all goes, I just have to get it down in words. But it'll happen, pinky swear!
So, let's get on with it!
DISCLAIMER!: I am a turd. JKR is not. Boom.
Chapter 18: I Just Don't Think I'm Ready
Fiona Little couldn’t remember the last time she had been this happy. Even though Louis had left two days prior for the biggest trip of his career to date and wasn’t able to send her letters every day like normal, she knew deep in her heart that he loved her. Louis Weasley loved her. Just the thought put an embarrassingly idiotic grin on her face that she couldn’t seem to get rid of, no matter how hard she tried.
But she was also scared out of her mind. She knew she had waited too long for Hope to just be happy for her and not angry, and with each passing day, Fiona knew her reaction would worsen. But as long as she planned out the reveal to the most minute detail, Hope wouldn’t be able to freak out. Hope had wanted this all along, anyway. Fiona wasn’t sure if she was more nervous to tell Hope, or Louis’s entire family.
“So what are your plans for the holiday?” Dorothy asked a few days before break at dinner.
“Oh, nothing,” Fiona said. “I’ll be stuck inside with my family for the majority of it. My sister’s bringing her fiancé to Christmas dinner, she’s already owled me seven times to make sure I’m there. Our parents haven’t met him yet.”
“But I assume you have?” Freddie asked.
Fiona nodded. “I visited her in Ireland over the summer. He’s good to her.”
“Well, that’s more exciting than my holiday,” Hope said. “We were supposed to go skiing, but my parents told my brother to make the reservation at the lodge, and he forgot. So now, we’re stuck at home.”
“What about you two?” Fiona asked.
“Family Christmas, then the big party between Christmas and New Years,” Dorothy answered with a grin.
“Big party?” Hope asked.
“Yeah,” Freddie said. “Every year, the whole family gets together at the Burrow and celebrates the holidays so everyone can have their own traditions as well as family traditions. Dor and the Scamanders are practically family, so they come every year too.”
“That sounds wild,” Hope said.
“It is,” Dorothy replied with a laugh. “Every once and a while, someone brings a girlfriend or boyfriend, but only when they’re really serious about them. It’s the big relationship test.”
Fiona’s face paled. “Test?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Freddie said with a laugh. “If they can’t handle the Christmas party, they can’t be a Weasley. It always works.”
“Remember when Dom brought that Durmstrang boy she met at the Ministry? I thought Uncle Ron was going to kill him.”
Freddie laughed. “How could I forget Kristoff Krum? I think he cried in the middle of it. I hear he won’t even talk to Dom anymore.”
“Who cares now that she’s so happy with Ashton Boot?” Dorothy replied. “Honestly, the party is magic all on its own.”
Fiona felt like she was going to hurl. All thoughts of Hope’s reaction aside, what if she didn’t survive this party?
“You two should come if you can,” Freddie said.
Hope blinked. “Really?”
“Yeah!” Dorothy exclaimed. “You both can come to my place and get ready, and then the three of us can all go together! And then everyone spends the night at the Burrow…oh, it’ll be so fun!”
Hope beamed. “That’d be phenomenal!”
Fiona forced a smile. “Yeah, sounds great!”
Dorothy smiled as House Elves bustled around her, making sure she had everything she needed. She had a large knife in her hand and was slicing some fudge for herself, Hope, and Fiona to indulge in later. “Is the Miss sure she would not like Winky to slice the fudge?” Winky asked her, eyes wide.
Dorothy smiled down at the elf. “Yes, it’s quite alright. I don’t want to interfere with your preparations for dinner; I’ll be done in just a moment.”
Winky nodded reluctantly and joined the rest of the elves, giving out orders for the night’s dinner. Being an older elf, Winky had much more experience and was respected among the Hogwarts House Elves.
Just as Dorothy was about to cut the last slice of fudge, the kitchen door opened and a loud voice boomed, “Merlin, it smells brilliant in here!”
With a gasp, the knife slipped, slicing deep into Dorothy’s thin finger. “Bugger!” she yelped, quickly searching for a towel of some sort to wrap around her finger.
James’s attention snapped from the food to the blonde he hadn’t noticed at a far counter. “Dorothy?”
She turned and shot him a grimace, clutching her heavily bleeding finger in her hand. “Cheers,” she said quickly, then turned back, looking for something to use as a bandage.
James saw the blood and furrowed his brow, quickly striding towards her. “Circe, what’d you do, slice off your finger?”
“Not on purpose!” she cried, her finger throbbing with pain. “Help me find a napkin or something to wrap it with.”
“Let me see it,” James said, reaching out and grabbing her wrist gently, pulling her hands towards him.
“James, I need to stop the blood, give me my hand back,” she said irritably as he pried her unharmed hand off of the wound. Pulling out his wand, he murmured a short healing spell, instantly causing the flow of blood to slow, and then stop completely. Dorothy watched in awe as her skin seemed to melt back together, leaving behind only a faint pink scar.
“How did you…?” she wondered aloud as he shoved her hands in the nearest sink and flipped on the hot water.
“Wash,” he instructed. He then set about sanitizing the countertop and knife she had been working with using a few spells.
After Dorothy had finished scrubbing her hands, she patted them dry on her denims. She turned to James with curiosity etched all over her face. “I didn’t know you knew any healing spells,” she said softly. James turned around, the fudge she had been slicing packaged neatly in parchment paper.
“My dad taught me,” he said simply, passing her the package. She took it as he continued: “Well, he taught all of us. Always said you never knew when you might need a healing charm. Some war thing, I suppose.”
Dorothy nodded. “Well, I’m glad he did.”
James nodded as well, a small smile playing on his lips. “It’s been a while since we’ve been alone,” he commented.
Dorothy gulped. “Yeah, I guess it has. How’ve you been?”
“Alright,” he says. “Lonely at some times, but alright.” Dorothy felt guilt pull at her heart. Freddie was James’s best friend, too, and he was obviously playing favorites by spending so much time in Hufflepuff. “You?”
“I’m good,” she replied softly. “Sent in my Auror application a bit ago. Became an Animagus.”
James smiled. “I heard about that, congratulations,” he said sincerely. “You’re a…a cat?”
Dorothy nodded. “Yeah. Fiona thinks I’m adorable.”
“You’ve always been adorable.”
Dorothy blushed madly, and she began to run her fingers through the ends of her hair. “Uh—”
“Do I make you nervous?”
She swallowed thickly, and then nodded. James smiled. “There’s nothing to be nervous about Dorothy. It’s just me.”
“It’s not you,” she said softly. “It’s…it’s how I feel when I’m around you.”
“And how do you feel?” he asked, his eyes slightly desperate.
Dorothy stared back at him, an overwhelming urge to just throw herself into his arms and be done with this giant emotional mess pulling at her. “I—,” she began, then faltered. She pushed past James, hurrying towards the exit. “I have to go. Thanks for, uh, my hand.”
She then slipped out the door, leaving James alone in the kitchen. He sighed dejectedly, leaning against the counter. “Welcome,” he muttered. He looked at the ground and frowned, feeling his heart beat slow once again, as if his blood were thickening to molasses. With every step she took away from him, he felt his heart ache more and more.
The next morning at breakfast, James’s owl once again dropped a letter onto Dorothy’s plate. However, this letter was not addressed to Dorothy.
“Lily?” Dorothy questioned out loud.
“She’s over there,” Fiona grumbled through a mouthful of eggs.
Dorothy shot Fiona a look of annoyance. “Thanks, Fi.” Fiona shot her a grin full of chewed food, and Dorothy grimaced. She snatched the letter up and stood, stuck her tongue out at Fiona, and made her way across the Great Hall to the Gryffindor table.
“Lily,” she said, sliding into the open seat next to the red head. She chuckled slightly as Lily jumped, quickly wiping the drool threatening to drip from her mouth. “Good morning, sweetie.”
“Sod off, Thee,” Lily groaned. “I fell asleep in the library around two.”
Dorothy grinned toothily at her and said with a sigh, “Oh, fourth year…”
“Shut. Up,” she groaned. “Mum will Avada me if I don't do well. I had Aunt Hermione send me revising schedules because you know I’m rubbish at exams and—”
“Whoa, Lil, it’s okay to breathe,” Dorothy said, resting her hand on Lily’s shoulder. “Exams are months away. You’ll be fine. If your brother can pass, you can pass.” She gave Lily a reassuring smile. “Okay?”
Lily took in a shaky breath and nodded. “Okay.”
“I have your letter,” Dorothy said.
“What?” Lily asked. Dorothy handed her the envelope. “No! Not again!”
“Um…are you okay?” Dorothy asked.
“That ruddy owl! I thought he grew out of this!”
Dorothy bit her lip. “Um, I’m really not following you…”
“He’s senile! Bloody thing is an idiot!” she lamented. “Merlin, he was doing so well!”
“Lily!” Dorothy snapped. Lily’s words froze in her mouth as she turned to Dorothy. “What are you going on about?”
Lily sighed audibly. “When Hector was just a baby owl, Uncle Ron hit him with his auto. Ever since, he goes through phases of delivering to the wrong person. He’s been reliable for about a year and a half, which is the longest time yet, and we so hoped he’d grown out of it…”
“Uncle Ron gave your family owl a mental handicap?” Dorothy asked.
“Mum still hasn’t forgiven him for it.”
Dorothy giggled. “Alright, well, I’ll see you later. Let me know if you need any help with revisions!”
Lily smiled. “I’ll hold you to that!”
“What were you doing over there with Lily?” Freddie asked, joining Dorothy in her walk back to the Hufflepuff table.
“I got her letter in the post,” Dorothy said, wrapping her arm around his waist and pulling him down into the seat next to her.
“Oh, Hector was doing so well!”
“Was I the only one who didn’t know Hector was brain damaged?”
“Oi, Dor,” Freddie called across the Astronomy Tower. Dorothy turned around in the window she was standing in and smiled as Freddie approached her. “I’ve been looking all over for you. Trying to miss the train again?”
Dorothy laughed at the memory of herself, James, and Freddie unsuccessfully chasing after the train, tripping over themselves and their luggage, in Hogsmeade station as mere second years, and then having to endure the embarrassing walk back to the castle to await their parents’ arrival in the Headmistresses office while Neville rode the train alone. “No, I’d rather not,” she said softly.
Freddie smiled at her, and then moved past her to look out the window. “It’s really the best view of the grounds up here.”
Dorothy turned her gaze out on the grounds, shoulder to shoulder with Freddie. Freddie shifted his gaze over to her and smiled, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “Can you believe it?”
Freddie sighed. “No,” he said softly. “Seems like just yesterday we were getting lost on the fifth floor and stranded on staircases.”
“I don’t want this to be over.”
Freddie stepped behind Dorothy and wrapped both arms around her torso. “I know. Things are going to change, but not this. Not us.”
Dorothy leaned her head back against his shoulder, letting her hands rest on his arms. She looked up at him and asked, “Promise?”
Freddie grinned, pressing his lips firmly against her temple. “I promise,” he whispered into her skin. “You are mine.”
And there we have it! I managed to include Freddie/Dorothy AND James/Dorothy...tell me what you think! How do you think Hope will react to Louis and Fiona? GIVE ME ALL THE THOUGHTS I CRAVE THEM :D
Peace, Love, and Potter,
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