Chapter 3 : Trzy
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They spent the last week of holidays at Shell Cottage, usually on the beach. Faye listened to the twins’ stories of their seemingly endless array of cousins and began to make a mental list so she would be prepared when she met them.
On the nights when she couldn’t sleep, Faye snuck out of the room she was sharing with Dom and crept down to the beach. She stood at the edge of the water, waves occasionally lapping at her toes and stared across the sea. She pretended she could see all the way across the Channel to France. Her mother might have been English but Faye had only ever felt French.
Dom genuinely liked her new friend. Faye was quiet and obviously sheltered but Dom liked the thought of introducing her to the world of Hogwarts, dating, and people her own age. And Faye had a good sense of humor but Dom could never forget that she had an ulterior motive for wanting Faye as her friend.
Finally, on the night before they were to catch the Hogwarts Express, Dom asked the question that had been sitting on the tip of her tongue for over a year.
“Faye,” Dom hissed into the quiet darkness of her bedroom. There was no answer so Dom chucked a pillow at the camp bed. Faye gasped and sat up quickly. “Faye,” Dom hissed again, just for good measure.
“What?” Faye muttered resentfully. She had been planning on a last trip to the beach but had fallen asleep whilst waiting for Dom to drift off.
Dom jumped out of bed and crawled in next to Faye. “I need to ask you something,” Dom said.
Faye had a sudden urge to chuck Dom out of the bed but wasn’t quite ready to completely abandon her ladylike upbringing. So she sighed and settled back into her pillow. “What, Dom?”
Dom turned over and propped herself up on one elbow so she could look down at Faye. “Here’s the thing,” she started. “I’ve had this…dream…for awhile…” She trailed off and bit her lip as she tried to decide how to explain. “My cousins and I have talked about how we all want to distinguish ourselves within the family and beyond it. And some of them, like James, have a particular skill or plans of their own but I’ve always wanted there to be something that we all have or do or…”
“And you want it to be your idea,” Faye said tiredly. “You want to take the credit.”
“Well…yes,” Dom conceded. “That would be my role. The idea but also the face. I want to be famous, Faye. But not because my parents fought in a war.”
“So what’s your question?” Faye sighed.
“Well,” Dom said, excited now that they were getting to the heart of it. “I think it’s important to know your weaknesses. And I know that I have a lot of great ideas but I’m not so great at making plans and putting them into place. You are good at that. So I was wondering if you wanted to scheme with me. Between the two of us, I think we could do something really great.”
There was a pause as Faye considered. “I don’t have any concrete ideas yet,” she said slowly. “But yes, I think that would be interesting.”
Dom shrieked and smothered Faye with a hug. “We’ll talk later!” She said, moving across the room and back to her bed while Faye laughed softly.
'And so a dynamic duo is born,' Dom thought to herself as she snuggled back into her pillow. 'Like Thelma and Louise without the death.'
The next morning, Dom bounced around the kitchen while Fleur made breakfast. Faye was tired and Louis watched his sister suspiciously, knowing that anything that made her this happy usually ended in pain for him. Literally. Most of the times he’d ever been hexed had started with Dom bouncing.
“What’s wrong with you?” He asked his sister as they made their way back upstairs to finish packing and get their trunks. Faye was packed so she stayed in the kitchen talking to Fleur.
Dom grinned and kissed Louis on the cheek. “I love having a brilliant friend,” she laughed. Louis shook his head. “Oh cheer up, little brother, your Veela blood has finally started to work so you might actually get laid this year.”
“Two minutes!” Louis yelled. “Two bloody minutes! And I’ve…had girlfriends,” he muttered, blushing. He rolled his eyes as Dom skipped away to her room and he entered his.
Half an hour later, Dom, Louis, and Faye were bundled into the back seat of the family car, trunks in the boot, and Fleur playing chauffer. Bill had said goodbye earlier before going to work.
Squeezed between a chattering Dom and a sullen Louis, Faye felt her heart start to beat more quickly the closer they got to London. By the time they reached King's Cross, she felt like a herd of wild horses was stampeding through her chest.
The last time she had been sent away to school was the last time she had seen her mother. So as Fleur parked outside the station, Faye broke into a cold sweat. As they dragged their trunks through the station, her hands started to shake. As she leaned with Dom against the solid brick wall separating platforms nine and ten, Faye felt the lump in her throat grow from Snitch to Quaffle size.
Then they were through and Faye was distracted by the sudden onslaught of talk, laughter, owl screeches, and the sight of a scarlet steam engine before her. She felt a bit faint but Dom grabbed Faye’s hand and started pulling her through the crowd towards a group of mostly red haired people.
Then Dom dropped her hand and disappeared as the group hailed Dom with shouts, hugs, and hair ruffles. Faye hung back. As much as she liked Dom and Louis and had enjoyed staying at their house, this was not her family. Faye might be adept at navigating potentially awkward social situations but even this was too much for her.
So she watched. Amongst the various shades of red were several heads of black or brown hair. Then there were the blondes of Fleur and Louis who had just arrived.
Dom enthusiastically greeted a sheepishly grinning boy with dirty blonde hair and huge blue eyes. As she hugged him, he blushed faintly and Faye grinned as she realized this must be Lysander. He had just graduated but Louis had told Faye that everyone except Dom knew that Sander fancied her.
A girl was standing with them, her grey green eyes dancing with laughter and long, dark hair falling past her shoulders. She was willowy and…kinetic. Even standing still she looked like she could leap into the air and fly without a broomstick. ‘She looks like a fairy,’ thought Faye. ‘Which is ironic, considering my name.’ But there was a vibrant quality about this girl that intrigued Faye.
Then another one of the Weasley cousins ran out of nowhere and tackled the girl shouting, “Willa!”
The girl, Willa, stumbled and gasped, “Bloody fu…Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rose!”
Both girls froze with Rose’s arms wrapped around Willa’s stomach and Willa bent over with the force of Rose’s hug. Willa looked over her shoulder.
“That one was weird, wasn’t it?” She stage-whispered, ignoring the stares from the family and the crowd. Rose nodded and Willa sighed dramatically. “I’d already started and the ‘f’ was out and the oxygen deprivation was getting to me and all I could think was Pride and Prejudice!” She slumped further and Rose grunted as she was suddenly supporting her friend’s weight. “Oh my romantic heart will be the death of me!”
She threw her hand to her forehead and fell back so her head was on Rose’s shoulder. The girls grinned at each other and Willa jumped up to hug Rose properly.
“Good thing I’m leaving,” Rose laughed. “I think we’ve run the gamut of ‘f’ words.”
“Scorp!” One of the non-ginger cousins hailed a tall blonde boy and walked over to him. They grinned and man hugged before walking off towards the train.
Faye heard Willa ask, “Are you going to shag the blonde git this year?”
Rose blushed and smacked her friend on the arm. “No, you—“
“Oi, Rosie!” A voice called and Rose’s blush deepened before she turned.
Faye couldn’t keep most of the cousins straight but this one she remembered. James, the eldest boy cousin and de facto elder brother of all. What she knew from Dom’s chattering was that James incessantly played pranks, played Chaser for the Falcons with Willa, and often hexed boys for even looking at his cousins. He was also gorgeous, Faye realized as he walked closer.
Well, he was no Teddy Lupin but gorgeous nonetheless. His messy dark hair fell across his forehead and stuck up at odd angles but managed to look casually sexy. He was tall, over six feet, and tanner than most of his family. His face was chiseled and he was leanly muscled and Faye felt like she’d been inducted into a club as nearly every girl he passed swooned.
That could also be from his companion who was so unfairly attractive that Faye began to wonder if the Weasley genes could be bottled and cloned into a race of genetically superior human beings. This had to be Fred, Faye realized. His mocha skin and tightly curled black hair set him apart from the rest of his family. But his bright blue eyes twinkled with good humor and were almost startling against his warm skin tone. He was more heavily muscled than James and Faye blushed as Fred caught her eye and winked.
“You’ll miss the train, Rosie,” James said with a grin when he reached the girls. Faye started looking around for Dom but she also wanted to know Fred, James, and Willa. They seemed like fun.
“I’m perfectly capable of catching the Hogwarts Express, James,” Rose said but she allowed herself to be pulled into a tight hug.
“Alright, tosser,” Willa said. “Don’t break her. She has very, very important things to do this year,” she said slowly with a wicked smile at Rose.
Rose blushed again and James tried to have an eye contact conversation with Willa but she just grinned and hugged Rose.
“Now Rosie,” Fred said seriously. “Make sure you beat Slytherin. Al might be Captain and Scorpius might be your friend but we will not forgive you if you muck up our record.”
“Make us proud!” James called as he wiped away a fake tear. Willa punched him in the gut and Faye turned at the sound of her name.
“There you are,” Dom panted. “What’re you doing?”
Faye shrugged. “Meeting your family.” But Dom was barely listening as she dragged Faye along the platform.
“Come on,” she said. “We found a compartment and I’ve made Louis save it for us. He’s cross but…”
Faye grinned and looked over her shoulder at the sea family members sending their children off with tearful farewells. Her grin faltered slightly as she once again remembered her mother sending her off to Beauxbatons. But she knew it didn’t do to dwell so she followed Dom and hopped onto the train.
They found Louis in the very last compartment sitting with one of the black haired cousins and his blonde friend from before.
“Bonjour, mes amis,” Dom said dramatically, striking a pose against the door frame.
“Dom,” Faye said in French with a smile. “I wonder if your foreign language mystique might be diminished by me.”
Dom laughed and dragged Faye into the compartment. “This,” Dom said in English as Faye fell into the seat between Louis and the window. “Is my bosom friend Faye…what’s your middle name?” She whispered to Faye.
Faye suppressed her smile as she whispered back, “Estelle.”
“Oh,” Dom said. “That’s nice. Not that you can compete with these two,” she gestured to the other two boys.
Louis rolled his eyes and the blonde boy grinned back. “Have you quite finished, Dom,” the black haired boy asked, sounding bored. Faye looked at him where he was sprawled lazily in his seat by the window.
Dom huffed. “No, Al! This is Faye Estelle Moncrieff, you wanker. She’s my friend—“
“Our friend,” interjected Louis.
“Yes yes,” she waved her hand and opened her mouth to go on but stopped because Faye was laughing.
Still giggling, she stuck out her hand to the other blonde. “I’m Faye,” she said.
He grinned and shook her hand. “Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy,” he said with a slight grimace but his gray eyes were still laughing. With his blonde hair, light eyes, and pale skin, Scorpius was oddly but appealing colorless. Faye found him charming. She’d heard of the Malfoys of course and admired Scorpius for making his own way in the world.
“And the wanker in the corner,” Dom said, once again taking charge and finally sitting on the other side of Louis. “Is Albus Severus Potter.”
“I win the name game,” he said quietly and finally looked at Faye. Her eyes widened slightly and he seemed to be bracing himself. But Faye was captivated by the color of his eyes. They were the greenest green she’d ever seen. She wanted to get closer and examine the myriad shades of green but flushed when she realized she was staring. He seemed surprised and almost relieved but she didn’t know why.
Conversation picked up as Dom and Scorpius talked about their summers. Now that she sat back and looked at the rest of him, Faye could see his resemblance to his brother. They had the same messy black hair and similar features but Albus was paler and more slender.
Louis brought the conversation around to Quidditch just as the compartment door opened again and Rose walked in. She blushed slightly when she saw Scorpius but sat next to him anyway.
Faye started to grin as she realized he must be the ‘blonde git’ Willa had mentioned. Rose jumped into the Quidditch conversation as she pulled her long, fiery red hair back into a ponytail. She had wide blue eyes and a smattering of freckles across her nose and Faye liked that she laughed easily. ‘Well you would,’ she thought, ‘being friends with Fred, James, and Willa.’
Faye looked away and found Albus watching her. He looked wary again but almost like he was expecting something.
“Remind me your house, Faye?” Louis said and she turned away.
“Ravenclaw,” she told him but she felt Albus’ very green eyes still on her.
For Albus Severus Potter, meeting new people was a cringe worthy waiting game before the barrage of questions began about his famous father and famous mother and famous brother. He thought he might like his looks more if he didn’t look so much like his dad.
Sure, he knew his eyes were a different green than his dad’s but most people, even after twenty-five years, saw jet-black hair and bright green eyes and their own eyes immediately traveled to his forehead. Albus loathed the brief and predictable moment of first confusion, then disappointment that flashed over each and every face.
Then the resigned excitement settled in because if they hadn’t found the Savior of the Wizarding World, at least they’d managed a son. Even if he was the younger, less outgoing, less famous one. At least he had a funny name.
Al began to seriously contemplate hermitage just to avoid those looks.
So when he met Faye, he expected that look. That subtle change between expectation and disappointment. But it hadn’t come.
“Are you the Captain of the Slytherin Quidditch Team?” she asked quietly and he jerked slightly but nodded. She smiled and turned back to say something to Louis.
And when they first met she hadn’t said he was ‘Harry Potter’s son’ or ‘James Potter’s brother.’ He’d expected it. He always did. But she’d just stared at him like she’d never seen a human before.
He tuned back in to hear Rose ask Faye, “Who are you again?”
Faye smiled but it was Dom who answered. “She’s my new friend!”
“She’s your new henchwoman,” Louis retorted and exchanged a grin with Faye.
Dom waved this away. “Now she’s in on the scheme,” she said excitedly.
“I am the scheme,” Faye said. Al exchanged a confused glance with Scorp and Rose. “I’m scheming the scheme and Dom’s dreaming the dream.”
“I dreamed a dream in time gone by,” Louis started in a surprisingly rich tenor.
Faye started to grin as the rest shrugged or rolled their eyes.
For Louis, Muggle musicals and opera were his distinguishing feature. Carmen was to Louis what this scheme was to Dom: something to own. Something to be beyond the sea of red hair and famous parents.
“I need a list of everyone,” Faye said, suddenly business like. “Cousins, siblings, friends, neighbors you are willing to involve. I need names and a comprehensive listing of each person’s skills. Everything from a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics to an astonishing aptitude for Arithmancy.”
“What about a catastrophic connection to cartography?” Al asked from the corner and Faye looked up into currently sardonic very green eyes.
“Do you have that?” She asked eagerly. A scheme idea was forming in her mind and she had no time to stare longingly into his eyes.
“No,” he said, smirk falling slightly.
“Oh,” she said, disappointed and pulled out her notebook. “That would be helpful though. Under Dom we should put ‘furious flair for films,’ and I certainly need to know about a passionate predilection for Potions.”
“An alarming alacrity for alliterations?” Al asked and Faye grinned.
“Do they all have to be alliterations?” Louis asked.
“What is this scheme!” Rose burst out. Scorpius laughed and casually draped his arm over the seat behind her. Rose blushed again.
“I’m not sure yet,” Faye said, jumping in before Dom could. “Dom said she’s been wanting to do something that would individuate your generation with your parents’.”
Al groaned and Faye looked over to see his arms crossed as he stared at Dom. “Is this about your endless, narcissistic quest for fame? You can’t start a war just because you want everyone to think you’re as pretty as you do.”
Faye thought that was a bit harsh but couldn’t deny it was accurate. Dom looked hurt and opened her mouth but once again it was Faye who spoke. “No,” she spoke firmly, not flinching when Al’s eyes snapped to her. He may have been right but Faye felt suddenly protective of Dom. “I think we can all safely say that we’re pleased to not be at war. But can you honestly deny that you wish there was some way to stand out from your parents? For your name to be remembered for an entirely different reason?”
He stared at her and Faye didn’t back down. He didn’t need to know but she was quite happy to stare at the magnificent color of his eyes while he tried to intimidate her. ‘Sun dappled meadows,’ she thought. ‘With bits of deep pine and glass. A perfectly faceted emerald and the skin of a lime.’
Finally he sighed and sat back, looking bored again. The atmosphere in the compartment noticeably lightened as everyone else relaxed. “So you need to know everything about everyone so that you can make a mysterious plan? That sounds dangerous.” This time there was a teasing edge to his voice so Faye smirked slightly.
“Precisely,” she said primly, picking up her quill. “Do you have any discernable skills or shall I just write ‘brooding’ next to your name?”
Rose giggled and leaned around Scorpius to hit her cousin on the knee. “That sounds right,” she said to Faye. “That’s pretty much all he can do.” Everyone laughed and Al cracked a grudging smile.
The rest of the trip passed quickly with Faye remembering how nice it is to spend time with people her own age. It was something she hadn’t done for nearly four years now. Ever since her father had wrapped her in bubble wrap and locked her in her tower.
The sky outside the windows was darkening and Faye could no longer watch as the scenery grew more wild and windswept as the train swept north.
They changed into their robes and uniforms quickly as the train began to slow. The scarlet steam engine pulled into Hogsmeade station with a hiss and a creak and then Dom grabbed Faye’s hand and pulled her into the mayhem.
It was like a herd of wildebeests who had never heard of the words ‘excuse me’ before. Everyone was pushing and screaming and owls were screeching and then the sudden, blissful quiet of a horseless carriage.
Faye sat back with a sigh. She opened her eyes to see three curious faces staring at her. Across from her, Dom was fixing her hair and not paying attention. Next to Dom was a boy with wavy light brown hair and huge blue eyes and next to him was a boy his age with reddish brown hair and brown eyes.
The carriage started moving with a jolt and the last occupant of the carriage started speaking.
“Hello,” the girl sitting next to Faye said. Her shoulder length red hair was a few shades darker than Rose’s but her brown eyes were similar to the boy’s on the bench across from them. “I’m Lily Potter,” she said. “Who’re you?” Before Faye could answer, Lily kept going, her words falling over themselves as though she had too much to say and never enough time to say it. “Are you new? That’s so exciting! We haven’t had a new student in ages and we rarely get ones so old. Have you met Dom? She did drag you here after all so I assume she knows you—“
“Lily, shut up,” the middle boy said. His eyes twinkled as Lily stuck her tongue out at him. “I’m Lorcan Scamander,” he said, holding out his hand. “And Hugo Weasley,” he gestured to the other boy.
Faye smiled, pleased to be presented with proper social niceties. “I’m Faye Moncrieff,” she said.
“You’re French,” Hugo said, looking interested.
Faye nodded but it was Dom who said, “Yeah Hugs, that’s how I met her. Lou and I found her on the beach near Nice.”
“You make it sound like she washed up on shore!” Lily laughed. “But that’s so romantic. A moonlit beach and a nearly drowned girl with just her name and a mystery. Where is Louis? Is he with Al? I wanted to talk to my stupid brother but I can’t find him.”
Dom shrugged and sat back. “We sat with them, Rose, and Scorpius on the train but lost them in the shuffle.”
“Same with Roxy and Lucy,” Hugo nodded.
“And Molly…” Lily trailed off as the Weasleys shared significant looks.
“She’s Head Girl,” Dom explained to Faye. “And she thinks we’re all terrible people who are constantly in trouble.”
“To be fair,” Lily cut in. “That is true of James.”
“Right but we’re not James,” Dom said. “And of course Aunt Hermione was devastated that Rose didn’t make Head Girl.”
Hugo groaned. “Mum was a bloody nightmare this summer. ‘Rosie, you cannot simply rely on your good marks. And with less than perfect O.W.L.s, you’ll really have to push yourself revising for your N.E.W.T.s. I just don’t think Quidditch Captain is enough.’” Hugo said in a high-pitched voice. Faye smiled as the other three laughed.
As they pulled up in front of the castle, Faye asked the group at large, “Is it true the carriages are pulled by thestrals?”
“Yes,” Lorcan answered. “Can you see them?” He looked politely curious but Faye thought there was something a bit disarming about his eyes. Like he saw everything but judged nothing.
Faye shook her head as they climbed out. “No but I read about it in a book.”
She straightened and froze, staring up at the castle. It was like a grand imposing lady surveying all. Faye thought it looked like the kind of place that had stood since the dawn of time and could weather any storm. ‘Including the battle that ended the Second Wizarding War,’ she thought.
The Beauxbatons Palace was certainly beautiful and imposing in its own way but it didn’t have the whimsical, welcoming quality of Hogwarts Castle.
“Faye!” Dom called and Faye ran quickly to join her at the top of the stairs.
Disclaimer (that I forgot): the world of Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling and I have no claim to it.
Credits: Fitzwilliam Darcy, his funny name, and Pride and Prejudice were created by Jane Austen; Thelma and Louise belongs to MGM Studios; “I Dreamed a Dream” is from the musical Les Miserables, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer; Carmen was created by Georges Bizet; ‘a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics’ is from Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves, rights to Warner Bros. Studios.
It seems I have more credits than story.
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