Eloise Finch was Louis' girlfriend - at least for the time being, anyways. She was gorgeous, with lightly tanned skin, dark brown shoulder-length hair, and perfectly pink cheeks, but I swear, she was the dumbest girl Louis ever dated. In fact, she was probably the dumbest girl I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Eloise was basically all beauty, and no brains, so you can imagine my horror when she spotted me sitting in compartment nine all by myself. I wasn't sure where my travelling companions had gone off to, because I wasn't paying much attention to their conversations. I think I remember Mackenzie waking up from her nap and saying something about a cute 6th year transfer student that she wanted to get her 'grubby little hands on', but I could've been wrong. Eloise stopped at the sliding glass door, peering in with a confused look on her face and then smiled, waving at me with her pretty manicured hand. I politely smiled back at her as her shrill voice rang throughout the Hogwarts Express. "Violet!" she exclaimed.
I cursed under my breath, just knowing that the entire student body heard my name being called out loudly - obviously, this would include James and I waited anxiously for him to peek his head around the corner at any moment.
Eloise slid the door to the compartment open and spoke again, thankfully, at a much more appropriate level. "Why are you sitting all by your lonesome, pretty girl?" she asked running long fingers through her wavy chocolate hair. I opened my mouth to reply, but a handsome face appeared as if in slow motion, catching my attention and, apparently, rendering me speechless. James strode into the compartment and closed the sliding glass door behind him, leaving poor Eloise in the hallway, arms crossed in protest. She did not like being excluded, so she huffed away and her shrill voice echoed throughout the train again as she complained to Louis about how inconsiderate his cousin was. With sympathy on his face, James looked to me and spoke, anxiety in his voice.
"Do you mind if I sit with you for a moment?" he asked.
"Not at all," I replied, surprised at the wavering in my own voice.
He took a seat across from me and rested his elbows on the tops of his legs. Rubbing his hands together, he looked to me again, this time a smile forming on his ample lips. I returned the smile and James laughed, reaching across the trolley to take a piece of my hair in his hands. It was long, down to about my elbows now, but I hadn't noticed that it had turned bubblegum pink. I could feel my cheeks flush and tried my hardest to change my locks back to their original color. No luck. For some reason, I wasn't able to concentrate. And I couldn't shake this weird feeling; like a warm, tingly sensation growing in my chest, making its way slowly down my body. It landed first in my hands, which were growing sweaty from my nervousness, then it traveled to my knees and all the way down to my toes. I hoped my hair wasn't getting brighter by the second.
"James," I began.
"No, Vi," he interrupted letting go of my hair. "Before you say anything, I have to apologize for being such a twat the other day. I was being a git and I'm sorry for that. You are one of my best friends, Violet, and I don't want to loose you because I'm such a bloody idiot. Will you ever forgive me?"
"James, you are not going to loose me. We are still friends. Best friends. But to answer your question, yes. I forgive you for being an idiot." He chuckled and there was a brief moment of silence before I spoke again. "I also want you to know that I am not in love with Teddy. I admit that I used to have strong feelings for him, but those days are gone, James. I promise."
"It's really none of my business, Vi. You don't have to explain yourself. I was the idiot, remember?"
"But I want to explain myself." I moved across the trolley to sit next to him, our legs touching and eyes meeting. In the reflection of the window I was facing, I could see that my hair was now fuchsia, and took in a deep breath. "I was in the wrong too, James. I lead you on when I had no intention of starting a relationship with you. Not because I don't care for you, but because I'm not... emotionally stable at the moment. If you could just give me some time... to work out whatever's going on in this crazy head of mine... to feel like I can really move on from everything that's happened this year... to get some closure."
"I can give you time, Violet. If that's what you need... I'll keep my distance," he said nodding, defeat in his voice.
"James! That's not what I meant! I don't want you to keep your distance. In fact, I want to see you every single day! Just... give me some time before you try kissing me again, okay?"
We both smiled. I couldn't take my eyes off of him.
"Okay," he said. "I can do that."
His lovely brown tresses were disheveled and in the dimness of the compartment his deep sapphire eyes shone bright. It was quiet for what seemed like an eternity, but we were both at ease just being in one another's presence. No words were needed and it felt so nice to have my best friend sitting beside me like old times. James didn't return to his compartment, but instead leaned back against his seat and closed his eyes. My mind wandered off for a while about our conversation, and the one I had eavesdropped on just a few hours earlier then, I too, shut my eyes and drifted into a sweet sleep.
A soft voice whispered into my ear. "Violet. Wake up, little flower." There was only one person who had ever called me Little Flower, and I couldn't keep my mouth from turning into a smile. My eyes opened to find James standing over me with his dress robes on and his hair looking slightly more appropriate than it did earlier. I sat up and pinched the bridge of my nose as I felt a slight headache coming on. I must have slept the entire train ride to Hogwarts, I thought.
"Here," James continued in a whisper, handing me the Holyhead rucksack Ginny Potter gave to me as a birthday gift. "I went and got your things from the luggage cart. I suggest you put on your dress robes and tame that bed head before we go into the castle." A smirk crossed his face as he flirtatiously made fun of my frizzy hair.
"Why are you whispering?" I asked, standing up and catching a glimpse of myself in the window. I was thankful that it had returned to it's original color, but... Bloody hell. I do look rough.
He raised his voice a bit. "Well... I didn't want to startle you.... Little Flower. Now chop chop! Hurry up! We absolutely cannot miss dinner."
I rolled my eyes as James laughed at himself and I disapprovingly threw my dress robes over the jeans and top I was wearing. Hogwarts was my home, but I hated these dress robes with a fiery passion. Taking one last look out the window and coming the tangles out of my hair with my fingers, I peered up at the glorious school grounds and thought for a moment about what might be in store for me this coming year. Maybe I'll finally get an Outstanding on my Transfiguration exams. Maybe Professor Trimble will finally let me tutor some of the 1st and 2nd year students who have a difficult time in his Potions class. Maybe James & I will become more than just best friends. And maybe... my father and I will finally be able to move on from the death of my mother.