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Chapter 36 : The One With My Sidekick Snowball
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"We'll get caught again; I think Professor Longbottom has been keeping an eye on us."
James sighed, "I bet dad put Uncle Neville up to it, dad sent me a howler this morning basically laughing at me and saying he has eyes all around Hogwarts."
“Did you get that at breakfast?" I asked, wondering if it happened before I got to the great hall.
"No, dad sent it in the early hours so that it would wake me up at five this morning."
I gave a laugh without meaning to, and James shot me a look as I struggled to keep a straight face. I couldn't help but feel nervous about when I would meet James parents.
"Dad is loving this, and I have a feeling that he's going to do everything he can to embarrass me in the future."
"How bad is he going to be when I meet him?" I asked.
"Terrible," James warned me.
"Maybe I shouldn't meet him?" I suggested, giving him the option to get out of it so that he wasn't put through the embarrassment.
"Of course you should meet him; we'll just make sure that mum is around at all times, she can calm him down." James reached down for my hand and brought it up to his lips, pressing a kiss to the back of it.
"What if they don't like me?"
"How could they not like you? You're awesome." James told me and I smiled at his words, although he had to say that.
"I'm right," James countered as we sat down on the field. "There's nothing to worry about."
I disagreed entirely with him on that one and James noticed the look on my face.
"Are you worried because he's Harry Potter? You shouldn't be he's just like every other person. Well, that's a lie, he's more annoying," James said trying to make me laugh. I gave a small chuckle. "But he's just like every other dad out there, he's embarrassing, he makes terrible jokes and he's shit at dancing."
"I'm more worried about the fact that he's your dad more than anything," I admitted.
"You should be more worried about the rest of my family, they're the crazy ones."
"I am worried about that, there's so many of them." I was thankful that there were only a handful of them around the school.
"This is why I’m introducing you to them slowly. I think if you met them all at once you'd leave me to save your sanity."
"You're worth losing my sanity over." James blushed at my words, his cheeks reddening and making him look adorable.
He leant forwards and kissed my cheek, suddenly going shy and ducking his head.
"You're so cute."
"You two are disgusting." I looked up at the words and saw Albus standing above us and who I knew to be James' cousin Fred Weasley, and a girl I didn't really know, but I recognised as being in Albus' year.
"What do you want Alby?" James asked.
"An introduction maybe?" Fred responded as Albus stated at James instead of answering.
"Abigail this is my annoying brother Albus, and even more annoying cousin, and their friend Leanne," James told me and I offered a smile and a quiet hello.
"No special introduction for me?" Leanne asked, her tone had a hint of flirtation to it and James frowned, as did Albus.
"I don't really know you," James stated, shrugging as he spoke.
“You two are so dorky,” Albus told us, eyeing up the comic in James’ hand as he pulled it out of his backpack. I noticed that it was the latest issue of Minister of Destruction; I hadn’t had time to finish my own edition because of schoolwork so I was excited to read it.
“Don’t you have anyone else to bother?” James asked Albus as he handed me the comic book. I could feel it vibrating slightly, the magic in it coming to life because someone had picked it up. Dad had told me that it was the most explosive edition yet, and I was a little scared about what that could actually mean.
“Why would I bother anyone else when annoying you is so entertaining?” Albus asked an evil smile across his face as he regarded us.
James just nodded, leaning closer to me and getting comfortable so that we could begin reading the comic book together.
“Fine, try and act cool in front of your girlfriend, whatever,” Albus sneered, shaking his head because James wasn’t retaliating to him. He reached into his pocket, and for a small moment, I thought that he was going to pull out his wand and attempt to hex James, but thankfully, it was only a letter. “Dad sent me a letter to give to you. Tell him that I’m not his Owl.” He threw the letter in the direction of James and walked off in what appeared to be a huff, Fred trailing behind as Leanne lingered for a moment.
“Your book is smoking,” she told us, nodding down at the comic in my hands before giving James a large grin. I looked down at the comic book to see that it was indeed smoking from the edges. I opened it up quickly and a large plume of smoke flew up from it and engulfed James and I.
“Was that Albus I saw skulking around and attempting to be menacing?” William asked standing next to us as the smoke cleared. He must have snuck up when we were distracted. “I must admit that the smoke is a nice touch, he’s getting more and more evil as the days go on.”
“No, that’s from the comic book,” I told him, passing the comic back to James, who put it back in his bag. James instead grabbed a ball from inside it and threw it up to William. “Is there anything you don’t have in that bag?”
“A life,” William answered quickly, laughing loudly and throwing the ball at James, who didn’t look too impressed as he stood up. “You joining in, Abigail?”
I shook my head, “I think I’m going to get some homework done instead.”
The two boys had played catch with each other for quite a while now, and I was amazed that they hadn’t gotten bored of it. Isabella and Sian joined us on the field not that long ago, and we all settled down to finish the essays that were due at the end of the week. I liked that there was a group of us hanging around with each other now, and that no matter where one of us was, the rest seemed to follow as though they had a locating spell on them, or there was some sort of magnetic pull.
“Ow, you fucking bitch,” William cried and I looked up quickly to see that he was clutching hold of his arm and turned to face Sophie. “What the hell was that for?”
“Because you’re a massive jerk, do I need any other reason?” she snapped, before storming away from us. James little sister Lily following her as the rest of us were left confused over what had happened.
“Dad would have found out eventually. At least this way he’ll get over his anger before we go back home,” William called loudly after her, not caring that anyone else would be able to hear their conversation. “I’m saving you in the long run.”
“He sent me a fucking Howler!” Sophie screamed across the courtyard before her and Lily disappeared.
“What did she do?” James asked, throwing the ball over to William to restart their game again as though nothing had happened to interrupt it.
“She’s failing Transfiguration,” William admitted, chucking the ball a bit higher so that James had to jump to reach it. I felt my eyes flicker instantly down to the patch of skin that was visible as his shirt rode up and I looked away quickly when I felt my cheeks heating up. I avoided Isabella’s gaze as I tried to focus on my homework again, not sure if she had noticed or not.
“Why did you have to tell him, though?” Isabella asked from beside me as we sat on the field.
“I didn’t, Steven did accidentally. I’m just taking the blame so that she’s angry at me,” William stated.
“But, you two were getting on with each other,” I said, remembering the previous few days. Sophie had been coming to hang around with William and us lately, and it had been nice getting to know William’s twin sister a lot more than I had been. She may seem like the kind of person who would turn her nose up at you, but she was friendly and had the same dry wit and sarcastic nature as William. There were quite a lot of similarities between the two and it was only in those moments that I saw the resemblance.
William shrugged. “She’ll get over it and talk to me again. Just give it a few days.” He caught the ball, but didn’t throw it back to James. “I’m tired of this, and my arm is aching now. Anyone want to go and laugh at Hufflepuff’s attempts at training for the cup?”
The door to the dormitory slammed open and Michelle trailed in with a face of thunder. I looked away quickly, but she managed to catch my eyes and the frown on her face deepened. I didn’t say anything, choosing instead to concentrate on my drawing, even though the urge to ask her what was wrong was strong.
“Are you so heartless that you don’t even want to know what’s wrong?” she snapped at me, and I could tell from her tone that she wanted an argument.
I ignored her again, hoping that she would stop and just take her mood out on someone else as she put her broom down beside her bed and pulled off her socks and shoes.
But, I should have known that Michelle would be persistent.
“You don’t even care how Hufflepuff are getting on with their training to try and win the Quidditch cup?”
I closed my eyes, trying to focus on ignoring her, but she was carrying on and I knew that she wouldn’t stop until she got a reaction out of me.
“Why don’t you ask Rebecca?” The words slipped out before I could stop them, even though I planned to ignore her, draw the hangings around my bed and shut her out so that we wouldn’t have to do this. I didn’t have the energy to fight anymore.
“Rebecca isn’t as bad as you all think, she makes sense.”
She’s bullying me, I wanted to say to her, but it was catching on my throat. I couldn’t believe that she was taking Rebecca’s words to heart and believing them. I didn’t say anything in response.
“At least she talks to me; the same can’t be said for you.”
“And whose fault is that?” I muttered before I could stop myself.
“James. Isabella. Take your pick,” Michelle said simply.
“No, I am not going to have you blame James and Isabella for this, you were the one who chose to try and ruin everything. We were meant to be best friends,” I told her standing up to face her. The betrayal from her hanging around Rebecca hit me hard and it still hurt that this had happened after everything that we had been through, after everything that Michelle had done. “I thought that you were my best friend.”
“I am – I was,” she shot back.
“No, best friends don’t do what you’ve done. Best friends are supportive of one another; they are there for each other.”
“I was being a best friend and trying to protect you,” Michelle said angrily, hands gesturing wildly as she spoke from the other side of the room. I was struggling with keeping eye contact with her, wanting to look away and hide from this happening, but I needed to stand up for myself, I needed to stop people from thinking that they could walk all over me.
“From what, being happy? James is nothing like you thought he would be.”
“I was trying to protect you in the long run,” Michelle butted in, voice still high. “James is only being the perfect guy until he gets what he wants from you and then he’s going to drop you like you’re nothing. I don’t want you to be like every other girl.”
“Oh my god,” I cried, hands pushing through my hair as I gave a humourless laugh. “He’s not what you think he is.”
“I’ve heard –“
“I don’t care what you’ve heard, I know him. He is not like that. He is not using me for anything.”
“But you don’t know him,” Michelle laughed, “You don’t know him at all. You’ve only spoken to him this year, he could be hiding the real him. Barry and Elijah have told me -”
I couldn’t believe that she had been speaking to Barry and Elijah, who knows what crap they’ve been saying. I was done with this argument, I wanted it to end.
“You need to let this go, you need to stop speaking like that. I don’t know what I’ve done to you to make you want to ruin my relationship –“
“He will leave you,” Michelle interrupted me again, and I was getting frustrated that she thought that she could just keep cutting me off, trying to silence me like she used to in the hopes that I would just stop and let her say what she wanted. I could feel the urge to do so rearing its head, my old behaviour threatening to take over and push me back to being the way I was at the start of the year. I was trying to change and make myself stronger, try and stick up for myself so that I didn’t have to rely on anyone else, and Michelle was doing every trick that she knew to stop me.
“Michelle this isn’t fair what you’re doing,” I told her, trying to make her see sense, trying to make her see that she was making up all of this in her head and she needed to stop and face reality. “You can’t talk to me like that, you can’t say things –“
“No, what’s not fair is that you get the guy that you like when I’m no closer to getting Ethan. What’s not fair is that you’re closer to Ethan than I am and I have to witness you flaunting that fact.”
I felt my mouth fall open as I shook my head slowly. Was that what this was all about? Because she couldn’t get Ethan, no one could be happy?
“What are you talking about?” I asked her, “At no point have I flaunted the fact that I talk to Ethan in your face. He is James’ friend –“
“And you just love the fact that you’re talking to him, trying to get revenge on what happened between us and using this to try and hurt me.”
I stared at her, wondering just how she could still be trying to turn this around so that she was the victim, how she could forget about everything that she had done to me.
“Like you hurt me?”
“When are you going to get over that?” Michelle asked after a beat of silence. She wasn’t going to change; she wasn’t going to stop being the spoilt little girl that I thought was my best friend.
“Michelle, I’m done, I don’t want to do this anymore. Just stop talking to me –“
“Oh no, we are not done,” Michelle said as I turned my back on her, I heard her steps across the room and I knew that she was coming over. I braced myself for her trying to get the last word in, ready for her to whirl me around to face her, but it didn’t come. Instead a cry of pain and a loud hiss had me turning around.
Michelle was clutching at her bare ankle and glaring down at Snowball in between us, who had his back hunched and his paw up as though ready to strike her.
“Fucking crazy cat,” Michelle growled angrily, letting go of her ankle and I could see where Snowball had scratched her and the blood that had been drawn. Snowball hissed again before I could come to his defence and struck out, Michelle let out a scream and jumped out of the way, heading towards the door and rushing out to avoid my cat who was trying to follow her. I sat down on my bed, the argument with Michelle had worn me out, and I felt myself shaking.
Snowball jumped up next to me and rubbed his head against my arm, and I reached up to stroke him. He climbed into my lap and I pressed a kiss to the top of his fluffy head.
“Thank you,” I told him. I couldn’t believe that Snowball attacked Michelle like that. He must have thought that she was going to attack me so came to my rescue.
“You’re like my little sidekick.”
Snowball purred loudly, eager to get more strokes and I lay down on the bed, trying not to think about the argument that had just happened.
Was my life ever going to be easy?
I was left alone in the dormitory for quite some time before Isabella came up to find me.
“You been hiding up here all along?” she asked me, going over to her bed and grabbing for the jumper that she had thrown on there this morning, changing the one that she was wearing for it.
“Yeah, just chilling with Snowball and doing some drawing,” I told her, wondering if Michelle was downstairs too scared to come up in case Snowball attacked her again, or if she was wandering around the school without any shoes or socks on.
“Nothing else exciting happening?” she asked me, fixing her hair up into a ponytail as she turned to face me. I got up from the bed and pushed my feet into my flat, not telling her about my argument with Michelle. She couldn’t fight all of my battles for me.
“Good, now let’s get down to dinner before the rest. I’ve heard rumours that there’s apple crumble for dessert and I want to get my fair share of it.” Isabella grabbed for my arm and pulled me laughing from the room.
“At least leave some for me,” I said as we rushed through the common room, I turned my head and caught sight of Michelle sitting on one of the sofas and talking to Freya Jackson in the year below, before we left the room.
“I can’t promise anything.”
A/N: I would love to know what you all think! Michelle really needs to let this all go and let Abigail and James be happy!
:D More is coming soon, don't you worry!
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