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Chapter 35 : Of Invitations and Bride-e-morts.
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Hey, guys! I'm so excited about having finished Ladylike that I've decided to update again. :)
All proper young ladies will always respond in the proper time to any and all invitations they receive.
“Dom, isn’t that Victoire’s owl?” James asks absently, pushing his empty breakfast plate away from him and resting his elbows on the table. He points towards the cluster of owls that are flying into the Great Hall, and indeed, one of them is the pure white snowy owl that belongs to my older sister, Victoire. “Hey, it is Victoire’s owl. And look, it’s heading right-”
The snowy owl slams into the side of James’ face, and as my cousin falls back off the bench and the owl staggers around on the table, I slam my face into my hands. An owl from Victoire is quite possibly the worst thing that can ever happen to a person, especially her younger sister. It’s also the worst thing that can happen to James, too; every time Victoire sends me an owl, that bloody bird- its name is Esmeralda, for Merlin’s sake- collides with his face. It’s hilarious at first, but then I remember that I’ve got an owl from Victoire, and it just adds on to how horrible of a thing this is.
“Oh, love, are you alright?” Penelope coos to James, leaning forward to kiss the side of his face where the bird slammed into him. Then, she kisses his lips, and the two start full-on snogging at the breakfast table.
“Fuck,” I mutter, reaching towards Esmeralda to untie the scroll of parchment from its leg and trying my best to ignore my cousin and best friend as they shamelessly play tongue Quidditch at the table in front of all of us- including James' little sister. Gross. Focusing entirely on removing the parchment from the owl, I try not to swear at the little scroll of paper. I already know what it is, and I’m not looking forward to opening it, but that doesn’t mean I need to start talking to inanimate objects. Really, though- why did Victoire have to tie this so tightly? “Do I really have to be related to her?”
Holden watches me carefully. “She’s your sister,” he reminds me. “You love her.”
“No, I really don’t,” I inform him matter-of-factly.
He makes a thoughtful noise, still watching me as I struggle with the twine that holds the parchment to the owl’s leg. Holden doesn’t understand my relationship- or lack thereof- with Victoire, mainly because he idolizes his older sister, Scarlett. His sister isn’t obnoxiously perfect and everything his mother wants him to be. His sister is Scarlett, who’s practically the female version of Holden. She’s witty, intelligent, and talented, just like her younger brother. She’s not a perfect, proper lady, and she doesn’t criticize everything Holden says and does. In other words, she’s not Victoire. He’s never going to understand.
“Oh, come on, Dom,” he chuckles. “She can’t be so bad.”
“Yes, she can,” I say, frowning at him, still trying to tug the parchment away from Esmeralda, who is growing rather annoyed with how long it’s taking me.
Absently, I think of Lorcan Scamander, who always seems to understand the animosity I have towards my older sister. His brother, Lysander, is one of those siblings; of course, he’s not a perfect child or anything, but he’s exactly what Luna Scamander, their mother, wants in a son. Lysander acts exactly like his loony mother, and he’s constantly going on about creatures that don’t exist. Lysander is content in his own world and wants to work with his parents. Lorcan, on the other hand, plays Quidditch, takes care of his prefect duties, and pranks his classmates.
I frown even more. I hate thinking about Lorcan, even more now than ever. I haven’t seen him anywhere but classes since I watched Master Keynes haul him off the pitch, and we haven’t talked since he told me he loved me. He was- is?- one of my best mates, and sometimes, I can’t help but miss the bloke. Every time I start to miss him, I feel like even more of an idiot for all that I’ve done to him over the past fifteen years, especially what I’ve said in the past few months. I can blame it all on him as much as I want, but I know I deserve to carry the blame as well.
When I think about Lorcan, I’m reminded that I was wrong. My heart and my mind are even more twisted up than before. Is it possible to care about two blokes the same, as I do with Lorcan and Holden? I didn’t think it was, but now, I’m not so sure about that. I love being with Holden. I love how he makes me smile, and I love how our personalities seem to mold together. But I remember loving being with Lorcan, too. I remember how he understood things about me and the world around us that most people don’t grasp, and I remember how whole and complete I felt when I was around him- before this year even happened. It’s hard for me to tell myself that Holden is the only one for me, because I know it isn’t true. I’m quite possibly the most confused fifteen year old in the world.
“Here,” Holden speaks, pulling me out of my thoughts. He reaches over me towards Esmeralda, swiftly untying the twine around her leg and tugging the parchment free. Holden waves Esmeralda off, and the bird clumsily takes off from the table and flies a crooked path out of the Great Hall. (That owl is as nutty as my sister.) “Let me get it.” He hands me the rolled up piece of parchment, and I reluctantly take it.
“You know what it is, don’t you, Freddie?” I ask my cousin, who is sitting across from me and is the only person in a nearby radius that will understand what I’m talking about. “It’s the day I’ve been dreading for a year now.”
Fred leans over the table, one hand raised and blocking the view to his left so he can’t see James and Penelope snogging at the breakfast table, and glances at the gold-edged parchment in my hands. I unroll it and wave it in front of him, and his eyes light up with recognition. “The wedding invitation,” he breathes out, shaking his head. “Damn.”
James stops snogging Penelope and looks over. “It’s the invitation?” he raises his eyebrows, and then his voice turns high-pitched and whiny. “How come I didn’t get one?”
“Oh, shut up, James,” Fred smacks him in the arm. “Return to your snogging.”
As James and Penelope follow Fred’s instructions, I stare at the beautiful calligraphy that spell out horrible words onto the expensive piece of parchment:
Madame and Monsieur William Weasley cordially invite you to the wedding of their eldest daughter, Victoire Genevieve Weasley, to Teddy Remus Lupin, on the First of January in the new year at two o’clock at Shell Cottage.
I don’t bother reading any further. The invitation can’t hold any information that I could possibly want to know. I didn’t even want to know the wedding was occurring. Dropping the invitation onto the table, I massage my scalp with my hands. The minute my life returned to at least partial normalcy, three days before we left for Christmas holidays, she would inform me that she would be ruining mine with her fucking wedding. The house is going to be full of wedding planners, ugly floral arrangements, and, of course, my sister. Can you say worst Christmas hols ever?
“There’s another letter here, Dom,” Fred points out, gesturing towards the small grey owl that has been sitting unnoticed by me, looking rather calm and tranquil despite the chaos surrounding him in the Great Hall. He reaches over to easily untie the letter from the owl- am I the only one unable to remove mail from an owl’s leg?- and passes it over to me. “I reckon that’s Teddy’s owl. Oh, get that look off your face. We like Teddy.”
I scowl anyway. I have nothing against Teddy; he’s a calm, patient guy, and just like his owl, he’s content in a chaotic room. He, like James, Fred, and I, tends to add to the chaos at all of the Weasley affairs, and he’s always got a mischievous glint in his eye and a grin on his face. Teddy is really a brilliant bloke, but I don’t like him being with my sister. Victoire is exactly like her owl; big, perfect, and attention-grabbing, and she’s known for pulling big stunts just to be the center of attention. The two don’t seem like they would work. He’s a prankster, and she’s a lady. It doesn’t seem like it would work.
“Teddy’s warning me to avoid the house,” I inform the group. “He says my sister is ecstatic to have me home- another worker. Oh, fuck. There’s no way- hey, James…”
James looks away from Penelope and shakes his head. “Oh, no. No way. Not going to happen.”
“Why not, Jamesie?” I pout.
“Do you remember what you told me yesterday?”
“Erm, no,” I say innocently. I really don’t remember what I told him yesterday that would cause him to say no. I tell him a lot of things- all of them insulting, of course. This one had to be really bad, in order for the bloke to remember.
“You said if I grew my hair a little longer, people would start to think Penelope was a lesbian.”
“Oh, that,” I glace down to my feet. I really need to think about the consequences of what I say to James. These comments might seem hilarious at first, but then they come back to bite me in the arse. “Silly Jamesie, I was only kidding. You know you’re my favorite cousin.”
“Hey!” Fred and Lily both cry out.
“Not gonna happen, Nicky,” James shakes his head again.
I prepare to give up, but then I remember something- James has siblings. Two siblings. And I haven’t insulted either of them in weeks. In fact, Lily owes me for making her Gryffindor’s reserve Chaser, and Albus owes me for keeping him clothed at the celebration thrown in the common room after we won our match against Ravenclaw last weekend. They both owe me, and I can take advantage of that. Score! Waving my hand at James, I turn in the direction of Lily.
“Oh, Lils,” I begin, smiling charmingly at my cousin. “You know, I was thinking…”
Lily laughs. “Of course you can stay with us for hols, Dom. I’m not horrible enough of a cousin,” she sticks her tongue out at James after she says this. “To make you spend all of Christmas with your bloody sister and her wedding planners.”
James throws his hands up in the air. “She said I looked feminine!” he complains. “She deserves a flock of wedding planners and a Bride-e-mort to slowly smother her to death with tulle and satin tablecloths.”
Okay, here we are with another sneak peak of Chapter Thirty-Six: Of Talk Shows and Defense.
Gather around, females. It’s girl talk time. Also known as the period of time in which Penelope Laurent and Lily Potter drive Dominique Weasley absolutely barmy trying to get her to admit something she doesn’t want to admit. Oh, this is going to be absolutely exhilarating.
“Okay, Dom,” Lily says, sliding over on the seat to be closer to me. “It’s time to talk.”
“We have a major topic on the table,” Penelope adds. “It could possibly take all day.”
“Indeed we do, Penelope. This afternoon’s topic of discussion: Lorcan Scamander.”
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