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Gingers CAN Get Boyfriends Too! by Potter Nerd

Format: Novella
Chapters: 5
Word Count: 17,536
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Humor, Romance
Characters: Bill, Fleur, Neville, Teddy, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, Victoire, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing, Bill/Fleur, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Teddy/Victoire

First Published: 07/30/2007
Last Chapter: 02/10/2009
Last Updated: 02/10/2009

Summary:

Beautiful banner by obviously394@tda

Confessions of Dominique Weasley (Of the Bill and Fleur clan).
...Gingers MUST get boyfriend's too, right? Aunt Ginny got Harry didn't she? I make a mental note to ask her how she did it...maybe she wore a wig?

*


Chapter 1: Family Everywhere!
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Disclaimer: Well, do YOU think I'm J.K.Rowling? Yeah, didn't think so.


I was rudely awaken half an hour before my alarm went off by a massive crash from downstairs followed by a loud cry of "Merde!"

"What the hell are they doing down there?" I thought with a groan. I pulled my pillow over my head and tried to go back to sleep, just as the door flung open and Victoire flounced in fully dressed.

"Dominique!" she called, pulling the pillow off my head.

"You could've knocked." I grumbled at her

"This is my room too, I don't have to knock." she said, indignant.

"You do if i'm asleep." I said, pulling the pillow out of her hands and positoning it back over my head.

"Oh well, sorry," she said huffily. There was a pause as she tried to think of a mean comeback, "Maybe you should go to school like that. With the pillow over your head. It hides the gingerness."

I kicked her. Hard. She toppled backwards into her dresser with a scream and knocked all her fancy bottles full of hair conditioners and pimple removers onto the floor.

"What ees going on up zere?" called Mum from downstairs.

"What is going on down there, is more the question." I shouted back, referring to the crash that had woken me up.

"Auntie Gabbrielle walked into ze grandfather clock. Eet ees nothing! Now come down for your breakfast!"

I turned to Victoire who was picking up all her bottles and rubbing the spot where i'd kicked her. "Aunt Gabrielle's here?" I asked her with a grimace. Aunt Gabrielle drove me mad. She spoke rubbish English (but that still didn't stop her talking non-stop) and wore so much perfume that I always choked when I went near her. Victoire glared at me.

"I came up here to tell you that, before you assulted me."

"You called me ginger." I said.

"But you ARE ginger." she pointed out, flicking her beautiful long blonde shiny hair back off her face much more dramatically and with much more empashis than usuall (if it was possible) and smirked at me.

"I hate you," I told her.

"What did I say?" she exclaimed innocently as I stormed out the room, slamming the door in her pretty face. Louis was standing on the landing by the fancy golden-framed, goblin-made mirror that hung oppostie the stairs. He looked into it with disgust. There were big pink lipstick marks all over one of his cheeks. I assumed that Aunt Gabrielle had already said 'good morning' to him.

He turned to me, his little face etched with worry. "It won't come off! She has that stuff that's charmed to stay on!" he shook the wet flannel that he'd been using to rub his face at me.

"What do I do Dom? I can't go to school like this!" he said, his voice cracking.

"Er-" I started but Victoire had followed me out of the bedroom and was holding out one of her little pink bottles.

"Put this on it." She said thrusting it into his hands. "It 's all purpose make-up remover." she added seeing his dumbfounded expression, before prancing down the stairs, her blonde hair bouncing on top of her pretty head. I wished that I could cut it off and burn it. Her hair I mean, not her head.

Louis looked at me.

"Use it." I urged him, indicating the bottle, and he obliged, pulling the cork out. Immediatly, pink smoke billowed up around his face and he started coughing.

"What the hell?" he held it at arm's length. "It smells of cherries!"

"Use it." I repeated. "Unless you want pink lips all over your face for the first day back at school." He seemed to decide having Aunt Gabrielle's lipstick on his face all day was worse than smelling slightly of cherries and he hurridly poured some of the thick liquid onto his flannel.

I left him gingerly patting his face with it in the hallway and followed Victorie downstairs. I stopped by the kitchen and heard a women's voice float under the crack in the door talking very animatedly and very fast in french.
"Brace yourself, Dom." I whispered to myself and, planting a false smile on my face, pushed open the door.

I was instantly hit by the heavenly smell of mum's baking and looked over to the oven; inside I could just make out a tray of muffins. Gabrielle was sitting at the table with her back to me talking about something that was probably very uninteresting, waving her arms around excitedly. Victorie was eating a banana and staring into space, Mum was standing by the counter looking very bored and occasionally saying things like "Oui...oui." or "Oo la la!" to Aunt Gaby. When she saw me her face lit up.

"Ah!" she cut across Aunt Gaby "I ees making berry muffins! Victoire says zey make 'er fat so you, Dominique, can haff one of 'ers and Louis can haff ze other-"

"Dominique!" Aunt Gaby exclaimed. "Bonjour! Bonjour!" she jumped up and pulled me into a massive hug. She was about to kiss me all over my face but I ducked out of her reach, wanting to aviod the same fate as Louis.

"Bonjour, Gabrielle." I said, smiling weakly. She was unphased by me avoiding her kisses and pulled on my newly cut hair.
 
"Qu'est-ce que c'est?" she demanded. "You 'ave cut your beautiful 'air off!"

"I wouldn't call it beautful." muttered Victoire

"Hush!" snapped mum. "Gabrielle, would you like a muffin?" she offered the plate to her sister who shook her head and started ranting on about something in french.

I took my own muffin and sat down next to Victorie and started eating.

"Mmmm, Vicky. Mmmm, look at this lovly warm delicious muffin."

"Shut up!" she snappped, picking up another banana.

Louis walked in, his face lipstick free, followed by Dad who was still in his pyjamas and looked half asleep, his red hair was out it's usuall ponytail and was matted against his face. Mum stood up.

"Bill, mon chéri, get dressed! I theenk we should go soon, uzzerwise we shall miss ze train."

Dad groaned, picked up a muffin and left the room, I could hear his footsteps as he trudged upstairs; he'd been at work till very late the night before.

"Dom, you go too! Get ready!"  Mum said. I stood up and picked up my plate to take it to the sink, but Louis pulled it out of my hands, a look of shock on his face.

"You haven't finished!" he exclaimed and started finishing it for me, stuffing my toast and muffin into his mouth at the same time. I shrugged and went upstairs just as Aunt Gabrielle said, "And 'Arry Potter? 'E will be at ze train staion too, no?"

When I got to my room I looked in the mirror and sighed. My newly cut ginger hair was a complete mess. Using one of the fancy bottles of Victoire's dresser (De-frizzing Hair Potion: Fix that bed head NOW!) I managed to get it flat again, but I still looked awful. Why didn't I inheriet mum's veela-ness? Why did I have to inheriet dad's ginger hair and freckles? What was God thinking? "Oh yes, let's make this little baby really ugly so she can grow up in the shadow of her beautiful sister and never get a boyfriend. Ha ha ha! What Fun it is to control the planet!". I mean, seriously? I'd always been told God was nice.

But Gingers MUST get boyfriend's too, right? Aunt Ginny got Harry didn't she? As I picked up my trunk I made a mental note to ask her how exactly she did it. Maybe she wore a wig.

We left ten minutes later than we had planned and mum was in a flap. "Bill, drive faster!" she kept saying, no matter how many times Dad tried to tell her he couldn't just drive through the traffic.

I was stuck next to Gabrielle who was trying to tell me a story about how she met her new boyfriend but whenever she got to a word she didn't know in English she would use a french word instead. By the time we got to King's Cross, she was speaking in fluent french and I had no idea what she was saying.

We ran through the barrier ("Ten to eleven! Zat is amazing! Bill, you drive so fast!" said mum) and emerged onto the packed platform. I looked around and grinned. The scarlet train stood already at the platform, smoke billowing out over people's heads. Owls hooted in their cages, disrupted by the noise, mother's were yelling last reminders at their children, people were screaming as they saw friends they hadn't seen all summer and the fat guard stood in front of me, he had his whistle in his mouth but he wasn't blowing it. He winked when he saw me looking at him. I smiled and turned away, standing on tiptoes to try and spot two familiar heads with curly brown hair- but it was impossible to see through all the thick smoke and noisy busteling families.

"Hey, Dom," said a deep voice behind me and I turned round to see Teddy Lupin standing with his hands in his pockets, half a smile on his good looking face. I wished that I was able to change my appearance like him, For one, I would not be ginger, I thought.

"Hi Teddy!" I said brightly. "How are-?" But I was cut off by Victoire's squeal of delight as she flung her arms around him and kissed him on the mouth.

Dad looked away pointedly, mum started examiming her reflection in one of the train's windows, Louis said "Eww!" and Gabrielle grabbed me by the arm and pulled me aside.

"Dominique, who ees zis man kissing your seester?" she asked.

"Oh, that's Teddy. Her boyfriend, Uncle Harry's Godson-"

"'Ow old ees 'e?" she interupted.

"Er, like, twenty."

Gabrielle gasped. "So 'e is three years older than 'er? Why does your muzzer allow eet?"

"Well, actually he's two years older than her. Vicky's eighteen really soon." I said.

Gabrielle waved her arms in the air. "Tsk! 'E ees still too old for 'er! And why ees 'is 'air zat colour?"

I turned and looked at Teddy's long bright green hair. "Oh," I said, "He's a-"

Gabrielle had lost interest. "Ah look, Dominique! Eet ees 'Arry Potter! 'E saved my life once you know, i'm sure your muzzer has told you." My mother had never told me. Gaby sighed. "'E ees still with zat ginger woman, I see. Why are zere so many gingers in Eeengland?"

I coughed loudly at her words. She looked down at me.

"Ah yes." she said, tugging at my hair. "Eet ees a shame you 'av not got your mother's 'air like your brother and your seester." she sighed sadly and looked at me like I was some sort of poor, tragic ginger child.

I considered this low of her seeing as she had called my hair 'beautiful' only hours before. What a cow.

"Your father's 'air is not- ah...what's ze word?" she said. "Ah, well. Eet doesn't matter." She added, seeing my cold expression. I watched her run off to greet Uncle Harry and shook my head.

"I hate that woman."

"Tell me about it." Louis said, appearing at my shoulder. "I'm off to find a compartment, don't want her too kiss me goodbye." he added, indicating his clean cheek. I laughed as he pulled his trunk onto the train.

"DOMINIQUE!" cried a voice and I turned around to see Lily running towards me, her red hair flying behind her. "One more year Dominique! One more year!"

I braced myself as she ran into me, throwing her skinny arms around my neck.

"Hey, Lils. How are you?" I asked her as she let go of me. She held out her arm to show a large jagged scar. I gasped.

"How did that happen?"

"James pushed me off my broom." she said matter-of-factly.

"Oh dear! Can't your mum get rid of it?"

Lily shrugged. "She tried too, but I wouldn't let her. Albus says it makes me look tough, like my dad!" Gosh, what a wierd family I have.

"Right," I said raising my eyebrows.

"It's not quite a lightning bolt though is it?" she said.

"Not really." I said looking at her arm. Lily shrugged and ran off to show Victoire.

I picked up my trunk and was about to step onto the train when James appeared out of nowhere.

"Where's Louis?" he demanded.

"Hi, James. Nice to see you." I said bitterly.

"Sorry-" he said and flung his arms around me in such an exaggerated manner I couldn't help but laugh. "Dominique!" he exclaimed. "You look beautiful! Have you lost weight? It is sooo good to see you! How have you been? Where's your brother?"

"On the train already," I told him, pushing him off me and picking my trunk up and trying once again to get onto the train. But there were too many cousins around.

Rosie jumped in front of me next, blocking my way onto the train. "Dom!" she squealed and hugged me tightly. I dropped my trunk, sighing in exasperation.

"Oh, sorry." said Rosie letting go.

"Here, i'll get this." said Uncle Ron appearing behind me picking up my trunk and putting it onto the train.

"Thanks." I told him and he ruffled my hair. "Can you not?" I shrieked, jumping back, frantically fixing my new hair style. He laughed and walked off muttering "Girls," leaving Rosie grinning up at me.

"He always ruffles my hair, like that. It's soo annoying. As if it wasn't bushy enough!" she said.

I smiled at her and turned around, almost walking into Albus.

"For christ's sake!" I cried. "Family everywhere!"

He grinned toothily at me and took Rosie's hand. "Come on, Rosie! Mike and Lenette have found a compartment." They ran off together, waving at me.

Mum came over and gave me a hug. "Goodbye sweetie! Eef we get anozzer letter about deetentions I will be tres angry. Ok?"

I nodded, hugged her back, allowed her to kiss me on the cheek and went to find dad. He was talking to Gabrielle- or rather- Gabrielle was talking at him and he was nodding every now and then.

"Bye, dad." I said. He looked relieved that someone else was talking to him.

"Bye, Dom!" he ruffled my hair.

"Why does everyone do that?" I shrieked, jumping away from him.

"Gingers," said Gabrielle. "Zey have a temper." Dad glared at her.

"Now, Dominique. If we get another-"

"Letter about detentions you'll be very angry. I know. I know."

"Quick!" cried mum as doors began to slam shut.

I gave dad a hug and kissed him on the cheek, before ducking and running onto the train to avoid getting kissed by Gabrielle. I slammed the door behind me and stuck my head out of the window, waving as the train began to move.

Lily and Hugo ran after the train waving at me untill it rounded a corner and Platform Nine and Three Quarters was out of sight. I picked up my trunk and pulled it down the train, looking into compartments as I went, trying to find my friends.

I had just looked inside a compartment full of second year slytherins who were all listening to a tall blonde boy brag about his pet peacocks when I heard two vocies behind me.

"Dominique!""Dom!"

I spun around and grinned. Harriet and Giles, my best friends, were running towards me.

"I just LOVE your new haircut!" Harriet said huging me, her curly brown hair covering my face. "How was your summer?"

"Thanks." I said making sure my fringe was still flat after dad and Uncle Ron had messed it up. "My summer was okay. How was yours?"

"Oh it was brilliant! We went to france! Tell her, Giles, it was great wasn't it!" Harriet turned to her twin brother who pushed her aside and gave me such a big hug, he lifted me off my feet. My heart swooped and I hugged him back, I could smell his wizard's aftershave, even though I tried not to.

"Dominique," he said in a french accent. "Je t'aime!

"Er, right." I said, as he put me down. "Je t'aime aussi." He grinned at me; this was one of those moments that I wished I was a metamorphmagus.

"Your homeland est tres tres belle!" said Giles, still in his french accent.

"Ah, merci." I replied.

"Oh shut up," Harriet said. "Come on, we have a compartment back here." She took my hand and strarted pulling me down the corridor.

"I'll get this then!" Giles shouted back at us and picked up my trunk. I turned round to apologise but he just grinned and winked at me, making my heart swoop as though he was still lifting me into the air.

A/N ok so i edited it and changed the names of Dominique and Louis, so now it's more accurate.

At the moment, it goes like this: it's one year after the epilouge so Rosie and Albus are in second year, James and Louis are in third year, Dominique is in fourth year and Victorie is in seventh year.

And yes, I know Rosie is actually called Rose, but Ron calls her Rosie so I figure everyone does. Plus, my name is Rosie and it makes me happy to think she has the same name as me. =D

Please Review, i'll read and review your stories if you review. *bribery*  =D

Chapter 2: Laughing Flytraps
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I lay awake for ages, looking up at the roof of my four poster bed. The moonlight shone through the curtains, casting a reddish glow over me (which probably made me look even more ginger). I let out a massive yawn. I started counting stiches in the curtains.

After ten minutes and fifty-eight stiches I decided to start counting hippogriffs; I feared I would never be able to sleep again.

I imagined a nice field with tall grass and a random gate in the middle of it. No fence or anything, just the gate. Hippogriff number one came half galloping, half flying towards me and gilded nicely over the gate.

Then came hippogriff number two. Just as graceful. Just as pretty.

Then hippogriffs three, four and five. Up to ten.

Twenty.

Thirty.

Fourty. Fourty-one. Fourty-two.

Hippogriff fourty-three had a cast on one of it's hind legs. Don't ask why, I just felt like spicing things up a little. It galloped and limped and stumbled un-elagantly towards the gate and then, BOOM, crashed into it.

It lay on the floor, twitching and shouting "OH MAH DAYS! ME RUDDY LEG!"

Hippogriff fourty-four started gilding towards us. It stopped, looking furious, and said to the hippogriff on the floor, "Excuse me, kind sir, you appear to be in my way. I need to jump over this here gate."

"Go around the gate!"

"But I don't want to. I cannot! I must jump over the gate!"

Hippogriff fourty-five arrived. "By jove, what a commotion." he said and jumped over the two hippogriffs and the fence and continued on his merry way.

Hippogriff fourty-four followed after him, "But you cannot go before me, fourty-five! This will ruin everything!"

Hippogriff fourty-three stood up. "God bless ye merry humans." He sang.

Then the tall green grass turned an orange colour, and the hippogriff turned into Aunt Gabrielle.

"Dominique!" she cried. "Your ginger ees getting everywhere! Dominique! Dominique!" she jumped up and down screaming "GET ZE GINGER AWAY FROM ME!"

And then she turned into Giles, who was wearing a lioncloth. "Dom," he said, rubbing lotion on his chest. "Come here, baby."

"Dom?"

I jumped awake, startled. Harriet was looking down on me. She had pulled the curtains apart and stood with her arms outstreched, looking strangely like some Greek goddess, the moonight shining through her mass of messy curls.

"Dom? Are you awake? I can't sleep." she whispered.

I rolled over and buried my head under my pillow. I tried to remove the image of Giles in a lioncloth and lotion out of my head (although, I kind of wanted it to stay).

"Go away, Harri." I groaned. "It is late, we have lessons tomorrow and I need to digest an entire treacle tart.

Harriet lifted the blankets and scrambled into bed next to me.

"This isn't your bed." I snapped.

"Hush, fatty." she whispered, patting my belly. "Go to sleepy-bys. Digest that treacle."

I kicked her. "You disturb my dreams of ginger grass, singing hippogriffs, lioncloths and crazy aunts, and then you call me a fatty? Get out of my bed, you wierdo."

She wove her skinny arms around me and said, "I love you, man. You have the wierdest dreams. You have to tell me about that one tomorrow." then she fell sound asleep.

I let out a sigh; there was no way I'd be telling her about Giles in a loincloth, that's for sure.

I pushed her away from me and started counting hippogriffs.

~~~~~~~~

We got our timetables over breakfast the next morning. As soon as Professor Cornforth handed me mine it was pulled out of my grasp by Harriet.

Giles put a giant spoonful of scrambled eggs on my plate.

"Eat up." he said. "You look terrible."

I glared at him (I couldn't get the image of him in a lioncloth out of my head) "I had Harriet in my bed all night." I waved my hand in Harriet's direction who handed me back my timetable.

"Exactly the same timetable as me and Giles." she said happily, and downed her pumpkin juice in one. She eyed me suspiciously. "You look tired."

"Well i'm not." I snapped and, rubbing sleeping dust out of my eyes, I picked up the milk jug and poured it into my bowl of cereal. "I am completely awake!"

Harriet raised an eyebrow. "If you're completely awake, why did you just pour orange juice into your cereal?"

Giles burst into laughter. I looked down at my bowl in dismay. The little flakes of cereal were floating in bright orange liquid. It kinda resembled puke. I looked at the jug in my hand.

"This isn't the milk jug." I said. I pushed the bowl across the table, as far away from myself as possible. I hated mornings and I missed my mother's homecoked berry muffins. I shared this fact with the table.

Giles picked up a plate of muffins and handed them to me. I shook my head frantically. "Those are not the same!" I insisted, pushing the plate away.

"You are so fussy. Muffins are muffins." he said.

The bell rang. Harriet stood up.

"Come on! We have double charms first thing!" she swung her bag onto her shoulder and pulled four slices of toast out of her protesting brother's hands. "Eat Giles's toast, Dom. Now come on." and she trotted away, curls bouncing.

"Thanks," I said to Giles, my mouth full of toast.

He looked at the toast in my hands sadly and bent down to pick up another slice. Unfortunatly, all the food on the table dissapeared before he could grab one.

*****

I kept falling asleep in charms and Harriet had to keep kicking me.

"Wake up!" she hissed. "This is our first lesson of the year and you're drooling all over your desk!"

I sat up and pointed my wand at the desk.

"Aguamenti!" I cried. Nothing happened.

I let out a sigh. Harriet kicked me again.

"Ow!" I shrieked. "Stop kicking me. I'm awake!"

Harriet shrugged. "I know. I just enjoy kicking you." She raised her wand. "Aguamenti!" A huge stream of confetti blasted out the end of her wand.

I yelped and ducked under the table and Giles was knocked off his chair. The whole class turned around and looked at Harriet.

She giggled. "Oops,"

Professor Hobgob stood up. "Well, not quite how it's done, Miss McCartney. But certainly better than eveyone else. Bravo, bravo. Ten points to Gryffindor, I think."

Harriet grinned down at me. Giles shook his head.

"Talk about favourtism." he said, helping me up. "She did it wrong. Yet she still gets house points."

Harriet pushed her curls out of her face proudly and stuck her tounge out at him.

The bell rang and we all stood up and trudged out of the door ("Thank you very much, Professor Hobgob!" Harriet shouted), down the stairs and out to Herbology. Professor Longbottom was having us plant our own Laughing Flycatchers.

"Over the next couple of weeks," he yelled over the racket of the chatting class. "You will help your fly catchers grow and will have to adapt your feeding and watering methods to suit your plant's personality."

Giles put his hand up.

"Yes, McCartney?"

"Did you just say the plants have a personality?"

Professor Longbottom nodded excitedly. "Yes. Yes I did! Each Laughing Flycatcher has it's own personal character; some of them are very friendly; others are very rude. They enjoy playing tricks on each other and have a very distinct laugh- hense the name 'Laughing Flychatcher'. In fact, if you befriend a particualry nice one, they become very useful to have in your kitchen as they stop flies and other bugs getting into your larder."

Giles stared at the tray of bright purple seeds. "Right," he said, raising an eyebrow.

Professor Longbottom grinned. "Okay, class!" he said clapping his hands. "Get into pairs, please, and start planting your flycatchers! Only one seed per pot, please!"

I turned to face Harriet. "Pairs?" I asked.

She nodded. "Come on! Let's find a particulary nice looking seed. We want to plant the most well behaved one." She ran over to the tray of seeds and started picking each one up and examing them. I went over to the plant pot cupboard and pulled out the largest one I could find.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I spun round and found myself face to face with a round faced Ravenclaw.

"Hi?" I said in a strained voice; the pot in my hands was very heavy.

"Erm...yeah." said the Ravenclaw. "Do you mind if I erm...well, if I partnered with Harriet on this project?" he was looking at his feet.

I raised an eyebrow. "Why?" I asked suspicously, even though it was pretty obvious why; yet another boy had fallen for Harriet's lucious curly locks and sweet smile.

He blushed. "Well, I....you know...and her brother told me to get a grip and erm...talk to her."

I shifted the weight of the giant pot onto my hip. "What's your name?" I asked him.

"Oh. My name's-"

"Rufus!"

I spun round, almost dropping the pot. Harriet was standing behind me holding a very large, very round, very smooth, purple seed. Her mouth was shaped into that beautiful smile of hers.

"Rufus, how was your summer?" she asked, flicking her curls out of her face. I groaned in exasperation.

Rufus grinned. "It was great. How was yours?"

"Oh, mine was okay. I mean, I went to France!"

"Really? Wow. I've never been. What was it like-?"

I interupted their little love fest. "Listen, guys. I'm gonna go work with Giles, okay?"

Harriet seemed to come out of her trance. "What now, missy?" she demanded.

I sighed. "Well, you'll work with Rufus and I'll work with Giles." I put the pot into Rufus's hands and patted him on the cheek.

Harriet stood up straighter. "Oh right. Okay. Yeah, good idea. Giles doesn't have a partner yet does he?" she said nodding; her curls were bobbing like crazy. "Is that okay with you, Rufus?"

Rufus nodded. "Oh yeah, that's great!"

I was scared Harriet might actually swoon. I kicked her in the ankle to try and knock some sense back into her. I kicked her harder than I'd meant to and she had to grab Rufus's arm to stop herself toppling into a row of flowers that kept changing colour. She turned the colour of a beetroot and glared at me.

"I'll go find your brother then." I said and left them gazing pathetically at each other. I found Giles at the other side of the greenhouse. He was standing with my cousin, Fred.

"I am no longer wanted with Harriet." I announced.

Fred ruffled my hair. I slapped him.

"Are you guys working together?" I asked.

"Sorry, babe." said Giles.

I hit myself on the forehead. "Damn that Rufus-boy." I said. I hated not having a partner. I felt very unwanted and lonely.

Professor Longbottom came up behind us. "Ah," he said. "Not got a partner, Weasley?"

I shook my head. "Mine was stolen."

"I was always partnerless at school, I know how you feel." he said. I glared at him. I was never partnerless. This was the first time, ever!

"Well, why don't you work with me, then? " he said. Oh no; working with the teacher was the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Harriet was going to pay for this. Luckily, Giles came to my rescue.

"Can't she just work with us, Sir? In a three?"

Professor Longbottom grinned. "Very kind of you, Mr. McCartney. Yes, I don't see why she can't. Five points to Gryffindor for being so kind!" he walked away, humming.

Fred watched him go. "God, I love Professor Longbottom."

I nodded. "He rocks."

"He's friends with my dad." said Fred.

"Fred, you freak. He's friends with our whole family." I said.

Fred walked off mumbling. Giles turned to me.

"Why'd Harriet not want to be your partner?" he asked.

"She's with Rufus. He said YOU told him to go and ask her."

Giles shrugged. "I did."

I sighed for the uptienth that day and started clearing a work surface. Giles was putting soil through a seive. I watched his strong muscular arms tense as he worked. I wished that I had perfect brown curls like Harriet instead of my strawlike short ginger strands. Maybe if I had Harriet's hair Giles would want to run those big strong hands through it. Maybe he'd actually start to like me as more than a friend. Hmmm...I smiled at the thought.

But then, If I had hair like his sister's he might be slightly put off by it. Who dates someone who looks like their sister? Okay then; I wished I had long velvety blonde hair like Victoire. Then Giles would definatly want to run those hands through it.
And not only Giles, every boy in the year (except Fred, obviously) would follow me around and write me poems and say "Oh Dominique. Please let me stroke your beautiful blonde vela hair." and I would oblidge, because I am so kind hearted like that.
And maybe Rufus would ask to be MY partner instead of Harriet. So Harriet would have to work with my damn cousin and her brother.
Except, I really like Harriet's brother. Oh, I am confusing myself.

I flattened my fringe. "Why don't I get boys wanting to be my partner?" I demanded.

Giles looked at me. "I want to be your partner." My heart gave a little whoop. I ignored it.

"Why does harriet have to be all pretty and prefect while I'm ugly and ginger."

"Hey!" Giles said. "You aren't ugly at all! And I love you hair." (There goes that whooping again)

I sighed. "I hate being ginger." I was just fishing for compliements now.

Giles laughed. "And personally, I don't think Harriet is all pretty and perfect. I think she's rather gross. You're way prettier than her."

I stared at him. "You're supposed to think that, you're her brother. And I'm not prettier than her; i'm ginger!"

Fred appeared at my shoulder. "What's wrong with being ginger?"

I looked at Fred, incredulous. He and Roxanne didn't have to worry about being ginger, like the rest of the family. I wished I was half black.

"Everything is wrong with being ginger." I snapped at him. "And everything is wrong with that seed you picked." I added, looking at the seed in his hands. It was small and withered and was more black than it was purple.

"Why'd you pick such a rubbish one?" I asked.

"It was the last one left." he said, dropping it into the pot and covering it with soil. "Don't worry. It'll be fine."

I had the funny feeling that it wouldn't be fine. But I didn't really care. Giles had said I was prettier than Harriet and, I know it was mean, but I was secretly thrilled. Even if he had just been saying it to cheer me up because I was his friend. Maybe, just maybe, he might think of me as something more.


A/N
Fred is George's son. By the waaaay.


And yeah, this chapter kinda sucks. And yeah, I know it's all yucky and short and it's mostly dialouge. And yeah, I haven't updated in about, four months.
But I'm sorry. Next chapter will be better okay?


:D

 

Chapter 3: Just A Couple Of My Cravings
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Okay guys, here it is, chapter 3! I 'm sorry it took so long!!!

If you're not new to this story, I changed Monique and Francis's names to Dominique and Louis, because Jo finally told us their real names. So...enjoy!


That night I was sat in the common room, in my favourite armchair by the fire, reading a muggle book. Giles, Fred and some of the other boys in our year were sat on the side of the room playing exploding snap. Every so often a loud cheer would come from their table and I couldn’t help but look over occasionally to watch. They had invited me to play with them, but I’d declined, thinking I’d spend some time with Harriet.

Of course, I hadn’t known then that Harriet had gone off somewhere and was nowhere to be found. Now I was sat on my own on the first night back at school. I was too embarrassed to ask again if I could join the boys in their card game.

I chewed on a piece of ginger hair as I skimmed through my book, trying to find a more interesting part. It was called Wuthering Heights and this was about the fifth time I’d read it.

Another loud "Whoop!" came from the boys table and I looked across to see Giles holding up his empty hands and laughing at Fred, who's face was covered in ash. I thought about how Giles had called me pretty- in a manner of speaking- earlier that day and my heart swooped. Smiling, I turned back to my book. Having found the chapter I was looking for, I settled down in the chair and began to read when Roxanne, Fred’s younger sister, sat down beside me.

“Hey, Dom.”

I was relieved for the company, even if it was family. “Hi, Roxanne.” I said cheerfully, closing my book. “How was your first day back?”

She shrugged. “Boring as usual. Yours?”

“The same. I got partnered with your brother and Giles on a herbology project.”

“Ouch. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Why weren’t you with Harriet?”

“Because she’s with this guy, Rufus.”

Roxanne’s face lit up. “Oh, is he that nice-looking Ravenclaw with the brown hair?”

I nodded.

“Oh, Harriet’s with him right now! I saw them outside by the lake as I was walking up from Hagrid’s.”

“Nice to know she ditched me for him.” I scoffed. “How do you know him?”

“He’s a chaser on the Ravenclaw quidditch team. I totally kicked his arse in the final match last year.”

I laughed. Roxanne, like most of our family, had a passion for quidditch.

“Oh!” she cried suddenly. “That reminds me! I’m quidditch captain this year!” She pointed to the shiny red badge on her chest. I wasn’t surprised to see it there; she was by far the most talented player in the school.

“Wow, congratulations!” I gushed. “You’re only in fifth year, that’s amazing!”

She grinned. “Mum’s really pleased. She was captain too when she was at school. Though not as young as me!”

“What about your dad?” I asked.

“Oh, well he’s happy for me, I suppose. But you know how he is; he hates quidditch!” She frowned slightly as she said this.

I never really understood why Uncle George hated quidditch so much. Dad said that when he was younger he was brilliant at it, and was a beater on the Gryffindor team. Uncle George always did seem a bit distant and odd; I felt sorry for Roxanne and Fred. It was always as though they weren’t quite part of the family, somehow.

“Well,” Roxanne said. “I’m holding tryouts on Saturday. You should come along!”

I shrugged. “I dunno. I’m not very good…” I said uncertainly.

“Oh shut up!” Roxanne exclaimed. “You’re brilliant! I’ve seen you play before, Dom, at Christmas at the Burrow.”

“Yeah but that’s different.” I protested.

“It’s not at all. You’re coming and that’s final.”

I fell silent. I supposed it would be nice to be on the team. I’d always followed the national quidditch as eagerly as Roxanne and I did always enjoy the big family games we played at Christmas.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll do it.”

Roxanne grinned. “Brilliant! James is going to tryout as well so we could have three Weasleys on the team!”

“James is a Potter.” I pointed out.

“Oh yeah, I always forget that.” She giggled. “But this is so exciting!”
I actually felt really excited myself. I’d never even thought of joining the team before, but now it seemed so obvious. I found myself itching to go on a broom again.

“Oh,” I said as I realised something.

Roxanne frowned. “What is it?”

“I don’t have a broom.”

Her face fell. “Borrow one of the school’s?”

I shook my head. “You yourself always say the school ones are terrible.”

“But, Dom! You’ve got to be on the team!” She exclaimed.

“But how?”

We sat in silence for a few moments and then Roxanne’s face lit up again.

“Owl your Dad and ask to borrow his broom until Christmas! He’s bound to let you! He’ll be thrilled to have a daughter on the team, and it’s not like he uses it often.”

I wanted to kiss her. “You’re a genius, Roxy! I’ll owl him in the morning.”

She leant back in her chair. “So it’s final, then? You’re gonna be on the team?”

“Well, it depends how I do at tryouts, remember.”

Roxanne waved her hand disdainfully. “Please! You’ll thrash everyone there! And besides, I’m the captain, I get to choose.” She was only half joking, I suspected.

I thought excitedly of how my dad would react to the news of me joining the team. Mum probably wouldn’t be that thrilled but Dad would be over the moon. I thought about writing to Uncle Charlie and letting him know as well.

“Dom?” Roxanne said suddenly. I looked up at her inquiringly.

“You know your friend Giles McCartney?” she said quietly.

Suddenly I was much more interested in what she was saying.

“Yeah,” I said suspiciously.

Roxanne’s dark skin blushed red. “Well, is he, you know, single?”

Oh no. I nodded, feeling sick.

Roxanne bit her lip. “I’m thinking of asking him out.”

“Why?” I asked, a little too loudly.

“Well, I met him when he joined the quidditch team last year. I’ve liked him for months! He’s so funny, plus, he’s superbly good-looking. And,” she lowered her voice and leant towards me. “He looks amazing shirtless!” I raised an eyebrow as she continued. “He came round in the summer to visit Fred and we all went swimming in the river. I couldn’t stop staring at his six-pack!”

Oh, Roxanne! I know how you feel!

“Well,” I said thinking quickly. “I don’t know…I think he has his eye on someone else.”

I regretted the lie almost as soon as it came out of my mouth. Roxanne looked as though she’d been slapped. She slumped into her chair sadly.

“He does? Who?”

What am I doing? Lying to my cousin?

I sighed. “I mean, I don’t know, I just suspect he does. In fact, that was ages ago. He’s probably long over it by now. I think you should go for it.”

She sat up again. “You sure?”

I nodded fiercely. “Yeah, you’re beautiful! He’s bound to like you.” I felt like crying.

Roxanne clapped her hands excitedly. “Okay, okay! I’m gonna do it. When’s the best time, do you think?”

I stared at her helplessly. What had I done? Why was I setting my beautiful, talented, funny cousin up with the guy I liked?

“I…I don’t know.” I said, dumbfounded.

“I think I’ll do it on Saturday, after quidditch tryouts. Is that a good time?”

“I…yeah.” I stuttered. Suddenly I didn’t want to be on the team so much.

Roxanne stood up. “Come on! Let’s go play cards with them.”

I sure as hell could not face that. “I dunno, Roxy.” I faked a yawn. “I’m so tired. I think I’m going to go to bed. Good luck, though, yeah?” I winked at her, gave her a hug goodnight, and then raced up to my dormitory.

Once the door was closed behind me I sunk onto the floor and put my head on my knees.

“Nooooooooooo” I groaned. “No. No. No. No.” I banged my head against my legs with every ‘no’.

Nice one, Dom. You’ve really outdone yourself this time.

Why hadn’t I just told her that I liked him too? Why did I have to be so god damn nice?

Without bothering to brush my teeth or wash my face, I took off my bra and jeans and crawled into bed. This had been the worst first day at school ever.

I couldn’t sleep though, and when Harriet came back ten minutes later I sat up sharply.

“Where have you been?” I demanded angrily.

She looked a little taken aback. “I’ve been to London to visit the queen!” she sang.

Not in the mood for her stupid antics, I threw a hairbrush at her. She ducked and it flew across the room, landing in the water jug with a heavy splash.

“Merlin’s undergarments! You are in a tissy!”

I glared at her. “You ran off and left me on my own.”

“Sorry!” She sat on the end of my bed. “I’ve been with Mr. Wainwright!”

I looked at her, confused. “That’s Rufus’s surname?”

“No, his surname is Comroy.”

“So, who’s Mr. Wainwright?” I asked.

“A muggle singer.”

I raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re a freak,” I pulled the covers over my head and lay down. “And I’m mad at you.”

Harriet lay on top of me. “Turn that frown upside down, darling! I spoke to your cousin Roxanne a second ago. She’s playing cards with the boys.”

I closed my eyes and pretended to snore. Harriet just spoke louder.

“And Roxanne said that you've decided to join the quidditch team!”

I stopped snoring. “Get off me. You’re heavy.” I grumbled.

“Are you joining the quidditch team?” Harriet demanded.

“Yes.”

Harriet whooped and leapt off me. “Awesome! So I can spend time with Mr. Wainwright while you’re at practises, and you can’t get mad!”

I sat up again. “His name is Rufus Comroy. Not Rufus Wainwright.”

Harriet shrugged. “Cigarettes and chocolate milk…these are just a couple of my cravings.”

I wanted to hit her. “Stop being such a retard! You don’t smoke!”

“Nope, and I hate chocolate milk, too.” She twirled one of her thick curls around her finger.

“Get off my bed now, please. I want to sleep.” I snapped.

She obliged and sat on the bed next to mine instead. “It’s eight pm, Dom. What’s up?”

“I’m tired.” I said into my pillow.

“Shall I tell you what I think is wrong with you?” She said sweetly.

“No.”

She did anyway. “I think you’re mad because of the way your cousin and my brother are shamelessly flirting downstairs.”

What?

“What?”

“Am I right or am I right?” she said.

“You’re wrong. I’m mad because you left me all on my own to be with your boyfriend!”

Harriet titled her pretty head to one side. “He’s not my boyfriend…yet.” She said. “And, I’m your best friend, Dom. Just because you don’t tell me your secrets doesn’t mean I don’t know them.”

Oh god. Was I that obvious? I could feel my cheeks burning up. Whether it was from anger or embarrassment- or both- I couldn’t tell.

“Why would that make me mad, Harriet?” I said.

She looked at me like I’d just asked her one plus one. “Because you like my brother!” she exclaimed.

I sat up angrily. “If I liked your brother then why would I have told Roxanne that she should ask him out on Saturday?”

“Because you didn’t want to tell her the truth in case you upset her.”

She really did know me too well; she’d got it in one.

“Oh, please.” I snorted, lying back down on my pillow.

Harriet sighed and gave up. She stood up and walked over to the water jug, pulling my hairbrush out of it and drying it. Placing it back on my bedside table she said, “You know, if you told Roxanne tomorrow that you like Giles, she won’t be offended. And she certainly won’t ask him out on Saturday. She’ll understand, Dom.”

“I don’t like your brother!” I yelled, and rolled over so my back was facing her.

“Okay. If you say so,” she said. She continued to stand there, by my bed.

“What do you want?” I snapped.

“Don’t you want to know what happened with Rufus?”

“No.” I said meanly. “I don’t.” Though, I actually was dying to know what had happened.

“Okay.” Her voice sounded small and hurt; I felt terrible, but was too proud to tell her the truth.

She walked over to the door. “Goodnight, Dom.” She put out the lights and turned to leave.

“You know,” she said. “I always thought you’re hair was beautiful.” And she closed the door, plunging me into darkness.

I wanted to call her back and tell her that she was right, that I did like Giles, but I didn’t. Instead, I buried my face in my pillow and cried and cried and cried.



******


When I woke the next morning it was to find Harriet already gone down to breakfast. I looked guiltily at her empty, unmade bed and decided to make it for her in a pathetic attempt to redeem myself. I even folded her pyjamas and put them under her pillow. According to my watch it was eight twenty-eight. Without Harriet to wake me up I’d slept in big time.

The other girls had all gone down to breakfast too, except Jenny Thomas, who was sprawled all over her bed, her mouth hanging open. I prodded her.

“Jenny. Jenny wake up, it’s half eight. You’ll miss breakfast if you’re not careful.”

She opened one eye and looked hazily up at me. “I dun eat breaky.” she mumbled and rolled over, asleep again.

I shrugged and grabbed my robes and a towel, and made my way to the showers. Big mistake. Who should I find in there but my charming sister, sat in front of a mirror, slowly drying her hair with her wand.
“Morning,” I grumbled at her. She didn’t even bother to turn around; she just glanced at me behind her in the mirror.

“You look terrible.” She observed.

She was telling the truth. My eyes were all red and puffy from all the crying last night and my short red hair was matted and sticking up in all the wrong places.

“You know who you look like?” Victoire said.

“No,” I said, while inspecting each shower cubicle in an attempt to find the cleanest one. “But I’m sure you’re about to tell me.”

“Simba.” She said with a determined nod, as though she’d just realised something very clever.

I selected my shower and hung my towel over its door. “Well,” I told her. “You look like Fazu, so don’t we make a pair?”

I pulled my nightie over my head and stepped into the shower, letting the steaming water fall onto my face.

“Isn’t Fazu that annoying little bird?” Victoire yelled over the noise of the water.

“Go and paint your toenails or something!” I yelled back.

She left slamming the bathroom door hard enough behind her so I would hear it.

“Bitch,” I said.


***


I got to breakfast just in time, my hair still dripping, and had to scan the Gryffindor table twice before I found Harriet, Giles, Fred and- my heart dropped- Roxanne sitting together. I ran over to them and sat down beside Harriet.

“Hi guys!” I said.

Harriet turned her head theatrically away from me to indicate she was ignoring me.

Giles raised an eyebrow at me. I looked down at my toast, hoping beyond hope that Harriet hadn’t told them anything about last night.

“Harriet?” Giles said. “You mad at Dom?”

She spun to face him. “Who is this ‘Dom’ person you speak of?” she said, frowning ridiculously and stroking her chin as if in thought.

“Harriet!” I cried.

“Wow.” Giles said, turning to Roxanne. “She’s giving her the silent treatment. That’s normally only a privilege rewarded to me!”

Roxanne suppressed a giggle and turned to me. “Seriously, guys. What happened?”

Fred waved a hand dismissively. “It’s their hormones,” he said “But seriously, Roxanne, why are you sat with us? You are a fifth year. We are sixth years. Gooo away.”

Roxanne scowled at him. Giles laughed. I turned to Harriet.
“Harriet, I’m sorry about last night.”

She stood up suddenly. “Well, Fred, Roxanne, Giles, it was wonderful eating breakfast with you. We should do it again sometime. I must be off now, though, I’m late for class!” and she swooped off, curls bouncing behind her.

“Oi!” Giles yelled after her. “What are you talking about? You’ve got a free double period!” She either didn’t hear him or ignored him and continued to storm out of the hall.

I groaned. “Did she say anything about this to you guys?”

They all shook their heads. “We didn’t know she was mad at you until you came down here.” Roxanne said.

I groaned again.

“What happened, anyway?” asked Fred as he tried to push Roxanne off the bench. My reply wasn’t heard because Fred pushed Roxanne a little too hard and she fell backwards with a loud squeal. Annoyingly, Giles shot an arm out and caught her. I watched her smile adoringly at him and had to try hard not to wretch.

Fred laughed and clapped his hands loudly. “Wow! Fantastic catch by McCartney! That’s almost thirty stone he’s holding up there! Incredible! Incredible!”

Roxanne sat up straight, her face bright red. She readjusted her robes and slapped Fred angrily on the arm. Suddenly I’d lost my appetite. Pushing my plate away, I stood up.

“Where are you going?” asked Giles frowning.

“I’m gonna go find Harriet and make amends.” I said.

Giles shook his head. “Not a good idea. You should let her cool down first; you know what she’s like.”

He was right and I knew it, but I desperately needed to get away from him and Roxanne’s ridiculous flirting or I was sure I’d start crying again.

Luckily, Roxanne came to my rescue. “You should go and write that letter to your Dad about borrowing his broom!” she said.

Giles’s eyebrows disappeared under his curls. “You’re joining the Quidditch team?”

“Isn’t it exciting?” Roxanne gushed.

“Hell yeah! We’ll all be on the same team! High five!” Giles held his hand up, grinning. I lamely slapped it with mine.

“Well, I’d better go write that letter then.” I said flatly and turned to leave.

“Dom, wait!” Fred exclaimed, standing up suddenly. “I’ll…I’ll go with you. I have to send a letter too.”

“Oh, cool. Bye guys.” I said to Giles and Roxanne, and Fred and I left the hall together.

“So what really happened with you and Harriet?” he asked as soon as we were in the entrance hall.

I looked down at my feet. “I can’t really say.” I muttered. There was no way I could explain without telling him that I liked Giles and Fred, being Giles best friend, was bound to tell him if he found out.

He put his arm around my shoulder and squeezed me tight. “What on earth is there in the world that you can’t tell your favourite cousin?”

I smiled weakly up at him. “This,” I said apologetically. He let go of me and pushed me lightly.

“Ah, you’re no fun! Can I at least have three guesses?” he asked.

“If you want…” I said hesitantly.

He squinted his eyes in mock consideration. “Ok! My first guess: it’s to do with the way Giles and Roxanne have suddenly started being all lovey-dovey?”

What?

I stared at him, my mouth opening and closing like a fish. He punched the air triumphantly. “I was right!”

“How did you…I don’t…Am I that obvious?” I spluttered.

“Are you that obvious about what?” he asked innocently.

“About liking Giles!” I hissed.

It was Fred’s turn to look shocked.

“You like Giles?”

Uh-oh.

“What?”

“Don’t what me, you said it.”

I felt like screaming. “But, but…you just said!” I cried.

We’d come to a halt outside the owlery door. Fred was staring at me very strangely. “I thought Harriet was mad because she didn’t want one of her friends- i.e. Roxanne- to date her brother and as you were the one who told Roxanne to go ahead and ask him out, she was taking her anger out on you.”

Oh God, Dom. You are so stupid.

“Oh.” I said. “Roxanne…Roxanne told you I said that to her?”

Fred frowned. “Well, yeah. She wanted to make sure I’d be cool with her and my best friend hooking up.”

“And are you?” I demanded.

“Well it is a little weird. But who am I to stop them?”

“But just a minute ago you were trying to make her leave us alone!” I exclaimed.

“I was just joking around, Dom.” He said.

“Well wait,” I said, an idea coming to my head. “Giles wouldn’t date your sister if he thought you were mad about it so you should tell him that you are!”

Fred folded his arms. “And why would I do that?”

“Because…” I trailed off pathetically.

“Because you like Giles. Yeah, I know. Well I’m sorry, Dominique, but I’m not gonna make my sister miserable just because you weren’t fast enough to get a guy.”

Wow, Fred really is a wonderful brother.

“Besides,” he snapped. “You shouldn’t have told Roxanne to ask him out in the first place, if you’re so obsessed with him!”

“I’m not obsessed with him.” I mumbled.

“Whatever.” He said, and turned to walk away.

“Fred!” I cried frantically.

He stopped. “What?” he said without turning around.

“Don’t you have to write a letter?” I asked.

“No. I lied.” He said and continued walking.

I ran after him again. “Wait, Fred! Wait!”

This time he turned around to face me. “What do you want, Dominique?” he snapped.

Ouch. He’d called me by my full name.

“Just…please don’t tell Giles about this, okay?” I begged. “Please.”

“Whatever. I won’t.”

“Thank-“ I began but he’d already walked away.

Dismayed, I walked back to the owlery.

Well done, Dom. Now you’re best friend and you’re cousin are both mad at you. Things couldn’t be going more swell!

I found a scrap piece of parchment and a quill in my bag and quickly scribbled a note.

Hey Mum and Dad,
Just letting you know that things are all fine here. I haven’t even seen Louis since I got off the train, and Victoire is being her usual self-obsessed self.
Roxanne got made quidditch captain this year (I’m sure you heard already) and she convinced me to join the team!!!!
I must be crazy, I know, but I think I might really enjoy it. Only problem is, I haven’t got a broom. I was wondering if I could borrow yours, Dad, until Christmas because the school ones are really not good enough to play on. Please, please, please? I really want to be on the team.
I miss you both- and I miss eating decent muffins; the school ones aren’t nearly as good as yours, Mum!
Love you both!

Dominique x

P.S. Send my love to Aunt Gaby.



I folded it up and called my owl, Mr. Teach, down off his perch. He looked very excited to actually be getting a job and pecked my hand affectionately as I tied the letter to his leg.

“At least you’re still my friend.” I said sadly as I carried him to the window.

He hooted softly, and flew out the window. I watched him until he was just a speck on the horizon, before turning, and leaving the owlery.

I decided Harriet had had enough time to cool down by now, so I set off to find her, prepared to grovel at her feet for forgiveness if necessary.




Chapter 4: Lucy's Secret
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I found Harriet in the library reading a book about animaguses. I stood guiltily at her table waiting for permission to sit down. She ignored me for a full two minutes so I ended up sitting down anyway.

“Harriet,” I began. She frowned as though deeply interested by something in her book.

“Harriet… I’m sorry that I was so rude to you last night. Please tell me what happened with Rufus. I really, really wanna know!”

She gave a little sniff and turned the page.

“And I’m really sorry that I shouted at you when you said that I like Giles.”

She raised her eyebrows in mock shock and leant closer over the pages.

I sighed inwardly. Here goes.

“And,” I said quietly. “I’m sorry that I never told you that I liked him. ‘Cause you were right; I do.”

She snapped her book shut so suddenly that I almost fell off my chair in fright.

“Did you know,” she said eagerly, leaning towards me. “That there was a man in Tibet who could transform into an ant?” her eyes were wide, curls bouncing. “It’s true! He got killed ‘cause someone stepped on him.”

“Jesus. What an idiot!” I exclaimed, so relieved I could have cried. I should have known Harriet would have been quick to forgive me.

She looked back down at the book in disbelief. “I wonder what it says on his gravestone. ‘Death by squishing.’”

I laughed. “’Trodden on by giant shoe.’”

She giggled and patted me on the head. “Funny ginger.” she murmured, standing to place the book back on its shelf. I followed her hurriedly.

“So, are we okay?” I asked uncertainly. She slotted the book into its place neatly and turned to me.

“Tarzan like Jane.” she said determinedly, and enveloped me in a strong hug.

God, I love that girl.

After a couple of minutes, worried that people would mistake us for mad lesbians, I pushed her off me.

“So,” I said, linking arms with her and leading her out the library. “What’s happening with Mr. Comroy?”

She dipped her head in a rare act of shyness and I shook her slightly.

“Tell meeeee,” I whined.

“He, erm…well, he might have kinda…kissed me…sorta.” she spluttered.

I stopped in my tracks causing her to stumble. “He kissed you!” I squealed, hardly able to contain my excitement.

She nodded, and looked oddly distressed by this. “It’s gonna be so awkward in Herbology! How can I work with him now?”

I laughed. “Don’t be stupid! This is fantastic!”

She grimaced. “But what am I going to say to him? What does this mean? Are we going out now? What if he never meant to kiss me? Ohmigod! What if he regrets it?”

I slapped her lightly on the face. “He doesn’t regret it, it won’t be awkward, and tomorrow in Herbology you’re going to act exactly as you always do.”

She bit her lip. “Okay. Exactly as normal…”

I nodded encouragingly. “Yeah, it’ll make him even more mad for you.”

She chuckled and her eyes glazed over for a moment as though she were anticipating their next meeting. I raised an eyebrow and stopped myself from gagging.

“Oh,” she said suddenly, her face falling. “What are you going to do about Roxanne and Giles?”

I groaned. “Nothing,” I mumbled.

What could I do about it now?

“Fred’s mad at me,” I told her.

She pulled an odd expression and cocked her head to one side. “Why?” she asked slowly.

We were at the portrait hole now, and I clambered in, embarrassed.

Luckily, no one of any relevance was in the common room. I sat down heavily at my favourite table in the corner.

“I told him I liked Giles.” I mumbled.

Harriet sat down opposite me and pulled a bag of Bertie Botts out of her bag. “So?” she said, frowning.

“Well, then I asked him to lie, and tell Giles that he had a problem with him dating his sister,” I explained, feeling my face heating up.

Why was I always such an idiot?

“And then he got mad, and asked me why he should mess up his sister’s love life just because I messed up mine.”

Harriet sat in silence for a couple of seconds, rolling a bean around in her mouth.

“Isn’t he overreacting slightly?” she asked, swallowing. “I mean, Roxanne and Giles aren’t even going out yet.”

I grimaced. “Tell me about it.” I said. “Give me a bean.” I added, holding out my hand.

She inspected the contents of the bag for a moment or two, then handed me a safe-looking pink one.

“Fred will get over it,” she said matter-of-factly, though I was sure I could detect something in her voice that suggested she didn’t believe what she’d just said.

I put the bean in my mouth and retched. “Ergh! Harriet!” I shrieked, spitting it out in my hand. “I think you just gave me puke!”

Harriet gave me a sympathetic look. “Sorry, I thought it was strawberry.”” she said, trying to vanish the chewed up bean in my hand with a flick of her wand. She was unsuccessful; the bean just doubled in size. “Professor Cornforth is going to kill me if I can’t vanish things by next period.”

I rolled my eyes. Professor Cornforth was head of Gryffindor and our Transfiguration teacher. She’d given us an assignment the day before to practise Vanishing spells.

“Harriet, she’s not going to care. You only tried the spell for the first time yesterday afternoon, and besides, at least you can do something.” I waved the over-sized bean in her face. “No one else in our class could change it at all.”

Why did Harriet have such a problem with admitting she was the cleverest in our year?

“Whatever,” she said dismissively, putting her wand back inside her robes. She picked the bean out of my hand gingerly and threw it in the fire. We watched it for a few minutes, as it crackled and spat and gave off purple smoke. Then Harriet turned to me again.

“So, you’re not going to do anything about the Giles thing?” she pressed.

I shook my head. “No I’m not. I don’t want to upset Roxanne…. or Fred” I added.

“What’s Fred got to do with anything?” Harriet demanded.

“He’s already mad at me. I don’t want to make things worse.”

She shook her head. “You’re hopeless,” she said.

“No, really.” I insisted. “I don’t care that much anyway. It’s just a small crush. Roxanne can go out with Giles if she wants. I’ll get over it.”

Harriet raised an eyebrow. “You’re just hoping that Giles won’t ask her out, aren’t you?”

I stood up. “Let’s go to class.” I said cheerily, ignoring her question.
She sighed theatrically, but didn’t breach the subject again all day.

In transfiguration, Professor Cornforth awarded fifty house points to Harriet, because she was the only one who managed to make the handle of her goblet disappear.

“Oh, but I still can’t do it right!” Harriet moaned, as Professor Cornforth went to inspect Giles’s goblet.

I laughed. “I still can’t do it wrong!” I cried.

“Mr McCartney,” Professor Cornforth said chuckling. “How on earth did you manage to turn your goblet green, whilst doing a vanishing spell?”
Giles rocked backwards on his hair, smiling cockily. “I don’t know, Professor.” he said innocently.

She set the goblet back down on his desk, raised a thin eyebrow suspiciously, and returned to the front of the classroom.

Harriet turned to Giles. “Did you turn it green on purpose?” she demanded.

He held up his hands. “I thought she might give me some house points for managing to do something,” he explained defensively. “She keeps giving them to you!”

Harriet set the bright green goblet upside down on his head. “Yeah, but I’m actually using a vanishing spell. Not a colour-changing spell.”

I laughed. “She totally knew what you were up to, Giles.” I said.

He shrugged. “I don’t think she suspects me…”

Harriet pushed the end of a quill up his nose. “A badly performed vanishing spell could never change the colour of an object, because vanishing spells deal with matter, and colour-changing spells deal with appearance. You should know that!”

Giles threw the quill at her. “Sor-rry, you boffin!” he said, laughing.

“At least I didn’t get in any trouble. She obviously doesn’t care.” He winked at me and I turned back to my goblet, my head ducked, so he wouldn’t see me blushing.

I thanked God for the fifth time that day that Fred took ancient runes instead of Transfiguration.

The bell rang, and I stood up immediately, stuffing my books into my bag. “I’m not hungry, guys.” I said. “I think I’m going to sit lunch out in my dorm.”

Giles frowned and I felt my knees go weak at the look of concern written all over his face.

Harriet bobbed her curls enthusiastically. “I’m not hungry either!” she exclaimed. “I’ll come with you, Ginger.”

I scowled. “Don’t call me Ginger.”

“I’ll come with you, Dom.” she repeated, just as enthusiastically.

Giles raised an eyebrow. “You guys sure?”

“Yes, yes,” said Harriet, pushing him out of the classroom. “You go downstairs and stuff your face with Roxanne. Bye bye now, have fun!”

She grabbed my arm and started to pull me in the other direction, but Giles darted in front of us.

“With Roxanne?” he asked, confused. His confusion made me want to sing. Maybe he didn’t like her after all.

“Bye, bye, Gilesy Pilsey.” Harriet grinned. Her face lit up, suddenly. “Gilesy Pilsey! Giles has piles!” she shrieked with laughter and pulled me at a run down the corridor, leaving Giles standing on his own.

Much to my embarrassment, she insisted on holding my hand and skipping the entire way to the Gryffindor tower, whilst singing, “Giles has piles!” at the top of her lungs.

“Giles has piles!” she gasped as we finally entered the dormitory. She collapsed on her bed, hysterical. “Giles has piles!”

I threw a pillow at her. “Shut up, you weirdo. Everybody in the school now thinks you’re insane.”

She rolled off the bed, laughing, and landed on the floor with a loud thump.

“Or rather,” I corrected myself. “Everybody in the school now knows you’re insane.”

“They knew that anyway,” she mumbled into the carpet. “And I don’t care what people think!”

“Someone might tell Rufus,” I teased, sitting down on my bed.

“Pah!” Harriet cried. “Rufus likes me because I’m insane.” But she climbed back onto her bed and composed herself anyway.

“You don’t want to face Fred,” she told me.

I shook my head. “I don’t want to watch Roxanne and Giles flirting.”

“Ah,” Harriet crawled to the end of her bed and started rummaging in her trunk. She pulled out two pumpkin pasties and threw one to me
.
“Do you just have an endless stash of food?” I asked, incredulous.

“Yep,” she said smugly. “I practically bought the entire trolley on the train.”

I giggled, and began heating the pasty up with my wand.

“I’ve never skipped lunch before, you know.” Harriet said, scolding. I blew her a kiss to say thank you, and she flashed me a smile, oblivious to the bits of pumpkin stuck to her teeth.

After lunch we had another free period (“Sixth year is awesome!” Harriet cried gleefully) so we went down to the lake to soak up some of the last pitiful rays of sun before autumn kicked in. We pulled off our socks and shoes and dangled our feet in the ice-cold water.

“This is actually quite unpleasant,” I said after a couple of minutes, my teeth chattering.

Harriet shushed me. “It’s our way of thanking God for the warm weather!” she exclaimed, kicking her feet up so water splashed me in the face.

I grumbled and withdrew my feet from the water, drying them with my wand, and wrapping them back up in my warm socks.

“It’s not that warm,” I said, looking up at the sunny sky. “I bet if you sit in the shade it’d be freezing.”

“Hello, ladies,” said a voice from behind us. We both turned round to view the culprit and Harriet’s gasp of delight matched my one of disappointment.

Rufus Comroy stood over us, a great big stupid grin on his face.

“Rufus!” Harriet said happily, apparently forgetting our earlier conversation when she’d agreed to act normally around him. “Wanna sit down and paddle in the freezing lake with us?”

He laughed and began pulling his shoes off enthusiastically. I stood up.

“Harriet, I just remembered I have to go and do… something.” I said lamely.

It was obvious that they both knew what I was up to, but they both tried to hide it.

“Oh, okay then, Ginger.” Harriet said, mock sadness ringing in her face.

“See you later, Dom!” said Rufus cheerily.

I grumbled a reply and stomped back up to the castle. Stupid Rufus and his stupid girlfriend. Where was I supposed to go now? I wasn’t sure if Giles and Fred were in lessons, but if they weren’t, I wasn’t exactly eager to hang out with them. What with my huge crush on Giles and Fred’s being mad at me.

I was so busy wallowing in my self-pity and loneliness that I didn’t even notice the small boy who was crouching by a door with his ear pressed to the keyhole until I had almost walked right past him. I stopped, startled, in my tracks, recognising the familiar messy ginger hair.

“James?” I practically screamed.

He jumped about a foot in the air, and landed in a heap on the floor.
“Why the hell aren’t you in class?” I demanded, marching over to him. He stood up frantically, pressing an urgent finger to his lips.

“What are you doing?” I hissed.

“Eavesdropping.”

“Yes, I can see that.” I hissed. “But why?”

“Molly and Lucy are in that classroom,” his face was mixed with amusement, scandal and excitement. I raised an eyebrow. He was skipping class to spy on his cousins?

“So?” I demanded.

“I saw them walk in there together when I was on my way to History of Magic,” he whispered. “They’re having a huge argument!”

Ooo, this sounded interesting.

“About what?” I demanded. Molly and Lucy never argued. They were twins, and probably the closest friends I’d ever met, despite the face that they were in different houses.

I pressed my ear eagerly against the door. “WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?” one of them was shouting- I wasn’t quite sure who it was; they’re voices sounded almost exactly the same.

“Would you please drop it?” the other said exasperatedly. “Come on, we’re late for class.”

“No I won’t drop it! This is serious, Lucy.” I heard pacing footsteps.

“I don’t want to talk about it right now, okay?”

“You have to talk about it at some point, you know.” said Molly sternly. “Are you going to tell Mum and Dad? You know they’ll never forgive you.”

Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey were, admittedly, very strict, but they were also devoted to their daughters. I couldn’t think of anything that Lucy could have done that they would not eventually forgive her for.

Lucy sighed. “I wish I’d never told you. If I’d known you were going to react like this!”

“How did you expect me to react? I’m only mad because I care about you, but seriously Lucy, you need to deal with this-“

“Oh will you just shut up!” Lucy screamed. “Leave me alone! I’m going to class!”

The door was suddenly wrenched open and James and I tumbled inelegantly into the classroom.

“What the hell?” shrieked a voice above us. I looked up to see Lucy staring down at us. She had such a murderous look on her face that for a moment I felt genuinely terrified of her, despite the fact that she was a year younger than me, and about a foot shorter. Her fiery red hair cascaded messily down her shoulders and there were black bags under her blue eyes- she looked stressed.

“Dom? James?” Molly’s voice came from behind her. “What are you doing?”

I scrambled to my feet hastily, pulling James up with me by his collar.
“Were you eavesdropping?” Lucy cried, incredulous.

I nodded slowly- there was no use denying it; we’d been caught red-handed.

“Sorry,” James muttered, blushing profusely.

Lucy just stood there, her mouth opening and closing slowly as she stared at us. She’d obviously gone into shock. I decided to cut to the chase.

“What’s going on, Lucy?” I demanded.

Lucy wiped a tear angrily from her face. “How much did you hear?” she hissed.

“Not much-“ I admitted. “But enough to know that something’s up.”

She took a step towards me threateningly. “Then forget about it, okay?” she sneered in my face. I wasn’t used to Lucy acting like this. Normally she treated me with some level of respect because I was a year older.

“Don’t you dare mention this to anyone. Either of you.” she turned to James, who was the same height as her now. “Do you understand?”

He just gulped and nodded.

“Good.” she snapped. “Then I’m going to class.” She stormed out of the door and down the corridor.

We all remained dead still until the sound of her footsteps disappeared. I turned to Molly.

“Molly?” I pressed. “What is it?”

She just shook her head, ginger locks flying, and pushed past us after Lucy.

“Did you hear anything?” I asked James. “Before I arrived did you hear anything else?”

He stared at his shoes. “No,” he muttered.

I seized him by the shoulders. “James!” I yelled. “You’ve got to tell me!”

I’m not sure what it was that was making me so anxious. Perhaps it was the way in which Molly had been talking to Lucy- as though she was desperately concerned.

“I didn’t hear anything else, I promise!” James insisted.

“You’re lying! I can tell!” I shouted, bending down so our eyes were level. “James, you’ve got to tell me!”

He shrugged my hands away. “I don’t know anything!” he repeated, and turned and ran out of the classroom, just like Lucy and Molly had done.

I swore and kicked a table leg. What the hell was going on? Why did Lucy look so…so…ill? Yes, that was it. She looked ill. Her skin had been paler than usual, and those bags under her eyes were unnatural.
More importantly, what did James know that I didn’t? And why wasn’t he telling me?

With unexplainable trepidation, I made my way to potions.





Chapter 5: Stubborn Plants and Surprises
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The next day I trudged into the Great Hall with Harriet, the incident with Molly and Lucy still playing on my mind.

Harriet was rambling about Rufus, who was now officially her boyfriend, though I wasn’t really listening to her.

“He was so sweet!” she gushed as we sat down- as far away from Giles, Fred and Roxanne as possible. “He was blushing loads when he asked me, and then he kissed me again- Dom? Are you listening?”

“Yep,” I said absentmindedly, as I stared down the table at Louis and James. Where was Lucy? Molly was sat moodily by herself at the Ravenclaw table, but I could spot no sign of Lucy. It was hard to tell though; I didn’t have the best view of the Hufflepuff table from here. I turned back to look at James, trying to probe answers out of him telepathically, but he seemed to be deliberately avoiding my gaze.

“Dom! Stop staring at my brother! It’s so obvious!” Harriet hissed in my ear, as she piled scrambled eggs onto my plate.

I spun around to face her. “I am not staring at Giles!” I protested. “I was looking for-“

I cut off, remembering that I hadn’t told Harriet about Lucy yet.

“For who?” she pressed.

“Forget it,” I mumbled, looking down at my plate. She gave me a knowing smile that made me want to punch her, but didn’t bring it up again.

I ate in silence while Harriet made eyes at Rufus who was sat grinning at her from the Ravenclaw table. I tried to make eye contact with Molly, but she was avoiding my gaze too. What was it with people today and not wanting to look at me?

I sighed heavily and started pushing my eggs around my plate. I just couldn’t shake off this horrible feeling that something terribly wrong was up with Lucy. It was just as I was trying to think up an excuse to walk over to the Hufflepuff table and properly search for her, when I spotted her coming in through the great doors.

I gasped. She looked worse than she had yesterday. Her skin was even paler and her hair was so limp and greasy that it almost didn’t look ginger anymore. Molly had apparently also spotted her, and was glaring at her intently.

I stood up. I had decided to go and confront her again, and I was worried that I wouldn’t get another chance for a while.

“Dom!” Harriet suddenly squealed. I looked down at her in alarm, but she wasn’t looking at me, she was staring dumbfounded up at the ceiling.

I followed her gaze and saw straight away what she was looking at. The post had just arrived, and one particular owl was holding a very long, thin package- a package that could only be a broom.

“Isn’t that your owl?” Harriet cried excitedly.

“Oh my God! Yes it is!” I said, recognizing Barnes, the tawny family owl. “Dad must have got my letter!”

In an instant I forgot about Lucy, and I found myself clapping my hands gleefully in anticipation of the package that was making its way towards me. I had completely forgotten about my promise to Roxanne to join the quidditch team until now, what with worrying about other things.

By this time, pretty much everyone in the hall had noticed the package, and they were all looking and pointing at it with interest.
Barnes was making a very obvious beeline for me, and I shot a look down the table at Louis. He was sat with his mouth wide open in shock. He sort of resembled a paralysed hyena. I realised that he had no idea that I was planning to join the quidditch team, and a faint smile formed on my face as I thought about how envious he’d be.

With a huge crash, Barnes dropped the broom in front of me, and then promptly landed inside the juice jug.

“Stupid owl,” I muttered, staring down at the package.

“Well, open it!” cried Louis, who was now standing eagerly behind me. I turned to see that everyone on the Gryffindor table had scrambled out of their chairs and were straining their necks for a better view. Giles, Fred, Roxanne, James, Rose and even Victoire were all breathing down my neck and Albus was stood on a bench because he was too short to see over everyone’s heads. I grinned and ripped open the brown paper, expecting to see Dad’s good old Nimbus 2002.

What I actually saw made me scream. Harriet dropped her fork with a clatter, and Albus shouted, “No way!

“That’s a Cleansweep-Pro!” Giles yelled.

I stared down at the broom in disbelief. The Cleansweep-Pro was the newest make of racing broom- it could accelerate twice as fast as the Firebolt 2, in half the amount of time. The only person I knew who actually owned one was Aunt Ginny, and she used to play professionally!

“Oh, Dom!” Roxanne squealed, as she danced around, flapping her arms like a crazy person. “Gryffindor is definitely going to win the cup if you’re on that!”

“Don’t start hyperventilating, Roxy.” Harriet scolded, tugging on Roxanne’s hair.

“But…but…I don’t understand.” I spluttered, gently caressing the shiny, hard mahogany handle of my new broom. My new broom. I couldn’t believe it.

Harriet rummaged around in the brown paper until she found a folded up piece of parchment. She opened it up and read out loud, “Dear Dominique. I am so excited about your decision to join the team, that I convinced your mother to let me buy you this! Think of it as a very early Christmas present! Lots of love, Dad.”

“You didn’t tell me you were joining the team!” Victoire cried, slapping me around the head. “And how come they bought you this? They cost about a hundred galleons!”

“Aw, Dom! That’s so unfair!” Louis moaned.

“My Dad would never do that!” whined Fred. “Uncle Bill is so cool!”

“Can I touch it, Dom?” asked James.

“Can I ride it?” Rose demanded. “Oh, please, Dom? Please, please, please can I?”

I looked down at her little pleading face. She was pulling her I’m-so-cute-that-you-want-to-give-me-exactly-what-I-want face, but her big wide brown eyes and unruly ginger plaits could not melt me this time. I felt unexplainably protective over my shiny new broom, and wanted to be the only person who’s arse would ever grace it’s seat.

I was about to say, “No, Rosie, you can’t,” Professor Cornforth’s voice, thankfully, broke up the gathering.

“Okay, okay, everybody! Excitement over.” she thundered, pushing her spindly form past my huge family. “Miss Weasley, I suggest you take your new broomstick up to your dorm before someone actually faints on top of it.”

I smiled weakly at her and stood, lifting the- surprisingly light- broom tenderly into my hands. Harriet stood eagerly too, and her and Roxanne followed me out of the hall.

“Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” Roxanne was singing. “I can almost taste the victory now!”

“Roxanne,” I laughed as we climbed the stairs. “I haven’t even got onto the team yet.”

“Yes, but you will.” she quickly rebuffed. “Because I am captain, and I say that I’d want that broom on my team even if a troll was riding it!”

“Alright, alright, shut up.” I chuckled.

Harriet snatched the broom out of my hands, ignoring my protests, and held it up to her nose. Her eyes bulged as she inhaled deeply through her nose. “It smells so good!” she said dreamily.

Roxanne raised an eyebrow at me. I snorted.

“I say,” murmured the fat lady, as we approached her. “That is fancy.”

We raced up to mine and Harriet’s dormitory and sat on my bed, just gazing at the broom.

“Look at the handle grips.” I gushed. “They’re made of dragon skin.”
“And the tail,” Roxanne sighed. “Look at how perfectly shaped each twig is. Just imaging how smoothly it can turn sharp corners. I think I will faint on top of it!”

“God, I’d better write to my Dad tonight and thank him.” I said. I felt like using the broom to fly right back home just so I could give him a humungous hug.

“It sucks that we have no free lessons today. You’ll have to wait till after classes to fly It,” said Harriet.

I was tempted to skive off of all my class and just spend the day flying around and around the grounds. But then I remembered my mother’s stern warning about getting any more detentions, and thought that perhaps I shouldn’t get in trouble before the first week was even over. My parents would be so mad, especially as they’d just spent mind-boggling amounts of money on me.

“Speaking of classes,” I said, gently placing the broom in my trunk. “We’re late.”

“Okay,” Harriet said, standing. “Just wait a minute. I need to nip to the loo quickly first.” She gave the broom one last wistful look before I closed my trunk, and then ran into the bathroom. I decided to lock my trunk for the first time ever.

“Collorportus,” I muttered. There was a satisfying click, but I still felt a bit crazed about leaving the broom up here alone all day. I shook my head, chuckling to myself, and stood up.

Roxanne smiled kindly at me. “Dom,” she murmured quietly. “I just wanted to say thank you for telling me to give it a go with Giles. I really think I might have a chance, you know.”

Suddenly my giddy happiness at receiving the Cleansweep evaporated. I was left grimacing awkwardly at my cousin, with a strange pain in my chest.

“Err…” I managed to choke out. “It’s no problem.” I coughed. “Really, don’t thank me.” I said that last part a little too fiercely, perhaps, but Roxanne didn’t seem to notice.

Harriet came bounding back happily into the room. “Okay, I’m done. Let’s go!”


**


The day seemed to drag on for far too long. Harriet and Giles kept talking about the Cleansweep and fighting with each other over who I would let ride it first.

“You’ll let me ride it first, right, Dom?” Giles demanded during divination. “I am your best friend.” He winked at me, causing a blush to rise up from my neck. I noticed that he had made a habit out of doing that lately. I stared intently into my crystal ball, hoping neither of them would notice how flustered I was. Thankfully, they didn’t.

“I’m her best friend!” Harriet protested, slapping Giles on the leg. “Aren’t I, Dom? I can ride it first, can’t I?”

“Both of you shut up!” I told them. “I’m going to be riding it before anyone else can even touch it.”

Harriet’s face fell, but Giles laughed. “I suppose that’s only fair!” he said, winking again. Seriously, did the boy have a twitch? Or was he just trying to see how many winks it would take me to faint?

I was itching to get on the broom, and for the first time ever I found divination- which was my favourite class- tediously boring and slow.

“So, class,” Firenze shouted over the racket as the bell rang. “I want those star diagrams handed in on Friday please!”

Giles groaned. “But, we have so much homework, sir!”

Firenze’s bushy white eyebrows knitted together. “Shut up, Mr McCartney!” he snapped.

Giles scowled and swung his bag onto his shoulder. “Ridiculous,” he muttered to me. “It’s only lunch and we’ve already got a potions essay to write and a bunch of stupid star charts. Longbottom and Hobgob had better not give us anything!”

We were in the corridor now and Harriet was skipping slightly as she walked. “I hope you practised Augamenti, Giles. Professor Hobgob said he wanted us all to be able to produce at least a trickle of water by today.”

Giles grunted. “Of course I haven’t practised it! Have you, Dom?”

I bit my lip nervously. “No. Do you think Hobgob will be mad?”

Harriet pointed her wand at Giles. “Augamenti!” she sung. A huge fountain of water spurted from her wand and hit Giles in the face. He stopped in his tracks and bent over, spluttering profusely and trying to dry himself.

“You absolute twat, Harriet!” he yelled. I giggled. Harriet screamed with laughter.

“You should practise over lunch, Gilesy Pilsey!”

“Please don’t start singing again, Harriet.” I begged her.

“Shut up, Ginger,” she said, pulling me towards the lunch hall by my robes. “I’m hungry.”

Lunch passed too quickly, and before long, I was walking with trepidation to Herbology. I still hadn’t spoken to Fred since the argument. Harriet, on the other hand, was practically tripping over her own feet to get there faster.

“I can’t wait to see my flytrap!” she cried. I decided to translate that as, “I can’t wait to see Rufus!”

“Look at her,” Giles said to me. “You’d think she was about to go to her last ever meal or something.”

“Must you compare everything to food, Giles?” I teased him, grinning.

He draped an arm around me and squeezed my shoulders. “Don’t you know me at all, Dom?” he laughed as my heart raced into my throat.

Professor Longbottom was very excited about the Laughing Flytraps. He reminded me of an overgrown little boy. He was practically clapping and hopping from foot to foot as we walked into the greenhouse.

I immediately spotted Fred sulking by a workbench at the back. I took a deep breath and walked straight up to him.

“Hey, Fred,” I said quietly, while Longbottom gave us our instructions.

“Hey, Dom,” he replied stiffly.

“Look, I’m sorry about the other day, okay?”

He turned to me, an odd look on his face. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been so harsh on you. You didn’t actually do anything wrong.”

My mouth almost hit the floor in shock. “I…what?”

“Forget about it, okay?” said Fred. “Pretend it never happened.”

“Err…okay.”

“And don’t worry,” he added. “My lips are sealed about your secret.” He looked as though he was in pain as he said this, and I wondered if he was finding it harder to swallow his pride and forgive me than he was letting on.

“So, are we friends?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he grinned. “Friends. But only if you let me ride your broomstick before Giles.”

Thank God for that, I thought to myself.

I smiled up at him. “Of course you can ride it first- just don’t tell Harriet I said that.”

“Thanks, ginger.” he teased.

I slapped him on the arm. “You won’t be riding it at all if you make any more ginger jokes!” I warned.

“Err, guys…” Giles’s hesitant voice came from behind me. I turned around to see him holding our plant pot firmly in both hands, with a sad expression on his face.

I stared at the soil. “It doesn’t look any different.” I stated.

“Hang on!” Fred cried. “Everyone else has green shoots already growing! Why’ve we got nothing?”

Giles shrugged. “That’s what I was thinking.”

“I’ll ask Neville,” said Fred, raising his hand. “Oi! Neville!”

I kicked him in the foot. “Fred! Call him Professor!”

Neville came bounding happily up to us, anyway, completely forgetting to scold Fred for his informalities. “Yes, Mr Weasley? What is it?”

“Why hasn’t our Flytrap started growing yet?” I moaned.

Longbottom took the pot from Giles hands excitedly. “Ah!” he gushed. “How interesting!”

“What?” demanded Giles.

“It appears,” said Longbottom. “That you three have picked a particularly stubborn seed.”

“Stubborn?” I wailed. “What does that even mean?”

I remembered vividly the seed that Fred had picked out- it had been black and small and wrinkled. I turned on him accusingly.

“This is all your fault!” I said, my finger in his face. “You picked such a crappy seed!”

He held his hands up and stepped back, laughing. “Dom, it can’t be that bad!” He turned to Professor Longbottom. “Can it?”

Neville chuckled, placing the plant pot back down on the table, and rubbing his round belly as if in thought. He looked a bit troubled.

“What does this mean, sir?” I almost screamed in his face.

“Well,” he began. “It won’t be a problem at first. It just doesn’t want to grow- it probably likes being in the dark under all that soil. But it will eventually grow, don’t worry. It’ll just be slower than all the others in the class.”

Giles stared at him blankly. “Yes,” he pressed. “And once the plant has actually grown a bit…will it be normal?”

“Ah,” said Professor Longbottom. “Not exactly…it may get angry at you sometimes.”

“What?” I cried.

“Look,” said Longbottom. “I honestly can’t tell you what it’ll be like. Each laughing flytrap is unique. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
With that he trotted away to examine someone else’s plant.

“I bet our flytrap won’t be doing much laughing.” said Giles.

I groaned loudly. “We’re going to fail!”

“No we won’t, Dom. Don’t panic.” said Giles, patting my cheek affectionately. Fred frowned slightly. I wondered if he disapproved of Giles flirting with me while he was having a thing with Roxanne.
Coughing slightly, I stepped away from Giles (though I didn’t really want to) and started fingering the soil in our pot.

“This is our NEWT level coursework, guys!” I sighed. “It’s important!”

“Don’t get your broomstick in a twist, Ginger.” said Fred. “We have another chance to do coursework next year if this one goes wrong.”
I scowled at him. That wasn’t the point. I was a perfectionist and wanted good grades all round, especially at an easy subject like Herbology. Although I was starting to wonder whether Herbology really could be considered an ‘easy subject’ any more.

“I’m going to see Harriet’s pot,” I huffed and marched away.

Harriet and Rufus were standing at a workbench in the corner of the greenhouse. He had his hand resting lightly on her lower back and their heads were inclined towards each other. I felt a pang of jealousy. Why couldn’t any boys want to be my boyfriend? She was insane, for goddness' sake!

“Harriet!” I snapped. They broke apart and turned to look at me, revealing the plant pot on the workbench in front of them. A small, luscious green shot was protruding out of the soil, and I could already see signs of purple jaws forming at the top.

“What?” I cried. “That is so unfair!”

I remembered the big, fat, smooth, purple seed that Harriet had picked out on Monday. It had looked quite different from the one Fred had chosen. Suddenly I felt like punching Rufus in the face for daring to steal my partner.

“What’s up, Dommikins?” Harriet asked. She was making bizarre movements with her eyebrows, which I think indicated that she wanted me to leave. Instead she just gave the impression of a wild banshee under the imperious curse.

“Our flytrap is crap.” I told her.

Rufus chuckled “You’re a poet and you don’t know it!” He was obviously trying to get friendly with me- I was his girlfriend’s best friend after all, and we would probably be spending a bit of time together because of it- but I was in a bad mood. I just gave him my best shut-the-hell-up-you-twat look. He shifted uncomfortably and busied himself with studying their beautiful plant shoot.

“Our seed hasn’t grown at all, Harriet!” I moaned.

She frowned. “That’s problematic. This is NEWT coursework, you know.”

I pulled at my ginger hair. “I know!” I sniffed. “Fred picked up a really hideous seed. Neville says that it’s stubborn! Stubborn, Harriet! We have a stubborn flytrap!”

“That’s a shame,” Rufus piped up. “Professor Longbottom said ours showed signs of being a energetic, but happy, flytrap.”

I swear, I was this close to tackling that boy to the floor.

He turned to Harriet, all serious. “Come on, babe.” he said. I actually could see her melting at his words. “Longbottom said we need to water it to keep it happy.”

Harriet gave me a sympathetic smile and turned her back on me so her and Rufus could tend to their precious little baby. They were like one of those stupid happy families that you see in parks, all lovey dovey and oblivious to the miserable people around them.

I took a step forward- no joke, I was actually going to cause some serious harm to that boy- but Fred suddenly darted in front of me.

“Ginger, come and help us water the flytrap. Giles actually has no idea what he’s doing. I’m worried he’s going to kill it.”

I sighed. “It’s not like it was alive in the first place though, is it?”

Fred laughed and pulled me across the greenhouse to where Giles was stood holding his wand over our plant pot.

“Augamenti!” he cried. Nothing appeared but a couple of purple sparks.

“Look, Giles.” Fred said, gently pushing him away. “You’re my best mate and I mean this in the nicest way possible, but seriously, don’t try to do any magic around our coursework, okay?”

Giles punched him in the arm. “I’m trying to practise for charms. I have it next!”

I laughed. “I’m going to fill a watering can up at the tap, okay?” I said.

We tried all lesson to coax our stupid plant into growing: we watered it; we held it out in the sun; we wrapped the pot in woolly scarves; we tempted it with chocolate. Nothing worked. In the end we had to agree that Neville had had a point: it was stubborn.

Things were only made worse when Me and Giles were walking to charms with Harriet and she wouldn’t shut up about her perfect flytrap.

“Rufus has such a way with plants,” she gushed.

Giles pulled a sarcastic face at me behind her back and I was struck suddenly by how alike they looked.

“Giles, you should cut your hair.” I teased. “You look way too much like Harriet.”

“Well, we are twins,” Harriet pointed out.

Giles pouted at me. “Don’t you think my bouncy curls are sexy?” he asked.

I opened my mouth like a guppy, searching frantically for an appropriate answer. Err, yes, Giles. I do.

Luckily, Harriet answered for me. “No, you look like a twat, Giles.”

“Well, you just agreed that we look alike, so you’re saying that you look like a twat too!” he said triumphantly.

“No,” Harriet corrected him. “I’m a girl. I’m allowed girl hair.”

Giles pulled a theatrically shocked face. “You’re a girl?” he asked, incredulous. “Since when? Does mum know?”

Harriet Aguamenti-ed in his face again, which shut him up.

“Mr McCartney!” Professor Hobgob cried as we entered the classroom. “Why are you wet? I hope it’s because you’ve been doing your homework!”

I groaned as I took my seat. I’d always been really good at charms, but NEWT level was just so hard.

Professor Hobgob walked around the class asking each student in turn to perform the charm.

When he came to Giles and me he took five points from Gryffindor for each of us; it was obvious that neither of us had even attempted our homework.

However, when he came to Harriet he gave her ten points for doing it perfectly, so in the end it didn’t really matter.

After Charms we all ran up to Gryffindor tower as fast as our legs would take us, Harriet singing “Cleansweep time! Cleansweep time!” the whole way.

I wasted no time talking to anyone as I raced up to my dormitory and retrieved my beautiful broomstick.

“Oh, we’ve missed you, darling!” Harriet cried as I lifted it out of my trunk.

Almost the entire house followed us down to the quidditch pitch.

“I’ve never even seen one before!” said Lynnette Comroy, Rufus’s little sister and Rose’s best friend, I clambered none too gracefully onto it. I sat there for a moment, as it hovered gently above the ground.

“Go! Go!” Louis cried, his blonde hair falling into his eyes. “Go, Dom! Go!”

I laughed at him, ruffled his hair, and kicked the ground- hard.

I nearly fell off as the broom accelerated into the air with such speed that everything around me became a blur. I gripped the handle tightly; apparently kicking the ground with such force was not necessary. I got the impression that even the gentlest of touches would send this beast soaring higher that the tallest quidditch post.

I could hear the distant sound of people cheering below me as I twisted and turned with incredible smoothness. It was almost like I wasn’t on a broom at all. It was like…like…there’s no way to describe it! It was like being a bird. It felt so natural.

I briefly wondered what state my hair would be in when I landed. The wind was hitting my face so hard that I probably resembled some sort of electrified lion.

I laughed gleefully into the cold air.

“Whooooo-OOO!” I screamed. I was so high up that there was no way the people on the ground would hear me.

I sped over the lake, not caring that my robes were flying up and revealing perhaps a bit too much leg. I didn’t even care that I could faintly see Giles and Roxanne holding hands as they watched me. Nothing could ruin this. I was in heaven. It was perfect. It was-

I suddenly caught sight of Molly and Lucy, sitting by the side of the lake. They were clearly arguing. From this height I couldn’t tell which one was which, but I could see their glossy red hair and their petite frames.

My heart sunk. How could I have been so selfish? I’d spent the whole day thinking about my stupid new broomstick and had completely forgotten about Lucy’s secret.

I turned suddenly, and sunk back to the ground. I ignored the people who swarmed around me, asking me how it was, and I let Roxanne seize the broom out of my hands and take off into the air herself.
Harriet was the only one who seemed to notice that something was up, and she ran over, a concerned look on her face.

“Ginger?” she said quietly.

I decided to tell her about it once we were alone. I knew Lucy had warned me not to tell anyone, but I just could not shake the feeling that my cousin was in serious trouble. And I mean serious trouble.



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