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The Hogwarts Bucket List by CDCdancer

Format: Novel
Chapters: 2
Word Count: 6,492
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Hugo, Rose, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: James/OC, Rose/Scorpius, OC/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 10/16/2010
Last Chapter: 01/15/2011
Last Updated: 01/15/2011

Summary:
Beta'd by the amazing nextgenoration. Beautiful banner by socal @ tda.





My name is Hallie Williams, 7th year witch, and the unlikely best friend of James Sirius Potter. People know me as the quiet Hufflepuff... but James is determined to change that. His plan? The Hogwarts Bucket List, full of insane things we have to complete before graduation. All I can say is... what on earth have I gotten myself into?


Chapter 1: How It All Started.
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A/N: This chapter has been edited since it was first posted by my beta, nextgenoration. The changes are minor, though. Enjoy!
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  Dianna Agron as Hallie Williams. Amazing chapter image courtesy of socal @ tda.




Rain splattered against the windshield as my family’s small car zoomed along the stormy street. Ominous clouds masked the dreary grey sky and the car heater was working hard. I leaned back into the seat, feeling the safety belt digging into my hips. I watched as my owl Hermes hooted softly from the seat next to me, tucked in his cage. I knew he didn’t like being so confined to one space.

“Hallie, did you remember to bring all of your books?” my mum asked me from the passenger’s seat.

“Yep,” I replied, gazing out the window at the pouring rain.

“What about your wand, you didn’t forget that, right sweetie?” she asked, turning around in her seat to look at me. 

“Of course I didn’t forget my wand, mum!” I answered, rolling my eyes.

“What about your robes―”

“Mum, don’t worry. I’ve got everything, it’ll be fine,” I said, placing my hand over her forearm. My mum was constantly worrying about every little thing. My father reached out and placed his arm around my mother’s shoulders.

“Theresa, she’ll be fine. She’s got everything she that she needs,” he assured her. While my mum was constantly frantic, my dad was always easy-going and relaxed. They were a good match for each other, as they balanced each other out.

"Daniel, keep both hands on the wheel, we don’t want to get into an accident!” she ordered, shrugging out from under my father’s arm and placing it back on the steering wheel. My dad sighed and continued to drive.

I leaned back into my seat and smiled. I was beyond thrilled; today was September 1st, meaning it was time to go back to Hogwarts again. Sure, I had enjoyed my vacation, but I was eager to get back and learn more magic. Over the summer, my parents had taken me to California in the United States. I had spent the days on the beach, joyfully swimming in the Pacific Ocean. It was a lot of fun, but I got lonely with just my parents. I couldn’t wait to see my best friend again.

Not to mention, it was the first day of my seventh year. I smiled sadly at the thought. This was the last year I would get to spend at Hogwarts, the very castle I loved so much. This also meant that I would finally get to be an adult and live in the real Wizarding World. It was a bittersweet thing.

"Hallie, we’re here,” my dad announced from the driver’s seat a few minutes later. I looked out the window and my eyes met with a very bustling King’s Cross Station. The parking lot was quite crowded; I even saw a few students bearing owls and trunks, clearly getting some shady looks from passing Muggles.

"Mum, dad, you can just drop me off at the front. It’ll take forever to get a parking spot anyway. And besides, I don’t want to get soaked on the way in,” I told my parents, giving a glance out at the pouring rain.

My mother seemed to be on the verge of insisting they accompany me to the platform, but took a wary glance out at the rain and closed her mouth. I hugged my parents goodbye, my dad merely kissing me on the cheek and wishing me a good term, and my mother clinging to my shoulder and trying to hide her watery eyes.

It was the same routine every year; my dad happy for me to have another exciting school year and my mother having an internal battle on whether she should let me go or simply refuse and just haul me back home. She didn’t know much about the Wizarding World, as my parents were both Muggles, and she fretted about sending me off to a school in which they had never seen before.

I managed to slip out of her grasp, picking up the cage that held my good-natured snowy owl, Hermes. I held my jacket over my head as I dashed to the trunk, soaking my trainers and the bottoms of my jeans. I couldn't wait to be in my warm school robes.

I pulled my trunk out, slammed the door shut, and hurried off into the station in search of a trolley. I managed to get my trunk and Hermes’ cage onto a cart and shake out my damp blonde hair. I set off in search of the secret barrier and crossed onto Platform 9 and 3/4 with ease. Once I was there, I smiled and looked around at the crowd of magical people. Owls, cats, and frogs were making a racket even though they were locked into cages, being loaded into the scarlet train right along with the students’ trunks.

Once I had gotten through the mess of travelers, I peered around in search of my best friend, James Potter. He was very tall, towering over most people, with a pair of enormous brown eyes and some very messed about hair .

I searched for the familiar head of dark brown―almost black―hair in the jam-packed platform. My eyes landed on a large clan of red-headed, freckly people. This lot, no doubt, had to be the massive Weasley family. James’s mother was a Weasley, so I assumed he was mingling in the crowd with his great number of ginger cousins. I fought my way over to the group, weaving through various friends having excited reunions that involved a lot of screaming and sombre parents bidding farewell to their children.

I finally reached the clan, and as usual, I couldn’t tell most of them apart. The majority of the huge family was red-headed and covered from head-to-toe in freckles. One girl, however, had brown hair, who I knew to be Rose Weasley, James’s younger cousin. A pair of them had pale, silvery blond hair and were tall and leggy, whom I knew to be Victoire and Dominique, James’s part Veela cousins.

Finally, my eyes landed on a petite girl with long red hair that fell to her waist. A few freckles were sprinkled across her nose and she had vibrant blue eyes. I hurried over to her, dragging my trolley with me. “Hi, Lily!” I greeted James’s younger sister.

She turned to face me and smiled cutely. She was a third year and was always really sweet to me. “Oh, hello Hallie! James is over there,” she said, pointing over to the tall raven-haired teenager I had been searching for. His back was turned and he was talking to his cousin Fred. I quickly thanked her and scurried up to my best friend, reaching up to tap him on the shoulder.

James turned around and looked down at my smiling face. His mouth opened slightly in confusion, as if he didn’t recognize me. He stood there gaping blankly at me for a few moments before coming to terms with his senses and scooping me up into a massive bear hug.

“Hallie!” he exclaimed, still hugging me. My feet were dangling a few inches off the ground and I felt like my ribs were breaking.

"James! Can’t...breathe!” I huffed. He seemed to realize that he was suffocating me and laughed before setting me down on the ground. I gasped for air, maintaining a huge grin on my face.

"Why didn’t you write? I got worried!” he said, looking down at me sadly.

"You sound like my mother,” I laughed, massaging my ribs. “But I couldn’t write, I told you! I was on the west coast of America all summer and Hermes can’t make overseas journeys!” I explained, pointing to the cage where my old snowy owl was hooting loudly.

James nodded. “Yeah, but still. I missed you! I’ve got a lot to tell you. Oh, and by the way, you look great! You’ve changed,” he told me, ruffling my blonde hair.

"Yeah, I missed you too. But how do I look different?”

“Well, for starters, you’re not wearing your glasses. And you’re tan as all get,” he said, laughing.

My hand flew up to my face to wear my thick, black plastic framed glasses were usually sitting on my nose. I had almost forgotten I didn’t have them anymore. I looked back up at my friend and smiled.

“Oh yeah, back in America, I sat on my glasses.” I laughed, remembering my mother freaking out. “I couldn’t get new ones there, so my dad bought me some contacts. I liked them, so I decided to keep using them.”

James let out a deep laugh. “Typical Hallie, sitting on her glasses. Oh well, the contacts look good though.”

The horn on the Hogwarts Express sounded, signaling for all the passengers to get on board. Since James had already loaded his things up, he quickly waved to his parents and helped me haul my trunk and Hermes’s cage into the luggage compartment.

We got back onto the platform and headed up to another section of the train. Slowly, it lurched and started to move.

“Hurry!” James laughed, grabbing my hand as we raced along the side of the train. He hopped up onto the steps and pulled me up along with him just in time. We had hopped on the train right before it left the platform. My mother would have been hyperventilating if she had seen it.

We slipped through the stream of people heading down the corridor, glancing into different compartments to see if they were empty. There was one compartment all the way at the end of the train that happened to be free. He led me into it and we sat down.

“So, how was your summer?” I asked him, crossing my legs Indian style while James stretched his arms out and let out a huge yawn.

“It was good,” he answered. I watched him squish his eyebrows together and start to think again. “Actually, it was horribly boring,” he admitted, swinging his legs up to rest on the bench. “But I gotta talk to you about something. Something I came up with over the summer...while I was so horribly bored.”

“Go on,” I prompted, distracted as I put a drying charm on my damp blonde hair. It instantly became warm and waterless, cascading over my shoulders softly.

James sat up again and took a folded piece of parchment out of his pocket. He handed it to me. I took it and examined the front. There were several fold marks on it, and it looked like it had been opened and closed several different times. My yes widened as I read the first few words.
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The Hogwarts Bucket List

Throw a massive all-house party in the Room of Requirement.

Break into the Headmaster’s office and steal something.

Befriend Peeves the Poltergeist.

Snog a person from each of the four houses in one day.

Skinny-dip in the Black Lake at night.

Discover and use every single secret passageway.

Get detention from every single professor.

Sneak into all of the common rooms.

Get a professor drunk.

Scare off all the owls in the Owlery.

Make it rain in the Great Hall during the Christmas Ball.

Spend the night in the Forbidden Forest.

Participate in a midnight Quidditch game.

Fly over the castle on a broomstick.

“Pants” a professor.

Attempt to Climb the Whomping Willow.

Scream like a banshee in the library and not get murdered by Madame Pince.

Tease Moaning Myrtle.

Ask out the girl/guy of your dreams.

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“What is this?” I asked him, reading the paper curiously.
"Have you ever heard of a bucket list, Hallie?” He asked me, watching as I read the list. I shook my head no. 

“A bucket list is a list of things that you want to do before you die,” he explained. “Muggles make lists of stuff that they want to do, like visit the Eiffel Tower or swim in every ocean, and they try to finish their lists before they “kick the bucket.” So I was thinking, it’s our last year at Hogwarts: I want to make it memorable. Naturally, my brilliant mind came up with this idea. The Hogwarts Bucket List―a list of things that we absolutely have to do before we graduate. I got ideas from things my relatives did at Hogwarts.”

I stared down at the list and read over the absurd things that James wanted to do. I considered it for a moment.

“Awesome,” I said. “This sounds like something you would want to do.” I laughed. “Good luck with climbing the Whomping Willow and spiking the pumpkin juice, though.”

James stared up at me with a devilish grin on his face. “I’m not the only one doing this, Hallie.”

“I didn’t think you were. I bet Fred is doing it too, isn’t he?” I asked, thinking of James’s cousin. Fred Weasley was James’s best male friend. He was a prankster like James, and was admittedly good-looking. I had talked to him a few times, but I don’t think he even knew my name. Anyway, James never played a prank without Fred.

James slowly shook his head no, that weird lopsided grin still on his face. I stared back at him, confused.

Oh, Merlin. I get it now. James thinks I’m going to do this bucket list with him.

“Oh, no! No way in hell, James!” I shouted, shoving the list back into his face and shaking my head furiously. Okay, maybe I should explain a bit more.

I, Hallie Williams, am a Hufflepuff for a reason. While James Potter, my best friend, is a popular prankster that’s known for causing mayhem and chaos all around school, I am simply referred to as the nerdy blonde Hufflepuff that is best friends with James Potter. People wonder how the pair of us even came to be friends. We’re pretty much complete opposites. I care about school and I read a lot. I get good marks and I pay attention in class. I’m quiet and I don’t really have any problems with anybody. I’ve never had a boyfriend before. Most students don’t even know my name, even the ones that I’ve been in the same class with for seven years. I’m nothing special.

Truth is, James and I became friends on the Hogwarts Express in first year, and since all the other compartments were full and I was forced to sit in the almost crowded compartment that James was in. I don’t even remember how it happened, we just clicked. Opposites attract, I guess. James and I started talking and somehow became close. It’s funny how that can happen, when you’re young. You can just meet someone and suddenly you’re friends for life.

So anyway, James has always tried to find ways to make me more popular. It’s not for his image or anything, he just thinks I want to be noticed more. And let me tell you, he’s totally wrong. To be honest, I am completely indifferent to my social image. I don’t care what people think of me. If they want to know me as the nerdy blonde Hufflepuff, then so be it.

But James doesn’t understand this. He has a major ego and feeds off the attention people give him. He doesn’t comprehend how I can live without social attention.

"Just think about it, Hallie! Don’t you want to be noticed? Don’t you want people to know you as something other than my best friend?” He asked, looking at me with wide eyes. I crossed my arms.

“How many times do I have to tell you, James! I don’t care about my image...or... or my reputation or whatever the hell you want to call it. I’m fine with being known as only your best friend.”

James sighed. “It’s not that, Hallie. It’s just that your a really awesome person, and if people had the chance to see you who you really are, they would love you. Honestly! And anyway, it’ll be fun. You’ll remember this year for the rest of your life.”

I frowned. “Yeah, I’ll remember it as the year that everything went wrong. Shouldn’t we be focusing on our NEWTs and studying instead of this?”

“No, it’ll be an awesome year. And we can still fit study time in. I don’t want to do this without you, Hal. ” He said, using the nickname he gave me and staring up at me with puppy dog eyes.

I gulped. God, he was using the puppy-dog eyes. Every time he looks at me like that, he can persuade me to do anything. I bit my lip. Come on, Hallie, resist the eyes.

“Fine. I’ll do it.”

Crap. Did I really just say that? Oh, no.

James leaped up from his seat and started whooping and hollering. Crap. Crappity crap crap.

What have I done?

I looked back at the list and all of the insane things on it, and only one thought trailed across my mind:

What on earth have I gotten myself into?

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A/N : Hi everyone! Was it good? Bad? Should I stop writing or keep updating? Let me know in a lovely review! I really need critique, and a review would mean the world to me! I promise to reply!

First off, I would like to thank my wonderful beta, Ash. Her penname is nextgenoration (also known as NGseries from the forums). This chapter has been edited by her since it was first posted (it’s minor, though).

Also, I’d like to credit the following users on the HPFF forums that helped me come up with the bucket list! So a big thank you to the following people from the forums! dracolovergirl5000, Hpdork, janepinkerton, Kels91, NyraValencia, PantherAlexander, Philly94, reyes, and Singularity. I owe them a lot, they helped me brainstorm ideas for the list.

Anyway, if you would now please scroll down a little bit further, click inside that little grey box, and tell me what you think about my chapter! :) Now click post, and you’ll have made me a very happy person! Thanks for reading! And a super extra-special thanks to reviewers!


Chapter 2: A Hufflepuff For A Reason
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Adam Brody as James Potter II. Lovely chapter image courtesy of socal @ the dark arts.



As James continued to leap around the compartment like a four year old that had just been told he would never have to eat vegetables again, I stared down in horror at the list.

Did I really just say yes to that? Oh God...how am I supposed to do this? I’m not a daredevil, I’m actually the complete polar opposite of one. I’m a Hufflepuff for a reason! Sure, I’m clever like a Ravenclaw, and my best friend is a Gryffindor, but I’m shy and quiet and while I get along with practically everybody, I only have one true best friend.

Hufflepuffs don’t befriend Peeves the Poltergeist or “pants” professors! We’re the house that’s quiet and indifferent, the house that always goes unnoticed; known for it’s peace and acceptance. That’s exactly why I’m in Hufflepuff; I go unnoticed, for Merlin’s sake!

I’m not the kind of person that can complete this ‘Hogwarts Bucket List.’ That’s something that attention-seeking students or insane daredevils do.

I looked back up at James very quickly. My face must have been the expression of up-most horror at that moment, because he swiftly sat down across from me and took my hand.

“I was just kidding! I’m not going to do it! It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I can’t!” I frantically explained. He sighed and looked me in the eye.

“Hallie, remember in third year, when I fancied Danaka Rosewood?”

Of course I did. How could I forget? Danaka Rosewood, at the time, was in sixth year, making her a good three years older than me and James. She was a white-blonde Gryffindor girl with an enormous chest and not a single brain cell.

James, thirteen years old at the time, had a huge fancy over Danaka, along with most of the male population at Hogwarts.

“Yeah, I remember,” I answered, smirking at the memory of James drooling over Danaka from across the Great Hall.

“And then you convinced me to go and ask her out? You said that even if she said no, that at least I tried and I wasn’t left wondering what could have happened,” James continued.

I nodded reluctantly, confused as to where this was going.

“So I asked her out....And she still said no, but it wasn’t so bad,” he said.

I snorted, “Oh, please. She laughed in your face, nailed you in the sprouts, shoved your face in mashed potatoes, and stomped away.”

“That’s not the point!” James sputtered indignantly, his face reddening at the memory. “Hallie, if you don’t try to do the bucket list, you’ll always wonder what could have happened if you did. You need to at least try and then you’ll know for sure. And Hal, you can do anything!” he assured.

It was an overkill, but James had me there. I couldn’t go against my own advice by refusing to try.

“Ugh, fine. I’ll try it. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to like it, or that I’ll finish it,” I muttered.

“‘Atta girl,” he smiled, clapping me on the back and leaning back into his seat as the compartment door slid open.

In walked a large number of the Weasley Clan. Leading the crowd was Fred Weasley. As a result of his father being Caucasian and his mother being African-English, his skin was a natural bronzed color. He had black, spiked hair and a broad build.

“Hey, James, the other compartments are full, so we have to sit here.” He greeted his cousin before turning toward me, “Hey, I don’t recognize you, gorgeous. You new?” he asked, sliding down next to me and casually draping a thick arm over my shoulders. I felt my cheeks heat up and I looked toward James for help.

James sat up straight. “Freddie boy, you know Hallie, she’s been my best friend since first year! And back away, she’s off limits,” he snapped. Fred stared at him strangely before turning to look back at me again, but closer.

“Oh, ho ho!” he said, finally seeming to recognize me. “It’s Williams! You look different than I remember!” His shadowy grey eyes landed just below my collarbone. Scowling, I crossed my arms over my chest.

Yeah, so I had blossomed a bit over the Holidays. Everyone did sooner or later! That didn’t give guys an excuse to be complete perverts and feel like they had to right to stare.

James sent a warning glare towards Fred, who stuck his tongue out and reluctantly pulled his arm back. Distraction from the awkward moment came in the form of Rose Weasley, who entered the compartment after Fred, her bushy auburn hair tied back.

“Hi, James,” she waved politely. “Hope you don’t mind if we sit here, all the other compartments are full. Oh, hello Hallie!” She sat down next to James, grinning widely. I smiled at her politely.

The next people in were Albus and Lily Potter, James’s younger siblings. Al looked a bit different from his older brother. His hair was smoother and he had emerald green eyes unlike James’s brown ones. Lily was a typical Weasley, with flaming red hair and freckles.

James groaned at the sight of his siblings but was nice enough not to kick them out of the compartment.

Unlike him, I quite liked his brother and sister. Albus was sort of like me, although he was a Slytherin, he was more subdued and nicer than James. He only had a few close friends and was a major bookworm. He sat down next to Rose, who was in the same year as him.

Lily was wild and crazy, taking after James. She was opinionated and popular. Even though she was only thirteen, she had a whole line of guys after her, much to James’s displeasure. Lily was nice to me and I actually liked her a lot. She looked up to me in some ways, and sometimes asked me for advice. She was the closest thing I would ever have to a little sister.

“Hallie!” Lily called, smiling at me happily. She came to sit next to me, shoving her older cousin Fred down the bench and squeezing in between us. James sent a smirk at Fred, obviously happy that his slag of a cousin couldn’t make any more moves.

The rest of the train ride was quite boring; James and Fred seemed to be having a silent conversation with their eyes, only Merlin knows what about. Lily chattered on about her life, telling me about the annoying boys that stalked her, and whispering about some Ravenclaw named Anthony Grant, whom she had a crush on. Rose and Albus were discussing a novel in their own little world.

But all I could think about was the Hogwarts Bucket List, which I had very stupidly just agreed to trying.

How was I supposed to spend the night in the Forbidden Forest when I was afraid of the harmless spiders in our dorm room? (I had deemed my roommates honorary spider-killers, you see.)

How was I supposed to fly over the castle on a broomstick and participate in a midnight Quidditch game when I can barely even stay on the broom as is? (I’ve have a lot of bad experiences with broomsticks. I just can’t seem to master the whole “balancing” thing).

How am I going to scream like a banshee in the library (which is practically my second home) without getting a detention and ruining my perfect record? Not to mention I might be banned from the place, resulting in me losing one of my safest havens.

And how on earth am I going to snog a bloke from each house in one day when I can’t even hug a guy without blushing noticeably (excluding James and relatives, of course)?

It was inevitable ― if I was going to do the Hogwart’s Bucket List, I would fail.

And probably die.

I sat silently the rest of the train ride, thinking about how insane I was for letting James talk me into doing this. My imagination was in overdrive, playing out hundreds of horrible scenarios that involved in me either being humiliated, getting critically injured or murdered, or the worst ― getting detention.

After several long hours, the train lurched to a stop. I sighed in relief, my focus finally shifting to the excellent feast that would be waiting in the Great Hall. James grabbed my hand and we wove our way through the crowd of students to the carriages.

After an equally boring carriage ride, we arrived inside the entrance hall. The night was clear, even though it had been pouring rain and overcast back in London. I envied the first year students, who would have a peaceful and enjoyable ride across the lake.

This instantly triggered memories from my first year....The rain had been falling fast and hard; I was sharing a boat with James, who I had just met, and his cousin Fred. Fred had pushed James into the water, who then pulled Fred into the water with him. They attempted to climb back into the boat, resulting in our boat, with me inside of it, flipping over and sinking. As if we weren’t already soaked enough from the buckets of rain....

Due to a lack of extra boats, we ended up having to sit on the very back of Hagrids boat, which was already crowded enough with just him in it. We then had to enter the castle sopping wet. Oddly enough, it’s one of my fondest memories.

Since James was in Gryffindor and I was in Hufflepuff, we parted and sat at our different tables. It was only required that we sit at our assigned tables during the Sorting, but at all other meals students were free to sit wherever they wanted to. It was to promote a new effort called ‘inter-house relationships’. Since there was so much unhealthy competitiveness between the four houses before Harry Potter saved the Wizarding World, they’ve tried to unite the students more to help prevent future wars.

I looked down the benches at the Hufflepuff table before spotting my four roommates. They were all really nice, and we got along well, even if we weren’t really friends. I hurried down the side of the table and sat down next to them.

“Oh, hello Hallie!” greeted a girl named Cassie Moore. She was a positive girl that was always energetic and sweet. I’d never seen her angry and I don’t think anybody had ever seen her cry. She’s got caramel-colored curls and bright amber eyes. She’s just that kind of girl that’s there to cheer you up whenever you need to be encouraged, and is so blameless nobody ever wants to hurt her.

“Hello, Hallie! How was your summer?” asked Danielle Wood. She was a curly-haired brunette with chocolate brown eyes and a splash of freckles across her nose. She was known for being an excellent Quidditch player, rumored to be the best Seeker at Hogwarts in centuries.

“It was great!” I answered, nodding at Cassie and Danielle. My other two roommates, Grace Peters and Olive Winters, appeared not to have noticed my arrival. They were whispering to each other and looking over to the Ravenclaw table. I followed their gazes and my mouth dropped open in awe.

Sitting at the Ravenclaw table was one of the most handsome blokes I’d ever seen. He had a head of lush shiny brown hair, with windswept bangs that reached the tips of his long eyelashes, and a fit build. His skin was clear and suntanned, and his greyish blue eyes were dazzling and happy. He was laughing with some other seventh year Ravenclaws.

I examined him, searching for a flaw, but I couldn’t find one. He was perfect.

Glancing around the Great Hall, I saw a great load of other girls staring over at him.

“Who’s the new guy?” I asked, absentmindedly biting my nail, not being able to tear my gaze away from him.

“He’s the new transfer  student,” my roommate Olive Winters piped up.Olive was an unusual girl. I didn’t know why she was a Hufflepuff, she was more like a Gryffindor. She loved to stand out. In fact, last year, she died her normal chocolate brown hair to a bright, cherry red just to get attention. Olive was also a gossip queen. She is the niece of the famous reporter Rita Skeeter, who is well-known for being a major gossiper. Obviously she inherited her aunt’s most renowned trait.

“What’s his name?” asked Grace Peters. Grace had huge blue eyes that bugged out slightly, but nevertheless, she was quite pretty. She liked to be a part of things. She clinged to Olive a lot, wanting to be “in” on all the latest rumors and gossip. She had straight blonde hair (that she usually curled into long ringlets) and high cheekbones. She could be quite ditsy at times, but she was decent.

“Lucas Taylor. He goes by Luke for short,” Olive said, drumming her red nails on the wooden table top. “His dad used to work in Scotland as a wand maker, and he home-schooled Luke. but business wasn’t good, so he decided to move over here and he open a shop in Diagon Alley. Luke decided to try and go to Hogwarts for his last year so his dad could focus on his shop.”

I looked over at Olive curiously. She was fluffing up her reddish-brown locks and applying some ridiculous cherry red lip stain that coordinated with her hair. “His mom is a Muggle, so he’s a half-blood. He’s an only child,” she continued.

“Um, how do you know all that?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowing together as I looked at Olive.

She rubbed her lip stick in and pinched her cheeks for colour.

“I’m Rita Skeeter’s niece. I know things,” she said, not tearing her gaze away from Luke, who was completely oblivious to the vast amount of stares he was receiving. He accidentally looked over toward the group of girls sitting at the Gryffindor table gaping shamelessly at him and jumped in his seat a bit. All the girls hastily turned away and pretended nothing had happened. Luke looked a bit wary but returned to animatedly talking to the other boys at his table.

Headmaster Flitwick, a little man with a high pitched voice, hoisted himself up on his stepping stool to look over his podium. He pointed his wand at his throat and started to speak as if into an invisible microphone.

“Welcome back, students of Hogwarts! And just plain welcome to those who are joining us this year! We are truly pleased to have you all here. I’d like to start off by talking about how imperative it is to study for exams and to try your hardest at everything you do here at Hogwarts....”

I zoned out during the speech. It was time-consuming and tiresome, all about doing our best and achieving goals. It was the same old speech every year. There were also announcements of even more things the care-taker, Filch, had added to his 856 page long (and counting) banned items list.

The Sorting was even longer than I remembered. I occupied myself by staring more at this new kid, Luke, and listening to Olive whisper more things she knew about him to anyone who would hear it. Among that information was his favourite colour, favourite Quidditch team, and other pointless details. Finally, the feast began and platters of food appeared before our eyes.

I forgot about Luke Taylor for a few minutes as I focused on the superb food before me. Roast beef and Yorkshire puddings with gravy... steamed vegetables with pasta and creamy sauce... cranberry sauce and yams... it was all so delicious. I ate and drank my fill before slumping back in my seat, content with the feast.

Finally, the dinner was over, and the crowd of students lazily and sleepily found their way to their dormitories. In the entrance hall, before I followed my roommates down to our basement Common Room, James stopped me.

“Who was that guy you were staring at during the feast?” he asked me urgently.

I had to pause for a few moments as I was still thinking about the marvelous tastes of the feast, but then I remembered Luke.

“Oh, you mean Luke Taylor? He’s the new transfer student,” I told him, grinning slightly as I pictured him and his tousled shining brown hair, his deep blue eyes, and his muscular biceps. Hey, just because I’m a shy, nearly anti-social Hufflepuff doesn’t mean I don’t notice when someone’s fit!

James’s mouth was frozen in a hard line. “How do you know him? Do you fancy him?” he asked.

I stopped smiling at James’s stern expression, which I had very rarely seen on him before. It looked like the time he found out Lily had snogged a boy last year.

“Merlin, James, I’ve never even talked to the bloke before! The only reason I know about him is because of Olive Winters, who happens to be the largest gossip in the school, and knows everything about everyone,” I snapped, looking up at my tall best friend. He didn’t appear convinced and said nothing, his chocolate brown eyes boring into me.

I sighed. “Seriously, James? Anyway, what’s your problem with the thought of me fancying a bloke? I’m not your little sister; you need to stop getting all ‘older brother overprotective’ of me.”

Again, he didn’t reply. I had rarely seen James like his, and I sighed, reached my arm up, and put my hand on his shoulder. James was just used to being a protective older brother and cousin. He was always like this with Lily or Rose.

“James, I don’t fancy Luke Taylor. Besides, you know me. I’ll probably never even work up the courage to talk to him. Okay? Good. I’m going to my dorm,” I told him, starting to walk away.

James grabbed my hand before I could get very far. He returned to his usual self and smiled at me.

“Okay, I guess I believe you.” he said.

“Swell. Now can I go?” I asked him, thinking longingly of my comfortable four poster bed waiting for me in the dormitory.

“Yeah. But one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Tomorrow we start the Bucket List. Be prepared.” He smiled mischievously and headed off, leaving me standing in the entrance hall with my mouth hanging open and a sudden nervousness filling me.

I was no longer tired, but wary. The world seemed to be crashing down on me this year; how could I, Hallie Williams, ever be adventurous? It just wasn’t me. I was booky and happy to be so. I knew James was only looking out for my sanity when he invited me to to do this, but I wasn’t so sure he knew what he was doing, either.

I watched as James Potter disappeared from sight up the many moving staircases and chewed my lip.

I had a funny feeling that life at Hogwarts was going to change from then on: A funny feeling that maybe, just maybe, my seventh year at Hogwarts was going to be one to remember.


A/N
Hey everybody! Did you like the new chapter? I’m really interested to hear your thoughts, so please review. I will always reply to them!
Please read + review, and thank you very much to readers and reviewers! Also, thanks to nextgenoration (NGseries from the forums) for being a fantastic beta!



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