Ellie and Kyle
I had to give my year group credit; they knew how to throw a shindig.
The North Tower had been transformed. With the expectation of the Divination classroom, this Tower was unused. James thought it was a shame, all this room and nothing in it. Now instead, it had been transformed. The corridors were donned with streamers hung from the high, each set with a different house colour. Gryffindor banners ran along the railings of the spiral staircase upwards. To the next section, the banners changed to Hufflepuff. It was the Christmas party, forth years and up.
Small groups of people were lounging around the staircases, along with one couple who were doing a little more than ‘lounging’. Most stood aimlessly with drinks in their hands, chatting to their neighbors.
Still a hold of Charisma’s hand we made our way up the final flight of stairs. As we crossed over the last step a shower of scarlet and gold confetti fell from the vaulted ceiling of the Tower. It showered over us, making its life mission to get in to our mouths somewhat susceptible.
“That was,” Charisma laughed, picking out a piece of confetti, “nice?”
“Remind me to thank James later,” I mumbled, pulling my hand from hers.
She sent me a smile. “I’m sorry.”
“I don’t want your pity.”
She nodded understandably. “Then you won’t get it.” I nodded and she brushed aside a hair from her face.
I frowned. Charisma glared. “What?”
“Suck it up and smile.”
“Smile for once,” she said. “It won’t kill you. I don’t like mopey Dixie; it’s not you.”
I snorted. “I guess I walked in to that one.”
She nodded and threw a hand full of confetti that she had brushed off of her shoulder at me. “Anytime. I’m going to go and find James. Will you be alright?”
I gave her a simple nod and she danced off happily. All the doors seemed to have been charmed off of their hinges so that all of the rooms were open. As another round of confetti spurted from mid air upon another pair walking up the stairs, I decided to move. I walked slowly in to the large stone room, the large windows opened up on to the roofs of smaller towers. Each one was packed with a dancing crowd.
The occasional girlish cry could be heard from the crowd, a shriek or a whoop. But it was hard to be heard over the music – the bass beats and the loud lyrics pounded throughout the crowd and in to the night through the open windows and stone arches. It quickly occurred to me that a mix of powerful silencing charms must have been cast to stop this from waking up everyone who lived as far away as Hogsmeade.
On the roof top to my left a heated game of Strip-Monopoly was well underway. It consisted of many of our year group sat at the round table in what was now a minimal amount of clothing. A toned blonde boy that I recognized from my Arithmacy class was sat with a top-less hat on; the banker. He held piles of clothing in his hands while others had a less amount.
Freddy had tricked me in to playing last year. There is no such thing as money in this game, instead you pay with clothing. Drew sat at one end of the table, light pink boxers on and tube socks pulled up high. A brunette girl sat next to him, lacey white bra with a top-hat on her head. Between the two their expressions were hilariously serious.
To my right, a mini bar was placed. It was directly situated between the two roof tops, perfect positioning. A railing was placed on the flat roof, leading you from one roof top to another, so that you didn’t fall. When people began to drink they wouldn’t be able to walk straight, let alone make it across that!
For a moment, I seriously questioned James’s sanity.
The bar seemed to serve all from Firewhisky to Cocktails to (according to the insane girl next to me) water. People were spread out amongst different levels of the tower, loud, raucous and certainly boisterous. The tapping of my foot seemed to indicate that the festive mood was infectious. It was the Christmas Party, yet the cold air around us seemed to only heighten the party mood, keeping people moving.
I walked over to a stone archway, currently unoccupied, and leant my shoulder against it, followed by my head. I looked over to the dance floor, classed any other day of the year as the observing room. It is used when the Observatory over on the other tower is full, basically, never – lord knows where they had put the equipment for the night.
Ellie and the not-so-little-anymore Lily Potter were caught up in the chaos known as the dance floor. They were jumping and squealing their effing faces off. I gaped slightly at their wild arm movements, Lily I was not surprised at; she was often known to wander off to a quiet corner with a hefty lad, but Ellie…
She used to be so innocent.
It was shocking what the odd drop of Firewhiskey could do to a person.
On the roof to my right, the lads stood by the bar. Kyle seemed to be divulging himself in to an alcohol chugging competition, I would state to type, but I seriously considered the wonder if what they were glugging was legal. Fred and James stood at the other end of the counter, lightly smirking at their roommate all the while taking part in what appeared to be a competitive conversation with one another.
Charisma stood by the Monopoly-Strip. She watched Drew with amusement, a slight brow raised. She and Drew used to be shockingly close, like brother and sister, but now that she and James have each other, she and Drew have drifted apart. He has now efficiently joined Freddy on the one night stand mission to hell.
“Looking lovely there Pruitt.”
I turned around to the amused voice of Christopher Avery.
“Are we honestly going to do this?” I sneered through gritted teeth.
He sighed quietly. “I just wanted to say thank you.”
“For what?” I asked, furrowing a brow.
“For whatever you said to Weasley the other week.”
I ignored the vulnerable and somewhat overbearing tone to his voice and tried to shuffle away from under his arm, I was pinned to the arch way. “And what did I say to him?”
Christopher shrugged. “I don’t know, but he apologized to me-“
“-And said that he was sorry for hexing me.” He took in the expression that was my gaping mouth and raised thin eyebrows. “I know; this was my reaction too.”
I looked over Avery shoulder discreetly and glanced to Freddy and James. They still seemed to be conversing heatedly. It came down to the point of view where, for no good of my intelligence, I had actually managed to sub-consciously make Fredrick Weasley apologise. Freddy and James were both stood to the side, resting one arm on the bar top, out of the way of the crowd; not a usual scene for either of the lads. Freddy lifted up his other arm, putting down the Firewhiskey that he was holding and placing it on to the smooth surface of the bar. He scratched his head through his beanie, looking rather put-out.
“Well, what did he say?” I asked impatiently.
Avery shrugged. I had come to the conclusion that of late, with the exception of a few naff insults, Christopher hadn’t been that awful to me. Infact, some of his actions could be classed as ‘nice’. Shocking, I know.
Before, if you had asked me, I would have told you that he could go and eff himself. I was never in the mood for his humor. Yet, during the struggling time of our seventh year, in exchange for a few shitty insults every now and again I was willing to ignore his total lack of human decency and pass aside the fact that he infuriates me to no end. He had charisma; he was quite a personality too.
He bit on his lip a little. “He said that you had a point in all your wild and wonderful little theories of life. That he should listen to you more often.”
“Damn right he should.” I grumble darkly.
“Now,” Avery chuckled half heartedly. “This is where your edges begin to fray, Miss P – just hear me out, please.” His somewhat clammy hands grip the rock behind us a little tighter. I fold my arms in a dignified way. “You are an incredibly smart girl, Dixie. However you mask yourself from others. If you let loose a little more, you could go far in the world. But you don’t, instead you hide behind these walls that you put up.”
I raised a brow and popped out my hip a little. “Hang on, Chris, let me get this straight.” I scrunched up my nose unattractively. “You want me to let loose a little more.”
“Yes,” he nodded. “I want you, to let loose. Not the blonde haired, big chest-ed stubborn and incredibly infuriating girl that you pretend to be!”
“I don’t pretend,” I hissed. “What gives you the right?”
“Nothing,” he breathed in my ear. “But I just thought that I would tell you. I know you Dixie, I know you think I don’t, but I do. You’re an intelligent and beautiful seventeen year old girl. You have the fiery personality that I wish that I could have. I just think that you should be you.”
I shifted uncomfortably. “I am me.” It would have sounded right if my voice didn’t crack. “I am me!” I repeated. “So I don’t wear my glasses anymore, so I wear wellies instead of high heels. What does it matter to you?” The ugly expression does nothing to deter him. I was on a sinking ship. “I dye my hair because I don’t like the colour of it, I get testy when people make passing comments about my height – and why the eff am I even telling you this?!” I screeched. “It’s none of your business.”
“It may not be my business but I am the only one listening!”
“Listening?!” My tone didn’t lower in volume nor did it change. “You brought it up!”
He glared at a passing forth year, one who seemed to be making it his personal mission to smother the people around him in cheap cologne. He shook his head and turned back to me. “Exactly, I don’t see Freddy telling you that he prefers the Dixie behind all the dye and contacts.”
“And is that what you are doing?” I hissed darkly.
“As a matter of fact, yes.” My eyes widened, I felt no choice but to put an end to this nonsense. “Dix, before you became Freddy Weasley’s little gal-pal, the guys in our dorm used to think that you were cute, that you were a feisty girl. Now they think the opposite of you, but still the same with the temper and such, they haven’t used the word ‘cute’ about you since second year. They still think that you look sweet, yeah, but they don’t say it.”
I shook my head. “Is this supposed to bother me?”
“A little yes.” I tore my gaze away from his. “I like both Dixie’s, infact I happen to think that the one who hides her intelligence is a very fun person to be with, but I think that the smart one is the person that I would rather sit down and talk with.”
I gave him a contradictory smile. “I have never once hidden my intelligence, Avery.” I snapped. “Infact I have done anything but, I’m sorry if you can not see that. But not only am I a little shocked at the fact that the Slytherins use the word ‘cute’, but also at the fact that you question me, about myself.”
“I’m not questioning you,” he said, smiling a little cheekily. “I am simply pointing out to you what it looks like on the outside. I know you, I’ve said it before. I don’t care who you are, any version of you is a riot. But I don’t see Freddy standing here right now, telling you that he thinks you’re pretty in glasses.”
“He doesn’t like girls in glasses.” I snapped. “He thinks they’re an inconvenience at times.”
Avery scratched his chin, the way he always does when he gets himself in to a sticky situation. “Exactly, I think that you’re afraid to be who you want to be around Freddy, because he is the only one who can break through those walls of yours.”
After wrenching and twisting that knife in to my gut, Avery walked away.
Never before had a person managed to make me question who I am. I am a person who is very sure of herself. I have never questioned it. And I never will.
I am Dixie Pruitt.
I will never be anyone else.
Christopher Avery may be the one with the high cheekbones and the strong back, but I had never felt anything but a physical attraction to him once or twice…he’s a fucktard. I am a disgustingly shallow person at heart, and I know it. I am a terrible person and I will be punished one day, but not today.
And that was all evident from the questioning look on James face.
I looked up and he raised a brow. “Avery?”
“Right, I’m going to stick to fucktard.” Great minds think alike.
Somehow, during our spat, neither Avery nor I had managed to interrupt anybody else’s night. Still, like drunken idiots, Ellie and Lily were dancing away. I was sure that James hadn’t seen it; if he had, Lily would have been carried out a long time ago.
“I heard what he said to you,” James said quietly after he had pushed Avery away with his intensified glare. “I heard the majority.” My gaze shifted down to the floor. “Come on.”
He wasted no more than a second before taking my hand and leading me away rom the dance floor. We turned right and went out on to the roof top. I closed my eyes and James pulled me across, I had no interest on looking down on to the grounds of the school, the roof was way too high for such childish games.
We walked down from the roof, down a flight of thin stairs and up another, arriving at another roof top. Still the music could be heard but it was fainter, quieter. The beats seemed to fade in to the distance slightly.
We were on yet another roof top. However this one seemed different. While the others were accumulated for partying (among other activities) this one was graced with an assortment of deck chairs and floor cushions of all shapes and sizes. I wondered briefly if this roof was for many prohibited activities.
On this roof stood a few sets of people, a group of three sixth year Hufflepuff girls sat in the corner, all laughing quietly among one another. A couple stood in the corner, seeming to be in the beginning of these aforementioned prohibited activities. Few others were up here; it made a large contrast to the busy outlook from the other towers.
A small bonfire was set up in the middle, in what seemed to be a black fire-proof pot. I blocked out the aimless chatter around me and sat down near it, crossed legged. My blue high-wasted shorts allowed me to do so. The white t-shirt that I wore was tucked I to the top, little red striped crossing my chest vertically. The usual foot ware I chose was on my feet, my red, spotty wellies. No one - and I mean no one - could take these babies away from me.
The bonfire spat out little sparks across the rooftop before they disappeared in to the air. I followed it with my gaze and attempted to push out the earlier image of Charisma jumping up and down in our dorm room, attempting to pull up the zipper to her skinny jeans.
“If I recall correctly, it was infact Avery telling you that you didn’t know who you are.” James said smiling widely as he sat down next to me with an ‘oomph’. “Hypocrite.”
He passed me his Firewhisky and I took a sip. “He was just being an arse, the usual.”
“But it’s not the usual, Dix.” He said calmly. “You and he have been pretty close lately. He was just taking advantage of you, he knows how to get to you…it’s the type of thing that he would do.”
“He said that I wasn’t cute,” I said quietly, trying desperately to tear my gaze away from the couple in the corner. They male of the partnership seemed to be sloppily kissing the side of his girlfriend (or supposive girlfriends) face like a hoover. He seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it. She on the other hand…
“He said what?” James snapped. “I swear…” he trailed off in to a version of English that wasn’t understandable to the human ear, only to odd words of ‘fucktard’ and ‘geezer’ became understandable. “Dixie, love. You’re the cutest person on the planet.”
I smirked. “Don’t let your girlfriend hear that.”
“Oh she already knows,” he said animatedly.
“Of our affair,” he chuckled deeply. “You see I plan to kidnap you over Christmas for a day, I had to ask her permission of course.”
“Of course.” I nodded.
It was a tradition dating back to our first year at Hogwarts, James kidnapping. For a single day over the holidays he would take me out, usually to Hogsmeade and we would sit in the Three Broom sticks and talk about everything that we could think of. Freddy would always moan how he was never invited.
I doubt that would happen this year.
Yet, James is known widely for his crazy plans. It could infact be a rouse and he will not turn up on the day, but trick Freddy and I in to doing so. He will then expect us to forgive and forget instantly and run of in to the snowy scene of a made up fairytale.
Dream on James. Dream on.
He’s a delusional sod.
I gave him a small disgruntled slap and smirked. “I’ve missed you Dix.” He said solemnly.
“What do you mean? I didn’t go anywhere.”
He pulled me in to the gap under his arm. “Not really, but you just haven’t been around as much. With you and Freddy not talking, and the-mighty-Fredster being my cousin and resident best man in the area, it just makes it hard. You avoid each other like the plague.”
“No we don’t,” I said, scrunching up my nose for the second time that evening. “We’re just going through a rough patch.”
He shook his head. “I think this one is big Dixie. You and Freddy always make up quickly; it been like, a month.”
“Actually,” I said with a sigh. “It’s been nearly a year.”
“A year?” He echoed. “Since wha – oh.”
I nodded. “Yeah. We’ve been friends. But he brought it up again the other week. It just made me remember how mortified I have felt all this time.”
James had been the only one that I had told; he was the first that I went to. James is my rock; without him, I would feel no need to persist in life…with Freddy being a dick and all.
“You know what,” he tried. “Forget it, actually forget it.” I rolled my eyes. “You know what we strapping lads do when we are in a rough patch such as yours, we go and sleep with someone else, make the girl jealous, or even just to forget about her. It’s a lads thing, girls must have an equivalent.” I smiled a little. “But of course, I don’t do that; I have Chris, I would never hurt her.”
I shook my head. “Of course you wouldn’t. But sometimes people can do things, stupid things…and everything else just falls apart.”
“Dixie,” James cooed sweetly and pulled me in tightly for a hug. “Look, Freddy and you are going through a rough patch, you’ll both find your feet soon enough.” I blinked. “I promise. But it will take time to heal, the wounds I mean. Freddy is a man-whore, it’s a fact. The description that I just gave you is the way that he deals with things. But you’re nothing of the sort.”
“I’m definitely not a man-whore.”
James jabbed me in the back playfully. “Don’t be cheeky; I’m trying to be helpful.” I rolled my eyes and gave him a small smile. He could always make the best of a dark situation. “You and Fred will work it out, but in your own way. Charisma and I did, our fight was massive last year. We made other people cry.” I snorted. “I believe we made you cry at a point.”
“I knew it,” I considered pulling out his guts, but then I remembered that I would miss him. He grinned. “Dixie. You’re the most forward person that I know. You’re sure of yourself, you are you. Don’t listen to Avery; he doesn’t know what he is saying. I love you, Freddy loves you. We all love you.”
He got up from the floor and left me down there, staring in to the fire.
“Oh and for the record,” he added. “Freddy does love glasses. You’re wrong.” James tilted the pair that he wore at this moment. “He always compliments me on mine – says I look, sexy and fetching.” He stuck his tongue out and gave me a twirl, catching the attention of the nearby Hufflepuff’s. “What do you think?”
“Fan-tabby-dough-zie,” I laughed, choking somewhat madly on air.
He made his way back down the stairs and towards the main party, he left me in Firewhisky. Sod. But he was right, about many things, I know what to do. I’ve always known.
Just once, just once I would like to see Freddy drop the cocky front that he puts on. I’ve known him long enough to know that behind the arrogant, teasing smirk he slaps on is somebody really quite serious. It’s intriguing to watch him when he defends his friends or people he doesn’t even know too well. It’s nice to see him care, when one of us it upset or the concern in his eyes last year when I got the flu.
I just wish that for once, without the boost from alcohol or a shouting match, he would drop his façade and give me the chance to see him for who he really is.
But it’s never going to happen. I know that.
I went back to the main room, walking over to the Strip-Monopoly table. “Drew?” I asked. He was now wearing his boxers and shirt with the tube socks, he had gained. I gave him a high five. “Good game. Have you seen Gabe?”
He shook his head. “Nah, sorry love. If I see him I’ll give him a shout.” I pouted a little, feeling put out. “Dixie-Pixie, you wanna play?”
“I’m going to sit this round out,” I said politely. “Maybe later.”
He winked; he knew the answer.
My response was predictably sarcastic, he merely sighed. I took this moment as my chance to find him. Gabriel was the one that I needed that this moment, I would find him. It took me only a few moments before I spotted his sandy blonde hair over by the bar.
“Gabe King!” I called. He turned around before spotting me and sending me a blinding grin. I scrunched my nose up impatiently. Third time.
He broke off his conversation with an abnormally pretty seventh year Ravenclaw, making her pout at him sadly as he walked away. It was followed with a glare towards me.
It was typical to Gabe to find that girl.
“D.P,” he cried pulling me in to a bear hug happily. Ignoring my protests he picked my feet up off of the floor in a rush to get me away from the crowd. “I can not say how glad I am that you found me. Any longer and am sure that she would have been murdering me with her tongue or something.”
I held back a graceful snort and grinned instead. “I just got cornered by Avery.”
“Wha-shit! No! Oi, you stop!” he grabbed the collar of a passing forth year. “Get this woman the strongest alcohol that you can find!”
I grabbed his collar in a similar way to the one that he had just experience, just before he raced off to the bar. “Woah – seriously, don’t.”
My voice was muted slightly by the music and again by his t-shirt, of which he was pressing my face in to annoyingly. “Gabe!” I shouted, muffled. “Gabe!” A slap against his chest. I resulted to a shove and straightened myself out once he had let go. He merely laughed. “I actually need to ask you something. Its okay if you say no-“
“No.” Insert ghastly life ending, child killing glare here. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I will do anything for you my little Pix.”
I had to result to an eye roll. “James told me that when boys get dumped, or their hearts broken, or anything of that variety.”
“We shag.” He finished. I pulled down subtly on the hem of my shorts, he didn’t notice. I looked at him expectantly. “No. Dixie, no.”
“But you said it yourself. You’d do anything for me.”
“But not that!” He gaped astonished. “Dixie, you’re actually my best friend, like the only one that have that I can trust. Because it wouldn’t mean anything, it would just be awkward. And you said it yourself; I can say no if I want to.” He shook his head. “I couldn’t do that to you Dixie.”
“Do what to me?”
“Well…” he said. “That. It’s odd. Plus, I’m damn good; I’d probably kill you with my awesomeness.”
I laughed. “Probably,” I gave a quick huff before plastering a smile on to my face. “Ahh well, it was worth a try. Bye Gabe, enjoy your time with the tongue murdering bint.”
“Wait!” he grasped hold on my arm and looked down to my wellies. He was used to me. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to go and find Avery.”
His eyes widened before he noticed my tiny smirk. It almost passed unnoticeable, but he saw it. “Oh, you’re not funny.”
“It was a little funny.”
He shook his head. “Not one bit.” I felt my nerves slip away as I knew that he was against it completely, he was Gabe; he wouldn’t do anything of the sort. It was known to the female population that he was a heartthrob; I have received many looks of hatred when I stand with Gabriel. However, I can never see to muster the energy to sneer back. I just hurt them later.
I sent him a sad smile. “I’m just going to go back to bed. I’ve had enough for one day.” I came back to my senses after one sickening rush of power. “I’m sorry I ever asked you, it was a horrible position to put you in.”
“You’re really hurting aren’t you?” his voice was soft, caring. Concerned.
I nodded. “I feel like I have this knife in my gut and it keeps twisting.” I felt my voice crack. My gaze was anywhere but to a direct person. “Every time I see him with another girl, it pushed in a little further.”
“Dixie, that’s horrible.”
“Yep. It really is.” I admitted truthfully. “But you see, the twist it; it ran out of handle a long time ago. It’s now pushing it the wood that you hold it with. It’s poking out the other side. My insides are all mushy.”
“Everyone’s insides are mushy, Dix.”
“Not as mushy as mine.”
He shook his head. “I don’t think that anyone’s are as mushy as yours.”
AN: Here it is, chapter eight. I hope you liked it. It was a little different than the others; Dixie takes a step back and listens rather than just shouting at her peers. I’m not sure if she will stay like that for long though.
I’m sorry about the disappointment that some felt with the last chapter. And to answer a question that is frequently asked, she isn’t going to fall for Avery, I’m afraid :P :D
I will update soon with the next chapter! What did you think of this one? Avery and Dixie? Dixie and Gabe? James’ (completely stupid) advice? The party?
The next chapter will be added to the queue shortly :)
“You’re a strong one Dixie, you hide what you really feel and then you dislike it when people find out your emotions. Something’s up, usually we figure it out ourselves, but this time we can’t.”
“When you’re angry your nostrils flare,” Drew explained. “When you’re sad, you don’t really speak. When you’re worried you are a little flakey, you tend to day dream a lot. But now you’re just…”
“You’re blank,” Charisma finished. “You seem to have lost that fire that we all hate so much.”
So there it was, a lovely little scene with Charisma and Drew. I thought it was about time that I threw them in somewhere. Plus, in the next chapter you meet the first of Dixie's brothers, Nick. :D
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