Rain fell lightly the morning that we went to Hogsmead. The October air was damp and dark as we entered the quiet little town. The earth beneath my feet was still soft and puddled where we walked. It wasn’t pouring but everyone tried to stay indoors or covered as they bustled about. As usual Krissy, Ally, Hollie, and I teamed up and explored a few of our favorite spots. Honeydukes had new toffees this month and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them. Krissy almost bought the whole lot but controlled herself in front of the 3rd years, whom were on their first outing. Ally wanted to stop by the quidditch shop to pick up some new gloves and I needed to buy a new broom tending kit before the match. It was all very hectic but fun in our usual way until my stomach started to growl intensely. We ended up in Hogshead to have a late lunch and a couple of butterbeers. Most of the upperclassmen where already there or were about to brave the weather again. Seamus, Dean, and Neville were at the bar having a rousing conversation about dragons and a few other house mates were snogging in the corner as we walked to our usual table.
“Hello ladies!” Seamus said happily as we passed them casually. “Want to join us?”
“Not today boys.” Krissy said easily before we started sitting down. The waiter came to us immediately and took our orders before we got lost in conversations about school, quidditch, and parties. “I can’t wait for the Halloween party!”
“It’ll be a nice break after that Charms exam.” Ally sighed heavily as I nodded.
“I’m just ready for a party.” I laughed to myself as the waiter brought our drinks.
“You’re always ready for a party!” Hollie joked as I raised my eyebrows at her.
“I know that I’m not the only one who enjoys a good party.” I grinned as they teased me. As we laughed together I couldn’t help but notice a group of Slytherin guys come into the tavern. That’s when I noticed my brother with his wide grin and his haughty fake laugh. He didn’t seem to notice me as his group was led by Draco Malfoy. His icy blue stare scanned the room as they went to a booth in a dark corner. I turned my attention back to the girls as I realized they were gossiping.
“Ron is just so different this year!” Hollie drolled on as Ally made a barfing noise. “Oh Ally really?”
“He’s a weasel!” Ally spat.
“But his arms are just so strong and muscular!”
“And his hair is as red as a clown!” Ally teased again as Hollie ignored her.
“His freckles are so cute when he smiles!”
“He’s a big baboon!” Ally began to mock a monkey and Hollie nudged her roughly.
“Honestly Ally, I’m not sitting here teasing you about Ace!” She retorted and Ally blushed uncontrollably. Krissy and I opened our mouths and gawked at Ally as she blushed even more.
“Sam Ace?” I choked back a laugh as she sputtered out random mumbles of nothing. We all laughed together loudly and Ally eventually blushed herself right to the bathroom. Krissy sipped on her drink soaking in all the gossip as Hollie spilled the beans about them. However, I kept finding myself glancing over to Draco and my brother…but mostly Draco. His blonde hair was styled differently, instead of slicking it back it was more natural and stylish. He would run his hand through it casually when he would laugh. He definitely bulked up this year, his bulging arm muscles and chest were silhouetted against his long sleeve shirt. All of sudden he looked over to me. I felt goosebumps up my back as if his icy stare was casting a charm on me.
“Who had the Brew Burger with the spuds?”
“I did.” I said quickly.
“Hungry?” The waiter joked as I faked a smile. He passed our food out and everyone began to eat…until Krissy opened her big, gossiping mouth.
“I know you don’t like me saying it, but Harry certainly looks good this year.” Krissy admitted as I rolled my eyes heavily. “He’s not wearing his glasses much…”
“Sometimes I sneak into the stands to watch him take his shirt off.” Hollie said dreamily as we all looked at her shocked. “Sometimes...I mean I’m already there for practice, so…”
“Stop it.” I nearly choked at her statement and she shot me a serious face.
“I’m sorry Charlotte, but he’s sex-” I literally gagged on my dinner as Krissy started to laugh.
“Please…not while I’m eating!” I begged.
“That smile is always so charming.” Krissy went on as I finished my food quickly.
“It’s those emerald eyes that get me. They’re mysterious yet so-”
“I’ve heard enough.” I broke away from the girls immediately to get some fresh air, but mostly to stop hearing about Potter. I don’t even think they noticed me leaving as I heard their conversation continuing on. I went to the bar where Seamus and Dean were a few moments ago, but they had left. I ordered a stronger drink and waited as I felt someone sit next to me slyly.
“Malfoy.” I said darkly as I felt his icy presence.
“Goodwin.” His voice sent shivers up my arm as I acted casually. “Nice outing?”
“If you like dull and dreary.” I said matter of factly as I was finally handed my drink.
“My favorite kind of day.” I heard the underlying sarcasm in his voice and it made me laugh.
“How did I know that’s what you were going to say?” He chuckled handsomely at me as I smiled to myself. “I see that old habits are hard to break.” I turned slightly and noticed him staring.
“Can’t help it sometimes.” He cleared his throat as I turned in my chair to meet his gaze. “Your hair is longer.” I felt one of my fingers begin to twirl a piece of my hair suddenly.
“My mother’s hair was…” I stopped myself as my eyes flickered away from his. “I-”
“I like it.” He said simply as I quieted myself. I felt his stare on me again as I fidgeted slightly.
“So…how is everything with you?” I let my gaze flicker up to his as he seemed to be studying me. “School? I’m positive that you’re having a much better year than I am-”
“I’m sorry. About your mother.” Our eyes met seriously and I felt my heart stop suddenly.
“I-I…” I stammered.
“I hate to bring it up, I know it must be painful. But you seem-”
“No-I mean-not that…thank you.” I said fumbling with myself and he seemed to notice me even more. I ran my hand through my hair and bit down on my bottom lip nervously. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I-”
“I didn’t mean to upset you.” His eyes saddened as I felt my heart begin to pound even harder against my chest. “I only meant to give you my deepest sincerity. Your mother was a great witch and contributed a lot to our community and especially to my mother in her time of need. I would hate myself if I didn’t express my regrets to you.”
“I’m not upset. It’s not that.” I folded my arms on the table and he watched me intensely. “I guess…I haven't really talked about her much since I’ve come to Hogwarts.”
"Understandable, I'm sure it's painful to talk about." He said calmly as I shrugged.
“It is...but my friends haven't even asked about her...or how I'm dealing with it.” We were quiet for a few moments before he answered me again.
“People are afraid of death, sometimes it’s best they avoid the whole conversation in general.” His honesty quieted me and he sensed my sudden sadness. "I'm sure they are trying their best to keep you happy and your mind off of it."
“I’m sorry...I didn’t mean to-” I paused as I felt our eyes meet again. “I guess I just miss her.”
“I’ve missed you.” His icy blue stare made me shiver again as I swallowed hard.
“Likewise.” I smiled at him as I watched my girlfriends start to leave the restaurant. “But we shouldn’t dwindle on the past. I’ve heard Astoria is really kind and-”
“Indeed she is.” He said rather shortly. “But sometimes I wonder if things had ended up differently-”
“Me too.” I hesitated as we both casually turned away from each other. Before I stood to catch up with the girls I felt Draco’s hand take mine secretly and he kissed it sincerely.
“Old habits are…hard to break.” I blushed before escaping him and the restaurant. I could feel Draco’s lips on my hand the entire time I searched the street for my friends. They were not far as I walked quickly to catch the tail end of Krissy’s conversation about the Halloween party in the Great Hall.
“-so don’t forget this year’s theme is toga!” She squealed excitedly as Ally groaned.
“It’s this weekend?” Hollie asked in a panicked tone.
“No, it’s next weekend…” Krissy said quickly.
“The game is this weekend!” Ally said brightly and I groaned loudly.
“Don’t remind me.” I said hearing Potter's scolding voice ring through my ears.
“I guess I’ll just use my bedsheet.” Hollie said unrelated to quidditch.
“I told you to get your outfit with us today!” Krissy sighed disappointed as we caught a carriage ride back to the castle.
“I don’t see what the big deal is.” Ally said bluntly.
“I wanted us to look like we at least care…I mean...I’m the head of the young wizards’ socialite committee and you three are my best friends. I half-hoped you would give your costumes a little more thought-”
“Calm down Krissy. They’ll still look good, I mean…we don’t all have to match. We care.” I said quickly trying to diffuse the tension. The carriage came to a stop and the others climbed out quickly.
“This is important to me.” Krissy continued to whine.
“We know.” We all said in unison.
“I’ll see you ladies tomorrow at breakfast!” Hollie waved before departing with us to catch up with a few of her housemates. That’s when I saw my brother and Gabe strolling behind a group of Ravenclaws. He noticed me and beckoned me to come to him.
“I’ll catch up with you in the dorm.” I said casually to the girls before heading in their direction. Jasper smiled at me and I smiled back before hugging him sisterly.
“I saw you earlier, but I was hungry.” He admitted and I laughed at him.
“I saw you earlier, but I hate you.” Gabe joked before pulling me into a hug.
“Are you both going to the Halloween party?” I asked lightly as Gabe snickered to himself.
“Not if you’re going.” He said before winking at me.
“Depends how I feel.” Jasper said darkly before lowering his voice. “What’s the theme?”
“Toga. I think that’s what Krissy said.”
“Is Krissy going?” Jasper asked quickly but then tried to play it off with a…“I mean, I don’t care if she is. It’s not like-”
“She definitely is. She’s the head of the committee that’s putting the party on!” I laughed at him and he started to blush.
“By the way…I overheard Potter’s conversation with you the other day. Has he been giving you trouble-” He cleared his throat as I felt tense.
“No-I mean-NO!” I said quickly glaring at Gabe. He looked away from me before pretending he needed to leave us.
"Oh I think Malfoy is calling for me." He said cowardly as I rolled my eyes at him.
“So he has then?” Jasper asked meeting my eye as Gabe disappeared into the crowd coming back from Hogsmead.
“Absolutely not.” I said defensively as Jasper's dark eyes then scanned the crowd. “JASPER.”
“CHARLIE.” He mocked before reassuring me with a grin. “If he is still giving you shit by next week I’m nailing his catching hand to the keeper post.” He threatened as I crossed my arms.
“So you’re only giving me a week?” I joked as he chuckled mischievously.
“You’re lucky it wasn’t two days.” I listened to his laugh subside before he looked at me seriously. “Listen the sodding prick wants to get in your head, just don’t let him psyche you out-”
“I won’t!” I smiled to myself realizing that in his own way he finally told me how proud he was of me. “He won’t, I’ve got it under control.”
“We’ll see.” I met his brotherly glare before he disappeared into the crowd. "Shadow hide you sister."
“Shadow hide you brother.”
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