credit to flyaway @ tda for the gorgeous image!
I think I should make a list of things that I absolutely, completely, inarguably hate:
1. Pumpkin juice right after brushing my teeth
2. The feeling of sand in my clothes (something I often suffer whilst living by the seaside)
3. When Eilley is mad and plaits her hair
4. When Medwin goes into one of his moods that I can’t pull him out of for days
5. Madame Puddifoot’s (I should’ve listened to Uncle Harry)
I can’t even make a joke about how close I was to forcibly suffocating myself with all the frilly, pink lace that surrounded me. This was serious. This place was bringing me to the edge of my sanity. Plus, their lemon tea was much too sweet. I could practically feel the cavities making their way into my teeth; my beautiful, white, Veela teeth.
Okay, maybe I was being a bit dramatic, but I felt like I was being smothered in perfumes and my head was beginning to feel a little light causing me to experience this newfound insanity.
“Vous êtes très belle.” I said, eyes closed and a hand pressed firmly against my temple in an attempt to alleviate the pain in my head.
“Oh, merci.” Amelie giggled into her tea.
“Non.” I said, “Well, yes, you look nice, but that’s what you wanted to say to your grandmére, oui? ‘You are very beautiful’?”
“Oh, oui.” She set down her teacup and cleared her throat, “Vous êtes très belle.”
“Bon, bon.” I said, rubbing my temples and glancing out the window to my right. I spotted my cousins Rose and Lily strolling arm and arm down the lane, their flaming red hair bouncing and swirling around in the wind, and I yearned to be outside and walking with them instead of stuck inside this stuffy café.
“Is everything okay, Louis?” Amelie asked, reaching a hand out to place it comfortingly on my arm, but it just ending up being jarring on my nerves.
“Yeah, just—uh—I hate when Lee’s upset, you know?” I chewed the inside of my cheek and rapped my knuckles against the table, debating whether or not I should’ve even told her that.
“Hm, she seems a bit possessive of you, doesn’t she?” She said in a rather snide tone before taking another sip of her tea and brushing back some of her dark hair that I found myself comparing to Lee’s flaxen locks, “If I didn’t know any better I’d say she fancied you.”
“Wait—what? N-no, she couldn’t.” I spluttered, spitting up some of my tea in the process and earning a rather dirty look from a passing waitress, “That doesn’t even make sense. Eilley’s my best mate. No, no. Nuh-uh. Don’t say that. That’s just…étrange.”
“Okay, si vous le dites.” She rolled her eyes and instead of feeling slightly amused by the action, like when Eilley or Medwin—or even one of my sisters—rolled their eyes playfully at me, I felt a little irritated, “So, say that I wanted to say: Your broach is lovely—”
Eilley couldn’t fancy me, right? We’re mates. Mates secretly fancying mates was much too cliché for Eilley. She’d find it to be much too common or—I don’t know—predictable.
Mon Dieu, if my “condition”—as Medwin so affectionately referred to it—had an effect on her…I don’t even know what I’d do or say. Eilley was supposed to be the one girl that wouldn’t be affected by me; who could be my friend because she liked me and not just my face.
I was so sick of my genetics being the only important and central characteristic people noticed. I was sick of girls like Amelie tripping over their feet to spend the day with me (Okay, maybe I wasn’t that sick of it, but come on, I’m eighteen. Let me live a little.)
Victoire “embraced” the Veela within her, or at least that’s what she said.
Dominique ignored and let her loud humor overpower it. She would never let anyone only see her appearance.
And me, well, I’m clumsy and awkward. I’m tactless. I never say the right thing. Yet, strangers never seem to look past my face.
Maman said it was because male Veelas, or even male part-Veelas, were so rare.
Honestly, I just wanted to be normal.
“Louis? Louis?” Fingers were suddenly snapping obnoxiously and rapidly in front of my face, effectively interrupting my thought process, “Hello? Are you even listening to me?”
“Oh—yeah—sorry ‘bout that.” I shook my head and ran a hand through my hair, “You know what? I should probably get going so I can be back for one o’clock.”
“Really? Already?” She pouted and I had to physically stop myself from cringing.
“Yup, desolé.” I apologized, standing quickly and grabbing my jacket from the back of my chair, “We should—uh—do this again? Maybe? We’ll see?”
I raced out of there before she could reply and I didn’t look back.
And I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that what she said before—about Eilley being possessive of me—was ironic, because, if anything, I was possessive of Eilley.
This type of weather was my favorite: sort of chilly, but with the warm sun beating down. Everything, quite literally, came back to life in the spring and I’m not talking about in late April or May.
I’m talking about late March, an afternoon like this one; one of the early days of spring where everything is just starting to wake up. You can just begin to see green buds sprout from the trees, the grass is starting to regain some of its color, and, slowly, everybody’s layers and layers of clothing start to disappear.
I took in a deep breath as I made my way to the school’s entrance, the air stinging my nose in a rather unpleasant manner, and patches of snow still littering the grounds here and there.
Even though my future was clouded with uncertainty and anxiety, I still just wanted this year to be over and the signs of spring—the melting of the snow or Eilley’s floral skirts—were like a God-sent. I could almost physically feel a heaviness be lifted from my shoulders; the stressful, yet always enjoyable, fardeau that was Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry beginning to dissipate into thin air, gone as soon as it came.
I would, without a doubt, miss the days I spent there, but I felt like something was waiting for me outside its walls; something life-changing, something différent, some sort of all-consuming experience that would inevitably turn my world upside down, you know? So, I was crossing my fingers and crossing off the days until June where I could walk off these grounds with nothing holding me back.
But then there was this relief, this happiness, when I found out that Eilley would be in London with me and that perhaps, just maybe, she and Medwin would be there when my life did a one-eighty.
“You’re back already?” I didn’t even realize I was outside the Ravenclaw common room until my aforementioned female friend stepped out the door; she had her hair plaited and was wearing a large, gray sweater that I suspected was either mine or Medwin’s, “It’s only twelve. You’ve been gone for no more than an hour and a half. What happened?”
“Vraiment? Only an hour and a half? Ninety minutes?” I asked in disbelief, “It felt so…much…longer.”
Eilley unexpectedly smiled and grabbed hold of my sleeve, pulling me down the corridor.
“How was Madame Puddifoot’s?” She asked in a mockingly sweet tone. I groaned.
“It was horrible. Sweet mother of Merlin.” I sighed, “I’m so happy I managed to avoid that place up until now. Never again, Lee. Never again.”
“And how was Amelie?” She asked, this time in a tone that was less sardonic and lightly laced with worry.
“Well, thanks to you, I can’t help but imagine the whole spraying around the common room picture in my head whenever I speak to her,” I cringed noticeably, “and, believe it or not, it’s not really doing it for me.”
“Ugh, you’re disgusting.” She laughed as we paused on the staircase, waiting for it to stop shifting.
“Au contraire, you’re the disgusting one here.” I argued, “You planted the horrid image in my poor, innocent mind.”
“Oh please, you’re far from innocent, Weasley.”
“I’m…offended.” I gasped severely.
“You’re fraught with lies, my friend.” She waited a few seconds for me to reply before continuing, “No rebuttal?”
I lifted my fist beneath my chin and pretended to think hard on the matter.
“Eh, not worth it.” I shrugged. She rolled her eyes and I smiled, “So, where are you kidnapping me to?”
“The kitchens.” She chirped happily, leading the way to the basement after the stairs stopped moving, “I was going to get a snack when I ran into you.”
“And I spoiled your plans, yeah?”
“Pretty much.” She let out a fake, exasperated sigh, “Nothing new there.”
“It’s what I do.” I said as we reached the entrance to the kitchen, “Will you do the honors, m’lady?”
“Why of course, kind sir.” She curtsied and reached out and tickled the pear, the portrait swinging open to let us in, “After you, mone ah-me.”
“No, no. Ladies first.” I insisted.
“But you’re the pretty one.” She smiled, going in anyways.
“When compared to you? Impossible.” I laughed, making my way right behind her and tripping over my feet in my rush for food.
And everything just sort of fell into place; the curl behind her ear, the chill stuck in the fabric of my jacket, the way her laugh bounced off the walls, and the manner in which my hands always found an inch of her skin left untouched. It felt like when you finally get something right: passing an exam or riding a broom for the first time. It was a sense of accomplishment, spending time with Lee alone.
It’s just my body always felt so disjointed and loose; too tall and too thin. It was like wearing a jumper two sizes too big and the sleeves would go past your hands, always being pushed up to your elbows only to fall back again, getting in the way. I constantly felt excessively long, never really knowing what to do with the endless amounts of me and just ended up a fumbling, tripping mess; all sharp angles and awkward movements.
But then something warm and incredibly homey would come over me: the soft skin of Eilley’s palm as it cradled the side of my face for the briefest of moments, the smell of bouillabaisse, or the way Medwin would scoff at a typo in a book in that delightfully pretentious way of his. And everything would seem okay for the shortest span of time. I would feel proportional, in body and mind. My sharp angles would turn soft and my movements would become stable. I would feel normal and everything would fall into place.
“How much food do you think we can eat before Medwin finds us?” Eilley asked as she sat down at one of the wooden tables a House-elf conjured for us while they pattered around the kitchen, squeaking out greetings, compliments, and exclamations of: ‘Look, it’s a Wheezy!’
“I say enough to feed a small country.” I announced, taking a seat across from her, “Then, when we’re done, enough for said small country’s army.”
“Sounds like a plan!” She laughed, taking her hair out of the plait it was in.
That’s when I knew she wasn’t angry with me, at least not anymore.
Amelie’s words played through my mind and I mulled them over as I watched Eilley politely ask a House-elf for a plate of cream cakes for us and a lemon tea for me (“Only two sugars, please. No more than that.” She said) and a tiny part of me began to think that it wouldn’t be so bad (but a disaster, at the same time) having Eilley, honestly the loveliest person to have ever existed—at least in my humble opinion—fancy me. And it seemed so out-there, so—well—impossible, that I couldn’t help but kind of wish it were true.
See, my fascination with Eilley was almost like my fascination with the stars. I like to look at them from afar, but I couldn’t ever dream of getting any closer. So, I settle with a telescope and a chart; monitoring their ways as a friend, a peer, a classmate. I could never get on a rocket, like those Muggle astronauts, and mosey around space, making myself comfortable, because that’s not how it worked. That’s not how I worked.
I’m a mere observer and she was a celestial, impossible, and such an incredibly—well—charmant person who deserved people in her life that didn’t have the almost-cruel ability to manipulate her with their looks, their aura, their almost tangible inhuman-like presence.
But I was too selfish to ever give up something as incomprehensible and unattainable as Eilley Byrne. She was the cluster of yellow constellations on a black backdrop of sky, the thing I wanted to spend my life studying and try so damn hard to understand.
She was my best mate, my partner-in-crime, and I needed her, but I don’t think she needed me.
“Who has been tracking the moon on their lunar charts?” Professor Sinastra inquired the following Monday in her usual grating voice.
Eilley’s, mine, and the rest of the Ravenclaw’s hands shot up into the air almost immediately, while the Slytherins, who we had Astronomy with, slowly and wearily lifted theirs.
“Good, good.” Our Professor nodded, “So, I can assume that you’ve noticed something heading our way. Hmm…Mister Potter?”
My cousin Albus lifted his head from where it was laying in his textbook, looking thoroughly dazed; his green and silver tie askew.
“Mm-hm?” He responded, eyes half closed.
“Can you please tell me what you’ve noticed on your lunar chart?” She asked, pacing and looking out the window.
“Oh—er…” Albus turned towards me then, a desperate look on his face, and his impossibly-green eyes widened to twice their size.
“Eclipse.” I mouthed silently.
“A lunar eclipse, Professor.” Albus said, turning towards our teacher with a smirk on his face. Sinastra glanced away from the window to narrow her eyes suspiciously at him before continuing with her pacing. My cousin faced me and gave me a quick thumbs up before dropping his head back onto his textbook.
“Five points to Slytherin and when will this eclipse occur…Miss Byrne?”
“June the fifth, Professor.” Eilley answered without delay.
“Right on the dot! Five points to Ravenclaw.” Professor Sinastra smiled, her wrinkles deepening, “So, for the next few months you will all be pairing up into partners and be alloted certain days of the week when you’ll be allowed to use the Astronomy Tower to track the moon’s movements and other changes you’ll see in the sky.”
She took a deep, exaggerated breath before continuing.
“On the actual night of the eclipse I will assign everybody different locations in the school where you will witness the event. Only one lucky pair will get the Tower for that night.”
She discretely winked in Eilley’s direction.
Talk about favoritism.
“I will want journal entries of your observations and calculations.” She announced, “This is your end-of-term project and the last one you will ever have to complete in my class, so I expect impeccable work. Am I clear?”
“Yes, Professor.” The whole room chorused (minus Albus who was drooling on a picture of a nebula), “Good. Class dismissed.”
The Ravenclaw half of the class erupted into excited conversations, animatedly discussing how they would set up their journals or how detailed their charts would be. The Slytherin half unsteadily pushed themselves from their seats.
I watched Scorpius Malfoy roughly nudge Albus in an attempt to wake my cousin up. Albus swiftly tumbled to the floor, shouting something that I knew for a fact Aunt Ginny would pop a blood vessel over if she had heard.
“Potter! Detention!” Professor Sinastra screeched and Albus just stared at her confusedly, eyes glazed over, while Scorpius cackled as he ran for the door.
“Partners?” Eilley asked as she began to pack up her things, her dark blue eyes looking almost anxious about my answer.
“Why of course.” I winked, a crooked smile on my face, ruffling her hair a bit and smelling the strawberry shampoo she’d been using since fourth year, “Now let’s go find that ever-elusive mate of ours, Winnie, and harass him a bit. You know, for laughs.”
“Aw, you’re so pleasant.” Eilley laughed, skipping ahead of me out into the hall.
“I can’t help but exude charisma!” I smiled, catching up to her and grabbing hold of her bag, slinging it over my shoulder, and sighing significantly, “It’s the Veela in me.”
“Of course.” She grinned and suddenly, inexplicably, I felt my orbit shift.
I unexpectedly found a new path around Eilley: her wide smile, her golden hair, and her inclination to quote obscure Muggle songs and famous authors.
And I wondered when she suddenly became the epicenter of my universe and why I didn’t really mind.
A/N: Yay! Chapter three! What do you think? A small, little, miniscule introduction to Albus and Scorpius (they'll be featured more frequently--hopefully!) Please review!!!
Chapter title is a song by Noah and the Whale
Vous etes tres belle - you are very beautiful
grandmere - grandmother
Bon, bon - good, good
etrange - strange
si vous le dites - if you say
Maman - mother
desole - sorry
fardeau - burden
vraiment - really
Au contraire - on the contrary
Mone ah-me (mon ami) - my friend
charmant - lovely/charming
Next chapter is called Some Constellation!
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