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A/N: Disclaimer: JKR owns harry potter :)

 

 








 

  Fred Weasley and Cameron Mitchell

This very macho chapter image was made by aphrodite@tda

 








"Your brother's an idiot."

 

Ah, it wouldn't be a typical hogwarts dinner without receiving the usual number of complaints about my brother.

 

It's not like I can do anything about it. People expect me to wave my wand and all of a sudden Mark will turn into a polite, mature, well-mannered 15 year old. It seems a mystery to everyone why he acts like such an imbecile.

 

He's a 15 year old boy. Case closed.

 

Lily, James and Albus's younger sister, plonks herself down beside me at the dinner table.

 

"I'm sorry," I say cheerfully, "The Mark Wood complaint asociation is temporarily unavailable. Please try again soon."

 

"Stella," Lily says warningly, "We need to talk about your brother."

 

"I don't know who you're referring to," I utter casually, "I don't have a brother."

 

Lily raises her eyebrows at me.

 

"You know? Mark? About my height, dark hair? Always smirking? Complete gitface?"

 

I feign remembrance, "Oh, that brother! I still swear he's adopted. I mean, how could something that stupid be related to someone as awesome as me."

 

This comment makes eyebrows raise along the table. Rose snorts into her cereal.

 

I have mean friends.

 

"What did he do now?" I ask Lily in boredom.

 

My brother, charming young fourth year that he is, has a huge crush on Lily. 

 

This doesn't surprise me. Lily's beautiful, with her long red hair, brown eyes, and fiery personality. These qualities are bound to provoke love-struck feelings in teenage boys.

 

Unfortunately my brother lacks the ability to express said feelings. Instead he decides that he's going to make her life miserable.

 

My brother sure knows how to get with the ladies.

 

All the while I've been thinking, Lily's been ranting about what my (cough) adopted (cough) brother did to her. I haven't been listening to a single world, just nodding along.

 

Don't blame me. I'm sick of hearing Mark did this...Mark did that... And it's not just Lily. Teachers seem to think that I'm somehow responsible for him.

 

 

"Miss Wood, your brother-"

 

"I'm sorry. The Mark Wood complaint association is temporarily unavailable. Please try again soon."

 

"Excuse me?"

 

"Oh! Whoops! Sorry, professor McGonagall, thought you were Lily Potter!"

 

"And what would give you that idea?"

 

"Well, you just look so...youthful, professor! Really, I would have thought you were a...fifteen year old girl!"

 

"A what-year-old girl?"

 

"A fifteen-Never mind, that's creepy."

 

"Detention Miss Wood, along with your brother."

 

 

Yeah, me and McGonagall have good times together.

 

"Isn't that such a horrible thing to do to someone?" Lily asks me. 

 

Rose and Lexie both look horrified.

 

"Um...yeah," I say nervously, "My brother's such an arse."

 

"So what do you think I should do about it?" she asks me.

 

Shit. 

 

So Professor McGonagall had a point when she said I should listen up more.

 

"Why me?" I squeak, "Why are you asking me?"

 

"He's your brother!"

 

Oh. Okay, think, think. 

 

THINK, GODAMNIT!

 

"Um, Pumkin Juice?"

 

Why brain? Why?

 

What did I ever do to you?

 

"What?" Lily asks me, staring at me like I'm a lunatic.

 

"Pumkin juice comforts the soul?" I offer, "Everything tastes better with pumkin juice."

 

Lily shakes her head.

 

"I give up, you're too weird."

 

She bites into some toast, but then swallows hard to ask me something else.

 

"Speaking of annoying, idiotic brothers, what did you do to mine?"

 

I frown at her. Rose and Lexie lean in, looking interested.

 

"Which brother are you talking about?" I ask her.

 

"James of course," she says, "Just the other day, I asked him if he was planning on holding new keeper tryouts, now you're no longer on the team. And he said : 'I don't need to hold tryouts because we've already got a keeper.' So I said: 'Oh is Stella back on the team?' and then he said: 'Whatever.' "

 

She stared at me, like I was supposed to have some sort of explanation for his 'bizarre' behavior.

 

"So?" I ask slowly.

 

She sigh exasperatedly, "So what did you do to make him so angry?"

 

"Nothing." I say, "I don't know why he said that."

 

Lily sighs again.

 

"See you later then," she smiles, "Tell your brother that the next time he brings dungbombs to potions class he should be prepared to meet some serious crucio-ing."

 

Merlin, what did my brother do? See, this is what happens when you don't listen.

 

Lily walks away, and immediately Rose and Lexie lean even further forward, looking very serious.

 

"Spill," Rose says, staring me down.

 

I glance at them nervously.

 

"In my defense, he was acting like an escaped mental patient," I stammer, "He just came into our dormitory and started ranting about how I hadn't really quit, and how he knew how badly I wanted to be back on the team."

 

Rose smiles and waggles her eyebrows seductively.

 

I would expect her to be a bit more concerned about the state of her cousin's mental health, which is clearly deteriorating rapidly.

 

"And?" she urges me to go on. 

 

"And we had a tug of war over a quill," I mutter.

 

Lexie raises an eyebrow questioningly.

 

"Well, Al came up with this idea..." I murmured, trying to explain the concept of Al's supposedly 'genius' plan,  "He said that I should start standing up to James. Mabe if I started arguing back, he wouldn't think that every girl is madly in love with him."

 

"Ahem," Lexie points out, "Isn't that a little hypocritical? You are in love with him."

 

"Yes," I admit, "That's what I said. But even so I really enjoyed bruising his ego yesterday."

 

Rose just continues to look happy.

 

"You are so meant to be," she sighs happily.

 

I stare at her. So does Lexie.

 

Rose would normally tell me that's what her idiot cousin deserved. Now she's going all lovey-dovey on us?

 

It must be the magazines. I need to get rid of them as fast as possible. This new Rose is freaking me out too much.

 

"She's hardly doodling Mrs. Stella Potter on her binder," Lexie snorts.

 

Yeah, thank Merlin I haven't sunk that low yet. I mean, I'm in love, I'm not crazy. 

 

No! Really! I'm actually not mad.

 

Don't listen to what Rose tells you. 

 

...

 

Well maybe I am just a little bit.

 

 

*      *       *

 

 

"Oi, Stella!"

 

I turn around in the corridor. Fred approaches me, looking unusually serious.

 

"What's up Freddie?" I ask him worriedly.

 

"I need your help," he says, "Are you on your way to the library?"

 

"Yes," I answer nervously, "Fred, what's going on?"

 

"Not here," Fred mutters.

 

Now I'm beginning to get scared.

 

"It's about James," he murmurs urgently.

 

Oh god, what if he's hurt himself? What if he's dead? What the hell would I do then? I mean, I'd have no one to stare at, no one to yell at, no one to be angry at!

 

"What's wrong with James?" I hiss.

 

Fred takes me shaprly by the wrist and drags me along the corridor.

 

"Right," he says, once we're alone, "I really need your help."

 

"With what?" I ask him frustratedly, "What's going on Fred? What's wrong with James?"

 

He takes a deep breath.

 

"Should I...use a fever fudge potion or a puking pastille potion in Professor Wilde's drink?"

 

I stare at him for a minute. He still looks completely serious. Cleary to him, this isn't a joke.

 

"What?" I whisper incredulously.

 

"We have decided to spike Wilde's drink at dinner tonight," he says slowly, "It's really important that we choose the right thing to spike it with."

 

Dear Merlin.

 

There are no words.

 

"You're serious?" I ask him.

 

"Absolutely," he frowns, "I'm not laughing, am I?"

 

"And what exactly does James have to do with this?"

 

"Well he's in on the prank, of course!"

 

Of course.

 

"The fact that you take your pranks on the teachers as seriously as your NEWT preparation makes me genuinely afraid," I mutter.

 

"Just pick one!" he cries.

 

"Fever fudge," I mutter tiredly.

 

"Thanks Stel, you're the best," he grins, going from anxious to relaxed in the space of two seconds, "So now will you tell me what went down between you and James?"

 

I stare at him, "How do you know about that?" 

 

"I thought the point was that I still know nothing about it. Yet," he says, nudging me, "Did you snog?"

 

I stop in my tracks, gaping at him once again.

 

"What? NO!"

 

Sadly I wish the answer was yes.

 

"That would be...that would be..."

 

Amazing?

 

Mindblowing?

 

"Horrible!"

 

Fred gives me a knowing look, "Don't give me that Stel, I can read you like a book. You like James and you always have."

 

Damn Freddie, always so observant.

 

...When he wants to be.

 

I don't answer, just open and close my mouth in a series of shocked and abashed doubletakes. Freddie doesn't buy it.

 

"Look, despite what my dear sister Roxy will tell you, I'm not thick. I've seen the way you look at dear Jamesie. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that you like him."

 

I sigh, finally giving up the pretence.

 

"And...how does he look at me?" I ask hopefully.

 

Freddie sighs, smiling kindly, and puts a hand on my shoulder.

 

"He hates you Stel, there's no doubt about that."

 

Oh.

 

"Well then why did you assume you snogged?" I retort angrily.

 

"I snog girls I hate all the time," he says, frowning at me as though it's obvious, "And girls who hate me."

 

I raise an eyebrow skeptically, "Why?"

 

"Dunno," he shrugs happily, "It's that whole sexual tension thing. Plus what can I say? I'm a chick magnet."

 

...I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

 

"So you think that James would randomly start snogging me?"

 

Freddie nods eagerly.

 

I honestly fear for the female population of Hogwarts, if this is what they're attracted to. A pig headed man child with the brains of a giant squid and the emotional maturity of a baby flobberworm.

 

Which is apparently mind-blowingly sexy.

 

Well, according to Annalisa Taylor, a bimbo who shares our dormitory, who's also one of Fred's snog buddies.

 

"Freddie, don't you ever wake up and wonder what you're doing with your life? Don't you ever want to settle down?"

 

He frowns at me, "Settle down?" he repeats it as though it's in a foreign language.

 

"You know?" I smile encouragingly, "Find a girl who likes you for you, and all that shit? Don't you ever wake up in the morning and think about the consequences of your actions?"

 

He laughs.

 

"Stel," he puts an arm around me condescendingly, "When I wake up in the morning there's usually someone in bed with me, so no, in answer to your question, I do not think about the consequences of my actions."

 

He chuckles when he sees the revolted look on my face.

 

"You disgust me," I mutter, shaking his arm off me.

 

He laughs again, but then he looks serious.

 

"But seriously Stel, what happened?"

 

I sighed, "We argued over whether I was still on the team or not," I said.

 

Fred looks significantly more depressed, "That's it?"

 

I shrug non chalently, "Yep."

 

"Not even one, tincy, incy little snog?"

 

"For the last time Freddie, no, we did not song," I snap, "Now stop asking me, it's getting weird."

 

"Look," he sighs, "I'm just concerned. You're my friend Stella. I care about you."

 

I gaze up at him fondly, "That was sweet Fred."

 

He takes him arm abruptly off my shoulder, flexes his muscles and grunts a few times in what's supposed to be a manly way.

 

"Whatever," he says, "It was manly, that's what it was."

 

"No really," I chuckle, "You're such a great friend. You always understand me. I can talk to you about anything."

 

"Okay, stop," he says, "I'm manly. Manly men don't talk. We grunt, lift weights and chop down trees."

 

I grin evilly at him.

 

"You can tell me your problems and shit," he mutters, "Just don't start telling me all that personal, emotional baggage you girls carry around."

 

"And you think guys don't have personal emotional baggage?" I raise my eyebrows.

 

"Of course we do," Fred snaps, "We just keep it all bottled up inside like normal people."

 

"Yes that does sound like a healthy lifestyle."

 

"My overall point is that, again, despite what Roxanne will tell you, I am not female. Tell me if you and James snog. Any other feelings, emotional traumas etc. are off limits to a stud muffin like me. Clear?"

 

"Why would you want to know if James and I snogged?" I ask, "That's a little weird, considering he's your cousin."

 

"Well I would need something to blackmail him with."

 

"Ah. I see."

 

He flashes me one last cocky grin before leaving.

 

"See you around Stella," he calls over his shoulder.

 

"See you, stud muffin."

 

"You'd better believe it."

 

"I don't."

 

"Oh, go and read your book in the library, nerd."

 

"Oh, go and shag someone, slut."

 

"Don't mind if I do."

 

Ugh.

 

I hate boys.

 

I storm off huffily into the library and sit down at a table. Something catches my eye however. 

 

It's Lexie, sitting beside someone who's been concealed by a bookshelf. She's laughing, her hair let loose down her back.

 

Lexie never lets her hair down. 

 

I peer around the corner to see who she's sitting with and almost fall off my chair in surprise.

 

It's Cameron.

 

Lexie's got a book open in front of him, one hand on his as she shows him how to perform a charm. 

 

So that's the guy she's tutoring. 

 

I mean the 'Cameron needing tutoring' part makes a fair amount of sense. He's not the brightest crayon in the colouring box. But the way Lexie's blushing makes no sense at all. 

 


*                     *                     *

 

Two hours later Lexie's apparently had enough of laughing like a hyena at Cameron's so called 'jokes'. 

 

They pack up and Cameron lumbers off. Lexie steals an appreciative glance at his arse. Classy.

 

She picks up her bag and makes her way out of the library. I follow her eagerly.

 

"Hey Lex!"

 

She jumps at the sound of my voice and then laughs nervously.

 

"Stella, didn't see you there!"

 

I nod awkwardly and we fall into step beside each other.

 

"Were you in the library?" she asks me touchily, "Just now? Because I didn't see-"

 

"Since when are you all goo-goo eyes for Cameron?" I interrupt her, because I refuse to beat around the bush.

 

She blushes furiously and starts muttering that she doesn't have any idea what I'm talking about.

 

"Is that who you were making yourself all pretty for the other day?" I ask her, "Cameron?"

 

My voice says his name with a mixture of disbelief and disgust. I mean, Cameron? Really? Really?

 

"I mean, geez Lex, of all the guys you could have gone for, Cameron is definitely the worst."

 

"Shh," she hisses at me, as my voice gets louder, "There are people around!"

 

We've reached the portrait hole. Lexie mutters the password and begins to drag me up to our dormitory with a tight, fierce grip on my wrist.

 

Once we're safely in the dormitory she sits me down on the bed.

 

"It's just a little crush," she says, "Nothing serious."

 

"But....but....Cameron?" I repeat desperately, "Why?"

 

"He asked me for help with charms. So I've been tutoring him."

 

"And checking him out while you do it," I add unhelpfully.

 

She glares at me, "I just happen to think he's good looking," she says.

 

I stare at her very seriously, "Lex, you do realise that Cameron flirts with Rose every time he sees her? And he's shagged basically every girl with the brains of a peanut."

 

She nods, "I know he's a pig. But when I'm tutoring him...he's really...sweet, and so funny."

 

Her facial expression changes to a dreamy gaze. I stand up and slap her on the arm.

 

"You do like him!" I shriek

 

She clasps both hands immediately over my mouth as the door opens. Rose is standing there, looking from me to Lexie curiously.

 

"What's going on?" she asks.

 

"Nothing," Lexie eyes me meaningfully. Rose takes that as a reasonable answer.

 

She walks into the room, but when her back is turned Lexie pretends to zip her mouth shut to me. Then she pretends to slit her own throat.

 

I know what that means.

 

It means, if you tell anyone, you die bitch.

 

 

*     *      *

 

 

"So?"

 

I look up to see James. Immediately my heart starts clanging noisily against my ribs.

 

I start smiling dreamily at him, but then I mentally slap myself. I'm supposed to hate him.

 

"So what?" I snap, trying to make my voice convincingly hostile.

 

He sits down in the arm chair next to mine.

 

"Have you realised that you didn't really quit yet?"

 

It's a wonder he can't hear my heart it's beating so loudly.

 

"Hmmm," I pause, "No."

 

"Wood, all this indecisiveness is really pissing me off."

 

I glare at him.

 

"I'm not being indecisive, it's you with the problem! For the last time, I hate quidditch. I quit. Capiche?"

 

He rolls his eyes and smirks at me. The smirk sends a shiver down my spine, but it still manages to send a hot flush of anger over my face.

 

"Look, Wood," he sighs, leaning back in his chair, "If that's really the way you want it, I'll hold tryouts for a new keeper."

 

"Good."

 

He glares at me, "Good!"

 

"Fine."

 

"You'll be sorry."

 

"Okay," I snap, finally losing my temper, "You know what? I have no idea what your problem is! When I'm on the team you tell me I shouldn't be on the team! Now I've done what you've asked, you take to stalking me, begging me to come back. Would you please, please make up your bloody mind, you supercilious git?"

 

"Now now," says Cameron, sitting down beside me, "Let's not use ugly words."

 

"Shut it," I snap angrily at him

 

"Fine Wood," James sighs. The smirk is gone, and now he just looks angry, "I'll hold tryouts. You'll never have to play that horrible, scary sport again. I don't even know why I even bothered to stop you from quitting. You always were a waste of space on that team. I can't deal with having a whining princess who hates the sport no one's forcing her to play. You're off the team for good."

 

"Why?" I ask, managing to spit out the question I've been wanting to ask ever since I met him.

 

"Because you blood hate quidditch!" he says scornfully, "What is the point if you hate it? You ruin the whole morale of the team! You quitting is probably the best thing that has ever happened to us, now I think of it.."

 

"No, I mean, why me?" I snap, finally letting my anger boil over, "Why do you hate me so much? Do you really love your precious quidditch team so much that you always insist on making me feel like crap?"

 

He stares at me for a moment while I sit there, slightly breathless. Wow, I can't believe I just did that. I've finally stood up for myself. 

 

"She has a point," mutters Fred, taking a chair beside Cameron, and pulling out a pack of exploding snap cards, "You do love that quidditch team too much."

 

"Yeah, really mate," adds Cameron, "You need to get out more."

 

I'm waiting for him to fall to his knees and beg my eternal forgiveness, but he seems stunned.

 

I still feel out of breath, and the look on his face makes me wish that I had never opened my mouth.

 

Oh god, he's never going to speak to me again. He'll spend the rest of his life avoiding me. I'll never see those amazing hazel eyes, or watch him run laps again.

 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

 

Woah, woah, control yourself Stella.

 

God, one minute I'm yelling at him, the next I'm fantasizing about him.

 

I really do have issues.

 

"I like my team Wood," he says, giving me a withering look, "I care about my team. And you're right, we shouldn't have a keeper who doesn't give a crap."

 

"I'm glad you think so," I say scornfully, getting up, "I hope you and your quidditch team are very happy together."

 

"Have a nice life," he shoots me an extremely scathing look, and then starts dealing the exploding snap cards.

 

Unable to come up with any other kind of retort I storm off up to our dormitory, where I find Ray. I enter nervously, because whatever Ray is doing, you never know when she might pop.

 

She's like a ticking time bomb. It's impossible to tell when she might explode in your face.

 

But I might as well use this time as an opportunity to try to explain to her that Albus and I are friends. And that's all.

 

Her head snaps up from the book she's reading, her blue eyes piercing me sharply. Her gaze is so intense that it takes me a moment to focus.

 

"I've been meaning to apologize," she says to me, her voice low and gentle.

 

I'm so surprised at her tone that I can barely string my next sentence together.

 

"F-for what?"

 

"Well, yesterday when you told me you liked Albus-"

 

"Actually, I really need to clear something up," I cut across her, needing to correct her before she keeps going.

 

"Just let me finish," she sighs, "I shouldn't have snapped at you like that. It's none of my business."

 

"But, see, the thing is-"

 

"I hope you two are very happy together," she smiles.

 

Ray never smiles. This moment is so rare and so precious that I almost feel bad for spoiling it.

 

"But you see, Albus and I will never get together."

 

"Why not?" she demands.

 

"Because I don't like-"

 

"Stella," she cut me off yet again, standing up, "It's OK. Don't be embarrassed."

 

"Listen!" I cry, "Albus doesn't like me!"

 

She pauses and frowns at me.

 

"Well that's unfortunate," she says.

 

"But-"

 

"But this is good!" she exclaims, "I mean now, you can get over him."

 

Her efforts to be kind are admirable. I mean, Ray doesn't reveal her girlie side on just any old day. Too bad she's trying to help me get over someone who I HAVE NO INTEREST IN.

 

"No, come on Stella," she says, rolling her blue eyes as she mistakes my pained expression for one of doubt, "You can do it! He's just a guy! You're taking it so seriously!"

 

"I'm not!" I cry indignantly.

 

"Just don't act too desperate," she says.

 

Yeah, I am desperate. Desperate for her to listen to me!

 

"Just talk to Rose," she sighs, moving towards the door, "She's much more experienced than me. Plus I don't really care, to be perfectly honest."

 

Ah, the old Ray is back.

 

"Just listen-"

 

Too late. She's already gone, shutting the dormitory door with a firm bang behind her.

 

Fuck I hate my life.

 

 

 

 








 

A/N: Hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are appreciated :) x

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