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A/N at the bottom, please read!

As predicted prior to even brushing my teeth, sleep was fair and far between that night. I did my best not to stare at the small clock on my desk, though at several times throughout the night I could practically feel my eyes boring holes through its hands. It was now six thirty – correction, six thirty-five – in the morning, and at this point any sensible amount of uninterrupted sleep meant missing first class of the school year.

I looked out the stained glass window, the design etched into the pane becoming more visible as the sky began to brighten a very dusty pink. I sighed.

Well this is a lost cause…

I flipped the covers off of me and forced my worn sneakers on.

The sun had made a more prominent appearance by the time I reached the top of the hill overlooking the Black Lake. I plopped down on the dewy grass and silently cursed my now very damp arse.

I scanned the breathtaking view before me. The lake mirrored its namesake as a sheet of dark water, still as if frozen. A small island stood center-stage between two monolithic hills, a large and very old willow tree set atop it. It was a gorgeous picture, and I made a mental note to come back here to draw it sometime.

But now was not the time for exercising my artistic skills. My mind was in a different place and –

Fred Weasley –

Oh knock it off, you twat! Think sensibly for a moment, I fought with myself.

I bent my knees up to rest my hands on them. This was so new to me. Before tonight, I’ve never had a crush on anyone in my life.

Correct. In all of my sixteen years, never once have I fancied someone else.

To think I was considering the possibility that I might be some sort of strange asexual human deformity, as if my genetic makeup prevented me from harboring feelings for anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had the odd classmate here and there ask me out to Hogsmeade, but I found they’d rank low on the Fun-O-Meter. I also found, every bloody time, that I was comparing them to Fred and George. They either told bland jokes or had nothing but snogging on the mind, which repelled me even more. It’s not that I don’t like to snog – I mean, perhaps if I actually had kissed someone by now I might think differently…

Fred’s smiling lips entered my mind and my insides rippled.

Alright, it was time to think about this. First things first: Why all of a sudden do I fancy Fred? The night before last at the campfire was perfectly normal and…well he did put his arm around me when his younger siblings Ron and Ginny played Exploding Snap, and I remember how it made me smile, but I know I didn’t have those kind of feelings for him then.

I think…

But then again, now that I recalled when we went hiking up the old, overgrown trail near my house this summer I thought differently. In typically clumsy Michelle fashion, my foot – unaccustomed to the clunky shoes used for nature hobbies – caught the ledge of an upturned root and I went head over heels faster than you could say whoopsy daisy. Fred and his lightning reflexes grabbed me mid-fall and as he helped me steady myself we had…well we had a moment, I suppose you could call it that. A moment where we just looked at each other for an immeasurable amount of time before George called us slowpokes and we snapped out of it…

Good God, how long have I had a crush on this boy?

Understanding why was a touch easier. He had what I loved most in people: a fantastic sense of humor. He knew how to have fun and ensured those around him were entertained as well. He also knew how to live on the edge. All that and he didn’t care from the start that I was a strange human with even stranger abilities.

The thing that bothered me most now was the fact that his brother harnessed these qualities too.

Why was it I wanted Fred and not George?

I know they aren’t twins to the core, and that they’re two separate people; One gave me butterflies and made my skin tingle with goose bumps, while the other, well I cared for him in a more sibling sort of way. I also knew Fred was slightly more outspoken than George, more ‘out there’, if you will.

Even still…Why Fred?

I flicked a small pebble.

I am WAY too damn analytical….

The sun was in full view behind me now, and I guessed that I would have enough time to grab a shower and some breakfast before first class of the year. I got up, stretching despite my now prominent drowsiness from the overall lack of sleep.

Wait, what class do I have first today?
 

 





“POTIONS?!”

Kill me now.

Katie Murphy, the one female whom I managed to become friends with at Hogwarts over the past six years and fellow Ravenclaw, snatched the schedule from my hand. She crunched on a piece of burnt toast as her eyes widened.

“Oi, that’ll feel nice first thing today: Snape skiving at every living thing for an hour.”

I scowled.

Snape…

Professor Snape and I were not on the best of terms. I was convinced he didn’t have a sense of humor, and after a hilarious bout of turning his robes canary yellow and sprouting tiny daisies on his shoulders me and the twins got a very hefty detention every day for three weeks.

I sighed, taking my schedule from her to scan it once more. The rest of the day didn't look as bad: Charms second, followed by Divination, lunch, a free hour, Herbology and Defense against the Dark Arts. The DADA professor was new this year, as was the year before last. Too bad, I really liked Lupin. I guessed we didn’t have the best luck with teachers keeping that post…

I checked the time. Fifteen minutes till nine.

“Well Kate, I’m off to brave the wrath of Potions,” I declared before gulping down the last of my pumpkin juice. I saluted dubiously. “Wish me luck.”

She returned the salute, her brown eyes fixated on her own class list. “You’ll be fine, kid.”

“What class do you have first?”

She looked up at me, her brow furrowed. “I just told you I have Transfiguration first. You listening at all?”

I tried to remember at what point during our conversation she mentioned her schedule. I couldn’t recall it. “You did? Oh bullocks…”

She smirked. “Got something on the noggin’ eh?”

Was everyone in on it or something?

“Yeah I guess so,” I mumbled. I waved goodbye to my perplexed friend and picked up the pace towards Potions.
 




 


I entered the dark, claustrophobic classroom and wished instantly that I hadn’t headed here so fast; Sitting at his ancient wood desk, Snape gave me a death glare as I took my seat in the back of the room. It was ominously dark as a lone lamp sat on the teacher’s desk, flickering madly behind the glass encasement. I was the only student so far.

Might as well break the ice. “Erm, good morning professor.”

Snape narrowed his dark eyes at me, his brow pinched. He said nothing before returning to some writing.

Awkward…

Feeling fidgety, I pushed at my cuticles and tapped my foot.

“Will you stop with that racket, Miss Lancaster?”

I gulped, the Potions master’s voice ringing in my ears and turning them hot. “Y-yes sir.” I murmured.

Time dragged on in silence, afraid to even breathe too loud as I waited the last six minutes before class was to begin.

Then suddenly, the door flew open and someone bounded in the classroom.

“’ELLO, SNAPIE! Oh how I’ve missed you! “

Fred! Or George, perhaps. Oh how unfair of a guess that was. I turned to face the intruder. It definitely was one of the twins, though in the darkness I couldn’t tell which one.

“MISTER WEASLEY, YOU WILL LOWER YOUR TONE IN MY CLASSROOM BEFORE GRYFFINDOR IS SHORT TWENTY POINTS,” Snape’s voice bellowed in the classroom, almost echoing off the stone walls.

“Right, top o’ the mornin’ to you too,” the redheaded boy said cautiously, taking the seat next to me.

My eyes adjusted. It was Fred.

You know it shouldn’t be humanly acceptable to be this excited, but I was.

He winked at me.

Oh, Merlin…

I must have looked like a complete git staring blankly back at him. I reminded myself that now was not the time to melt into a puddle of goo. Attempting composure, I grinned sheepishly. “Hi.”

“Hey you.” Fred greeted me, wiggling his eyebrows.

Snape cleared his throat loudly.

Fred lowered his voice to a whisper. “Sheesh, what’s driving Miss Daisy over there?”

“No idea,” I did my best to keep my voice hushed. “Where’s your other half?”

He gave me an audacious look. “I’m looking at her.”

I blinked, certain that my drowsiness got the best of me and I’d passed out or something. Was this real?

Fred snickered quietly. “My God Michelle, take a joke.”

I remembered how to breathe again. “Hah, good one. No seriously, where’s Georgie?”

“On a free,” He replied, sighing. “So daft, the lucky sod is still curled up in his bed.”

“Wish I slept that well…” I mumbled to myself.

Unfortunately, he heard me. “That thing you kept from me last night eating at you?”

I swallowed, leaning back in my chair. Avoiding this was becoming a full-time job. I could feel his eyes on me, as if he were trying to read my mind; I hoped instantly that he couldn’t. “It’s complicated," I said, staring at my desk.

“And I’m a ginger,” Fred explained sarcastically. “Tell me something I haven’t noticed.”

I looked up at him, the light from the only lantern in the room casting a delicate glow on his pale face. It twinkled in the reflection of his eyes. My heart melted and dripped messily on my other internal organs.

“’Chelle, that’s not a good look for you.”

Fred’s voice reeled me back to the present, his finger lifting my chin to rejoin my lips again.

Did my jaw seriously drop? I thought that was only a cliché…

His suppressed giggle made me blush. I did nothing to hide it. Fred was drawing out this new side to me, a new part of me that I didn’t know existed. Never in my life would I consider calling myself a hopeless romantic, yet here I was, stumbling head over heels for this sixteen year-old redhead sitting next to me.

And boy, was I stumbling fast.

I bit my lip, catching his gaze once more. Again we stared at each other however this time, his smile faded until his entire face held a relaxed expression. He looked thoughtful.

Before I could dwell on it any further, the door opened noisily and in piled a handful of students. A very small handful of students…

As the last of the seven other students sat down, Snape rose from his seat and swiftly whipped his wand. In a flash, the flame from the tiny lantern flew across the room, lighting several other lamps and illuminating the classroom better.
Neat, I thought.

“Welcome to sixth year potions,” the professor greeted us blandly. “Turn to page fourteen in your textbooks.”

I groaned. This was bound to be a blast.
 





As I exited the potions classroom shoving my books into my bag, Fred grabbed my arm. The sudden contact surprised me. “Hey uhh, listen.”

I frowned. “What’s up?”

He looked concerned. It made me feel uneasy.

“About what I told you last night, with George,” He started.

I shook my head. “It’s okay, Freddie. I won’t say anything, promise.”

He smiled a half-smile, and dammit did he look adorable. He walked with me as I headed towards my next class.

“You have Charms next, too?” I asked.

He shook his head. “’Fraid not, Chelley. I have a date with some Dark Arts.”

“Aww, that’s too bad,” I said, genuinely disappointed. I couldn’t complain even if he were in all of my classes.

We reached the large wooden doorframe marking the entrance to Charms class and I turned to face Fred. He had his trademark playful smirk on, and locked eyes with me once more.

How he managed to warm me up, I’ll never know.

Just then he leaned forward and took my free hand in his, slipping something into mine. He bent down to whisper in my ear, my entire body going numb. “Read this when you can, alright?”

I nodded, indulging in his close proximity. I could practically feel the heat coming off of his body…

“You smell a lot better today,” He noted quietly.

I pinched his arm, tucking the folded piece of parchment into the pocket of my robes.

With that, Fred turned and walked off in the opposite direction, a hurried pace to his step. I felt kind of bad. I didn’t tell him to walk with me and now he’d most likely show up late for his next class.

I entered the classroom, relieved to see a few more students there already. Professor Flitwick, the head of my house and Charms master was sitting at his desk, chatting with a few students from the prior class. I grabbed the closest desk to the door and sat down, pulling the note Fred had given me from my pocket. I unfolded the neatly pressed parchment and read.

It was his handwriting, and the ink was very fresh. Had he wrote this in Potions?

Michelle,

Okay, forget everything I told you last night.


Wait, what?

 

 

A/N: Hey guys! First of all thank you for reading. Since this is my first fanfiction I'd really appreciate any reviews. Also I know the story is moving pretty slow at the moment, but I promise it will pick up: I just wanted to make a really hectic first few days for Michelle at Hogwarts :)
As well I write these chapters pretty quickly, so expect a new chapter to go up as fast as validation allows.
Once again thanks for reading. :) 

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