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Faking It by vanillavinter
Chapter 18 : Happy New Years!
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 49


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 I own nothing that you recognize. As usual JKR still owns everything you recognize. (: Now Enjoy!



 

Pop.


 

I whirled around at the source of the sound and found Lucy standing in my living room with her ball dress in hand. “I thought we could get ready together!” she called out pointing at her dress.


 

Holy Merlin it was only three. She had to be kidding me. “Aren’t you slightly early Luce?” I asked tentatively. I didn’t want her to be offended.


 

Her eyes widened in surprise at my comment. “Candice I feel like I’m late. I mean we both have to do our hair and make-up perfectly and you hair is long so that’ll take even more time. Have you even showered yet? You look tired did you get any sleep at all?” Lucy asked as she ushered me up the stairs and opened every door until she found the bathroom and shoved me in there.


 

“Hurry up!” she ordered and then I heard her walk away.


 

Twenty minutes later I stepped out of the bathroom feeling like a drowned rat and walked into my room. Lucy had her wand in hand and had some weird potion in her hair at the moment. She jumped up in excitement when she saw me and made me sit on the desk chair while she began pouring a potion in my hair.


 

She also handed me some sort of moisturizer for my face and a special sponge that erased imperfections on your face. Before my eyes my dark bags under my eyes disappeared and my skin looked like it was glowing. It was sort of creepy. I didn’t feel like myself at all but even I had to admit that it made me look a hundred times better.


 

“Now we have to wait another twenty minutes for our hair but trust me it’ll be worth it,” Lucy instructed as she fell back onto my bed.


 

I swivelled back in the chair and scowled at her. “Are you sure? I feel like its burning my hair off and trust me Lucy I don’t think I can pull off the bald look,” I warned her and tried to poke at my hair but Lucy growled at me before I could touch it.


 

“Trust me Vic used this stuff for her wedding,” Lucy informed me.


 

I still didn’t really believe her because my hair felt like it was on fire. “Whatever you say. So what have the holidays been like?” I asked her with a smile.


 

Lucy groaned and shook her head. “Weasley Christmas’s are insane. We all went to the Borrow and there were so many people in that tiny house. Trust me I think there were three fights, one couple get together, an explosion and an injury plus a food fight. I bet your Christmas was much better,” Lucy recited as if she had told this story many times.


 

I shrugged and looked at my feet as I mumbled, “I may have possibly been kissed on a dare.”


 

Lucy looked up from the newspaper she has picked up and screeched, “What! And you didn’t tell me? Was he fit?”


 

I laughed and nodded. “Sort of just this guy I’ve always known.”


 

Lucy smiled dumbly at me and I had the urge to throw a pillow at her face just to wipe the stupid smile off. “You move on fast,” she commented.


 

I wish she had been right but the truth of the complete opposite was climbing on my bookcase and then jumped off landing in Lucy’s lap. Yeah, Nina wasn’t the smartest kitten. I also knew I should have given her back to James so he could give her to Ettie or something like that but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.


 

“Not really,” I mumbled while staring at Nina.


 

Lucy seemed to understand as she picked Nina up and asked, “James?”


 

I bit my lip and nodded yes. Lucy’s expression suddenly became goofy as she smiled toothily and cuddled with Nina. “He’s never given a girl that wasn’t in the family a present before not even Ettie this year,” she informed me and I felt a hope try to surge through me but I quickly squashed it. The only reason James gave me Nina was because he knew I would take care of her. He did it to save the poor kitten. Not for me.


 

“It’s just a kitten. Anyway it wasn’t recent he saved her back in October when she had just been born,” I denied her statement. Nina mewed cutely in Lucy’s hand.


 

“The kitty doth protest. She says she is not just a kitten. She is the kitten and thus has been given to you through love,” Lucy oh so expertly translated.


 

I snorted in response. “Love? Are you kidding me if she was given through anything it was friendship.”


 

Lucy rolled her eyes at me and got up from my bed. She waved her wand around her hair and mine. I turned to face the mirror to find that my hair was falling down straight on my shoulders but was still voluminous at the roots. I didn’t really know how to describe it but my hair was shiny and healthy looking. Behind me Lucy began to twirl pieces of my hair around her wand and they fell down in perfect curls.


 

Soon she finished my whole head and she was pinning the curls up while threading gold bands through them. It took an hour practically but I had to say that the end result was amazing. My hair looked stunning.


 

My mum walked into my room to help Lucy and her eyes began to tear up when she saw me. “Oh honey you look beautiful!” she cried out and hugged me. Lucy smiled proudly at her work.


 

“Thank you mum,” I said and then pushed her towards Lucy. “Now make Luce look just as amazing,” I instructed.


 

She did just that. She curled Lucy’s hair but left it down and placed a silver, jeweled band into her hair. After my mum hugged both of us she left and Lucy began on our makeup. Finally at ten minutes to six she was finished. I barely recognized myself in the mirror but I felt beautiful.


 

I opened the bag to find that Claire had chosen everything about my outfit. The shoes and jewellery even the knickers which I understood I had no choice to wear with the strapless dress. I narrowed my eyes at Lucy, “The shoes are heels! I’ll fall or something,” I complained.


 

Lucy picked up one of the shoes and examined it. “You’ll be fine just hang on to that boy you kissed last New Year’s,” she suggested and as if she had an afterthought she added, “Or James.”


 

I threw my other shoe at her. “Look I know you want me and James together but he’s going out with Ettie,” I tried to explain to her.


 

Lucy shrugged like it didn’t matter. Which it did, a lot. I grabbed my clothes and went to the bathroom to change into everything. When I came back Lucy had changed too. She looked stunning with her whole look complete. I was sure Garrett wouldn’t be able to look away from her.


 

She smiled at me, held up my jewellery and complimented, “You look stunning but you’re missing something.”


 

I nodded and walked over. While she put on my necklace I tied the charm bracelet to my wrist. Finally we both went downstairs where my parents were waiting. My dad was in his suit and my mum was in a lovely long black dress. I looked over at my dad who looked overwhelmed.


 

“You look beautiful sweet heart,” he said and pulled me in a hug.


 

We took pictures and laughed and when the clock reminded us it was six thirty we all grabbed our coats and apparated at the train station in the town Laney lived in. I didn’t know how but it was snowing gently. In a way that was so naturally beautiful you almost couldn’t believe it was real.


 

There were horse pulled sleighs next to us and we piled into a small one. The horse sleigh had a charm on it so the snow and cold couldn’t reach us. Lucy looked awed by everything but since this was my parents and I’s seventh consecutive ball we were used to the sleighs. What we couldn’t wait for was to see the Dorsett mansion.


 

“This is amazing,” Lucy breathed out as we watched other mansions roll by but they were all dark because everyone was at the Dorsett’s tonight.


 

“Wait until you see the Dorsett’s mansion,” my dad commented with a laugh and he tried to fix his tie that I had given him to be more comfortable.


 

My mum saw him and fixed it for him and my dad smiled at her. I loved how in love my parents still were with each other. “Don’t give too much away. We want her to be able to experience it for herself,” my mother scolded playfully.


 

Soon enough the horse sleigh stopped in front of the mansion. We got off and even though I had seen it all before the drive way still took my breath away. It was wide with trees lining it on both sides. Right now those trees stood bare but they were covered in a thin layer of ice and in their branches had tiny little lights that sparkled and twinkled in the night. They moved around and they seemed to be playing with each other.


 

The four of us walked down the driveway and stared at the mansion in wonder. It was also covered in the playful lights. It stood tall against the night sky with its giant doors opened wide for people to step in and give their coats. We did just that and stepped into the Entrance Hall. The floor was a sleek marble and the walls were lined with gold and expensive antiques.


 

A young man stepped in front of us and asked, “May I take your coats ladies and gentleman?”


 

My dad answered yes and we shrugged out of our coats. I led my parents and Lucy towards the ball room down the hall. Lucy stared in wonder as streams of sparkling lights hung over our heads. When we stepped into the ballroom Lucy’s jaw dropped.


 

It was a beautiful site. Enchanted statues of baby angles flew around. The ceiling stood as high as the one in the Great Hall at Hogwarts with thousands of sparkling lights. The walls were enveloped in luxurious white curtains. On the side of the walls were buffet tables lined with food that looked too amazing to eat. In the center of the room a giant silver fountain stood. Somehow it was snowing in here too but the snow disappeared right above our heads. The edges of the ballroom were lined with tables for people to sit at, each with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the center. At the end of the room an orchestra played music that flowed throughout the room.


 

“This is amazing!” Lucy squealed in delight. I think it was the first time I heard her squeal like that. My parents had gone off to find friends and I searched the crowd for people I knew.


 

“I know right? Look over there I see Jordan and Vera talking to Garrett, let’s go!” I pointed out and tugged Lucy to follow me. I glanced around the room and spotted the Weasley’s easily. They were standing together around some tables. They looked quite out of place. A little farther off I saw James and Ettie talking to Will and who seemed to have taken Reagan. Fred stood beside them dateless.


 

I had spotted most people I knew except for the Dorsett family. We finally reached everyone but I just realized that Lucy had said nothing at all since we started forward. “Hey girls!” Garrett called out he looked at me surprised but then turned to look at Lucy and froze.


 

“You look … beautiful Lucy,” he breathed out.


 

I was astonished when Lucy turned bright red and mumbled, “You look pretty good yourself.”


 

Aww, they were cute. “I feel like a troll next to you people. Someone tell me Laney and Seth are coming soon,” I replied and accidently broke the moment.


 

Garrett looked at me with a mischievous smile and went to stand next to Lucy. “Yeah actually they are Mrs. Dorsett just wanted to talk to them about being on their best behaviour and all that stuff.”


 

I didn’t like his smile at all. I narrowed my eyes at him and nodded. “Alright. Why don’t you two go join the dancing?” I suggested just to get him away from me. I hadn’t forgotten about his promise to get revenge.


 

Lucy smiled brightly unaware that she was sabotaging Garrett’s little plan. “Yeah that would be fun,” she exclaimed excited and pulled Garrett onto the dance floor. Jordan and Vera laughed and went off to join them.


 

Now you might have thought being alone would have been awkward for me. Nope. I had after all been coming to these balls for seven years. People stopped by me and commented on how pretty my dress was or my hair or asked me how school was going. I saw my roommates Olivia and Zara were also suffering from the lack of dates. I went over and joined them dancing. Emily at the moment was the only girl in our dorm who had a boyfriend and she danced with him.


 

I was laughing at Olivia’s dancing when I felt myself being picked up bridal style. “How is my favourite midget!” Seth cried out while Laney laughed to the side.


 

“Seth!” I yelled out and properly hugged him. He had grown just a little since I saw him but his blue eyes still twinkled with mischief as they always had. “It’s been forever,” I said and smiled. I let him go and went to hug Laney even though I had just seen her last week. In best friend time that was forever.


 

“I missed you both so much!” I exclaimed as we all started dancing.


 

“You should have heard Seth. He kept bragging about how you left James just because he said so. I had to hex him to get him to listen that there were many other reasons you broke up with him,” Laney complained and hit her brother just for good measure.


 

“Oi, I’m offended little sister dearest,” Seth started and grabbed my arm and twirled me on the dance floor, “I’ve always had a hold over my favourite shorty.”


 

I didn’t know when my other best friends had joined us but suddenly Garrett was behind me coughing extremely loudly but I still heard, “Like at last New Year’s.”


 

I was about to smack him when I heard Seth answer, “Exactly.” My face turned slightly blotchy at the memory.


 

Lucy’s eyes widened as she understood who I had kissed last year. “It was Seth?” she asked just to make sure.


 

Garrett laughed his bark like laugh and answered, “Yes it was. Those two were all over each other last year.”


 

I hated revenge. I mean I had only done what I did to get those two together. Why did they have to put me through this? Seth and I had already agreed we were best as just friends no matter how good it had felt snogging him last year.


 

Lucy snickered to her side and tried to keep her comment in but Garrett didn’t really care. “Please this year try not to snog so passionately in the middle of the dance floor. I don’t think Laney could live through it twice,” Garrett warned with a smirk. Seth pulled me into a sideways hug.


 

“I’ll try my best,” he just said with a laugh.


 

Laney shook her head in disgust I think. “Never again. You two scarred my poor innocent eyes,” she recalled and shielded her eyes for extra emphasis.


 

I laughed embarrassed especially since I was tucked in Seth’s side right now. When I had first met Seth when I was in first year I had instantly gotten a crush on him.


 

It had faded by fourth year but last New Year’s Seth didn’t have a date and we were talking when he asked me who my first crush had been. I had admitted it had been him but that I had long ago gotten over it. We were dancing when the countdown had begun and he just tilted my head up and then kissed me. I had wrapped my arms around him and forgotten that were in the ball room and kissed him back. I had forgotten a lot of things while we were snogging but afterwards we agreed we were simply better off as friends.


 

“Alright I’m going to sit!” I called off and tried to walk off gracefully towards the tables but instead I tittered in my heels. Stupid invention if you asked me.


 

I heard them laugh and was surprised to find that Seth had followed me. “Need some help there short stuff?” he asked gleefully because even in heels I was still short.


 

I rolled my eyes at him. “I’m helping to get those two together and they insist on embarrassing me,” I complained and sat down on one of the tables.


 

Seth laughed and shrugged. “Don’t think anything of it. You couldn’t help but kiss me back. I have amazing skills you see. Probably much better than James. Speaking of which isn’t that him coming towards us over there?” Seth pointed out and I turned around and sure enough there was James without Ettie coming towards us.


 

“Yeah it is. I wonder what’s up,” I wondered out loud.


 

James waved at us and called out, “Hey Cands!”


 

Seth turned to look at me with an eyebrow raised and whispered, “Cands?”


 

I shushed him and waved back at James. “Where’s Ettie?” I asked him.


 

James rolled his eyes and pulled a chair at the table me and Seth were sitting at. “She saw some big celebrity and now she’s fawning all over him. I left because I couldn’t take it anymore,” James explained obviously miffed.


 

I chuckled to the side and teased him, “Aww, is your big ego hurt?”


 

“You bet it is. I mean I’m a celebrity too. Why isn’t she hanging off my every word like what’s his face?” James asked and pointed across the ballroom where I could see Ettie laughing at something some extremely fit guy said.


 

“Maybe because you’re her boyfriend?” I suggested lightly. I glanced over at Seth who seemed extremely confused. “Oh yeah Seth this is James. We’re still friends because we had a mutual break up,” I introduced him.


 

Seth did one of those guy nods to James and replied, “Hey.”


 

I saw James eye the both of us. I glanced at Seth and realized I was sitting on the table in front of Seth who was lounged back on the chair. “I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything between you two,” James apologized cautiously.


 

Seth seemed to have an idea then and leaned forward and kissed my cheek jokingly. “Don’t worry you weren’t,” Seth reassured him but instead of relief going over James face he seemed to just tense.


 

I raised my eyebrow at Seth who shook his head and mouthed, “I’ll explain after.” I nodded because James had taught me one thing about fun was to just go with it.


 

“Err– um good?” James said but it sounded more like a question.


 

“Having fun tonight?” I asked him but before I could answer Seth had pulled me down from the table and I landed on his lap. I automatically started laughing and shoved him but he wrapped his arms around and pulled me close.


 

James seemed too distracted to answer that I had to repeat, “James! Are you having fun?”


 

He shook his head quickly while I managed to get some space between me and Seth. “Yeah, loads,” James answered quickly.


 

Seth snorted beside me. “Nah you’re not but the after party is fun. If you’re cool you might even get yourself an invite,” Seth pointed out with a chuckle.


 

“Yeah, I might,” James said and at that moment an idea dawned to him. “Hey Candice do you want to dance with me? That way Ettie might notice I’m missing my dance partner.”


 

I glanced at Seth quickly who was nodding and mouthed one word to me, “Jealous.”


 

I tried not to think what Seth meant as I nodded to James and he led me to the dance floor. Of course my luck had it that this turned into a slow song and so I wrapped my arms around James’s neck and prayed that he couldn’t hear my heartbeat.


 

“So you’re dating Laney’s brother now,” James commented.


 

I looked up at him with my eyebrow raised and laughed. “We’re just friends James. Why are you jealous?” I joked lightly and smiled. It felt amazing to be dancing with him to be that close again.


 

I held my breath as for a moment he didn’t answer but finally he said, “No. It’s just weird seeing you like that with someone else. I thought you liked me at one point.”


 

I let out a fake laugh and I wasn’t sure he noticed. “Come on James. Me liking you? That’s insane,” I denied easily.


 

It might have been my imagination but I thought I saw hurt flicker through his eyes before he too laughed and said, “You’re right Cands.”


 

“Plus I wouldn’t possibly break one of our rules,” I added and gave him a knowing look.


 

“What did I tell you about rules at the beginning of the year Cands?” James asked me with a smirk.


 

I thought for a moment and answered the only thing that came to mind, “That they were meant to be broken?” Where was he going with this? I tried to back away but stopped myself at the last moment. I’m an idiot. I couldn’t possibly back away from him while dancing or he’d think something was up.


 

“That’s right,” he pressed.


 

“You told Ettie so I guess our rules were broken,” I finally said. I had no clue what he wanted me to say. I just wanted to go find Laney, Lucy, Seth or anyone.


 

He blinked as if surprised by my answer. “Yeah I guess I did but everything turned out fine.”


 

I laughed and commented, “Yeah everything turned out great. Your girlfriend is currently fawning over some celebrity while you’re here all alone.”


 

“I’m not alone.” James pointed out with a smile.


 

I shook my head. “Well you should be. I think I’ll go find Seth. The songs about to end anyway,” I tried to excuse myself but James kept his hands around my waist. I took a step back and he matched that step.


 

“Just stay another song please. Uh, Ettie hasn’t noticed yet,” James asked and tried to pull puppy eyes but let me tell you puppy eyes and James Potter should never mix. It’s not cute it’s just a really awkward face.


 

I laughed and shook my head. “Find another way to make Ettie notice you,” I demanded and tried to take another step back but James twirled me in a circle and in my heels I stumbled and fell right into James’s expecting arms.


 

“Technically I saved you from a really embarrassing moment so now you owe me a favour. Please Candice, just one more dance,” James asked as he so expertly turned the whole situation around on me.


 

I rolled my eyes at him and shook my head. “No you didn’t. You did that on purpose!” I accused him.


 

James eyes widened innocently. “What? I would never do such a thing. Come on Candice it’s just one more song. Please?” he asked again trying to convince me.


 

The next song had already begun and people were already dancing. I was still in James’s arms and he spun me around. As he spun me I let go of his hand and walked away towards where I was sure. Over my shoulder I called out, “Go find Ettie James.”


 

I didn’t know what it was but I felt guilty for dancing with James while he and Ettie were trying to have an honest relationship. I scanned the ballroom for Seth or Laney or someone. I suddenly felt something on my shoulder. I whipped around and smiled when I saw who it was.


 

“Candice dear! It’s been much too long since I’ve seen you,” Mrs. Dorsett exclaimed as she pulled me into a hug.


 

I hugged her back and laughed lightly. “Dede! It hasn’t been that long. It’s just been since summer,” I reminded her but she simply shook her head at me. Mrs. Dorsett hadn’t changed a bit. I don’t think that woman has aged since she was thirty. She barely had a wrinkle on her face and her pretty blond hair was tied up in an updo. What stood out most about her wasn’t her petite frame or her air of confidence. It was the crystal blue eyes that she had and had also given to her six children.


 

Most people adored Mrs. Dorsett, many found her quite silly but very few knew her anger except possibly the Weasley family and her own family. The truth was Drusilla Dorsett or the nickname me, Jordan and Garrett had given her Dede was possibly my third mother after my mother and Jordan’s mother, Garrett’s own mother coming a close fourth.


 

“You’ve grown so much dear!” she gushed and with a sign of her hand ordered me to spin around. I quickly obliged and turned to find her highly impressed. “Where did you get that dress?” she asked.


 

“Oh you know a friend’s aunt chose it for me so honestly I have no clue, I confessed with a laugh.


 

Dede laughed at me and shook her head. “Oh darling when will you ever learn to appreciate some of the finer things in life?” she asked but then she shook her head and added on, “Never mind dear. You’re perfect just like this. You’re so nice to everyone and not embarrassing your parents on a daily basis. Do you know what Seth did right before the ball?”


 

I shook my head and laughed. “Well you don’t want to know. I wouldn’t want you to get involved in the whole ordeal. Honestly that boy has to learn this is a ball and not a dragon’s nest.” I burned with curiosity but I knew she wouldn’t tell me. Once Dede had her mind set it was set.


 

“I’m sure he’ll learn that before he’s thirty,” I reassured her as we moved towards the buffet tables. She merely grabbed a glass of wine and sipped it. I took a chocolate covered strawberry and savoured its deliciousness.


 

She shook her head at me and said, “I highly doubt that but I’d be forever thankful if he did. Speaking of Seth have you seen him?”


 

I scanned the room and shook my head quickly. “No. Why do you need to see him?”


 

“Someone asked me why there was alcohol in all the drinks tonight. Imagine my surprise when only half of them were supposed to have alcohol. So either its Seth, Nate, Caden and their friends or the Weasley boys,” Dede explained easily as she also scanned the room.


 

“Come on it could’ve been anyone maybe somebody’s children are being rebellious tonight?” I tried to defend because I knew for a fact Seth wouldn’t be that much of an idiot and that James and the rest of his family would be on top behaviour tonight.


 

“You might be right but I still want to check up on him. So excuse me but I have to go find him,” Dede excused herself while she set her glass down and gracefully threaded through people around the ballroom.


 

I let out a breath I hadn’t known I was holding. Dede was nice but her constant need of trying to get information on her children out of me was draining. I leaned back on the table and relaxed.


 

I let out a shriek when I felt someone throw their arm over my shoulder. “So my mum wasn’t too annoying was she?” Seth asked with a playful smile.


 

“Did you spike the drinks?” I asked him right away wondering when he could have done it.


 

“How offending, something goes wrong and of course you blame Seth. For your information I’m innocent,” Seth answered in his own strange way.


 

“Then who was it?” I asked.


 

He shrugged his shoulders and steered me towards a table where all our friends were at. I smiled as I spotted Garrett’s arm hung loosely around Lucy’s shoulder. I caught her eye and mouthed ‘how cute’ to her. She blushed and stuffed a brownie in her mouth.


 

To my surprise there were more than just my friends here. The Weasley family and friends seemed to have taken cover with people that they knew which basically meant us. Seth took the last empty seat and I sat on the edge of the table in front of him. I had so much class but the night was wearing on and the heels were painful.


 

Garrett seemed to have noticed us then and waved at me. I raised my eyebrow and slowly waved back. “Candice you know it’s rude to sit on tables; sit on Seth,” he scolded me. My smile dropped as I realized he was going to keep his promise.


 

“How about no,” I replied quickly and crossed my arms.


 

Seth laughed and asked, “Aw you don’t like me Candice?”


 

I rolled my eyes at him and answered, “Not like that you buffoon.”


 

“Candice get off the table!” Lucy demanded.


 

“Oi don’t you encourage this you! You know you look pretty cosy over there. Are you comfortable?” I asked defensively and pointedly stared at Garrett’s arm over her shoulder.


 

Lucy blushed slightly but not in the awkward way that happened to me. She simply turned a light pink. No blotchiness at all. Vera who was next to her with Jordan let out a laugh and mentioned, “Those two are so cute dancing together.”


 

Next to her Jordan nodded. “Yeah mate,” he agreed with Vera and hugged her. I looked away when he began to nuzzle against her neck. Instead I turned to Seth who waggled his eyebrows at me but suddenly something caught his attention.


 

I followed his eyes and landed on Laney who was sipping champagne on a chair quietly. I scanned the area and found Fred seated further away talking to his sister. Laney kept glancing at him every few seconds.


 

I turned back to Seth to find that his overall mood had changed. It screamed protective brother. He shook his head and looked at me while he asked, “Did he do something to her?”


 

I bit my lip not quite sure what to answer. “Laney did something he can’t quite forgive.”


 

Lucy and Garrett were still making comments at us but Seth was only interested in what was going on with his sister. It was quite cute in a way. “And did she try to make up or is she being an idiot?” he asked me.


 

I nodded my head and answered, “Yeah she did but Seth it’s not something that’s easy to forgive.”


 

He nodded and merely said, “Alright.” The next thing I knew though he was standing up and offering me his seat while he walked over to see his sister.


 

She seemed shaken out of a trance when he talked to her but in a moment she let out a loud laugh that she couldn’t seem to stop. Fred had turned to look at her and you could see it plain on his face that he was jealous but a moment later the look disappeared as he seemed to realize that Seth was Laney’s brother.


 

By now Seth had picked her up and was dragging her over to where Fred and his sister were. There was too much noise to be able to tell what was being said. I saw their lips move and everyone seemed calm enough Laney and Seth sat on the table and soon I could see a smile tugging at Fred’s lips.


 

“Hey Candice!”


 

My heart stopped for a moment and I held in my scream. What is it with people and scaring me tonight? I turned and found Ettie with James on her side. She was smiling brightly at me which I thought I didn’t deserve. Why did I feel so guilty for dancing with James?


 

“Hey you guys. Having fun?” I replied lightly and leaned back in my chair.


 

Ettie nodded enthusiastically and James mumbled, “Yeah. I just hate wearing this monkey suit.”


 

Ettie laughed and turned to face him. She automatically fixed his tie and then complimented, “You look fit in a tux James. Candice tell him he looks fit.”


 

I squirmed in my seat slightly uncomfortable. I missed Seth at the moment as I realized tonight he was my partner. He was the one person to help me get through these awkward encounters with James. “Uh, you look fit in a tux James?” I tried to compliment too.


 

James smirked at me and rolled his eyes when Ettie wasn’t looking. “I told you so James!” Ettie exclaimed.


 

“Yeah sure, you know she’s only saying that cause you made her,” he argued and laughed when she shook her head and stuck out her tongue at him. He bent down to kiss her but she backed away so he tried again.


 

I felt like I was going to be sick. It wasn’t easy to get over someone but with them being so cute together in my face it just made it impossible. I looked up and spotted Reagan alone. Will was nowhere to be found. She seemed really put out.


 

I got up to go see her and in their sick little show of cuteness James and Ettie didn’t realize that I had gotten up. I shrugged it off and instead stepped in front of Reagan. “Hey there,” I greeted with a smile.


 

Her mood seemed to lift slightly when she saw me. “Hey Candice!” she called out and hugged me.


 

I didn’t even have a chance to reply before she started off. “Thank goodness I found you. I mean I was excited when Will asked me because it’s a ball and he is the Quidditch captain but he is so I don’t know … boring. He doesn’t even want to dance. Not even in the group dances. The really fun ones you know? And it’s not because he can’t dance because his mom made him dance with her and he danced perfectly fine…” and she just kept going on and on.


 

I was almost regretting my choice to come talk to her. I nodded along though because there was no need to be rude. “Why don’t you just go ask some guy to dance?” I asked her finally when she had been going on about how Will was currently dancing with the Seeker of the Holyhead Harpies.


 

She stopped what she was saying blinked for a moment and turned to look at me. “Who would I ask? Every guy I know is either already dancing or has a date,” she pointed out to me. I felt like hitting some sense into the poor girl.


 

“Reagan you don’t need to know a guy or wait to be asked,” I began and scanned the room quickly. I spotted a ministry official’s son near the orchestra and pointed to him. “Look he’s fit and he looks around your age. Now go ask him to dance!” I ordered and began to push her towards that direction.


 

Reagan firmly planted herself to her spot and refused to budge. How was she doing that in heals? I was still wobbling in mine. “I-I can’t,” she said.


 

“And why bloody not?” I asked my tone indicated that I was not going to accept any excuses.


 

“What if he thinks I’m weird?” she asked me and she honestly sounded worried. I was so confused this wasn’t the same Reagan that I’d gotten to know in potions the one that that snogged James even when he was with Vera.


 

I took a deep breath. I couldn’t just let her mope away the night. “Look if he thinks you’re weird his lost you don’t even know him which is the beauty of the situation. None of us do except the Dorsett’s.”


 

Reagan nodded and finally took a step forward she turned back to face me and smiled. “Thank you Candice.” Then she continued and I watched as the guy she asked accepted and she danced with him.


 

I took a deep breath about to get myself something to drink when I bumped into someone. “I’m so sorry,” I began.


 

I heard a light laugh and a woman saying, “Oh it’s alright dear.”


 

I looked up and was shocked because staring at me was Ginny Potter. She was all made up in a black dress. My first reaction was to run away, my second was to stay exactly where I was because running away would attract to much attention. She couldn’t know who I was.


 

“You’re Candice right?” she asked me with a light smile.


 

Bollocks, never mind. I nodded in silence not sure what to say. I had no clue what James had told her. “Well you look beautiful. I can see why James dated you for so long,” she complimented.


 

I nodded and finally spoke, “Thank you. You too Mrs. Potter.” My voice hadn’t even shook even though I was terrified to talk to her.


 

“Please dear it’s Ginny for you. You make me sound old by saying Mrs. Potter,” she offered and pulled out a chair at an empty table.


 

I stood awkwardly, not knowing if I should sit. “Alright … Ginny,” I finally said.


 

“Sit dear, I don’t bite. I’m beginning to think you broke up with James because I invited you over during the holidays,” she joked and let out a laugh again. How ironic that was exactly why I ‘broke up’ with James.


 

I sat down next to her and laughed though even to me it sounded forced. “Sorry I guess I just don’t know what James said about me. I mean I hope you don’t hate me or anything because James is great he’s just …,” I didn’t know how to finish that sentence. I felt like I was rambling.


 

Ginny waved it off and shook her head at me. “He said some stuff about you but nothing bad dear and I understand James is a handful sometimes.”


 

I nodded along and squirmed in my chair. “What did he say about me?” I asked because I honestly wanted to know. The initial shock of meeting James’s mother was wearing off and she seemed alright.


 

“He told me you plan on being a healer and that you loved trying new things,” she said but her smile suggested that she was going somewhere with this.


 

“Is there something you want to ask me?” I asked her tentatively.


 

She paused for a moment in a very James way and then finally asked, “Have you ever heard of Lancelot University?”


 

I nodded my head. I had thought she would have been insulting me or yelling at me that I had broken her son’s heart even though hadn’t. The last thing I had expected was for her to ask me about my future.


 

“Well it’s the official English healing school. It’s also a pretty tough place to get into. Hermione had gotten in but she changed her mind last minute but Lucy is in and she told me that she hadn’t even seen you on interview day. Anyway the thing is I feel like I owe you. You saved James’s future this year even if you don’t know it. Now I want to help make yours even better. So even if application time is over I think I might still be able to get you in,” Ginny explained for me.


 

I blinked as I tried to take it all in. I had been planning on taking classes at Mungo’s simply because most people had told me that getting in was near impossible. “How could I have saved James’s future?” I asked her. Yes because even when someone is offering in getting me into my dream school that is the first thing that I want to ask.


 

Ginny smiled at me. “So he never told you about the accident last year?” she asked more to herself than anyone.


 

I shook my head anyways. James had never been in an accident. The whole school would have been gossiping about it.


 

“Well on the last day of last year James had been drinking with his girlfriend at the time Reagan. He then came back to play the end of the year Quidditch game with his friends and thought that a Quick-Apparate potion would keep him sober enough to play the game. Halfway through though the effects of the potion wore off and he lost control of his broom and landed on the safety rails of the stands. He was healed but it was an eye opener for me and Harry. We threatened Quidditch and even to get him pulled out of school but nothing worked. He wouldn’t clean up his act but after last Halloween we began to hear a lot less from his professors. So thank you Candice,” Ginny recounted for me and when she finished I let out a breath.


 

I was shocked when James said he needed to get people off his back I didn’t know it involved things like getting him pulled out of Hogwarts.


 

“I-I truly don’t know what to say. Thanks for telling me that,” I finally spoke up after a moment.


 

Ginny smiled at me. “No problem but like I said I want to help your future now. So I insist that you come for lunch and then after lunch we’ll go tour the university,” Ginny offered.


 

Lunch. I took a deep breath and shook my head. “I couldn’t do that. I mean that would just be awkward for James and Ettie–” I began but I was cut off by Ginny. Wow, now I knew where James got it from.


 

“I’ll make sure he’s not there now please promise me that you’ll come dear,” she promised and I laughed when Ginny Potter held her pinky out for me. I hooked mine through it anyways.


 

“Then it’s settled! Alright dear, now I’d love to keep you company but I think I’ve left Harry for too long. He’ll be lost out there in that crowd of big fancy people,” she excused herself.


 

“It’s fine go,” I told her and got up at the same time. She hurried off to find her husband and I wandered back to where my friends were.


 

They were all pretty much in the same places. Ettie and James had pulled up chairs for themselves but what caught my eye was that James was watching me. My best guess was that he had also been watching me talking to his mother.


 

I smiled at him then walked towards Garrett, Lucy, Jordan and Vera. Yes I would take Vera over the look that James had currently been giving me. I couldn’t even explain it. It wasn’t exactly anger but a conflicted anger. As strange as it sounded I still didn’t like that he was directing it towards me.


 

“Hey guys. How goes it?” I asked and received skeptical looks in return.


 

“How goes it? Are you alright Candice?” Jordan asked me with an eyebrow raised.


 

I nodded my head. “Yup. I’m perfectly fine just dying because of these deathtraps strapped to my feet,” I commented easily and lifted my heeled shoe for them to see. Jordan laughed and a second later I was slammed into a hug.


 

I looked up to see Laney grinning widely at me. “Do you know how awesome my brother is?” she asked me.


 

I shook my head at her. “He’s so awesome that it would take two of him to have something awesomer on this planet.”


 

“Is that even a word?” I asked her with a laugh.


 

“Who cares? He got Fred to forgive me and he didn’t even threaten to hex him into tomorrow!” Laney gushed. Garrett was snickering at the sight of us on the floor. Laney still hadn’t released me from her hug and I was stuck on the marble floor.


 

“Fred forgave you?” I asked just to make sure that I heard right.


 

“Yes!” Laney squealed in delight.


 

“That’s amazing!” I exclaimed happily. I was just glad that Laney would start enjoying herself again.


 

“I know! I just can’t stop smiling right now!” Laney cried out and rolled over. I finally got up off the floor and offered Laney my hand but she shook her head. “I’m too happy to get up right now,” she informed me. I just shrugged and watched as Fred came to join us saw his girlfriend on the floor and sat down next to her pulling her head onto his lap.


 

“I love you,” Laney said as she looked up at Fred. I tried to back away as it seemed like a more intimate moment.


 

I couldn’t help but smile though when Fred ran his fingers through Laney’s hair and answered back, “I love you too.”


 

Just because my love life sucked didn’t mean that I couldn’t be happy for everyone else’s. Laney pushed herself up to kiss Fred and that was when I turned to face Lucy and Garrett. Great, they were snogging too. So I turned to Jordan and Vera who weren’t there anymore. I scanned the room to see that they were by a deserted buffet table and you guessed it they were snogging.


 

Hey, it wasn’t even midnight yet! Everybody calm down.


 

I walked over, carefully avoiding James and Ettie, to see Seth who was hanging out with some of his friends.


 

“Hey guys!” I greeted happily.


 

Seth turned around and beamed when he saw me. “Would you look at that guys it’s my little shorty,” Seth said and faked surprised. I stuck out my tongue at him and waved at his friends.


 

I had met Austin and Cooper at previous balls and over the summer holidays. Cooper smiled at me lazily and wobbled as he stood. I could smell the alcohol in his breath.


 

“You guys seemed to have already started the after party,” I commented lightly and let out a laugh. Seth put his arm around me protectively as Cooper eyes travelled the length of my body.


 

Austin laughed and shook his head. “Only Coop here. We have to keep him on a leash or he’d start dancing on tables already,” he joked and lightly punched Cooper on the arm.


 

“H-Haven’t I met you … somewhere before?” Cooper slurred out. He took a step and then almost fell over on me and Seth. Austin picked him up and supported him.


 

I nodded my head but Seth began talking, “Hey Austin man, can you take him somewhere else? I have to talk to Candice.”


 

Austin quickly obliged and in a moment Seth and I were alone. Well as alone as one could be in a packed ballroom.


 

“So this is going to be blunt but what the hell is going on between you and James?” Seth asked me right away.


 

Bloody hell I had hoped he had forgotten about that. I bit my lip before I answered. “Well it was a mutual break up. Let’s say I never really liked James in that way and that he and I had a business deal. The relationship was uh fake,” I explained as quickly as possible. I didn’t want a lecture from Seth of all people.


 

He raised his eyebrow at me. “So why is he jealous of me and you?” he asked with a smirk and as if to prove his point he spun me around. The first thing I saw was James occasionally glancing at me with that same look of conflicted anger.


 

I turned back to face Seth before James realized we were looking at him. “I honestly have no clue maybe he grew attached to me in a completely platonic way. You know I’m like his little sister or … something like that,” I tried to reason.


 

“You’re like his little sister? You two snogged,” Seth pointed out.


 

“We snogged and you think of me as your little sister,” I pointed out right back.


 

“No I don’t,” Seth informed me with a shake of his head.


 

“Then what am I?” I asked and crossed my arms.


 

Seth smiled at me and pulled me into a hug. “You’re my shorty. You know you’re just that friend I can piss off and mess around with without you being pissed,” he explained.


 

I rolled my eyes at him but smiled anyway. “Uh huh. I better be. Anyway I’m just James’s platonic friend that also happens to be a female,” I made up on the spot. I wished I was his girlfriend.


 

“Keep telling yourself that. You guys screamed platonic trying to make his girlfriend jealous,” Seth commented while we both unconsciously agreed to join the dance floor.


 

“That was platonic and we weren’t trying to make Ettie jealous. We wanted her to notice James so they could dance together,” I argued with him and laughed.


 

We were on the dance floor now and couples were dancing and spinning around in circles. Seth twirled me. “He chose you his ex fake girlfriend or whatever it is you call yourself. If it was platonic he would have chosen somebody he already dated or something,” Seth pointed out.


 

“Come on that’s a stupid argument,” I shot back at him.


 

“No way that’s the most brilliant thing you’ve ever heard in your life,” Seth defended.


 

I let out a laugh and shook my head. “No way.”


 

“Admit it or I’m picking you up and spinning you Seth style,” he threatened. I raised my eyebrow at him.


 

“Well then I admit that … the lamest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” I smirked cockily and moved my head in every which way.


 

“You’ve been warned short one,” Seth reminded me a second before he literally did pick me up and put me on his shoulders side ways and began spinning me in circles.


 

“Oi you git, I’m in a dress!” I shrieked out.


 

Suddenly a giant gold ball opened above our heads and it stopped snowing because the snow had all come together to form giant a giant ten high above the fountain in the center of the room.


 

“TEN!”


 

“Deal with it!” he yelled out at me over the raring of the crowd.


 

“NINE!”


 

“This is not how I want to start off the new year.”


 

“EIGHT!”


 

“Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want.”


 

“SEVEN!”


 

“I swear to Merlin I will hex you!”


 

“SIX!”


 

“Where’s your wand?”


 

“FIVE!”


 

“You’re every single type of insult there is out there.”


 

“FOUR!”


 

“Thank you right back at you.”


 

“THREE!”


 

“Put me down!”


 

“TWO!”


 

“Alright.”


 

“ONE!”


 

In that single moment Seth switched me from his shoulders to his arm and stopped spinning but I got one last good view of the packed ballroom. I saw Lucy and Garrett holding hands. I saw Vera hugging Jordan’s back and laughing. I saw Fred with his arms wrapped around Laney in front of him. I saw all my dorm mates shouting and holding each other. I saw the Weasley’s making the best of their last moments of the year.


 

I saw James holding Ettie’s hand but instead of spending his last moment of the year staring at his girlfriend. He had quickly glanced to look at me and Seth.


 

“HAPPY NEW YEAR’S!”


 

I was being held bridal style and laughed right before I wrapped my arms around Seth’s neck and made my lips meet his. Seth happily obliged and moved his lips against mine but I could feel the smile forming on his lips. In a second we both burst out laughing.


 

“Happy New Year’s Seth,” I said.


 

He held back another laugh and replied, “Happy New Year’s Candice.”


 

“Just friends?” I asked to make sure.


 

“Of course,” Seth answered.


 

He had set me back down on my feet. I looked up at his face and asked, “What now?”


 


He smirked mischievously at me. “Let Seth’s Awesome Super-Secret After Ball Party begin.”



 

Hey there everyone! Happy New Year's! May the new year be awesome for everyone! (: I hope you all enjoyed that chapter even if it was extremely long and late. Don’t hurt me when I put out the last chapter I had 4000 words done and I was like it’ll be done for sure before Christmas. Yeah well I got sick and then had to catch up and then the holidays started and I didn’t get the chance to write. Sorry! ):


 

So … we finally got the ball chapter! I hope you guys liked it even if it was all over the place. Tell me what you guys think about it! I’d love to hear your comments. I know there still isn’t a lot of James and Candice in this chapter but Seth was there! Did you guys like Seth? I think he’s awesome. (: What about Mrs. Dorsett and Ginny? Sorry if she wasn’t very canon. I’m not very good at that. So yeah reviews would be loved! :D


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