Chapter 23 : Cause You Make My Heart Race
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I think we all have those moments in our lives, where we can't help but wonder how the hell we wound up here. Where all we can do is look at our surroundings and feel a strange sense of unfamiliarity strung throughout the air. And now, as I opened my eyes and looked around the room, I knew it was one of those moments. Because this room was most definitely not mine. In fact, the room I was in had the unmistakably distinct smell of… boy.
Oh no. Please don’t tell me I—
“Good morning, sleeping beauty!” a voice I recognized called, causing me to blink my eyes a couple of times in confusion. I looked to my right to see a grinning Tyson standing over me, his curly blonde hair falling into his twinkling blue eyes.
It was then that I noticed the emerald green hangings on the bed I was currently laying in, and the silver accents dotted throughout the room. I sighed in relief.
So… I was in the 7th year Slytherin Boy’s Dormitory. It didn’t actually look much different from the Gryffindor dormitories now that I looked at it, except for the colors and the view from the window. I guess I was half expecting there to be a statue of a snake or a muggle being tortured, so I was a bit let down at the normalcy.
“What am I doing here?” I asked, shooting up from the bed I was sleeping in which I assumed to be Tyson’s. My sudden movement caused Tyson to jerk back in surprise, and it was then that I noticed nobody else was in the dormitory. The room was also oddly bare for the fact that there were supposedly five boys that inhabited the place.
“Well,” Tyson said, deciding that this question was invitation for him to lie down next to me and sling an arm around my shoulder. “I was actually going to ask you about that.”
“Ask me about what?” I asked, quirking an eyebrow.
“About why, yesterday night, James Potter hand delivered a sleeping you to my dorm room, while you looked as though you’d cried yourself to sleep,” Tyson said, giving me a look.
It was then that my just-waking-up state of oblivion shattered, and the events from last night crashed over me like a tidal wave. Me; crying. James; seeing. James; comforting me as I continued to cry like a madwoman until I eventually drifted off. And then, James; carrying me to Tyson’s as I remained in a half-asleep state of existence…
Had yesterday night actually happened?
“Corinne?” Tyson prodded, his blue eyes still trained on mine as I bit my bottom lip.
“Hmm?” I asked, staring at the neatly made bed on the other side of the room as I avoided Tyson’s gaze.
“Nothing,” I said all-too-quickly. I noticed Tyson pull a face at my response. “It was just… a bad case of food poisoning and I was feeling a bit off. I’m fine now.”
Tyson didn’t look like he believed me one bit, and he instead pulled me closer into the crook of his arm.
“Come on, Co,” Tyson said, his voice softer. “You can tell me, you know.”
I nuzzled my face into Tyson’s chest, not wanting to answer him. I was already embarrassed enough with James having witnessed my breakdown, so telling Tyson wasn’t really at the top of my to-do list. Especially considering that Tyson, as well as the rest of the guys, didn’t even know about just how dysfunctional my family really was. They just… they wouldn’t be able to understand.
“Corinne, don’t think just because you’re being all snuggly doesn’t mean I don’t want to know,” Tyson said, pulling away from me and looking at me seriously. “Now, what happened?”
Damn. I knew my snuggling-distraction tactics wouldn’t work with Tyson.
“Well… what did James say?” I asked, trying to buy some time.
Tyson seemed to weigh over whether or not he should tell me what he knew, but he eventually sighed, his shoulders sinking, and began to speak.
“He said he found you crying in the Owlry, and after a while you fell asleep from crying so much. He didn’t want to leave you there and couldn’t bring you to your dormitory since the steps are all funky from some ancient charm, and he figured you wouldn’t want to be in the Gryffindor boy’s dormitory since Freddy stays there, so… he decided to bring you here,” Tyson explained.
“Well then,” I said, after soaking in Tyson’s words. “Looks like you already know what happened.”
Tyson sighed, blowing some of his blonde hair out of his face. “Don’t be difficult, Co. I want to know why you were upset, and you’re going to tell me.”
I looked down at the emerald duvet on Tyson’s bed and fiddled with the ends, not wanting to look at him. I knew Tyson meant well. I knew he just wanted to be a good friend and know why I was upset. But… I didn’t want to tell him. That would make everything all the more real. And I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want anything to be.
“Co—” Tyson began again, but he was interrupted when the door to the dormitory opened with a resounding thwack.
“Corinne Abigail Beaumont,” Dom shouted sternly, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at me. I exchanged a worried look with Tyson as Dom stomped into the room and over to where we were. “Are you out of your bleeding mind?”
“Dom, I told you not to freak out on her,” a voice I recognized—Wyatt’s—moaned as he walked into the dormitory, followed closely by Chaise and Roxy.
“And I told you my emotions can’t be controlled when I’m under severe bouts of distress,” Dom said, giving Wyatt an icy look. She then turned back to me her eyebrows drawing closer together as she stared. “So, Corinne, would you like to explain where you were all night? And why of all people, James was the one to let me know you’d wound up here?”
I bit my lip as everyone in the room stared at me, waiting for an answer. “Um… it’s no big deal really. I just lost track of time I guess and it was late so I figured I’d stay with the Slytherin’s since it was closer…”
Tyson, who knew I was lying, gave me a look. I ignored it. Everyone else stared at me with varying shades of disbelief.
“That’s it? You ‘lost track of time’,” Dom asked, putting a hand on her hip and narrowing her eyes at me. I nodded weakly. “Do you know how worried I was when you didn’t turn up last night? I couldn’t even sleep; I was too busy looking for you!”
“Dom,” Tyson began, giving Dom a warning look. “Calm down.”
“I’ve already tried that mate,” Chaise said, running a hand through his hair agitatedly. “She’s been freaking out all night.”
“And how would you know that?” Wyatt asked, smirking at Dom and Chaise interestedly.
“Because there was no one else for me to freak out to!” Dom exclaimed, glaring at Wyatt for his suggestive tone. “Corinne was, as we’ve established, gone; you and Roxy were at the kitchens doing god knows what; and Tyson was clearly here. Who else was I to go to?”
“Well it’s good to know I was your first choice,” Chaise said sarcastically.
“Oh please, I’d be your last choice too if the situation was reversed,” Dom shot back.
“What makes you think that?”
“Hm… I dunno. Maybe it’s the fact that you’ve been ignoring me for the past week as though I’m some sort of pariah or—”
“GUYS! Come on. Forget I asked,” Wyatt said, placing a hand on Dom’s shoulder to try and placate her. Dom shrugged it off and continued to narrow her eyes at Chaise, who was glaring back at her. Well, it was good to know they were at least speaking to each other again. “We don’t have time to argue anyway. The carriages are leaving in… like… a half hour so you all need to get your shit packed and out of here.”
It suddenly made sense to me why the 7th year Slytherin Dorm’s were oddly bare. Everyone was packed up to go home for the winter holidays. And while Dom, Roxy and I had tried to get ahead on packing the other day, we had decided we’d leave a bunch of stuff for last minute and…
“SHIT!” Dom, Roxy and I exclaimed at the same time, remembering the mountain of clothing/accessories/toiletries we still needed to pack. I immediately hopped off of Tyson’s bed, and ran over to Dom, who looked as though she was nearing a mental breakdown, while Roxy stood behind her looking worried.
“Okay, well we’ve got to pack,” I said, looking at the boys and then grabbing Dom and Roxy’s hands respectively. “We’ll meet you at the carriages.”
The boys all muttered their goodbye’s except for Tyson, who was still looking at me with an expression that said ‘this isn’t over’. Clearly, Tyson wanted to know the whole story about what had happened yesterday and while everyone else was easily fooled with my story (or moreso easily distracted with other conversations), Tyson had seen to much to believe my excuses.
I sighed inwardly as Dom, Roxy, and I ran down the stairs and out of the Common room. Looks like I have two people I’ll be avoiding today.
Turns out, it’s harder to avoid people then it looks. Not to say that I didn’t try, but let’s put it this way: when you’re trapped on a train for hours and you’re friends with one of the people your avoiding, and some of your friends are friends with the other person you’re avoiding, things can get pretty tricky.
The first hour of the train ride had been filled with Tyson trying again and again to figure out what had happened yesterday night to cause me to break down into such a mess. I had ignored his prying questions for most of the ride, but he had been getting more and more adamant as the train ride progressed. Not that any of the others noticed. Dom and Chaise were too busy rehashing arguments about god-knows-what, and Roxy was too busy calming Wyatt down, as he freaked out about the prospect of meeting her parents. Not that he had to meet them today. Roxy hadn’t told her parents about him yet, seeing as their relationship was pretty new, but she was going to tell them about it over the hols, which meant that when Victoire had her Christmas gathering, he’d have to meet them then.
Oh the joys of winter hols.
So, instead of being in the compartment with the lot of them, I was now hiding in the train loo, trying to keep at least one of my resolutions of avoiding James in tact. Why did I need to hide in the loo to avoid James, you ask? Well, Tyson had had the fabulous (read: terrible) idea of inviting James to sit in the compartment with us. I had tried protesting, which just caused Tyson to smirk and say “Well isn’t he you’re new best friend anyway?” which had caused a lot of confused looks and ended in me excusing myself before anyone could find James and bring him back into the compartment. I didn’t want to face him, especially after sobbing to him like a lunatic the previous night, and I knew that if I returned to the compartment I would (most likely) have to see him.
I inspected myself into the bathroom mirror and then pulled out my wand, deciding that I could pass more time by re-curling some of the loose strands of my hair that had fallen around my face. My hair was now back to it’s usual honey tone, since there was no more sun to give me my light blonde highlights and I pursed my lips in remorse at it’s change in color.
After re-curling my hair I applied some more of my light pink lip-gloss and then checked my red cable knit for any loose hairs. I didn’t find any, so I quickly re-adjusted my suede over-the-knee boots that were worn over my favorite pair of dark wash skinnies, and decided to head out of the bathroom. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but it didn’t much matter to me at the moment. All I had to do was make sure I didn’t bump into J—
Well, looks like that plan went along swimmingly.
I felt myself sigh inwardly, before I whirled around to see James, who appeared to have just left the lads restroom and was now looking at me with a large amount of trepidation. Right. Well. I guess he thought I might burst into tears and try and use him as my own personal tissue… again.
Oh Merlin, this is so embarrassing.
“Oh, James, hey! Fancy seeing you here, right?” I said lightly, rocking back and forth on the balls of my feet. I looked down the hallway of the train, and stared in envy at a fourth year boy, who was disappearing down the hall without a care in the world. What I would give to not be in this situation right now…
James looked at me in confusion, his dark eyebrows drawn together as his top and bottom lip pressed against each other tightly. I quirked an eyebrow at him, trying to hide the awkwardness I felt. Let’s just say, it would take a lot more than a quirked eyebrow to hide how awkward this situation was.
“Are you feeling better?” James asked, his voice low. Ugh, damn. He wasn't going to pretend yesterday night hadn't happened like I'd hoped. However, before I could respond, James opened his mouth and spoke again. “Sorry to have left you with Tyson, but I figured you wouldn’t want to wake up in a room with Freddy, and I only found Dom after I had dropped you off.”
My stomach began to flip uneasily as he said this and I began to feel myself growing increasingly sick. Why was it that James was acting so… concerned? Like he actually… cared. It wasn’t normal. Our entire relationship wasn’t normal and I couldn’t help but wonder why. Why couldn’t he just leave me alone and let me hate him in peace? Why did he always have to make me second guess it all?
“I’m fine,” I said quickly, beginning to back away as the uneasiness in my stomach began to grow larger. I felt my chest begin to grow tight as panic began to seep in. “I was just under a lot of stress yesterday—It wasn’t—I’m not… I’m just probably PMSing it really wasn’t a big deal—I think—Yeah—I’m going to go now bye!”
James didn’t say anything as I continued to sputter out my exceedingly lame excuse, and I turned around, ready to shuffle down the hallway. Just as it was beginning to sink in that I had basically just told James I was on my period, I felt him wrap an arm around my wrist and turn me back around.
I looked up at him in confusion, my blue eyes puzzled, his hazel ones filled with determination.
“Corinne, it’s okay, I understand,” James said evenly, his eyes not leaving mine. I couldn’t help but think the last time I had been this close to him was at Dom’s party, right before we’d snogged. “Just know that—well if you need to talk— I fancy myself a good listener. Okay?”
“Oh that’s fine,” I said, shaking my head as I gently pulled my wrist out of his grasp and stepped away. “I don’t need to talk about it. It really wasn’t a big deal.”
“No, really, I’m serious,” I said, putting more power behind my voice. “I just get overly emotional sometimes. I’m just sorry you had to be the one to witness it.”
James opened his mouth to protest, but I cut him off. “Look, I’ve got to go. I promised Scorp and Al I’d pop into their compartment and see them. Tell Dom and them that if I don’t come back before the end of the train ride, I’ll meet them on the platform, okay?”
“Yeah… okay,” James said after a moment, running his hands through his hair. “I’ll tell them.”
“Thanks,” I said, and I don’t know what it was, but there was something about the way I said it that made it clear I wasn’t just talking about right now.
James nodded his head, understanding what I meant and before he could open his mouth and say “ I’m here if you need someone” or something equally corny and uncomfortable, I whirled around and began walking down the hallway of the train.
Well, I’m so glad to see my avoidance plans worked out.
“Oh ma petites! I missed you girls so much!” Fleur said, opening her arms wide and wrapping Dom and me up in a tight hug. Fleur began to speak in rapid French about how happy she was to see us and kissed both of our cheeks.
“Mamaaan, you’re being embarrassing,” Dom said, trying to escape from Fleur’s vice-like grip. Fleur sighed and pulled away from the two of us, her excitement waning.
“Can’t a mother miss her daughter without being embarrassing?” Fleur asked, looking saddened at Dom’s statement. “Coco isn’t embarrassed of me, is she?”
“I’d never be embarrassed of you,” I said, causing Fleur to smile at me and then stroke my hair in a motherly way.
“See?” Fleur said, looking much happier at my statement, as she gave Dom a look. Dom shrugged, coughing “suck up” under her breath, to which Fleur gave her a sharp glare. “At least someone appreciates me.”
“Fleur, you know we all appreciate you,” Bill said, deciding now was the time to cut in. He was always the one to placate these types of situations, because Dom and Fleur had a flair for drama. “Don’t we, Dom?”
“Yes,” Dom responded tonelessly, rolling her eyes. “Of course we appreciate you maman.”
“Well it’d be nice to see it once in a while,” Fleur responded. However, she seemed to shrug off her hurt after Dom’s words, and instead looked at the two of us, eyes widening in excitement. “So girls, how is school going? Are you keeping up with your studies? Please tell me you aren’t slacking off just because it’s your last year.”
“Fleur, honey,” Bill began, resting a hand on her shoulder. “How about you save the questions for when we get home?”
“Oh, fine,” Fleur said, putting her hand over Bill’s as her eyes stayed trained on Dom and me. “But I do want to know everything about you girls’ experience at Hogwarts. D’Accord?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Dom responded, shrugging off Fleur’s questions as she received a one-armed hug from Bill. When Dom pulled away, Bill ruffled her hair, saying something along the lines of ‘Good to see you, kiddo’. Such are the awkward acts of Bill Weasley to express his affection for his children. Speaking of children…
“Where’re Victoire and Louis?” I asked, looking around the platform for any sign of silver hair.
“Victoire couldn’t make it,” Fleur said, as Bill let out a harrumph. “She’s trying to make sure her apartment is ready for Christmas Hols.”
“Dunno why she’s still working on it,” Bill muttered. “It’s already got furniture, running water, and electricity. What more does it need?”
Oh, Bill. So sweet and niave. If only it were that easy.
“Honey, you know Victoire,” Fleur said, waving her hand, “She’s got to have everything just right. Whether it be a unicorn-haired rug or sheets threaded with fairy dust.”
“I just wish she had more affordable taste,” Bill responded. “She’s been running us out of money with the way she’s been spending.”
“Oh don’t be such a sickle-pincher,” Fleur said, laughing lightly. “Our eldest daughter only moves into her first apartment once.”
Bill didn’t look too convinced at Fleur’s statement and made some more mutterings about how it “didn’t give her license to by a 200 galleon coffee table that you couldn’t even rest your feet on”.
“And to answer the second half of your question,” Fleur said, ignoring Bill’s mutterings and turning back to me, “Louis’s saying hello to Bill’s side of the family. Nana Molly keeps going on about how she doesn’t see us enough, so she snatched Louis up as soon as he stepped off the train.”
“She wants to see you too, Dom,” Bill said, looking at Dom pointedly. “She told us to bring you over once you got off.”
“Oh. Right,” Dom said, looking uncomfortable at the prospect of facing her dad’s side of the family. “Let’s go then.”
“They’re all over there,” Fleur said, gesturing to a cluster of people in the middle of the platform, almost all of the members sporting the unmistakable Weasley hair. Dom nodded her head, looking uneasy, and she grabbed my hand to pull me with her to the group. Looked like if she was going down, she was dragging me with her.
What are best friends for, eh?
Fleur and Bill followed behind us, and I noticed Fleur readjust her hair and smooth down the front of her blue pea coat. It looked like she was nervous about facing Bill’s side of the family too. Like mother, like daughter.
“Dominique?” As soon as we arrived at the cluster of people, an old woman with graying red hair and laugh lines that spanned across centuries walked up to Dom. Dom bit her lip nervously and nodded her head, which caused the woman to break into a huge smile and hug her fiercely. “Oh look at you! Our newest Gryffindor!”
“Molly, let Dom breathe,” a man, who I assumed was Dom’s granddad, Arthur, said after noticing the shocked look on Dom’s face.
“Sorry, sorry,” Nana Molly said, beaming at Dom. “I’m just so proud of you Dominique! I knew you’d get into Gryffindor. Us Weasley’s always get into Gryffindor, you know.”
“Oi! I didn’t,” Albus called out, while Dom flushed at her grandmum’s gushing. He was standing next to a younger girl with red hair who I assumed to be his sister Lily, and his parents were standing behind him. Louis was also with them, and he waved at me, while I gave a weak smile back. I couldn’t help but notice that James was unmistakably absent, and I found myself scanning his parents up and down trying to find a sign of the way James had explained them.
“You’re a Potter; you don’t count,” Roxy said, pulling away from her parents and sticking her tongue out at Al. Al gave her a dirty look back, causing all the parents to laugh.
“Now, now Al, you should be proud to be a Potter.” This was the first time I had ever heard Harry Potter talk, and I couldn’t help but feel like his joking manor was rather odd. I mean, this was the Savior of the Wizarding World. Shouldn’t he be brandishing a sword or something? “It’s what got me your mum, you know.”
“Ugh, Dad, I don’t want to hear your stupid stories about how you got mum. I get it. She got possessed by some psycho guy, and you were the hero and saved her. Congrats.”
“Ah youth these days,” the guy who I recognized as Roxy’s dad, George, mused while Dom’s Nana Molly began to smack Al and tell him to respect his elders. George was dressed rather oddly, wearing jeans, a white polo, and a neon yellow bowtie with multi-colored polka dots. However, the odd apparel kind of… worked for him as weird as it seemed. “They always manage to find a way to devalue your entire life before having them.”
“That’s because children give you the greatest gift of all,” I responded jokily. “You get to be a parent.”
“Ah yes, the joys of parenthood,” George said, rolling his eyes back at me as he smiled. “Who are you by the way? There may be a lot of Weasleys, but I don’t remember you being part of the family.”
Dom, overhearing her Uncle George, quickly cleared her throat causing all the attention to fall on her. “Oh right, I forgot to do introductions. You guys, this is my best friend, Corinne. Corinne, this is—”
“Oh it’s fine, I already know who you all are,” I said, trying to hide the nervousness I felt as Bill’s entire side of the family scrutinized me. Well, okay, not the entire side. Dom’s Uncle Percy and his family weren’t there, and neither was her Uncle Ron. Or James (not that I cared). But still, there were a lot of people now intently watching me, so of course I’d be a little unnerved.
“Oh, Corinne, I’ve heard so much about you!” Dom’s Nana said, pulling me in for a hug. “You’re absolutely stunning, isn’t she Arthur? I bet you and Dom get all the lads at school.”
I gave Dom a helpless look, and she shrugged back, not knowing what to say. “Er… not really.”
“Preposterous!” Nana Molly said, waving a hand at me. “Fleur, this is the one that made that slideshow for Dom at her birthday, isn’t it? That was such a lovely and thoughtful gift. You’re such a good friend to my granddaughter.”
“Yup, she’s the best,” Dom said, nodding her head vigorously.
“Oh! I remember you! You’re the one that punched my son in the face,” George said, looking at me with a glimmer of recognition. I noticed out of the corner of my eye Freddy cross his arms as a surly expression came across his face.
George continued to look at me waiting for a response, and I scanned around the platform wishing for an escape route. Where was Tyson, Chaise, or Wyatt when you needed them? Oh that’s right, they were smart and had said their goodbye’s to us on the train, disappearing as soon as we pulled into the station to go off with their families.
Stupidly. Smart. Tossers.
“Um…” I began, trying to search for the right words. Sadly, it seemed like there weren’t many when it came to explaining to the dad of the person you punched why you did so. “I—”
“No need to explain,” a woman with dark skin, who I recognized as Dom’s Aunt Angelina (or Roxy and Freddy’s mum) said, giving me a joking smile. “I’m sure he deserved it. Freddy here isn’t exactly the nicest of son’s.”
This caused Freddy to scowl at his mum, while she ruffled his hair affectionately.
“Angelina,” George whined, pouting at his wife and looking like a four-year-old child. “You ruined my intimidation tactic! I had her all scared!”
“Psh, yeah, like a man who wears a bowtie could be intimidating,” Angelina said, gesturing to the bowtie George was wearing and rolling her eyes. “Anyways, we wouldn’t want to scare the new friend of our lovely daughter, now would we?”
I noticed Roxy flush in embarrassment as Angelina said this.
“Muuuum,” Roxy whined.
“I’ve heard so much about you, Corinne,” Angelina said, ignoring her daughter and smiling hugely at me. “Roxy’s been going on about how good a friend you’ve been to her and I just want to thank you. I always hated that Madison girl she hung around with, so I’m glad you showed her the light.”
I didn’t know what to say to Angelina, so I just nodded my head, as Roxy shot me an apologetic look.
“I’m so sorry about them,” Roxy said, before turning to her parents and giving them a look. “You know, if adopting parents existed, I’d trade the both of you in an instant. Then I could have a mum that didn’t creep out my friends and a dad that didn’t wear stupid bowties.”
“Yes, but you can’t,” George said, smiling smugly at his daughter, not at all offended by her words. “So looks like your stuck with us. Bowties and all.”
“I like bowties,” I offered. “I think they have a certain charm about them.”
“I like your friend, Roxy,” George said as soon as the words were out of my mouth. “She understands true style.”
Angelina put her face in her hands at George’s statement, “George, how many times do I have to tell you it’s not style?” Angelina then turned to me to explain further. “I’ve been trying to get him to stop wearing bowties since before I married him. He even wore one to the wedding, for Merlin’s sake.”
“Well wouldn’t it have been odd if the bowtie loving person you fell in love with didn’t wear one to the wedding?” I reasoned.
“That’s exactly what my sister said!” George said excitedly. I noticed Freddy was still standing a bit behind his parents, looking annoyed at the fact that we were getting on.
“Come to think of it, she is a bit like Ginny, isn’t she?” Angelina mused, looking at George in wonderment.
“Hmm… I think you’re right. She’s got that quality….” George then turned to Roxy. “Roxy, I think you should invite Corinne over during the hols!”
“She’s staying with Dom’s family,” Freddy cut in immediately, looking very displeased at the suggestion. I guess having me at his house wasn’t on his to-do list. It wasn’t on mine either though, so he needn’t worry. “She wouldn’t want to come over to ours.”
“I don’t believe I was talking to you, Fred,” George said, ignoring his son. “I know you’re scared she might break your nose again, but I think Corinne can contain herself, can’t she?”
I shrugged. “I make no promises.”
George and Angelina laughed. “Yes, you’re definitely coming round to ours,” George said, nodding his head. He then turned his head, seeming to catch sight of someone, and cupped his hand around his mouth. “Oi! Ginny! Come over here and meet Corinne! You’ll love her!”
I felt myself get nervous as James’s mum looked up from the conversation she was having with one of her brother’s— Charlie I think his name was— and over to us. She excused herself, and then headed over to where were standing with Harry in tow, leaving Al, Louis, and Lily to converse with Charlie alone.
“What is it you wanted George? I know you think it’s acceptable to shout at me like I’m a dog, but my hearing really isn’t what it used to be,” Ginny stated, giving George a grumpy look. Something about the way she said it told me they had had this conversation before.
George chose to ignore Ginny though, and gestured to me excitedly.
“Ginny, this one’s got some humor on her! Roxy’s never had a funny friend before,” George said.
Ginny turned away from George and looked at me, her expression instantly softening. I noticed that even in her older age she was rather pretty with dark red hair cut to her chin, warm brown eyes, and high cheekbones.
“Funny, eh?” Ginny said, grinning at me and looking exactly like James did when he smiled. “Go on then, make a joke.”
“I’m not funny,” I said, feeling nervous under Ginny’s stare. “I just said that I liked your brother’s bowties.”
Ginny broke out into a fit of laughter as I said this. “Oh she is funny!”
“Hey! I take offense,” George said, crossing his arms petulantly at Ginny’s laughter.
“Oh get over it,” Ginny said, waving her hands. “You’re forty eight, not four.”
George gasped, “You did not just say my age!”
“What are you, a menopausal woman?”
“No that would be you.”
“Hey, you two, stop your bickering,” Nana Molly said, breaking away from the conversation she was having with Bill and Fleur and glaring at George and Ginny.
“Yes, mum,” George and Ginny responded at the same time. Harry, who had been standing behind Ginny watching the exchange, looked at me apologetically.
“Sorry about them, they’re a handful sometimes,” he said.
I shrugged it off, hiding my nervousness at being addressed by him. “It’s fine. I’m sure they have their redeeming qualities.”
“Yeah, I thought that too, but I was wrong,” Harry said, earning a whack from Ginny as he said this.
I laughed while Harry rubbed his head, glaring at Ginny. “At the least, she’s got a mean arm,” I suggested, causing Ginny to smile at me conspiratorially.
“And so do you!” George said, turning to Ginny. “She’s the one that punched Freddy in the face.”
“She is?” Ginny said, looking at me. She then stepped forward and wrapped her arms around me. Luckily, Freddy was now conversing with another of his family members, so he didn’t hear. “Thank goodness! Someone needed to knock some sense into him.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but before I could Fleur called my name. “Corinne, I think we’re going to head back now. You ready?”
“Oh shoot, we should be going too,” Ginny said, checking her watch and frowning. She then looked at Harry. “Have you seen James yet?”
“No, I haven’t,” Harry responded, shaking his head. Ginny sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.
“That kid will be the death of me, I swear,” Ginny said. She then turned back to me and gave me a tight smile. “Well it was nice meeting you Corinne. Sadly, I’ve got to find my git of a son, who loves to make us look for him. I’ll see you though, yeah?”
“Um… sure,” I responded, nodding my head as Ginny grabbed Harry and began to march away, looking for James as she did so. I waved goodbye to George and Angelina (who again exclaimed that I had to visit them), gave Roxy a hug, and then headed over to Fleur.
“Looks like you fit in,” Fleur said once I had arrived next to her, giving me a small smile.
The weird thing about Fleur’s statement, was that it almost seemed true. I was just able to have an easy conversation with Fred and James’ parents. Something I never thought would happen. How had I managed that?
“I guess so,” I said, shrugging my shoulders and looking away from Fleur and around the platform. My eyes immediately stopped when they saw James, who was sitting on a bench and leaning his head back, with his eyes closed. It seemed like he’d been there a while, and I wondered why he hadn’t just met up with Harry and Ginny when he got off the train.
Just as I was turning away, James looked up and his eyes caught with mine. I felt the same uneasiness I had on the train re-enter my stomach. I fought the blush that was creeping up at getting caught staring, and managed to keep an impassive expression on my face, as I turned away from James and looked at Fleur.
Fleur, who had been watching my line of sight, raised an eyebrow at me curiously. “You ready to go, Corinne?” Fleur asked, studying me carefully.
“Yeah,” I said, shrugging my shoulders and grabbing my trunk, shaking off all thoughts of James. “Of course.”
A/N: There ya have it my lovely lovely readers, chapter 23! I know it's kind of a filler, but then again, there was a lot of Corinne/James action, what with them actually talking and such so at least they're making progress, right? And Corinne met James' parents, and Freddy's parents, and they liked her, which is pretty awesome, right?
Anyways, I'm so sorry for how shoddy I've been with updates lately. Senior year has kind of been freaking me out but for anyone who's wondering I did decide on a college! I went for South, Manageable Workloads, and Advertising if you remember my questions from the last author's note. :)
So, what do my amazing readers think of this chapter? Do you like the new developments between James and Corinne? Do I portray the Weasley/Potter clan to your liking? Did you hate this chapter and want me to stop writing? And omg is it just me or do you want Corinne and Tyson to wind up together? It's probably just me, but let me know in a review regardless!
Speaking of reviews, I seriously can't believe I have over 500 on this story. It's kind of freaking me out because I don't know why you guys like me/my story at all because Corinne is an annoying fart and James is so freaking difficult. But yeah anyways, you guys are seriously the best reviewers/readers ever and I can't even begin to describe my love for you! So please make me happy and leave me more amazing reviews?
Alright this author's note is way too long (as usual). Love ya, thanks for being amazing!
French Translations (YAY FRENCH WORDS ARE BACK!!):
Oh ma petite- oh my little
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