Beautiful chapter image of girl's granma and granpa, their father's parents by amazing callisto @ TDA
“Where are my little girls?” Grandpa asks happily the second Blair, Dad and I step into the house.
“Oh, Walter they are hardly little.” My Grandma says when she kisses me on the cheek.
“And that’s what worries me.” Grandpa says and hugs Blair. “You need to stop growing.”
“There’s hope, Grandpa.” Blair says and Grandpa laughs with surprise.
“Oh, my, I haven’t seen you two in such a long time, I thought you were Blair.” He says to her.
“No, granddad, I’m the better looking one.” I say with a smile and hug him.
“If you say so.” Blair blinks in my direction and I roll my eyes.
“How are you, my boy?” Grandma says and kisses Dad on the cheek leaving a lipstick mark.
“I’m hardly a boy, Mom.” Dad protests but smiles. “And I’m good.”
“Really good.” Blair adds significantly and Dad points her a look of warning.
In the last two days, the two of them have been acting like the fight between them never happened. They were awfully polite to each other which meant none of them forgot it, but silently decided to back up and not to mention Elena at least during the holidays.
“What do you mean by that, Ashley dear?” Grandma asks and Blair looks at Dad with a poisonous smile.
“Gee, I’m hungry!” I say trying to change the subject. “Where are your famous Christmas cookies, Grandma?”
“I mean, that Dad has a girlfriend.” Blair continues ignoring me and still shooting daggers at Dad.
And the bomb exploded.
At first both Grandma and Grandpa stare at Blair in shock and then they look at Dad.
“A girlfriend?” they both ask in one voice and continue to stare at him.
“Yes, actually, I have a girlfriend.” Dad finally confesses and sighs. “We’ve been going out for a month now and I’ve been planning to invite her here, but…”
“But Christmas is family time and she’s definitely not family.” Blair finishes.
“Ashley…” Dad starts tiredly.
“I’m exhausted.” Blair cuts him off heading towards the stairs. “I’m going to take a nap until dinner.”
Dad sighs loudly and grabs his bag heading towards the living room. “I’m tired as well. Call me when dinner is ready.”
He angrily slams the door in the same time Blair slams hers and Grandpa and Grandma look at me for an explanation.
“So…” I start uncomfortably. “How about those cookies now?”
“I don’t know why I even got here!” I snap my mouth filled with cookies. “How could I be so stupid to think that I’d come back here and everything will come back to normal? Nothing is normal!”
Ashley and I were sitting in the kitchen while everyone else was already asleep. It was a day until Christmas and we were both under a lot of stress.
“Of course nothing is normal.” Ashley says and takes a sip of milk. “For starters, we’re not normal. You’re me, I’m you. It worked just fine when we weren’t in the same place. Now that we are, it’s all one big mess.”
“Explain to me how it worked just fine!” I insist and grab another cookie. “You quit your job and I… I’m a mess.”
“What do you mean?” she asks furrowing her eyebrows.
“I can’t talk about that here!” I say and put the cookie back on the platter. “Let’s go out!”
“But it’s freezing outside.” Ashley complains but after I shoot her an annoyed look, she just nods her head and follows me out, on the snow covered terrace.
She waves her wand and cleans out a bench from snow while I pace around nervously. “So, what do you have to tell me?” Ashley asks finally.
“Accio cigarettes!” I call and wave my wand.
“You’re smoking?” Ashley asks me in shock.
“Now and then.” I say when I snatch a box of cigarettes from air. “Just shut up about it, okay?”
“Okay, will you finally explain what’s wrong before I light one up as well?” she snaps at me and stands up as well.
“Fine, remember how I told you that Daniel doesn’t know anything about the two of us switching places?” she nods her head. “I lied.”
“What?!” she screams. I take a smoke and start pacing around nervously again.
“He found out when I was out with James and he’s been blackmailing me ever since.” I explain.
“Blackmailing you with what exactly?” she asks me.
“I have to pretend to be his girlfriend!” I finally say and she opens her mouth in shock. “Ash?” I ask her trying to make sure she wasn’t going through a panic attack.
“Give me a cigarette!” she orders.
“Are you sure?” I ask her.
“Don’t make me repeat that twice!” she hisses and I throw her the box. She lights one up with her wand and takes a smoke.
“So, he knows about us and he’s asking you to be his girlfriend?”
“His pretend girlfriend.” I correct her. “And yes.”
“Why haven’t you told me about this?” Ashley snaps at me.
“Because I’d knew you’d freak out!” I say. “And because Daniel told me something that might hurt you.”
“Just tell me already!” she insists.
“He told me the reason he dates a Pierce is just because of the perks that come with the family name.” I say and look at the floor.
Ashley sighs and sits back on the bench. “I should’ve known.”
“You couldn’t know.” I try to comfort her. “He turned out to be a bastard just after you left.”
“I guess you’re right.” She says and takes another smoke.
We stay silent for a while, smoking our cigarettes and freezing in the cold December night while waiting for it to officially be Christmas.
“So, I guess this is it.” Ashley breaks the silence.
“What?” I ask confused.
“I’m going back to London and you’re staying here.” She explains.
“What? Why?!” I practically scream at her.
“Would you calm down?” she hisses. “You’re going to wake everyone up!”
“You can’t go back! Your life is here! Nick and your job…”
“I quit the job and it was never meant to be with Nick. I was bound to go back to London anyways, and I’m not a believer in long distance relationships, but maybe if…”
“Ash, you’re not going back.” I protest.
“I can’t leave you handling my bastard ex-boyfriend!” she says. “I can’t allow him to blackmail you. I will get back and I’ll take care of it.”
“No, Ash.” I say. “I will go back. And I will take care of it.”
“I can’t let you do that!” she says.
“Yes, you can.” I say and put out my cigarette. “Just promise me one thing.”
“You’ll go back to your job.” I say and she sighs.
“I’m not doing that.” She says. “I failed and I…”
“You fall down and you get up and do it again.” I say. “That’s what Dad always said when I fell from the broom. And you ought to listen to him ‘cause he can’t have two daughters who disobey him.”
Ashley laughs and smiles at me. “I’ll go back. I’ll figure something out.”
“I know you will.” I smile at her.
“I have an idea!” I announce when I walk into Blair’s bedroom. I find her tangled in her covers, sleeping and snoring rather loudly.
“Blair!” I try again but she remains asleep.
I finally grab her covers and pull them off of her. She turns around in her bed in fear and falls off of her bed.
“Ouch!” she screams. “What the hell?!”
“I have an idea!” I announce again not minding her grumpiness.
“It’s six in the morning!” she complains looking at the clock on the wall.
“Exactly!” I say and start throwing clothes at her. “No one’s up yet, so we have enough time to go to New York and back.”
“New York? What?” she repeats.
“We’re in Boston, at our grandparents’ house and I need to get to New York immediately.” I break it down for her.
“Why?” she asks rubbing her eyes.
“I’m getting back on the broom.” I say when she gets up from the bed. “We’re visiting Gerard and we’re getting my job back.”
“On Christmas morning?” she asks, pulling on her pants.
“Yes!” I say maniacally. “Let’s go!”
We apparate straight in front of Gerard’s apartment.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this!” Blair says grumpily.
“I have to talk to him before you go back.” I explain.
“What do you even need me for?” she asks when I knock on the front door.
“I need to show him my idea.” I say with a smile and Blair just gives me a freaked out look.
I knock again impatiently.
“I’m fucking coming!” I hear a voice from the inside.
“That’s him!” I say excitedly and Blair rolls her eyes.
Finally, the door opens and we find Gerard staring angrily at the two of us. Suddenly, when he realises there’s two of us, he opens his mouth in shock.
“What the fuck?!” he snaps.
“Hi, Gerard, I’m sorry to be bothering you this early, but I have a new idea and I wanted to…” I start but he cuts me off.
“There’s two of you!” he points out.
“Yeah, yeah.” Blair says. “Can we just get some coffee? This lunatic here pulled me out of the bed in six in the morning!”
“I hear you there.” Gerard says staring at Blair confused. “Come on in.”
We walk in and follow him through his fancy Manhattan apartment and into the living room where we sit on the couch.
“Will someone explain this?” he points to the two of us.
“Where do I even start?” I ask with a small smile.
“I’ll start.” Blair offers. “She’s not Blair, I am. She’s been pretending to be me. She’s actually Ashley Pierce from London and her biggest dream is to become a fashion designer. Now, can we get some coffee?”
Gerard turns to look at me and I smile.
“You’re not Blair?” he asks me in disbelief and I shake my head.
“I’m sorry I lied.” I say quickly. “My grandparents would never allow me to become a fashion designer so I switched places with Blair in hope that I’ll get an opportunity to do that here. And I had one but then I ruined it and I’m sorry. I am so sorry.”
Gerard stares at me for a moment. “And what do you want now?”
“Coffee would be nice.” Blair says grumpily.
“I want a second chance.” I say ignoring Blair. “I have a new idea. The one I believe in. Not something fake like I thought before. That’s why I had to bring Blair with me.”
“What’s that idea you’re talking about?” he asks me.
“Blair’s my idea!” I announce and both Blair and Gerard stare at me in confusion. “Blair and I, we’re two sides of one coin. We’re sisters, but we’re more than that. We’re soul mates. She’s my alter ego! I want to make that my label!”
“Excuse me?” Gerard asks.
“Alter ego!” I repeat. “Designs that will combine who you are and what you want to be. I’m not faking it no longer, I’m being one hundredth percent real!”
Gerard stares at me for a moment and then he gets up and claps his hands, smile plastered on his face. “I fucking love it!” he announces and I get up as well. He hugs me and smiles. “You’re hired again! And this time I’m not letting you go that easily.”
“Thank you!” I scream and hug him again. “Not many people would give me a second chance.”
“You’re right.” Gerard nods his head. “But I always knew you had it in you. You just didn’t believe in yourself. And now you learned your lesson. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. It only matters what you think!”
“Thanks, Gerard.” I say with a smile.
“No, thank you.” He says. “Because my Christmas wish just came true.”
“And where have you two been?” Grandma asks catching me and Ashley as we try to sneak in the house through the kitchen.
She stands in front of us with her arms crossed and with an angry expression on her face.
Ashley and I exchange looks of fear and then look back at Grandma.
“We were just…” Ashley starts and I cut her off.
“Grandma, we’re about to tell you something that Dad can’t find out.” I say and Ashley looks at me in fear.
“What is it girls?” Grandma asks. “You’re scaring me.”
“Here it goes!” I say and take a deep breath and Ashley’s eyes widen in fear. “Blair has a boyfriend!” I announce and both Grandma and Ashley open their mouths in shock.
“Well, what’s wrong with that?” Grandma asks still suspicious. “Is he older than you? Is he a member of a gang? I knew that New York wasn’t the city to raise a child.”
“No, no, Grandma.” I continue. “Blair’s boyfriend is Nick!”
“Oh!” Ashley suddenly realises. “Yes, Grandma, Nick! You remember him.”
“Nick is your boyfriend?” she asks with a smile. “He’s a great boy, Blair! That’s great!”
“Thanks Grandma.” Ashley says shyly blushing a bit.
“But the thing is, Grandma,” I continue. “Dad thinks of Nick as a son and we’re afraid that if Blair tells him about Nick, that he will get seriously mad. You know how protective he can be.”
“You don’t need to say anything else.” She says and flicks her wand towards the stove and starts making coffee. “He gets that from his father. Walter himself is always over protective.”
“So, you won’t tell anyone?” Ashley asks.
“No, of course not.” Grandma shakes her head. “And what about you, Ashley?” she turns towards me. “Do you have a boy?”
“No, no, I don’t.” I say and turn towards the counters. “You need help with breakfast?”
“I think I’m going to take a shower now.” Ashley says and kisses Grandma on the cheek. “Merry Christmas Grandma.”
“Merry Christmas, bee.” Grandma says with a smile. As soon as Ashley leaves, she turns towards me. “Is it just me, or are you blushing, Ashley?”
I accidentally drop a pan and turn to look at Grandma’s amused smile. “No!” I say painfully aware that blush is creeping up my cheeks.
“So, there is a boy!” Grandma says and laughs. “Tell me about him.”
“Fine!” I give up. “But you can’t tell anyone, not even Blair.”
“Wizard’s honour.” She says and pours coffee into two cups. She hands me one and sits down on the table.
I sit next to her and start talking. “His name is James and he goes to Hogwarts with me.”
“Is he your boyfriend?” she asks.
“No.” I say and take a sip of coffee. “I don’t think he’ll ever be.”
“Why do you think that?”
“No reason, I just do.” I say.
“I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy.” Grandma says holding my hand. “He’ll get to know how amazing you are.”
“He is wonderful.” I nod my head. “But believe me, I’m not that amazing.”
Happy Christmas! Blair sends her best as well, although, if you ask, she’ll never admit it.
I miss you a lot. I feel like we haven’t properly even seen each other since Blair was in London.
I miss grandmother and grandfather as well. Not to mention Beth.
Say hi to them for me.
Can’t wait to see you.
I know the last two chapters were a bit boring because, let's face it, there's no James and Blair action, but I really feel like all of this had to happen. Ashley is back to work and Blair finally confessed the truth. It seems like everything is back to normal. Well, as normal as can be with these two girls.
I want to thank all of you for the supportive reviews. It really helps a lot with my writing and I hope you continue to tell me what you think.
In the next chapter: Blair returns to Hogwarts and has a suprise waiting for her on the train station. She and James finally talk face to face. Ashley finally sees Nick as her boyfriend, but her father sees them only as friends.
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