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another great ci by milominderbinder @tda


It was nearing seven o'clock on a Friday morning, a time when few of Hogwarts' inhabitants had roused from their sleep; it was far too early to function unless you were a Slytherin or Gryffindor Quidditch player, aching to crush the other into the ground at the match the following day. Seeing as how Nova was neither, she was rather annoyed that Cassidy saw it fit to drag her into the grounds, the weak sun glaring into their eyes.

"It's freezing," she snapped, trying to snatch back her trapped hand. She dug her heels into the grass, but all it did was drench her shoes in mud and nearly make her fall back onto her arse. "I don't see why I have to be up at this hour or outside."

Cass rolled her eyes. "Because Slytherin have booked the pitch to practice."

Maybe if it had been later in the day, Nova would've entertained the idea of going to the Quidditch Pitch to watch Albus fly in the sky, showcasing his notorious skills. Something about going with Cass made it seem less creepy, as if just the presence of the curvy Hufflepuff made even murder seem excusable. However, it was still before seven o'clock in the morning and at this point, Nova could not give a fuck about fancying Albus Potter.

She told Cass this.

Before the other girl could reply, a new voice cut in, bright and whimsical, even at this hour. "Oh, don't be so grumpy, Nova. When we get to the stands and you see your man, you'll be thanking us."

"Piss off, Nala."

Not taking it to heart, all she did was beam and grab Nova's free hand, pulling her along. Earlier this morning, Nala had been kindly woken up by Fat Ginger as he planted his butt on her face and had seen Cass pull a protesting Nova out of bed by the ankles; upon finding out that she was taking Nova to the pitch to observe Albus ("we need to know the secrets of his soul, Hale, his soul,"), she had sprung up, eager to join them. Neither Cass nor Nova had asked her why - Nala had a tendency to oscillate between guys, pining after them in her daydreams until she grew sick of them, so it was no surprise that she fancied one of the Quidditch players.

"Won't they think it's weird that we're there?" Nova was asking now, trying to find reasons to get out of doing this. It wasn't that she didn't want to see him. It was that he made her brain stop working and stole her breath away, two things she was not prepared to deal with properly if she was barely awake. "I mean, we're Hufflepuffs."

Cass shrugged. "There's no rules about going to see them train."

"Plus," Nala chimed in, skipping over a puddle, "we have Cass with us. Her cousin's the Captain."

Personally, she didn't see how that would help in the slightest. It wasn't like Cass frequently lurked around the Quidditch Pitch when Slytherin practised, happily supporting Xanthe Greengrass with banners that screamed LOVE YOU, BABE. If anything, they would probably guess the truth and assume either Nala or Nova fancied one of the players and had dragged along Cass to take advantage of the very reason Nala had suggested.

It was no use, however. Before she knew it, Nova was being pushed into a seat at the top of one of the stands and was watching the Slytherin Quidditch team soar through the air. Though she knew little about Quidditch, barring the basics that ensured she knew how to support her team, she took a few minutes to compare the different approach Slytherin had. They had their own distinctive style: all sharp turns and speed and staggering heights. It differed greatly from the fun, laidback quality that Hufflepuff brought to their games - her house's team sought to have fun while trying to win, Slytherin's aimed to intimidate.

She was too busy soaking in the bigger picture that she almost forgot there was a certain person there. Eyes straining to focus in on the blurs above, she tried to seek out Albus, not even knowing how she would know who he was. As soon as she'd thought that, however, her eyes were drawn to a figure weaving in and out of the other players. At first, she had thought it was one of the Chasers perfecting a play before she realised there was a certain spirited feel to the person that suggested he was independent of the others.

That was Albus Potter.

She watched him exceed the heights of his teammates and playfully dart around the place, suddenly dropping into a steep dive, spiralling like a corkscrew. Something about him on a broom seemed so natural, like it was his true calling. He was at home in the sky, a bird swathed in silver and green, free to spread his wings and fly.

Still, Nova didn't really know what secrets he was supposed to be revealing. All she was surmising was that he was talented on a broom and loved being so, both facts that she had more or less already been aware of. There was something so captivating about him that made her hold her tongue, however, instead of voicing this to her friends.

It didn't take them long to be noticed. Nova and Nala were watching them curiously, undisguised delight on the latter's face, while Cassidy inspected her hair, lazily flicking her wand to remove the split ends as she found them. They were still like that when Xanthe Greengrass landed his broom on the row of seats in front of them, dark eyes regarding them. Just like his cousins, he was unfairly attractive with a golden crown of curls and a face that could entice a unicorn to the dark side.

"What brings you girls here?" he finally asked, his smooth voice articulating the words with a natural huskiness that Nova was well aware had girls all over Hogwarts salivating. Fortunately for her, she wasn't as fazed.

Cass shrugged. "Can I not watch my cousin practise Quidditch?"

Xanthe smirked. "Not when it's so close to the game. I know all about your dealings with Potter, Cass."

"I'll have you know that Potter has always been loyal to your team, Xanthe," she said. It had always confused Nova how Cass spelt her nickname for him the same way as his name, but pronounced it as Zanth instead of Zanthee. "So don't worry about it."

"The other Potter," he clarified with a roll of his eyes. "James."

"Oh." Cass smirked. "That one."

"'Dealings'?" Nova couldn't help breaking in with despite having rarely talked to the seventeen year old. "You make her sound like a hooker."

Xanthe's eyes flickered to her and then he nodded, seemingly amused. "My apologies, Hale. I only meant that Cass here has a history with James Potter, however casual it's been, and I wouldn't put it past him to send you along to spy on us. It's what I would do."

"Aren't Gryffindors supposed have honour, though? Cheating like that seems beneath them."

"Hey, we both want to win." Here, he shrugged. A grin flickered onto his face. "Of course, Gryffindors are no match for us whether they send spies or not."


Really, it was beyond her how boys managed to make Quidditch sound so serious and so childish at the same time. It was almost laughable how they regarded it with the utmost seriousness, as if they were Healers tending a patient that was undergoing the trickiest of treatments.

And then quite quickly, all internal musings of how ridiculous guys could be were chased out of her mind when Adonis himself landed beside them.

"Potter, aren't you supposed to be looking for the snitch?"

In response, Albus held out the golden ball trapped in his fist. "That makes it four times now."

"Four times?" Nova echoed, eyebrows shooting up.

He took that as permission to sprawl into the seat next to her, head tipped back to peer at the sky, his broomstick resting on both of their laps. "I've had plenty of time - we've been here from about five in the morning," he groaned.

"You're joking, right?"

"I wish I was."

Xanthe rolled his eyes again. Crossing his arms, he said pointedly, "Do you want to beat your brother or not, Potter? Gryffindor might have a bunch of dunces on the team-"

"You do know that half of them are related to me, right?"

"- but we still need to put in the time to make sure we annihilate them."

"They'll be annihilated," Albus said, a note of amusement creeping into his voice. "I don't know if you've noticed, but we're on top form. It won't hurt if I rest for a few minutes either."

Xanthe looked like he considered arguing, but then accepted defeat. "Ten minutes. When you're back on the pitch, I expect you to catch the snitch in less than that."

Albus mock-saluted him.

Finally, Nala's high voice joined in on the conversation. Fiddling with one of her bouncy curls, she said, "Less than ten minutes? You don't think that's a little, well, impossible?"

He smirked. When he smirked like that, Nova could see how he managed to convince anyone and everyone he set his eyes on that he was someone worth pursuing despite his record as a heartbreaker. There was something extraordinary about it - something that suggested he would like nothing more than to take you to a corner and press kisses all over your body before he helped elderly women cross the street. The combination made for something truly powerful.

Coupled with the smoldering once-over he gave Nala, there was no doubt that they were glimpsing at the infamous player he was.

"Well, I happen to have a little faith in him. You see, Nala Soyinka, I only take on the best," he said slowly and then - so quickly that Nova wasn't even sure he had done it - he sent her a deliberate wink before he took off.

Nala blushed furiously under the suspicious scrutiny of her friends. She squirmed uncomfortably and then her eyes dropped onto Albus inspecting the twigs of his broom.

"So!" she exclaimed, making him jump out of his thoughts. "Albus! Why don't you tell Nova all about the secret to being a good Seeker?"

He raised an eyebrow. Turning to the Hufflepuff in question, he said with a faint smile, "If I did that, I don't think it'd be much of a secret."

"Worried that I'll use it to get onto the Hufflepuff team and beat you to the Cup?" she teased.

"Well, I can't be too careful. You are full of surprises. For all I know, you could be the next Captain of the Harpies."

She smiled at him, feeling her heart thud in that familiar drumbeat again, occasionally skipping whenever one of his small quirks made an appearance. "If only. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near as talented as you. Broomsticks and I have never agreed."

"You know, if anyone in my family heard you right now, they'd all have heart attacks. Not agreeing with a broomstick? They'd see it as a crime against humanity! To tell you the truth, I'm seeing it that way myself."

"I can't help it if I'm airsick," she protested.

"Nothing can excuse this, Hale. Not flying a broom is the stuff out of nightmares."

"Think it's the opposite way around for me."

He looked at her, ears pricked in interest. Green eyes piercing into her, he asked curiously, "Wait, you have a genuine fear of flying? Oh, I didn't know that."

She blushed. He probably thought she was an idiot. Rushing to rectify the mistake, she said, "Oh, no. No, of course not! I just don't put the fate of my life in a scrap of wood."

"I have a Nimbus 2222."


He laughed. The sound was so rich and deep and it just made her feel so fucking great. There was no more resentment at being dragged out here before seven o'clock in the morning to read the secrets of Albus' soul, no more concerns about freezing her bits off, nothing but a deep pride that welled up in her. Nova had made him laugh. Now she might not have been an expert in crushing on someone, but she was pretty damn sure that it was a good thing.

"What I mean is my broom's good. You'd be able to trust it with the 'fate of your life'."

She blinked at him, slowly saying, "But I'm never going to use it."

"Well, if I'm going to teach you to ride a broomstick, what else will you be using? A Shooting Star?"

"I don't remember agreeing to these lessons you speak of."

"Really? I do." He gave her a little smirk.

Fucking hell, he was hot. Him and his bloody hipster glasses and a face that was carved in God's bloody image. How could she stand her ground when he was looking at her like that? She was so fucked.

"Alright, I'll bite," she said, subconsciously leaning forward. "You win this match against Gryffindor and I'll ride your bloody broomstick."

It was only after she finished her sentence that she caught the innuendo. Judging from the way his eyes flashed in amusement and he let out another small laugh, she was guessing that he had too.

"Now, that's what I call motivation."

Because Transfiguration was such a popular subject, there were usually a couple of classes on at the same time. Fortunately for the girls of Dormitory 2.6A, they all had it at the same time. Unfortunately for them, they were separated: Reagan and Nova in Professor Reed's class - along with Albus Potter - and Cass, Dahlia, Nala and Alice in Professor Coles'. Sometimes, however, the classes would merge if the teachers wanted to give a lecture or were conducting a mock exam or were doing assessed practicals.

Today, they were doing none of those things, but their classes had been merged and consequently, there was a loud buzz of chatter in the room as everyone rearranged to be with their closest mates.

"Seriously, Nala," Cass was saying, "Xanthe is bad news. Stay away from him."

"Two things," Nala replied, ticking them off on her fingers. "One, what makes him so bad? And two, what makes you think he's even interested in me?"

They were arranged so that Cass and Nala were paired up at one table, with Reagan and Nova next to them, and Dahlia and Alice in front. At Nala's questions, Dahlia turned around and fixed her with an unimpressed look.

"Oh, I know! One, he's Xanthe Greengrass and two, he's Xanthe fucking Greengrass. Everyone knows he likes to sleep with anything that breathes."

"Thanks," Nala deadpanned.

"No offence, Nala. You're better than that pile of hippogriff shit."

"Thanks," Cass said flatly. When all she received was a sweet smile, she continued, "But she's right. Look, I love Xanthe, I do, but when it's comes to girls, he - he's a prick, okay? I know that I get around so I can't fault him for that, but he likes to actually string girls along. You're my best friend, Nala. I don't want you to fall for his act and trust me, he will try to make you fall for it."

"Be a strong independent woman!" Alice cried.

"Castrate him," Dahlia said at the same time.

"You see, as your teacher, I am legally obligated to advise you against that," Professor Reed said as he slammed a bloody mass onto the table.

Immediately, the girls recoiled. Slapping a hand over her nose, Alice exclaimed, "Professor, what is that?"

"That is a lamb's heart. We're going to be dissecting it."

"We're going to be what?"

"Since when did we become Muggles?" Dahlia demanded, scrunching up her nose. "We know nothing about the heart to dissect the damn thing."

"I suggest you pay attention to the lesson, then. I thought it'd be a good idea to do this experiment since we transfigure animate objects into other animated objects - i.e., animals into other animals - which changes the biology of the object. Of course, if you had done your homework, you would know that. . ." Here, he suddenly pointed to Reagan who looked bewildered.

"I - I. . ."

"Didn't do the homework?"

"Forgot," she said lamely.

He looked at her sternly. "Remember our talk at the end of last year, Miss Davies. You promised that you were going to step up. It might be early days yet, but I expect to see a change. If not, you'll be dissecting more hearts before your dinner, purely because I'm a sadist and would like to put you off your food."

"Understood," she muttered, the points of her ears flushing a bright pink.

"Now, Miss Hale, what would you know if you did the homework?"

"Er. . . that the inherent spirit of the animate object wouldn't change? So if you transfigure a spider into a rat, its spirit will still be that of a spider."

"Correct. Ten points to Hufflepuff."

Dissecting hearts was disgusting business.

First of all, Professors Reed and Coles covered the structure of the heart on the board, quickly mentioning that no one needed to know any of this for the exams, but that they thought it would be an interesting lesson to have. Words like vena cava and pulmonary artery went in one ear and out the other and there was an emphasis on the extra muscle on the wall of the left ventricle for Merlin knew what reason.

Then, they actually performed the deed itself. A number of witches and a fair few wizards were visible recoiling as they cut theirs open, some of them crying out in horror when they learned they had to put their fingers up the blood vessels. On the flip side, some of the guys had taken to the task with a savage delight, enthusiastically digging their gloved fingers into the raw mess.

"I think I'm going to throw up," Cassidy said faintly, staggering away from her desk.

"Throw up what? You had a bunch of grapes for breakfast."

Nevertheless, her friends had similar looks of revulsion. Nova was briefly distracted from the horrible ordeal when Albus came over to discuss their flying lessons and confirm that she would be supporting him; she joked that she planned to wear red and gold the following day and he pretended to grab his heart in a rather sarcastic manner before he actually had to grab the heart Scorpius Malfoy launched at him from the other side of the room.

"Funny little thing, isn't it?" he said, grinning when she flinched at his offering. "I guess I'll see you later then."

By the end of the hour, three people had fainted and two more had vomited out of the window. A heart lay in the middle of the classroom, looking like it had been used in a sacrificial ritual and then had been torn into by savages, resembling minced meat more than it did a vital organ. An amused group of boys happily played catch with a couple more, sending most of the classroom diving under their desks.

After that disaster of a lesson, it was safe to conclude that neither Professor Reed nor Coles were in a hurry to try it again.

The wind was whipping up something fierce, howling through the stands and threatening to tear lovingly crafted banners from their owners' hands. It tore along the Quidditch Pitch, toying with the players in a rough, careless manner, seeming to whisper danger and promise breathless lungs.

Nova shivered underneath her cloak, pulling the black article around her tightly. Cassidy had fished out the numerous Slytherin scarves she had been gifted by family members over the years - some of them meant as a joke, others a clear statement of their refusals to accept her true house - so five of them had them knotted at the base of their throats. Coupled with the leather gloves and thermal clothing they wore, they should've been relatively warm, but alas, that was not the case.

"Can't they win the damn thing already?" Dahlia grumbled. "I don't even know why I came to the fucking thing, it's not like we're even fucking playing-"

She was cut off by Alice's scream of, "FOUL. HE'S A BLATCHER, HE'S A BLOODY BLATCHER! YOU DIRTY SNAKE!"

"That snake happens to be my cousin."

Alice looked at Cass grimly. She stood out from the sextet since she had a scarf coloured red and gold looped around her neck, not to mention a lion painted on her cheek and a small Gryffindor flag in her right hand, though she fit in with the rest of Hufflepuff well enough.

"Your cousin is a blatcher."

"Everyone's a blatcher in Gryffindor vs Slytherin match," Reagan pointed out.

She gestured to Hugo Weasley as he rammed into the Slytherin with the Quaffle; they watched it fall out of his grasp and drop into the hands of Xanthe. The Captain promptly shot forward, darted past the two Gryffindors that moved to block him, dodged the Bludger fired his way and then let the Quaffle soar without hesitation. It rose and descended in an arc, slipping through the left hoop at the last second.

"DAMN IT." Alice stomped her foot as her friends broke into loud cheers. "They're in the bloody lead."

And didn't Slytherin know it. They were already back in formation, but there was a certain smug note to their flying and their Seeker was taking a celebatory lap around the pitch for it. Nova watched him with a faint smile - he looked so happy there, so at bliss and a part of her wished she could share it with him. But no, this was his territory. She respected that.

Much to Alice's dismay - her loyalty to her father's house really manifested when it came to Quidditch - Slytherin retained the edge over their rivals and won the match 330 - 170 when Albus caught the Snitch. There was just enough time to see him land and hold his fist in the air triumphantly before his teammates jumped on top of him and his housemates spilled out of the stands to smother him. Nova followed her friends back to the castle, intending to spend the rest of the afternoon lounging around until Slytherin's common room opened its doors for the official after party.

"If Slytherin keep it up, they might win the Cup," Alice sadly commented as they drifted into Dormitory 2.6A.

"Would that be such a bad thing?" Cass asked.

"It's not like we ever fucking win the thing, anyway."

"Actually, Hufflepuff won the Cup the year before we started! We're just. . . going through a dry spell."

"On the contrary, I think we're drowning out there," Nova put in as she unlocked the top drawer of her bedside table. "Maybe we'll win next year."

As far as she was aware, all Hufflepuffs had this one locked drawer with a key that the house elves carefully placed on their pillows that first night of the year. Consequently, all personal, prized and private possessions remained there - letters from lovers, secret diaries, birth control etc., etc. One of the items in Nova's was a book she'd had ever since first year.

The scrapbook wasn't a secret, not really, but it was precious so it remained out of harm's way. Reagan had given it as a present on Christmas back in first year, noticing that Nova liked to collect things and snap the occasional picture. The pages were endless yet it seemed to be no thicker than an average novel and contained everything from photographs, both old and new, to notes Dahlia had chucked at her head to scraps of fabric from her favourite dresses she'd grown out of. Past memories weren't the only things preserved in those pages either; Nova had countless sections dedicated to the future - cities she wanted to visit, careers she was considering and her dream house were only a few of those things.

Currently, she was on a page with nothing more a scrap of ribbon she had found under a chair in the common room the other day, coloured a dizzying, brilliant green. She had stuck it to the page at a jaunty angle and had written 'THE COLOUR OF ALBUS POTTER'S EYES' under it. Briefly, she wondered whether it was creepy that she had done that before she decided that she didn't really care as she began to write a small paragraph about her crush on him. This scrapbook was supposed to contain her most significant memories and milestones: finally fancying someone again fell under that.

At least it wasn't a sneaky picture.

For the next few hours, Nova remained in her dormitory with her friends. Having lived with each other for years, they were comfortable doing their own things, though occasionally, they all found themselves laughing themselves hoarse over something in her scrapbook and submerged themselves in the act of swapping stories, feeling nostalgia creep over them. To think they had ever been so small, so young and naive. Nova would bet her wand that if their younger selves could see them now, they would be stiff with shock and she voiced this.

"I wouldn't be," Dahlia immediately refuted. Tossing her dark hair back, she smirked smugly. "I always knew I'd be a badass bitch."

"Maybe just the second part."

Eventually, the hour of the party dawned and they headed down to the dungeons, looking less like lazy girls who didn't give a fuck and more like girls out to make an impression - barring Dahlia, of course. She, Nova and Reagan had opted to stick to their dark jeans, but had on rather stylish - or extremely comfortable in Dahlia's case - tops and the second had painted her lips red, mindful of the fact that Albus would be there. Alice, Nala and Cassidy were donning pretty dresses, the latter showing more skin than one would usually dare to when in such a cold environment.

"I see the Slytherins are proud of their victory," she noted in amusement.

As soon as one passed through the entrance, they were greeted by a huge banner one of the snakes must've stolen from an unsuspecting Gryffindor and added a sketch of a huge python to, one that repeatedly devoured the lion and then flickered its tongue as if to say fuck yeah, I'm awesome.

Alice sniffed. "I'm going to need a drink."

Keeping in line with all victory parties, the Slytherin common room was already brimming with people and walking into the crowd was like hitting a wall of heat and sweat and sex. No, there wasn't any nasty business going on here - there was a clear rule that that sort of thing was to happen only in a dormitory when parties were being held - but it was overwhelmingly obvious what a lot of people were after.

Meanwhile, Nova had never even been kissed.

For the first time in a long time, she resented that. She recalled her determination to be popular back in first year, her elation when she realised that her roommates were exactly the type of girls that ended up being so and that she could too. She could almost imagine her eleven year old self that had dreamt of being the Queen Bee of this school, cool enough to flirt with someone like Albus Potter and confident enough to snog him, having already snogged countless boys before.

But dreams could shatter easily and morph into something else. She was no longer that Nova Hale, the one that believed a good life was synonymous with popularity. She understood that there were things that were more important: friendship, even if it was with a strange group of friends, and grades and being happy. She understood that sometimes you fell for people you would never be with, but that was okay because you didn't need a boy to define you or to like you back, no matter how nice it would be to be the girl that someone fancied for once.

"You alright?" Reagan drew her out of her thoughts, lightly tapping her on the arm with a concerned look.

Nova smiled. "Yeah, I'm fine. I think I need a drink, though."

Her best friend linked arms with her and they proceeded to fight through the mass of bodies together. "You and me both, Nova. Though we're going to have to get it for ourselves - Alice has dragged Dahlia off to the Gryffindors in the Weeping Corner, Cass has gone to hunt down some poor unsuspecting lad and only Circe knows where Nala is."

Parties could be fun things.

She was never the type to get pissed and forget the night before, but being tipsy gave a buzz that instantly just made life better. She stuck close to Reagan, the two of them happy to bend the rules together. They shared a bottle of Firewhiskey, jokingly judged the people they hated ("Okay, seriously, I don't know why she thinks she'll be okay wearing five inch heels after she broke her ankle last year," Reagan said, narrowing her eyes at a Dormitory 2.6B girl) and even smoked a rare fag.

As the hours wore on, things started to get a little crazier with the rest of the students. Gryffindors were still bawling in the Weeping Corner, someone was arguing vehemently with one of the portraits ("fuck off, you old bat, or my piss will literally be on your face,") and several things were lying in pieces on the floor ("WHY THE FUCK WAS HERPO THE FOUL'S NOSE SO SHARP, THE LITTLE SHIT-"). A fair few people were getting. . .well acquainted too.

The Quidditch team remained a focus of the celebration, people crowding them to congratulate them and get their version of the play-by-play. She glimpsed a shock of wild, dark hair, but didn't approach the knot of students since it really wasn't her kind of crowd. Several of the faces were familiar, even Nala's at one point, and they were giving the stars of the match all the adoration in the world. Of course, the team were more than happy to lap it up, Xanthe Greengrass in particular until he disappeared, no doubt off with a girl.

So there Nova and Reagan were, sitting against one of the walls with their legs crossed, laughing harder than they should over a crappy joke one of them had cracked when Alice ran up to them, looking decidedly less happy.

"Nova - Reagan," she said in breathless desperation. "You need to get up."

"But we're comfortable," Reagan complained.

"Yeah," agreed Nova. She crooked a finger at the other girl, beckoning her. "Join us, Alice. Join us."

Alice scowled in a rather un-Alice-like manner. Planting her hands firmly on her hips, she said, "This is no time to be tipsy. Cass has been snogging someone-"

"- nothing new there - "

"- and that someone happened to have a girlfriend that just found them. Sophie Addams."

"Psycho Sophie?"

"Psycho Sophie," she repeated grimly.

After that, Nova and Reagan weren't really tipsy anymore. As quickly as they could, they rushed through the crowd, out of the common room and into one of the dungeons down the corridor. If there was any doubt that this was the destination, the loud shouts eminating from the room promptly chased them away. When the door was thrown open, the trio were greeted with the sight of Cassidy and Psycho Sophie squaring up to each other and the cheating boy in question flattening himself against the wall, guarded by a lethal-looking Dahlia Darzi.

"CAN THE TWO OF YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP?!" Dahlia roared over the arguing girls.

There was silence.

"Now," Nova demanded softly, entering the room, "what happened here?"

Psycho Sophie scoffed, turning to face them. A vicious twist distorted her mouth which, when coupled with her wild hair and menacing eyes, truly made Nova understand the nickname.

"Great. Fan-fucking-tastic. It's the rest of the freaks. Why don't you drag Soyinka along, make it a fun party?"

"Why don't you shut that gobby little mouth?" Reagan suggested.

Dahlia nodded. "Such filthy language, Addams. And you call yourself a fucking Hufflepuff. Have you no fucking shame?"

"I don't think this is the time," Alice sighed to her, rolling her eyes as if asking Helga herself what she had done to be cursed with such an infuriating best friend.

Psycho Sophie huffed. "You're right, this isn't the time. This is the time to ask that stupid tart why the fuck she was kissing my boyfriend."

"In case you didn't notice, he was kissing me back. Weren't you, Callum?"

Cheating Callum responded with a string of incomprehensible murmurs.

"Yeah, because you pounced on him."

Cass raised an eyebrow. Where before she had been yelling just as much, she now seemed unfazed. "Oh no, honey, I don't pounce. Greengrasses don't pounce. We're the ones people chase after. That doesn't exclude your boyfriend over there - whom, might I add, informed me that he was now single."

"And I'm supposed to believe that?"

"Is it really so hard to believe?" Nova broke in. "She's Cassidy Greengrass."


"Temper, temper," Dahlia tutted.

"You, shut up," Psycho Sophie barked, whirling around to stare her down furiously. "The only reason I'm losing my shit right now is because I found your absolute slag of a friend snogging my boyfriend-"

"- who wasn't complaining - "

"- and who still thinks that she's in the right. How the fuck does that even work?"

"Look, Cass thought he was single," Alice said placatingly. "Clearly, that means that Callum was lying to her just to possibly get into her pants. He's to blame, not her."

"Oh, don't lie to me, Alice. Everyone knows about the Greengrass reputation and how the family breeds whores. Though I don't know why anyone would want to sleep with her. I mean, look at the size of her - she'd crush both the guy and the bed."

Finally, Cheating Callum spoke up, interjecting with a, "Now, Soph, I think that's a bit harsh," but it was too late.

You see, you should never ever call a girl fat in front of her friends. Especially if those friends happened to include a witch fathered by a war hero, Hufflepuff's Ice Queen, someone who had to deal with being ridiculed for her short stature for years and Dahlia fucking Darzi. Mostly because they would lose their shit and lose it well.

It was all a blur.

Cass and Dahlia launched themselves, out for blood and Alice let out an unintelligible scream, something about "NOT ALL AT ONCE, NOT ALL AT ONCE!" as she rushed forward to stop them from doing too much harm. Cheating Callum tried make a break for it, but Nova and Reagan weren't going to have any of that. Before he could take three steps forward, Reagan tripped him over with a well-placed foot and Nova slammed him against the wall, wand at his throat.

"Don't you dare," she hissed.

"Alright, alright, I won't run, I'm staying!"

"Damn right you are, you cheating little bas-"

And then Nova was promptly cut off, for Professor Reed had just burst into the room, just in time to see Cassidy straddle Psycho Sophie and punch her in the face.

They were fucked.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Aaand Chapter Four is up! Can you tell I've been reminiscing my old Science classes from the little dissection scene? Because I have. I'm not even joking, 95% of what was mentioned in that part of the chapter - the fainting/playing catch - was witnessed by these very eyes.

I'm a little bit iffy on the ending so I would love to know your suggestions for that part. In fact, I would love to know anything you think about this, really - your favourite lines, things you'd love to see more of, what you think is going to happen, what you want ship names to be etc. etc. ;) Hit me with them.

This is dedicated to Ineke/ANightingaleInAGoldenCage for the three very wonderful reviews I woke up to and Ysh/princesslily_36 for being one of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure to know. It's also dedicated to everyone who reviewed the last chapter :*

(Also if I have written the pronunciation of Xanthe wrong, please do let me know because I have looked it up, but I am still no expert :D Thank you!)


07.04.16: ci added :)

20.04.16: minor edit made

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