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Amazing CI by mockingjay@TDA!
Amazing CI by mockingjay@TDA!!

 

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In the span of 20 seconds, a single feathery white cloud turned into numerous massive grey clouds cluttering the sky.  I felt the air shift around me and I could smell the raindrops before they even started to fall.  It was obvious that an aggressive downpour was on the horizon but I made no plans to move from my spot.  I was sitting in the wooden rocking chair he built.

As a four year old, I had “helped” him build the rocking chair from scratch and paint it teal.  We had done it the muggle way because he liked doing things the muggle way.  It started as a punishment.  The Wizengamot sentenced him to five years without the use of magic but even when he could use his wand again he preferred the muggle way.  He said it gave him something to do with his hands.

I closed my eyes and started rocking back and forth.  I ran my hand against the smooth, cherry wood.  It was the only thing Maman kept of his.  Everything else, she threw out: his clothes, his shoes, his watches.  But, she kept the chair.  I think she felt bad.  She knew it was my favorite chair.  She knew I did not believe the accusations.  I could not.  It had been six years and I still could not bring myself to believe them no matter how many articles, no matter how many wanted posters, and no matter how many years away.  So, she had let me keep one memento -- the teal rocking chair that we had built.

I felt the first drop of water hit my wrist.  A chill ran down my spine as a smile spread across my face.  I loved the rain.  The second drop hit my nose and I laughed as the water ran down my lips to my chin.  My maman would always complain about my obsession with the rain.  It meant more laundry and cleaning for her.  Three heavy drops hit my legs simultaneously.  He understood.  He would always tell her to let me play for longer.  “That’s what wands are for, no?” he would ask her.  The rain started to pick up.  I felt it all over my skin.  I loved the sounds of the drops falling all around me.  I could feel my head getting heavier as my hair got soaked but I would stay out here as long as I could. 

“Cassie! Seriously?”

I sighed.  “Yes?” I asked opening my eyes to the sound of my sister’s voice.

“Maman needs to talk to us!  Come in now,” she shouted before I heard her shutting the sliding door.

I slowly got up from the rocking chair and dragged my feet toward the house.  I stepped into the kitchen and immediately started shivering. 

My maman did not even look up from sipping her tea as she performed a wandless drying spell.  

“Thanks,” I smiled as I plopped down next to my sister on a burnt orange bar stool in front of our kitchen counter.

I watched my maman carefully as she sat across from us.  She was too good at masking how she was feeling.  My smile slowly disappeared as I noticed that her light blue eyes looked more tired than normal.  Her light, silvery blonde hair was in a haphazard messy bun.  I watched as she drummed her fingers and stirred her tea repeatedly.  

I sucked in a large amount of air.

I knew what she was going to say before she pulled out the newspaper.

"I wanted to warn you before you headed to school in the morning,” she said quietly as she stared into her tea.

I knew this was going to be about him.

She pulled out a crumbled Daily Prophet.  My sister and I leaned forward to get a better view of the headline:

AVERY, GOYLE, AND NOTT STRIKE AGAIN: MINISTER’S DAUGHTER HOSPITALIZED


°~*◊*~°

The hills of green looked like they were moving as the Hogwarts Express sped toward Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The countryside we rode through was breathtaking.  There were rolling greens, fields, and trees as far as the eye could see.  Every so often, we would travel over an intricately designed bridge.  I focused all my brain power on counting.  The hills.  The bridges.  The bricks on the bridges.  The rivers.  Anything so I did not have to think for a little bit longer.

“You can stop staring at me,” I said finally looking away from the window to face my sister.

She raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow and rolled her eyes.  “Excuse me for being concerned,” she responded.

I sighed feeling a little guilty.  Addie, my older sister, definitely had better places to be.  She was the so-called unapologetic Slytherin heartbreaker.  It helped that Ade was stunningly gorgeous.  Our eyes looked the same on most days — light blue and green looked like they were competing for dominance in our irises.  Some days Ade’s eyes looked mostly blue like Maman’s.  Whereas mine would mostly look green like his.  Addie and I both had long, golden blonde hair.  That is where our similarities stopped.  My sister was tall and willowy.  I, unfortunately was “height-challenged” and curvier than Ade.  Her hair was also straight whereas mine was curly or wavy depending on the weather.  Addie always assured me that my hair was beautiful and had “character.”

Yea, right.  Maybe after I have used ten bottles of Sleekeasy’s.

“It’s just another story, right?”  I asked Ade.  “We hear this all the time.  We should just get used to it,” I said to her, but it probably sounded like I was trying to convince myself.

“Do you ever think about changing your last name?”  Addie asked me.  She was trying to sound nonchalant about it but I noticed she was blinking and fidgeting more than normal.

I paused before answering.  The last time I told Addie what I actually felt about him I was lectured endlessly for having false hopes.

"You want to change your last name to Delacour?”  I asked slowly trying to buy some time to collect my thoughts.  It was obvious, of course.  Gabrielle Delacour was Maman’s maiden name.

Addie nodded her head slowly.  “Right, it would probably make Maman happy,” she offered.  “And maybe, make Mémé and Pépé less afraid of us,” she added with a forced laugh.

“It’s probably not the best idea to upset Grandfather Nott,” I offered.  “He sends us money every month and we need it because Maman refuses to ask for help.  And, you have to study for NEWTs.  You probably shouldn't work during Hogsmeade weekends this year.”

Addie bit her lip as she pondered what I said.  “I think I am still going to work for Cho Chang’s Designs.  I need the discount on clothes and make up.“

I rolled my eyes.  Out of all the things I said, she would focus on that.

“But, I guess you're right,” she continued. “We don't need Maman worrying about our safety or money.”

I nodded my head.  Addie suddenly got up and sauntered toward the door.

I raised an eyebrow.  “Where are you off to?”

She looked at her watch.  “In about five minutes, your friends will be here.  So, I’m going to go not hang out with nerdy 6th Years.”

I stuck my tongue out at her.  She responded by flicking her hair and making her exit.

As predicted four minutes later, my best friend in all her glory came storming into the compartment.

“Look,” she greeted me, putting her hand in front of my face and wiggling her fingers.

I pouted at Amaris Pena.  “Hello to you too.  I’m doing fine.  Thanks for asking.  How are you?”

Ama rolled her big amber eyes.  “Every time there’s a new article about your dad, you claim you are fine and then you get snippy when people ask how you are doing.  So instead of doing the same old song and dance, I have moved on to more important matters.  What do you think of my nails?”

Ama had painted her nails red.  It contrasted nicely with her naturally tan skin and curly dark hair that reached just past her shoulder blades.  She loved painting her nails.  She had an extensive muggle manicure and pedicure kit.  She claimed that the muggle manicure was so much better than using a wand.

She is mental.

“I do not get…”

Before I could finish my retort, the door banged open and our other best friend came barreling into the compartment.

“I demand hugs!” Josh shouted as he arrived.

I rolled my eyes but still got up and abided by his request.  Never one to do anything half-heartedly, Josh pulled us into tight and long bear hugs.

He sprawled out on one of the benches and had a big smile on his face.  Joshua Mountbatten-Windsor was tall, slim, and blonde with deep blue eyes.

“CASSIE!” Josh yelled.  “You have boobs!  Since when?”

I crossed my arms blocking his view.  “Nice to see you too, Joshua.”

Recognize the last name?  That’s right folks.  Josh is one of the grandsons of the freakin’ Muggle Queen of England!  He is like tenth in line to be on the throne but still, he is part of the freakin’ royal family!

“You’re so rude, Joshy!” Ama chastised while admiring her freshly painted nails.

Josh just grinned and reached a hand across the compartment to play with a strand of my curly/wavy hair. “I’m serious,” he mused. “Cass, you’re not just a cutey anymore! You’re hot stuff.”  He looked over at Ama.  “Love the red!  It really pops with your summer tan!”

"Why thank you, Joshua!” she said giving me some heavy side-eye.

“I think Dom likes Ollie,” Josh randomly declared with a sparkle in his eye.  A sparkle he only got when he was sharing juicy gossip.

Dominique Weasley is my cousin.  My maman and her maman are sisters.  While Dom was nothing but nice to me, we ran in different circles.  She ended up in Ravenclaw and she was friends with the Queen Bitch of the school, Miranda who insisted on being called Mimi.

“Did Ade give you the new WVogue?” Ama asked grabbing my bag.

I shrugged. “It should be in there, I think.”

“Dom cannot like Ollie, Joshy.  Mimi will never stand for it,” Ama responded to Josh’s comment.  Ama pulled out five Quidditch Weekly magazines from my bag.

“Oh Merlin, Cass, will you stop being tragic and just try out for the stupid team already?”  Josh asked while wrinkling his nose at the magazines.

Ama nodded her head in agreement.  I stuck my tongue out at both of them.

I know — I am extremely mature.

“I know Mimi still has that ban on anyone dating Ollie but I was in the bathroom and  I overheard Tay talking to V about how Dom and Ollie have been getting rather close,” Josh declared as if he were reporting the news.

Tay, V, and Dom made up Mimi’s minions.  They were Ravenclaw. They were beautiful.  They were popular.  They were loved and also hated etc. etc. etc.

Ama rolled her eyes.  “Of course they are close, did not’t they grow up together?  Isn’t Dom the one who set them up back in 4th Year?”

Josh nodded his head.  “She probably feels badly that crazy Mimi put a frickin’ ban on any girl dating him for months.”

As they gossiped about the intricacies of the relationship or non-relationship among Ollie, Dom, and Mimi, I picked up one of my Quidditch Weekly magazines and started leafing through it.  I paused at one of my favorite articles of the issue.  Ginny Weasley-Potter wrote an article about how the Chudley Cannons had an amazing recruiting season and might actually be a team to look out for this year or next year.

“You know, we are not done with you, Cass,” I heard Ama saying loudly.

I looked up to see Ama and Josh staring at me.

I cleared my throat.  “Not done with me regarding what?”

"We’re worried about you,” Josh stated with an uncharacteristic frown on his face.

“Rose is in the hospital and people will probably be … mean, given the reports,” Ama continued.

I swallowed.  “I’m used to people being mean,” I responded quietly.

They looked at each other, then looked back at me.  “We think you need a distraction,” Ama stated.

“What if you really went out for the Quidditch team?” Josh asked.

“Or what if our band actually played in public?”  Ama added not so subtly.

I ignored Ama’s comment about the band.  “But, we know Potter has his favorite picked out for the Seeker already,” I said biting my lip.

“She’s right,” Ama agreed looking at Josh.  “There’s also been no girl on the team for years.”

“But what if you show up and kill it?” Josh pressed. “You would at least be able to strut off the field with your head held high,” he said hopping up from his seat and demonstrating the motion.

I laughed at his antics. Before the “Sorting Debacle”, as my father’s parents called it, Grandfather Nott taught me how to play Quidditch.  Addie had no interest in playing so I was his only hope of having a granddaughter on the Slytherin team.  After I did not get sorted into his beloved house, the practices abruptly stopped.  If I actually made the Quidditch team, I am pretty sure half my house would actually be upset and my grandfather would probably faint from disgrace.

I looked up at my friends with a huge grin on my face. “A Nott trying out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, why not?”
 

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A/N -- -- Let me know if you have any thoughts on the chapter!  (Or, just say hi to me in the review box :) ).

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