I wasn’t in a huge rush to get down to the Great Hall for breakfast so I took the long way down - since Louis had shown me the shortcut I’d been taking it as much as possible to cut down all the long treks but today... today I felt like I had all the time in the world.

We were going to Hogsmead today but it didn’t feel right. Normally, Mac, Ollie, Zig, Mel and I go together in a group. This year Ziggy had a date and I still haven’t spoken to Mac or Ollie. I hadn’t told anyone about the weird feeling I had about Zig’s date. I shouldn’t we’ve been friends with Aimee for years - I think I’m just worried I’ll lose more friends.

I fidgeted in my sweater - a tan turtleneck crop top sweater - as I glanced at my watch. I’d still be in time for breakfast. Maybe today would be better than I expected. I entered the Great Hall and saw Mac and Ollie first at the Gryffindor table. I shifted then to Zig and Aimee sitting together. I glanced away but it was too late I ran into someone and would’ve fallen on my bum if they hadn’t caught me.

“Emmaline.” The voice chuckled and rightened me.

“Morning,” I smiled as I looked at Louis. He wore a black shirt long sleeved shirt that was snug on him showing off how fit he was.

“Em?” He asked looking at me. I couldn’t help the blush that spread across my cheeks.

“Yeah?” I smiled at him as I was suddenly aware of everyone watching us.

“I’ll see you later then,” he grinned and started to walk off.

“Wait!” I said as I turned around after him.


“You weren’t listening?” He laughed.

“I asked if you wanted to meet up after dressing shop since I’m sure Mel and James will find a way to run across each other,” he said.

“Oh yeah! I’ll see you after then,” I said and walked off towards Mel.

“What was that all about?” She asked quietly as I grabbed a muffin and helped myself to some coffee.

“He and James are going to meet up with us after we’re shopping for lunch.” I said. She just grinned at the mention of James’ name.

“Are you and Louis together?” She whispered as we ate. I glanced around and everyone was sneaking glances at me. I’m honestly not sure what that’s about - maybe it really was from our conversation.

“No. Strictly friends.” I told her in a voice that meant I was serious. She nodded and we returned to eating. I didn’t bother asking where we would go shopping, I’m sure Mel had a plan. I, on the other hand, had no clue what I was going to wear.

“Ready, darlin’?” Mel said like a kid on Christmas Day. She was so excited to go shopping. Her actual birthday was today and she didn’t like a big deal - she wasn’t into gifts and didn’t want to draw attention to the actual day. She just wanted a big party where everyone could laugh and have fun. After a few years we finally realized how serious she was about this.

“Ready!” I sang as we stood and headed outside.

“Fancy meeting you here.” I didn’t bother looking behind us because I knew James and Lou would be there and probably Zig, Aimee, Mac and Ollie. So I just kept walking. Mel turned around and greeted everyone for us. I felt someone brush against my arm as Louis appeared by my side.

“Beautiful day,” he muttered. I glanced at him finally.

“It’s not bad. I love fall. I could live in sweaters,” I laughed quietly feeling like our conversation was meant to be just for us and not everyone else around us.

“I’ve noticed the sweater addiction.” He chuckled and added, “I think your entrance into the Great Hall today made everyone stop breathing for a moment.”

“Oh I’m sure,” I muttered rolling my eyes. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not.

“You look amazing today,” he whispered unable to look at me. I glanced at him and waited until he looked at me.

“What?” He asked smiling a little.

“You are so full of it,” I laughed nudging him with my shoulder.

“What are you wearing to this party?” He asked.

“I have absolutely no idea,” I said brushing some stray hairs out of my face. My messy bun was wilder than usual today. Mel and James were a little bit in front of us and were talking quietly as they held hands. They were so cute together - I hoped I find that.

“I’m hoping some dress will jump out while shopping.” I said sounding defeated to my own ears.

“You do not sound excited about that,” he laughed nearly tripping causing me to laugh and of course, I do actually trip.

“That’s what you get for laughing at me!” He said but quickly helped me to my feet.

“If James has his way we’ll be shopping with you.” He said as we could see the village. I looked at the two of them and James was pouting and I knew Mel would cave.

“Looks like you’ll be stuck with me all day,” I muttered as James kissed Melanie.

“Teddy owes me a galleon!” He laughed quietly as we entered the village.

“You bet on them?!” I asked smacking his arm. He just grinned and turned around. I saw Teddy and Vic behind us and Teddy scowled as he dug around for a galleon in his pocket.

“She couldn't have held out?” He grumbled as Louis took it and put it safely in his pocket.

“Emma, I’m blaming you in this as well,” Teddy laughed as Vic had caught up to us.

“You shouldn’t bet on James and Mel. It’s about time he dated a decent girl. Don’t ruin this,” she said giving them a look but smiled at the end.

“See you for lunch?” She asked Louis while she smiled at me.

“Hopefully. I have no clue what they’ve got in store for us,” he laughed.

“Ditch them and let them have a proper date,” Dom said as Fred was with her.

“I suppose we could. They’d never know...” his voice trailed off as he looked over his shoulder at them. I turned and watched them with everyone else. I also saw Mac and Ollie which made my heart break a little more.

“Well they just walked off without us. So I think that answers that question,” Fred laughed.

“I’ll meet up with you lot later, I promised my dad I’d spend some time with him.” Fred called and walked off. And as everyone walked away it was just Louis and I. I couldn’t help but feeling like he and James planned to get Mel and James alone.

“Well shit.” I muttered, “I don’t have a clue where to find a bloody dress.” I hated dresses and that included shopping for them.

“We’ll find a place, ready?” He asked as he held out his hand. I suddenly felt like we were on a date. I know that’s not true but it just felt weird. I knew today would be weird.

“Yeah.” I muttered as I started walking. We wandered into town window shopping at all the stores.

“Oho!” I grinned turning to him.

“The book store?” He laughed.

“I want to stop on our way back. Please do not let me forget,” I told him. He crossed his arms and smirked at me.

“It’ll cost you,” he said.

“What?” I asked him squaring up to him.

“We have to stop somewhere for me then too,” he said.

“DEAL!” I shouted at him as I saw a store across the street that looked promising.

“Come on,” I muttered grabbing his hand as I sort of dragged him to the store. He followed and let me lead him.

“This looks promising, yeah?” I said as I walked in.

“Hey guys!” Mel shouted. She had her arms full of bags and I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Emma you’ll find a dress in here! There are so many good ones. Louis, James even found something. Sorry we lost you,” she muttered looking sheepish.

“No worries, everyone is meeting up for lunch, we can meet up then,” I smiled at her.

“Perfect,” She grinned as James caught up to her with a bag of his own. James grinned as his eyes flickered down to our hands - I’d forgotten I was still holding Louis’ hand.

“Good luck in there,” he chuckled as they left the store.

“Alright,” I muttered breaking away from him and started sorting through rows and rows of dresses.

“Can I help with anything?” The young man asked. I glanced behind me and he was talking to Louis.

“We’re going to a themed party next weekend. We need something from the twenties,” he said as I gasped. I found the perfect dress. The dress was simple black silk and over the top was silver strings of beads. In between the beaded fringe was black with hand sewn beads on it in a floral design. It was gorgeous.

“Would you like to try it on?” The sales clerk said.

“Yeah she would,” Louis answered for me. The bloke took the dress from me but not before I could glance at the price.

“I dunno... I should keep looking, it’s nothing special.” I mumbled but the guy walked off already. We did alright finically and when our mum died we got an inheritance to do with whatever we wanted. But spending that money on a dress was too much - even just a little bit felt like a sham.

“Just try it on, what could it hurt?” He asked as he gently shoved me into the fitting room. I glared at the stupid dress. It was perfect in every way. I slipped it on and stared at myself. It fit in all the right places. It was fitted in the bust and hung straight like in the old movies.

“Well?” I heard from outside the fitting room.

“Louis?!” I heard a commotion outside. I twirled around and grinned.

“What are you doing here?” he asked from outside.

“We need a dresses for Mel’s party so we ditched the boys at Uncle George’s and came here. What are you doing here?”

“He’s with Emma. Did she find something?” That was Vic. I didn’t really know her but the little interaction I’ve had with her she seems lovely.

“Yeah she... I dunno what the hold up is,” he said I could imagine him glaring at the changing room, though.

“Are you dating?” I wasn’t sure who was talking at this point.

“No.” I finally just stumbled out of the dressing room.

“It fits pretty good,” I muttered taking a few steps and then saying, “But I dunno...” my voice trailed off as I saw, Vic, Dom, Rose, Aimee, and a few other Gryffindor girls I didn’t quite know. And every single one of them was staring at me including Louis.

“What do you mean you don’t know?!” Dom shouted at the same time Rose said, “You look stunning Emma!” And then all hell broke lose and everyone just started shouting and talking over each other. I just stared in horror at it all and just ended up staring at Louis who hadn’t said anything since I came out. He also hasn’t looked away from me.

Victoire just walked towards me and gently grabbed my arm and led me back to the fitting room. She carefully shut the door and sat down on one of the benches.

“So why do you not want it?” She asked calmly.

“It’s too much... I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on a dress.” I told her.

“Is it a matter of not having enough?” She asked.

“No I can afford it. I just don’t know if I should,” I whispered unable to look at her as I turned back to the mirror.

“I can’t tell you want to do but I’d buy it. You look stunning. Why don’t you hang on to it and look for some shoes. Mull it over,” she suggested.

“I’ll go calm the troops. And then you can help the rest of us find something,” she grinned and ducked out of the room. I took the dress off and changed into my clothes and I left the fitting room only Louis was waiting in a chair talking to Victoire.

“Let’s shop!” She grinned and went into the store.

“What are you going to wear?” I asked him as we wandered around.

“Not sure yet.” He paused, “I think you should get that dress Emmaline. It was breathtaking.”

“Maybe it’s an awful lot of money for just a dress,” I admitted.

“That’s what Vic was saying.” He confessed.  He wandered off to look at suits and I stared into the jewelry case.

“Can I get those earrings and that necklace?” I asked the girl behind the counter. The earrings were silver knots with dangling white pearls. And the necklace was a small string of pearls so not to distract from the dress. And I had the perfect shoes for this dress back at school.

Sorry mum but sometimes a girl’s gotta shop. How often would the perfect dress come along and perhaps I’ll have another chance to wear it at some point.

“What’d you buy?” I asked Louis as he had a bag in his hand.

“It’s a surprise,” he laughed.

“Totally not fair, Weasley,” I laughed as I checked out.

“Should we wait for them?” I asked glancing at the girls who were laughing and shouting at each other from across the store.

“No, we’ll see them at lunch,” he said as he held the door open for me. I ducked out and the cool air felt refreshing after being in the store.

“Oho, coffee,” I said turning to him. He shook his head as I darted across the street not bothering to wait for him. I ordered and was walking out when he finally got across the street.

“Any place you need to go?” I asked him. He glanced at his watch.

“It’s getting late. We should head back to meet up with everyone,” he said. I nodded and we lazily walked through the streets back to Three Broomsticks. There was something so relaxing and easy about today. Almost like I could see myself doing this all the time - just wandering around Hogsmead with Louis. I’m not sure what’s happening to me but I don’t think it’s good.

“Em?” He asked as I looked at him.


Unfortunately whatever he was going to say interrupted by Freddy and James.

“About time!” Fred shouted.

“Come off it, we aren’t even late. We ran into all the girls and had to escape.” Louis laughed. When it was just the two of us I felt fine but when we were around his family I felt like the third wheel - they had jokes and things that I didn’t understand. I kind of just wanted to leave.

“Melanie grabbed a table for us,” James said as I followed them inside.

“Come here,” Louis muttered as he grabbed my hand so we wouldn’t get separated in the packed restaurant. There wasn’t an empty table anywhere and people where just standing around. Mel was in a back corner but we made it and slid into the booth.

“Find something to wear?” Teddy asked he was across from Louis.

“Yeah. We got lucky in the first store.” He said as we ordered our food. Pretty soon the boys got wrapped up in a conversation about their uncle’s latest invention - which gave Melanie the perfect time to talk to me quietly.

“Alright you’ve got to tell me what’s going on?” She whispered quietly across the table. I sipped my butterbeer and stared at her.

“What?” I asked her.

“Come off it Em,” she whispered harshly as her eyes darted to Louis who at some point had casually draped his arm around my shoulders.

“You come off it. There’s nothing,” I told her taking a bite of my burger.

“Oh right. Then why did James and him come up with a plan to separate us?” She hissed.

“Because your boyfriend wanted to spend time with you,” I told her giving her a pointed look.

“Em, I’m not buying what you’re selling.”

“Well I don’t care. There’s nothing going on.” I snapped huffing earning the attention of Louis as he glanced at me but returned to his conversation. I was looking everywhere to avoid Mel’s glare and Mac and Ollie walked in. They looked like they were fighting and this time I did glance to Mel who like me just watched. Mac saw me and marched over to our table.

“YOU!” She sneered. Our table fell silent.

“Is she the reason we weren’t invited to your birthday party next weekend?” Mac screeched.

“No. I didn’t invite you because I don’t really like you. And I don’t want you at my party.” Melanie said in a bored voice which I knew was driving Mac crazy.

“You’re so full of shit!” She sneered at Mel and then rounded on me. “And you! Would you stop walking around like a hurt puppy. Get over it! I’m dating your brother and we’re happy! Why can’t you just be happy for us?! We’re your best friends and we’re happy together so can’t you find it in your selfish little ungrateful heart to just accept that we might actually be happy together?! I mean Merlin Emma! I’ve known you since first year!” She ranted. I opened my mouth to say something but nothing came out. And finally I found my voice.

“You used me to get to my brother, Mackenzie. Any friendship we had is over now. I don’t want you in my life.” I said very calmly.

“So what?! Oliver won’t be in your life anymore?” She screamed.

“I guess not.” I whispered. She stormed off and no one said anything. Once the chatter of the bar picked back up I took a breath.

“Fred move,” Louis said suddenly as if he was reading my mind. He and Fred quickly got out of the booth and I ran outside and didn’t stop running.

“Wait!” I didn’t wait. I kept on running until my chest felt like it would explode.

“FUCK!” I screamed as I held on to a tree.

“I hope you’re having a right laugh up there you fucking twat!” I spat. I don’t even know who I was talking to at this point but I was out for blood.

“Emmaline,” I turned around and nearly fell over.

“My Ziggy Stardust,” I whispered feeling the tears well up in my eyes.

“I was at Three Broomsticks when it happened.” He whispered but didn’t come closer as if I were a rabid animal. This was the first time I’d really seen him all day.

“I just banished my brother from my life!” I sobbed falling onto the ground and not even Zig could catch me.

“Is she okay?” That was Teddy. I don’t know what Zig’s answer was but it was drowned out by my sobs - which was a clear enough answer.

“Fuck her Emmy,” Mel said as I felt her sit down next to Zig who had put me in his lap.

“Fuck them. I’m not going to let them ruin my year.” I said wiping my eyes and seeing that everyone was here. James, Fred, Louis.

“Oh Emma, remember how you said you’d do something for my birthday?” She asked.

“Fuck, you found a place didn’t you?” I asked her sitting up a little bit. She just reached out and grabbed my hand and pulled me up. She just took off running and didn’t stop or wait for anyone to catch up to us.

“This is probably a terrible idea.” I said. She just laughed like a mad woman and kept running until we got to the shop.

“Hey Henry!” She shouted as we walked in.

“You sure you want this?” He asked as he looked at both of us. We nodded together.


“What was with that disappearing act?!” Zig snapped as we entered the Great Hall and sat by everyone.

“I’m sorry Ziggy Stardust,” I whispered giving him a one armed hug.

“I’m sorry I still do not understand the Ziggy Stardust thing.” Melanie huffed causing Ziggy and I to break into laughter.

“Every bloody time,” she grumbled to herself causing us to laugh even harder.

“It’s much to hard to explain,” I said composing myself first.

“So did you guys do it?” Zig asked. We just grinned at each other and then looked back at Ziggy.

“Oh sweet Merlin. I didn’t think you were serious.”

“Someone want to clue us in to what the bloody hell is going on?!” Rose snapped being the Weasley with the least amount of patience.

“About Ziggy Stardust?” I asked at the same time Mel said, “About Ziggy?” We broke into fits of giggles.

“They got bloody tattoos.”

“You ruin all the fun,” I laughed pouting at Zig as Mel and I dug into our food.

“What did you get?” Vic asked once everyone lost interest in us as we refused to answer their questions.

“I got Freddy’s name on my arse,” I said glancing up in between bites. This caused Fred to spit out his drink effectively covering Rose. That lead James to fall over with laughter and Rose to smack Freddy who cried out in pain.

“Do I even want to bother asking you?” She glanced to Melanie with a smile on her face.

“We got matching tattoos, but I added a dinosaur to mine,” she said taking a sip of her drink.

“You’ll have to show me sometime,” Fred said with a smirk.

“Wanna see now?” I asked him standing up a little with my hand on my waist. His eyes were about to pop out of his head and I fell into Ziggy with laughter.

We finally calmed down after dinner and some of the Weasley’s younger cousins disappeared since it was Saturday night after all. Aimee and Zig were still close and I wondered if they would date - they were so cute. I had to let go of my fear that everyone was going to use each other and appreciate people for who they are.

“Alright,” James said as we had all settled in by the fire in the Gryffindor common room.

“What did you really get?” He asked Melanie. She stood up and carefully slipped her shirt down a little so you could see her back and right in between her shoulder blades she had a picture of an owl with it's wings spread and underneath is said, ‘take these broke wings and learn to fly.’

“That’s beautiful,” Vic said speaking up for everyone who seemed at a loss for words. And soon they started playing a game of exploding snap. And it seemed like everyone forgot I’d gotten one too - which was fine with me. Mine was too personal to share with people.

“What about yours?” Louis asked after a while of silence.

“Huh?” I asked. I’d been so lost in thought I hardly heard him.

“Your tattoo?” He half asked.

“Ohh.. I pushed my sleeve up to my elbow and on my arm to the right just below my elbow I’d gotten the phase of the moon on my mother’s birthday. And it was a pointillist style tattoo - so it was all dots. It looked better than I imagined it.

“What is it of?” He whispered.

“The phase of the moon on my mum’s birthday,” I whispered back.

“I love that,” he smiled as I put my sleeve down. I’m not sure at what point the firewhiskey was brought out but Louis and I watched everyone hoot and holler and carry on during their game.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time and I didn’t want to ruin it for anyone but I was ready to go back to my dorm. Today had been exhausting and I was tired of having to be on all the time.

After all the excitement of getting tattoos I really just wanted to be alone right now. The external struggle between wanting to read a book and go to a party. I want it all.

“I think I’m going to head back,” I whispered not entirely sure why I was whispering.

“Do you want to wait for them?” he asked as we saw everyone chugging their drinks.

“They’ll be here awhile and after today I’m just not feeling like partying.” I admitted. However whatever Louis said I didn’t hear a word of it as Ollie walked in and stopped dead in his tracks as he stared at me.

“Oliver!” I accidentally shouted causing him to jump, “Can we talk... privately?” I added at the end as everyone was staring at us.

“Um... sure,” He said rubbing the back of his neck unable to look me in the eyes. I followed him up to his dorm as we were both silent. He gently opened the door and I walked in.

“So...” He said dragging the word out. Like he didn’t know why I was here.

“Ollie,” I whispered hearing my own voice crack. “What happened to us?” I asked him feeling the tears spilling over but not caring.

“Are you really going to let Mac come between us? Strictly speaking I’ve known you longer,” I chuckled trying to lighten the tension in the room.

“Emmy,” he said looking up at me with the same watery expression I’m sure I had. I crossed the room and attacked him in a hug.

“I’M SO SORRY!” We both shouted and I clung to my brother and sobbed. While Ollie isn’t the greatest with crying girls he’s gotten pretty good at handling me when I’m crying.

“C’mon now Em, It’s fine. We’re fine. I promise.” He just kept on whispering over and over again until I’d calmed down. I took a deep breath.

“I don’t care if you and Mac date. But it will not affect our relationship. She will have to figure out how to deal with me being apart of your life and I’ll have to deal with her being apart of yours. But Oliver,” I said now choosing my words very carefully.

“You do know she used me to get to you right?” I asked him.

“I didn’t at the time... but it’s been brought to my attention Emmaline. And believe me we fought about it when that rumor first started. But I really like her.. Would you hate me if we kept on dating?” He asked in a small voice.

“No... but,” I said giving him a look. “She has to learn how to be bearable. I’ll be civil but she can’t come up to me and scream at me like she did today.” I told him in my, ‘I’m not fucking around’ voice.

“I’m pretty sure after the conversation we had about it today she won’t ever be doing that again. I told her if she spoke to you like that again that I’d leave her in a heartbeat. I know it hasn’t been easy on your Emmaline but I’ve been struggling on how to deal with both of you.” He said. I nodded and hugged him.

“I love you Ollie,” I grinned and kissed his cheek.

“So now that I have you here,” he said giving me his brother look. We flopped down on his bed and I dug around in his bedside table until I found his stash of gummy worms.

“You and Louis Weasley? That’s all anyone can talk about!” He said giving me a curious glance.

“Come off it. There’s nothing there,” I told him. He just gave me a look. “I swear! We’re friends. There’s no way that it would happen even if I was interested - which I’m not.” I told him.

“I don’t believe you. I think you really like him.”

“I honestly don’t know... He’s very confusing.” I finally admitted. It was nice to tell someone the truth for once.

“I’ve been so worried he was going to hex me with all the drama between us. I’m glad he’s not your boyfriend or else he probably would’ve!” He laughed popping a gummy worm into his mouth.

“To be honest I always thought you and Ziggy would end up together,” he admitted and it threw me off a little bit.

“Me and Ziggy Stardust?” I asked.

“See that nickname.. it’s some weird joke that only the two of you get...” He started. Seriously do none of these people know or heard of David Bowie? Apparently not - this is the true problem with this bloody generation - they don’t know good music.

“It’s from a singer we both like,” I finally told him. For years that was strictly between me and Zig.

“But don’t tell anyone we love having our own little joke. And besides, Ziggy dates plenty of birds - it’s not like he’s pinning over me. What gave you the impression he likes me?” I asked him genuinely curious.

“He looks at you like every brother hopes his sister’s boyfriend looks at them. Whether you want to see it or not - I think Ziggy’s been in love with you for years. I mean he knows you well enough to not even need you to speak to know what you’re thinking or what you want - you just give him a look. He’s always looking after you - worried about your needs before his own... I mean it’s pretty textbook stuff Em. Consider it. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think I am this time.”

Huh... What Oliver is saying makes sense but this is Ziggy we’re talking about. I sighed and flopped over. We chatted about random things before I decided I had to return to my dorm.

“Goodnight brother,” I smiled and kissed the top of his head as I left his room. I walked down the stairs and no one was there besides Louis.

“They decided to go skinny dipping in the Black Lake. How was your talk with Oliver?” he asked as I stood and stretched.

“Good, I think I’m going to head back, though.” He was already standing up before I was done with my sentence.

“We made up finally.” I admitted as we started walking.

“And then he told me that he thinks Zig is in love with me,” I whispered.

“I don’t think he’s wrong on that.” Louis said after a moment.

“Really?! I mean I just don’t believe it.” I told him shaking my head.

“It’s Ziggy Stardust... That’d be like dating Ollie.” I said shaking my head again.

“I’m not sure what to tell you.” He said his voice sounded off.

“What’s wrong with you?” I asked him as I stopped walking to look at his face.

“Nothing.” He snapped.

“Clearly,” I snorted and glared at him.

“I thought you were tired..?” He said looking at me. I crossed my arms as my glare set in.

“I’m not moving until you tell me what your problem is.” I said glaring at him.

“You’re my bloody problem!” He snapped glaring at me. Of all the things he could’ve said in this moment that was not on the list of things I thought could come out of his mouth.

“Right. Piss off Louis. I don’t need nor want you to walk me back. Kindly go get fucked.” I told him as I turned on my heel and walked off towards my tower. He didn’t try to follow me and I was thankful because I didn’t want him to see the tears he’s caused.

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