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By the time the 1st of September came round again, Addy was itching to get away. As she pushed her way onto Platform 9 ¾, she made to board the train quickly, but her mother blocked her path. 'I expect no misbehavior from you this year, is that understood? You've embarrassed us enough. You're not a child anymore Adhara. It's time you started acting in a manner that befits your birth.' She gripped Addy's arm tightly and Addy clenched her jaw. 'I do not want any more disappointment. Do I make myself clear?' Addy scowled ahead without looking at her mother and nodded curtly. Seemingly satisfied, her mother released her arm and she pushed through the crowd without a backwards glance. The thing about that little lecture? Addy really hated being told what to do, or what not to do. Even if she knew it was in her best interest to listen, after that, she was much more determined to do what she wanted. 

 

 


Addy found Darcy sat in a compartment with a few of her Ravenclaw year mates, Saoirse and David, along with David's cousin John, who was in Hufflepuff, and his friend Killian. Addy's cheeks flushed as she knocked softly on the doorframe. Merlin, she knew she would be uncomfortable. Especially when everyone looked up at her, and a strange look crossed over Darcy's face as she took in the sight of Addy. She pressed her lips together in a tight smile, while Saoirse, Killian, and John smiled politely. 

 


'Addy,' David nodded. 

 


'Can I, er...sit with you,' asked Addy hesitantly. Darcy was still looking at her strangely.  

 


'Course,' Darcy nodded, not quite meeting Addy's eyes.  

 


Addy pulled her trunk in, pulling off her robes and stuffing it in in the process of storing it in the overhead. She noticed David watching her out of the corner of her eye, but pretended not to, and sat in the last available seat between David and Killian. John was sat opposite, with Saoirse to his right, and Darcy next to the window.  

 


'You look like you got some sun,' Killian said, poking Addy's knee. Her cheeks flushed again. 

 


'Erm...yeah. I uh,' Addy glanced at Darcy, who was watching with a blank expression. 'I spent a bit of time at the park. Avoiding my, er, family...' She trailed off, not really sure she wanted to say any more. 

 


'Right,' Killian scratched at his neck awkwardly. Great. Did I just make that awkward? I think I did. She thought. 

 


'So...' John started, shuffling in his pocket. 'Exploding snap? Who's up for a game?' He held the pack up in the air, and Killian put his hand up like he was waiting to be called on. 

 


'I'll give it a go.' 

 


'Brilliant!' John glanced around at their current seating, pursing his lips. 

 


'Do you want to switch me?' Addy offered, gesturing a hand between them. Darcy frowned. Bollucks. Did she still fancy him? Addy wondered.  

 


John nodded. 'Yeah, yeah. I think that'll work best.' They both stood and awkwardly shifted around so he could sit next to Killian. Addy shot Darcy an apologetic smile to which she shrugged. Saoirse pulled out some muggle magazine, Honey, and opened it to a dogeared page. 

 


'Do you have any Witch Weekly's?' Darcy asked hopefully. Addy suddenly noticed she had a Jackie and a Vogue on her lap, and sighed internally.  

 


'Who's that? She pointed at the Vogue. 

 


'Liza Minnelli.'  

 


Addy rolled her eyes, 'yeah, I knicked a few off Al,' she said, standing up to pull the magazines from her trunk. 

 


'You've got Quidditch Weekly?' David spoke up. 

 


'Er, yeah. Do you want to look at some?' Addy asked, holding a few out to him. He reached out to them, smiling softly at her, and she felt her cheeks heat up. 

 


'Yeah, thank you.' 

 


'You're welcome,' she mumbled. Darcy winked at her as she sat again, shoving the Witch Weekly's at her and hastily opening another Quidditch Weekly. She pretended to read until she looked up at the shouting of victory on John's part, and painful surprise on Killian's. 

 


The next morning at breakfast, as Professor McGonagall passed out timetables, Addy looked her's over while munching on some toast. 'Have some bacon Nott, you're looking rather thin this year.' Potter tossed a pile of bacon onto her plate, and she gaped at him, slightly taken aback. While it was true, (she had grown ten centimeters last year) she wasn't sure whether to be offended or touched. She supposed it showed he cared, but who says something like that? 

 


'Muggle Studies?' Sirius said, looking at Addy's timetable. 'Won't mummy and daddy disapprove?' He said mockingly. She felt warmth spread up her neck and shrugged, trying to act nonchalant. Of course, they'd disapprove. That was the point.  

 

 


The next day when Addy walked into Muggle Studies, she found Sirius sitting there with Potter. As she walked by their desk she raised an eyebrow questioningly. Sirius smirked back at her and leaned his chair back on the back two legs. She had the strong urge to push him over, but merely shook her head and continued on. Mary and Marlene had also taken the class and were sat together. There was a Hufflepuff boy, Arnold MacMillan, whom Addy didn't really get on with. He was a bit of a ponce. 

 


'You can sit here.' Addy looked over to see Hufflepuff , Emily Westwick, a tall girl with a stocky build, dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes. 

 


'Thank you,' she smiled politely as she sat down next to her. 

 


'Adhara, right?' 

 


'Addy. You're Emily?' 

 


'Yep,' she smiled, and Addy nodded. 

 


 

 


'I really wish we didn't have to have potions with the bloody Slytherins every year,' Addy complained. She was sat with Darcy behind the quidditch pitch that Friday night smoking cigarettes. 'If I have to hear Avery and Mulciber make one more comment about us being mates,' she shook her head. 'I'd like to hit a bludger at their stupid gobs.' 

 


Darcy frowned. 'What exactly do they say?' 

 


Addy grimaced, looking down and taking a drag off the fag between her fingers. 'Like I told you. They comment about us hanging round each other so much...' 

 


'Yeah? And?' Darcy prompted, puffing on her own fag. 

 


Addy shrugged. 'They call us names I'd rather not repeat. Asked if we like to kiss.' 

 


'What?' She squeaked. Addy looked at her, and her expression was pained. 

 


'Don't worry about it,' she shook her head. 'They're just trying to get a rise out of me. Have they ever bothered you?' 

 


'No, but...' Her voice cracked and Addy saw her swipe at her eyes with the back of her hand. She cared too much about what people thought of her.  

 


'Really. Don't worry about it. Nothing's happened this year. Maybe they've moved on?' Darcy frowned, gazing back at Addy with watery eyes. 'Besides. You know how stupid they both are.' Addy crossed her eyes and grunted, 'duhhh,' in a deeper tone, and the right corner of Darcy's mouth turned up. 

 


'Uhhh,' she grunted out dumbly. 

 


Addy chuckled lowly. 'I don't know how they made it to third year,' she shook her head. 

 


'I don't know how they make it around the castle without getting lost,' Darcy countered, grinning again.  

 


Addy laughed loudly. 

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