Genre: Romance, Comedy, Riddle
Pairing(s): George/OC, other fringe pairings
Summary: Have you ever wondered what JK may have had to cut out of 'Order of the Phoenix'? This story works as a companion to OotP and shows a lot of the Weasley twins as well as some of the other characters in Gryffindor House. Andrea is connected to Harry in a way that even he doesn't know about, but it's something that she has to think about every day.
Chapter Summary: The first evening back at Hogwarts brings the introduction of a new teacher, some revelations, and a request from someone in Andrea's recent past.
Disclaimer: Please send your invisible galleons to me by way of owl post, because I, of course, made up everything that has to do with Harry Potter, Hogwarts, etc. Who does this J.K. Rowling think she is going along behind me and picking up all the notes that i made in coffee shops on napkins and such? And no, there isn’t a slight Pirates of the Caribbean quote in the dialogue after the Sorting Hat sings.
Now, let’s see, where did we leave off...? Ah yes, page 195 is where my chapter correlates with Order of the Phoenix. Italic portions (that aren’t spells) are sections that I’ve quoted straight out of OotP to work with my chapter. If this explanation doesn’t make sense now, it will by the end of the chapter.
At last the Hogwarts Express slowed to a stop and they all got off the train. Andrea smiled at the pleasantly crisp feeling of the night air on her face. It was much cooler than evenings at home in Kent, and it served to welcome her back to a new year. Fresh air for a fresh start, that’s how it had always felt. She and her fellow Gryffindors turned as they heard the familiar call for the first years, but it was Grubbly-Plank, not Hagrid, who held a lantern and was gathering the new students around her.
“That’s odd,” Sophie commented. “I wonder where Hagrid is.”
The others were perplexed as well, but as no one had the slightest inclination as to why he wasn’t there they simply dropped the subject and made their way through the crowds and to the horseless carriages. Sophie and Andrea made it into a carriage with Roderick and Edward. “Did either of you see Euan? I was going to pop in on him during the journey here, but we got too busy with our game.”
Sophie anxiously shook her head, growing a little nervous at the close proximity to the object of her affection. “I saw him,” Andrea said. “I passed his compartment on my way back from changing into my robes. He looked really nervous, but he’d found a few other first years to latch on to for the ride. They were trading chocolate frog cards I think.”
Euan was Edward’s youngest brother, there was another brother, Ethan, who was sandwiched in-between. “Well, at least Euan and his lot have got decent weather for the boat ride across the lake. D’you remember our first night Rick?”
“Bloody monsoonal rain with a bleeding fierce wind. I thought all our boats would capsize!” Roderick reminisced. “Must be enchanted so they don’t tip though, don’t you think?”
“I don’t know, I think I heard a couple years ago that the younger Creevey boy fell in. He said the squid put him back in the boat,” Andrea countered.
“Didn’t he just get pushed by one of those Slytherin blokes?” Ed questioned.
“Yeah, I think you’re right. Warrington’s brother now that I’m thinking harder about it,” Andrea surmised.
“I’m so hungry I could eat an entire hippogriff!” Roderick moaned, rubbing his stomach.
“I hear you mate,” Eddy agreed.
“What? I thought you two had stuffed your stomachs with sweets. Wasn’t that the plan?” Andrea asked.
“Exploding Snap, me dear sister, Exploding Snap. It’s an addicting obsession.”
Andrea and Sophie both smiled and rolled their eyes at each other, though the boys didn’t seem to notice. Andrea, Roderick and Eddy kept up a conversation until they rolled up to the castle. When they stepped out of the carriage, Sophie’s cousin called her to come and walk with her, and Edward straightened his robes and made his way over to flirt with Katie Bell.
“And then there were two.” Roderick and Andrea strolled up the stone steps into the Entrance Hall. “Andrea, was it just me, or was Sophie a bit weird on the way in the carriage?”
“Weird how?” Andrea asked.
“She didn’t say one word. I know she really wanted to be Prefect; is that what it was about?”
“I guess you could say that’s a small part of it.”
Roderick continued his inquiry. “What else is bothering her?”
“Rick, you know me better than anyone else. Other than when I’m mad, why else would I be at a loss for words around someone? Why would I act queerly around someone?”
“Blimey, I don’t know. You’re usually friendly enough to everyone, except when you’re mad at them. Other than that I don’t-” He broke off, his jaw dropping.
He pulled Andrea out of the crowd milling into the Great Hall, an eager look on his face. “Are you telling me that Sophie might. . . ?”
“That maybe she. . . ?”
“Maybe she what?”
“Does she actually fancy me?”
“Roderick, I didn’t say anything of the sort. Don’t let it go to your head,” Andrea whispered urgently.
He seemed totally in shock. “How could it go to my head? She’s one of the smartest girls around, and I, well I. . . .” he trailed off.
“And you what?”
Andrea could barely hear as he answered, “I sort of fancy her myself.”
Andrea merely smirked. “Come on, let’s go fill your stomach,” she grabbed his arm and pulled him back into the ranks filling into the Great Hall for the Sorting, “I can hear your stomach growling like a great lion.”
“The sign of a true Gryffindor, eh?” They both laughed.
They made their way to the Gryffindor table amidst the glow of thousands of candles, each receiving their share of greetings from their friends. Though Andrea was oblivious, Roderick did not miss the fact that his little sister was turning heads. His hand even went unconsciously to his wand in an overprotective way. He knew his sister had grown up a lot over the last summer. They took seats near each other, each sitting with their classmates in their year. Each of the house tables had been spectacularly decorated. The Gryffindor table had a deep scarlet tablecloth draped over its length, and had settings of gold plates, goblets and cutlery. There were also vibrant red and yellow roses in huge bouquets spread intermittently along the table.
It wasn’t long before the first years came in, more nervous than ever as the whole school quieted. Professor McGonnagall led them to the front, carrying the three-legged stool and the familiar old, worn and tattered hat. “Look, there’s Euan!” Ed pointed to a boy in the middle of the line of first years. “He’s shaking like a leaf,” he added a bit apprehensively.
The whole school quieted down within a matter of seconds, the older students waiting for the hat to begin its song, the first years waiting for whatever was going to happen next to happen quickly.
((Please refer to pgs. 204-207 of the American version of OOtP to read the Sorting Hat’s song, I won’t take the space to include it here.))
Unsurprisingly, everyone was in a bit of shock. This year’s song was different than any of the students had heard before.
“That’s very interesting,” Andrea mumbled to Sophie.
Professor McGonnagall stood at the front of the Great Hall, waiting impatiently for the students to quiet down again, which they did rather quickly. Then she set her attention to the task at hand. “Abercrombie, Euan.”
“I hope he makes it into Gryffindor,” Ed whispered as Euan stepped forward, stumbling slightly in his nervous state. He sat on the stool and then tentatively placed the hat on his head.
A moment later, the Sorting Hat gave a great shout of, “GRYFFINDOR!”
The whole table burst into loud cheers, though Ed and his brother Ethan were probably the loudest. They watched as he gamboled over to the table, passing Ethan, who gave im a big clap on the shoulder, nearly knocking him over, and he finally sat down, being congratulated by those around him.
Finally the sorting was over, and Dumbledore stood from his seat at the staff table. “To our newcomers,” said Dumbledore in a ringing voice, his arms stretched wide and a beaming smile on his lips, “welcome! To our old hands - welcome back! There is a time for speech making, but this is not it. Tuck in!”
Everyone in the hall cheered and laughed and then began dishing hot, steaming food onto their plates as it magically appeared on the table. There were roasted chickens, turkeys, duck, lamb, ham, and pork chops; split pea soup, chicken noodle soup, potato soup, and other stews; corn, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peas, and asparagus; potatoes, rice, breads and rolls, and all of the other trimmings. After a while, the tide was turned and the dinner made way for dessert. There were cakes, puddings, tarts, and pastries of all sorts.
When every stomach was full and all the food had disappeared, as did the plates, Dumbledore stood; the time for speech making had arrived. Sophie listened intently; Roderick was mildly interested; Ed and Andrea were busy conspiring, now that they knew that their best friends liked each other, for they knew that the two would never really do anything about it. They weren’t aware of any of the announcements, totally oblivious until they could no longer hear their own whispering for all the talking going on around them.
They lifted their heads to see that a great deal of their fellow students were outright carrying on normal conversations. They looked to the staff table, puzzled that Dumbledore would allow this, but were quite surprised to see that the newest member of the staff was trying to address the student body. It was a relief though, because if it had been Dumbledore that the students were ignoring, they would’ve known that something was terribly wrong.
They only heard the very end of this woman’s speech “Let us move forward, then, into a new era of openness, effectiveness, and accountability, intent on preserving what oughtt to be preserved, perfecting what needs to be perfected, and pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited.”
Dumbledore applauded, as did a few of the staff, and a sparse number of students. Then Dumbledore stood, thanked the woman, Professor Umbridge, and continued with the rest of his announcements before finally dismissing everyone to go to their dormitories. The first years were collected by Ron and Hermione, and the rest of Gryffindor house ushered past them, asking the other prefects the new password to give to the Fat Lady. Andrea and Edward detached themselves from the others so as to finish hatching their plans for Operation Sophie-Roderick Romance.
“I do think we make quite the brilliant matchmakers, don’t you think?” he asked her as they approached the entrance to Gryffindor Tower.
“We’re simply brilliant.Mimbulus mimbletonia,” Andrea said to the Fat Lady.
“Welcome back dears,” she greeted as she swung her portrait for them.
“So don’t forget,” Ed said as he headed toward the boy’s staircase.
“I won’t,” she answered. “Nine-thirty.”
“That’s the ticket!”
Andrea smiled then went over to the chairs around the fireplace, where she found Sophie, Ginny Weasley, and a couple of other fourth year girls who they were friendly with. They were all catching up and Andrea joined them happily. Everything was going wonderfully so far this year.
She was sitting in the midst of the girls when someone approached their group. “Hello all. Andrea, can I have a word with you?” It was Neal Thatcher.
Sophie and Andrea exchanged a quick look, and Sophie merely shrugged. “Sure,” Andrea said, and got up and followed him to one of the more private corners of the common room. She heard Ginny and her friends giggling as they left. As they crossed the room, they passed Fred and George Weasley who were sitting at one of the study tables talking with Lee Jordan. George looked up and glanced at them, and she wished that she wasn’t in her current predicament.
Neal Thatcher was a sixth year and extremely attractive. He was nearly perfect: smart, witty, polite, and a Prefect. Many of the girls in the school fancied him. Andrea had been one of these girls as well, but that was last year. Why did George have to see her with him? That would serve to ruin any chance that she might have with him.
The two of them sat down, and Andrea waited for him to say something, for she didn’t really have anything to say to him. “How was your summer Andrea?” he started feebly.
“It was all right, better towards the end,” she said cooly. “How was yours?”
“It would’ve been nice had I not felt like a great prat.”
Andrea’s expression softened somewhat.
“I owe you a huge apology, and I wanted to do it sooner, but I knew that you deserved more than just a note by owl post. So I’m extremely sorry about the end of term last year.”
“Thank you, that really means a lot to me,” she gave the smallest of smiles, he actually sounded like he meant it.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but I was just really busy and highly stressed out by the O.W.L.s last year. I know that’s not a good reason, but I’m really sorry. I was also a bit scared. I know it’s asking a lot, but I’d really like to try again.”
“I don’t know if I can,” she sighed.
“I know that I really hurt you, and I don’t deserve it, but I hope that someday you can forgive me. And if we can’t be a couple, I’d at least like to try and be something. Your friendship is invaluable to me, and I really hope you know that.”
“I do. I really liked you a lot, but the friendship we had was really important to me too. Just give me some time. That’s what it’s going to take, and we’ll see if we can be friends again. I hope that we can, but I can’t make any promises.”
“Thanks, it means a lot to me just to know that you’re willing to give it a shot. Goodnight,” he smiled then left her to go to the dormitory.
Without even thinking about it, she looked over at the table where George had been sitting, but Fred and Lee were the only ones left there. In fact, they were some of the only ones left in the common room. Andrea stayed where she was, drumming her fingers idly on the small table nexxt to her, needing to think before she went up to her room. She heard some shouting drift down the boy’s staircase and felt a horrible jolt of anger in her stomach. He was really upset about something, but she didn’t really want to deal with his feelings right now.
She went up to her room at last, and was greeted by Sophie, Lavender and Parvati all asking what had happened with Neal. “Well, he just apologized, and he hoped that we could try again, but I told him I couldn’t be any more than friends with him.”
“Are you mad?” Lavender exclaimed. “He’s divinely handsome and so smart.”
“Well, then aren’t you glad he’s back on the market?” Sophie defended so Andrea didn’t have to talk about it.
“I’m going to bed,” Andrea said, looking at her watch, and seeing it was nine-thirty. Time for phase one. “Sophie, I think I left my wand downstairs, would you mind looking to see if I did?”
Sophie looked like she really didn’t want to and was about to refuse.
“Oh , all right. You should be so glad I’m such a great friend.”
“I am, trust me,” she said as Sophie left.
Their dormitory was more of a suite, a small sitting room with mirrors and vanities on one side and a couple of comfy couches over by the window. There were two doors leading off of the main room. One was to the small room that Lavender and Parvati shared. The other was the room that Sophie and Andrea shared with Hermione.
The door was slightly afar, and Hermione was already in their room. It seemed that she had just finished unpacking her trunk. Andrea set to accomplish the same task.
“I couldn’t help overhearing, and I hope you don’t mind me asking what happened, but i didn’t know that you and neal weren’t a couple anymore. I thought things had been steadily going better and better between the two of you ever since you went to the Yule Ball together last Christmas.”
“No, I don’t mind. They were. I don’t really really know where to start though. How much do you know?” Andrea asked Hermione. Though Sophie had that grudge about Hermione always being the best, they were still pretty close friends, seeing as they did share a room, and the same love-yet-hate feelings toward Lavender and Parvati.
“Not much to be honest. I was spending so much time last year helping out Harry with the Tri-Wizard Tournament.”
“That’s right. Well, I’d had a pretty big crush on him, seeing as you know, he’s Neal Thatcher.”
“Oh, I completely understand,” Hermione smiled. Neal Thatcher was about as handsome and popular as Cedric Diggory was, with just as many girls in his fan club.
“I was totally in shock when he asked me to the Yule Ball. We went and we had a spectacular time. I’d been really really nervous, but he was such a gentleman and it was really easy for us to talk. From then on we started to spend afternoons together studying, playing chess or whatever else. We went to Hogsmeade a couple of times. It was all going pretty smoothly, and we both knew that we had growing feelings for each other. Then along about the beginning of May, we were out one evening after dinner before we had to be back in the castle, and things were going really well, and he, well, he kissed me.”
“Really?” Hermione asked, excitedly.
“Yes,” Andrea smiled, then gave a heavy sigh. “That’s where things went downhill. He had exams coming up, so he had to throw himself into endless studying, which is natural, and I completely understand. But he wouldn’t even sit by me or speak to me during meals. He just completely started to avoid and ignore me. I didn’t know why either. He wasn’t even going after other girls, which i’m thankful for because that would have made it much worse, but it still hurt. Exams came and went, and he still didn’t speak to me. I finally cornered him, asked him what the hell he’d been thinking, and he just shrugged, and I told him it was over between us.”
“Oh,” was all Hermione could think of to say.
“I don’t know. Maybe I handled it the wrong way, but I didn’t know what else to do.”
“No, I think you had every right to be completely upset, and you shouldn’t waste your time on someone who is going to ignore you like that.”
“It’s the truth. He really should have been smarter about the whole thing.”
“You’re right. At least he apologized to me, and I know he really meant it. I feel bad telling him that there’s no hope for us to be together, but it’s hard. I don’t know if I can even be friends with him, but I hope that I can, because he is a nice person and we enjoy each other’s company. I guess we’ll just see.”
“I think it’s really great of you to want to be friends, a lot of girls wouldn’t be able to do that. I’m also very glad that you aren’t the kind of girl to just fall back into his arms,” they both laughed, knowing full well that that is the kind of thing that Lavender or Parvati would do without a second thought.
“Andrea, is Sophie okay with, well, you know. . . ?” she trailed off.
Andrea turned to face Hermione, knowing this was about the Prefect issue. “She will be. Just give her time. I think that she’ll soon be having her hands full with other things,” she smiled mischievously. “I sent her to look for my wand for a reason.” She held up her wand to show that there was no reason for Sophie to be down there looking for it. “Edward Abercrombie and I are busy with a little something we like to call Operation Sophie-Roderick Romance.”
The two girls giggled.
“Which reminds me, what of you and Viktor Krum?”
“Well, we still write, and he invited me to come visit him this summer,” Hermione answered, blushing.
“And did you go?”
“No,” she said simply.
“Ah, then what of you and Mr. Ronald Weasley?”
“Oh really! What are you talking about?”
“Come on Hermione, the chemistry between the two of you has been growing steadily more palpable since at least the third year. . . .”
Lightning Bond Chapter One