Chapter 1: Hogwarts Express
Though the Hogwarts Express had only just left Kings Cross Station, the Prefects' Carriage was already fully occupied by students dressed in their full school attire.
The carriage was sectioned off by house, something clearly seen when entering the luxurious compartment. Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs were across from one and other with the Ravenclaws and Slytherins behind them, the main goal being to separate the Slytherin students from the Gryffindors. The differences between the two houses may have settled a great deal after the Second Wizarding War, but the heated rivalry lived on with the two often clashing heads. Not even the Prefects were immune to the effects of the continued race.
Chloe Beale, a sixth year, sat in the seat nearest the window to allow her a chance to see the passing countryside while the Head Boy and Girl ran through the duties of Prefects. The speech was mainly for the newly appointed fifth year students, so she wasn't missing anything of importance.
She was pulled from her thoughts as the Head Girl of Gryffindor, a seventh year by the name of Amelia, clapped her hands together and announced, "We'll be patrolling the cars third, so feel free to mingle with the others once Slytherin goes."
As if on cue, the students clad in their black robes with emerald green lining stood and began to file out of the compartment. Chloe caught the eye of the tall Slytherin Head Boy, the green badge on his collar shining against his new robes. She gave him a small grin, Tom responding with a well-practiced wink before he was out of sight. The redhead had been dating the older boy for nearly two years now, a fact that many of her friends deemed odd since she was one of the most competitive people they had ever met.
The Gryffindor section quickly dispersed around the cabin, leaving Chloe to her own devices as she shrugged off her robes and placed them beside her.
In a flash of blonde, Aubrey Posen was seated across from her as if she had been sitting there since they had boarded the train. She had also shed her robes, choosing to show off her charcoal jumper with blue lining while they awaited their turn to walk the length of the train.
"I swear, they just gave the exact same speech they did last year," Aubrey commented, leaning closer to her friend so as not to be overheard by the others.
Chloe couldn't help but grin at the appalled look on her best friend's face, remarking, "Honestly, I wasn't paying attention. I have no idea what Amelia or Tom said."
Aubrey let out a giggle, her hair bouncing with the movement of her shoulders. Her next words were cut off by the arrival of two younger students in their peripheral vision, the pair nervously wandering from across the isle.
"Hi," the tall, brunette girl greeted. Her smile was one that could rival even Chloe's, though it seemed a bit shaky at the corners from nerves. "Um- We're new a-and not sure what to do."
The redhead straightened her spine, a welcoming smile gracing her features as she explained, "Well, we all patrol by Houses, so right now we're just waiting for the shifts to change."
"I think Hufflepuff goes last, so you both have a while before you even need to worry about getting ready," Aubrey threw in.
"W-What do we do till then?" the curly-haired boy asked, his hands firmly in place behind his back.
"Relax and make friends with the other Prefects," the blonde grinned. She extended her hand to the two fifth years to introduce herself, "I'm Aubrey Posen."
The girl stepped up first, "Emily Junk."
"Benji Applebaum," the boy said quickly. They both turned to the redhead, their smiles widening slightly as they felt the warmth radiating from the redhead's personality.
"Chloe Beale," she shook their hands. "It was nice to meet you."
The boy nodded his head while Emily waved at them both as they scampered back across the isle, leaving the friends on their own once again.
Aubrey shook her head, a laugh threatening to break through her lips as she said, "I guess not everyone repeated the speech."
"You're in a particularly chipper mood today," Chloe stated, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. She leaned back against the cushioned seat, her brilliant blue eyes roaming her typically uptight best friend.
The blonde shrugged, her hands falling into her lap as she crossed her legs, "And you're just bursting at the seams with excitement." Her voice was laced with a teasing lilt as she continued, "People are going to start thinking you've been eating sweets out of a Skiving Snackbox."
"Fever Fudge is a personal favorite," she threw back with a straight face.
"Please," Aubrey rolled her eyes. "Now what's ruining the Ray of Sunshine's mood? Did Tom do something? I'm not opposed to jinxing-"
"No, Tom's fine," she assured. "I'm just tired. My family got back from Romania yesterday, so I've not had a chance to settle down yet."
"Elliot started working at the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary, so we went to visit," Chloe explained, jumping to her feet and reaching for her trunk in the overhead bin. In one swift motion, she opened it and plucked a small book from between the mess of clothes before shutting it once again. She flicked her wand and sent the trunk back to its place above them, sitting down next to her friend. "Here."
The blonde took the book, opening it to find a photograph being protected between the pages. The picture showed the entire Beale family huddling together and then ducking down as a dragon shot flames into the air. Chloe was in the middle of the group, her eldest brother Elliot to her right with his red hair now down to his shoulders, her elder brother William to his right and his hair now shaggy and lying in his face, while their youngest brother Alexander was to Chloe's left, his hair now cropped short against his head. Their parents, Victoria and George, stood close behind their children and had one arm around each other. Each of them dressed as if they were on a simply hike through the mountains instead of surrounded by magical creatures.
"Merlin, I barely recognize Elliot with that hair," she stated, her tone portraying that it was meant to be taken as a compliment.
Chloe pointed to the dragon behind them in the moving picture, "That's a Norwegian Ridgeback that he's been studying this summer. Alex kept trying to feed it and almost lost his eyebrows after we took this."
"It's been ages since I've seen your family," Aubrey said, her hair flying behind her as she turned to face her friend. "Isabelle works for the Daily Prophet, so there aren't any exciting dragons to visit there."
The redhead giggled at the thought of Aubrey's older sister, Isabelle, being around a dragon. If people thought that she could be uptight, then they were in for a shock when they met her drill-sergeant of a sister. "Why don't you come home with me over the holidays?"
"I think my father is going to be traveling to America over break," she mentioned, her bottom lip being pulled between her teeth in thought.
"El would love to come home to a surprise," Chloe teased. It was well known that Aubrey had a crush on her eldest brother, the boy having made no attempts to stop her flirting over the years and even returning it on occasions once they both got older.
Aubrey leaned back in her seat, "I'll write him once we get settled, but I'm sure I can make it work."
"Good, Mum and Dad said things just weren't right without their other daughter-" Before the redhead could finish her sentence, a loud crash came from the train car beside them. Chloe had her wand drawn in a flash, a sigh escaping her lips as she made her way towards the noise, Aubrey close behind and telling the other Prefects that they had it covered. "We've not even been on the train an hour."
The duo rushed through the door, finding the corridor of the next car a mess. On the floor before them was an unconscious sixth year Ravenclaw slumped against the wall, each of the compartment doors to their right were wide open and had different students poking their head out to see the commotion. Standing over the passed out student was a rough looking Gryffindor still in street clothing, her wand drawn.
"Mitchell!" Chloe barked at the fellow sixth year.
"Afternoon, Beale," Beca greeted with a smirk as if she hadn't just cast a charm on someone. She bent down to pick something off the ground, grabbing another wand from beside the Ravenclaw and turning to reveal a young Hufflepuff standing behind her. The boy accepted his wand with a grateful smile, slowly backing away with a 'thank you' before heading back to his original compartment. Beca turned back to face the pair, stepping around the body beneath her to stand in front of the Prefects.
Chloe motioned at the boy on the ground, an angry breath escaping her as she asked, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I was retrieving a stolen item," she disclosed, her hand moving to replace her wand in an inner pocket of her jacket and her shoulders pushed back in confidence.
"How would you like to be the reason that Gryffindor loses points before we even get to Hogwarts?" she threatened, the tip of her wand edging closer to the brunette. Something about the confident tone in her voice sent Chloe closer to the edge, the rage inside of her bubbling to the top.
Beca put her hands up in surrender, laughing, "He'll wake up, I promise."
Chloe clenched her teeth in annoyance, stepping back only after Aubrey had gently placed an arm between the two and taken over the conversation, "Just take him back to his compartment and we'll forget it happened. Deal?"
"You got it," Beca promised. She backed away with a smirk, leaning down to grasp at the boy's ankles to drag him back down the length of the train. The sight would have been hilarious if it weren't for the boiling annoyance that sat within the redhead, but the Ravenclaw still found a moment to smile at the incident.
Aubrey reached down for Chloe's hand, tugging her back to the Prefects' Carriage as the redhead took calming breaths. The two sat down once again opposite one and other, the auburn-haired girl letting a groan out against her hands.
"He'll be perfectly fine," Aubrey commented, attempting to calm her friend down.
"That's not what I'm angry about," she admitted. Removing her hands from her face, Chloe simply said, "You know how I feel about Mitchell."
The blonde shook her head in amusement, "Beca isn't so awful."
"Mitchell is an arrogant and obnoxious Quidditch player who thinks she can get away with anything just because she's good on a broom."
"You love Quidditch," Aubrey squinted at her friend, confusion evident at the diss of an excellent player, crossing her arms. "Besides, you just described your boyfriend perfectly."
"Tom isn't an elitist prick," she shot back, her mind wandering to the Slytherin Captain before returning to the reason for her undeniable anger.
"That's up for debate," she pointed out. "Honestly, I think you judge her a bit harshly. I mean she only Stupefied that boy because he stole someone's wand."
"I really don't care," Chloe stated. "I can't stand that conceited Chaser and that hasn't changed for years."
The Ravenclaw held back a smile, choosing to get her friend off the topic of Beca Mitchell, knowing that it would take hours to remove her from a rant, "While you were in Romania, did Elliot mention me at all?"
"You're a lunatic," the redhead giggled, glad to be able to stop talking about the single person that she could not get along with.
Beca Mitchell sat in the middle of the long Gryffindor table, the Great Hall filled with the buzz of conversations from the excited students. She took a long drink from her goblet, setting it down to find her best friends glaring at her from across the table.
"What are you staring at?" She glanced between the two, both of whom looked at each other knowingly.
"You keep looking at her," Luke pointed out, his head gesturing towards the end of the table nearest the professors.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Beca denied, making sure to keep her eyes trained on the two boys in front of her.
Jesse grinned, leaning closer to his friend, "We have this talk every year, Beca."
"Didn't she try to jinx you this morning?" the blonde boy asked, reaching for one of the treacle tarts beside him. Luke had been attempting to find Bumper Allen for most of the train ride to hopefully punch him, but he gave up near the end and instead chose to find his friends. Unfortunately for him, that caused him to miss the commotion that happened early on that day.
"Of course not." She went on to explain, "I think she wanted to, but she just threatened to deduct points."
"Stepping up in the world, aren't we?" Luke teased.
"Even Aubrey likes you at this point," Jesse laughed. "And she actually did jinx you once."
"We were third years, Jesse," Beca chided. "It was an accident."
Luke's eyebrows scrunched together, "I was there. It was anything but an accident. She wanted to send you into the Black Lake."
"The point is that Beale only threatened me and she even looked like she could potentially smile," the shorter brunette retorted. Beca looked back down the table, watching as the girl's auburn locks were tossed behind her in a fit of laughter. A true smile pulled at her lips, the redhead's blue eyes catching her own. She gave the Prefect a small wave, the only response she got in return was an icy glare as she turned back to her friends and ignored the Chaser.
"Careful, Becs, your crush is showing," the blonde said.
Jesse shoved the remnants of a jam doughnut into his mouth, licking his fingertips of the sweet before stating, "I think it's nice to see that Beca still has a side capable of having a crush."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked, her gaze falling on the goofy boy.
Luke threw his hand up in front of his friend's face, grasping her attention as he continued for the brunette, "He means that you're the star Chaser of the Quidditch team. Jesse, being the Keeper he is, is sought after by the more practical girls. I'm the Captain and Seeker, so the only girls who really like me are other Gryffindors. Now that leaves you, a member of the team who is unmistakably prideful of Gryffindor, but you're also one of the best Chasers Hogwarts has seen in years. Anyone who even remotely enjoys Quidditch is most likely harboring some secret crush on you."
"You're insane," Beca chided, recalling the fact that Luke more than his fair share of fans.
"There's a group of girls who show up to Trials just to watch you," Jesse countered. "And I can assure you that they're not all in our House."
"Beca Mitchell, you are the most unattainable person in this school and you make sure of that," Luke chuckled.
Rolling her eyes, Beca stressed, "You make me sound like a player."
"Quidditch isn't your only game," the younger boy joked.
"I've grown out of that phase," she challenged. It was true, though she had been known to flirt with the majority of girls at Hogwarts, over the past year she had pulled away from that and chosen to focus on Quidditch more than anything.
"You know, she's right," the blonde leaned back. He tossed his thumb over his shoulder towards the Slytherin table, "She's nothing like that Hartley prick."
"The irony," Jesse sighed. "Beca Mitchell is too much of a player for the ginger Prefect, yet her elitist boyfriend is just perfect."
"Tom is going to get what's coming to him on the Quidditch Pitch," Beca snagged a pumpkin tart from a tray to her left. "Olivia nearly broke her neck after he hexed her broom."
The sound of clanking glass drew the friend's attention towards the Headmistress, McGonagall standing before them and announcing, "You may all return to your dormitories. First years, your House Prefects will guide you to your Common Rooms, so please do not fall behind. Welcome to Hogwarts."
The desserts began to disappear from in front of them, Beca shoving the sweet into her mouth before it could go with the rest of the food. Luke let out a booming laugh at the sight, continuing their conversation, "Slytherin didn't deserve to win the House Cup or the Quidditch Cup. This year, we're putting Tom back in his place."
The trio walked towards the entrance to the Great Hall, meeting up at the end of the table and falling behind the new first years. Once in the corridor, the students began to spread out in search of their own particular Common Rooms.
"Stacie told me on the train that she had been saving up for the Hogsmeade trip, so we're planning on stocking up at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes," Beca mentioned.
"I can't wait to watch Tom eat Puking Pastilles," Luke grinned.
"We just need to remember to cut off the purple ends," Jesse reminded. "I don't want him to be cured too soon."
"Bloody hell," Beca hissed, feeling along her robes. "I left my wand."
She turned and hustled back to the Great Hall, Luke calling out to her, "We'll be waiting!"
She ran along the Gryffindor table, easily spotting her dark wand against the lighter wood. Grabbing the item, she placed it back in the inner pocket of her robes, sighing in relief that she hadn't lost it. Still in a bit of a rush, but not quite as quick, she retraced her steps.
Her hands grasped at the entrance of the Great Hall, stopping her from toppling over a young girl looking around the corridor. The girl flinched, expecting the impact that never came.
"Whoah, there," Beca spoke in a calming voice. "Looking for something?"
She glanced behind her at the empty hall, her gaze finding the young girl once again when her wavering voice said, "I- uh- I don't know where to go."
"You just got sorted into Gryffindor, didn't you?" she asked, a soothing grin coming over her features. The first year nodded at her, swiping at a few tears welling up in her eyes. Beca's bottom lip found its way between her teeth as she checked down the corridor, catching sight of both her friends and the fleeting figure of a particular Prefect. "Come on, then. I bet we can catch up."
The brunette moved her hand towards the young blonde, the girl taking it timidly as the Quidditch star began to jog back in the direction she had originally come from. The first year kept up with her easily, glad that an older student had found her and was willing to help her. The two passed Jesse and Luke, both of whom had confused looks on their faces, but Beca simply winked as she hurried past the pair. Their footsteps resounded through the stone corridor, the noise dimming as they gained ground on the other first years.
"Excuse me!" Beca called out at the redhead. The Prefect didn't seem to notice, most likely thinking that she was attempting to get the attention of someone else. "Red!" she tried again, noticing the way the girl's shoulders straightened and her pace quickened to get farther away from the brunette. Shaking her head, the Chaser let out one more call, "Beale!"
"What!?" The Prefect spun on her heel, facing the approaching Quidditch player as she slowed her jog to a walk.
Beca smirked at the auburn-haired beauty, halting a few feet from the fiery girl as she nodded towards the first year holding on to her arm. "I believe you forgot something."
Chloe's eyes widened at the sight, her tone lightening a bit as she spoke to the girl, "Here, go on and catch up with the others." The girl looked up at Beca with her brown eyes, murmuring a small thank you as she nudged her toward the group heading for the Gryffindor Common Room. The brunette waved at her, the smile not leaving her mouth as she turned back to the redhead. "Where did you find her?"
"She was by the Great Hall," Beca explained. "Looked a little lost, so I figured I should return her before some of the Slytherins came along and forced her into their ranks."
"I'm surprised you didn't Stupefy her for standing near you," Chloe recalled the incident on the train earlier. She crossed her arms, taking a small step back from the Chaser.
"She didn't look like a thief," she joked, her smirk returning despite Chloe showing no sign of amusement.
"Well," Chloe bit her upper lip, her gaze falling to the ground as she bitterly replied, "Thank you."
"Anything for you, Beale," she took a step closer to the Prefect.
"I'll jinx you right here," the redhead asserted, her mouth in a tight line. "Don't even test me, Mitchell."
Beca put her hands into the air for the second time that day, surrendering, "I wouldn't dream of it."
"Good, now go back to whatever girl you have your eyes on this week before she realizes that she's being played," Chloe began to walk away, her steps echoing down the hall.
"That's not very nice, Beale," Beca quipped.
"Neither are you, Mitchell," she called back, not bothering to look over her shoulder.
Beca followed the girl down the corridor, being pulled out of her daze when two hands slapped her on the back and tugged her along. She yanked the pair back by their robes once she saw that it was Jesse and Luke, the two flying back a bit and nearly tripping.
"Really close to a smile there, Becs," Luke jabbed at her earlier comment. "She's definitely coming around."
"It wasn't as bad as it could have been," Jesse recalled, thinking back to their fourth year when the redhead had berated Beca for shoving him into the girl's bathroom on the first floor. Once he heard the screaming start, he had chosen to remain in the bathroom until it had gone silent and he deemed the corridor safe again.
"Shut up," she shook her head, wrapping her arms around their waists as the trio made their way to the dormitories with a safe distance between them and the fiery Prefect. "Beale almost sees me as a human being."
You know how much I love reviews! This is another one of the multichapter fics I'm writing at the moment, though I doubt it'll be updated as quickly as the other two since I'm about to go back to school and have very little time to even think. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think!