A/N: Hi, all! So this story is one that I've posted on HPFF and just decided to also post on , since it's the one that I tend to focus on most.
Title: Laugh it Off
(Full) Summary: Everything is fine. No, Really. My best friend is trading me in for a boy who can't spell his own name, Sirius Black is dating Horse-Face McKinnon and the button to my jeans broke off and hit a first year in the forehead. It's all fine and dandy! Right, now, you were saying?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize from Harry Potter, nor do I make a profit off of this story.
Warnings: Use of strong language.
2015 update: I went through and edited this entire story because 15 year old me made some interesting choices so if it seems a little different to anyone re-reading, that's why! I've left notes at the top of each chapter regarding changes, mostly so I know what chapters I've already done, but nothing plot-wise has been majorly altered.
This summer I decided to try and become a better person. I mean, sure, what's not to love about someone as hilarious and beautiful as me, but we've all got our issues. Most of mine stemmed from being just a bit too big in my jeans and a little too small in my wallet.
There were two solutions that I saw: 1. Get a job. 2. Go on a diet. I picked one. It wouldn't have been too bad, if it weren't for the fact that being the ice cream girl at a parlor more suited in size to a broom closet meant I was constantly (and literally) bumping into people I knew.
Most people were tolerable, and occasionally, I'd even see one of my friends, but as is with any job, there were certain customers that made me want to, to put it mildly, slit my own throat with an ice cream scoop. For example, this morning, my last day of summer (and last day of freedom), mind you, Marlene McKinnon and her boyfriend, Sirius Black came in. Forgetting I think Sirius is hot, so that makes me bound to hate his girlfriends, Marlene McKinnon is a bitch. Straight, simple and to the point. We share a dorm.
Sirius smiled and actually asked me how my summer had been, while Marlene looked intently at the floor before they ordered, mumbling something along the lines of "of course she works in an ice cream shop."
Of course, since Marlene was on a perpetual diet, she had one scoop of lemon sorbet. Call me a fat-arse, but sorbet isn't even in the same league as ice cream.
"Can I help you?" I asked the next people in line after Sirius, frowning at his one scoop of chocolate, and Marlene.
"Yes," said the man in front of me, simply staring at the flavors. "I'll have the lemon sorbet."
I almost rolled my eyes. Almost. What is it with people and their damn sorbets?
The rest of the afternoon passed by with a few drifters here and there, and before I knew it, it was time to close up shop. I called my boss on my way out the door, giving my thanks and telling him to remember to lock up.
I walked out into Diagon Alley, which wasn't too busy, mostly because term started tomorrow and everyone had already bought their supplies, and enjoyed the fresh summer air on my walk to the Leaky Cauldron, where I stayed this summer to keep up with my job, though in hindsight, most of the money I'd earned went towards my rent or towards more ice cream. Mostly I'd just been determined to get out of the house.
My mum died when I was eight, so it's just been my dad and my two older brothers, Devon and Raffie. We lived just outside London, in a house that was old and not very well kept. Devon is two years older than me and Raffie is one. So with each of us only being a year apart, you can imagine the havoc.
Devon just graduated from Hogwarts and is trying to study to become an auror. To tell the truth, I don't think he's quick enough to be one, but he's certainly determined. Raffie was entering his last year at school and had been complaining about how it wasn't fair he had to go back and Devon didn't.
After I finally made it inside the Leaky Cauldron, I said goodnight to Tom, the bartender, and went up to my room, exhausted, but trudging onwards so I could at least begin to pack my trunk. Let's just say punctuality and preparedness aren't two of my strong suits.
That's been my biggest problem this summer. Between making sure I made it to work on time and keeping my big fat bloody mouth shut, I had my work cut out for me. It didn't help that since I'm not of age I have to do things the old fashioned way. But beyond that, above all else, I was not to miss the train.
I was late for the Hogwarts Express the very first time I came to Hogwarts. Barely made it on in time, and I had to sit in a compartment with my brother Raffie, who was none too happy about that. He got over it, but only after Devon told him it wasn't my fault I looked up to him so much.
Despite all of that, I really do like school. I'm not an expert on anything really, or exceptionally gifted, I just feel at home in the castle. Maybe it's the rats, or the talking paintings, or my friends, but coming from a household more akin to a corpse than a warm hearth, Hogwarts just feels alive.
I'm lucky to have my friends there, too. My best friend, Alice Collins, has been with me since the beginning and I get on pretty well with Lily Evans, even if she does get on my nerves with all that prefect nonsense sometimes. It also doesn't help that she usually has James Potter trailing her, and if he's there, trouble isn't far behind.
James is an absolute git sometimes, but all the same, I've found myself wishing I had a boy chasing after me like that. But what I may lack in looks I know I make up for in liveliness.
Except first thing in the morning.
The sunlight that was coming in from the curtains hurt my eyes after barely any sleep, and the worst part was I couldn't do anything about it. Granted, I had been up for an hour moping about; getting dressed, finishing the packing and all that, but still, there's never a reason to be up before noon in my opinion.
I finally finished stuffing my trunk and sat on it to close it before turning to look at my reflection in the dusty mirror. I had actually bothered to do my makeup and hair today because it was the first day of term, but I looked relatively plain. Just a little coverup and some blush which I will admit looked very nice, although the feather I'd tried to put in my hair was already falling out. I chose to wear jeans and a grey jumper to the station, since they're comfortable, and they might have been the only two clean articles left.
I'm not fond of laundry, ok?
By ten-thirty I was as ready as I'd ever be and I took my wand from the counter and shoved it in my back pocket before grabbing my bag and trunk and briskly walking out the door. I really hoped I had everything.
I thundered down the steps of the Leaky Cauldron until I reached the bottom, and waving goodbye to Tom, bolted out the door, afraid I'd be late. I was going to have to take a muggle cab to the train station, so thankfully I had sent my owl, Christopher, along ahead of me. I can't tell you how many weird looks I've gotten from people regarding that bloody bird.
I walked down to the corner of the street, and out of Diagon Alley to hail a cab to King's Cross. I tried to play it relatively cool, but I couldn't wait to get back to school. I was excited to see my friends, and thrilled that I'd received an owl earlier in the week letting me know I would be the Quidditch commentator for the third year in a row. If there's anything I love more than ice cream and procrastination, it's Quidditch. I don't play; I hate heights, but I love watching.
I was finally able to hail a taxi and climbed in. "Kings Cross station, please," I told the driver, who mumbled something and drove off.
The ride to the station seemed unusually short, and when I staggered out into the sunlight, I knew why. The tosspot had dropped me off at the other side. I paid the fare and started calculating just how I was going to make it. Cursing under my breath, I grabbed up my trunk and began to walk very briskly to platforms 9 and 10.
"Thanks," I mumbled as the taxi drove away.
This day was already off to such a great start.
After much walking, I made it to Platform 9 ¾ just in time. 10:55 was really cutting it close, even for me. There were only a few stragglers left getting on the train, including my brother Raffie. I waved at him and he sort of gave a twitch in my direction. Typical git.
Anyway, now my main objective was to get on the train in time, so I did just that, dropping off my luggage in the luggage train, and stepping on the Hogwarts Express, dying to see my friends.
I had barely stepped on the platform when I heard yelling.
"JAMES BLOODY POTTER! I WILL MURDER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP IF YOU SO MUCH AS BREATHE AT ME THIS YEAR! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
Well, at least I knew that Lily had made the train.
"I DON'T CARE! GO BACK TO WHATEVER HOLE YOU CRAWLED OUT OF! AND TAKE YOUR STUPID EGO WITH YOU!"
I did my best not to smile as I started towards the voice. I came upon a head full of fiery red hair, and another of short and spiky black hair. "Alice! Lily!" I exclaimed as the two figures turned around.
"Elsa!" Alice all but screamed, throwing her arms around me. "God! How was your summer! Where were you? We were supposed to meet on the platform, remember?"
"Sorry, I uh, woke up late. You know how it goes."
Lily frowned, but I knew that she couldn't fault me for who I was as she hugged me.
"So, I see you've found James," I said casually. Lily cleared her throat awkwardly.
"Can the whole train hear me, then?" she asked, seemingly afraid of the answer.
I shrugged. "Yeah."
She groaned and tugged on my arm into the compartment. "I'm just so sick of him tagging along everywhere I go. I thought if I yelled at him maybe he'd leave me alone."
I snorted and followed her in.
Mary McDonald was already sitting, looking quiet and put together. I didn't really know Mary that well for having shared a dorm for so long, but she seemed nice enough and was good enough friends with Lily. Alice and I tended to hang out with the boys while Lily and Mary dated them. Marlene, who was our other dorm-mate just snogged them and then crawled back to Sirius Black.
Speaking of the devil, there he was, leaning causally at the door of our compartment with that stupid cute smile on his face.
"I'm sorry, did I miss the memo about it being 'stare creepily at lovely girls while trying to be charming' day?" I said to Sirius, who just continued to smile.
"I don't know about the lovely part…"
Alice, who was sitting in the seat next to the door, stomped on Sirius' foot.
"Ow! I was only joking! And I'm here to ask if you've seen Marlene," Sirius explained, standing up straight.
"No, why would we. You don't remember that she hates our guts. Mine especially? Besides why do you want to find her?" I asked Sirius, who surprisingly had no retort.
"Hey, Elsa, you should really try and be nice to Marlene this year. Who knows, maybe she's changed," Lily encouraged, a sweet smile plastered on her perfect face.
Alice and I exchanged looks before bursting into laughter. To my surprise, so did Sirius.
"Are you insane?" Alice managed to choke out, "She's hated us since before we met!"
I looked at Alice with a serious face. "Hey. Maybe Lily's right."
Lily brightened up at the prospect of me agreeing with her.
"Maybe she finally had that stick that's shoved up her arse removed."
Alice and I roared with laughter again as Lily shot us dirty looks and Mary placed a dainty hand over her mouth to stifle the giggles. Sirius, who had been laughing, suddenly had a –forgive the pun- serious expression on his face as Marlene McKinnon came into the compartment, her horse-like face frowning and glaring.
"Aha ha ha…Oh, shit."
Yeah, so that's the story that I've been using as an excuse to not update my other ones. But Elsa is my favorite OC character I've created thus far, so I think that diving into her world is just more appealing to me than any of my other stories, which WILL be completed... at some point. But anyway, I thought that I'd just re-post this fic here while I'm at it.
So, what'd you think? If you wouldn't mind terribly, leave a review on your way out!