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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

We’re on our way back, packed our troubles in a pack

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

Dale was doing his best to avoid @Willa Henry at all costs. The whole Quidditch match had been a lot more eventful —  a massive understatement — than he had expected. Not only had they run into Zach and Gabe (as he should have expected given their dad was flying in the match), he had come this close to thinking that he might care about her and that she was actually his friend. Him finding out about her scars had stayed with him a long time after too. 

 

He held his breath as he stood on the crowded platform with a bunch of parents and other children and despite his promise not to wear a hoodie, he was wearing one if only to disguise his face. If he were smarter, he would have realized that it made him stick out like a sore thumb. Dale planned to get on the nearest compartment that he could and then just hope Willa wouldn’t walk into the same one. Dale pushed his way through the crowd, keeping his head down for the most part, until he saw a familiar face. 

 

“Fen!” He greeted her in a way too fake cheerful sounding voice — especially for him. “How was your summer? Let’s grab a compartment, shall we?” And then he practically forced her / dragged her inside not caring if she had time to properly say goodbye to her folks. 

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Fenella Campbell

They were waving goodbye to Fiona and Dan on the platform before @Annag Hamblton and Fenella were to board the Hogwarts Express to take them to their second year at magic school. The platform was packed with students and their parents/guardians all mingling and stopping to greet a friend or hex someone it seemed (the students, not the adults so much) which wasn’t conducive to finding somewhere that would make for an easy boarding.

”Hey watch out!” Fenella called as two older students (house unknown as they weren’t in their robes yet) ran past from behind and knocked her into the train wall. It was a common hazard for a short person, but since she’d managed to grow at least 3 inches taller over the summer she hoped not to have this issue anymore. She turned back to where she assumed her friend would be, but the tiniest second year was gone. Annag was probably still short enough to have done the old duck and weave to not get knocked and then carried on making her way up the platform but it was impossible to tell. 

 

Of course this all happened in a split second but before she could continue on to a) find her friend and then b) find a good place to board, she heard her name. She turned around to see Dale. “Hiya!” she began, “Yeah good I just ...” but before she could explain about losing Annag, he had put his hand on her shoulder and pulled her in to the nearest entrance. 

 

The porters had already taken her bags which was good because Dale didn’t seem to slow down once they’d boarded. He steered her down the corridor toward the back of the train and maybe 7 doors down there was an empty compartment. Fenella pulled the door open, stepped inside then turned around to face her friend.

 

”What’s the rush, Dale? We’ve still got like 10 minutes before the train leaves!”

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

“Because I want a good compartment,” he told her, lying. “Can’t have losers in our compartment.” In addition to not wanting to run into Willa there were a number of other people that he didn’t necessarily want to see either — Julian, the Montagues, Leon. The list was long because he had a ton of people who hated him (and he disliked them in return). Although his feelings for Julian were more stuck at neutral - he didn’t hate Julian but Julian hated him now because of what he had said last term. Not that he was avoiding Willa on purpose because he hated her. It was completely the opposite in her case. 

 

He started to barricade the door with their trunks so that no one would try and come in. If they did, they would think that the door was locked. “There.” He said. He didn’t care if Fenella had other people she had been planning to sit with. He needed her to occupy his time on the long train ride back to Hogwarts. He was just going to have to hope that he didn’t run into anyone in the corridors in the event he needed to use the restroom.

 

Once seated, Dale finally lowered his hoodie so that it was off of his face and worn normally and then looked at her. 

 

“So what did you do this summer?” He asked her. “You do any of the summer reading?” He definitely had not done any of the homework that he was supposed to do. 

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Fenella Campbell

Fenella rolled her eyes at Dale, but followed it up with a giggle. A good compartment? Like they weren’t all the same! She sat herself down by the window and watched as the Slytherin barricaded them in. He really didn’t want any losers in there. She wasn’t sure who the losers were - maybe Julian or someone else she didn’t know. Fenella didn’t really consider their classmate a loser though, he was more of a jerk than anything else. Still she wasn’t about to bring him up since it seemed to cause Dale some distress last time they talked about it and he was laughing for a change and she liked it. As odd as it was to be locked in to a small space there was something amusing about the way her friend was going about things. It made her smile to think that it wouldn’t be too hard for someone to blast their way in using magic but she kept that to herself.

 

”Well I was following Annag but I guess she’ll have to find me now,” was all she offered, shrugging her shoulders and playing along. 

 

“You locked me in here to ask about homework?” Of course she’d done the reading, like all good Hufflepuff’s would, but she knew it looked a bit nerdy. Maybe even a bit loser-ish. Fenella wasn’t keen on being thrown out now that she was in there, amusing as it would be to watch Dale undo all the work he’d just done. That was the beauty of blending in though - usually no one paid enough attention to her to notice if she’d completed the homework or mastered a new charm. 

 

“Yeah summer was good. Went to the beach, caught up with some friends, y’know the usual stuff.”

Urgh boring! I mean for the most part this is what she did, but that wasn’t exciting or impressive. Not that she meant to impress Dale, but well, maybe a little bit of impressing would be nice.

 

”Oh and the last couple of days I spent in London - Annag and I stayed with my sister and her boyfriend. They let us do whatever we wanted the whole time - it was great!”

 

Impressive enough? Time would tell.

 

”What about you? Get up to anything exciting over the holidays?”

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

“Had no idea you two knew each other,” he remarked. He had finally spoken to Annag at the end of the year last year when they had dueled. He had seen her with Leon a lot but didn’t really know anything else outside of that. Not that he really knew what was going on in the social circles at Hogwarts. He mostly kept to himself all of the time other than when he was bashing heads with certain people that happened to dislike him — and he disliked them in return. 

 

As for the reason he had dragged her in here, he was taking that with him to the grave. “Course not,” he said quickly. “I was just —“ He didn’t know what he was doing really, other than trying to distract himself from unwelcome thoughts he really didn’t want to be having the first day back. “Forget it,” he added. 

 

“My summer was boring too.” He looked out at the window as he said it, wondering if his face was betraying more than he wanted to talk about. Not only had the whole Quidditch game happened, his mum had invited Silvia and Julian over to “talk.” That had been the last thing he wanted to have happened during the summer. 

 

Bloody awkward. 

 

He hated to think of what was going to happen when he was inevitably going to run into Julian again at school. 

 

Dale unwrapped a chocolate frog that he had brought on the train with him (because he couldn’t be bothered to wait for the trolley witch although he was inevitably going to buy more food) and popped it into his mouth. “Bloody. Newt Scamander again?” 

 

He had about 20 of him. 

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Fenella Campbell

“Well we didn’t really know each other,” Fenella explained. “My sister said I could invite a friend to come to London with us and I knew that Annag lived in Scotland too so I sent her an owl and asked if she wanted to join us.” 

She didn’t feel like mentioning the fact that she didn’t have a lot of friends at Hogwarts to pick from. Heck it was only because she’d wanted to know about Quidditch that she’d even spoken to Dale, otherwise he would be just another classmate like the rest of them. Blending in was a skill, and no matter how much she enjoyed her own company, she was glad to have stood out to enough people to have some friends.

 

She had to laugh though when the Slytherin grappled with an answer to his line of questioning. Of course he didn’t lock her in just to ask about homework but she guessed he was expecting her to go into great detail about all the homework she’d done. Which she could. But no. Not unless they were both tired and felt like a nap would she bore them with that topic of conversation. That and the topic of what we did over summer. Fenella didn’t quite believe Dale had a boring break though because he lived in the magic world. The Hufflepuff had to go back to her pre-magic days as a muggle which was becoming increasingly harder to do now that she was getting used to her new skills. She called him on it.

 

”How? How do you have a boring summer when you still have magic?”

 

“And you going to share?”

A chocolate frog would go down a treat right now, Dale had better have another one stashed away for her.

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

“Let me get this straight,” he said slowly as he bit the leg off of the chocolate frog that he was eating and stared at her as though she were slightly mad. “You invited her over even though you didn’t really know her? What for — you wanted to get to know her better or something?” It would have been nice he supposed to know a few more wizards in Ireland — particularly from their year, but the closest people to him actually were on that old people island, Brackleberry. Namely Willa and Etta. “Cool, I guess.” He said shrugging his shoulders. He would have never attempted to do that himself but then again, he wasn’t exactly the most social type. 

 

He was pretty sure the vast majority of the people in their year hated him. At least he’d have Dax this year, although he kind of felt bad for his bro as he wondered if people would have found him to be guilty by association or so to speak. 

 

Fenella surprised him for a second time when she mentioned having magic. Did she not know the rule? “We can’t do magic in the summer. We’re underage. It’s against the rules. Did you not know that?” He asked her. “So summer can still be boring.” Yes, his mum and dad could do magic, which made things easier on them, but he couldn’t make his own life more exciting by using magic himself. Really the most exciting thing that had happened to him all summer had been the game and he really didn’t want to go down that route and talk about it. 

 

“Of course,” he said as he tossed a few her way. “Have as many as you want. I brought more than enough until the trolley witch comes.” He was looking forward to also getting some more substantive treats from that. 

 

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Fenella Campbell

“Uh yeah?” Well he sort of had it right. 

 

“I mean I had to invite someone otherwise I was gonna be third wheel to my sister and her boyfriend and they like to make out and be all lovey dovey and I didn’t want to go through that torture alone!” She laughed, knowing the number of times the girls had pulled faces behind their backs or rolled their eyes or when Fenella had walked in to the lounge room to find them snogging again and yelled ‘Get a room!’ before continuing on to the kitchen to make breakfast. 

Fenella couldn’t work out if Dale was genuinely surprised that she’d invited Annag to join her, or if perhaps he wished the invite had come his way. It was nice to think she and Dale were close enough friends to hang out outside of school, and she was a little shocked at herself for not thinking of him in the first place.

“How about next time I invite you and we can make gross faces and poke fun at them behind their backs together?” And to reiterate what she meant she pointed her finger at her mouth and mines being sick.

 

Of course she knew about the no magic rule but for her the whole summer, minus a day in Diagon Alley, was completely magic free. 

“We might not be able to do magic, but that doesn’t mean the people around us can’t do it. Unless like me, you’re surrounded by muggles.” He wasn’t like her though, Dale had known he was magic his whole life - he’d seen all sorts of things that she was still waiting to experience. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and it was great catching up with my friends, but surely summer’s not that boring when you have a broomstick and can fly about whenever you like?” She asked, raising her eyebrows at him - what Fenella wouldn’t give for a broom stick and the opportunity to practice flying. Just not near the Quidditch pitch. Not yet.

 

Fenella caught one of the number of frogs the Slytherin threw to her. She opened it up, careful to grab the frog and bite it’s head off before it escaped her. She checked the card and held it up Dale. “Snap!” She had Newt too.

 

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He could see how that would be 100% awkward but he thought it would be making an even more awkward situation worse by inviting someone you didn't know very well. Maybe that was just him though. He probably would have found a way to make that even more awkward somehow. 

 

"You should have invited me this time," he told her. "I had nothing to do for the most part except for a few things at the end of the summer." In addition to the Quidditch game, he had of course had to go to Diagon Alley to get new school supplies -- and a dress robe -- for the school year. Blech. The idea of wearing a dress robe made him absolutely want to cringe. 

 

He would look even worse than he usually did. He could just picture Leon and the Montagues laughing at him. Julian too. At the moment, his dress robes were buried at the bottom of his trunk, but he knew he would have to have them cleaned somehow before wearing them. 

 

"But sure, I'll come next time." Dale unwrapped another chocolate frog and stuck the entire thing in his mouth. Fenella continued on about magic and Dale shook his head. "I can only use my toy broom at home and it's lame," he told her. "It's worse now because before I used to be able to play junior Quidditch league games." Maybe he could join a summer league or something. He had been too lazy to see if one existed -- Dale really didn't want to have to wake up before 10 am if he didn't have to. 

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Fenella Campbell

Fenella was sitting opposite Dale but she was very tempted to lean across and give him and punch him on the arm. Actually she did just that and followed it up with, “I don’t remember you asking me to yours either.” Why did she have to invite him when he clearly could’ve invited her? She was trying to be playful but perhaps she wasn’t able to hide her annoyance so well as he hand was a little sore after the punch. Not that she would give Dale the satisfaction of knowing that. 

”And it was only the last three days we did this, so it sounds like you were busy then anyway.” She slumped back down in to her seat, resting her left hand casually against the arm rest, letting it just sit and be still and hope that any second now it would stop smarting. The train had started moving a little time ago, so she turned to watch as green fields of sheep and crops passed them by. Also to give the boy some time to think about how what he had just said had annoyed her a little. Only a little though, Fenella wasn’t usually the type to hold grudges.

 

Dale continued on about his toy broom. There was such a thing? Was it just a broom that was smaller than a regular broom? Because if that was the case, then she was sure it would be amusing to see. The Slytherin was stocky with broad shoulders and probably the biggest guy in their year, and she imagined his large frame trying to hold on to a miniature broom, a little like a clown riding a tiny tricycle at the circus, minus the creepy makeup and costume. Maybe that’s what Dale had been doing those last few days, zipping around on his toy broom trying to get some practice in before returning to Hogwarts for the new year and new Quidditch season. 

“I wish I could get some more flying practice,” she mused. “Toy broom or real broom, it doesn’t matter.” Zach had tried to help her in class but there was no way she was near the standard to play Quidditch just yet, which was a shame as she loved playing sports.

 

”You going to try out for Quidditch again?” Fenella asked. “I would like to try out eventually, but I don’t think I could make the team just yet.”

 

 

 

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He should have invited Fenella over. Hell, he should have invited her to the game, not Willa. That would have been much different - Willa wasn’t even his friend. He still didn’t know why he had blurted that invitation out during their tournament duel but he had and he knew he couldn’t back out of it. But he should have suggested a different game. One where the twins might not be present at. 

 

The Falcons game had been virtually a guarantee that they would. Only he had hoped with so many people, there wasn’t any possible way they could run into each other. But they had. And then he wouldn’t have experienced those weird feelings that he had all day around Willa. He still didn’t know what they meant. 

 

The shoulda woulda could’ve game was playing out in his mind and Dale thought that he should not make that same mistake twice. “Tell you what, over Christmas break, you should come over, and we’ll uh go to the ice rink or something. Do you know how to ice skate?” He usually wore hockey skates of course (if he had been a muggle he would have totally played hockey where he could board people into walls). He had played with muggles when he was growing up. Only they couldn’t slam each other the way the pros did. 

 

“You should try out,” he told her. “I’d uh, even help you get ready. If you want that is.” He wasn’t as good as a flier as @Gabriel Montague or @Zachary Montague but he was decent and he could at least help her to get on the team. “We’ll practice every day before tryouts. Deal?” He asked looking at her squarely in the eye. 

Edited by Dale McQueen-Trengrove

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Fenella Campbell

“Ice skating sounds fun!”

 

Fenella smiled and almost laughed. She wasn’t sure why, but his invite to go ice skating made her really happy. It was funny, she’d heard the whispering around the traps about Dale and a lot of it wasn’t good - without saying much their classmates appeared to have chosen to believe Julian over him. That had to be it right? Because honestly Fenella couldn’t think of one bad thing the boy sitting in front of her had ever said or done to make her think less of him. She wasn’t naive enough to believe he didn’t have flaws, but he was kind to her, and she enjoyed his company. Julian on the other hand ...

 

Like right now, Dale was offering to help her fly. Her eyes lit up. “You would do that? You would help me fly and learn to play Quidditch even though we’d be playing for different teams?”

 

“Deal!” She held out her hand for him to shake on it before he could even think about taking back the offer. Now that he’d agreed to help maybe she should warn him she’d only received an EE in flying class? Or it might be funnier to see the shock on his face when he realised what he had to work with! 

 

But her smile slowly faded. In a way Fenella has been quick to jump at the Slytherin’s offer without completely thinking it through. Yes she wanted so badly to be playing sport, and yes flying was a huge part in accepting her magical life, but the Hufflepuff hadn’t seen a game yet. “Um but there’s a problem,” she began her confession. She couldn’t look at him. Moments ago their eyes had connected and they’d shared a moment. Yes a moment. You know what I mean. But now she might just ruin it all.

 

”I haven’t been back to the pitch since ...”

Her sentence hung there in the air. He’d know what she meant.

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