Tile: "Faithfully" Chapter 3: Precocious
Main characters: Barty Crouch Jr, Medea Jones (OC)
Ratings/Warnings: PG-13 for onset-of-puberty stuff
Medea wanted to cry. Or hit somebody. Or both. She had begged her mum to do their school shopping early, but her plea fell on deaf ears. Now they were both here in Madame Malkin's shop the day before Medea returned to Hogwarts to start her third year. It was just a matter of time before someone she knew came in and saw her. Mercifully they were in the farthest reaches of the fitting area so Medea could easily hide.
Madame Malkin looked at her with resignation. "This isn't so unusual, really. I know you're embarrassed, but it's just a part of growing up."
"Up, not out!" Medea said sharply.
"Mimi!" Medea's mother, Cynthia, chided.
"I'm sorry, ma'am," Medea said miserably. She hadn't asked for this, for *those*!
The bell over the front door jingled and Madame Malkin excused herself for a moment.
"Mimi," her mother said softly, "please."
Medea sighed and crossed her arms. She had begun noticing her chest was starting to grow about the middle of last year. She had begun to develop in earnest near the end of the term, and now none of her tops or robes fit anymore. She had also had her first period over the summer and she was starting to grow hair in odd places. This had prompted the 'facts of life' talk from her mother, which just added to her embarrassment. She couldn't stand to look at her father anymore, which had prompted him to ask her mother, "What did you tell her, Cynthia?"
"Don't be ashamed," Cynthia told her while fussing with the robes she was wearing. "You're becoming a woman," she said and sniffed a bit.
'Sweet merciful Zeus, murder me now,' Medea thought. Then, she heard his voice.
"I'm not *that* much taller, mum," he was protesting.
Medea couldn't hide or even move, she was standing on a stool and her robes were still an inch too long.
"Just come back here, Mrs. Crouch, I have one customer waiting but it won't take much longer," Madame Malkin said dismissively.
Medea saw her mother stiffen and suck in her cheeks. "Please," Medea whispered urgently, "be nice." Her mother simply looked down her nose at her.
Barty Crouch Jr., his mother and Madame Malkin entered the fitting area. Barty *had* grown significantly. He was almost at eye level with his mother. Medea smiled in spite of herself when she saw him.
"As you can see," Mrs. Crouch said, "we'll need everything new. Barty's growing like a weed."
"Hello," Barty said to Medea and smiled.
"Hello," Medea replied.
"Just step up on the stool, dear," Madame Malkin told Barty.
"Oh please finish with the Joneses Madame Malkin," Mrs. Crouch told the seamstress. "We haven't decided on what robes to get."
Medea's mother narrowed her eyes. Medea held her breath, worried about what her mother would do. She understood Mrs. Crouch was trying to be polite. Madame Malkin looked at Medea and Cynthia as if they had just apparated into the shop. "That's quite all right," Cynthia said. "I think we'll find it less crowded at Twillfit and Tatting's."
Medea removed her robe. Barty's eyes widened. Medea hastily put on her coat and followed her mother, who was already halfway through the shop. She knew it would do no good to tell her mother how embarrassed she was. Hot, angry tears were running down her face as they made their way to the more expensive clothier. They spent the rest of the day shopping silently. Their final stop was Flourish and Blott's for Medea's books.
"Would you like a new satchel?" her mother asked.
Medea knew it was an apology gift. "Yes, please." There was one royal blue and bronze one left. The Ravenclaw House crest was embroidered on the flap. Medea picked it up and discreetly held it against her chest. Her only concern was if it would cover her new breasts. It did. Her mother paid for everything and they started back to the Seven Gables Inn where they were spending the night. Medea thought about how nice it would be if Barty had a satchel like hers.
Medea found as long as she could wear her school robes her chest didn't seem to stick out as much. She figured her mother had told Tatting to put a charm of some sort on it. She had to get her formal House sweater in a size too big, which seemed to camouflage her chest a little. Her new casual sweaters were a different story. They had a wide, horizontal bronze stripe going across the chest. She held her satchel against herself whenever she could. She sat with her back facing the great hall and common room or stayed in her room to study. She quickly found that slouching did not help, as her breasts would simply lie on the table in front of her and impede whatever she was doing. During study periods she caught several boys staring at her breasts. Once she even caught Barty giving a nasty look to a fifth year boy. Performing a Reducto charm had no effect.
Barty himself had yet to say anything about her new body. She had caught him stealing glances at her breasts, though she didn't mind it as much when he did it. Barty's physical changes were much less embarrassing, although he was now the tallest boy in their year. He reminded her of a stick figure a child would draw: long limbed with too-large hands. She wondered if he had ever caught her accidently looking between his legs. She didn't mean to, it just happened occasionally. Well, there was one time she did it on purpose, but just once. He was wearing tracksuit trousers while studying in the common room and it looked like he was starting to get an erection. He had suddenly packed up his books and left soon after she had noticed. She had never said anything about it and no one else seemed to notice.