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Chapter 5: Two hands Are Not Enough For Five Mugs
Throughout the next few weeks, I am proud to say that I am improving. Mission ‘Get Over Albus Potter’ has been executed and it’s going better than I had expected. Do I still get a jittery feeling when I see him? Yes, I’d be lying if I deny it. But the feeling I get when I see Vince is almost at the same level, so that is undoubtedly a good sign. Do I still get a bit down low when I prance into the common room and see Albus and Hazelle sitting cosy in a corner? Yes, but I also feel like hexing Albus for it. Couldn’t he ever be in his own common room? I mean, he is a Slytherin. Okay, so maybe wishing to hex my prior crush straight into another dimension isn’t exactly healthy, but it is better than before.
And after what had happened yesterday, do I still hate Hazelle?
Vince and I had been taking a late night stroll in the corridors to catch up on so many things. After all, I had just recently realized how many interesting things he has to say now that I, well, pay attention to him and all. And as Hazelle was doing her prefect duties, she caught us. And the little sweetheart took ten points from each of our Houses.
What is she playing at? Albus is a prefect too, so she has no trouble taking nighttime strolls with him. But when I take a walk in the park it’s all ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, Gold, but rules are rules and I have to take off points, even if it’s from my friends. I hope you’ll understand.”
She can give Voldemort a run for his money. That bitch. And she calls herself my friend.
As I sit in the Common Room right now, I see her come down from the dormitories. She smiles at me as she walks past and exits the Common Room. I smile back. I wonder how long this fake act will keep up.
Yawning, I turn back to the Herbology essay I’m supposed to be writing. Since it’s O.W.L year, the professors are giving homework like there’s no tomorrow. I stifle yet another yawn, but this Herbology essay is just so draining. Hmm…maybe I can get Vince to write it for me. I’m contemplating whether or not it’s good form to ask your boyfriend to write your essays for you, when I feel the couch I’m sitting on sink a bit lower.
“Hi, Gold!” Evelyn chirps.
“Hello,” I reply, wondering why she isn’t with Hazelle. “What brings you over here?”
“Oh, I was thinking maybe we should hang out more,” she gibbers away, right to the point. “That way, it won’t look too suspicious to Scorpius when you tell him that you’re going to spend the New Years at my house.”
It’s a little awkward being told to hang out more, but I realize she has a very valid point. Evelyn and I don’t relax together outside of classes and telling Scorpius that I would be spending New Years with her would most likely raise a few eyebrows. Or just that one eyebrow, which Scorpius has perfected raising.
“And plus,” she continues, “We could get to know each other more! I mean, we’ve been sharing a dorm for more than four years, it’s about time we find out what each other’s favourite dish is, don’t you think?”
I roll up my essay, and turn to face Evelyn fully, slightly surprised by how friendly she actually is. She’s looking at me with such an open smile that it’s impossible not to like her.
“Of course,” I smile. “I’d love to.”
Evelyn grins. “So, the Hogsmeade trip is coming up before the holidays. I was thinking that you and Dom join?”
“Errr,” I start, instantly conscious, “Join? Who else are you going with?” I have a feeling I already know the answer.
“Hazelle and Albus, of course.”
“Right, of course,” I mumble. How am I supposed to refuse her offer now that I already told her that I’d love to go with her? “I guess we’ll have fun,” I say, knowing very well just how awkward I’ll feel. Then I grin as I remember the plan that Vince and I had made yesterday.
“I actually have to meet Vince then,” I say cheerfully, honestly grateful for the first time that Evelyn knows about the secret relationship.
“No excuses!” Evelyn cries, putting her hand up in determination. “Meet him after a couple of hours or so. But you’re going to spend the first half with us. No ifs, ands, or buts.” And before I can even think of another valid excuse, Evelyn sends me a wink and skips away, out of the portrait hole.
“But I don’t want to goooooo,” I whinge, crossing my arms. “I just don’t want to!”
Rose looks at me, furrowing her eyebrows, as she puts on matching earrings to go with her maroon sweater. “If they all invited you to go to Hogesmead with them, you should go. It’ll be rude not too. And anyway, why are you so against Hazelle in the first place?”
“I’m – I’m not against Hazelle,” I defend quickly, plopping down on Rose’s bed, in the sixth year girl dormitories. “She’s nice, but I have other commitments!”
“What commitments, Gold?”
My eyes widen a bit, racking around my brain for a believable lie. Rose doesn’t know about Vince and although I trust her more than 66.6 percent of the three girls that do know, I think more than enough living souls have already acquired this particular piece of information into their craniums.
“I..err…I have to go buy a new quill.”
“You have to buy a new quill? And that will take you four to five hours, why exactly?
“My hand cramps up fast,” I reply. “The quill has to be smooth and just gracefully succumb to the touch of my soft, lavish, fingertips.”
Rose raises her eyebrows. I know she doesn’t believe me, but before she can ask me anything, I change the subject.
“Why can’t you come with me then?” I ask. “Albus will be there. You guys are cousins and best friends!”
Rose laughs. “Hey, you said that you don’t have a problem with Hazelle. I never said that I don’t.”
Rose doesn’t seem like she’s about to expand, but my curiosity is getting the better of me. “Why not?” I ask, trying to seem very nonchalant about the topic. Which of course, I totally am.
Rose shrugs. “Same reason James doesn’t. She treats Albus like something that she’s whipped from the bottom of her high heels.”
“She – err – doesn’t seem that bad,” I lie smoothly, focusing my gaze on the linen of Rose's bed.
“Well, she’s a nice girl and all,” Rose explains, “But she has Albus thumbmarked and she knows it. I don’t know,” she sighs, “Maybe I’m just protective of Albus. James doesn’t have that problem, he sees something, or I should say someone he likes and he usually gets it in about a week. Albus isn’t like that. It’s not that he can’t be like that, but he’s just more worried about whether a girl’s with him because of his surname or because she actually likes him.”
“And you think Hazelle’s just with him because he’s a Potter?” I push.
Rose shrugs. “I used to think she was better than that. But now, I’m just not sure.”
I want to expand the topic. I’m dying to know more, but I don’t want to seem more interested than I already had. I trust Rose, but like I said to her only seconds ago – Albus is not only her cousin, he’s also her best friend. I wouldn’t want to risk her telling him.
Rose and I exit the dormitories and head to the portrait hole. As I meander my way through the common room, I find myself stopped by none other than James Potter.
“Gold, let me talk to you for a minute,” he rushes, taking a hold of my arm and leading me away from Rose.
“Oi!” Rose yells at her cousin. “What do you have to talk to her about that I can’t know?”
“Quidditch tactics,” James replies simply.
“And you have to keep it a secret from me because?” Rose huffs.
“Because,” James sighs, “You fraternize with the enemy!”
Rose raises her eyebrows. “As in Albus? As in your brother, Albus?”
James winks. “That’s the one. I can’t have you giving away my secrets to success, now can I?”
Rose rolls her eyes and walks towards the portrait hole, starting a conversation up with the Fat Lady.
“Okay,” James starts, turning back towards me. “There’s been a change in plans.”
I stand there, waiting for him to explain.
“Al is now seeker for the Slytherin team.”
“But…but… I’m seeker,” I state.
I can tell James is trying hard not to roll his eyes. “Apparently their last seeker quit because it was his NEWT year, so Al held tryouts for a new one. He couldn’t find anyone, but he did find a rather good chaser, so he’s adjusted himself to become seeker.”
“Why couldn’t Scorpius become seeker?” I cry, still in denial. My brother does make a pretty good seeker and I wouldn’t be intimidated playing against him.
James sighs. “Because Scorp makes a better chaser,” he says, although he doesn’t sound too happy about it. James is never too happy admitting someone makes a good chaser, as that particular position is his forte and what he’s known for. “Although, I was a bit surprised too,” he adds as an afterthought, “Albus and Scorpius did have good coordination as chasers. They were worthy opponents to play against.” James shakes his head before continuing. “But now some bloke named Babbiling Git has decided he has a shot playing as chaser for Slytherin against me.” James stops and laughs to himself, the mere idea of having an amateur opponent amusing to him.
“Oh,” I finally sputter. A million thoughts are running through my head. How am I going to play against Albus? How am I going to beat Albus? Those Potter boys are something else at Quidditch.
“Luckily for you, I have some advice,” James continues with a grin. I think it’s the first time he’s grinned at me, apart from the few times he’s had to right after I caught the Snitch at a match. Although this grin is related to Quidditch too, so I guess it’s not much different. “You see, you may or may not know this, but Albus Potter is my brother. My sibling. My blood is running through his very veins.”
“No…” I gasp.
This time, James really does roll his eyes at my sarcasm. “You see,” he continues, ignoring my comment, “I know his tactics. I know his flying skills better than his own teammates know it. And now, you’re going to learn them. I’ll make sure of it. By the next game, you will have stalked him playing on the field so many times, that you will know everything about his every move.” And with that, James doesn’t bother saying bye before hurrying away, his eyes on a pretty sixth year, whom he just spotted.
I drag myself over to Rose, who is still conversing with the Fat Lady.
“…and that, my dear apprentice, is how I manage to stay in such great shape,” the Fat Lady declares.
I check the time. It’s almost five and I promised I would meet Vince at half past. I still have twenty more awkward minutes to kill with Hazelle, Evelyn, Albus and Dom in the Three broomsticks. Just peachy.
“I’ll go get the drinks,” Hazelle pipes up, as Christina, the bartender, waves over to us, signaling the butterbeers are ready.
“No, no, I’ll go get them,” Albus offers, showing his macho, manly, chivalry skills. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Hazelle doesn’t need telling twice and just beams at Albus before sitting back down on her chair. “He’s just so perfect,” she sighs looking at his retreating back. “I couldn’t ask for better.”
I smile at her but quickly avert my gaze. Unfortunately, my gaze lands on Albus, who seems to be having trouble carrying the fifth cup. Frustrated, he puts the four he already has in his hands back down and looks up at our table, only to see me staring straight at him.
I blush, sincerely relieved that he’s far away, so he can’t see the crimson in my cheeks. I’m about to turn back around when I see him wave over, beckoning me. I take one look at the remaining members of my group, but they’re all busy chatting away, so I apprehensively jump off my stool and walk over to the bar.
Why do I feel so nervous? I thought I was getting this under control.
Albus smiles at me, a smile that hasn’t ever been directed towards me. It’s a warm smile and I hate to admit the fact that it gives me a bit of a rush.
“Vince,” I whisper to myself. “Remember, Vince, Vince, Vince.”
“Errr…sorry?” Albus asks. “Didn’t catch that over all the noise.”
I shake my head quickly. “No, no it’s nothing,” I say hurriedly. “So, what’s up?”
Well played, Gold. Ten points for Gryffindor!
“You want to help me with the last cup?” he asks. “I’m afraid I might spill it.”
“Yeah, sure,” I answer. For some reason, I’m a bit relived that that’s all he wants. I stretch out my hand to grab a cup. Unfortunately –fortunately – NO unfortunately – Albus moves to grab the same cup and accidently closes his hands over my wrist, sending a rush through my body.
“Oh, sorry,” he apologizes quickly, letting go. There’s a tingling sensation surging through the spot where our skin had contact. I nod and I’m eternally grateful that my hair’s covering my face from him. I would bet ten galleons that I’m glowing red. Albus takes a step back so I can come and take the mug. I take a hold of it and turn around, walking back to the table and sitting down.
“Here are the drinks for my lovely ladies,” Albus announces, arriving around ten seconds after me. He puts a cup down next to Hazelle first, and then puts two in front of Evelyn and Dom, taking the last one for himself. I notice mildly that the last one has the least amount of whip cream floating on top. He’s taken the worst one for himself. For some reason, it pisses me off. Why does he always have to be such a…gentlemen?
“Albus, I have a question,” Evelyn says suddenly, putting down her mug. Albus looks up at her curiously.
“What would you think if a girl…asks you out on a date?”
A smirk appears on Albus’ face; a smirk that would be more common to see on his brother’s face than his. “I’d think it would be hot,” he answers.
Evelyn nods. “Okay.”
Dom has perked up at this. “Who are you planning to ask out, huh?” she inquires, wiggling her eyebrows.
At this, Evelyn turns a deep shade of red. “No one…just asking for a project, you know?”
“A project…?” Albus repeats, still smirking lightly.
“Err, yeah.” Evelyn mumbles. “A Muggle Studies project.”
“And may I know the topic for this particular project?” I jump in, my curiosity also perked.
“Errr...ten best ways to get into a Muggle man’s heart…yeah, Professor Alair assigned it just last week.”
Poor girl. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a worse liar than her. She’s flushing red. Plus, the fact that Hazelle keeps winking at her, makes it even more obvious that a romantic interest is behind this ‘project’. Taking pity on her, I quickly change the subject.
“Well, I have to go,” I declare, standing up. I have five minutes to meet up with Vince. Evelyn smiles slyly at me, while Hazelle’s face contours with understanding. Dom just winks and grins.
Albus checks his wristwatch. “Oh, I have to go, too,” he announces suddenly. “I promised Scorp and James I’d meet up with them halfway.” He gives Hazelle a quick kiss and waves bye to Dom and Evelyn before following me towards the exit. My heart’s beating a little fast, thinking about what had happened at the bar before, but Albus doesn’t talk to me as we make our way out the door.
“Where’s Fred?” I ask once we have exited the nosy pub and are standing out on the quiet streets of Hogsmead. The light flurries have cast a beautiful white blanket over the town.
“Oh, he’s in detention,” Albus answers. “James had it last visit. The professors usually try to keep their punishments separate.”
“Oh. How intuitive of them.”
Albus looks at me and raises an eyebrow. But then he smiles. “I guess,” he replies. “Anyways, Gold, it was nice spending time with you today.”
“Yeah,” I mumble, deciding I can’t make a complete fool of myself again if I rely on only one word answers. “Yeah.”
He raises his eyebrow again but just chuckles, before heading east, to what is most likely the joke shop. I sigh and turn towards Madam Puddifoot.
I hate that cafe. And in Vince’s defence, he hates it too. However, if I know anything about my brother, I know he would rather have a date with the giant squid in the Hufflepuff common room, than take a girl on a date in that dreaded, stuffy, stinking shop. So I guess it’s a bit of a safe hideout.
I open the pink door to hear the doorbells jingle throughout the entire café. Couples are spread out all over the place and luckily, not one of them spares me half a glance. I take more steps inside the dreaded path of doom to find Vince already waiting for me at a table.
“Hi,” I say breathlessly, sitting down across from him.
He looks up from examining his fingernails. “You’re late.” For some reason, he looks a bit upset.
“Yeah, sorry,” I apologize. “I was running a bit late.”
Vince shrugs it off. “No worries,” he says, returning to his normal self. “I’ve only been waiting in this blasted excuse for a café for around five minutes. But even staying that long in here makes me feel as if I’ve become a poof.”
I laugh and sit across from Vince, as he orders tea for me. However, after thirty minutes, I become legitimately afraid that the pink frills in the shop might make me puke. Don’t get me wrong, I love pink. But when there are tiny pink birds charmed to fly circles around your head and chirp a Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love, a song that even my mother thinks is old, you know you have a problem.“Do you want to leave?” I finally burst out, after I just can’t take the pain anymore.
“I thought you would never ask,” Vince answers, already shoving his jumper on and halfway out the door.
We burst through the door and out into the beautiful sunlight, fresh, crisp air and freedom. I look at Vince and the huge grin on his face and we both just start laughing, gasping for air. Once I recompose myself, I find that I’m leaning on his shoulder for support. Vince stops laughing too, looking down at me and I straighten myself, leaning up on my tiptoes –
I stop dead in my tracks as I look over Vince’s shoulder.
Scorpius is staring wide-eyed at us, shock etched on his face, Albus and James on either side of him.
Hey everyone! This chapter has been betad by the wonderful BusinessJournal, so thank youu! You guys should go check out her stories...they're amazingly hilarious!! :D And if I haven’t said it enough times already, thank you sooo much for reading, reviewing, and favoriting! I love you guys! :D