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Chapter 10: The one with the hot summer
My own personal ideology is that the one of the few benefits to being the unfortunate offspring of the ‘Chosen one’ was that any girlfriend’s parents I met couldn’t help but to actually like me. Your daughter dating the son of an internationally celebrated hero? It sounded great, right. Think of how much you could boast at dinner parties and what not... except, it didn’t really seem to be working for me.
“I just don’t understand why they hate me so much,” I said, watching as there her dad reluctantly left the two of us alone in her conservatory. A room entirely made of glass – talk about privacy. He glanced back once or twice, so I stayed resolutely stood up.
“Oh stop being such a baby,” Jan said, pulling me onto the sofa, wrapping an arm around my neck and kissing me. “They don’t hate you.”
“Well they don’t particularly like me,” I complained.
“Well,” Jan said fairly. “Last week they did walk in when you had your hand up my top. Probably didn’t help.” I wrapped my arms around my neck and pulled her towards me. God I’d missed her. Summer sucked.
“You had your hand down my pants at the time, so...” I pointed out. Jan grinned and made herself comfortable lying across my chest. The conservatory was much too hot but it was the only privacy we could manage to salvage – Jan’s bedroom was forbidden, Jan’s parents sat in sitting room, and the dining room chairs all had inconveniently placed arms. The conservatory was stuffy and full of strange plants and insects but... at least there was a sofa we could both fit on.
“But they didn’t see that, did they?” Jan smirked, making a point of pulling on the elastic in my boxers and grinning. It pinged back against my skin.
“Don’t do that,” I said, pulling her closer towards me. She did it again anyway. I knew she would. “Stop it,” I said, trying to grab hold of her hands to stop it. Her smile widened. She pulled one of her hands out of my grasp and dug her thumb down the side of my boxers. She flicked the elastic again.
“Don’t like it?” She asked her familiar playful expression all over her beautiful face. It hurt a little bit.
“Just get your hands off my boxes, you dirty minx,” Jan laughed at that, threading her hands around my neck again and smiling.
“What if I can’t help it?” She grinned, an immaculately painted pale yellow fingernail running down my chest, stopping on the half-centimetre of exposed stomach. “You shouldn’t put them on show,” She added, slipping her hand past the waist band of my jeans (bad choice – shorts would have been better in this conservatory turn sauna), over my boxers. Her hands were cold.
“Tease,” I said, trying not to laugh.
“What you going to do about it?” Jan grinned, now carelessly (or not, as I suspected) playing with the material of my boxers.
“Payback,” I said, rolling over and pushing her against the side of the sofa where she couldn’t escape. I ran a hand up her leg. “New razor?” I grinned into her hair. “Your legs are softer than normal.”
“Moisturising sun cream,” Jan said, still trying to distract me by messing with my underwear. That bitch should know no one messes with my underwear and gets away with it. She was still grinning.
“I like your dress,” I said as my hand slipped under it and up to the top of her thigh.
“You like the easy access,” Jan countered, wrapping her other arm round my neck and forcing our foreheads together. She smiled at me. I smiled back. “Hmm.” I agreed. She may be right; still... that was one of the good things about summer. Jan’s summer dresses, floating down to her mid-thigh. No tights either. Tights were beastly things.
Then she tugged on my boxers again. Bitch going down.
I slipped my thumb in the waist band of her knickers and made a point of flicking the elastic several times before running my thumb against the top of her thigh where her knickers normally rested.
Jan raised a challenging eyebrow. I returned the expression. Her hand moved downwards. So did mine. It’s on. “You’re never going to win,” I grinned. Her hand snuck dangerously further downwards. It reminded me of that time we’d played chicken when we were thirteen and Jan had got jumpy when my hand had progressed further than her knee (I had been considerably more jumpy, actually, and had practically had a heart attack the second Jan had touched my leg – thus resulting in my pathetic loss). It was the same game, with slightly different rules...
I mirrored her actions.
Jan bit her lip. “My mum’s going to barge in soon,”
“Giving up so soon?” I grinned.
“Well, if either of my parents walk in now you won’t be able to play this game again.”
I reluctantly removed my hand. Damn her parents. “Chicken.” I added ceremoniously. Jan made a very quick point proving that she was definitely not a chicken before removing her hand from my boxers and laughing at me. Meany.
She kissed the expression of her face and rested her head on my shoulder. “We need somewhere where we can actually get some privacy,” Jan sighed. “I mean, this is almost as bad as Hogwarts.”
Considering we both shared dorms (and considering I couldn’t even get into her dorm without a broomstick) we’d had limited time together. Classes and doing homework together hadn’t really counted. Several times we’d ended up in the library, but despite the rumours that the library was where all couples snuck off to the scary-librarian-woman kept a very watchful eye on everything and I reckoned anyone who risked being caught mid snog session by Madame Pince deserved the opportunity. It certainly hadn’t helped that whenever we had managed to sneak off somewhere James, armed with the map, had decided to ruin things by setting off stink bombs or blindly throwing water in our direction.
I’d thought the summer would be better. I hadn’t counted on Jan’s hyper strict parents and Lily making a point of being as annoying as possible by refusing to leave us alone when we were at mine.
“Maybe we should run away together,” I grinned. She lifted her hand up to my hair to mess with it, as she’d become so fond of doing. “Hey,” I said, catching her hand before she got there, “That hand been down my boxers. I don’t want it anywhere near my hair.” Jan laughed a lot at that.
“Well that hand’s been down my pants.” Jan said, nodding to the one I’d used to catch hers.
“That means our hand are practically shagging,”
“I don’t think my hand is enjoying it very much,” Jan said dryly, “mum alert,” Jan added, allowing our hands to drop to our sides. Hopefully our current position wouldn’t cause her too much internal pain – now were just lying on the sofa, facing each other, holding hands. Actually, that was almost a cute position to be in.
“Would you like a drink, Albus?” Mrs Harper said primly. Jan sat up, not letting go of my hand, I sat up too – wrapping my arm around her in a way that I hoped would make me appear like a good boyfriend. Which I was.
“Yes please,” I said. She nodded and went back towards the door.
“Should have said no,” Jan muttered, kissing me.
“I was thirsty,” I said defensively.
Jan pulled herself closer – she was half kneeling on me for goodness sake – and started kissing my neck. I could feel her smiling again my skin. Dear Merlin.
“Woman,” I said, trying to move away. “Don’t do these sorts of things when your mum is just about to come back.” I grumbled. Apparently, that spurred her on, because then she was kissing me even more fiercely than before.
See, this was the thing, Jan’s parents didn’t understand that she was the one initiating all of these things. It was Jan’s fault! Maybe she was doing it on purpose?
...I suppose I was the one initiating things when we were at my house but... here, at Jan’s, I was always on edge – hoping that I wasn’t about to be castrated for putting a toe out of line (or, more likely, putting a hand where Simon Harper thought it shouldn’t be).
Oh bloody hell. The conservatory door was being slid open again – both of Jan’s parents this time. I groaned. Jan reassumed her innocent position of sitting next to me and sent me an impish grin as her parents decided this would be an excellent opportunity to talk to me about my future career options.
Then I realised Jan had one of her hands in the back of my jean’s pocket.
I was only human. Worse, I was only male. Oh Jan, why must you torture me so?
“Erm... Auror probably, I think – at the minute, I mean,” I said uncomfortably as Jan did this weird hand-flex thing that made me want to slap her hand away and tell her to behave (mostly because I knew she wouldn’t).
“Like your father?” Simon Harper asked, making it sound as though by doing the same thing as my father I was being unoriginal and rather dull. Maybe I should have said I wanted to become the first nudist magician or something, at least then he wouldn’t think I was planning on leaching off my Dad’s fame for the rest of my life.
“Actually dad,” Jan interrupted, “Al’s got us Quidditch tickets for today, isn’t that sweet of him?”
“What, today?” Mrs Harper asked startled. I felt as startled as she did, if I was honest. I tried to pretend that I was in fact the sort of boyfriend who’d buy their girlfriend Quidditch tickets (note to self: buy Jan Quidditch tickets).
“Well how will you get there?”
“Well, Al’s passed is apparition test,” whereas Jan had failed. Twice. I tried not to smile at this – teasing her about it had been impossibly enjoyable. “Anyway, mum – we’ve got to go or we’ll miss the start of the match,” then she was dragging me upwards (somehow smoothly taking my hand as if she hadn’t been groping my arse in front of her parents) and smiling happily.
“Right,” Jan muttered once I’d been led back to the doorway, “we’re going to the park; at least there we’ll have some privacy,”
Now, I didn’t understand the logic of that at all.
“I’ll push you,” Jan offered, “and I’ll trade you for something good,”
“But I won’t fit,”
“Come on, I bet you could if you really tried,” Jan said threading her hands through mine and resting her head on my shoulder for a minute, “it’s not like you’re humungous and muscled now, is it?”
“Bypassing that issue, I’m not kicking any of the toddlers off,”
“Not even that ugly ginger one?” Jan questioned with a grin.
“Her mum think she’s beautiful,” I countered, nudging Jan’s arm and looking over to the kiddy-swings with the impossibly small leg holes and the array of small children that had been placed upon them – most of them accompanied with a varying degree of fear etched onto their faces. Except the ginger kid, who was shrieking with delight.
“It’s a he, Al,” Jan said.
“Good god, it’s a good job he’s enjoying himself whilst he can then,”
“He’s loving it,” Jan grinned stopping and facing me with a beautiful grin. Jan always looked the nicest in summer: when her hair got blonder and her shoulders always had that adorable scattering of freckles. And she wore summer dressers, or short shorts, and smiled lots. I liked summer.
She reached forward and kissed me. Then for an instant some of the summer sun that was overflowing from the sky was blocked out, causing both of us too look up for a second and... an owl.
My brother’s owl.
The owl dropped two things onto the floor – an empty Bacardi bottle and a note which, predictably, read ‘help me.’
“Isn’t your brother on some stupid lads’ holiday?” Jan asked bending down and picking up the Bacardi bottle. Stupid, stupid Jan. Her expression froze and she turned to me looking horrified – “Al, this is a bloody portkey!”
I took a step backwards away from the thing. There was not a chance in hell that I was touching that thing.
Jan tried to detach her hand from the bottle but it had stuck fast.
I recoiled away from it a little more.
“Albus Potter,” Jan said warningly – a brief expression of fear on her features, “if you don’t grab this portkey right now you’ll be single faster than you can say ‘James! Help me!’ and I swear to Merlin that I will take at least part of your manhood with me,”
I grabbed the portkey.
“So,” James finished, “I contacted the foreign wizarding people and they were useless – said that all they could do was give me a portkey,”
“Why did you throw the chair out the window in the first place?” Jan asked angrily, sat on James’s hotel bed furiously picking at her nails.
“I was drunk,” James shrugged.
“Why didn’t you have your wand?” I asked feeling incredibly bored about the whole thing – god, typical James. He needed to get some more original ideas.
“We decided to go muggle,” James said, “in case we brought any birds back and were so drunk that we started doing magic in front of them or something. Anyway, I just need you to explain to the guy that it’s all a big mix up, or repair the chair, or modify his memory or something – because I don’t have eighty euros! I brought pounds and galleons,”
“And then what?” Jan asked, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed James – but you’ve brought us to Malaga and my parents think we’ve gone to a bloody Quidditch match. I bet Al would be really pissed off right now if he had brought it Quidditch tickets. You’re insufferable Potter. I wish you’d learn how to sort out your own messes.”
“The portkey back goes in six hours, so I’ll leave you guys here and you can entertain yourself,” James said cheerfully – glancing between us and his bed then raising his eyebrows to make it quite clear what he meant by ‘entertain yourselves.’
So my brother is an idiot, what’s new?
“So you’ll help?” James grinned.
I don’t really think we’d been given a choice.
“So, Al – here we have a classic example of a having a situation on our hands. We have two options. Either we don’t have sex and James comes back in a couple of hours and makes awkward comments that make us both awkward, or we do have sex and James comes back in a couple of hours and then he’ll feel awkward. The jokes on him then!” Jan declared about a minute after James had locked us into his hotel room and gone off to go get drunk in Malaga or something.
“You’re proposing we have sex to make James feel awkward?”
“It’s perfect, isn’t it?” Jan declared happily. I laughed at her.
“I imagined something a little bit romantic, anyway, I don’t want to hurt you given this is your first time.” We are both fully aware that this is not Jan’s first time. From the look on Jan’s face she also knows that I know that it is not her first time.
“Don’t you want to have sex with me? You better sleep with my quick before I become a nun or something.” Nothing like changing the subject suddenly to defer attention from slight omissions of truth.
“Why on earth would you become a nun?”
“Well, I’m halfway there already with this ridiculous celibacy,”
“I’d hardly call it celibacy,”
“Are you gay?” Jan asked with a mock-serious expression.
“You know I’m not gay,” I said with an eye roll.
“Scared of sex?”
“You know that’s not true either,” Jan’s expression hardened and we are now officially on dangerous ground, “anyway it’s you I’m worried about with your first time-ness,”
“Oh shut up,” Jan laughed, “but seriously Al,”
“I just didn’t exactly want our first time to be a quickie behind the greenhouses, that’s all.”
“How very thoughtful,” Jan said with an eye roll, “but look –see here – a beautiful romantic hotel room!”
“Jan, it’s not even a double bed.”
“If you don’t think there’s enough room there’s always the floor,”
“Now that’s just ridiculous,”
“Why don’t you want to have sex!?” Jan demanded so loudly that, if we weren’t in a foreign country, I’d be entirely convince that the whole world would now have the ears pressed against the door waiting for the latest instalment of lunacy.
“I do! Of course I do! I just thought I should restrain myself because you deserve something a little better than a silencing spell in a room with five other males, including Rich for Merlin’s sake (and you know he’d be trying to eavesdrop)!”
“Well, restraints away!” Jan said, and then she scrambled to her feet and pulled her dress over her head in one movement. Her underwear didn’t match: her knickers were cow print and her bra patterned with flowers and was one of those pointless pushing up things. I’d seen Jan more undressed than this before – topless and bottomless (although not at the same time), but it wasn’t the sort of thing I was used to quite yet. “See, restraint unnecessary. Here I am, I am your girlfriend, for you – I’m easy!”
I considered this for a long few moments. I had always imagined some perfect moment, but if I was slightly more realistic... sod it.
The woman talked a lot of sense.
“Come here you hussy,” I muttered, pulling her towards me and kissing her. She grinned and let me pull her onto the single bed.
I loved Jan’s skin and her stupid cow print knickers that she’d probably had since she was fourteen. I loved that when she kissed me she pressed her fingertips against the back of my neck and hated the idea that she’d kissed other people and pressed her fingertips against other guy’s necks. I loved that Jan had faint stretch marks on her hips from when she suddenly filled out and the embarrassed way she’d tried to hide them with her palms when I’d first seen her without her top on. I loved that now she couldn’t care less about hiding them from me and would instead stand with her hands on her hips and her eyebrows raised at me.
I loved the fact that Janet Harper always giggled and squirmed away from me if I touched the spot on her side where she’d always been unquestionably ticklish, and the fact that she continually tried to seek out where my ticklish spot was (and upon realising she couldn’t find one, had instead settled for doing inappropriate things in retaliation).
I loved the fact that Jan’s nails were always painted some strange exotic colour even though she had the shortest nails I’d ever seen on a female creature and the backwards way that Jan was the one nagging me that we should have sex. How she called me a tosser at least four times a day but didn’t really care that I was a tosser sometimes. I loved that Jan was my best friend and would always be my best friend.
“God I love you,” I mumbled aloud.
Jan froze suddenly.
Oh bugger, had I just fucked something up big time?
“You haven’t said that before, I mean... since we started dating.” Jan said staring at me.
I’d just wasted the ‘I love you moment’ in a seedy pre-sex moment in a cheap hotel in Malaga. I was officially the crappiest person that ever told anyone that they loved them. The only thing worst would have been if I’d waited till after before cracking out the clichés. Now Jan would think I only loved her because we were about to have sex, which was absolute trash.
“Oh,” I said awkwardly, “I guess I think it so much that I didn’t realise I’d never said it out loud,” Jan kissed me, her hands holding my face impossibly tightly, “now I’ve gone and ruined that too,”
“No,” Jan said, still holding onto my face as if there was the possibility that if she let go my face would become detached from my body someway, (I hope not) “it was perfect,”
“I never get any of this right, now you’re going to think I’m some seedy sex-obsessed tosser and – ”
“Stop being so bloody self deprecating, that’s the most romantic thing anyone’s ever said ever. Now shut up before you do ruin it,”
I obliged. It was easier.
(and maybe I had recovered the situation with the follow up line. I might write that one down and sell to other unfortunate sods like myself who wreck the moment).
“Wait!” Jan said, pressing a finger to my lips where her own lips had been just a second earlier, she half rolled off the bed and began rummaging through James’s trunk (for reasons unbeknown to me) she pulled out a bottle quite by accident it seemed, but took a swig of that anyway (so she was nervous!) before muttering ‘aha!’ and turning towards me with her prize clutched in her left hand.
“You know, Al, your brothers beginning to grow on me,” Jan said cheerfully.
Then she threw the condom packet at my head.
“Trust James to be prepared for all eventualities!” Jan grinned.
And people say romance is dead.
After the deed was done we both suddenly felt the need to become dressed as quickly as possible and after fully dressing – down to socks and sandals, we’d returned to the scene of the crime. Now we were just lying on James’s bed in silence holding each other.
There was something horribly raw and poignant about the moment and all my previous thoughts were soundly seeping back under the crack of the door – did I really want this moment to be the one I thought back on in eighty years time? Had we really wasted something that should have been really big and significant now?
“Al,” Jan said softly, shifting closer to me in her arms, “this isn’t going to mess anything up, is it?” she pulled the thin duvet up around her shoulders and I could almost hear her pouting at the bedcovers, “because all teenage relationships go to hell after sex – everyone always suddenly start arguing, or not appreciating each other and then they break up and have to start over,”
The urge to say ‘is that what happened with you and Wood’ was so close to overwhelming it was very hard to suppress.
“That’s why Rose and Scorpius broke up that time,”
“You’re deluded; Rose has never had sex ever,”
“Don’t be daft,” Jan said, rolling over onto her other side and staring at me seriously, “I’m pretty sure everyone our age has had sex, and with most other people our age.”
“Especially James,” I agreed my hands on Jan’s back and my eyes fixed on hers.
“Maybe they should be together,”
“Maybe,” Jan said, resting her head on my chest, “I feel like... I just, Al, that’s our last first ever,” she looked back up at me.
“No, it’s not,” I countered, pulling the duvet around us more to preserve the minimal warmth in the room (for some reason this place seemed to have turned up their air conditioning to the ‘arctic’ setting), “first apartment, first house, first child...” I said with a grin.
Jan let out a chocked laugh, “promise me we’ll do all that – get married and grow old together,”
“Promise,” I said breathing in the smell of the fabric freshener Jan’s mum used to wash Jan’s summer dresses.
“What if we break up?” Jan asked, propping herself up on one elbow and looking at me steadily, “what then?”
“Well,” I returned, “I think if we ever did break up it wouldn’t be because either of us had done anything, I don’t think we’d ever cheat -”
“Never,” Jan interrupted seriously.
“Good to know,” I said shakily, “so we’d just have been drifting apart or some little problem just got out of hand or something – and then we could still be friends,”
“So you’re not going to bored and run off with some busty blonde?”
“Sod off,” I said with an eye roll, pulling her towards me so she was completely pressed against my chest, “anyway; you’re not bad in either of those departments yourself,”
“Better than thumb tack Jenny?” Jan suggested, grinning and back to her normal self again, “better than Becky Bones? More attractive than Ruby?”
“Yes Jan, you’re the greatest female that ever lived, anything else?” I grinned in return, kissing her before she had a chance to answer.
“One thing, do you really love me?” Jan said, pulling away and smiling widely.
“Yes Jan, I love you,” I said impatiently as she knelt on the bed just out of lip-reach – teasing hussy.
“Me too,” Jan said, “Love you, I mean,” then she let me kiss her again for a long few moments. “So, Al,” She said with her fingers pressing into the back of my neck deliciously, “we’ve got a couple of hours to kill... how’s about, we really piss James off?” Then she pulled out the bottle of Sambucca from James’s trunk with a mischievous grin and a thumbs up.
James’s suggestive ‘so, you two had fun then?’ died on his lips when I saw that chaos that had inhabited his hotel room since Jan had taken it into head that we should both get very drunk.
Currently Jan and I were ‘waltzing’: it had been Jan’s idea to force me to dance with her – apparently she’d once had ballroom lessons – but she was a lightweight and therefore I had to do most of the leading whilst she fell over a lot.
Jan had hung James’s well worn teddy bear – a hilarious discovery wedged at the bottom of his trunk – from the light fitting with one of his belts (and I’m talking literally hung) and a bright red thong had been removed from under the bed and was now decorating the mirror.
One and a half bottles of James’s alcohol seemed to have vanished off the state of the earth (although this mystery was cleared up if you either smelt Jan’s breath or encouraged her to talk) and Jan had even insisted we smoke half a packed of cigarette’s we’d found in one of his trainers (amusing because James was a terrible smoker and Jan had never smoked in her life) before she gave up and threw a couple of pairs of James’s (clean) boxers onto the balcony below.
It seemed Jan was venting all the frustration she’d ever had at my brother out in one clean swoop. It was incredibly becoming.
“Could you not think of anything better to do?” James asked after gaping for a few minutes. I scooped Jan off the floor and deposited her onto the bed in a giggling mess of drunkenness.
“We have done many a thing!” Jan declared wildly, grabbing my arm and pulling me onto the bed with her, I laughed – I had been drinking too after all – and allowed it to happen. Jan turned her head towards me and smiled.
Then a sudden horrendous thought hit me. If James was back that mean the return portkey must be leaving relatively soon and I’d have to return Jan to her parents.
They’d kill me. They’d look at Jan and think ‘Albus Potter, we know what you have done: our daughter has been drinking, smoking and hanging innocent teds on light fittings. Also she has been shagging her boyfriend in foreign countries.’
There was no way on earth that Simon Harper would think that it was acceptable.
“James,” I hissed standing up, “do you have some mints, air freshener sobering solution and something that would make Jan look like she’s a virgin?”
“Hmmm,” James said, turning back towards me, “I probably have a nun outfit I can drag out from somewhere,”
“James, seriously, help me!”
“You’ve destroyed my hotel room!” James complained, throwing a few things back in the direction of his trunk, “you’ve drank like thirty galleons worth of booze and... what the heck have you done to Mr. Cuddles?”
“Capital punishment,” Jan muttered from the bed which wasn’t particularly helpful.
James grumpily wondered into the toilet and then came out moments later looking happier than anyone I’d ever seen come out of a hotel toilet. “You cleaned the toilet!” James exclaimed excitedly, bouncing on the balls of his dragon hide boots looking nothing short of thrilled.
“Of course I bloody did!” Jan said with her eyes shut and one of her arms stretched out above her head, “I wasn’t going to pee in that filthy cesspit,”
“Sobering solution and air freshener are in the safe,” James said, “are you sure you don’t want that nun outfit?”
“Code?” I muttered squinting at the numbers on the safe.
“Double 69,” James replied, folding his socks into his trunk (and he says I’m effeminate?).
“What?” I repeated.
“69,69,” James said slowly.
Typical James. Probably could have guessed that.
“James, for Merlin’s sake – your wand is in here,” I said irritably, shifting my way through the extensive pile of magical crap that James had indeed taken with him, despite saying otherwise.
James ignored this and instead took out a large packet of mints from his pocket.
“So,” he asked in a slight whisper, glancing over at Jan and raising his eyebrows, “did you get Jan drunk before or after you shagged her?”
A/N - So this was pure and utter fluff. Hopefully you're not too fluffed out. I feel the need to go be angsty somwhere right now, not gonna lie. Thanks for all your reviews so far guys - I love them :)