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Chapter 1: Prologue
“Aves, come over there is a freakin Dance Moms marathon on channel 5.”
My best friend Nora Finnegan was currently speaking …well I stand corrected yelling on the phone to me about Abby lee Miller’s latest antics. It’s one of the few muggle tv shows I watched, come on who doesn’t love moms and coaches literally biting each other heads off, while little girls dance in tutus in the background.
I was really tempted to go over, surely dad won’t mind it is summer holidays after all
We currently had no muggle tv at our house, as mum decided to pack up her bags, and go on what she called a “self-discovery holiday,” with her new boyfriend Olaf. So Noah (my older brother) and I were stuck at Dad’s this summer.
Not that I minded, Noah says I’m basically Dad with mosquito boobs. Well I guess it didn’t help thinking back to that one year were we decided to get family pictures.
Mum nearly had an aneurysm when Dad and I came out with basically the same outfit on; red flannels and black jeans. To my defence they were form fitted jeans so it’s not like Dad was wearing that. At least I hope not, you see Dad recently retired and Nora and I agreed he had way to much free time on his hand .
Especially dangerous considering Mr Finnegan rarely went to the pub he owned, unless Dad and him were the highest paying customers.
So while Mum was currently gallivanting around Thailand with her boyfriend Olaf, who coincidentally was not from Frozen, but basically had the same personality as melting ice. I was left with no choice but to either sneak out or go ask Dad.
Ha ha like that was happening, I thought to myself.
I tried to close my creaky old wood door as gently as I could. I made way past Noah’s room. Which was shut now; thank god. For the past hour as he was face timing with some girl he met at camp. At one point I was getting really horrified at the sounds coming from his room, that I started playing Papa don’t preach really loudly on my wizpod. It had quieted down now at least as far as I could tell, I Didn’t really want to eaves drop and test my theory.
I went downstairs and saw Dad in the kitchen drinking his coffee and staring at the Daily Prophet. I assume there was a match today. I was a huge fan of Puddlemere as Dad used to take all of us to the games, even Mum used to come down and support him. Just as I was walking past him, to get to the front door; Dad must have heard me it’s those stupid quidditch skills I tell you.
“Avery, you going somewhere pumpkin.”
That’s the other thing about Dad he was one of the few people that decided to call me by my full name not that I don’t like it’s just sounds so 16th century maiden. If anyone but Dad and maybe the ghosts at Hogwarts said it, I probably wouldn’t even realise they are talking about me.
Dad looked at me waiting for an answer. See dad likes to use to this type of discipline where he asks us a question but doesn’t expect us to answer.
I’m sure Al, my other best friend, would probably be saying, that’s what you call a rhetorical question Avery. Oh whoops that’s right how I could I forget Al calls me Avery, but let’s be honest the boy belongs in the 16th century; after the amount of dungeons and dragons and Magic: The Gathering he plays.
Realising, that Dad’s eye brows, would be permanently stuck in the middle of his forehead if I didn’t answer him soon. I started thinking as fast as my little noggin would move.
“Oh, I was just going to visit Albus, Dad”. I lied coolly not even blinking.
“Really at 9.30” Dad said looking amusedly at his watch. Jokingly he said “ as far as I’m aware Albus usually turns in at around that time”.
Dad and Albus had a really peculiar relationship, Dad would tease him about his dorkiness and the fact that he supported the Cannons. I think he secretly loved the guy. Probably, because Albus came around once a week to chat with Dad about some old match dad played. Also I’m pretty sure Dad didn’t mind that I hung out with him, because Al never talks about girls and in dad’s weird old jock mind that probably meant he thought he was gay.
You see, we live in the country and the Potter’s moved into our little village when I was around 10. I assume to escape the craziness of the media, because I can’t imagine that they moved to Bath for the buzzling night life. Unless you count the cows, yep plenty of cows it’s all on the real estate brochures.
It’s like, never mind two car garage when there are cows, cows for your kids, cows for your wife enough cows even for your grandkids. Basically the Potters were our neighbours well what we consider neighbours in Bath basically a 5 minute walk between the houses. So naturally Albus and I got on because there was nothing much to do in the summers, and Lilly was too young back then.
“Very funny Dad, you know you’re really mean to the kid”
“Ah the door bell, I’ll go get it”. I ran to the door in the most non-suspicious way possible trying to think of a good excuse. I opened the door and speak of the devil. Stood before me was the boy wonder himself Albus Potter, currently standing like a puppy dog at my door waiting for me to invite him in.
“Hey Aver….” I yanked him in before I let him finished grabbing onto his hand, pulling him into the house.
“What’s going on?” He said trying to resist my pushing.
Although Albus was tall 6ft tall , well I had to be honest at 5 ft 4 everyone was taller than you. Alright, alright 5ft 3 and a half, on a good day. He still was quite lankly, I assume inherited from good old Harry Potter himself.
“Aves ,what’s going on.” He attempted using my nickname as I pushed him through our front corridor.
“No time to explain… I need to get to Nora’s house to watch over mother cat fight, just tell dad I’m coming over to support you in one of those Magic games you play” I told him all in one breath, while I basically dragging him by his hand to the kitchen.
However it wasn’t going as well as I thought.
“Mmf” Why was he not moving.
Albus, stood in front of me arms folded and not moving an inch.
“Dude your being difficult,” I pouted looking at him.
“No no Aves, those puss in boot eyes are not going to work not this time,” he said stoically arms still folded.
I tried with, no shame to up my ante. Looking up to him I went full pupil dilation, on my eyes for a good few seconds.
Until, Albus just ruffled my hair.
“Avery, you know that hasn’t worked for a while, I’m basically immune to your powers”
He came closer to me and said “it’s what I wished every year, ever since I met you” He said a small smile creeping onto his face.
“Mhua, mhua”. At this point he basically started cackle whispering which was really creepy especially in our dark corridor, with half his face being illuminated from the light outside. However the spell soon broke when he started coughing and took a puff from his inhaler.
“Are you done?” I replied with my arms now crossed over.
“Yep” he said looking embarrassed and turning away from my eye.
“Basically, I need you to tell Dad I’m sleeping over at your place because it’s the last week of summer, and you need help with your magic thingo game.
“First of all it’s not a game, it’s called a duel or tournament.”
I was so inclined, to have sassy Aves , come out say “whatever it was it was still nerd capital”, but I bit my tongue. I needed him to be on my good side right now.
As Albus, kept on ranting about how the International Magic card committee would be appalled if he knew I called it a game. I zoned out. Ahh it was so much easier when Albus was a weakling.
He stopped his rant suddenly,staring at me with a straight line across his face that was getting so thin I couldn’t call it a mouth anymore.
Whoops did I say that out aloud.
“Uep” He said one eye brow up,arms still folded.
“Qell I’m sorry, I was just thinking that our relationship was much easier when u were more lanky, by the way when did this happen”. I pushed at his now slightly more muscular looking bicep.
“It’s like you’re using James protein mix or something.” I blurted out jokingly just in time to see his whole face going red.
There was dead silence, a cricket chirped, I swear I saw a tumble weed roll by.
Before, I burst out laughing. I couldn’t stop. This was just so un –Albus-like it was ridiculously funny.
“Look I just wanted to get in shape before school starts okay” He attempted trying to explain it to me when I was basically pursuing what I assume the definition of rofl as according to urban dictionary.
Albus started getting more annoyed after seeing my reaction.
“What is so funny”
“Its nothing ,I’m sorry Al,” but the traitor tears were making their way down my face as I tried to explain. Oh what the hell may as well go full throttle, I already had embarrassed him.
“Hey bro, I hope we can still be friends even though I don’t lift” I got out wheezing, I may need his inhaler soon if this continues.
Al tried to keep a straight face but quickly burst into laughter.
I knew Al couldn’t stay mad at me for more than 10 seconds . He grabbed me onto a headlock and ruffled my hair again.
That is when Dad decided it would be a good time to switch on the light in the corridor finding Al head locking me in the middle of the hallway both of us howling in laughter. However we were both frozen now.
I whispered to Al do you think if we don’t move he can’t see us.
“Avery, to think you were voted most promising student on your first day of first grade . Look at you now malarkeying around with a Cannons fan.”
Albus immediately straightened up cleared his throat, “good to see you Sir. I’m sorry if your daughter and I were causing a ruckus.”
Looks like nerd-Al, was back and with a vengeance.
“What can I do for you Mr Potter, at 9:40 the Friday before school starts?
I have to admit; even I thought Dad looked a bit scary.
Clearing his throat again Albus said “I just wanted Avery to accompany me to my Magic game tomorrow sir”
“Right and you couldn’t call or owl her”
“Actually dad it’s a tournament,” I decided to chip in.
Albus looked baffled “now you decide to listen and use the right terminology”
“Well you made a big deal about it”
“But really the one time you listen”
“Alright, alright kids that’s fine Albus, Im just playing with you son.”, said Dad.
“Oh really,well in that case can she sleep over too”
Ahhh….i started using eye power
“Alright okay before Avery pops an eye out, as long she sleeps in lilly’s room,” he tagged along.
“Also James better behave and keep it in his pants.”
“Ew dad ok thanks love you.”
I ran up to him kissing him on the cheek.
Before he turned he tagged on “make sure you text your mother at least.”
My parents had been divorced for nearly two years now and there was still a sad look in my dad’s eyes every time someone mentioned mum.
It was quite, heart breaking to see a guy who you looked up to your whole life crumble every time one of us mentioned her name. I really hoped Dad would get over her soon but I had a feeling it would take a while. Dad was a big softie at heart. He probably thought it would be disrespectful and weird even if he liked another girl that wasn’t mum. I wanted to remind him that mum turned into Hilaria Baldwin every time Olaf was around.
I closed the door behind me and Al put an arm around my shoulder.
That’s the one thing, about Al he knew when I was upset without even me having to say it. Basically he was a nerd with high emotional intelligence, about as rare as a girl with her pants on Ibiza these days.
“hey Avery, he’ll be okay, you ere”
Al turned his northern charm on, and even winked at me.
“I just worry about him Al” I confessed.
While we made our way through the grass between our houses. Al had alreadycasted lumos and was using his wand as a light. However the fire flies, were kind of attracted to the wand. Almost as if there was a weird glow around us.
“I know, you wouldn’t be you if you didn’t” He said grinning down at me.
I was kind of glad his arm was around me, even-though it was kind of awkward because of the height difference, it was just really chilly outside.
We made our way quietly down a path that we had made when we were younge . The path only starting to be used again, after being neglected throughout the school year.
Albus’s wand flickered every time the grass blew and I could feel the cool summer air, deafening everything around us to an almost peaceful bliss.
Al turned to me suddenly a weird smirk appearing on his face; just as we started seeing his front gate.
Letting go of me he ran of the path and into the grass.
“Follow me,” he said. Running into the tall grass, in the opposite direction of both of our houses.
I was confused and moody.
I was kind of over sneaking, out to watch Dance Mom’s. What was I thinking!
“Come on slow coach” Al said, startling me from my thoughts.
He waited up, until I joined him off the path.
“Jeez Al” I said puffing catching up to him.” I don’t like this new athletic Al. I miss my fellow couch potato buddy.” I said now walking up to him.
Al rolled his eyes in such a dramatic way that it made me almost believe Dad’s gay hypothesis.
Before, he flicked me on the forehead.
He turned around suddenly so his back was facing me. I looked at him confused for a few seconds.
“Come on climb on it’s a once in a summer offer”. He said squatting slightly beside me.
“Are you serious, we’re not ten anymore I weigh more than like thirty kilos.”
“Stop your, gabbing woman and climb on”
“Since when have you called me woman,” I said crossing my hands.
“Since, I started watching Game of Thrones. Now would you climb on, before my legs freeze to death and you have to carry me to your house.”
“Yeah I’m sure that won’t help with the rumours” I said before I climbed on holding onto his shoulders.
He brushed past my leg attempting to stabilise me. Now I have like no experience with guys and if this was anyone else apart from the guy who once cried because he missed an episode of Futurama when he was ten, my heart would have been racing.
Al started walking towards some trees I looked down to see this intent look on his face. He was making his determined weird magic card game face.
“Hey murder, where are you taking me,” I said pulling on tufts of his hair like they were reigns.
“Ow Christ would u stop with the pulling I’m not a horse”
“Really because your breath says otherwise”
‘Really smart Aves torment the guy, who you think is going to kill you.”
“Oh were at back at Aves now”. I had to admit we were making up a lot of distance due to his long legs. The only signs of discomfort he was showing when I would occasional move and he would try to re shift me.
“When you quit acting like a spoilt child, I’ll go back to Avery” he said deadpanning me one back
“Too late you said it the curse has been broken.”
Thank God we were stopping at what looked like a clearing.
“You’re right you’re not as light as you used to be.” I smacked him before becoming distracted with my surroundings.
Looking around the half moon was shining on a calm lake that moved as the wind touched it forming little ripples. There was a small path leading to the Lake.
“Where are we,” I said with a bemused look on my face.
“You don’t recognize your own fort. Tsk tsk what a bad commander you are.” He said directing my line of sight to an old looking tree house. It looked dilapidated to the point of no return.
A crooked sign read Nora, Avery and Al keep out boyz.!! With a z because we were cool preteens.
“Technically that sign was borderline bullying on both of your parts” Albus mumbled.
You didn’t qualify as one then you don’t qualify as one now” I said poking my tongue out.
I started running as soon as I said it, I knew I would be in trouble.
“Really funny Avery, but you forget I’m bigger and much taller than you now. “He said catching up to me.
Waiting for the tickle impact I waited cowering ready to beg for forgiveness because I’m really a big pussy.
Only peeking through my hands, and realizing Al was near the water looking at a flat rock in his hand a twinkle in his eye.
“For old times’ sake he said” smirking at me.
I started walking towards him, hearing the gravel crunch under my sneakers. Nora, Al and I used to have a tradition the summers we spent at the lake we would try and skip rocks no magic just plain old muscle power and make a wish. It didn’t have to be school related we just were not allowed to tell each other. Basically we were greedy 10 year olds and a once a year birthday candle wish,was just not cutting it.
So I did what I like to do and take matters into our own hands. That said not one had come true well on my side at least but that didn’t stop our perseverance.
“Remember your technique? “ Al said.
“Ofc ourse, do you also remember that mine used to go the furthest, “ I replied.
“haha very funny, I’m glad you’re still modest too”.
“well on 3,” he said.
There was only one thing I really wanted . You see there was a guy and I just wanted him to notice me, not in a friendly way as he does now but I just wanted him to see me as I don’t know someone special to him.
I don’t know if I should waste my wish on a guy or should I wish for happiness that would that cover everything, does it work like that. Or is it like a genie system, can I wish for three more wishes.
Suddenly I heard the plop sound of Al’s rock hitting the surface when I realised mine was still in my hand.
I threw it a second later and about one skip later it sunk to the surface
Al started laughing looking at me.
I stared back with a small smile on my face.
“So what did you wish for,” he said.
You know the rules I can’t tell you.
“You’re no fun” he stated
“You just don’t want my wish to come true.”
“I’m pretty sure your weak arm did that job for you,” he replied
“Hmmf you’re a meanie.” Just then a big gust of wind started to thrash my hair around my face.
Al reached out, pulled my hair back behind my ear.
“We should head back its getting late, “ I said breaking the silence.