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Chapter 7: Ice, Reporters and Garden Parties on the Moon.
I don't own Twilight, Stephanie Meyer does. Lucky her.
Also, this is a filler chapter. But some crucial stuff happens too. Don't hate on the fillerness. :)
I don’t care who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done. I swear to Merlin you have NEVER been in a situation that even remotely resembles the one that I am in right now. Never.
I can tell you right now that you have never been sitting at a table in a room full of gingers, stuck with your pretend boyfriend (who is actually your pratty boss who you hate and have had some kind of feud with since second year at wizarding school) on one side and your pretend boyfriend’s older brother (who happens to be painstakingly beautiful, an international Quidditch sensation, and once lay on top of you in the street by accident, followed by dragging you into an alleyway and disappearing into thin air with you) on the other.
If you have ever been in that situation, you are me. And since you are clearly not me, because I am me, then you cannot fathom how it feels.
My life is just one big, long, awkward moment. I swear it.
“Wait, so are you two dating or not?” James looked confused, his amber eyes glancing between the pair of us.
I sighed. “Yes. We are.” I tried to smile sweetly, but I’m fairly certain it came across more I-am-going-to-find-out-where-you-live-and-eat-your-children-in-the-night-esque. I’m so hot.
“Oh.” He said, then turned to his dinner, which must surely be cold as stone by now. “How long have you been dating?”
“Two months.” Albus said, staring him down. James turned to me.
“Two months? But it was only last week you told me he was just your boss.”
“You saw each other last week?” Albus chimed in.
“We just bumped into each other in the street.” I said, waving it off.
“Literally…” James muttered.
My mouth flapped open. “You say that as if it was my fault!”
“It was your fault!”
I was saved from answering that scathingly by a sudden kerfuffle near the main doors.
He he. Kerfuffle. That’s a fun word. Kerfuffle.
Moving on, off the subject of my mental instability…
Everyone in the room was staring over at the door, where George and Bill were grappling with some woman with white blonde hair in ringlet curls and a fluorescent pink silk suit who was clearly trying to get past them. Ginny shot up from the table and barrelled across the room, screeching: “GET THAT WOMAN OUT OF HERE. GET HER OUT.”
I watched, amazed as this tiny woman fought tooth and nail against two men twice her size, desperately trying to get into the room.
“Who is that?” I asked Al, who was glaring at the woman with hatred in his eyes.
“Rita Skeeter.” Harry answered. I swooned a little inside. FOCUS, DAMMIT, ASIYA. THE BLOKE IS THREE TIMES YOUR AGE. “I’m surprised you haven’t heard of her.”
“Of course she hasn’t,” Hermione said to her food, glaring menacingly at her half-finished chocolate fudge brownie. “Skeeter doesn’t write for the Prophet anymore.”
“Doesn’t she write for Witch Weekly now?” Ron said through a mouthful of brownie. Obviously he couldn’t care less about the woman currently trying to maul two of his brothers.
“I think so. Do you read Witch Weekly, Asiya?” Harry asked. I melted under his green gaze. UGH.
“No. But I read ‘The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore’ when I was at school. Didn’t she write that?” I asked when I saw the shocked look on their faces. “Maybe I was wrong…” I ducked my head. Trust me to go babbling nonsense in front of The Golden Trio.
“No…” Ron said, staring at me. “She wrote it. But I’m surprised copies still exist, once the war was over and everything was revealed, everyone realised it was mostly lies with a couple of facts coated in more lies thrown in.”
“I did a project on him in fifth year. The school library had a copy.” I answered, shrugging.
“She goes to the library? I like her.” Hermione said to Albus at the same time as Hugo said: “Hogwarts has a library?”
Rose thumped him over the head. Well deserved.
I didn’t actually spend very much time in the library. Very little time, really. I think I ventured in there a total of about three times in my entire seven years at Hogwarts. Once to find books on Dumbledore, once to return the books on Dumbledore, and the final time because Rose had gone AWOL and the place we least expected to find her was the library. Which was where we found her, of course. Hiding under a table amongst some Ravenclaws that practically lived there. Seriously, I think they literally left the library for food and that was it. I’m fairly certain they kept their beds in the Astronomy section. They worshipped the library as, like, their mother ship or something.
Anyway, between Quidditch training and socialising with my billions of friends (obviously I was insanely popular, being the only person on the face of the planet that was hated by a Potter. Who now happens to have his arm around me with his hand inching ever closer to my right boob) I had very little time to waste sauntering around the library.
In case you didn’t get that, the ‘billions of friends’ bit was total sarcasm. I had my group and that was about it. Waging war against a member of the most popular wizarding family in the world does nothing for one’s social status.
Quidditch was just about my entire life at Hogwarts. I got onto the team in third year, under Captain Jenson Wood. He left as I went into my fifth year, which was when James was made Captain. That’s what I thought was so peculiar about him not recognising me in the street, he was my Captain for two whole years. You would have thought he would remember my face. James, Gina Jordan and I were the Chasers that year. Rose was our keeper, Fred and Alice Longbottom our Beaters. This was also the year we welcomed Albus onto our team as the Seeker, and Thea Finnegan as our reserve.
You know, I never really explained how the hatred between Al and I started. I guess you could say me pushing him in the lake before we even made it to Hogwarts might have been the fire starter (he stuck a liquorice wand in my eye seconds previously) but I guess what really ignited it was just before our seventh year.
When I got made Quidditch Captain for the year.
And he didn’t.
Al was furious. Both his father and his brother were Captains before him, and his final chance was blown by me skipping along and taking his place. I basically had to replace our entire team that year, seeing as Fred, James, Alice, Gina and Thea all left school. He had been so certain that he was going to get Captain. I had been so certain that he was going to get Captain. The first thing I did when I got the letter was run to the bathroom and reproduce my breakfast into the toilet. Via my mouth. It was all very elegant, I can tell you that.
So he and Rose had to stand behind me while I directed try-outs. Rose really couldn’t give less fucks. She was just happy to toddle along and do some badass motherfucking saving at the hoops. It was Al that always challenged me, pointed out my every mistake, tried to take over the team himself. Once, I kicked him off the team for a total of three days, which is how long it took me to remember that he was fucking amazing at Quidditch.
So I brought in Lily Potter (she’s a frightening little Quidditch demi-God) and Oliver Thomas as our new Beaters, Lysander Scamander as one of our new Chasers, and (much to the disdain of Al) Scorpius Malfoy as our final Chaser. And that’s how we played throughout our seventh year. I could never decide if I regretted taking on Lysander as part of the team. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fantastic player, but he always made us sit in a circle before every match, hold hands, close our eyes and pray to the Quidditch Deity. I don’t know if it was our talent or praying to the Quidditch Deity that got us the house cup that year, but I like to think it was our sheer awesomeness.
I guess it didn’t help anything that Lily got Captain the year we left. Al had to watch his dad; his brother and his sister all out-shine him in the Quidditch department. Maybe that’s why he chose to start up a business instead of trying to make it in the Quidditch world. I know he had at least seven scouts approach him for their teams, nearly as many as I did. I always wondered why he didn’t take them. I took no offers because I wanted more than anything to be a Healer. But him? I didn’t see any reason for him to have a particular passion for running a magazine business. He and Scorpius had become fast friends over the year, and I suppose they had just decided that they wanted to do something together. Scorpius didn’t have any scouts approach him, so maybe he just asked Al to join him in running a business.
It’s not as though I’m complaining though. It’s a very successful magazine and they have provided me with a stable, well-paid job. I’m happy where I am. I still get the occasional phone call from the Harpies or the Magpies, but Healing comes first and I don’t want to compromise the money that I have coming in at the moment. What would happen if I got a couple of months playing for a team, and then get dropped very suddenly? What would happen? Albus would almost certainly refuse me my job back, so what would I do? I would have to go back to mum. And believe me, that is the last thing I want to do.
Anyway, so I spent most of my seventh year training my Quidditch team, getting the NEWTs I needed for Healing school, and fending Al off for Quidditch Captainship. Not very much time for the library.
Which brings us back to the topic at hand.
“She was also Quidditch Captain.” James threw in, which I’m pretty sure was directed at his father.
“Definitely like her.” Harry and Ron said together.
“Oh!” Ron said suddenly. “You’re the one that beat Al for the Captain position!”
I thought I was Queen of Bad Moves. It would appear I have met my King.
I felt Albus tighten beside me, and his arm withdrew from my shoulder.
Oh dear. This is not going to end well.
Come on, Asiya, think of something. Throw something at Ron. NO. Don’t do that, that would be stupid. Put food in your mouth. No, you’ll probably choke on it because you’re that socially inept. Change the topic. Yes, new topic of conversation. What shall I talk about? Seaweed? Trigonometry? The importance of ATP in respiration?
GAH I SUCK AT PEOPLE.
“That woman. I can’t understand how she found out about this.”
OMG IT’S OFFICIAL I LOVE GINNY WEASLEY SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN.
She is an absolute life saver.
She huffed and sat down in her seat beside Harry.
“Mum, it’s sort of an annual thing, the entire world knows about it.” Lily said, rolling her eyes.
“Well, we should change it then.” Ginny glared at her plate. “As of next year, the annual Potter/Weasley clan gathering will be held at six o’clock, Eastern Standard Time, on the fucking moon. And we shall have octopuses and fire-breathing cactuses as our security, everyone shall come dressed as children’s TV show characters to throw her off the trail and we shall have a marvellous garden party and SHE IS NOT INVITED.”
Do you think Ginny Weasley would be willing to adopt me?
“I do apologise for my family’s appalling behaviour tonight.”
I turned around to see James standing with his hands stuffed in his pockets, his tie loosened and top two buttons undone, and his dark chocolate hair ruffled as if he’d just gotten off a broom.
This is exactly how I remembered him being at Hogwarts. Distinctly scruffy, but in a really hot, Quidditch-God kind of way, with glinting amber eyes and with the constant air of someone who is far too cool for their own good.
“Don’t worry about it. I spent seven years living in the same room as Rose; I think I’m used to your family’s insane tendencies.” I said, smiling and leaning back on the railing. I had managed to escape the people for a while, and had found my way out onto the veranda (yeah, they had a fucking veranda. I only have six windows in my entire apartment) where I was getting some cool night air compared to the stuffy inside.
When I say ‘cool night air’, I mean fucking freezing negative a zillion degrees and there was snow on the ground and I had no clue where my jacket was.
“You don’t know insane until you’ve met my mother.” He smiled, joining me at the railing. Excuse me while I become a pile of goo on the floor after he smiled at me.
Oh, that smile. He could be a model, I’m not even kidding. All he has to do is smile, and he would have the world at his feet. He pretty much has that already though, given his father’s status and his three nominations for the Quidditch Personality of the Year Awards. He hadn’t won yet, seeing as Oliver Wood was forty-eight, still going strong and still hot as fuck, but it was only a matter of time before the world realised that James Sirius Potter is a divine being that should certainly not be ignored.
I should maybe stop prattling on about how my “boyfriend’s” relatives are hot. I mean, Albus is hot too. I just hate him so much I don’t feel the need to lose all manner of speech when I’m in his presence. He has black hair, like his father’s, but even more all over the place than James and Harry put together. Bright green eyes that seemed to look right into your soul when he looked at you. They reminded me of that colour you get on the grass on a forest floor, when the sun is shining through the leaves and you get that sort of dappled effect on the ground. Yeah, he has dapple colour eyes. I don’t think dapple is even officially a colour, but that was the colour of his eyes.
Do you think it’s possible to apply for something to become and official colour? I should do that for dapple. Dapple should be a colour.
I am so easily distracted. When I was younger, my parents thought I had ADHD because I couldn’t focus on one thing for more than two minutes before I had to go off and do a few laps of the swing set in the garden to burn off pent-up energy. There was this one time when I was supposed to be doing fractions (yeah I went to Muggle primary school) and I ended running round the trampoline two hundred and seventy- OH LOOK THERE I GO AGAIN.
Back to the topic at hand…
Albus only played Quidditch for three years, but he still had the amazing Quidditch body that you would usually want to see without a top on, lifting some heavy stuff in the sea on a summer’s day. Or any time of year, for that matter. He was a lot taller than me, although that’s not saying much as I’m only 5’5”. Even when I wear the ridiculous stilettos that Mum sends me every other week, I still only reach his nose. He has this sort of goofy smile, one side pulled up slightly more than the other, but not so much that it’s Edward-Cullen-crooked. It’s the sort of smile that doesn’t make you want to melt, but makes you want to smile back because it’s so damn infectious. I always find myself grinning back at him when he smiles properly. It’s when he smirks at you in that condescending way that makes you want to kick his teeth out. Which I want to do on quite a regular basis in the office. When I say regular basis, I mean every other minute or so.
If he weren’t such an asshole, I reckon I could actually like the bloke.
Too bad he’s a number one idiot with a severe attitude problem.
“Your mum is so awesome!” I said. “I wish my mum was more like that.”
“What’s your mum like?” James said, leaning forwards on the railing and looking out across the snow-covered garden. I turned so I was facing the same way.
“Not like yours. Nowhere near as cool as your mum.” I said. “She’s very…” I searched for the right word. “… Average. She’s the average mother. She calls at least once a week to make sure I’m okay and haven’t died. When I go to her house, she likes to force feed me because she thinks I’m too thin.”
James smiled. “You always were kind of scrawny.”
I raised an eyebrow. “So you do remember me? I was wondering about that.”
He shook his head, sighing. “How could I forget? You were some kind of miniature Quidditch sensation.”
I laughed and continued. “She used to line us up at the door before we left for school at the beginning of the year, and hand us out our little bags of food for the train ride. We never ate it of course, it was all sandwiches and fruit. Why would we eat that when there are perfectly good pumpkin pasties on the train?”
James grinned and nodded. “Mum used to give us bags with food in them too, but she would always hide something weird in the bag, just a little something so we didn’t forget her all year.”
“What kind of things?”
“They ranged from heart keyrings – which were nice and all, showed that she loved us – to ping pong balls. I never really understood the woman.”
“That’s way better than corned beef sandwiches.”
“At least your mother isn’t insane.”
“Your mum is so cool!”
“She certainly takes some getting used to.”
I laughed. “I could easily get used to her.” I wrapped my arms around my body, trying to keep warm. James immediately took his suit jacket off and draped it around my shoulders. See? What a gentleman. Al would never do something like that. He would probably laugh at my expense and push me into a snowdrift.
“Thanks.” I smiled. “I haven’t the foggiest where my coat is.”
“Did you try the back of your chair?”
“Yeah. I think I took it off at the door but I was too lazy to walk that far.”
“And yet you had enough energy to find the veranda?”
“Shut up.” I nudged him and he laughed.
“So why did you give up Quidditch? Didn’t any scouts approach you?” he asked, regaining his balance far faster than I ever have.
“Twelve scouts approached me for their teams.”
“Holy fuck! Are you kidding me? I only had eleven!”
“Ha!” I snorted. Oh so attractive, Asiya. “Like I’m going to believe that!”
“It’s true!” he smiled.
“Please. You’re practically a God when it comes to Quidditch.”
He pulled himself up, looking jokingly important. “I wish for you to kiss my feet and feed me grapes now.”
I laughed and shoved him. He took a step back, and the next few seconds seemed to happen in slow motion:
He had stepped onto a bit of ice on the wooden floor. His foot slid out from underneath him, and he reached out for whatever was closest to stabilize himself. Which happened to be my shoulder.
I don’t know if you have noticed thus far, dear reader, but you may have realized that I am not world’s most hand-eye-co-ordinated, on-balance person. I fall over slightly more than could considered normal. So in a situation such as this, I am probably not the one thing you’re going to want to use to keep your own balance.
Hence why I, of course, tumbled down on top of him as he fell backwards onto the ground.
“Well, this is familiar.” He said as we came face to face, his back on the floor and me very elegantly (don’t make me laugh) straddling his torso.
OH HAI DERE. I missed you guys. This is probably going to be my last update for a little while, because even though my exams are over I hae so many rehearsals all the time because I'm playing a principal in a big show coming up and we open in four weeks. HOLY FUCK I AM BRICKING. IT. But I'm okay. I might try to bang another chapter out before then to distract me from my nervousness. I'll try, I promise.
Anyway, this chapter was kind of a filler chapter, but I quite like it. Lots of James for you guys, hope you like it ;) And lots of Ginny too, which got a lot of comments last time. People like Ginny. So I wrote her some more. I reckon she'll be appearing a lot in the future :D
Hope you guys enjoyed it! You see that box down there? Yeah, that one. It's hungry. Very hungry. You should feed it. THINK OF THE POOR BOX STARVING TO DEATH BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T FEED IT. DO YOU WANT THAT ON YOUR CONSCIENCE. I DIDN'T THINK SO. FEED IT.