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Chapter 6: Beyond My Control
A/N JK Rowling owns most of this, including all of the mentioned Quidditch moves, references to ‘Quidditch through the Ages’ and ‘the Tales of Beedle the Bard’.
I don’t. Sad times. But good news (for me): Eliana is mine! So no nicking her!
Beyond My Control
I woke up cuddling a huge, warm teddy bear.
Well, what I thought was a teddy bear, until it stirred slightly.
It was at that moment I realised that the said teddy bear was something I was effectively using as a mattress, as I was sprawled across it, legs tangled with his and using his chest as a pillow.
I had deduced the teddy bear was a ‘he’ by the abnormally toned muscles I felt pressed against my bare stomach, which I had a minor panic over as I realised my bra was digging into me because my shirt was uselessly undone and left wide open, having ridden up to my ribs in sleep.
His arms were wrapped around me, as I blearily opened my eyes and looked.
Al Potter was clutching me to his chest, a picture of innocence with his gently closed eyes and calm breath.
Judging from the night previously, he was not innocent.
As quietly as possible with no sudden movements, I tried to unwrap one of his arms and lower it onto the bed, to which he just responded by shifting onto his side, taking me with him and wrapping his arms more tightly around me.
I didn’t want to wake him up, when I felt something prise his arms off me.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be out for another few hours,” a voice whispered, and I realised Will Lawler was helping me.
“Thanks,” I muttered, slowly freeing my legs and pulling away from him.
He smiled vaguely at me. “I won’t mention it to him, if you want.”
I glanced up at him. He was far taller than Al.
“You know, the whole snogging at crazy times of the night. He won’t remember,” Will shrugged. “He barely remembers anything after a night of drinking, but last night he got really pissed, by the looks of it, so I doubt he’ll even know he saw you.”
I looked at Al’s sweet face.
He had been drunk and I’d taken advantage of him. Hell, he was still dating Nyx! The thought made me want to slap myself. How could I have been so stupid?
He’d probably hate himself if he ever knew he’d ever kissed me.
“Please don’t tell him,” I whispered, my voice cracking.
“I won’t say a thing,” he promised. “See you at breakfast?”
Dazedly, I nodded, and walked back to my own dorm, lying in bed until Lily woke up.
“What happened to Al, by the way? Scorpius reckons he went mad last night and nearly drunk himself to death.”
Lily and I were sat at the table, the first to make it to breakfast. She’d noticed straight away that something was wrong, I could see it in her eyes, but she didn’t question it.
Taking a bite of my toast, I avoided her gaze as she frowned at me curiously.
“Ellie, what happened?”
“I guess he should tell you.”
“Why? Was it bad?”
At that, I sighed. “I don’t actually know what really happened, I just saw the aftermath.”
The rest of the Weasley/Potter Gryffindors joined us, as well as Will and Scorpius.
“What happened with you? As I hear it, someone really pissed you off,” we heard James bluntly ask Al as they sat down.
Glancing up at him, I saw resentment in Al’s green eyes. “Nyx was shagging Owen McLaggen last night. I caught them.”
It’s no wonder that Lily, not really thinking her actions through, stood up on the bench and searched the Slytherin table for signs of the sixth year.
I was angry, too. I was fuming.
How dare she do that to Al?
How dare she?
Yes, I had no place to judge, but they hadn’t actually been dating even though I thought they were so it was technically okay, even if I still was morally guilty. Anyway, I wasn’t the one cheating on him, for Merlin’s sake!
Even James and Freddie turned white, and James’ knuckles clenched.
“If you want me to punch him, I will.”
Al laughed hollowly. “Yeah, okay, whatever.”
Unfortunately, Lily had spotted the girl.
She leapt off the bench, jumped over the Ravenclaw table (much to the shock of the occupants) and grabbed the girl, who looked to be twice her height, by the collar and yanked her to her feet.
Most of the hall was watching when Lily slapped her around the face.
I cheered, and expected Al to call her off when Nyx drew her wand, but he was just watching quietly.
I was no expert, but Lily couldn’t do Defence to save her life.
Nyx was a sixth-year Slytherin, with a nasty-sounding pureblood family and had apparently performed some pretty advanced, dangerous spells before then.
Before I knew what was happening, I was tracing Lily’s steps over the Ravenclaws and halted between the two of them. I found myself staring at the end of Nyx’s wand.
Great. I hadn’t got mine out. She’d curse me before I had a chance to move.
“There’s no point getting detention, Lily,” I warned her, but kept my eyes on Nyx. She was glaring at me venomously.
“Fuck off, Wood,” Nyx snapped, redirecting her wand at my head.
“Oh, back off Ellie,” Lily told me, trying to shove me out of the way.
“This isn’t worth it,” I insisted, figuring out without looking which pocket my wand was in. I felt distinctly uncomfortable, knowing nothing could stop her doing whatever she wanted without being able to defend myself.
“It’s your fault!” she hissed, and I was taken aback.
“I was jealous, you bitch! I thought he was shagging you and I was just getting back at him!”
“Right... that makes it your fault, not mine,” I told her, “for having a Flobberworm for a brain.”
“Shut up! The way he looks at you-“
“Is nothing more than the way I look at him,” I told her firmly.
“I could get him back yet,” she glared.
Thinking of the brazen way his lips had felt on mine, hands racing over my body... I was his rebound girl, but the rebound girl that he’d get over like his girlfriend. I knew Nyx wouldn’t have stood a chance.
“No, actually. I’m pretty sure you could fix it with McLaggen, though. He’s a whore like you, after all,” I spat.
That was a pretty stupid thing to add on the end, and I knew it the moment I’d said it. Her eyes flicked with fire, and she screamed something and I was flying through the air, crashing against hard and cold stone. It winded me, and I gasped for breath as I vaguely registered a lot of yelling in the background.
Urgent hands scooped me up, but before they’d taken more than a few steps there was a loud crack and I shrieked, burying my face into the shirt of the person carrying me.
“What on earth is going on?” yelled Professor Gardner. She sounded furious.
“Nyx Zane is a total bitch!” Lily yelled instantly, and it sounded as though she was being restrained. “Don’t you dare touch her, you sleazy- whoring- fucking- BITCH!”
The shirt on the body holding me was oddly wet.
“FUCK YOU, POTTER!” Nyx roared back. “YOUR FRIEND IS THE BITCH!”
“HER NAME IS ELLIE, AND YOU- DON’T- HURT- HER-“
“Calm down, Miss Potter!” Gardner snapped.
I heard footsteps approach me, and I dazedly looked at her.
“Goodness, take her straight to Madam Patil, Potter,” she said as she gently touched my forehead. “As soon as she’s well again, take her to the Headmaster’s office.”
“I will, Professor.”
James was holding me.
I relaxed into his arms, and I passed Lily, who whimpered at something and let the abuse Nyx was screaming impressively ring around the Great Hall.
Professor Gardner began to send all those involved to the Headmaster, but James turned to talk to me as we left the hall.
“Next time you insult her, kid, make sure you’ve got your wand,” he sighed.
I grinned. “Yup, whatever. Why are you carrying me?”
“Does your head hurt?”
Thinking about it for a moment, I realised it wasn’t James that was wet. I was bleeding.
“Oops. Yep, I’ll bring my wand into the next duel I have.”
He chuckled, and through a series of secret passages we reached the hospital wing in record time.
“What happened now?”
Yes, Madam Patil got bored of seeing me in the second term of my first year.
Shush, I’m accident prone. Leave me alone.
Haha, that rhymed.
“Well, I was beating up Hagrid, but I was flying on a broomstick, obviously, and then he cursed me into a duck, but-“
“She got herself thrown across the Great Hall and hit her head.”
James had cut me off. Quite uncivilised, don’t you agree?
“You make that sound as though I tried, James, I didn’t want-“
“She was brandishing a wand in her face and you called her a whore!” James said incredulously.
And that’s the reason I don’t ever let him take me to the hospital wing if I get injured in Quidditch practice. Lily’s much more fun.
Madam Patil had poured something grey and fizzing onto my forehead, and it stung like hell.
“All better,” she declared. “Unless you hurt anywhere else?”
My ribs felt a little tender, but make any fuss with Madam Patil and you stay in there for a week.
“I’m fine,” I said brightly. “Can I go now?”
I skipped out, and James followed after me.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yup. We’re going to Dean’s office, aren’t we?”
James linked arms with me, and we skipped all the way there.
I’m not going to lie, with all those people in there I felt as though the office had shrunk in size.
Much to my surprise, Ginny and Harry had arrived, as well as two people I assumed to be Nyx’s parents, and Nyx, Fred, Dom, Lily, Al and Roxanne were all standing around, although the first stuck close to their daughter.
I wanted a reason to avoid Al’s concerned gaze, and was given one as the moment Ginny saw me, she rushed over.
“Your aunt called us, she’s in Brazil right now, and she asked if we could stand in for her. Are you okay, honey? I heard there was quite a lot of- JAMES!”
“What?” he asked defensively, then he looked where Ginny was looking.
James’ once-white shirt was soaked scarlet.
“Sorry, I bleed a lot,” I said carelessly. I directed my wand at him. “Scourgify.”
All the blood vanished.
It didn’t surprise me that my aunt Liza, my mum’s sister, couldn’t find the time to deal with my petty drama. Despite the fact that she was my legal guardian, her job frequently meant she was in far-reaching countries alone, without any means of communication. She had left me at the Potter’s nearly every single summer, Christmas and Easter holiday. We had a flat in London, where my mum and her had lived when they were young, but I hadn’t been there in years. I wasn’t even sure if I had any of my stuff there. She did all this without a second thought- I suppose because she trusted them. She knew my mum and Ginny had been close, and for crying out loud; it’s Harry Potter.
But my low expectations did not mean I wasn’t pissed. Why did these two people- whose closest current relationship to me was my best friend’s parents- have to worry about another child, when they already had three of their own?
Ginny turned on Lily, who had chuckled at my comment.
“Who did you say did this, Lily?” she asked in a low voice.
Lily raised an eyebrow, and waved in the general direction of Nyx and her parents. “That whore.”
“Lily!” Harry said, probably shocked at her language.
“What do you think you’re-“ began Nyx’s mother, but Lily cut her off.
“It’s actually a fact, not an insult. Your precious daughter shagged Owen McLaggen last night, whilst dating my brother. I feel I’m at perfect liberty to call her a whore,” she informed her smartly.
“Bitch,” Nyx muttered.
“Back off, Zane,” Al snapped. “You’ve caused more than enough trouble.”
I knew this was getting too serious, so I held my arms out and said, in my best stoned hippie voice, “dudes, stop being so negative. You’re totally plugging my vibe, man.”
The Potters and Weasleys stared at me for a moment, then burst out laughing.
“Never- say- that- again,” howled James, thumping me on the back.
“Brilliant,” grinned Lily.
As everyone calmed down (Fred seemed to have found it particularly hilarious and had to stuff his hand in his mouth) I turned to Nyx.
“Look, I shouldn’t have said what I said but I’d only just found out what you’d done and I was angry. You’d hurt one of my own. I don’t want a stupid feud between us that lasts until you leave, so can we at least agree to be civil with each other?”
Nyx’s mother still seemed shocked by my previous impersonation, but her father gave me an approving smile. It dropped, however, at his daughter’s retort.
“Over my dead body, you ugly cow.”
“That’s quite rude,” I said mildly, whipping a hand over Lily’s mouth to stop the disgusting spew that surely come out of her in the form of swear words.
Turning to Ginny, I smiled.
“So how’s the Holyhead Harpies? I haven’t heard much about their game, was it good?”
She snorted and turned to Professor Thomas, who had been watching the proceedings calmly. “What are you going to do, Dean?”
“Miss Potter will receive three detentions for her obnoxious language in the hall-“
“Totally worth it,” Lily muttered.
“-as will Miss Zane. Miss Zane will also receive two weeks’ detentions for attacking another student, a week for illegal sexual activity in school and another four for her blatant rudeness to Miss Wood’s apology.”
“That’s two months in detention!” Nyx exclaimed indignantly.
“As well as a hundred points from Slytherin.”
Fred dropped his head in his hands. “For fuck’s sake, Zane. You idiot.”
“Another five for Mr Weasley’s appalling language.”
“How come he didn’t get detention?” Nyx demanded.
“As he did not shout it in a hall full of younger students. Miss Wood, your actions were both rash and in favour of protecting your friends, and I do not feel taking away points to simply put them back again is necessary. Oh, and Mr. McLaggen shall also serve a week’s detention. Are you happy with that, Mrs. Potter?”
Ginny didn’t answer for a moment (she told me she’d never really made the connection between ‘Potter’ and her) but smiled and nodded.
“What of you, Mr and Mrs. Zane?”
When his wife didn’t say anything, Mr Zane also gave his consent. “I can assure you, Mrs. Potter, this will never happen again.”
To that, Ginny seemed appeased and took Harry’s hand.
“Are you sure you’re okay, Ellie?”
I laughed. “Takes more than that to beat me, and you know it.”
“Ellie! Ellie, wait up!”
Turning, I found myself face to face with Al.
He really is gorgeous, I found myself thinking. I’d kill to be able to stroke that hair...
“Firstly, sorry about Nyx. I didn’t realise she was such a bitch,” he admitted, biting his lip.
They felt amazing on mine.
But he didn’t like me like that. Hell, I bet he didn’t even like kissing me, but was so drunk he did it anyway.
“That’s fine,” I smiled back. His eyes still looked slightly haunted.
“I’m sorry she did that,” he continued, gesturing to my head. “I would’ve defended you, but you were halfway across the hall before I thought to do anything.”
“Really, its okay,” I said, trying to keep my eyes on his chin, although that seemed too close because in my peripheral vision I could see his lips.
“Are you sure? Well, I was going to have Quidditch practice tonight, do you think you can make it or do you just want to sit out-”
“I’m playing,” I told his chin firmly. “Now, what are you missing? I’m thinking it’ll be useless going to lessons seeing as there’s only twenty minutes left.”
“Divination. God only knows why I took it. You?”
“Care of Magical Creatures,” I smiled. Hagrid wasn’t the most consistent teacher within the restrictions of safety, but you could always guarantee his lessons would be interesting. Last lesson he had managed to obtain a phoenix called Rubicunda, or ‘Ruby’ as Hagrid had nicknamed her, and we had been assigned to draw her in the lesson and had in an essay on ‘phoenixes and their magical abilities’, which had to be at least a roll of parchment. I was completely fascinated in the whole mythology behind them and their role in history (Dumbledore himself had owned Fawkes, a stunning phoenix) and had written around five rolls on it. I decided I would find him at lunch to give it to him.
“Hagrid’s great,” Al enthused. “I wish I could have taken it- in our last six lessons of last year, he let us breed puffskeins, and if they were healthy at the end we could keep them!”
I glanced up at him. “Were you successful?”
“Of course. Hedwig lives in mum and dad’s room most of the time.”
“Dad named her.”
For a moment, there was silence. Looking to my feet, I thought about heading to the kitchens to keep eating; I hadn’t really eaten anything before the Nyx-fiasco.
“Listen, Ellie, Lily told me you helped me get back up to my dorm last night- thanks for that, by the way, I could’ve done something really stupid I was so drunk-“
Is ‘stupid’ including kissing me or not?
“-but I was wondering if I could ask you about it.”
“What?” I asked uneasily. Will had assured me he wouldn’t remember anything...
“I remember walking to you, and you taking me up the stairs... but was I kissing someone before then?” he frowned, squinting as if to see the past. “I definitely remember grabbing a girl and kissing her, but I can’t really see her face- I just want to apologize to her, you know, because what I did wasn’t what I would do under normal circumstances. I don’t want to lead anyone on.”
Even I nearly believed my smile, hiding the sadness. Of course he didn’t like me. “I’m sure she understand, Al. She’d have tasted the alcohol on you, right? Anyone sober themselves wouldn’t have been stupid to kiss you back.”
All completely true. It was one of my dumbest moves to date.
Hesitantly smiling, he put a hand on my shoulder gently. “Thanks, girl. Right, see you at five for Quidditch, okay?”
I nodded, but was suddenly smothered in a tight hug. Without Firewhiskey, he smelt woodsy and dark, with a hint of spice. He pulled away, frowned at me for a moment, then put an arm me. “Sod it. Transfiguration can wait- let’s get you food.”
“How’d you know I’m hungry?” I demanded as we began to take the underground, longer route that was unknown to the prefects.
“You didn’t eat before you cracked your head on stone, Ellie. It would be weird if you weren’t,” he grinned, flicking my nose.
“Off the nose,” I scowled, rubbing it with both hands. “My nose.”
He got out his wand. “I could take it off for you, if you wanted,” he grinned helpfully.
I shoved him into a wall.
“I’m your captain, Wood!”
“Yeah, and I don’t give a fuck,” I told him, ducking out of the way of his fingers. “No tickling,” I ordered, backing away slowly.
My insides had tensed and unclenched within a second, leaving me slightly breathless.
Oh Merlin, don’t wink.
“ATTACK!” he suddenly yelled, pouncing. I squealed (I hate squealing, by the way. It always reminds me of pigs).
And that is how I spent the rest of my supposed breakfast time- being ruthlessly tickled by the boy who didn’t like me.
“You really need to get to lesson,” I told Al, shoving him the direction of the staircase.
“So do you,” he shot back.
“I have a free,” I announced cheerfully. “You don’t. Go.”
“I’m gonna skive, I think.”
“I’m somewhat brilliant at Defence,” he shrugged, smirking.
“And I’m somewhat sure you need Madam Patil to reverse whatever Engorgement Charm is on your head.”
He cocked his head to one side. “Do you want me to tickle you again?”
I could feel my ribs aching from the laughter, and decided the pain wasn’t worth the small proximity between Al and I. “No.”
“Then behave, Ellie.”
We walked in companionable silence for a few minutes. As we reached the Owlery, we stopped and sat down.
“What happened, in the hall? I didn’t really see,” I said after a while.
I saw his jaw tense, but made no reaction in his voice. “After Nyx cursed you, Dom jumped up and created a shield charm between Nyx and Lily, and James ran after you so Fred and I went up and helped Dom keep Lily and Nyx apart.”
“But shield charms create an impenetrable barrier,” I recalled from a Defence lesson. “Nothing, solid or otherwise, can get through it-“
“Not the one Dom did,” he sighed. “She’s brilliant, but it was a knee-jerk reaction of hers and she wasn’t even thinking when she did it, and it was her first attempt at a non verbal spell so it was, in terms of blocking curses, perfectly good, but people could get through it so I grabbed Nyx and Fred held back Lily.”
I pulled my knees to my chest. “Thank you.”
“What for? Getting you in trouble?”
“Nah, I did that for myself.”
Amata, my golden-feathered owl that had been a present from my parents when I received my Hogwarts letter, fluttered down and landed on my knee. She’d been quite a small owl when I’d been first given her, and had changed little over the five years. She was quiet, shy and loyal, and I loved her.
I stroked her gently.
“What’s her name?” Al asked, hesitantly reaching out and touching her wing. She pecked him affectionately, and pushed her head against my hand.
“Amata. The Tales of Beedle the Bard were what mum and dad read to me when I was little, and the Fountain of Fair Fortune was my favourite one.”
“Really? I liked the justice in Babbitty Rabbitty, and the way she inflicts her revenge,” Al grinned. “She always seemed to me to be a victim who made the best of a bad situation.”
I thought it through. My copy of the stories was one I rarely looked at any more. It was locked up in a draw at home, because I wanted it safe. It had been my mum’s- she was a muggleborn, and bought it when her friend told her all about them in her second year. She’d always told me to be careful with it, but I’d never really wondered why until she died.
“I liked the way, despite the magic they possess and gifts they have, the thing that pulls them through is their humanity. It’s not talent or magic or anything dark; it’s purely faith, a hope for something better.”
He thought for a while, and I continued to stroke Amata.
“That’s a much better reason for liking a story than mine.”
My head dropped on his shoulder tiredly. The moment I had done it I wanted to change it, but if I whipped back up Al would ask questions.
“It was my mum’s favourite, too,” I added. “I never came up with that reasoning, mum did. She just relayed it to me and I agreed.”
“Dad didn’t like us hearing the last one,” Al snickered.
“The Tale of the Three Brothers? Why?”
“Well, it’s loosely our ancestors, isn’t it? The Peverell brothers.”
My eyes widened, and I stared at him. “What? You’re related to them?”
“Has Lily never told you?”
I shook my head.
“Well, there were three of them. The first, the commander of the Elder wand, died without having children. The second, I think his name was Cadmus, had a child before killing himself, and Voldemort was descended from the child. The third, Ignotus, had a son, or at least that’s what it says in the story. The Potters are descended from the son.”
Amata hooted at me, and joined her counterparts in a flurry of wings.
“That’s amazing,” I said incredulously. “You’re part of that story, that’s- why does no one know?”
“Why isn’t that... I don’t know, common knowledge? You would have thought that bombshell would be-“
“Bombshell?” he questioned, frowning.
“Mum used to say it. It’s a muggle thing. Anyway, that’s just so-“
“We’re related to Voldemort, Ellie. It’s not that great,” he said, frowning. “Plus, dad didn’t want to have to explain it to everyone. Too much hassle.”
I’d forgotten about Harry. He had always been lovely, a truly kind person that everyone around him adored- his sons, even at sixteen and seventeen years old, still hugged him when they met him off the train.
Plus hot? Did I mention hot?
Yeah, he’s quite fit too, being Head Auror and all. Not quite the same as his son, though. Al was freer, even in the way he moved and spoke. I don’t think Harry’s past ever really left him.
“Please, Ellie, don’t tell anyone.”
“Who am I going to tell?” I asked rhetorically, hauling myself to my feet. “My owl?”
“Well, she already knows.”
“True,” I sighed, then he got up too. “I just hope Amata doesn’t develop the sudden ability to speak or write.”
He put an arm around my shoulders, and even the same gestures affected me, it seemed. His proximity was intoxicating, and I tried to steady my breathing as we began to walk.
“Are you okay?” he asked, and I blushed when I realised he had been watching me.
“What? Yeah, I’m fine.”
“You’re acting strange.”
“Must have been the knock to the head. See you later!” I said, darted from under his arm and ran all the way to the Room of Requirement, where I wanted to think.
When I had successfully thought all of my lessons of that day away, I knew three things.
The first was that I wished I hadn’t kissed him. The second was that kissing him may, or may not, have resulted in me liking him.
The third was that he definitely didn’t like me back.
A/N Yeah... so... erm... sorry? Forgive me? (or not, in which case you can write me a very annoyed review)
*GingerGenower hides in invisibility cloak*