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Chapter 7: Harry Potter should never be unleashed in a kitchen.
amazing chapter image by Magic_Phoenix.
“I – I... well, you see... I...” Aimee Woods, linguist for the stars. Really, I’m so eloquent it’s not even funny. I should be one of those people that go and make inspirational speeches to large crowds of people, to the point where they all climb up on nearby fountains and start banging their tambourines in the air, celebrating my extraordinary wisdom.
Molly’s eyes flashed a little bit, but before she could open her mouth and unleash the Weasley Temper upon me, there was a loud interruption in the form of the saviour of the wizarding world, who had bumped the door open with his hip.
We all wheeled around to stare at him, and he blinked back at us, all kitted out in a smart shirt and trousers, an apron emblazoned with the words ‘Licensed to Grill’ and floral oven mitts. Floral. Oven. Mitts. If only the people of Witch Weekly could see him now.
“Dinner is served,” Mr Potter proclaimed, setting down the large pot he was holding in the centre of the table. Everyone blinked at it.
The smell was a lot stronger now, kind of a mix between the smell of a tuna boat whilst it’s out at sea, burning rubber and charcoaled socks. The kind of smell you’d expect on the pathway to Hell.
Lily had her hands pressed against her nose and was going a little red from reducing her own oxygen levels, Potter was gagging over his shoulder with his fringe flopping in his face and Mrs Potter was staring, wide-eyed, at the Pot of Death.
I seemed to be the only person that was not physically reacting, having been treated to cooking á la Mark Woods every now and again (he has served burnt salad on more than one occasion, let’s put it that way) and was used to this kind of... aroma.
It’s not dissimilar to the stink of Brent’s room in the summer. Merlin only knows what he does in there, but it smells like something died and was left to rot.
When he was fifteen, Mark was convinced he’d killed someone and was hiding the body, so he launched a full scale search of his room to check. The good news was the there was no body – or dismembered limbs – and Mark managed to find three of his old textbooks, our old parrot cage, a Wiz-TV that had gone missing and the steering wheel of the neighbour’s car.
The bad news was the when Mark tried to stand up after checking under the bed, he slipped on a banana skin – yes, just like in movies – and whacked his head on the bed post, cracked his skull and had to be rushed to hospital.
One lovely medical bill later, Brent was forced to clean out the entire room from top to bottom. Upon this search, he found the dentures that my grandmother lost four years ago. So yeah. I was pretty used to that kind of smell.
“Whatever is in that, I’m not putting it in my mouth!” Albus said in horror, from where he was standing next to Molly.
Mr Potter glanced up at him, looking a little hurt, and glanced down at Mrs Potter with an anxious expression, as though seeking comfort for whatever was festering in that pot. Mrs Potter gaped at him.
“I, well, Harry, dear, maybe you could... we could always...” Mr Potter’s expression fell a little with every stammer that escaped his wife’s lips, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. I began to consider a possible reason for Potter’s unbelievable inability to perform the most basic of the culinary arts.
Mr Potter glanced around the table and his eyes fell on me. You know, for a man in his early forties, he is a fit looking bloke. His eyes are nice and sparkly. Shame he’s married. And that he thinks I’m dating his eldest son.
Yeah, if anything is going to put a damper on a relationship then it’s a marriage or the fact you might one day be their daughter in law.
Which I never will be. Not even if he bought me bloody Buckingham Palace.
“You must be Aimee,” Mr Potter smiled, holding his hand out to me, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” I smiled at him and slapped my hand against his, before resuming my apprehensive staring at the Pot of Death.
“Pleasure to meet you too, Mr Potter.” I smiled, and he stared at me a little strangely, before slowly moving his hand back to his side and glancing, looking a little amused, at his wife.
“Please, call me Harry,” Harry said slowly, and Potter was shaking a little next to me, like he was trying poorly to suppress laughter. Come to think of it, that was the first time that I’d ever heard Potter laugh – though I couldn’t hear him, per se. But I had a feeling he was laughing at me.
“Did you just, um, high five my dad?” Potter snickered, running his fingers over his chin in quiet contemplation as he stared at me. I blinked at him. Erm, your dad held his hand out to me, Potter. Are you blind as well as stupid?
I just cocked an eyebrow at him and didn’t bother to answer, fiddling with the lacy hem of my dress. The lacy hem of Molly’s dress. Shit, Molly. I turned back around quickly and saw her standing in the same position to before, her arms folded tightly over her chest and her eyes narrowed at me. Lorcan was standing next to her, one arm wrapped around her waist.
He didn’t look best pleased either, but that might have been because Potter is one of his best friends and he didn’t know I was his ‘girlfriend’ of Merlin knows how many months.
You know, if this shit loses Potter and I our best friends then I will kick him so hard that the chances of him ever having children will go down like a lead balloon.
“Molly, could I have a word with you?” I asked into the awkward silence, and she cocked an eyebrow at me. Potter stiffened from next to me.
He stiffens a lot, doesn’t he? Maybe he has issues with his joints. He should probably see someone about that.
“Depends. Are you going to tell me the truth, or lie to me again?” Molly snapped tightly, her face flushing a similar colour to her hair. I opened and closed my mouth a little, and pushed away the vague plan that I had been considering – it involved the Pot of Death and Lorcan’s head, let’s put it that way.
I had gotten the vague impression that would probably make the atmosphere even more awkward, funnily enough.
“I never lied to you...” I muttered, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed Lily and Mrs Potter exchange confused glances, “I just withheld... a little information.” Could this be any more awkward? Fucking turtles are going to start rolling around like blasted dust bunnies in a minute.
“Withheld infor- withheld information? You withheld the fact that you’re fucking my cousin?” My mouth dropped open as words I had never imagined would come out of Molly’s mouth whipped around the room. Lorcan’s eyebrows disappeared into his hairline.
“Molly Weasley!” Audrey snapped, clutching at her heart as her husband spluttered and pushed his tortoiseshell specs further up his beaky nose.
How those two managed to swim their way through the entire planet of normal people to find each other is beyond me – who would have guessed that they would ever have been able to find the one other person in the world who is as much of a stick in the mud as themselves?
It’s quite remarkable, really.
“Molly! We do not use such vulgar language in our family! And especially not in front of Lucy!” Percy hissed, glancing around as though he expected some random bint to be pressed up against the window, listening to Molly’s words and making a snap judgement about how he raised his family. Yes, because then the world would just end.
Molly brushed them off with a flick of her wrist, and all of the blood in her mother’s face seemed to drain into the tip of her nose.
“Molly! Please do not forget who is financing the majority of your wedding, young lady!” Molly’s eyes narrowed a little, and the scowl slowly slid off her face. Lorcan squeezed her hand, annoyance sketched across his features.
I remembered the rough few weeks after the wedding planning began, when Molly realised that the lavish wedding they both wanted would mean a few years saving and a lot of skimping. So after accepting the money as a wedding present from her parents, the swan-infested do seemed like it was going to go ahead just fine. That is, until Lorcan found out how she was paying for it.
I don’t even know what his issue really was. I think it was one of those Gryffindor pride things – he didn’t like the fact he wasn’t paying for his own wedding.
Weird, because I’d be thrilled if someone else paid for my stuff.
“Aimee, hallway. Please. Now.” With a quick eye-narrow in my direction, Molly turned on her heel and stalked out of the room, leaving behind an awkward silence. Every eye was on my reddening face. Potter was still shaking with silent laughter.
The Pot of Death gurgled ominously behind me.
“I’m just...” I muttered into the silence, gesturing to the door that Molly had left out of. Potter was sitting with his eyes clenched shut and jaw tight. Strange bloke.
As I rose from my seat, I became painfully aware that far too many pairs of eyes were watching me. I wouldn’t mind, I’d met the majority of the family before – and yet they were staring at me like I was some kind of exotic animal in a zoo.
I crossed the room briskly, wishing that my shoes fit properly so they wouldn’t keep falling off and then slapping me across the heels when I stepped down. Harry and Ginny glanced at each other in confusion as I stepped out the room and into the cooler hallway, where Molly was parked at the bottom of the stairs.
She glanced up at me from beneath a curtain of red hair, her kohl-rimmed eyes narrowed and her front teeth digging into the flesh of her bottom lip. She looked pissed, but it wasn’t just that. More than anything, she looked hurt.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked, tucking a large chunk of hair behind her ear so she could watch me properly. “I’ve been telling you about James’ crazy-ex and all her plans to try and win him back, and you just didn’t bother to mention that I was actually talking about your boyfriend?”
I opened and closed my mouth like a demented goldfish, before sighing and dropped down on the stair that Molly’s feet were resting on, leaning my temple against the side of one of her knees.
“Pot – James wanted to keep it a secret until we... um... got serious enough to think it was going somewhere,” I bullshitted, glad that Molly could only see the back of my head as I winced and flushed a little. “And then he wanted to let his family know. I didn’t tell you because... he, um, didn’t want anyone in the family to know. And you’re in the family. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”
Molly didn’t move, and didn’t say anything. We both sat in an uncomfortable silence, contorted into uncomfortable positions on the Potter’s staircase.
“I would have told you, even if Lorcan didn’t want you to know.”
I sighed and tucked a random strand behind my ear, pursing my lips in displeasure when I realised that it had begun to curl its way out of the straightening charm already. It was probably caused by the putrid fumes that had been emanating from that pot of ‘food’ back in the dining room.
“Look, we can sit here and pick holes in what happened all night, but the point is that I didn’t tell you, and moaning about it isn’t going to transport us back in time so you suddenly know everything.” I snapped, losing my patience.
So I didn’t tell her one thing. We weren’t in Hogwarts anymore, where everyone lived on top of one another in some kind of crazy, fucked-up democracy. We weren’t back in the times when girls had to tell their ‘besties’ everything because that was just the way things rolled. If I wanted to keep something private, then I would keep it private.
And it was nothing to do with Molly who I was dating, if I didn’t feel like divulging the information.
“Whatever, Aimee. I’m just pissed – this was something that you should have shared with me – he’s my cousin, and you’re my best friend. For fuck’s sakes, you’re my maid of honour and James is Lorcan’s best man! Where you just going to tiptoe your way around it until we all eventually found out?” I rolled my eyes. Molly was acting like a spoiled teenage child that hadn’t been told a secret that everyone else knew.
“Well you were obviously going to find out, we told his parents tonight, didn’t we?” I snapped, pushing myself off the stairs and turning around to face her.
“Why are you acting so pissy – I’m the one with something to be annoyed about!” Molly snapped back, also shoving herself off the stairs and crossing her arms over her chest.
“Because you’re acting like such a brat! Get your head out of your arse, Molly – the world doesn’t revolve around you. You’re acting like a child, just because I didn’t tell you one thing about my life. Well, now you know, so just throw a party and move the fuck on.” I ran my hands through my hair and sighed, before turning on my heel and stalking back into the dining room.
As the door slammed open a little harder than I had intended it to, the loud conversation that had been taking part between the family skidded to an abrupt halt. Lorcan stood up quickly and pushed past me, out the door and grabbed Molly’s hand.
“Let’s go. I don’t want to be anywhere near James at the moment.” Lorcan snapped, and I winced. Wonderful plan, Potter. Get both of our best friends pissed off with one of us, just because you want to hide your manwhore ways from your parents.
Jeez, was he having a piss when they were giving out common sense, or something?
There was a second of tense silence, and then the sound of the front door slamming behind them. Fred Weasley cleared his throat loudly, before deciding to break the silence. He didn’t seem to be a fan of quiet moments.
“So, Albus freaking Potter. When is your next match – Sarha really wants to go to one of your Quidditch games. I have a feeling that she might fancy you more than she fancies me, you know.” I dropped back down into my seat and cocked an eyebrow at Potter, who mouthed ‘his girlfriend’.
“Next Saturday, mate. Us versus Puddlemere United.” Albus turned around and faced James and I, his face lighting up. “James, you should bring Aimee to a match!”
Potter instantly sat up from his cool-boy slouch in his chair and frowned, as I decided to once again prove my prowess at fluent eloquence.
“Um... well, you see, I... erm – I’ve got quite a lot on my plate at the moment, and I... um, I mean, yeah, so – I mean, Pot – James! I mean James, probably has a lot to do too, and I, well, I don’t even like Quidditch that much, and well, you know...” Potter blinked at me like he thought I had gone insane, before turning back to his brother and shrugging.
“If you want, I can. Aimee doesn’t like Quidditch that much, but I can bring her along to a match if you want to get to know her better.” It took everything in my power not to swing my leg out and give him a swift kick in the ankle.
I don’t think he’s quite managed to grasp the concept that he’s supposed to ask me before he goes and makes plans for the rest of my life.
What if I had something going on that day? What if I had a funeral? I could have had plans to mourn a beloved member of my family that had unfortunately passed away, but Potter didn’t seem to care. No, instead he made plans for me to go and stand in a sweaty, schizophrenic crowd that smells like a backstreet in the wrong side of London, screaming profanities at a load of baboons on broomsticks tossing a ball at one another.
Ah, he knows what I like.
Albus looked like he was going to respond when Fred suddenly jumped out of the position he had acquired, perched on the edge of the dining room table, and glanced at the watch on his wrist, hissing expletives under his breath.
“Fuck, Sarha was expecting me ten minutes ago – she goes apeshit if I’m late for things. I’ll see you later. James, I’ll see you back at the flat. Aimee, nice to meet you.” Fred winked at me and bolted out of the door, leaving me wondering how it could be ‘nice to meet me’ when I hadn’t even spoken to him.
Maybe he was just being polite. His family did seem to have a lot more manners than mine.
Had Potter being going to dinner at my house, he would have already left by this point, most likely with several bruises, beak marks up his arms and his hair full of burnt cabbage and chicken. Because that’s just the way we Woods roll.
“Look, we should all probably go. It looks like Harry has only made enough food for the six of you, so we’ll just... leave.” A random Weasley said, staring apprehensively at the gurgling pot. He had red hair that was greying at the roots, and was tied back in a loose ponytail at the nape of his neck. A fang hung from his left ear, his arm around a woman with hair that looked like melted silver.
Harry blinked and looked like was going to say something about there being plenty of food to go around, when a woman that I recognised at Hermione Weasley quickly leapt into action and seized her husband’s arm.
The smell from the pot began to get even stronger.
“No, no – we should go. Meeting your son’s girlfriend is a private affair, and we’ve been nosy enough... We should leave.” Ronald Weasley nodded quickly, seized his daughter’s arm and began to haul them out of the room.
The rest of the Weasleys also filed out, the majority of the young uns laughing over Fred’s speedy departure under fear of his girlfriend’s temper. She sounded like a girl I could get on quite well with.
“He’s so whipped,” Potter grumbled, slouching back down in his chair and snatching a bread roll out of the basket that had appeared in the centre of the table during my absence. With the smell still seeping from under the lid, it looked like that might be what we were having for dinner.
“Oh, and you’re not?” Lily smirked, and I flushed a little. “You’ve only been with Aimee for a month and you’ve already said you think you might be in love with her.” Lily giggled as Potter’s face turned to a delicious shade of beetroot and he began to splutter, losing his cool for the first time.
“Lily!” Ginny snapped, staring wide eyed at my shell shocked expression. Lily giggled again.
The sound of the front door closing echoed around the room, followed by the sound of girl shrieking and someone else swearing loudly in French.
“Dom, what the fuck did you punch me for? Sadistic bitch!” A voice yelled from outside the window, and Harry rolled his eyes, dropping down into his seat and pulling off his (floral) oven mitts.
“Because you tried to trip me over! Urgh! Little brothers are so fucking annoying!” The female voice shrieked back, in such a pitch that I was nearly sure it was only understandable to our canine friends. There was then a scraping noise, a bang and a smash of breaking pottery.
I’m taking it someone threw a flowerpot at someone else. What have I gotten myself into?
“I – I think we should just start dinner, before Aimee runs for the hills. We didn’t mean to drop you in the deep end with the Swiss Family Mad – they just show up whenever they please because they’re a load of nosy buggers.” I smiled a little and helped myself to a bread roll.
“Hey, Daddy, I tell you what, I’ll serve the dinner. You’ve had to stand up and cook it.” Lily smiled, batting her eyelids at her father and snatching the ladle out of his hands, dragging the Pot of Death across the tabletop towards her. Harry frowned a little in confusion but then shrugged, as Lily pulled the lid off the pot.
The smell rose like a skeleton from a grave, swirling into the room, infecting all the clean air... it was like burning socks, charcoal... it was indescribable. I didn’t see how something that could be considered edible could ever smell like that. I resisted the urge to gag as Potter turned an odd shade of white and pressed his fingers against his mouth to hide the fact that he was almost dry retching.
Ginny Potter shrieked a little as Harry gazed proudly at the pot, unhooking the apron from his ear, as it had gotten stuck when he had tried to remove it. Albus looked like he wanted nothing more than t to just be swallowed up by the floor.
“This looks... interesting, Daddy,” Lily said slowly, before tilting her head and winking subtly at Albus.
He rose from his seat with a cheery smile on his face and clapped his hands like a street performer in the middle of Camden Market. He looked like he’d taken a bad class on Shakespearean acting, the way he was beaming and walking like he had a wooden leg. But hey, who was I to judge?
“Hey, sis, how about I help you dish the... food out?” Albus grinned, seizing the bowl from in front of his mother and holding it out to Lily. I cocked an eyebrow at Potter, who just looked completely perplexed.
“Why, that would be wonderful, brother!” Lily responded, offering Albus a cheery thumbs up. Even their parents seemed a little creeped out, which led me to believe that they didn’t behave like that on a regular basis.
Lily dipped the ladle into the bowl and scooped something up, turning a mild shade of grey and looking a little ill, before pouring it into the bowl that Albus was clutching.
“Um, Dad, just out of curiosity – what is this? Is it... casserole, or something?” Albus asked, peering anxiously into the bowl as Lily filled it up a little further.
“It’s a homemade mushroom soup,” Harry answered, “Why, can you not tell?” Ginny had her eyes pressed shut and her head in her hands, her elbows resting on the table as Lily filled her bowl to the brim with something that mostly resembled thick and lumpy gravy.
“No, no... you can definitely tell that it’s homemade,” Albus said slowly, shaking the bowl a little in his hands so the contents sloshed about in a non-too-appetising way. “Did you follow a recipe or something, or... did you just make your own?”
“No, I made my own. See, I saw this show on the Wiz-TV called Wookery – like Wizard Cookery, you see? – and it was all about how to cook with a wand and make all these really nice meals. And this man came on, and he said that the best thing a chef can do is learn to experiment with foods. So I thought I’d add things that went well together into a soup, and see what it came out like. I know it’s got a bit of a powerful smell, but I think it will taste alright. You like all the foods that have gone into it.” Harry smiled and leant back in his chair, as Albus clutched the bowl apprehensively.
“And what foods did you put into the... soup?”
“Well, mushrooms, because it was supposed to be a mushroom soup, and paprika, and cumin, and cinnamon – you all like cinnamon buns, so I tried that – and spinach, as well as rocket, lettuce, cabbage, barley and parsley... erm, chilli, red pepper, baby new potatoes, double cream – it looked a bit thick by this point, and your Nan’s soups are always really creamy – and then a bit of chocolate to give it a twangy contrast.” Harry beamed proudly. Lily looked a little faint.
“Right... you put chocolate in a mushroom soup?” Lily muttered, staring down into the bowl with newfound horror.
“Oh, and some grated orange and lemon zest, curry powder, and kiwi!” Harry remembered. “The bloke on Wookery said that if you just use a load of boring ingredients that everyone else has used before, then nothing new is ever discovered.”
He jabbed his finger at the soup before adding, “That could make us millionaires, son.”
“Dad, we already are millionaires,” Albus muttered, before Lily trod lightly on the side of his foot and offered him a discreet wink. Potter and I once again exchanged confused glances.
Harry was still beaming proudly at his kiwi and chocolate filled mushroom soup.
There was a second of tense silence before there was a loud, exaggerated scream from Albus Potter – small aside, the bloke that makes his living from posing shirtless with his muscles all free and akimbo in the magazines of Merlin knows how many pre-pubescent girls... and yet he screams like one. He staggered backwards like an actor on a dodgy soap opera aired at one thirty on a Tuesday afternoon, the bowl somehow flying out of his hands and over his shoulder, landing with a loud smash on the floor behind him, the contents splattering everywhere.
“Albus! So clumsy!” Lily scolded, shaking her head mockingly. I resisted the urge to smirk.
“I know! I am so sorry! Here, let me try again.” Albus seized my bowl and took it back to Lily, holding it out as she quickly distributed four ladles of soup. The both looked like they were trying their hardest not to gag as the smell got stronger, what with it being sloshed about and all.
Harry Potter was staring at his children in suspicion, one eyebrow cocked in wry amusement. Potter chortled into his hand next to me, struggling to keep the noise down so as not to alert his dad to his children’s not-so-covert operation.
“Wait, Al, there is a bee on you! Hold still while I use my free hand to bat it off!” Lily yelled loudly, swatting her hand about like she was bitch slapping someone.
Albus screwed his eyes up like he was being tasered and clenched his fists tightly around the bowl; as though Lily’s gentle swats were causing him untold agony. Harry had leant forward in his chair at this point, looking completely bamboozled by his children’s plain freakish behaviour.
As Albus clenched his fists around the bowl just a little bit tighter, it broke in half in his hands, and the many pieces dropped to the floor and shattered into tiny little grains. The soup lay splattered along the ground, up the table leg and in my shoes.
Have you ever had poisonous soup splattered all up in your griddle? No? Then you have no right to laugh at that.
“Lily – I seem to be spasming! Lily, I can’t control my hands – help me! Help me!” Albus – with his eyes still clenched tight shut – began to stagger forwards, his hands beating mid air until they came into contact with the giant pot. A lot of force from Al – accompanied by a strained grunt – and the pot went crashing to the ground.
With a mighty metallic clang, it smashed to the floor and spewed the contents everywhere.
I jumped a little and nearly leapt out of my chair, but managed to save myself as Harry leapt to his feet with a loud cry, splaying his fingers at the remains of his beloved creation, which was spreading wide in a huge puddle on the floor, splattered up the walls and dribbling down the table leg.
“No! I spent so long on it!” Harry yelled in shock, and Potter’s shaking got heavier next to me, as the urge to laugh got stronger and stronger.
I didn’t want to look at his face. If I looked at his face, then I would see him looking amused – looking carefree, and I didn’t want to ever have a memory of him like that. I wanted to be able to remember him as the miserable git that darkened my doorstep with his cock-and-bull plans to fake date, just to impress mummy.
I mean, seriously – a fake girlfriend? What kind of imbecile ever believes that is a good idea? Okay, maybe telling your mother that you do plan to settle down eventually, and there is a girl that you have your eye on... maybe. But basically paying off a girl to come and meet your parents, pretending to me your fucking one true love or whatever shit I’m supposed to be, is just insane.
It’s not like I’ve even just been introduced – he’s fucking told his family he could be in love with me. I mean, thanks for consulting me, Potter.
If he thinks that I’m going to gaze lovingly into his eyes and giggle like a twat whenever he smiles, then he’s got another thing coming. Doing such a blasphemous thing would probably give me an ulcer.
What are they going to think when we suddenly and miraculously ‘split’ in a few weeks – wait, how long am I even going to have to do this before? – and nothing remains of our ‘loving’ relationship other than his name on the deeds to my new flat?
Well, I suppose I’ll get a lovely reputation as a gold-digging bitch. Wonderful.
“What are we going to have now? And just think, Albus – this was supposed to be a special meal to impress your brother’s girlfriend! She wasn’t supposed to arrive and have her shoes filled with soup!” I flushed as Al pinched his lips together.
Being the owner of a pair of ears, eyes, and a nose, he knew full well that I would not have been impressed, had I been held down and force fed the poison that Harry so lovingly called his ‘creation’.
Because trust me, being held down and force fed was the only way that it was ever going to get past my lips.
“Well, darling, I have one of those defrostable pizzas that we bought from the muggle supermarket – we can heat that up.” Harry pouted, and Ginny patted him comfortingly on the elbow. “And we can add some of those potato wedges you like – does that sound good?”
Harry pouted and scuffed his shoes along the ground like a teenager, before shrugging and nodding.
“Yeah, yeah, that sounds fine. I’ll go and pop it in the oven. Dinner will only be a minute, Aimee – sorry about the wait.” He shot me a friendly smile and then pushed off into the kitchen, pulling his wand out of his back pocket and quickly cleaning up the smashed pot.
There was a moment of tense silence, before Lily broke it with a badly contained giggle. Ginny turned a disapproving glare on her daughter.
“Did you two have to do that?” Ginny asked, clicking her tongue as Albus and Lily smirked at one another, trying hard to smother the proud looks that were curling their lips. Potter was calming himself down next to me, his shoulder no longer irritating me as it bashed against me.
“Sorry, Mum,” Lily smirked, winking a little at me.
“He tried really hard on that dinner, and for two of you to basically destroy it right in front of him –”
“Mum, are you trying to tell me that you were honestly going to scoff that?” Albus cocked an eyebrow at his mum, whose face darkened slightly beneath a curtain of her bright red hair. Well, bright orange hair. It’s not really red – strawberries are red.
“Well, I – I would have attempted it – you never know, because it might actually have been quite nice! And you – you could have tried it. The... thing took him two hours to make!” Ginny’s originally earnest reprimand of her children was dwindling in power as she flushed a little more, struggling to defend her husband’s... cooking? Can you call it that?
“Mum – it was kiwi and mushrooms.”
“It could have been quite nice!”
“No, it really couldn’t,” Potter cut in, his deep voice slicing between his family and making them all jump. Clearly Potter didn’t normally participate in family conversations. Ginny glanced at me quickly in surprise, and then flicked her glance back towards her children.
I saw Lily catch a glimpse of her mother’s glance, and she quickly flicked her eyes towards us herself, a small crease appearing between her eyebrows as she seemingly looked between our shoulders. I followed her gaze and had to resist the urge to cuss out loud.
Potter was leaning against the far arm of his chair, his chest facing me but his knees bent into an awkward position so they didn’t go anywhere near my space. I myself was pressed against the far side of my chair, my shoulders subconsciously leaning away, my legs crossed and my feet pointing in the opposite direction to Potter.
We were practically clambering off our chairs to get away from one another.
Potter seemed to notice what I had notice, and instantly sat up like he had been electrocuted, quickly glancing up at his mother from under his curly eyelashes.
“Erm – excuse us, a second. I just need to speak to Woo – Aimee.” Potter said quickly, before seizing my wrist and pulling me out of my chair with enough force to pop my arm out of its socket. If I needed therapy, then he would be paying for it.
Well, he’d have to. Let’s face it, I can’t afford it.
He pulled me out into the hall and stopped just outside the door, before turning to face me with the usual expression of annoyance and indifference splattered across his face. His lip was curled up slightly, Elvis-style, and his nose was wrinkled.
“Could you be any more obvious?” Potter snapped, dragging his hands through his hair. I glared at him for a moment and opened my mouth to protest, but Potter wasn’t done. “Woods, my family needs to believe us – I’ll be in even more shit about my love life than I already am if they found out I was fucking lying the whole time. For fuck’s sakes – Fred is already suspicious, because he’s never seen you ‘round at the apartment before.”
I blinked and shrugged.
“Well, that’s not my fault. I only really banged into you a few days ago – last time I ever walk through the park without looking, I’ll tell you that now.” I grumbled, kicking my feet angrily against the skirting boards.
“Fucking – look, what am I supposed to tell Fred? That we’re waiting for marriage? What?” I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms over his chest.
“Well, what am I supposed to do about that?” I snapped. “Are you honestly angry at me because I haven’t been around to wherever the fuck you live, just to convince your cousin that our relationship is fucking real, when, oh yeah, we didn’t know one another?”
Potter seemingly had no response, as he dragged his hand across his jaw, his chin, his bottom lip, before finally clenching it in his hair. His attention seemed to have been caught by something over my shoulder, and for a second I thought he was just moving towards whatever it was – but no.
It was something much, much worse.
I hadn’t had a chance to blink and formally assess the situation from a logical and rational point of view – the point of view that would have kicked me and told me I was a shithead for getting myself in this situation in the first place, most likely – when Potter’s lips had slammed into mine.
Let me reiterate that for you.
Potter’s lips – as in the pink things on either side of his teeth, which separate when he sadly decides to say something – were suddenly pressed against my lips. I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know how hard I was going to punch him when he pulled away, but mostly I was disappointed.
That sounds fucking whacked, I know, but let me explain.
In all those cheap romance novels that my mother has stacked in abundance by her bedside, there is always one of those moments when the heroine of the tale gets kissed by the bloke that she can’t stand – but is unwillingly forced to coerce with. Much like my own good self, in all honesty.
Now see, in all of those muggle romance novels – look don’t judge me for reading them, you need something to do when you have nothing to do for months but look after a sick woman that spends twenty hours a day sleeping – there is instantly... the reaction.
You know the one I’m talking about.
The one where their lips touch and instantly everything falls into place.
You know, the whole shebang – every war ends, the earth stops spinning, the fire is ignited, a chemical reaction is sparked and suddenly they just can’t help but pull each other closer and practically tear out the other's tongue with their own. Because that kiss was just like nothing they’ve ever felt before.
Well, yeah. No. This is real life, and shit like that doesn’t happen.
You wanna know what it is really like to have someone you’re not particularly fond of give you a quick kiss – that’s kiss, not snog. Well, it feels like nothing. It feels like when you’re a eleven year old fridge and you want to know what it’s like to be kissed – you know, when you try and give your hand a quick snog.
Just like that. Just two bits of skin pressed together. Nothing special.
And even though I wanted to put Potter’s large intestine through the blender whenever he spoke to me, I was disappointed. And I was fucking pissed that I felt like that.
WHY COULDN’T POTTER JUST BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN’T HELP BUT WANT TO TEAR THE CLOTHES OFF OF WHENEVER THEY GET WITHIN A FOOT OF YOU? WHY? WHY DID HE HAVE TO BE A NON-EXPLOSION STARTING KISSER?
Life sucks, man.
“Aww, interrupting our family dinner for a quick hallway snog, are we?” A girly voice cut across, and Potter pulled away less than two seconds after he leaned forwards to shoot his sister his usual surly glare. Lily giggled again and finished off with a quick round of wolf whistling.
“You know, Lily, privacy would be a fine thing,” Potter lied. Privacy would be the very worst thing that could happen for us. Because privacy would mean that... oh yeah, I would be in Potter’s presence for no good reason. And to be honest, I don’t even like being in it for a reason.
We followed Lily back into the dining room, both of us pretending to scowl and act embarrassed when she announced that she had saved the family dinner by ‘stopping us sucking face on the stairs’. If that was Lily’s idea of sucking face, I’d love to see what she considered a quick peck to be. Probably walking past someone in the street.
Harry marched back into the room with a defrosted pizza on a giant plate and set it down in the middle of the table, smiling proudly that he had managed to use magic to siphon the ice of a bit of dough. But hey, to each his own.
“So, tuck in, everyone,” he smiled. Everyone did to, pulling the peices apart savagely so that the cheese stretched for miles between each piece, and you ended up having to pat the strings down with your fork so you could actually eat the food. About halfway through the dinner, Harry looked up and smiled at me.
“So, Aimee, tell me a little more about yourself.”
Bugger. Why does everyone want to know about me all of a sudden?
disclaimer: nothing in this chapter belongs to me, and is all the property of their respective owners.
GUESS WHAT. you guys aren't going to believe this... starting from the next chapter... there is going to be a plot. yes, this story is finally going to have one. it starts a little in the next chapter. which is good. finally. sorry this chapter was kind of fillery. ooh, another thing ~ i have chapters eight and nine written too, because i've had so much inspiration going on for this story atm, and i'm starting to like it a lot more. which means much faster updates than the usual two months it takes me :D
anyway. i'd love to know what you thought!
ellie :) xx