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To Catch a Falling Muggle by PhoenixPulse
Chapter 2: And so we Begin...
“Oh Jaaaamsieeee!” crooned a voice of a female. James Potter winced as the voice was coming closer and closer from the far end of the hall.
Please don’t come in. Please don’t come in. Dear Merlin, please, don’t make her come in! James squeezed his shut eyes tighter and pulled the covers higher over his head. It was eight in the morning and all James wanted was to sleep in. After an exhausting all-nighter of playing Mario Kart on a device called a Wii, his brother Albus, cousin Freddie, and his best friend Denny, decided to call it quits after the hour hand landed on two.
The sounds of bare feet softly thudding on the wooden floor came to a halt and James silently swore to himself. At first there was a gentle knock on the door and he relaxed. Knocking was so unlike Denny. Perhaps she would be in her good senses this morning and trot back to bed,
Oh how wrong he was, because a few moments later, he heard the turning of his doorknob and the creaking of his door.
Nope. It’s the same ol’ Denny. James thought bitterly to himself. Tensing, he braced himself for the worst, like a bucket of icy water or his sheets lit aflame. Denny was like that, sending misery upon people when they “least expected it”. It was her general form of amusement. Instead, he felt a pair of small hands gently shake him.
“James, rise and shine, love.” She whispered softly, but her mocking tone was evident. James stubbornly stayed put, lifting the covers a bit higher so it hid his whole face. Nope. Not getting up. She can march her arse back to bed….
“Get up James, please.” Denny begged, shaking him a bit more violently. “I don’t want to be that sole looser who’s up sitting alone in the living room.” James fought the urge to chuckle and let out a long drawn out groan instead.
“Go back to bed…” He moaned, feigning the sleepy voice effect. You know, the effect your voice contains when you speak your first words after waking up; all cracked and old and raspy.
“Oh shut up, I know you’re awake under there!” Denny snapped, and shook him like a level ten on the Richter scale. James grinned this time. It was hard not to when Denny was on the verge of exploding. She was like a walking time bomb—completely unpredictable—and the biggest shocker; she wasn’t even a ginger!
Getting fed up with the turd hiding under his blanket; Denny pummeled her fist deep into James’ side. She watched in delight as the bulky figure, James, curled into a fetal position underneath the covers. There was a muffled sound of what was to be insults and Denny rolled her eyes. Tugging away the covers from James’ slackened grip, she grinned and leaned forward, straddling him unconsciously without thought.
“Sorry? I didn’t catch that. I would love it if you repeat.” She breathed, not realizing she was nose-to-nose with her best friend. James rolled his eyes and pushed her off.
“You’re such a touchy wimp!” She complained.
“Well number one, I said; bloody hell woman, you need anger management. And number two; don’t ever come that close to me again, especially with that morning breath of yours. And number three, I may be single, but that doesn’t mean I appreciate you straddling me.” James sat up and faced Denny who scrunched up her nose, sitting crisscrossed in front of him. A loud snore came from the floor, and James forgot Freddie was sharing his room, soundly asleep on the air mattress.
“Aw, come on James! We’ve known each other since birth. We’ve shared cribs for goodness sake, pacifiers…Everything!” Denny whined in a whisper. “Surely my morning breath would be nothing to you by now. And it’s not like I wanted to straddle you in the first place.”
“Right,” James snorted. “You’re insufferable, do you know that?” he mocked teasingly. Swinging himself out from bed, he ruffled his hair a bit and studied himself in the mirror. He was wearing the same clothes as yesterday, a white tee-shirt all wrinkled up and plaid shorts that were sagging horribly without his belt.
“Did you really not bother changing before going to sleep?” Denny asked in disgust.
“Nope,” James answered, massaging his face in debate of whether to shave or not. “There’s no point. I’m showering soon anyway…” Denny shook her head, letting out a boyish snort. Another snore escaped from the floor and Denny exasperatedly sighed. Boys…
“I know what you’re thinking.” James blurted out and spun around, crossing his arms over his chest. She raised an eyebrow challengingly.
“Yeah? Then go ahead, try me.” She defied.
“You’re dissing the opposite gender in that head of yours.” James answered. “Am I right?” Denny cocked an eyebrow, feeling rather impressed.
“And how did you figure that one out?”
“That look on your face. I can see your reflection in this mirror you know. Not to mention, I knew you since birth.” James smirked as Denny’s jaw dropped.
“You do not know me that well!” She countered while narrowing her eyes. “Go ahead, give it another go.” She nodded at James, daring to prove her wrong, and the boy just grinned.
“You’re plotting revenge. Need I say more?” At that Denny stood up, grabbed James’ pillow, and chucked it at him, with all the force she could muster.
“Ha-ha! Pillow fight!” Denny declared bouncing on the bed, forgetting that Freddie was sleeping. But James’ eyes widened.
“Oi, get down from my bed! I don’t want your sweaty, sodding feet leaving residue on my blankets!” He cried out and ran forward, whacking Denny’s bare legs with his pillow.
“Hey, my feet do not sweat that bad!” Denny cried out defensively, but she was smiling all the same.
“Oh yes they do! Ever remember how we would play footsie when we were younger, only we had no clue what it was?” James countered, now climbing on top the bed and bouncing on it as well. Denny stopped jumping and grimaced.
“Yes, I actually do. We called it feet fighting, to see whose pair of legs was stronger.”
“When in all reality we were just kicking each other’s feet.” James supplied. Denny flushed.
“It was bloody ridiculous, now thinking about it.” She tsked in disgust.
“Yes, but your feet! By Godric how bad they would sweat!” James continued. Denny groaned and sat down with a violent ‘thunk’—she could swear she felt the form of springs press against her tailbone.
Note to self, don’t ever bounce and attempt to sit at the same time…especially on James’ bed. This mattress is thin and the springs hurt… Denny mentally lectured to herself, wincing. James sat down beside her, but not with a violent bounce.
“And your hands. I remember muggle pre-school and we had to hold hands on our field trip to the aquarium. Your hands sweat just as bad as your feet.” James teased, and Denny shoved him aside.
“And let’s not forget how in muggle elementary school she would sweat like a hog after recess.” came a muffled voice from the floor, slurry with amusement and from just waking up.
“Stop bringing up my sweating problem! I’m aware of it, and I don’t need you both rubbing it in!” She snapped, flipping on to her stomach and rolling over to the side, peeking down at Freddie who was smirking at her. “It’s not like you’re any better. What about your problems?” She snarled.
“My problems? How could the James Potter have problems?” James asked with a flourish of audacity. He too was now lying on his stomach beside Denny and winking at Freddie, who offered him a high five. Denny snorted.
“First off, don’t get your ego all clogged up in that head of yours. Second of all, you are not the James Potter. You are the James Potter, the second. And third of all, I was talking to Freddie, not you.” Denny corrected.
“Well, it seemed like an open ended question to me, available for anyone to answer.” James reasoned, which was rewarded with a shove.
“Have you ever wondered how in the world we are ever friends?” Denny questioned out loud, and James looked at her, momentarily surprised.
“And what are you on about?”
“What I mean is that, if we never knew each other until let’s say, first year, would we still be the friends we are today?” Denny nibbled her lip, and looked down at Freddie who sat up, wrinkling his forehead, as James cocked his head to the side. Denny rarely spoke of touchy-feely conversations, and it was even rarer to approach them about it, of all people.
“I guess so,” James answered slowly. “I mean, it’s not like any of the other girls would get along with you anyways. You’re too manly.” Denny sniffed and wrinkled her nose.
“Thanks bro. That makes things better.” She sarcastically droned. “Glad to know I’d still be that loser no one likes, even if things did start out differently.”
“Oh come off it Dens! You get way too overdramatic!” Freddie said pointedly with James nodding his head in agreement. “In case you haven’t noticed, you have yourself a well-built fan base of twenty people.”
“Twenty people who are girls that are willing to scalp me.” Denny deadpanned. “They say I’m a disgrace to all female beings. Even your cousins don’t like me. At least the female ones don’t…” James shook his head again.
“Oh stop being so thick and shove off Dens. Dom, Lily and Roxanne like you. But I think it’s because they have a bit of a mischief streak in them as well.”
“That doesn’t prove anything. Maybe it’s time I should grow up.” Denny sniffed a bit and twiddled with her thumbs. Meanwhile, the boys were gawking at her, clearly dumbfounded and lost for words.
“You—you—you don’t mean that—do you?” Freddie sputtered.
“Please tell us you’re pulling our legs!” James was sitting up, looking almost fearful.
“And what if I’m not? What if I’m being drop dead serious?” Denny raised a questioning eyebrow, daring him to contradict her. James swallowed, and she too sat up, crossing her arms, her gaze switching from Freddie to James.
“Well I refuse to believe in that. You’ve got to be pulling my leg! There’s no way I can picture you being one of them…”
“No silly, I’m pulling your foot. Of course I’m pulling your leg!” She pummeled her fist into James’ thigh, grinning like a maniac, leaving her best friends to sigh in relief.
“You had us going there actually. You’re a damn good actor.” James flung an arm around her shoulders and Denny chuckled while leaning in. Rolling his eyes, Fred clambered onto the bed, sitting on the other side of Denny and flung his arm to where it scarfed around her neck, a loose head-locked position. Laughing in joy that she was surrounded by her two most favorite people in the world, she flung her arms around them both, drawing their heads in together.
“James is a fat ass!” Denny blurted out and both boys chuckled.
“Well then, ya’ skank,” James countered back playfully. “At least I don’t have sweating problems that scare the opposite sex away!”
“I do NOT scare boys away!” Denny cried defensively. James snorted.
“Yeah you do, especially when you flail that beater bat like there’s no tomorrow. It’s bloody terrifying!”
“That’s utter bull, James! I’m not terrifying, am I Freddy?”
“Well, it’s hard to say you are when you’re capable of hexing me out the window. I’m planning on living to one hundred, so on my safety and behalf, no, you’re not terrifying at all.” Freddie answered quickly and James threw his head back in laughter.
“Tell me, how in the world is it normal that our friendship fuels on insults?” Denny asked, running her fingers through her hair. Freddie shrugged.
“Dunno. Maybe it’s because we don’t mean it. Maybe it’s because we’re too alike to call each other out.” Denny grinned, allowing a huge smile to seep through.
“You both are my best friends. Let’s not ever change that, m’kay?”
“Never,” Freddie answered shaking his head, messaging Denny’s shoulder in assurance.
“We’re friends forever, definitely.” James nodded in pure honesty. He then sealed the pact to Denny with a soft kiss on the cheek and Denny was sure they both meant it.
They truly were the greatest friends in the world.