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Infamous by R o s m e r t a

Format: Novel
Chapters: 12
Word Count: 40,059
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Scenes of a mild sexual nature, Substance abuse, Spoilers

Genres: Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Oliver, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: James/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 12/07/2012
Last Chapter: 12/04/2014
Last Updated: 12/04/2014


{flawless banner by asphodel @ TDA}

The wizarding world thinks Hazel Wood is the girl who stole James Potter’s heart. The tabloids say she’s the girl who stole James Potter from his ex-girlfriend—Britain’s sweetheart. Now, Hazel is thrust into the limelight as the new “It Girl” everyone loves to hate.

But no one knows Hazel’s biggest secret: she's really in love with Al Potter.

Chapter 1: A Few Of My Problems (And A Snitch Ain't One)

{amazing CI by Lady Asphodel @ TDA}

*             *             *             *             *

My first problem, which has plagued my entire existence, is the fact that my name is Hazel Wood.

I’ll explain. Let’s assume you and I have just met (which I suppose we have—pleasure, by the way). For obvious reasons, I introduce myself as Hazel Wood.

That’s a nice name,” you might say.

“Thank you,” I would respond (I’m quite polite). “I suppose it is.”

The pair of us would continue to chatter away like the oldest and dearest of chums. Then, perhaps, you become so captivated by the charming, magnificent—and, let’s face it, extremely modest—creature standing before you that you simply must know more about her. “So, Hazel,” you’d say, “where do you hail from?”

“Derbyshire,” I would respond, in a sure-to-be futile attempt to cling to any apparent dignity I might have for a few more precious moments.

“Oh, how lovely! I have a cousin in Derby!” you might exclaim. “Where about in Derbyshire?”

This is where we get to the tricky part. In all likelihood, I would try to distract you from the question. I may point at the empty air behind you and screech, “Oh, look, a Blast-Ended Skrewt!” so that I could dash away the moment you turned round (childish, yes, but surprisingly effective).

For our purposes, we’ll assume that you’re smarter than the average hippogriff and aren’t fooled by my clever antics. In that case, I would do a lot of coughing and grumbling and you’d have to say something like, “Sorry, didn’t catch that?” approximately seventeen times.

But, eventually…

“Hazelwood,” I would mumble, refusing to meet your eyes.

At this point, a multitude of things could occur. Understandably, you could be quite confused. “No, I got your name,” you’d explain, speaking extremely slowly since, clearly, I have the mental aptitude of a mountain troll. “I was asking where you’re from.”

To which I would, naturally, reply, “Hazelwood,” and we’d go round in circles for Merlin knows how long, like one of those bloody Muggle vaudeville shows.

Perhaps you comprehend the absurdity of the situation immediately, but you’re the sort who’s too nice to comment. “Oh,” you’d say. “How…lovely.”

However, it’s rather likelier that you would commence laughing like you’d just heard the most brilliant punchline of all time (yes, a real riot; it’s only my life). Of course, you might subject me to some wisecrack to the effect of “Which came first?” in which case—bravo, you, for being equally witty as the 234,348,103,457 people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before you.

Maybe I was someone like Voldemort in a past life, or maybe my parents just think themselves hilarious (which seems rather likely). In any event, suffice it to say that I loathe meeting new people—not to say that you’re not perfectly lovely, of course.

Anyway, let’s move on.

My second problem is none other than Lily Luna Potter.

“Oh, but Lily is such a doll!” you might say (in which case you really don’t know Lily at all).

“Is she now?” I would reply. “Then how might you explain the 253 detentions, seven broken bones, twelve near-expulsions, 34 minor explosions, one major explosion, 3,986 wedgies, and infinite noogies that I’ve suffered at her hands?”

“Oh, my!” you might exclaim (or perhaps you’re more of the “Bloody hell!” sort—I really don’t know, we’ve only just met, after all). “Why on earth would you have to endure all that?”

“Because,” I would be forced to respond, “Lily Potter is my best friend.”

At this point, you’d most likely think me a bit touched in the head. Actually, that part probably isn’t just hypothetical.

Perhaps I am a bit touched in the head. That really isn’t hypothetical, either.

Right, let’s just say the hypothetical scenarios are done for now (so you can stop asking yourself, “But do I really sound like that?”).

I have known Lily Potter literally my entire life. Our parents used to play Quidditch together back in school, and now my mum and her dad work as Aurors, so our families are quite close. I know her better than anyone else on the planet, and I can safely say that Lily is the world’s greatest criminal mastermind. Seriously, she could probably rob Gringotts or blow up the Ministry of Magic and never get caught. Fortunately, she hasn’t used this (frankly, quite terrifying) power for evil—yet. Which is probably why she managed to trick the Sorting Hat into sticking her in Gryffindor rather than Slytherin. When it comes to Lily’s schemes, I’ve played the roles of faithful sidekick/partner-in-crime and innocent victim equally over the last fifteen years.

The other problem with Lily (because of course all that isn’t enough) is the fact that she comes in a package deal that includes her entire. sodding. family.

You’d have to have been living under a rock for the past twenty-odd years to not know about the Wotter clan (Weasleys/Potters and their various offspring, for those of you who have done). Not one of them can visit the bloody loo without someone snapping a photo of the momentous occasion and slapping it on the cover of the latest issue of Witch Weekly with some asinine headline like “[Insert Wotter clan member]’s Fifth Whiz of the Day: Tiny Bladder or Raging Firewhisky Addiction to Blame?” Various publication have even featured photos including me, immortalized for all eternity as “Lily Potter’s Unidentified Friend” (no autographs, please). Mercifully, the wards surrounding Hogwarts keep out the pesky paparazzi, though the occasional story does leak out.

The point is, while I adore (almost) every member of the Wotter clan, I’ve hardly had a moment’s peace in all my fifteen years. I suppose when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t want it any other way; sometimes, though, it just becomes exhausting.

My third problem arose the very moment James Potter bestowed my first kiss upon me—in the middle of the Great Hall for the entire bloody school to see.

“How romantic!” you might say (perhaps we weren’t quite finished with our make-believe conversation after all). I would assure you that it was anything but, partially on account of the fact that I was not a willing participant in said kiss. “But who wouldn’t want to kiss James Potter?” you’d probably ask. “He’s so dreamy!” (Though I sincerely hope you don’t go about using words like ‘dreamy’ in everyday conversation. Unless you were born before 1952, in which case, carry on.)

Sure, to the untrained eye, James Potter may seem like the ultimate get: a 6’2”, handsome, muscled Quidditch phenomenon who also happens to be rather intelligent and filthy rich (I know, I know, he sounds like the sodding prize on one of those cheesy Muggle game shows where the announcer keeps adding, “But wait, there’s moreeee!”).

That’s all well and good, but James Potter likely isn’t the annoying, mocking, fat-headed older brother you neither had nor wanted. Our relationship is thusly: he is a complete and utter prat at all times, and I merely deign to tolerate him on a daily basis. It’s managed to work out quite nicely—until now. That one, tiny, meaningless, insignificant kiss changed the entire trajectory of my existence.

(Okay, perhaps that’s a bit much, but I can’t help that I have a flair for the dramatic.)

“Just why would a silly little snog be so detrimental to one’s life?” you might ask.

Which brings me to my fourth problem: I am madly and hopelessly in love with one Albus Potter.

Somehow Lily has yet to pick up on this fact, and I haven’t the faintest idea how that’s even possible. I mean, granted, it’s not like I (visibly) swoon every time Al enters the room or anything, but there are little things I do semi-consciously, like laugh maniacally at his lame jokes or stick out my chest a bit when he’s around (yes, maybe that does make me a total slag—what’s your point?). In any event, I’m grateful for her cluelessness because I get the feeling that her reaction to me dating her brother would be rather…unpleasant. You see, the pair of us have been waging a lifelong prank war against Al (and James, and Freddie, and essentially every other Wotter clan member), and, knowing Lily, she would view such a thing as the ultimate betrayal—her best friend sleeping with the enemy, metaphorically speaking (*cough* or not *cough cough*…what?). And, trust me; you do not want to be on Lily Potter’s bad side.

Anyway, by this point of our hypothetical conversation, you’d probably be rather confused. “Albus Potter?” you’d ask. “The brother of James Potter?”

“The very same,” I would have to respond.

“But that makes no sense!” you might exclaim in frustration (I don’t blame you). “If you’re in love with Albus Potter, then how does a cheeky, arrogant little git like James Potter come to snog a darling girl like you, Hazel?”

Well, my new friend, I’m so very glad you asked…

*             *             *             *             *

I suppose, in the interest of our newfound friendship—and for you to better understand my story, of course—that I should tell you a bit more about myself.

My full name is Hazel Ophelia Wood (so clearly going by my middle name was never a viable option). I’m fifteen years old and have just begun my fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where I am a Gryffindor like my parents, Oliver and Alicia. Surprisingly, I was also made prefect this year, which I can only assume is yet another blatant and sure-to-be fruitless attempt by the Headmaster, Professor Longbottom, to keep Lily in line.

I’m an only child, and—though my name suggests otherwise—my parents and I are quite close. Mum and I are more like sisters than mother and daughter, and I am a total daddy’s girl; the two of us share the same (hysterical, of course) sense of humour and love of Muggle classic rock music, which Mum forever laments introducing to the pair of us.

Mum, as I’ve already mentioned, is an Auror alongside Lily’s father, and Dad works in the Department of Magical Games and Sports at the Ministry. Dad used to be the Keeper for Puddlemere United, and was apparently a real “heartthrob” (Mum’s term, obviously, not mine) back in the day. All sorts of tawdry articles were written about him in rags like Witch Weekly, but from the time he and Mum were married and he was deemed officially off the market, the only bad press Dad really got was about his infamous temper on the Quidditch pitch. When my parents found out Mum was pregnant with me, Dad took the Ministry job and they decided to move to little old Hazelwood in the hopes of sheltering me from that harsh limelight.

To my parents’ utter delight, I took to a broom from a young age like a Niffler to a shiny new Galleon, and have been a Chaser on the Gryffindor house team since second year. Lily, of course, is also a Chaser. Due to our lifelong BFFLitude (it’s a thing—look it up), the two of us read and feed off each other so well that we’re virtually unstoppable on the pitch. I love nothing more than flying; soaring through the clouds with my robes billowing in the wind and my hair streaming out behind me is the world’s greatest cure-all.

Speaking of my hair…I have this ‘thing’ about it, as Lily likes to say (when she’s not referring to my ‘hair thing’ as a psychopathically obsessive fixation). Actually, it’s irrelevant what Lily chooses to call my ‘hair thing’ because its sheer existence is entirely her fault.

When Lily and I were six years old, James had infuriated Lily in one way or another (as usual), and (as usual), Lily came up with a ‘brilliant’ reprisal. See, their mum, Ginny, during her professional Quidditch days, got hooked on a magical body hair removal lotion called ‘Hair-B-Gone’ (clever, I know). It’s some heavy-duty stuff that, once applied, instantly causes the hair to fall out and prevents it from growing back for three full months. Apparently pro athletes in the wizarding world use the stuff all the time because the lack of hair on their arms and legs supposedly allows them to fly more quickly or some crap like that. All I know is Lily and I once watched Mrs. Potter use it on her legs before an impromptu trip to the beach and thought it was one of the coolest things we’d ever seen.

Anyhow, noting that all three of her children exhibited a marked propensity for mischievousness, Mrs. Potter kept the bottle of Hair-B-Gone in the highest cabinet in her bathroom. Lily’s scheme involved us somehow swiping the Hair-B-Gone and coating it on James’s pet cat, Mr. Sniffles. To a couple of six-year-olds, I suppose it would seem like a brilliant, foolproof plan.

It wasn’t.

Obviously, we were much too young to use Accio, so, after much debate, we (meaning Lily) decided that one of us would stand on the other’s shoulders to reach the cabinet. After much more debate, we (meaning Lily) determined that I would serve as the base while Lily climbed atop my shoulders. Figuring out the actual logistics of attaining this position was somewhat more difficult, but eventually we succeeded. Lily was able to reach the cabinet, but only just. Standing on my shoulders, her ankles firmly in my grasp, Lily stretched her arm out to grab the bottle—

—and somehow knocked it out of the cabinet instead. As it plunged downward, the bottle tilted, the stopper came loose, and my head was doused in sticky, thick, goopy, green Hair-B-Gone. I shrieked like someone had just set Fiendfyre on me, flung Lily off my shoulders, and rushed to the bathtub to wash it out. Unfortunately, the Hair-B-Gone worked much too quickly for that; I looked—quite ironically—like a hairless cat for three entire months. Also unfortunately, Mum and Dad found this hilarious and took far too many photos of me during that time. They still like to take the piss by bringing the album out every once in a while, particularly when we have visitors.

My hair has never been cut since, and I steer clear of all methods of magical hair removal. I’m too grateful for the existence of my luscious mane of waist-length, mahogany-coloured hair to let it squander. So my ‘thing’ is that I’m super…protective of my hair. Yeah, let’s go with ‘protective.’ Essentially, if you come within a ten-foot radius of me and there are scissors in your hand (or anything even remotely resembling Hair-B-Gone, for that matter), I will Bat-Bogey Hex the crap out of you and run away screaming like a banshee.

Consider this your warning.

Thankfully, I haven’t had any experiences quite so scarring as far as the rest of my appearance goes. I somehow got Mum’s tan complexion and Dad’s freckles, though neither of them knows where my blue eyes came from—they’re dark and stormy and perfect for my patented Death Glare. My nose is a bit too straight for my liking, but I suppose I’m not completely unfortunate-looking. I’m fairly lanky for 5’7”, but don’t let that fool you; I can pack it away like nobody’s business. I once beat James in an eating competition by consuming an entire treacle tart in one sitting (just do yourself a favor and never ask me what happened approximately twenty minutes later). This is probably why the Weasley family matriarch and I get on so well; Nana Molly loves to cook, and I love to stuff myself silly. Suffice it to say that I absolutely adore spending holidays at the burrow.

Besides flying, my hair, eating, and having random make-believe conversation with perfect strangers, of course, my other true love is reading. Books are the perfect escape from reality, and I am constantly losing myself in them.

Which is how I came to be sprawled on a scratchy old blanket next to the Black Lake in early September, just reading and minding my own business…