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Breathless by dream_BIG

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 22
Word Count: 80,692
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Scorpius, Albus, Rose, OC
Pairings: OC/OC, Rose/Scorpius

First Published: 10/06/2009
Last Chapter: 03/15/2012
Last Updated: 03/15/2012

Summary:
hysteria@tda



The Situation? Life handed me a crapload of suck, and I responded by showing the maturity level of a three-year-old.  You know, hours of endless sulking, mental brat-fests, that sort of thing. I didn’t realize until later that maybe, just maybe, life was trying to teach me a little something called love – and the way it happens in the most unexpected of ways, with the most unexpected of people. Like, possibly, my husband.
Go figure.


Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End...of my life.
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So, lately, I've been having issues with a terrible, terrible hindrance called writer's block. It's really quite horrible.
So you know what I did to prevent it? I went back and re-wrote the first chapter of this thing, thus changing the plot line - not completely, but, you know...enough to make a difference. This reason is a bit more believable (yay!), but I thought it was a little abrupt...but then again, if I was in this situation, I would be like, YES, YES, YES! I'll do it!! ANYTHING TO SAVE MY DADDYYYY!!!
I'm a daddy's girl. Immensely.
You know what? Just read it. And please let me know what you think! Otherwise I'll just switch it back to the first version...Thanks guys!!
DISCLAIMER: Nope.







chappie image by meee!











You know that your world has gone down in ashes when your father calls a family meeting – which, by the way, sounds really dorky – and announces that he has bad news.

I mean, he doesn’t even like, try to make it seem better. Nope, he just comes right out.

“I have some bad news.”

Gee, dad. Way to make the situation a little less tense. I mean, it’s not as if we’re worried about this whole ‘I have some bad news’ thing you have going on here.

“What’s up?” Scorpius asked, looking at my dad’s solemn face.

Of course, instead of responding like he’s supposed to, my dear father sits there and stares at us, like that will somehow convey his message to us.

Clearly it isn’t working since I’m still sitting here wondering what the hell is going on.

 “Harry Potter saved me during the Great War.” He said, looking completely serious as he gazed at us.

“Um.” I start, looking at Scorpius, who looks as though he is fearing for my dad’s sanity. “Yeah, dad. That’s great. He sort of saved everyone, remember? The Savior of the Wizarding World an all that? We learn about this all the time in History of Magic.”

“No,” Dad shook his head. “He saved me, specifically. Twice.”

“Well, that’s hardly bad news.” Scorpius said. “I mean, isn’t it a good thing that you didn’t die?”

“Apparently not.” I said, taking in my dad’s somber look.

“You don’t understand the situation, Adele!” Dad said angrily. “This isn’t something to joke about! It’s serious.”

“You can’t seriously be telling her to be serious.”

“Shut up, Scorpius! Just because I’m the fun one!”

“Adele, you’re being immature!” Mom glared at me.

I, unfortunately, have failed to become the poised, mature young adult that my mother wants me to be.

Tough. I’ll be who I want to be, god damn it.

“Okay, everyone, calm down.” Dad pinched the bridge of his nose as I opened my mouth to angrily retort.

“I knew this whole ‘family meeting’ thing was a bad idea. We can never get along.” Scorpius muttered.

“Um. I beg to differ, we get along all the time.” I said, looking at him disbelievingly. Other than the occasional small spat, we were a bloody picture perfect family.

“Look, it doesn’t matter!” Dad cut in again. “Can you please, just for a little while, shut up and let me explain this to you?!”

“Fine, talk.” I grumbled, sitting down on the couch. Scorpius flopped down next to me and threw his arm around my shoulder.

“Eugh, get off.” I said, shoving him away. “I don’t want to smell like your armpit all day.”

“Actually, my armpit smells wonderful. So ha.”

My idiot of a brother then proceeded to shove his armpit in my face in an obvious attempt to get to me to sniff it.

Yeah, when hell freezes over.

With a disgusted squeal, I shot to the other end of the couch.

“Mom, sit here!” I said desperately, pulling her down in between me and Scorpius. She looked exasperated but amused as she sat down.

“Will you please listen to me?!” Dad asked angrily. After a brief muttered monologue about how he should have never reproduced – during which my mother giggled relentlessly (oh, yes, mom, very mature) – he glared at us one more time and took another deep breath.

“Okay. Harry Potter saved me twice during the War. Both of the times…well, they were life or death situations, so I sort of owe him my life. Twice.”

Focus, Adele! Do not think about how if dad was a cat, he would be perfectly fine. CONCENTRATE.

“Apparently, for doing something like that, the person who got saved owes something big to the person who saved him. Our fates have been tied – neither of us can really do much about it. We’ve talked about it, and…”

“Hold on.” Scorpius said. “Could you, possibly, explain this to us a little more?”

“Right, sorry.” Dad shoved his hands through his hair. It’s a good thing he doesn’t put a ton of gel in it anymore, otherwise that would be really hard to –

Okay. Focusing.

“So, today, I was in the office when I got a letter from an Unspeakable over at the Department of Mysteries. He asked me to come down for something urgent, so, naturally, I went. And, when I got there, I ran into Harry Potter, who’d also been called down. The Unspeakable, dunno his name, asked us to go into this room, where there was this really large book. And every now and then, a quill would write something in it; it was the oddest thing I had ever seen: just a bare room with a desk, a book, and a writing quill. So, the Unspeakable led us over to the book and he opened it to a page. Then he looks up at me ‘Draco Malfoy?’ and I said yes, because –”

“ – obviously, you are Draco Malfoy.” My mother said in a dry voice, rolling her eyes.

“Ignoring!” Dad sang.

“Daddy?” I said sweetly.

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Never again.”

“But –”

“Never again, dad. That was possibly the most mentally scarring –”

“ANYWAY.” He cut across, glaring at us. “As I was saying, the Unspeakable made sure that we were who we claimed we were, and then he retold the story about Harry Potter saving me…which reminds me, Weasel punched my face, I have to get him back for that…and then, he looks up at me and says, ‘You owe this man a lot.’ And I’m like, ‘yeah…’ And I thanked Potter, and Potter told me that it’s not a big deal, and then we were like, ‘yeah, so we can go now, right?’ and the man looks at me some more and says again, ‘you owe this man a lot’, and we’re standing there, wondering what the hell he is trying to tell us, and then he turns the book towards us, and I see that our names have been intertwined.”

“So, that means…?” I asked.

“It means that I, quite literally, owe Harry Potter my life.” Dad turned to me.

“And…” Scorpius starts.

“Harry Potter needs to take my life in order for this debt to go away.” He said quietly.

The room was silent as we took that in.

“You’re kidding.” I finally said in a weak voice. “Daddy, this can’t be –”

“Neither of us want this.” He looked up at me. “But if we don’t get rid of it now, we can both die. So it’s my life to save his.” He shrugged, but I could tell that he was nervous.

“Daddy…!” I started, but just then there was a loud knock on the door.

“I’ll get it.” Mom said softly as she got up. The three of us sat there for a while, looking at each other, waiting for mom to get back so we could resume this simply lovely conversation.

That, by the way, was sarcasm. You’ll see that sarcasm is my native tongue, and most possibly my favorite language, right after English.

“Draco.” I looked up and saw that Harry Potter – stop squealing, you imbecile – was standing in our living room, holding his hand out towards my dad. His face was literally glowing as he pumped my dad’s hand up and down.

Hmph. Arsehole. He seems to be looking forward to taking my dad’s life away. What a git!

“You’ve already met Ginny –” He gestured to a beautiful redhead by his side, who smiled politely at my dad. “ – and these are my kids, James, Albus and Lily.” Two dark-haired boys and a red-headed girl appeared.

“This is Astoria, Adele and Scorpius.” My dad pointed us out, and I just looked steadily at the Potters, ignoring my mom’s furious head-gestures to say hello.

“Oh! And Rose and Hugo; they’re staying with us for a bit.” Mr. Potter ruffled a brown-haired kid’s hair, who I’m assuming to be Hugo Weasley, and Rose Weasley appeared next to Al Potter, looking at my brother, who was grinning at Al.

Don’t ask me how, but they’ve somehow become friends.

And – Merlin! – did Scorp just wink at Rose Weasley?

“Give it up, Scorpy, she’s way out of your league.” I muttered to him, and he discreetly shot me the finger.

I smirked.

Not that my brother isn’t attractive, he…argh…he sort of is. And Rose Weasley is perfectly in his league. She would just never go for him; she’s bloody gorgeous, with her auburn hair and bright blue eyes, and he’s…well, he’s an immature prat.

“There’s a better alternative.” Mr. Potter said joyfully, cutting right down to the heart of the matter.

“What?” My mom asked, hardly believing it. “You mean…”

“Draco doesn’t have to die.” Mr. Potter grinned at my dad. “Hermione researched it for us –”

“I owe my life to her and her bookworm tendencies.” Dad shook his head, smiling slightly. “And to think I used to make fun of her for it.”

“Oh, we all did.” Mrs. Potter said brightly. “But it’s very useful.”
“…you were saying?” I prompted, looking at Mr. Potter.

I got an angry look from my mom.

“Sorry.” I said apologetically. “I just…I really want to make sure my dad isn’t going to die.” I bit my lip, and Mr. Potter smiled at me, his green eyes friendly.

“Your father doesn’t have to die. We found a better alternative.” He took a deep breath, looking at my dad. “We can marry your daughter to my son, and the debt will be erased.”

What?

Oh dear God, he did not just say what I thought he said, did he?

No, of course not. It was just my wonky hearing, that’s what. Or a voice in my head said that. It was just my imagination; he couldn’t have…have…

“Pardon?” My mom asked blankly as dad gaped disbelievingly at Mr. Potter.

“We marry Adele to Al, and there will be no more debt.”

Mr. Potter received a very dirty look from Al Potter. “Dad.” He hissed.

“Oi!” I said indignantly, glaring at him. “Stop acting like marrying me is the worst thing that could ever happen to you! I’m not that bad!”

Someone, please slap me across the face to shut me up. Like, now.

“I mean, sure, I’ve got a bit of a temper, but you should be privileged that – mmphrump.”

Thank you, Scorpius! My brother proved to be not too much of an imbecile and clamped his hand over my mouth before I could continue my rant, which was express proof that my brain decided to ditch me.

“Sorry.” He said, looking at Al Potter. “She can get a little defensive about – OUCH! BLOODY HELL, ADELE – hey, that rhymes!” Apparently, since his pain only lasted about half of a second, I need to work on the strength of my foot crunching abilities.

My brother is an idiot.

“You’re an idiot.” I told him brightly, then turned around to look at my dad, whose face was pale as he continued to gaze at Mr. Potter.

“We…marry our kids?” He asked. “At the age of seventeen? We marry them to each other?”

“Well, yeah, that’s the general idea. Basically, it's sort of symbolizing, that...erm, you gave your daughter to our family instead of giving your life up...That's what Hermione said, anyway, and then she had a furious rant about sexism, and I sort of stopped listening, but that was...you know, the general gist of the idea.” Mr. Potter ignored the furious head-shakes and throat-cutting symbols from his son.

“Daddy, if it saves you, I’ll do it.” I said, looking up at him. “I don’t mind. Really. We could just get a divorce or something right afterwards –”

“We can’t.” Potter was looking at me, addressing me for the first time in my life.

“Pardon?” I asked him coldly.

“We can’t get a divorce. It’s nullified as soon as our marriage breaks.” He looked as though he dearly wished to die as he said this.

Wow, he’d rather die than marry me. What a git.

“Fine.” I said. “That’s fine. I’ll marry him. I'm okay with it.”

“Well, both of us have to say yes and I’m going to say –” Al Potter started, looking angry. Fuck, he’s going to say no.

His mother sent him a look, and he paused, his angry expression turned to thoughtfulness as he gazed between my desperate face and my dad's blank expression. Finally, his deep green eyes settled onto my own, boring into them, like was trying to read my thoughts.

“ – yes.” Al Potter finished solemnly, his eyes bright and intense. “I’m going to say yes. I will marry her.”

“Thank you. Both of you.” Dad said hoarsely, running his hands through his hair again. Mr. Potter sent his thoroughly disgruntled son an approving look and walked forward to man-hug my dad. See, man-hugs are manly. You clasp hands and then swing your other arm around to clap the other person on the back as hard as you can.

I imagine it’s very painful. And manly.

“Perfect!” Mrs. Potter clapped her hands together, while my dad and Mr. Potter shook hands in a dazed sort of way.

“We’ll have to start right away!” My mom said happily, hugging Mrs. Potter.

“Right away?” I asked disbelievingly.

“That’s right!”

“As in, like, I’m getting married to him soon?”

“Mmm-hmm.”

“But – but – but I don’t wanna!” I said.

“Adele Ophelia Marilyn Jeanette Malfoy.” Mom said in a low, angry voice.

Okay, so I may have sort of whined that.

“Okay, okay! No need to pull out The Full Name, mother!” I put my hands up and backed away.

 “So – I was thinking, we should have the ceremony as soon as possible, maybe sometime in the next week. We could do something small, of course, just family.” Mom chattered to Mrs. Potter, completely ignoring us.

“Wait! Mom, I’m not ready –” Al Potter said, looking horrified.

 “Although with my family, you’ll never get something small and quiet.” Mrs. Potter chuckled.

“DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS RIGHT AWAY?!” I yelled out, before anyone could stop me.

“Well, yes.” Mom said, looking at me as though I was missing something of vital importance.

“Really?” I asked weakly.

“Yes, really.”

“Really?” Al Potter asked his mom.

“YES, REALLY!”

“Fine.” I sighed.

Honestly, the things I do for my father…

 “Now, we have to plan for your dress!” Mrs. Potter squealed.

My eyes grew. “My what now?!”

“Dress, honey, dress.” Mom said, rolling her eyes.

“Oh, no.” I laughed, backing off. “No way. I’ll get married, sure, but there is no way in hell I am wearing a long, frilly white dress.”

“It won’t be frilly!” Mrs. Potter exclaimed. “We’ll make sure it looks beautiful.”

I laughed. “Trust me, it’ll be frilly. I know it.”

“Don’t be silly.” Mom said, waving her hand dismissively at me.

“No, really. Can’t I just get married in my jeans?” I asked hopefully.

Wrong thing to say.

Both mothers, gasping in outrage at my blasphemy, started freaking out at the same time.

Gee, I sure do love lectures.

 “Scorpius!” I turned to my brother, who was watching all of this as if it was a mildly entertaining television show. “Do something!”

“You’re right.” He decided, nodding. “I’m gonna go talk to Rose Weasley. Peace. And you, take care of my sister, alright? Otherwise you’ll have me to answer to. But no hard feelings, mate.” He clapped Potter on the back and strolled towards Rose Weasley, hands in his pockets. Potter gaped at his retreating figure.

“SCORPIUS!” I screamed after him. “YOU WORTHLESS EXCUSE FOR A BROTHER! GET BACK OVER HERE!”

He just turned around, smirked, and continued chatting up Rose. Git.

Oh, he will pay. Big time. I will get him back for this.

Fuming, I turned back to the parents, who were now cheerfully discussing wedding invitations. Potter had walked off to Merlin-knows-where, and his older brother was now standing next to me, grinning at me like this was all really exciting. Idiot.

“God, this is too funny.” He chortled. I shot him a dirty look. “Of course Al would get married before me. I’m James, by the way.” He stuck his hand out at me.

“Adele.” I grumbled, reluctantly taking his hand and shaking it. Curse you, mother, for instilling me with these ridiculously good manners!

“So, I guess you’re my new sister-in-law, huh?” He smirked. I growled at him. Screw manners. This kid opens his mouth again and he will get hurt.

“Don’t worry.” He ruffled my blonde hair and I jerked away, glowering at him. Did I ever say he could touch me? DID I?! “Al isn’t actually that bad. Yeah, I guess he snores a lot when he sleeps, and he eats a whole lot, and well, he sort of doesn’t really like you too much, but seriously, you two will get along swimmingly.”

…swimmingly? SWIMMINGLY?!

He’s kidding, right?

“You’re kidding, right?” I asked incredulously.

“Yep.” He said airily. “Thought I’d give optimism a shot. Obviously it didn’t work.”

Wow. I rolled my eyes. 

“Adele Potter. You know what? It has a ring to it.” He mused, while I gawked at him in utter disbelief. I am going to kill that child. Who bloody cares if he’s my future (cringe) brother-in-law? HE. WILL. DIE.

“Adele Potter. Mrs. Adele Potter. Mrs. Adele Ophelia Marilyn Jeannette Malfoy Potter.” He finished proudly. “I like it.” He grinned at me again.

He didn’t just use The Full Name. HE DID NOT.

Does he want to die early?

Because, I mean, seventeen is a bit too early, don’t you think?

He smirked at me again, and I suppressed an angry snarl. My eye twitched.

Must. Refrain. From. Maiming. Extremely. Annoying. Boy.

“You and Albus would actually look pretty good together, now that I think of it, Mrs. Albus Potter.” He smirked at me again.

…and that would be about when I hurled myself at him in rage, not even bothering to think about the fact that:

a) he was much, much taller and stronger than me
b) he was the older brother of the kid I’m supposed to get married to. (UGH.)
and c) all the adults were still in the room.

But he asked for it.

Chapter 2: Disaster.
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I'm back! Haha, I got over my temporary writer's block pretty quickly.

Alright - I have to make one thing clear before we begin. Al and Adele - they're not getting forced into this. It's arranged, yeah, but it also requires their consent, which means that they want to get married to each other.
Although, if they were given a choice, they probably wouldn't marry each other...
But given the circumstances, it's either James or Al, and since James has a girlfriend (as we will see later on), She's marrying Al.
Yeah, it may seem like she doesn't want to marry him at times, but, trust me, she really does. And he does, too. 
Hey, it saves a life. Who are they to complain, right?
So, I promise, none of this is forced or anything. 
We cool?

















I never really liked weddings. They’re always so long, and boring, and the priest just drones on and on about Merlin-knows-what while the bride and groom have intense eye-sex and everyone else bawls into handkerchiefs about how bloody beautiful this all is.






If I were the big man of this earth, I would make weddings short, and in pajamas, so that we could go, slip on the rings, and get outta there in about ten minutes. Done. Easy. Not a problem.






Of course, if I was the big man of this earth, my father wouldn’t owe Harry Potter his life, and I wouldn’t even have to be here, getting married to this random kid I don’t know. I mean, I want to. But still. It sort of sucks either way.






I need to have a word with this ‘big man of the earth’. Talk to him about why the hell he is after me.






I bet I was Hitler in my past birth, and am now repaying all my bad karma points in this life.






…or maybe Voldemort.






Or maybe both.






Oh! I know! I was Hitler first, and then I died and got reborn as Voldemort, and then I died and got reborn as me. This would explain all my horrible, rotten luck.






I hope it stops soon. I mean, I’m not a bad person (not really), so shouldn’t all my good karma points be balancing out the bad ones?!






Nah. I probably need more good ones before I could even tip the scale a little. I mean, I wasREALLY bad in my past two births. I sort of deserved to die. Both times.






Haha. My future father-in-law killed me last birth. I really hope it doesn’t turn into some sort of tradition.






That’s it. I have resolved to become a better person.






…next year.






What? Don’t look at me like that!






***AL’S POV***






I’m bored.






And hot.






And uncomfortable.






And my hands are really sweaty, so I have to hold really tightly to Adele’s hands so that they don’t slip out. Her hands are sweaty, too. It’s kind of gross. But pretty funny; it makes her seem more…human, I guess, that she’s just as nervous as I am.






I glanced at her, taking in the dress, the hair, the makeup, the beauty again. She looked really, REALLY pretty. It was hard to take my eyes off of her, even though I didn’t like her. I watched as she stared off into space, frowning slightly. Suddenly, she gave a half-grin, and chuckled a little. I wonder what she’s thinking about.






Well, at least I know she knows how to smile. And laugh.






She has hope.






I gazed at her, trying to catch her eye. By some sort of miracle, her eyes wandered over to mine and latched onto them. I raised an eyebrow at her, and she rolled her eyes at the priest as if to say ‘this man is SO boring’. I nodded and grimaced, and she sighed, letting her eyes wander around again.






Wow. Was that a decent conversation we just had? Granted, it was completely silent, but still.






Well, it’s good to know that we’re capable of holding a partway decent ‘conversation’ once in a while. Maybe we won’t rip each other’s heads off.






Nah, we probably will anyway. I snickered at the thought, and her eyes snapped back to me again, a questioning look in them. I just shook my head, and her eyes narrowed. This made me snicker even more, until, grudgingly, her lips twitched into a reluctant smile, and then, slowly, into a giggle.






The priest droned on (he gives Professor Binns a run for his money, this man really does), while everyone else watched in astonishment as the bride and groom erupted into fits of hysterical laughter, right in the middle of their wedding.






Traditional wedding? What’s that? I didn’t know such a thing existed.






***ADELE’S POV***






I have no idea why I’m laughing.






But it’s pretty funny.






I mean, there we were, getting married, when all of a sudden, I happen to glance at Albus again (I may or may not have been glancing periodically at him…What? He’s hot. I don’t like him, but he’s hot. Don’t judge me.), and find him gazing straight at me (did I mention the gorgeous green eyes? W-O-W), a dark eyebrow raised as if to ask me why the hell I was chuckling to myself. I merely rolled my eyes at the priest and sighed when he grimaced in response. I let my eyes wander away, not wanting him to see the surprise in them.






We just had a decent conversation. If that even qualifies. Wow. Weird.






I’m sort of surprised.






Suddenly, I heard him laughing quietly, and looked over at him again. He just started laughing harder.






Um…what is that kid on? He seriously needs to lay off the happy pills.






The thought of him on happy pills made me start laughing.






This brings us to our current state: Laughing hysterically together, still holding hands, while the priest keeps going and everyone else just stares warily at us.






I still don’t know why I’m laughing.






I just can’t stop.






“Albus Potter, do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” The priest asked in a flat, uninterested monotone.






“I do,” He choked out. I don’t know if he knows what he’s saying, because he just said ‘I do!’






Haha. This is funny. I hope this is a dream.






“Adele Malfoy, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”






A husband? A husband, sure, what the heck.






“I do,” I giggled.






I think someone might have drugged us with something.






A little cousin of Albus’ stumbled forward with the rings, and still chortling like old pals, we managed to slip them on each other’s ring fingers.






Oh, look! It’s so shiny….hee hee.






“I now pronounce you man and wife.”






I let out another peal of laughter at this. Whoever drugged us is so dead. Oh, I can’t wait to get my hands on them! Haha!






“You may kiss the bride.”






Albus was doubled over in laughter, holding onto my hands for support.






“Ahem…you may kiss the bride.” The priest said sternly, while I giggled helplessly in the background.






“Oh! I have to kiss the bride! Kiss the bride, ha ha ha!” He chuckled. He leaned forward and planted one on my mouth. Albus’ cousins and Scorpius let out a couple of wolf-whistles.






I should probably glare murderously at them and then slap Potter for kissing me, but this is all so funny. And his lips are really soft and warm…eh, what the heck? Let’s just kiss him back!






Woo-hoo! Kissing is fun!!






“Haha!” I laughed, after I was done kissing him back. “We just kissed!”






“We’re married!” He choked out, still laughing hysterically.






“Why are we laughing?!” I gasped, still chortling as everyone slowly clapped, looking positively alarmed.






“I don’t know! But I’m going to kill whoever did this to us!” He hooted out.






“I’ll help!” I chuckled. “They are so dead!”






“ADELE OPHELIA MARILYN JEANETTE MAL – er… POTTER! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!” My mom yelled, marching up to us.






“She…she just used The Full Name!” I laughed, while Albus chuckled beside me, occasionally omitting a small hiccup and a fragment of my name. “I hate it when she does that!”






“But it’s a pretty name!” He giggled. “Haha…Adele…Marilyn…Jeannette…Ophelia…Adele…Potter…Hee hee.”






“What just happened here?!” Mrs. Potter appeared beside my seething mother, looking pretty homicidal herself.






“I don’t know!” I wailed out, still chuckling in a helpless sort of way. “I just can’t stop laughi-i-i-i-i-ing!”






“I think someone drugged us!” Albus announced cheerfully. “I’m going to kill them!”






This brought on a whole new round of laughter, and we were soon clutching each other for support as we howled like a horde of hyperactive hyenas.






Hey, look! Alliteration! Go me! Haha!






“JAMES!!” Mrs. Potter shrieked, turning around. “GET YOURSELF UP HERE NOW, YOUNG MAN!”






“I hate your brother,” I gasped to Albus, who nodded and continued laughing.






“Hello, mother,” James appeared and smiled sweetly at his mom. “Adele, Albus.” His lips twitched into a smirk.






Oh, he’s SO DEAD.






But this is all too funny. Haha!






“What. Did. You. Do?” She asked in a menacing voice. Man, I really don’t ever want to be on the other side of that woman’s anger. You can practically see the sparks shooting out of her eyes!






“Nothing,” He said unconvincingly. She raised an eyebrow, still shooting sparks, and he flinched.






“James Sirius Potter.” She said in a low, dangerous voice. “You just ruined your brother’s wedding. What did you do to them?” She gestured to me and Albus. We were still laughing, now clutching our sides and gasping for air.






“It was a mistake!” James said desperately as she grabbed his ear. “It was meant to be calming, but I screwed up! Ow, mom!”






“Oh, you are in so much trouble!” She shrilled. “Fix them! NOW.”






“I don’t know how to! This whole thing was a mistake, I’m sorry! Ouch, mom, let go of my ear!”






By this time, both the dads had also arrived and were watching all of this with amusement.






Because this is FUNNY!






Oh, no wonder I can’t stop laughing. This is all just so hilarious!






“What just happened?” Ah, Rose, wonderful of you to join us! Come laugh with me and Al! It’s fun!






“MOM! MY EAR!”






“JAMES, FIX THEM RIGHT NOW…”






“…What’s going on here?”






“Adele? Albus? What happened to you guys?”






“MY EAR!!”






“Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”






“Someone, make them stop laughing!”






“Oh, YOU ARE SO GOING TO GET IT WHEN WE GET HOME, YOUNG MAN!”






“This is sort of creepy…why won’t they stop laughing?”






“What’s so funny?”






“Mom, you’re going to yank it off! LET GO OF IT!”






“EVERYONE STOP TALKING!” Rose’s mother screamed. The babble died down right away, although me and Albus still occasionally let out a little giggle.






“Now, let’s all calm down, take a step back, Gin, let go of James’ ear, good.” She said in a soothing voice. She pointed her wand at me and Albus, and we immediately stopped laughing.






Ah, sweet relief.






Suddenly, it all came crashing down.






Oh, this is so not funny.






I JUST GOT MARRIED. Oh. My. God.






Realization seemed to have dawned on Albus as well, because he looked down at his ring, and then at mine, his face an expression of horror.






…And then he promptly turned around and flew at James. They landed on the ground in a tangle of punches, kicks, and slaps. Flinging my bouquet of flowers in an astonished Rose’s hands, I dove down at them both, not caring who I hurt.






Let the chaos begin!






***AL’S POV***






All in all, the best wedding I have EVER been to.






I’m not even going to lie; it was bloody brilliant.






So, after me and Adele attacked James (I broke his arm and she gave him two black eyes), Mom decided that he had enough punishment (since she wasn’t going to heal him by magic), and was in a cheerful mood for the rest of the time. Adele was happy because she got to hurt someone, and I was happy because the wedding part hadn’t even been that painful thanks to James.






And then there was the food.






Oh, yes. Food. I am LOVING today.






Wait. I’m married.






Eh, it’s not so bad. My wife is hot, the food is good, and I got to beat up James.






At least we had fun.






Look on the bright side: at least my wife isn’t an ugly troll!






That sounded shallow. But I really am glad that she’s not ugly. Like, genuinely relieved. I don’t know what I would do with an ugly wife.






But still…if the ugly wife had a personality that made up for the ugliness, I wouldn’t mind too much. Adele’s got nothing. After the laughing spell wore off, she turned back into herself – homicidal, surly, angry at the world in general…I wonder what goes on in that head of hers. I really do.






Like, sometimes, she’ll just smile to herself, like something she thought of was really amusing and she just can’t help but grin a bit.






I don’t know. She’s a mystery. One that I really don’t feel like solving. But I feel like I sort of have to. I mean, I am going to be spending the rest of my life with this girl.






I’m thrilled.






Yippee.






“Do you always eat like that?”






I glanced over and saw that Adele was watching me eat with a mildly disgusted expression.






I swallowed. “Like what?”






“Like you’ve just discovered the existence of food.” She still looked sort of disgusted.






Hey, that was pretty funny. I grinned at her. “Yep.”






“It’s revolting.” She stated matter-of-factly.






I shrugged, and continued shoveling large quantities of food into my already bulging cheeks.






She sighed resignedly. “Guess I’ll just have to learn to ignore it.” She muttered, stabbing a carrot with her fork and staring moodily at it.






“Are you always like that?” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.






“Like what?” She asked, looking surprised.






“Like, you know…homicidal. Depressed. Surly. Angry. Irate. Feel free to come up with more synonyms for ‘freakishly mad at the world for no apparent reason whatsoever.’” I waved my hands around vaguely. 






“I’m not.” She still looked surprised. “Is that what I seem like to you?”






“Pretty much, yeah.”






She laughed, a soft, shimmery sound that was very much like a wind chime. “Then that just goes to show that you know nothing about me, Mr. Albus Potter.”






“Well, you’re always glaring murderously at everything, so…” I started, defending myself.






“No, I’m not.” She shook her head. “Well, lately, I have been, but I’m usually a pretty happy person. Unless I get mad…” She added thoughtfully.






“Right,” I said doubtfully. I’m sorry, but I don’t see even the slightest bit of happiness in her. Well, right now she seems pretty normal, but I just can’t get the glowering, angry Adele out of my mind.






“You don’t know me.” She reminded me again, catching my doubtful tone.






I just shrugged and kept on eating. She sighed and nibbled on the carrot, looking miserable. Well, I can’t exactly blame her for that, seeing all that she’s been through lately. Even I’m miserable right now.






But still. Adele Malfoy and happy? Yeah, right!






***ADELE’S POV***






He thinks I’m a homicidal, depressed freak.






I’m NOT! I actually pride myself in being a rather cheerful person!






Daddy even says that I can make the room brighter by just bouncing in.






…although he is sort of biased. But still. Not all parents say that to their hormonal teenagers!






I don’t know what that kid is going off about. Let’s rewind and replay the past week or so. Then I’ll show him. I am not depressed.






Hmm…crying, glaring, punching, screaming, glaring, cursing…






Oh.






Well, that explains it.






Wow. I wonder how Rose and Lily got to like me so much. I really was acting like a surly, irate, homicidal person.  






Well. I have to turn back into myself now. NOW.






I think it’s time for a mental brain-to-er…person pep talk.






Adele Mal – Potter! You are married to Albus Potter whether you like it or not, so you better buck up, young lady! You won’t be solving anything by moping around! You’ll just make things worse. Stop hiding behind your surly attitude and face the truth! You’re doing this for your daddy. You want to, remember?






So, missy, I expect you to be bright and cheerful for the rest of the evening, understood?






Yes, brain.






Are we clear?






Crystal.






Good.






I tossed another green bean in, trying my best to ignore the nauseating munching sounds coming from my left.






“Can I suggest something?” I finally asked, turning to him. He raised his eyebrows at me over his bulging cheeks. I allowed myself a quick giggle at his face, and then continued on. “How about waitinguntil you’ve swallowed before taking another bite?”






He just shook his head, cheeks still stuffed with food.






“Hey! It’s a good idea!” I said indignantly.






He swallowed. “Look, I’ve been eating like this for the past sixteen years of my life. What makes you think I’m going to stop now?”






I bit my lip, pondering this. “Oh!” I snapped my fingers at my stroke of sudden inspiration. “Because I very politely asked you to and since I have to spend the rest of my life eating dinner with you?”






And…unleash the puppy-dog eyes!






He winced and looked away. “Stop that.” He muttered.






“Stop what?” I asked innocently.






“Stop looking at me like that.”






“Like what?”






“Like that.”






“Like what?”






Stop it.”






“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”






He flicked a pea at my face.






“Hey!” I exclaimed. He just ruined the PDE! Crap! It was so perfect, too.






He smirked.






I flicked a bean at his face, and watched as it landed right smack dab in the middle of his forehead, and stuck to it.






“Hee hee.” I giggled, pointing at it in that ever-so-mature way of mine.






“Oh, this means war.” He snarled, brushing it off.






“You’re on.” I smirked, grabbing a spoonful of mashed potatoes and holding it at the ready.






“Oi! You two!”






Albus jumped in surprise and hurriedly looked over, me doing the same. Standing in front of us was the oldest witch I had ever met, wearing the single most grumpiest expression ever to be seen on a human face.






“Aunt Muriel!” He said in a rather high-pitched voice. “Er…how are you?”






“You,” She growled at him. “Fix that hair of yours. Would it kill you to invest in a comb?”






I snickered as he shot me a look and tried flattening his hair. There’s a lost cause if I ever saw one.






“Is this her?” She asked, jerking her head towards me. I quickly rearranged my face into a pleasant smile.






“Yeah. Auntie Muriel, this is my, er…um…this is Adele.” He stumbled over the words.






“Hmm,” She grunted at me. “Malfoy’s daughter?”






“Er…yes?” I guessed.






“Yes or no, child?”






“Yes.” I decided.






“Hmph.” She said. “Stand up.”






“What?” I asked blankly.






“Stand up, girl. Are you deaf or what?”






Well, jeez. Looks like someone is on permanent PMS. I stood up, and she surveyed me critically.






I feel mildly violated right now. I glanced pleadingly at Albus, but he was watching with a smirk on his face, looking thoroughly entertained. Git.






“Pretty.” She decided, and Albus’ mouth dropped open in blatant disbelief.






“Thanks…?” I said uncertainly.






“Eh.” She responded. “Too blonde.”






My hand jumped to my head. Too blonde?






Would someone please explain to me how a person is supposed to be ‘too blonde’? I can’t seem to understand the concept of that.






“And too tall.”






Hey! I’m only five-seven! That’s not too tall! Just because you’re only four-eight. Midget.






“Her breast size is too perfect.”






My mouth dropped open, and Albus started snickering.






Okay, what?






First of all, a) Why is she looking at my boobs?






 and b) ‘too perfect?’ What the hell?






“She’s way out of your league.” Aunt Muriel turned back to Albus, who looked affronted at this. I started cracking up, and was still laughing as she tottered away.






“Who was that?” I giggled as he glared and muttered angrily under his breath.






“My dad’s great-Aunt Muriel. Who really should’ve been dead by this point, but is, by some sort of miracle, still alive.” He said grumpily.






“She’s funny. Does she always criticize people?”






“Always.” He responded. “She’s never said a single nice thing to anyone before. Well, except for you.” He added grudgingly, glancing at me.






“Meh,” I responded, not knowing what else to say, Well, it might have been because I was currently stuffing my face full of cheesecake, which had suddenly appeared on my plate.






Cheesecake is amazing.






I love cheesecake.






Cheesecake is pure, sheer genius.






I LOVE cheesecake. A lot.






“Can I suggest something?” He asked amusedly, looking at me. I raised my eyebrows at him.






“How about swallowing before you take another bite?” Another smirk. Does that child ever genuinely smile?






I rolled my eyes and swallowed. “Yeah, yeah, you showed me, woo-hoo, this is so bloody funny.”






“It is slightly revolting, how you’re eating that cheesecake.” He stated, still smirking.






“Shut up.” I retorted brilliantly. “And let me eat my cheesecake in peace.”






Ahh. This is heavenly.






Of course, my heavenly cheesecake was only enjoyed for about three seconds, because just then, dear, sweet Rose appeared and yanked me away from it.






I think she’s out to get me.






“What are you doing?” I cried as she pulled my arm impatiently. “I want my cheesecake!”






“Ten minute dance lesson.” Rose said, looking extremely harried. I watched as Scorpius and Al appeared as well, both looking disgruntled and slightly wary.






“Ten minute what?”






“DANCE. LESSON.” Rose pronounced, turning around to glare at Al and Scorp when they both made noises of protest.






“Why?” Al asked, his eyes wider than usual.






“Because you and Adele have to dance in front of all of these people.” Rose stated. “Alright, Scorpius, put your hand right here.”






What?” My brother squeaked, looking alarmed.






“Very manly.” Al complimented him, smirking when Scorp turned around and shot him the finger.






“Wait, Rose.” I said urgently, pulling her away from Scorpius, who was still looking lost as he stood there and stared incredulously at her. “I can’t dance. Like, at all.”






“Yeah, me neither.”






I yelped and jumped about a foot in the air when Al’s voice appeared at my ear. “Merlin!” I cried, putting a hand over my heart. “Don’t do that!”






“Sorry.” He didn’t look it. In fact, he looked thoroughly amused and rather pleased with himself.






Great. I married a git.



Chapter 3: Captain Obvious, to the Rescue!
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okay, i'm not even going to lie - i am not happy with this chapter. whatsoever. 
i just...had to give you guys SOMETHING! you've been waiting forever. and for that, i apologize. 
you see, a terrible plague has hit me - it's called writers block and it sucks majorly. 
i dont want to abondon this - i love the idea so much. i just dont know what to write anymore, you know? i have some ideas but i never know what to do with them. 
in short, this sucks. 
so, this chapter is completely filler and short, and SORRYSORRYSORRY for being so suckish!
please forgive me :(

ps - Just Dance belongs to the...er...special...Lady Gaga :D
and Harry Potter belongs to J.K Rowling.
....this laptop belongs to me! YEAH!







One, two three, one two three….wait! Was there a four in there?! CRAP. One…three! No, wait, two! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!





These were the exact thoughts running through my head as I attempted (and failed) to dance with Albus, who was wearing an expression similar to that of someone going through excruciating pain.





…though that might be because I’ve been repeatedly stepping on his foot for the past three and a half minutes we’ve been up here.





“OUCH! Watch where you’re stepping, that bloody hurts!” He hissed as I stepped on his foot again, making an odd crunching sound.





“Sorry,” I muttered, looking down and watching my feet to make sure they didn’t veer crazily out of the way and step on him again.





“Just relax.” He said. Yeah, okay. Your hand is sweating on mine, and you’re telling me to relax?





“I will, after you stop making a hand-shaped sweat mark on my dress.” I said, glaring at him. He narrowed his (gorgeous, emerald-green, almond-shaped, sparkly pretty) eyes at me.





“This isn’t working.” He said in frustration. “I can’t dance like this.”





“Me neither.” I grimaced and glared at my foot as it got dangerously close to his again. Stupid foot! Bad foot!





“What kind of dancing can you do?” He asked, sounding amused.





“Crazy dancing.” I said matter-of-factly, looking up at him. “Drunken baboon, jumping up and down crazy dancing.”





His mouth curled into a smile. “Drunken baboon?”





I grinned. “That’s what Scorp calls it.”





“Drunken baboon it is.” He let go of me and turned around to holler at the guy doing the music (I think it might be one of his cousins…I’m not sure, though, since he’s got about a million of them. Merlin, Daddy was right – they do breed like rabbits). “Oi! FRED! Put some real music on!”





I cheered as a fast paced song came on and started jumping up and down, ignoring the dress that poofed up around me and made it rather difficult to do so successfully.





The crowd watched in horror as we both jumped up and down like…well…drunken…baboons…yeah.





“Alright, guys, the bride and groom have shot one of our oldest traditions to hell and demanded for some real music, so if you would please join them on the dance floor, it’s open for everyone!” Fred (right? Fred, right?) whooped as he danced over to us and started jumping up and down as well.





“Rose is going to kill me!” I screamed ecstatically as we continued to jump.





“Me too!” Al yelled back, grinning like crazy. “But it’s so worth it!”





Suddenly, the large dress got transfigured into a comfortable, casual blue dress, and I turned around to see Rose, who was grinning and grinding with Scorpius (who looked a little too thrilled for it to be normal). “Are you kidding? Rose loves baboon dancing!” She laughed, slapping his hands away when they lingered on her hips for too long.





I giggled as my dad appeared and picked me up, then accepted Mr. Potter’s hand, continuing to giggle as he spun me around and around…





…and then I was dancing with Scorpius, who managed to extricate himself from Rose, who had gone off to dance with Al…





…then with James, who was, might I add, a fabulous dancer…





…and then Fred, who’s hilariously funny and insisted on grinding with me, but stopped at the look on Al’s face (Merlin, overprotective already! The bloke doesn’t even like me!)…





…Hugo, who’s awkward to dance with, but so sweet…





…this blonde kid who kept reminding me that his name was ‘Louee’ or something, and that he was Dom’s brother…





…an attractive bloke with blue hair by the name of Teddy Lupin…Dominique Weasely’s dad…Rose’s dad…





MERLIN, WILL IT EVER END?!





….augh! Albus’ uncle George, then his uncle Charlie, then his uncle Percy, then his Grandpa Weasley…





“Finally!” I exclaimed as the last Weasley passed me on to Al again. “Someone I know!”





“Er…hi to you, too…?” He said unsurely.





“Your family,” Here I paused to look at him with huge eyes. “IS HEE – YOOJ!”





“Um. Yeah.”





“I was like, whoa! There’s so many people. It was like, cousin, after cousin, after cousin, then uncle, after uncle…whoops!”





I giggled as I tripped over my own foot. Stupid foot! Always getting in the way.





“Are…are you okay?” Al asked unsurely, looking down at me as he caught me. I looked up and saw three different Als.





“Oh, wow!” I said in a dazed voice, swatting the air around his head. Wow! He’s transparent. “There’s three of you! How’d you do that?!”





At this, I collapsed into a fit of irrepressible giggles. Well, not collapsed, since Al was still holding me up, but, you know…I laughed a whole lot.





“Your eyes are pretty.” I announced to him after I was done giggling. He looked positively alarmed.





“Uh…” He started, looking around for someone.





“NO! Look at me!” I grabbed his face and pulled it closer, squinting so I could see his eyes again. “Woo-oow.” I breathed. “They’re like…sparkly big green emeralds! So pretty.”





“Yeah. Thanks.” He pulled away, then looked at me for a second. “Are you drunk?” He finally asked, surprised.





I shrugged. “I dunno. I feel awesome! Is that how you feel when you’re drunk?”





He groaned. “Who gave you liquor?”





“Your uncles! All of them! Uncle George is awesome, he gave me…” Here I paused to think back. “Uh…eleventeen whole bottles!” I held up a couple of fingers.





“Eleventeen?” He sounded bemused.





“Wait.” I frowned and looked blearily at my fingers. “That can’t be right…”





My brow furrowed as I thought some more. Finally, I grinned and stumbled out of his grip. “Let’s dance!” I said enthusiastically, grabbing onto his hands and jumping up and down.





“I don’t think –”





“JUST DANCE!” I screamed, shaking my head around wildly. “GONNA BE OKAY! DA DA DOO DOO DOO, JUST DANCE! Uh…”





“Spin that record, babe?” He offered, looking profoundly amused.





“SPIN THAT RECORD, BABE!” I stopped jumping and looked at Al. “Wheee!” I squealed, spinning around and around and around and around…





“Whoops!” I landed on the ground with a thud, then looked up, confused, at Al. He looks like an angel! See? He’s got a halo of light around his head.





“Are you alright?” He asked concernedly.





“Did you see that?” I asked excitedly. “I was like, wheeeee! And then I was like, whooooaaa! And then I fell! BAM! Just like that! BAM! Like a gun! BAM, BAM, BAM!”





I laughed crazily, then fell back, looking up at the stars. Somehow, we had managed to just dance aaaall the way over here, where it’s green and grassy and I can see the stars.





Hey! Al is blocking the stars!





“Don’t block the stars.” I ordered, closing my eyes. HA! He can’t block them now!





***AL’S POV***





She’s cute when she’s drunk.





I sighed and looked back at the party for a moment, noticing that almost everyone was veering around crazily in some way or another. Even Aunt Hermione was letting loose.





Lovely. Everyone except me gets smashed at my wedding.





Shouldn’t I be the one drinking?!





I glanced back at Adele. “What are you doing?”





“I’m making a snow angel.” She said, perfectly serious. She started waving her arms and legs back and forth again.





“But there’s no snow.”





“So?”





I rolled my eyes. Here I am, wasting my time arguing with a drunken person. Stupid.





Suddenly, I felt a gentle tugging at my hand, and looked down again to see that Adele was looking up at me with huge, adorable silver eyes. “Come and look at the stars with me.” She said, pushing out her lower lip in a slight pout.





I wonder what she would do if I said no.





Better not risk it.





Sighing resignedly, I lay down next to her, pushing her blonde curls out of the way. The grass tickled the back of my neck and I glanced sideways to see her silhouette, which was facing towards the stars. Her large silver eyes reflected them, and it looked like fairy dust.





“That one’s my favorite.” She murmured, pointing up. I followed her finger, and saw…well, stars.





“Which one?” I asked.





“Sagittarius.” She said, still pointing. She scooted over closer to me – ignoring that I was slowly moving away – and dragged her head onto my shoulder. “See? That one.” She pointed her finger up, and I saw it.





“Why?” I asked her. She frowned and moved my arm so that it was around her, nestling into my shoulder again.





She grinned. “That’s my zodiac sign. December! That’s my birthday. December…” Her brow furrowed. “I think it was December. December 20th, right? That’s my birthday, right?”





Her sparkly, star-dust eyes latched onto mine. “Yeah, sure.” I said.





“Happy birthday to me,” She sang. “Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday dear…Adele! Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” She laughed crazily for a moment, then dropped her head back onto my shoulder. “You’re comfortable.”





“Um.” I responded brilliantly.





“You’re comfortable, and your eyes are pretty, and your hair looks really soft.” Her land reached up to run through it. “It’s very soft. Like a puppy! I bet you were a puppy last birth!”





“A puppy.”





“Mmm-hmm. I was Voldemort. And before that, I was Hitler.”





The way she stated it, completely matter-of-fact, made me laugh. “Really, now. And how do you know that?”





“Because Karma hates me.” She said desolately.





“I’m sorry.” I responded, smiling.





“Karma hates me. And I don’t get why! I mean, I love Karma. Karma is my best friend. Just like Lena. Lena is my best friend. But I think Lena will hate me now.” She said sadly.





“Why?”





“Because I married you.” Her big eyes turned towards me again, making her look like an innocent, sweet angel. “Lena loves you. And I got married to you. That’s not what best friends are supposed to do!”





“But you had to.” I said, while mentally wracking my brain. Lena…Lena…How come I don’t remember a Lena?





“Wait. Maybe her name was Leah.” She said, frowning. “It sounds very similar.”





“Leah?” I don’t think I know a Leah, either.





“Wait! My best friend is Daphne. Leah…Leah loves you.” She said decisively. “She thinks you’re…”





She looked bashfully up at me.





“What?”





She shook her head.





“Tell me.” I said.





“Okay.” She whispered. Then, she leaned into my ear and breathed, “She thinks you’re sexy.” She giggled and leaned away.





“Oh.” Who’s Leah?!





“Leah’s my next-door neighbor. She saw a picture of you in the newspaper…no, it was Witch Weekly, ‘cept she’s not a witch, so we had to change it, but you were on Witch Weekly!” She said excitedly. “You’re famous!”





I rolled my eyes. “No way.” I deadpanned.





“Yes, really!” She exclaimed. “You’re famous! You’re Witch Weekly’s Hottest Teen of the Decade!”





I groaned and banged my head on the grass. I hate this kind of attention.





“And!” She said, looking triumphant. “Your dad is Harry Potter. He saved the world!”





Captain Obvious, to the rescue!





“Oh my god, really?!” I cried, making my eyes large. “I had no idea!”





“Well, ya should!” She laughed, slapping my chest feebly with her hand.





Apparently sarcasm has no effect on inebriated people. Keep that in mind, Al.





I rolled my eyes, and she cuddled into me with a sigh again. “You’re comfortable. Leah is twelve. She loves you.”





Great.





Just bloody fantastic. Witch Weekly’s Hottest Teen of the Decade, and I only manage to attract a twelve-year-old.





Life sucks.





“You’re pretty.” She mumbled, still nestled against me.





“Excuse me?” I spluttered. “Pretty?”





“Mmm-hmm.” Her wide eyes came up to my face again, looking all dreamy and sparkly. They really are rather nice eyes, I must admit. “You have pretty eyes and nice hair and you’re comfortable, and you look nice. You’re pretty.”





“Boys are not pretty.” I argued.





“Yes, they are.” She said earnestly, her brow furrowing a little. “Scorpius is pretty! Your brother James is pretty! But you’re prettier.” She dimpled at me.





Hold on, dimples?! She has dimples? Since when did she have dimples? Why does she have dimples?!





She yawned. “I’m sleepy. You’re pretty.” Then she giggled sleepily for a while, finally cuddling into me again and drifting off. Her warm breath fanned across my chest every now and then, and I sighed, looking up at the stars.  





She’s cute when she’s drunk.





Damnit. 







please review! they're my inspiration :)
maybe i'll be free of this horrible writer's block :(
ps - check out my author's page! i'm rather proud of it. ;D


Chapter 4: I Battle A Rabid Rat.
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People, I have decided, are much too meddlesome for their own good. Okay, yes, I got married to Albus Potter. That’s what you needed, isn’t it? So why in God’s name are you trying to make this work?







I mean, we’re perfectly content with going back to our respective houses, and, save from the occasional glance at our rings and the fact that we no longer can date whoever we want, completely forget about each other. In fact, we’d be more than content – doing that would make me bloody ecstatic.







I mean, I wanted to marry him. I know what I need to do. And I’m cool with that. There’s really no problem with this marriage. I just don’t want anything to do with him any longer.







Then again, this is our families we are talking about here, so they absolutely insist that we go on a honeymoon.







And by ‘insist’ I mean that my father literally carried me to the car, unceremoniously dumped me in, and restrained me with some choice spells that would only let me out if the driver of the car – oh, hey, James – let me.







Which, even though I desperately need to pee, would have to be never.







“James, please,” I begged. “I really need to go to the bathroom. I’m about to pee myself.”







Al, who was also restrained beside me, wrinkled his nose. Whatever.







“Just don’t think about water and toilets and geysers and the Niagara falls – you really don’t need to be thinking about those, trust me – and all the millions of gallons of water that gush over the surface of this earth on a daily basis.” James sang maliciously.







That’s it.







“But I have my period and I really need to change my tampon!”







Merlin, I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody pull into a gas station so quickly. Smirking, I jumped out of the car and sprinted to the bathroom, taking my sweet time in coming back. Humming contentedly, I slid into the backseat of the car and put my seatbelt back on. That’s when I realized that both Al and James were watching me warily.







“What?”







“So, are you all set, then?” James asked cautiously. “Do you need anything? You’re not going to yell at us, are you? Please don’t yell at us. Oh, dear Merlin, you’re not going to pull a Lily and cry, are you? Don’t cry, seriously. I don’t know what to do when you girls start crying. Al, you can deal with her when she starts crying.”







“Oi, why me?” Al cried indignantly.







“She’s your wife.”







“So?”







I smirked again. “I don’t have my period, guys. I just really had to pee.”







James gasped in outrage. “You conniving little Slytherin!”







“That’s me.” I said sweetly.







His hazel eyes twinkled mischievously at me in the rearview mirror. “You know, dear sister-in-law, I do believe that I have found a powerful ally in you.”







I grinned. “I don’t know, Potter. We’ll have to see just how clever you are before I join forces with you.”







James snorted. “Please. I’m the master of all plans.”







“Actually, James, I do believe the mastermind behind every single great prank was yours truly.” Al spoke up from next to me. James scowled.







“Yeah, well, what about The Great Noodle Incident of ’11?” He argued.







Al smirked. “I was the one who threw the noodles at Todd. I started it.”







“You were eight!”







“I still started it.”







“Wait, what happened?” I asked, intrigued.







“You tell her, Al.” James grinned at us in the mirror again, and Al rolled his eyes.







Wow, James, you’re so discreet. Really.







“Victoire brought home her first boyfriend that year.” Al explained to me, his eyes suddenly years away. He smiled in a reminiscent manner. “Todd. He seemed more interested in my dad, to be perfectly honest. But this was Tori’s first boyfriend, so everyone had to be nice. Except Teddy.” He tacked on at the end.







“Teddy was just jealous, though.” James smirked. “Even though he didn’t want to admit it.”







“Exactly. Ted and Victoire – they’re, like, meant to be or whatever. We couldn’t have this Todd character messing it up for him. We’re on Ted’s side, anyway. Teddy’s our man. So, me being the genius that I was, even at the tender age of eight –”







“Way to be modest.” I complimented.







“Thank you.” He replied without missing a beat. “I decided that we’d had enough of Todd, so I launched a series of whoopi cushion wars, complete with dungbombs and various other embarrassing joke products. Finally, I threw noodles at him. He completely lost it.”







James laughed. “Best family food fight ever.”







“Uncle Bill threw him out after that. Victoire seemed sort of relieved, actually.”







I laughed. “Has there ever been a normal family get-together for you guys?”







They actually had to think about it.







“Well,” James began. “There was that one time, when – wait, no. We blew up the tree.”







“Christmas ’14?” Al asked absently. “Best year ever. Dad’s forty-fifth birthday went pretty well.”







“Naw, Lily brought her boyfriend, remember?”







“Oh, yeah. Rose was brilliant with her beauty charms. I wonder if he still looks like a clown.”







“I think he does. Bloody wanker deserved it – trying to hook up with Rosie while he was still dating Lily, what was he thinking?” James shook his head in wonderment.







“…I’m taking that as a ‘no’, then?” I laughed, remembering the year that David Hopper came back to school with permanent clown hair.







“Just wait, Adele. You’ll have so much fun. Our family is insane, but in a good way.” James twisted around to send me an earnest smile, and I couldn’t help but smile back.







“I bet it’s better than my family any day.” I said, shuddering as I remembered the horrible, quiet Christmases I used to spend with my family. Sometimes I felt like we were sitting through a funeral or something; whenever I or Scorpius so much as smiled, we would get an appalled look. Apparently, smiling during Christmastime is an obscene act of some sort.







“Is your family huge?” James guessed.







I shrugged. “Sort of. It’s old people. Pure-bloods. People I don’t know.” I made a face. “Teenagers wearing ball gowns and thinking that my jeans and shirt are inappropriate.”







“That,” Al said. “Sounds absolutely painful.”







“It is. I try to spend Christmas at Hogwarts. I don’t know what I’ll do now that I’ve graduated.” I sighed.







“You’re spending Christmas with us!” James cried. “Duh. You’re a Potter now.”







I cringed slightly, and Al’s eyes slid towards me. “Er. Right.” I muttered, attempting – and failing – to sound thrilled about that fact.







It’ll take some getting used to.







Okay, maybe more than ‘some’.







***







“Well.” I said dryly. “This is romantic.”







As if on cue, one of the hot pink shutters on a window fell off and crashed into the snarl of weeds below. The smashing sound echoed around the lot, and I saw one of the neighbors peek out at the house, a disapproving expression on her face.







James started laughing next to me, while Al made a couple of weak protesting sounds as he gazed at the ‘house’ (I use that term very loosely) in horror.







“That cannot be inhabitable.” He said. Another crashing noise sounded from the house, and I couldn’t help but fervently agree with him.







“Oh – god – too – funny!”







James seems to be rendered incapable of proper speech due to his excessive-to-an-indecent-amount of laughing.







Bloody git.







“No way.” I continued. “There is no way.”







“Aw, come on, guys!” James said good-naturedly, throwing an arm over both of our shoulders. He let out a couple of more snickers. “Nana and Grandpa Weasley came here for their honeymoon! Uncle Bill was born nine months later; it must have been somewhat effective, right?”







Al shook off his arm with an angry scowl. “Okay, first off: We are not going to have any children.”







“Agreed.” I piped in.







“Secondly,” He continued. “Nana and Grandpa came here for their honeymoon like, fifty years ago.”







“Back when this place might have been in partway decent.” I added.







“And even then, I don’t think they had tons of money, so this place was probably cheap.”







“Which means that, at this point, it’s practically free.”







Our logic is airtight. He can’t argue with that and win.







“Well,” James said briskly, taking our wands and stuffing them in his pocket. “I’m supposed to leave you here, so my work is done. Peaceout, suckas.”







Apparently, he doesn’t need to argue. He can just leave.







With that, he promptly got in his car and drove away, with me and Al gazing incredulously after him, too shocked to even yell in protest.







He’s kidding. He’s kidding.







He’s not honestly just going to – I mean, he wouldn’t just – right? He – he…oh god.







He would just leave us here. Why? Because, according to his convoluted sense of sick, twisted humor, this situation is amusing.







I can assure you that it is not. In the slightest.







“He is coming back, right?” I asked weakly, my voice already hopeless.







Al turned to look at me with a tight, disbelieving expression. “Does it seem like he will?”







Crap.







“Well, we might as well look around inside. Maybe it’s just built that way to ward off the muggles or something.” Al suggested, after a moment of standing there and looking thoroughly lost.







“Sure.” I said optimistically. I picked up my bag and trailed after him as he opened the rusty gate gingerly.







It came off.







Well, it can only get better from here, right?







“Er…” He said, looking back at me unsurely with the gate still clenched in his hand. I shrugged at him, so he dropped it on the ground a couple of feet away from us. It promptly erupted into a shower of red dust.







Wrong. It can only get worse.







The front door came off of its hinges. The stairs were caved in. There was no roof. There was a rat the size of a dog living under the floor.







That was about when we decided that this house was not, in fact, made this way to ward off the muggles. It actually was a hopeless cause and we could just forget about trying to live in it for two weeks. So we did what most people would do when confronted with a rabid, mutated rat: we ran like hell.







“Is it coming after us?” I screamed over my shoulder at Al.







“Yes! Keep running!” He yelled back. I shrieked again and picked up the pace just a little. I mean, I don’t have to run fast, necessarily, to outrun this crazy rat.







Just faster than Al.







Why did James have to take away our bloody wands?” I moaned as I ran. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”







“Good thing we used to play Quidditch, right?” Al panted as he ran up next to me. I laughed breathlessly.







“Are you always this bloody optimistic?” I asked.







He shrugged, the wind whipping his thick black hair around his head as he glanced over his shoulder again. “I try to be, yeah.”







“Is that a Gryffindor thing?”







He grinned unexpectedly at me. “No; it’s an Albus Potter thing. Come on.”







He grabbed my hand and veered left in a sharp, angular turn that made me stagger unsteadily. I gasped as he pulled us into a clump of large grass, his movements quick and precise.







A Seeker. Made to be fast, agile and quick-reflexed. Of course.







I let out an involuntary squeak of surprise as he suddenly pulled me against him, and he covered my mouth with his hand.







“Shh,” He whispered. I nodded gravely at him, and he let go of my mouth, putting his finger to his lips once again as he started to raise his head above the grass. I grabbed his arm before he could, and he looked down at me, exasperation clear on his face.







‘What?’ He mouthed.







‘Blond hair,’ I gestured to my head, then his, ‘Black hair. Let me.’







He nodded, and I slowly raised my head up over the grass…







…right in the face of the rat.







I screamed.







In hindsight, that might not have been the best thing to do, as it alerted the rat, whose eyes glowed red – holy shit – as it bared its teeth at me, foam dripping out of its mouth.







“Run!” I yelled, grabbing Al’s hand and wrenching out of the grass. Al ran ahead of me, nearly dragging me next to him as the Rat’s breath got hotter and hotter on my heels. I stumbled suddenly, and there was the lightest of touches on my shoe, then –







BOOM!







I turned around, panting, my hair flying wildly all over the place, and saw that the rat, seconds away from sinking its teeth into my skin, was lying dead on the ground. I moaned in relief and slumped against Al, too frightened to even care about the fact that I was literally shaking as I pressed myself closer to the protection of his arms.







“Are you alright, miss?”







I looked up, surprised, to see that a muggle was standing in front of me, his gun smoking slightly, his expression one of concern. He seemed really old, his face tanned, his skin like leather.







Merlin, where has James taken us?







“I’m fine.” I said shakily, smiling weakly. Al’s hand started to automatically rub my arm in a methodical manner, as if he had been comforting girls his whole life and was a pro at it by this point.







Thought, judging by the amount of very…er…emotional female relatives he has, he probably is.







“Where’d you come across that thing?” The muggle nodded his head at the rat.







“The abandoned old house over there.” Al gestured vaguely, but the man seemed to understand.







“With the pink shutters?” He asked.







I shuddered. “That’s the one.”







“What were you kids doing over there?” The man’s eyes narrowed at us slightly. “Just goofing around?”







Me and Al exchanged looks. I laughed nervously. “Well, you see…there’s a funny story behind this, actually.”







The man’s expression stayed polite, but I could tell that he was sizing us up. “I have time. See, that property still belongs to someone. What you two just did was trespassing.”







Al shook his head. “No, no! It belongs to my grandparents. There was no trespassing involved.”







“What’s their name, then?”







“Weasley.”







He straightened up slightly. “Arthur and Molly?”







Al smiled, surprised. “You know them?”







“Sure I do.” The man smiled suddenly, the lines around his mouth and eyes telling us that he did that a lot. “We honeymooned together, right there in that house. Say, are you also their granddaughter?”







He looked at me, and I shook my head, opening my mouth to correct him –







“She’s my wife.”







Whoa.







Have you ever thought about how utterly bizarre that sounds? Wife. Wife. I’m his wife.







Dude. I have a husband.







Holy Merlin. I’m married. I have a husband.







Shit.







“Married young, did you?” The man let out a bark of laughter, and I smiled dazedly.







“Yeah, we did.” I said, adding my own nervous laugh to his booming rumble. Al shifted slightly next to me, clearly uncomfortable with having just blurted that out.







“Well, come on, then!” The man said, smiling as though he had just won the lottery. “A young couple – you guys’ll be the center of attention. Joan will love you.”







“Er – where, exactly, are we going?” Al asked, his arm unconsciously tightening around me.







Lovely. Another overprotective male.







“My house. We have a bit of a honeymooner’s hotel there. Joan – my wife – loves the company. Says there’s something magical about a married couple. I’m David, by the way.”







“I’m Adele.” I smiled politely. “And this is Al.”







“Adele and Al. Oh, Joan’ll love you.” David laughed again, shaking his head.







As Al and I exchanged another wary glance, I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly we’d landed ourselves into.














hey, hey,  heyyyy!
wassupp, homies?!
so, guess what?? breathless is back on track!!
i no longer have incurable writer's block - it's cured! i could tell that this story was finally going to move forward when i started to daydream scenes for it during french.
al may have a sudden character change - he's now cocky and a little arrogant, but with that still underlying tone of sweetness that he had in the chapter previous to this...or the one before that.
i know that he's changed - i needed to do it. see, i completely changed al. new character on the banner, new personality...thought it would help with the writer's block. and, lo and behold - it did!
yay!
please review, lovesters :D

PS  -  i'm having major issues with my summaries. anyone want to help? i'll love you forever - credit you and everything! *winning, hopeful smile*

Chapter 5: Well. This is Awkward.
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disclaimer: this is all jo's, al and adele are not being forced, etc etc blah blah blah...
yeah, whatever. 
READ ON XD







I am currently being smothered by the largest pair of breasts I have ever seen on a woman. I fear that I may not ever live to tell the tale.




“Oh, you poor dears; getting attacked by a rabid rat on your honeymoon! Well, let me tell you, I will make sure that you have the best time from now on.”




Great! How about you start with dislodging my face from your chest so that I can breathe?




I made a couple of muffled protests, but Joan merely giggled and patted my hair so that I sunk further into her bosom.




Must. Have. Air!




I gulped in a huge amount of sweet, precious oxygen as she finally released my head. I panted heavily, trying to smile at her while also glaring at Al for laughing at me.




I ended up looking like an idiot.




Great job, Adele.




“Well, let’s see you two together, then!” Joan said excitedly, her pretty face stretching into an indulgent smile as she shoved me into Al and gazed happily at the two of us. We stared blankly back, me still blue in the face from being suffocated and Al still trying hard not to burst out laughing.




I’m sure we look absolutely precious right now.




“Oh, you two might just get on the wall!” She said excitedly, pointing behind her at an immense wall with pictures of kissing couples on it.




Oh, hell no.




I smiled at her again. “Er…really, it’s not that big of a deal –”




“You must be famished!” She cut me off, suddenly looking concerned. “Oh, dear, how could I forget? Dinner will be ready in half an hour, loves. David will take you up to your room.”




“Oh, uh, well –”




“And you don’t have any clothing! Oh, god, you must have lost it at the house; it’s alright, I’ll have some spares sent up for you.”




“Thank you so –”




But she turned around and bustled into the kitchen, leaving David standing there and looking thoroughly amused by our shell-shocked expressions.




“She’s a bit excitable.” He winked at us. “But she’ll warm right up after a while.”




“Right,” Al said numbly. We followed David up a set of enormous stairs and onto a third floor landing. Four couples were milling around, acting puke-inducingly cute and doing generally very couple-like things. They stared at us as we came up – I’m sure we looked like hell – and I smiled nervously. Al quickly grabbed my hand.




“Everyone, this is Adele and Al.” David introduced us. Their stares became even more curious. “Our youngest couple here, actually.” He laughed a bit, the noise echoing off the walls.




I’m not quite sure what he finds amusing in this situation.




“I’m Henry,” A brave man finally came forward with a friendly smile, his hand outstretched towards us. His other hand was dragging along his wife, a pretty-ish woman with light brown hair and a sweet smile.




“Nice to meet you,” I said as I politely shook his hand.




“Sarah,” His wife said, beaming as she grasped my hand. “You’ve got beautiful hair.”




I tried not to laugh – my mess of curls probably resembled barbed wires rather than hair at this point.




After we’d been introduced to Jessica and Victor, Jenn and Jason, and Stefanie and John, we were finally permitted into our room to freshen up. I let out a sigh as I collapsed on the bed.




“This is crazy,” I said, staring up at the ceiling. There were patterns of leaves and hearts all over it, along with signatures of various couples.




“I know. But we can deal for about two weeks, right?” Al said awkwardly. I sat up to send him a disbelieving look.




“I’m sorry – did you just say that we’ll be okay with pretending to be in love with each other for two whole weeks?”




He shrugged. “It’s just acting. How hard can it be?”




“Must you be so bloody optimistic?”




“Must you be so bloody pessimistic?”




There was a beat of silence.




“Touché,” I muttered grudgingly.




He smirked suddenly. “I bet you wouldn’t be able to fool them for even an hour.”




I got off the bed, my eyebrow raised. “I bet I could. I bet I could fool them for the whole two weeks.”




He laughed. “You want to put money on that?”




“Twenty galleons,” I challenged.




He grabbed a towel. “You’re on.”




“Are you sure you can do it?” I called after him as he walked into the bathroom.




He poked his head out to wink at me. “Please. You’re talking to the biggest prankster of the age. I’m a Marauder, love. I’m the best actor out there. ”




I snorted. “Right.”




The door closed, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d just been baited into doing this whole thing, purely for his entertainment.




Arse.




***




“So, how did you two meet each other?”




Oh, you know, we don’t even know each other. Our parents arranged this whole thing so that I could save my father from possible death because of a magical contract. Oops, you didn’t know? I’m a witch, and he’s a wizard. Magic is real! Ta-da!




“We met at school,” I lied smoothly, smiling at Al and twining my fingers through his.




Those twenty galleons are so mine.




“Boarding school,” He continued, after smiling at me for longer than strictly necessary. “We sort of hated each other for a lot of it – for about five years, actually.”




Oh? We’re going with the cliché ‘thin line between love and hate’ story, are we? How very original, Potter.




I laughed. “It was so stupid – we had the same friends, but we absolutely detested each other. I think it was more of a rivalry thing than anything else, to be honest. Our fathers weren’t exactly the best of friends when they went to school, either.”




“I didn’t like anything about her.” Al ‘remembered’. “I didn’t like how she was better than me at po-chemistry, or how her hair always used to shine in the sunlight, or her stupid smile –”




“Yeah, well, I didn’t like your crazy hair, either.” I stuck my tongue out at him. “I also didn’t like your gorgeous green eyes. Not at all.”




Al laughed. “After a little while, the hate turned into grudging respect, and then…fascination. I started noticing her little quirks. The way she bites her lip when she reads, or how she likes smiling at the sky when it’s nice out, or how, in the morning, she needs to have her cup of black coffee, otherwise her day will go completely foul. More than noticing – I started to really like it.”




Okay, I don’t do any of those things, apart from biting my lip when I read.




And I hate black coffee.




Fuck you, Al Potter.




“Excuse me – I wasn’t the only one with the unhealthy obsession for black coffee.” I reminded him. Ha. You make me drink the vile sludge, I’ll make you suffer through the same thing, fool.




He shrugged abashedly. “Okay, fine, I’ll freely admit it: I’m addicted to the stuff.”




I laughed, internally hoping dearly that he didn’t mean it. “I guess that’s when we started a friendship.”




“Yeah,” He agreed. “One morning, in our astronomy tower, I came across her sipping her black coffee and reading a book.”




“Astronomy tower?” Jenn asked breathlessly. The whole table had been hanging to our every word – it was slightly pathetic, and made me want to excuse myself to the bathroom so that I could laugh my guts out.




But I shall restrain and endure. And possibly make Al Potter suffer for making me have to drink black coffee every morning for two weeks.




“We just called it that – it was the roof of one of the buildings.” I invented hastily, prodding Al in the knee so that he wouldn’t give too much away.




“We started talking. Just talking. Pretty soon we were –”




“Best friends.” I shot in. “Always spending time together. I just liked to be with him. Sit there and talk about the smallest things for hours. Tease each other endlessly. It was easy, natural.”




So, I am totally a poet. I think that wins.




“Then,” Al said, his eyes glittering with determination as he gazed around the table. “Our friends got tired of us insisting that we were ‘just friends’.”




Oh, is this a challenge? Who can come up with the better story?




You’re on, Potter.




I laughed. “They bloody locked us in a broom closet for the whole night.”




“What happened?” Stefanie asked, her eyes alight.




“He kissed me.” I tossed out. “Well, first he said something really stupid about my hair and I got pissed at him – started yelling about how he shouldn’t even be talking, because, well, look at that!” I grinned and ran my fingers quickly through his mop of black hair while he pouted at me. It was surprisingly silky, and I had the strong, sudden urge to do it again.




But then I remembered that this was Albus Potter and the urge immediately died out.




“She wouldn’t shut up, even when I tried to explain that I didn’t mean it.” Al added.




“I was insulted! The kid I was possibly in love with told me that my hair looked like something crawled on my head and died on it! How else do you think I would take it?” I asked indignantly.




“It doesn’t.” He assured me. “I love your hair. I tried telling that to you, but you wouldn’t shut up, even for a second!”




I rolled my eyes at him and turned back to the table. “So he kissed me. Just to shut me up.”




“I pulled away after like, three seconds and got really apologetic. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship or anything –”




“But then I kissed him again, and he stopped his mindless babbling and just snogged me.” I finished.




“That story might just get you on the wall.” Joan told us, after she was done dabbing at her eyes. I had to literally stop myself from bursting out into laughter by thinking about dying puppies.




You know it’s a case of really bad giggles when you have to resort to imagining dying puppies. Puppies shouldn’t die. It’s an atrocious crime to even mentally kill puppies.




I bet Hitler and Voldemort mentally killed puppies.




That explains so much – like, for example, why I’mso incredibly screwed up. It’s all this negative energy from those awful past reincarnations.




I mean, honestly – who kills puppies in their head to stop laughter? I’m a horrible person.




“The wall?” I asked. You mean the wall with the kissing couples on it? Um, no thanks. We’ll pass.




“Yes.” Sarah piped up. “Every year, she picks the couple that she thinks is the cutest, and the couple goes on the wall. It’s a bit of a competition.”




Competition, did you say?




“Make it thirty. I want to win this thing.” Al leaned down to whisper in my ear as soon as everyone’s attention was diverted.




“Perfect.” I grinned deviously at him. “I love winning.”




“I love it more.” He shot back.




“Forty Galleons?”




“Bring it.”




***




“Well. This is awkward.”




…I shouldn’t be allowed to speak. Ever.




“So, I guess I’ll sleep on the floor, then?” Al said, acting as though he hadn’t heard my blatant, yet still unnecessary, declaration of how extremely awkward this situation was.




I mean, how many of you would like to sleep on the same bed as Albus Potter?




Um. Don’t answer that.




“Er, sure, I guess. I mean, I’m perfectly fine with sleeping there, if you –” I started uncomfortably.




“No, I’m okay.” He cut across, looking slightly scandalized that I’d even offered. Well, if you’re going to let your stupid Gryffindor chivalry get in the way then – okay, fine, I’ll freely admit it: chivalry is hot.




“You sure?”




“Positive.”




“Because, I mean, that looks really uncomfortable –”




“Seriously, I’ll be fine.”




“I mean, I honestly don’t mind –”




“Merlin, Malfoy, you make it seem like you want me to sleep on the bed with you.”




That shut me up. I glared at him, desperately hoping he could feel the force of my intense glower.




“I was just trying to be nice.” I muttered mutinously.




“You seemed a little too eager there, love.” Came his amused reply.




My jaw locked.




“Toss me a pillow, will you?” He continued, clearly pleased with himself. Bloody wanker.




I chucked it at his face, satisfied when he yelped in surprise and promptly fell backwards off the bed with a loud, resounding thud.




Haha. Sucker.




“Bloody Chaser.” He muttered, climbing back onto the foot of the bed and rubbing his head angrily.




“Should have known not to mess with me, then.” I shot back.




“You better watch it, Malfoy, or I’ll –”




“What are you going to do, seek me?” I mocked.




“No. I’ll make you fall in love with me.” He declared, his voice confident.




There was a full three minutes silence as those words echoed around the stillness.




What?




“BAHAHAHA!” I burst out, clutching my stomach as I rolled around in the bed, unable to control my hysterical laughter. Tears of mirth rolled down my cheeks as I gasped for air.




Oh, god. Priceless. He’ll make me fall in love with him? Absurd. Impossible.




“Think it’s funny, do you, love?” His voice, silky and smooth, was right by my ear, and I abruptly stopped laughing.




Why am I nervous? I shouldn’t be nervous. He’s not going to do anything to me. Heaven forbid I say something mean to him, otherwise he’ll – oh, dear – make me fall in love with him! Oh, the horror!




“I think it’s bloody hilarious, actually.” I stated, wiping my cheeks. “Aw, god. I’ve never laughed that hard in my life, Potter. Thanks.”




“What makes you think you won’t fall in love with me?” He asked.




“What makes you think I will?” I shot back, raising an eyebrow at him.




“I’m irresistible.” He shot me a cocky grin, and for a moment, I could see where he was getting that statement from.




…and then reality welcomed me back into her arms and mentally shook me until I started to see sense again.  




“You’re delusional, that’s what you are.” I said, amused.




He shrugged. “Say what you want to say, but I’ve got the spirit of James Potter Senior on my side.”




I stared at him. “Didn’t he tactlessly chase after your grandmother for seven years before she finally caved?”




He thought for a moment. “Okay, not the best example. Either way, he won the girl in the end, didn’t he?”




“He bloody stalked her, Potter.”




“Taking an interest in our family history now, are we?” He smirked.




“I learned about it in History of Magic, you turd. In fact, so did you. Tell me, how did it feel to learn about the love-lives of both your grandparents and your parents, hmmm? I’m sure you were thrilled to learn about your parents’ first sno –”




“Stop talking.” He said in a strained voice, covering my mouth with his hand. I laughed against his palm, my eyes glittering deviously up at him.




“Don’t mess with me, Potter. I’m a Malfoy – I’ve got the irresistible charm here.” I said smugly, once I’d removed his hand from my face.




He snorted. “Right. Very irresistible, you are.”




My mouth dropped open in indignation. “Excuse me – just because I don’t try to be appealing for you doesn’t mean I’m not an appealing person!”




His eyes seemed to dance in laughter as he slowly looked me up and down. I fidgeted under his gaze, trying to pull down the overlarge shirt that had been provided to me as a nightdress. Stopping about mid-thigh with the fabric cinched around my legs, one sleeve falling off of my shoulder, it wasn’t exactly what one would call ‘decent’.




In short, I looked like a bloody slag.




“Staring, Potter?” I asked lazily, the tone of my voice smug. I was relieved to hear that not a single note of my discomfort ran through the words.




“Don’t you wish.” His eyes snapped back to my face, a smirk curling on the corners of his mouth. “I was merely observing –”




“Which basically means staring.”




“ – and came to the conclusion that although you do have nice legs, you’re really not very appealing at all.”




I glared at him. “Yeah, well, you’re not exactly gorgeous either, Potter.”




“Is that so?”




“Yes, that is so.” I snapped.




“Well, when you declared that I was – what were your words, again? Oh, right – pretty, I’m sure that you weren’t thinking along those lines at all.” His expression was smug.




I scowled. Arrogant arse.




“I was drunk, Potter.”




“Well, they do say that intoxication helps speak the truth.”




“Intoxication also helps speak utter delusional nonsense.” I pointed out.




“You know what I think?” He asked softly, leaning towards me with a small smirk flickering at his mouth.




“Frankly, I don’t care what you think.”




“I think this is all an act.” He continued anyway, his expression daring, intense. “That, behind those sharp words and sarcastic remarks and angry scowls is an actual person.”




“What else would I be, a freaking robot?” I snapped sarcastically. “Of course I’m a bloody person – and has it ever occurred to you that those sharp words and sarcastic remarks and angry scowls are because of you?”




“What have I ever done?” He asked, suddenly irritated. “I’m bloody helping you guys, here. I’m giving up my own life so that your dad’s arse can get saved, again –”




“Shut up.” I said in a low, angry voice. “Just shut up, Albus Potter. You don’t know anything – anything – about my dad.”




“I know enough.” He said harshly.




“Yeah? What’s that?” I shot back, my eyes narrowed.




“I know that he’s a cold, heartless, Slytherin coward –”




“Don’t say another word.” I hissed, grabbing the front of his shirt and fisting it into a knot. “You don’t know anything about us.”




“So you’re saying that the history textbooks lied?” He asked.




“I’m saying that he didn’t have a choice. That he was being influenced by the wrong people, that he was scared for his family, for his life. He didn’t want it.” I said, a slight tremor running through my words. “He didn’t ask for any of it – he didn’t want to be bad. But when everyone that he loved was being put in danger, he had no other choice. What would you have done?” I finished.




“I would have died rather than join the dark side.” He declared.




“You would let your whole family die?”




He faltered slightly. “I would…I would have found a way around it.”




“How? Can you think of something? Okay, Voldemort is standing right in front of you, torturing you, saying that you have to go out there and fight, otherwise he’s going to torture and kill your mother, your sister, your cousins and uncles and aunts…what would you do?”




“I would have fought.” He said, his jaw locked.




“Against Voldemort? And you would have expected to win – are you daft?”




“I –”




“You don’t have any way out of it, Potter. You’ve been backed into a corner, and the only way out is to do whatever he says, because you’re hoping that one day it’ll all be over. That’s all you have, that hope that someday, all of this will be nothing more than a distant nightmare…you have no idea. You have no idea. You don’t know what he had to go through, and frankly, my dad doesn’t need people like you to be judging him for it.”




“I –”




 “Go to sleep wherever you want; I don’t care. Turn off the lights, will you?” I said coldly, turning around and climbing under the covers. I rolled onto my side and moved as far away from him as possible on the pillow, my hair a tangled mass of curls splaying out behind my head.




The lights remained on.




Does he have a comprehension issue, or what? Does he not understand that I want him to turn the lights off so that I can bloody sleep




“I didn’t mean it.” Al’s voice, laced with regret, broke through the silence.




Um. What?




I was surprised into turning around, and I gazed up at him in confusion from my position on the bed.




“Pardon?”




I mean, I must have heard him wrong. He didn’t just…just…




“I’m sorry – I didn’t mean it.”




Whoa.




“I – you – um.” I said oh-so-coherently, sitting up slightly so that I didn’t have to look straight up at his face. “You…are you apologizing?”




Clearly, you nitwit.




Shut up, brain. I wasn’t talking to you!




“Yeah. I – that was way out of line. I honestly didn’t mean any of that. I actually really respect your father for what he’s done, I –” The words tumbled out of his mouth, and I continued to gaze vacantly at him, in shock because of his sudden change of character.




It was like, PRATbamNORMAL!




How is someone supposed to keep up with that?




“Stop.” I said quietly, and he immediately fell silent. “You’re sorry?”




“I’m sorry.” He repeated.




“But…why?”




I must be the one with comprehension issues here, since I cannot seem to grasp the fact that yes, he’s sorry.




“Because that was rude and I honestly didn’t mean it.”




“Oh.”




There was a short silence.




“So…we cool, then?” He finally asked.




I looked at him. “Since when have we ever been ‘cool’ with each other?”




He rolled his eyes, looking amused and slightly relieved. “Right, I meant ‘We back to our normal mutual dislike for each other, then?’”




I frowned slightly – I wasn’t aware of this ‘mutual dislike’. But I guess, when I look at it from his point of view, I do act like I hate him.




So I agreed. “Definitely.”




“Great.” He flopped back down on the bed and stretched languorously. “Turn off the lights, will you?”




I gaped incredulously at him. Okay, so first he goes and insults my father, bloody guilts me into forgiving him, declares our mutual dislike for each other, and now he expects me to turn off the lights for him?




Hell. No. I’ll bloody off myself before I get out of this bed.




“You’re sleeping right next to it!” I cried. “All you need to do is reach over and flick it off, Potter!”




“Don’t feel like it.” He muttered, closing his eyes. “I’m already asleep; you go and do it.”




“I’m not getting out of this bed.” I said stubbornly.




“Fine, we’ll just leave it on, then.”




“That’s fine with me.” I replied, punching my pillow a couple of times to get it fluffy and plopping my face into it. I turned to my side and moved as far away from him as possible. He stretched wider, taking up the excess space, and my teeth gritted.




I tried closing my eyes and slipping into sleep, but the lights danced beneath my eyelids, constantly flickering through my vision. With an angry growl, I sat up and shoved his arm.




“Potter. Just turn off the lights.” I told him. He ignored me, save from a slight smirk tugging at his mouth. I scowled heavily, my teeth gritted again.




“Potter,” Poke. “Potter,” Poke, poke. “Potter,” Sharp poke. “POTTER.” Vicious jab. “POTTER!” Pokepokepoke.




Nothing. I let out a short scream of frustration, and his smirk grew.




“Fine,” I said angrily, breathing heavily. “Just fine. You want me to turn off the lights? Let me make myself clear, then: I’m not getting out of this bed. You can turn them off, or sleep with them on.”




When he didn’t respond, I hit him one more time (just for luck) and fell heavily back onto my pillow, making sure that my movements jostled the bed before I finally went back to my comfortable position of ‘as far away from him as bloody possible’ and closed my eyes tightly.




Five minutes of fruitless attempts at sleep later, I had finally sat up and was desperately trying to reach over his face for the lights. I scrabbled at the air, but my fingers fell annoyingly short.




I am absolutely pathetic. I make myself want to cry.




I growled angrily under my breath and stretched farther, positive that the bumpy thing underneath my chest was Potter’s face.




Lovely. I have my boobs pressed into Potter’s face like some regular old slut.




“Merlin, Malfoy, I didn’t know you were into whoring with sleeping blokes in the middle of the night.”




I swiftly jerked back, my face already set into the dark glare that, before this, I didn’t even know that I possessed.




“If you would just turn off the bloody lights –”




“Life would be much easier if you got out of the bed.”




“Correction: It would be even easier if you just jumped off of the Eiffel Tower. Or, you know, reached over and turned off the bloody lights. Your pick.”




He smirked lazily. “I chose option three –”




“I don’t remember giving you one.” I told him icily.




“ – watching you suffer.”




I growled angrily again. “Fine. You know what? I don’t even care anymore. I’m bloody turning those lights off and I won’t get out of bed.”




“Have fun.” He closed his eyes again, and I made sure to make a face at him before sitting up, swinging my leg over him, and bracing myself on one hand against the mattress by his face as I reached for the lights.




Almost…almost…




What are you doing?!” He yelped suddenly, and I jumped in surprise and pulled back. Damn – so close, too. Fuck you, Potter.




I looked at him. “What does it look like I’m doing, you prat, running a bloody marathon?”




“It looks like you’re straddling me on the bed!” He accused, his eyes wide as he looked up at me.




“Oh, I am not –” I scoffed, then paused as I assessed the situation.




Leg on each side of his body, sitting on his abdomen…




Shit. I am straddling him.




You know what? Fuck it. I am going to get those bloody lights off no matter what it takes.




“Enjoying yourself?” I asked him lazily, leaning over nonchalantly to get to the lights.




“I’d enjoy myself more if you were sleeping on the other side of the world.” He told me.




Without looking, I flashed my hand to the side so that I could slap him across the head, but he grabbed my arm and tossed it away from his face, towards my pillow. With a yelp of surprise, I crashed against him, having nothing else to hold me up.




“What are you doing?” I wheezed, trying to get some air into my lungs after having them smashed into Potter’s rather hard face.




The gods must really hate me right now; that’s twice in one night that I’ve had Potter’s bloody face shoved up my boobs.




Lovely. Just bloody fantastic.




As this realization dawned on me, the door flew open.




“Hello, loves, I just wanted make sure that you were – oh!”




Fuck my life.




Joan’s eyes were wide as she took in the situation, which I am positive didn’t look the least bit like it truly was.




“Erm – we were just…uh…” I stuttered, my face turning bright red as I quickly shot to my end of the bed. “Uhh…”




Al seemed to be holding in his laughter, and I kicked him discreetly in the leg. What the bloody hell is wrong with him?! I don’t find anything even remotely humorous in this situation. If he finds this funny (which he clearly does), then he is one severely messed up little bugger (which he clearly is) with a terrible sense of humor (which he clearly doesn’t have).




What a git.




“Oh, dear.” She tittered, her face also pink. “Wrong time, I see. Well, don’t let me interrupt, I just wanted to leave your clothes for tomorrow. Have a nice night!”




She winked at us and closed the door, and I let my face fall into my pillow with a groan.




Great. An old lady thinks she just walked in on us having sex. Ergo, that old lady thinks she’s aware of my sex life. No old lady should be aware of my sex life, even if there isn’t ever any sex involved. That is just sick on so many levels.




“This is so embarrassing.” I moaned into the blankets. “If you’d just turned off the lights, none of this would have happened –”




“Aw, lighten up, Malfoy,” Al laughed good-naturedly. “You have to admit that was pretty hilarious.”




I raised my head to sputter indignantly at him. “Are you insane – that woman just thinks she walked in on us having sex!




Instead of being scandalized and violated like he was supposed to, he started laughing even harder.




I wonder if his mother dropped him on his head a lot when he was a baby. There is clearly something neurologically wrong with him.




“That’s not funny!” I cried. “Why are you laughing?”




He just shook his head at me, still chuckling. “Don’t be such a prude, Malfoy. Learn to live a little.”




I scowled. “I am perfectly acquainted with the art of living, thank you very much. Just because I actually have a sense of pride and class doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of letting go and having fun.”




He looked thoroughly amused. “Alright, then; what’s your idea of having fun?”




I gazed blankly at him. “What’s – we aren’t talking about this right now, Potter! We’re discussing the extremely embarrassing situation that that woman just walked into!”




“Let it go, love.” He said patiently, like I was a small child throwing a temper tantrum. “It happened. There’s nothing we can do about it now.”




“It’s still embarrassing!”




“And is that embarrassment going to make it any better?”




“What, so, I’m not allowed to be embarrassed anymore?”




“I’m just saying that instead of being irrationally embarrassed by something as trivial as this, you let it go and laugh it off.” He said mildly.




“I – you’re insane!” I spluttered. No class, I tell you. Not a shred of dignity or self-respect in this boy. Despicable.




Holy god, I sound like my freaking grandmother.




This is bad. Very bad.




Let’s just pretend that never happened, alright?




He shrugged. “I personally find that you’re the insane one here, but to each his own, I guess.”




I sighed heavily. “How is this going to work?”




“Frankly, I don’t care.” He said lightly, turning over and reaching out to flick off the lights. My jaw dropped in outrage. “Sleep tight, Malfoy.”




I sat there for a full three minutes in overwhelming indignation. If he had just turned the bloody lights off in the first place –!




Argh. I’m going to develop hypertension before this week is over, I just know it.




***




“Oi, get up.”




Gee, what a loving wake-up call. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful and caring husband.




Wow – is it bad that I’m sarcastic even while half-asleep? I think I need to re-evaluate my personality.




Eh. Maybe not.




I sighed heavily through my nose and slowly opened my eyes, squinting against the morning light that was filtering through the window.




“What time is it?” I asked groggily, sitting up in bed and scratching at my head. My curls bounced up and down around me, and I couldn’t help but mentally curse my mother for giving me such atrocious hair genes.




“Time for you to get your arse out of bed,” Was his smart reply, followed by a wad of fabric thrown at my head. Scowling, I pulled it off and looked blearily at it.




“What’s this?”




“Merlin, are you always this dense in the morning? They’re clothes, you turd.” He asked exasperatedly.




“Leave me alone.” I moaned, falling back against the bed. “I’m tired. Don’t judge me.”




He heaved another heavy sigh as I rolled over and pulled the blankets over my head. “Will you get up?”




“No,” Was my very muffled and stubborn reply.




Suddenly, there was a sharp tug on the blanket, and with a shriek of indignation and surprise, I tumbled off of the bed and onto the floor, landing very heavily on my not-nearly-padded-enough arse.




“What the fuck!” I screeched, throwing a pillow at him. He dodged it with ease, smirking at me.




“Go take a shower.”




“Go to hell.”




“You asked for it.” He said, coming at me.




“What do you mean, I – Oi! Put me down!” I yelled as he suddenly stooped down, picked me up, and slung me across his shoulder like I was a potato sack.




This is so fucking demeaning. I swear I’ll get back at him if it’s the last thing I do.




“Merlin, you’re light.” He said in astonishment, bouncing me up and down a little. I shrieked and steadied myself. Excuse me, you prat, that hurts! What do I look like, some sort of rag doll or something?




Note to self: Gain more weight. Preferably in muscle.




Ignoring my back-pounding, leg kicking, and continued screeches of protest, he calmly carried me into the bathroom, turned on the shower, and dumped me into it, fully clothed. He then proceeded to stroll out of the bathroom, whistling merrily to himself and cheerfully disregarding the threats and curses that I screamed after him.




Arse. 







*hides behind purple blankie even though considered undignified for teenaged girl* it hasn't been that long, has it?

please leave review-candies! i'll try to update faster next time, i promise! in fact, i PINKIE promise! and that's saying a lot. pinkie promises are legit, man.


Chapter 6: I'm Officially Creeped Out
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I am the epitome of calm. Like, seriously, I’m so calm it’s not even funny. I don’t think anyone can be calmer than I am right now. If you look in the dictionary, there will be a picture of me under the word ‘calm’. That’s how calm I am.


 

I was thinking happy thoughts as I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around myself, wearing a self-satisfied smirk and humming cheerfully.


 

You see, I have a plan. A plan that involves me winning those forty galleons and one that makes sure that I don’t end up shooting somebody by the time that these two weeks are over:


 

I’m going to act. Act like I’m in love with him, act like I’ve just been happily married to the one person that I adore more than anything else in the world, act like I honestly, genuinely like Albus Potter.


 

And it’ll be fun. Why? Because I’ll win, Albus Potter will be stumped, and…I’ll win.


 

I like winning. Have I mentioned that before?


 

I pulled on the light, floaty white dress that Joan had given me, even going as far as to twirl around a bit so that it flared up around me.


 

This is saying a lot. The last time I twirled in front of a mirror wearing a pretty dress was when I was…wait. That was never. Oh, well. First time for everything, right?


 

I brushed my hair so that the curls resembled…er…actual hair and put on some light eyeliner and a little bit of mascara.


 

I smiled at my reflection – oh, this’ll be fun – and turned around to make my way downstairs, where I heard the clattering of spoons and the light buzz of conversation, telling me that breakfast was in session.


 

“Good morning,” I smiled as I walked in, looking around at the couples that were currently enjoying their food. Everyone seemed to be there, and Jenn was talking animatedly about something-or-other. She fell silent when I came in and took the time to send me a brilliant smile.


 

“You’re just in time – I’m telling everyone about how me and Jason met!”


 

Oh, I’m sure the story is just precious.


 

“That sounds wonderful.” I grinned at her and made my way to the chair next to Al. He was deep in conversation with Henry. I trailed a finger across the back of his shoulders – he stiffened slightly and I hid a smirk – and leaned down to kiss him lightly on the cheek, my fingers dipping briefly into his surprisingly soft hair.


 

“Morning.” I murmured sweetly to him.


 

“Morning, love.” He said cheerfully, tilting his head and planting one on my cheek as well. I struggled against a scowl – this might be harder than I thought. “Have a seat. Joan made us coffee.”


 

“Yum.” I said unconvincingly, eyeing the cup of steaming sludge. Al was sipping his happily, and smirked slightly at me.


 

Arse. I narrowed my eyes at him a little.


 

I took a seat next to him and helped myself to some eggs, starting to take a bite before I realized that everyone was looking at me. I lowered the fork. “What?”


 

“Aren’t you going to have your coffee?” Joan asked kindly. “Al told us you absolutely cannot function without it.”


 

Did he, now?


 

“Oh, of course.” I said quickly, picking up the sludge, blowing on it, and taking a tiny sip. Immediately, the sharp flavor of black coffee invaded my taste buds and I used all of my self-constraint not to grimace as I set it down.


 

Albus Potter is going to pay.


 

“So, how was your night?” Joan asked, a slight smirk on her face. I spluttered into my coffee cup, my face immediately turning a bright red. Al simply looked amused as he patted me on the back, and I made a mental note to smack him upside the head later.


 

“Er – it was just fine.” I said weakly, after I had regained control of my lungs.


 

Joan smiled again. “I hope I didn’t ruin the mood or something.”


 

I could feel myself turning redder. Even Al was blushing as he cleared his throat somewhat awkwardly. “Er, no, it really wasn’t too much of a problem –”


 

“I hope I didn’t just destroy the magic of your first time or anything.” She had the nerve to continue.


 

This time I literally choked on my own spit. Al was nearly as red as I was, his eyes wide and disbelieving. I coughed loudly, fanning the air in front of my mouth as if that would somehow help.


 

Holy. Mother. Fucker.


 

Is this woman serious? I mean, honestly serious? DID SHE REALLY JUST SAY THAT?!


 

“Erm, no.” Al looked absolutely mortified. “It was fine. Really.”


 

“Oh, bless their young hearts – it was their first time!” Joan said, laying a hand over her heart.


 

What. The. Bloody. HELL.


 

I looked around, my jaw wide open, and saw that everyone else was looking just as thrilled. At that moment, I wished that I could just melt through the floor.


 

Kill me. Kill me.


 

***


 

“That was horrible!” I moaned as I collapsed on the bed half an hour later. After enduring everyone’s delight at being in the presence of a ‘recently de-virgined couple’ (their words, not mine), I had to sit silently through the love stories of every other couple whilst acting appropriately abashed and in love.


 

It was torture.


 

“I swear that woman enjoyed every second of it, too!” Al seemed to agree with me, as his voice was just as outraged as mine.


 

“I know! She was smirking the whole time! I swear, if she wasn’t old, I would have smacked her across the face –”


 

He was nodding fervently in agreement. “Pop one right in the mouth. She’ll be out before she realizes it.”


 

There was a moment of silence.


 

“Did we really just spend all that time plotting against an old lady?” I finally asked in an amused voice.


 

He laughed. “I guess we did. Now –” He wore an extremely businesslike expression as he sat down next to me on the bed. “We have more important matters to discuss.”


 

I raised an eyebrow. “And those would be…?”


 

“Winning this little competition, of course.” He said.


 

“Of course.” I nodded. “What’s your plan of action?”


 

“I think we need to practice,” He said, still in his ‘I was a former Quidditch captain, bitch’ voice.


 

“Practice acting in love?”


 

“Yes.”


 

“Okay.” I said.


 

There was another moment of silence.


 

“Okay, look –” He began. “For the sake of this whole competition thing…and for the rest of my life, can we just…er –”


 

“Cooperate?” I filled in.


 

“Yeah.” He said.


 

My mind whirred – if I want to win this, I have to cooperate. I have to beat him.


 

So I smiled. “Definitely.”


 

“Wait – but I can still be a jerk to you sometimes, right?” He asked, his voice anxious.


 

I snorted. “I’d be worried if you didn’t.”


 

He looked relieved. “Good. Come on.” He walked to the door, and I got off the bed, unsure and confused. “Where are we going?”


 

My eyebrows shot up as he smiled unexpectedly at me. “We’re going on a date.”


 

“A date.” I repeated, my voice flat as I followed him out.


 

He took my hand, and I jumped slightly in surprise. “That’s right.” He winked at me once – I scowled – and started leading the way down the stairs.


 

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that he’s trying to do the same thing as me. He wants to win me over…win this little competition.


 

Shit – of course he does.


 

He’s planning on making me fall in love with him! He – oh, shit – he’s a Potter; he loves to win. He’s going to want to win me over before I do that to him.


 

It’s just like a game, where both of the contestants are hell-bent on winning, the old rivalry of their families ringing out through this battle of dominance.


 

Oh, you’re on.


 

***


 

“What is this place?” I asked wonderingly, looking around myself at the colossal structure.


 

“It’s a shopping mall,” Al explained, tugging lightly on my hand so that I would follow him instead of staring around like an idiot.


 

“What’s that?”


 

He sent me a disbelieving look. “Well, gee, let’s think…shopping mall…”


 

“I’ve never seen one before,” I continued, ignoring his tone of voice and turning around to look at the vast ‘parking lot’ again. I stumbled slightly over my own foot (of course I would) and unconsciously tightened my hold on Al’s hand.


 

“It’s a muggle thing,” He explained, catching me by the waist as I tripped again and nearly fell on my face. I sent him a grateful look and turned back around, craning my neck to look up at the building.


 

“It’s so tall,” I breathed. “How do muggles make it?”


 

“They use these things called machines.” He opened the door for me and I walked through, looking around at the various shops. Everything was bright with color and noise, making the mall seem almost surreal and vibrant. I watched as people – muggles – milled around, holding large bags and talking loudly to each other.


 

“What does a machine look like?” I asked as soon he was walking next to me again.


 

Al turned around to send me an exasperated look. “You mean you really don’t know these things?”


 

I shook my head.


 

“Well, you should have taken Muggle Studies, then.”


 

I scowled. “I wanted to, but I didn’t have any room in my schedule.”


 

He looked disgusted. “Ew, nerd.”


 

I shoved him. “Shut up. I just like learning, okay?”


 

Holy god, I do sound like a nerd. Once again, I need to re-evaluate my personality, since, apparently, I am completely and totally unappealing as a person. I mean, come on – I doubt any guy would go for the ‘sarcastic, cynical, pessimistic, nerdy’ type.


 

Then again, I’m already married, so it’s not something that I need to worry about.


 

Then again, I do need to somehow make my lovely (sarcasm) husband fall in love with me, so I guess it is something I should worry about.


 

Too bad it’s not something that I particularly care about. If you want me, it’s for who I am. Take it or leave it.


 

That’s right. You just got told. Bitch.


 

My resemblance to an American gangsta is worrying.


 

So is the fact that I just used the term ‘gansta’.


 

…and this is where I stop think-rambling.                     


 

“ – just like Aunt Hermione,” Al was finishing, sending me another disapproving look.


 

I, however, brightened considerably. “Really?! Wow, thanks! Mrs. Weasley is gorgeous!”


 

He rolled his eyes. “Not in that sense.”


 

Gosh, I’m so flattered. I shot him a dirty look. “Arse,” I muttered resentfully.


 

“I mean, it’s just that you two look nothing alike,” He added. “She’s curvier than you are, with brown hair and tan skin, whereas you’re tall, blonde and pretty much curveless. Not to mention deathly pale.”


 

My hand jumped to my face. “I’m not that pale.”


 

He gave me a look. “You resemble a vampire.”


 

I brightened again. “Great! Vampires are supposed to look breathtaking –”


 

“I’m not talking about Edward Cullen.” He rolled his eyes.


 

I stopped and put my hands on my hips, turning to him. “You know since you’re married to me, it would be nice, once in a while, to give me compliment or two.”


 

He looked me up and down. “Um…nice shoes?”


 

I glared at him. “They aren’t even mine!”


 

“They look lovely on your feet. Now come on, move.” He grabbed my arm and marched me forward. I pouted resentfully.


 

I mean, I know I’m not beautiful. I’m not one of those girls who constantly need someone fawning over them and telling them that they’re the loveliest creatures to have walked the planet since the beginning of time.


 

But since I already (unwittingly and while I was piss drunk) told Al Potter what I thought about his appearance, I thought it would be at least common courtesy for him to be nicer to me about mine. I don’t need a declaration of worshipful adoration. Just something to let me know if I look okay.


 

Because, fine, I’ll admit, it’s sort of a tender spot for me. How I look, I mean. All three of my family members are beyond gorgeous, but, somehow, I am the poor shmuck that got pegged with the absolute worst genes in the gene pool.  The sad thing is, it takes someone with only my luck to get those types of genes, since we don’t really have that many bad genes in this family.


 

Yes – my whole family is attractive. My. Whole. Family.


 

Talk about shit for luck.


 

Somehow, it just had to be me who got stuck with the unruly mass of blonde curls, and the too-pale skin and the freakish tallness.


 

Joyous.


 

“You know, I’m starting to enjoy these quiet, submissive moments of yours,” Al said happily as he continued to tow me along.


 

“Don’t get used to it,” I said, blinking a couple of times to clear my head and finally looking around me. My eyes followed the line of shops, and stopped on a large, bright sign that read ‘Come And See Your Future with Artemis the Seer!’


 

A huge smile spread over my face.


 

Two seconds later, I was dragging Al over to the store.


 

“Oi, what are you –”


 

“Look, it’s so cool! I’ve always wanted to go and see a Psychic, just to hear what she says. This is going to be so much fun,” I declared, pulling aside the beaded entrance and stepping into the cool darkness of the room.


 

“You have a very twisted idea of what ‘fun’ is,” Al muttered, looking around him in obvious disdain. “This is ridiculous. It’s just another muggle trick to get money –”


 

“But I really want to,” I cut across, hoping that the expression on my face was my Famous Puppy-Dog Look. I widened my big silver eyes (yes! Something on my face finally comes in handy!) and pouted the crap out of my lips.


 

He sighed loudly. “Fine,” He said resentfully, crossing his arms to let me know that he was doing me a great personal favor by staying here. I beamed happily. One more point for Adele’s Famous Puppy-Dog Look!


 

It never fails. Never.


 

“I knew you’d come.”


 

I jumped about a foot in the air and scrambled wildly back towards Al. Oh my god, don’t people understand that it is common courtesy to not sneak up on other, unsuspecting people? I’m starting to feel the sure signs of an impending cardiac arrest here!


 

“GOD!” I breathed, clutching at my fiercely beating chest. “Don’t do that!”


 

A tall lady stepped out from the shadows, a smirk playing at her lips. To my utmost surprise, she looked relatively normal, with long brown hair tied back in a simple ponytail at the back of her head and modest gold hoops dangling at her ears. She was dressed casually, in jeans and a t-shirt.


 

Surprisingly enough, this made me want to believe her even more. Because Trelawney got all dressed up and was a complete and total fraud, so maybe someone who looked normal could be…?


 

Hold on.


 

I’m going crazy. This is just for fun! Just a little muggle trick for kicks and giggles –


 

“You have power,” she continued, her gaze scrutinizing as she took my arm and proceeded to drag me further into her lair. I let out a startled ‘meep!’ and grabbed Al’s hand. If I go in, he comes in with me.


 

“Sit,” she said, gesturing at two chairs. I sat down warily, watching as she swept to the other side of the table and took a seat as well. Al was tense beside me, sitting at the edge of his chair, and I knew that he was probably wishing for his wand just as much as I was right now.


 

I’ll never admit this to him, but perhaps this was a bad idea.


 

“There’s something about you,” Artemis-the-Seer finally said, her voice a mere whisper of wonder. “Something powerful and almost…magic.”


 

I let out a nervous chuckle. “Erm – thanks?”


 

“You’re magic,” She finally stated, staring at the two of us in awe. “You – you two – are magical. Of course.”


 

“Okay, I’m starting to get seriously creeped out,” Al announced, standing up. “Look, this has been fun and all, but –”


 

“Sit down, please. I’m not done yet,” she said calmly, looking at him with piercing grey eyes. He looked surprised, but sat down without another word.


 

Wow. Dude, I wish I could do that.


 

She watched us in silence for a little while. “You’re married, but it’s more than a marriage. It’s binding – a thousand times stronger than a normal union.”


 

Yes, that would be on account of the fact that our marriage is magical.


 

Ooooh, aaah.


 

“You don’t love each other,” she sounded surprised. “You’re not in love at all.”


 

I rolled my eyes. “No shit.”


 

“But you don’t hate each other either,” Artemis closed her eyes and smiled. “There’s something with the two of you…it’s sort of brewing under the surface, but it’s strong.” She exhaled gustily. “You have so much power. It’s hard to see past all of it. It’s dizzying.”


 

Well, I feel kind of special.


 

She turned to Al. “There’s a lot more in you than you let on,” she informed him. “You want to be like your brother and grandfather, but you have your father’s nature. Your grandmother’s nature. That’s why you have her eyes – your eyes speak your soul and your soul is good.” She cocked her head to the side and smiled widely. “You think your wife is beautiful.”


 

My heart jumped in my chest at that one, and I turned to Al, color spreading across my surprised face. He was blushing the brightest shade of tomato red, sputtering incoherently.


 

“Now that’s just ridiculous –”


 

That told me all I needed to know. Biting my lip to hide the huge smile that was threatening to split my face open, I turned back to the front and looked down.


 

She turned to me next. “You don’t see yourself clearly enough. You’re hiding behind your nature as well, just like your husband. You keep insisting that you’re sarcastic and pessimistic, but you’re not.” She took another deep breath and looked me straight in the eyes. “You’ve got one of the purest souls I’ve ever seen. But you need to stop hiding. You feel like you know yourself well enough, like your true nature is just like your family’s, but you’re different. You’re brave, very brave. Fiercely loyal. A little impulsive at times.”


 

Okay, she basically just told me that I was supposed to be a Gryffindor.


 

This woman is insane.


 

There was a short silence as we stared at her in surprise.


 

She smiled suddenly. “Want to know how many children you’re going to have?” She asked brightly, reaching across the table to grab my hand.


 

“None!” Al protested loudly. “We’re not going to have any children –”


 

“Three,” She said delightfully, studying my palm as though the answers were scrawled across it. “A boy and two girls. The boy will be the oldest, and he’ll have the Potter hair, but Adele’s eyes. The girls are going to be twins, but fraternal. One will have Adele’s hair and Albus’ eyes, and the other will have red hair and warm brown eyes.” She sighed happily. “Such beautiful children.”


 

“Hold on, how do you even know our names?” I asked, shocked.


 

She looked amused. “What, you think this is all a joke? I know things.”


 




greetings from india! the internet is wonky here, so i'll make it quick ;)

thought i should give you lovely people an update since i've been MIA for so long!

be happy and review! please? love you <3

so, who lol'ed at 'artemis the seer'?! i did. get it? get it? artemis? i'm funny.

sleepy time for the crazy author, methinks. review, please! i'll be home soon :D and then maybe i'll write you guys a long author's note on another story. mayhaps deja vu. havent decided yet.

bye <3

 
 


Chapter 7: Gosh, Took You People Long Enough.
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 Tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.


 

“Potter,” I groaned, rolling over and pulling the blanket over my head. “Stop making that noise.”


 

“Shut up and let me sleep,” His muffled voice countered from next to me.


 

I sat up straight in bed and looked to my right. Al was burrowed under the blanket so that only his mop of black hair was visible. So, if he’s not making that noise, then…


 

Tap, tap.


 

I whipped my head towards the window and saw –


 

“Athena!” I cried ecstatically, springing out of bed and pulling the window open. My bright grey owl – almost silver – fluttered in and landed on my shoulder, nuzzling me affectionately on the head as I untied the letter from her leg.


 

“What is it?” Al asked groggily, sitting up in bed and peering at me.


 

“It’s a letter,” I told him, crossing over the floor and perching myself on the edge of the bed. I unfolded the paper, my eyes widening slightly in surprise. “From your mother.”


 

“What?” He untangled himself from the blanket and crawled towards me, leaning over my shoulder to read the letter as well.


 

Dear Al and Adele,


 

                We are really, really sorry about that terrible honeymoon location, but hope that you two are safe and in good hands. James is an idiot, but I think we all know that pretty well already. Don’t worry Al, he’s currently being forced to clean out your room using no magic –


 

“Brilliant,” Al whispered. “My room’s a mess. It’ll teach the idiot a bloody lesson.”


 

 – and has to move all of Adele’s things in there as well. I would have made him do the enlarging spells, but you know how James can get with his revenge. I know you two must be anxious to get home – or, to be precise, as far away as possible from wherever you’re currently staying, which I hope isn’t too bad – so I’m also sending one of your wands over. I would send both, but Harry wouldn’t let me, just in case they fall into the ‘wrong hands’. I swear, he is so paranoid I am not paranoid, Ginny! I just want them to be safe! Okay fine, he’s not paranoid. Happy now, Harry? Not really. EITHER WAY, come home as soon as you can – we’re all terribly worried about you. I would have tried to contact you earlier, but none of the owls could seem to find you, which was quite odd considering they’re supposed to be trained for this type of thing. Astoria told me that Adele’s owl was pretty attached to her, so I’m hoping Athena did the job! Write back soon to let me know when you’re coming.


 

Love,


 

Mum


 

“We’re going home!” Al crowed as soon as he was done reading the letter.


 

“I’m being forced to move into your room with you?” I asked, horrified.


 

“Who cares about that? We’re going home!”


 

“But I don’t want to move in with you! I want my old room!”


 

“Well, we’ll just get them to move your stuff back! Stop whining, for God’s sake.”


 

“I’m not whining, you tosser. I just don’t want to have to endure the torture of having to stay with you any longer.”


 

“I’m going to let that one slide, since I get to go home.”


 

“Or because you don’t have a snarky comeback.”


 

“Ignoring!”


 

“Please don’t sing like that. Honestly, you’re even worse than my father.”


 

“Okay, you know what? Your pissy nature is raining on my happy parade, so do me a favor and bugger off.”


 

“I really hate you.”


 

He ignored that, and, rolling his eyes, turned eagerly to the owl perched on my shoulder. A wand was attached to her other foot. Al reached forward to untie it from Athena, but she hooted indignantly and nipped at his fingers.


 

“My owl has good taste,” I said smugly as Al hastily retracted his hand.


 

“Look, just get the wand, alright? I don’t have time for this,” He said impatiently. Shooting him a superior look, I reached over to untie the wand from Athena, stroking her feathers a bit.


 

“Whose wand is it?” Al asked.


 

I grinned. “Mine. Guess you’re Side-Along Apparating with me.”


 

He looked as though he was ready to kill something. Instead, he settled on arguing with me to relieve his tensions.


 

Honestly. Who does that?


 

“What kind of person names their owl Athena, anyhow?” He snapped childishly at me.


 

I raised an eyebrow, clearly amused. “Well, what other option do you have for me, O Christening Master?”


 

“Of all the Greek names to pick, you could have chosen Hermes, who was the messenger of the Gods –”


 

“But I chose Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, whose sacred animal is the owl,” I finished, raising both of my eyebrows at him this time.


 

He sulked. Damn right, Potter. You think just because I’m a witch, I don’t take the time to learn Muggle Mythology? Think again.


 

“Whatever. Just take me home,” He muttered.


 

I bit my lip. “We just can’t up and leave, Potter.”


 

He shot me a disbelieving look. “Yes we can.”


 

“What’ll everyone think if we just disappear?” I argued.


 

“Better question – who bloody cares?”


 

“Potter, come on. We should at least say goodbye and thank them for their help,” I said reasonably.


 

He looked disgusted. “Excuse me, but are you a Slytherin or what? Aren’t you not supposed to give a shit about those things?”


 

My jaw locked. “Well, I do. Put on some clothes, we’re going downstairs to say goodbye.”


 

“The hell we are,” He spat. “We’re going home.”


 

My eyes narrowed. “We’re not going home until we say thank you and goodbye.”


 

“No –”


 

“I’m sorry, but who has the wand here? Oh, yeah! That would be me. So shut up and do it,” I said loudly and in his face.


 

His eyes were spitting green fire at me by this point, his face looking as though it was carved out of ice. “Fine,” He spat, turning around and stalking into the bathroom. “We’re leaving in fifteen minutes, though. No arguing.”


 

The door snapped shut behind him, and I let out a shrill breath. The stupid arsehole always manages to get in the last word, even when it’s clear that I’ve won the argument.


 

That is so bloody frustrating.


 

Athena hooted from her perch on my shoulder, and I gave a small start, reaching up nonchalantly to stroke her head. Looking down at the letter, I sighed, reached over to grab a pen, and wrote back a short response on the other side of the parchment.


 

Thank you so much for sending over my wand. We’ll be there soon.


 

-Adele


 

You know, it makes much more sense for the Gryffindor to be the polite one. Gritting my teeth slightly, I tied the letter to Athena’s leg and kissed the top of her feathery head. Hooting once and giving me an affectionate nip on my ear, she spread her wings and sailed out of the window.


 

***


 

“You’re leaving? Already?” Joan looked absolutely desolate.


 

“Yeah,” I said, trying and failing miserably to sound apologetic. “I know it’s very soon, but –”


 

“Oh, don’t go,” Joan pouted.


 

“I’m sorry, we’ll…er…really miss this place,” I lied. Al sighed heavily from next to me.


 

“Five minutes,” He muttered in my ear. I stepped on his foot, whilst continuing to smile innocently at Joan.


 

“Okay, but at least come back soon,” Joan pleaded. “It was really a pleasure having you here.”


 

“We’ll definitely try,” I promised. More lies. “Thank you so much for all of your help.”


 

“Oh, it was not a problem,” She said fervently. “Keep me updated, okay loves? I want to hear all about the children. I’m sure they’ll be beautiful.”


 

My smiled gritted. “There will be no children.”


 

She laughed airily. “That’s what they all say,” She winked. “And at the rate you two are going, I’m sure that there will be at least threechildren.”


 

I was fully glaring at this point. “Right,” I snapped. “I just wanted to say thanks. Bye.”


 

“Goodbye, come back soon!” Joan cried dramatically, evidently not noticing that I was ready to physically harm her and reaching forward to envelope the two of us in another bone-crushing hug. I spluttered slightly when she finally let me go, and, sending her one final tight smile, grabbed Al’s arm and speed walked out of there as fast as my legs could carry me.


 

“Bye!” Joan called from the door. I raised a hand without looking back, and turned quickly around the corner, where I promptly broke into a sprint.


 

“Whoa, there!” Al exclaimed, tripping slightly before pumping his legs faster to keep up with me. “Someone’s in a hurry. You still have time before those five minutes are up, you know.”


 

“I just want to find a place so that I can summon my stuff and Apparate the hell out of here,” I muttered, skidding around a corner and coming across a large tree perched on a hill a couple of yards away.


 

Okay, so perhaps it was more than a couple.


 

“Let’s go there,” I pointed at the tree, and Al groaned from next to me.


 

“You couldn’t have picked a slightly closer spot?”


 

“Oh, stop whining, Potter,” I shot back. He grumbled angrily under his breath but followed me to the tree anyway, huffing in exasperation as he climbed up the (steeper-than-it-really-looks) hill.


 

“You would bring us to a fucking mountain,” He panted, leaning over to catch his breath as he stood on the top, underneath the tree.


 

“Don’t exaggerate,” I huffed back. “And, besides, it’s a nice spot. This place looks beautiful.”


 

He rolled his eyes. “Oh yes, it’s absolutely gorgeous.” His words dripped with sarcasm. “Now hurry up, it’s almost one and I’m hungry.”


 

“Well, if you weren’t in such a rush to get out of Joan’s place, we could have eaten before –”


 

“If you hadn’t insisted on staying to say goodbye, we would have already been –”


 

“It’s common courtesy, you tosspot! You’re supposed to thank the people who’ve helped you out –”


 

“Who the fuck cares?”


 

“I do!” I yelled, the wind whipping my hair around my head. A couple strands slapped at my cheeks as I glared up at Potter, who was glowering down at me as though all the world’s evils originated from my body.


 

“For god’s sake, why?” He threw his hands up.


 

“Because that’s how I’ve been taught my whole life,” I said icily. “And perhaps you’ve failed to learn how to be polite, but it’s something that I care about.”


 

“Oh, drop this ‘I’m so noble and mighty’ act of yours, Malfoy –” Potter spat.


 

“It’s not an act,” I cut across. “You know, maybe there’s a lot more to me than you think, Potter.”


 

“Yeah, well, I’m not seeing anything new about you, other than the constant belligerent attitude you seem to have towards the rest of the world,” He said coldly.


 

“You don’t know me,” I said in a low voice, stepping up so that I was standing right in front of him and glaring defiantly into his eyes.


 

“Then let me know you.”


 

The words were surprisingly soft, and I stopped, the harsh words at my tongue vanishing and the cold mask on my face slipping away. My shoulders slumped slightly as I stared up in confusion at the mystery that was Albus Potter, who was looking at me almost expectantly, waiting for me to say something.


 

“I –” But the rest of the words seemed stuck in my throat. Truthfully, I didn’t have any other words to say.


 

He left me speechless.


 

I looked down and took a deep breath. “I – uh…better summon our stuff so that we can go home,” I mumbled, not daring to look up again.


 

I raised my wand and started to say, “Accio Adele’s suit –”


 

“You better not do that,” Al’s voice said from next to me, his hand resting lightly on my wrist to stop me.


 

“Why not?”


 

“Because you’ll get every single Adele’s suitcase within a hundred kilometers of this place.”


 

I blushed slightly. “Oh…right. Er – Accio Adele Malfoy’s suitcase.”


 

I waited expectantly, but nothing came zooming towards me. I looked closely at my wand in confusion. Weird, but it looks like mine…maybe…


 

“Wingardium Leviosa,” I whispered, pointing the wand at a pebble. The pebble shot up, and my brow furrowed more.


 

“Why isn’t anything happening?” I asked.


 

“Maybe because that’s not your name anymore,” Al suggested. “Try Potter.”


 

I made a slight face. “Eurgh – Accio Adele Potter’s suitcase.” The name sent shivers up my arms and down my spine. Adele Potter.


 

Ew. It sounds good.


 

My suitcase, wonderfully intact, came to rest at my feet, which made my face even more disgusted and incredulous. “Oh my god, why did it work?” I asked desolately.


 

“Well, perhaps it’s because –”


 

“Rhetorical question!” I cut across quickly, looking up at him just in time to catch the childish scowl he sent my way. I hid a smile behind my hand and quickly turned back to the front again before he saw it.


 

“Accio Albus Potter’s suitcase, and…in two seconds, we’ll be off,” I said happily, sticking my wand back in my pocket and watching as his suitcase plopped itself at my feet as well.


 

“Alright,” Al picked up his suitcase and handed me mine. I held out my hand for him to take.


 

“Ready?” I asked as he grasped tightly onto it.


 

“More than ready – let’s go,” was his reply. I allowed myself a brief scowl before turning on the spot and into the tight squeezing feeling. A soft ‘pop’ signified the end of the innards-squishing session, and I panted slightly as I regained my footing.


 

I don’t think there will ever be a time when I won’t hate apparating.


 

“Okay, where are we?” Al asked sharply, looking around him at the trees.


 

“We’re near my house,” I told him, tugging on his hand and starting to lead the way through the forest.


 

“Near your house?” His voice was loud in the wilderness. “Why did you take us to your house? We were supposed to go to mine!”


 

“And we would have, if I knew where you lived,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Now be quiet, there are things in here that go bump in the night.”


 

“This isn’t nighttime,” he countered.


 

“No, but they still get pissed, so shhh.”


 

Muttering angrily under his breath – I thought I caught a steady stream of naughty words, but wasn’t too sure – he followed me through the forest, occasionally stumbling slightly when I fell over a random tree trunk or root and tried using his hand to haul myself back up again.


 

Okay, so I’m a little clumsy. Sue me.


 

“Why are we even in here?” He finally asked, breaking the silence with a thankfully softer voice.


 

“The protective charms around the manor don’t let anyone in any closer than that,” I said. “We’re almost there, though.”


 

“You live in a manor?”


 

“I’m a Malfoy. What do you think we live in, a hut?” I snapped.


 

“Well…I figured that you guys might have wanted to move out of the Malfoy Manor –”


 

“We don’t use a lot of it,” I said shortly, though my hand involuntarily convulsed slightly around his. “My dad’s completely cut off most of the rooms in the manor.”


 

“Then why do you still live there?” His voice was laced with genuine curiosity, so I decided not to snap his head off for bugging me with his incessant questions.


 

I turned around to look at him. “Because it’s home.”


 

He opened his mouth to ask another question, but I abruptly turned around again, nearly dragging him in my haste to get to the gate. He let out a low whistle when he saw the towering fortress.


 

“Dude, this is where you live?”


 

“No, I just like coming here occasionally and pretending that I live here.”


 

“Okay, gosh, no need to get all snappy with me –”


 

“Mincy!” I called in a loud voice. There was a sharp ‘pop’, and our house-elf appeared in front of me, sweeping in a low bow.


 

“Hello Missus!” She squeaked enthusiastically when she saw me. “Mincy did not know that you was coming, Missus, for Mincy thought that you had married the Potter boy –”


 

I made a face. “I did, Mincy.”


 

Her wide eyes grew large as she took a look at Al. “Oh! Master Potter! Mincy is so glad to meet you!”


 

“It’s nice to meet you, too, Mincy,” Al said in a polite voice. I couldn’t help but smile slightly at that. Anyone who’s nice to my house-elf immediately passes the ‘Not a Douche’ test.


 

Though with Albus Potter, I guess this brings him only one step up to ‘Major Jerk’ instead of ‘Downright Arse’.


 

Well, he’s making progress!


 

“Could you let us in, Mincy?” I asked. “We’re really hungry, see, and –”


 

“Of course Missus!” Mincy cried in delight. “Mincy would love to bring you in – she misses you so.” At that, her ears drooped and her eyes filled with tears, but she quickly dabbed them away with her skirt.


 

“I miss you, too, Mincy,” I said gently, bending down to hug her. “I’m going to move back anyway, so you won’t need to miss me anymore, okay?”


 

“Oh, no, you is not allowed to come back, Missus,” Mincy shook her head so that her ears flapped. “You is married to Master Potter, so you must live with the Potters from now on.”


 

My gaze flattened. “Well, we’ll just see about that.”


 

***


 

“Adele? Sweetheart, what are you doing here? Ginny must be going ballistic over there, waiting for the two of you to come –” My mother’s monologue was cut off as she hugged me tightly, muffling her words into my hair.


 

“I don’t know where the Potters live, so I just apparated home,” I told her, and she smiled, brushing a strand of hair out of my face.


 

“You can always come back here whenever you want,” she promised me.


 

“That’s fine, because I’m just going to be moving back home.” I shrugged, my words hardening slightly.


 

Mum frowned, but didn’t say anything else. Just then, my dad appeared.


 

“Who’s that?” He asked, walking towards us down the hallway.


 

“Daddy!” I flew at him in a huge hug, and he let out a delighted chuckle, picking me up and spinning me around like I was a little girl again. Potter muffled a laugh behind a cough.


 

Whatever.


 

“Hi, princess, what are you doing here?” He asked once he’d set me down.


 

“She doesn’t know how to get to the Potters so she came home,” Mom informed him.


 

“Great! So you’ll have lunch with us, then?” Dad asked enthusiastically. I immediately perked up.


 

“Yes!”


 

Al let out a little cough. “Sure, that sounds great.”


 

My mum gave a start, as if she’d just realized that he was standing there. “Hi, love,” She said warmly, enveloping him in a hug as well. He looked decidedly surprised as she did so, but hugged her back awkwardly anyway. Dad merely nodded, reaching forward to shake his hand whilst glaring chillingly at him.


 

Oh, god. This is just like that time with my first boyfriend.


 

“Daddy,” I said, rolling my eyes. “You can drop the overprotective father act, for Merlin’s sake. I mean, you bloody set this marriage up, so it’s assumed that you approve.”


 

Dad huffed slightly. “I like scaring people.”


 

Al couldn’t quite hide his grin. “If it helps, your glare was very frightening, sir.”


 

“Really?” Dad perked up. “Brilliant! I’ve got loads of practice, of course, but Addy’s last boyfriend was absolutely impervious to it, so I was starting to get worried –”


 

“Dad, you threatened to personally give him a vasectomy with a rusty kitchen knife if he so much as looked at me,” I said disbelievingly. “He was terrified of you.”


 

Dad looked as though he was ready to burst with pride. I swear I’ll never understand him and his obsession with sadistic death threats.


 

“I’ll send Ginny an owl; why don’t the two of you just stay here for today, and then go back tomorrow?” Mum asked hopefully, biting her lip and looking pleadingly at me and Al.


 

I shrugged. “Well, I’m fine with it.”


 

Al sighed at my mom’s pleading face – that woman can get anything when she puts that face on. She once got my dad to take two weeks off of work and take the rest of us on a vacation to France with just two minutes of persuasion.


 

That, right there, is skill. I hope to be as adept as her one day.


 

“Yeah, okay,” Al finally gave in, and mum hugged him again, patting his cheek before gliding off to send her letter.


 

“So, where’s Scorpius?” I asked, noticing the conspicuous lack of pratty brother in the vicinity.


 

“Oh, he’s upstairs,” Dad said dismissively. “You two’d better drop your stuff of in Adele’s room, actually, since lunch’ll start –”


 

“I’ll show him one of the guest rooms,” I cut across, picking up my suitcase and, without thinking, reaching over to grab Al’s hand so that I could drag him upstairs.


 

Dad’s eyes immediately flicked down to our intertwined hands, and he smirked widely. I quickly dropped it – crap.


 

“No, you two might just want to bunk in your room,” he said innocently, the smirk still spread over his face.


 

I glared at him. “Shut up, dad.”


 

“Well,” he called after me as I started trudging up the stairs, an extremely bemused-looking Albus Potter following me. “You’re going to have to clean them up yourself, because Scorp’s had a couple of friends over. Mincy wanted to clean them, but I told her to let the boy build some character and clean the rooms himself. You could always build character, too, if you’d like.”


 

I stopped in the middle of the staircase and turned around to look at my dad’s unbearably smug face. “You’re kidding me.”


 

He shrugged and put his hands in his pockets. “See for yourself if you don’t believe me.”


 

I let out a short scream of frustration and stomped the rest of the way up the stairs to my room on the fourth floor. My family is possibly the most annoying, unhelpful bunch of people I have ever had the misfortune of knowing.


 

God damn it.


 

***


 

“This is your room?” Al asked as I opened the door and stepped through.


 

“Yes,” I said shortly, not wanting to get into another sarcastic verbal-joust.


 

He looked around, surprise evident on his face. “It’s not what I expected.”


 

I sighed and looked around as well. My room was large, but at the same time, really colorful and bright. I had always loved art, and you could see that with my room – the way it sort of seemed like a really big art studio more than anything else. Paper cranes and paper stars hung from the ceiling, and a string of paper lanterns threaded its way around the room. My massive bed was surrounded by a canopy of filmy gauze, beads falling from the top of the canopy rod and onto the floor. The floor was a soft wood, but a circular rug covered part of it. The walls were painted bright blue and lime green, with one of them covered in paintings. The room glowed with a sense of ethereal color and light.


 

“What did you expect?” I asked, plopping my bag down by the door and making my way towards the angular couch near the massive fireplace and bookshelf.


 

He shrugged, walking slowly through the room, occasionally reaching up to touch a paper crane or trail down a column of falling stars. He stopped at a big magical snow globe of Hogwarts and tapped at the glass, making some of the people inside of it shoot him hand gestures of anger. “I guess…something more…Slytherin.”


 

“I have a poster, if that helps,” I said idly, following him with my eyes as he drank everything in. My room was an eyeful, I had to admit – it had the effect of looking a little magical and surreal.


 

“Where?” He asked, turning around, searching for it. He laughed loudly when he finally saw it, hanging innocently on my closet door. “You sure have a lot of Slytherin pride,” He noted sarcastically, taking in the extremely small size of the poster.


 

“It didn’t match the rest of my room,” I shrugged. “And I like it just the way it is.”


 

“Did you paint these yourself?” He asked softly, looking in awe at the wall covered with paintings.


 

“Yeah.”


 

“You’re really good.”


 

The compliment caught me off guard. “Not really,” I said right away.


 

“No, I’m serious,” He insisted. “I mean, you captured the Gryffindor Common Room perfectly – hold on, how did you even get in there?”


 

He turned to me from the painting on the wall and I blushed. “Rose took me,” I said. “I wanted to see what it was like.”


 

“Why’d you paint it?”


 

“Because it felt like home and I liked it,” I said matter-of-factly. He looked surprised for a second before turning back to the painting.


 

“Hey,” he laughed slightly. “I’m in it.”


 

My brow furrowed – I don’t remember ever taking notice of him in school. I mean, I may have once or twice, since well, face it, he’s hot...like really hot, you know, with those eyes that just sort of –


 

Okay, I’m just going to stop talking.


 

“Really?” I asked incredulously, standing up and walking up to the painting as well. “Where?”


 

He pointed carefully at a spot on the canvas, and my eyebrows flew up – nestled into an armchair, painted with perfect clarity, was Albus Potter, his unmistakable black hair sticking up at odd angles around his face, which was tilted down slightly towards a book.


 

I let out a surprised laugh. “Gosh, I don’t even remember painting you.”


 

“And I don’t remember a crazy Slytherin setting up paint supplies, seemingly right in front of me.”


 

I grinned slightly. “That’s because I didn’t. I painted that from memory, which is why I find it so weird that you appear in the painting. I don’t remember remembering you.”


 

“It looks exactly like me,” He murmured, moving his face slightly closer to the painting. I blushed brightly – the fact that I’d painted this from memory and he appeared in it strongly implied that –


 

“I wasn’t stalking you or anything!” I said, horrified at the mere prospect.


 

He laughed loudly. “I wasn’t implying that you were.”


 

“Good. Because I wasn’t.”


 

“Though now that you mention it –” he started. My eyes narrowed and I swatted him on the arm.


 

“I didn’t,” I said firmly. “Sometimes I just paint subconsciously, I guess.”


 

“The view from the astronomy tower?” He guessed, moving onto the next painting. I nodded, and he made his way across the wall, guessing the subject of each painting, his voice growing more and more awed with each one.


 

“The Quidditch Pitch from your broom, the Whomping Willow, The Black Lake, The Black Lake at Night, The Great Hall, Rose and Lily arguing – this one is bloody hilarious –, your brother watching the fire…wow,” he said. “How do you do it?”


 

“I really like painting, I guess.” I shrugged. “They were just things that I didn’t want to forget.”


 

“What’s this?” He asked, pointing to another one.


 

I grinned. “Fireflies in my backyard. Looks amazing, doesn’t it?”


 

“This had to be your imagination,” he said disbelievingly, looking at the painting, the million fireflies that flickered through the dark trees.


 

“No, it’s not,” I said. “They only come once a year, which is around next week. We’ll come back and I’ll show you.”


 

He turned to smile at me. “I’d like that.”


 

I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face in response. “I think you really will.”


 

His grin widened. “See – I knew you could smile.”


 

“Oh, shut up.”


 

I couldn’t stop smiling.


 




hi! so, this chapter totally makes me happy. i don't really know why, but it does. maybe because al's finally showing his sweet side a little, and adele's...well...angry...still...

either way, they're changing! anyone else happy? WELL BE HAPPY. kidding!

anyway, this is the story first getting spreed, in case you didnt know :) the suckish thing in this situation is that chapter eight is the last chapter that i'd written out, which means that...well...only two chapters are getting spreed? basically, the real spree is kind of going to be Welcome to the Chase...

well, i'm still going to update this to chapter eight! and write more. i'll get on that for sure, promise :)

i requested a new banner, so hopefully i get that soon! if it's up by the time this chapter comes out, tell me what you think! if not...well, just ignore me, then :)

thanks I LOVE YOU ALLL <3

ps review! and favorite quotes! i really like favorite quotes! a lot! even though most people would think that it'd get a little repetitive, you know - EITHER WAY I LIKE FAVORITE QUOTES SO YEAH. please review? i love you. really, i do. a lot.

bye for real ;)
 


Chapter 8: Then Let Me Know You.
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“So, am I going to be an uncle any time soon?”


 

CRASH.


 

Al ducked down under the table to retrieve his fallen glass, his face glowing. Mine was slowly turning a wildly attractive shade of puce as I continued to cough loudly due to the rather large piece of lettuce I had choked on.


 

Sexy, I know.


 

“No!” I managed.


 

“Absolutely not,” Al agreed fervently, emerging from underneath the table.  


 

“Never.”


 

“It’s just not going to happen. At all.”


 

“So you can take that smirk of yours and stick it up your arse, you tosser,” I finished angrily, shoving Scorpius’ annoying little head towards the table.


 

“Ow,” he whined, rubbing the back of his neck. “It was just a question, gosh –”


 

“Don’t be a prat, Scorpius,” I snapped.


 

“So you’re telling me,” Scorpius said gleefully, apparently recovered from his gruesome, Adele-induced neck injury, “that you two are going to live as like, celibates for the rest of your lives?”


 

My face was bright red. I stuffed a forkful of food into my mouth to avoid answering. Al stuffed four forkfuls.


 

Charming.


 

“Seriously? No sex at all? You’re bound to snap sooner or later,” Scorpius continued, clearly enjoying himself. I glowered darkly at him over my dinner plate.


 

“Scorpius,” Mom said in a warning voice. She sounded more amused than anything, though, so he kept going.


 

Thanks, mom. Really.


 

“I give you guys a month. Tops,” he finished with relish, sitting back in his chair and raising his water glass up to his smirking mouth.


 

“Three weeks,” Dad challenged from the other end of the table. My mouth dropped open in a horrified grimace.


 

Dad!”


 

“What?” he said innocently. “It’s a good bet.”


 

“Are you serious?” I exclaimed. “Shouldn’t you be, I don’t know, all concerned and whatnot about your daughter not having children until she’s at least thir –”


 

“Frankly, I don’t care what you do,” he said cheerfully. “You’re married. Go ahead. Get pregnant.”


 

Al choked loudly on his broccoli.


 

“I am not getting pregnant,” I hissed icily over the sound of his coughing. “I don’t need this shit right now.” Shoving the plate away from me so that it clanged loudly against my bowl, I got up and stomped out of the dining room.


 

“Adele!” My mom called after me, sounding apologetic. “Honey, we didn’t mean it –”


 

“I hate you lot!”


 

Okay, so maybe I’m a little unnecessarily dramatic. In my defense, my family sucks.


 

My sharp breaths echoed around me as I tried to walk off my anger, footsteps sounding loudly through the unused hallways. I was just – so mad. I can deal with spending the rest of my life with a guy I barely know. But my stupid family doesn’t need to start rubbing it in. They just don’t know when to stop. I’m not the kind of person that’ll blow up whenever someone teases me just a little, but I think they can all tell that I’m a little sensitive about – you know. That. Albus Potter. Me. Having –


 

Gah.


 

Having sex.


 

Because we’re not going to. Obviously. That’s just – totally and completely – absolutely never going to happen. Impossible. We’re married, and that’s about as close as we’re going to get. It’s nothing serious.


 

Yeah, because marriage is never serious.


 

Oh my god, what am I even thinking about?! A frustrated noise slipped through my teeth and echoed around the stillness. Of course I’m never going to do anything with Albus Potter – I don’t even freaking like the bloke! Hell, I barely even know the bloke! We’ve just been thrust into the same uncomfortable predicament with each other, is all. We can just pretend to be completely oblivious to each other. Simple, really. I’m making a huge deal out of absolutely nothing at all.


 

But.


 

But there’s still that huge elephant in the room – am I really going to be okay with living like a nun for the rest of my life?


 

To be frank – no, I’m not.


 

Fuck.


 

***


 

“Where’d you disappear off to?” Al asked as casually as he could as I slipped into my room two hours later.


 

“Got lost,” I said shortly.


 

“In your own house?” he asked incredulously


 

I shot him a glare. “We don’t use most of it, okay? I’ve never been around the whole thing before.”


 

“But still – aren’t you, like, curious about the rest of it?”


 

“Oh yes, I’m simply dying to find the room where your Aunt Hermione got tortured,” I snapped sarcastically. “I’m sure it has tons of lovely memories.”


 

He stiffened. “That was here?” His voice was low.


 

“No, it was next door.” I spared him another glare.


 

“You don’t have to be such a bitch all the time,” he told me, his eyes brightening slightly in anger.


 

“It’s what I do best,” I all but snarled.


 

“Clearly – you’re pretty fabulous at it,” he got off the couch, looking irritated. I tried not to let a satisfied smile spread over my mouth – this makes much more sense than thinking about sex with Albus Potter. Honestly, I can’t believe the thought even crossed my mind. It’s preposterous.


 

“Stick around and I’ll show you just how fabulous I am,” I muttered furiously.


 

“What the fuck is your problem, huh?” he demanded, walking towards me.


 

“All of this!” I exclaimed. “Everything about this fucking situation is my problem, Potter! I hate it. I hate every part of it.”


 

“You think I don’t?” He said incredulously, his voice sounding livid at this point. “I’m trying to make this work, but you insist on being an absolute bitch all the time –”


 

“You know what I hate most of all?” I cut across, my voice slowly building up to a shout.


 

“I don’t care!”


 

“The fact that I’m stuck with you for the rest of my life!”


 

“Trust me, I’m not thrilled about it either,” he said coldly, his eyes like green ice.


 

“I despise you!” I screamed.


 

“I abhor you!”


 

“You’re such a – god, I can’t even find words to describe how completely detestable you are –”


 

“Well I have absolutely no problem whatsoever, you bitter little hag –” his voice climbed towards a bellow as well.


 

“I don’t want to live like a nun for the rest of my life.” My voice was quiet, sounding almost defeated.


 

“You – what?” The anger died out of his eyes as he looked down at me.


 

“Don’t make me repeat it, please,” I muttered, looking at the floor.


 

There was a short silence.


 

“Do you have bipolar disease? Schizophrenia, perhaps?” he finally asked.


 

“Don’t avoid the topic,” I said, raising my eyes to look at his.


 

“I’m not even kidding; your multiple personalities are shifting way too fast for me to keep up –”


 

“Potter, I’m serious.”


 

“So am I, it’s really freaky –”


 

“Al.” My voice was soft, but he must have heard it, because he immediately fell silent.


 

He bit his lip, green eyes looking anxious. “I –” he stopped.


 

“What?”


 

He took a deep breath and looked away, tousling his hair with a nervous hand. “I don’t know.”


 

“Well, that’s convenient,” my voice was bitter.


 

He looked hesitant. “You know – you don’t always have to be so…aggressive all the time.” There was a short pause, and he rushed on as hastily as he could, so that the words blended together a bit, “I mean, tons of people get arranged marriages and end up falling in love, it’s not that hard as long as we both cooperate a little –”


 

“You really think you could fall in love with me?” I asked, my tone unreadable. Maybe because I hadn’t decided what I felt – I couldn’t find words to describe the emotion. It was a confusing mix between surprised, outright shocked, somewhat pleased and extremely nervous.


 

One of these days, I’ll explode.


 

“I don’t know,” he muttered, sounding uncomfortable and distinctly embarrassed. “Maybe.”


 

There was another short silence while I struggled to find something to say, then –


 

“I just don’t know you,” he finished, his voice barely louder than a whisper.


 

Then let me know you.


 

“I –”


 

We both jumped violently as there was a knock on the door.


 

“Who is it?” I asked, my heart beating forcefully in my chest. My voice sounded shaky and much too high for it to be normal.


 

“Scorpius.”


 

“Go away,” I told him.


 

He opened the door and stepped into my room, smiling broadly. “Hey, little sister,” he said.


 

I glared. “What part of ‘go away’ don’t you understand?”


 

I was cheerfully ignored. “Mom told me to apologize.”


 

I sighed loudly. “What are we, three? You don’t need to fucking apologize.”


 

Scorpius looked extremely confused. “But mom said –”


 

“Apology accepted,” I cut across, smiling tightly. “Bye.” I then proceeded to shove Scorpius out of my room, ignoring his mumbled protests.


 

“Wait, but mom said –”


 

“Goodnight.” I shut the door in his still-talking face. Letting out a breath, I turned around to look at Al, but he had crossed the room to his bag and was already pulling his pajamas out.


 

“Well I’m beat,” he announced apprehensively, edging towards my bathroom. “Guess I’ll change and then go to sleep.”


 

“Um, but –”


 

“Yep, I’m dead tired,” He finished loudly, stepping into my bathroom and closing the door behind him with a loud, audible clicking noise. I stared at the door in confusion – what is his problem?


 

Then I realized that Albus Potter had just saved me from what was bound to be an extremely uncomfortable situation – whether or not we even finished our conversation or pretended that it never happened.


 

Bloke’s smarter than I thought.


 

***


 

I seriously really hate awkward silences.


 

“You comfortable?” I asked, staring up at the dark canopy hanging above my head.


 

“I’m fine,” Al’s voice said from next to me.


 

Another awkward silence.


 

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate those things?


 

“My room looks kind of freaky at night, doesn’t it?”


 

Oh my god, someone please just kill me now.


 

Al decided not to deign that with a response, which I didn’t blame him for. Honestly – what is wrong with me?


 

I cleared my throat awkwardly, and Al sighed. “Good night,” he said.


 

“Night.”


 

The bed moved ever so slightly as he turned over onto his side.


 

There was a short silence.


 

Then let me know you.


 

“My favorite color is green,” I said suddenly, feeling extremely stupid. “Not the Slytherin green, but more of a lime green. But not even exactly lime, either; it’s more like…vibrant. Sort of the color you get when sunlight falls through leaves.”


 

Al didn’t say anything. I had the distinct notion that he was trying to figure me out.


 

“I really love night, because everything’s quiet and mysterious. Different. Magical, in a way. Sometimes I spend hours staring at the stars, trying to figure out what might be out there. I like to fall asleep with moonlight on my pillow.”


 

More silence. I felt like an idiot.


 

“I love the cold, but I get sick of winter after a little while. My favorite time of year is during spring, when everything’s green and coming alive, and it’s not too hot. I like to read under the sunlight, when there’s a light breeze. I really love being outside.”


 

Al turned over onto his back and let out a soft breath.


 

“I love the ocean and flying on my broomstick. I absolutely adore Quidditch. I love art and reading, too.”


 

I licked my lips, hoping he would say something. He stayed quiet, his breathing slow and steady, letting me know that he was listening.


 

And that was all I needed, really.


 

“When I was eleven, the Sorting Hat…” I hesitated, biting my lip. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Al’s face turn slightly towards mine. “The Sorting Hat told me I should be in Gryffindor.”


 

He let out a quiet gasp.


 

“I told it to put me in Slytherin, because I wanted to be like my dad and my brother, but I never fit in. I was too Gryffindor to be a Slytherin. All my friends were Gryffindors…I still wish I hadn’t told the Sorting Hat to put me in Slytherin.”


 

A short silence.


 

“I’ve never told that to anyone before,” I sounded strangely relieved, and surprised at my own audacity.


 

My voice faded into stillness, and I wondered if he was going to say something. He seemed at a loss for words.


 

“I’m crazy about muggle music,” I added, hoping desperately that he wouldn’t bring up the Gryffindor thing.


 

He laughed slightly. “I know.”


 

I turned my face to look at him, my eyebrows furrowing in the middle. “How…?”


 

“Spin that record, babe,” he said, looking amused.


 

I bit my lip, horrified. “Fuck – that’s embarrassing.”


 

“I thought it was kind of cute,” he said. There was a second of shocked silence. “I was not supposed to say that.”


 

I laughed, then hummed the song softly under my breath.


 

“Why’d you tell me those things?” Al asked after a couple minutes. I turned my face to the side to look at him. He was facing me now, his hair glinting slightly in the darkness and his eyes looking curious and greener than ever.


 

“I don’t really know,” I said truthfully. “Maybe I was trying to let you know me.” I let a corner of my mouth lift up slightly, then faced the ceiling again, closing my eyes.


 

I don’t think either of us slept that night.


 




whoooanness :D

something about this chapter made me really happy, too. but don't worry - i'm not starting any sexual tension for a while. well, obviously there will be since they, you know, live together and all, but...i think i'm just going to have random, awkwardly sweet moments like these more than anything else.

who thought that was adorable?! i did! anyone shocked?

please please PLEASE review, guys! i don't know what was up with last chapter, but if i'm doing something wrong/offensive, let me know, okay?

i understand that the arranged marriage thing might be a little bit of a sensitive topic. but the thing is, lots of people get those kinds of marriages in many cultures. in fact, my parents had one, and they're so in love it's ridiculous. just yesterday my daddy came bounding into my room so that he could tell me that for my mom's 40th birthday, he was going to buy her 40 presents and he needed help shopping (because he's totally clueless <3) . then he told my mom about the presents and she started squealing excitedly. she couldnt stop smiling for the rest of the day (she then later told me she was in shock because she couldnt believe my dad could come up with something like that).

my parents are so wierd. yet, oddly, unbelievably adorable.

<3

i'm going to start writing new chapters for this soon...meanwhile i'll be updating Welcome to the Chase XD
 


Chapter 9: This Is Insanity. Can I Go Home Now?
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“When James opens the door, I get to punch him first. I call it,” I muttered to Al as we waited outside his house. He merely grunted and mumbled something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like ‘bloody violent bitch’ (but he wouldn’t think such horrible thoughts towards his ever-so-lovely wife, now, would he? WOULD HE?). I took that to mean ‘yeah, sure, Adele, go right ahead!’



 

 

Not that I need his permission to punch his brother. I can do whatever I want. I’m a big girl now. And James is going to wish he never messed with me.



 

 

I am going to enjoy injuring him very much. Have pain, you evil child. Pain. Feel it. FEEL IT I TELL YOU. (And at this point, James would have pissed himself out of pure fear and run away like the pitiful little girl he truly is.)



 

 

I’m in a foul mood. If my vicious thoughts haven’t clued you in at this point, you must be really slow. Mental child. It’s a miracle you can even read this! That’s right. Go sulk in the corner with your lonely brain cell! SULK. SULK LIKE THE PATHETIC SNIVELING MESS THAT YOU ARE.



 

 

Merlin, someone should have locked me in my room. How can my mother even let herself unleash me onto the world? Can’t she tell that I’m a monster mood? Gods woman, what kind of a mother are you, anyway?



 

 

This sucks. I want to go home.



 

 

“What’s taking them so bloody long?” Al grumbled, punching his finger into the doorbell about eight times in a row. I sighed and impatiently tapped my foot.



 

 

“Maybe they don’t want you here,” I said snidely. Al shot me a thoroughly disinterested look. I scowled back. Poop. He doesn’t want to argue with me. Now what am I supposed to do with myself?



 

 

Just as I was about to start banging on the door like a raving lunatic (which is always so charming and attractive), it swung open to reveal a really frazzled-looking Lily Potter.



 

 

“Al! You’re here? Already?” she asked distractedly, running a hand through her hair.



 

 

“Gee sis, it’s nice to see you too,” Al said dryly.



 

 

Lily cracked a grin. “I missed your sarcasm. James can only be handled in very small doses, if you know what I mean.”



 

 

“I know it too well.” Al shook his head and stepped through the doorway. I scurried in after him.



 

 

“Mum and Dad should be home in about an hour, actually,” Lily said nervously, her eyes darting around. “Er…we actually weren’t expecting you until later. James is gone, too – he’s at Alisha’s house –”



 

 

“Lily?”



 

 

The three of us froze as the sound of a guy’s voice came from behind her. Lily looked like someone who had been caught robbing a bank (or something equally unlawful), Al looked abruptly furious, and I perked up, ready to watch what was sure to be a very entertaining scene.



 

 

What? These things are funny. Stop judging me.



 

 

“Who’s that?” Al asked in a low voice, turning a glare onto Lily, who was wide-eyed and slowly turning bright red.



 

 

“Er – no one?” she squeaked.



 

 

Shooting her a threatening glower, Al dropped his bags by the door and pulled off his coat, throwing it onto the coat rack without looking as he stalked into the depths of the house.



 

 

“Al – no!” Lily said desperately, trailing after him. Their voices faded away, and I was left to stand awkwardly by the front door.



 

 

Fantastic.



 

 

I jumped and let out a squawk (which, thankfully, no one heard) as the doorbell rang enthusiastically from right behind me. I turned around and looked at the door apprehensively.



 

 

Er – should I open it? Wouldn’t that be rude? I mean, this isn’t my house or anything – it’s the Potter residence and I’m…



 

 

A Potter.



 

 

Right.



 

 

This is home now.



 

 

So I guess I should…?



 

 

Uh, okay.



 

 

Reaching out, I grasped the handle of the door and pulled it open –



 

 

“Adele!”



 

 

“Mppfthh!” I spluttered, staggering back as Rose jumped me. Her hair slapped at my face and fell into my mouth – gross – as she continued to squeal in my ear.



 

 

“When did you get here? How was your honeymoon? Are you okay? Did you have fun? Where’s Al? How long have you been standing by the door? Are you alone? Oh my god, I missed you!”



 

 

Why am I friends with this psycho?



 

 

I pushed her away from me and held her by her shoulders to restrain her from flying at me again. I couldn’t quite contain a grin as I looked at her. “About two minutes ago, suckish, yes, no, inside, almost thirty seconds, yes, and I missed you too.” I rattled off.



 

 

Rose’s mouth dropped open. “How’d you do that?”



 

 

“It’s called remembering.” I raised my eyebrow.



 

 

“No, that’s just a whole new –”



 

 

“Rose, Adele!” Lily came sprinting back to the foyer, tears streaming down her pretty face. Rose looked at her and immediately groaned.



 

 

“He found out?” she asked. Lily nodded tearfully.



 

 

“He’s being an arse, again!” she wailed, stomping her foot. I rolled my eyes at her typical Lily-ness. “He started going mental when he saw Eric! I think he’s going to hurt him!”



 

 

“You’re keeping a secret boyfriend behind your brothers’ backs?” I asked her, both awed by her bravery and irritated by her stupidity.



 

 

Wow, the epitome of Gryffindor.



 

 

“Of course I am,” Lily said. “They’re not planning on letting me date until I’m forty! I’m sixteen now; I can handle myself for Merlin’s sake –!”



 

 

“Look, I’m riveted and all, but don’t you think we should go save your boyfriend?” Rose cut across, effectively saving me from another one of Lily’s ‘I’m A Big Kid Now’ rants. I sent her a thankful look and she winked back, letting Lily take her by the arm and drag her into the house. I followed after them, since I really had nothing else to do with myself.



 

 

I looked around as we walked away from the door. The house was open, very light and airy. The foyer itself seemed to connect all the main rooms rather than set them apart. Everything was so different from my own house, where the dominant atmosphere was dark and gloomy. The only thing that really made it feel like home was my family.



 

 

Lily pulled us up a flight of stairs, which curved around the opening of what looked like the family room. I looked over the edge of the overlooking balcony and saw that indeed, the large room, with a ceiling that stretched over both of the floors, had an ornate but comfortable look to it; kind of like the room that you’d expect to spend both with important guests and immediate family. I could distinctly hear the sounds of an angry scuffle from what appeared to be Lily’s room.



 

 

Oh, dear.



 

 

Lily flung open the door just in time to reveal Al holding a blonde boy in a headlock.



 

 

“Al, what are you doing?!” Rose asked, running forward and trying to pull the poor boy away from Al.



 

 

“Don’t get in the middle of this, Rosie –” Al said furiously.



 

 

“Let go of his head right now!” Rose commanded, tugging on Al’s arm.



 

 

“You’re hurting him!” Lily started to cry.



 

 

“Stop tugging on my arm, Rose –”



 

 

“Don’t make me bat-bogey you, Al –”



 

 

“Look, I swear I’m in love with Lily, but please just don’t hurt me –”



 

 

“Shut up, before I reassemble your face, you arse –”



 

 

“AL LET GO OF HIM –”



 

 

“ – I don’t want to be an old cat-lady –”



 

 

“ – redo all of your dental work, you little –”



 

 

“ – swear the bogeys are going to attack you if you don’t –”



 

 

“ – have good intentions, I promise –”



 

 

I watched as the four of them traveled around the room, Al still dragging Lily’s poor boyfriend by the neck with both Rose and Lily trailing after them. Lily was crying, Rose was threatening Al, Al was threatening the boyfriend, and the boyfriend had progressed to screaming apologies for every bad thing he had ever done in his entire life. He stumbled and tripped as Al whirled around to avoid his cousins.



 

 

If this is what life is going to be like in this house, I might strangle myself.



 

 

“EVERYONE SHUT UP!” I finally screamed.



 

 

I was ignored.



 

 

Bloody – “I SWEAR! SHUT UP NOW! STOP IT, ALL OF YOU!”



 

 

Still ignored.



 

 

What the fuck.



 

 

I got in front of Al and grabbed his arms, my eyes blazing. “Let go of the kid, Al.”



 

 

He glared at me. “No! He’s fucking my baby sister!”



 

 

“I haven’t done anything to her, I swear!” Lily’s boyfriend yelled up, his voice sounded choked.



 

 

“I am not your baby sister!” Lily screamed, stomping her foot.



 

 

“What she does with her boyfriends shouldn’t concern you at all, Albus!” Rose said, hands on her hips, as she stood on her tiptoes to shout at Al over my shoulder.



 

 

“Albus Potter,” I said in a low (hopefully) threatening voice. “You let go of that kid’s head right now, otherwise I promise your face will look drastically different by the time morning rolls around.”



 

 

His brilliant green eyes narrowed and his arm tightened. Lily’s boyfriend let out another strangled yell and started flailing around. Lily was screaming and crying hysterically, tugging fruitlessly on Al’s arm, and Rose had pulled her wand out and was looking very scary.



 

 

“You wouldn’t,” he snarled.



 

 

I moved closer, standing on my toes to make myself look tall and imposing. “Try me.”



 

 

He glared darkly down at me (yes, even on my tiptoes, I was shorter than him), but I stood my ground, our noses practically touching. Finally, still glaring, Al let go of the boy’s head, and he went staggering back, his face red and his hands massaging his neck.



 

 

I let a small smirk faintly touch my mouth. “Thank you.”



 

 

He growled at me, his eyes narrowing even more. My smirk widened. Oh, how I love having control.



 

 

“Al, you prick!” Lily shrieked, running at him and pushing him forcefully on the shoulder so that he stepped away from me. My hands dropped from the tops of his arms, left to dangle pathetically at my sides.



 

 

“Lily –” he said tiredly.



 

 

“You ruin everything, Al! Why can’t you get that I’m old enough to take care of myself, huh?! I’m not a little girl anymore!” Lily screamed hysterically, her face red and real tears streaming down her cheeks. I exchanged a glance with Rose – Lily had never been this upset about her brothers being overprotective. I think most of the time she found it endearing, albeit a little irritating.



 

 

But this was a whole new level of really pissed off.



 

 

“Look, Lil –”



 

 

“No, Al! You just don’t get it! I don’t need you protecting me anymore!”



 

 

“Of course you do,” he protested weakly.



 

 

“No!” Lily shot back, her hands on her hips. “No, I don’t, okay? I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself – I’m not some weak little girl –”



 

 

“I know you’re not!”



 

 

“WELL YOU SURE ACT LIKE IT!”



 

 

“Lily, come on –”



 

 

Al trailed after her pleadingly as she turned around and stormed out of her room, her red hair whipping around like an angry fire. Their voices faded away as they made their way downstairs.



 

 

I looked at Rose. Rose looked at Lily’s boyfriend. Lily’s boyfriend looked at me.



 

 

Silence.



 

 

This is awkward.



 

 

“So…are you alright?” I asked hesitantly. Lily’s boyfriend rubbed the back of his neck nervously at being addressed.



 

 

“Er, fine,” he muttered.



 

 

“I’m – uh – sorry about that,” I continued, wincing slightly. “He was completely out of line back there.”



 

 

“Nah, it’s fine. Really.” He shrugged. “I actually wasn’t really expecting any better. I guess I’m just glad it wasn’t James Potter. Or her dad.”



 

 

“I’m pretty sure Uncle Harry wouldn’t have done anything to you,” Rose chimed in kindly, noting how nervous he was.



 

 

I’m pretty sure he would have Avada-d the kid right off the face of the planet. Just saying.



 

 

He laughed disbelievingly. “Right.”



 

 

You know, I’m starting to think my life consists of nothing more than awkward silences, occasionally interrupted by an awkward moment. I’m getting awkward overdose. What if I die?!



 

 

“So…what’s your name?” I finally asked, looking at him.



 

 

“Eric,” he said quickly, looking relieved. “Er…are you Albus Potter’s girlfriend?” he asked me.



 

 

I made a face. “Not exactly.”



 

 

“She’s his wifey!” Rose trilled enthusiastically.



 

 

Wifey? Gag me, please?



 

 

“Um, yeah. That,” I muttered weakly.



 

 

“You sound thrilled,” he noted. I looked at him in sheer happiness – a sarcastic person! And not even mean sarcasm like Al – he’s funny!



 

 

“Overjoyed, actually,” I said, grinning at him.



 

 

“You look only about a year older than me,” Eric said after a moment of scrutiny, looking at my face.



 

 

My expression flattened. I smiled tightly. “I am.”



 

 

His brow furrowed. “Then…wow, that’s sort of young. I mean, you guys must really love each other –”



 

 

Fuck you, child. I glared at him, effectively silencing him. “I’m going to go find Al and Lily,” I announced, turning around and marching out the door.



 

 

You know what? People suck. The world just sucks. Stupid boyfriend! To think I saved the arse from Al. I should’ve let Al continue to squish him until his head exploded off of his body and went rolling around on the floor! But then that’d be kind of gross since his blood would be like, all over us and the walls, and…



 

 

Holy crap, I need therapy. What the hell am I even thinking?!



 

 

I stopped on the middle of the landing and looked around myself, completely lost as to where I was supposed to be. I blinked once.



 

 

Um. How did I get here again?



 

 

Turning around, I looked back towards the place where I had come from, and realized that I’d been marching away from Lily’s room and towards the stairs. I looked to my left and saw four closed doors. One of them had ‘JAMES’ written on it in sloppy, three-year-old handwriting (the ‘S’ was backwards, which I found incredibly endearing), and the other had Al’s name on it, written precisely and neatly. I looked down the stairs. Then at the door. Curiosity gnawed up inside of me.



 

 

Gaah. Stairs. Door. Stairs. Door.



 

 

You know what? Fuck it. Sidling over to the door, I glanced around and opened it quietly, stepping in and closing it behind me.



 

 

Okay, this isn’t being creepy! Stop giving me that look! I’m going to live here anyway, so I might as well look around, right?



 

 

SHUT UP.



 

 

I looked around myself at the room. It was a painted blaring, Gryffindor Red, with spatters of gold. There was a huge bed occupying the middle of it, with a large Wiz-Telly on the wall opposite. Two plush chairs were placed on the floor in front of the W-T as well, though off to the side a little. The wall opposite me, however, was the most breathtaking one. It was made completely out of glass, and a portion of it slid aside so a person could step out onto the balcony that wrapped around the area. Curtains settled around the wall, framing it so that it looked a bit like a painting of the outside. I could see a weeping willow perched at the edge of a lake in the distance, and my fingers itched for something to draw with.



 

 

My toes curled slightly into the plush carpet and I turned around to look at the wall next to the doorway. It seemed as though he’d gone completely crazy with posters and pictures – the wall was bursting with posters of Quidditch Teams, muggle bands, muggle singers, fancy cars, individual Quidditch players, Gryffindor Quidditch Propaganda (my stomach squirmed pleasantly when I caught a look at his blazing poster, the words ‘Al Potter: Captain and Chaser’ across the bottom in bright bold letters – he looked so fierce, yet somehow gently amused in the picture, a Quaffle perched on his gloved fingers and his head turned to the side so that he could send a challenging, light smirk towards the camera. Fuck you, Albus Potter, for being so incredibly hot), and various other photographs and random, scribbled notes.



 

 

I couldn’t help but grin slightly at his room. It just seemed so…Al.



 

 

Not that I know him that well…or anything. But…you know. It seems like the kind of room he’d have.



 

 

I say that objectively. Completely and fully, 100% -



 

 

“What are you doing in here?”



 

 

I squeaked and jumped, turning in alarm towards the door, with my mouth open and ready to slew forth a plethora of stupid, useless excuses – “I was…er…um…just, er…well, you see…uh…”



 

 

Al just looked at me, his expression bemused.



 

 

I sighed. “Yeah, I got nothing.”



 

 

He stepped in and closed the door behind him. “What do you think?” he asked. My eyes lingered on the way his hand stayed firmly against the doorknob. His thumb moved slightly and he locked it. My eyes widened.



 

 

“Adele.”



 

 

I gaped at him. “Wha?”



 

 

“I asked you what you thought about the room,” he said, his tone condescending. He was walking towards me, but I kept staring at that stupid locked door. Why’d he lock it? WHY IS THAT DAMN DOOR LOCKED?!



 

 

“Oh! – the room,” I said quickly, skittering back a couple of steps. “It’s, uh…nice.”



 

 

“Just nice?” he raised an eyebrow. I took a couple more steps back. Maybe if I dart around him, I can unlock that door and make a wild run for it.



 

 

“Er, really nice,” I clarified, nodding my head vigorously so that my ridiculous curls bounced around my face.



 

 

“Right, well, you’ll have to get used to it, since – okay, what are you doing?” he asked sharply, and I stopped my (apparently, not-so) subtle attempts at walking around him. I shuffled sideways back to where I was standing before. Damn it.



 

 

“What do you mean?” I asked innocently. The room felt really hot. Why is that door locked? Why?!



 

 

“You’re acting even weirder than usual, and that’s really saying a lot.” He raised an eyebrow, and I chuckled nervously.



 

 

“What makes you think that? I’m fine! I’m actually just going to go…er…outside, so I can…uh…comfort Lily! Yep, that’s what I’m doing,” I rambled, edging towards that door again.



 

 

“Nah, her boyfriend’s doing that,” Al said, stepping in front of me. I let out a quiet whimper. If he hadn’t locked that freaking door!



 

 

“What about Rose?” I asked.



 

 

“Probably stuffing her face.” He rolled his eyes and grinned.



 

 

My eyes lit up. “Yeah! I was actually really hungry, so I thought I’d also go downstairs, and –”



 

 

“Why are you blushing?”



 

 

“– waffles and pancakes – huh?”



 

 

He was watching me closely. “Why are you blushing?” he said again.



 

 

My mouth hung gormlessly open. “Er…I’m not…” I scoffed suddenly, more blood rushing to my face. Damn it all. “I’m not – pfft – blushing! What makes you think I’m – pfft – blushing?”



 

 

“Well…your face has turned an extremely unattractive shade of cherry red. Generally, that comes under the category of ‘blushing’.”



 

 

I glared at him. “Why’dyoulockthedoor?” I mumbled angrily.



 

 

He looked shocked. “What?”



 

 

“Why. Did. You. Lock. The. Door.” I said loudly and obnoxiously.



 

 

Whatever, I’m a bitch.



 

 

He was staring at me as though I had gone certifiably insane. “I always lock the door…”



 

 

“Well, it’s making me uncomfortable,” I said, crossing my arms.



 

 

He stared at me for a couple of seconds.



 

 

Why?”



 

 

I huffed. “Because it is, okay?”



 

 

He grinned suddenly, his eyes abruptly mischievous. “Why, you afraid I’m going to have my dirty way with you in this room while everyone’s locked out?”



 

 

My face blossomed red again, and I glared at him to cover it up as much as possible. “Like you’d ever be daring enough to do that.”



 

 

He raised an eyebrow. “Are you doubting my Gryffindor spirit?”



 

 

“No, I’m doubting your ability to actually be strong enough to do something to me.”



 

 

He snorted. “Think you’re pretty strong and mighty, don’t you Malfoy?”



 

 

I raised my chin. “Yeah, I guess I do.”



 

 

“Then why are you afraid of that locked door?” He asked, his eyebrow going up.



 

 

Bloody damn it.



 

 

“I’m not.” I shot back.



 

 

“Great. Then I guess I’ll just leave it locked.”



 

 

“Fine. Do that.”



 

 

“I will.”



 

 

“Good.” I crossed my arms and glared resolutely at the floor. I hate Albus Potter, I hate Albus Potter, I hate Albus Potter, I really hate Albus Potter, I hate Albus Potter, I seriously, really hate



 

 

“Lily’s boyfriend says sorry for offending you before,” Al finally said. I looked up at him, and he was staring in a bored, stony sort of way at the glass wall behind me.



 

 

Great. Glass is more interesting than I am.



 

 

“She still mad at you?” I asked tightly, looking, in retaliation, at the wall behind him. The poster of Al Potter: Captain and Chaser, smirked sexily at me, and I scowled. Bloody git.



 

 

He sighed, suddenly morose. “Yeah.” His shoulders slumped slightly, and I found myself surprised into looking directly at him.



 

 

“I could go talk to her, if you want,” I blurted out, before I could help myself. Damn it, Adele, you’re not supposed to be nice to him!



 

 

He wore an expression of utmost shock. “Uh…thanks. But she’ll come around.”



 

 

“Lily holds grudges like a Death Eater,” I pointed out.



 

 

“…eventually,” he finished, his voice trailing off in a mutter.



 

 

There was a short silence, and I fidgeted my toes into the carpet. It really was very soft. “Look, I…I get why Lily’s so upset about this,” I finally said quietly, “she’s old enough to live her life without you two hanging over her like two overprotective sods –”



 

 

“But she’s honestly not,” Al said, his eyes snapping up to mine in defiance.



 

 

“That’s what you think. She’s a lot more capable than you’re letting yourself believe.”



 

 

“She’s my baby sister!” Al exclaimed. “Of course I’m going to want to take care of her!”



 

 

“She’s not a baby anymore. And she doesn’t need you as much as she did before,” I told him. He was grinding his teeth in exasperation, his expression fierce.



 

 

“How do you know anything, anyway?” he muttered resentfully.



 

 

I grinned wryly. “I have an older brother, and he’s Scorpius.”



 

 

“So?” he snapped.



 

 

So, he’s quite possibly the most annoying, overprotective git to walk the face of the planet, and that’s saying a lot since I just watched you practically strangle your sister’s boyfriend.”



 

 

He scoffed. “Come off it. Scorp’s not overprotective at all.”



 

 

“Do you happen to remember Hayden Flinch in fifth year?” I asked conversationally.



 

 

He looked at me. “No, actually.”



 

 

“Do you happen to remember him in…oh, say, second year?” I continued.



 

 

He was eying me warily. “Um…I think so…He was a Ravenclaw, right?”



 

 

“Yes, he was,” I said, pleased that Al was actually playing along with me here. “He was also my first boyfriend in fourth year. I didn’t want to tell anyone, so we kept it a secret, but one day Scorpius found out…and he sort of went ballistic,” I winced at the memory.



 

 

“Yeah…and?” Al prompted, his voice bored stiff.



 

 

“Well, Hayden never came back,” I said.



 

 

Al’s eyes widened. “You’re kidding.”



 

 

“Actually, I’m being perfectly ser –”



 

 

“You were seriously that bad?” Al continued.



 

 

My mouth dropped open indignantly. “Excuse me? I was fourteen, thank you very much! I’m sorry if we’re not all endowed with natural snogging abilities –”



 

 

Al smirked.



 

 

“The point is,” I conceded forcefully, “Scorp terrified the bugger so much that he transferred to Durmstrang.”



 

 

He snorted. “Nice taste in men, Malfoy. Great job going for the spineless ones.”



 

 

I glared at him. “I married you, didn’t I?”



 

 

“Not like you had a choice, really.”



 

 

I gritted my teeth in frustration. This is absolutely pointless – what in the name of hell prompted me to reason with Albus Potter?



 

 

Oh, right, that would have to be my overbearing conscience and my distinct lack of common sense.



 

 

Fantastic.



 

 

“Look, what I’m trying to say is that Scorpius was extremely annoying, but after a little while he learned that I’m capable of taking care of myself and he backed off. You need to do the same with Lily – she’ll be fine. I mean, I’m obviously still alive and –”



 

 

“Married to a kid you barely know? Oh yes, you’re doing great.” he finished drily.



 

 

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Peaceful thoughts, no violence, happy places, fluffy bunnies, rainbows and unicorns, peace, yoga, no violence.



 

 

“You know what? Forget it.” I pinched the bridge of my nose. “At least I tried.”



 

 

I stepped around him to leave the room but his body turned so he could follow my progress – “I guess I understand what you’re getting at.”



 

 

I threw my hands up and turned around to face him, raising my eyes to the heavens. “Finally, he sees the light.”



 

 

“You’re saying that I should tone down the over protectiveness a little,” Al said in triumph.



 

 

“Brilliant.” I clapped three times and sent him a stony look.



 

 

“And I get that,” he continued as though I hadn’t even spoken, “but the thing is, I can’t bring myself to do it.”



 

 

For the love of Merlin – “Why not?”



 

 

He mumbled something incoherent as he stared at my toes.



 

 

“What?”



 

 

He muttered something that sounded distinctly like, “Brocode.”



 

 

“Did you just say ‘Bro Code’?”



 

 

More unintelligible grumbling.



 

 

“Look,” I said exasperatedly, “despite your obvious belief that I’m somehow able to decipher your incoherent muttering, I really can’t. So if you’re willing to deign yourself to speaking up, I’m all ears.”



 

 

“The Bro Code, okay?!” Al said loudly and angrily. “We’re supposed to protect our sisters.”



 

 

What the fucking hell.



 

 

“I’m not saying not to protect her,” I shot back, “I’m saying not to do it with a fastidiously sharpened pitchfork.”



 

 

“Come off it,” he scoffed, “I don’t have a bloody pitch –”



 

 

“You know what I mean,” I cut across, rolling my eyes, “obviously you don’t have one, otherwise you’d be sitting in the mental bin instead of standing here with me.”



 

 

“I’d rather be at the mental bin,” he muttered.



 

 

“Excuse me?!”



 

 

***



 

 

“I’m really sorry you had a fight because of us,” Lily said sincerely as we sat around the table, eating pancakes (courtesy of Rose and her fantastic cooking).



 

 

“Yeah, we’re honestly not even worth that much trouble,” Eric piped in.



 

 

After being able to hear our whole yelling-spree throughout the entire house (I am most certainly not less appealing than a mental patient!), Lily had decided that she’d forgive Al right away since he’s probably ‘already upset because of your fight.’



 

 

Uh-huh. Sure.



 

 

“Eh, it’s not a big deal,” Al said nonchalantly, waving his fork at them. I dodged as a fleck of syrup flew straight at my face. Idiot.



 

 

“We’ve definitely had worse,” I added, rolling my eyes.



 

 

“Well,” Eric piped up, grinning in a hopeful way as he eyed Al, “you know what they say: the worst fights always mean the best sex afterwards.”



 

 

I choked on my pancake.



 

 

Will there ever be a time when I’m able to get through an entire meal without getting food stuffed down my trachea? No, I’m serious. I think I’m starting to get traumatized. Maybe I should just stop eating around other people altogether.



 

 

Ignoring my coughing and my deeply red face, Al grinned back. “Right you are.”



 

 

“Um, you’re speaking as if you’re actually getting some,” I said disbelievingly after I’d managed to cough out half a lung.



 

 

Eric laughed. “So you’re not getting any?”



 

 

“Of course I am,” Al said.



 

 

“No, you’re not!” I exclaimed.



 

 

“What do you mean –” Eric began.



 

 

“Of course I have sex with my wife,” Al said forcefully through gritted teeth as he glared at me. I huffed as I glowered back. Just because he wants to uphold his man-pride doesn’t mean that I should be the poor shmuck mistaken to be fucking Al Potter.



 

 

Because I don’t. And I won’t.



 

 

Ever.



 

 

“And how, exactly, would you know which kind of sex is the best, Eric?” I asked sweetly, ignoring Al and turning to the happy couple. “I mean, it’s not as if you and Lily actually…well, of course not.”



 

 

Spoken like a true Slytherin.



 

 

Eric’s face drained of color. “No!” he said quickly, shooting a panicked glance at Al (and his fist, which was currently clenched around his wand), “no, of course not! We’re too young anyway –”



 

 

His sentence was cut off by a loud crack! and we turned around to see that James, the ever-so-polite wizard that he is, had apparated right into the kitchen.



 

 

“Hello, all!” James said cheerfully, ignoring our gaping mouths. He reached over and snagged a pancake off of Rose’s plate.



 

 

“How was your honeymoon?” he asked cheekily, winking at me. My expression flattened.



 

 

“You’re dead,” I promised in a low voice, getting up to tackle him.



 

 

“Looking forward to it, dearest sister-in-law – what the hell are you doing, holding hands with my baby sister?!” James yelped suddenly, his eyes focusing on Eric and Lily.



 

 

I sat back down with a groan and thumped my head against the table.



 

 

“Get away from her, you pedophile!”



 

 

Get me away from this family, someone.



 

 





forgive meeeeeeee. i know the wait was terrible, but with all my WTTC updating (which, yes, i am planning on getting back to), and then a story that i tried posting twice, but got rejected because i used a bad word on the banner (whoops - i didn't know bollocks wasn't 12+. actually, i'm not even quite sure what it means), i sort of kind of just blehed about everything else. but i promise that i haven't forgotten and that i've been writing for this! really, i have. in fact, next chapter, you're going to be very pleased with me. i just realized that intense scenes are very fun to write.

:D

please review anyway, even though i majorly suck? thanks!
 
 


Chapter 10: That Did Not Just Happen.
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“There is no way in hell.



 

 

“Al. She lives here, too. If she wants the room to be green, the room is going to be green.”



 

 

“What about me?! Don’t I have a bloody say in this? It’s my room!”



 

 

“But it’s my house. When you move out, you can do whatever you’d like with your room – granted Adele agrees, of course – but as of right now, she wants it to be green, it’s going to be green.”



 

 

I love my mother-in-law.



 

 

See? I can even say that without cringing, grimacing, or bursting out into tears! Ginny Potter is the most amazing person ever.



 

 

Al’s face was covered with disgust and anger. “She can paint half of the room green. The other half stays red.”



 

 

“You have a glass wall, Albus. That leaves three available walls,” Mr. Potter commented lightly as he flipped through the newspaper. “And it’ll look stupid if you have a wall that’s half-green and half-red.”



 

 

Have I mentioned I love my father-in-law, too? Yeah, I do. I pretty much adore this whole family, actually. Even James. After I made him spend the whole day in a painfully embarrassing dress (and I made him go shopping with me, too. It was priceless) and he didn’t even bat an eyelash, I decided that he wasn’t that bad. I basically love Potters in general.



 

 

Except, you know, Al. He holds a special place in my heart, that dearest husband of mine. It’s a spot labeled ‘BIGGEST GIT ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH’. My place in his heart is labeled something along the lines of ‘HEINOUS BITCH’.



 

 

We’re so in love it’s almost sickening.



 

 

“Fine. She can paint one wall green. That’s it. One.” Al sat down and glowered at me, his arms crossed angrily over his chest.



 

 

I grinned. “The one behind the bed.”



 

 

“No,” he said promptly.



 

 

My eyes narrowed. “It’s that or I paint two walls green. Your pick.”



 

 

His face twitched with convulsions of anger as he held back his strong urge to lunge at me and throttle me until I turn blue. “Fine,” he spat out.



 

 

“Great!” I said happily, “Can I call Rose over so she can help me paint?”



 

 

“I’m calling Scorp over, too,” Al cut in hurriedly.



 

 

“Of course you can, love,” Harry said warmly, looking up to smile at me. “If you need anything, just let me know.”



 

 

“Thanks, Harry!” I said excitedly, zooming around the table to kiss him on the cheek. He chuckled and patted my hair. And then one of his fingers got stuck in a curl.



 

 

Well, that was nice while it lasted.



 

 

***



 

 

“I thought you didn’t like Slytherin Green,” Rose said to me as we stood in the middle of Al’s empty room, the newspaper crinkling underneath our toes.



 

 

“Oh, I don’t,” I said nonchalantly, pulling my hair up into a ponytail and kneeling on the ground so that I could pry open the cans, “I just thought it would annoy Al the most.”



 

 

Rose rolled her eyes, “That’s sweet of you.”



 

 

“Isn’t it?” I looked up to shoot her a grin, and she rolled her eyes again, pushing a couple strands of her mahogany hair out of her face and back into the messy bun at the back of her head.



 

 

“I didn’t even know you liked painting anything other than a canvas,” Rose said, after I had opened up the can and poured some of the beautifully silky emerald green onto a tray.



 

 

“I actually don’t like it, but I just wanted to see Al and my brother struggle to carry everything into another room.”



 

 

Can you believe we live in a muggle neighborhood?! It’s brilliant! They can’t use magic at all! They literally had to carry everything! I think they’re still in the other room, struggling to fit everything.



 

 

A loud crashing sound and two exclamations of ‘FUCK!’ told me that my guess was correct.



 

 

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re a devious little bitch?” Rose ventured after she was done giggling at the noises of anger coming from next door.



 

 

“Yes, actually,” I said brightly, “though I can’t imagine why.”



 

 

I wiped my green fingers on my shorts, then pulled them down a little. These things are from when I was thirteen and didn’t have an arse. Now it’s so tight I’m pretty sure part of my arse is hanging out. In my defense, though, Rose’s choice in clothing isn’t any better.



 

 

We look like prostitutes.



 

 

Whatever, we’re painting a bloody room in the middle of the summer. No one cares.



 

 

“Mind if I take off my shirt?” Rose said as she eyed the dark green apprehensively, “I kind of want to wear it again, even if it is old.”



 

 

“I’ll try to keep my sex-craved hands away from you.” I rolled my eyes. “Rose, you idiot – I couldn’t care less.”



 

 

“Well, I was just making sure, in case it made the little old prude uncomfortable,” Rose stuck her tongue out at me and pulled her shirt over her head, throwing it on the ground.



 

 

My mouth dropped open in indignation, “Oi, I’m not a prude!”



 

 

Rose smirked at me.



 

 

I narrowed my eyes at her.



 

 

Whore.



 

 

Just to prove my point, I pulled off my shirt and threw it on the ground as well. “Now who’s the prude?” I stuck my tongue out at her, and she clutched her face dramatically. “AUGH! My eyes! My eyes! They burn!”



 

 

Oh, she did not just go there.



 

 

I grabbed a paintbrush pull of paint and flicked it at her, grinning happily as it spattered across her stomach. She let go of her eyes and looked down at it, then back up at me in disgust.



 

 

“I’ll get you back for that.”



 

 

Three seconds later, I had a long paint splatter going from the top of my stomach to the back of my calf.



 

 

“You little bitch!” I swiped paint on her forehead. She dabbed some on my cheek. Just as I was about to go at her hair with a paintbrush held aloft, she grabbed my arm.



 

 

“Not that this isn’t tons of fun or anything…but we’re going to waste all of it,” Rose pointed out.



 

 

Damn logical bint.



 

 

I sighed reluctantly. “Fine. Let’s do this shit.”



 

 

Facing the now-blank wall (I had sneakily done it overnight so none of the muggles could see – you know, just in case someone wandered into the Potters’ backyard or something), I dipped my rolly-brush in the paint and rolled on a long, thick line of paint. It gleamed on the wall, and as I stepped back, a happy little smile unfurled over my face. This is actually pretty fucking brilliant.



 

 

Rose stepped up next to me and added her one line of green, looking just as content.



 

 

“Pretty relaxing, huh?” she said, admiring the way the dark green contrasted with the wall. I took a deep breath.



 

 

“You have no idea,” I said quietly. And we set to work.



 

 

I’d completely forgotten, in my quest to become the bitchiest wife imaginable, how much I loved being peaceful. Painting was like that – smooth, rhythmic, flowing – it made me feel like I was a column of water, constantly moving in a steady beat. And something about it just made me feel incredibly relaxed and energized.



 

 

It was like my own personal brand of yoga and tai-chi, all blended together.



 

 

And I loved it.



 

 

Then again, this is my life we’re in the middle of, so it’s pretty obvious that – good things? Yeah, they don’t last. I think the gods are actually having some sort of sick, convoluted contest up there: Who Can Make Adele’s Life More Miserable. It’s a raging, fierce battle, as everyone with half-a-brain-cell can see. And they’re all bloody winning.



 

 

I bet they’re having tons of fun up there, cackling like the devious Adele-haters that they are.



 

 

Poo.



 

 

I leaned up on my toes in order to get at the upper half of the wall, stretching myself to my ridiculously tall height and trying to make sure that I didn’t get paint on my bare skin.



 

 

I should have gotten a ladder, damn it. Just as I was contemplating putting on my shirt so I could go and get one of the useless twits (Al, Scorp or James) to bring me a ladder, the door swung open and a pair of feet crinkled on the newspaper.



 

 

“Oi you two, in case you need anything done, don’t bother – holy fuck.”



 

 

I froze, my arm stuck in the middle of a stroke.



 

 

Rose turned around. “Oh hey, Al!” she said cheerfully. “What’s up?”



 

 

Shit.



 

 

“Uh…” he began, his voice sounding strangled.



 

 

Shit.



 

 

“I was, er –”



 

 

Shit.



 

 

“Um…”



 

 

Shit.



 

 

“Er, why are you, uh…”



 

 

Shit.



 

 

“…look, could you, uh…”



 

 

Shit.



 

 

“Al, you want to get out a full sentence sometime in this century?” Rose asked exasperatedly. “And Adele, for Merlin’s sake, you’re going to let that roller get stuck to the paint on the wall if you don’t move away,” she added.



 

 

I blushed and stepped away from the wall, refusing to turn around.



 

 

“Mate, what’s going – whoa.” Scorpius’ awed voice stopped short, and I had the distinct notion he was in the process of thoroughly checking Rose out.



 

 

“Stop shagging her with your eyes, you perv!” I barked, still facing the wall.



 

 

“How does she do that?” Scorpius muttered to no one in particular.



 

 

I smirked to myself. I’m such a win.



 

 

“Why’re you talking to the wall like a freak?” Scorpius said to me, intent on getting me back for my correct observations of win.



 

 

You know how every girl has that one really embarrassing bra that she got on a dare/bet because she’d honestly never buy something that scandalous? You know, the bra that’s made out of black lace and pushes your boobs halfway to your chin?



 

 

Yeah, that’s the one I was currently wearing.



 

 

Bloody fantastic, I know.



 

 

“Because I’m not wearing a shirt, brother dearest,” I spat, crossing my arms.



 

 

Scorp snorted. “Adele, this room has me – and I’ve seen you completely naked as a baby, so it’s not a big deal – Weasley, and your husband. You can stop being such a prude.”



 

 

He used the H-word! He bloody used it!



 

 

And he called me a prude! Well, just because I have a sense of pride and virtue and don’t go around flashing my bits at every bloke who passes me on the street doesn’t mean – !



 

 

Once again, I’ve started sounding like my grandmother. This is humiliating, even to myself.



 

 

I turned around ferociously, a dark glare spread over my face. “I am not a prude!”



 

 

Scorpius seemed pleased with himself, until he saw what I was – or rather, wasn’t – wearing. Then he turned an angry shade of red and shot a dark look at Al, who looked sort of dazed as he stared unabashedly. Holy hell, this is embarrassing.



 

 

“You whore!” Scorp squeaked, pointing a trembling finger at me.



 

 

My eyes narrowed.



 

 

“So, let me get this straight: two seconds ago I was a prude, and now I’m a whore.” I summed flatly.



 

 

“Yes! Put some bloody clothes on, you – you – prostitute!”



 

 

My brother is such a gormless prat.



 

 

“You’re such a gormless prat, Malfoy,” Rose said in a bored voice, creepily voicing the exact thought running through my mind. Weird.



 

 

“I’ll show you gormless prat, Weasl – leeeeeeeeeeeee,” his words trailed off in a longing sigh as he assaulted her chest with his eyes. He was practically drooling.



 

 

“Oh my god, I’m not related to him,” I said weakly, staring at Scorpius in disbelief.



 

 

“Er,” Al cleared his throat, “you have, uh, paint…on your…cheek.”



 

 

I looked at him to see that he was addressing the ceiling with a fiercely determined look on his face. Weirdo.



 

 

“Yeah, I know.” I put my hand on my face and rubbed at it, “It’ll probably come off with a bit of water. Hopefully. Is it all over my face?”



 

 

“Your – huh?” Al’s eyes dropped down to just my face, and his face turned bright pink. “Oh…right. Your cheek. Yeah, you have paint on your face…cheek.”



 

 

What?



 

 

I gave him an odd look, but he was back to watching the ceiling as though there was something incredibly interesting written across it in bright, bold letters.



 

 

I checked, just to make sure. Nope, still white and boring.



 

 

“Okay,” I said slowly, chancing a look at Rose and Scorpius. They seemed to be having some sort of a staring contest. “I’m…er…just going to wash my face off, then. In the, you know, bathroom.”



 

 

Al nodded, his eyes still on that spot on the ceiling, “Yeah. I’ll wait here.”



 

 

“Trust me, that wasn’t an invitation for you to come.”



 

 

He didn’t respond, so I turned around and quickly walked into the bathroom, shutting it behind me and looking into the mirror. My normally pale face was flushed with a glow of pink from my embarrassment, and my curly hair was falling out of the ponytail I had messily tied at the back of my head. A dark green smudge that started at the corner of my mouth and went up to the top of my ear was slightly smeared, and I still had paint down my stomach.



 

 

In short, I looked like a mess. No wonder the kid can’t even bring himself to look at me. I wouldn’t want to, either.



 

 

I sighed and prodded the hipbone that jutted out right over where my denim shorts sat. I’m absolutely curveless. Yeah, I may have my mom’s set of decent-sized boobs, but…hips? Yeah, right.



 

 

I thought Malfoys were supposed to be beautiful. This is so not fair.



 

 

Wearing a resigned, embittered grimace, I turned on the tap and quickly rubbed off the green as best as I could, leaving behind a red mark on my face which probably wouldn’t fade for about three hours. I decided I’d have to just shower to take off the rest of the green, so I left it as it was and leaned over to wipe my face on a towel – and my eye caught on something.



 

 

Holy shit.



 

 

I turned around and craned my neck so I could look over my shoulder at the mirror, then cursed again under my breath.



 

 

I had green paint on my arse-cheek.



 

 

My cheek.



 

 

Bloody hell.



 

 

***



 

 

“I swear he ogled my arse!” I hissed to Rose as we made our finishing touches on the wall three hours later. I had to listen to her long, endless rant on my brother (as if I haven’t had to deal with the bloke for seventeen years already – yes, Rose, I’m quite aware that his eyes are gray, thank you very much), and then decided that it was my turn to angrily proclaim just how awkward and pervy her stupid cousin was.



 

 

“Well…it is hanging out of your shorts,” Rose pointed out, “and well, he’s your husband…so it’s allowed.”



 

 

I let out an angry squeaking noise, too appalled to form words.



 

 

“In fact, shouldn’t you be glad he checked you out?” Rose went on, thoroughly getting worked up and all comfortable with the idea. “Then at least you know he’s interested in you! And your marriage isn’t going to be completely loveless or anything.”



 

 

I looked at her. “And I suppose you were dead to the world when we had an argument loud enough to echo around the whole house yesterday?”



 

 

“Yeah, I heard everything,” her eyes sparkled mischievously, “you two sure are…passionate.”



 

 

“Ew, Rose!” I exclaimed, wrinkling my nose at her, then letting out a retching sound when she winked and waggled her eyebrows suggestively.



 

 

“And, well…Eric was right. You know what they say about fiery couples.”



 

 

“Rose, that’s disgusting!”



 

 

“And well, objectively speaking, Al looks great. He’s practically my sibling and I love him to bits, but you have to admit I have a really hot cousin.”



 

 

“I’m not even going to comment on that.”



 

 

Rose’s grin was threatening to overcome her face. “So you agree with me, then?”



 

 

“Absolutely not.”



 

 

She gave me a skeptical look.



 

 

“Fine,” I muttered grudgingly, “he’s gorgeous.”



 

 

“Ha!” Rose exclaimed in triumph, waving her paintbrush at me. I rolled my eyes.



 

 

“It’s just an observation, Rose. Doesn’t mean anything,” I insisted.



 

 

“And you two are completely perfect for each other!” she started gushing, completely disregarding everything that came out of my mouth.



 

 

Excuse me?”



 

 

“Your personalities just…click. You’re both so sarcastic, the only other person that can really balance it out is, well…the other person, you know?” she rambled.



 

 

Not particularly.”



 

 

“And I really think he can keep your psychotic tendencies in check. And you can keep his psycho tendencies in check, too, as we all saw yesterday. With him, it’s like you just know what to do – what’s right to do. You haven’t even known him for that long, and you’re already so brilliant at it.”



 

 

My mouth opened and closed, making me look like a surprised, speechless fish.



 

 

“And you two look great together, too! He’s tall and broad-shouldered and muscley –”



 

 

“Rose,” I said flatly, trying to get her to shut up.



 

 

“ – and you’re also really tall, kind of like a model. Plus you’re also pretty skinny, but you have an arse and boobs, so that makes the scrawny-ness okay, really –”



 

 

“Rose.”



 

 

“ – and your blonde hair just…goes with his dark hair. Plus your skin is so light and pretty – you look like a fragile porcelain doll, and he sets you off perfectly because he’s so completely the opposite of that –”



 

 

“Rose!”



 

 

“ – and he doesn’t like, tower over you or anything. You two just look perfect together –”



 

 

Rose!”



 

 

 “ – plus you’re both so gorgeous. I can’t wait to see what the kids look like!”



 

 

Bloody hell, Rose!”



 

 

She blinked owlishly at me. “What?”



 

 

“Shut up!”



 

 

She huffed and sent me a disapproving look. Shaking my head to myself, I went back to the white patch of wall in the corner. Merlin, she’s insane. Me and Potter are not compatible. There’s nothing about the two of us that matches, or ‘clicks’ or goes together. We’re complete opposites, and all we do is push each other the wrong way. He brings out the worst in me, and I probably do the same for him.



 

 

He makes me want to scream and yell and pull my hair out in pure frustration. Everything about him to me is just so irritating, and half the time I want to punch something when I’m trying to have a conversation with the kid.



 

 

He makes me want to go violent in the worst ways. I see red when he smirks that insufferable smirk at me, and his snide comments are the reason my blood pressure rises like a balloon.



 

 

Al Potter irks me. He makes me rankle.



 

 

***



 

 

By dinner time, we were completely done. Sure, I might have shot a couple of surreptitious spells at the wall to make it dry faster. And, yeah, maybe those silver splatters were also done with a quick flick, but – the curtains were firmly closed! No one saw a thing!



 

 

And I really was quite sick and tired of the whole bloody ordeal. Honestly, the things I do to annoy Al Potter…



 

 

Me and Rose stood off to the side with proud smirks on our faces and our shirts properly on as Al and Scorpius staggered through the door with his furniture. Both of their shirts were drenched as they lugged the bed back into the room. They were doing it in pieces, but apparently, their weak bodies couldn’t even handle a couple pieces of wood.



 

 

Wimps.



 

 

“You could have helped, you know,” Al panted, shooting me a brief glare as he bent over with his hands on his knees. He and Scorpius had just finished hauling in and putting together his massive bed and were both gasping for breath. I don’t think it helped that it was summer and we had the glass door open so the smell of paint could waft out.



 

 

I rolled my eyes as Rose gave me a disapproving look in accordance with Al and left the room with Scorpius to go and get lamps.



 

 

“Well, I could have,” I replied lazily, settling down happily into one of the chairs by the Wiz-Telly. “But I enjoyed it so much.”



 

 

At that, he pulled off his sweaty shirt, rolled it into a sopping ball and threw it right at me. I squealed and fell backwards as it slapped against my face, smelling like sweat and grossness.



 

 

“Ew!” I yelled, jumping up and pushing the shirt onto the floor. “That’s disgusting, Al!”



 

 

“Yes, but I enjoyed it so much,” he replied smugly.



 

 

Arse.



 

 

“Let’s see how you like it,” I muttered under my breath, stalking towards him angrily. Then – and I swear I don’t know what possessed me to do it – I pulled off my shirt as though it was perfectly acceptable for females to do something like that in front of other people and pulled it over his head, letting it settle on his neck and hoping that it was smothering him.



 

 

“Ack! Get it off!” he sputtered, stumbling backwards and trying to pull it off. But I kept my hands at the hem, making sure that he didn’t pull it over his head. Take that, Potter!



 

 

“Adele, I can’t breathe!” he said frantically, his mouth sounding muffled against the fabric. So I pulled one of the arm-holes to the front so that he could stick his nose out. One green eye glared angrily at me, and I laughed.



 

 

“Give up?” I asked smugly.



 

 

He grabbed my arms and tried pulling them away from the shirt. “Never.”



 

 

Then he was pushing my arms away and I was holding on tightly, pulling myself closer so I could win, and then we were both laughing, and his green eyes were sparkling with what looked a lot like amusement and humor – and then his rough, warm hands were at the bare skin of my stomach, tickling me (cheating, too) and I was trying to get away while still holding on to the shirt and giggling like a loon.



 

 

It was…it was…fun.



 

 

And then, somehow, impossibly, I was flat on my back on the bed and he was on top of me and the shirt was forgotten on the floor, ripped in half.



 

 

All of a sudden, I was too aware of everything, as if it all just came rushing back to me in a wave. I could feel one of his hands burning the skin of my waist while the other pressed against the bed by my knee, and his stomach, his chest, burning against mine, and his eyes burning holes into my face…and everything was burning hot and fifty times stronger and just…



 

 

Breathless.



 

 

I stared at his Adam’s apple as it bobbed up and down, then, gradually, tentatively, raised my eyes to look at his. They were hazy green fire, and I couldn’t think anymore.



 

 

Almost too slowly, his palm moved up from my knee all the way to my hip, his calloused hand leaving a trail of fire on my skin. Then the fire was skimming up the side of my body, over my arm, up my neck, and to a blonde curl fallen across my cheek. His hand brushed across my cheekbone and he tucked the strand behind my ear.



 

 

I stared at the green and felt the fire, and something like…want pooled in my stomach. Something like lust.



 

 

I gulped. What’s happening?



 

 

He moved his palm flat against the side of my neck, his expression a thousand miles away. I could feel my pulse pounding away against his hand, and I somehow knew he could feel it, too. As though by a chain reaction, his heart pumped louder and harder against mine. I couldn’t tell the difference between his pulse and mine anymore.



 

 

I hate this boy. I hate him. So why am I feeling this way? Why do I want him to kiss me right now? This doesn’t make any sense, but…I couldn’t pull myself away from the expression in those eyes. Something about this moment was magnetic.



 

 

He was leaning forward and anticipation curled in the pit of my stomach as our noses lightly brushed–



 

 

“Holy fucking shit!”



 

 

And then I blinked and he was on the other side of the bed, and the blanket had been pushed up to my chin.



 

 

I gaped for a couple of seconds – was that…



 

 

No. It couldn’t have been just my imagination.



 

 

But everything about it was so surreal.



 

 

I shook my head slightly to clear my thoughts and sat up to see that Lily was standing at the doorway, her mouth hanging halfway to her knees. I glanced nervously at Al, who was sitting against the headboard, his eyes closed. He would have passed for asleep if his hand wasn’t curled into a fist around the blanket. I looked back at Lily, deciding that Al was too confusing to even glance at right now.



 

 

“Lily, you look like a blithering fool,” I informed her flatly. She snapped her mouth shut and glared half-heartedly at me.



 

 

“Neither of you are wearing a shirt,” Lily shot back.



 

 

I decided not to answer that one.



 

 

“And yours is ripped and on the floor – honestly, if you two are shagging, it’s okay. It’s not like you have to hide it or anything; you are married,” Lily said, rolling her eyes.



 

 

“We’re not shagging,” I said calmly. “Or snogging,” I added when she opened her mouth.



 

 

She crossed her arms. “I’m not stupid. He was on top of you on his bed and neither of you have clothing on.”



 

 

I blushed.



 

 

“It’s not like that,” I mumbled.



 

 

She looked skeptical. “Yeah? Then what is it like, exactly?”



 

 

“We got into another fight?” I tried.



 

 

She gave me a stony look.



 

 

“We did, honest! And then it turned into some sort of shirt-smothering contest, and…I don’t know,” I trailed off pathetically.



 

 

Lily opened her mouth to be annoying again, when Al’s voice cut her off.



 

 

“Lily. Forget it,” he said strongly, his voice level and calm, a complete opposite of my flustering embarrassment.



 

 

“Um, not likel –”



 

 

“You’re going to forget it,” he reiterated flatly, “Otherwise I’m telling James I caught you shagging your boyfriend in your room.”



 

 

Her mouth dropped open. “I wasn’t shagging him! We were just –”



 

 

“Yeah, but who’s James going to believe – you or me?” he asked.



 

 

Damn, this boy puts Slytherins to shame.



 

 

Lily glared at him. “Arse,” she said huffily. “Fine, I won’t say anything about it. But I know that you two really, really want each other, no matter how much you try to deny it.”



 

 

I opened my mouth to vehemently protest, but she tossed her hair behind her shoulder and pranced out of the door. I sat up slowly, holding the blanket up to my chest. I was watching Al warily. He looked bored and indifferent to everything.



 

 

“That never happened,” I said quietly.



 

 

His eyes moved over to mine. “What never happened?” he asked innocently. He shot me a carefree, devious grin and pushed himself off of the bed, disappearing into the closet and emerging two seconds later with what looked like a shirt. He threw it to me, and I unfolded it to see that he’d managed to figure out which female clothes were appropriate to wear for hot weather.



 

 

Letting out a brief smile, I pulled it over my head and retied my hair, getting off the bed and picking up my destroyed shirt on the floor.



 

 

I turned around. “You know where Rose and Scorpius went?”



 

 

“Probably snogging next door,” he said nonchalantly.



 

 

I made a face. Lovely.



 

 

“I’ll walk in on them and make everything embarrassing,” I said brightly. “Meanwhile you go shower, you stink like a wet dog.”



 

 

“Thanks, bitch.” He said.



 

 

I grinned. “You’re welcome, arsehole.”



 

 





HI.

soo..this time i updated faster! and OMGWHATTT?! the moment! who enjoyed the moment?! i enjoyed writing the moment. as a result, i wrote a lot more moments. now i can't stop :D it's very fun.

the queue is short, so i won't take forever but PLEASE REVIEW!!
 
 


Chapter 11: This Could Not Get Any Worse.
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 I’ll freely admit it: my husband is fucking hot.

And yeah, occasionally, when he’s not being an arse (obviously these moments are very rare), I find myself unexplainably attracted to him. Maybe it’s those green eyes. Maybe it’s the way he looks when  he’s thinking about something, the look on his face of rapt attention to something far, far away. Maybe it’s how he smiles. Maybe it’s the way his dark hair is always thick and glinting with light, even in the darkness.

Whatever it is, it’s driving me insane. Because, honestly – I don’t even like him. In fact, most of the time I really, really hate him.

But I just can’t help but wonder who the real Al Potter is. And I can’t help but think that…you know, maybe I might even like the real Al Potter. Who knows? Maybe he’s a nice kid.

As you can probably tell, this isn’t helping my efforts to be a bitch.

My hand worked on its own accord, adding strokes and hues to the canvas in front of me. I liked these moments of calm solitude, when I didn’t have to pretend or try or struggle to keep up – I could just let my guards down and be me. And yeah, I may be a sarcastic bitch, but I don’t enjoy it. Being horrible is actually quite draining.

“Oi, are you busy, James is – whoa.”

I whirled around as the door banged against the wall behind Al as he barreled into his room. Trying my best to cover up the canvas, I assumed an expression that I dearly hoped was innocent.

“What’s that?” He asked, shifting to the side so he could peer at the painting. I mirrored his actions.

“Nothing,” I said unconvincingly. My face was slowly turning red. I hated it when people looked at my paintings while I was still working on them. Something about it made me feel so exposed and vulnerable – because, yeah, my feelings were pretty dominant in my art, and most of the things I painted were stowed away in my closet.

“Definitely looks like something,” he remarked, inching the other way. I moved over again.

“Well, whatever it is, it’s not important, so you can – hey!”

Al had shoved me out of the way and was now regarding the painting with his head tilted to the side. I glared at him in incredulous disbelief – what the fucking hell?

“Oi, that was extremely rude,” I said icily, pushing him on the shoulder so that he had to step away from my easel.

“What is that supposed to be?” he asked, ignoring my admonishment. I looked back at the confusing whirlwind of colors. Jagged lines of red, swirls of pink, dashes of blue and green, long sloping lines of yellow and orange and purple – it was a mess of turmoil, sort of what I was feeling at the moment.

“I don’t know,” I said truthfully.

He contemplated it for another moment. “It looks like someone ate a paint pallet and then puked on the canvas.”

My eyes narrowed. I retract every single nice thing I said about him.

“Fuck off,” I snapped, shoving him again and turning back to the painting.

“Look,” he said hurriedly, stepping in front of the canvas, “I’m sure that your…art is extremely interesting –”

“Oi, I’m not appreciating that sarcastic tone you’re using.”

“ – and it must absolutely destroy you to be pulled away from such fantastic, beautiful work –”

“Are you planning on getting to a point anytime soon?”

“ – but James needs your help,” he finished, having cheerfully ignored everything I said to him. I crossed my arms and glared at him, cursing him to Hades and back for being so damn attractive. Oh, and then to Hades again. Because I’d rather he stayed down there instead of up here, where he irritates me on an hourly basis.

“What could he possibly use my help for?” I asked doubtfully.

Al looked solemn. “Girl troubles.”

Dear Merlin.

***

“ – and I told her that I loved her, and she laughed at me! And then she told me I was taking this too seriously and we should probably break up.” James said, his voice sounding appalled. His dark hair was standing up in every angle imaginable, and his golden eyes looked dulled with hurt. He dropped his head down and fisted the top of his hair. “I just don’t get it,” he mumbled, “I really thought she loved me, too.”

I bit my lip and looked up at Al, who was standing in front of the loveseat where James and I sat. He met my gaze and shrugged, looking down at James with something like worry in his eyes.

I took a deep breath and put my hand on James’ shoulder. Okay, I don’t pretend to be overly compassionate, or some sort of amazing sympathetic person, but I’ve always been good at making people feel better. Maybe it’s the nice part of me trying to battle itself out into the open. Maybe something about a defeated person just sort of makes my heart ache a little. Maybe I care more than I want myself to believe.

Either way, James was hurt – and it made me feel hurt, too. For some unfathomable reason, I was upset.

“Some people,” I finally said quietly, brushing my hand over his back so I could wrap my arm around his broad shoulders, “are really big bitches.”

James let out a strangled laugh, and even Al couldn’t hold back a little chuckle.

“You may not realize it right away. And that’s okay, because you’re only human, right? You’re not supposed to pick up on everything. But what you’ve got to do once you figure it out is to get the hell away from that bitch,” I told him. James raised his head and turned to look at me. I smiled when I saw that he already looked a bit better, and his mouth quirked up as well. James Potter has got to be one of the most adorable people I’ve ever met.

“Think of it as a life lesson, James. You know better now. And yeah, you might have loved her, and this might really hurt. But you have to remember that everything happens for a reason. And the reason for this is that she wasn’t right for you.”

“How do I know who’s right for me?” James croaked.

I smiled again and pulled my arm away from shoulder, using that hand to brush some hair out of his eyes. Something about his expression reminded me so much of Scorpius when he was in one of his vulnerable moods.

“Once in your life, you’ll meet someone who’s iridescent,” I said softly, “and, after that – well, no one else compares. When you meet someone like that, don’t ever let her go.”

James’ face broke out into a wondering smile, and he pulled me into a hug, burying his face into my hair. “Thanks, Adele,” he said.

I pulled away and kissed him on the cheek, “Now go do something crazy, alright? It’ll help make you feel better.”

James gave me another crushing hug and stood up, his smile looking only slightly hurt. “You better keep her around for a long time, bro,” James told Al, giving him a little punch on the shoulder. Al rolled his eyes, but there was a small quirk to his mouth.

“Thanks Al,” James added.

“No problem, James.” And in those three words, I realized just how close these two brothers were. I couldn’t imagine Al Potter being close to anyone – he just seemed so aloof and uncaring all the time. Just imagining him talking and laughing with someone in a completely carefree way made my stomach clench a little. It all just seemed so…un-Al-Potter-Like. It all just seemed so human.

James walked out of the library, but I was so engrossed in watching Al and being lost in my curious thoughts that I didn’t even notice that he’d noticed and was staring right back. My eyes widened slightly at the realization, but I didn’t look away. For a long moment, we just stared at each other, both trying to figure the other out.

I wondered what he was thinking about, what he was feeling behind that mask.

“What?” I finally asked, my voice sounding slightly higher than usual.

Al raised his eyebrows in a move so subtle, most people wouldn’t have caught it.

I narrowed my eyes slightly. “What are you looking at?” I reiterated.

“What are you looking at?” he countered, one eyebrow going higher.

“I asked first.”

Green eyes sparkled with amusement. “Okay. You.”

I stared in confusion. “Me what?”

“I was looking at you,” he said calmly, indifferently. My stomach squirmed again – how could he be so frank about it?

“Oh,” I said lamely.

“What were you looking at?” he asked.

My eyes snapped up to meet his. I swallowed nervously. “You, I guess.”

He smiled so suddenly I had to take a moment and recover from the whiplash. “Okay,” he said.

“Okay…?” I repeated.

Then he turned around and walked out the door, with me staring after him and wondering what the hell just happened.

***

“Scorpius –”

“Does this mean just a couple of enjoyable snogs, or an actual relationship? I’m going ballistic here, I can’t get her out of my head –”

“Scorpius, if you would just –”

“ – I mean, she’s always been hot, but right now she’s looking absolutely beautiful to me, and that makes no sense because, for Merlin’s sake, I’m Scorpius Malfoy; I don’t think anyone is beautiful –”

“Scorp, shut up!”

“ – and, Merlin, I think I actually like her, Adele. I’ve never liked anyone before, this feeling is so weird –”

“Scorpius! Shut the hell up and let me talk, god damn it!”

What is this, Come-To-Adele-With-Your-Girl-Problems Day?! Pretty soon I’ll have Al ambling up to me, hysterically proclaiming his love for some random chick he met on Diagon Alley.

Oh, what am amusing mental picture.

“Why did I even come to you?” Scorpius asked resentfully, pouting at me. I rolled my eyes and threw a ball of paper into the fire. It bounced off of his face and he let out a loud yelp.

“If you like Rose, ask her out,” I said to him.

“It’s not that easy!” Scorpius whined.

“Of course it is! You just have to go up to her and say ‘Hi Rose. Wanna date?’” I imitated his deep voice almost perfectly.

“Okay, first of all, I do not sound that ridiculous.” Yes you do. “And second, that is not how you’re supposed to ask someone out!” He sounded almost disapproving as he frowned up at me.

I threw my hands up in the air. “For Merlin’s sake, how the hell am I supposed to know, then? I’ve always been the one asked, not the one asking.”

“You’re supposed to be helping me, Addy!” Scorpius whined again. I threw another crumpled paper at him to get him to shut up with the incessant whining. It’s bloody annoying.

“I am helping you, you twat. Ask her out,” I repeated.

Scorpius was full-on glaring at me by this point. “If it was that easy, I would have done it already instead of coming to my useless sister.”

“Then why didn’t you?” I asked loudly. Merlin, I think I’m developing an ulcer. There’s been a definite drop in IQ points, I can tell you that much. Talking to Scorpius is detrimental to anyone’s brain capacities. Good thing Rose is so freakishly smart; it won’t make a shred of difference to her. What’s a brain cell or two when you’re the smartest witch of the generation?

“Her dad hates me!”

“Who cares?”

“I do!”

“Why?”

“Because it’s important to me!”

Why?”

“Fuck, Adele – Because I don’t want her to be unhappy, god damn it!” Scorpius yelled up at me. For a second I stared at him in shock, not believing what just came out of his mouth. It sounded as though he…he…

“You’re in love with Rose?”

No freaking way.

Scorpius turned deep red. “Of course not, don’t be ridiculous,” he muttered. “I just like her a lot. Merlin, where have you been? Have I not been telling you this for the past twenty minutes?”

I slapped my hand to my face. “Scorpius. Ask her out. It’s not that hard. Her dad doesn’t hate you.” My words were muffled wearily against my arm.

“He definitely does.”

“Well, that’s too bad now, because he’s got a nephew who’s married to your sister! He’s going to have to accept the Malfoys – so just ask her out before I bust an artery,” I said angrily.

Scorpius stared up at me in a dazed sort of way. Great, now he’s deciding to act like even more of an idiot than he usually is.

What?” I snapped.

“Merlin, Addy – you’re…you’re married,” he said slowly, his eyes wide.

“Congratulations,” I said seriously, “you’re officially the stupidest person I have ever known.”

“No – I mean…my baby sister is…married.”

“I’m only ten months younger than you, twathead! We were in the same year, for Merlin’s sake.” I rolled my eyes.

“Adele,” Scorpius said quietly. I looked down at him, and my bitchiness melted away. Damn these males and their vulnerable moments. Gets me right in my heart.

“Scorp, it’s not a big deal –” I started carefully.

“No, but it really is,” he said, “I’m supposed to protect you. I was supposed to protect you for a lot longer than I did – and now that you’re with Al…well…”

“I’ll just protect myself,” I said in a falsely-resigned voice, rolling my eyes but unable to stop the smile at my mouth.

“He better take good care of you, otherwise I’m going to –”

“Scorpius, can we just let the colorful threats go for now? Ask Rose out.” I changed the subject speedily, not wanting to have a conversation with Scorpius about all the various objects he was going to stick in uncomfortable places on Al’s body if he so much as batted an eyelash at me the wrong way.

Trust me, it was bad enough the first time. Especially because the victim in question was a guy that I actually liked at the time.

“Are you sure?” Scorpius said doubtfully, thankfully going along with the subject-change.

“Positive,” I said confidently. “I have to go now, okay? Ginny and Harry are going out, and I volunteered to make dinner –”

“Yeah, yeah. Go be a dutiful daughter-in-law,” Scorpius rolled his eyes.

He got another balled-up newspaper in the face. “Love ya, prathead.”

“You too, gitface.” Then with a grin and a faint popping noise, Scorpius was gone. I stared at the fireplace for a little while longer, wondering what the house would be like right now. I wondered if anyone missed me, or if the house was quieter without me banging around and singing at the top of my lungs as I painted or walked through a hallway. I wondered how big the house felt now that I was gone.

I wondered if anyone noticed at all.

***

Thunderstorms are beautiful. Yeah, over the noise of the booming, haunting thunder and the roar of steady rain, it’s not exactly possible to hear much, but…something about the way lightening flashes across the sky and rain pelts like falling crystals and thunder claps like rolling waves of energy makes everything about a storm feel completely magical.

So, I was, oddly enough, content as I made pasta sauce, humming cheerfully under my breath.

“Nana? Is that you? Whatever you’re making, could you please make more of it? It smells bloody amazin – holy crap.

Holy crap.

There was a short silence as Al took in my appearance: hair tied up in a messy bun, an apron over my shirt and shorts, and a wooden spoon clutched in my grasp.

“You can cook?” he finally asked incredulously.

“I can do everything,” I responded seriously, turning back to the simmering pasta sauce and mixing it a little. Al was right about one thing – it did smell bloody amazing.

“Right,” Al snorted. But he sounded a little doubtful of himself. He should be, too. I can do anything – comes with being a lady Malfoy. We’re taught to be perfect in all aspects. Good thing the personality lessons never worked on me; otherwise I couldn’t be here right now, making Al’s life hell. And that’s just tragic.

“Where are Lily and James?” I asked, trying to break the silence.

“Lily’s at her…boyfriend’s house. James is probably out destroying something with Fred,” Al said, his voice curling with disgust around the mention of Lily’s boyfriend. I rolled my eyes to myself.

“So I suppose it’s just us two, then?” I confirmed, glancing at him once, then grabbing some parmesan and grating it into the sauce.

“I suppose it is,” he said. He leaned against the counter next to the stove and stared intently at my hands. I decided to ignore him and his unsettling gaze and instead focus on seasoning this sauce to perfection, adding some basil leaves, oregano, a little more salt, some crushed red peppers for flavor, a dash of –

“Don’t. It looks perfect just as it is.” Al’s hand had caught mine before I could add pepper. I swallowed, staring at the way his fingers could curl around both my hand and the bottle. He didn’t even seem concerned about the heat that was rising from the pot and encasing our hands in a thick envelope of white steam.

Merlin, what the hell is wrong with me?

“Okay,” I muttered, pulling my hand away and setting the bottle down. I stirred the sauce a couple of more times to get rid of some nervous energy and turned off the stove, cooling the sauce to a perfect temperature with a flick of my wand.

“Aren’t you going to try it?”

“What?” My head snapped up to see that Al was still watching me work like some sort of anxious lunatic.

He rolled his eyes and nodded towards the sauce.

“Oh – yeah, I guess I should, er…spoon, spoon…” I muttered under my breath, whirling around with a frantic sort of energy. I couldn’t fathom quite why I was so nervous…but I was.

Just as I was about to start pulling open random drawers in the hopes of stumbling across a spoon, Al’s hand wrapped around my wrist and pulled me around towards him. I stumbled slightly, but managed to come face to face with him without greeting the ground first.

“You need to calm down,” he murmured, looking amused. My eyes widened as he dipped his finger straight into my beautiful sauce. Oi, you idiot! Your hands have been places I don’t even want to know! Don’t go dipping that in my goddamn sauce, you little –

“Huh?” I said oh-so-intelligently as he stuck his sauce-coated finger in front of my face.

“Try it,” he said.

“Off your finger?”

He looked annoyed. “Are you going to try it or not?”

Still staring warily at him, I closed my lips over his finger. Immediately, the flavor of the sauce hit my tastebuds, and I instinctively pressed my tongue closer to the source and sucked my cheeks inward to siphon the flavor into my mouth, my tongue curling around the sauce droplets and pushing them upwards –

And that’s when I realized that I was licking – no, sucking – sauce off of Al Potter’s finger. Using tongue.

Bloody hell.

I pulled away with a soft smacking sound, my face flushed. Al’s mouth was slightly open and his eyes were wider than usual, so I quickly looked at the ground to avoid his shocked stare. Look, I like good food, okay? I wasn’t trying to…seduce him or anything! Oh god, just the prospect of that is completely repulsive. No way in hell is that ever going to happen.

Al cleared his throat awkwardly. “Good?” he asked, his voice a little rougher than usual.

I nodded at the ground, not trusting myself to speak without cracking my voice fifty times. So he dipped the same finger into my sauce again, ignoring my horrified squeak – think about the germs! – and tried it, too.

I made a disgusted sound. “You just swallowed my saliva.”

He shrugged. “Bound to happen sooner or later. Let’s eat.”

My mouth fell open – bound to happen sooner or later? What’s that supposed to mean? Does it…it…oh, god. He doesn’t actually believe –?

Fucking shit…he does.

Nervous emotion was fluttering through me again once I realized what he was implying, but he seemed completely oblivious to it – or at least really tactfully pretending he didn’t notice – and he picked up the pot of sauce and walked it casually to the table, setting it in the middle.

“Bring the pasta, will you?” he called over his shoulder. I jumped slightly at his unexpected voice, and scrambled towards the pasta, using Wingardium Leviosa to levitate it to the table, since I honestly couldn’t trust myself to maintain any balance when I was so clearly imbalanced.

Once again – what the hell is wrong with me?

He went back and got plates and forks as I put the pasta down, and I served the both of us in silence, too aware of the way his eyes were watching my every move.

And that’s when I realized why I was so nervous – the kid was trying his best to figure me out. I was his puzzle, his riddle, and he was intent on trying to solve that puzzle. Something about it really irked me. I’m not some complicated mind game that needs to be cracked. That would be Al Potter, Mr. Confusing himself. But he was still trying, and that made me anxious. What had he said?

I’ll make you fall in love with me.

I had laughed, at the time. But now…it seems like he’s completely and fully capable of it.

And that scares me.

I finished drizzling generous helpings of sauce of the pasta, and glanced quickly at Al to let him know that he could take it. Just as Al brushed up next to me to grab his plate, there was a particularly loud shot of thunder, and the lights went out.

Bloody brilliant.

Something pressed itself instinctively against my arm, and I resisted the urge to shy away from his touch. I’d probably trip over thin air and hurt myself.

“Stupid shitty muggle crap,” Al muttered resentfully.

Lumos,” I whispered. My wand tip glowed suddenly bright in the middle of the kitchen, illuminating his face in ways that made him look incredible.

God-bloody-damn-it.

I quickly put my wand on the table.

Merlin, I admitted he was attractive! Shouldn’t that be enough for you?! Must I go through this torture?

Al shook his head at my wand. “That’s not going to work – we should probably go get some candles or something.”

I pushed him into his chair so hard he literally fell into it, letting out a surprised yelp in the process. “No candles,” I said, my voice edging on hysteria.

“My arse hurts,” he complained, glaring at me.

“You’ll survive.”

“Merlin, they’re just candles. I’m not going to start getting all weird and romantic on you just because we’re having a candlelight dinner. Please don’t flatter yourself,” he scoffed, rolling his eyes.

I gave him a dirty look.

“What the hell is your problem anyway?” he asked.

I let out a bitter laugh. “What’s my problem? I have no bloody idea, that’s what my problem is. It’s driving me insane.”

“You make no sense whatsoever,” he said after a couple of seconds of staring at me blankly.

“Good,” I muttered.

“Look, are you going to let me go and get some candles, or do I have to run for it?” he finally said in exasperation.

“Neither,” I decided.

“I’m going to run for it,” he threatened, putting his hand on the table so he could brace himself to get up.

“I’m going to tackle you like an American Muggle football player if you do,” I promised.

“I’m going,” he said, his eyebrows raised.

“Go ahead,” I told him in the same tone.

“I’m really going.”

“Alright. Go.”

“I’m really, seriously going to –”

“Just go, for Merlin’s sake!”

“You suck all the fun out of life,” he told me. Then he bolted.

He only got about ten feet before I caught up jumped on him, causing him to stagger and fall with a loud, resounding crash, bringing me down on top of him. The house rang with it for a moment, and then everything was still, save for the faint noise of rumbling thunder in the background.

“Gotcha,” I grinned victoriously.

“Owww,” he moaned, his eyes screwed up in pain.

“Oh, you’re such a big baby.”

His hands tightened unconsciously around my waist as he let out a hiss of pain. “I think I hit the back of my head a little too hard,” he said through gritted teeth.

The smirk slid right off my face.

“Oh, no,” I said frantically, sliding my hands behind his head so I could feel for a possible bump. I steadied myself on my elbows so I wouldn’t go flopping forward, but I was still a little too close for comfort. I could clearly see his jaw straining, which told me that he had his teeth tightly clenched. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to –”

“Shouldn’t you be glad to have caused me pain?” he asked tightly, his eyes opening slightly to glare up at me.

“Of course not!” I blurted out before I could stop myself. My voice was high with surprise and regret. “I wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone. I’m going to be a Healer.”

There was a short silence of surprise from the both of us. Fuck, why did I let that slip?

“Well, that’s relieving,” he finally grunted.

“I’m going to feel for a bump, okay?” I said softly, deciding to screw the bitch act and make sure I hadn’t hurt the poor guy. “Just sit up slowly.”

He slowly sat up, propping himself up on his arms. His motion pushed me a upright as well, and I realized that I had been straddling him in the middle of the floor, my chest completely pressed against his, practically lying on him, with absolutely no problem. I was afraid to let go of his head, though, because the pressure of my hands was making the pain a little better. So I decided to continue sitting on him, and if he said anything, I would knee him in the ribs.

Because, yes, that’s how my dysfunctional mind deals with being accused of straddling my husband on the floor, even when I am doing just that.

Don’t judge me.

Closing my eyes to heighten my sense of touch (and also to make sure I didn’t get distracted by his much-too-close face), I slowly ran my fingers over the back of his head, trying to be as gentle as possible. They traveled over a bump, and he let out a little hiss of pain, which caused me to bite my lip in regret.

“You might have a minor concussion,” I informed him quietly.

“Hmmm,” he said, and I felt the vibrations of his voice through my whole body.

“You probably shouldn’t sleep until later,” I continued.

“Okay.”

“I’ll make sure you don’t.”

“Are you prolonging this diagnosis just to continue straddling me?”

My eyes snapped open in annoyance, and I saw that he was smirking at me in amusement.

“Don’t you wish,” I spat bitterly, getting off and standing up. “Let’s go eat.”




OMG VALIDATION IS ONLY AN HOUR HELL FREAKING YES PLEASE REVIEW I LOVE THE VALIDATORS THAT IS ALL PEACE.

:D :D :D


Chapter 12: Blurs and Whirlwinds.
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“So, what can’t you do?” Al asked later that night as we sat in his room with all the lights on, playing Wizards’ Chess. I was making sure that he didn’t fall asleep until after midnight, since if he fell asleep with a concussion, the results would not be so good. Although nothing would make me happier than his untimely and convenient death, I wasn’t ready to become a widow this early.

And, fine, maybe he’s growing on me a little.

But I still hate him.

A lot, for the record.

“I can’t do a lot of things,” I responded, rolling my eyes as I nudged my too-timid knight forward with the tip of my finger. He scowled up and pouted resentfully at me, and I sighed in annoyance at his reluctance. Aren’t knights supposed to be brave? Why does my chess set have to have the dysfunctional knights? Why can’t anything in my life be nice and normal for a change?

Poo. You suck, Merlin.

“Yeah? Like what?” he asked, raising an eyebrow as he directed his rook to beat up my knight. I scowled at the stupid thing. Good job, idiot. Now you’re dead.

“Well, for one, my life rather sucks. I’m not perfect,” I said absently as I leaned back to survey the board. Come on, Adele, use that brain of yours. “I’m terrible at knitting, sewing, or making any types of clothes. I wasn’t too great at Transfiguration, either. I liked Charms better.”

“I hated Charms,” Al responded, “and loved Transfiguration.”

Figures.

“It frustrated me; I didn’t get it,” I told him, “that’s why I’m better off as a Healer rather than an Auror, though I could have taken both courses.”

“I’m going Pro for Quidditch,” Al said, unexpectedly sharing something about himself for a change.

I looked up at him in surprise. “Really? What team?”

He grinned proudly, “Magpies.”

I was sufficiently impressed. “Seeker?”

“Main team.”

My mouth dropped open.

“You got onto the main team?” I asked incredulously. “You’re kidding! Hogwarts graduates only ever get onto the reserve!”

“I know, and that’s why I was so shocked when I got the offer,” he said, his green eyes sparkling, “At first I thought it was because of Dad, but then later I realized that they’d been desperate for a Seeker anyway.”

“So you got on because of pure perfect timing?” I guessed, smirking teasingly.

He looked indignant. “Oi, and talent, thank you very much.”

“Lucky bastard,” I muttered under my breath, shaking my head in wonder.

“I thought you’d go for Pro, too, actually. Didn’t you get offers?” he asked me curiously. The chess game lay forgotten in front of us. I didn’t mind; I was losing anyway.

“A couple,” I said nonchalantly.

“Like…?”

“Well, the Harpies, Magpies, and Puddlemere,” I said, shrugging. “But they were all for reserve.”

“You – you said no? To all of them?” he seemed appalled at the mere idea.

I rolled my eyes. “I didn’t want to be a professional Quidditch Player. That’s my hobby. I want to be a Healer and do something. Not,” I added hastily, “that Playing Pro isn’t doing a lot, but…I like the idea of saving lives. It would make me different, as…you know. A Malfoy.”

He grinned suddenly. “You do have a heart!”

I gave him a dirty look. “As opposed to…?”

“A cold, unfeeling rock lodged in your chest region,” he said right away.

I glared at him, and he smirked.

“Thinking about my chest region, are we, Potter?” I asked tightly, trying to regain some leverage.

“It’s hard to forget something that scarred me so deeply,” he responded lazily.

“Funny; you were practically drooling at the time.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

“Are you kidding? Have you looked in the mirror lately?”

“Well I have. You, on the other hand…well, the fact that you’re still alive says a lot about whether or not you’ve bothered.”

“Careful, Potter. I can easily prove my point to you,” I was full-on smirking at this point, enjoying every minute of our retort-war.

“Yeah? Will it make me laugh? If so, by all means, please continue.” He raised an eyebrow and leaned back in his chair.

I scoffed. “Please. You’re definitely attracted to me.”

“Sorry love, but you’re the one who can’t keep your hands off of me. Not the other way around.”

“Oh, but the events of two days ago beg to differ.”

“What events? I can’t seem to recall what you’re talking about,” he said innocently.

“Is that your way of subtly getting me to take my shirt off again?”

“Please don’t. I already need therapy from last time.”

A knock at the door saved me from answering. “Who is it?” I called out instead.

“James. Put your clothes back on. I’m coming in.” James’ voice was muffled, but his amusement was clear. The poor, delusional bloke thinks he’s funny.

“It’s unlocked, you tosser,” Al said, rolling his eyes.

“Put your clothes back on first!” James said. Merlin, he’s really pushing it now. It wasn’t even funny to begin with; now he just sounds mental.

“I don’t know, James,” I said seriously, “I mean, I really like being naked. You should probably just go back to your room so we can continue our hot, steamy sex.”

The door burst open. “Aha! I knew you two were –” James stopped short at the sight of us.

“…playing Wizard’s Chess,” he muttered dejectedly. “Damn.”

Al was laughing next to me, so I decided to inform James that he was in idiot.

He didn’t like that very much.

“Just break my heart all over again, Adele, why don’t you?!” he finished dramatically, clutching at his chest.

“Are you done?” I asked drily.

“No, actually. We’re sneaking out to a muggle nightclub,” James informed us gleefully, his face lighting up. “Wanna come?”

Al snorted. “Fuck yes.”

They both turned to look expectantly at me. I huffed and rolled my eyes. “What the hell am I supposed to wear?”

***

“Calm down, just dance like it’s natural for you!” Fred called to me over the music. I shot him a glare and fidgeted with my dress again, trying to pull it down every time a body rubbed against me.

“Did you put me in this for a laugh?” I asked Al angrily, pulling him away from a couple of bimbos he was grinding cheerfully with.

“What? Oh, the dress. Yeah, pretty much.” He shrugged at me and looked over my head for someone to dance with.

“Oi, I’m trying to talk to you!” I snapped my fingers in front of his nose. “Pay attention to me. This dress is bloody ridiculous. I demand you to Transfigure it.”

He rolled his eyes and looked down at me, slowly scanning me for the umpteenth time. “Nope,” he promptly decided.

I let out an incredulous squeal at that. I mean, honestly – the dress is cute, don’t get me wrong. It’s little and black; what’s not to like?

Oh yeah – maybe the fact that this dress belongs to Lily, who happens to be a good four inches shorter than me. Upon noticing that it just barely reached to halfway down my thighs, I’d tried to hastily remove the dress, but Al decided to piss me off and put a Sticking Charm on the dress that wouldn’t come off unless he wanted it to.

Arse.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the only reason you don’t let me take this off is because you want to see me in a little black dress.” My eyes narrowed, and his veered into a roll.

“That’s nice, Adele,” he said lazily. “I’m going to go and dance…over there. Go bother James, will you?”

Irritation spread through me, abrupt and icy cold. Who the hell does this kid think he is, that he can just dismiss me and tell me what to do like I’m a small child? Giving him a look of pure disgust and loathing, I stalked off towards the bar, where I was sure to get some extremely alcoholic drink and perhaps some courage to let loose. I plopped myself unceremoniously on a stool, and the guy next to me gave me an appreciative once-over. I decided to ignore him.

“What would you like, miss?” the bartender asked me, swinging his rag over his shoulder. He looked at me, grinned, and winked once.

“Mrs.,” I automatically corrected him. I hunched my shoulders protectively. I don’t like this place at all.

“Married, eh?” he let out a chuckle, looking me over again. “Don’t look the type. Where’s the lucky guy at?”

I scowled against my will. “Dancing, somewhere.”

He nodded understandingly. “And that brings me to…what would you like, darling?”

I couldn’t exactly order a firewhiskey. “Surprise me,” I said bravely. His face lit up in another grin and he started pulling random bottles from Merlin-knows-where, adding them to a titchy cup. My stomach rolled unpleasantly at the thought of drinking all those different types of alcohol in one go.

“Drink that quickly,” he advised me, winking once, then walking towards a gaggle of giggling girls. I swallowed nervously, looking at the cup. I glanced around me, my eyes immediately catching on Fred, who was doing some sort of weird, jerky dance move amidst a crowd of awed muggles. James was dancing enthusiastically in the middle of a mob, and Al was grinding with two different girls at the same time. My stomach clenched as his hands moved a little too low on a blonde girl’s hips, and she giggled as he whispered something in her ear.

Damnit, the least he could do is stay loyal to me. I’m not asking for much here.

Screw it all. In one, fluid motion, I had swiped the cup off the counter and threw it into my mouth, swallowing the contents in one go. The next second, I was slamming the cup down and hopping right off the stool, reveling in the feeling of anger and alcohol running through my body. In that moment, I was brave and free to do anything. Who cares, really?

Weaving my way gracefully through the sweaty bodies, I found a little bubble of space. For a second I stood there, letting my eyes close, letting the music flow through my body. I remembered all those years of dance lessons, how much I enjoyed the feeling of release. I remembered how I could move to music – and then I started dancing.

Just dance.

Within the next four minutes, a body moved up behind me, and I couldn’t help but smirk slightly. Wait until I tell Rose I made a new record. She’ll be so pissed. Her best is six minutes of dancing before some randy guy comes over to her. Mine was five minutes and forty seconds.

Yeah, so what if we liked to go to random wizard clubs and play games? It was fun. A bit dangerous, but fun.

Oi, I haven’t always been this uptight, you know. With Rose, it seemed like innocent experimenting. But now…something about the real world made everything a hundred times more serious.

But I don’t care. Why am I caring? I shouldn’t care. I’m just dancing.

“Hey, beautiful,” a husky voice whispered in my ear. I could feel muscles pressing against my back, and I craned my neck slightly to look at the guy, silently thanking Merlin that he was hot. I gave him my trademark Malfoy Smirk (yes, the one that Scorpius had spent three hours teaching me when I was thirteen) and hooked an arm around his neck, letting him press against my back again. I threw my head back slightly and started moving my hips from side to side, faster and faster.

I feel like a slag. Why isn’t this damn alcohol working?

The music seemed to pump louder and faster around me, and the guy’s hands pressed into my hips, his breathing loud against my ear. He lowered his mouth to leave a kiss against the side of my neck and I considered shoving him off of me, but before I could even elbow him in the stomach, someone pulled me away.

“What the hell are you doing?” Al’s voice broke from the confusion around me, and I focused on him, my vision slightly fuzzy.

“I was dancing,” I said. My voice sounded slightly muddled to my ears, but not enough for me to be considered fully drunk – just a little tipsy.

“Let me reiterate.” His lips pulled back into an angry sneer. “What the hell were you doing, dancing with that creep like a bloody hooker?”

I smirked toothily. “James was busy, so I decided to bother him instead. He didn’t seem to mind very much.”

“You’re unbelievable,” he growled. “You do realize that two more seconds with that guy and you would have ended up in his bed, somehow?”

I scoffed. “No, I wouldn’t. I was just about to push him off when you appeared. What happened to him, anyway?”

I turned my head to look for the stranger, but Al grabbed my face and pulled it to the front. “You don’t understand how dangerous it is in these places. You’re drunk, wearing a tiny dress, and dancing with random blokes.”

“I’m not drunk,” I wrested his hand away from me. “I’m wearing this dress because of you, so don’t even complain about that. And what the hell else am I supposed to do in a club, if not dance?”

“I thought you were going to go and dance with James,” Al said to me through gritted teeth.

“James is not my keeper,” I retorted defiantly, “and neither are you, so bugger off.”

“You think I want to have to look after you like a babysitter?” Al hissed, his green eyes flashing. “I’m trying to make sure you don’t do something you’ll regret later on. For once, just take it.”

“Why do you care, anyway?” I asked angrily. “I’m not asking for you to do anything! Go back and dance with those bimbos. Go on. Go. I don’t need you looking after me.”

“That’s it. We’re going home,” he said flatly, grabbing my arm and starting to tow me towards what was apparently an exit.

“The hell we are!” I pulled my arm back. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here and dancing.”

“No, you’re not,” he responded. His voice was low, his eyes swirling with anger.

“Yeah?” I said challengingly, pulling myself so that I was closer to him. I rested my forearm against his shoulder and looked him straight in the eyes. Our noses brushed slightly. “Watch me,” I whispered. 

Then I snapped myself away and whirled back into the crowd. I distinctly heard him mutter an expletive before he was swallowed up by the music. Within minutes, I was back to dancing. My hair waved around my head and my hips moved fluidly, and everything was free and okay. I forgot about Al, and instead focused on the way the music made my body move.

I made a new record. This time it was two minutes.

An arm snaked its way around my stomach and pulled me flush against a body. I couldn’t help but let out a quiet gasp in the midst of my haze – something about how perfect it felt made my stomach flutter pleasantly.

“You’re going to come home, one way or another,” a voice curled into my ear, and I scowled. Damnit Al, you’re ruining all my fun.

“I’ll come home eventually,” I said, tilted my head onto his shoulder so I could talk into his ear. “I’ll just do it whenever I want.”

“And I’ll make sure you do it when I want you to,” Al responded smugly.

“Uh-huh. And how, pray tell, are you going to do that?”

“I won’t let you have any fun,” he promised.

“Who said I won’t have any fun dancing with you?” I retorted, sending him the trademark Malfoy ‘Holy-Shit-That’s-Hot’ Smirk. Sure enough, he swallowed rather forcefully afterwards.

Yes, we have a couple different kinds of smirks. We’re pretty legit, I know.

“Because I can, hands-down, outdance you any day,” he said to me, forgoing his moment of hesitation.

“Is that a challenge?”

“Fuck yes, it is.”

“You’re on, Potter.”

“Bring it…Potter.” He smirked down at me, so I decided to give him the Double-Whammy Malfoy ‘I-Wanna-Fuck-You’ Smirk. I spent a week and a half mastering this one in my bathroom. Judging by the look on his face, all that practice paid off beautifully.

Something about the look on his face, or maybe the depth of his green eyes – or probably, most likely, the alcohol and heat flowing through my body and the music pulsing, beating, pounding around me – something about now made everything different. I wasn’t Adele Malfoy-Potter, the little shmuck that got married at seventeen to the arse currently grinding against her. I was just Adele, an adult dancing in a club with a hot guy. And in these situations, anything is allowed.

So I threw my arm backwards and around his head, letting my fingers slide into his dark hair as I arched closer into him. The other hand clutched at his thigh, holding him tightly against me. The side of my forehead came to rest against his jawline, and my eyes fluttered shut as I reveled in the feeling, the movement, the moment. And as his arm locked tighter around my stomach, pulling me closer, and his hand pressed with dizzying intensity into my hipbone, the fingers tracing patterns against my upper thigh, I couldn’t help but let out a small sigh of pleasure and press myself into him again.

At that, he let out a ferocious, extremely sexy growl and moved faster against me, pulling me even closer. The feeling of him against me was competitive, fast – but I was completely and totally turned on by it. Ridiculous, really, considering that this is Albus Potter, the kid I most dearly hate (most of the time). But…somehow…at that time…he wasn’t Al. It didn’t matter who he was.

All that I could feel was the heat between us, the spark, the friction – and how he made me feel dizzy and dazed and completely and totally breathless.

I felt alive. And Merlin, I felt it right down to my toes and back up again.

This is wrong. Everything about this is wrong. It’s wrong, the way we’re so tightly pressed together you can’t even tell the difference between him and me anymore. It’s wrong, the way my nose skimmed across his jawline as my head tilted back into him. It’s wrong, me kissing pressing butterfly kisses against the underside of his jaw. And it’s completely and totally wrong, when he swoops down and starts trailing openmouthed kisses along the side of my neck. I shouldn’t be sighing and moaning into his ear, and he shouldn’t be growling and biting my skin the way he is…

…and yet, I don’t care, because nothing’s ever felt this good before.

“Let’s get out of here,” Al murmured seductively in my ear after he was done leaving a huge mark on the base of my neck. My breathing had turned ragged, my hands had clutched tighter against him, and I could have sworn that I felt something pressing against my arse.

“Is this how you get girls into your bed, Potter?” I asked breathlessly, my own voice rougher and lower than usual.

“Wanna find out?” The words melted like velvet against the shell of my ear.

The hand clutching the side of his thigh moved backwards, and I smirked as he groaned quietly.

“I already sleep in your bed, love,” I said to him.

“Well then, how about we repeat the experience with a lot less clothing?” His palm, which had been resting against my stomach, moved dangerously upwards.

“What are you implying?”

“What do you think I’m implying?”

My hand fell limply to my side and I stopped moving to the music as I tilted my head back and simply stared at him in confusion. He looked serious and sultry, like he actually wanted to…to…oh, Merlin.

“You’re…you’re not kidding,” I said incredulously, starting to move away.

“Of course I’m not bloody kidding.” He pulled me back against him.

“You actually want to…”

“…have sex with you? Might as well happen sooner than later, yeah?”

My mouth gaped open. “That’s – you’re – that’s just –”

“Extremely inviting and unbelievably appealing? I can understand why.” He nodded seriously, only a hint of humor in his darkly glinting eyes.

I untangled myself from him and faced him, a couple feet of distance between our bodies. He cocked an eyebrow at me, looking devilishly handsome with the lights pouring an aura around him. I couldn’t believe what I was actually hearing – no, what I couldn’t believe was that I was actually hurt by the implication in his voice that I was going to be nothing more than a good shag to him.

I shook my head slowly, and to my utmost surprise and disgust, tears sprung lightly into my eyes. “Do you have any respect for me at all?” I asked.

His brow furrowed, and for a second he looked genuinely thrown off by my question. “What are you talking about?” he asked.

“I’m talking about the fact that I’m your wife, you little shit!” I was shocked by the amount of anger in my words.

“And…somehow…I’m not supposed to want to sleep with my wife?” His mouth was starting to curl slightly in amusement.

“You don’t even like me,” I pointed out in a low hiss.

He shrugged and moved forward, trapping me between his body and the pulsing mass of the dance floor. “What does like have to do with anything?” he asked in a low voice, taking a curl and brushing it slowly behind my ear. “All that really matters is passion.” The last word, whispered into my ear, sent a rush of tingles down my spine.

I swallowed with some difficulty. “We don’t…have…passion,” I barely got out.

He laughed darkly, snagging me around the waist and pulling me flush against the front of his body. I stifled a gasp. “Love, we have so much passion it’s nearly suffocating.”

And I was breathless all over again.

“But…I don’t think…” I protested pathetically, my voice barely above a squeak.

“Stop thinking.”

Easy for you to say, Potter.

I shook my head roughly to clear it, pushing him jerkily away from me. My movements were all rushed, my words blurred and fast and choppy with uncertainty and panic. “I’m going home.”

“I’ll come with you,” he started forward slightly.

I shook my head. “Not yours. Mine.”

“You can’t –”

“Just for the night. Until you’re…normal.”

“What the hell else am I supposed to be? I’m not a mental patient, for Merlin’s sake; I don’t have periods of time when I’m normal and not normal –”

“Look, I can’t deal with this right now, okay? I’m going,” I cut across, turning around and trying to battle my way to the closest exit.

I quickly fumbled my way to the door, opened it, and threw myself out into the welcoming rush of cool, summer-night air. Practically running to the end of the alleyway, I dissapparated with a quick, quiet snap noise, appearing just as quietly in the middle of my bedroom. I sighed in relief, knowing that it was impossible for anyone who didn’t have Malfoy blood to apparate directly into the house like I did. I’d be gone in the morning, and no one would be the wiser.

Heat and energy were still coursing through my body, so I buried myself into my bed, pressing my shaking hands to my forehead as I stared down at my knees.

Of two things I was perfectly certain:

1)      Al Potter didn’t give a shit about anything other than my ability to shag.

2)      I was definitely, painfully, absolutely attracted to him.

Merlin’s Mother’s panties, what has gotten into me?


Chapter 13: And Then Things Get Messy.
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 “Unca Aaaaaal!” Three squealing toddlers threw themselves at Al’s legs, and his knees buckled slightly under their weight and his surprise. We had been in the middle of a rousing argument about who was more idiotic (clearly, it’s him), and it was just getting to the good part (“Well…your mum’s stupid!”).

I couldn’t help but laugh slightly at the look on his face as he reached down and picked up the two giggling girls. He threw them both over his shoulders, and their blonde pigtails flapped back and forth as they screamed in delight and beat his back with their little fists.

“Well, if it isn’t my two most favorite girls in this whole world,” he said warmly, nuzzling his face into a girl’s stomach. She giggled again and pushed at his shoulder.

“Put me down, Unca Al! Imma big girl now.”

“But Aurelie!” he pouted like a little kid, and I stifled another laugh. “We’ve got to find Remus together!”

“I’m right here!” The little boy who had latched himself around Al’s leg cried up at them. I deduced that this was Remus. I’m a clever one. No wonder I got into Healing School.

“I wanna help, too!” The other girl on his shoulder reminded him. He turned around and kissed her on her cheek.

“Of course! How can I find Remus without my favorite Nicole?”

“I’m right here!”

“You can’t!” Nicole cried shrilly, throwing her arms around his neck. “I’m gonna grow up and be an Aura like Daddy and Grandpa-Unca Harry.”

“Who told her to call me Grandpa?!” Harry yelped, looking over at Teddy and (a very pregnant) Victoire in anger. They both grinned and shrugged, though Teddy looked a bit more mischievous about it. I’d met Teddy a couple of times since we were related (somehow), and he had quickly become one of the few people that I genuinely liked on this planet. Though I am finding that the list has been expanding drastically since I became a Potter.

Damnit, I really need to start working on becoming a cold bitch again. I haven’t been able to be as mean ever since That Night, when I’d come back and pretended as though everything was okay. That’s the best idea for me – just deflect. Just pretend it never happened, and over time, it’ll blow over.

Yeah, so I may have some denial issues. But denial is honestly the way to go. I’m maintaining pride and dignity right now. I don’t want to believe anything else.

So I’d come home – to the Potter’s home, that is – and me and Al just went back to normal. The constant teasing, mild harassment, and occasional innuendo thrown from his part. I usually blushed wildly at those and practically ran into another room to do something else.

I really hope he doesn’t actually believe I have a pet llama named Agnus. I promise I’m not that unstable.

“I’m here! Down here! Here, Unca Al!”

Remus’ voice had reached a shriek so high-pitched I’m surprised the windows didn’t all shatter into a million pieces. He also looked like he was ready to burst into tears at being ignored so cheerfully, as Al had placed both of his nieces on his hips and was using their help to “search” desperately for Remus.

“Al,” I said quietly.

“Where could he be?”

“Where is Remus? Remus, where are you?” Aurelie giggled.

“I can’ta find Remus, Unca Al!” Nicole chimed in, looking gleeful.

“I’m over here!”

“Al, you might want to –”

And Remus promptly burst into tears.

Everyone looked down at him. “ – stop doing that to him,” I finished, biting my lip as I looked down at the little kid. His face was screwed up in obvious distress as he clutched Al’s leg and cried heartily into his knee as though the world was ending. It was clear that he looked up to Al very much.

I shot aforementioned Al a disgruntled look. Honestly, how much of an arse could a person get?

“Unca Al, Remus is crying,” Nicole informed him gravely.

“I know, love. I’m going to put you down and spend some time with Remus, alright?”

“NO!” They both shrieked, locking their arms around his neck. He choked slightly, sending me a desperate look. I rolled my eyes at him and bent down so that I was level with Remus and Al’s knee.

“Hi,” I said softly to Remus. He sniffled and looked over at me.

“Who’re you?” he asked.

“I’m Adele. Your Aunt, I guess,” I winced slightly at the thought, but held my hand out for him to take.

“Are you Unca Al’s girlfriend?” Remus asked me, his eyes wide as he stared at my outstretched hand. I let out a little laugh and ruffled his hair instead.

“No,” I said, “I’m his wife.”

Remus’ eyes grew. “Wife? Like mommy and daddy?”

“Sure,” I nodded.

“But Unca Al said he was never gonna get married!”

I pulled my mouth up to one side. “I guess he lied, then.” I winked at Remus and he giggled, reaching out to pull on one of my curls, watching it as it sprung back into shape.

“I like your hair,” he said, pulling on another curl, then giggling again as it bounced up and down.

“Thank you,” I said politely. I reached out and ruffled his hair again, and it turned pink. “I like yours.”

His face lit up. “I’m a metamorphy! Aurelie and Nicole think my hair is weird.”

“Well, I think it’s really cool,” I promised him.

He beamed at me, and let go of Al’s leg, stepping down onto the ground so that he could lean over and plant a wet, sloppy kiss on my cheek. “I like you,” he announced.

I grinned. “I like you, too.”

He blushed, and his hair turned pink again.

***

“I think he has a crush on you,” Al told me later as he leaned over me to get to a cup of Butterbeer.

I handed it to him before he crashed into me and we both fell into the table. “Who?”

“Remus.” He winked at me and lifted the cup to his mouth, taking a long sip. He lowered it just in time to see me rolling my eyes.

“What makes you think that?”

“He’s telling everyone that he’s going to marry you as soon as he’s old enough,” Al informed me. I glanced over at Remus, who was chattering happily with James about something. James had him situated on his knee, and he was nodding very seriously at Remus.

“Brilliant!” I perked up. “I’ve always wanted to get married to someone who can actually tolerate my presence.” I shot Al a glare at the end of that, and he laughed again, moving forward so that I was pressed against the table.

“What makes you think I can’t stand your presence?”

“Gee, I wonder.”

“I happen to think that your presence is, in fact, very…” he looked me slowly up and down, and a slow, lecherous smirk spread over his mouth. I nervously pressed myself closer to the table. “…arousing.” He whispered the last word in my ear, and I was literally so shocked I had to stand there for a couple of minutes to get my wits about me.

When I finally did, I shoved him so that he had to stagger away.

“Wanker,” I huffed, crossing my arms and glaring at him as he laughed at my obvious discomfort.

“Well, love, you are a Chaser,” he said.

“So?” I asked icily.

“You know what they say about Chasers…”

I looked at him as though he was insane. “No, actually. You probably just came up with this yourself, didn’t you? Face it, Al. You’re not cool.”

He ignored me. “Chasers are very flexible.”

I sent him another weird look. “Yeah, and…?”

“You look pretty flexible to me,” he continued, clearly enjoying himself.

“Of course I’m flexible, you idiot. You said it yourself. We have to be bloody flexible so we can catch the bloody Quaffle in weird ways; what’s the big deal?” I was starting to get thoroughly irritated at this point, tired of him and his little remarks that he seemed to find oh-so-amusing.

He was grinning at me again. “Merlin, you’re going to be fantastic in bed.”

My mouth dropped open in outrage. “You – that’s just – you insufferable piece of shit!” I hit him around the head a couple of times, and he laughed gleefully, putting his hands up to protect himself.

“I – bloody – hate – you – so – bloody – much – you – prat!” I yelled, punctuating each word with another blow. By this time he was laughing so hard he could barely breathe, and I was getting angrier and angrier by the minute. The nerve of him!

Finally, I realized that we were drawing a little too much attention: everyone was staring at me as though I had turned into some sort of raving lunatic. I gave them a meek smile and a little wave for good measure (you know, things that scream ‘normalcy’ and not ‘hi, I’m deranged!’). No one looked convinced.

Curses.

“Erm…Al’s annoying?” I explained weakly.

There was a general murmur of assent and everyone went back to doing what they were doing before. I turned to Al with a smirk, noting his outraged expression with happiness.

“Just for the record, dear, you’ll never get me in bed so you can kiss that little dream goodbye.”

I flounced away before he could retort.

I’m so awesome.

***

I was reading The Most Boring Book Ever (aka Magical Herbs and How to Use Them) in bed right before going to sleep when it happened.

No, not the apocalypse.

Al tackled me like a muggle American football player.

Me. Me! He bloody tackled me! In bed! While I was sitting. And reading a bloody book, and clearly trying to get ready for my Healing Course, which starts in two months.

Naturally, I screamed and my book went flying into the dark green wall before falling to the floor, almost simultaneous with me falling back onto the bed with Al above me, grinning away like the utter idiot that he is.

Prick.

“What the bloody fucking –”

“I got you in bed! I win!” He crowed gleefully, his green eyes sparkling like a little kid’s right before they get ice cream for being good. I stared at him for a couple seconds, at a complete loss as to how I should react to something as bizarre as this situation.

So I started laughing.

It was the kind of laughter that’s loud and carefree and just bordering on hysterical, but not quite. My eyes were nearly closed and my nose was scrunched up at the top and my face was slowly turning pink from the effort of it all. It literally got to the point where I couldn’t breathe because I was trying to laugh with the weight of a seventeen-year-old male (and a Quidditch Player, at that) on me.

He sort of just stared at me as though I was a little crazy, then decided to screw it all and join along.

“You’re – so – weird!” I got in between my laughs, shoving him slightly on the shoulder. He rolled off of me and I wheezed slightly, curling up on my side and taking deep breaths. “Oh god. I honestly don’t even know what to say to you sometimes,” I said, my eyes closed and a smile at my mouth.

“Why do you hate me so much?”

The words were rushed, blurred, as though he was battling himself not to get them out, but did anyway when his Gryffindor spirit won out. I opened my eyes in surprise, and saw that he was on his side and facing me, looking curious and serious. We were so close together, but I couldn’t even think of moving away.

His eyes were a million shades of perfection and it left me feeling breathless.

“You irritate me,” I finally said. My voice was a little choked.

“That’s not a reason to hate someone.”

“It’s not,” I agreed, “I guess there’s just something about you that puts me on edge. You seem to know exactly what to say and do just to irk me – and by Merlin, you really do it well.” I laughed, but he didn’t join along.

“Well, I feel the same way about you,” he said thoughtfully. It wasn’t meant to be mean – he was just telling the truth.

“I don’t like how you keep being all suggestive and flirty with me. It makes me nervous,” I said randomly, since we were going to be truthful anyway. Might as well just get it all out there.

“And I don’t like how you take everything I say so seriously. Not that it’s not entertaining, because watching you squirm is actually quite hilarious.” This time it was his turn to laugh and my turn to not join along. “Sometimes I just wish you would loosen up.”

“Maybe I don’t loosen up the same way you do.” I turned fully onto my side and put my arm under my head, my curls spilling all over the place. He mirrored my actions, using his other hand to brush some curls to the side so he wouldn’t be sleeping on them.

“Maybe,” he conceded.

We stared at each other for a while, glad for a moment with just unspoken words and serenity.

“My favorite color is red,” he said suddenly, and I blinked in surprise. He smirked slightly at my expression and went on, “not the Gryffindor Red, mind you. Bright, brilliant, passionate red. It’s the color I associate with you when you’re yelling at me.”

I couldn’t help but grin.

“When I was ten, James informed me that he thought my name was the wonkiest thing he had ever heard. I cried for hours. He’s always been my role model, the guy I look up to for everything. I wanted to be just like him, but when I was in second year, I met this bloke who taught me that being me was better than anything else.”

I stared at him almost wondrously (though I will vehemently deny this at any later time), intrigued by this person that I thought I knew and hated.

“He’s my best friend, you know. Your brother.” He nodded slightly at me, and my mouth dropped open slightly.

“Scorpius said that?” I asked incredulously. “That’s impossible! He’s the most tactless little shit I’ve ever met; he hasn’t said a wise thing in his life! And besides, you two aren’t even that close…”

“Maybe you need to take the time to get to know your brother better as well,” Al said quietly. “Did you know he’s been in love with Rose since he was eleven?”

My mouth dropped open. “No way! He told me that he only just recently started liking her!”

Al laughed loudly. “Of course Scorpius would be concerned about impressing his sister along with the rest of the world. He’s trying to make you think he’s a lot cooler than he actually is.”

“I don’t think he’s cool.”

“Well then, he obviously failed.”

This time we both laughed.

“Tell me more,” I said.

“You’re the first person that I haven’t been able to figure out within a couple of days,” he said, after a moment of thinking. “You keep changing, morphing, growing. I feel like I know you – and then you do something that leaves me reeling and rethinking everything. It’s very unnerving.”

I swallowed nervously. “Whenever it comes to you, I don’t know anything anymore.”

I don’t know why I said that.

There was a long silence, and I could almost feel the next words before they came, electric and altering and the type of sentence that was going to change everything that I knew –

“That night at the club, after we danced together…I wish you hadn’t left. I wish you’d just let things continue the way they were going, because I honestly…wanted things to continue.” The words were barely a whisper.

My breath left my lungs in a loud whoosh. I lowered my eyes from his, instead watching my fingers fiddle with a thread on the blanket in a detached sort of way. I couldn’t even think of what to say next…hell, I couldn’t even breathe…

When his large hand pressed against mine to stop me, I could have sworn that my heart stopped beating for a second. My eyes flashed to his and I lost my breath all over again.

I have to get out of here.

“I, uh –” I began in a strangled voice, swallowing convulsively. “I have to, um…er – I –”

Before I could even finish, he kissed me. 




DUN. DUN.

...DUNNNNNNN.

can i get some major fangirl squees?! only took 13 chapters of severe sexual tension to get them to kiss, nbd ;)

oh, and heyy hope you liked this cliffhanger ;)

brain farts, rants, hate-mail towards my cliffy, spazzers about al's unfair hotness -- i wanna hear it all. in a review.

LOVEYOU <3


Chapter 14: Mission: Get the Hell Away From Here Now
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 Everything froze.

Time stopped, the earth came to a standstill, and the moon stopped moving.

It felt as though my entire planet was reeling, shocked into stillness and here I was…kissing Al Potter.

Me. Kissing. Al Potter.

It was electrifying and mesmerizing, this feeling. Almost…ethereal. Like I’d fallen into a dream of some sort, where everything is hazy and dazed and iridescent and perfection and just a million other ways to say absolutely and completely, incredibly… breathless.

All I could live in was the moment, the feel of his lips moving against mine, and his hand against my waist and in my hair and against my face and along the length of my arm, then down my leg, then over my waist and back in my hair...

It was almost aggressive, the way we kissed. Desperate. Needy. But at the same time, sweet and tender. My arm, seemingly of its own accord, moved out from under my head and wound around his neck, my fingers threading through his hair as my other hand splayed out along the base of his neck. He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me flush against him, and then I was nearly on top of him, kissing as if I’d never be able to do it again…

And that’s when I decided that kissing Al Potter was probably the best feeling in the entire world. Just, what he does with his lips, and, Merlin, what he does with his tongue, and…Merlin...

…and that’s when I realized that I’d gone utterly insane and needed to get myself to a mental hospital soon.

Or, you know, after I finish kissing Al. That works, too.

For a moment, it was blissful mindlessness, and then I realized that his rough, warm hand was against the skin of my back, his thumb brushing back and forth over the side of my ribs in a mesmerizing way...and reality dosed me with what felt like a bucketful of cold water, trickling down my back like lightning.

I moved away faster than I thought I was capable of.

“What’s wrong?” he asked right away, sitting up like I did. I couldn’t help but stare – his hair was tousled and glinting, his eyes a shade of dark green and electrifying fire, and his lips pink and swollen. I closed my eyes and swallowed forcefully – I did that to Al Potter…Fucking hell.

“I can’t do this,” I said wildly. My voice was high, adrenaline pumping through my body. Merlin, this boy makes my dopamine levels go all wonky.

“Why not?” he asked, his expression neutral. His hand inched towards mine to pull me against him again, but I moved it away from him.

“Because this is completely wrong, I –”

In a flash he was in front of me, his mouth hovering dangerously over mine and the pad of his thumb brushing and back and forth against my jaw. His fingers were in my hair and if I wasn’t careful, I’d do something I’ll regret later on.

“You’re afraid,” he murmured, the warmth of his breath washing over my lips again and again. I shivered.

“I’m not afraid,” I shot back, my voice shaky. I could help but watch with fascination the way his mouth moved to form words…puckering outwards to make the ‘Y’, brushing against his teeth to form the ‘F’, then finally trailing away in a hypnotizing way at the end of the sentence.

“Bullshit.”

“I just don’t like you,” I finished.

“Bullshit,” he said again. “You like me a lot more than you want to believe. You’re attracted to me.”

“Bullshit,” I echoed stubbornly. “I am most certainly not.”

His mouth curled into an amused smirk, and then the next second, he was kissing me ferociously and I was kissing him hungrily back, completely abandoning all pretenses because, honestly, who cared?

Hold on – I do! Oi! Brain! Come on, now! Must you be so bloody incompetent at a time like this?!

I pushed him away, but he barely moved.

“Stop doing that,” I gasped.

“Face it,” he pressed his lips briefly against mine in a searing kiss that was too short, “you,” kiss, “want,” kiss, “me.” This time he kissed me long and hard and I was panting for breath by the time he finished.

God…

“No, I don’t,” I huffed out in between deep breaths. I shook my head desperately, my nose brushing slightly against his in the process. I just wanted to grab the back of his hair and pull his face to mine, and –

Nope. No I don’t. Not at all.

My brain needs to shut up and stop being confused.

“Then why do you keep kissing me?” He kissed me again to prove his point.

“You keep kissing me,” I pointed out breathlessly.

“You don’t seem to be complaining.”

He has a point, there…

No, no, no, no, no! This is not the time to start agreeing with him.

Mission: Get the Hell Away From Here Now.

Okay. I got this. Move, Adele. Move. Move.

move.

Now.

Now.

MOVE, YOU STUPID BODY. MOVE YOUR BLOODY SELF AWAY.

He kissed me again.

Mission: Get the Hell Away From Here Now: Aborted.

No!

Mission: Get the Hell Away From Here Now: Aborted: Reinstated.

Bloody fucking hell. Merde. Merde, shit, damn it. Fuck, now I’m cursing in fucking French, what the hell is wrong with me?

I tumbled off of the bed, landing on my feet in a dizzy sort of way. It was nothing short of a miracle that I’d managed to detangle myself from him in the first place, but the way he’s looking at me right now, with those eyes and that hair and that expression

“Don’t you dare run away from me,” he said in a low voice.

Giving him a sarcastic smile and wave, I apparated to my house.

Mission: Get the Hell Away From Here Now: Aborted: Reinstated: Successful!

I appeared with a muffled crack in the middle of my room and was just about to bury myself in my bed, when –

“Adele?”

 I whipped around, my heart still thumping ferociously. “Mum!” I said in a surprised, guilty voice. She was sitting on my sofa, reading one of my favorite books.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, taking the words right out of my mouth. My eyes darted around briefly.

“Um…hiding?” I said weakly.

Her eyebrows furrowed. “From who?”

Shit. I took in her worried expression.

“We were playing hide and seek,” I blurted, wincing slightly at my very pathetic lie.

She looked at her watch in confusion. “At midnight?”

Er… “Yes!” I nodded vigorously. “We have tons of fun playing hide and seek…at all hours, you know…” I laughed weakly. Merlin, just let me go back to Al’s room.

“Well, you’re cheating!” she looked scandalized.

“Aw man, I feel horrible. Guess I’ll just go back. Cheaters never prosper! Bye mum!” Without waiting for her response, I turned on the spot and apparated back into Al’s room, gasping slightly at the sensation of cold water that doused through me as I went through their protective wards. The wards were still getting used to me as a Potter and liked to attack me sometimes. Not fun.

Al was sitting on his bed, the same way I left him about five minutes ago. “You came back?” he asked in disbelief.

“My mum was in my room,” I said grumpily, stomping over and sitting on his bed. He immediately moved towards me, but I put my hand on his chest to push him away.

“I’m not shagging you, Al,” I said firmly.

He looked surprised. “When did I ever say we were going to shag tonight?”

“You say it all the time!”

“Merlin, I was joking,” he rolled his eyes. “Is that why you ran away?”

“Partly,” I admitted. “I don’t like being treated as though I’m nothing more than a good shag.”

He grinned. “Don’t kid yourself love, you’d be a horrible shag.”

I opened my mouth to tell him off (way to contradict yourself, you little shit), but he hauled me towards him and kissed me. I decided to let him do it for a couple of minutes, but then pushed him away slightly. He let out a frustrated noise.

“What?” he asked me petulantly.

“This isn’t anything serious, is it?” I confirmed.

He rolled his eyes. “We’re married, you idiot. But if it makes you feel better, then no, I still don’t like you.”

“I don’t like you either.”

“Great. Can we go back to snogging now?”

Eh, might as well.

***

By the time I woke up the next morning, Al’s lips were already on me.

Bloody hell.

I let out a little groan to indicate I was awake and stretched obnoxiously, feeling slightly miffed when, instead of moving away like I hoped he would, he merely kissed further down my neck. I shivered despite myself.

“GetoffameAl,” I mumbled, putting my hand on the top of his head and pushing against the silky strands. He stopped kissing me, but moved his face so that it rested against the side of mine. I sighed slightly. I wouldn’t mind waking up to this at all.



Right, you’re going to forget I said that. I’m delirious. Still sleep-ridden. My brain isn’t functioning properly.

Then again, when is it ever?

I hummed quietly. “Morning.”

“Good morning, love,” he said jovially.

“What’re you so happy about?”

“Snogging you is actually more enjoyable than I thought,” he responded, sounding disgustingly cheerful. I grunted.

“That’s nice. Don’t get used to it.”

“I shouldn’t?” his voice was sly and I knew that if were to open my eyes and look over at him, he’d be smirking.

“Nope.” I sound like a naïve little idiot.

“Why not?” he still sounded like a bloody Slytherin who was about to get something he or she wanted.

“Because we don’t like each other,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy snogging each other,” he responded. Before I could open my mouth to retort, he ran his lips under my jaw and I melted a little.

“We shouldn’t,” I breathed, unconsciously tipping my head back so he could get better access.

“Why?” he asked against the skin at my collarbone.

“Because it’s wrong,” I said weakly, letting out a loud gasp right afterwards.

Bloody hell! He fucking bit me!

“Al, what the – fuck…”

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and be rational. Today I’m just going to enjoy the hell out of this situation.

***

Is that a hickey?!

“What, where?” I spun wildly around, my hand immediately flying to my neck. Lily and James were staring at me with wide eyes as I felt frantically around my skin as though I would somehow be able to feel the hickey with my fingers.

“On your neck!” Lily said, still looking shocked beyond anything. She walked up to me and pried my hands away from my neck. “Merlin, you’ve got three.”

“Three?” I asked incredulously. My face flattened into a vicious glare. “Where is that little bugger? I’ll bloody kill him,” I muttered under my breath, pushing past James and Lily (still staring at me as though I’d proclaimed my desire to overtake the universe with a purple sock) and marching towards the stairs.

“You and Al are fu – ouch, Lily, fine, I won’t use ‘crude-bloody-language’ - fornicating? (Happy, you annoying little brat?)” James asked from behind me.

“Since when? (Yes, very, you irritating brat.)” Lily followed up.

“Since never!”

“Oi, I’m not a brat! I’m manly!”

I stomped up the stairs and to Al’s door, letting myself in loudly and closing the door with an ominous click. “You. Left. Three. Hickeys. On. Me.” I said through gritted teeth in a low voice, glaring at Al, who was lounging on his bed and watching an old Quidditch game.

“Did I?” he asked lazily, a smirk faintly touching his mouth. “Whoops.”

Calm swept through me in a moment of clarity, and a large smirk unfurled across my own face in response. “It’s okay,” I said sweetly. “I don’t mind.”

At this, Al actually looked away from his game to give me a wary look. “Er…you don’t?”

“No,” I gave him a dangerously lovely smile, “I kind of like knowing you’re the one who gave them to me.”

He was now sitting straight up, watching with fear as I sauntered towards him on the bed. “Uhm,” he squeaked, then cleared his throat, “what’re you doing?”

“I like Quidditch too, you know,” I said, settling myself against the pillows next to him. I very nearly cackled aloud at the way he gulped when I sat a little too close to him.

But I shall refrain.

“…right,” he said slowly, settling back tensely against his own pillows. I looked at him from the corner of my eye; he was watching the game, but his expression was a very poorly hidden ‘what the fuck is happening?!’

Heh. Heh. MWAH HAH HAH HAAH!

I quickly glanced at him again to make sure he wasn’t staring at me in utmost alarm. He wasn’t – thank Merlin, sometimes I forget to filter things from my brain to my mouth. Creates some rather awkward situations.

“Which match is this?” I asked, scooting a little closer to him and pressing my leg up against his. He swallowed and moved his leg a couple of centimeters away. I almost smirked again.

“Mag – Magpies versus Puddlemere,” he croaked.

“It’s good that you’re getting to know your team a little. “ I nodded seriously and put my hand gently on his knee. His eyes flashed down to it, and he swallowed convulsively again.

“Yeah,” he squeaked as I brushed my hand slowly upwards.

“I mean, you will be working with them for a very long time…” I was tracing his abs through his shirt now.

“Mmm-hmm.” His voice sounded strangled.

“And you’ll have to work together to win your games…” My finger was feather light as it moved up his chest. He seemed to have a little difficulty in breathing. This time I couldn’t entirely hold back a little smirk.

“Uh-huh.”

“Know each other just as well as you knew your Hogwarts Team…” I wasn’t quite sure what I was saying now, but he seemed out of it anyway.

“Hmm…” his voice was a breathy hum, a low rumble of pleasure at the back of his throat as I slowly kissed up his neck. It took all of my effort not to smirk like a bloody fool.

Heheh I just seduced Albus Potter. I’m such a boss.

I also left four hickeys on him.

That’s right, bitch.

Don’t mess with me.

***

“Adele…” Scorpius whined into the fireplace later that day as I sat talking to him. I threw a balled-up piece of newspaper at his face.

“Stop whining,” I snapped.

“But I need your help!”

I heaved an exasperated sigh, sending my gaze to the ceiling. “Obviously, when else do you ever bother talking to me?”

“I talk to you!” he argued, “All the time! You’re my sister, and I love you, so therefore I make it a point to converse with you –”

“Alright, what do you need my help with?” I cut across, smiling at him – he was just so Scorpius, and it was impossible not to love him for it.

(So…yeah, I’m in an insanely good mood. I guess it’s because I just got snogged against a wall by Al, but… it’s not like he’s the one making me happy! I need Albus Potter like an elephant needs a gerbil.

But the gerbil’s really cute…then what is that poor elephant supposed to do?!)

“She doesn’t want to date me!”

“Who doesn’t want to date you?” I asked, my eyebrows pulling together in alarm – I mean…dude, my brother’s really attractive; you’d have to be an idiot to not want to date him.

“Rose,” he said, looking hurt.

…or you’d have to be Rose Weasley.

“Are – are you – why?” I finally spluttered out. Rose has liked Scorpius since they were eleven, for Merlin’s sake!

“Hell if I know why!” Scorpius said, hanging his head down. I wondered briefly how much his knees must have been killing him.

“Why don’t you come over?” I suggested. “We can talk properly and I could even go and get Al and Lily –”

He tumbled out of the fireplace before I could finish my sentence. Well, someone’s a little eager.

“Thank-you-thank-you-thank-you!” he pulled me into a hug, and I laughed as I hugged him back. Merlin, I’m really in a good mood. He pulled away and looked down at me. “What’s on your neck?”

I glared. Good mood officially ruined. “Nothing,” I snapped. “Let’s go to Al’s room.”

“Are those – Adele, are those hickeys?!

“NO!”

“Those are hickeys! Why do you have hickeys on your neck?!” Scorpius looked fit to kill someone at this point. I ignored him as best as I could and continued stomping to Al’s room. Bloody Potter and his bloody obsession with giving me love bites – I swear one of these days I’ll just have a big hickey instead of a neck!

…ew.

The door to Al’s room swung open before I could even touch the doorknob and he stood at the doorway, his eyebrows raised at Scorpius, who seemed to be threatening the general vicinity with possible death/castration because his precious baby sister had a couple of hickeys on her neck.

“Hey Scorp,” he said, cutting off a tirade on the sharpness of Scorpius’ knife.

“ – bloody cut off – oh, hey man,” they slapped hands and I rolled my eyes, “did you know that Adele has hickeys on her neck? Let’s go hunt down the tosser who gave them to her and kill him!” Scorpius said eagerly.

Oh, dear Merlin.

Al smirked. “Afraid I can’t help you with that, mate.”

Scorpius rolled his eyes. “I’ll make sure she doesn’t kill you, alright? Merlin, I can’t believe you’re already afraid of Adele…”

I wish Al was afraid of me.

Al’s smirk was threatening to overtake his face. “No, that’s not why. I just don’t fancy dying anytime soon.”

There was a short, awkward silence during which I stared resolutely at the ceiling to avoid meeting anyone’s eye, and Scorpius struggled to figure out what was going on. I waited for him to lunge at Al and start throttling him any second –

Sweet! Get it, mate!” My eyes dropped down and I watched incredulously as the two of them man-hugged excitedly.

OI, WHAT HAPPENED TO BEING FIERCELY OVERPROTECTIVE?!

Damn it.

I jabbed Scorpius impatiently on the arm and gave him my ‘WTF’ look. He shrugged, winked, and grinned at me. “Bros before hoes, little sis.”






this was a whole chapter of flufffff <3 

don't get used to this ;)


Chapter 15: We Are Both Moronic Morons.
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“You know we’re going to have to do something about Rose and Scorpius, right?”

It was just before ten, and I was reading a Healer Book (this one was even more interesting than the last – How to Mix Potions With Speed. Three guesses on what it’s about), nestled into Al and doing my best to ignore him muttering under his breath at the screen (“No, you moron – duck! Duck, you little fucker – no! Damnit, if he’d ducked, he wouldn’t have gotten hit by that bludger…it was right in front of him, honestly, how stupid can you get?!”). After about an hour of trying not to fall asleep or smack Al and tell him to shut the hell up, I decided to give up and just watch the damned game with him.

But then I got bored of that, and decided to bug Al about Rose and Scorpius.

I’m so lucky I can take away his snogging privileges at this point – otherwise he wouldn’t ever listen to me.

Yes, I’m a manipulative bitch and enjoying every second of it.

“Why us?” Al asked distractedly, staring in rapture at the almost-perfect Wronski Feint performed by Darien Watts, the Magpie Seeker who Al was going to replace.

“Who else is going to fix their dysfunctional relationship?” My dad? I let out a little snort at the thought of him trying to play cupid. He’d probably thump Scorpius on the back and tell him to stop being a nancy and just snog the girl.

And then mum would jump in and thump dad on the back, then sweetly remind him that it had taken him about four months just to get her to smile at him.

At this, dad would turn cherry red…and then we’d all laugh at him.

I love my family.

“Swerve…swerve…” Al murmured, his hand tightening unconsciously around my waist as his eyes widened at the screen.

“Al.” I hit him across the chest, and then instantly regretted it as I tried to hold back a girly sigh at the feel of his muscles.

“Yeah, hold on,” he said to me, leaning forward as the Seeker got closer to the snitch. I was irritated, but at the same time, I thought this was so utterly adorable that I couldn’t even get fully annoyed. I sighed to myself as he accidentally dragged me forward with him, unrelenting in his hold around my waist – since when did I think he was adorable? Hell, since when did I think anything was adorable?

Well…there was that one time Scorpius rescued a puppy from a tree in the middle of a really bad rainstorm at my insistence. That was pretty adorable.

Anyway.

Al sat back with a satisfied sigh as the Seeker’s fist closed around the snitch and pulled me back against his chest, stuffing his face in my hair and nuzzling into the back of my neck. I giggled and pushed him away, hating myself for every second of cuteness.

“Rose and Scorpius,” I reminded him as he leaned in to kiss me.

“Fuck those tossers.”

“Al, stop – no, we have to talk about this!” I jumped out of bed just as he lunged. He let out a frustrated groan and looked up at me.

“Now?” he asked.

I glared. “Yes, now.”

“Fine.” He held his arms out and I grudgingly climbed back into bed. Secretly, I was thoroughly enjoying the attention and the way he made me feel loved.

But I’m Adele Malfoy (-Potter), and I don’t need a guy to complete me. After all, I’m an independent young woman, and along with my biting sarcasm and cold, callous heart, I’m the kind of girl who would be perfectly content living by herself.



Fine. I’m completely knackered and I can’t do anything about it.

Al Potter is perfect.

Don’t get me wrong – we’re far from love in our…relationship, for lack of proper term to describe whatever the hell we have. Right now, it’s just more of a…mutual comfort, if you will. We enjoy snogging (especially each other), and we’re comfortable around each other. We still get into furious arguments over the stupidest things, but…

But…

He gives me butterflies.

You know, that funny fluttering feeling you get in your stomach when a person of your fancy grins at you? Or when he ruffles his hair and you just really, really want to do it for him? Or when he bites his lip and suddenly you’re desperate for a snog?

Yeah.

It’s kind of sickening.

But it’s true.

“If you were planning on sitting there and staring off into space, we could have just snogged a couple times and called it a night.”

Al’s voice pulled me out of my reverie, and I slapped him absently on the arm. “Shut up, I’m thinking.”

“Oh Merlin. Don’t hurt yourself.”

I hit him again.

“So, Mr. Mastermind of all things Prankster…what do you have in mind for Rose and Scorpius?” I turned and said brightly to Al when I drew up a big fat blank. Honestly, those two are so fucked-up I fear the only thing that will fix them is a couple of days in a padded cell together. They’ll probably end up shagging. This probably will make things even worse, especially when we take Rose’s tendency to over think every little part of her life into consideration.

Al shrugged. “I dunno. I just want to kiss you right now. Maybe then I’ll be able to think.” He grinned hopefully at me.

I got up and went towards the door.

“Oi, get back over here,” Al called petulantly from the bed. “You can’t go waltzing around the house in my clothes –”

“Yeah? Try me.” I shot him a challenging smirk.

“Adele, you’re wearing nothing but my old Quidditch Jersey. My family is going to get suspicious.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “For your information, I’m just going to James so that he can help me. You’re clearly incapable when it comes to things like these.”

I waited, making sure I didn’t look too eager, as this processed in Al’s brain. I could practically see his laziness and his pride battling it out in that brain of his…and I knew that pride was going to –

“Fine. Just get back in bed before I go insane seeing you in that jersey.”

I allowed myself a congratulatory grin before jumping back into bed and kissing him on the cheek in appreciation. He pouted at the blank WT screen.

“I feel like you just manipulated me and it worked.”

“Your feelings are correct.”

“Bloody Slytherin.”

I grinned at the grudging admiration in his voice. “Don’t even deny that you think it’s hot.”

He laughed into my hair. “Honestly, I think it’s bloody sexy.

I bit my lip before a full-blown smile threatened to overtake my face. Bloody hell, this kid is going to be the death of me.

Albus Potter

Bloody hell. This chit is going to be the absolute death of me. I groaned slightly at the thought, and Adele moved slightly in response, pressing her back closer to my chest. My arm tightened around her stomach without me even realizing it. She let out a little moaning noise, and I kissed the back of her hair.

She smells like bloody roses and honeysuckles. Is that even possible?! How can someone smell so good all the time? It’s like I could just sniff this girl all day.

…once again, I’m completely and totally fucked.

Honestly, what kind of moron falls for the one girl who only really likes him as a good snog?

A really moronic moron, that’s who.

Or me.

Fucking great.

But the thing about Adele Potter is that she’s bloody aggravating beyond anything, but she’s just…perfect. In her own, weird-ass way, I guess. And I don’t pretend like I even know what’s going on half the time with this girl, but I do know that I’m pretty much in love with every second of time I have with her, even though she always manages to piss me off like no other. And that’s just extremely pathetic, because I’m a seventeen-year-old bloke, and I should be horny and unhappy with settling down right now, and this one girl shouldn’t make me feel so utterly satisfied even though I haven’t even gotten laid yet.

Seriously, she’s my wife and I should have shagged her rotten a billion times by this point.

But no.

She’s also a prude and freaks out every time my hands move up her stomach just a little too much.

Like seriously, who cares if she gets pregnant?

…well, I do. I don’t want any little suckers running around until after I’m 25. They’d cramp my style with their constant whining and desperate need for attention. Teddy hasn’t gotten any for months because Victoire keeps getting preggers.

I shuddered at the thought. Four children…bloody hell. I don’t even want one.

Hold on…WHY AM I THINKING ABOUT CHILDREN AT A TIME LIKE THIS?

“You drive me insane,” I muttered to the back of Adele’s hair, burying my face in it until my nose brushed against the back of her neck. This time I smelled a hint of vanilla.

I hate how soft and fragrant she is. Makes it hard to keep my hands away from her. Not that I’d ever really want to, because she’s a bloody good snog and her body is hot as hell…but she won’t even let me take off her clothes. Bitch.

“Do I?” Adele murmured back, taking me completely by surprise. But I kept my cool (I’m a boss at keeping my cool) and instead kissed the back of her neck.

“Hmm,” I rumbled, leaving three kisses in a straight line. Bleeding hell, she needs to stop being so soft, it makes me go a bit crazy.

“You make my brain fart sometimes,” she said cheerfully, wiggling herself deeper into my hug. I grunted out a laugh.

Honestly, most guys make girls “swoon” or “erupt into a mass of thousand fluttering butterfly wings” or something equally, nauseatingly poetic.

What do I do?

Well, I make her brain fart.

Merlin, I must be one pretty hot-damn romantic bloke to evoke that kind of emotion in my wife.

“How so?” I asked her. I didn’t care, really (because of course I made her thinking go wonky. She wants me), but I love listening to her explain something in her insane kind of way. Sometimes I almost wonder if she’s escaped from Mungo’s. I hear they keep the loonies at a place called Five West. Adele would probably rock Five West like the super-hot, super-feisty little freak that she is.

But right when I’m thinking of admitting her for good, she goes and does something so…utterly normal, and…I don’t even know, but just something that just screams human and caring and loving and just…nice, and I have to reel back and rethink everything about her.

Drives me totally nuts, it does.

I mean, bloody hell, how is it possible for someone to have so many sides to their personality? She’s got to be making one of them up. She’s got to be acting somewhere along the line.

Merlin, I sure hope it’s not with me because then I’d pretty much be screwed for life. I don’t really think I’d be able to find someone else after her.

Truth is, I think she’s iridescent.

And she’s the one who told me to never let someone like that go.

So I’m keeping her.

I hope she falls for me too, because then life would be easy and I’d get shagged and I think we should name our first child something really badass like Atticus.

Ha, just kidding.

I’d name our child Ayden.

Now that is a boss name.

“Are you going to answer?” I asked her softly, realizing in my internal rant about my future son Ayden, that she’d completely failed to acknowledge my question.

I felt her shrug against me. “I just can’t think straight around you.” But her voice was so quiet and truthful and I’m pretty sure if I was a girl I’d call my bffl and squeal for an hour.

But I am a man. A very manly man.

(I’m telling Scorpius tomorrow. Who cares if she’s his little sister? He owes me for listening to his rant on Rose’s body. Fine, I ignored it because it made me nauseous. But I sat through it and didn’t punch him, so it counts.)

Anyway. I am a manly man, so I’ll do something manly and hot and really sexy in response to my wife’s confession.

(And then I’ll grow a moustache and lift some weights and grow five beards and another moustache and get totally even more jacked than I already am to begin with.

Because I am manly.)

Just kidding, I kissed her.

I like kissing her. She’s a good kisser.

Besides, facial hair makes me look a bit wonky.

***

Another morning of being fully clothed and I’m pretty sure I’ll go crazy. I swear to Merlin she’s doing this on purpose, just to tease me and make me want to explode into nothing more than a mass of nerves and general freakishness.

And I’m Albus freaking Potter. I don’t do ‘nerves and general freakishness’. Normally, I do ‘sexy’.

And I do it damn well, ask anyone.

Except Adele, she’ll say no.

But I know she wants me.

I sighed again, wishing there was a way out of this situation without waking her up and alerting her to the fact that I was trying to sneak away and take a long cold shower.

But of course not.

Merlin, after all, hates me.

Thanks man. I appreciate this, you know. Keep up the great work!

Adele wigged herself into a new, probably more comfortable position on top of me and I stuffed a large piece of blanket into my mouth to avoid screeching like a little girl. Bloody fucking hell, someone please get her away from my manly bits before I have a heart attack.

But all thoughts of violence and heart attacks flew from my mind as she made a little humming noise of content and snuggled her head into my neck, nuzzling her nose against my jaw as she fisted a piece of my shirt in her tiny hand and pressed the bottom of her foot against my calf.

I’ll admit that I melted a little.

Tell anyone and I will castrate you.

I don’t care if you’re female.

I’ll find a way to inflict that kind of pain on you. So be afraid, bitch.

And if you’re male, well…I’ll bet you’re already afraid. So continue being afraid…man-bitch.

Yeah, I just told you. Whaddup.

Oh fuck…why is she running her foot up and down my leg. Why. Someone stop her. I am going to die a painful death of blatant sex deprivation yet constant teasing if someone does not make this girl stop.

I bit down harder on the little piece of blanket, and I think I actually tore it a bit. Before I could completely implode from this torture, though, she started sniffling a little – which I knew was her indication of just starting to wake up.

Yeah, I know. She sniffles before she’s about to get up.

I don’t understand it either, and yes, it is a weird as sodding hell.

And I’m not creepy for knowing this about her. Shut up.

I quickly shut my eyes and started breathing deeply just as I saw the first flutter of her eyelashes (have I mentioned how bloody long those things are?! I swear to Merlin – you can see them against her cheeks when her eyes are closed! It’s abnormal to have lashes that long, I tell you) so I could save myself from a potentially awkward moment.

“Mmgrh.”

Wow, what a sexy troll imitation. No wonder blokes think this bird is so hot.

“Whatimeizzit?”

I’m pretending to be asleep.

“Gurrhh.”

Adele shifted on top of me again. I suppressed the urge to rip off her clothes and shag her right there. Then, right in the middle of the agony of having her move, she just…froze.

Relief.

“Shit.”

Seems like she’s realized what’s going on here. She scrambled off of me as fast as she could, but I followed the movement and trapped her back against my chest in case she wanted to get out of bed or something equally ridiculous. She sighed as I buried my face into the back of her head.

“You,” I told her, “are a tease.”

“I didn’t know,” she mumbled, leaning into me slightly. “Sorry for straddling you though. I’m sure you enjoyed it.”

I laughed. “A little too much,” I said pointedly.

The back of her neck flushed.

“I mean,” I kissed the pinkness and it turned a shade deeper. I love this girl’s reactions to these things. “You could always help me fix my problem…”

She elbowed me in the abs, then let out a short cry and clutched her arm in pain.

Fail.

“You pig,” she huffed.

“Hey,” I said, flipping her around and underneath me so that I could kiss her mouth. I pulled away, “it’s not a crime to want your wife, you know.”

She rolled her pretty grey eyes, and stuck her tongue out at me.

I bit it lightly.

So she pulled my face down and snogged me within an inch of my life.

I knew she was a horny minx somewhere in there.



BOO AL'S POV! :D 

yaaaaay!

though for right now, that's probably all Al's POV you guys are going to get -- i rather like having this story in just adele's point of view; the way she sees things is so different to what they're really like.

BUT i had to have some Al in there -- this is a MAJOR DEVELOPMENT in their relationship....thing.

besides, i like the comparison.

(you'll find out next chapter. hopefully you get what i'm saying.)

i'm trying to bang out a chapter 16 as fast as i can, but unfortunately i'm trying to be an overachiever so expect a really epic chapter to end this spree with a BANG :)

till then, please review!

love,

dream_BIG xx


Chapter 16: Rainbows and Sunshine Unicorns.
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 I AM PANICKING.



That was the single, frenzied thought that flew through my mind as I kissed Al like I was in the bloody Sahara and his saliva was my only source of nutrition.

And why, you may ask in that candidly intelligent tone of yours that I so desperately lack, are you panicking, dearest Adele?

Well, it’s bad, I can tell you that much.

In fact, it’s really bad. So bad, that I might actually have to go…cry…or something equally emotional and un-Adele-like. Unfortunately, I don’t cry so it’ll probably involve inhumane amounts of chocolate, dramatic declarations of various homicides and curses to the deities, and Rose. Rose helps in times like these. Unless she’s too busy singing her ‘I-told-you-so!’ song.

I hate that bloody song.

Brat.

But anyway, I’m in a fix. A sticky situation. Like, a honey and lipgloss kind of sticky situation. Legit stuff, here.

I…Adele Ophelia Marilyn Jeanette Malfoy Potter…am…

Shit, I hate saying this.

I’m in…gahdon’tmakemesaythisagain-love-ithinkijustdiedalittleinsidebecausethisisjustpathetic.

Yeah. That.

It’s really bad.

I need to go kick a grandmother in order to feel better about this whole thing. What happened to being heartless and uncaring and generally bitchy?! THANKS FOR SHOOTING TO HELL, CONVENIENT PERSONALITY. NOW I’M STUCK WITH THIS POOPAGE. TRAITOR.

You know what the number one issue with being in…IT with Al Potter is?

The little issue called ‘oh hey, he only wants me for my potential shagging abilities!’

And here I am, all stupidly emotion-filled and in…you know.

I think I actually might cry.

“We should stay here all day,” Al murmured, brushing his mouth down to my ear and then stuffing his face in my hair. He took a deep breath that sounded a lot like contentment to my biased ears. I thanked Merlin silently that I’d washed my hair the night before.

We’ll talk about this…predicament later. You’re not off the hook just yet, Merlin.

“We live in this house with your entire family,” I reminded him, “They’d notice.”

“Don’t care.”

“I do.”

He groaned in exasperation and my stomach erupted into a billion rabid birds intent on ripping me from the inside out. I groaned in retaliation.

This sucks.

***

You know what I noticed about Al?

His eyes are really freaking green. And yeah, I know that he’s known for those brilliant green eyes that he got from his beautiful grandmother and whatnot. But I never really noticed until now how completely green they are. It’s like…a forest in the rain. Everything looks fresher and greener and sparkling with diamond drops and life.

That’s what his eyes look like. Hypnotizing.

Insert: Uncomfortable Bowel Movements (translation into Girly Talk: Butterflies).

And he has a really great laugh, too. It makes me want to laugh along because he looks so damned happy doing it, so even laughing along with him makes a person want to be happy. And his smile gives me bowel movements.

I would comment on his hair, but that would be akin to admitting attraction to my father and brother-in-law. So we’re really just not going to go into that.

(But really, how the hell is it so black? And soft? And sexily-messy looking? And shiny?! In what kind of messed-up world do men have shiny luscious hair? WHAT KIND OF BULLSIT IS THIS.)

Just…Gah.

That’s it.

Gah.

Gah on all of this stupid poo.

I stabbed my fork into my pancakes perhaps a bit more moodily than necessary. Lily gave me a nervous look.

You know what, Lily – you try being in lo—THING with your older brother and see how chipper that makes you! What, do you expect me to go skipping along life farting rainbows and shitting sunshine unicorns because of this predicament? WELL NO. I DON’T DO RAINBOWS OR SUNSHINE UNICORNS. SO DON’T JUDGE.

Bloody hell, I’m going to end up in Mungo’s before this day is over.

“So Adele,” Harry said, cheerfully oblivious to my murderous expression, “Got any plans for today?”

Oh, nothing much – just going to fix up the wonked-up excuse of a relationship between your niece and my brother (both of whom are varying degrees of idiot), read up on Healing and probably snog your middle-born child some more. Cheers!

“I’ll probably just hang out.”

“Sounds like a plan,” he replied, dumping more syrup on his waffles. “I’m gonna go to work and hex people!”

“…wow Dad, you’re so cool,” James deadpanned into his cereal.

“Jealous,” Harry scoffed into his pancake. Ginny hit him over the back of his head with a rolled-up newspaper she kept for these exact purposes.

“Totally,” James smirked, “I get to go to work and come up with awesome prank devices and you have to chase bad guys and do paperwork.”

“To each his own.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“It means you should shut up before I hex you,” Lily chimed in grumpily. She’s not a morning person.

The Man Who Defeated Voldemort and the 18-year-old filthy rich Co-Owner of the Wizarding World’s most powerful business cowered.

I laughed and got two dirty looks from aforementioned impressive men.

“Morning, guys!” Al said loudly as he ambled into the kitchen. My stomach flipped over. Damnit.

“Good morning.”

“Hey, man.”

“Hello, love, have some pancakes.”

“Die in hell.”

Al looked at me. “Hey,” I said quietly. His face broke out into another bone-melting smile and he leaned down and kissed me smack on the mouth in front of his entire family.

And then he sat down like this was completely normal, accepted, and expected.

MY BRAIN.

MY BRAIN HAS CONKED OUT.

WHAT IS HAPPENING.

OH MY GOD, WHAT IS GOING ON I AM FREAKING OUT THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

“Can I have eight pancakes?”

“Do you want to make it to lunch?”

“Three it is!”

“Good boy.”

“My job is still better than yours.”

“I am going to hex you.”

“Lily Luna, be nice to your brother.”

“Yeah, Lily Luna, be nice to – hey! Ow! MUM! SHE BIT ME OW WHAT THE FUCK! MUM!”

“James! Language! And Lily, what have I told you about biting your brother?”

“He started it.”

“Lily…”

“Fine. Sorry.”

“Ha.”

“Why are you still here, you little bum? Get your own house, we don’t want you living with us anymore.”

“Hey, that was mean! Mum wants me, right mum?”

“Sure, James.”

…why isn’t anyone exploding? Why is everyone so nonchalant about this?! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS AWARE OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS OR SOMETHING?

“You look like you’re in shock,” Al said casually to me as he poured half a bottle of syrup on his pancakes.

My face immediately turned red.

I’m such a catch. Goshdarn Al Potter, you sure are one lucky blighter.

“I wasn’t aware we were at the stage of PDA,” I said carefully.

Al shrugged like it was no big deal. “You’re my wife. I’m allowed to kiss you good morning, it’s not exactly PDA.”

Damn these bowel movements. Butterflies. Whatever you want to call the weird fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“You have a hickey on your neck,” I said after failing to come up with something reasonable to respond to his casual statement.

He grinned lecherously at me. “So do you.”

I showed him my favorite finger.

“Adele Potter, do that one more time and I’ll hex your hands together!”

Note to self: make sure Ginny can’t see you when you’re flipping her child off.

Harry winked at me from across the table.

…I adore this family.

***

“Of course I don’t like him,” Rose said dismissively as she came out of her closet and regarded herself carefully in the mirror. The dress she was wearing – a vibrant red, flowy number that was sure to give Scorpius some form of minor heart attack – swirled around her knees as she turned to look at it from the side and back. She made a face.

“It looks pretty, stop underestimating yourself,” I said, leaning back on her bed. “And please also try not to kid yourself Rose. You do like him.”

Rose laughed airily. I know her too well, I can tell when she’s faking nonchalance.

“I won’t deny that he’s a good-looking kid, because that would just be stupid of me,” Rose said. I rolled my eyes. At least she admits he’s attractive. Though I don’t know how good that is; everyone thinks Scorpius is attractive. Even Hermione Weasley blushed at him when he told her she looked beautiful at that one Wizarding Function we had to go to.

Granted, he was only trying to sugar up the in-laws, but it’s a bit stupid to say that to Ron Weasley’s wife when he’s standing right next to her.

As a result, Mr. Weasley isn’t exactly fond of Scorpius.

At least Rose’s mom loves him.

“But I don’t fancy him or anything,” Rose finished stubbornly.

“Don’t make me do something drastic in order to get the truth out of you, Rose.”

There was a moment’s silence while she processed my threat. She knows how serious I am – last time she lied to me, I gave her Veritaserum and she yelled out her secrets to the whole Gryffindor Tower. She was mad at me for a whole week after that. I mean, it’s not my fault she started screaming out her true feelings on things in front of everyone; I just wanted to get her alone in her room so she could tell me.

Telling everyone else was just an added bonus.

And she got over it.

But the mental scarring has impacted her forever.

“Fine,” Rose muttered sulkily, turning back to the mirror and sighing at her reflection. “I fancy him. Happy?”

I beamed. “Ecstatic.”

She harrumphed and pouted.

“You know he fancies you back,” I told her carefully. I watched her reflection in the mirror; she lowered her eyes and bit her lip so I couldn’t read her expression.

Damn Rose Weasley and her Adele-smarts.

“Why did you say no to him?” I asked quietly.

Rose didn’t say anything, but let out a shaky breath.

“He’s not going to break your heart, Rose. I know you’re afraid of that, but honestly, I think you mean a lot to Scorpius. He’s been sulking this whole week because of your rejection.”

Still no response.

“I’m in L-Word with your cousin,” I blurted out finally.

Rose looked up with huge eyes and screamed in glee.

Well, at least I know she’s been listening to me.

“I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN ONE DAY! OH MY GOD, THIS IS SO ROMANTIC AND CUTE AND –”

“Is everything alright in here?”

I unplugged my ears and opened my eyes, ready to spew a thousand thankyou’s at whoever had saved me from Rose’s freak-out session.

It was Al.

I knew that kid was good for something. My L-word for him has intensified.

“Ohmigawd, yes!” Rose gushed like the clod she is, “Everything is just…beautiful, Al. I’m just…so – happy for you guys, and just… I’m just…oh god…”

She burst into tears and sprinted into her bathroom.

This is my best friend.

I’m ashamed.

“Um, what was that about?” Al finally asked unsurely after Rose’s wails had subsided into sniffles of joy. My face bloomed red again.

One of these days, I’ll just permanently turn into a tomato.

I shrugged as casually as I could, “She’s a part of your gene pool, don’t ask me.”

“You know,” he smirked, pushing off of the doorframe where he was propped against (and giving me heart palpitations because it should probably be illegal for someone to look that delicious all the time), strutting towards Rose’s bed – I scoffed and rolled my eyes to cover my attraction – and putting his hands on either side of my legs and leaning over me, “technically, deep in there somewhere, she’s also a part of your gene pool. Which, in turn, makes –”

“Eurgh, don’t say it; that’s disgusting.” I covered his smirking mouth with my hand. He didn’t do anything, just looked down at me with those damn sparkling green eyes and his warm body hovering so closely over mine, and –

Screw it.

I pulled his head down and kissed him for all I was worth, falling backwards onto Rose’s bed.

Hot damn, I’ll never get used to this feeling.

Just as we were really getting into it and I was internally debating just Disapparating out of there, Rose decided she was done crying and stepped back into the room…and squealed like some sort of mutated pig on steroids.

“GAH!” I yelped, pulling my hands out of Al’s hair and slapping them over my ears. Al rolled over next to me, his fingers also stuffed into his ears and his eyes screwed up in actual pain.

Dear Rose, Do you mind? I actually kind of like my husband the way he is, intact ears and all. I understand that you’re really, really thrilled about all of this, but shut up. Love, Adele.

“As cute as this is,” Rose finally trilled after she was done with her infernal noise-making, “Don’t do that on my bed otherwise I’ll hex your arses to next week.” Her tone flattened from ‘three-year-old on happy gas’ to ‘Auror ready to execute someone.’

Scorpius has such weird taste in women.

…and I have such weird taste in friends.

Touché, brain.

There was a short moment of silence, then Al rolled over, kissed me hard on my lips, then jumped up with a yelp and sprinted out of the room cackling like a little boy on sugar. Rose sighed despite herself, and I stared up at the ceiling wishing that I could just melt through the floor and avoid this wonky family forever.

(But I’d miss it too much.)

Come to think of it, both Malfoy children have really weird taste in Significant Others.

“You know,” I told her, sitting up on her bed and watching in bemusement as she sat down next to me with a dreamy expression on her face, “Scorpius can also be real romantic and stuff.”

Note to self: work on lying abilities when it comes to making your brother sound good.

Rose shot me a dubious look.

“No, I’m serious!” I exclaimed, starting to wave my hands around like some sort of mental patient, “he’s really sweet! He…likes snogging… and…chocolate. And roses. Well, actually, just Rose, and that’s you because if he liked roses then I’d be really concerned about his masculinity, frankly. That’s just not manly. And Scorpius is definitely manly. Sometimes. Er…don’t let him near hairspray.”

Rose was starting to look seriously alarmed.

Scorpius is going to kill me.

I took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any of that. Al just makes my thinking go wonky.”

She looked like she was preparing to squeal again. I quickly plowed on, “And, well…just…Scorpius likes you a lot. Just give him a chance. Please – he could make you feel everything I feel for your jumped-up cousin.”

Her expression softened. “Adele…”

I nodded expectantly.

“I’m not saying yes to Scorpius.”

My gaze flattened.

Well, we’ll just see about that.

***

“No – you idiot, that doesn’t go there! That’s the wrong – ALBUS, stop it! Stop – no! NO, THAT’S GOING TO GIVE YOU AN INJURY!”

Al quickly pulled his hand out of the little box, and James took a couple of deep breaths to calm himself. I watched on in bemusement, thoroughly entertained by James and his old maid ways.

“You’re acting just like your grandmother,” I giggled.

He froze, his expression horrified.

“Holy bleeding shit, someone kill me!” he yelped. “Put your hand back in the box, Al! I never yelled at you to stop! Bloody hell…”

Al shook his head. “And to think I once looked up to you and your manly ways.”

James had turned an unhealthy pale shade. “I’m gonna go fart on Lily and walk around in my boxers and scratch my stomach while I eat something,” he said faintly. He nodded frantically. “I gotta go save myself!” With that, he jumped up and ran out of the room.

Which left me and Al.

He looked at me.

I looked at him.

“We are not snogging right now.”

“Damn.”

I punched him on the arm and indicated towards the box. “Come on, figure that thing out and we can force Rose into saying yes to my brother.”

Yes, we are meddlesome fools and quite proud of it, thank you.

After leaving Rose’s house (actually, she sort of chased us off after she caught us snogging on the kitchen table…whoops), we came back and forced James into concocting our Evil Master Plan of Genius, Case: Rose and Scorpius.

Unfortunately, even the prankster himself couldn’t come up with anything more decent than my idea of “let’s lock them in a padded cell.”

So we decided to go for it.

Rationality has never really been our strong point.

Though, of course, being magical had its perks; James and Al were somehow creating a little padded box that they were going to somehow trap Rose and Scorpius in. It’ll be like genies, James had exclaimed excitedly, holding up the nondescript little metal box. I wasn’t so sure.

But, I mean, as long as they’re still alive after all of this, I’ll be alright with it.

“Just one more thing,” Al said, looking at the box. “Shrinking Charm.”

He tapped it, and it glowed orange for a couple of seconds, then went back to being the little metal box. We looked at it for a couple of seconds.

“Done?”

“Done.”

I reached out and poked the box. Nothing happened.

“Wanna snog?”

“Okay.”

***

“Operation Genie is in effect. Agent Hooker, is the target in shot?”

“Excuse me?! Agent Hooker?”

“I caught you straddling my little brother on my bed.”

“…right. Sorry about that.”

I’m not.”

“Shut it, Agent Manwhore.”

“Or what, you’ll fart on me while I’m snogging my wife? Oh wait…”

James snickered. “You deserved it.”

I shuddered. “No one deserves that, Agent Fart.”

“Don’t make me fart in your face.”

I scuttled away from him and into Al. Al turned around and gave me a saucy wink, so I pinched him. “Ow,” he whined, grabbing his arm, “that’s my snitch-catching arm, woman!”

“Okay, shh!” James hissed, flailing his arm out towards us. It hit my chest, and James’s head cocked to the side thoughtfully as he continued gazing at Rose, his hand now groping around my torso. My mouth dropped open in indignation, but I couldn’t move any further away from him.

“Al, since when did you have balls of fat on your chest?”

“He doesn’t, but I do.” I reminded James frostily.

He pulled his hand back like it was on fire. Al was now glaring at him.

“Grope her again and I’ll bite off your hand.”

“Got it.”

Rose stopped in the middle of the street, her back tensed. She must have heard all of our commotion. Damn it.

“Now!” I commanded, and James shot the net gun right onto Rose, who was now fully aware that something was wrong. Before she could sprint away, the net closed around her, magically trapping her in.

“What do you want from me?! Let me go!” Rose cried, pawing at the fabric.

“Struggling is useless,” James rasped in a thick Russian accent, pulling us towards her as she writhed in the middle of the deserted park she was walking past. “Come quietly and we will not kill your precious…loved one.”

Sweet Merlin.

“Let them go!” Rose said loudly, trying to twist around so she could see Russian-James. “Who are you? What kind of sick human being traps a girl in a net? Fight me like a man, you coward!”

“Silence!”

“Don’t tell me what to do, you fat piece of cowardly shit!”

James had turned a bright shade of purple. “My own cousin is insulting my Gryffindor spirit!” he whispered to me indignantly. I rolled my eyes at him.

“She doesn’t know it’s you,” I told him reassuringly. “Now stuff her in the box.”

“Box? What box? I know that voice! Hey – hey, what are you – aaaamppgh!” Rose’s voice faded into outraged squeaks. She sounded a bit like a very irked mouse. I closed the lid before she could further incense James, who seemed to be a bit…er, insecure about his Gryffindor Spirit and general manliness. I don’t think it helped that he groped his sister-in-law and then got threatened by his little brother.

He’ll get over it. One day.

“Great job!” Al said, high fiving the two of us. Then his face fell. “Now we just have to wrestle Scorpius in there.”

“…shit,” James intoned.

I looked between the two of them in confusion. “Why do you look like it’s the most difficult task anyone could ever imagine?”

Al looked at me like it was obvious. “Your brother weighs more than puny little Rose, love. He’s strong.”

I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Trust me, with Scorpius, it’ll be easy. Come on.” I grabbed their arms and apparated into my house. James gasped and staggered around as we landed in my room, and I gave him an apologetic look. “Sorry, James. It’s the wards. You’ll be able to breathe normally in a little while.” I got a very rude hand gesture in return.

Well.

“Hey, I’m fine!” Al chirped happily, examining himself then looking in glee at James, who was now on the ground with his hand thrown up, gasping for air as he clutched his chest with the other one.

“That’s because you’re married to me,” I told him. I nudged James with my foot. “You can stop being melodramatic now, you little ponce. The wards should have worn off.”

James froze, his eyes darting around in surprise as he came to realize he could breathe. One day, James will find a girl to date him. And when that day comes, I am admitting said girl into St. Mungo’s because only a mentally inept person could find this weirdo and all of his comical behavior attractive.

Though James is funny, it’s more of like…an I-worry-about-you kind of funny.

“Great!” James said, jumping up and clapping his hands together. He looked around my room. “What now?”

I rolled my eyes. “Follow me.”

We traipsed over to Scorpius’ room, with James stopping every now and then to examine something interesting he found on the way. I should have never brought him in here; he’s got the attention span of a three-year-old in a room full of toys.

I pushed open Scorpius’ door without bothering to knock. Luckily for us, he was in the middle of watching a Quidditch Game and eating food instead of dancing around his room in flower-patterned boxers, singing along to Lady Gaga in a high-pitched voice into my pink hairbrush from when I was four.

Yes, this has happened to me.

I’d rather not talk about the mental scarring I received.

We’re working on the therapy, though.

“Oh hey,” Scorpius said nonchalantly, stuffing more popcorn into his mouth. He didn’t even register surprise at seeing his sister, best friend, and best friend’s older brother in the middle of his room, seemingly out of nowhere. “What’s up?”

I held out the box.

“Shiny!” Scorpius said excitedly, dropping the food and running over to me so he could take it. “Can I keep it?”

“Rose is in there,” Al informed him.

Scorpius looked at us for a couple of seconds.

“So can I keep it?”

I sighed. “Just get in the box, Scorpius.”

He shrugged, pulled off his shirt, and jumped in.

The three of us looked at each other for a brief while. I feel like I’ve landed myself in some wonky parallel universe where things just go according to plan and I get along with Albus and James Potter.

“Mission Accomplished,” James finally said proudly.

I grinned. Rose is going to kill me.




sigh. i wanted this chapter to be epic :(

unfortunately, i was unable to salvage it and MAKE it epic, so you're stuck with this.

hopefully you like it anyway? :) please review!!


Chapter 17: Ten Million Fireflies.
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“I still can’t believe nothing happened,” Scorpius pouted, sitting with his arms crossed firmly across his chest as he stared morosely at me.

I sighed and leant my head against my hand, my eyelids fluttering slowly closed. “It sucks,” I agreed tiredly.

“Why are you so out of it?”

I grinned sleepily. “Didn’t get much sleep last night.”

There was a moment of silence while the cogs worked in Scorp’s brain and I groaned loudly at the insinuations, dropping my face into my arms.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” I said, before Scorpius could start freaking out.

He let out a sharp breath. “Then what did you mean? You’re barely of age, Adele, you’re not ready to have kids no matter what I’ve been blathering on about –”

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Rational Scorpius. He has a brain and only shows up when he needs to be serious, which isn’t very often. So observe closely and add this to the ever-growing list of why Rose is an idiot and Scorpius is perfect for her.

“Rose yelled at us for four hours last night,” I cut across flatly. “Apparently, our meddling is ridiculously childish.”

Scorpius fell ominously silent, and I raised my head to look at him. He was staring anxiously at the wall behind me, chewing his lip in that absentminded way of his when he was thinking about something particularly depressing.

“She really hates me, doesn’t she?” he finally asked quietly, his handsome face falling into an expression of gloom.

I had to smile; at least this time I won’t be lying as I try to make him feel better.

“Nope. Worse.”

His jaw clenched.

“She loves you,” I said softly.

And the expression on his face kind of made everything worth it, even though I had to use the dreaded L-Word, and our “ridiculous meddling” probably made things worse.

“I hate my bloody cousin,” Al groaned as he stumbled into the sitting room and collapsed onto the plushy sofa next to me. I opened my mouth to tell him to sod off because I was having a brother-sister moment with Scorpius, but he dropped a sloppy kiss onto my bottom lip and then put his head on my lap.

I froze. Scorpius started laughing loudly at the expression on my face.

I do not allow people to sleep on me.

Ever.

No, I don’t think you realize how serious I am about this. Last time Rose fell asleep in my lap she found herself waking up with a faceful of grass.

(Yeah, so maybe I did let my best friend faceplant on the ground as I scrambled away from her. She was sleeping on me! Unacceptable, remember?!)

Al sighed and wiggled into the sofa cushions. He looked way too comfortable.

“Al, get off,” I said.

It’s only because I L-word him that he even got a warning.

“No,” he responded, “I’m comfortable.”

Scorpius started laughing even harder. Rule Number One about Adele Malfoy is that she does not appreciate being substituted for a pillow. Everyone knows that about me, and here is my husband, breaking Rule Number One.

He is so screwed.

Without further warning, I stood up quite abruptly and Al let out a loud yelp as he tumbled off my lap. I was allowing myself a short victory smirk when his flailing limbs caught my waist. I let out a shriek as his arm dragged me down against him…and the next thing I knew, I was lying on Al Potter on the couch.

I narrowed my eyes at him, unimpressed.

Off, Potter.”

“No can do, dearest. You’re kind of on me.”

More glaring. He continued to smirk at me, the little git. Does he not realize that when I’m pissed off, it’s best if you just sort of let me simmer down? That’s Rule Number Two about Adele Malfoy!

“Then let go of me,” I said in my Tone of Danger.

Rule Number Three about Adele Malfoy: when she uses her Tone of Danger, she really means it.

He just smirked at me. “Actually, I’m kind of comfortable right now.”

And then he snuggled me up against him and promptly fell asleep.

Literally, I fell into shock.

“Well, see you later!” Scorpius announced as he turned to leave. “Try not to kill the bloke in his sleep, Adele. You enjoy his existence, remember?”

I sighed.

Unfortunately, yes.

***

“Adele. Adele.”

“What?” I hissed sharply, slapping away the poke before it could ram itself into my side again.

Al fell silent, and I sighed as I continued staring at a column of falling stars in my room. It kept swaying from the breeze that swept through my window. Oddly mesmerizing. Useful for bouts of husband-induced insomnia.

(Stupid Al and his stupidly comfortable chest.)

(*stupidly comfortable – muscular, defined, really fucking hot – chest.)

“I can’t sleep.”

I groaned and stuffed my face into my pillow.

“It’s your own fault,” I mumbled accusingly to him. Also your fault I can’t sleep, dunderhead.

“Actually, it’s Rose’s fault,” he said idly. He removed a strand of hair from my shoulder and pressed a kiss onto it. I closed my eyes, wishing it didn’t make me feel so incredible yet loving the feeling anyway.

“It’s always Rose’s fault,” I muttered.

He grinned against my shoulder. “Agreed.”

I turned over so that I was facing him, my breath immediately quickening slightly at the expression on his face. He grinned in response to that. I didn’t have the energy to deny feeling any type of attraction towards him. I’d be lying anyway.

“What do you want to do?” I asked quietly, tracing down his straight nose and then outlining his lips with a light finger. He leaned forward and kissed me.

“Well, it’s July,” he murmured against my mouth.

“Hmm,” I agreed, “I know.”

“And I’ve seen a lot of fireflies out…”

I sat up in bed, ignoring his protesting huff. “You remember that?” I asked in surprise. Hell, even I didn’t remember telling him about the fireflies.

He blinked. “Yeah. You made a promise, you know.”

I grinned. He remembers what I say to him!? “Come on, then.”

He sat up, but I’d already bounded out of the bed and towards the French doors in my room that would lead me outside to my massive backyard, complete with an entire forest. I could see the fireflies already, flickering through the trees like little floating lights.

“Wow,” Al breathed as he came up behind me. I couldn’t help the childish grin that spread across my face as I looked up at him. His expression was open and awed, like a kid that’s discovered magic for the first time.

“They look even more amazing close up,” I whispered, taking his hand and pulling him forward.

We walked along with the grass between our toes and fairy lights twinkling all around us and in that moment, I started to realize how romantic this all was.

And then I realized that I don’t really do romantic. In fact, romantic sort of makes me want to gag and then trip an old lady or steal something from a little kid, just because good things give me nausea.

Hey, I never said I was normal. In fact, I recall making it abundantly clear that I am an incredibly fucked-up-in-the-head person.

“It’s magnificent,” Al said in a hushed voice, stopping quite abruptly. And all of a sudden, I completely forgot that I hated anything to do with L-word. I forgot about falling grannies and crying babies because I guess being with Al was too much of a good thing, and I wasn’t quite throwing up yet, so why not enjoy it and let it last a little longer?

I twisted my fingers with his and laid my head on his shoulder. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this,” I said quietly, my eyes hungrily taking in the incredible sight in front of me. A lightning bug flashed in front of my eyes and I grinned.

He let out a breathless chuckle. “Me neither.”

Al conjured up a blanket and we sat there for hours, sometimes talking, sometimes just silent, surrounded by a cocoon of glitter in the air. And it was almost like we were in the middle of an incredible fantasy dipped in moonlight and scattered between stars.

It might have been nauseatingly romantic. But more than anything, it was perfect.

***

I got woken up by a firefly landing my ear. I sat up with a hysterical gasp at the contact, and Al groaned sleepily as I accidentally hit him over the head with a flailing limb. I squinted through the darkness. It must have been around three in the morning and we’d…bloody hell, we’d fallen asleep outside.

And bloody hell, I would get woken up as soon as I actually got to sleep. Bloody bug. Bloody Rose.

“Al,” I said, poking him on the shoulder. “Al, get up, we have to go inside before something comes out of that forest and eats us raw.”

Well, that got him up pretty fast.

“There’s stuff in that forest that would eat you?” He asked in a clear voice. Usually when I first wake up I sound like an inebriated troll.

“It would eat both of us,” I clarified, clambering to my feet and cracking my back with a satisfied sigh.

“And you’re still cool with hanging around here? Adele, that’s really dangerous –”

I rolled my eyes. “I don’t see you running to safety.”

He copied me, rolling his eyes right back. “I’m not worried about me. I’m the son of Harry Potter. Even monsters know not to eat me.”

I started laughing.

“I’m serious!” He insisted, pulling me down and poking me in the side. This only made me laugh even harder since I’m so bleeding ticklish.

“Oh, I’ll give you something to laugh about,” he muttered darkly, and then he sat on top of me and started tickling mercilessly.

“Stop! S-stop, Al!” I gasped between hysterical giggles, writhing around. Rule Number Four about Adele Malfoy is that she does not appreciate being tickled. Ever. No matter what the circumstance.

“Beg for mercy,” he growled, grinning manically.

“Can’t – breathe –”

“Beg!”

This time all I could manage was a strangled sound somewhere between a choke, a gasp, and a giggle-snort. Needless to say, I sounded like a pig being tortured.

“I don’t hear any begging,” he sang. I wanted to point out that since he was tickling me and I was unable to breathe, he wasn’t going to hear much of anything from me pretty soon.

I can see the headlines now: Innocent Girl Killed by Husband’s Ceaseless Tickling. What a horribly demeaning way to die.

I tried to wiggle my way out of his death-lock on my poor hips, still making that seriously unappealing noise as he continued to assault me – a little wiggle to the left…maybe the right…maybe up?...and suddenly, he stopped tickling, a weird look crossing over his face.

Immediately, I gasped in the biggest, most refreshing breath I have ever taken in my entire life.

“You –” I wheezed, my chest literally heaving up and down from the sudden rush of air, “—are going to suffer for this.”

Unfortunately, this threat was not delivered under the best of circumstances. I pretty much sounded just about as scary as a pig being tortured.

You know, I used to terrify people. Literally, I’ve made them cry.

…what has my life come to.

“Stop wiggling,” he said in a constricted voice. He looked as though he was suffering. HA. SUFFER MORE.

A big evil grin spread over my face. “You mean this wiggling?” I wiggled my hips around underneath him. This time he didn’t even try to warn me again; he swooped down in one fluid motion and caught my lips in a forceful, bruising kiss.

I really don’t know what came over me. Maybe it was the way he was kissing me, urgent and needy and the kind of kiss that makes flames erupt on your skin and fireworks explode behind your eyes. Whatever it was, it had me tugging my fingers through his hair and kissing back just as ferociously. For a couple of minutes – or hours, I really don’t remember – it was a tangle of limbs and soft sighs and encouraging groans and kisses on my face and my mouth and my neck and my lips on every available surface I could get to, and hands trailing around and around it was all so dizzy but it felt so good.

Minutes blurred into longer minutes, and I don’t even remember when or how we’d made it back inside, but suddenly we were stumbling against my bed – and when did he manage to pull off my shirt? – and I was arching my bare chest against his and he was nipping at the skin of my throat –

“I love you,” I sighed, throwing my head back as he left a bruising mark on my skin. My hands were in his hair, tangled through the strands.

It took a couple of seconds for the words to hit. He pulled back to stare at me, but I was panting and my brain was completely gone, a million miles away…and before I could even think about recalling what was happening and how and why and Oh Merlin…he was kissing me again, faster, his hands drifting lower and lower and bloody hell this feels amazing…




yes, guys, they had sex.

(and i just saved myself from having to write an awkward sex-scene or whatever leads up to the actual sex which is just not something i'm okay with writing)


Chapter 18: And the Morning After.
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I woke up with a startled yelp the next morning as something very loud rumbled in my ear. It took me about three seconds to figure out that it was Al, draped around me and snoring so obnoxiously I’m pretty sure my tympanic membrane just shriveled up and died out of protest. Then it took another three to realize that we were both completely naked.

I blinked, willing myself not to scream and/or cry and/or run away as last night’s events rushed back to me in a haze of blurry minutes and dizzying kisses.

Shit.

I told Al Potter that I loved him! What the bleeding hell is wrong with me? Why would I ever do that, especially after he expressively told me he was going to make me fall for him – he practically turned the entire thing into a game! And what had I done? I’d laughed in his face and told him it was impossible.

Way off the mark with that one, I’d say.

Telling someone you love them is just another way to set yourself up for heartbreak. You never expose yourself like that. I never expose myself like that. It makes me vulnerable in the most intimate of ways and I don’t really do vulnerability. Or emotions. Generally my feelings are covered up by snarky comments, sarcasm and overall bitchiness. And that works for me.

I jumped as another particularly deafening snore started up in my ear, and threw back my elbow into his gut. The snore was cut off by a low ‘oof’ of pain.

I nearly groaned as my actions caught up to me – great. I’d woken the sod up. There go my plans of escaping before he comes back to the world. I can’t deal with this right now. I need to get away. This is all too much. I told him I loved him!

I’m panicking.

Fucking hell, I’m panicking.

The last time I panicked, I believe I was thirteen and Scorpius had been knocked very roughly off of his broom during practice. For a little while, things were sort of precarious and I’d panicked because I thought the idiot was going to die and I suppose I do love him after all.

Adele Malfoy (Potter) never panics. She goes through life with cool acceptance and general badassness in her every move.

Yet here I am.

Panicking.

Brilliant.

“Fuck, what time is it?” Al groaned, moving his face downwards so he could bury it into the hair laying on my shoulder.

“I dunno,” I said in a voice completely unlike mine. “Probably late. I should go shower. Then we can go home. Showering sounds nice. I do like to shower.”

‘I do like to shower’? Someone just Avade me now, will you? Apparently I babble when I panic. This keeps getting better and better, I’d say. Maybe next I’ll burst into tears. How exciting.

Al breathed out roughly against my skin, sending delightful little shivers down my spine that didn’t do anything to help my situation.

“You’re panicking because we had sex,” he said.

I blinked. Why the hell would I panic over sex? That was bound to happen eventually – the tension was practically palpable. Yes, even I can admit it. What I didn’t expect, however, was the whole…L-word predicament.

“No,” I responded. “I’m fine. I’m gonna go shower.”

“Adele –”

I wriggled out of his grasp and pulled the bedsheets around me, leaving him with my enormous duvet.

“You’re not going anywhere,” he said in a dark voice, putting his hand on my arm. “Let’s talk about this.”

“Nothing to talk about!” I responded in a high voice, skittering off the bed and turning to face him. His green eyes were stormy and a slight frown was forming over his mouth. “I’m fine! I’m just going to shower and then you can shower and we can eat breakfast and go home! Sounds like a plan!”

Maybe next I’ll become a nursery teacher and/or air hostess! I don’t think I’ve ever used so many exclamation points in my life! This is actually sickening! I’m just going to crawl away and attempt to find the remaining shreds of my dignity!

Fucking hell, I’m going mental.

He blinked, and suddenly the openness of his expression completely slipped off. “Fine,” he said. I didn’t bother trying to say something to fix it – I turned around and practically sprinted into my bathroom, closing the door behind me with an audible click. The tears were already forming in my eyes as I cranked the water to the hottest setting, just now realizing how sore I was. I lifted my face up to the spray until I couldn’t tell the difference between the water from the shower and the water from my own eyes.

No, Al, I’m not upset because we had sex.

I’m upset because I told you I loved you.

And you didn’t say anything back.

***

Silence. He wasn’t talking to me. I sat across from him at the kitchen table and poked nervously at my pancakes as I continued to shoot him surreptitious glances. He was eating steadily, looking resolutely into his plate and only moving his glance when he had to take a sip of milk. It was like he was completely unaffected by everything. Like he didn’t even care. Like he’d achieved what he’d meant to achieve and that was that. Forgotten. Checked off on his list of things to do, so he could move onto the next one.

Well, I’m an idiot. I’d fallen for it all, hadn’t I?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My gaze wandered around the expansive room at my childhood home. I couldn’t bring myself to recount all the great memories of this breakfast table – now all I’d able to remember was this cold silence and the feeling of panic in my gut and ice cracking into my chest.

“You finished?”

My head snapped up. Al was looking at me, his gaze unwavering. His eyes, normally so expressive, were completely shut off. My heart gave another nervous lurch.

“Yeah,” I rasped out. He nodded once and stood up. His steps were measured as he walked towards me, and I was insanely jealous of his composure. Here I was, a quivering mess, and he was about as nonchalant as can be.

Then again, it’s not like meant anything to him. How can I expect him to care? He never did, did he?

He stopped in front of me and held out a hand. My pulse was thundering in my ears as I took it, a questioning expression on my face. Before I could fully look up, there was a pulling in my gut and a loud crack, and as the sensation of being pulled through a tube wore off, I landed in the middle of his bedroom. He dropped his hand.

Another fissure through the chest area. What great fun this is.

He was looking at me with those piercing eyes, and I couldn’t even stand it. I looked everywhere except for that burning gaze, little bubbles of surprise blossoming every now and then as I realized how completely I’d added myself into his life. There was a jumper lying innocently on one of his chairs. One of my paintings was hung up on the Wall of Stuff, along with a couple of my personal photographs. A book on the bedside table. An earring, forgotten on the table. The green wall with silver splatters.

And suddenly, I was irritated. Here he was, aloof and uncaring, and then there was me…caring.

Well, fuck that. This isn’t my fault. All I did was fall in L-word. It’s his fault he’s a manipulative, self-serving asshole who did all of this purely for his sick pleasure and entertainment.

My eyes snapped right onto his, bright with defiance. He sneered. I raised my chin.

“Well,” he said in a simmering voice, “you seem to be done acting all wounded.”

“I’d say you seem to be done acting like a total prick, but that’s never going to change, is it?” I shot back. Ah, sarcasm. How I’ve missed your comforting shield. Welcome back to my conversations with Al.

“What’s your problem?” He hissed.

“I don’t know what you’re referring to.”

“I know it’s easy for you to play dumb, but spare me.”

“My problem,” I said in a loud voice, “is that you’re a piece of shit.”

“No, your problem is that you can’t ever seem to do anything right,” he snapped. “You’re suck a fuck-up, Adele. Get your head out of your arse –”

“Oh, that’s rich!” I nearly screamed, “coming from someone such as yourself, you arrogant, selfish little fucker.”

“Ah,” he said, his lip curling into a smirk as he raised an eyebrow at me, “that’s funny. I told you I’d get you to fall in love with me.”

I very nearly hit him right then and there. My hands shook as I balled them into fists.

“Fuck you,” I said in a low voice.

“Oh. Up for round two? Hold on, let me go get a paper bag for your head, maybe then I’ll be able to actually stand it,” he hissed, his eyes finally sparking with something other than coldness.

My lip curled into a sneer. “Cute. You seemed to like it just fine last night, something that I can’t say I agree with. Hope the morning after scene tipped you off.”

“Sorry, can’t hear you over that big fat ‘I LOVE YOU’ you threw at me,” he shot back, looking entirely too smug for his own good.

“I don’t,” I hissed.

“There’s a reason you said it.”

“Oh, please,” I said, my brain desperately grappling for an upper hand. “You can’t really be that thick. I used you, Potter. A marriage can’t be considered a marriage until it’s consummated. I just wanted to save my dad, and you were there to help me do it.”

I wanted to shove those words right back into my mouth as soon as I said them. That’s a new low, even for me.

“Right, I forgot you were a spineless coward who couldn’t seem to look past her own personal gain,” he said right away, not missing a beat in our dangerous game. “You lucked out there, Malfoy. Anyone else would have chucked you as soon as they’d figured out how much of a heartless bitch you are, regardless of the repercussions to your father.”

“Bit bitter there, are you Potter?” I asked nastily.

“No, just a good person, something that can’t ever be said by you.”

“Really? Then why’d you do it, Al? Fancied a shag?”

“Sure,” he shot back, looking pissed beyond reason. “You were easy. I regretted it right away, you know – even saving your dad wasn’t worth the trouble of having to put up with you.”

“Yeah, well, you weren’t exactly a fucking riot either,” I said, stung.

“You still fell in love with me, didn’t you?” he asked softly, walking towards me with a painful smirk on his face. “Silly Adele. I told you it was all a game. You might have used me, but I fucked you over. You lost.”

I was shaking.

So, here we are: me insisting that I’ve used Al to save my dad. He’s insisting that he’s been using me all along as a game.

Great relationship we have here.

“I never loved you,” I said in a quiet voice, “Who won now, Potter?”

“If you think you did, you’re wrong. There’s a reason I never said it,” his voice was cutting, “you’re the most unlovable rock I’ll ever meet. Good luck ever finding a bloke who can put up with your shit.”

“I’m leaving,” I said. My arguments were running out. I was losing. He was right. I needed to get out of here.

“Please, by all means!” He nearly shouted. “You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” He conjured up a suitcase and shoved it at me as he passed, his movements jerky as he walked towards the door.

“I hate you!” I yelled at his back, “I never wanted you in my life!”

“Then leave. Get out of mine,” he hissed. The door slammed shut behind him.

He never loved me. This was all a game to him. Well I’m removing myself before he can win again. I don’t want to play anymore. With a furious sob, I dumped the suitcase on my bed and strode towards the closet, ripping clothes off of hangers and disrupting the neat rows on the shelves. Everything was dumped in a jumbled mess. I didn’t care. I needed to get out.

My eyes were blurry with tears when I finally realized that –oh, hello! – I’m a freaking witch, and I had this convenient little contraption called a wand that could make magic. With a wave, everything I owned swooped in one graceful arc towards the suitcase. I zipped it as fast as I could and yanked it off our – his – bed.

The door swung open again and banged off the wall. I turned around just in time to see Al’s furious expression as he strode towards me. He finally stopped about an inch in front of my face. I blinked.

“We can’t divorce,” he finally said roughly.

“Fine,” I responded.

“I don’t want to see you again.”

“Fine.”

“Fuck you, I ruined my life for your dad,” he finally snarled at me, “get that stick out of your arse, Malfoy. Life advice. You’ll need to remove it in order to get somewhere.”

“Maybe I will, once you stop acting like you’re so much better than everyone else,” I responded coldly. My chest ached. I wanted to curl up and cry for days.

“Pot calling the kettle black, don’t you think?” he asked sardonically. I seethed, and he gave me another heart-shattering smirk as he turned around to leave again. I licked my lips. I needed to say something.

“Thanks for playing, Potter,” I called after him in a biting voice. His knuckles whitened on the door. That was the last thing I saw before I apparated myself out. And as I landed in the middle of Diagon Alley, with a suitcase full of my belongings and a broken heart and a trail of shattered memories, I couldn’t help but think that I’d just walked out on the best thing that had ever happened to me, however one-sided the entire thing might have been.

And, somehow, that hurt the most.




what a mess. sorry about the length and suckishness in general guys, i literally banged this out in twenty minutes while listening to Princess of China by Coldplay on repeat. that song fits this entire chapter (and story, i suppose) so well. 

"Once upon a time we fell apart, you're holding in your hands the two halves of my heart." & "Once upon a time, we're burning bright. But all we ever seem to do is fight."

LIKE IT'S SO AMAZING I CAN BARELY EVEN STAND IT.

anyway, i'm off to england for the next two weeks! once i come back i promise i will give you a longer chapter. don't hate me too much. well, you're allowed to hate me. i just killed Al&Adele. lol. your reactions are sure to be priceless. don't hold back on the reviews. just keep em 12+ and all. 

BTW THE NEW BANNER?! isn't it a complete drool-fest? i swear i fell harder in love with logan lerman just looking at that gorgeous face on the banner. gah.

TOODLES MATES. DON'T HATE. APPRECIATE. RECYCLE AND GO GREEN. 


Chapter 19: Six Years, Three Months, and Four Days Later
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“What do you mean, he’s got a beater’s bat lodged up his arse?!”

“I’m really sorry Mrs. Kemble, but it’s exactly what’s happened. We’ll be able –”

“You’ll have to get rid of it!”

“I was just getting to that. We’re in the process of removing it right now. There will be no lasting –”

“There’d better not be any lasting damage.”

I repressed the urge to reach over and throttle the lady currently seated in front of me. Instead, I satisfied myself with a mental image of her getting slowly squeezed to death.

Still ever the Pacifist, I am.

“There won’t be,” I said curtly, all traces of politeness gone. Hey, I’m the goddamn Healer in charge of removing the beater’s bat out of her son’s arse. If anything, she should be nice to me. Because honestly, I get paid either way. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to tend to my patient.”

Without waiting for her response, I spun and stalked out of my office, pulling on my lime green robes over the professional muggle attired I’d purchased in London. Knee-length pencil skirts, collared shirts, and ridiculously expensive heels that I could never stop myself from buying were so much more stylish. They even looked nice under the vile green robes.

“Has the situation changed?” I asked my assistant Benjamin as I closed the door behind the patient’s bedroom. Ben shook his head and shot me his idea of an alluring smile. This, along with every other flirtatious sentence, look, or touch he sent my way was expressly ignored.

“Brilliant,” I said, slapping on my gloves. The patient flinched, and I rolled my eyes. He’d been given a pain reduction potion as soon as he’d come in, there was nothing to fear.

“H-Healer Potter?” The patient – Markus, the chart said – asked in a shaky voice.

“Yes.”

“Is it going to hurt?”

I allowed myself a small chuckle. “I’m going to pull a beater’s bat out of your rectum. Yes, it’s going to hurt, but we’ll try our best to make it as least painful as possible.”

In all honesty, it would be out with a single spell, no pain at all. But I wasn’t going to led the stupid sod know. After all, if he was slow enough to find himself with a bat shoved up his arse, then this was his fault.

Why yes, I am still a raving bitch. Nice to know things haven’t changed much.

***

“So, Adele,” Ben asked later that day, as I filled in the last of my reports.

Oh, bloody hell. This should be good.

“Dinner tonight? I know this really great place, and –”

“I’m married, Benji.”

He hated being called Benji. I’m evil.

He let out an impatient huff. “Yeah, we all know what’s up with that situation, Adele, so –”

“No thanks. Please, let’s just keep this strictly professional,” I said, putting away the files and tucking my folded Healer robes back into my purse. They disappeared into the depths of the bag, thanks to a handy expansion spell that Rose’s mum had put on it for me. Definitely the best Christmas present I’d ever gotten.

Ben looked slightly frustrated, but not deterred. His dark brown eyes took on that determined look that told me that I’d be here for longer than I’d like. I sighed.

“Come to dinner with me. Just dinner. Once,” He said.

“I can’t, Ben,” I told him, slinging my bag over my shoulder. “Do yourself a favor. Find a witch who isn’t me. I’m no good for you.”

“But –”

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Aynes.”

I slipped out of my office and down the hall before he could get in another word. Yeah, this was something I had to do every day. At this point it doesn’t even bother me anymore. I keep it calm, cold, and smooth. It’s worked for me all these years.

You keep your shell up, and soon people are going to stop trying to break through. They’ll decide you’re a lost cause.

“Addie!”

I suppressed a groan. “Rosie,” I greeted tiredly, accepting the hug that Rose gave me. She pulled away, her brown eyes glittering with an enthusiasm that was way too chipper for someone who had been given the night shift this entire week. Yeah, Scorpius wasn’t too thrilled about that, but we’d all come to accept that Rose’s boss was a psycho-anal dictator that hated everyone. I think part of it was centered around the fact that her last name was now Malfoy. Or that she was the daughter of Ron and Hermione Weasley.

Head Healer Brown needed to get over Ron.

“How’s everything? It’s my last night shift tonight! Come for dinner tomorrow,” Rose fired at me.

“It’s fine, that’s great, and I’m going out tomorrow. How about Saturday night?”

“I’m glad, thanks, and I forgot about that. Quidditch and then dinner on Saturday?”

“No Quidditch. You and Scorp go. Dinner sounds good.”

“You can go to a film or something, we’re going to the game.”

“No Quidditch,” I insisted. Rose rolled her eyes, and gave me a big kiss on the cheek on her way past.

I blew a wayward strand of hair off my forehead in frustration, then allowed myself a brief grin. Since when had Rose and I progressed to these kinds of conversations? It was almost as though we were so close we could content ourselves with hurried chats in a hallway and still feel completely comfortable with it.

I shook my head once and continued down the hallway towards the Floo room. I checked my watch as I grabbed a handful of powder and stepped into a fireplace. Right on time. I smiled as I dropped the powder and announced my address. Then with a whirl of bright green, I was whipped away into the heart of Muggle London.

“I’m home!” I yelled into the flat as I dusted myself off and stepped onto a rug.

“Oh thank Merlin, I thought you’d never be back!” Scorpius said as he staggered into the room. “Never stay late at work again.”

“Oh, you big baby, it was only for three hours,” I teased.

“Mum! Mum, mum, mum!” The five-year-old clamped onto Scorp’s back slithered down and landed with a thump on the ground, but didn’t seem to mind because he picked himself right up and sprinted towards me.

And instantly, the entire day’s work – all of those hours of frustration and exhaustion and irritating mothers – just sort of faded away. Suddenly, I was teeming with energy, bubbling with happiness.

(And I am not one to bubble with happiness. Ever.)

“Hey, you!” I said, picking him up and kissing him on the cheek. “How was your day?”

“Uncle Scorp and me watched Quidditch on the telly and then he told me he’d take me to the game on Saturday and oh mum can I go? Please?” My son burst out in a one long breath.

I shot Scorpius a sharp glare, but couldn’t hold the expression as I looked at Blake. He was a little devil, a mix between the mischievous bravery of his dad and the sharp wit of his mum. He was crazy, he was loud, and half the time he was a complete pain in my arse. I don’t know what I would have done without him. He was my entire life from the moment I’d found out I was pregnant.

“I don’t know Blakey,” I said, putting him down and kissing his unruly ebony curls, “We’ll see.”

He pouted, but knew that if he argued then it’d be an immediate no. Smart kid.

“B.S really wants to go,” Scorpius said quietly as I kicked off my shoes and left them by the door.

“Stop calling him that,” I said, laughing as I hit him. Scorpius responded with a half-hearted smile, but kept up his serious expression. Scorpius insisted on calling my kid B.S because if I was dumb enough to name my son Blake Sirius then someone ought to poke fun at the initials. I told him that he was a horrible uncle. He told me that he was building Blake’s character.

I don’t see how calling a child ‘B.S’ builds character.

“C’mon, Adele, I don’t think it’d be a huge deal –”

“Blake, love, have you finished reading your book?” I cut across. Blake shrugged one shoulder, still looking expectantly between me and Scorpius. He knew we were battling it out on his account – and hell if he was going to miss this show.

…bugger, this child is too smart for his own good. I see a Slytherin in the making. I need to stop inviting Scorpius over so much.

“Babbitty Rabbitty scares me,” Blake admitted, blinking his huge green eyes at me.

“Well then, how about you finish the tale of the Three Brothers, and we’ll get Aunt Rosie to tell you a really cool story about it, hmm?” I cajoled. Blake’s mind seemed to be battling it out: on one hand, he’d miss this awesome fight. On the other...well, he adored Rose.

“She’ll tell it to me tomorrow?” he asked hopefully.

“Tomorrow,” I promised.

With an excited squeal, he bounced off the sofa and disappeared into the depths of his room. I turned to Scorpius, who looked mightily impressed.

“I still can’t get over how good you are as a mum,” he said.

I grinned. Fuck yes, I’m an awesome mum.

(I mean, yeah, sometimes I do accidentally curse in front of Blake and there was that precarious time in the  beginning when I was still doing hours during which Blake stayed with my mom more than he did with me…but he doesn’t remember it! That doesn’t make me a bad mum! …does it?)

“Scorpius, can’t we do anything other than a Quidditch match?” I outright pleaded.

“Adele, you can’t hide Blake from the Wizarding World forever –”

“Oh, please,” I scoffed, “As soon as someone finds out, the media’s going to be all over me. You know why I can’t. He’s Harry Potter’s first grandchild for Merlin’s sake…I’m not going to expose him to something like that. That’s why I moved out to Muggle London as soon as I figured out I was pregnant. I like keeping us out of the limelight.”

“I know how you feel, but we can still figure out a way to get him to just one measly game –” Scorpius haggled.

“How? Scorp, you know how much I love Quidditch! I don’t want to keep him from something like this, but I can’t bring him to a game without people noticing.”

“We’ll figure something out! Adele,” Scorpius put his hands on my shoulders as I let out a sharp incredulous breath and made to turn around, “Adele, doesn’t Blake ever ask about his dad?”

A sharp, stinging sort of sensation went through my chest. “Of course he does,” I said quietly, lowering my eyes to Scorp’s feet. Cute socks. “He’s a smart kid. Who wouldn’t be curious?”

“You have to let him see Al, Adele. Just once. Even if it’s at a match or something –”

“Don’t tell me he’s playing in this match,” I said dangerously, slipping out of Scorpius’ grip.

His expression took on a wary, careful edge. “He’s playing at this match.”

“No,” I said right away, “I’m not bringing Blake to a match that he’s playing at –”

“He asked about you yesterday,” Scorpius said quietly, eyes darting over my face to gauge my expression.

I rolled my eyes towards the ceiling and scoffed. “Yeah? Pleasant things, I hope?” I snapped snidely.

Scorpius grimaced. “Something about if you’ve managed to make yourself disappear for good.”

I scoffed again.

“I think he’s looking for you,” he admitted quietly. “Not…you know, really hard…but he is. Maybe subconsciously. It’s been five years. Don’t you think it’s time to let things go?”

“Honestly, Scorpius, I let it go a very long time ago. Al stopped being important as soon as Blake came into the picture,” I said tiredly. “That’s not the point. I can’t… I have more than just me to worry about now, Scorpius. Blake –”

“Blake. Yeah, Adele, Blake. It’s not fair that he doesn’t know his dad. And it’s not fair to Al that you’re hiding his own son from him –”

“His son?” I said cuttingly. My voice was edging on hysteria. “His son?! All he did was donate his chromosomes, Scorpius, being a Dad is so much more than that. Was he there when Blake used to wake up at all hours of the night? Did he nurse him back to health every time he got sick? Did he watch Blake take his first steps or say his first word or kiss his boo-boo when he fell down? Just because he’s blood related to him doesn’t make him a dad. I don’t owe Al anything.”

Bitter, much? Frankly, yes.

“You’ve never given him the chance to do any of those things!” Scorpius argued.

“Well he lost his chance from the second he used me, Scorpius!” My voice was louder than before.

“You both are so bloody stubborn!” He bellowed at me, “you don’t understand how utterly miserable you are – let go of your pride Adele, look past that stupidity that’s blinding you and give people a chance! It’s not a crime to let people in! Yeah, sometimes you get hurt but that doesn’t mean that you should give up altogether. Giving up just means you’re nothing but a spineless coward.”

I was shaking with anger by this point. “You don’t understand anything,” I said in a cold, quiet voice.

“I understand enough,” he retorted. His voice was cutting.

“Mum?”

We both spun around, our expressions melting at Blake’s face, his eyes large and brimming with a light film of tears. Bugger, I just got home and he has to see this. I’m an awful mum.

“Mummy, I don’t wanna go to the Quidditch game,” he whimpered, pressing the back of his hand into his eye forcefully, as if he was angry at himself for wanting to cry, “Just please don’t fight with Uncle Scorp.”

A heavy weight settled into the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t fair, what I was doing to this kid. I sent Scorpius a helpless look, but he merely responded with a vaguely ashamed one.

“Baby, we’re not fighting because of that,” I said gently, holding out a hand. Blake walked up and hid his face in my knees. “You know I love Uncle Scorp, and he’s my brother and we always fight.”

“Yeah, but you looked so angry,” his muffled voice floated back up to me.

“I wasn’t angry,” I said automatically. He didn’t believe me, just continued to press his face into my knees.

I bit my lip, “I don’t know what else to do, Scorpius,” I whispered, closing my eyes and placing a hand lightly in Blake’s hair. “I’m scared.”

There. That was it. The first time I’d ever said those words to anyone, even myself. I don’t get scared. I wasn’t scared when I tried out for Quidditch or played my first ever game. I wasn’t scared when I got married to someone I didn’t quite know. I wasn’t (too) scared when I saw that humongous rabid rat. I wasn’t scared when I had to give birth.

But right now? I’m scared.

I’m scared for Blake, for the secret I’ve hid for so many years. I’m scared Al will hate me even more and Blake’s heart will break. I’m scared mine will. I don’t know if I can do it twice.

Bloody hell, motherhood has turned me into a fucking Hufflepuff.

This is so sad. I actually might cry or something.

“We’ll figure something out, Adele,” Scorpius said, a look of understanding in his eyes. He knew I meant more than just the Quidditch Game. He knew I meant everything, this entire situation.

I let a small smile light up my face and Blake rested his chin on my knee, looking up at me with excited eyes.

“That’s right,” I said, “I forgot you married a genius.”

“That I did, Adster. That I did.”

He looked at me expectantly.

I rolled my eyes, smiling. “Oh, fine.”

A large grin unfurled over his face as he ruffled Blake’s unruly curls, mussing them up even more. “Did you hear that, B.S? You’re going to your first ever Quidditch Game!”

Blake let out an almighty squeal and immediately squeezed my knees so hard I nearly fell over. He then launched himself away from me and onto the couch, where he proceeded to jump on it, shouting to high heavens.

“Thank you! Thankyouthankyouthankyou –”

“Blake, you’re ruining the furniture!”

“ – an actual Quidditch game! I can’t wait!”

“Right, I’ll leave you to it,” Scorpius said, dropping a kiss onto my cheek and offering me a cheeky smile and salute as he apparated out of my flat. I growled under my breath. Of course he leaves me with the five year old jumped up on excitement.

“ – there’ll be bludgers and snitches and waffles –”

“Quaffles,” I corrected automatically. Hey, I’m a Chaser. No son of mine will be calling the goal-making device a waffle. This is my bread and butter, right here!

“—quaffles and mummy when I grow up I’m going to be a Seeker and catch the snitch and win every game and be so cool.” He finally finished, letting out a deep contented sigh and flopping back onto the sofa. “I am so happy.”

That cold unfeeling rock in my chest region swelled with an emotion I have come to identify with…love (I’ve gotten better, I actually use the word now!) and suddenly, I knew I’d made the right decision, scary as it was.

I kind of wished I could go back to a time when one Quidditch Game could make me the happiest person in the world. Childhood was so innocent – and there was no way I was going to let Blake lose his so early. I didn’t care if that made me a coward. It wasn’t going to happen. End of.

“But first,” I said loudly, reverting back to ‘crazy mum’ mode, “we have to make dinner!” I jumped on the couch next to him and tickled until his squeals turned to gasps. I was smiling so big I couldn’t even feel my face, and as Blake wrapped his arms around my neck and told me with sparkling green eyes that he loved me very much, I couldn’t have been happier.

…then I remembered I still had to cook dinner.

Damn.




my reviews recently seem to form a general pattern:

blah blah blah review pertaining to the story blah blah

PS UPDATE BREATHLESS. I DEMAND IT.

 

it must have been all the subtle hints, but i think it was high time i updated this thing ;) i know this might not be what everyone wants (i think like fifty people told me NOT to make her pregnant and some more told me to make her pregnant and one person even outlined to me just what he/she thought should happen) but it is what it is. it's staying this way because blake is important -- and come on, how can you not love the kid?! he's adorable beyond words.

i'm sorry for the wait, and for any mistakes that might be in this chapter, i literally just finished it and i haven't read over it or anything, i figured you guys waited long enough :)

review?


Chapter 20: Donít Panic.
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Face Paint.

Bloody face paint.

That’s what the genius mind of Rose Weasley had come up with after an entire day of deliberation. She decided to paint my son’s face.

That’s it. Rose is being stripped of her ‘brilliant mind’ status and instead it’s going back to her mum. Hermione Weasley clearly got the smarts in the family and didn’t bother passing them down to anyone else.

“You can’t be serious,” I hissed at Rose when she actually appeared at my flat holding a pallet of paints.

“It says here that these are completely harmless,” Rose rattled off loudly, stepping past me into my apartment holding the brightly colored box as a shield. Smart woman; she probably knew I was on the verge of hexing someone until they had turned into nothing more than a babbling exoskeleton of their former self.

You think I can’t do it? Bitch, I invented that spell.

I understand that it’s sadistic. But sometimes, it’s just necessary.

“We’re not turning my son into some sort of art project gone wrong!” I exclaimed, letting Scorpius step in and close the door behind him. “And there is no way you’re even coming near me with that thing, so don’t even think about it.”

“I foresaw that one,” Rose said vaguely, still engrossed in the ingredients of the facial paint. “Scorpius is transfiguring your hair and eyes.”

“Scorpius is not allowed within three feet of me with a wand.”

“We can’t do it to Blake, obviously, since he’s still a child –”

“ –but we’re still going to turn B.S’ eyes brown or something. They’re too similar to his eyes, people will be able to tell right away –”

“ – and the effects of any face-altering spell would quite possibly be permanent. Eye color’s fine since –”

“BE QUIET!” I screamed.

Blake giggled into his hand, then quickly adopted a somber expression when I gave him my Mum Glare. I mentally patted myself on the back. I still got it.

Rose sighed exasperatedly. “Look, Adele, I’m sure you want everyone to take a deep breath so we can talk about this rationally…or whatever your therapist slash yoga teacher taught you…but we don’t have time for that.”

With that, she pointed her wand at me and I fell over rigid. Blake yelped in horror, but Rose placated him with a cheerful lesson on how to use the body-bind, a harmless hex. And since he loves that traitor gingerbitch, he calmed down pretty quickly.

I see where your loyalties lie. I carried you around in my uterus for nine months and ten days, allowing you to leech off of my own body, and this is what I get in return? UNGRATEFUL CHILD.

Fine, I just don’t like not getting my way. Whatever.

I sulked in my frozen state on the couch while Rose got to work on my son’s face. I wasn’t going to admit it, but I kind of needed this – a moment of forced calm, that is.

I’d spent all of Friday and Saturday in a state of nervous, frantic energy. Blake was ecstatic; I didn’t want to spend a second at home. While I usually decomposed in front of the telly on Fridays (as a beautiful side-effect of working only four days a week), refusing to budge unless Blake wanted to pee, at which point I’d grudgingly let him escape from my clutches, this week was just not okay for me to be mentally idle. I’d start thinking about Al and that’s just not good for my blood pressure.

So we’d visited the zoo, gone to a Museum (we left after I fell asleep standing up out of sheer boredom), watched a film at a muggle cinema about some blonde with obscenely long hair, mucked around in Trafalgar Square for a couple of hours, and gone on the London Eye three times in a row. Then we watched films at home after I’d run out of other things to do.

…and here I am, Saturday evening. Hexed to stillness in my own home by the godmother of my child.

If my life got any better I’d start to worry.

I was glaring balefully at the ceiling when Rose finally lifted the charm. She then pushed Blake into my vision so I wouldn’t go straight to my “rampaging psychopath” side. I hate that she knows me too well. She deserves at least some sort of retribution for this.

I looked thoughtfully at Blake. His face was painted half black and half red. His hair was still an untamable mess of curls. His eyes were a deep, dark brown. They made me shudder a bit to look at – it was completely wrong on his face. His eyes were supposed to be green. A deep, rich, glistening emerald-Potter green.

It worried me sometimes, that someone from the Wizarding World would come into muggle London, take one look at Blake, and immediately realize he’s a Potter. His features certainly give it away – the only place where I’ve had a say is his curly hair. Otherwise he’s completely Al’s, from his dark messy hair to his almond eyes, straight to his scrawny build.

But right now…he looks different enough. I can’t even tell what his face looks like, and if his eyes weren’t sparkling with an extremely Blake-like excitement, and his hair wasn’t sticking up the way it usually did, I’d probably wonder whose kid is staring eagerly back at me.

“I suppose this works,” I said reluctantly. Rose grinned proudly, then waved her wand over me. My hair was transfigured to a sleek black instead of messy blonde, and my eyes were changed to the same shade as Blake’s. My skin was turned a shade darker.

I think it’s bloody fantastic that I have to disguise myself just to go to a fucking Quidditch Game.

*

“Mum?” Blake asked as I held his hand tightly in mine. We were walking at a reasonably quick pace towards the Magpies’ private box. Apparently Scorp and Rose always watch the game from there. Spoiled brats, both of them.

“Yeah, love?”

“How come we’re hiding?” he asked.

I blinked, surprised. In that one sentence, he’d managed to capture every unasked question Rose and Scorpius always seemed to throw at me with their eyes. Oh, they hid me well enough. They avoided talking about me altogether – people knew that they were still in touch with me, but that was it. No, they kept quiet. But they could never fully understand why they had to keep quiet, why I was so adamant about hiding Blake.

They’d lived their entire lives in the spotlight, and didn’t mind a second of it. They didn’t know what it was like to be normal – and I wanted Blake to have some sense of normal.

“It’s a really long story,” I finally said heavily, squeezing his hand slightly, “maybe one day I’ll tell you.”

He pouted, but didn’t press. Sad, really – I was fully prepared to pull out The Mum Glare if necessary.

Blake seemed to forget all about it as soon as we reached the top box. He let out a huge squeal of excitement and started jumping up and wiggling around so much I could barely hold onto his hand. Some of the other Quidditch Wives gave us mildly irritated looks. I resisted the urge to flip them off. Blake would probably catch me, believe I was communicating in some sort of special sign language, and use the hand gesture at other people in the hopes that some of them knew said special sign language. Then he’d get beat up.

…Merlin, my kid’s only five and I’m already worried about him getting beat up.

“Alright, little man,” Scorpius said, picking Blake up and perching him on his shoulders. I nodded my approval; that was the only acceptable height at which Blake couldn’t wriggle down and run amok. And for some reason, Blake thoroughly enjoyed running amok. It drove me absolutely nuts.

“The two teams playing today are the Mapies and Puddlemere United,” Scorpius said, walking up towards the glass of the box so that Blake got a full view of the craziness. I scurried after them, half because I wanted to actually see the game (how long has it been since I’ve seen a live Quidditch Game? Six…Seven years? Bloody hell, and this is supposed to be my favorite sport. I’m a disgrace to Quidditch players everywhere) and half because I didn’t know what else to do with myself. Rose had disappeared as soon as we got here.

“We’re rooting for the Magpies,” Blake chirped. “Because that team is awesome.”

“Exactly. And they’re paying for this lovely box we’re currently standing in,” Scorpius added. “Remember B.S, if someone ever gives you something for free, you plead your unending allegiance to them so you’ll get more free stuff in the future.”

“Okay!”

I punched Scorpius aggressively on the arm.

“Stop teaching my kid wrong things!” I hissed at him, “otherwise I swear to Merlin when Rose and you have children I will turn them into obnoxious spoiled brats.”

“Not unlike yourself?” He asked innocently.

“I’m sorry, what was that? You dance around in your boxers to “You and I” while you sing into a pink plastic hairbrush?” I asked loudly. Blake laughed.

I grinned. Point for Adele.

“Anyway!” Scorpius said quickly, turning back to the glass. “There are three Chasers –”

“Two Beaters, One Keeper and a Seeker,” Blake filled in. “Mum taught me. She said I should be a Chaser instead of a Seeker because Chasers are awesome and Seekers are losers.”

I nodded proudly. I taught my kid well.

“That’s only because she’s a Chaser,” Scorpius said.

“Mum! You play Quidditch?!” Blake shrieked, excitement evident on his disguised face.

I grimaced. “I used to play Quidditch. In the past. Once upon a time.”

“She was brilliant, your mum,” Scorpius said fondly. “I swear, Adele, you could have gone pro.”

I shrugged. I loved Quidditch, but not enough to put up with all the shit Pro players had to go through.

Blake was thoughtful as he gazed out over the crowds.

“What about…what about my dad?” he asked hesitantly. Ice seemed to spread through my entire body, freezing me to the spot. Scorpius caught my expression before I could turn away. I let out a shaky breath and closed my eyes, hiding in my thick black hair.

“Er, yeah. A little,” Scorpius said hurriedly. “Oh – look!”

“Look at what?”

“Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Advertisement,” Scorpius said, nudging me on the arm. I glanced up, and my heart lurched when I saw Al’s grinning face proudly advertising his cousin’s shop. He looked…different. Older, yeah – and I mean, we all looked older. But that carefree kind of light in his eyes had diminished. He still had his boyish grin and his sparkling emerald eyes and his messy black hair – but he’d grown up.

And bloody hell, he looked absolutely fucking gorgeous.

“Who’s that?” Blake asked.

My mouth ran dry.

“Quidditch player,” Scorpius said. His voice had taken on a strange tone, and Blake knew not to ask any more questions. I let out another breath. This was such a bad idea. Such a bad idea. What the hell was I thinking?

“Adele,” Rose hissed, slipping next to me, “Uncle Harry is here.”

My spine snapped upright. Harry. Oh god – I didn’t even have words to describe how much I’d missed Harry. Dad. Harry. I didn’t even know what I was supposed to call him. Mr. Potter seemed too formal for the father-daughter like relationship we’d formed in the short time I was with Al.

That was it, what I loved so much about the entire family. With them, you just felt so loved. There wasn’t a single awkward moment. You walked in and suddenly you were a part of the family. There wasn’t any transition. It was like I was born to be a part of it. And Mr. Potter – Harry, dad – was someone who made me feel that way.

And he was here.

…in the same room as his grandchild.

Shit. Shit. Shit.



SHIT!

Alright. Okay. I can do this. Just act cool and calm. Cool and calm. I can do that.

NO I CAN’T DO THAT. I CAN’T EVEN BE COOL AND CALM IN REAL LIFE, HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO ACT THAT WAY NOW?

Buggering shit. This is never happening again. Even with disguises. I am never again going to a Quidditch Game. It’s just not happening. I refuse.

“Good God,” Harry Potter muttered under his breath as he stepped up next to Rose. His normally messy hair, lightly streaked with grey, was even more windswept than usual. I swallowed forcefully and tried to look as insignificant as possible. Maybe I’ll be able to melt into the glass or something…

“I can’t stand these Quidditch Wives, Rose, I’m telling you,” he continued in an undertone, smiling pleasantly at a lady wearing enough make-up to sustain a small country of females. “They’re awful, gold-digging –” here he dissolved into quietly muttered curses that I couldn’t quite catch. Rose was grinning widely as she stared out at the Stadium.

“He’s my favorite Uncle for many reasons,” she whispered to me, “his hatred for Quidditch Wives being one of them.”

I would have been a Quidditch Wife.

…technically, I am a Quidditch Wife. I just don’t really count.

“ – but I don’t get it!” Blake said from above me.

“What don’t you get about it? It’s Quidditch Stats!” Scorpius argued.

“I don’t like math, Uncle Scorp,” he whined. “Stop trying to teach me!”

“But B.S, this is crucial for you to learn –!”

I’m not even going to bother.

“You know who would’ve been a good Quidditch Wife?” Harry said suddenly, turning to Rose.

Her expression turned stony. “Uncle Harry –”

“Adele,” he said forcefully, looking strangely angry, “she would have been hilarious with these women.”

My heart was beating so loudly I was surprised no one else noticed.

“I’m not telling you where she is, Uncle Harry,” Rose intoned.

“Why not?” He demanded.

BECAUSE SHE’S FUCKING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU! LOL WHAT A FUNNY SITUATION THIS IS.

…I just said LOL in my head.

I need to get out of here.

“She’s happy where she is,” Rose hissed, “and we’re going to let her have that.”

“I just want to visit her – just once –”

“Harry Potter?!” Blake squealed from his perch on Scorpius’ shoulders. I tried not to scream, grab my kid, and sprint headlong out the doors. Instead I counted slowly to ten in French, and closed my eyes. Maybe when I open them again I’ll be asleep in my bed, and this would actually just have been a really elaborate nightmare.

Un, deux, trois…

“Er –” Harry said. It’s been over twenty years of fame and he still stutters when confronted with fans. I found this strangely adorable.

“Oh, Uncle Harry,” Rose said nervously, “This is, er, my colleague’s son. It’s his first Quidditch Game.”

She gestured to me and I nodded weakly at him. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything.

Quatre…

“Nice to meet you,” Harry responded. I think I might have squeaked. Thankfully, he misunderstood that as my way of being starstruck.

Cinq, six…

“Oh my god!” Blake said excitedly, wiggling around enthusiastically on Scorp’s shoulders until he finally put him down, “I’ve read like, a billion books on you! Is it true that you escaped from Gringott’s Bank on a dragon with Aunty Rose’s mum and dad?

“Er,” Harry blinked, clearly overwhelmed by Blake’s exuberance. He turned to Rose and mouthed ‘Aunty Rose?’ to which she shrugged and nervously tugged on her hair. “Um, yeah, I guess we did do that…”

“That’s awesome,” Blake said eagerly, “I once asked mum if I could get a pet dragon but she laughed and said only if I could buy a place large enough to put it. But I can’t even find a place large enough to put it so I don’t think I’ll get a dragon. But if I did, I’d name it Severus. I think Severus is a cool name, don’t you? I read that he was a war hero which I thought was really cool because he was a Slytherin and so was mum.”

Sept, huit, neuf…

A slow smile was spreading over Harry’s face as he looked down at Blake. I briefly cursed the undeniable charm I’d unwittingly passed on to my child. I didn’t know a single person who met Blake and didn’t fall a little in love with him. “I do think that’s a nice name,” he said, bending down so that he was at Blake’s level. “What’s your name?”

“Blake,” he answered, “Blake Sir –”

DIX. DIX, DIX, DIX.

“Oh look, I think they’re starting!” I blurted. My heart was pounding somewhere around my ears. Sure enough, Puddlemere was being announced on the speakers. The captain zoomed out over the pitch, waving at his fans. One of the Quidditch Wives paused to let loose a disdainful sniff before turning back to her riveting conversation about cuticles.

Harry glanced out the glass window, but turned back to Blake. “Well, Blake, it’s a real pleasure to meet you.”

“You too! I can’t believe it, you’re like my biggest hero –”

“Alright, sport,” Scorpius grunted, heaving Blake back up onto his shoulders and shooting Harry and apologetic look, “let’s watch the game, yeah?”

But Blake was having none of it. He twisted around precariously on Scorpius’ head to keep Harry in his line of vision. “Can I have your autograph?”

The very little color on my face drained away. Oh god, this was wrong on so many levels. I couldn’t even begin to describe –

But Harry merely smiled fondly, and said, “Sure thing.” He rummaged around in his pockets for a quill and a spare bit of parchment, not noticing that Rose’s face was horrified, that Scorpius was still and unseeing as he stared rigidly at the crowd, that my eyes were filling up with tears.

And we all watched on as Harry Potter gave an autograph to his own grandkid.

I’m sure somewhere a person with an extremely sick sense of humor (probably my dad) will find this situation ironic in a vaguely funny way – but all I could feel was my heart breaking over and over again for my son, who was so innocent and happy and…he didn’t deserve this. He doesn’t deserve this.

I’ve always felt that I was doing this for Blake’s own good. But watching the way that Harry interacted with him made me realize that all this…it was just for me. It was because I was scared, because I didn’t want to swallow my pride and go crawling back to the first good thing that’s ever happened to me. And because of that, I took away any chance of Blake having the most incredible, loving family in the world. I don’t cut it. I’m not half as good as having Harry and Ginny and James and Lily and Al…oh god, and Al.

I just didn’t know what to do. I felt so helpless as I watched the way Blake’s face lit up when Harry handed him that little piece of parchment – on one hand, there’s the family. And on the other, there’s the political turmoil of the world that watches every step of the most famous family in existence. And Blake would be right in the thick of that.

This beautiful kid, with his glimmering eyes and his thunder-shot smile.

And I can’t do that to him. But doing this to him is equally as painful.

Well, this is the most irritating lose-lose situation anyone could ever come up with.

“Mummy!” Blake said excitedly, pulling me out of my depressing internal strife. I smiled weakly up at him. “Mummy, can you hold onto this for me? Don’t lose it,” he warned, handing me the parchment.

“I won’t lose it,” I muttered, but he was turning back around to wave goodbye to Harry, who had to trudge over to the other side of the box and talk to some important-looking people. He didn’t look happy about it at all, but I suppose that’s what happens when you save the world as we know it.

I glanced down at the parchment.

Blake, if you ever get a dragon, I’ll teach you how to fly it. –Harry Potter

A small smile lit up my face. Like hell he will.

***

Quidditch has the amazing ability to make you forget about your suckish life for a bit.

“ROLL! ROLL, YOU IDIOT, THE MAN’S COMING RIGHT AT YOU AND YOU’VE GOT MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME –”

“Mum! He can’t hear you,” Blake laughed as I screamed at the idiotic Chaser that the Magpies had hired. He was ignored as I started yelling instructions at the other Chaser as well.

“Your mum’s a bit mental about Quidditch,” Rose called over to Blake, “don’t worry about it.”

“Gods,” I groaned, annoyed, as Puddlemere got possession of the Quaffle. I slumped against the window and faced Blake, who was staring up at the game in awe and alternatively looking at me as though he’d never seen me before. He grinned down at me and I beamed back.

“Mummy, will you teach me how to play?” he asked, beaming as the Magpies Beater knocked the Quaffle away and the more competent Puddlemere Chaser seized it out of thin air and shot towards the opposite end.

“’Course I will,” I replied fondly, turning back to the window. I forgot to think about how dangerous Quidditch is or the alarming number of ways that Blake could hurt himself by playing the sport. I suppose that’s what happens when Quidditch is involved: I lose every ounce of my motherliness and turn into a raving psychopath who decides that five years old is totally okay to go flying around on a charmed cleaning utensil.

“Rosie-Red!”

I froze.

You can’t be serious. You’ve got to be shitting me right now. Two in one? Honestly?

James Sirius Potter stepped up on Rose’s other side, slinging his arm around her shoulder and ruffling her hair.

I cursed under my breath and Rose shot me a wary glance before turning a nervous smile onto her cousin.

“Hey, Jimmy,” she shot back, “enjoying the game so far?”

He snorted. “Hell no. The little brother’s been completely useless so far.”

This was true. Al was sitting motionless on his broom, his eyes darting around the pitch. Occasionally he shot the opposing Seeker a mirthful smirk. I tried not to stare. Or even look in his general direction, really. Is it normal for a person to look that sinfully delicious while sitting on a broomstick? Because I don’t think it is. He should probably be fined for that.

“When did you get here?” Rose asked him as two of the Magpies Chasers did this incredible move and I had to physically restrain myself from screaming. As it was, I managed to tame my overwhelming excitement to a slightly less exuberant, “YUS!” that made me sound like I had escaped from the local mental bin.

James laughed. “Just around the time that your friend started screaming instructions to Dooney on how to correctly handle a quaffle.” He leaned around Rose to grin at me and I realized that he’d noticed my eavesdropping. I gave him a sheepish kind of smile and turned back to the window, praying to every deity I’d ever heard of to send him away.

No such luck. He switched spots with Rose and offered me a hand. “James Potter.”

“I know,” I muttered, shaking it quickly and turning back to the game. “I’m…Elle.”

Adele. Elle. Wow, love, you’re just a born genius, aren’t you?

“You play Quidditch?” he asked.

I shrugged. “I did.”

There was a short silence as he scrutinized the side of my face and I swallowed nervously. I think I’m sweating. Gross.

“You look familiar,” he said abruptly.

Shit. “Oh.”

“Do I know you?”

Shit. “No,” I said too quickly, shuffling away from him. He stared at me some more and I cleared my throat awkwardly, giving him a little glare and darting my eyes back towards the players. His eyes narrowed. Shit.

“No way,” he said quietly, voice simmering with something I couldn’t quite identify.

I was just starting to go into full panic mode (arms flailing, hair whipping around, face tomato-red as I screamed a strange mixture of profanities, hexes, and French. It’s not pretty) when the crowd let out an almighty roar.

“Mum!” Blake screamed, bouncing up and down on Scorp’s shoulders and flapping his hands at me to get my attention, “Mum, mummy, mum, mum, mum! Look! Look at that!”

I turned back to the window just in time to see Al pull out of a steep dive about five feet off the ground, his hand clenched around a fluttering golden ball. He raised it above his head with a proud grin at the camera before his team slammed into him from all sides. I supposed I should be happy, but all I could see was the way James’ face turned a shade of ghastly white, his eyes snapping between me and Blake. They finally latched onto mine, and his mouth flattened into a line. Without another word, he whirled around and stalked out of the box.

My heart sunk down to my toes, beating furiously in my panic.

…shitnuggets. 




"You and I" is a song by Lady Gaga. i don't own the song or (heaven forbid) Lady Gaga.

the bits in French (in case you can't tell already) are numbers. 1, 2, 3, 4 etc etc. dix means ten. 


Chapter 21: Green Eyes
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I thought this sort of stuff only happened in muggle films. They come up with the strangest things – men with giant knives creeping into showers and repeatedly stabbing the woman as she screams and chocolate syrup goes streaming down the drain. The heroine, her breath in ragged bursts around her in the air, creeping down a flight of stairs to the basement just in time for the serial killer/rapist to attack her while the rest of us flinch yet still watch on in morbid fascination.

I’ve noticed a trend in these films: the main heroine is an overwhelming idiot.

Now let’s parallel this to my life, shall we? The single mother, raising her son away from the world that she grew up in takes said son to said world for the first time in his young life. There she meets the father and brother of her baby-daddy (aka her husband, but that just ruins the dramatic affect), and the brother of said baby-daddy aka husband recognizes her. She thinks.

(Clearly, I am the main heroine of this story. And the overwhelming idiot.)

Then the notes start to arrive.

At first it’s just a picture – you, with your black hair and brown eyes and tanned skin but you know it’s you because you’re standing next to your brother with your son on his shoulders and you’re looking at this beaming kid like he’s your entire world. And he’s glowing, untouchable in that moment of pure excitement and fun and for the first time he’s normal.

And yeah, the picture’s a bit creepy. But you’re used to these kinds of things, as your own father often got a very large assortment of death threats, hateful messages, marriage proposals, and there was that one time when some batty lady sent him her lacy knickers (your mum sent back a scathing letter that neither your nor your brother were allowed to read, but it involved a picture and your dad with the smuggest smile on his face when he saw said picture).

But then it happens again. This time, a piece of parchment with just a name.

Blake Sirius Potter.

And that’s when you panic a bit.

“Scorpius, it is not bloody funny to send me cryptic little notes,” I spat acidly at my bewildered brother from my place in his fireplace. He was crouched in front of me, looking all for the world like he had absolutely no clue what was going on.

“What are you on about?”

I let out a frustrated little growl – seriously, this was getting old – and wrenched myself into his living room, shoving the two messages in his hand. He stared at them, starting to look alarmed.

“Adele,” he said quietly, looking up at me with grave eyes, “I didn’t send these.”

“…what do you mean, you didn’t send these?” I echoed, my voice edging on hysteria. My entire body felt cold. My stomach clenched in fear.

“I didn’t –” he shook his head, looking down at them again, “—I’ve never seen this picture before in my life.”

The room spun around me. “So…who’s sending this?”

Scorpius looked deeply troubled. “Let’s go to Mr. Potter.”

“No,” I said immediately.

“Adele –!”

But I shook my head, feeling relieved. Potter. Of course. This was probably James’ way of making me crack or something, because he’d definitely seen me with Blake. James has always had a very twisted sense of humor. He’s probably just trying to let me know that he’s figured out my secret and he expects me to arrive at his doorstep to explain everything to him in full detail, hopefully with moving pictures and home videos.

A bubble of laughter burst through my lips, “It’s fine, Scorpius,” I said, shaking my head, “it’s just a joke. Nothing to worry about.”

He didn’t look convinced, the expression on his face of skepticism as I took the notes from him and stuffed them haphazardly into my pocket.

“Are you seriously that opposed to seeing Mr. Potter?” he asked incredulously. “Adele, there’s a fine line between being stubborn and being downright stupid. This is serious.”

“This is James,” I said calmly, with a certainty that I didn’t even know I possessed. “Trust me, it’s just James.”

He still didn’t look convinced, but he dropped it, and I floo’d back home feeling lighter. That night, however, I camped out on the couch with my wand clutched tightly in my hand.

It just felt safer. But everything was completely okay.

***

I know your secret, and intend to make it mine.

Cute, James. Real cute. He must have taken a new course on creepiness lately. I wonder how the evil laugh’s coming along. Maybe we can practice together. My Mum Glare could always use a bit of refinement, and knowing James, his evil laugh is probably as evil as Santa Claus.

And hey! He wanted to help keep the secret. That was totally cool with me. So totally cool.

So totally cool, in fact, that I decided to bring Blake to work with me that day and keep him in my office. You know, just in case. Not that I’m worried. I’m totally not. This is just James being stupid and me being paranoid. Everything’s fine! Totally fine! IT’S PRACTICALLY RAINING LOLLIES AND TEDDIES, THAT’S HOW FINE THE WORLD IS.

“This is so cool!” Blake squealed excitedly, bouncing every two steps as he clutched at my hand and tried to look at everything at once. His eyes zoomed around, his head craning every which way. “Mum, do you really work here every day?”

“Yes I do,” I replied, heart swelling at his excitement, “you like it?”

“It’s awesome! I just saw a guy with a tree growing from his head! Are you gonna get it out? Can I watch? Can I help? Can I have a tree on my head?” His voice had reached a pitch that was rather painful for my grandma-like ears.

“Nope,” I said without missing a beat, “you’re going to do something tons more exciting.”

“Really?!” he practically screamed, looking as though everything had magically turned to chocolate.

“Really. You get to practice Healing in…my special Healing den!” I said enthusiastically, opening my office door with a flourish and letting it crash back into the wall.

Blake peered inside, looking decidedly less excited. “I don’t see anyone with a tree in their head.”

I puffed up my face then slowly blew the air out, thinking fast. “No…” I said slowly, “but! You can watch a film instead! How about that?”

He perked up considerably, even more so when I transfigured a potted plant into a TV and let him watch that movie with the lions (it’s apparently his favorite). I left the room shaking my head – the kid’s already a Gryffindor. Dad and Scorpius don’t stand a chance in their quest to convert him.

After Blake was locked in with a clever charm that would only admit those who shared blood with him (just in case Rose wanted to visit sometime during the day) I carefully schooled my expression into a mask of professional politeness and strode into the coffee room as though this was just another ordinary day in the life of Adele Potter.

“Morning,” Benjy greeted me, obviously completely undeterred as he flashed me a wide smile and handed me a mug of coffee. I smiled gratefully and took a sip – no one makes coffee better than Benjy does. Seriously. It’s like he has a gift. I swear he’s been a Starbucks Barista at least once during his life.

I set the mug on the counter and flipped through my folder of patients. When it comes to rotations, I’ve only got one or two – my department is more of an emergency type of place. Quidditch injuries aren’t exactly premeditated. And all Quidditch players are rather stupid – getting hurt is just not important when you’ve got a game to win. And if you won, then it was so worth it.

Can’t say I blame them, though – I mean, it’s Quidditch. You don’t go halfhearted on Quidditch. You live and breathe that shit.

“Hey,” one of the secretaries – Hannah – stuck her head in the room, smiling as her eyes landed on me, “we’ve got one.”

I checked my watch. Who injures themselves at nine a.m.? Who even plays Quidditch at nine a.m.?!

“Bloody hell, this should be good,” I muttered, reaching towards my cup. My fingers knocked it over and it shattered against the ground, sending little spatters all up my legs. I groaned – today was just not my day.

“I’ll make you another one,” Benjy offered instantly, but I shook my head – judging by my luck, I’d probably knock that one over as well.

“Let’s just go.”

***

It was a ridiculously busy day – apparently everyone who bothered to sit on a broomstick today was completely incompetent. We had a couple of standard protocol blackouts due collisions with goalposts, bludgers, and other players. One idiot managed to swallow the snitch three days ago and it was now lodged somewhere in his large intestine. That one took hours – by the time I got off for lunch, I was exhausted.

“Where are you headed?” Benjy asked as I pulled off my robes and hung them in the staff room.

“I might just nip back home for a bit,” I said carefully.

“There’s this really great place in Diagon Alley…”

I smiled tightly. “Really Benjy, thanks for offering but I really do want to get home.” I scurried away before he could call after me, slipping discreetly into my office.

“Mum?”

A relieved grin spread over my face when I saw Blake – not that I didn’t expect to see him or anything. I mean, he was safe here. I just…I just felt kind of antsy. Something felt off-kilter. I didn’t like it.

“Hey, buddy,” I said warmly, kissing the top of his head and dropping down next to him in front of the telly as I handed him an unwrapped sandwich. He was curled up on the couch, reading a book with yet another film playing in front of him. “What have you been up to?”

He shrugged. “Nothing. Auntie Rose came to say hi. Mum, I’m bored.”

Guilt surged through me – it wasn’t fair to stick him in my office like this just to ease my fears. “I’m sorry,” I said, “I can’t bring you around with me, love, it’s not allowed.”

“Please?” he cried, “I’ll be good, mum, I swear!”

“Blake –”

“Please,” he begged.

I sighed. Damn those green eyes. “Okay, fine,” I said, and he cheered. “But!” I called, raising my voice, “you have to stay with me all day – stuck like glue, Blake Sirius, do you hear me? – and you can’t touch anything, okay?”

“Yes, yes!” he said, jumping up and down, “I promise mummy, I love you!” Then with a huge sloppy kiss on my cheek, he set about devouring his sandwich with a large, excited grin on his face. Even stupid decisions like this seem worth it when I see that smile.

My mind raced furiously while he chattered about how many cool things he was gonna see today, mapping the rest of the day out. After lunch things slowed down a bit on this floor – more and more people left and Benjy and I were basically the only ones left by two o’clock. I had nothing to worry about, really, when it came to people seeing Blake. Besides, I’m pretty sure most of them had an inkling I have a son anyway; it became a bit of a dead giveaway when I got steadily bigger and then left for a little while. Benjy…well, I could get rid of him easily. I didn’t have a problem handling patients myself for the rest of the day. I’d just be missing out on the little description of what was wrong with them before I stepped into the room – little things like name, ailment, how it happened – and I could just get it when I got there by actually talking to the patient. I didn’t need Benjy, technically.

Okay. This was going to work.

I promised Blake to be back in ten minutes before I slipped out the door in pursuit of Benjy. I found him quite easily – naturally, he was loitering around the caffeine section. Making tea this time.

“Hey,” I said easily, stopping in front of him, “I was just thinking – why don’t you take the rest of the afternoon off?”

Benjy blinked. It wasn’t exactly in my repertoire of generosity to hand out free time.

“What?”

“Yeah,” I said brightly, nodding for emphasis, “I’m really feeling like today’s going to be a slow day. Take the rest of the day off, I’ll be totally okay.”

“Um,” he still looked startled, “Why?”

I beamed, “I’m in a good mood!”

“…you’re never in a good mood,” he noted flatly.

The smile on my face became slightly strained as I punched him playfully on the arm. He winced. Crap, need to work on playfulness.

“Seriously, Ben,” I said in the cheeriest voice I could muster. I sounded like a disturbing mix of Barbie On Happy Gas and Drunken Air Hostess, “I’m giving you the day off and you’re asking me why?” I let out a startlingly unstable round of laughter, “get out of here, mate!”

He looked deeply worried, but backed away, “You’re feeling okay?”

“Yeah,” I nodded, “totally okay!”

His eyes lingered on the spot where I’d spilled my coffee earlier that day, a crease appearing on his forehead. I generally don’t function without caffeine, so this was probably completely foreign to him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried admitting me to our psychiatric ward himself.

“Okay,” he finally said slowly, a slow smile spreading over his face, “yeah, I’ll take the day off. Thanks, love.”

“No problemo, amigo!” I chirped, accepting his kiss on the cheek. I grimaced as he bounced away. Amigo? Bloody hell.

I scurried back to my office and poked my head in, smiling as Blake’s face lit up and he jumped eagerly. “I can come?”

“Let’s go, you’re my new assistant for the day,” I grinned.

“Yes!” he barreled out of the door and hugged me enthusiastically, pressing his face into my legs, “this is going to be so cool!”

“I’m afraid my job is actually dreadfully boring,” I said, taking his hand and leading him down the hallway, “we’re going to have to sit around and wait for someone to get hurt playing Quidditch.”

“We can play a game, mummy,” Blake said reassuringly, jumping over every crack on the ground, “I know tons of games.”

“Oh good,” I faked relief, “I don’t know any games.”

“Nuh-uh! You know tons of games like Quidditch and that makes you a cool mum. Honest,” he said earnestly.

Cool Mum status? I like it.

I opened my mouth, but just then a memo flew up to me, stopping in front of me and folding itself into the shape of a mouth.

“We’ve got a new one, Adele,” Hannah’s voice rang out, “Room 14B. He’s not so bad, but his brother brought him in – pro Quidditch players, you know how paranoid they are about the little things – so you know, don’t be a –”

I fake-sneezed as loudly as possible.

“—because I seriously want free tickets. His folder’s outside the door.”

“Okay,” I said clearly, and the memo zoomed away. Blake tugged on my hand, his eyes sparkling.

“Does that mean we have a patient?” he asked in a hushed voice.

I grinned. “It sure does. I’ll race you there.”

With an excited squeal, he shot down the hallway, me right behind him. Definitely one of the better decisions I made, I reflected contentedly as his laughter echoed around the empty corridor.

We skidded to a stop in front of 14B, both panting slightly.

“I won,” Blake announced breathlessly, and I ruffled his hair as I caught my breath and grabbed the folder off the wall next to the door.

“You won this round,” I said as I put my hand out to open the door, turning back to look down at him, “but I’ll totally beat you on the race back.”

“No way!” Blake laughed, catching my hand in his, “I’m way faster than you.”

A small laugh burst past my lips but ended abruptly, the carefree grin slipping off of my face as I realized whose room I’d just walked into. My stomach lurched, heart pumping furiously, blood running like liquid ice through my veins – sodding hell, this could not be happening to me.

“I knew it,” he said triumphantly, “I knew it was you.”

“James,” I said in a strained voice, my chest squeezing painfully. Blake gave my arm a questioning tug but I just shuffled slightly in front of him, hiding him from view. “James, what are you doing here?”

“Al got hurt,” he shrugged carelessly, twitching his head towards the bed. Another mild heart-attack as I realized that it was indeed Albus Potter sitting up on it, nursing his arm and staring at me like I’d just walked back from the dead. I swallowed and wrenched my head away, back towards James. My hand was starting to sweat, but I didn’t let go of Blake. His presence behind me was comforting, like I could always just stand in front of him and shield him from the world.

“I’ll just – I’ll be right back,” I croaked.

“No you won’t,” James said pleasantly, putting his hand on my shoulder. I froze in the doorway, half-in, half-out, Blake still hidden in the shadow of my body and the door. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. “I saw you at his Quidditch Game.”

“I wasn’t at any Quidditch Game,” I said automatically. Al had started violently when James mentioned the game, his eyes narrowing. James didn’t tell him anything? Shit. This was so bad. I needed to get out of here. I needed to get out of here and curl up at home with a blanket and Blake and hide him from everything on this planet forever.

James laughed humorlessly. “I’d recognize that glare anywhere, Adele.”

Right. Of course my glare is considered to be a distinguishing feature. I should probably be worried that I’m such an angry creature in general. That says bad things about my personality.

I swallowed furiously, and James took my silence as confirmation. “Why don’t you come in?” he invited, as though this wasn’t my ward and he’d been living here for his whole life.

My eyes narrowed. “I’ll just be back. Give me a minute, please.”

James stooped down, his eyes narrowed, hazel spitting fire at grey. “Going off to hide your evidence, mummy? Al deserves to know. I deserve to meet him.”

“He doesn’t deserve anything,” I spat bitterly.

“Quit being a bitter harpy and get your arse in here.” With that, my charming brother-in-law yanked me into the room, Blake stumbling against me as James shut the door behind us. He let out a small whimper, pressing himself into my back.

Al was staring at the movement behind my legs, but his eyes snapped up to mine when I looked at him.

For a long time we just stared at each other – I didn’t know about him but I was trying to memorize every new line on his face, the light stubble on his jaw, each individual shade that his eyes sparkled as emotions flitted through them, too fast for me to catch or read.

Finally –

“Why didn’t you come back?”

His voice broke in the middle and for some inexplicable reason, a tear slipped down my face. It was one of those moments where you’re so numb you don’t even realize what you’re feeling and by that time it’s all so overwhelming that all you can think to do is cry.

“I didn’t think you wanted me to,” I choked out. Al blinked and looked down, clenching and unclenching his hands against the sheets. There was another pounding silence and James rolled his eyes, looking as though he wanted nothing more than to jump in and make this whole scene speed up. Well screw that, I don’t know what to say. Everything’s kind of just…ethereal right now. Maybe this is all a dream.

“Mum?” Blake asked in a small voice, and that fragile moment between us shattered – I could feel it splintering against the ground between us, and Al’s eyes flashed up, dark green and frothy.

“You have a son,” he said in a low voice. I nodded, unable to speak – the words were aching to tumble out:  he’s yours, he’s yours, he’s yours and all I could think to do was stand there like an idiot because they were too heavy to say, too hard, too real, just too, too much.

“Mummy, what’s going on?” Blake whispered, and Al’s face contorted, lip curling as he snapped his head to the other wall. Hurt spread through my chest, a fresh wave of tears pricking my eyes. After all this, he still wants nothing to do with me. He doesn’t want his own kid. Oh god, get me out of here.

I squeezed Blake’s hand, and crouched down in front of him, my back to Al. Blake looked worried and scared, completely different from before. He reached out and touched my face, bringing a tear back against his fingers.

“He made you cry,” he said, his voice raising in volume.

“Bl –”

But he stepped around me, his face twisting in all of the five-year-old fury he could muster, “Hey!” he yelled towards Al, “no one makes my mum cry, you great big –”

“Blake,” I said frantically, pulling him back against me before he could finish, “be quiet, please –”

James made an odd strangled noise in the back of his throat, and my heart sped up again when I realized that he could see Blake clearly for the first time, with his messy black hair and –

“His eyes are green,” Al said in a hollow voice. He’d gotten up from the bed, probably without even realizing it, and was staring at Blake as though he’d never see him again. He tore his gaze away, to me, wordlessly asking for an explanation.

I swallowed against my dry throat. “His name is – his name –” I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t force the air past my lips.

Blake craned his neck to look at me, a questioning twist at his mouth.

“Blake Sirius Potter,” he announced, giving me a reassuring look (that’s okay, mum, I can help you out here), “My name is Blake Sirius Potter.”

There was a pulsing moment of shock.

“Surprise,” I blurted weakly.

…I am such a blundering idiot.




in case you're wondering, yes, i do let out an evil little chuckle after writing a cliffhanger.


Chapter 22: Family.
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It took about three seconds of shocked silence before Al was on the move again, fixing his broken arm with an impatient flick of his wand and crossing over the room in three quick strides. His eyes were hard as they stared down at mine, and before I could open my mouth, he crouched down, level with Blake.

For a trembling moment they looked at each other – Al’s face half heartbroken, half wondrous – then Blake grinned suddenly and I caught a small gasp escaping from Al’s mouth.

“I know you,” Blake chirped, “you’re Al Potter! That was the best Wonky Faint ever, you were like whoosh! And the other Seeker was like, gaahhh and then you grabbed the snitch right out from under his nose and when I grow up, I’m gonna be a Seeker just like you!”

And with that, Blake promptly stepped up and gave Al one of his trademark ‘I’m adorable and therefore I can get away with such bodily contact with a complete stranger’ hugs.

Al’s face was stunned as he hesitantly wrapped his own arms around Blake’s skinny form, gaping wordlessly up at me. I realized with a jolt that I was crying steadily now, tears dripping down my face without me even noticing.

“Did you know –” Blake began, pulling away from Al, but I cut him off gently.

“Blakey,” I said softly, kneeling down next to them, “love, you can tell him stories later. Do you mind sitting quietly for a bit so we can have a talk?”

Blake’s lower lip jutted out,” Mum,” he whined, “those are boring!”

I quelled him with my Mum Look, but he was still pouting obstinately, little arms crossed over his chest as I stood upright and pulled him back against me. Al rose with me, his face harsh and unreadable.

“Explain,” he hissed.

I took a deep breath. He deserves to know. He deserves it – but oh God, this is scary.

“Blake…Blake is five years old. He was born nine months after I left,” I started hesitantly, my eyes fixed on the head of curly black hair that I was running my fingers through hesitantly.

“He has your eyes,” I whispered, looking up at Al and cringing at his unforgiving expression, “he has your eyes and your hair and he’s so much like you.”

There was a thundering silence.

“He’s my son, then,” Al said, his voice simmering under the surface with an anger running so strong that I flinched back instinctively.

“Yes.”

“He’s my son and you hid him from me for five years,” he continued harshly, and I knew right then that forgiveness was something that I wasn’t going to get. And I couldn’t even complain because this was my fault.

“I was trying to protect him,” I said in a small voice.

“From what?” he spat.

“From the inevitable childhood he’d have to go through,” I replied. My voice was soft, pleading. “I was scared. He’s the kid of a Potter and a Malfoy and that puts him in danger from all sides. I didn’t – I wasn’t –” Breathe in, breathe out. “I wasn’t really thinking at the time. I was terrified.”

“I would have helped you. I would have protected him, protected you – I would have been there for you. The entire family would have been there for you, and you know it.” He looked and sounded utterly betrayed, as though I’d broken any semblance of trust that he might have had for me.

“I didn’t know that,” I breathed. When I looked up I could barely see past the film of tears swimming in my eyes, “the things we said to each other before I left…I didn’t think anything could have fixed it.”

“I loved you!” Al yelled, taking a step away from me and running both hands through his wild hair, “I loved you, and that was enough to fix everything!”

I bit back a sob.

“And you just threw that back in my face,” he said brokenly, “you hid my own son from me.”

“I –”

“You didn’t love me at all, did you?” he demanded.

“I did,” I said desperately, “and that always terrified me more than anything in the world –”

He laughed hollowly, without an ounce of humor. “If you loved me you wouldn’t have done this to me.”

There was a ringing bout of overwhelming silence. I could feel it pressing against me from all sides, suffocating me, drowning me –

“Mummy?” Blake’s tiny voice pulled me back to the surface, “Mum, what’s going on?”

We looked down at the same time, and I could tell from the shift in the atmosphere that the thrumming anger pulsing from Al faded considerably from one look at Blake’s scared face.

I sank down to my knees in front of him, kissing his tears away and pushing his hair back. “Hey, little man,” I said quietly, “don’t cry.”

“I don’t like when you cry, mummy,” Blake whimpered with a hiccup.

My mind worked furiously, wondering how I could twist the situation so that his heart wouldn’t break, so that this could turn into something happy and maybe Al could find it in himself to forgive me just a bit.

“I’m crying because I’m very, very happy,” I finally said quietly, and Blake sniffled and wiped his tears away with the back of his hands.

“Why?”

“Remember when you used to ask about your daddy and I started talking about the X’s and the Y’s?” I asked, changing my expression into a crooked half-smile. I never had a straight answer for the poor child, so I started spouting Biology instead. Needless to say, Blake didn’t ask about his father much. There was only so much a five-year-old could handle when it came to chromosomes.

Blake made a face, “Yeah. You don’t have to tell me again, mummy, really.”

I shook my head, forcing a choked laugh. “I was too scared to tell you because I lost your daddy and I thought you’d be mad at me for losing him.”

If Blake was any older he’d probably look at me like I was insane. As it was, he merely looked at me like the sun shone out my arse while James coughed to hide a laugh and Al’s expression morphed into the perfect edition of ‘what the fuck is this woman on?’

“Your dad,” I continued, “he’s super famous. Your granddad saved the world, and your uncle owns the biggest joke shop ever. Your dad plays Quidditch, did you know?”

“Really?” Blake piped up, the sadness fading from his eyes.

“Oh yeah,” I said enthusiastically, “and it turns out we found him day before yesterday, when we went to the match.”

Blake made the connection with an acute intelligence far beyond his years, his eyes lighting up with genuine joy as he looked questioningly towards Al, then back towards me. I nodded, and he looked at Al again, suddenly shy.

“Well, go on,” I said, prodding him forward. He stumbled and shot me a reproachful look, turning back to Al with a timid smile.

He stopped in front of him, and I was knocked away again at how similar the two of them looked. “I’m Blake,” he finally said quietly, “and my favorite color is red and I love muggle films and I wanted you to be my daddy from the first time I saw your face on that big Quidditch Screen.”

Al swallowed once, looking like the world had been ripped out from under his feet. “I –” he croaked, “I’m Al.” Pause. “You can call me dad, I guess.” Another pause as Blake beamed. Stronger now, infused with wonder: “My favorite color’s also red. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a muggle film before. You have my eyes. My dad’s eyes. My grandmum Lily’s eyes.”

Blake gasped suddenly, with delight. “Your dad’s Harry Potter! Does that mean he’s my grandpa?” He looked back at me for confirmation, and I nodded jerkily. “Oh, awesome!” Blake squealed, “I’ve read tons of books on him, you know, and when I saw him at the game he said he’d teach me how to fly a dragon, and dad, do you know how to fly a dragon? Can you teach me? If I get a dragon I’m going to name it Severus. Isn’t that a cool name for a dragon?”

“Um.” Al looked overwhelmed. “You – dad – you called me – I –”

He took a second to compose himself. “I don’t know how to fly a dragon, sport, I’m sorry,” he said regretfully, “but I can teach you how to fly a broomstick, how about that?”

“Yes!” Blake jumped up and down, “can I name my broomstick Severus?”

Oh yes. That’ll go well. There’s Blake, everyone, just riding Severus.

Holy Merlin, I shouldn’t be allowed to think.

Al seemed to share similar sentiments; he looked pained. “I dunno. That’s my middle name –”

“I’ll name it something else then, daddy,” he said eagerly, “Besides, Severus is more of a dragon’s name.”

“Definitely,” Al looked as though he wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of the day (and quite possibly forever) talking to Blake, but I cut through.

“Blake, love,” I said gently, because James looked just as overwhelmed, his eyes fixed on Blake, “this is your dad’s brother. James.”

“Uncle James!”

And Blake was gone again, flying over to James with an excited look on his little face. James beamed dazedly – and I couldn’t believe I’d done this, kept Blake away from this for so long. He deserved every ounce of love he was going to get from this family.

“I was talking to him,” Al muttered under his breath, looking at Blake with clear longing in his eyes. He whirled on me in the next instant, expression hard.

“You’re not keeping him from me anymore. Or the rest of the family.”

I was quivering slightly. “Okay,” I murmured.

“I – we need a schedule,” he continued, and I blinked.

“A schedule?” I sounded utterly perplexed. “For what?”

Al’s jaw locked. “For Blake. For seeing Blake. We’re splitting up the time –”

“Hold on…I thought –”

“What’d you think, Adele?” Al asked, his expression open but mocking, “you thought that after six years of not saying a bloody word to me, you could just reappear with my son and I’d immediately sweep you off into the sunset?”

“Well, I –”

“You thought I’d still love you after all this shit you’ve put me through?”

My jaw snapped up, eyes glittering with tears.

“I guess not,” I said quietly. I had a million arguments. I did. I had a box of arguments back at home under my bed, from when I was pregnant and scared and all alone and every week there was a headline of Albus Potter with a different date on his arm.

He moved from woman to woman, each more beautiful than the last. I tried not to read too much into the articles, but I knew that these witches were looking for nothing more than the promise of a lovely time with Witch Weekly’s Most Eligible Bachelor of the Decade.

Never mind that he was married.

So yes. I was resentful. I was alone and fat with no support whatsoever and the impending future of having to raise a child all by myself – which is a daunting enough task for a person who is actually emotionally stable, something that I couldn’t attest for – and he was out, having the time of his bloody life with every single pretty girl in the country. And I was jealous and bitter.

So I hid, reasons forming each and every day as to why hiding was a good idea, because it was important for Blake and safer for me and frankly, I didn’t need the drama at the time. I was going to have a baby, damn it, and this baby was going to be a fucking wonderful baby. And I was going to raise him by myself and you just wait and see how he turns out, world. Because Adele Potter can do this whole motherhood rot. She can do it.

And I did.

So there.

“You’re not completely faultless either, Al,” I finally said, and he shrugged lightly but didn’t otherwise argue.

“Honestly, Adele, I kind of don’t want to see you again for a very long time,” he said wearily, “so why don’t we work out a schedule and go on with our lives?”

“Fine,” I spat, “fine. I have work every day except for Fridays and the Weekends. You can take him out any other day of the week if you want, I’ll just call the day care center ahead of time and let them know as long as you give me some notice beforehand.”

“I’m taking him out tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday,” he said immediately.

I blanched slightly. This means I’ll have to share Blake, doesn’t it?

Damn it. I don’t like sharing.

“Okay,” I said weakly, “I like to spend time with him on weekends, so –”

“Not Saturday,” Al cut through, “not this week. I want him to meet the family.”

My mouth flapped open for a second, and I’m not going to lie – I panicked a bit. “You – you can’t –”

He raised an eyebrow, coolly dismissing. “Can’t what? Spend time with my son? You have no right, Adele, I lost five years of his life –”

“Oh shut up,” I hissed scathingly, suddenly angry. He has no right to be this self-righteous little arsehole with me for this. There was obviously a reason for this, and he never stopped to think that maybe I too receive the tabloids? And as a hormonal pregnant woman, I might find myself feeling somewhat betrayed by his flings while I lurk in the background, broken-hearted and bloody pregnant with his spawn?

“You’re not the one who ended up pregnant and bloody eighteen years old,” I spat, “and you’re not the one who raised him, so just shut up, Al.”

“You never bloody well gave me a chance!”

You never bloody well gave me an indication!” I shot back. “How do you think I felt, Al, that you moved on so quickly? And there I was, unbelievably stupid, and pregnant with your kid. So you’ll excuse me if I didn’t come running to your doorstep the moment I figured out that you knocked me up, begging for you to take in pathetic old pregnant me with open arms!”

“I would have, and we both know it,” he said icily, “you think I enjoyed any of that?”

“How the hell was I supposed to know?”

“You should have known because you knew that I loved you,” he said through gritted teeth.

“You should have come after me, then, because I supposed you also knew that I loved you?” I remarked derisively, “or am I the only one in this relationship who can apparently read minds?”

He took a deep breath, pinching the bridge of his nose between two fingers, “I can’t deal with you right now.”

“Well, Merlin, how rude of me to impose my unwelcome presence on someone so clearly above me,” I said acidly.

He didn’t respond, turning back to Blake and James, who had abandoned conversation and were watching us intently. Blake looked worried, James looked exasperated.

“Godric, Al, I didn’t break your arm just so you could come over here and fu---udge things up,” he trailed off weakly towards the end as I shot him a threatening look and jerked my head towards Blake.

“Shut up, James,” Al snarled.

“Look at your dad,” he remarked sadly, shaking his head down at Blake like they were old maids gossiping together about how lament-worthy Al’s manners were, “no respect for his elders, let me tell you. I do hope your mother has raised you to be better than that, Blake Sirius, otherwise we’ll have an unfortunate future to the Potter name indeed.”

I strongly doubted Blake honestly understood all of that, but he giggled nevertheless. “You’re funny, Uncle James.”

“Oh yes, I am,” he said proudly, “and you will be too, because incidentally, we happen to share the same middle name. And everyone who’s got Sirius in their name has achieved boss status.”

“Your name is James Sirius? Cool!”

Slight pause.

“Hey mum, what’s boss status mean?”

“Er – I dunno, love, why don’t you get Uncle James to explain it to you?”

They turned back to their stupid chatter – I resolved to keep James away from my child just in case his clearly negative influence had a detrimental effect on Blake’s intellect – and I faced Al again, taking a calming breath.

“Saturday is fine,” I said politely, and he raised an eyebrow before inclining his head. “I’ll give you the address to my flat so you can floo over and pick him up whenever you’d like, and I’ll need yours so I can bring him back home.”

He seemed to be struggling against saying something that he probably knew would piss me off. He finally settled on not saying anything, which, frankly, I appreciated. My nerves were so shot at this point that anything vaguely emotionally distressing might make me snap and go batshit insane at any given moment.

And I can promise that the results of such an explosion are not going to be pretty.

I ripped off a bit of parchment and scrawled my address on it with a quill I found lurking in my robes, watching from the corner of my eye as the Three Potter Men formed a loose circle; Al and James kneeling, with Blake standing up between them. It was as though the three of them did this kind of thing everyday. Oh, found out that I’m actually a father? No biggie. Just a day in the life of Albus Severus Potter. Realized that my sister-in-law has been hiding my nephew from the world for ages? Nothing I can’t handle. Just a day in the life of James Sirius Potter, bitches. Met my father and uncle for the first time in my life? Let’s be best friends, because this is, after all, just a day in the life of Blake Sirius Potter.

Well, bugger me because this is not a day in the life of Adele Malfoy-Potter and I AM FREAKING OUT IN MY BRAIN. SERIOUSLY. THERE ARE CURSE WORDS INVOLVED. THIS IS LEGIT STUFF, HERE.

“Okay,” I finally announced, holding out the parchment with a shaking hand towards Al. He took the parchment. Didn’t remark on my shaking hand. Smart man. “Blake, your dad’s going to pick you up tomorrow, but we’ve got to get home now.”

Blake stepped towards me without hesitation, but he was frowning. “But mum,” he said, “aren’t you  married to dad?”

My entire face tightened.

“Yes,” I muttered, twisting the ring nervously around my finger. Al’s eyes snapped down to it and widened before he looked away, blinking furiously. His own left hand tightened into a fist, but I could still see that the conspicuous band of gold was missing from his ring finger.

I clenched my jaw. That arsehole.

“So…so doesn’t that mean you’re supposed to live together?” he continued, eyes wide with innocence, “because all my friends’ parents live together. That’s what families do, right, mum?”

I hesitated, “Blake,” I said quietly, “your dad…he’s not going to live with us.”

“Why not?” he cried petulantly. He turned to Al, a determined glint in his eyes that he’d obviously inherited from me. “Dad, you’ll love it there. There’s tons of toys and books and we have a lot of films for the Telly. And mum makes really yummy food and our couch feels like a cloud, and mum painted my room and it looks really cool because there’s stars everywhere!”

Al looked pained. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly.

Blake’s bottom lip quivered. “I wanted to be a family,” he whimpered.

I could feel my heart tearing in two. That seemed to happen a lot when it came to Blake – I couldn’t stop myself from hurting him over and over again. I was a terrible mum.

“Oh, Blake,” I said, gathering him in a hug. He stayed stubbornly stiff, however, and I knew that he was seriously upset. “Blakey,” I said again, softly, “love, you do have a family. You’ve got grandma and grandpa and Uncle Scorpius and Auntie Rose, remember? And now you’ve got your dad’s whole family. Grandpa Harry and grandma Ginny and Uncle James and Aunt Lily and the list just goes on and on.”

Blake sniffled again.

“That’s the biggest family in the world,” I said matter-of-factly, “isn’t that cool?”

“I just want you and dad, mummy,” he said in a tiny voice. “What if we leave and we lose him again? We have to keep him with us so we can’t.”

“We won’t,” I promised.

“But he should still come with us,” Blake said stubbornly.

“Honey,” I hesitated again. “Your dad and I…we haven’t seen each other for six years. That’s a long time, and we can’t just start living together after that.”

He was frowning again. “You and dad don’t love each other?”

My heart lurched. This kid is too intelligent for his own good.

“We both love you,” I finally said, “and that’s all that matters.”

“No, it’s not! Parents are supposed to love each other and their kid,” he cried.

“Blake, that’s not always how it works,” I said desperately.

“It’s not fair!”

“I know it’s not fair,” I conceded quietly, tears pricking at my eyes again as I looked at his heartbroken face, “and I’m so, so sorry, love. But why won’t we look at the good part of today, huh? We found your dad, didn’t we?”

“I guess,” he said reluctantly, “and I am happy about that.”

“Exactly,” I said eagerly, “and you guys are hanging out tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that…and two days after that! How fun will that be?”

He looked excited, but then his face fell again. “But mum, when can I spend time with you?”

I had to physically restrain myself from sending a smug smile over at Al.

“On Friday, and at night when you get back,” I said simply.

“But… but I’ll miss you, mum. We’re supposed to spend Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays together,” he insisted.

Best kid in the world. Hands-down.

“Your mum can come with us on Saturday,” James piped in, looking excited at the mere prospect of it. I shot him a wide-eyed look, but he merely grinned, stepped forward, and scooped me up in a hug.

“Al might be a jerk, but the rest of us missed you like hell, Addie,” he muttered in my ear, “every single one of the girls he went out with were total bimbos.”

I couldn’t help it; I laughed helplessly against his shoulder. “Alright, I’ll come.”

“What?” Al asked sharply, but he was drowned out by Blake’s gleeful cheer.

“Yay, mummy! You can intro – intra –”

“Introduce,” I prompted.

“Yeah, you can do that!” He pressed another hug against my knees.

“But first, we’ve got to get home,” I said, detangling myself from the two o f them.

“Oh mum, can’t we stay a bit longer?” Blake begged. “I wanted to talk more with Dad and Uncle James.”

“You have all of tomorrow to do that,” I told him.

He pouted, but took my hand anyway. Al had bounded across the room as soon as I mentioned that we had to go home, a stricken look on his face. He didn’t spare me a glance, but he kneeled down in front of Blake and hugged him tightly.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he promised in a low voice.

“Not if I see you first,” Blake giggled, pulling away and taking my hand again. “Bye daddy! Bye Uncle James!”

“Bye, bud. See you, Adele,” James shot me a fond smile, and I grinned back. Al quirked a smile at Blake. I got nothing.

***

I was jolted awake in the middle of the night by a banging at the door. It took about three seconds for me to switch from mostly-asleep to wide awake, adrenaline running through me in waves. I clutched my silk robe tighter around me as my wandlight led the way to the door, heart pounding as there was another knock.

 Deep breath in, out. I know more hexes than my own father. I can beat the shit out of his intruder, whoever he is.

I grasped the door handle and threw it open, my wand immediately flying towards the face. Al ducked just in time, his eyes wide.

“What the hell!” he yelped, raising his hands over his head. “It’s just me!”

I lowered my wand and yanked him inside, wishing quite suddenly that I’d worn something nicer to bed instead of a ratty tank top and fuzzy pants. Then I realized that it didn’t bloody matter what I wore to bed, because he wasn’t supposed to have bloody seen me in my pajamas.

“What are you doing here?” I hissed.

“I’m here for Blake.”

I stared at him uncomprehendingly.

“What time is it?” I finally asked, glancing out the windows. There was a pale line on the very tip of the horizon.

“Four a.m.,” he muttered, looking slightly sheepish, “I didn’t know what time you left for work.”

“So you decided to come here at the arse-crack of dawn?” I asked incredulously.

“Well…yeah.”

I smacked a hand to my forehead. “I leave for work at eight-thirty, you idiot. Who goes to work at four?”

“You seem like the type,” he retorted, “an anal-retentive workaholic.”

“I’m a single mother, mate. I sleep as much as possible,” I said, letting out a derisive laugh. “Speaking of which, you’re cutting into my sleep time and Blake insists on waking up at 6 a.m. so if you’ll excuse me…”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Go home.”

He shot me an unimpressed look. “For two hours? No.”

I let out an irritated huff, then whirled around to stalk over to Blake’s Secret Hideout. I’d gotten a bookshelf to stretch across the entirety of the wall in my family room, with a small niche in the middle for our telly. There was a small part of the room that was set apart due to the Kitchen Wall, so Blake and I had built a giant blanket-fort one day. He refused to take it down afterwards, instead putting up a sign in his scrawling handwriting. I hadn’t had the heart to get rid of it; he loved his blanket-fort. It was home to every one of his pirate adventures, space explorations, and Quidditch fantasies.

I stooped down and crawled in, lighting up my wand again with a muttered, ‘lumos’. Blake’s pictures, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and various rock, seashell and Quidditch figurine collections came into view, but I was focused on the bookshelf part; I’d shrunk it so that it would accommodate Blake’s size, and he’d included it as one of the walls of his fort so he could read under here as much as he wanted. I pulled out three scrapbooks and shuffled back out, dusting myself off as regally as one could after having crawled on all fours from a blanket fort.

“Here,” I said, dropping the picture albums into the glass table stretched out in front of our couch. “Knock yourself out.”

And with that, I marched back to my room, crawled under my blankets, and forced myself back to sleep.

Heaven knew I needed it. 


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