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CHAPTER ONE - LIFE AND LISTS
1. I am so fucked.
2. I wish I could apparate without splinching myself.
3. Why did I wear these shoes?
4. Mum would be so proud.
These are the four things running through my head as I barrelled my way down Princes Street on the 2nd of November, 2027.
My red heels clacked against the concrete as I wound my way through people, trying not to get pushed over by some random drunk at eight thirty-seven on a Sunday morning.
Why I even have to work on Sundays is quite beyond me.
Oh yeah, I have an asshole of a boss, that’s why.
I hitched my bag further up on my shoulder and pulled my jacket back around my front. Bloody Scotland, it’s so cold. Adjusting the stack of papers that had somehow managed to rearrange themselves on the walk here, even though I have not put them down once, I brushed a lock of black hair over my shoulder.
You’re probably wondering what is causing this rather random assortment of thoughts to be whizzing around my mind at a moment like this. Allow me to explain:
1. I am totally fucked because I am now seven minutes late for work and my boss is going to KILL me.
2. I wish I could apparate, so that I wouldn’t be late for work. Unfortunately, apparition is one of many things I have not mastered over the years.
3. I hate these shoes. I cannot walk in heels. The one problem is, that if I don’t wear heels, I am a good foot shorter than my dearest boss, and I don’t like feeling like a minority because I am ever so slightly on the short side.
4. My mother would be proud because a) I have a job only one year after leaving Hogwarts, b) I am currently wearing said heels and c) she disapproves of apparition.
So there you have it. My life summed up in four bullet points. Impressive, isn’t it?
Okay, seriously? I blinked, closing my eyes for less than a second, and suddenly I am sprawled on the floor with papers everywhere and having landed on something very soft.
“Shit, I am so sorry!” OKAY. THE GROUND IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK.
I opened my eyes to find myself looking directly into the face of someone I haven’t seen in a very long time.
The year above me at school, the older brother of my boss, and an international Quidditch star.
James Sirius Potter.
“It’s fine, fine….” I mumbled as I scrambled off him and we started to collect the flying bits of paper. People didn’t even stop to help, just walked around us, leaving muddy footprints on my notes and spreading them even further. I started to mutter obscenities under my breath. “It’s okay, I can get them.” I said to James.
“No, no… It’s my fault. Wasn’t looking where I was going.” He replied as he snatched a sheaf of parchment out from under a woman’s foot.
He glanced at me. “Do I… Know you from somewhere?” he asked, staring at my face.
He has never spoken to me in his life before.
“I was the year below you at school.” I replied, not looking at him as I started piling the bits together.
“Are you sure? I went to quite a small school.” He said unsurely, pulling his pages of notes together.
He thinks I’m a Muggle.
I surreptitiously flicked my wand and all the papers flew to me, in the right order. I smirked at James. “I’m sure.”
“Ah.” He nodded. “You knew Albus?”
We both stood up. “I work for Albus.” I gave him a look.
He raised his eyebrows. “You’re Asiya.” It wasn’t a question.
I smirked. So he talks about me, eh? “I am indeed.”
He handed me my bag, complete with a lovely muddy splatter up the black suede.
“I’ve heard a lot about you.” He winked and grinned. I glared.
“I can imagine.” I growled, hoisting my bag over my shoulder and shuffling the papers in my arm. “Anyway, I really have to go, I’m…” I glanced at my watch. “Shit. Eleven and a half minutes late. He’s going to kill me.”
I scuttled past James, inwardly cursing myself.
I had only walked a few paces when someone grabbed hold of my wrist.
“Come here.” James dragged me into a dark alleyway. Oh crap, I’m about to be raped by an international Quidditch sensation. Fuck, what do I do?
Should I scream?
No, I sound like a beached whale when I scream. I wish I had a Taser. Tasers are cool.
After much inner debate, I settle for: “What the hell are you doing?”
“Saving your ass.” He mumbled, before turning on the spot and we were both sucked into a moment of blackness before popping out just inside the front doors of my workplace.
I drew breathe quickly and shut my eyes to try and get the stars to disappear. They just floated in my vision a bit more. This is why I don’t apparate. Well, also because I never passed my test, but STILL.
“You’re welcome.” James’ voice sounded from beside me.
“Why are you helping me?” I asked, without opening my eyes.
“Felt bad for knocking your papers everywhere.” He muttered. “I should go before my brother finds and kills me. See ya around.”
I opened my eyes and smiled at him. “Thanks. Bye.” But he was already gone. I glanced at the clock on the wall and swore under my breath.
WHYOHWHYOHWHYOHWHYOHWHY aren’t there any lifts here?
“Are you quite sure you’re alright, Asiya? You sound quiet.”
I sighed and ran my fingers through my black hair again. “Yes, Mum. I’m fine.”
“I don’t think you are. Are you sleeping properly?”
I swapped the phone to my other ear and typed something into the computer in front of me. “Yes, mum.”
“Are you eating? You haven’t lost weight again, have you?”
“You know what happened last time you were under too much stress. I don’t want that to happen again.”
“Mum, I’m fine. It’s just this stupid job.” I swung my chair around and pinned something to the notice board behind me.
“Why don’t you just let me and your father give you the money for the Healer training?” Mum’s voice crackled down the line. I’m surprised she actually knows how to use a phone.
“No, Mum!” I insisted, tapping something else into my computer calendar. “I’m eighteen years old and I’m doing this by myself!”
I could just see my mother rolling her eyes at me. “Fine. I am not having this argument again.”
I glared as Albus came through into the reception. “I have to go, Mum. My boss seems to want something.”
“Call me back later!”
“Yes, Mum.” Not going to happen. I hung up the phone and stood up as Albus stood in front of my desk, rapping his fingers impatiently on the wooden surface.
“Don’t use the work phone for personal calls, Asiya.” He growled, raising a jet-black eyebrow at me. He hadn’t changed a bit since we left school at the same time five months ago. His hair was still raven black and as messy as ever, while his bright green eyes still sparked with a hate whenever he saw me. He only hired me so he could watch me squirm at this God awful job.
“Yes, Mr Potter.” I growled. He made me call him ‘Mr Potter’ from day one. He knows I hate it.
“I need you to send a letter to the Ministry telling them that I won’t be attending that meeting on Friday. And can you reschedule my appointment with Harriet Jones on Tuesday?” He said quickly as he took his mail off the top of the desk. “And call Mr Malfoy. I need him to come in on Saturday instead of me. Tell him I’ll take his place on Thursday.”
“Yes, Mr Potter.” I said as I sat down and started writing to the Ministry. “Any particular reason?”
“Not that the business is yours, but tell Scorpius I’m at a family do over the weekend.” He said, not looking at me as he sorted the mail.
“Of course.” I continued writing, making a mental note to call Harriet and Scorpius.
“I’m meeting Chloe for lunch. I’ll be back around five.” I glanced at the clock. It does not take four hours to have lunch. I smirked as I imagined what’s really in Albus’ head for his afternoon with Chloe Finnegan.
“Yes, sir.” I didn’t look at him. I won’t be here at five anyway.
He turned away, reaching the door before he turned back. “Oh, and I need you to stay until around twelve tonight. Some very important work has come up.” I glared at him.
“Why can’t we do it now, instead of you dashing off to spend “quality time” with your girlfriend?” I said through gritted teeth.
He shot me one last look before sweeping his jacket on and disappearing.
I threw my quill down and rested my forehead on my palms. I would quit this job today, but I needed to money to pay my way through Healer training. I glared around at the office. It was small, with just four rooms. A reception, where I sat and worked my arse off daily, two private offices with ‘Albus Potter’ and ‘Scorpius Malfoy’ (two of the most unfortunate names in the world, I might add) written on in gold lettering, and a bathroom. The walls were cream, the floor a dark wood, and my desk to match. Two of the walls were glass, one of them being so that I could see right through to the offices and one looking out over the city of Edinburgh on my left. The building was tall, we were on the twenty-seventh floor (and no elevators!), and the rest of the offices for the company were downstairs. Scorpius and Al owned the whole thing, mostly thanks to their fathers, and the place was pretty successful. I glared out over London. It was raining today. And not the nice, torrential rain. The horrible drizzle that the whole of the United Kingdom is lucky enough to get every single day.
I finished the letter, had a heated argument with Harriet Jones, and left a voicemail with Scorpius. Albus wouldn’t be back for three and a half hours, so I wandered down to the floor below.
“Boo.” I said lamely as I jumped up and sat on Rose Weasley’s desk.
“Al gone out for lunch with Chloe?” the pretty ginger asked, not looking up from her computer screen.
“Yeah. Said he won’t be back until five.” I popped a grape from her desk in my mouth.
“Sounds like it’s going to be a fun afternoon.” Damien swung over from the cubicle opposite Rose’s.
“ARGH!” Rose squealed, hitting her head with her palms. “BAD IMAGES! BAD IMAGES!”
I laughed. Rose was a sweet girl. Mental, but sweet. She had long, wavy red hair and bright blue eyes. A smattering of freckles sprinkled across her face and she always seemed to be smiling. She also had the hugest crush on Scorpius Malfoy known to man. Quite funny, really. That’s probably why she’s working here anyway. Her parents could pay her way through Auror training at a snap of the fingers, but she’s the kind of stalkerish person who would take this job just to be closer to her Scorpius dearest. He, of course, hasn’t a clue who she is.
And Damien is that gay friend that everyone needs. You know, the one who you originally thought was straight, then realised he was gay but he wouldn’t admit it, but eventually he came out of the closet and became that homosexual best friend you had wanted ever since… well, forever. He has short brown hair, brown eyes, and the best fashion sense in the entire world. I love him to pieces. He was in our year at Hogwarts, in our house, and supported us at every bloody Quidditch game even though he disapproved greatly of the sport. (“My parents say that sports are bad for your teeth!”) His parents are dentists.
I laughed and fist-bumped Damien.
“I hate you guys.” Rose mumbled. Damien reached over and planted a kiss on her cheek.
“We love you too, Rosie.” He grinned at the same time as the phone on Rose’s desk rang. She checked the caller id and groaned, picking it up.
“What do you want? I’m working.” She said bluntly, then paused while whoever was on the other end of the line talked. “Al is out for lunch and Scorpius is… somewhere. I dunno.” She shrugged. “Asiya is here.” I furrowed my brow. Who is asking for me? “She’ll be right up.” Rose growled then slammed the phone down. “Fred’s upstairs. Says if you’re not there within ten seconds he’s telling Al you’re down here.”
“Crap.” I muttered before hopping off the desk and hurtling up two flights of stairs.
I glared at Fred Weasley as he swung in dizzying circles in my chair. MY SWINGY CHAIR. NOBODY SITS IN MY SWINGY CHAIR.
“Can I help you, Fred?” I sighed as I tapped my fingers on my desk. He kept spinning.
“The secretary shall address all clients by Mr or Mrs followed by their last name.” he recited. I narrowed my eyes.
“What can I do for you, Mr Weasley?” I growled. He grinned and spun around a couple more times before grinding to a halt. Fred Weasley is yet another member of the Potter/Weasley clan. The same age as James, and almost as good looking. But not as famous.
He put his elbows on the desk and put the tips of his fingers together like he was on The Apprentice or something. “I need a favour.”
“Aww come on!”
“At least listen to me!”
“You’re a bitch.”
“Life’s a bitch.”
“And then you die.”
“Get out of my chair.”
“Only if you listen to me!”
He grinned and span once more.
“I need you to pretend to be Al’s girlfriend for a day.”
This day just keeps getting better and better.
Hey guys! Alright, first off, I know it's not great, but it's my first so bear with me while I learn the ropes here! I have been reading on here for aaaaages but I only just plucked up the courage to actually submit something. It's gonna be a kind of comedy, drama, crazy story (a bit like my life) and I really hope you enjoy it. (by the way, I know the banner is crap, but my photoshop decided to have a hissy fit and not do anything I wanted it to).
Second of all, I guess I should introduce myself. Hi. I'm Coffee. Please don't laugh. Yes, that is actually my name. I decided from the get-go that I wasn't going to bother lying about my name, and seriously, if you accuse me of lying about it you will find out what it feels like to have my foot in your face. My mum is a crazy person and my dad isn't quite right in the general brain area, so they decided to call their child Coffee. Yay. Over the novel I will feed you little bits of information about myself, but I won't bore you with it all at once. If you want to know anything about me, just ask in a review and I will answer, depending on what the question is. I won't answer anything that's too personal.
Okay, so. The story. Asiya Patil is the daughter of Parvati Patil. You'll find out in later chapters what happened to her father and why she has her mother's name, but not yet. I know I haven't really got started on the plot yet, but don't worry! Good things come to those who wait! (Yes, I may or may not have stolen that from the old Heinz Ketchup advert)
OKAY, I'M GONNA STOP TALKING NOW. PLEASE REVIEW. THANK YOU :D
Chapter 2: The Concept of Exploding Flobberworms.
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CHAPTER TWO - THE CONCEPT OF EXPLODING FLOBBERWORMS.
“Look, just because your family doesn’t like Chloe doesn’t mean that I’m going to go and pretend to be your bloody cousin’s girlfriend. Besides, I know half your family. It would be weird.” I was saying this as I walked down the stairs with a bunch of papers for the nineteenth floor, Fred trailing behind me. “It’s not my problem.”
I turned round and glared at him. “Not. My. Problem.”
I pushed open the door to the nineteenth floor office, allowing it to swing back and hit Fred.
“You know, Asiya, it’s your duty as Albus’ secretary to uphold his name at all times. You should really do this for him.” Fred argued, following me through the corridors.
“It is not, however, my job to pretend to be his girlfriend. I am not doing it, Fred.” I shook my head. “If your family don’t like his real girlfriend, what makes you think they’ll like me?”
“You know my entire family loves you! They invited you to stay with us every frigging summer since first year!”
“Which makes it all the worse.” We turned a corner sharply. “They know me, so will make a big deal out of me “dating” Albus.”
“Yep, telling me to shut up is exactly how you’re going to persuade me to do this.”
Wow, Quidditch players are stupid. Must be all the bludgers to the head.
“Fuck you, Weasley.”
“As much as I love you, Asiya, I’d rather not.”
“God, you are such a tool.”
“Why thank you. Now will you do it?”
“I’ll pay you!”
“I don’t want your money!”
“I’ll pay you in cake!”
I thought about it for a moment.
He dodged his way around me and slammed his hand on the wall.
“I’ll pay you…” I had stopped as his arm prevented me from going any further. His face was inches from mine. “In secrets.”
I narrowed my eyes. “What kind of secrets?”
He ducked his head towards me, his voice low. “Anything you want to know. About my family. I know everything that goes on within our walls. Ask me anything.”
I started to walk again as he took his hand off the wall. “Keep talking.”
He kept pace with me. “The more convincing you are, the more secrets I’ll tell you. The deepest darkest secrets that only my family knows.” He paused as I turned into a cubicle and deposited some papers on the desk. “Anything you want to know. As long as you don’t go to the press with them.”
“Will your family know what we’re doing?”
“They won’t have a clue.”
I put my last stack of papers on Bertie E. Cummings’ desk and turned to look at him.
“Anything I want to know?”
He looked at me sincerely. “Anything.”
I started back the way I came. “Does Albus know that you’re trying to get me to go?”
He followed me. “Yes. He’s out explaining himself to Chloe right now.”
“She should take that well.” I said sarcastically.
“I hope she breaks up with him.” He said bitterly.
“Is there anyone in the family who likes her?”
“Lucy. But she’s a bitch too, so…”
“Will you do it?”
We had reached the door to the stairwell. I sighed and pushed it open. “I’ll think about it.”
“You have until Tuesday. I’ll be here at noon.”
And with a ‘crack’, he was gone.
“I can’t believe you are making me stay until midnight to do this.”
I had seriously considered leaving at four like I was supposed to every Sunday, but ultimately decided that keeping my job was probably more important than walking back to my shitty apartment on my own. So I sat and I waited until half past six before he finally returned with his hair even messier than it was before and his tie undone, the majority of his buttons buttoned up wrong. He had looked annoyed, as though someone had pissed him off severely. Chloe probably jumped his bones the moment she saw him, then screamed at him for a couple of hours after he told her what was going on with the family thing.
He passed me the next letter he had shoved in an envelope, and I sealed it with the wax seal which had the company logo on it before adding it to the fast-growing pile.
“I’m paying you for it.”
“No you’re not.”
“I know. Stop complaining.”
I hate this child.
I chanced a glance at the clock. Half past eleven. Only half an hour left to go.
“Fred told me about your little ‘request’.” I said accusatorily. “How you could possibly expect me to do something like that I haven’t a clue.”
He sighed and passed me another envelope. “I’m not asking you to do much. Just spend a couple of hours holding my hand and talking to my family.”
“Yeah, a bunch of people I know already as friends. How can I pretend to be your girlfriend?”
“They love you anyway. They hate Chloe.”
“I said it to Weasley and I’ll say it again. Not my problem.” I stamped an envelope rather viscously and red wax splattered everywhere, catching both of us in the face.
“Watch it!” he wiped a couple of spots off his nose. “Look, it’s not like I’m asking you to marry me or something like that. I just need you to spend a couple of hours pretending that-”
“Why me?” I interrupted. “Why couldn’t it be Kenzie or Remy?”
I rolled my eyes. “MacKenzie Ryan? Tall, blonde, gorgeous? You dated her in fifth year for six months!”
He stopped for a minute. “Jelly Tots Girl?”
I smirked. Kenzie loves Jelly Tots. “Jelly Tots Girl.”
“She was odd.” He mused.
“She still is.”
“Isn’t she married? To that Ravenclaw Quidditch bloke?”
“Jack Styles? No, they’ve just been together forever.”
“So how could I ask her to do it?”
“Why couldn’t you just tell them you’re single?” I reasoned.
He laughed coldly. “Because if any member of our family is single, Nana Molly spends at least four hours lecturing us about settling down.”
I gave him a flat look. “You’re eighteen. You own a goddamn business. How could she say anything like that to you?”
“Ever since Victoire married Teddy, she’s gone a bit wedding-mad.”
“I thought you said I wasn’t-”
“You’re not. You’re just my girlfriend.”
“Look, I said I’d think about it, okay? Can we talk about something else?” I snapped. I was sick of this.
“Fine.” He snapped back.
We sat in a stony silence for the remaining half hour.
2. AGAIN WITH THE SHOES.
3. Why is Scotland so goddamn cold?
4. Does this seem familiar to you?
These were the thoughts running through my head as I swept my way down yet another overcrowded street. Why am I always late for everything? I should get a new watch. I glanced at my own. A battered gold one a got for my seventeenth birthday. Granted, this was only a year ago, but hey, I’m clumsy. It was covered in dents and scratches, and somehow the second hand was bent in an awkward position, so that it scratched the inner surface of the glass in a perfect circle.
I should really learn to stop wearing heels when I’m planning on sprinting long distances.
I hate Mondays.
I glared at my watch once again. Half past six. I was supposed to be at the restaurant fifteen minutes ago. Unfortunately, my lovely boss kept me back for yet another persuasion attempt. Simply, he threatened me with being sacked unless I went to that stupid family thing. Only thing is, I know he won’t sack me. He needs me too much, and he knows he won’t get a better secretary anywhere. So BOOM. I’m indestructible.
At last I reached the glass doors of the restaurant.
I always forget it’s a pull door.
Massaging my nose back into place, I entered the restaurant, somewhat less elegantly than I had originally planned. I spotted my lot immediately. They were the ones pissing themselves laughing in the window seat.
“That was smooth.” Rose laughed as I reached the table. Kenzie was still giggling. I sat down between Remy and Damien, and our usual waiter placed my normal order of a beer with a shot of whisky (because I’m a manly man.)
“I do try.” I swept my dark hair off my shoulder in a fake gracious way. All I achieved was flicking myself in the eye with my hair. Not a good start to the night.
“You’re late, again.” Remy glared at me. Ramona Finnegan was, along with the other three at the table, in my year at Hogwarts. She had recently had her long brown hair cut into a pixie cut, which brought out her honey brown eyes even more.
“Albus troubles. I’m not the only one late, though.” I nodded towards the last two empty seats.
“Probably too busy getting it off.” MacKenzie rolled her eyes. “What did Al want?” I took in her shoulder-length curly golden-blonde hair and blue eyes. Typical beauty. I then noticed that she was drinking orange juice instead of her usual mojito. I narrowed my eyes at her. She glanced at her orange juice and smiled ever so slightly, blushing. My eyes drifted to her stomach.
“HOLY CRAP!” I squealed. Damien jumped so violently he slopped his margarita all down his front. Kenzie grinned at me. “Kaz!”
Rose and Remy swivelled their eyes to stare at Kenzie, Damien continued to mop himself up.
“You’re pregnant!” I squealed. Rose’s mouth dropped open and Damien’s glass shattered on the floor. Remy screamed.
Kenzie blushed even more profusely.
“What?” They all said in unison. Remy threw her arms around Kenzie while Rose’s hands clapped over her own mouth. We were getting a few odd looks from neighbouring tables.
“How long?” was Damien’s first question. He was grinning like crazy.
“That long?” Rose squeaked. “And you never told us?”
“I didn’t know...” Kenzie was now approximately the colour of a Quaffle.
“I CALL GODMOTHER!” Remy suddenly shouted.
“Damnit!” Rose and I said at the same time.
“Actually, I think you’ll find that’s my decision.” Kenzie smirked, sipping her orange juice innocently.
“Yeah, but you’ll pick me.” Remy stirred her drink pompously.
“Why am I suddenly under the impression I don’t get a say in this?” Kenzie pondered jokingly.
“You don’t” Remy answered.
“What did we miss?”
We all looked up as Shiraz waltzed over to the table, dragging a grinning Lysander Scamander by the hand. They hadn’t even sat down before we all said ‘Kenzie’s pregnant’ in unison.
“I call Godmother.” Shiraz said immediately. She didn’t seem all too surprised. Lysander, on the other hand, squealed in a very unmanly way and clapped his hands like a girl. He shut up very quickly on the raised-eyebrow looks he got from the majority of us.
“Already called.” Remy said in a sing-song voice.
“Damn.” Shiraz muttered, accepted her vodka and coke from the waiter, who smiled at her and scuttled away, blushing. You see, Shiraz Jenna Woods is a fucking goddess. I’m a straight female and I’ll admit it: She’s hot. Straight, white-blonde hair down to her waist. Piercing green eyes. Hourglass figure. Cousin of a certain Scorpius Malfoy. The fact that she is named after a wine somehow seems to add to the ‘Sexy’ appeal. The people of Hogwarts still wonder how Lysander Scamander got her. I mean, he’s the oddball of the century. He gives his own mother a run for her money. But in a completely different way. Instead of Nargle-hunting and insisting that the Crumple-Horned Snorcack does indeed exist, he owns an orange onesie, convinced Vector, the Potions Professor, that Rum and Coke is a magical Potion, and is the sole original founder of ‘Sock Racing’.
Oh, and he’s currently balancing the olive from his margarita on his nose.
His twin, Lorcan, is actually reasonably sane. Which is insane, seeing as he was produced by Luna ‘Loony’ Lovegood and the man who wrote no less than two hundred and sixteen articles for the Daily Prophet about ‘Glumbumbles’, all of which were rejected. He is no longer on speaking terms with Lysander. Seeing as Lorcan is relatively normal and Lysander is a freak and a half on a bike.
So the population of Hogwarts is at a loss as to how these two ended up together.
But once they started seeing each other just after Christmas in sixth year, I noticed how goddamn perfect they were for each other. Lysander had turned Shiraz weirder and weirder as the years have gone by, and they do look great together.
An hour and a half later, we were still sitting at the table with our post-dinner coffees and free minty biscuits that I always scoffed before anyone else got a chance at them. We had spent the evening talking about Kenzie and Jack’s baby (her due date is the 23rd of March), Lysander’s new job as the coach of Puddlemere United (we drank to that), Flitwick handing in his resignation at Hogwarts (McGonagall was still going strong) and the concept of mating Flobberworms with Fire Crabs (the final verdict was that the resulting creature would almost definitely explode).
We now sat in a comfortable silence, sipping our coffees – Kenzie sipped an Earl Grey tea – and our stomachs contentedly full of pizza - a Muggle dish, comprised of bread, tomato, cheese, ham and pineapple, which is surprisingly tasty.
“You’ll never guess what Fred and Al have asked me to do.” I said quietly. I figured the best guidance I would get would be from my best friends.
“What?” Rose said lazily. Her head was resting on Damien’s shoulder and she looked like she was half asleep.
I stirred my coffee. “To be Al’s girlfriend.”
Rose’s head snapped up and everyone turned to me with a sharp “What?”
“Pretend!” I said loudly, holding my hands up to shut them up. “Pretend girlfriend.”
They stared at me in silence.
“Why?” Remy asked a few moments later.
“Because apparently your family hate his real girlfriend.” I said to Rose.
“We do.” She nodded.
“So Al and Fred have asked me to pretend to be his girlfriend for your family thing this weekend.” I said, not looking at them.
“Are you going to do it?” Shiraz asked.
I shrugged. “Haven’t decided yet. Need to by tomorrow.”
“You should do it.” Rose said.
I scoffed. “You only want me there so that you don’t have to hang out with your cousins.”
Her mouth dropped open in mock shock. “Excuse me, I like my cousins very much!”
“Let’s recap, shall we?” Damien smirked. “Victiore’s having pregnancy mood swings.”
“James is a famous, pompous prat.” Shiraz said.
“Fred is a maniac.” Remy added.
“Roxy is a smart-arse.” I said.
“As is Molly.” Said Kenzie.
“Albus is a dickhead.” Lysander smirked. HEY. THAT’S MY LINE.
“Dominique is a loon.”
“Lucy hates your entire family.”
“Hugo is currently not on speaking terms with you.”
“Lily is a ball of crazy.”
“Louis is still in his sex-driven stage.”
“And you?” Remy smiled.
Lysander leaned on the table and looked at Rose. “You’re one of us.”
“Amen to that.” Damien said.
“And don’t even get me started on your aunts and uncles.” I said sarcastically.
“Alright, alright!” Rose held her hands up in the universal ‘backing off’ gesture. “I get it! Enough!”
We laughed as she scowled. Mature, Rose. Real mature.
“So what have they offered you in return?” She said, changing the subject.
I immediately looked away. “Nothing.”
“Asiya…” she said in a voice you would associate with telling a young child to spit something out, and they were refusing to open their mouths.
“Nothing.” I shook my head. I should learn to lie better.
I thought it best not to tell Rose that her cousin was offering me family secrets in return for me pretending to be Al’s girlfriend for a few hours. Fred could tell me anything. He knows the inner workings of his family like the back of his hand. I know Rose just as well as anyone, but he’s her cousin. He could tell me the deepest, darkest secret she ever had. I stared at her, thinking about what he could tell me. What was she hiding in that long, curly red hair? Were those bright blue eyes swimming with the ghosts of her pas- OH DEAR GOD I SOUND LIKE RITA SKEETER.
Well, fuck me sideways. Who knew I could be a journalist?
Maybe I should look into that.
Asiya Patil, reporting for the Daily Prophet.
It’s got a ring to it. I like it.
“Asiya, you’re smirking. What are you thinking about?” Rose asked me carefully, giving me a concerned look.
“Bagels.” I invented wildly. “I was thinking about bagels.”
I shouldn’t be allowed to think.
Hello! Coffee here! First off, if you are reading this, CONGRATULATIONS! THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING WITH THIS STORY AFTER THE FIRST FEW SENTENCES. This makes me happy. Very happy :) do you see my smiley face? I have a smiley face.
ANYHOO, dear readers. Hope you enjoyed it. I know it's a bit short, but I wanted to get something out to you. My first chapter was validated and I was like 'OH SHIT I DON'T HAVE ANOTHER ONE READY.' so I finished it off quickly.
Please review! Tell your friends!
Love Coffee xxx
CHAPTER THREE - HOPELESS CLUMSINESS
“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN HERE?”
“NOTHING!” Both Fred and I glared at Scorpius, who had just burst out of his open-doored office when he heard the commotion.
You see, a tall ginger person had just apparated very suddenly into the middle of my office. Which, understandably, just about made me poop myself. Anybody would, really.
“Morning, Fred.” Scorpius nodded to him before disappearing back into his office.
“Morning!” Fred called after him. I glared.
“It’s only half past ten. You said I had until noon.” I hissed, not rising to greet him.
“Nice to see you too.” He said flatly, then walked quickly towards the desk, resting his hands on it and bending his head towards me. “There’s been a glitch. We need your decision now.”
“Why?” I muttered.
“The tailor needs you to be at the dressmakers in fifteen minutes. She doesn’t have another slot open until Saturday, and by then it will be too late.” Fred glanced over his shoulder at the glass wall. Scorpius and Al were both working intently, not giving us the slightest but of notice.
I panicked. “I just need a little more time to-” I stuttered.
“Now, Patil.” Fred insisted. He glanced at his watch. “Fourteen minutes.”
“I don’t know!”
“Come on! It’s do or die, Asiya.”
“FINE!” Wait… WHAT?!
Fred looked taken aback. “What?”
“I’ll do it.” I sighed. WHY IS MY MOUTH WORKING WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?
“Really?” he looked shocked.
I raised an eyebrow at him. “I don’t have to if you don’t want me to.”
“No!” he grinned and grabbed my jacket off the hook. “Let’s go!”
“Wait!” I called as he started bounding out the room. “I can’t just up and leave! I have a job!”
Fred shrugged. “Al will understand.” He jumped in front of the glass, his back to me so that Al could see him. “ASIYA. DRESS FITTING. NOW.” He yelled.
“Soundproofed.” I said flatly. Fred didn’t even hesitate before indicating at me wildly over his shoulder. Then running his hands down his body and shimmying a little. Then pointed exaggeratingly at his watch. Al nodded and gave a thumbs up. I think I have just been scarred for life.
Well, it’s not every day you have ginger international Quidditch stars shimmying in your office. I feel privileged.
“Time to fly!” Fred struck a pose before grabbing my wrist and apparating with me.
As soon as my feet hit the ground, so did the rest of me.
OKAY, PEOPLE HAVE GOT TO STOP APPARATING ME PLACES WITHOUT WARNING.
By the time I hauled myself to my feet and regained what little dignity I had left, Fred was already fifty metres away in Diagon Alley, only visible because of the conspicuous ginger hair. I huffed and started off after him, weaving my way through the witches and wizards who ALL seemed to be taller than me. I only caught up with him once he stopped outside a dress shop.
“We need to pick up the dress from here, and then take it to Madame Malkins to have it fitted.” He said. “It was originally bought for Chloe, you see. It’ll have to have some alterations on it seeing as you’re a lot smaller and thinner than her.”
“And you definitely won’t suit the shade of blue. We’ll have it changed.” He said. “It should look great by the time Malkin is done.”
He disappeared inside, and before I even had time to follow him, he was back out with a dress bag and had shot off down the street again. I wondered vaguely if he always bolted off without warning like this.
I caught up with him again when we reached Madame Malkin’s. How this woman is still alive I haven’t the foggiest (seriously, she should have died about fifty years ago).
“Here.” He shoved the dress bag at me. “She’ll know who you are. It’s already been paid for. She’ll have to do loads, seeing as you’re a short stick.”
“Sure you are. Anyways, I’m outta here.”
“Aren’t you staying?” I said, fumbling with the dress.
He shook his head. “Quidditch practise.”
And then he was gone.
“Fuck.” I muttered. Then pushed into the little shop.
“Ahah!” A little old lady appeared from behind one of the racks. “You must be Miss Patil. Come, come.” She took the dress from me and had it out of the bag in less than a second. “You can change through here.” She led me through to a back room, where she handed me the navy blue dress and disappeared back through to the counter. I blinked twice. She doesn’t dilly-dally, does she?
I slowly took off my scarf, gloves, jacket, blouse and skirt, slipping the soft blue material over me. It was HUGE on me. All baggy around the waist and drooping so low at my chest I had to hold it up with my hands. It was silk and a navy blue, definitely not my colour. I think it was supposed to be floor length, but it fell awkwardly to just abo my ankles. Apparently Chloe was short and fat. I stepped out into the shop, where Madame Malkin was just ushering another customer out of the shop.
She turned around and took one look at me, wrinkled her nose and said ‘eurgh.’
“This girl must have been some whopper.” She said, taking in the looseness around my bust.
“I’m petite.” I muttered.
She was already waving her wand as she walked towards me. I lifted a little as a stool rose out of the floor beneath my feet, and I promptly fell off.
“Up.” She prodded me with her wand until I stepped back up on the stool. I don’t like this lady.
She walked in circles around me, waving – and occasionally prodding me with – her wand. My dress tightened in most places and lengthened a little. When at last Madame Malkin stepped away, she looked me up and down and nodded. “Perfect.”
She nodded towards the full length mirror and disappeared to attend to another customer.
I turned around and stared at the mirror.
Trust Albus Potter.
The dress was now bright red, floor-length and much better fitting.
MUCH better fitting.
I will admit, the dress was gorgeous. Ruby red with a gem-studded neckline which dipped in a far too generous v. I sighed and shook my head. Arsehole.
“Thanks, Madame Malkin.” I called as I shuffled back into the changing room.
Once back into my work clothes, the dress carefully sealed in the dress bag with the shoes in the bottom, I went back into the main shop.
“Thank you.” I said once again as I left the shop. I checked the time against the clock at the top of Diagon Alley. Eleven fifteen. I should really go back. I’m not off work for another nine hours.
Eh, fuck it.
I quickly conjured my lynx patronus and spoke into my wand as I walked briskly back into the shop.
“Hello Mr Potter,” I rolled my eyes. “I’m going to take lunch early today seeing as I’m out anyway and I’m going to see my sister. I should be back around two. Hope you can cope without me.” I added mischievously and sent the big cat on his way. I’ll get a bollocking when I get back but I don’t care. He won’t fire me.
“Do you have a fireplace?” I asked Madame Malkin. Most shops let you use theirs without charge. She nodded towards it, tucked into the corner.
“Powder’s on the shelf.” She muttered before turning back to the customer she was serving. I thanked her and grabbed a handful stepping (rather awkwardly, with the dress) into the fireplace and watching the emerald green flames engulf me as I said ‘St Mungo’s!’
“You know, it’s really not that bad. I like it.” Ramani smiled as I held the dress up against my body. “It suits you.”
“Better than the blue did.” I muttered, shoving the dress into the bag. “So, now that I’ve told you my story of the week, it’s your turn.” I lay down on her bed next to her and stared up at the ceiling.
She laughed. “You know I never have anything interesting to tell you. Life here is so boring.”
I glanced around the hospital ward. Six beds lined one side of the room, and six exactly opposite on the other side. The high roof was home to warm floating candles and each bed was separated by a curtain, which were currently all flung open as the patients chattered to each other. Each of them was aged from thirteen to nineteen, as this was the ‘young witches and wizards’ ward. The room had a definite air of people who had been here for a long time. A girl down the row had twelve or thirteen potted plants growing around her bed, several of them crooning at her fondly as she stroked them. She had a definite air of craziness about her… Most of the other beds had various posters, photographs and the occasional teddy bear, while one bed was surrounded entirely by a mountain of books.
The wall behind Ramani’s bed was coated top to bottom with paintings and drawings. Of flowers, people, landscapes, bridges, animals, anything she could lay her eyes on, she put down on paper. There was an unfinished drawing resting on the easel beside her bed, half an otter waiting completion. This was how Ramani passed the time while she was in hospital.
My younger sister, Ramani, is sixteen. When she was fourteen, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a cancer which unfortunately couldn’t be cured with magic. She had gone through six months of intense chemotherapy and even had surgery twice, which slowed the cancer down for a little while. Three months after chemo, she was taken into St Mungo’s as a permanent resident. They’re still treating her on a monthly basis with chemotherapy, and she is on a permanent hydration drip, but it’s not going so well. They’ve only given her two more years from now to live. Of course, it was a blow to our entire family but we’re getting through it. At least one person visits her every day, and she still gets taught magical skills by the hospital teachers so she isn’t missing out. Her old friends from school have permission to visit every two weeks and she gets the occasional visit to Hogwarts when she’s feeling good.
“Have you heard from Mum lately?” she asked, twirling a bit of my hair around her finger. She liked to play with my hair; I guess it reminded her of when she had her own long, dark ringlets.
“Yeah, she called two days ago. Has she been in?” I responded. Ramani shook her head.
“She’s finding it hard to get time off work. She was last here two weeks ago.”
“I’ll get her to call you.”
We lay in silence for a minute, contemplating the ceiling. It’s really very interesting. The floating candles bobbed lazily around the cream paint, sending flickering shadows across the roof.
Just so you know, I do not lie with my dying sister and have deep, meaningful conversations about life with her. This isn’t like the movies. Ramani and I sit and chat like normal human beings. We laugh about the stupidest things, we watch Quidditch together, and sometimes we just lie and think.
I suppose Ramani has accepted what’s going to happen to her. She never talks about it, and when she does, she makes jokes about it. It’s me that has the slight problem with death. I mean, who wouldn’t, when their sister is on her way to the grave? The prospect scares me, that one day Ramani isn’t going to be around for me to talk to.
Hello, I’m Asiya Patil. I think Rowan Atkinson is hilarious, I cry at sad movies, I fall out of my bed when my alarm goes off, I’m hopelessly clumsy, and the prospect of death terrifies me. This is me.
“I want to see it on you.”
I stared at Al. “No.”
“That is no way to speak to your boss!”
“I don’t care.”
“It’s an order, Patil.”
“I have rights!”
“You have the right to do as I say.”
“I will sue you! My dad’s a lawyer!”
“Your dad’s an accountant.”
“It’s creepy that you know that.”
“You told me yesterday.”
“That’s no excuse!”
“Just put it on.”
“Put it on!”
“Fine!” I yelled. The dress was in my left hand, which I had previously been holding up to show Potter. I now whirled around and stomped towards the office bathroom door.
“Here are your shoes!”
I scowled as one silver heel whizzed past me and the other cracked me in the back of the head.
Five minutes later I had slipped the dress on for the second time that day, and had (falling over three times) squeezed my way into the ridiculously high shoes.
I stepped out of the bathroom, a scowl still on my face as I glared at Albus.
“Well?” I said, holding out my arms slightly. He smirked.
“Twirl for me.”
“You can fuck right off, you prick.”
He held up his hands in defence. “Sorry.”
I hitched the dress up and tottered towards him in the ridiculously high heels. “How the hell do you expect me to walk in stilettos and a floor length dress? I can barely manage semi-heels on a good day…”
But Albus had now been distracted by something that was clearly much more interesting than my whining mouth.
i.e. my cleavage.
He was staring at my boobs.
I smirked and folded my arms, boosting my boobs up even more. “Oi, Potter.”
“Yeah?” he didn’t remove his eyes from my chest.
“My face is up here, douchebag.” I pointed to my nose and his head shot up. I gave him a warning look.
“One more glance like that and the deals off.” I growled.
“You’re not allowed to do that!” he pointed both hands at me and started backing into his office. “A deals a deal, Patil!”
“I can call it off anytime I like, Potter!” I called as he started to shut the door.
“NO GO-BACKS!” he screeched before slamming the door. I glared at his back as he walked towards his desk.
And on that note, my heel broke and I promptly toppled backwards into the coffee table.
Chapter 4: Angry American Chicks, Pink Leather Trousers and Rose Puts a Cat Through a Letter Box.
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“ASIYA! GET THE FUCK UP RIGHT NOW!”
I winced as the lovely tones of Shiraz Jenna Woods screeched through my flat and buried my head in my pillow.
“NOW!” She slammed my bedroom door open. I glared up at her.
“It’s eight am on a Saturday morning!”
“Exactly!” Shiraz whisked my covers off me. “And you have exactly twelve hours before you have to meet Al IN LONDON. Up.”
“SEVEN OF WHICH WILL BE SPENT TRAVELLING, FOUR AT THE BEAUTY SALON.”
“I AIN’T GOING TO NO BEAUTY SALON!”
“DON’T YOU DARE GO ALL ANGRY AMERICAN CHICK ON ME!”
“I WILL GO ALL ANGRY AMERICAN CHICK ON YOUR ASS AS MUCH AS I LIKE!”
By this point we were both screeching at each other in ‘angry-American-girl-from-the-block’ accents. Just so you know, this is not a typical Saturday morning in my life.
Okay, I lied, it totally is.
“Asiya, we need to leave, like, NOW.”
Ahh, it appears the lovely Remy has joined us.
“ROAD TRIP!” Lysander screeched as he cannonballed into my bed.
Why is it that my friends seem to have a gathering in my house at eight am in the morning?
It was once Damien had too cannonballed into my bed that I was finally bounced out and rather unceremoniously dumped on my arse on the floor.
I winced. “Lysander, last time we went on a road trip was the Great Noodle Incident of 2023.”
He sat up suddenly. “Oh yeah.” His eyes were wide. “We should totally take noodles for dinner.”
“NO!” Everyone currently in the room shouted at the same time. This included Shiraz, Remy, and Damien. Apparently my friends like to band together and perform an all-out ambush on my home. I’m just glad they left Rose behind – it could have turned into a full-scale wizard lightning battle, with explosions and everything. And Kenzie’s hopeless pregnancy clumsiness sure as hell wouldn’t have added to the situation in a positive way, so the wizard lightning battle with explosions and everything probably would have been turned upside down by one of her infamous ‘Spells-Gone-Wrong.’
Come to think of it, that would have been pretty awesome.
NO. NOPE, THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AWESOME.
I DO NOT WANT MY FLAT TURNED INTO AN UPSIDE-DOWN-WIZARD-LIGHTNING-BATTLE-SCENE-WITH-EXPLOSIONS-AND-EVERYTHING.
Now focusing on being normal.
“Guys, seriously, my brain does not actually function before my morning coffee.” I mumbled from my position on the floor. “Give me. Now.”
“We’ll stop on the way to Kenzie’s place. Get dressed.” Remy demanded, before grabbing the hands of Lysander and Damien as though they were five-year-olds (which they are at heart) and dragging them from the room, dumping Lysander off my bed and onto his butt rather unceremoniously in the process.
Shiraz was already rifling through my closet for something she deemed appropriate for a road trip. For her, that would include tight jeans, fashionable tops and various hair accessories.
For me, it consisted of trackie bums and a t-shirt.
“SHIRAZ! PUT THE MASCARA DOWN!” I screeched as I grabbed my favourite air of grey trackies and a light blue top and slammed the bathroom door behind me.
Remind me never to let Shiraz organise any form of road trip.
She decided that it would be best to take the most roundabout route possible to pick up Kenzie and Rose. By the time we had finally made it to Kenzie’s house, it was already nine o’clock, and Remy was in a total panic.
“We are so going to be late. Late. Again. Why are we always late? I blame you completely for this, Asiya. We’re always late for everything.”
“Someone put a sock in her mouth.”
“DO IT. NOW.”
“How is this my fault, anyway?”
“I didn’t say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame you.”
“Fuck your face.”
“Fuck your ma.”
“That’s what she said!”
“Shut it, Lysander.”
“Fuck your face’s ma.”
“That’s what she said!”
“Fuck your ma’s face.”
“THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!”
“Hey, guys!” Kenzie had arrived. I ignored her and continued screaming insults at Remy with a huge grin on my face, while she screeched them back.
“YOU ARE THE BANE OF MY EXISTANCE, REMY!”
“I HATE YOU, PATIL!”
“THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!”
“HOW DOES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE CURRENT SITUATION?”
Kenzie rolled her eyes. “Oh, hey, Kenzie. Nice to see you. How are you?” she muttered quietly to herself as she squeezed into the (magically enhanced) car. “I’m great thanks, you? Oh, I’m just dandy. How’s the baby today? It’s great. Luckily no morning sickness anymore. It kicked last night.”
We continued to screech at each other. The car was now moving forward, at least.
“AHEM!” Kenzie cleared her throat. “I SAID: THE BABY KICKED LAST NIGHT.”
For all of a nanosecond. Before there were squeals and awkward side-ways hugs and general chaos within the small space that was the car. I was most worried about the fact that Shiraz had turned around to hug Kenzie. And was therefore NO LONGER DRIVING.
“Damien! The car!” I screeched, pointing out the fact that we were currently heading directly towards a wall.
Damien leaned over Shiraz and grabbed the steering wheel, swerving violently to the right. I think the car did a full 360 there. FUCK.
Shiraz slammed the brakes on and we came to a VERY sudden stop. In the middle of the road. Luckily for us, it was a quiet suburban street. I glanced around the car. Damien was still holding the steering wheel. Shiraz was leaning so far back in her seat there was a very high chance she was about to sink into it. Lysander was curled into a whimpering ball on the floor on my right. Kenzie was clutching her stomach and had her eyes tight shut on my left. Remy had managed to end up lying across all three seats in the back, including myself and Kenzie. And I’m fairly certain I must look like the definition of ‘rabbit caught in headlights’.
There was silence for a moment, apart from the pathetic whimpers emitting from the sorry excuse for a grown male that was currently residing at my feet.
Looking out of the window, I saw that Muggles were starting to look out of their windows, peering through their curtains and opening doors. One man was just standing in the garden staring at the car, holding a hose. In just his boxers.
I untangled myself from Remy and opened the car door, leaning as far out as I dared without landing in a heap on the floor.
“Nothing to see here people!” I called to the street. “We’re all fine! Thanks for the help!”
That was all I managed to get out before toppling out of the car and landing face-first in the gravel. The people in the houses just shook their heads and disappeared slowly back behind their curtains and doors.
There was a gentle murmuring between the six of us as my friends scraped me from the pavement, mostly consisting of explicit swear words, apologies and giggles.
Once Shiraz had given the car a once-over (everything was fine. A minor bump on the back bumper, but I didn’t let her know that last time I borrowed her car I backed into a phone box) we were back on track and on the road to Rose’s.
We rang the doorbell twelve times and Remy practically punched in the door before Rose finally decided that it was an appropriate moment to make an appearance.
“What the fuck do you lot want?” She growled at us. She had an iced lolly in one hand and an umbrella in the other, and she was wearing nothing but a dressing gown and a pair of rubber gloves. I do NOT want to know what she was doing.
“Crazy little thing called your giant Weasley family reunion?” Remy folded her arm across her chest. Rose froze.
“SHIT!” And with that, she slammed the door in our faces and we heard a lot of thumping around for a couple of minutes before she reappeared, fully dressed with a large suitcase and a cat under her arm. She barged past us, ditched the suitcase on the pavement and went to rap on the next door down. “AGATHA! I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE! I NEED YOU TO LOOK AFTER HERMAN FOR THE WEEKEND. I’LL BE BACK ON MONDAY!” she screeched when nobody answered. She then promptly shoved Herman, her cat, through the letterbox and ran back to the car.
We watched all of this in a slight daze. Even for Rose, shoving a cat violently through a letterbox was a bit odd.
It was going to be a long journey.
Remind me never to agree to anything like this ever ever ever ever ever ever again.
Ever. Did I mention ever? Ever.
We were just two hours into the journey, and already the lot of them were doing my head in. I know they’re my best friends and all, but FUCK THEY ARE ANNOYING. Lysander brought noodles anyway, which, as soon as they were exposed, were thrown out various windows and the car was immediately evacuated. I would tell you the story of The Great Noodle Incident of 2023, but it still gives me nightmares and every time I think about it I want to curl up in a ball and cry. In my sock drawer. On my own. For days.
So we spent a few minutes on the side of the road, Rose dry heaving, Damien hyperventilating and Shiraz and Remy sharing the beating the shit out of Lysander. Kenzie just lay on the ground with her eyes closed. DO YOU SEE WHAT THE MERE SIGHT OF NOODLES DOES TO US NOW? DO YOU SEE?
We had also had four rounds of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ led by darling Kenzie. She said it was ‘stimulating for the baby’ or something. She also made us stop for tacos. Which I am not complaining about, by the way. Tacos are the bomb. Especially when they’re from a random ginger Glaswegian guy on the side of the motorway, sporting a sombrero, a poncho and some very flattering pink leather trousers.
Note the sarcasm about the leather trousers. The tacos were damn fine, though.
“How much longer?” I groaned as Lysander asked for the fourth time in twenty minutes.
“Four. Hours.” Shiraz said through gritted teeth, her hands gripping the steering wheel so hard her knuckles turned white. I guess the noodles got us all on edge a little bit.
“Okay.” Lysander said quietly. We were sitting in silence, most people glaring out of the windows. You see, this is why you should never take a road trip with seven people. It will only end in arguments and tears. Mostly mine.
“The wheels on the bus g-”
I was finally saved from the awkwardness when my phone buzzed. Yes, I have a phone. It’s a thousand times quicker than owls (plus I don’t have to deal with them. Owls freak the hell out of me.) and they provide release from situations such as these.
“Hello?” I said when I finally fished it out of my pocket.
“Asiya.” I grinned at the voice humming down the line.
“Mamraj.” I smiled. Mamraj is my brother, older than me by two years. I have four siblings in total. Sadhika is my oldest sister, she’s twenty-four, six years my senior. Then Mamraj, at twenty, followed by me, eighteen, then Ramani at sixteen, and finally Vatsal, my youngest brother at twelve. “How are you?”
“I’m fine. Where the fuck are you?”
“Nice to speak to you too. I’m in a car, why?” I rolled my eyes.
“Mama wants to know if you’re coming tonight.”
“What’s happening tonight?”
“It’s the eighth of November?”
Our family has our little ‘family meal’ on the eighth of every month, which is mandatory unless you want to be skinned alive by my mother. Which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. But if that’s your thing then go ahead, be my guest. Enjoy. Anyway, I TOTALLY forgot I had this on tonight.
“Raj, something really important has come up and I can’t get out of it.” I gazed at my friends for help.
“What is it?”
“It’s a… Work thing.” Technically, it is.
“And what are you actually doing?”
“Pretending to be my arch enemy’s girlfriend for his family.”
What? Don’t look at me like that! I can’t lie to Mamraj.
“Because I’m a pushover.”
“I’m sorry. Tell mum I really want to be there, but this is extremely important. This could be what gets me that pay rise!”
“Okay, okay. I’ll tell her when I get there. I’m just about to leave.”
“Could you buy her some flowers and tell her they’re from me?” I said in my sweet, candy-floss voice.
“FINE! I’ll see you soon, yeah? Write me sometime.”
“Promise! Love you, Raj.”
“Love you too. Now bugger off.”
Ah, brotherly affections. They can’t say anything sentimental without adding some form of insult on the end. He’s not as bad as Vatsal, though. He’s just plain rude.
“You forgot, didn’t you?” Remy asked knowingly, smirking.
I glared at her. “You didn’t remind me.”
The smirk dropped off her face.
So... Uh, hi.
PLEASE DON'T HURT ME.
Please! I have a valid excuse! Basically, I haven't updated in ages due to a few major reasons:
-> I went home for both the October and Christmas holidays, which meant that I didn't get to write much. I go to a boarding school, so I don't get to see my family all that often. So I kind of wanted to spend as much time with them as humanly possible. But I'm back at school now.
-> One of my dorm-roommates lost a member of her family to cancer, so she needed a lot of help getting through that.
-> Exams. I have my big exams coming up soon, which means that the teachers have decided to go all 'LET'S SET THEM HOMEWORK UNTIL THEY IMPLODE' on our asses.
-> I had some seriously bad writer's block for a while, but then I came up with the cat through the letter box idea and it kind of escalated into more craziness.
So, basically, my life has had a whole load of shit going on and I guess writing just took a back seat for the time being. But I'm back now! Yay! So, tell me what you think, please don't shout at me for abandoning you all, I STILL LOVE YOU.
“OH, SWEET LORD, I THANK THEE!”
These were the first words out of Damien’s mouth as he tumbled out of the car and started kissing the pavement. He began to mumble ‘thank you’ and ‘sweet, sweet, SAFE ground’ in between molesting the concrete in a very disturbing manner. Shiraz made sure to kick him as she got out of the car.
“My driving wasn’t that bad.” She glared at his backside, which was very elegantly stuck in the air.
I tried not to think about the FOUR near misses where she almost killed us all and just got shakily out of the car, making sure my feet were planted firmly on the ground before daring to take a step forward. After that journey, I swear I will never get in a car will that bint behind the wheel. She drives like a fucking house elf on drugs.
Remy crawled out of the car behind me and joined Damien in the sexual assault of the poor pavement, while Kenzie tottered over to the nearest tree and started hugging it. Do you see what her driving does to us? This is the combination of having her and Lysander in the same confined space, seeing a man in tight pink leather trousers, almost driving off a bridge, having to listen to ‘Dominic the Donkey’ five billion times and noodles. All of that in seven hours? It would have been worth getting splinched while attempting to apparate to miss out on that. It would have been worth going to my family dinner.
Okay, I wouldn’t go so far to say THAT (*twitch*), but still.
“I’m driving us home.” Rose said simply as she got out the car.
The babble of speech following that was a mixture of:
1. “I can get the train back, no problem there.”
2. “I might stay here a few days, you know?”
3. “Rose, sweetie, maybe not.”
4. “This is my tree and I am staying here forever.”
5. “I wonder if there’s any planes leaving Heathrow tomorrow…” and
6. “Fuck no.”
MOST of us try to be subtle about it. Not Lysander. Nope, straight to the point. We left that conversation there, Rose accepting the fact (rather disgruntledly) that she would NOT be the one to drive us home and that Remy was the only one physically capable of getting the car and the rest of us back to Edinburgh, safe and sound.
I think if anybody else drove us home we would all either die on the way or get there mentally unstable and in major need of serious counselling. I mean, I don’t see myself getting over THAT drive for a good few of months, but another road trip with Rose Molly Jennifer Weasley behind the wheel? Could be years.
I might never get over it.
The next few minutes were spent revelling in the glory of having a stable surface beneath our feet, and knowing we’re not going to die in the next thirty seconds. Before Shiraz started whinging about being late for the salon.
You know, this is where you would expect the male members of our group to politely but bluntly excuse themselves to go and do man stuff (grr, monster trucks and blowing things up). Not our crew. Damien, of course, lit up at the mention of ‘Beauty Salon’, you know, being an exceptionally gay best friend and all. Lysander, however, squealed and jumped up and down. Clapping his hands.
“Your boyfriend is so macho.” I said to Shiraz as Lysander cleared his throat and flexed his biceps to regain some manliness.
“Lick your dignity from the ground, love.” Rose said, patting him on the back. Lysander hung his head in shame.
“I’m a disgrace to the male species.” He murmured quietly.
“That you are.” I agreed, grinning.
“Never mind that. We still need to put our shit in our hotel room before getting to the salon. GO GO GOOOOO!” Shiraz then popped the trunk and started throwing dresses at people.
Of course, with my mad Quidditch skills, I dropped my dress on the ground. (For the record, I was actually amazing at Quidditch. GRYFF CHASERZ 4 LYFE BITCHEZZZZ.) Thank Merlin it was in a plastic dress bag. Rose actually screamed and dived for it, lying on the ground next to it and lifting it into the air. “Fucking shit balls, Asiya! Don’t do that!” she said breathlessly, standing up carefully and fondly smoothing the bag before handing it back to me. I don’t see why she’s making such a big deal out of it; she hasn’t even seen the thing yet.
After Shiraz has enlisted the help of Lysander to haul various suitcases out of the boot, we started the (what seemed to be) mile-long trek to the hotel door. “Merlin, Shiraz, what have you got in here?” Lysander grimaced as he hauled her bag up the steps. She stood at the top of the stairs, dress in hand, looking down on the rest of us trying to juggle dress bags, shoe boxes, suitcases, and, in Lysander’s case, brooms as we stumbled up the stairs.
“Just the essentials.” She shrugged.
“What? Like a ton of bricks?”
“Ton of make-up.”
“Isn’t that what a beauty salon is for?” Remy said, the first to reach the top.
“Guys, are you sure Kenzie should be lugging all that stuff up the stairs? I’m fairly certain that can’t be healthy for the tiny human growing in her uterus.” Rose said as she sat down at the top of the stairs and blew her hair out of her face. Damien immediately dropped everything he was carrying – thus allowing it to roll back down the stairs – and went to help Kenzie. Aww, what a sweetie.
OH MY MERLIN WILL THESE STAIRS NEVER END? Every time I dragged the bag up one step, I swear to God I lost my balance and fell back two. Every time I looked at the top, Shiraz seemed to be further and further away, looking angrier as each eternity passed. WHY DID I PACK SO MUCH SHIT? I don’t even need half of this! The majority of it is useless crap Shiraz threw in as we were tumbling out of the door at eight in the morning! Note to self: never let Shiraz pack your bag for you. Ever.
What seemed like about four years later, was in actual fact three and a half minutes, we were all standing at the top of the stairs, looking down them and contemplating why it took us so bloody long. In total, there were SEVEN whole steps. SEVEN.
It just goes to show what happens when you come out of Quidditch training for a year. You become a sack of potatoes.
“It’s official. My manliness is gone forever.” Lysander sighed.
And with that, he turned around, tail between his legs, and walked into the hotel.
I sighed. “And there goes our only hope of getting these bags inside in one trip.”
“We’re stupid.” Remy suddenly said.
“I agree.” Kenzie said, pulling the handle out of her wheelie suitcase and starting towards the door.
“No, really.” Remy said, sounding dishevelled. “Every single one of us has a wand in our pockets. Why didn’t we just levitate the stupid things?”
We had two rooms in the hotel, three people to be in each. Rose was going to come to the salon with us, and then bail to stay with her parents, probably with her middle finger up behind her as she left and leaving behind the echo of her laughter. I ended up rooming with Damien and Kenzie (Remy lost rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock on who had to share with Lysander and Shiraz.)
“MY BED!” I screeched, jumping on the bed nearest the window.
“SCREW YOU!” Damien stamped his foot and threw his suitcase down next to the middle bed.
Kenzie readily took the one closest to the bathroom, claiming that she ‘was still paranoid about morning sickness’. Which, by the way, is such a bad name. “Morning sickness” my arse. Kenzie has told us stories about how she has been throwing up left, right and centre, all day every day. She has no shame, at all.
I opened my suitcase to explore what wonders my dear friend Shiraz has lovingly packed for my trip.
What the fuck is this shit?
“Remind me never to let Shiraz pack for me on short notice again.” I said as I extracted The Complete Chronicles of Narnia and my kitchen blender out of my bag.
“I. Will. Fucking. Kill. You. Shiraz. Woods.” I said between grimaces. “Kill. You. Dead.”
Yes, not just kill her. But kill her dead. KILL. HER. DEAD.
She will die a death. A very deathy death. I will kill her with a deathy death and then she will be very deady dead.
I’m going to stop now. It’s the smell of the salon; it’s going to my head. It smells like… Coconut (I hate coconut) and has a very strong aroma of strawberries (which I love, but the smell here is sickeningly sweet and overpowering) and… is that… Sawdust? OH MY GAWD WHEN THEY’RE DONE FUCKING SHIT UP ON MY FACE THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE ME TO A BACK ROOM TO ‘DO MY HAIR’ AND THEN PUT ME IN A BLENDER AND TURN ME INTO SAWDUST. SHIT. RUN, ASIYA, RUN! WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
They MUST be putting some shit into the air that makes you think like a maniac.
I feel ill.
“DIE. SHIRAZ. DIE.” I winced again and yet another twelve billion hairs were yanked out of my eyebrow. I have been here for THREE FUCKING HOURS.
THREE OF THEM.
It’s a sad thing when you realise that you have come to point in your life in which you allow your friends to take control of the stupid things you do. For example, a year ago I allowed Kenzie to plan my eighteenth birthday party. That ended with Lysander in St Mungo’s, the Room of Requirement seeing the worst trashing it has ever had, and Randall Higgins circumcising a goat. A few months ago I let Remy take me to a lawyer’s convention (she works in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry). I honestly don’t think I have ever been in the same room as so many boring people in my entire life. Just two weeks ago, Damien and Rose took me out to dinner. We woke up in Tanzania, me covered in feathers and Damien wrapped in bubble wrap, with absolutely no memory of what had happened to night before.
I should stop letting the people around me take control of my life. But when I consider doing that, I realise I would then have less than no social life and would end up a sad old lady with a billion cats.
Not that I have anything against cats, I love cats in fact, it’s just the stereotype that popped into my head when I thought ‘forever alone’.
“How much longer?” I whinged to a smirking Shiraz in the seat next to me, having her legs waxed.
“Back at you.”
“I hate you.”
“I hate you too.”
This is the kind of conversation I frequently have with Shiraz. But we both know we love each other really. Deep down. Somewhere, in the black pit of contempt and bickering we go through every day.
“Shiraz, when are you allowing us access to food?” Rose asked as her stomach gave a particularly loud rumble. There were murmurs of agreement from Kenzie and Remy.
“There is a pack of muffins in my bag. I thought you would have sniffed them out by now, Rose. They are chocolate, after all.”
About three people dived for the bag all at the same time. Shiraz and I watched in mild amusement as the packet of muffins was extracted by four different pairs of hands and then the packaging ripped to shreds as they fought tooth and nail over it.
“How many are there?”
“Fucking hell, you’re heavy now Kenzie.”
“NAILS, REMY. NAILS. IN MY BOOB.”
“Give me the muffins!”
“Mine! I want the chocolate one!”
“They’re all chocolate, smartarse.”
“NAILS. BOOB. REMY.”
“There are six of them.”
“I shotgun two!”
“There are six muffins, and six of us, dipshit.”
“SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR BOOB, YOU DAFT BINT, YOU’RE FINE.”
“I’M FUCKING BLEEDING.”
I sighed as I watched the scramble of people on the floor of a beauty salon, killing each other over a packet of muffins. You know it’s serious when people start taking boob shots.
“I need new friends.” I shook my head as my stomach grumbled at me. I bent over and whisked the muffins out of Damien’s hands, amongst squeals of protest and followed by a manly cough from Damien in an attempt to regain his dignity.
Aww, so cute. Never going to happen, sweetie.
HI GUYS. Yeah, I know it's been a while, but I've been in a production of Beauty and the Beast in our big theatre in town, so have been in and out of school a lot and shit. I really don't like this chapter, it's very bitty, but it's just because I didn't write it all at once, it's been done in little bits and other bits and completely out of order. Like, I wrote the salon but first, then the car bit and THEN the room bit. It's been a bit strange. Anyway, rate and review please!
CHAPTER SIX - FAIRY PRINCESS TIME
I glared at Rose’s reflection in the floor-length mirror in the hotel room. I then glared at myself. The others had finally managed to wrestle me into my dress (I broke two vases, a shoe and Lysander’s nose in the process), and had convinced me (after an hour of bickering and death threats from both teams), much to my dismay, to allow the salon people to take care of my hair and make-up.
Of course, my dress was still as slutty and overpriced as it was before, showing much more cleavage than I would normally care to and the red standing out brightly against my dark skin. The jewels sparkled in the dim glow of the hotel’s light and the material fell neatly onto the floor. I had managed to magically do SOMETHING – I’m not entirely sure what, it was sort of in an angry haze – to the shoes to make them slightly smaller than they were before, so that I can actually walk in them this time without toppling any chairs/pillars/people.
My hair was pulled back and fell in gentle black curls to my shoulders, with an elegant red flowery pin stuck in it. My make-up was done smoothly. I didn’t normally bother with so much, seeing as I currently looked like some kind of whore. Shiraz thought otherwise (“No! You look amazingly fucking hot! I love it!”) And the others followed her lead. I didn’t like it. The copious amounts of eyeliner and mascara made my eyes look like flying fucking saucers and the bright red lipstick contrasted with my skin, making my lips even more prominent.
You see, this situation would be a whole lot worse if I didn’t look so goddamn… well, hot.
And Rose looked like a fairy fucking princess next to me. Seriously, she looked like something out of a children’s book. Just throw in more glitter, an annoying soprano singing voice and some dancing woodland creatures and she would be a walking, talking fairy tale.
They had somehow managed to find a dress that was a shade of pink which didn’t clash with her hair. I now have the utmost respect for whoever that was, she’s been complaining (but secretly revelling in the fact) for years about how pink doesn’t go with orange. It was pale and floor-length and very, very girly.
I.e. Rose Molly Jennifer Weasley’s worst nightmare.
Her hair had been allowed to tumble down to just below her shoulder blades, having been brushed and curled and crimped until it could literally withstand no more. Her skin had been scrubbed with Brianna Bubbleton’s Bootylicious Banana cream until it was pink and shiny, a glowing sheen. Her understated silvery make-up made her sparkle even more, and her pinkish lips were currently pulled up in a sneer at her own reflection. Trust me, love, I would rather look like a fairy princess than a drag queen.
In truth, we both looked fantastic.
And it was pissing us the fuck off.
“N’aww, you guys are adorable.” Shiraz grinned as she kicked open the door connecting the rooms. Yes. Kicked it open. She had that ability in her dress. She has the luxury of being able to kick things. Like Potter’s face. Do you think she would do that for me? Can I hire her to do that?
I opened my mouth, halfway to actually asking her whether she would be willing to kick Rose’s cousin in the face for money. I then thought about it, and closed my mouth again; resorting back to the similar scowls Rose and I were throwing at her.
Shiraz’s dress was short and black and cute and I was very very jealous of it. She had the freedom to move her legs around without tripping over her own hem and introducing her face to the floor, which so far I have done twice.
“Are you ready to go?” Remy pushed through the door behind Shiraz, her cropped hair all stylish and flicky, holding up the hem of her gorgeous green dress in her left hand. How come they both got to pick their own dresses? No fair. FOUL PLAY. FOUL DAMN PLAY. She looked stunning. Her dress was strapless, tight down to her waist, where it flourished out in green chiffon ruffles down to the floor. The colour somehow brought out her honey brown eyes and she seemed to sparkle when she smiled.
“Just Kenzie left.” I said. The boys were meeting us there, having gone to help with the set-up. Rose had managed to wangle invites for Shiraz, Lysander, Remy, Damien and Kenzie out of her parents, so I wasn’t alone in going while she talked to her insane cousins.
“Just coming!” She called from the depths of the bathroom. Then there was an almighty crash followed by a “Woops.”
“Are you okay?” Rose called through.
“Yeah, but I’m really sorry, your hand sanitizer and your Very Berry Cherry lipstick didn’t make it.” Came the meek voice.
Rose groaned. “My favourite. Just hurry up! The rest of us are ready to go!”
Kenzie finally tumbled out of the bathroom in a haze of blue. She had a navy silk dress on, with long sleeves and fell to her knees. It seemed to hide the bump pretty well; she looked stunningly thin as usual, but with slightly bigger boobs.
I glared at everyone. They all look so nice and pretty and here’s me, WHORE OF THE CENTURY, in a dress that I didn’t even get any say in. I muttered obscenities under my breath as we trooped out of the door. We were just locking the hotel room door behind us when Remy’s phone rang.
She glanced at the caller ID. “Shit.” She sighed.
“Who is it?” Rose asked as she put the room key in her bra.
“My sister.” Remy grumbled. Ah. This could prove to be a problem. Yeah, did I tell you that Chloe, Al’s girlfriend, is Remy’s sister? Huh. Must have slipped my mind. Oopsie. Chloe was the year above us at school, and so completely different from Remy that it was almost impossible to say that they were related in any way.
“Well, answer it!” Shiraz said. Remy shook her head.
“I don’t wanna. She’ll shout at me.” She pouted.
“Might as well get it over with.” Kenzie shrugged.
“PRETEND I’M NOT HERE!” I yelled. I really didn’t want anything to do with Chloe Finnegan right now. She might rip my hair out next time I see her. Remy took a steadying breath before pressing the green button.
“Hello?” she said tentatively. “No, I can’t, I’m in London.” We stared at her as she spoke to Chloe. “A party.” She glanced at Rose. “A Weasley thing.” I shook my head frantically. Chloe knew that there was a Weasley gathering, but she wasn’t aware that her sister was invited and she wasn’t. We heard vague screeching from the phone. Remy looked at me. “Yeah, she’s here.”
“No she’s not!” I said quickly. Remy held the phone out to me.
“Chloe wants to speak to you.”
“Asiya isn’t here!” I shouted at the phone. The last thing I want to do right now is speak to the girl who is actually going out with the boy I’m pretending to go out with. That could result in serious injury/death/psychological damage.
“Oh dear Lord, this place is fucking amazing.” Kenzie said, gazing around the garden. We were at the Potter’s house. Well, I say house. I mean mansion. It was enormous. As in, fucking towers. Mr Potter sure made use of his money when he stopped waging war against Voldemort. (Oh, stop squealing, you ninnies, the bloke’s dead.) We walked briskly up the long driveway, wanting to loiter and stare at the house, but the cold chased us in faster than we would have liked.
The entrance hall was quite possibly bigger than my entire flat. We followed Rose through, gazing at the high ceilings and marble floors, to the gathering room.
HOLY SHITTING FUCK BALLS.
I’ve decided. I want to live here.
Seriously, as soon as I get home I’m packing all of my stuff in my shitty apartment and moving into their basement. In fact, I bet their basement is like a luxury hotel, with fountains and massage tents and a pool.
The room wasn’t that massive I guess, but it had enough space to fit what seemed to be every single ginger known to man. The ceiling was high and arched and had a glittering chandelier twinkling from it. The floor was polished dark wood and the walls were cream, decorated with family pictures and wedding photos. There were large circular tables all around the room with white table clothes and about ten chairs around each one, leaving a large space in the middle, in which everyone was milling around. I recognised at least half the people in this room from various stages at Hogwarts, including Dominique (our age, Gryffindor, currently studying Care of Magical Creatures in Australia), Roxy (sixteen, Hufflepuff, much to her brother’s dismay), Molly (our age, Ravenclaw, currently studying Magical Law Enforcement at the ‘University of Magical Law’ in Glasgow) and Louis (fifteen, Gryffindor, making out with some random in the corner) and a few others dotted around.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re here. I thought you might not show.”
Al had suddenly appearing in front of me, looking severely flustered.
“I seriously considered it.” I countered, glaring at him as he, once again, stared at my chest. STOP CHECKING ME OUT. IT DISTURBS ME GREATLY.
“Yeah, well, too late now.” He said, grabbing my upper arm and dragging me away from my friends.
“BYE ASIYA!” Remy called after me.
“I HATE YOU ALL.” I called back good-naturedly.
“Right. You know who my parents are, right?” he mumbled under his breath as he towed me through the crowd.
I rolled my eyes. “Harry and Ginny Potter. How could I possibly not?” They were only two of the most famous witches and wizards to grace us with their existence. “Ultimate war heroes.”
“Don’t ask them about the war.” Albus snapped. “Whatever you do. Seriously bad move. They get a bit touchy. Especially Mum.”
“Okay.” I said, making mental notes.
“Greet them as Mr and Mrs Potter. They’ll ask you to call them Ginny and Harry, but it’s a nice gesture.”
How have I known Rose for almost eight years and not have met these people? I managed to meet Nana Molly several times, but never the Potters.
“Smile lots. They like smilers.”
I feel like I should have a quill and parchment to take all this down.
“Just go with whatever I say, lying is hard enough without two people telling different stories. We met at Hogwarts, and I asked you out a little over two months ago. Our first date was to a Quidditch game, they’ll approve of that. If they hint at engagement, laugh it off.”
I nodded along, trying to take it all in at the hyper speed he was muttering it at.
“And, whatever you do, for the love of all things sane, please try to act like you’re a normal person.”
“Hey, I am norm-”
“I take offense to that.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t noticed that you’re not entirely mentally stable.”
“I’m not the one asking people to pretend to be their girlfriend of two months.”
“You are the one agreeing to do so, though.”
“I know you want to, dearest, but I have a real girlfriend, remember?”
“I hate you.”
My eyes snapped up from where I had been keeping an eye on my feet to make sure they didn’t get a life of their own and start splatting me on the ground again. Mr Pot-Albus was hugging an extremely pretty older woman with honey brown eyes and stunning red hair.
“Hey! No hugs!” the woman took a step back and hit Albus in the chest. Hard. “Why the hell haven’t you been to visit in forever?”
“Ouch, mum!” Albus rubbed his chest. Real manly, love. Real manly. I can just feel the testosterone from here. “It’s been busy in Edinburgh!”
Dude. Physical abuse of Albus. I like this woman a lot.
Mrs Potter was wearing a floor-length black dress with sequins and ruffles and sparkles and beads and awesomeness everywhere. Her hair was let down in messy curls to her shoulders and I could see a glimpse of what appeared to be pink flip flops under her dress. Apparently she didn’t give a flying fuck that there was a massive ball in the middle of her house and just dressed as she pleased.
“Woah.” She thrust her arms wide. “Look at all the fucks I do not give.”
Okay. Ginny Potter is… there is no other word for it… Epic.
“I’m sorry. I would have come up, you know that, but with Scorpius’ grandma being ill and all it’s hard to leave the office because he’s out so much.” Albus apologised and Mrs Potter smiled slightly.
“How is Narcissa?” she asked, taking Albus’ hand.
“Better.” He nodded. “Much better. She should be out of hospital in the next few days.”
“That’s great, Al.” She grinned and glanced past his shoulder, her eyes locking with mine. “And who,” she shoved Albus to one side. “Is this?”
Albus righted his balance quickly and stood beside me. “Mum, this is Asiya.”
“Rose’s friend!” Mrs Potter interrupted, her face lighting up. “I’ve heard so much about you, Asiya!” And she pulled me into a massive hug.
“It’s so nice to meet you, Mrs Potter.” I said over her shoulder.
“Please, call me Ginny.” She said, still hugging me tightly.
“Oh, so she gets a hug and I don’t!” Albus said childishly. I stared at him over his mum’s shoulder and he immediately regained composure.
Ginny let go of me and turned to her son. “Oh, my baby! Does ickle Albie need a huggie wuggie?” she outstretched her arms and spoke in the kind of voice you would associate with speaking to a very young child.
“Ma!” he groaned as she hugged him tightly around the neck.
I grinned. “Don’t deny it. You’re a mummy’s boy really, Albie.” I said, my voice shaking with laughter. He glared at me but hugged his mum back.
He eventually managed to extract himself from his mother’s clutches, and grabbed my hand. Ew. He’s sweaty. I tried to wriggle from his grasp but he held on tight, smiling at his mum.
“Mum, this is my girlfriend.” He said quickly, as if the idea repulsed him. You’re not the only one, sweetie. I feel slightly nauseous at the thought of your hand in mine right now.
Ginny stared at him. Then at me. Then him. Her gaze flicked between us for a good ten seconds or so.
“BAH!” we both jumped as she threw her arms out and let out a sort of shriek/squeal/grunt/scream thing and flung her arms around our necks. “THIS IS SO EXCITING! I AM SO EXCITED! ARE YOU EXCITED? I’M EXITED!”
You know who Ginny reminds me of?
But a way prettier, cooler, awesomer version. But me all the same. She’s a bit random, a bit ranty, a bit ‘non-existent Shut Up Filter’.
“Mum…” Albus groaned as she pretty much strangled him in her death-grip of our necks. “Oxygen would be a good thing right now. You know, we need it for respiration and all.”
“But this is just so exciting!” she pulled back very suddenly, a look of wonder in her eyes. “But what happened to Chloe? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that you guys are over but- OH!” she looked shocked. “I need to find Harry!”
And with that, she scurried away, hiking her dress up and revealing her pink flip-flops for the world to see.
“That was… Interesting.” I ventured as Al stared after her. Her looked at me, a slight smile on his face.
“Welcome to the family, Patil.”
“Get the fuck off me.”
Albus shifted so his arm was even further round my shoulders. “Just trying to act like your boyfriend.”
I rolled my eyes. “That is no excuse for your right hand to be so close to my boob.” I shrugged my shoulder so that his hand moved further upwards, away from my over-exposed cleavage.
“It was nowhere near your chest!”
“Lies.” I glanced around the table, making sure no-one was watching. Ginny was turned away from her husband (who was so polite when Ginny introduced us. I went totally psycho, I mean it’s not every day you get to meet the saviour of the wizarding world! I think I actually giggled. It was odd. I guess I have a weird crush sort of thing on him, which is weird because the man’s pushing forty-five.) and was talking to her daughter. Harry was attempting to have a conversation with Rose’s dad, but he was too busy stuffing his face with Yorkshire Puddings, while on his other side his wife was watching in disgust. Then were Rose and Hugo, arguing as usual. Then there was an empty seat left for James, next to me, and on the other side of Albus was some kid called Danny, Lily’s boyfriend, who was making feeble attempts to join in Lily’s conversation with her mother.
Tables like these were situated all around the room, filled with all of Nana and Papa Weasley’s children, their spouses, their children’s children, their children’s children’s spouses and partners, and even some of their children’s children’s children (in the case of Victoire, who was currently reading ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ to her bloated stomach.) Introductions to all of these people was some seriously scary shit, seeing as a lot of them knew me from school or having been brought home by Rose. The majority of the reactions consisted of:
1. “Al and Asiya? Cute.”
2. “Hahahahahahahahahaha oh you’re serious.”
And, my personal favourite, courtesy of a Miss Dominique, optimum of ladylikeness and subtlety:
I turned to Al, speaking under my breath so people couldn’t hear us. Not that they would be able to anyway, it’s so goddamn noisy in here.
“Okay, we need to establish some serious boundaries.” He rolled his eyes, but I pressed on. “No snogging. No arse-touching. No shagging. Whatsoever.”
“Girlfriend. I have one. Remember?”
“I’m aware, but that doesn’t change anything.” He opened his mouth to protest, but I held up my hand to interrupt him. “I know what you’re like, Potter.” He closed his mouth again. Wise choice, my man. Wise choice.
“Ahh, Miss Patil. Fancy seeing you here.” A silky voice said in my ear. I turned just in time to see James Potter sliding into the seat next to me. “Now would you mind explaining to me what the fuck you are doing here?”
I gaped at him for a moment. Holy fucking shitting poo balls. Now, what do you do when the exceedingly hot Quidditch-playing amber-eyed older brother of your pretend boyfriend (who also happened to help you out for no apparent reason when you were knee-deep in shit) asks what you’re doing at his family reunion?
I considered my options.
Okay, never mind. I have no options. I just sat there, gaping like a fish.
“Nyuhhhh….” Yes. That is actually what came out of my mouth. I’m so fucking intelligent, I know. Bow down to me, bitches. Bow down to me and my almighty brain.
“What she means is,” Albus ventured, “that she is here with me.”
James raised his eyebrows. “With you or with with you?”
“With with me.” Albus gritted his teeth and slid his arm yet further around my shoulders. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Just a little.
James’ eyebrows just about disappeared into his hair. He has very soft-looking hair. Sort of swooshy and looks very nice to touch. It’s Quidditch player hair. Hot.
UGH WHY DOES MY PRETEND BOYFRIEND’S BROTHER HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING HOT WITH HIS PRETTY AMBER EYES AND SWOOSHY QUIDDITCH HAIR AND CHISELLED JAW AND VERY NICE MUSCLES? THIS IS NOT FAIR. NOT FAIR AT ALL. MAYBE I SHOULD JUST RUN AWAY NOW BEFORE MY BRAIN EXPLODES. I’LL RUN AWAY AND SET UP SHOP IN A HOLE AND LIVE OFF MOSS AND TREE BARK FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN. YEAH I WOULD GO THAT FAR TO GET AWAY FROM THE UNFAIR HOTNESS.
Okay. I’m done with the psychotic ranting. For now, anyway.
“Girlfriend?” He asked, staring between me and Al.
I opened my mouth, saying “No” at the exact same time as Albus said “Yes”.
Well, this is awkward.
Okay, I'm not even going to try explaining to you poor people why this has taken so bloody long. In short, we lost internet connection in our entire dorm for over six weeks. It has sucked major balls. Don't even ask, it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I am so so sorry that this has taken so long, please don't come for my head on a stake! No mobs outside my dorm room window with flaming torches and pitchforks, please! I promise the next one will be much much faster!
Also, I hate this chapter. Again. It sort of sucks.
Review anyway? :D I know, I know, I'm a terrible person etc etc. But don't take that out on the writing!
Chapter 7: Ice, Reporters and Garden Parties on the Moon.
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I don't own Twilight, Stephanie Meyer does. Lucky her.
Also, this is a filler chapter. But some crucial stuff happens too. Don't hate on the fillerness. :)
I don’t care who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done. I swear to Merlin you have NEVER been in a situation that even remotely resembles the one that I am in right now. Never.
I can tell you right now that you have never been sitting at a table in a room full of gingers, stuck with your pretend boyfriend (who is actually your pratty boss who you hate and have had some kind of feud with since second year at wizarding school) on one side and your pretend boyfriend’s older brother (who happens to be painstakingly beautiful, an international Quidditch sensation, and once lay on top of you in the street by accident, followed by dragging you into an alleyway and disappearing into thin air with you) on the other.
If you have ever been in that situation, you are me. And since you are clearly not me, because I am me, then you cannot fathom how it feels.
My life is just one big, long, awkward moment. I swear it.
“Wait, so are you two dating or not?” James looked confused, his amber eyes glancing between the pair of us.
I sighed. “Yes. We are.” I tried to smile sweetly, but I’m fairly certain it came across more I-am-going-to-find-out-where-you-live-and-eat-your-children-in-the-night-esque. I’m so hot.
“Oh.” He said, then turned to his dinner, which must surely be cold as stone by now. “How long have you been dating?”
“Two months.” Albus said, staring him down. James turned to me.
“Two months? But it was only last week you told me he was just your boss.”
“You saw each other last week?” Albus chimed in.
“We just bumped into each other in the street.” I said, waving it off.
“Literally…” James muttered.
My mouth flapped open. “You say that as if it was my fault!”
“It was your fault!”
I was saved from answering that scathingly by a sudden kerfuffle near the main doors.
He he. Kerfuffle. That’s a fun word. Kerfuffle.
Moving on, off the subject of my mental instability…
Everyone in the room was staring over at the door, where George and Bill were grappling with some woman with white blonde hair in ringlet curls and a fluorescent pink silk suit who was clearly trying to get past them. Ginny shot up from the table and barrelled across the room, screeching: “GET THAT WOMAN OUT OF HERE. GET HER OUT.”
I watched, amazed as this tiny woman fought tooth and nail against two men twice her size, desperately trying to get into the room.
“Who is that?” I asked Al, who was glaring at the woman with hatred in his eyes.
“Rita Skeeter.” Harry answered. I swooned a little inside. FOCUS, DAMMIT, ASIYA. THE BLOKE IS THREE TIMES YOUR AGE. “I’m surprised you haven’t heard of her.”
“Of course she hasn’t,” Hermione said to her food, glaring menacingly at her half-finished chocolate fudge brownie. “Skeeter doesn’t write for the Prophet anymore.”
“Doesn’t she write for Witch Weekly now?” Ron said through a mouthful of brownie. Obviously he couldn’t care less about the woman currently trying to maul two of his brothers.
“I think so. Do you read Witch Weekly, Asiya?” Harry asked. I melted under his green gaze. UGH.
“No. But I read ‘The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore’ when I was at school. Didn’t she write that?” I asked when I saw the shocked look on their faces. “Maybe I was wrong…” I ducked my head. Trust me to go babbling nonsense in front of The Golden Trio.
“No…” Ron said, staring at me. “She wrote it. But I’m surprised copies still exist, once the war was over and everything was revealed, everyone realised it was mostly lies with a couple of facts coated in more lies thrown in.”
“I did a project on him in fifth year. The school library had a copy.” I answered, shrugging.
“She goes to the library? I like her.” Hermione said to Albus at the same time as Hugo said: “Hogwarts has a library?”
Rose thumped him over the head. Well deserved.
I didn’t actually spend very much time in the library. Very little time, really. I think I ventured in there a total of about three times in my entire seven years at Hogwarts. Once to find books on Dumbledore, once to return the books on Dumbledore, and the final time because Rose had gone AWOL and the place we least expected to find her was the library. Which was where we found her, of course. Hiding under a table amongst some Ravenclaws that practically lived there. Seriously, I think they literally left the library for food and that was it. I’m fairly certain they kept their beds in the Astronomy section. They worshipped the library as, like, their mother ship or something.
Anyway, between Quidditch training and socialising with my billions of friends (obviously I was insanely popular, being the only person on the face of the planet that was hated by a Potter. Who now happens to have his arm around me with his hand inching ever closer to my right boob) I had very little time to waste sauntering around the library.
In case you didn’t get that, the ‘billions of friends’ bit was total sarcasm. I had my group and that was about it. Waging war against a member of the most popular wizarding family in the world does nothing for one’s social status.
Quidditch was just about my entire life at Hogwarts. I got onto the team in third year, under Captain Jenson Wood. He left as I went into my fifth year, which was when James was made Captain. That’s what I thought was so peculiar about him not recognising me in the street, he was my Captain for two whole years. You would have thought he would remember my face. James, Gina Jordan and I were the Chasers that year. Rose was our keeper, Fred and Alice Longbottom our Beaters. This was also the year we welcomed Albus onto our team as the Seeker, and Thea Finnegan as our reserve.
You know, I never really explained how the hatred between Al and I started. I guess you could say me pushing him in the lake before we even made it to Hogwarts might have been the fire starter (he stuck a liquorice wand in my eye seconds previously) but I guess what really ignited it was just before our seventh year.
When I got made Quidditch Captain for the year.
And he didn’t.
Al was furious. Both his father and his brother were Captains before him, and his final chance was blown by me skipping along and taking his place. I basically had to replace our entire team that year, seeing as Fred, James, Alice, Gina and Thea all left school. He had been so certain that he was going to get Captain. I had been so certain that he was going to get Captain. The first thing I did when I got the letter was run to the bathroom and reproduce my breakfast into the toilet. Via my mouth. It was all very elegant, I can tell you that.
So he and Rose had to stand behind me while I directed try-outs. Rose really couldn’t give less fucks. She was just happy to toddle along and do some badass motherfucking saving at the hoops. It was Al that always challenged me, pointed out my every mistake, tried to take over the team himself. Once, I kicked him off the team for a total of three days, which is how long it took me to remember that he was fucking amazing at Quidditch.
So I brought in Lily Potter (she’s a frightening little Quidditch demi-God) and Oliver Thomas as our new Beaters, Lysander Scamander as one of our new Chasers, and (much to the disdain of Al) Scorpius Malfoy as our final Chaser. And that’s how we played throughout our seventh year. I could never decide if I regretted taking on Lysander as part of the team. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fantastic player, but he always made us sit in a circle before every match, hold hands, close our eyes and pray to the Quidditch Deity. I don’t know if it was our talent or praying to the Quidditch Deity that got us the house cup that year, but I like to think it was our sheer awesomeness.
I guess it didn’t help anything that Lily got Captain the year we left. Al had to watch his dad; his brother and his sister all out-shine him in the Quidditch department. Maybe that’s why he chose to start up a business instead of trying to make it in the Quidditch world. I know he had at least seven scouts approach him for their teams, nearly as many as I did. I always wondered why he didn’t take them. I took no offers because I wanted more than anything to be a Healer. But him? I didn’t see any reason for him to have a particular passion for running a magazine business. He and Scorpius had become fast friends over the year, and I suppose they had just decided that they wanted to do something together. Scorpius didn’t have any scouts approach him, so maybe he just asked Al to join him in running a business.
It’s not as though I’m complaining though. It’s a very successful magazine and they have provided me with a stable, well-paid job. I’m happy where I am. I still get the occasional phone call from the Harpies or the Magpies, but Healing comes first and I don’t want to compromise the money that I have coming in at the moment. What would happen if I got a couple of months playing for a team, and then get dropped very suddenly? What would happen? Albus would almost certainly refuse me my job back, so what would I do? I would have to go back to mum. And believe me, that is the last thing I want to do.
Anyway, so I spent most of my seventh year training my Quidditch team, getting the NEWTs I needed for Healing school, and fending Al off for Quidditch Captainship. Not very much time for the library.
Which brings us back to the topic at hand.
“She was also Quidditch Captain.” James threw in, which I’m pretty sure was directed at his father.
“Definitely like her.” Harry and Ron said together.
“Oh!” Ron said suddenly. “You’re the one that beat Al for the Captain position!”
I thought I was Queen of Bad Moves. It would appear I have met my King.
I felt Albus tighten beside me, and his arm withdrew from my shoulder.
Oh dear. This is not going to end well.
Come on, Asiya, think of something. Throw something at Ron. NO. Don’t do that, that would be stupid. Put food in your mouth. No, you’ll probably choke on it because you’re that socially inept. Change the topic. Yes, new topic of conversation. What shall I talk about? Seaweed? Trigonometry? The importance of ATP in respiration?
GAH I SUCK AT PEOPLE.
“That woman. I can’t understand how she found out about this.”
OMG IT’S OFFICIAL I LOVE GINNY WEASLEY SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN.
She is an absolute life saver.
She huffed and sat down in her seat beside Harry.
“Mum, it’s sort of an annual thing, the entire world knows about it.” Lily said, rolling her eyes.
“Well, we should change it then.” Ginny glared at her plate. “As of next year, the annual Potter/Weasley clan gathering will be held at six o’clock, Eastern Standard Time, on the fucking moon. And we shall have octopuses and fire-breathing cactuses as our security, everyone shall come dressed as children’s TV show characters to throw her off the trail and we shall have a marvellous garden party and SHE IS NOT INVITED.”
Do you think Ginny Weasley would be willing to adopt me?
“I do apologise for my family’s appalling behaviour tonight.”
I turned around to see James standing with his hands stuffed in his pockets, his tie loosened and top two buttons undone, and his dark chocolate hair ruffled as if he’d just gotten off a broom.
This is exactly how I remembered him being at Hogwarts. Distinctly scruffy, but in a really hot, Quidditch-God kind of way, with glinting amber eyes and with the constant air of someone who is far too cool for their own good.
“Don’t worry about it. I spent seven years living in the same room as Rose; I think I’m used to your family’s insane tendencies.” I said, smiling and leaning back on the railing. I had managed to escape the people for a while, and had found my way out onto the veranda (yeah, they had a fucking veranda. I only have six windows in my entire apartment) where I was getting some cool night air compared to the stuffy inside.
When I say ‘cool night air’, I mean fucking freezing negative a zillion degrees and there was snow on the ground and I had no clue where my jacket was.
“You don’t know insane until you’ve met my mother.” He smiled, joining me at the railing. Excuse me while I become a pile of goo on the floor after he smiled at me.
Oh, that smile. He could be a model, I’m not even kidding. All he has to do is smile, and he would have the world at his feet. He pretty much has that already though, given his father’s status and his three nominations for the Quidditch Personality of the Year Awards. He hadn’t won yet, seeing as Oliver Wood was forty-eight, still going strong and still hot as fuck, but it was only a matter of time before the world realised that James Sirius Potter is a divine being that should certainly not be ignored.
I should maybe stop prattling on about how my “boyfriend’s” relatives are hot. I mean, Albus is hot too. I just hate him so much I don’t feel the need to lose all manner of speech when I’m in his presence. He has black hair, like his father’s, but even more all over the place than James and Harry put together. Bright green eyes that seemed to look right into your soul when he looked at you. They reminded me of that colour you get on the grass on a forest floor, when the sun is shining through the leaves and you get that sort of dappled effect on the ground. Yeah, he has dapple colour eyes. I don’t think dapple is even officially a colour, but that was the colour of his eyes.
Do you think it’s possible to apply for something to become and official colour? I should do that for dapple. Dapple should be a colour.
I am so easily distracted. When I was younger, my parents thought I had ADHD because I couldn’t focus on one thing for more than two minutes before I had to go off and do a few laps of the swing set in the garden to burn off pent-up energy. There was this one time when I was supposed to be doing fractions (yeah I went to Muggle primary school) and I ended running round the trampoline two hundred and seventy- OH LOOK THERE I GO AGAIN.
Back to the topic at hand…
Albus only played Quidditch for three years, but he still had the amazing Quidditch body that you would usually want to see without a top on, lifting some heavy stuff in the sea on a summer’s day. Or any time of year, for that matter. He was a lot taller than me, although that’s not saying much as I’m only 5’5”. Even when I wear the ridiculous stilettos that Mum sends me every other week, I still only reach his nose. He has this sort of goofy smile, one side pulled up slightly more than the other, but not so much that it’s Edward-Cullen-crooked. It’s the sort of smile that doesn’t make you want to melt, but makes you want to smile back because it’s so damn infectious. I always find myself grinning back at him when he smiles properly. It’s when he smirks at you in that condescending way that makes you want to kick his teeth out. Which I want to do on quite a regular basis in the office. When I say regular basis, I mean every other minute or so.
If he weren’t such an asshole, I reckon I could actually like the bloke.
Too bad he’s a number one idiot with a severe attitude problem.
“Your mum is so awesome!” I said. “I wish my mum was more like that.”
“What’s your mum like?” James said, leaning forwards on the railing and looking out across the snow-covered garden. I turned so I was facing the same way.
“Not like yours. Nowhere near as cool as your mum.” I said. “She’s very…” I searched for the right word. “… Average. She’s the average mother. She calls at least once a week to make sure I’m okay and haven’t died. When I go to her house, she likes to force feed me because she thinks I’m too thin.”
James smiled. “You always were kind of scrawny.”
I raised an eyebrow. “So you do remember me? I was wondering about that.”
He shook his head, sighing. “How could I forget? You were some kind of miniature Quidditch sensation.”
I laughed and continued. “She used to line us up at the door before we left for school at the beginning of the year, and hand us out our little bags of food for the train ride. We never ate it of course, it was all sandwiches and fruit. Why would we eat that when there are perfectly good pumpkin pasties on the train?”
James grinned and nodded. “Mum used to give us bags with food in them too, but she would always hide something weird in the bag, just a little something so we didn’t forget her all year.”
“What kind of things?”
“They ranged from heart keyrings – which were nice and all, showed that she loved us – to ping pong balls. I never really understood the woman.”
“That’s way better than corned beef sandwiches.”
“At least your mother isn’t insane.”
“Your mum is so cool!”
“She certainly takes some getting used to.”
I laughed. “I could easily get used to her.” I wrapped my arms around my body, trying to keep warm. James immediately took his suit jacket off and draped it around my shoulders. See? What a gentleman. Al would never do something like that. He would probably laugh at my expense and push me into a snowdrift.
“Thanks.” I smiled. “I haven’t the foggiest where my coat is.”
“Did you try the back of your chair?”
“Yeah. I think I took it off at the door but I was too lazy to walk that far.”
“And yet you had enough energy to find the veranda?”
“Shut up.” I nudged him and he laughed.
“So why did you give up Quidditch? Didn’t any scouts approach you?” he asked, regaining his balance far faster than I ever have.
“Twelve scouts approached me for their teams.”
“Holy fuck! Are you kidding me? I only had eleven!”
“Ha!” I snorted. Oh so attractive, Asiya. “Like I’m going to believe that!”
“It’s true!” he smiled.
“Please. You’re practically a God when it comes to Quidditch.”
He pulled himself up, looking jokingly important. “I wish for you to kiss my feet and feed me grapes now.”
I laughed and shoved him. He took a step back, and the next few seconds seemed to happen in slow motion:
He had stepped onto a bit of ice on the wooden floor. His foot slid out from underneath him, and he reached out for whatever was closest to stabilize himself. Which happened to be my shoulder.
I don’t know if you have noticed thus far, dear reader, but you may have realized that I am not world’s most hand-eye-co-ordinated, on-balance person. I fall over slightly more than could considered normal. So in a situation such as this, I am probably not the one thing you’re going to want to use to keep your own balance.
Hence why I, of course, tumbled down on top of him as he fell backwards onto the ground.
“Well, this is familiar.” He said as we came face to face, his back on the floor and me very elegantly (don’t make me laugh) straddling his torso.
OH HAI DERE. I missed you guys. This is probably going to be my last update for a little while, because even though my exams are over I hae so many rehearsals all the time because I'm playing a principal in a big show coming up and we open in four weeks. HOLY FUCK I AM BRICKING. IT. But I'm okay. I might try to bang another chapter out before then to distract me from my nervousness. I'll try, I promise.
Anyway, this chapter was kind of a filler chapter, but I quite like it. Lots of James for you guys, hope you like it ;) And lots of Ginny too, which got a lot of comments last time. People like Ginny. So I wrote her some more. I reckon she'll be appearing a lot in the future :D
Hope you guys enjoyed it! You see that box down there? Yeah, that one. It's hungry. Very hungry. You should feed it. THINK OF THE POOR BOX STARVING TO DEATH BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T FEED IT. DO YOU WANT THAT ON YOUR CONSCIENCE. I DIDN'T THINK SO. FEED IT.
Chapter 8: Flashbacks and Russian Hotel Worries
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CHAPTER EIGHT - FLASHBACKS AND RUSSIAN HOTEL WORRIES
The Gryffindor Quidditch Team.
Four sixth years, three fifth years, and one mentally deranged Captain.
i.e. James Sirius Potter.
I glanced around the team, clocking the intense glares they were currently throwing at him. This was partly because every other sixth year on the team had wanted that Captain spot this year, and he had claimed it, and partly because he had just informed us that we were to run fifty laps before we even get in the air this training session.
Mostly the laps bit.
“Mate,” Fred started, clapping his hand on James’ shoulder. “I know you’re my cousin and my best friend and all, but unless you want six people with pitchforks, fire and the mantra ‘Kill the James!’ running through their minds outside your dorm window tonight, you’re going to want to retract that order about a ridiculous number of laps.”
James’ eyebrows knitted. “This is exactly the number of laps that Jenson always gave you, what’s wrong with doing it now?”
“James, we’ve been out of training all summer.” Rose said. “Sure, we’ve played a bit, but for fun. There’s no way we’re as fit as we were before summer. We need to ease in to doing fifty laps every training session.”
“I don’t give a flying fuck!” James exploded. “You will do fifty laps each right now or I find a new team!”
We all knew there was no way he would be able to find a full team as close-knit, talented and functional as the one he currently had standing before him, but we all dropped our brooms on the ground anyway and set off. Gina made sure to pop her gum obnoxiously in her face before setting off at a leisurely jog.
Georgina Jordon was the type of girl who could be so so so nice and was an amazing player, but she was fucking terrifying. I am so glad she wasn’t made Captain this year, she would have had us all cowering in the corners with nothing but a Quaffle to protect us from her fire-breathing tendencies. She had cropped dark brown hair and beautiful dark eyes. I am a straight female and even I’ll admit, Gina was absolutely stunning. But she never seemed to have a boyfriend, because she was the kind of person who picks up a totally smoking guy at a party, make out with him and throw him away. But no-one was ever hurt. She had that kind of power. Every single one of the guys would go crawling back to her the instant she snapped her fingers. She was just that kind of person. A goddess.
Of course, I’m not saying we didn’t like her. She just had power over us. Over everyone. She could be perfectly nice one second and then someone will say something stupid and she will just snap, and give you that ice-cold stare that terrifies the living daylights out of anyone.
She used a similar sort of glare at any guy who tried to get with her and she didn’t want to, that kind of stare that could cool off a moose at mating time.
Thirty-six laps later, we had carted Fred off to the hospital wing after a rather scary asthma attack, and James had begrudgingly dismissed us all for dinner, assuring us that we would be repeating this exercise until we could get through it without one of us dying.
Oh the joys of being on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team.
“What the hell was that?” James’ breath made little puffs of cloud in the air as he huffed beneath my body weight.
“I have no idea.” I used my hands to push myself upright, so I was just sitting on his stomach rather than lying on top of him. “Is it normal for there to be lightning in the middle of winter?”
“Not really, no.” James huffed. “Would you mind getting off my stomach? I’m having some trouble with the whole breathing thing.”
“Sorry!” I squeaked and scrambled off him, of course getting a face full of snow in the process. James sucked in a slow breath of air and sat up.
“You’re heavy for a scrawny little thing.” He said, massaging his stomach as he got to his feet.
“All those years of Quidditch training mean I’m mostly muscle.” I grinned as I accepted his hand to help me up and dusted off my dress.
“Go eat a pie.” He picked his jacket up from where it had fallen in the snow. “And go-”
But I never found out what I was supposed to go and do, because that was the exact moment Albus appeared out of nowhere, right next to us.
“There you are! I have been looking all over for you.” He grabbed my wrist and started dragging me back towards the doors. “It’s going to look suspicious if we don’t spend some time together.”
I looked back at James and shot him a sad smile. He waved slightly and mouthed something I didn’t understand.
“What do you mean you’re staying in a hotel? That just won’t do! How rude of you, Albus!”
“What? How is this my doing?”
“You can stay with us, dear. We have room at our house.”
“No, that’s really okay-”
“Don’t be silly, you’re staying with us and not some grotty hotel!”
“But my friends are all going back to the-”
“I don’t care, you’re coming with us.”
“All my things are at the hotel, I’d better just stay th-”
“You can borrow some things from us.”
“That’s really not necess-”
“Fucking hell Asiya you are staying with us or I will cut you.”
Well, I could see I wasn’t going to get anywhere in my appeal to Ginny. Looks like I’m staying at the Potter’s tonight. I sighed at her back as she swooped away, somehow looking just as elegant now as she did at the start of the night. Normally when I have been drinking for four hours straight, I end up looking frazzled, with my hair all over the place and make-up running, and waking up in a motel in Russia wearing nothing but bubble wrap and with a very unconscious Lysander, a very hung-over Rose and a very concerned Russian hotel manager.
But Ginny was still gliding around, having had more cocktails than I cared to count, hair intact, make-up immaculate, and with both pink flip-flops still firmly on her feet. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a party and left with both shoes. I have an issue with tequila, so sue me.
I also have issues with gin, any form of cocktail and straight vodka.
I HAVE ALCOHOL ISSUES KAY DON’T JUDGE ME.
STOP JUDGING ME, I CAN FEEL YOU JUDGING ME. STOP IT.
I CAN JUST FEEL ALL THE JUDGEMENT COMING FROM YOU. YOU’RE MAKING FUN OF ME BECAUSE I DON’T DEAL TOO WELL WITH ALCOHOL AND I OFTEN GET MYSELF INTO WEIRD SITUATIONS BECAUSE OF IT. DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT; THE GOLF BUGGY INCIDENT WAS NOT MY FAULT. THAT WAS LYSANDER ALL THE WAY. STOP JUDGING ME.
COOL IT SKANK YOU DO NOT KNOW ME.
I closed my eyes and sighed deeply. Maybe, just maybe, if I wish hard enough, I will open my eyes and find that I’m still cannonballing down the street, late for work as usual; about to bump into James Potter and this whole ordeal will have never happened.
Wish wish wish wish wish.
I opened my left eye slowly, hoping desperately to see the hustle and bustle of Princes Street.
Instead, what I saw was Albus Severus Potter giving me a very flat look. I opened my other eye and gave him Death Glare #37 (I have 53 Death Glares), which is my ‘this is your entire fault’ Death Glare. I am proud of my 53 Death Glares; I spent my years at Hogwarts perfecting them, specifically for people like him. As of late, he was the main victim of most of them.
“Don’t look at me as if this is my fault.” Albus growled, shoving his hands in his pockets. I raised an eyebrow and folded my arms.
“This is your fault.”
THIS IS NOT WHAT I ENVISAGED WHEN I APPLIED FOR A JOB TAT WAS ADVERTISED AS “LIGHT CLERICAL WORK”.
This is not “light clerical work”. No. This? This is insane.
I am in waaaaay out of my depth here.
“Please, for the love of Merlin, tell me you have a way out of this.” I hissed to Albus as we stood next to each other facing our bed. Our BED. SINGULAR.
ONE bed, between both of us. Ginny insisted that given our age, and the fact we have been “dating for two months”, we could sleep in Al’s bedroom together. Me and Albus. Albus and I. The two of us sleeping in the same bedroom, NAY, the same bed could only end in trauma of the emotional kind. Maybe some physical, depending on how bad I kick his arse for getting us into this ridonkulous situation.
“You wanna sleep on the floor?”
“You’re supposed to be the gentleman and offer me the bed, you know.”
“Well you’re the one who works for me so I win.”
“You got us into this mess in the first place.”
“Toss a coin?”
“Go for it.”
“Heads or tails?”
“Tails, you lose.”
“Sucks to be you!”
I scowled as Al stretched himself obnoxiously across the bed. “So much for being a gentleman.”
He smirked. “Oh, sweetie, I never said I was one.”
Disclaimer: I do not own The Pink Panther. Or the Macarena. They are owned by WB/Turner and Softtek respectively.
CHAPTER NINE - PILLOWS AND PANCAKES.
“Excuse me… Coming through… Can I get past please?... Pardon me… OH MY GOD MOVE.”
This is pretty much all that had been tumbling out of my mouth since I got on the train to Hogwarts fifteen minutes ago. Guffawing seventh year boys were too big to squeeze past, so I dropped to the floor and went through their legs, much to their amusement. Giggling fifth year girls didn’t notice when I asked them to move, so I just wriggled my way in between them. Even second years that were sprinting down the corridors got in my way, shoving past me and ramming me into a wall.
I hate being short. It’s not as though I even have an excuse: I’m not fucking Frankie first year. I’m a sixth year.
“Hey, move out of the way, pipsqueak, fourth years coming through.” I was abruptly knocked aside by a group of burly fourth year boys who were all, yep, you guessed it, about a foot taller than me.
I AM A SIXTH YEAR, DAMMIT. I WEAR MY PREFECT BADGE WITH PRIDE.
Okay, so I wear my prefect badge with pride, but I actually had my prefect duties revoked after two weeks when I may or may not have accidentally set Slughorn’s moustache on fire. (Slughorn being the batty old Professor at Hogwarts who doesn’t even teach anymore but pretty much downright refuses to leave and just sort of sits around and farts a lot and definitely should have died about fifty years ago.) They actually confiscated my badge as well but Lysander and I went on a mission to get it back. I’ll tell you about THAT mission impossible escapade (there were a few) another time: it’s a story worth hearing.
“Oi!” I shouted after them. “Watch it, thickos!”
They just laughed with their pretend deep manly voices and kept walking. Gits.
I continued my endless trek down the train, peering through windows until I spotted the familiar red hair that meant I had found Rose.
“Alright, fuckers?” I said as I opened to door to the usual chaos which was the meet-and-greet of my friends when they hadn’t seen each other for a whole summer. I threw my bag at Remy’s head and opened my arms for the onslaught of hugs that were coming my way. They all hit me at once, sending us all toppling to the floor of the compartment in a large, giggling mess. “They” being Remy, Shiraz, Lysander, Rose, Kenzie and Damien, who were all now lying on top of me. “Oh get off, you great lumps!” I wheezed as Lysander was currently lying across my chest and he’s a heavy little shit.
We picked ourselves up off the floor and dusted each other down. “How was everyone’s summer?” I asked, watching curiously as Shiraz and Lysander smiled at each other, blushing profusely.
There was a chorus of “good” and a couple of “I missed you!” and a “don’t even ask me about my summer I don’t want to go into it leave me alone okay?”.
Damien had family issues to say the least.
“Yours?” Rose asked as if she hadn’t seen me three days ago.
“Oh it was crap.” I said sarcastically as I sat down in my usual spot by the window facing backwards. “I spent the whole time with this crazy family and it was just awful.” Rose shoved me and plopped down in the seat opposite me as I smirked.
As the train pulled away from the station, Lysander leaned out the window and waved to his parents. Rose pushed him aside and flailed her hand fleetingly at her parents before sitting back in her seat, opened her bag, and emptied the contents of it onto the floor of our compartment. We all stared in silence at what had come out of the bag.
“Um, Rose?” Damien asked carefully.
“Care to explain why you just emptied an entire bags worth of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans onto the floor?”
Rose grinned. “I have a game.”
“Uh oh.” Said Shiraz while Remy muttered “This can only end in tears.” Under her breathe before hiding behind her magazine.
“Oh, come on!” Rose pleaded. “Look, we each take a bean and eat it at the same time. We all tell what flavour we got, and whoever got the best flavour wins a point! Then we play until the beans are finished, and whoever has the most points at the end wins!”
Everyone gazed at the two foot high pile of Bertie Bott’s boxes with a wary look in their eyes.
“Guys, it’s free food.” Rose said exactly what she knew would get us to agree.
“I’m in!” Lysander said and grabbed a box, along with the general consensus of “YUS FOOD!”
We each took a bean. Mine was blue. I hoped it wasn’t blueberry, I hate blueberry.
“One, two, three.” Rose said, and we all tipped the beans into our mouths.
I grimaced. “Blueberry.”
“Cookie dough!” Shiraz grinned.
Remy looked confused. “I think its bogeys, but I can’t be sure…”
“Broccoli!” Rose screwed up her face in disgust.
“Strawberries.” Lysander grinned.
“Steak…” Remy said, picking bits out of his teeth.
“I win!” Kenzie grinned.
“What did you get?” Remy asked.
“Apple and pumpkin pie.”
The next hour or so comprised of us all stuffing ourselves with beans, several shouts from Rose of “WHY DOES THE BROCOLLI ALWAYS FIND ME?!” and the occasional person spitting one into the bag in the middle which we had placed in case of emergency. The worst were washing up liquid, blood, weed killer, and what Lysander claimed to be elephant poo.
Albus Potter’s room really is quite something. I hope to Merlin that he marries a Gryffindor; otherwise his room and his house pride are going to take a serious knock. Everything was red and gold, and when I say “everything”, I mean everything. His walls were scarlet and covered with our team’s Quidditch posters, featuring ones of just him and ones of the whole team. He had a huge Gryffindor banner above his bed, which had a red and gold design on it. His carpet was a deep gold colour; even his lampshade was a dark shade of red. (Shade of red? See what I did there? Because it’s a lampshade? Ha, I’m so funny.)
“What are you laughing at?” He asked as he exited his bathroom (which also appeared to be red and gold) to find me standing in the middle of his room giggling away to myself.
He rolled his eyes and opened a drawer in his (red) closet. “Here.” He extracted something and threw it across the room at me. I held it up in front of me.
“What do you want me to do with this?” It was his old Gryffindor Quidditch jersey, deep scarlet with ‘Potter’ branded across the back in thick gold lettering.
“You can sleep naked if you really want, I’m not complaining.” He smirked and peeled off his shirt.
OH GLORY HALLELUJAH WHAT IS THAT.
I MEAN, WHAT. IS. THAT.
ABS. ABS EVERYWHERE. I THINK IF I HIT MY HEAD OFF THEM I WOULD BREAK MY SKULL. IF I RUBBED CHEESE ON THEM THEY WOULD GRATE IT.
OKAY. REGAIN COMPSURE. REGAIN. COMPOSURE.
I’m okay. I’m fine, really. It would seem that Al has not lost his Quidditch abs. Not at all. If anything, they are even more washboard than before.
Must. Regain. Ability. To. Snap. Back. At. Him.
Oh, wonderfully intelligent remark there, Asiya. You got him good with that one. Well done.
And this is why it REALLY REALLY sucks being a girl. That and the fact we bleed for a week every month and survive. I mean, what the fuck is up with that? It’s really not very fair at all: can you imagine if guys bled for a month through their peepee? Yeah, they wouldn’t be so critical about it then. Okay, my thoughts during my lady times generally are:
2. My bajingo is falling off.
3. I’m going to die.
4. Wow this is dumb.
5. Oh look, there goes a pair of my cutest underwear.
6. I’m going to kill myself.
7. Why wasn’t I born a boy?
8. Why was I born?
9. I hate you all.
10. Aw cute I woke up in a pool of my own blood.
What on earth would the boys be like? They’re all moody and grumpy as it is, imagine if they got a week every month to get away with being even worse.
And now that I’m done complaining about my girl parts, back to the topic at hand:
“Asiya, that is quite possibly the most intelligent thing to ever tumble out of your mouth.” Albus said to me as I scurried into the bathroom to change. “Seriously, you should spout things like that more often!” He shouted as I slammed the door behind me.
I gave my best evil glare to my side of the door. I hope he can feel it on the other side.
“Stop glaring at the door and get changed!”
I turned and glanced around his bathroom. You can tell a lot about someone just by looking at their bathroom.
His toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving foam, razor etc. were all lined up neatly next to the sink, but there were some toothpaste stains in the sink. He’s tidy, but not clean. His towels were Gryffindor colours. Once again, really hope he doesn’t end up marrying a Slytherin: might be a bit of a shock to the system if he does. White walls, shiny tile floor, fluffy rug in front of a huge bath. The taps were shiny and golden and the shower was paved with marble.
Merlin, this family was loaded.
I wonder if James’ bathroom is like this.
NOW WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? WHY AM I THINKING ABOUT JAMES? WHAT? NO.
After I’d changed into his bloody Quidditch jumper (which was very soft and came down to mid-thigh on me, note to self: find out what fabric softener his mum uses) I puddled about in the little spongebag Ginny had left me beside the sink. Little collapsible toothbrush, tiny tube of toothpaste, folding hairbrush, make-up wipes, Q-tip, and OH MY GOD CHAPSTICK.
Okay, you may already know a hell of a lot about me, because you’re in my head and all, but one thing you DON’T know about me yet is that I have an unhealthy obsession with chapsticks. I would rather leave the house without my wand than without my chapstick. Seriously, if I only had room for one more thing in my pocket my chapstick would be in before absolutely anything else. Except maybe my keys, because I would need those to access the rest of my chapsticks in my apartment. I have a small drawer (right under my “man drawer”, as I like to call it, which I will explain at a later date) that is just full of chapsticks. Mostly apple ones. They’re the best ones.
Once, I left my chapstick at home and had to go cold turkey for a whole day. It was absolute hell: I genuinely thought I was going to die.
I smeared the chapstick reverently on my lips - cherry, not apple, but it will do – and cleaned my teeth with my cute little foldy toothbrush.
“Will you hurry up in there, I think my bladder may be about to explode!”
I rolled my eyes and called through a mouthful of toothpaste: “Well oo shhooud’ve gun beshore!”
“Oo shoood huv guuunn beshore!”
“I don’t speak gibberish!”
I spat and began running the tap to wash my face. Unfortunately my little airline package didn’t contain wipes to remove my whore/clown/actually-pretty-hot make-up. I grimaced at the thought of having to rifle through Potter’s drawers to find soap, but took a deep breath and started with the first one on my right.
Painkillers, bandages, plasters, all medical stuff. Next drawer down.
Holy fucking shit balls this guy has more products in his bathroom than Shiraz’s whole apartment. Hair gels, facial creams, Vaseline, hair wax, moisturiser, oh my Merlin he is practically a girl. I snorted and moved on to the first drawer on my left.
Ahhh, soap at last. Awww, it’s in the shape of a teddy bear! What a cutie patootie!
I started to lather up the soap in the warm water, eying up the final drawer under the sink. I shouldn’t. But I really want to. But I shouldn’t. I shook my head and started to scrub at my face in an attempt to get rid of the ghastly make-up.
Before I knew it my hands were opening the bottom drawer and I was peering inside.
Woah. Woah woah woahwoahwoahWOAHWOAHWOAH.
I snapped the drawer shut. Did NOT need to see that. What the fuck is wrong with him?
I finished washing up and exited the bathroom to find Potter lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.
“Why on earth do you have an entire bathroom dawer filled to the brim with condoms?” I asked, folding my arms and raising my eyebrows.
“You never know when they might be needed.” He answered without missing a beat, before getting up and walking towards the bathroom. He stopped just as he passed me. “And sweetie?”
I smiled sarcastically at him. “Yes, dear?”
“If we’re going to maintain this darling relationship of ours, you’ve got to stop going through my stuff.”
He slammed the bathroom door shut behind him.
Hormonal teenage girl, much?
“Please don’t make me sleep on the floor.”
I was standing next to Potter’s bed, holding the pillow he had thrust at me under one arm and the blanket in my other hand, looking at him all cosied up in his scarlet duvet with about twelve pillows.
“You lost the coin flip.” He mumbled, snuggled under his blankets with his eyes closed.
I narrowed my eyes. “I could always just go and tell your mother that we were never really together and that I’m going home now.” I threatened. His eyes shot open.
“Oh, I would.” I said and started towards the door.
“Hey, I am not paying you to rat me out to my mum!” he sat up and I whirled around to face him, lobbing the pillow across the room at him.
“You’re not paying me at all!” The pillow smacked him right in the middle of the face.
“Asiya!” he pushed the pillow away. “Please, you said you would do me this favour, don’t ruin it now! It’s only one more day and then we never have to speak of this again!”
Ah, he has my attention. “We never have to speak of this again, yes?”
He nodded fervently. “Never again.” He wrinkled up his face. “Not that I’d want to, anyway.”
“Okay,” I said, folding my arms. “I have one condition and I won’t go running to your mum.”
“I get to sleep on the bed.”
“Fine!” He threw his hands up in the air in exasperation and tossed the covers off him as I grinned and skipped over to the bed. It looked so soft and comfy. “Toss me a pillow, will you?” He said as I snuggled down into the duvet – which was just as soft and comfy as it looked – and I chucked it at his face, laughing as he let out a yelp and promptly fell off the bed and landed on the floor with a loud, resounding thud.
“Fucking Chaser.” Came the muffled grumble from the carpet.
“You definitely should have known not to mess with me then, sucker.” I retorted, pushing a couple more of his dozen pillows over the side of the bed on top of him. His head popped up and he glared at me.
“Watch it, loser, or I’ll-”
“Or you’ll what, seek me to death?” I shot back.
He scoffed. “No. I’ll… I’ll… Shut up.” I smirked as he flipped me off and rolled over, attempting to assemble his pillows into a more comfortable fashion. “Blanket.” He held his hand out and I automatically, being his secretary, had a blanket in his hands within miliseconds. I am so good at my job.
Once he was comfortable, there were a few minutes of silence before either of us spoke.
“Are you sure you’re okay with sleeping on the floor?”
“I mean I-”
“Because I mean that looks really uncomfortable,” I said as I rolled over and looked at him lying with pillows askew and the blanket not entirely covering him. “and I-”
“Merlin, Asiya, do you want me to sleep on the bed with you?”
“You seemed a little bit too eager there, hun.”
I shot him glower. “I was just trying to be nice.”
“For once in your life.” He muttered mutinously. “Alright, seeing as you’re actually being nice for once,” he huffed his way up and onto the bed. “I’ll take advantage of that fact and take you up on your offer.”
I glared at him as he got under the covers next to me. At least I still got the side nearest the window (bonus!).
“So…” I said, looking at his eyes that were peeking out from under the covers. “What’s the deal with your family and Rita Skeeter?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Albus is unavailable for answering that question. Please try again later. Or never.” He rolled his eyes and turned over so he was facing away from me.
“Hey!” I propped myself up on my elbows. “If we’re gonna be “dating” for the next little while, I have to know what’s going on with you and your family!”
“You don’t need to know about that.”
“I was only asking-”
“Not about that, Patil!” Ooh, last names are getting involved. This can’t be good. “Goodnight.”
Anti-climax much? I really don’t get this boy, one minute he’s being all sassy about me asking a simple question, and the next he’s fine and drifting off to sleep. It’s like PRATbamNORMAL. What is going on with him. I really do think that we should know more about each other personally if we’re going to get through the next twenty-four hours or so. Oh well. Guess I’ll start.
“My favourite colour is green.” I said, staring at the ceiling.
Albus rolled over and stared at me. “What?”
“Not the bright kind of green or the Slytherin green, the kind of green that the ground is when light shines through trees.” NO I AM TOTALLY NOT THINKING OF ALBUS’ EYES RIGHT NOW SHUT UP THEY’RE UGLY. “Umm… When all the other little girls I was friends with when I was little took ballet classes, I would rather be running round the park and being on the swings and stuff. I tell myself I’m not allergic to pineapple because it’s my favourite fruit but in actuality it makes my tongue swell up.”
“What are you doing?” Albus was staring at me incredulously.
“I’m telling you about myself. Stupid stuff. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. We need to know more about each other. I love doing the Macarena. I have four siblings, and only one of them is a little shit. I don’t like having flowers in the house because they remind me of funerals.” I paused. “I oly have one photo of me and my dad. I love watching muggle movies. Especially the black and white ones, they’re the best. But The Pink Panther is definitely one of my favourites. And that’s not all you need to know about me but that’s all I can think of right now.” I looked at him. “You okay?”
He had a kind of blank stare thing going on. “Yeah, just processing.”
There was a long pause.
“You actually like pineapple?”
“THAT’S WHAT YOU TOOK AWAY FROM THAT?!”
“I hate pineapple.”
“I hate you.”
“And what on earth is the Macarena?”
“You don’t know the Macarena?”
“You know, ashabandoonanabelalalena hammiunagooforamehaladora yukibolasarnatilamanahena EEEEEEEHHHHH MACARENA!” I started singing the infamous tune.
He started laughing hysterically. “I know what the Macarena is, I just wanted to hear you sing it.”
“You’re a terrible singer.”
“That’s it!” I started violently kicking him until he hit the floor with a very satisfying crash. “You’re sleeping on the floor!” He was still laughing as he gathered his pillows once again and set up shop on the floor.
A few more minutes of silence ensued.
“Like you know the words to the Macarana.” I scoffed at him.
“I could do better than you.”
“Xjsdojwdpowdlwdfwqfkleqfelfkeqofeqfoeieofreqpoekjfcolasdfghjkllodwpoqkaaa EEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHH MACARENA.”
And suddenly we were both pissing ourselves and doing our renditions of the Macarena – dancing and all – while lying down in bed.
I woke up face down in the middle of the bed, arms and legs splayed in proper qwop formation and my face pressed into a pillow. HOLY SHIT HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN LIKE THIS I CAN’T FUCKING BREATHE.
I brought my head up and drew a long breath of air. It felt like I hadn’t had any oxygen for days.
I gazed around the room, which due to my sleepy haziness and severe lack of oxygen, was a sort of blurry red. Where the fuck am I? My room is blue! My eyes rested on what appeared to be a human figure on the floor. Oh shit I killed someone didn’t I? WHY IS IT THAT FIRST THING IN THE MORNING I CAN’T REMEMBER ANYTHING INCLUDING MY OWN NAME?! I blinked a few times to clear my eyes and realised the figure on the floor was none other than Albus Potter. Holy fucking shit balls I killed my boss. I murdered one of the most famous wizards to walk the face of the planet. And, knowing my relationship with him, it was probably violent and bloody too. Oh crap oh crap oh crap.
And then Potter let out a humungous snore and rolled over, and it all came flooding back to me. The party. The bedroom. The fact that I’m currently risking my entire reputation for someone I despise with all my being.
I miss when I forgot who I was and what an idiot I am.
“What time is it?” I muttered and glanced around the room for a clock. There was one on his bedside table, reading half past eight in the morning. Oh it’s fine, it’s a Sunday and I can get away with a couple more hours of sleep. I sighed and lay back down, making sure to face up this time, when suddenly there was a knock on the door.
“Good morning!” Came Nana Molly’s sing song voice through the door. “Can I come in?” Shit.
“One second!” I called back. “Potter.” I whispered at the sleeping idiot. He was on his back, limbs everywhere and his mouth wide open. Wow, he’s almost as inelegant as I am when I’m asleep.
“Potter! POTTER!” I hissed as loud as I dared to before I gave up and thwacked a pillow down on his face.
“AGH! WHAT?!” He sat up with a very undignified yelp and looked at me blearily.
“Your grandmother is at the door, get up here!” I whispered and his eyes widened before he scrambled up, grabbing various pillows and blankets – throwing one very violently back at me – before awkwardly climbing into bed beside me.
“Okay what do we do?!” He said under his breathe.
“Oh I dunno just spoon me for fuck’s sake!” I hissed and turned so I was facing away from him. He put his arm over my middle and HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT PRESSING INTO MY BUTT CHEEK.
“OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT?!” I turned and sat up, pushing him away from me.
“I’m sorry, it’s morning!”
“What do you mean it’s morning?”
He just gave me a look and suddenly it dawned on me. UGH UGH EW EW EW EW EW EW EW EW EW EW.
“I’m coming in!” Nana Molly warned and the door started slowly creaking open.
“That’s disgusting. You’re disgusting.” I said as we finally settled with him half sitting up and me lying across his chest, arms around each other.
Nana Molly popped her head round the door right as Albus awkwardly started stroking my head and I slapped his hand away. “Room service!” She bumped the door the rest of the way open with her hip and entered with two mugs of tea.
“Ooh thanks mum!” Albus said, still sounding very groggy.
“Oh you shouldn’t have gone to all that trouble, Mrs Weasley!” I said, shifting around so I had the back of my head in Albus’ armpit rather than my nose.
“How many times do I have to tell you to call me Nana Molly?” She tutted, passing us both mugs of tea. I took a sip. Oooh, lots of milk and two sugars, just how I like it. This woman is definitely psychic and I definitely want her to be my adoptive grandma.
“Sorry Nana.” I grinned. “Thank you for the tea.”
“Is there room for one more in here?” Oh holy crap. Papa Arthur had now decided his input was needed and was ambling into the room towards our bed.
“Oh, really, grandpa?” Albue said exasperatedly. “Is there a need to have a family gathering in my bedroom at nine in the morning? Can we not do this?”
“Oh, mum, I was just about to tell them to come down for breakfast soon!” Oh look, it would seem that Ginny has joined us.
“Apparently we can.” Albus muttered under his breath, in reference to his previous statement.
“Sorry, dear, I just brought them a cup of tea is all.” Nana Molly said to Ginny, who was now right next to the bed as well.
“Okay, well we only just woke up so this is all a bit much first thing in the morning.” I said as politely as I could, and Albus added to that by giving a very grumpy fake yawn and rubbing his eyes.
“Oh yes, we shall leave you two alone to get ready.” Ginny said, beginning to usher her parents out of the room.
“Yes, go.” Albus said, waving a hand at them lazily as they left. “Go… go… go… go…” he said continuously until at last the door snapped shut behind them.
“Uuuggggghhmmmmfffff.” I rolled away from him and faceplanted a pillow.
“You realise that if we’re not down in approximately three minutes they’ll all be back up here wondering where we are, right?” Albus prodded me in the side.
“Are you gonna get up?”
“Two more minutes.”
I never knew that breakfast could be such a fascinating affair.
“Who wants bacon?”
“Someone pass the pancakes!”
“Can anybody see the ketchup?”
“I’ll have bacon!”
“Hugo! Stop throwing scrambled egg at Molly!”
“Can someone please pass me the pancakes?”
“Louis, take those chopsticks out of your nose.”
“Hugo! I’m warning you!”
“Why are there even chopsticks at a breakfast table in the middle of Britain?”
“Will someone PLEASE PASS ME THE PANCAKES?!”
“Victoire, Teddy, no face licking at the table.”
“Hugo Arthur Marcus Weasley! Put that scrambled egg down right now!”
“Lucy, put your iPod away.”
“Does anyone know where the orange juice is?”
“OH MY GOD WHY WILL NOBODY PASS ME THE PANCAKES?!”
Poor Rose, who was sitting next to me, was the one asking for the pancakes. Apparently it’s some kind of unspoken rule in this house that nobody listens to anybody. Ever. And because the Potters were the only part of the Wotter clan to actually live in London, every single one of them was staying here for the weekend.
When at last everyone had what they wanted, Hugo had been banished to eat outside, chopsticks had been extracted from noses and Rose had crawled across the table to get the pancakes, there was a bit of loud chatter as everyone stuffed their faces. Hermione had excused herself to go to the bathroom already, probably just to get away from the noise.
“So how was last night?” Rose asked me quietly while Albus, who was next to me, was preoccupied with having a chop stick sword fight with Roxy.
“We sang the Macarena and he slept on the floor.” I shrugged. She snorted into her pancakes.
“Trust you. How did you manage to get him to sleep on the floor?”
“My amazing powers of persuasion and sexual prowess.”
“How did you really get him to sleep on the floor?”
“Blackmail and brute force.”
“How on earth did you use brute force? He’s twice the size of you!”
“I had control of the pillows.”
I focused on my plate of bacon and scrambled egg for the next few minutes, trying not to get annoyed at the fact that every time Albus moved, his elbow rubbed against mine and it was fucking annoying.
“Open up, you.” My gaze switched to Ginny as she held a syrup-smothered pancake up towards Harry, smiling slightly and obviously using her flirty voice. He looked at the pancake, looked at her, and raised his eyebrows. “Don’t you trust me?” she giggled. I couldn’t help but smile at the high-schoolish relationship they had, even though they had been together for twenty-eight years. Harry rolled his eyes and opened his mouth, waiting for the pancake.
Ginny then proceeded to grin and smush the entire pancake into the centre of his face, splattering syrup everywhere. “YOUR MISTAKE, FUCKER!”
The whole table roared with laughter as Ginny got up and ran off cackling, leaving Harry sitting with his mouth wide open, syrup dripping into his lap and a very disgruntled look on his face.
“My bloody wife.” He shook his head and wiped maple syrup from his nose. “I knew I married you for a reason!” He called after her, licking the syrup off his finger.
She popped her head back around the door, her face still glowing with laughter.
I love this family.
“POST!” Nana Molly shrieked, pointing towards the window. And suddenly there was panic as about eight people rushed towards the window. There was an owl flying towards it at very high speed with what looked to be The Daily Prophet attached to his leg.
“Woah woah woah why is there such chaos over the post?!” I exclaimed as a jug of milk went flying thanks to Fred’s foot, as he was currently climbing over the table in his haste to get to the window.
Right before the owl got to the window, Papa Arthur threw it open and ducked. As did most of the people in the room. I wish someone had warned me as to what was about to happen, because it would have made the next few minutes ever so slightly less mortifying than they were.
The owl that had come at top speed towards the window promptly crashed into the bowl of cornflakes, skidded down the middle of the table – taking out everything in its path in the process – and skidded to a stop directly in front of me, spraying me with orange juice, milk, damp cornflakes and bacon.
“Oh. That’s why.” I said as Ron fished the stupid bird out of the mess in front of me.
“Why, Pig? Why do you do these things?” Ron grumbled, detaching the – somewhat soggy – paper from the idiotic bird’s leg and passing it straight to his wife.
“Shouldn’t that thing be dead by now?” Harry asked Ron, giving the tiny clumsy owl a withering look.
“Definitely. With the amount of trees he’s flown into he should at least be in a coma.”
“Oh no.” Hermione had unfolded the paper and was looking at the front page with a mixture of shock and annoyance. Okay, scrap annoyance. She was downright pissed. “Ginny!”
Ginny came wandering back into the room, having taken shelter in the corridor.
“You know how you hate Rita Skeeter with a burning fiery passion and all?”
“I’m aware of this fact.” Ginny nodded. “Why? What’s happened?”
“Well…” Hermione hesitated, looking between her, me, Albus and James. “I have something to show you, and I don’t think you’re going to like it.” She glanced down at the paper again. “Never mind. You’re definitely not going to like it.”
And she turned the paper so that everyone could see the story that was taking up the whole of the front page. The headline, in large block letters, said: “BOTH BROTHERS?!” and there was a picture taking up most of the rest of the page.
What was the picture of, you ask?
Oh it was of me. On the veranda at last night’s get-together. On the ground.
Straddling James Potter.
It just took me like five minutes to find the squiggly on this new keyboard.
Hi. I'm back. Surprise! It's been a busy few months, I promise I have my reasons and it won't happen again. I don't really want to think about how long it's been since I updated and I am so so so so so sorry. But to make up for it I gave you the longest chapter yet! Yaaaaayy! Lots of drama, some Albus/Asiya stuff! Please forgive me? And thank you so much for not giving up on me and not unfavouriting!
Reviews are love, my darlings! Please please please do leave your thoughts and comments!