You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


The Adventures of Abigail Higgs and Potter Boy by alicia and anne

Format: Novel
Chapters: 44
Word Count: 165,987
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Humor, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: James (II), OC
Pairings: James/OC, OC/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 12/09/2013
Last Chapter: 04/20/2016
Last Updated: 04/21/2016

Summary:
Banner and chapter images made by me :D



Winner of the 2015 Dobby Award for Best Next Generation.

The idea of a misfit schoolgirl catching the attention of the most popular boy at Hogwarts is, in Abigail Higgs' opinion, merely a story in one of the comic books her father is famous for creating. However, with a love of comics and a determination to turn fiction into reality, James Potter would like to disagree.


Chapter 1: The One Where James Knocks Me Down
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Welcome to my NaNo novel! I had so much fun writing this story and I really hope that you all enjoy it as much as I have. A massive thanks go out to Isobel and Sam for their help with the story summary and general ideas being thrown around here and there. Also a big thanks to LillyRoseanne, MissesWeasley123 and Hufflepuff_Blitz for their help and interest in the Novel Nest. Last but not least, this chapter is dedicated to ReeBee for making me edit this so that they could read it. :D I really hope that you enjoy it!
The idea for the chapter titles comes from Friends, owned by Carter Bays.






Abigail Higgs
My sixth year at Hogwarts was going to be exactly like every other year that I had spent at the castle; average and uneventful. Which was my life in a nutshell. Although, falling out with my best friend more times than I can even begin to count definitely counted as eventful. So, only half of that statement was true.

My grades were definitely average. Except for my Muggle Studies grade of course, but that was neither here nor there. There weren't many people who classed Muggle Studies as an actual subject, so I’m sure that no one would care about the grades.

As I watched my brother handing my trunk over to the porter, to place on the train for me, I thought about what sixth year would bring me. Maybe this year Michelle and I would move passed her jealousy and obvious trust issues to have a year of no fall outs? I almost scoffed at my thoughts as soon as they arrived. It wouldn't surprise me if Michelle found a reason to fall out with me whilst we were on the train. Why would we change a habit of a lifetime? It's been well known that humans don’t cope well with change, so I’m not sure we could handle not having a fall out.

“Have I lost you in that mind of yours again?” I heard my brother ask me, pulling me from my deep thoughts as I turned to look at him with a sly grin and a roll of my brown eyes. “I’m surprised that we managed to get you out of your room to come back to school. You spent the entire summer stuck in there and not venturing out unless it was for food.”

“There’s going to be food on the train,” I informed him. It was Daryl’s turn to roll his eyes before he grabbed me and pulled me into a hug. He was quite a bit taller than me, so his chin resting on the top of my head.

Daryl was two years older than me and had graduated from Hogwarts in the June. He life now consisted of moping around on the sofa and stealing my sweets, as he tried to decide what he wanted to do with is life.

“I’m going to miss you, Abigail,” he said, kissing the top of my head. I grinned as I hugged him harder; I always hated saying goodbye.

I may be sad about the fact that both of my parents were working, leaving them unable to bring me here themselves, but I was glad that Daryl had taken the time to bring me back to school himself.

Daryl let go of me and bent down to pick up the cage that contained my cat, Snowball, before handing it to me.

“You best get going before the train leaves and I’m stuck with you again,” Daryl told me.

“Just when I think we’re having a nice interaction,” I said with a shake of my head, the cage heavy in my arms. I gave a smile to him before I began to make my way through the crowds of people on the platform.

I climbed aboard the train and began to make my way past the carriages. I glanced in each compartment that I passed as I looked for Michelle. I hoped that I would find her soon; the cage in my hands was beginning to weigh me down and Snowball wasn’t helping me in any way by moving around. I spotted Michelle after a short time of searching and joined her in the compartment. I gave her a smile in greeting as I placed the cage on the seat opposite her. I gave a huge sigh of relief, and could hear Michelle’s chuckle as I took off my backpack before sitting down.

“He is getting quite heavy now; I think I need to cut back on his food,” I said as I leant across the seat so that I could shut the door of the compartment, wanting to be able to let Snowball out of the cage for a while. Snowball seemed to not want to leave the cage after I had opened the door for him; choosing instead to just look at me. He was beginning to resemble a giant ball of white candy floss with eyes.

“Are you not even going to come out?” I asked him. He ignored me as he decided to lie down in what looked like an uncomfortable position.

Michelle gave a laugh as I rolled my eyes and shook my head. I pushed a hand through my long brunette hair as I turned to look at my friend. I noticed that she had cut her blonde hair, so that it was now shoulder length.

“He is the strangest cat that I’ve ever met,” I informed her.

“Do you meet many strange animals?” Michelle asked me, amusement dancing in her eyes.

“Not that many,” I stated as I got myself more comfortable in my seat as the train began to move out of the station. “How have you been? I like your hair.”

“Thank you,” Michelle said as her hand went to her shorter hair, “Takes a while to get used to but I like it. It cheered me up a bit after finding out that Lucien got the Captains badge instead of me; I felt for sure that this was going to be my year. Now, there’s no chance of me being a captain because Lucien is in our year. So, unless he gets kicked off of the team, gives away his captain’s badge or just does such a terrible job that he’s forced to give up the badge, there’s no hope.”

I nodded along with Michelle’s words as she continued talking. I had heard the same speech over and over since our Hogwarts letters had arrived. Michelle had written to me straight away, telling me that she didn’t get the Captains badge. To which I replied with my sadness that she didn’t get the badge, even though in all honesty I couldn’t care less about Quidditch. I did feel sorry for my friend who had wanted nothing more than to be captain.

“But I finally got that new broom that dad promised me if I got good grades in my O.W.L exams, so that is a bonus. I guess I could put up with Lucien though, give him a few pointers and ideas for plays that he could try out.”

I gave a nod at her words as I reached down for my backpack, reaching in so that I could get the drink I had packed in here as well as a few comic books. I pulled out the first one that my hands reached, smiling as I looked down at the cover of it.

I could almost hear Michelle rolling her eyes, “I guess that now is the time when I make my own entertainment,” she stated.

She knew me so well.

“Yep, I want to get some reading in before we get to school.”

“We’ve got hours yet,” Michelle informed me as she reached into her own back to pull a magazine out for her to read. “So you should be able to get in at least one.”

I smiled as I opened my comic book to the page that I had left it at last night, making myself more comfortable in the seat. I heard Michelle flipping the pages of her magazine, both of us falling into a relaxing silence with each other.

Looking down at the pictures on the page, I could see the hero of the story running from frame to frame of the story as someone chased him.

They all ran through two frames on the comic strip before the hero stopped on the third to shoot some spells backwards. The bright splashes of light from the spells illuminated the previous frame, which the villains were now in.

I felt myself getting lost in the story again as I watched the story unfolding before my eyes. It has always amazed me that no matter how many times I read a comic book I would always find something different to look at. It was like the story was different each time somehow, It was as though the adventures of the characters were real.

This was the major difference between Wizarding comics and Muggle comic books. The pages of Muggle ones would stay completely still, whereas the Wizarding ones moved. Some would even emit sounds and smells and at times things would jump off of the page at you.

I had an obsession with reading them and yet I didn’t know many people that shared the same fascination as I did with them. Michelle had tried to read one but she had gotten bored of the storyline. She didn’t seem to understand that she would need to read further in to understand what was going on.

The words, ‘You’ve got nowhere left to run now,’ flashed across the page indicating that one of the villains was talking. He was looking at the hero, who was standing on the edge of a cliff. The other villain had perished in the previous fight a few frames ago.

‘Face your death like a man,’ the words flashed up again. I noticed that it was the crazy one of the two; he had sold his soul a few comics ago to get more power, and it had begun to drive him insane.

The hero shook his head before raising his wand; the villain raised his as well.

Two sets of words, that I knew were spells, flashed across the page before a flash of colour. The words ‘To be continued...’ came up on the page, it was a few moments before the entire page replayed itself. I closed the book, eager to learn the outcome of the Hero and Villain. But as this was the latest edition out I knew that I would have to wait a few weeks until my father would send me the next one. So for something to do I decided to flip to the first page and begin reading that edition again.

A few hours and two more comic books later, I decided to get changed into my school robes. I grabbed for my them out of my backpack, ignoring the fact that they would now have creases and stood up.

I could get the creases out with my wand later on.

“I’m going to go and get changed,” I informed Michelle, who nodded at me as she continued reading the magazine from earlier. She hadn’t managed to finish it as she had taken a nap for a while, something that I was now wishing that I had the sense to do.

“I’ll go and get ready later on, I not sure I have the energy to change yet,” Michelle told me with a shrug.

I nodded at her before leaving the compartment and walking down the corridor; the bathroom wasn’t that far away.

About ten minutes later I had changed and was beginning to make my way back down the corridor, my normal clothes bundled up my hands. I watched out of the train window as the scenery passed by me in a blur. I was trying to figure out how many days it would be until the next edition of the comic would be out. I wondered if I would be able to survive that long before I would want to explode in an impatient rage. Before I could dwell on that for long I snapped out of my thoughts by a loud yell.

Frowning, I looked up but someone slammed into me and pushed me to the floor as they crashed on top of me.

“What the hell is going on?” I cried before I could stop myself. My back was hurting as was my arse where I had landed. I was going to bruise, I could feel them forming already. I attempted to move but the person on top of me was preventing that from happening.

“I am so sorry, Abigail,” the person said as they managed to get up off of me and stood up, holding a hand down for me to take. When I looked up I noticed that the person who had barrelled into me was none other than James Potter.

Well, this was different.

I took his hand with a grateful smile and he helped to pull me to my feet. He dusted down my arms before bending down and picking up the bundle of clothes that had fallen from my grasp. He handed them to me as I stared at him, wondering if I should tell him off for hurting me. I settled for just continuing to stare at him.

"I am so sorry, Abigail. I did yell but I think you were in your own little world. It's my fault for running in the first place, though; I’m trying to find someone. Are you hurt?" He asked me in concern.

I stared at him for a few more moments before giving a slow shake of my head as I processed his rambling.

"It’s okay, I’m just shocked. It’s not every day you have someone literally running into you," I joked, James gave a laugh.

"We can tell people, 'hey, guess who I just ran into' and it will in fact be true." James stated with a wide grin, I gave a laugh at his joke and James seemed happy about the fact that I had.

"I best be off, but I haven’t hurt you have I? You’re feeling okay?" he asked me again, his eyes flickering over me as though searching for any wounds.

"I’m fine, James," I told him, feeling my cheeks beginning to get warm.

"Good. I'll see you around then," he said before running back off down the corridor.

I turned to watch him go with a small frown. I definitely had to admit that this was different. I could not remember an actual time that James and I have had a conversation, or at least one that lasted past, ‘Hello’. The fact that we were in two separate groups of people, or social hierarchy as Michelle liked to say, was the reason that we never spoke. We knew who the other was, who wouldn’t after being in the same year as each other for six years now.

I walked to the compartment that I shared with Michelle and closed the door behind myself, placing my bundle of clothes on the seat. I noticed that Snowball was now lying on top of my backpack; even though he was completely in my way I was glad that he managed to move from the cage.

"What took you so long?" Michelle asked me. I gave a smile as James’ earlier words popped into my head.

"Guess who I just ran into?"
 




A/N: A massive thank you to my Beta Sam! :D


Chapter 2: The One With The 'Supportive' Best Friend
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I am so glad that so many people are interested in this story! It makes me so happy to see the read counter go up and to get more reviews and favourites, you all make my day so much!

It's a bit of a short chapter, but I promise that the next one shall be action packed and longer! I just wanted to get this out to you all. 

I hope that you all enjoy this, let me know!

A big thank you to my Beta Sam! :D





Chapter Image of Michelle Addison.


Waking up early after six weeks of going to bed late was not an easy task, let me tell you that. Michelle didn't want to get out of bed, even though she knew that it was the start of classes today. It took me pulling the quilt off of her to force her to move out of it.

She may have only got out of bed to try and hit me, but I consider that a success.

I wasn’t looking forward to attempting to wake her up most mornings, especially as she’s old enough to be waking herself up. But I knew that if I didn’t she would only moan at me and somehow make it all my fault. So I chose her attempting to murder me for waking her up, then having her fall out with me over it.

There had been times when I had thought to myself that it would be much easier if I got myself another friend. One who wouldn’t fall out with me for no reason, or wouldn’t make me fear waking her up and feeling her wrath. But there was no point now, It was familiar and I will admit that I will put up with it just because I had for all these years. Why break the habit now?

Michelle stomped to the bathroom and slammed the door shut behind her; I gave a wince as the sound reverberated around the room. If our roommates weren’t already up and had gone for breakfast they would certainly be awake now.

“I’m going down for breakfast, I’ll meet you there,” I called through the door. I waited for a reply that didn’t come, before I rolled my eyes and left the room, picking up my bag as I passed it.

It wasn’t that long after I left the common room that I found myself at the Great Hall. Us Hufflepuff’s are quite lucky in that department. I’d hate to be a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor, merely for the amount of time that it would take me to get to meal times. At least this way, if I overindulged during dessert, which happened often, I would only have to walk a minute and I’d be able to lie down on my bed and have a nap.

Who doesn’t love to nap after eating a lot of food?

I entered the Great Hall and took a seat at the Hufflepuff table not too far into the room. I found a gap beside a small group of first years; it was nice that they all decided to stick together for their first school day. I wonder how long it’ll be until they start to drift away from each other, or find new friends to hang around with? Michelle and I spent the first few weeks of our time at Hogwarts with our roommates Isabella Dempsie and Sian Mellor. But after a while we both broke off into our own group of friends. It’s not that Michelle and I didn’t like them, it’s just that was the way it turned out. In fact, it was them that didn’t seem to like Michelle. They thought that she tried to take over their lives too much and was always dictating what they all should do.

She still did the same with me, something which at times I hated, but I was and still am a bit of a push over. There have been times that I would have tried to have a talk with her about it all, but it wasn’t worth the hassle of having her stop talking to me over it. It was a childish behaviour I know, but I didn’t like having to walk around the school on my own when this happened. I would rather she talked to me then me realise that she’s basically my only friend.

“Miss Higgs, I have your class schedule here,” Mrs Henshaw, the Head of Hufflepuff and my Charms teacher, said as she handed me a piece of parchment. A smile was across her warm face as she looked down at me. I took it from her with thanks and looked down at it. “As you achieved good enough grades in your O.W.Ls, tyou are able to take the classes that you signed up for during your fifth year. Congratulations.”

“Thank you,” I said, looking up at her with a smile. I looked back down at my parchment and studied it as she walked away from me and to another student.

I noticed that what would have been my first lesson was a free period and then after that I would be going to Charms. I wondered if Michelle would have a free period as well. If so, she wouldn’t be happy to know that she could have spent longer in bed, but it’s not my fault that she’s not a morning person.

She’d somehow make out that this was my fault.

I was tempted to go back to the dormitory and make sure that she didn't go back to sleep. Maybe she would appreciate that I had woken her up so that she didn’t miss getting her schedule. She would have had to go to Mrs Henshaws office to get it and possibly missing her first lesson of the day. But she walked through the doors of the Great Hall, her blonde hair up in a ponytail.

I noticed that she didn’t have an angry look on her face, but she did have a tired one. She sat down opposite me and gave me a nod in greeting as she grabbed for some coffee and poured it into a cup, before beginning to drink it.

“Black coffee without any milk or sugar?” I enquired with her. “You must be tired if you’re touching that.”

Michelle nodded as she winced at the hotness of the coffee, “I didn’t get much sleep last night. I think it was the excitement of the first day of classes starting?”

I wasn’t sure if she was being serious or not. It didn’t sound like something that she would say to me, it had to be a joke.

Mrs Henshaw made her way back down and handed Michelle her schedule. Telling Michelle that she had achieved good enough grades to continue on her lessons that she had taken the year before. Michelle had stated that she wanted to drop Muggle Studies though. The teacher wasn’t too happy and neither was I actually. But the teacher waved their wand and the schedule changed so that Muggle Studies would be removed.

“Don’t give me that look, Abigail,” Michelle told me as she looked at her schedule. “I hated that class, it was boring.”

“Learning about Muggles isn’t boring.”

“Maybe not for you, but I grew up around them; it’s not that fun anymore.”

I was about to open my mouth and ask her who I was going to sit next to now, when she said something that shut me up.

"James is facing this way." She nodded behind me and I turned to see where she was looking at the Gryffindor table. By the time I found where James was sitting he was talking to his friend. I turned back around to face Michelle. "I bet you wouldn’t mind if he 'ran' into you again,"

I rolled my eyes at Michelle. "It was an accident."

"Of course it was an accident, there's no way James would have talked to you otherwise. He was just being polite because he knocked you both to the ground," she told me, causing me to want to do nothing more than curl up into a ball. She was right, I knew she was, but it still hurt to hear it.

"He has talked to me before, we said hello to each other once and he leant me a quill back in the third year."

"Which you did not give back and you had framed,"

"I did not frame it," I told her.

"You probably would have if you had the chance."

"No, I wouldn’t." I stated shaking my head again. “I’m not that weird. Besides, I don’t have a crush on him anymore.”

Michelle gave a scoff next to me and I rolled my eyes at her.

“I know you still have a crush on him, it’s obvious to everyone, Abigail. I wouldn’t be surprised if James knows and him talking to you now is the start of him telling you to back off.”

My frown deepened at her hurtful words. I could have easily mentioned Michelle’s obsession with Ethan Richards that she had since last year. But I wasn’t mean enough to say something to her or make fun of her. So I settled for a sigh again and continued to eat my food. Listening to the chatter of the people around me, catching up with each other and telling stories about their holidays.

I tried to resist the urge to look back at James; he was sitting with his friend William and some of the other Gryffindor boys from our year. I didn’t know what I was expecting looking up at him before. That maybe he would be watching me?

I frowned as I stabbed my fork into my food and my mood soured.

I was kidding myself; we talked on the train because he was apologising to me, there was nothing more. There never would be anything more and I knew it. Feeling the weight of dejection and embarrassment flooding through me. I wanted nothing more than to leave the Great Hall and to be up in her dormitory reading and being with my cat. At least my cat loved me, although that was probably only because I was the one who fed him and fussed over him.

“Oh come on, Abigail, there’s no need to get your wand in a knot,” Michelle said to me with a small laugh, “I was only having a joke with you; you need to stop being so sensitive all the time.”

I wanted to tell her that the reason my ‘wand was in a knot’ was because of what she had said to me. I wanted to tell her that she needed to start treating me a lot better, I was growing tired of her jokes. Maybe this year could be the start of a new Abigail? One who spoke her mind and didn’t let anyone walk over her.

I looked up at her; she rolled her eyes at me and shook her head, “I’m going back to the dormitory, when you get over this come and find me.” She pushed away from the table and stood up, leaving the room, her half eaten plate of food left behind.

I wish I wasn’t such a bloody push over; that should have been me walking out of the Hall, and I should have been the one who had the last word.

I gave a sigh as I placed my knife and fork down on the table and stood up myself. Pushing my hair out of my eyes, I turned around so that I could make my own way out of the Hall. I let myself glance over at where I knew James was sitting and noticed with a clench of my stomach that he was looking at me again. He gave me a smile and small wave when he noticed that I was looking at him. I waved back awkwardly at him before I darted out of the room, knowing that I looked like a fool in doing so.

Damn! Why couldn’t I behave how I did back on the train? Why did Michelle have to voice my own fears about James only talking to me because he had to and turn me into an even more pathetic mess?

She had managed to zap every bit of confidence I had at talking to James from me and I was annoyed at myself for letting her. Maybe I could work on going back to the Abigail I was when James was talking to me on the train?

I walked slowly away from the Great Hall, not knowing what I was going to do between now and my lesson; I had a whole hour to waste. Maybe I could use this time to work on what I wanted to change in my life? Work on my confidence and summon up the courage to tell my supposed best friend that she needed to be nicer to me. I felt unease spread through me at those thoughts. I knew that I couldn’t stand the thought of falling out with her and having to deal with being alone because I had no other friends. I knew that I was going to find her and apologise for being so sensitive about things, even though I didn’t believe that I was in the wrong.

I really hated myself sometimes.


Chapter 3: The One With The Love Potion
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 
Chapter image of James Potter


I had spent most of my day attending classes, mainly because that was something teachers expected of me at Hogwarts. Otherwise there would be no point in me being here. Although I suppose that this could become a holiday camp of some sort. A place where we can all have parties and games. If we ignore the fact that I would never go to any of this parties or games as I’m not that great at talking to people.

Speaking of talking to people, Michelle is now talking to me again.

It was in our second lesson of the day that Michelle actually began talking to me again. I knew that our little bicker from earlier was forgotten. I let us both ignore it, it was easier to have her talking to me again than it was to not have her around. Our first lesson of the day was a bit awkward, we just sat in silence really whilst I tried to think of a way to get her to talk to me again. I’m not sure what actually made her start talking to me again, but I’m not complaining.

I didn’t much like having my lessons alone, or in total silence because I had no one to speak to. I had already been making excuses for Michelle’s behaviour earlier by telling myself that she was just tired. Lame, I know, but what else was I going to do? Accept the fact that my only friend in the world doesn’t seem to want to be around me?

Michelle seemed a lot happier once we had arrived at our last lesson of the day, which was Potions. I think she was just happy that soon the first full day of lessons would be over. It meant that she could finally corner Lucien and get him to listen to her talking about Quidditch. It was the first day back and she was already thinking about Quidditch trials that wouldn’t even happen for another few weeks. I would have told her to calm down, but it made her happy. It also kept her occupied enough, to not bring up the fact that James Potter was in this lesson with us. He didn’t seem to have noticed that I had walked into the room and had taken a seat at a desk near the front of the class. I wasn’t going to turn around and make a fool of myself by being caught staring at him. So I settled for getting some parchment out of my bag as Michelle handed me a quill, putting a pot of ink between us so that we could share it.

A sudden sweet smell filled my nose and I looked in front of my desk, noticing a cauldron for the first time at the front of the room and near the teacher’s desk. I wondered what was in it and why it smelt so god damn delicious. Chancing a look around the room, I saw that I wasn’t the only one who noticed the smell that was filling the room.

“Are you trying to stare at James?”

I whipped my head back around to the front and turned to Michelle as I shook my head at her.

“Of course not, I was just wondering who was in the lesson that’s all.”

“Sure, you were,” Michelle said with a small laugh.

I gave a sigh and put my head in my hand as I looked at the cauldron again. I was trying to ignore the fact that I was wishing Michelle wasn’t talking to me at that moment. Mainly because I wouldn’t have had to feel embarrassed to look around the classroom as I had done.

Hearing a commotion at the back of the classroom, I knew that the teacher had arrived. I heard him walking to the front of the classroom as my fellow students took their seats so that the lesson could begin.

“Quiet down class and pay attention,” the Potions teacher, Professor Noble, called to us. Professor Noble was in his forties, tall and had black hair that was beginning to go grey.

Professor Noble moved straight to the cauldron that was emitting the beautiful smells. I wanted to just spend the rest of the day in this classroom. “Congratulations on achieving a good enough O.W.L.s grade to continue this class. We’ll jump straight into work, shall we? Can anyone tell me what’s in the cauldron in front of me?”

I looked around the classroom as everyone went silent. I couldn’t say that I knew what the potion was, I wasn’t sure that I had ever seen it before. There was silence for a few more moments, before James laughed and said, “It’s a potion, Professor Noble.”

A few people laughed around him and James nudged one of his friends. I was trying not to laugh at James’s words as Michelle shook her head next to me. Professor Noble gave James a tight smile before telling the class to quieten down again.

“Very true, Potter. But can you tell me what the potion is?” Professor Noble asked him with an eyebrow raised.

“It’s a love potion, Sir,” James told them. One of his friends made a comment that I couldn’t hear and they began laughing again. Michelle seemed more interested in this potion now that she knew what it was; I hoped she didn’t make a comment on me being able to use it on James. “It’s said that the smell emitted from it varies depending on the person who smells it.”

“You’re right, James, a love potion smells different to each individual person. Perhaps you would like to tell the class what it smells like to you?” Professor Noble asked him daringly.

James gave a shrug, before stepping away from his desk and moving forwards to the front of the class and near my desk. Once he stopped in front of it, he took a deep breath, his eyes closing and a small smirk filling his face.

I couldn’t help but watch him.

“I can smell -” He took another deep breath, “-Honey, parchment, strawberries and.... ink?” James said with a small frown with his last words as he opened his eyes again, he shook his head and gave a laugh.

I was amazed that James willingly told the class what he could smell. Especially in front of his friends, Barry Ingle and Elijah Morse, who were laughing and mocking James over what he had described smelling.

“Parchment? Who on earth smells parchment?” I heard Barry laugh, as he shoved Elijah. Elijah began to start snorting from the amount of laughing he was doing. I rolled my eyes at their behaviour; James seemed to be ignoring them.

“Be quiet,” Professor Noble stated, repeating himself, “Maybe you’d like to tell the class what you smell in the potion, Ingle?”

“No chance,” Barry Ingle snorted, crossing his arms across his chest and shaking his head. His dark eyes still held laughter in them.

“Didn’t think so,” Professor Noble said, “Thank you for that, James.”

James nodded before going back to his desk; I looked away from him, not wanting him to catch me staring at him.

“Now, if you all take your places back around your desks, you’ll all get your own chance to find out what true love smells like to you. As for this lesson we are going to be learning how to make this.” Professor Noble waved his wand and instructions began to appear on the board behind him. “Instructions are on the board, you best get started.”

I turned to Michelle, who was already muttering about the ingredients that we would need. As I got the cauldron ready, she dashed off to the cupboard the other side of the room. It was nice to know that her competitive streak wasn’t lost over the holidays, not that I expected it to. In fact, I think it might have gotten worse since she found out that she hadn’t become Captain of the Hufflepuff team. I knew that she was going to try and show that she would have been the better choice.

~~~

“So, what do you smell?” Michelle asked me as she took a whiff of the potion that we had finished.

I leant forwards and took a deep breath, the smell of chocolate filling my lungs, mixed with a hint of apple and coconuts. I could smell parchment, just like James did, as well as rain. That’s weird.

“Er...” I faltered, not sure if I wanted to tell her. I suddenly became insecure and I knew that if Michelle found out about the parchment smell I’d hear no end to it. She already thought that my crush on James was hilarious. “Chocolate, coconuts and apples. How ‘bout you?”

“Grass, soap and polish.” Michelle told me, she seemed almost smug about something. “That’s clearly a sign that I’ll love a Quidditch player.”

I felt almost bad that I didn’t divulge the last two fragrances that I could smell, but I knew that she too was holding back. I tried not to let it bother me.

I gave her a smile before we heard giggling from near us. We both turned to see that Elijah and Barry were whispering to each other with a vial in their hands. I saw Barry slip it into his pocket before looking over at the teacher. I turned to look at the teacher as well and saw that he was having a serious word with James about something that was in the potions book that James was holding.

I turned back to Michelle, who was putting her stuff back into her school bag, whilst we prepared ourselves to leave when the bell would ring.

“I think that Barry has slipped a vial of the potion into his robes. Should we tell the teacher?” I asked her.

Michelle shook her head. “It’s got nothing to do with us, so just ignore it. We don’t want to make them hate us or draw attention to ourselves do we?” she answered. “Besides, it’s not our problem.”

I deliberated for a moment as the bell rang around us and my fellow students began moving towards the door. I followed Michelle as I decided that it wasn’t my problem. It probably wouldn’t be long before Barry and Elijah were caught with whatever they had planned and they would be suitably punished by a teacher.

“Ouch!” I cried, my hand flying to my head as I felt my hair being tugged from behind me. I turned around quickly and in anger; how dare someone pull my hair? But when I turned I saw that the closest person behind me was walking in the opposite direction. Unless they had super human speed it couldn’t have been them. I turned back around and saw Michelle waiting for me with a concerned look on her face.

“What’s up?” She asked me as I neared her, still rubbing the small sore spot on my head.

“It felt like someone was tugging my hair,” I told her. “But I couldn’t see who it was.”

“It was probably Peeves,” Michelle said as she looked up to the ceiling as though Peeves would be floating around. I looked up with her and saw that the corridor was void of the Poltergeist.

“Maybe it was. What’s the point in that though? What is pulling my hair going to achieve?” I stated, feeling annoyed the Poltergeist chose me as a victim today.

“Let’s just put our stuff in our dormitory and then come down for dinner,” Michelle told me. I agreed and we began walking towards the Hufflepuff common room. “Try not to worry about it, Peeves doesn’t have a reason for most of the things he does around here.”

I nodded at her words, knowing that she was right.

“Oh, actually on second thought, can I just meet you in the hall? I see Lucien and I want to talk to him about the upcoming tryouts, try and get my input in,” Michelle asked me. I gave her a nod and told her to go. She bounded off, leaving me to walk to the common room on my own. I didn’t mind, I could now go down to dinner a bit later; I wanted to make sure that my cat was okay. I tried to ignore the fact that I wasn’t that far away from becoming a crazy cat lady. One that couldn’t stop thinking about her cat during the day when she was away from him.

After checking on Snowball, who was still fast asleep where I had left him on my bed at lunch time, the lazy sod. I began walking to the Great Hall, wondering if Michelle was in there yet, or if she was still talking Lucien’s ear off about Quidditch.

In the short walk I had to the Great Hall, I could feel a presence behind me for most of it as though I were being followed. I turned around quickly, scared that Peeves was around again to pull my hair, but when I turned I saw that no one was there. With a frown I turned back around, intending to carry on my walk to the Great Hall when I noticed that James Potter was blocking my way.

“Oh, hello,” I said, giving a nervous laugh, “Can I just get around you please, James?”

“Do you know how wonderful you are, Abigail?” James asked me, ignoring my question and not even moving out of my way.

I looked at him in shock before I gave a laugh before I could stop myself. What on earth was James playing at?

“Good one, James.” I said, managing to move passed him and make my way again to the Great Hall, wondering just what James was doing.

“I’m being serious, Abigail Higgs, you’re all I ever think about. I want you, Abigail, I need you... In fact, I think that I may just love you.” James called after me.

Well, that stopped me in my tracks very quickly. I turned around and looked at him as my eyes began widening in shock.

“You... what?” I asked him, I had to be dreaming. There was no way in the real world that James Potter would declare his love for me. This surely had to be a trick. My eyes darted around me looking for anyone else around that might have some sort of answer to whatever the hell was going on.

Within seconds my eyes fell on Barry and Elijah, who were looking at James and I in shock. I could faintly hear Barry hissing to Elijah, “We’ve got the wrong person.”

That’s when it hit me what was happening, I had seen them putting a vial of the love potion in their bag. They had put the love potion in James’ drink and now James was declaring his love to me, why?

I thought back to the pull on my hair that I had felt earlier, realising that it must have been one of them pulling my hair out to use on the potion. Those bastards, those absolute bastards, this was all a prank on me and on James.

I could feel the tears of humiliation beginning to prickle at my eyes as I looked back at James, who was smiling at me in adoration. Smiling at me as though I were his whole world, not realising that it was just the potion making him feel this way.

“James, listen to me. Your friends have given you a love potion; I need to take you to a teacher.” I told him, trying to keep my tears at bay as I realised that Barry and Elijah had disappeared. The cowards weren’t even going to help me; they had left me to face a love struck James alone.

James took hold of my hand and gave it a kiss, “I’ll go anywhere with you, Abigail.”

I wanted to believe him; I wanted nothing more than for it to be true. But I couldn’t let James make a fool of himself, I couldn’t let my own feelings get in the way of this. I needed to get him help.

“James, I need to snap you out of this. You don’t love me; it’s just the potion talking.” Even as I said those words, it felt like they were stabbing at me to know that the only time he would ever have feelings for me would be under the influence of a potion. He would never feel anything for me otherwise.

“I do love you, Abigail,” James told me as I tried to pull my hands out of his grasp. I hated this. I hated seeing my daydreams of James beginning to come true and knowing that it was just a cruel trick. He looked hurt that I had taken my hands out of his grasp and he fell to his knees as a pleading look crossed his eyes. “Please believe me, I do love you. I want to marry you, I want to have kids with you, and I want to grow old with you. Why won’t you believe me? We could be so happy together, Abigail. I know that we would, just give us a chance.”

I was shaking my head at him as I tried to back away. I wondered just how I was going to get him to a teacher and try to get him to stop declaring his love for me. Thankfully I saw James’s best friend, William Sutton, storming down the corridor and towards us. He had a look of absolute thunder across his face, he did not look happy in the slightest.

“James, come on, get up off the floor.” William stated, grabbing hold of James’s arm and helping to get him off the floor and onto his feet. “Let’s get you to the Hospital Wing.”

William turned to look at me and I saw an apologetic look cross his face. “I’m so sorry about this, Abigail.”

I gave a nod at him, “It’s not your fault, William,” I told him with a small shrug as I began to feel the humiliation that other people would know about this, fall over me. I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

“No, it’s those two douche bags.” William said, nodding over to Barry and Elijah who had come back; they had obviously been getting William to help them stop James. The laughter had gone from their faces.

“Do you have any idea how serious this is?” William yelled at them; they had the decency to look sorry. “Did you give any thought to what you’ve just put Abigail and James through with this little stunt of yours? How this will make them both feel? You should both be ashamed of yourselves.”

“Sorry,” Barry muttered, his hands finding his long blonde hair nervously. Elijah nodded along with his words as though he was agreeing with them.

“Come on, James. Let’s get you to the Hospital Wing,” William said, tightening his grip on James, who was trying to hold my hand again, I felt so sorry for James for going through this.

“But I want to stay with Abigail.” James stated, smiling at me before turning to William and whispering, "I love her.”

“Abigail has got to go to somewhere, so how about you and I go and get her a present, yeah?” William said to James, who had managed to grab for my hand again and pulled me closer to him.

“Is that what you want, Abigail? Do you want me to get you a present?” James asked me, holding my hand with both of his and holding it to his chest. He was smiling at me as though I were his whole world again and it was killing me inside.

I nodded as I tried not to let the tears form in my eyes, trying to pull my hand from his again, but he didn’t seem to want to let me go. “Yeah, James, I would love for you to get me a present. How about you go with William and I’ll see you later on?”

James nodded and he finally let go of my hand, as I looked down at my hand. I didn't want to look at James anymore because I knew that I couldn’t handle the look in his eyes anymore, not when it was a lie. I felt a hand touch the side of my face gently before feeling James kiss me lightly on the side of the face. He pulled away from me and I looked up in shock to see that William was managing to pull him down the corridor.

“If my Abigail wants a present, I shall get her the best present I can find,” he told me before I lost sight of them both.

I didn’t stay in that spot for long, running away as soon as I could. I sprinted towards the Hufflepuff common room as all thoughts of food left me and tears blurred my vision. I hated Barry and Elijah, absolutely hated them.

How could I ever face anyone again? How could I ever face James again?
 





A/N: That was a long chapter for you all! More to come soon, I promise. :D Poor James and Abigail! Who here hates Barry and Elijah? Let me know what you think! I love getting all of your reviews and I shall respond to them as fast as I can. 

Thank you to my wonderful Beta Sam! :D


Chapter 4: The One With The Chocolate Of Forgiveness
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



 
I gave a sigh as I sat in the library alone.

After the whole Love potion incident with James yesterday, I had taken refuge in my dormitory. I was finally forced out due to my need to use a book to do my homework, which could only be found in the library. Michelle wasn’t too happy about the fact that I was hiding in the dormitory, especially because it meant she had to sit alone at dinner. But I stand by the fact that if she hadn't abandoned me in the first place, I wouldn’t have had the embarrassment of having James declare his love to me. Although to be fair, he probably would have found me in the Great Hall and caused an even bigger fool of himself there. So maybe it was good that it happened in the hallway?

Michelle found the whole situation funny, telling me that I had clearly enjoyed it and I couldn’t deny it. What was there to enjoy about James being under the influence of a potion? One that was causing him to declare fake feelings towards someone else?

She didn’t understand why I was getting so ‘uptight’ about it all, to use her words, stating that I had always wanted James to tell me that he loved me.

It took a great deal of effort to not throw the book I was pretending to read in the dormitory at her face. I chose instead to just change the subject to whether or not she had found Lucien. She had informed me that she had and that a Quidditch practice had been arranged for today. A little early in my opinion, but I bet that was down to Michelle. She really needed to learn that she can’t control other people’s lives. Not that I would tell her that.

So that’s why I was currently alone in the library. I had come down here early enough to avoid anyone in the hallways, in the event that the incident yesterday had spread around the school. Although, who am I kidding? Of course it would have spread around the school by now.

At least I could deal with it without little comments from Michelle. I was entirely thankful that she was at Quidditch training and had left me to my own devices. In all honesty, I was still a little annoyed at her over her comments yesterday, so I didn’t want to be around her. So, it was mainly my own choice to be alone. If I wasn't annoyed with her I'd be sitting down on the stands watching her do her Quidditch training, still alone. I guess this was better, at least here I could pretend I was doing work instead of looking like a lonely loser.

I don’t actually mind being alone though, as it normally meant that I could catch up on my reading. I had decided to come down to the library, where it was quieter then staying in the common room with everyone talking around me, or about me. People could be quite loud at times and after a while it did start to make it difficult to read when people were fighting to be heard themselves.

So, the library is where I had taken refuge. No one would be able to disturb me here and I could get away from the pity in the eyes of anyone who had heard about what had happened between me and James yesterday.

I could feel myself cringing again when I thought back to yesterday.

Eurgh, I just wanted to forget the whole thing.

"Er... Abigail?"

I looked up at the sound of the voice that had interrupted my self-hatred and noticed with shock that James Potter was standing in front of me. I was definitely not going to be forgetting the incident yesterday in a hurry.

I looked around quickly for a sign of Barry or Elijah before looking back at James, who was looking a bit sheepish. I didn’t want to be the butt of another Love Potion prank gone wrong.

"I, er... I just want to assure you that I'm not under a Love Potion," James told me, as though he could read my mind.

This was a surprise, so was James's visit; maybe my whole day is going to be filled with surprises?

"Okay," I said unsurely, not knowing what James was up to, or what was going to happen.

"I just wanted to apologise for yesterday, I didn't mean to make you feel so uncomfortable and embarrass you like that," James said to me. His hand found his dark hair and began to ruffle it as an awkward and uncomfortable look crossed his face. Maybe he didn’t want to actually apologise and someone was making him? Or maybe he was actually feeling awkward and uncomfortable.... I knew that I was.

"I'm surprised you didn't run away."

"I was in shock over the declarations..." I told him. I was actually still in shock and also a little heartbroken that they hadn’t been real declarations. But he didn’t need to know that, did he?

"I'm honestly relieved that you didn't laugh in my face or slap me. I’m glad that William managed to get me to a teacher otherwise who knows how long I would have been following you and declaring my love for. I vaguely remember my mind trying to make up a poem about you, it’s a good thing that your name is a hard name to rhyme to," James admitted with a small shrug. "But I am truly sorry for any pain or embarrassment that I caused you. In fact, I’ve brought you a present to apologise as well, or to use to bribe you into forgiving me."

He rummaged in his robe pocket and pulled out a large bar of chocolate, sliding it across the table towards me. I looked down at it sceptically and then up to him, unsure what to do, or if I should even take it; what if it was another prank?

"There's no Love Potion in there, I swear," he informed me holding his hands up in defence. "Which I know doesn't sound good coming from a guy that was under a love potion not too long ago. Although you probably won't accept it in fear that I might put a love potion in it... Ah, I'm going to stop talking now before I become creepy."

I gave him a smile. "Thank you," I told him, unsure what else to say.

“I wouldn’t blame you if you think I’m a stalker now, you’re probably going to avoid me, which you should. Although I must admit that I’m quite good at becoming invisible and hiding, I have the potential to be a good stalker.”

I raised my eyebrows at his words and he seemed to realise what he had said as he struggled to backtrack. “Not that I’m going to turn invisible and stalk you. God, I’m terrible at this, I just wanted to come over here, apologise, give you some chocolate and make sure that you didn’t hate me. I didn’t plan to come off sounding like a weirdo who talks about his potential to be a brilliant stalker.”

“It’s alright, James,” I told him, trying to help him out with his rambling. “We all say things we don’t mean.” I gave a shrug.

James looked at me as he processed my words, knowing that I meant what he had said yesterday as well as just now.

“I don’t want you to think that I would only say nice things to you because I was under a Love Potion. Because honestly, I think that you’re a really nice girl, even though we haven’t really talked over the years. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t noticed you around.”

I didn’t know what to say, he was being so nice. I wasn’t sure I could handle this without actually getting up and hugging him tightly and bounce around in excitement at his words. Who would seem like a creepy weirdo then? Me.

Instead, I just turned the chocolate around in my hands, trying to ignore the voice in my head that was telling me that he was only saying these nice things to apologise for yesterday. After today he wouldn’t speak to me and we would go back to how we were.

“You don’t need to do this James. You gave me chocolate, and I wasn’t even expecting that,” I told him honestly, shrugging again at him.

“Which I can assure you isn’t tainted with anything; in fact to prove it, I can eat some of it in front of you if you like?” James said quickly.

I gave a smile as I looked up at him.

“I believe that you haven’t put anything in it,” I told him. Although I was still slightly scared of the chocolate, maybe I’ll get Michelle to try some first - a bit of a harsh idea, I know. But it’s her own fault for making me angry at her.

I wouldn’t actually make her eat any; I’m not that mean.

"Good," James said with a nod. "Good." He looked at me for another moment, as though he was going to say something else, but he decided to begin walking backwards so that he could leave. "I'm glad that we'll be able to get through this and that my jerks for friends didn't cause too many problems. In all honesty, I don't even know why I put up with those two," he said, stopping and continuing to look at me intently.

"Only you can choose your friends, James," I told him, knowing that I probably shouldn't be giving friendship advice. Especially with the amount of friends I have that would make me a sudden expert in the field of friendship. A whole one friend, go me!

"I probably should have chosen better ones," he said before giving me a wave and then walking away.

I watched him go before looking at the chocolate in my hand, turning it over and looking down at the packaging, noticing that he had written on the label, 'chocolate of forgiveness'. I gave a smile and thought of how nice and yet strange it was that he came to me personally to apologise for his declarations of love. I was happy enough to avoid him for the rest of the year until everyone forgot what had happened. Yet, there was a part of me that didn’t trust what had just happened.

I still wasn't sure how many people knew about the love potion. But judging by some of the looks and whispers that I was receiving now that James had gone, it was safe to say that the students of Hogwarts were spreading the news. Rumors were what seemed to be keeping the student body alive during this school. The amount that I had heard over my time here from Michelle whom 'didn't care much for gossip' was ridiculous. The amount of times that she had told me "have you heard that Richard dumped Julie?", "did you know that Stacey asked out Elizabeth?"

In all honesty, I had no idea who these people were, or why their personal life should mean so much to me. But I was still inundated with information I didn't need to know, all due to gossip.

I gathered my stuff and put the chocolate in my pocket. Maybe I’ll eat this chocolate away from people’s prying eyes, that way if I do end up making a fool of myself, it’ll only be in my dormitory.
Although, if it’s been laced with Love Potion I should probably lock myself in the bathroom in case I start spouting declarations of love for James or someone else.

The alternative was that I could always just not eat the chocolate, but it looked really yummy.






A/N: A new chapter for you all! Did you like it? How did you feel about James's apology? Do you trust him? Would you trust the chocolate?

Let me know in a review! :D

Another massive thank you to my amazingly beautiful Beta Sam :D


Chapter 5: The One With The Change In Friendship
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

It was in the beginning of the second week of September when I noticed how many times James now said ‘hello’ to me during the day, or acknowledged me in some way.

I wasn’t complaining. I enjoyed the attention.

I just found it extremely weird that it was happening. We weren’t exactly in any kind of acquaintance-ness or friendship that required this level of greeting. In fact we used to barely acknowledge the other. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling about this sudden change in our barely even there relationship; it just had to be his guilt over what had happened the other day. I was wondering when we’ll go back to basically ignoring the other; I’m not sure that I wanted it to end to be perfectly honest. I was really enjoying having him waving at me in the corridors, or saying ‘Hello’ to me in Muggle Studies when he sat a few seats behind me, or when he gave me a smile in Potions. Plus, it seemed to be making Michelle a bit jealous, especially as he wasn’t going out of his way to say hello to her.

“You should probably enjoy this while it lasts,” Michelle told me as we walked out of our Charms lesson. James gave me a nod in goodbye before he rushed off down the corridor, as though he was late meeting someone. “It won’t be long before he falls back into how we all were and goes back to ignoring you and joking around with those friends of his, who still haven’t apologised to you for what happened.”

I almost rolled my eyes at her comment. She had been sneaking little comments like this ever since James had given me the chocolate of forgiveness. Which, might I add, was actually delicious and didn’t contain any potion. I was trying my best to ignore her comments. I knew it was jealousy on her part and I knew that I shouldn’t have been relishing in the fact that it was making her jealous. Although she was right about Barry and Elijah not actually apologising to me properly for what had happened. I wasn’t too bothered, they were serving detentions for their part in it all and I didn’t particularly want to see them anyway.

“Maybe James won’t? Maybe he’s being nice because he wants to be?” I suggested. My hopes were getting too high thinking about how he might just actually want to start talking to me, because he wanted to be my friend.

Michelle pursed her lips for a moment whilst she looked at me like I was ridiculous. “The only reason that James even talks to you in the first place is because his idiotic friends put Love Potion in his drink. What other reason would James even want to talk to us?”

I decided not to point out that it wasn’t Michelle that he was seeking out to greet, it was me. I could detect the jealousy in her voice and I knew that she seemed to be wishing that it was her that James had declared his love to. I didn’t want to think of how she would have dealt with that situation.

“Unless you think that he has secret feelings for you and that’s why the Love Potion affected him like that?”

“I really don’t think that at all,” I told her, trying to keep the annoyance out of my tone. Although I knew that I had in fact been thinking that, there was no way that I’d admit to it, as I didn’t want her to make fun of me over it. She had thought my crush on James was hilarious and would constantly remind me of the fact whenever he seemed to be near me. Although now it seemed to be all the time.

“You keep telling yourself that, Abigail. You shouldn’t let your own feelings for James cloud your judgement on this," Michelle told me as she began to walk away from me, but still looking at me so she was walking backwards. “Enjoy your Muggle Studies lesson, yeah?” She gave me a wink and then a laugh before she walked away to go to her own lesson. At that moment I was glad that I didn’t have the next lesson with her, I would rather be in a lesson alone.

I gave an annoyed sigh before I entered the room, flopping down on the seat and cursing Michelle in my head. I seriously needed to get some new friends. Other friends wouldn’t make me feel like this, would they? Maybe I was just over reacting though? I raised my fingers to my mouth and began to chew on my nails as I thought about the possibility that maybe I was overreacting to her words and being too sensitive about it all.

“Hello, Abigail,” a voice said interrupting me. I dropped my hands from my mouth quickly and looked up at the voice I recognised to be James Potter's.

I gave him a warm smile, “Hey, James.”

“That was a very serious expression on your face, are you okay?” he asked me. He sounded as though he was actually concerned. He walked past me and I heard the scrap of his chair on the stone floor as he took his seat.

This was a new addition to his hellos; he didn’t normally ask me how I was. I turned around to face him and saw that he had taken a seat at the table behind me this time; normally we had an empty desk between our ones. I tried not to get my hopes up about this newest addition to our ‘friendship’ that had been developing or the fact that he had moved closer to where I was sitting.

“Yeah, I was just thinking about something that Michelle said earlier,” I told him.

“Anything I can help with?” he asked me. It was nice that he actually seemed concerned and that he seemed like he wanted to help me out. Maybe Michelle was wrong and he wasn’t just feeling bad about what had happened.

I shook my head slowly, but gave him a grateful smile. “It’s just that Michelle is making me feel bad about something. It’s nothing new.”

I wasn’t sure why I just offered up that piece of personal information about my friendship with Michelle. Normally, I kept our friendship troubles to myself. But I just felt myself able to talk to him easily and we’d barely spoken that much before. I probably shouldn’t talk this much about my problems, I don't want to scare him off.

“You shouldn’t let her make you feel bad,” James told me honestly. “No one should make you feel bad about yourself.”

“Thanks, James. I’ll have to listen to that advice one day.”

“Why don’t you listen to it now?” he asked.

I didn’t know how best to answer that. I didn’t want to tell him that the reason I put up with Michelle’s behaviour was because I was scared that I would be alone as I had no other friends.

“It’s not the right time to,” I answered finally.

“Why, do you owe her money? Is that why you’ve got to hang around with her? For punishment?” he joked. I gave a laugh, although I shouldn’t have.

“Nothing like that, it’s just hard to get out of a rut that I’ve been stuck in to be honest,” I said with a shrug, which was true. It’s hard to break a habit and that’s what mine and Michelle’s friendship had become, a habit.

“Ah, I see how hard habits are to break. Fair enough,” he said to me.

I turned around to face the front of the class as the Muggle Studies teacher, Professor Hargraves, called for the class's attention and he began to explain about Muggles hobbies.

I was trying to listen to the teacher, but I couldn’t help but think of the conversation that James had just had with me. Although I wasn’t thinking about his advice, I was thinking about the fact that our conversation had lasted a while. I probably shouldn’t be this hooked up on the fact that he was talking to me now. But, surely, that added to the theory that he was only talking to me because he felt sorry for me.

Well, whatever the reason for his sudden interest in talking to me more, it was nice. Putting a hand in my pocket, I pulled out my lip balm and began to apply it to my lips absent-mindedly, tasting the honey flavour of it.

“Abigail?” I heard James hiss from behind me quietly. I pocketed my lip balm before I turned around to look at him, whilst the teacher was drawing a diagram on the blackboard.

“Yes?” I asked him quietly.

“I know this is incredibly cheeky to ask, but is there anyway that I can borrow some parchment? I used all mine up in the last lesson. Feel free to say no,” he added quickly. He was biting his lip and he had a hopeful look on his face as he waited for me to answer him. The fact that he was biting his lip and it gave him a cute look on his face made me give in, not that I wouldn't have.

“Yeah, sure,” I told him, turning around to grab some parchment before turning to look at him again and pass the parchment to him. “I don’t mind.”

“Thank you, Abigail, you are a life saver,” he told me as he took the parchment and his face broke into a wide smile. He gave me a wink and I turned around to face the front before I blushed red in embarrassment. I felt my stomach swimming with butterflies and I tried to focus on the teacher in the hopes that they would go away.

Oh yes, I was really enjoying James talking to me.
 






A/N: I am so happy with the response that this story is getting from people! :D It makes me so happy.

Another massive squishy hug to my awesome Beta Sam! And to all of you for reading! (and I hope reviewing :P)


Chapter 6: The One With The Four Hour Nap
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

Chapter image of Abigail and Michelle.

I had always found it strange how sometimes the days at Hogwarts would pass in a blur, whilst others would pass at a snail’s pace.

My first week at Hogwarts seemed to pass quite slowly in my opinion and I was grateful for it to finally be the weekend. Michelle, on the other hand, didn’t seem to thrilled about this fact. Quidditch trials had begun for Hufflepuff the other day. The reason it was so early was on Michelle’s insistence to the new Captain that they needed to try out for quite a few places.

Even though he had agreed and set up a tryout for new members, she was annoyed with the fact that he needed a second day of tryouts. I thought he had a good idea; you can’t base it all on one practice alone. But Michelle apparently didn’t see it that way. She was told that morning that tryouts would take place after lunch, which we had just come back from, so Michelle could change into her uniform and I could grab my bag so that I could do homework.

“I can’t believe that I have to go to another Quidditch tryout because of the ‘new Captain’.” Michelle made quotation marks with her fingers as she spoke. “Couldn’t decide between a few people. It’s bloody ridiculous I tell you! If I was Captain I would have chosen straight away, like that.” She clicked her fingers. “I would be cut throat in my decisions. As a Captain you need to make decisions quickly and efficiently. You need someone who’s good from the start, someone who lives and breathes Quidditch.”

“Are we talking about new members or Captains now?” I asked her. She turned to look at me.

“Players, of course. Although I would have been a better Captain. What were they thinking putting him in charge? He’s useless! He clearly has no backbone.”

“I don’t think he has no backbone, he’s clearly giving people a second chance to show their skills. Maybe the people trying out weren’t good enough the first time?” I told her, coming to the defence of Lucien, which probably was a mistake, judging by the look that Michelle just shot me.

“It’s a stupid decision, though. Now we’ve got to waste our time on this instead of actually practicing,” Michelle said, throwing her arms up in the air in anger. She gave a loud groan before picking up her broom and turning to look at me. “Are you going to come down and watch?”

“I’ve got some stuff that I want to do up here, and then I might pop down for a bit. I probably should in case you attack Lucien.” I said jokingly.

“He wouldn’t need attacking if he wasn’t making such bad decisions!” Michelle huffed, before she left the room.

“Well, that was interesting,” Isabella said from across the room. I turned to look at her with a smile on my face; she had been around for all of Michelle’s rant, watching on in silence.

“She does get a little crazy about it all,” I said, picking up a few things and placing them in my school bag to take with me to the library.

“Speaking of her being crazy, Is she still as obsessed with Ethan as she is with Quidditch?” she asked me curiously.

I stalled at her words, unsure what to say about the subject. Sure Michelle did have a crush on Ethan, a big crush, but I didn’t know if anyone else knew. I continued looking down at my bag as I thought about how best to respond to the question she had just asked me.

“What makes you think that Michelle likes Ethan?” I asked coyly; it was the best that I could come up with. Isabella laughing out loud made me look up at her quickly.

“Oh, Abigail, everyone knows about Michelle’s ‘obsession’ with Ethan Richards. The entire school knew last year; she wasn’t exactly good at hiding it, was she?”

I had to admit that Michelle really wasn’t that good at hiding her obsession. The amount of times that she would drag me places because she heard that Ethan might be there. Or the amount of times that she took me the long way around, on our way either to or from classes. It was just so we could go passed Ethan’s one, that he didn’t share with us. Mainly on the off chance that he would be walking down the corridor and she could see him. It was a little bit full on at times and Michelle had thankfully either grown out of it, or calmed down a lot, if only to make poor Ethan’s life a bit easier.

I gave a small shrug and a smile over at Isabella in reaction to her question. She smiled back at me as she stood up from where she had been sitting on her bed.

“I understand, Abigail, you don’t want to spill your friend's secrets. I’d be the same way; I shouldn’t have asked you that question,” Isabella said, and I felt immediately better that she understood. I didn’t want Michelle thinking that I had been spreading things about her, even to our roommate.

“Listen, if you’re not actually doing anything and you don’t end up going down to the Quidditch pitch to watch the training, you’re welcome to come and join me down on the field. I’ll be sitting down there and reading a book in the sun; a few Ravenclaws might be joining me at some point, but if you want I’ll be down there,” she told me. She had her book in her hand and a pair of sunglasses in the other.

“That sounds nice; I might take you up on the offer if I can get down there,” I told her. It was really nice of her to offer for me to go and hang around with her.

She gave me a smile before she bid me goodbye and left the room.

Once she left the room, I looked down at the bag that I had just packed. I knew I should be going to the library and do homework, but in all honesty I was feeling quite lazy.

Maybe I should just stay up here and lay on my bed for a while.

That sounded like a very good plan to me.

I kicked my shoes off and placed my bag on the floor after I had pulled my new comic book out of it. I lay down on my bed and got myself comfortable as I looked at the front page of it. The blood red wording of the title stuck out brilliantly. ‘The Headless Ghoul’ was one of my father’s darker pieces of works and at times it really scared me. But that’s what made it a best seller and one of the ones that rocketed the sale of his work.

I loved when my dad would send me the newest edition of his work before anyone else would get it in shops or delivered to their homes. It was a great perk to being his daughter.

My cat joined me on the bed once I had made it to the second page. I was secretly glad as the comic was beginning to get darker and I knew it wouldn’t be long until pictures started to jump out of the pages and scare me.

“Hey, Fatty,” I said, letting go of the comic book with one hand and scratching him on the top of the head. Snowball purred at me before giving a ‘meow’ and sitting down next to me. I stopped scratching the top of his head and picked up the other end of the comic again. Snowball moved closer to me and lay down on top of my arm, his head close to my face as he purred loudly into my ear.

“Every damn time,” I muttered, as I felt his paws move to touch my face. Ever since he had been a kitten he would always lay as close to me as he could, moving his paws so that they were touching my face whilst he slept away. I thought that maybe it was a comfort thing; knowing that I was so close by possibly made him feel more at ease and able to sleep better. It was my own fault really. I was the one who insisted on carrying him around like he was a baby half the time. It was my fault that I woke up many times with him laying across my face and finding myself struggling to breathe.

His purring in my ear and slight snoring was beginning to make me feel sleepy. I could feel my eyes beginning to sting a little as I struggled to make them focus on the page, feeling the tiredness sweeping over me. I gave a yawn and closed the comic book, placing it down on the floor next to my bed.

“I think that you’ve had the best idea I’ve heard all day, Snowball,” I muttered to my cat as I closed my eyes and felt myself beginning to drift away to sleep.

“Have you been asleep the entire time that I’ve been gone?” a voice said, waking me up from my sleep. I blinked up at the source of the voice to see Michelle sitting on her bed and taking off her Quidditch boots.

“How long have you been gone?” I asked sleepily, sitting up and noticing that my cat had moved and was now laying down near my feet. I must have accidentally moved in my sleep and disturbed him.

“Nearly four hours,” she informed me and I had to hide my shock.

Did I really just take a four hour nap? If I did, then how on earth was I still feeling utterly exhausted?

“It’s nearly dinner time, you better start getting ready,” Michelle told me. “I’m going to have a quick shower.”

I nodded slowly as I stifled a yawn that tried to escape my lips, whilst running a hand through my hair and noticing that it was sticking up and slightly matted at the back. One of the only downsides to napping was waking up with bed hair. Another downside was waking up, having bed hair and not having enough energy to actually want to do anything about it.

Quite a dilemma I tell you!

Thankfully by the time that Michelle had come out of the bathroom after her shower, already dressed and brushing her damp hair. I had managed to stand up, put my feet into shoes and put my hair up in a messy bun in the hopes that it looked like the mess was intentional.

“You ready?” she asked me.

“Yeah,” I yawned as I stretched, trying not to think of how big a mistake it was to actually nap. “Let’s go and get some food.”

The short walk to the Great Hall took almost all the little energy that I had from me. I was struggling not to fall back asleep on the table in front of me after we had sat down. I shook myself slightly in an attempt to jolt my body into waking up, before reaching for some food. I glanced up and saw that Isabella wasn’t that far from me and grinning at my actions. I couldn’t help but smile back, slightly embarrassed.

As I placed some pork onto my plate and waited for Michelle to be done taking roast potatoes, I looked up at the Gryffindor table. Mainly out of habit now instead of anything else.

I noticed, as I do quite often now, that James was looking over at me. He was sitting next to William, who was eating his food and attempting to talk to James. When James noticed that I was watching him, he gave me a wink and a smile. I gave him a smile back before looking back down at my dinner quickly, still getting slightly embarrassed whenever he talked or acknowledged me. Michelle was watching me as I grabbed for some roast potatoes and I knew that she had seen me smiling at James.

“Have you thought of maybe beginning to ignore James yourself? I mean, if he won’t do it just yet and is clearly stringing you along, maybe it’ll do the trick and make him realise that you’re not going to be fooled by whatever it is that he has planned,” Michelle said to me, causing me to look at her in slight shock at her words. She seemed so hell bent on James talking to me and having some clear alternative intention. She wouldn’t even try and accept the fact that maybe James was being nice for no reason other than he wants to be nice to me.

“I can’t do that, Michelle. Besides, I don’t want to do that. It’s really mean,” I told her. I knew that I was worried that maybe he had an ulterior motive, but I didn’t want to think of James in that way.

“Well, when you realise that he’s probably doing all this for entertainment, then don’t come crying to me,” Michelle stated. I gave an annoyed sigh at her words; she was really starting to annoy me with all this talk. But she either couldn’t see how it was affecting me, or she just didn’t care; either way she wasn’t stopping.

“What would you do if this all happened with Ethan?” I asked her, letting my annoyance and tiredness take over my mouth before I could rein it in and stop it.

“It hasn’t, and even if it did, I would know that it’s not true. I would stop it before letting it get too far and letting myself get hurt by it all. You’ll realise soon that it’s not worth it, Abigail,” Michelle told me, in a tone that suggested that the conversation was finished. “I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

I almost scoffed at her words; bit ironic that she would say that and yet she would say things that hurt my feelings anyway. But I kept my mouth shut and chose to glare down at my dinner, having so many thoughts running through my head of the things that I could and should say to her in response to what she had said.

Why couldn’t she understand that it was my choice whether I wanted to keep talking to James and let this play out? That maybe she should grow up and stop interfering in my life? That she should stop being so jealous and just maybe be happy and supportive of me? But I couldn’t say those words. I wanted to. But every time I would try to pluck up the courage to, a little voice in my head would stop me and remind me that if Michelle stopped being my friend then I don’t have many, if any, other options for a friend. I would rather have a friend to hang around with then not have one.

So I settled for being the pushover that I always am, and hated myself for it.

Why couldn’t I grow a backbone and stand up for myself?
 






A/N: Poor Abigail, she really needs to stand up for herself.

I know this chapter doesn't feature much of James and Abigail, but the next chapter is full of James and Abigail moments!

Thanks for reading and for the amazing reviews! I love you all! :D *gives hugs and cookies*

Once again my Beta Sam is awesome!!! :D


Chapter 7: The One With The Muggle Studies Project
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



 
A/N: Lovingly looked over by my wonderful Beta Sam! :D




Is it sad that I was waiting for James to walk into the Muggle Studies lesson?

As in eagerly looking at the door and holding my breath every time someone walked in, in case it was him.

Oh, man. I am such a loser.

I should snap out of it before someone else made me, or James began to notice that I’m acting like a lovesick Kneazle. Especially because the lesson had started and he hadn't shown up. Yeah, great one Abigail, make yourself look like a right loser! I didn’t want him to realise that I had been waiting for him to show up, so I decided to make myself look busy as the teacher greeted the class.

Barely listening to the teacher, I pulled my parchment towards me and took my quill and ink pot to pull it closer as well. Somehow my hand managed to nudge it enough that some ink splashed on the table and my parchment. I let out a small groan as I try to mop it up with a bit of tissue I had in my pocket. I grabbed for my wand and began vanishing the ink from the table and my piece of parchment.

“Now for the rest of the term we’re going to be focusing on Muggle hobbies and pastimes and how different they are to ours. For this I shall be making you work in pairs.”

I kept in my groan at the idea of pairs; I barely talked to anyone in this class and I spent most of it sitting alone. Last year I had Michelle in the class with me so at least if we needed to pair up for anything then I would just pair up with her. I sighed as I thought of just who I might get paired up with out of pity; it would be awkward to talk to them and try to engage with them.

“Sorry I’m late, Professor Hargreaves.”

I looked up at James’s voice as he walked into the room, stopping the teacher from talking. James’s dark hair dishevelled and his bag was slung over his shoulder. He was slightly out of breath as though he had run to the class, which judging by his lateness was probably true.

“Professor Longbottom wanted to talk to me after class, and I didn’t realise I was running late,” James added, an apologetic look crossing his face.

“That’s alright, James, just make sure that it doesn’t happen again. You haven’t missed anything, we were just about to split up into pairs to work on a new assignment.”

“Oh, cool,” he said with a nod, before he made his way towards me. I knew he was going to sit behind me at his usual desk so I continued looking at the teacher. James throwing himself into the seat next to me and getting comfortable made me turn to look at him in surprise.

“I hope you don’t mind me sitting here,” he said to me sheepishly, “I figured we could pair up.”

I nodded at him dumbly, before I snapped myself out of my daydreams of me and James being paired up and becoming closer over the days we spent together. As if that was going to happen, that was something that only happened in fairy tales and comic books.

“That’s fine, we hadn’t even begun choosing partners yet, so...” I drifted off, giving him the chance to pair up with someone else if he wanted to.

“Oh, were you going to pair up with someone else?” he asked seriously. I shook my head quickly.

“No, I was actually wondering who would be my partner when you showed up,” I told him happily. James was going to be my partner and I was quite happy about it.

“Then I have excellent timing., James told me as the other students around me began pairing up with each other.

“Yes, you do,” I stated, as James began to pull his things out of his backpack.

“Can you smell Ink?” he asked me, sitting up straight and turning so that he was looking me in the eyes, I felt my heart flutter. “I don’t want my bottle to have smashed in my bag.”

“Oh, that... I accidentally spilt my ink bottle over the desk; I’d only just cleaned it up before you came into the lesson,” I told him, wondering just how the smell could still be lingering if I had cleared it up.

“Huh, so what’s our assignment? Have we got to pretend to be mothers and fathers to a bag of flour or an egg, whilst we try not to drop them or sit on them. Something about teaching us how Muggle’s look after their children?” James enquired. I gave a snort of laughter at his comment and shook my head.

“Why are you laughing?” James asked me as he gave a laugh himself. “Victoire told me that, when she learnt that I was going to be taking Muggle Studies as a N.E.W.T subject.”

“Did your cousin even take Muggle Studies herself?” I asked him, I hadn’t heard anything about a subject like that being taught in Muggle Studies.

“No, she didn’t. So, there might be a high chance that she was lying,” James said slowly, before shrugging and grinning.

“How would we even benefit from a lesson like that?” I asked, I could feel the amusement crossing my face. “How would Muggles raising children be any different to Wizards raising them? They both raise children the same way.”

“What if we all lose our wands?” James countered questioningly.

I struggled not to laugh again. “Is there going to be a mass wand kidnapping across the country?”

James shrugged at my words as he tried to keep a straight face, “It could happen, who knows what the future will bring?”

“I hate to break it to you, Mr. Potter,” Professor Hargreaves said, interrupting mine and James’s conversation. We both looked up at him. “But that’s not what I’ve got planned for this lesson, or any lesson in the future I might add.”

James let a heartbroken look cross his face, before he smiled at the teacher. “I suppose you’ll just have to give us another assignment that’s just as fun then?”

“I have quite a fun assignment planned, you are right, Mr. Potter.” He came to each of our tables individually and handed us a piece of parchment with a worksheet on it with a set of questions. I looked down at it and saw that the questions related to a Muggle TV.

Professor Hargreaves walked to the front of the class and began talking to the class again.

“I have decided that as we’re going to be learning about Muggle TVs and what they watch on them. We shall be studying popular ‘programmes’ on paper sadly, as TVs won’t work with the magic around Hogwarts. But in order to get around this, I’m hoping that if I tell you enough information about what a programme is, with a little help from all of you students that actually have a TV in your house, then in a few weeks you can, in pairs, recreate your own programme. Focusing on the main attributes that make it such a popular hobby with Muggles.”

There was an excited murmur across the classroom. I had to admit that even though I had never seen a TV before or a ‘programme’, I was looking forward to trying to make my own. It sounded like it could be a lot of fun and by the look on James’s face I could see that he did too.

“This is going to be brilliant!” James exclaimed as he turned to look at me again. Professor Hargreaves was letting us discuss the topic for a few moments before he would ‘dive’ right in with the class. “Because I had a TV growing up.”

“I never did,” I admitted, shaking my head at him and shrugging. I felt like I had been missing out on this TV thing whilst growing up. “My parents didn’t bring me up with Muggle things in the house, it’s always just been magic.”

“My dad wanted us brought up with Muggle things. I think mainly because he wanted us to have what he didn’t have growing up. There has been times when I’ve thought that dad is just reliving his childhood. Which, if he is, fair play to him, he should relive his childhood.” James let out a small laugh as he seemed to be imagining or remembering something funny.

“My dad once came home with a brand new TV; this thing was massive and I mean it looked too big to fit in our front room and not look out of place. All this was because of my Uncle Dudley - who is my dad’s cousin, but they were raised together. It’s a long story -” James added, shaking his head. But, I of course already knew the story, there wasn’t a witch or wizard in this school that didn’t know the story of Harry Potter. They had all grown up knowing the name and the story of his life and everything he had done for the wizarding world.

“- anyway. Uncle Dudley was coming over that night for dinner and dad happened to walk passed a Muggle electrical shop with my Uncle Ron. They were in the area because Uncle Ron was buying jewellery for my Aunt Hermione because of some argument that they had. But that’s not really the point. They went into this electrical shop and dad saw the TV. He knew that this was the opportunity to make my uncle Dudley jealous, so brought it right there and then. He was sneaky, though, about getting it around my mum. He had it all set up before she got home from work and even charmed the front room so that it became big enough for the TV to fit in. But she was not happy in the slightest, she said that dad needed to stop showing off whenever Uncle Dudley would come over. But dad refused and said that it was payback for something that had happened years ago. But still, we have this massive TV that my mother hates with a fiery passion.”

“Wow.” I said amazed at the story and just how much James can actually ramble when he’s talking about something that he finds funny. It was quite cute really. “That sounds hilarious! And the TV sounds amazing.”

“I’ll have to show you it one day. It is amazing to watch TV on; I could sit in front of that thing all day and watch it noon and night. It’s mainly one of the reasons that my family comes over so much, especially my Uncle Charlie. We’ve had to move it into a shed in the garden though, as whenever someone uses a wand around it. It goes all weird and changes channels randomly and emitting a loud noise. That’s why mum banished it to the shed, because she refused to give up using magic for it. At least this way we can all have peace and quiet out in the shed. At first it was annoying to be out there with it, but thankfully dad brought some chairs after a while.”

I realised that I was staring at him eagerly as he talked. It seemed that James did as well as he looked away quickly and I sat back in my chair.

“So, yeah, that’s my story and I’ve realised that I was just rambling again,” James said with a shrug as he pulled his own worksheet towards him and began reading it. I had to admit that my stomach did a funny flip at hearing his words about how he had to show me the TV one day. Although I knew that it was just an off the cuff remark and he probably didn’t mean it, although I wished so much that he actually did.

“Have you got any ideas of what kind of programme we should do?” I asked James, giving a small cough and pushing my brown hair behind my ear as I looked at the worksheet as well. “After all, you’re the expert on this, not me. I have no clue whatsoever.”

“I’m not sure actually, I’m trying to think of what I’ve seen on it,” James stated, scratching the side of his head with the top of his quill.

“What are these –“ I looked down at the worksheet in front of me as I searched for the right word, “-programmes?”

“They’re kind of like plays that you would see in theatres,” he told me, he looked like he hoped that I knew what he was going on about.

I nodded eagerly as I knew what plays were, I had been to a few myself. “Oh, so it’s just lots of plays?”

“Yeah, that’s the general gist of what they are. I could have explained it a lot better, there’s more than plays on it; they show a lot of sports as well.”

“Like Quidditch?”

“They don’t show Quidditch unfortunately. Which makes me and the rest of my family sad, especially Victoire. If they can find a way to work it so that Quidditch matches could be shown, a lot of wizards would have TVs. They should probably work out a way to have magic around TVs first... but still.”

I nodded along with him as Professor Hargreaves called us all to attention again, so that he could explain more about the assignment. My brain started thinking about how I hoped they would solve the problem before James and I lived together in the future. I stopped suddenly at the thought that had run through my head, realising what I had just thought and how crazy that had sounded. I glanced towards James again, hoping that he hadn’t suddenly learnt Legilimency and was able to hear my crazy thoughts. I apparently had no control over them.

He looked at me and grinned before looking back at the teacher and chewing the end of his quill.

If he ever heard what I was thinking, he would run a mile.
 


Chapter 8: The One Where James Is Up All Night
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

Time seemed to go quickly at Hogwarts and before I knew it October had arrived. September had been extremely eventful, more eventful than I could ever have imagined that it would be.

It seemed that everyone else was as amazed as I was about the turn of events this year. I didn’t much like being the centre of attention to some people. Their stares and talking was coming to my attention more and more as the days passed. I hoped that that would pass as the days had, but so far people were still interested in talking about me and James.

Not that there was anything to talk about, it was just James talking to me, but apparently it was big news in the school. I even caught Rebecca Anderson, a sixth year Gryffindor glaring at me a few times. She had never even looked at me before, so I wasn’t sure if this was an improvement or not.

Couldn’t they all see that it was James who was talking to me more, not the other way around? That was mainly because I was too shy to even attempt a conversation with James.

I decided to try and not let it affect me; what could I do to even stop it? Maybe if I ignored it, they would all find someone and something else to talk about?

I looked around Muggle Studies, waiting for my fellow students and the teacher to arrive to start the lesson. I had arrived about ten minutes early for the lesson though, so I knew it would be a while until anyone else turned up. I contented myself by looking around the classroom and taking in all the posters and pictures that lined the walls. Pictures of various Muggle celebrities, Muggle films, Muggle bands, even pictures of Muggle shops.

My eyes fell on another part of the wall, it was covered in the posters that my class had made the year before. It was really fun as we had to come up with a poster of a product we had to make up that Muggles could use to try and make their lives a bit better. The catch was that it couldn’t be anything magical and something that Muggles would actually want to use.

It was by far the hardest thing I had to think of. I came up with an idea for some sort of Umbrella that could attach to Bicycles, as Muggles were unable to use magic to protect themselves from the rain, and we all know how much we English love to moan about the rain.

Mine was the best one in the class according to the teacher, and was actually one of the only ones that Muggles could use. Most of the other students' ideas needed magic to be of use.

I remember that James had come up with an idea for a Wheelbarrow with wings, mainly because it would make his life easier at his nan's house when he was helping her out in the garden. I remembered it being one of the funniest things that I had heard in a while. I gave a small chuckle to myself before I could think about how crazy that must have made me seem.

Thankfully, no one had arrived when I gave a glance around the classroom. I slouched in my chair and looked up at the ceiling. Losing myself in my thoughts until I heard the shuffling of people that entered the classroom. Sitting up straight I kept my eyes out for James, as my classmates filed into the room. He strolled in last; shuffling slowly as though walking was causing a lot of effort he couldn’t be bothered with.

I watched as he neared me, waiting for him to take his now usual seat next to me. It did make me enjoy coming to this lesson a lot more and I was looking forward to it almost daily.

James slouched down and let out a relieved groan as he kicked his bag under the table and stretched his legs out as he stuffed his hands into his robe pockets.

“Hey,” he said with a yawn.

“Are you alright?” I asked him, looking at him and seeing that his eyes had dark circles under them and his eyes looked red and bloodshot.

He shook his head. “I am so tired,” he wailed. “Today is dragging so much. Do I look as crap as I feel? Because I am feeling really crap today,” James said, turning to face me. I let my eyes take in his appearance, trying to ignore the fact that I was giddy with excitement about the fact that he was sitting next to me. In fact he was so close his leg was touching mine.

I hoped that he couldn’t hear how hard my heart was beating.

“You do look a bit crap,” I admitted before I could stop myself. He just looked at me.

“That has got to be the meanest thing you’ve ever said to me,” he said seriously, before he let out a loud laugh which was interrupted by an even bigger yawn.

“Oh, man! I need this day to hurry up so I can sleep,” James moaned, running his hands over his tired eyes.

“So, why are you so tired?” I asked curiously, my eyes still taking in his face; I enjoyed having him so near. I took a deep breath and realised that he smelt like coconuts; it must be his shampoo, it smelt delicious.

“I was up all night,” he told me simply.

“What made you stay up all night?” I asked him.

He turned to look at me again and I got a whiff of the coconut shampoo filling my nose again; I really did love the smell of coconut. “I can’t tell you that.”

“Oh,” I said, feeling slightly deflated; maybe he didn’t want to say because he was with someone?

“It’s nothing bad or dirty,” James said quickly, shaking his head quickly as he thought of what conclusion I would have jumped to at his words. “It’s just... some people wouldn’t understand, or they’d laugh at me.”

“You can tell me,” I said, my interest in this spiking. I really wanted to know what had kept him up all night and something that he would consider embarrassing to other people. My mind couldn’t come up with any explanations other than doing homework all night? But why would that be embarrassing? And why wouldn’t he tell me if it was only homework. That must mean that it was something else entirely.

I couldn’t pry anymore into it. The teacher asked for our attention so that he could give out some more information about our latest assignments to us. He handed out a few worksheets for us all to follow and help to guide us in our plans and ideas.

“You’ll laugh at me, I think I’ll keep it a secret.” James said to me, a crooked smile crossing his face.

I began working straight away. Pulling out the piece of parchment that James and I had written our ideas on beforehand so that I could write it all down neatly. I turned to look at James to ask him if he had any more ideas about what to do for our assignment. But noticed that he had his eyes closed and he seemed to be breathing heavily as though asleep.

I gave a smile as I looked at him for a moment, before I realised that I was staring at James whilst he was sleeping. I quickly glanced around me to see if anyone had noticed my creepiness, but thankfully no one had.

I let out a breath louder than normal as I tried to think of what to do whilst James was sleeping. I didn’t have the heart to wake him up when he looked so peaceful, and I knew that he needed the sleep; he really looked like shit today.

I leant on my elbow on the desk and rested my head on my hand, trying to think of something to do. I leant my arm across the desk so that the quill in my right hand was hovering over James’s parchment. I doodled a picture of a flower quickly, slightly worried that he would wake up and tell me off for writing on his parchment. But when I glanced at him, I saw that he was still sleeping. His mouth was slightly open and he had his chin resting on his chest, still slouched in the chair. The teacher didn’t seem to notice that James was asleep in his class, or if he did then he didn’t seem to care.

I went back to doodling on James’s parchment, this time adding a tree and a little house.

I turned to look at James when it felt like his eyes were on me. Sure enough once I turn around I noticed that he was watching me with a smirk on his face. I ducked my head in embarrassment and moved my arm away from him, dropping my quill.

“Sorry, I was bored,” I told him honestly, fully ready to tell him that I will replace his parchment if he wanted me too. But he surprised me by picking the quill up, and began to make a doodle himself of a sun, before passing me the quill and giving me a tired smile.

This is what James and I ended up spent most of our lesson doing. By the time the bell rang, we had managed to fill up the entire sheet of parchment with the drawings. I must admit I did love this lesson a lot and I really enjoyed having fun with James.

I would have kept the piece of parchment, but as I was getting my stuff ready I noticed that James had pocketed it. I felt my heart sink a little as I wanted to keep it so I could remember that this moment actually happened. I hoped that he didn’t throw it away, but I knew that he more than likely would have.

I gathered my bag and left the classroom slowly, James following me out. I turned to face him as we left the room and felt embarrassed and shy again all of a sudden. “I’ll catch you later then,” I said to him before turning around and beginning to walk towards the Great Hall for lunch.

I heard footsteps behind me and James fell into step beside me. I turned to look at him; this was unusual, I thought that he would have gone off to find his friends.

“Can I walk with you down to the hall?” James asked me, pulling his school backpack onto his shoulder before putting his hands in his robe pockets.

“You can, but only if you tell me what kept you up all night?” I joked to him. I realised that I was flirting and I felt horrified at myself; what if he told me to get stuffed? Or laughed at my attempts of flirting with him?

“No can do, I’m afraid; my nightly rituals will be kept a secret.”

I raised my eyebrows at him, at his words and bit my lip to stop a smile crossing his face. “I bet your nightly rituals will be information the students of Hogwarts would be highly interested in.”

James rolled his eyes, “It was nothing like that, I can assure you. There was no one with me. I was entirely alone.” He faltered slightly as he realised what he had just said and how it could be misconstrued. I let myself laugh loudly, causing a few people to look in our directions whilst we were walking down the corridor. “That really came out wrong; there was nothing sexual about my night. I just happened to stay up all night, though, and no, I still won’t tell you what I was doing. I’m worried that you’ll think that I'm a loser.”

“I hope that you know how intrigued I am about it all now.” I wondered if I should try and get a sad look on my face so that he would feel guilty and want to tell me, but I was worried that it wouldn’t work.

“Well, I’ve already told you too much, I won’t be telling you anymore about it,” James told me as we continued walking, this time down the moving staircases.

“I promise I won’t laugh at you,” I tried again,. James smirked but shook his head.

“You won’t get it out of me,” James warned me jokingly.

We walked to the Great Hall and I stopped as I saw my roommate was walking towards me. She was mid wave before she realised that I had been walking with James. A knowing smile crossed her face and I felt the urge to run away from the situation before James realised that I had feelings for him. Thankfully, James took that moment to make his leave.

“Well, it’s been fun as always, Abigail, but if I don’t find William then he won’t let me hear the end of it.” He walked away from me and entered the hall, just as Isabella made her way over to me.

“Please tell me that you just walked down from your lesson with James,” she almost shrieked at me.

“Er...” I began, “James asked if he could walk down here with me from Muggle studies, that’s all. He was going in the same direction and it just made sense,” I told her with a shrug, not wanting to read too much into it like she was. There was no way that I was going to get my hopes up over something that could basically, and more than likely, turn out to be nothing.

“This is great, Abigail. He asked you, didn’t he?”

“To walk with me? Yeah, he did,” I said slowly, wondering why this was so important.

“Maybe he wanted to use the time to ask you if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with him?” she said in delight.

“I really don’t think he was going to ask me to Hogsmeade. Besides, I’ll be going with Michelle, so there’ll be no point,” I told her as we finally started walking into the Great Hall so that we could take a seat at the Hufflepuff table. It took all my will power to not look up and find where James was sat. I was glad to admit that I did have some will power.

“If he did ask you, you could always just ditch Michelle halfway through the day and spend time with James," she told me quietly as we both helped ourselves to the sandwiches on the table.

“He’s not going to ask me, though,” I told her almost sadly. But there was nothing that indicated that he would ask me to Hogsmeade. Why would he? He had his own friends to go with and I had Michelle and now Isabella. “Besides, Michelle wouldn’t like it if I ditched her.”

“There is that; she does like to get her own way a lot.” Isabella said, slightly darkly,

I bit my lip and decided not to respond to her, “You can always join us if you want?”

“That would be nice,” Isabella said happily, breaking out of the slight darkness.

I was just wondering how I was going to tell Michelle that our day would be spent with Isabella walking around with us. She shouldn’t mind too much, after all we were all friends and roommates, and Michelle didn’t own Hogsmeade.

It’ll be fun to have someone else with us and have someone who could bring different things to our conversations. I couldn’t wait until the trip in a few days.






A/N: This was originally going to be the next chapter, but the one that I was going to upload, would fit better in the one after this... so yeah. :P 

Thank you all so much for reading and leaving reviews, you all really make my whole life and I love you all, especially my beta Sam! Thank  you!!

Tammi xx


Chapter 9: The One With The Chewed Quill
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I don't have a chapter image for this one yet. It upsets me greatly. But anywho! Here is the next chapter. 

Thanks to Isobel aka The Misfit for her help on this chapter and to Sam aka TheHeirOfSlytherin for being my amazing beta!






“Are you listening to my ideas?”

I was brought out of my thoughts by James. I blinked a few times as I processed what he said, remembering that I was meant to be working with him on our project for Muggle Studies.

“Sorry, I was in my own little world,” I told him honestly and apologetically. “What did you say?”

“I was just saying that we could come up with an idea about following a Muggle around all day. Letting everyone see the boring things that they do, such as eating their toast or brushing their teeth.”

I gave a laugh at his idea, “Why on earth would Muggles want to watch something like that?”

“Muggles watch programmes like that all the time!” James told me. It couldn’t be true; why would people want to watch the daily lives of other people? It sounded boring.

“How about a Muggle that’s put into Wizard situations and has to deal with things in a Muggle way?” I suggested, realising that it was probably a shit idea; this was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

“Well, whatever we do, when we give our presentation to the class, I think that we should re-enact it. That would probably give us extra points.”

“You think that we should perform the show for the class?” I asked him. There was no way that I was going to perform in front of the class, I wasn’t confident enough to do that.

“I can play the role of the Muggle if you want? I think that I would make a good Muggle,” James suggested.

I laughed at his words; he turned to me with a hurt look on his face.

“I’ll have you know that I could have been born a Squib.”

“Didn’t we all have the chance of being born a Squib?” I asked him. James gave a shrug at me and continued writing his idea down on the piece of paper in front of him.

“Probably,” he stated as he chewed on the end of the quill in his hands. I tried not to think about the fact that it was my quill that he was chewing. Also the fact that I was clearly creepy, as I hoped that he would give it back to me at the end of the lesson so I could keep it.

We settled into a comfortable silence. James working on his ‘following a Muggle around’ idea, whilst I stared around the room and tried to think of another idea. Just in case that one fell through. I had to admit that absolutely nothing was coming to me. My mind was too preoccupied with the thoughts of James chewing on the end of my quill. I’m not sure if I could ever use the quill again; if he did give it back to me, it would be too special a quill.

I rolled my eyes at myself as I sunk lower in my seat, glad that James couldn’t hear my thoughts. My mind was trying to convince myself that we could actually frame the quill, possibly becoming the start of a shrine to James. If James was privy to any of that, he would never speak to me again.

~~

“Hey, Abigail.”

I turned around at the sound of James’ voice to face him; he was sitting at the table to the left of me and Michelle, with his friend William.

“Yeah?” I asked, wondering why James was talking to me in Potions. He only really talked to me in Muggle Studies, mainly because we didn’t have a chance to talk in the other lessons we did have together.

“Maybe we could do a talent show for our Muggle Studies project?” he suggested to me. He seemed quite excited about this new idea he had.

“Do you have any talents?” I asked him, wondering if he was still planning on performing like he was going to do earlier.

“Oh, I have many,” he told me with a wink, which caused my stomach to clench and for William to scoff next to him.

“We could maybe get the other students to ‘take part’ in it, make it an entire class activity. What do you think?”

“Err...” I began, not sure what to say.

“Brilliant,” James exclaimed. “You think it’s a good idea.”

I gave a small laugh as I turned back around to face mine and Michelle’s potion. A smile began creeping across my face at the idea of James’ many talents.

I wondered what on earth they could be? Maybe he could sing? Or knew how to dance the Robot? Maybe he could eat ten hot dogs in five minutes? Not really a useable talent, but I would be really impressed if he could.

I looked over at Michelle and the look on her face made the smile drop off of my own.

“What?” I asked her timidly.

“Do you think you could stop drooling for one moment and help me finish this potion?” she snapped quietly at me.

“I wasn’t drooling,” I stated, resisting the urge to sigh in annoyance.

“You may as well have been.”

What did it matter to her if I was or wasn’t?

“He started talking to me,” I told her quietly, not that it would have made much of a difference; what did it matter who began speaking first? I can’t just ignore James, we were talking about our Muggle Studies work. Michelle just ignored what I had said and went back to our potion, not saying a word to me as a hard look crossed her face.

Feeling dejected, I went back to preparing the ingredients for our potion. I felt stupid for wanting to cry. Why did I want to cry? I was being stupid for letting her attitude affect me. I blinked quickly and tried to focus on weighing the ingredients.

After a while a movement beside me caught my eye and caused me to look up at James, who was giving me a warm smile and a small wave. He must have either heard what was going on with me and Michelle or he guessed from the way that we weren’t talking to each other.

I smiled back at him, feeling a lot better. Who knew that such a small thing, such as James’ smile, could have a big impact on my mood?

His smile took away the urge to cry. At least there was someone in this class who would talk to me.

~~~

The feel of Snowball's fur underneath my fingers was bringing me a tiny bit of comfort. I was hoping that by stroking him, it would calm me down. It wasn’t really working, but it was something to do instead of looking up at Michelle.

She had barely spoken to me since we left our Potions lesson. Dinner was spent in quiet, which had caused me to come up to my dormitory earlier than normal. I didn’t want to be around her when she was behaving like this; it wasn’t my fault that she was in a bad mood and was taking it out on me. It wasn’t long before she came up to the dormitory herself and began to make a show of getting her Quidditch stuff, making sure to make as much noise as possible. I contented myself with stroking Snowball and trying my best to ignore her presence, hoping that our inevitable ‘discussion’ wouldn’t happen.

Sadly, the world seemed to be against me. I sensed her turning towards me as she grabbed her broomstick, knowing that she would want to talk about this before she would leave.

“When are you going to see that he’s only talking to you for a laugh. He’s not interested in you, Abigail. He’ll never be interested in someone like you and me, we are in two entirely separate places at this school. The whole lot of them think that they’re above us and at the moment they seem to have targeted you in this little game they have. You need to realise this before you fall too deeply and cannot get out. James isn’t interested in you and you should cut your loses whilst you can,” she snapped at me. I noticed that she was trying her hardest not to yell. Not that it would have made a difference, she was still saying hurtful words at me. Still making me feel bad.

I gave a shrug even though her words were cutting at my heart like a knife. I didn’t understand how my best friend could talk to me like this. How she could be talking about how James and his friends would treat me like shit, when she was doing exactly the same thing in trying to ‘save’ me from them?

I wished I had the backbone to say something back to her; it was all on the tip of my tongue. The words were playing out in my head. I imagined myself telling her that she was jealous, that I wasn’t going to stand for her not being happy for me. That she had no right to talk to me like that. But, like always, I said nothing, just stayed silent. I was too scared to say anything that would cause her to stop talking to me forever. If she was right and down the line I found out that James was using me for some reason or another, who would I have then? No one. I would rather Michelle was my friend, albeit a terrible one, then have her as my enemy.

Maybe if I kept stroking Snowball, Michelle would realise that I wasn’t paying her any attention. That I clearly didn’t want to talk about it.

“You know what, when he turns out to be exactly like Barry and Elijah, don’t you dare come running back to me.”

I heard her storm out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her.

I honestly hated her at that moment for making me feel so incredibly shitty about everything. I had been having a nice time having James talking to me and she just wanted to come and taint everything, as though she was spreading some sort of disease on it.

Moving my knees up, I wrapped my arms around them and rested my head on top of them. Frustration flooding through me in waves. Why do I let myself put up with this? Why was I such a bloody coward?

I heard the door open again and I glanced up, seeing Isabella walking into the room and looking at me in concern.

“Are you okay?” she asked me.

“Yeah, fine,” I lied, moving my knees and trying to make myself look less vulnerable. But Isabella saw straight through my lies.

“Did you and Michelle have another argument?” she asked. “Michelle practically pushed me to the floor as she stormed away from here.”

I nodded, unsure what else to say.

Isabella moved over to my bed and took a seat on it, next to Snowball.

“You know that you shouldn’t let Michelle control your life so much. It’s your life; if you want to do something, then you should do it. You shouldn’t only do things because Michelle said that it was okay for you to do something,” Isabella told me honestly. I knew she was right, of course she was right; what sane person would let her friend dictate her life like that? I would, apparently, although my sanity could be called into question because I talked to my cat on a daily basis.

“I know I shouldn’t but, I just...” I faltered, struggling to find the right words for what I wanted to say. How could I explain it when I didn’t even fully understand my reasons to begin with?

“I do get it, Abigail. I’s hard to stand up to your friends, especially your best friend. But best friends are meant to make you feel good about yourself. They should be there to support you when you have an achievement or something that you want to share. They shouldn’t just make everything about them and only care if it is something that affects them directly. She should listen to you talking about James without throwing a hissy fit; you like him, it’s good. You just need someone that you can talk to about it.”

I nodded, feeling like she had explained it perfectly. What else could I say to that?

"Abigail.” She took hold of my shoulders and made me look up at her. I looked into her green eyes and saw the sincerity in her eyes, making sure I knew that she was being honest. “If you need to talk about James, then come to me. If you need advice, I will be here for you. You should not be made to feel like shit just because Michelle thinks that you should.”

I nodded again and she pulled me into a hug.

“Oh, how I wish that things were different, or that she grew up even if it was just a little bit. She needs to realise that the whole world does not revolve around her,” Isabella stated as she pulled away from me and smiled at me. “Are you going to be okay?” she asked me as I went back to stroking Snowball. I smiled down at him before looking up at Isabella who was looking at me expectantly.

“I’ll be fine. Thank you, Isabella. You always know how to make me feel better, especially when other people try to make me feel like shit,” I admitted. It really hurt that Michelle couldn’t be nicer to me, that she just couldn’t be happy and help me through everything.

“I can honestly tell you that James seems like a great guy. We shouldn't be judging him on how his friends have behaved. He is honestly not like them. How would you like it if people would judge you on how Michelle behaves?” Isabella asked.

“I wouldn’t like it at all as Michelle and I are totally different people. “

“Just like James. I can see that he is being genuine with you,” Isabella admitted as she walked over to the dormitory door and opened it. She stopped at the door and looked over at me. “You should let yourself be happy around him. You deserve it, Abigail, you really do. You are such an amazing girl.”

I smiled at her as I thanked her for her kind words that I wasn’t sure I even deserved.

I lay down next to my cat and looked at him, thankful that there were people in the world who loved me. Like him, he would never make me feel like shit or treat me like I was nothing.


Chapter 10: The One With The Talent Show
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Sorry about the wait! I hope to not be this long again, I'm trying to work on a system to update more regularly. I hope it works...
A massive thanks to my beta Sam! :D






“Are you ready?” James whispered to me.

I shook my head at him, my hands wringing themselves together in my lap through nerves. I wasn’t a good public speaker, I was too worried that I would freeze up and everyone would laugh at me.

The idea of performing a ‘talent’ in front of the class made me cringe, I didn’t have any talents at all. James, on the other hand, was planning some sort of circus act for everyone; apparently he used to want to be in the circus when he was younger, so took classes. From the stories that James told me in class, he wanted to be a lot of things when he was younger; a clown, a gymnast or a superhero. I had no clue what a gymnast was until James told me. I was glad that I knew what a circus and a clown were because of a lesson in Muggle studies last year, or I would have been totally lost on that one as well. I was a little jealous of the things that Muggles got to do, although I’m glad that I grew up in the Wizarding world and with magic.

“Not at all. What if I mess up?” I asked him, trying to stop my hands from shaking. I was a bundle of nerves.

James noticed this and placed his hand on my own, catching me off guard and making my ears burn as I felt my cheeks begin to flush at the contact of his warm hand.

“Hey, you’ll be fine,” James assured me, giving me a smile. I tried to smile back, but my nerves were mixing with the butterflies that he was giving me by holding my hand and it was becoming overwhelming.

He seemed to have noticed that I had gone a bit pale. “Look, you don’t have to do it. I’m not going to make you.”

“But our presentation... I can’t just not take part. We’ll fail.” I didn’t want to be the reason that we would fail this assignment, I didn’t want James to have a reason to stop talking to me.

“How about you just be the presenter?” James suggested, “Your only job will be telling the class about the talent show and saying which guests will be on next with their talent.”

“But it’s only us two. There will only be the one act.”

James thought for a moment before his face lit up; I knew that he had an idea. “Leave that to me,” he told me, “All you have to do is make up a name each time I finish whatever it is I’m doing.”

I gave a small laugh and James smiled back at me, removing his hand from my own. “What are you going to do? Do you have enough talents?”

“I have many talents,” James told me, “Although we better stick to three, I think.”

“I hope we don’t fail.” My nerves were beginning to build again. I took a few deep breaths to try and calm myself down.

“We won’t, have faith in me.” He looked so sure of himself, trying to smile at me in a comforting way. It did make me feel slightly better.

I nodded at him in response.

Once Professor Hargreaves had settled the class down, he called James and I to the front of the class. I walked up slowly, feeling better about the presentation, knowing that James was there. I had a piece of parchment in my hands - that me and James were both meant to read from - back when I was originally going to show off my ‘talent’ but now I was going to have to edit it to fit in with whatever James’s new plan was. I turned to look at him, but he had disappeared behind a curtain near the teacher’s closet. He ran out before I could start and handed me three small red balls before running back behind the curtain. This earned a few laughs from the other students and I couldn’t help but feel a bit confused. Nonetheless I carried on, thankful that I could still hold my parchment so that I could read from it.

“Hello,” I stuttered slightly, before coughing. I needed to relax, I didn’t want to muck up and fail both me and James in this assignment. “Welcome to the Hogwarts talent show. We have a great showcase of talent to show you all, one of which you will crown the champion at the end of the show.” There were a few claps from the students and our Professor, and I couldn’t help the small smile that crossed my face, feeling slightly more confident.

“So, I am excited to present our first act, James Potter.” I looked in the direction that James had disappeared in and waited for him to appear as I moved to the side of the room. James appeared a moment later with some sort of a wheel with a seat on it, I had no idea where he had gotten it from. But I saw that the Professor’s closet was open and I knew that it was a place that he kept a lot of Muggle artefacts. I was amazed that James had thought to try and find something in there. I was also a little worried about what he was about to do.

James took a bow to them all, before he climbed on top of the wheel thing. I felt slightly worried, it really didn’t look like he would be able to sit on it without falling off. I was very surprised when James not only managed to keep balance but he was moving around on the wheel with ease as though he had been doing it his whole life. It was only then that I realised that it had to be like one of those Muggle transportations Professor Hargreaves had taught us about a few years ago. Only this one had one wheel instead of two.

The class let out claps; they looked really impressed that James could keep his balance as well.

“Thank you, thank you.” James said smugly, a look of severe concentration on his face. “Abigail, would you be so kind as to chuck me one ball at a time?”

I gave a small frown before I did as he asked. He caught each ball with ease and proceeded to juggle with them, impressing everyone in the room, including myself.

He continued juggling and balancing on the wheel thing for a few more minutes, before catching all of the balls in one hand and jumping down from the wheel. He gave a bow at us all and the class cheered and applauded, someone even whistled.

James disappeared behind the curtain again and it was my turn to introduce the next act. “Er...” I began, looking back down at my parchment and realising that it was meant to be my act now. I was trying to think of a fake name off of the top of my head. “Next is Joe Muggle.”

James came back out and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the fact that he had managed to draw an ink moustache on himself, as though he were a different person. He also had what appeared to be a sock on one hand, I had no idea where he had managed to get one from and I had a sneaking suspicion that it had come from his own foot.

“Hello, everyone. My name is Mr Sock.” James said to the class, his voice in a higher tone than normal. The entire class laughed and I couldn’t help but chuckle from where I was stood.

He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant and I was so thankful that James was my partner on this project and that he had somehow managed to save the day. The way that he managed to captivate the entire class with his ‘talents’, taking the attention away from me, something that I appreciated fully, just made me realise that I was lucky to have him around. Even James’s last talent, which was just him doing a handstand and walking around on his hands, was entertaining.

The class had to vote on which James was the best one and it was unanimous that Joe Muggle and Mr Sock were the clear winner of the talent show. Professor Hargreaves had to jump in and stop James before he began to make a speech, to let us all know that he would be marking our performances and presentations over the weekend, as it was nearing the end of the lesson.

“Where did you learn to do all of that?” I asked James at the end of the lesson as we walked out of the room with the rest of the class, a few of them congratulating us on a great idea.

“I wanted to be a Gymnast and a clown when I was younger, so my dad signed me up for some Muggle classes. He had no choice in the matter, I can be very persistent when I want something,” James told me, a mad grin on his face.

“You really pulled it off and saved the day,” I told him, hugging my school books to my chest and nudging him slightly with my shoulder. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, although I bet if you’d performed your talent, we would get an Oustanding.” James told me, nudging me back. I smiled in embarrassment as we continued walking down the corridor. James was walking quite close to me now, which couldn’t be helped as we passed fellow students, each making their way around the castle.

“I don’t have any talents, that was the problem in the first place,” I told him honestly. I really didn’t, the only thing I would consider a talent was my drawing, but I’m not sure how I could have shown the class that.

“You do have talents, they’re all just hidden,” James stated, before he looked at me as though examining me. It made me feel slightly nervous; I hoped I didn't have any ink on my face, unlike James, who still had the ink moustache.

“I can assure you that they’re not.” I was embarrassed, trying to look away from him and carry on walking.

“Maybe you’re a secret singer?” James suggested.

“You wouldn’t want to hear me sing.” The only time I ever sang was around my family and even then it was at a push; I didn’t have the confidence to sing in front of anyone else.

“I bet you have a beautiful singing voice,” James told me, waving his hand to silence me, as I tried to protest the fact as we went back to walking down the corridor. I had no idea where we were even heading, our classes were over for the day and dinner wouldn’t be for a few more hours. It was like we were just walking aimlessly. Not that I was complaining about spending more time with James. “I’d like to hear it one day.”

“That would probably only happen if I get incredibly drunk.” I laughed and looked at James out of the corner of my eye to see him smiling at me.

“That can so be arranged.” His eyes seemed to have lit up slightly and I shook my head at him.

“Oh no, I am not getting drunk. I’d only embarrass myself and I would like to keep the little amount of pride that I have, thank you.” Although the ideas of being drunk around James were all I could think of. I wonder what he’s like drunk?

“It’ll be alright, I’ll get just as drunk as you. That way, we’ll both be embarrassing ourselves, not just you.”

“That’s reassuring.” I laughed, shaking my head at him and also trying to rid myself of a drunken affectionate James from my mind.

“Hey, James. There you are.”

We both turned around at the new voice from behind us. James’ friend William was jogging up to us.

“Alright, William? What brings you to this part of the castle?” James asked him as we both stopped walking to let him catch up to us.

“Yeah, I was just trying to find you,” William said to James, his eyes flickering down to the ink moustache on James' face. William seemed to be biting his lip to stop laughing at it, but didn't seem to acknowledge it was there other than that. He turned to me instead a friendly smile crossing his face. “How are you, Abigail?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” I replied, giving him a friendly smile of my own. I really liked William, especially after how he saved me from a James under the influence of a love potion.

“What have you two been up to?” he asked us, a smirk and pointed look on his face as he looked at James. I tried not to read too much into it; it probably meant nothing.

“Oh,” I answered, hugging the books tighter for something to do. “We just finished Muggle Studies.”

“How did the talent show go?” William asked me. We all set off on a walk together.

“It went really well, James saved the day by performing. I didn’t really have a talent.”

“She does have a talent, she’s just hiding it,” James told William. I shook my head at him.

“I really don’t. Especially not compared to you, James.” I turned to look at William, who was still smirking at James. I noticed that James was trying to ignore him.

“James likes any occasion to show off,” William assured me, which earned a scoff from James. James attempted to get William into a headlock, but William darted out of the way of him with a laugh, attempting to flatten his blonde hair back down. “Let me guess he did some sort of flip?”

James could do flips? I shook my head in response to William, who raised his eyebrows in surprise before turning to look at James, who was looking a little embarrassed.

“You haven’t shown off the fact that you can do that? Are you ill? That’s normally the first thing any of us learn about you,” William joked, a look of shock across his face.

“Ha ha, William. No, I haven’t shown that off; the classroom was too small.”

“So, you’re saying that you need an empty corridor, like now?” William said, indicating the now empty corridor that we were down.

James looked at the corridor before turning to look at both of us; he shook his head at us before putting his head in his hands and beginning to walk again, letting out a mortified laugh.

“Stop it, you’re embarrassing me now,” James told William as we followed him.

“I’m sorry, you’re embarrassed? The fearless James, who can do anything and isn’t scared of anything or anyone?” William asked. James rolled his eyes at William.

William couldn’t help but laugh. I smiled at the two friends, I knew that there was something that I had missed, an underlining meaning between the two, but it wasn’t for me to pry.

“Can you believe this guy?” William stage whispered, turning to look at me and pointing at James next to him. “He can jump off of his broom at large heights, no problem. He can argue with Ministry officials, no problem. He could tackle that rather large seventh year to the ground when we were in our fourth year, no problem. But you ask him to do one tiny flip and he suddenly becomes this joke.”

My smile widened as I wondered just when James had done all of that stuff, as well as being impressed. I wouldn’t have the guts to do any of that.

“That argument wasn’t my fault,” James told us defensively. “He was yelling at my dad, so I yelled back.”

“I still think that you’re being a coward for not showing us. Abigail wants to see you do it.”

I didn’t really want to get involved in their ‘bickering’, but I also really wanted to see this flip. James turned to look at me before letting out a small groan of reluctance; he handed his bag to William before he went to take his robe off.

“Oh no, there are people in the corridor,” James said suddenly, shrugging his robe back on and grabbing his bag back from William, who shook his head in disappointment at this friend.

I turned to look down the corridor and saw a group of what looked like either first or second years heading in our direction. I noticed Isabella was walking behind them.

“Ah, isn’t that convenient,” William stated. James rolled his eyes again before grabbing William’s arm.

“Abigail, we need to run,” James told me, trying to silence his friend by putting a hand over his mouth. “If I don’t see you before the Hogsmeade trip tomorrow, have fun.”

I nodded and waved goodbye to both of the boys as they left, noticing that James had let go of William and had punched him in the arm. William’s laugh could be heard as they walked away. Both of them gave Isabella a wave in greeting as they passed her.

“What was all that about?” she asked me as she got closer, turning back to look at the two boys who turned a corner.

I shook my head slowly, “I have no clue.”

~~~~

I had been looking forward to the first Hogsmeade trip for a few weeks now, mainly because there had been a few items that I had run out of and I needed to stock back up. Including getting more ink - I had somehow managed to spill most of my last bottle the other day - and more lip balm. I knew that with the colder weather sneaking upon us, my lips would become chapped. There was also the fact that I wanted some more chocolate, I liked to have a little supply when I was in my dormitory doing my homework or reading and I couldn’t just keep relying on my parents sending me some.

As Michelle and I walked around the village and waited for Isabella to meet up with us - she was visiting an aunt who was in the village as well - we glanced in a few shop windows while we talked to each other, the conversation changing to the comics that I was looking forward to my dad sending me soon.

“I have personally never seen the point in them,” Michelle stated with a shrug, her hands in her pockets as she looked into the shop window of a shop that sold robes. They had a Halloween style window display and I looked at it with a smile. I really do love Halloween, not as much as Christmas though; wizards and witches really went all out with their decorations and it did seem so magical.

“I think that they’re wonderful,” I told her as my eyes watched a tiny witch flying around on a broom, “My dad’s imagination is so amazing. I wish that I had one like him. The things and storylines that he comes up with are just brilliant. That’s why I want to be a comic book writer myself.”

“Would you be able to deal with the fame?” Michelle asked me.

“I really don’t think that I could,” I told her honestly, “That’s why I’d probably write under a pseudonym like my dad has; he didn’t like the idea of the fame either and he likes to keep his personal life separate from his work life.”

“It sounds like it’s been a lot of work to do something like that,” Michelle told me. I had to agree with her; I knew that my dad tried very hard and it wasn’t easy for him. It was good that he had a very reliable work team who helped keep his identity secret as well - who knew how many ‘fans’ would try and come to my house if they knew who my dad was? I didn’t even want to think about it.

“So, where did you want to go first?” Michelle asked me. “I don’t think that Isabella is going to be meeting us for a while.”

“Can we pop into that beauty shop? I want to get some more of that honey lip balm. I left my other one at home and I’m running out of the one that I did have on me,” I told her. She nodded at me and mentioned that she needed to get some more shampoo and conditioner as she was running low as well.

We spent a good half an hour in the shop, going around to the different products and taking a good smell of each individual product, talking about how much we loved or disliked - in a quiet voice in case the owner heard us - the smells, and what we would buy if we had unlimited money.

Leaving the store with our purchases, we began making our way to Scrivenshafts Quill shop so that I could restock up on ink. I had been so clumsy with it lately that I decided that I would get a few extra bottles; who knew if my clumsiness would continue? Especially as I seemed to only be getting clumsy around James. Maybe I needed to keep things away from me whenever he was around?

Isabella was waiting outside for us and smiled upon seeing us, rushing up to hug us both and ask us how our day had gone as we walked slowly around the village. I listened to Michelle and Isabella having a conversation about whether or not we could go back to the beauty shop to just smell the items, as I looked around the students, searching for James.

I spotted him hanging around outside The Three Broomsticks, with a group of his friends. He seemed to have sensed me looking at him, because he turned around and gave me a big smile, that seemed to want to make my knees weak and my heart flutter.

I gave a shy smile as I waved at him quickly, before looking away embarrassed. I could feel my face flushing. Isabella saw the look on my face, before turning to look at where I had been looking, smiling and waving at James as well, before turning to giggle at my reaction.

Michelle rolled her eyes next to me and I could sense her displeasure at our behaviour, whereas James’s friends seemed to be nudging him and pushing him whilst they laughed at his wave over at me.

“Why don’t you go and see your new best friend,” I heard one of them laughing.

“Don’t be a douche,” I heard James say back before giving me an apologetic smile. He grabbed for his friends to move them along.

“His friends are such losers,” Michelle muttered in annoyance. I had to agree with her I didn’t particularly like his friends, apart from William Sutton; he was the only one that I actually liked.

“The only decent one of the bunch is William. But enough about them, shall we make our way to Honeydukes?” Isabella asked us, we all nodded happily and walked towards the sweet shop, planning to spend more money than we should.

~~

Isabella had left us as soon as we came back from Hogsmeade; she wanted to meet up with Sian, who had been on a date, and wanted to find out how it went. So Michelle and I had spent the rest of the evening in either our common room or our dormitory. When we were down in the common room we had overheard Louis Weasley, who was James’s cousin, telling his friend Horatio Demarcus in hushed tones about his date that day with Freya. Horatio didn’t seem to be too thrilled as he was apparently left on his own all day.

After hearing the story and Horatio complaining for a while, Michelle and I decided that the best way for us to get our homework done would be if we went upstairs to the quietness that was our dormitory.

This plan had worked for a while, as we lounged in silence, eating sweets and writing essays, until Snowball decided to lay over my things to get attention. After that, we both agreed that the homework could wait until tomorrow, so we both decided to spend the rest of the day in our pyjamas, I moved to sit on Michelle's bed with her as I read through her magazines and she began to French plait my hair, something which we hadn’t done in quite some time. It was nice to go back to how we used to be and I absolutely loved it.
 








A/N: Michelle can be nice? :O Who knew? :P


Chapter 11: The One Where I Find Out Why James Was Up All Night
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



“I have got to tell you the funniest thing that James said to me,” I told Michelle with a laugh myself as she walked into the dormitory - Quidditch training must have been cancelled due to the storm that was raging outside. I couldn’t stop giggling about it all day, it was so funny and I hoped that if she heard it, it would cheer her up.

“Abigail, at this moment in time I really don’t care what your precious James had to say about anything,” Michelle told me angrily, throwing her bag onto the floor and pushing her hands through her blonde hair.

I stopped in my tracks at her behaviour, feeling a little like she had slapped me. What had gotten into her?

“What’s wrong with you?” I asked her, not liking that she was taking whatever anger she was feeling out on me. I hadn’t done anything wrong, I just wanted to share something funny that had happened with her, my supposed best friend.

“You wanting to talk about James all the time, it’s getting on my nerves,” she told me, not even bothering to turn around and face me as she spoke. I could feel myself becoming hurt at her words and also beginning to feel angry myself. “How about you and James become best friends? You clearly don’t need me anymore, do you? You ignore me half the time just so you can see your precious ‘boyfriend’,” she snapped at me.

I gave a frown as her words processed in my head. When did I ever ignore her or leave her just so I could go and talk to James? I only talked to him outside of lessons if he came up to me. I was a bit intimidated by his friends, especially Barry and Elijah, as we didn’t exactly have the best of interests in each other. In fact, I still wanted to hurt them for the prank and cruel trick that they played on me and James, but I must admit that it did bring out the good thing that was me and James talking. That I wanted to thank them for, but I didn’t want them to think that putting a love potion in someone’s drink was the right thing to do. I was in a bit of a catch-22.

I didn’t even know how to respond to Michelle, who was sitting on her bed now, her back to me whilst she flicked through the pages of her magazine angrily. I watched the back of her head for a few moments, before I decided that I wasn’t going to sit in the dormitory with a girl who was angry at me, for what I considered to be no real reason. I gave a sigh after a few moments and decided to pick up my school bag, shoving a few comics into it, that I had been reading at night times. I most certainly wasn’t going to hang around and made out to be the bad guy in this made up situation that Michelle had dragged us both into.

“I know that you’re annoyed because you can’t go to Quidditch practice, but do not take it out on me because it’s torrential raining outside,” I growled out before I could stop myself and left the room, slamming the door behind me and not caring that I could have broken it.

Man, that felt good.

Although I did feel a bit guilty at the way that I just behaved. I was no different to her; just as childish and I knew that I would be the one to go back and apologise.

Seriously, life, if you would like to give me a backbone at some point I would be more than happy!

I strolled down to the library as I tried to stop thinking about my short and yet annoying argument with Michelle. I didn’t want to be thinking about it all day and end up dwelling on something that I apparently had no control over. It wasn’t my fault that her Quidditch practice was cancelled, I certainly didn’t control the weather.

The library was the place that I had decided to take my refuge, surprisingly; even though the rain outside was absolutely chucking it down, not many people had sought the comfort and sanctuary of the library. I meandered through the room as I tried to find a seat to take that would take Michelle a while to find if she decided to come down and apologize to me. I almost laughed at myself for even thinking that she would apologise to me.

Taking a seat next to a window, I pulled out my comic book, looking out of the window for a moment and onto the school grounds, seeing that the rain was causing massive puddles to form on the grass and over the pavements, and feeling sorry for anyone that was caught out in the downpour. I witnessed a few people running across the field and jump in the puddles before they ran off laughing.

Giving a smile I settled in the chair that I was sitting in and let myself get lost in the world that my wonderful father had imagined. ‘Minister of Destruction’ was one that I would find myself going back to again and again. It was my favourite out of them all and I had decided to begin rereading them all from the beginning; in fact, I had asked my dad to send me my copies that I had left at home, just so that I could read them. Thankfully they arrived the next day and I had been spending all of my free time reading them.

I chanced a look up randomly and I was glad that I did, as I saw James was walking towards me, a smile on his face as he waved at me. I placed the comic under a book that had been left on the table by the previous students, not wanting him to laugh at me for reading comic books. It was silly, I know, but James’s opinion of me really mattered to me.

I could hear my father’s voice in my head as I thought of how silly I was to hide something I loved. ‘Don’t change yourself to suit someone that you fancy, otherwise they’ll never know the real you and you’d have to keep pretending to be something that you’re not.’

He was right, but I just didn’t want James to know that about me yet.

“Mind if I take a seat?” he asked me as he pointed down at the empty chair on the other side of the desk.

“That’s fine, I was just alone anyway,” I told him, waving my hand dismissively, “What are you doing here? Where have your friends got to? Did you not want to hang around with them?”

“They’re being boring, to be honest, and William has gone off to ‘talk’ to some girl in Gryffindor. I use the word talk loosely, there shall be no talking," James said, shaking his head, “So I thought I would walk around the library like the cool person that I am, and that is when I saw you sitting at a table on your own.”

He looked around the library for a sign of someone before looking back at me.

“No Michelle?” he asked me curiously, “I thought that you would both be in here together.”

I rolled my eyes and let out a groan at his question. “We’re not exactly speaking at this moment in time, we had a bit of an argument. Michelle stopped talking to me for some stupid reason, but it doesn’t matter, we’ll be friends again by the end of the day anyway.”

“Oh, that’s a - er - a lovely and healthy friendship that the two of you have,” James said, sucking a breath through his teeth as he raised his eyebrows and nodded slowly, as though he didn’t really understand it but wasn’t going to say anything.

“So, what were you reading when I was coming over here? Some sort of girly magazine?” James asked, leaning forwards to grab hold of the comic book that I had hidden under the book. I felt my eyes widen as he grabbed it before I could stop him. I tried to grab his hand, but he was too quick. He laughed at my abysmal attempts at stopping him and looked down at the comic, his eyes widened slightly and another grin crossed his face quickly.

“You can’t be serious,” he said as he took in the front page of the comic book in his hands. He let out a laugh before he could stop himself.

I felt embarrassment beginning to crawl its way through my veins as I felt my face flushing. I reached forwards and grabbed the comic from him to put into my school bag and wonder how I was going to run out of here. I had just ruined whatever this was, as he was going to think that I was some sort of nerd for liking Wizarding comic books. I could feel myself getting myself into a state over the whole thing, blinking back the tears that had begun to prickle at my eyes.

“No, no, I don’t mean it like that,” James said, stopping me by grabbing for my hand; the shock of him holding my hand did the job of distracting me and I looked up at him. “That came out all wrong and I apologise entirely. Please don’t think that I was laughing at you.”

He let go of my hand and reached down to grab his own bag, that I didn’t even see him arrive with. He pulled out a comic book and slid it to me across the table; I took it and gave a small laugh of my own in disbelief. He had handed me a copy of ‘Minister of Destruction’, but the latest edition of it. I looked up at him with my mouth open wide.

“Did you just really do this? Have you really just shown me a copy of this? You’re not joking?” I asked him, unsure if this was actually happening, I had to have been dreaming. This wasn’t believable, James couldn’t like the same things that I did.

“It’s not a joke, I do really love comic books. That’s what I was doing when I was awake the entire night the other day. I was reading this,” James said, pointing at the comic and giving a proud smile. I had to admit that he looked quite cute when he was this happy.

I realised that James was right; the comic would have been sent to him at dinner time, whereas mine was sent the day before by my father. Not that I told James that, but then again I never believed in a million years that James would love comic books so much. There was so much we had in common and we didn’t realise it until we began talking to each other.

“So, yeah, now you know the real reason. I wasn’t with a girl or a guy or anyone else. I was in bed, reading this by wand light and basically fan girling over it.”

I smiled and shook my head. “I can’t imagine you fan girling over something. It doesn’t seem like something that you would do.”

“I can assure you that it is very much something that I would do,” James told me with a laugh.

“So, how long have you been reading them for?” I asked him in excitement. I still could not believe it, James was actually sharing the same interest as me, he was actually coming off as big a fan as I am over comics.

“Since I was quite young actually,” James admitted to me with a smile. “Whenever I used to stay over my Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione’s house, Uncle Ron would read them to me. It started off with ‘Muggle Man’ and it just escalated since then. Whenever Aunt Hermione would take us to Flourish and Blotts down Diagon Alley, we would both be in the section that these were all in. We could spend all day there. But a few years ago I fell in love with this series, ‘Minister of Destruction’. The creator of this is a genius. I had to, of course, read them in secret and hide them from my mother, especially as they’re not exactly suitable for younger audiences. But my obsession has been growing for years now and I try to read whatever ones I can, especially when it’s written by Colin Deacon. I love that man so much,” James stated, looking fondly down at the comic book in his hand. I felt my heart stop at his words as my stomach squirmed unpleasantly.

I didn’t know what to say; did he know that he was my father? Is that why he wanted to talk to me suddenly and try to become my friend? Because of whom my dad was? I swallowed and tried to calm myself down; there was no way that he could know.

“I wish I knew who he was,” James stated, as if reading my thoughts. “But he’s writing under an alias. I can understand completely; with crazy fans out there, it’s no wonder he tries to protect his identity and his privacy, as well as his family's. My father tried to protect us from everything when we were growing up, well, as much as he could do. I just wish that I could meet Colin Deacon and shake his hand, tell him how awesome he is and that he’s my idol. But he’s like a superhero himself, keeps his identity a secret.”

I smiled at James’ words. I had told my dad that he was a superhero many times before; he would just laugh and shake his head at me before telling me that superheroes had powers, and he didn’t really have those powers.

“I do like his comics, he does some really good work,” I said to James. He didn’t seem like he knew who my father was. Surely if he did, he would have said something before now, or at least call me up on the fact that he was my father. Maybe my father’s secret was going to remain a secret? The only person who knew my father’s job was Michelle, the others had never asked.

“I think I have almost everything that he's ever written, except some of the earlier issues of’ Minster of Destruction’. I did have them, but Albus accidently spilt his drink over them. I could have killed him, actually I was going to but my father stopped m,.” James said, shaking his head. “I think that was the worst day of my life, you know after Albus’s birth, of course, but only because that meant that I wasn’t an only child anymore.”

James looked down at his watch and gave a loud sigh; he didn’t seem to notice that I was barely contributing to this conversation at the moment. I bet that was because he was too busy ‘fan girling’ over my dad.

“Why does time go so quickly when you’re having fun?” James asked me and I shrugged. “I need to get going, I promised that I would go down and visit Hagrid for a while.” He took his own comic and gently put it into his bag. “I would invite you, but Hagrid's making cakes and there’s only enough for millions of people, but like the fat pig that I am, I want to eat them all.”

I rolled my eyes, but laughed anyway. “What a nice person you are.”

“Are you going to be here later? I might pop back and we can talk about comics more,” James asked me, he couldn’t seem to keep the grin off of his face. “All of my friends laugh at me for my love of them, apart from William of course, but I don’t think he has a sense of humour really? He’s always so serious.”

“I might be, unless Michelle begins to talk to me again whilst you’re gone, which I am highly doubting to be honest,” I admitted, knowing that with Michelle it could be any time before she would ‘forgive me’ - either a matter of minutes or hours, depending on how annoyed or upset she was over the whole situation.

“We really need new friends, Abigail,” James said, shaking his head as he stood up and placed his backpack over his shoulder. I gave a laugh at his words; we did indeed need better friends, ones that wouldn’t stop talking to us or laugh at us. Although James should keep William, maybe get rid of Barry and Elijah.

“Maybe we should hold auditions?” I joked.

“Well, if you do decide to hold auditions then you should let me know and I’ll audition for the role of friend, unless...” He stopped for a moment and a serious look crossed his face, “You have a really protective boyfriend around that I don’t know about, who will not be happy to know that I plan on being good friends with you?”

I felt shocked at his words; what would have made him think that I had a boyfriend? Although to be fair, we didn’t really know a lot about each other, did we?

“There’s no boyfriend,” I told him, feeling a bit embarrassed about the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend. I didn’t think that I was cool enough to have a boyfriend.

James gave a coy smile at my words and I thought that I saw relief wash over him. I was obviously just imagining it; I wanted him to be relieved that I didn’t have a boyfriend, I wanted him to admit that he liked me and wanted to audition for more than friends - wow, where did that come from?

James nodded, the smile was still on his face before he glanced behind him and turned around quickly. “Shit, I’ve really got to go. My Quidditch captain has just walked in and he’s going to probably shout at me for not resting fully the day before our ‘big match’, blah, blah, blah,” James added, holding his hands up and mimicking someone talking with them.

“So, I’ll catch you later on, Abigail. Don’t forget to let me know what scene you want me to act out in the friendship audition.” He gave me a wink, which almost caused me to stop breathing, before he left the library.

How could he do this to me? Make me laugh so much as well as transforming me into a big puddle of fluff with just his beautiful smile.

Damn, I needed to get a hold of my feelings; they’re beginning to get out of control. There was nothing hidden in the meaning behind his words. He was being nice and was excited that I read comics like he did, even if he didn’t have a clue that his favourite writer and idol was in fact my father; he just liked that he had someone to talk to about it all. So why couldn’t I stop thinking about the smile and look on his face when he asked me about whether or not I had a boyfriend.

Was I reading too much into this?






A/N Am I ever able to write Michelle not being a bitch? I really don't think so. I feel sorry for Abigail, but... she gets to talk to James more.... :D

Let me know what you think! :D

My beta Sam is pure amazing! She's looked over all these chapters so quickly for me!


Chapter 12: The One Where James Is A Dragon For The Day
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Halloween was by far one of my favourite holiday seasons.

It wasn’t quite up there with Christmas; I mean, who could beat Christmas? Presents when it’s not your birthday? Mince pies galore? Eating as much food as you like without anyone caring about the calories or that you had eaten a whole box of chocolates and sweets before dinner, that and no one cared at all if you spent the entire day in your pyjamas with a paper crown on your head? In fact, that kind of attire was whole heartedly encouraged at that time of year.

Halloween was different, though. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I felt more connected to this holiday than any of the others because I was a witch, but the spooky aura and the costumes really made me smile. The good thing about your attire on Halloween was that you could literally dress up as anything and tell everyone that it’s your costume. You could dress up as a giant elephant for the entire day, or dress up as a mummy, with toilet roll wrapped around yourself and people would love it.

Try that any other day of the year and you would be called crazy and judged quicker than you can say, ‘But I thought that Halloween was today, not tomorrow.’

Hogwarts always went full out on its decorations, making sure that every classroom and corridor was decorated, even if it was a classroom or corridor that was barely used; there was nothing missed in the decorating. I loved walking down the corridors and having cob webs stringing all over the place, with fake spiders crawling over them. The fact that bats flew down the corridors and in the Great Hall. That the front steps of the castle had Pumpkins on them, their brilliantly carved out faces looking hauntingly at you, especially in the darkness and mainly because the fact that the faces moved added to the wonderful effect that the castle was trying to give out.

Although nothing could be better than the fact that the statues were wearing either masks or witches and wizard hats. It was comedic and amazing, there was nothing that could brighten your day more than a statue wearing a vampire or a mummy mask.

I just wished that more students would dress up. There was nothing I wanted more than to dress up as someone else, pretend that I wasn’t Abigail, pretend that I was someone completely different. Someone like the heroes and villains that my father wrote about.

But hardly anyone did dress up, and if they did, it wouldn’t be something that had anything remotely to do with Halloween; they would either just put a bit of fake blood on their face, or just put on some devil horns. It’s not Halloween until you’ve gone full out on your costumes, although I wasn’t brave enough to wear one around the castle if no one else was.

My family absolutely loved Halloween when I was growing up and at home for it, it was a time when we could all dress up and play games.

That’s where the idea for Minister of Destruction came from; one year my father dressed up as the Minister for Magic and proceeded to jump out at me, my brother and sister in an attempt to scare us on Halloween. When he did jump out at us, we all had to run away as fast as we could because the Minister of Destruction would be hot on our tails. It was such a happy time and it broke my heart a little that I was too old to really take part in it anymore, but now that my niece was getting older I was sure that my father would carry the tradition on. Maybe I could become some sort of sidekick?

Either way, that year my father started planning his character Minister of Destruction, planning his back story, his life, his powers, his enemies. Just everything that he would need information on so that he could begin to make the comics. And my dad had a lot of information, folders upon folders of it; if there was something you wanted to know about a character than he could tell you about it.

That’s why I loved my dad’s imagination; there were things that I wouldn’t have even thought about and he knew the answer, like a characters favourite colour, their favourite food, what their earliest memory was. It was magnificent how he could include it all in his work and you wouldn’t even notice that it was there, until you went back and looked or something in the next comic caught your eye and you realise that it was mentioned in the one before hand.

It was something that I was hoping to achieve one day, when I published my own comic books. But until that happened, if it ever did, I would have to settle for doing the best I could at school.

Halloween had been uneventful so far, no one was dressed up apart from the teachers, which really disappointed me. Which is why I was most looking forward to my last double lesson of the day, Muggle Studies, because I knew that it would be about Muggle traditions on Halloween.

Professor Hargreaves had a trunk full of costumes waiting for us to pick things from, informing us all that the best costume would win a big bag of chocolate.

I don’t know who was more excited about this, me or James?

“This is going to be so cool,” James cried as he grabbed for a few items out of the trunk and walked back to our table. He had found a Dragon costume that looked like an all-in-one and was currently putting it on over his uniform. I looked back down into the box and picked up a bundle of fur clothing and a bag of what looked like face paint. It was going to be fun to put some face paint on myself.

I placed the items on the desk and picked up the outfit before putting it on over my uniform like James had done. I looked down to see that I was right in thinking that it was a bear costume. I gave a laugh as I tried to think of what I could paint on my face when James interrupted me.

“How about we put face paint on each other’s faces?” James asked me, jumping up to sit on our desk and looking at me.

The students around us were all laughing at each other and joking around about what they were going to or had dressed up as. I faltered for a moment as I realised what James had asked me. Could I even do that? Would I be able to paint his face?

“Are you sure?” I asked him timidly, unsure if he would decide to change his mind and realise that I would possibly be terrible.

“Yeah, I trust you.”

He trusted me. I can’t believe that he said that he trusted me. I don’t even trust me.

“Just try to make me look good, alright?” he asked me, holding the bag in his hands and sitting up straight as I took a few steps closer to him.

“Unleash my inner dragon.” James laughed as he closed his eyes and sat waiting for me to start painting his face.

“I can’t believe that you’re dressed as a dragon,” I told James as I got the paint and started to mix the green with a tiny bit of water, before putting it on James’s face. He pulled away slightly and gave a laugh.

“That’s quite cold and feels really weird,” James told me, smiling. His eyes were still closed so I decided to paint his eye lids first with the paint. “And there is nothing wrong with dressing up as a dragon for the entire day, is there?”

“Are you really going to wear this face paint for the whole day? Won’t you care about what people say?” I asked him, planning on taking off my face paint before the lesson ended.

“They’ll just be speaking words of their jealousy. They would have wished that they could have thought of a costume as well as mine.”

I smiled at him and leant closer, turning his head slightly so that I could paint the side of his face green, a whiff of his shampoo filling my lungs and I couldn’t help but take a deep breath. It smelt really nice.

“Are you smelling me?” James asked and I felt myself flushing and my cheeks reddening in embarrassment. Oh no, I can’t believe I did that, he caught me smelling him.

James’ eyes were open and looking at me, noticing the flush of my cheeks and no doubt the humiliation crossing my face. He gave a small chuckle and it took a moment before I went back to painting his face, my hands shaking slightly as he closed his eyes and waited for me to continue my painting.

“It’s coconut,” James said after a while of silence, in which my mind was racing as I wondered how I could fix this.

“What?” I asked, he had caught me off guard. I picked up a different paintbrush, wondering what detail to paint next.

James opened his eyes again to look at me. I was facing him now, standing closer than I probably should have been. The small paintbrush was in my hands and I was now painting small details on his nose.

I glanced up at his eyes, my heart seeming to flutter as I took in the bright blue of them. I wasn’t sure if it was the brightness of the room, or the fact that he seemed quite happy and content that were making them shine like this, all I know is that I couldn’t help but get lost in them.

“The shampoo you can smell, it’s coconut,” James said slowly and softly, his breath warm on my face.

“I love the smell of coconut.” I told him, finally looking away from his eyes and giving a small cough as I backed up a step.

“Me too,” James told me. He was still watching me, I could feel it. I settled for swirling the paintbrush in the yellow paint so that I could start painting the Dragon’s eyes.

“I hope this is going to look good,” James stated. “Because I’m painting your face next.”

I smiled. “Thankfully there’s not much you can screw up with face paint for a bear.”

“You say that now. I’m terrible at painting.”

~~~

James hadn’t been as terrible as he said; sure his painting skills had a lot to be desired, but I honestly couldn’t make myself worry about that, when all I could think of was how nice it was to have James touching my face.

Which sounds creepier than I thought it would.

The class had ended quicker than I wanted it to, cutting short the time I would get to spend with James. It was easily the thing I most looked forward to in my day; not many people would say that about Muggle Studies.

Even though the lesson had ended – Sadly, neither James or I won the prize. Instead, it went to Edward Moore who had dressed up as a Rubix cube, which we had learnt about a few months ago - I still found myself with James, walking with him down the corridor as we left the lesson.

I was too scared to wear my outfit outside of the classroom, although James had convinced me to keep the face paint on; apparently it was his ‘masterpiece’. James, meanwhile, was planning on wearing the outfit for the rest of the day.

James seemed to be in his element as we walked; he seemed to find it hilarious to run around the corridors and jump out at random students, scaring them.

I could only smile apologetically at the passing students, some of whom were laughing. Most of them were annoyed.

“James, you scared me, you idiot.”

I turned at the sound of the new voice and noticed that Rebecca Sweeney, a girl in my year, but in Gryffindor House, was standing in front of James, a wide grin on her face and her hand over her chest. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous as she talked to him, especially as she had placed her hand on James’ arm.

James was just laughing at her, happy that he had scared another person. Rebecca was smiling at him, her hand still on his arm as she looked his costume up and down.

“That’s a really great costume, James.” Her tone was flirtatious and I instantly felt jealous of her. She seemed so sure of herself, so confident and I envied her. It made me feel insecure that I would never be able to flirt so effortlessly and look so great doing it, I knew that James would be more interested in her.

“Thanks, Rebecca.” James shrugged, looking down at her hand and moving his arm out of her grip and up to his hair to push his hand through it. “I had help with it.” He nodded over in my direction, giving me an encouraging grin.

Rebecca’s eyes turned to me and her easy smile twitched for just a second, a cold, calculating look hitting her eyes and it worried me. She plastered the smile back on her face. I could tell it was fake.

“You’ve done an amazing job,” she told me. I didn’t believe her in the slightest, but I thanked her all the same.

She was watching me as though I were prey and she was a hunter, her eyes flickering over me as though studying me, taking in all my weak points. I knew that I had just become the enemy to her, purely for being around James.

“I like your make up,” she told me, smiling as sweetly as she could, trying to impress James.

“Er... James did it for me.” I told her, wringing my hands together. I wasn’t competition, how could I be? She was so pretty and I was a mumbling mess.

“He’s so talented, isn’t he?” she asked me, turning to look back at James, who was smiling politely at her and shrugging again.

I nodded in agreement at her words.

“I’m going to head off, I said that I would meet Michelle,” I lied, jerking my thumb behind me and looking from Rebecca to James, who looked a little confused.

“It was nice to talk to you,” Rebecca said. She was all sweetness, but her tone was hinting at me to leave and quickly.

“Did you want me to walk with you?” James asked me. He was being polite, but I was sure that he would rather stay with Rebecca.

I shook my head at him. “No, don’t be silly, I’ll be fine. See you both later.” I turned around before James could say anything else and headed down the corridor. I wasn’t planning on meeting Michelle and I cursed myself for saying it, because James knew that I wasn’t; now he’d know that I was lying and it was something that I didn’t want to deal with. I didn’t want him to ask me why, because how could I tell him it was because of my own insecurities? I’m not sure he would understand.

I didn’t make my way to find Michelle, instead I decided to hide in my dormitory and wipe the face paint off of my face. I was beginning to feel a bit silly for wearing it, especially as I didn’t have James around dressed up as well, taking some of the attention off of me.

It was whilst I was sitting on my bed, attempting to brush all of the cat hair off of my pillow – seriously, how much is that cat going to shed? How does he still have hair left? – When I was interrupted by Michelle coming into the room.

“Abigail?”

I looked up at Michelle, wondering what she wanted. She was hovering at the end of my bed, leaning on the bedpost and looking down at the floor. Even though we were talking again, it was still a little awkward, as though the argument was still there, unfinished.

“Yeah?” I asked her, a bit worried about the look that was crossing her face. She looked worried about something.

“I just wanted to say that I was sorry. I shouldn’t have spoken to you the way I did yesterday. You were right, I was stressed and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. So, I’m sorry,” she told me honestly.

I was amazed; Michelle apologizing to me was an extremely rare occurrence, it should probably go down in Hogwarts: A History, or is this Daily Prophet worthy?

“It’s alright, Michelle,” I told her with a smile.

“Good,” She replied, a smile on her own face. “Did you want to head down to the feast? I know it’s one of your favourites.”

“That sounds like an amazing idea.” I agreed with her idea, getting up off the bed and hoping that Snowball wouldn’t go back onto my pillow and shed everywhere. I knew there was little chance of two miracles happening in one day, but I could dream.

“So, how’s your day been?” Michelle asked me. She seemed quite interested, probably trying to make up for what had happened.

“It’s been alright,” I told her. It really had been fun up until I left James talking with Rebecca. “Same old really, how about yours?”

We were heading out of the common room and towards the Great Hall as we spoke, settling back into our friendship with ease. It felt really good knowing that Michelle was the one to apologise to me, it helped to clear the stagnant air that had settled between us.

“Pretty much the same, nothing entertaining happened until now.”

“What do you mean?” I asked her, wondering what she was talking about as she walked into the hall and took a seat at the Hufflepuff table.

“James Potter is dressed up as a Dragon.”

I felt a grin spreading across my face as I scanned the Gryffindor table for a sign of James. He was standing out like a sore thumb as he sat with his friends, I really should have spotted him as soon as I walked into the hall, but he was surrounded by his friends, who was laughing at him. William was taking a picture of him and James was posing, much to the amusement of the others around him, especially, I noticed with a horrible sensation in my gut, Rebecca. She was sitting next to James, laughing at him and I couldn’t help but feel my happiness diminishing at her being there.

Especially as she had turned to look in my direction, as though knowing that I was watching, with a smug grin on her face.

A grin that told me that James was hers and she wasn’t going to give him up without a fight.
 







A/N: Rebecca has finally made an appearance, I'll let you all decide if the monster mentioned in the summary is her or Abigail's jealousy? It could be both. :P

So what did you all think of her? Did you love that small James and Abigail moment? Also... what did you all think of Michelle's apology? Crazy right? Bet you weren't expecting that! :P

Love you all! 

Tammi.

P.S - Sam = awesomesauce for Betaing my chapters so quickly! :D


Chapter 13: The One Where I Engage In Gossip
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Are you going to be supporting Gryffindor because of James?” Michelle asked me as we took our seats and looked out at the empty pitch.

It seemed that the entire school had come out to watch the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch match. The chatter of the students moving around us to find seats in the stands was quite loud, it was amazing how many people we actually had at this school, it was not until moments like this that you realise just how many people there are.

“I might do,” I told her with a shrug. “I’ve got no reason to support Slytherin really, whereas you want to support Slytherin because of Ethan Richards.”

Michelle blushed at my words and shook her head at me, but I could see a smirk crossing her face. “There might be a small reason that I’m supporting Slytherin because I find Ethan Richards to be a little bit attractive.”

I gave a small scoff at her words; knowing that was not true, she knew that I knew as well as she gave a sigh. “You don’t find him just a little attractive, though, do you?”

“It is not my fault that he’s good looking, but I’m supporting Slytherin because they have a great team, they play very well together and I can’t find any flaws in their game work. I admire that in a team and if I had to chose a team other than my own to win the Quidditch house cup, I would choose Slytherin.”

“I don’t really follow whose winning; all I know is who catches the snitch and what the commentator yells out to us all,” I told Michelle, who was just slowly shaking her head at me.

“I can’t believe that we’re friends and you only know that,” Michelle stated in disbelief.

I gave a shrug. “Why should I know? When I know that you love telling me all about the rules and regulations and the game plays. I know that you enjoy telling me, so it is a good thing really, isn’t it?”

“I suppose it is, but maybe you will take more of an interest in it now that your fancy man is playing,” Michelle stated, looking out over the pitch. I wanted to scoff; I wondered how long this charade of a pleasant friendship would last.

“He’s not my fancy man; he’s just someone that I talk to now and again, although more now than I have done beforehand,” I told her with a shrug as students walked passed us to get to some free seats further up the bench. I hoped that would be the end of the discussion, but apparently not.

“It’s not just because of that,” Michelle said and I resisted the strong urge to groan loudly.

“I know your thoughts on the subject, Michelle,” I told her quickly, knowing that she was going to start going on about how James was only being my friend to gain something himself, that he was clearly up to something and that I was just too stupid to actually see it. I didn’t want to hear it today; I wanted to enjoy the game, even though I’m normally indifferent when it comes to Quidditch.

Michelle kept quiet, which was a great relief to me; I was sure she would attempt to continue. I still didn’t understand her behaviour with the whole situation, it had to come down to jealousy, she had to be worried that I would abandon her and want to spend all of my time with James.

“So, do you even know who the favourite to win this match is?” Michelle asked me, changing the subject back to Quidditch, which I was thankful for. I shook my head in reply.

“Slytherin are the favourites, they’ve got a stronger defence this year,” Michelle told me.

“Ah, but the Gryffindor's have been working on their attack, so they might surprise us all,” Sian’s voice interrupted us; I looked up at to see Sian and Isabella taking a seat in the space next to Michelle, joining in on our conversation.

“You say that now,” Michelle stated, turning to look at Sian so that they could talk Quidditch. I glanced up at Isabella who rolled her eyes before standing up and coming over to sit next to me.

“We’ve lost them both,” she told me as she looked over the edge of the stands and glanced onto the pitch. “These are really good seats, Abigail.”

“I know. Michelle always gets here early enough to get seats like this,” I answer her, which was true. I may hate getting here so early some times, but at least we didn’t have to fight for good seats.

“Are you excited about the match?” Isabella asked me quietly I gave a small smile and a shrug.

“As much as I am for any other match, I guess.”

Isabella gave me a knowing look, “Nothing to do with James, wearing his Quidditch uniform which makes him look pretty damn good looking?”

I felt myself blushing as I covered my face with my hands in slight embarrassment and Isabella gave a laugh, nudging me slightly. I was glad that Isabella was here with us, someone who I could joke around with and have a laugh with.

The match started pretty soon afterwards, commentated by a guy in the year below me called Malcolm Port. As soon as his voice was heard everyone began to cheer.

“Here we have the long awaited match of Gryffindor and Slytherin. I know that you have all been excited to see this match being played, so let us hope that the teams are going to be giving us a good game to watch. First off we have the Gryffindor players,” Malcolm called from wherever it was that he was sat, his voice booming across the stadium and the cheers of my fellow students echoed around the stadium as well. I found myself clapping along with them whilst Michelle cheered next to me.

As indifferent as I was towards the matches before I got to the stadium, always wondering about whether or not I wanted to waste my day being here and watching the game, my attitude would change the minute I was in the stadium. The excitement of those around me was contagious and I did find myself getting involved in the match more, even at times I would be amazed by the moves that the players used, or the death defying and gravity defying flying that they would do, they had more courage and bravery them I had when it came to flying .

They were doing things that I would be too scared to do, flying up to great heights and then letting themselves drop down before zooming back up into the air on their brooms, almost giving me a heart attack in the process.

The closest I got to death defying flying was when I used Daryl’s broom at home and ended up flying fifteen feet into the air managing to fall off of the broom and to the ground below, breaking my arm in the process.

I couldn’t help but find it weird that witches and wizards are able to sit on a small and thin piece of wood and manage to stay on it, and also how they manage to stay on it for a long time without getting a numb bum or without feeling uncomfortable. When I asked Michelle about this one time that I was watching her practice or play a game, I couldn’t remember which one it was that she was doing and I was watching, but I asked her about it, wondering if she ever got pins and needles or the feeling of numbness in her bum. She told me that you learn quickly to use a cushioning charm, that way you would be able to stay on the broom for a lot longer.

I always wondered how professional Quidditch players could play games for a massive length of time and not have to come off of their brooms to have at least a walk around the pitch, their matches actually went on for days instead of just seeming to go on for days. Michelle had told me that during matches that long that the players would be able to have a few breaks from their brooms and be able to walk around to stretch their legs and have a break.

I would hate to watch a game that went on for days; would I actually stay in the stadium for all that time? Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop the match for the night and then resume it in the morning? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just stop the game after a certain time limit and whoever has scored the most in that time frame was the winner? When I had told Michelle my thoughts and ideas on the subject she just shook her head at me and told me that there was a reason that I wasn’t a Captain or Head of Quidditch with that attitude. Not that I even played Quidditch.

I gave a loud cheer as James’ name was called and he flew out onto the pitch, clapping my hands together as well as I watched him zoom across the field in almost a red blur. I heard Isabella cheering loudly next to me; I glanced at her and she gave me a wink in return.

It turned out to be a really good match, the two teams were both giving everything they could to win the match, but in the end Slytherin were the victorious ones.

“I am so glad that Slytherin won the match,” Michelle said happily from next to me as we walked back up to the castle with everyone else who had gone to watch the match.

“Well, it was quite a close race between both of the Seekers. I was hoping that James would catch the snitch though,” I stated. It was true, there were moments when I didn’t know just who was going to get the snitch in the end. I knew that James would feel bad that he didn’t manage to catch it and I made a mental note to ask him how he was feeling when I next saw him. I didn’t want to seek him out in case he was with his friends and didn’t want to be disturbed, I didn’t want him to feel like he had to talk to me.

“Did you see Ethan’s face when Slytherin won, though?” Michelle asked me, smiling dreamily. “He was so happy.”

I couldn’t help but grin along with her; it was good to see her so cheerful and I was happy for her.

“Maybe you should go and congratulate him?” I encouraged her, she shook her head.

“I’ll leave him to celebrate with his team, although I should probably go and find Lucien, talk some tactics about this match and see how it can help us improve.”
Michelle told me. “Do you want to come with me?”

“Oh, no that’s alright, I’ll just head up to the dormitory. I’ve got a few essays to finish,” I told her. I wasn’t sure if I would actually do the essays, but I would be hanging around in the dormitory.

“I’ll see you at dinner,” she said to me, before leaving and heading in the direction of the greenhouses, where we had seen Lucien heading off to.

I looked around me as I slowed my walk, seeing if I could spot Sian or Isabella, but they had probably already gone into the castle. My gaze did fall on William, who was walking with Rebecca, although he didn’t look too happy about it. I looked away before they could spot me and hurried on my way to the castle; there was no sign of James with them, which might be why William seemed so annoyed.

I hoped that James wasn’t too upset about losing the match.

~~~

“Did you hear about Louis Weasley?” Isabella asked as she walked into the dormitory later that night. I was lying on my bed, trying to finish my essay for Transfiguration, which was hard because I really wanted to procrastinate. I didn’t know how badly I wanted to do everything else until I had to finish homework.
Michelle had been gone for quite some time now, as had Isabella. Sian had joined me in the dormitory not long after I had arrived, both of us failing at doing much of our homework, instead engaging in small talk until Isabella had arrived.

“No, what about him?” Sian asked and I looked up at them both, waiting for Isabella to tell us about James’ cousin.

“He asked Freya Jackson to be his girlfriend.” She seemed quite excited about this fact as she took a seat on the edge of Sian’s bed. I had only ever spoken to Louis a few times, mainly polite greetings when we’ve passed in the corridor, or if we’d been in the same room and made eye contact, but he seemed like a nice guy.

“Aw, that’s so cute,” Sian responded, and I admit that it was kind of sweet that those two had become an item; they did have that date to Hogsmeade.

“I wonder how Horatio feels about it, though,” Isabella pondered.

“What do you mean?” I asked her, wondering why Horatio would have a probably with his best friend asking Freya to be his girlfriend.

“Well, he must be a little jealous; every time I see Horatio he’s always with Louis as though the two are joined at the hip. I wonder how he’ll feel knowing that pretty soon Louis will be off with Freya all the time.”

“I don’t think Louis will abandon his friend now that he’s going out with Freya,” I stated. I could never imagine abandoning my friends if I ever began to date someone. Well, I didn’t have that many friends to begin with, but I wouldn’t abandon them. “Horatio must have other friends or people he can hang around with if Louis or Freya need to be alone?”

“I really don’t think he does,” Sian told me honestly, “He only has Louis and I’ve never seen him with anyone else, or talking to anyone else.”

“That’s mostly because he’s a mouthy little shit at times,” Isabella scoffed, shaking her head as she spread her legs out in front of her on Sian’s bed, getting more comfortable.

“It must run in his family. Remember Nikolos?”

Sian and Isabella seemed to swoon slightly, knowing grins on their faces.

“Oh yes, how can we forget him?” Isabella said, sighing dreamily.

“It’s a pity that he left halfway through his seventh year.”

I remembered the gossip that went around when Nikolos Demarcus had left; no one had known that he was leaving until we all came back from Easter holidays and he just didn’t show up. Horatio had seemed pretty tense and angry about the whole thing and no one had been brave enough to ask him why Nikolos didn’t return.

To this day no one knew why Nikolos had up and left, although there were many rumours; some of the ones I had heard were that he had married a girl he impregnated; another was that he was now some sort of crime lord. They were each more ridiculous then the ones before and I learnt to not pay attention to them.

“Now he was one fine Slytherin. Dominique Weasley was a very lucky girl.” Isabella sounded slightly jealous.

“Even luckier when she started dating Kieron Not. Why are there so many handsome guys in Slytherin?” Sian asked us both; I gave a shrug, not knowing how to answer her.

“I thought that they were just friends?” Isabella asked, looking from me to Sian.

“Not from what I heard.”

I found it amazing just how much they both knew about other people’s lives, merely through gossip. It made me worried that there was gossip out there about me. I wasn’t sure if I would ever want to hear any of it.

“They do have a very nice looking family, though, the Weasley’s,” Isabella stated, and I had to agree with her. That family had some good genes.

“It must be the Veela in their blood?” Sian offered, shifting on her bed and leaning her head back to rest on the headboard behind her.

“Isn’t he like an eighth Veela? Does that even count?” I asked them, not sure how Veela blood would even work if it was that diluted down.

Sian shrugged. “Probably not. Freya is very lucky, Louis seems so sweet and nice, although have you noticed that he’s quite shy and doesn’t really speak to many people?”

“Probably because the rest of his family is so loud.” Isabella laughed and I had to agree with that, too.

“But good looks seriously run in that family. I mean, take James for example, he looks great.”

I looked at Sian without meaning to and she caught my eye, giving me a friendly smile.

“You think so as well, don’t you?” she asked me and I was wary, although I shouldn’t have been; it wasn’t a trap, she wasn’t fishing for information out of me. She was merely having a friendly conversation and wanted to include me.

I gave a small non committal shrug in answer.

“Oh come on, Abigail. It’s just us girls, you can tell us if you think James is good looking or not,” Sian encouraged me.

“If it makes you feel any better, I had a small crush on Horatio. It was ages ago,” Isabella muttered, waving her hand as though it wasn’t important. Sian just shook her head and laughed.

“It wasn’t ages ago, it was in September. You specifically told me that you thought that Horatio had gotten, in your words, ‘freaking hot’ over the summer.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“You were drooling,” Sian countered. Isabella hit her with a pillow, which caused Sian to laugh and snatch it from her hands.

Isabella rolled her eyes. “Be that as it may, this doesn’t answer the question of whether or not James is good looking. I say that he is.”

“I really like him,” I stated simply and quietly, maybe in the hopes that they wouldn’t hear me.

They both smiled at me. “I knew you did.”

“He’s really funny,” I told them, moving closer to Sian’s bed, Sian moved over and tapped the space next to her so that I could sit down. “And we have a lot in common. Something which I thought would never happen.”

“He seems like he really likes you,”

I shook my head. “No, he’s being nice.”

“James is nice to everyone,” Isabella told me, “But with you he’s different, it’s like he wants to be around you all the time. I’ve caught him staring at you a few times in the Great Hall when he knows you’re not looking at him.”

I wanted to believe her, in fact, my heart was beginning to swell in happiness. “We’re just friends.”

“Maybe he wants to be more?”

“I don’t think he does, what about that Rebecca girl?”

Sian gave a frown as Isabella said, “Rebecca Sweeney? Who hasn’t she set her sights on?”

“James wouldn’t be interested in her.” Sian shook her head and scrunched up her nose as though the very thought was crazy.

“He seemed pretty interested in her at Halloween,” I muttered quietly, but they heard me.

“What do you mean?” Sian asked me.

“Well, when I was walking with James out of the lesson, she appeared and was talking to him about how great his costume was. They were talking and I felt a bit awkward around them, so I said that I was leaving,” I told them, remembering the look that Rebecca had given me, one that clearly told me that I wasn’t welcome.

“What did James say?”

I ran a hand over my face, wondering why I had even mentioned it. “He offered to walk me back.”

“See, he would have rather have been with you,” Isabella told me, looking at Sian for confirmation and I could see her nodding.

“He was just being polite. I told him that I was fine and left quickly, I didn’t want to interrupt either of them.”

“I can assure you that James isn’t interested in Rebecca,” Sian told me.

I just gave her a tight smile in return. I wanted to believe her, I really did.

It wasn’t long before they began talking about boys again and I sat and listened to them, not sure what else I could contribute to the conversation, but it was nice that they were involving me.

Their words about James were encouraging; it was nice to pretend that he liked me more than he actually did. Maybe one day it would actually be true?
 





A/N: Notice any characters from my other stories? :P See what I did there?

As always Kieron Nott belongs to TheHeirOfSlytherin (My amazing beta!), I have lovingly borrowed him from her. :D

Let me know what you all think! :D I love hearing your reviews and I'm trying to update as quickly as I can for you all. Although I would like to apologise for the lack of James in this chapter, he will be in the next one, I promise.


Chapter 14: The One With The Almost Trip To The Hospital Wing
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I am back! Wooo! I am planning on spending tomorrow writing, so more chapters soon!

A massive thank you to Sam for being so fast at beta-ing my chapters for me. You're a lifesaver! :D






Something strange was definitely going on. Michelle and I hadn’t fallen out in quite some time now, and I was loving it. I loved this side of Michelle, the girl that I remembered when we first met, the one who I became best friends with on my first day here. The one I met when we sat together on the train ride up here.

Giving a laugh at a joke that she had just told me, I continued walking with Michelle. I moved out of the way of an approaching group, still turned to laugh with Michelle. I apparently didn’t move out of their way quick enough or leaving enough of a space, as I bashed into them and tripped over one of their legs, causing myself to fall to the floor, hitting my knees painfully as I landed.

“Sorry,” I said quickly, trying to ignore the pain radiating through me from the hard castle floor. I was giving my apologies even though I was the one who actually moved out of the way, whilst they just seemed to be coming straight for me.

I looked up as I heard a small amount of cackling coming from the girls, whilst another of them mimicked my apology in a higher voice. My eyes widened as they fell on Rebecca, who was grinning down at me. Had they tripped me on purpose?
Michelle bent towards me and offered a hand to help me up, which I took gratefully, limping slightly as I looked up at the girls, trying not to wince from the pain that I was feeling or burst into the tears that I could feel coming.

“Watch where you’re going next time, Higgs,” one of the girls hissed at me as she began backing away. Rebecca had a smug look on her face and a wicked grin on her lips. It had been on purpose, I was sure of it, but why?

“Why don’t you two watch where you’re going?” Michelle demanded, squaring up to one of them. But they just continued backing away from her, grins still on their faces.

“Yeah, Higgs, you better watch yourself.” Rebecca gave a cruel laugh at me as she and her friends turned around to walk away. Michelle glared after them whilst I felt the burn of humiliation forming behind my eyes as well as the burning in my knees. I could swear that one of my knees was bleeding.

“Are you okay, Abigail?” Michelle asked me in concern, her arm around my shoulders. “Those girls are stupid idiots!”

I shook my head as I tried to blink the tears away from my eyes, looking down at my knees to see that the fall had caused my tights to rip and a ladder to stretch across the dark material.

“I want to go to the bathroom and check my knee out, I think that it might be bleeding,” I told her, trying hard not to cry. How could they do that to me? And more importantly, why would they do something like that to me? Then it hit me why.
James.

“Yeah, sure, we’ll go right away,” Michelle told me and we began to walk towards where we knew the nearest bathroom would be. My knees were killing me and I couldn’t walk without limping; even that caused me pain, though.

When we finally made it to the bathroom, I entered one of the cubicles and took off my tights in privacy. I was right, I was bleeding.

I angrily bundled up the tights in my hand and stuffed them in my school bag, before I felt my eyes begin to prickle again. Shoving my feet back into my shoes, I grabbed some tissue and dabbed at my knee, as I wiped my eyes with the back of my other hand, scolding myself for getting so worked up about it all.

“Abigail, they’re just stupid girls. If you ignore them, they’ll stop it.” Michelle’s voice came from the other side of the door.

“But why did they start it in the first place?” I asked. I could tell that the tears in my eyes were obvious in the brittleness of my voice. “What have I ever done to them?”

“Nothing, Abigail. I think they just pick a victim and just go for them until they get bored. It’s nothing that you’ve done,” Michelle told me comfortingly. I appreciated her words, they were helping me, but I still felt like a bloody idiot.

I sniffed as I put the tissue in the toilet and flushed it, before grabbing for some more tissue and began to wipe my eyes, opening the door and leaving the cubicle to see Michelle’s concerned face looking at mine.

“It’ll be okay,” she told me.

I nodded as I wiped my eyes and put the tissue in my pocket before limping over to the sink and turning on the cold water tap, so that I could splash some water on my face.

“Yeah, I’ll just try to ignore her and hope that she goes away,” I told her, wiping the water off of my face before throwing the paper towel away and giving Michelle a smile.

“Keep that smile on your face and let them know that they can’t get you down,” Michelle told me. I had to agree with her, I wouldn’t let them get me down. “Come on, let’s go back to the dormitory before our next lesson. I think I’ve got some chocolate somewhere, that’ll cheer you up.”

I smiled gratefully at her and limped next to her as we exited the toilets.

I found Michelles statement about not letting them get me down hard to achieve throughout the day. Mainly because it’s hard to follow that advice, when all you can feel is someone glaring at the back of your head, or whispering about you to their friends loud enough for you to hear their cutting and harsh words.

I would have kept my head held high, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was hoping that the ground would just swallow me up and make me disappear. I was thankful that Rebecca and her ‘cronies’ were only in a few of my lessons, so I would only have to deal with them a few times, and of those times I had Michelle or Isabella to help me get through it.

When I had told Isabella about what had happened earlier, she had gotten quite angry about it all. I was angry I admit, even if it was a little more about the fact that I had ripped my thick tights and was now exposing my legs to the cold air that went through the massive stone castle; I had been feeling quite chilly and my robes weren’t blocking out all of the cold air. I would have to ask my mum to send me a few new pairs of tights when I send her and my dad a letter. I wasn’t sure that I could cope with cold legs when winter finally came around, and if Rebecca was going to continue to trip me I would need to get a good stockpile of tights up.

My knee was still killing me though, and I knew that I would probably be getting a bruise coming through soon. I found it hard to walk normally, but I forced myself to around Rebecca and her friends, even though it was causing me massive amounts of pain to do so. I didn’t want her to think that she had affected me or that she had won, in whatever this war was that she had started.

If I knew how to throw in the towel on this and surrender I would, but who even knows the rules of teenage girl warfare? Wasn’t it just every woman for themselves? Battle through it in the hopes that you don’t get your eyes scratched out or your hair pulled for no reason?

Why must teenage girls be so catty and full of spite?

Giving a sigh, I pushed my chips around on my plate and into the gravy from my steak and onion pie. Why couldn’t I stop thinking about it all?

“Is your knee still hurting?” Michelle asked me from across the table, I looked up at her and gave a nod. I can’t believe that it was still throbbing so much, I must have fallen on it awkwardly. “Did you want to take a trip to the Hospital Wing?”

I shook my head; the last thing I needed to get around the school was that I had visited the hospital wing. Rebecca and her friends would love that, wouldn’t they?
“I’ll see how it feels tomorrow; I don’t want to bother the healer for no reason.”

Michelle regarded me with a stern look. “Abigail, if you need to go get some pain relief potion then don’t let what others think stop you. It’s what those bitches want.”

“I’m not,” I lied. She knew that I was lying; I could see it in her face. “If it hurts tomorrow, then I’ll go.”

“If you can stand the pain all night,” Michelle stated. “I can’t force you to go there.”

~~

I winced as I lifted my leg and placed it on my bed, balling up one of the patchwork quilts on the end of my bed so that it formed some sort of pillow, placing it under my knee so that it was bent slightly and resting my leg on it. It felt good to have it resting, I just didn’t want to move from now on.

“Abigail, I have something that belongs to you,” Isabella stated with a small laugh from next to her own bed. I looked up at her words and down at where she was pointing to her bed. She had drawn back the curtains from around her bed and there was my cat, Snowball. He was sprawled out so that he was laying on his back, his head on the pillow and his paws up in the air slightly. I rolled my eyes at him, glad that none of my roommates seemed to mind when he was on their beds, sometimes even waking up to find that he had fallen asleep at the end of their beds or curled up next to them. I was the only one who owned a cat, the others all owned owls, so they all gave him a lot of attention, which Snowball loved and demanded almost daily. He was a very spoilt cat.

“I suppose I’ll be sleeping at the end of my bed today,” Isabella joked, and I gave a laugh.

“I’m glad that he’s not on my bed again. I woke up to find him lying on my chest, which his head in my face last night,” Michelle told us all, as she sorted out her pyjamas so that she could go and get changed for bed.

“You should all count yourself lucky that he doesn’t love you enough to sleep actually on your face, so you wake up struggling to breathe. Or to find that he’s fallen asleep curled around your head on the pillow. Although, I must admit it does make my head nice and toasty.” I informed them all.

Snowball woke up as soon as Isabella pulled the covers down on her bed, disturbing Snowball, who seemed to meow indignantly before jumping down from her bed and over to mine.

“Oh, I’m sorry your highness,” Isabella said with a laugh as the door to the dormitory opened and Sian walked in.

“Your highness?” she enquired, before she looked over at me and noticed Snowball. “Oh, Snowball. Whose bed was he on this time?”

“Mine,” Isabella told her, climbing into her bed and pulling the covers over herself.
Sian walked over to me, a letter clutched in her hand, which she held out to me. “This came for you downstairs. How’s the knee?”

“Thank you,” I said in surprise as I took it, looking down at the writing, which looked like James’; it made me smile. “It hurts a lot, but I’m hoping it’s better in the morning. I’m sure it’s nothing serious, I only fell over.”

“You were tripped, there’s a difference,” Isabella said angrily from her bed.

“I don’t want to draw attention to it,” I told them as I opened the letter. Sian had gone to sit on Isabella’s bed and the two began talking amongst each other, leaving me to my letter and Snowball, who was trying to curl up on my lap.

I smiled as I recognised James’ writing, amazed that he had sent me a letter. We had barely seen much of each other today, one of the rare days that our paths only crossed in the mornings lessons. So I hadn’t seen him since before I was tripped by Rebecca.

“Abigail,
I hope that you’re alright. I was wondering if you wanted to join me in the library tomorrow? I have an essay I need to work on and William refuses to help me. So, I was wondering if you wanted to grace me with your presence at some point? There’s no need to reply, just turn up if you can. I’ll be there from about 10am.
I hope you can make it,
James.”


I grinned to myself and folded the letter up, putting it under my pillow and deciding that I was going to join him in the library. Michelle was going to be busy and I knew that I had the morning free.

~~

James was waiting for me in the library; he was playing with a quill, spinning it through his fingers as he stared ahead of himself. He had a hard look on his face, his eyebrows furrowed slightly and he seemed to be in a world of his own.

He didn’t look up until I had limped over to the table, the concentrated look on his face was replaced quickly with a warm smile, before it fell slightly as he looked down at my knee, which I had put a large plaster over.

“I hoped that you would make it,” he told me brightly, before noticing that I had been limping.

“Are you alright? What happened?” he asked me in concern as I took a seat opposite him, wincing slightly at the pain that shot through my knee at the movement.

“Oh, I fell over,” I lied to him, trying to wave his concern away. “It’s nothing really, I just fell awkwardly and hurt my knee.”

“Have you been to the hospital wing?” he asked me and I shook my head as I pulled my books out of my bag, putting them on the table in front of me.

“No, there’s no point. I only cut my knee.”

“You’re limping, you probably bruised your knee badly as well.”

“There’s no point in going, I’ll only be wasting the healer's time.”

“Do I have to carry you down there?” He threatened me.

“James, please, can you drop it? I’ll be fine,” I told him. I didn’t want Rebecca to see James carrying me down to the hospital wing; she would probably target me more.

He seemed a bit taken aback before nodding slowly, “Yeah, if that’s what you want?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for that to sound so snappy,” I told him, putting my head in my hands and groaning. “I’ve just not been having a good day, I would rather just get on with everything and ignore that this even happened.”

“I get it,” he told me and I felt a hand on my arm. I dropped my hands from my face and looked down at James’s hand before looking up at him. He was giving me a warm smile, squeezing my arm slightly before letting go and picking his quill back up, running the feather along his lips slowly as he looked down at the open book in front of him. “If it hurts anymore though, I will force you to go to the hospital wing.”
I nodded, agreeing with him.

“How did you fall over?” he asked me.

I didn’t want to tell him that Rebecca had done it on purpose, I didn’t want him to get involved. I just wanted it to all go away and for everyone to move on.

“I’m not sure; one thing I’m walking, the next thing I know I’ve almost landed face first on the floor and split my knee.”

“Did you want me to heal it for you?” James asked me.

“You know healing spells?” I asked in shock.

“No,” James admitted and I rolled my eyes at him. I can’t believe I believed him. “But, William does... or at least I think he does. He once fixed my arm when I thought that he had broken it.”

“He almost broke your arm?”

“Well, he says he didn’t mean to, but I think it was on purpose,” James admitted. “It was my own fault, I told him his twin sister was good looking and he managed to dislocate my shoulder in retaliation.”

“He dislocated your shoulder?” I asked in horror, glancing down at his shoulder, which he was rolling as though it was still paining him.

“Yep, he’s such a good friend.” James laughed shaking his head. I gave a laugh as well as I remembered that James said that it was all over William’s twin sister.

“He has a twin sister?” I asked, not realising that about William and trying to remember if I had seen anyone in our year who looked like William; no one came to mind.

“Yeah, she’s in Ravenclaw. They try to avoid each other, I think Sophie is embarrassed at having William as a brother. I would be as well,” he said jokingly, sticking his tongue out slightly as his eyes crinkled in humour. "He has a younger brother called Steven as well."

"Does he?" I asked, not knowing this about William. 

"Yeah, he's my cousin Lucy's best friend." James stated slowly, "You wouldn't know that they're brothers as they have different last names. It's a crazy family. I'll tell you about it one day. But yeah, Sophie is the reason I almost had my arm broken."

My mind whirled as I tried to picture Sophie, knowing that I definitely had met someone called Sophie from Ravenclaw, but the face was hard to picture.

“So how did he fix your arm?” I asked him, trying not to get jealous over the fact that James thought that this Sophie was good looking.

“Pushed it back into the socket.”

I winced at his words.

“Precisely, it hurt like a fucker. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. I had to go to the Hospital Wing to get it sorted out in the end, he managed to trap a nerve,” James informed me and I screwed my face up as I imagined the amount of pain that he would have been in. The thought of it was beginning to make me feel sick so I changed the subject.

“Does William still think you fancy his sister?” I asked him, looking down at my book and trying to act as non-chalant as I could about broaching the subject.

“No,” James said with a laugh, “After having my arm dislocated I decided that my thoughts about Sophie were too hazardous to my health. Besides, there’s someone else that’s caught my eye.”

I felt like my heart had stopped as my stomach jolted nervously, causing me to feel sick again. Of course he had, it had to be Rebecca, that’s probably why she was tripping me, in some kind of warning to back off from her man.

“Oh,” I managed to say, not trusting myself to look up. I wasn’t sure if the pain of knowing that he liked someone else was worse than the pain I felt in my knee or not.

“Yeah,” he said slowly and I looked up at him; he was focusing on his own book, a red tinge to his cheeks as though he was a little embarrassed. “How about you, anyone caught your eye?”

This was my chance, I could tell him that I fancied him, that I had done for a while now. But the fear of him rejecting me for Rebecca had me keeping that information to myself.

“There may be someone,” I admitted. James looked up at me and opened his mouth, as though he was going to ask who it was, but we were interrupted by William and I was quite thankful.

“If I didn’t know any better, I would say that my sister is trying to get me killed by our parents,” he muttered darkly, nodding at me in his usual greeting, which I returned.

James looked away from me and to his best friend, who was slouching in his chair and looking around the room, as though Sophie was in here.

“What’s she doing now?” James asked as I sat in silence and listened, not knowing what else to contribute to this conversation.

“She’s only gone and told my mum that I’ve got a girl pregnant,” William muttered murderously and my mouth widened in shock, as did James’. William noticed this and rolled his eyes at us. “I haven’t got anyone pregnant, it’s nice to know how much faith you both have in me, though.”

James turned to glance at me before looking back at William, “It’s not that we don’t have faith in you, it’s just that we were a little shocked. If you had, I know that you would have come to tell me first. What has your mum said?”

“I’m not sure, I’m yet to receive the Howler. Soph just told me she sent the letter; if this isn’t a joke then she is so dead! I am going to make her life a misery.”

“Is there any risk that you’ve got anyone pregnant?” James asked seriously and William glared at him. “Hey, I had to check!”

“Do you really think that I would keep that a secret from you if I did think I had fathered anyone?”

James shrugged, “There’s a lot of secrets you may be hiding from me.”

“What?” William challenged, “Like the secret that you’re keeping right now?”

This piqued my interest instantly, I turned to look at James, who had gone pale and had thrown a hand over Willam’s mouth to stop him speaking. Humour filled William’s eyes at his reaction and James grabbed for his wand, placing a silencing charm on William in his attempts to stop him talking.

William rolled his eyes at James’ behaviour and I was shocked that he had resorted to such lengths to keep his secret a secret. William grabbed for his own wand and took the spell off of him.

“Don’t worry, Jamesy. Your secret is safe for me, although it won’t be for long,” William taunted him.

I wanted to ask what it was, but I knew that James wouldn’t admit it to me. Maybe one day I would be able to find out?

It wasn’t long before the silence we were sat in was changed to the subject of the up and coming Quidditch match between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw and I ended up zoning out of the conversation and focused on my essays. Although I couldn’t help but wonder how big a secret it must be that James had.






A/N: Okay, I am quite a bit ahead with my chapters, which are all ready to be uploaded, so I am going to update this story every 3 days. That's right! 3 days! Look at you lucky lot. :P I'm hoping that I can stick to this, work permitting etc. But if you don't get an update in 3 days just kick me on here or on the forums.  :P

edit: I've edited in information about William's family so that he has a younger brother. Who people may recognise if they've read my other stories. :P 


Chapter 15: The One Where We Talk About The Future
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Ian Flemming owns James Bond. A massive thank you to Sam for being my amazing beta! :D

It's that time again, three days since I last updated. So, here's the chapter I promised you all. Expect the next chapter in another three days, so on the 13th. Let me know what you think! 




It had been a couple of weeks since the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin and I found myself actually enjoying my time at Hogwarts. It wasn’t that I didn’t normally, but this year it was different; I actually had more friends this year. Although that wasn’t the most interesting thing that was happening this year; one of the most interesting things was the fact that Michelle and I hadn’t fallen out with each other for two weeks.

It had to be some kind of record.

Granted, we hadn’t been hanging around with each other as much as we normally do. She was training for her upcoming Quidditch match against Ravenclaw more than she normally would have been, which took up most of her free time. But she was happier about something and was generally nicer during lessons, although I would still catch her sneering whenever I spoke to James or he would speak to me, but she had been refraining from saying anything.

It was like a Christmas miracle.

At the end of November.

Michelle would probably snap soon and go back to her usual self, but I was holding out hope to the fact that maybe this was the beginning of things changing.

Although, I probably wasn’t that lucky.

The fact that Michelle was so busy with Quidditch meant that I was spending more time with James or Isabella, something that I was enjoying a lot. In fact, it had begun to feel a bit like I had been speaking to James for a lot longer than the few months that we had been. I was feeling more at ease with him and a bit more open about things and it seemed like he was feeling the same way towards me, or at least I hope so. Though, he hadn’t carried me down to the hospital wing over my knee either, which had become badly bruised but was now healing, even though a part of me wanted him to.

“Do you ever get the urge to just eat cheese for the entire day?” James asked me randomly, bringing me out of my thoughts of how much I was loathing Potions. I gave a sigh as I looked up from my Potions book; I hadn’t really been taking any of the information in.

“Just when I think that we were having a serious conversation,” I muttered with a slight shake of my head. I found it rather endearing that James would at times just come out with whatever seemed to be randomly in his head in that moment. It was like he didn’t have a filter between his brain and his mouth, to stop all of the randomness from coming out. I thought that it was brilliant; he never failed to make me laugh.

“It is a serious question. I’m feeling the urge to just eat a lot of cheese today; have you never had a day like that?” he asked me seriously, leaning forwards in his seat to talk to me, regarding me with a serious look on his face, as though we were talking about something of great importance.

“Are we really talking about cheese? Is that the newest depth that we’ve sunk to in order to procrastinate from our homework?” I asked him. James gave a small shrug, but looking at me over his own Potions book, waiting for my answer.

“I wish that I could say that no I haven’t, but that would be a lie,” I told him reluctantly. James looked momentarily triumphant.

“I knew it, I knew that it was a lot more common then I was lead to believe that it was,” he stated, cheering quietly before looking around the library as he rubbed his stomach absentmindedly.

James had joined me in the library in an attempt to finish some of our homework, something that was turning into a regular occurrence; we were sometimes joined by William, although it was quite rare. He appeared to like to keep himself to himself. “I could really do with some cheese right about now.”

“Apparently cheese causes strange dreams to happen,” I told him. I vaguely remember my dad saying something to that effect once when I was younger, although it may have been a ploy to stop me eating cheese so late at night.

“Huh,” James said turning to look at me again; he seemed interested in what I had said. “That might explain why I keep dreaming of Inferi.”

“How often have you dreamt of Inferi?” I enquired curiously, putting the book down and accepting the fact that I wasn’t going to be doing my homework any time soon, especially now that we had such an important discussion happening . I gave a thought to the Inferi dilemma; I wasn’t sure if I would like to have a dream about them. I would probably spend my entire dream running away from them and screaming loudly. Not sure I would be of much use to anyone.

“Probably the past week or so,” James told me, scratching his chin absent-mindedly. “Although in some of them I’m almost always being saved by some bearded guy. I’m not sure what to make of it.”

“Maybe he’s going to be your future boyfriend?” I joked. James just gave a shrug indifferently.

“I’m not sure how much time I could spend on romance in a Inferi apocalypse,” James told me almost sadly. “So, I might not be able to have this hunk of a guy as my boyfriend. I should probably settle for someone a lot closer to me and someone who is not likely to end up in an Inferi apocalypse.”

He was looking right at me as he said it, and I didn’t allow myself to draw to any conclusions that might not actually be true, just because my brain and my heart wanted something to happen,didn’t mean that it was going to happen. Besides he could always mean Rebecca; she had been trying to hang around James a lot more often, much to my displeasure.

“Ah, that doesn’t leave many people; I heard that an Inferi apocalypse is well overdue,” I laughed, choosing to look down at my parchment and not wanting James to sense that I was getting my hopes up. I didn’t want him to tell me he wasn’t talking about me.

“I best start making a list of the people that I would want in my survival team then,” James told me with a grin. “Do you have any skills or talents? I need to make sure I have good people in my team.”

“You know I haven’t, we went through this with the talent show.” I gave a thought about what skills I could have that would be useful in the case of a Inferi apocalypse. “Although, I’m very good at running away and screaming loudly.”

James just looked at me and slowly began shaking his head, a smile beginning to pucker at his lips. “We’re going to be so screwed, aren’t we?”

“Probably,” I told him honestly, before looking down at my watch and seeing that it was almost time for us to leave for our Muggle Studies lesson. “We should get going; we don’t have long until the bell goes.”

James nodded as we both began to pack our things up, so that we could make our move. “I think we’ll manage to survive one, we have our wands and I suppose we could hang out in the castle. If any come towards us, we could just cast a stunning spell and they would be frozen in place. We could just place them around the school like some sort of frozen army.”

“You’ve put a lot of thought into this,” I stated, putting my backpack on and beginning to walk out of the library as James followed me.

“You’ve always got to be prepared for these things,” he told me, strolling next to me, his hands gripping the handles of his backpack.

“I think your dad should be on our survival team,” I stated.

“What makes you think you’re going to be on my survival team? You said you have no skills,” James told me. “Although we could use you as bait.”

“Thank you for that,” I told him with a roll of my eyes and he nudged me slightly in the side jokingly.

“Don’t worry, I won’t let anything happen to you. I like having you around.”

I grinned as my insides turned to mush at his smile; he let out a small cough of embarrassment as though he had admitted a big secret, his hand finding his hair and scratching at his head. “My dad would make a great team member, so of course he’s going to be in it.”

“What would be the cause of the apocalypse?”

“I’m going to put my money on Albus starting it,” James told me honestly. “He’s certainly evil enough. No-“ he shouted suddenly, turning to look at me and gesturing madly as though he knew the exact reason why it was happening, causing a few people to turn and look at us. “- Hugo! He would be the one to start it all.”

I gave a small laugh, trying to ignore the looks we were being thrown by the other people in the corridor as we made our way to our Muggle studies class. “Why would Hugo be the one to start it all?” I had only seen, or really heard, Hugo a few times, he was a second year now I believe. From what I heard he was a quiet boy, who was more seen but not heard.

“Because he’s crazy,” James laughed, holding open the door of our class and letting me walk in in front of him. “And he has a weird obsession with potions and death. If anyone is likely to mix the two, it’s him.”

“That’s really creepy.”

“He’s a creepy boy. Bloody intelligent, though; puts me to shame.”

“That’s not hard though,” I told him cheekily, without meaning to say it out loud, and James turned to give me an amused smile.

“Oh, I see how it is,” James cried, shaking his head at me as he took his backpack off of his back and placed it on our usual table.
“You’re not in my team anymore, you can fend for yourself.”

“No, I’m sorry,” I cried, grabbing for his arm as he turned away from me and faked, or at least I hoped, being annoyed at my words.

“The damage is done! I know your true feelings now,” James told me, scoffing sarcastically as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, back to me.

Without thinking, I wrapped my arms around his back and hugged him; it was something I used to do to my brother whenever he pretended to be annoyed at me and it was an instinct to do it now, although now that I realised what I had done I was beginning to feel mortified.

James gave a laugh before turning around and pulling me to him in a hug, squeezing me tightly and making me let out a yelp. “I can’t stay mad at you,” he told me honestly, picking me up slightly so that my feet were off the floor, before placing me back down and letting me go.

I laughed as I held my sides where he squeezed me, still in shock that he had done that and what had happened between us, wondering if my cheeks were beginning to redden at the close proximity we just shared. I couldn’t believe that James had just hugged me; I’m surprised I didn’t swoon embarrassingly.

“Did I hurt you?” he asked in concern as I took a seat, still holding onto my side.

“I’m fine,” I told him. “I have other ribs.”

“Are you sure?” he still seemed concerned and I knew I couldn’t keep this up for long; he noticed my grin and shook his head at me as he slouched back in his seat.

“Stop sulking,” I told him, jabbing him slightly in the arm. He held a hand to his arm as he let out a yell of pain and I was thankful that we were the only two in the classroom so far.

“Ouch, I need the hospital wing, this is abuse,” he told me, before knocking me with his shoulder and dropping his hand, turning to face me slightly and holding his hands up slightly in defence, scared of my oncoming attack, which he was right to be expecting.

I retaliated by trying to push him, but he grabbed for my hand to stop me. I tried to move the other but he had quick reflexes. Our play fight continued, with me trying to hurt any part of James that I could find and James blocking my every movement, a triumphant grin on his face and look in his eyes.

We ended the fight by him grabbing for my hands and holding them wide, so that I was unable to move; in our fighting I hadn’t realised how close we were to each other, but it was apparent in that moment and it made my heart almost stop. James seemed to realise this as well, because he went completely still, his hands tightening on my own, fingers beginning to lace themselves in mine.

He was looking intently into my eyes and I could have sworn that I forgot how to breathe.

“Abigail, I –“ James began, but he wasn’t able to finish what he was going to say as our other classmates decided to join us at that moment. I let go of James’s hands before turning around to face the front, not wanting anyone to catch us and get the wrong impression, trying to slow my thundering heart and to subtly get the air back into my lungs without gasping loudly.

I chanced a look at James and saw that he was slowly turning to face the front, pulling a few items out of his bag as he did so. It was hard to read the expression on his face and I would have given anything to know what he was thinking, hoping that he was thinking that same as I was, wishing that we hadn’t been interrupted so I would know what he was going to tell me.

Professor Hargreaves entered soon after the rest of the class and got to work quickly at handing out books. I took a look down at the one in my hands; it was about some guy named James Bond. I wonder who he was and why we were learning about him?

“Can anyone tell me what a cinema is?” Professor Hargreaves called to the class as he finished handing out the books and walked to the front of the class. He leant against his desk as he looked around the room, waiting for someone to raise their hand. Of course James did.

“Yes, James.”

“It’s a place where Muggles go to watch movies, it’s just on a larger scale and more people are able to watch it,” James told him and I was amazed. I was getting more and more surprised at the ways that Muggles entertained themselves.

“Excellent, James. You’re correct, it’s a place where Muggles go to watch larger versions of TV. That is what we’re going to be focusing on in this lesson; unfortunately, due to magic we are unable to have any TVs or movies in the castle, so we would have to make do with these books, which Muggles have adapted into these movies. A popular example is the character James Bond who is the main character in the book in front of you; he’s a crime fighter.”

James edged his chair closer to mine and I leant on my elbows on the table, so that James was able to whisper to me like he always did.

“I love the idea of fighting crime,” he told me in a whisper. “I’ve actually seen a movie with this James Bond guy in it and I thought that it was really cool.”

“Who is he?”

“He apparently works for the Muggle’s government, he’s some sort of secret agent, much like the one’s in those comics we read. He goes around the world and takes out bad guys.”

“Like an Auror?” I asked. I loved the idea that Muggles had their own super heroes like that; I could already tell that I was going to love this James Bond character.

“He does much more than an Auror. He focuses on larger crime; he works alone to take out criminal masterminds in other countries. But it’s all secret, so no one knows what his doing or what his job is apart from those he works for. He’s some sort of secret agent.”

“That sounds exactly like what my dad thinks the Unspeakables do. He thinks that they’re a different league of Auror.”

I turned to look at James, who was excited about what I had said. “Do you really think that’s what they are?” he asked intrigued as the teacher talked around us, not paying attention to our whispers.

“I think so. I think my dad knew someone who worked there; he also loves the idea of fighting crime and that's why he loves comic books so much too. Obviously we’re not allowed to say anything.”

James mimed zipping his mouth up and I knew I could trust him not to say anything. “I would absolutely love to do that job. I have always wanted to be a super hero of some kind, which escalated when Uncle Ron got me into those comic books. I actually convinced dad to take me to martial art lessons as well as Gymnastics.”

I gave a frown; I had no idea what on earth martial arts even was. James seemed to have noticed my confusion.

“It’s some kind of Muggle combat; it’s a nifty skill to have, all of which can help me on my way to becoming a super hero.”

I stifled a laugh and he looked at me in question. “I’m sorry, but I really didn’t ever think that you would be interested in something like this. I thought for sure that you would want to be a Quidditch player when you left school.”

“You should never judge someone before you get to know them,” James told me, sitting up straight and looking back at the teacher who was still talking to the class. “Now that you know what I want to do with my life, how about you? What do you want to do when you leave school?”

“I – er-“ I began. I hadn’t told many people what I wanted to do with my life, not many would understand. “I’m actually going to apply to be an intern at a comic book publishing company, in America. I hope to one day make some of my own and get them out into the world.”

I chanced a look at him and he smiled at me, although I couldn’t help but notice that it didn’t quite meet his eyes. I just didn’t understand why.

“That’s great,” he told me honestly and I believed his sincerity, although I couldn’t help but wonder about the look in his eyes.

“I haven’t told Michelle yet, though,” I blurted out, not knowing why that was even important in that moment in time.

“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. As long as you keep the secret that I want to be an Unspeakable.”

“Of course,” I told him, nodding. James gave me a smile before looking back up at the teacher, whilst I sat and thought about what had just happened. I was beginning to get an overwhelming feeling that I didn’t want to go to America because I didn’t want to leave James, but that was more than a year in the future, who knew if me and James would even be talking still. I just couldn’t help but want nothing more than him to ask me to stay with him.
 


Chapter 16: The One After The Quidditch Match
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 “Are you ready?” I asked Michelle as I watched her gather her things for the Quidditch match that was going to be taking place after breakfast. Our argument the day before had been long forgotten, mainly because Michelle began the conversation and I didn’t want to continue the fight. Seriously, I need to stand up for myself.

“I’m always ready, Abigail. I’ve been ready for days., Michelle told me, as she grabbed for her broom and glanced over it, as though checking for dirt or a sign of tampering. She must have thought that Ravenclaw were really going to come up here and use dirty handed tactics to destroy her broom. “I’ve been training for days. If we don’t win today, I’m not sure that I can forgive myself.”

“You need to calm down, Michelle,” I told her. Before every match she would always work herself up into some sort of a frenzy; there were times where she seemed to just go completely mental and crazy in the leading days to a match. Training whenever she could and talking urgently with the captain about plays that could work, or what she’d heard about the other teams plays and strategies. I really didn’t understand why exactly Michelle wasn’t made to be captain; maybe the teachers thought that she couldn’t handle the pressure of it all, especially if she acted like this and isn’t captain. She puts too much pressure on herself. I hoped for her sake that Hufflepuff won the match today and also for my sake as well; she would talk to me for days about the loss, going over the match minute by minute and talking about what went wrong and what she could have done to stop it from happening if she had the time. She was going to have a mental breakdown one day or just go utterly insane. I would be visiting her in St Mungos hospital; I was the only one who could, and did actually want to, deal with her craziness.

“Let’s go down to breakfast,” I told her. Michelle shook her head at me.

“You know I can never eat before a match, I’ll end up throwing it up all over the pitch. No.” She shook her head again as she clutched hold of her broom, as though it were her only life source, which it was. I had often wondered what she would do if her broom ever broke or she lost it. I’m not sure she would be able to cope; it was her most prized possession, if you don’t count all the signatures from the team Montrose Magpies she had framed on her bedroom room at her house. “I work better on an empty stomach, being hungry puts me in a bad mood so I have more of a reason to want to win.”

Michelle was right, she was always in a bad mood when she was hungry, or just generally being awake put her in a bad mood.

“I don’t think that’s a healthy way to do that, surely you need food to get the energy,” I told her honestly.

“Adrenaline is my energy and the hunger just spurns me on. I will be an unstoppable machine,” Michelle growled at me. “I’ll see you down at the pitch,” she added before she left the room, carrying her broom and some of her Quidditch robes.

She was crazy! Although who was I to talk? Most mornings I couldn’t be bothered to eat, but I would at least take some fruit that I could eat between lessons to try and keep me going.

~~

I walked up to the stands, following a few people behind Isabella and Sian and deciding that I would sit with them, but not being able to get to them as there were a few people ahead of me on the stairs leading up to the stands.

Thankfully the people in front of me went to another part of the stand and I followed Isabella and Sian until they decided on a place to sit.

“Oh, hey Abigail, I didn’t see you following us otherwise we would have stopped,” Isabella told me with a smile. Sian said ‘Hello’ to me.

“Hey, I would have called to you but we had a few people separating us, I didn’t much feel like shouting in their ears,” I told them, pushing my gloved hands into my pockets as I turned to look out over the pitch and the other stands. I moved my head so that my scarf was covering my chin and mouth; I did like to snuggle down into my scarf whenever I wore it outside.

In my glancing around I found where James was sat with his friends. I gave a smile as I looked at him, before it fell from my face when I noticed that Rebecca had decided to sit herself in the small gap between James and William, William didn’t look that pleased either.

I let out an annoyed groan as I saw that she had turned her face as though whispering in James’s ear; this would explain why she had tripped me and why I was slowly getting over a scabbed knee. It wasn’t my fault that James was talking to me now and I didn't see why she was getting jealous? Me and James were just friends and he’d never see me any other way. Even though I knew this it still hurt to see him appearing to whisper back into Rebecca’s ear and a hint of jealousy spread through me. I had no right to, I didn’t have any claim on James, he wasn’t mine to say who he could and couldn’t talk to, and if he wanted to talk to Rebecca he was well in his power to do so. I wondered for a moment what he would say if I told him that she purposely tripped me with her friends, but I couldn’t even think of bringing myself to do it; if he wanted to be with Rebecca, I didn’t want to be made out to be a bitch and tell on her. I would just have to get on with my life and get over it.

I looked away from them, I didn’t want to see Rebecca flaunting herself all over him, especially when I needed to be supportive of my best friend who was about to start her Quidditch match, yet I couldn’t help but glance back over at James and Rebecca. I guess I was just a glutton for punishment.

Isabella seemed to have noticed where I was looking and grabbed for my hand, giving it a comforting squeeze as I turned to look at her, smiling gratefully. I tried my hardest to focus on Michelle, who was flying around the pitch expertly, like she had been born to play there. I was here for my friend and I needed to remember that.

~~~

I had been feeling shitty since the Quidditch match, not ill or sick or anything like that, but just my general mood and attitude at the moment. I just wanted to hide in my dormitory, which I knew was ridiculous, but I didn’t really want to see James and Rebecca flirting with each other during dinner. It was like Rebecca knew that I was watching, she was putting on such a show that I knew other people had noticed the two together. I wasn’t sure what James’ reaction to it all was, I just knew that he didn’t leave or move away, which in my mind told me that he didn’t mind it. What boy wouldn’t mind a pretty girl flaunting herself all over him and flirting with him?

So I decided to stay in the dormitory and finish my homework, whilst Michelle celebrated at dinner with her teammates for having won the match today. I had lost my appetite the moment I had seen Rebecca practically sitting on James’s lap.

My peaceful quiet in the dormitory was interrupted by Isabella, who had walked into the dormitory with a serious look on her face; she glanced at me before looking around the room as though seeing if we were alone.

“Are you okay, Isabella?” I asked her in concern, not liking the look on her face and feeling my stomach beginning to tighten with nerves as she came over to sit on my bed.

“I wanted to tell you something, because I didn’t want you to find out from the rumours and everything that’s going around the school,” she told me.

Oh, god, what is going around the school now? Was it something to do with me? I could feel the colour beginning to drain from my face as I prepared myself for her words. She took a breath before continuing. “Everyone is school is talking about how James and Rebecca were seen kissing after the Quidditch match, apparently they’d snuck around the side of the stands. But someone must have seen them if it’s going around the school, that or Rebecca blabbed.”

I felt a little numb as I processed her words, they seemed to be cutting at my heart and it hurt. I felt myself tearing up at her words.

“As soon as I heard I wanted to come up here and let you know, because I know how much you like James and I didn’t want you to be upset in front of the school,” Isabella told me kindly, she was right, I did prefer it this way, second only to saying it hadn’t happened at all - I would have preferred that more.

I sniffed and felt a few tears falling down my face; I was a stupid idiot, such a stupid idiot, and here I was crying over a boy that wasn’t even mine. He more than likely never would be either.

“I don’t get why I’m crying over this,” I stated, sniffing again and wiping my eyes. “I’m being stupid. Why am I letting myself get so affected by this?”

She placed a hand on my arm and rubbed it comfortingly. “Because you like him, you really care about him. That’s why it hurts, because you have feelings for him.”

“I wish right now that I didn’t,” I said to her, wanting nothing more than to curl up into a ball and cry. “I don’t even know why I do, he’s never going to be mine, he’s never going to feel the same way about me.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Why would he want me? When he can go around kissing girls like Rebecca? I’m stupid for thinking that James would ever look at me twice,” I muttered, frustrated at myself for getting so worked up by this.

“You’re not stupid, and look at how far you and James have got this year alone; he’s talking to you.”

“Yeah, because he felt bad about what happened in September,” I said with a humorless laugh, remembering the love potion incident and James coming to apologise to me. “If that hadn't happened, he wouldn’t have even begun talking to me. He felt guilty about what had happened.”

“He didn’t have to continue talking to you, did he? But he did, because he realised just how great a person you are.”

I gave her small teary smile at her words; it was true that James was talking to me a lot more now, but that still didn’t prove that he would ever look at me in the way that I looked at him.

“It may not happen now, but I am rooting for you two to get together,” Isabella told me honestly, “Just give it time.”

I nodded again as I wiped my eyes with my sleeves. Isabella waved her wand over at her bed and a box of tissues floated across to us. She handed me the box and I took it gratefully, pulling out a few tissues and wiping my eyes with them.

“Now, I think that you should wipe your eyes; we don’t want the others to see you crying, don’t let anyone else know that it’s getting you down,” Isabella told me.

I nodded as I thanked her; she pulled me into a hug before she stood up and walked back over to her bed.

I lay down on my bed, pulling my patchwork quilt over me to protect me from the slight chill in the air and wiped my eyes with the tissues. I just wanted to do nothing but cry.

“Abigail,” Isabella said, causing me to turn my head to look over at her. “You are a million times better than Rebecca will ever be, don’t you ever forget that.”

I tried to believe her words, tried to focus on the way that James had behaved towards me in our Muggle Studies lessons, the fact that he had admitted things to me that I guessed he had only ever told William, but maybe that was how he saw me, as just a friend?

I wasn’t sure I could continue hanging around with James if he did begin dating Rebecca, she wouldn’t like that at all, she would stop it and I would lose having him in my life. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that to happen.




A/N: Thank you once again to my Beta Sam! :D *hugs* This chapter is dedicated to the lovely Laurenzo7321/FredWeasleyIsMyKing for sending me a really lovely PM. 

Let me know what you all think! I bet you want to kill me don't you. Sorry! But the next chapter shall be up on the 16th!


Chapter 17: The One Where James is a Loser
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 The Great Hall was always nearly deserted when it wasn’t being used as a place to eat during meal times; everyone was either outside enjoying the day off from school subjects, or in the library trying to finish their homework. Not many people came into the Great Hall. It was when I loved sitting in it; you could be alone with your thoughts, or alone with a good book or comic, with no one to disturb you and an endless supply of drinks and biscuits.

Which is what I had with me now, a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows was sat in front of me with a nice plate of chocolate hobnobs and unfortunately doing the homework I didn’t finish last night.

Michelle was outside with her teammates talking about the match yesterday and preparing for their next match of the season, which wouldn’t take place until after the new year. Michelle had invited me out with them, but I wanted to stay inside. Even though it was sunny outside, the chilly wind made sure that the day was cold, especially now that it was the first day of December. I would rather be in here with my hot chocolate and biscuits, although if it snowed later like there were rumours of, I might actually venture outside for a while.

“I’ve been trying to find you all day,”

I looked up at the voice and saw James had taken a seat opposite me. My stomach clenched unpleasantly as I looked at him; he was stuffing what looked like a large amount of folded parchment into his pocket. I hadn’t been actively avoiding him today, but I was hoping a little that I wouldn’t have to deal with what I had found out yesterday about him and Rebecca for a while yet. He took off his coat and scarf before smiling at me; I noticed that his face was red as though he had been outside in the cold air.

“Oh, I’ve been in here for quite a while now, I wanted to catch up on some homework that I’ve been putting off for a while,” I told him, not sure how to tell him what I knew. Would he even want it brought up? Would he tell me to mind my own business and that it was nothing to do with me?

“I wanted to find you and show you the new comic book that Uncle Ron sent me in the mail this morning; apparently it’s a new up and coming writer and he thought that I might like it? I thought that we could look at it together,” he said, rooting around in his bag, which was placed on the bench next to him, and pulling out a comic book. He placed it next to my homework and I glanced down at it.

The front page was bright, vivid colours drawing my attention instantly. I was excited about getting to read it with him.

“It looks quite good,” I stated as I picked it up slowly, before opening up the first page. The smell of the parchment hit my nose and I smiled, closing my eyes in bliss as I took a sniff. I loved the smell of new comics and actual books; I could smell them all day.

“I love the new smell of comics too,” James told me with his own smile. I nodded along with him; there was just something about it that could cheer me up.

“In all honesty I’m glad that he sent me this today, I haven’t exactly been having the greatest of times,” James admitted to me as I handed back the comic and he placed it in front of him, so that he could begin reading it.

“Oh,” I asked, wondering why he wasn’t having the greatest of days if he had spent yesterday kissing Rebecca? “What’s happened?”

He gave a sigh as he ran a hand through his dark hair and scratched his head for a moment before he answered her.

“There’s this rumour going around the school, which I’m not too happy about. Apparently I’ve been kissing Rebecca Sweeney, which isn’t true, if anything she was the one to corner me and then try to kiss me and I gently pushed her away and told her I wasn’t interested. I don’t see her in that way and I wish that she would realise that.”

I tried to keep the smile off of my face at his words and tried to ignore the now happy somersaulting that my stomach was now doing. It was only a rumour, he didn’t kiss Rebecca. I felt elation going through me.

“Oh,” I stated again, not coming up with anything else to say. My brain was too filled with happy thoughts to even begin to form anything else.

“Yeah,” James replied. “So until those rumours go away, I wanted to cheer myself up. Hence the excitement of a new comic book.”

It was hard to keep the elation out of me. He didn’t see Rebecca in that way, I wouldn’t lose him to her taking him away from me. Maybe she would finally back off from me and move on?

“Are you going home at Christmas or staying in the castle?” James asked me. I looked up at him.

“I’m going home to see my family. My sister is coming down with my niece and my brother still lives at home, so it’ll be nice to see them all,” I said. I couldn’t wait to go home and see my family, especially my dad. “I haven’t seen them for a while now.”

“I wish I had that problem,” James told me with a laugh. I remembered in that moment that he had a lot of family members at this school. “I’ve got too many.”

“You really have, do you talk to all of them?”

“I don’t go out of my way to meet up with them, but if they’re around I’ll talk to them. Most of them are younger than me, so I always think that they don’t want me around. We have Louis, Lucy and Molly all in their fifth year. Rose, Albus and Fred in their fourth. Albus is just a moody git all the time so he likes to avoid me because I try and get him to open up about his feelings... who else is there? Lily is in her second year with Hugo; they’ve been avoiding me, probably too scared of my friends to come and talk to me.” I knew how they felt with James’s friends, “And Roxanne is in her third year, I think? Anyway, the rest that I would hang around with have all left now, so when I do go home I want to see those ones, not the boring bunch that are here already.”

“I don’t know how I would feel having that many family members around me,” I admitted, amazed that his family was so big.

James gave me a shrug, “I’m just used to it now; there are many arguments between us all and the fallouts are epic, but we all love each other and find a way to forgive each other. It’s what our families taught us. Like my Aunt Audrey says, ‘life is too short to hold grudges or stay mad at each other.’”

“That’s a great way to look at life,”

“Oh, we don’t listen to that advice at all, especially my Aunt Audrey. If anyone knows how to hold a grudge it’s Aunt Audrey. My family may forgive each other, but we never forget. Which isn’t good when others get involved in arguments, there’s always someone who remembers every tiny detail and ends up getting you into more trouble.”

“Your family sounds crazy, they all seem so normal here,” I admitted. In all the times that I had seen them they would always keep themselves to themselves, so the only fights I was aware of were with other people and not with each other.

“That’s because you don’t know them. Just wait until they’re in your life more, meddling in everything; you’ll wish that you had stayed away.”

I wondered if one day they would be in my life more? If my dreams ever did become a reality and James and I dated, would I be able to cope with his family? Of course this was entirely hypothetical.

“Enough about my family.” James said, waving a hand and dismissing the conversation. “Are you going to Hogsmeade just before we all go home for Christmas?” I nodded at him.

“Yeah, I need to get a few more Christmas presents, so Michelle is going to help me get some.”

“That’s good,” he said and I noticed that he seemed a bit disappointed. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and believe that it was because he wanted to go with me; he didn’t want to go with me. Whatever it was he seemed to have snapped out of it quickly. “I’m going to ask William if he wants to go around with me before he’s taken by someone else, or even worse someone else asks me to go with them, such as Rebecca.” He shuddered slightly at the idea of that and it made me happy that he was acting that way towards her. She didn’t deserve someone as amazing as James, especially not being as mean as she had been. "I need to get a few more gifts. I’m so glad that my cousins all pick a name from a hat and get that person a present instead of buying a gift for everyone, it’s bad enough on birthdays.”

“That sounds really expensive,” I admitted, I thought I had it bad getting gifts for my brother and sister, especially with my brother, who had a list longer than most of my essays of what he wanted for Christmas.

“Yeah, thankfully this year I’ve got Roxanne.” James told me, “She’s easy to buy for; I’ll get her a Quidditch Jumper for the Appleby Arrows.”

“Is that her favourite team?”

“No, it’s mine,” James admitted to me happily. “She wants to be a professional Quidditch player and I’m trying to convince her to play for them so that I can get free tickets.”

“You’re such a good cousin,” I stated sarcastically. It sounded exactly like something that Darryl would do to me.

“I know! I’m pretty awesome,” James told me, “Speaking of being awesome, did you want to borrow this?” James nodded down at the book.

“You’d lend me your new comic book?” I asked in shock. I would never let anyone borrow my comic book, especially a new one. Well, I would let James, but I knew that he would look after it and not fold over any pages. There was nothing worse than someone folding pages.

“Yeah, I trust you, probably more than anyone else with this. The whole Albus incident hasn’t scarred me entirely, although I can never forgive him for ruining that edition of ‘The Minister of Destruction’, especially now that it’s not in print anymore, bloody git my brother is.”

I knew in that instant what I would get James for Christmas. I knew that my father had a few editions of each comic book in his office at home, and he wouldn’t mind if I wanted to send one as a present, especially when I told him how big a fan James was of his work. I just wished that I had the guts to tell James who my father was, but I was still too terrified that he would only want to be with me to get to meet his idol.

“If you don’t mind, I’ll have a look at it after you’re done, although would you be alright with me lending it over the Christmas break?”

James grinned at me, “This just gives us an excuse to meet, for you to give me back the comic book.”

“I’d like that,” I told him with a smile. “To see you over the Christmas break to give back the comic book.”

An adorable look crossed James’ face and he looked really happy at the fact that I agreed, which warmed my heart.

“Did you want some of my hot chocolate?” I asked him, pushing my drink towards him. I had seen him eyeing up the whipped cream and marshmallows that were sitting on top of my cup.

“I thought you would never ask,” James said, taking hold of the cup and relishing in the warmth that filled his fingers, before taking a sip of the contents and licking at the cream that got around his mouth.

He looked up as he put the cup back down on the table and noticed the grin that was spreading across my face as I looked at him.

"What?” he asked me.

“You’ve got cream on your nose.”

James rubbed at his nose with his sleeve and shot me an embarrassed grin as I continued laughing at him. He dipped his finger in the cream before leaning across the table and putting some on my nose before I knew what he was doing.

“There, now you have, too,” he told me with a grin as I wiped the cream off my nose with my own sleeve.

“You’re a loser,” I told him.

“You love it,” he shot back, before looking back down at his comic, seeming happier then he did when he came in earlier. I was happier that’s for sure.

He had no idea how true his words actually were. I did love it.




A/N: YAY! James explained himself! :D Next update is in three days! Don't forget to leave a review, if you want to of course, I love reading them and knowing what you all think of the story!

Love you all!

Tammi


Chapter 18: The One When I Go Home For Christmas
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Once again a massive thank you to my beta Sam, the greatest beta I could ask for. :D 

Here's a long chapter for you all, I hope you enjoy it, let me know! See you all in three days!
 




“I didn’t realise that you were going to pick me up today, I thought that mum and dad were” I stated as I walked over to my brother, who was waiting for me. I saw him leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets as he looked over at me.

I carried Snowball’s cage over with me; he was laying down and peering out at everyone that we passed. Darryl took the cage from me so that he was holding it instead.

“Well, mum and dad are both working, so I thought that instead of making you walk home - as hilarious as it would have been, I realised that I couldn’t put Snowball through that pain - I would come and get you instead.”

“Oh, yes, you’ve got to think of the cat's feelings over mine; he would have been fine if I had to walk home, even though by the time I would have got home it would have been time to come back to school,” I stated, knowing that it would have taken me forever to walk home if my brother decided to make me walk, not that my dad would have let me walk; him and mum would have come to find me and subsequently punished my brother for leaving me.

I turned to look around the platform for Michelle, seeing that she was across the platform and talking to her parents. I would have said goodbye to her, but with the busyness on the platform at the moment, it would have been quite difficult to do. So I decided to just send her a letter later and apologise for not being able to say goodbye, wondering if I could just blame my brother. I knew that I would anyway; Michelle wouldn’t know any different would she?

I followed my brother as we walked over to the exit off the platform. I noticed that we passed James as we walked; he was talking with his dad but turned to look at me as I passed and gave me a wink and a wave, before returning to conversation with his dad. I smiled as I followed my brother, who seemed oblivious to the exchange that had just happened, out of the platform.

“I thought that dad was off today,” I enquired as we walked out of Kings Cross Station, making sure to avoid all of the commuters in their rush to either get home or get to work.

“He was called in for a meeting,” Darryl told me, shifting Snowball so that he was holding the handle of the cage with his other hand. Snowball was quite heavy at times. I probably shouldn’t feed his as much, although most of that wasn’t my fault; I swear he’s going down to the kitchens when he’s not in the dormitory and is getting fed by the House Elves, or when he’s in the dormitory is being fed by my other room mates. I should probably put him on a diet; he will not be happy about that at all.

“What kind of meeting?” I asked him as we walked out onto the street. I knew that Darryl was taking us to a secluded place that the ministry had approved so that we would be able to apparate home without any muggles being around to see us.

“Something about a new idea for one of his books; he seemed quite excited about it, so he’ll probably tell us all about it when he gets home,” Darryl said with a smile, before stopping down a side street and looking around. I held onto the arm that he was holding Snowball's cage with and Darryl apparated us away.

We landed in our front garden. The familiar feeling of having been sucked through a tube flooded through me and I felt slightly nauseated, but I knew that would pass quite quickly. Snowball gave a meow of indignation to tell us that he didn’t appreciate the apparation, but there was no other way to get us home; we didn’t live that close to Kings Cross station so apparation and the floo network were our only options to get me to school. Darryl handed me Snowball before going over to the door and opening it, I followed after him and he closed the door behind me as I entered the house. I placed the cat basket onto the floor and opened the door of it, Snowball walked out of the cage and gave a stretch before darting into the front room and away from us; he seemed quite happy to be home, just like I was.

I loved coming home a lot; when I was at Hogwarts I missed my family a lot. As bad as it sounded I am actually quite glad that I do not have that long left at Hogwarts, although back in the day I didn’t really have many things going on that would make me want to stay at Hogwarts, except of course the lessons and the learning of how to control my own magic. The only thing I didn’t really like was the other students; they weren’t that nice a bunch of people at times, although now I have James to keep me company at school, mainly due to his own doing at being around me all the time, following me and finding me in the corridors and sitting next to me in classes. I still found it weird at times that he was around me so much, so now that he was around me more it felt nice to actually have someone and something to make me want to stay at Hogwarts and enjoy my time there a lot more.

“I’m going to go and put my stuff in my room,” I called to Darryl as I began to make my way up the stairs and to my room. I heard him call back at me from the kitchen.

“Alright, I will let you know when Mum and Dad come back. Do you want a drink?”

“No, I’m alright, thank you,” I told him as I got to the top of the stairs and made my way over to the closed door that would lead to my bedroom. I opened the door and smiled as I looked around the room, happy that I was home; it felt good, and it felt right. I pulled my backpack off of my back and threw it down on to the floor beside my bed, before lying down on my bed and giving a sigh of relief.

I glanced around my room, loving that everything was exactly how I had left it months ago when I was last here, aside from some tidying being done. The floor looked like it had been cleaned and my bed covers were changed and smelt like the washing powder that my mother used, but other than that it was all the same.

Various posters lined my walls, mainly promotional ones of various comic books that I had read over the years, a small selection of them were of bands that I loved or that my brother had got me into. I also had a few framed sketches that my father had made me, each of them featuring myself as a superhero, as well as my other family members. There were a few drawings that my niece had drawn for me that were stuck around. The various ornaments and action figures that adorned my bookshelves in front of the vast amount of books and comics that were crammed into the space, a huge pile stacked beside it as I had run out of room. I must have a word with dad about building me another book shelf or book case, but I knew that it would not be long until that one too was as filled to the brim as this one was.

I heard a small padding of feet walking to my bedroom door and looked over to see that Snowball had found his way upstairs; he had managed to push the door open and slinked in. He gave me a meow before he walked over to his bed, that was situated in front of the radiator. I knew that he loved lying there, when we were home it was where he spent most of his time, mainly sleeping. He was a very lazy cat, but then again what cat isn’t lazy?

~~

It was a few hours later that my father and mother came home. I was now downstairs and was sitting with my brother in the kitchen, catching up with what he was doing with his life, what he had been up to lately and any fresh gossip from the family that he would have to tell me. There was none.

“Pumpkin,” my father cried as he walked in the room and held his arms out for a hug. I rushed over to him with a smile and hugged him tightly; he was a portly man with a round belly, his dark hair was beginning to speckle with grey and I noticed that he had a lot more in it now then he had beforehand when I had last seen him.

“How have you been, darling?” he asked me as he moved away from me and looked me over. “You get taller and taller every time you leave me, I don’t like it, you should go back to being a baby and staying at home with me all the time.”

“Oh Dad, I wish that I could,” I told him, turning to my mother and giving her a big hug. She kissed the top of my head.

“I’ve missed you, Abigail,” she said to me as she hugged me extra tightly. “We saved putting up and decorating the Christmas tree for when you came home, as much as Darryl wanted us to do it beforehand.”

“I love decorating the tree, it is my favourite thing to do,” I said with a grin as I moved away from my mother.

“We know, that’s why we made Darryl wait. He wasn’t happy about that.”

“No, I wasn’t,” Darryl agreed with my dad and mum. I turned to look at him and shook my head at him. “But, I get to put the star on the tree, because I had to wait so long.”

I gave a loud and dramatic sigh at his words. “Fine, I shall let you put the star on the top of the tree.”

Darryl gave a laugh and shook his head. “As if you had a choice, little sister. I am taller and I have hidden the star so that you can’t get to it.”

“You are pure evil.”

“No,” Darryl countered to me. “I am a genius, there is a difference.”

I shook my head as I turned to look back at my father, who was currently making himself a cup of tea. I could see an extra cup next to it and noticed that it was my favourite mug; he was going to be making me a hot chocolate. It really felt so good to come home and be with my family.

“So how did your meeting go, Dad?” I asked him, walking over to the side and watching as he finished the drinks, noticing that he was putting whipped cream on the top of my hot chocolate. I gave a smile.

“It went really well. I’ve come up with a new childrens book and the publishers love my idea, so I have got to come up with more things to show them. Which means that I will be down in my office working on it for the rest of the day. If you want, you can come and join me,” Dad said, handing me my hot chocolate. I took it gratefully.

“So what is it about? What’s the plan?” I asked him as I followed him out of the room and off towards the direction of his office.

“I have come up with a character called Ghoulish Graham and I am going to write about his adventures in the wizarding world and the Muggle world. The publishers said that it was a very promising idea.”

I nodded as we entered the office and I took my usual seat in the soft armchair by the window, placing my cup of hot chocolate on to the window ledge, whilst my father took a seat at his desk and placed his own drink on his desk.

“So,” I said to him. “Tell me everything you have planned for Ghoulish Graham.”

I had spent the rest of the night with my father, much like I used to when I was younger. We bounced ideas off of each other as I took a seat at his drawing desk, pulling some parchment towards me and drawing down my own ideas that I had for Ghoulish Graham. It felt like I hadn’t been away, as though this is what I had been doing instead of school.

The only time that we were interrupted was when my mother made us go to the dining room for dinner, but even then our conversation was just continued from back in my father’s office, as though we hadn’t been interrupted.

My mother merely rolled her eyes, used to our behaviour, before engaging my brother in conversation.

~~~

It was great to be at home, even if I did have to see my brother, who had become more annoying since I had been gone, but a lovable annoying. My sister had arrived this morning, which was Christmas Eve morning, with my niece Christina, who I had missed more than anything else in this world. I absolutely loved her and me and my brother always had fights over who her favourite was. I knew it was me, there was no contest. My sister would have been here sooner, but Christina had to go and visit her father’s side of the family; my sister and he had separated not long after Christina had been born and the split was just about amicable. He had asked to see his daughter over some of Christmas and they had worked out a time that suited both of them; the only thing was that he would be getting her over New Years, so they would be leaving not long after Christmas.

Or at least that’s what I overheard my sister telling my mum when I stole my brothers owl to send a last minute gift. I had sent my others earlier on in the week and had been deliberating whether or not to actually send this one, which was my present to James.

It had taken me nearly all day to sum up the courage to send my gift, the fear of what James would think about it almost stopping me, but I finally done it. And now I regretted it more than anything else I had done.

I can’t believe that I sent it. I was such an idiot and a loser, and James was finally going to see it.

I had been talking to him since September and I’m already getting him a present - well, I had already sent him a present. He was going to think that I was weird, he would then feel obligated to get me one in return, or he would just ignore it and I would have to live in the shame forever.

I watched as my family’s owl continued to fly off into the night, resisting the urge to yell for it to come back to me. I would upset the neighbours and I would then have to face the questions from my family about why I’m yelling at birds out of my window.

I was just going to have to live with this.

I was going to have to live like a recluse and pretend that we weren’t friends anymore.

He was going to think that I was crazy; he was going to throw my present in the bin and never talk to me again.

Why did I think that this was a good idea?

“Are you going to come downstairs?”

I turned around at the sound of the voice and saw that it was my sister; she was standing at the doorframe and looking at me pacing around my room in frustration. She didn’t know the reason for my madness; she just knew that I was mad.

“Yeah, I’ll be down in a minute. I need to just finish what I’m doing,” I finish lamely.

She watched me for a while before she responded. “Are you okay?” she asked me.

I nodded and stopped pacing, “Yeah, perfectly fine.”

“What’s up?”

I gave a groan as I sat down on the edge of my bed and put my head in my hands, “I’ve done something that I may regret.”

My sister walked over to my bed and took a seat next to me, “I see,” she said from next to me. “What kind of something?”

“I may have sent a Christmas present to a boy I liked,”

“And that is bad because...”

“Because, what if we’re not at the stage of sending Christmas gifts to each other? What if he receives it and then realises that he has to get me a gift in return, what if I’ve made him feel obligated to get one and he detests me for it? What if he hates my gift? What if he just ignores that I ever sent one to him and we’re both filled with awkwardness around each other? What if I have ruined everything?"

“I don’t think that you’ve ruined everything,” my sister told me comfortingly. “I think that he’ll love the gift, I assume that you’re talking about James?”

I nodded.

“Talking about a boy, are we?”

We both looked up at the new voice and saw our brother watching us from the doorway.

I rolled my eyes at him before nodding.

“Ah, boy problems? Tell me where he lives and I’ll sort him out,” my brother told me, clenching a fist before punching it into his other hand.

My sister scoffed from next to me, “He could probably take you before you got to him.”

“I could beat him up for you, don’t listen to Sarah; she’s just jealous that I wouldn’t beat anyone up for her.”

“You can’t beat anyone up, you’re a coward,” Sarah told him honestly and Darryl shot her a glare before turning back to look at me. I watched in amusement as my two siblings fought amongst each other.

“Be that as it may, if he wrongs you in anyway, I’ll be the first backing up dad in hurting him. Although, you’re not allowed to like boys yet,” my brother told me with a frown on his face as he crossed his arms. I gave a scoff at his words. “You’re way too young, Abigail.”

“I’m sixteen years old.” I told him. “I’m nearly seventeen.”

“You are still too young, I’ll let you get a boyfriend when you’re at least twenty five.”

“But Sarah’s not twenty five and she already has a child.” I argued back, pointing at my sister, who was looking at Darryl in disbelief.

“Then you should learn from Sarah’s example.”

“You’re a prick, did you know that?” Sarah said in annoyance to Darryl.

“I did know that actually,” Darryl said with a smile before grabbing Sarah and pulling her towards him for a hug, his arms over her shoulders as he smiled at her. “You know that I’m joking, you’ve created my beautiful niece Christina.”

Sarah rolled her eyes at Darryl before pushing him away from her and going to walk out of the room.

“You need to just try to forget about it, Abi, you don’t want this to ruin your Christmas.”

I nodded as I stood up and began to follow her out of the room, Darryl walking behind us.

“You never said who this guy was,” Darryl said to me. I shook my head.

“Why would I tell you who he is? I don’t want you to ruin anything that I might have already ruined,” I said to him. Sarah turned around to look at me with a smirk.

“I know who it is,” she said in a singsong.

I groaned at her words; she did know, I had already sent her an Owl about it all during my time at Hogwarts this year. I wasn’t sure that I wanted Darryl to know about it.

“Tell me,” Darryl demanded. I shook my head and was surprised to see that Sarah was shaking her head as well.

“No can do, brother, it’s a secret between us sisters,” Sarah told him and I was thankful that she was keeping my crush a secret. I knew that the minute Darryl found out he would do everything he could to embarrass me.

“I can be a sister,” Darryl told us, pouting slightly as he looked at us.

I laughed as we walked into the front room. Dad looked up at us and I saw that he had an eyebrow raised in question; he must have heard Darryl.

“Do you want to be a girl again, Darryl?” He asked him.

Darryl shook his head as he took a seat next to me on the arm chair; I gave a tut as I tried to move over and make more room for both of us, not that there was enough room for both of us. He shuffled slightly and caused me to cry out in pain, although I was laughing.

“Move your fat ass off of me,” I cried loudly.

“Dad, that was just a stage,” Darryl said, ignoring me and shuffling again, causing me to almost lean off the edge of the armchair.

“A phase that lasted for most of your childhood?” Dad asked him.

“Do we need to bring it up all the time?” Darryl asked him, moving himself to sit on the arm of the armchair, putting his legs over me this time. I could handle this one, it wasn’t causing me pain.

“You bring it up, Darryl, you can’t seem to stop talking about being a sister and how great Christina’s dresses are.”

“I think he’s jealous that he didn’t have any good dresses when he was younger,” I said with a laugh. Darryl gave me a challenging look.

“All I had back then was Sarah’s dresses, but she always ruined them by playing in the mud and climbing trees,” Darryl told us.

“I think you’ll find it was you who ruined my dresses by wearing them and then deciding to climb trees and play in mud,” Sarah corrected him, “Don’t forget you trying to dress the dog up in the dresses as well.”

“I’m surprised that he didn’t try and run away,” I admitted. My dad had brought the dog when we were younger; we had barely had him a few months and Darryl was already trying to dress him up in clothes. Puppies and clothes do not mix whatsoever; a lot of fabric got ruined back in the day, mother was not best pleased.

“He did, many times,” Dad informed us, looking over at our family dog, Benjy, who was laying on the rug in front of the fireplace, trying to get warm from the flames. “It’s a good thing that he couldn’t get further then next doors garden, although I didn’t realise just how many small places a puppy can get through.”

“And now he’s too lazy to try and get through any gaps,” Darryl informed us, nodding over to Benjy, who was still sleeping.

“That and he’s not running for his life after having been terrorised by the likes of you,” Dad said with a laugh, before turning to look in the direction of the door and at Christina, who had just walked into the room. She was wearing her pyjamas, carrying a teddy in one arm and rubbing her eye with the other. She looked really ill.

“Look who’s awake,” my dad said, “How are you feeling, Sunbeam?”

Christina shook her head instead of answering, as she peered around at us all; she had been feeling ill since yesterday and it seemed like she had the beginnings of the flu. All she had been doing since yesterday was sleeping.

She saw that I was sitting on the chair and came over to me, pushing Darryl's legs off of me so that she could climb on top of my lap and sit with me. I wrapped an arm around her as she snuggled into me.

“Are you feeling alright?” I asked Christina, looking down at her and using my free hand to push some of her blonde hair out of her face. I noticed that her forehead was really warm. She shook her head and snuggled in my arms, even though she was getting a bit too big to sleep in people’s arms, I still loved that she did. Darryl had moved to the sofa, in the beginnings of a sulk as Christina chose me to hug, but we all ignored him.

“I think that her cold is getting worse,” Sarah said to me as she came over and placed the back of her hand on Christina’s forehead. I looked down to notice that her eyes were closed; she must be quite tired, especially to go back to sleep, she was normally the most excited out of all of us on Christmas Eve. I noticed that her face was pale and that she was beginning to shiver, even though we were sat in the armchair closest to the fire.

Darryl came over with a blanket and placed it over both of us, so that Christina was covered.

“Do you think that she should go to St Mungos?” I enquired.

“Nah, she just needs her rest and some fluids; they’ll only send her home straight away and tell me the same,” Sarah told me. “Are you going to be alright with her sleeping on you? I can get Darryl to move her into one of the beds upstairs?”

“No, it’s okay. I like cuddling her.”

“If you catch this, don’t get annoyed with us.”

“I won’t get it, and even if I do it’ll be worth it.”

Sarah gave me a smile, before Mum walked into the room and came over to place a glass of orange juice next to us. “When she wakes up have her drink some of this, it’ll help boost her immune system.”

I nodded at her.

“Me and your dad have decided that we’ll wait for Christina to wake up before you lot begin making the desserts.”

“That’s fine,” I said. Every year on Christmas Eve, me, Sarah and Darryl would all make the desserts, whilst my mother and father would prepare the Christmas dinner for the next day. It was a family tradition that had gone on for as long as I could remember, although back when we were all younger, my father would be the one helping us out. Now that we were older and able to cook on our own, or could actually be trusted to, we were left to our own devices. Last year we had attempted to make a gingerbread house, Darryl and Christina had been in charge of decorating whilst me and Sarah had been left in charge of cooking and assembling it. I am proud to admit that we didn’t fail, and it actually looked quite good.

“What? We have to wait to make desserts?” Darryl cried from the sofa. “I’ve been waiting since six this morning.” Out of all of us, my niece included, Darryl was the most excited about the desserts, mainly because he would be attempting to eat them all himself.

“You haven’t been up since six this morning,” I said with a frown, knowing that my brother was never awake at six in the morning, unless he didn’t actually go to sleep the night before.

“You don’t know that I haven’t, I could have been excited about Santa arriving,” Darryl told us.

“You’re such a loser; he doesn’t arrive until tonight, you know that, right.”

Darryl gave a laugh at me before saying, “Oh, little sister, If only you knew how right you are.”

I shook my head

~~

It was the afternoon of Christmas day and I barely had time to myself. So it was nice when I sat down on my bed and looked down at my pile of gifts that I had gotten off of my family that day, admiring the new comic books from my father and mother, my new pyjamas – no, I was not too old to have pyjamas that made me look like a bear – some new socks and underwear, a couple of t-shirts off of my brother, mainly depicting bands that he’s been getting me into and quite a few slogans that he found hilarious that I thought were quite funny as well. My sister and niece had brought me quite a few bath sets and some more of the lip gloss that I loved so much. I took one of the lip glosses, took the lid off of it and put some on my lips, trying to resist licking the honey flavour off of my lips. It was quite difficult to not do.

I had completely forgotten about the worry I put myself through yesterday, about sending James the owl with my present for him, until I heard a pecking at my window, noticing that my families owl was back with a letter attached to it. I tried not to let myself get worked up over the fact that he didn’t send a present back, not that I was expecting him to, and tried not to think of what the letter might say; it might be telling me that I should just not send him any presents in the future. I took the letter with a shaking hand, worried about what it may contain, and the owl gave a hoot at me before flying out of my open bedroom door, probably making it’s way to my brothers room where it could go to sleep.

I opened the letter and took a breath before looking down at it and beginning to read it.

Dear Abigail,

I am so sorry for the lateness in this reply, although I’m quite impressed that I managed to actually send this today. I’ve been busy for the entire day, it’s been almost non stop.

I’m currently at my Aunt and Uncles tonight, Mum and Dad decided to spend the night here so that they could have a few drinks with Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. It was quite nice to spend the night here, although in the morning we’ll all be going to my Grandparents house. It should be a laugh, all of my cousins and aunts and uncles will be there. I know for a fact that we’ll be going home tomorrow though, as dad has work early after boxing day. I would have thought that dad would have made sure he had the day off, being Head Auror, but apparently crime waits for no man. That, and he’s already booked off a week over New Years. I suppose it’s good when he’s the one doing the shift rota for his work. so I should be able to send your gift. I would like to apologise in advance if it arrives extremely late at night, or the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Speaking of gifts, YOU ARE AMAZING!

Seriously amazing! That gift was awesome! How on earth have you found that issue? I have literally been searching high and low for that over what feels like the whole world. I have had aurors on the hunt for that issue (I say Aurors, I meant dad and Uncle Ron, who is an ex auror) and neither of them could find it and they’re trained professionals.

But thank you so much! However you managed to get it, although if it cost you a lot of money or your had to sell your arms for it, I would feel guilty and be forever in your debt.

Now I feel like my gift for you isn’t good enough. I shall try and see if I can steal any of my cousins presents and pass them off as other gifts for you, so if you see a tag that says “To Rose, lots of love Mum and Dad” Please feel free to ignore it.
I shall also send you a letter about when and where we want to meet over the holiday. I’m not forgetting the fact that you have my comic book, although if you want to give it back to me after that’s fine. I still want to see you, though. Let me know when you’re free.


Thank you once again!

James

I gave a wide smile as I read the letter over again, the elation filling me as though I had a balloon inside of me. I felt like I would float away in happiness. He didn’t hate me, he didn’t want to stop talking to me. He had even got me a Christmas present, without feeling guilty or being pressured into getting me one because I had gotten him one.

I felt like I wanted to call out in happiness, but I settled for just grinning widely.

This was going to be the best Christmas by far.


Chapter 19: The One With The Plans To Elope
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Once again, a massive thanks to my beta Sam, she's been brilliant at going through all of my chapters, and she's been so quick. 




“So, where are you meeting your boyfriend?” Darryl asked me, standing on his tip toes and craning his neck to look around the area he had brought me to. Thankfully, there was no sign of James, I didn’t want my brother to embarrass me.

“He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my friend. You can leave me here, I’ll be alright if you want to go,” I told him, trying to shove him away and convince him to leave, but the glint in Darryl's eye made it evident that he wasn’t going to be leaving anytime soon.
I gave a groan; this isn’t what I wanted. But sadly I had little choice over Darryl bringing me to meet James; he had been the only person available to do so and he apparently knew the area because his friend lived nearby. I wondered if he knew that this area was close to where the Potters lived?

“I need to make sure this guy isn’t a murderer,” Darryl told me, still looking around for a sign of my ‘friend. “Is that him over there?”

I turned around to look at where Darryl was pointing and was relieved when he only saw an old guy throwing bread into a pond, to feed some ducks.

“No, now will you please go,” I told him again and Darryl grinned at me.

“Fine, I’ll go. Have fun with your lover boy. Have you got your wand?” he asked me.

“You know I’m not allowed to use it yet, I’m underage.”

“I didn’t ask that, do you have it?”

“Of course,” I told him, knowing that he was being his normal protective self.

“Good, remember the Ministry won’t convict you if you’re using a spell to defend yourself.”

“I’ll be fine, but thank you,” I told him, giving him a quick hug to show him I appreciated his worry. Darryl hugged me back before he walked away from where I was standing, I didn’t move until he disappeared from sight and began to walk around the park, trying to find where James said that he would meet me.

I walked slowly over to where I saw James; he was slumped on the table in front of where he was sitting. His head was in his arms as though he was asleep, which I knew was probably happening.

“Are you alright?” I asked him as I sat down opposite him on the picnic bench that he was sitting on. I felt the coldness of the wood through my jeans and I shivered, shoving my hands in my coat pockets and burying the bottom half of my face into my scarf.

James let out a groan at my comment, moving a hand to wave it at me, before putting it back under his head.

“It’s cold, are you not freezing sitting out here? Especially with your face on the wood, that’s got to be icy,” I asked him.

“It’s making me feel better,” he told me with a groan. His voice was a bit gruff as though he was coming down with a cold. I must admit that I was beginning to feel sick as well; it was due to my niece having her cold and giving it to me.

“Have you got a cold? Are you feeling like shit?” I asked him in concern; surely if we have both got colds he would not want to avoid me until I had lost mine. Which could be a while as mine is only just begun to start; I’m at the tickly throat stage of mine, and it was all going to be a downhill party from here. I gave a cough as the cold air seemed to dry my throat out slightly.

“I’m feeling like shit, but no it’s not a cold. I’m afraid that this illness is sadly self inflicted,” James said, finally moving and sitting up straight, bringing his head away from his arms and looking at me. He looked really pale, his eyes were bloodshot and he had dark circles under his eyes.

“Were you up all night reading comic books again?” I inquired, remembering all the times that he’d told me about him staying up all of the night before reading.

James shook his head at my words, before he stopped and grabbed the side of his face, letting out a tiny sob. I pitied him instantly in that second.

“My family decided it would be a good idea to celebrate New Year’s Day last night -”

“But its New Years Eve tonight,” I stated before he could finish.

“I know that, my family didn’t want to have to take all of us ‘kids’ back to school with bad hangovers.”

“We go back on the second of January, though.”

“It’s normally one hell of a hangover.” James groaned. “Now I understand why they normally take two days to recover. I really think that I’m going to die, or pass out, or just throw up everywhere.”

I inched out of the firing line, in case he did decide to start chucking up his food or whatever he had in his stomach.

“Why did you drink so much? Did your parents not care?” I asked him, knowing that my dad and mum wouldn’t be happy with me if I got drunk enough to have a hangover, let alone have any kind of drink until I turned seventeen and I knew for a fact that James was only sixteen. He wasn’t going to be turning seventeen until late in August.

“My parents didn’t know, I stayed upstairs with my cousins in The Burrow. Someone snuck some booze in. I say someone, it was actually more than one person. Teddy, Victoire, Dominique and Kieron all brought booze, Kieron seemed to have quite a bit of it actually; he must have taken it all from his dad or something? Speaking of which, I took some of my parents' alcohol from their cupboard, I hope that they just think that they took it with them. But that’s not the point, all I remember is being encouraged to do shots, there was a game at some point. Albus was pissed off because he couldn’t drink anything, neither could the others as they were too young. Then....” he faltered slightly before he let out another groan, this time putting his head in his hands and speaking through his fingers, sounding like he was embarrassed for having to relive the moment of his drunkenness.

“Then... at some point, I decided that it would be a great idea to recreate a scene from a comic book with mittens. I remember Teddy, Victoire, Dom and Kieron all laughing at me, before one of them suggested that we all dress up as these ‘superheroes’ that I talk about so much. I convinced them that it was a good idea to pull all of the sheets off of the beds and wear them as capes so that we could fight crimes. That really pissed off Albus; we made him out to be the villain, and he nearly pushed me down the stairs. But I can’t remember much after that, I woke up this morning entangled in my cape sheet and feeling like I had been trod on by a herd or stampede of Giants. I’m so glad that I stayed at The Burrow last night and that the ‘adults’ were having their party at my house, if anyone saw me in that state I would have been grounded; my dad would have been so angry at me, after he laughed for about ten minutes. Wait... Dad wouldn’t laugh until later on; Uncle Ron would laugh at my misfortune. I just barely managed to Floo myself here and drag myself to this bench, I was hoping that you would walk around and attempt to find me here. I don’t think that I can move that far.”

I blinked at his story; it seemed to have gone on for quite some time and it was very ‘busy’. A lot of stuff happened to him in the last twenty four hours it seemed.

“I am going to kill them, all four of them. I hope to Merlin that their hangovers are as bad as this. Well, Kieron’s might not be as his dad is half Russian so he should be able to drink alcohol like its water. Oh Merlin.... He brought most of the alcohol from his dad's stash.”

“Yeah?” I asked, waiting for him to finish.

“His dad has got some very strong alcohol, he gets it imported from Russia... no wonder I’m dying. Kieron shall be the one to die first, because if I try to kill Theo then I will be in even more trouble with my dad. He likes Theo. If Uncle Ron wasn’t in the way, then I think that they’d be best friends.”

“Won’t Theo mind that Kieron brought his alcohol around?” I wondered. Surely he would not want his alcohol being given out, especially if it was stuff that he actually had imported from another country. He must have really wanted that alcohol.

“No, he doesn’t mind at all. Well, I hope he doesn’t, Kieron said that he wasn’t exactly at home when he took it. Just left a note and came around, Theo would have been at the party with Kieron’s mum Lavender so he wouldn’t have found the letter until much later. So, really, Kieron is already going to be killed by Theo, so I will have to just try and get away with the three murders. Do you think that you could be my alibi?”

I gave a laugh, “Sure, I’ll tell them that we weren’t even in the country.”

“Brilliant!” James said with a smile as he moved his hands away from his face and looked at me, resting his arms on the table. “We shall tell them that we eloped to Las Vegas.”

“Did we have to elope?” I asked in amusement. I tried to stop my mind imagining what it would be like to marry James.

“What is the point of going to Las Vegas if we weren’t eloping?”

“Did we need to go to Las Vegas?”

“No, but to make it convincing when people ask why our parent’s didn’t know that we weren’t in the country, it was due to us eloping.”

“Well, that’s a good point,” I said with a thoughtful look as I raised a finger to my lips and tapped them, pretending to be impressed with his plan. “We could say that we’re going through a rebellious phase and we should be free to marry who we want and when. My father threatened to make you pay, so we had no choice but to run away from them all and try to start a new life together by becoming husband and wife.”

“A lot of that at the end just rhymed,” James told me slowly, sounding like he wanted nothing more than to go to sleep. He looked really adorable, something I would never tell him.

“That was a happy coincidence,” I told him, realising that he was right; I hadn’t even planned that happening.

“There is one thing though,” I added afterwards, he looked at me in question. “How would you explain your epic hangover? I assume that this one shall go on for two days?”

“Three days,” he informed me, “I want my parents to know that my party was clearly more entertaining and that I beat them at drinking because they’re old.”

“Ah, that would make you look awesome in everyone’s eyes.” I agreed, nodding at his words.

“I thought so.”

“What would be the reasoning behind the hangover, though?” I asked, shifting slightly on the seat, the coldness of it filling me and chilling me. But I didn’t want to ask James if we could move; he looked like he was struggling just sitting down.

“There was a two for one offer on the dinner buffet in one of the casinos. We were celebrating,” James suggested, sitting up more in his seat and wincing as he placed a hand on his head, squinting at me as though the sunlight was hurting his eyes.

“It would have made more sense to celebrate our wedding,” I told him, trying to stop the smile on my lips at the thought of it.

“We didn’t get married in the end; just before we were about to say ‘I do’ we were interrupted by some crazy girl from my past, who attempted to kidnap me. You had to use your awesomely learnt fighting skills to fend off her advances and save me. I believe that she shall have taken me to a tower, where I would have grown a really long beard, you would have had to arrive on a Donkey and save me from the tower, telling me to let down my beard so that you could climb up. But as soon as you get to the top we would have realised that I could have used the unlocked door to escape as my captor was an idiot. That and we were on the ground floor so I could have just left through the window.”

“Where would the fun be in that?” I asked him with a laugh, amazed at how great of an imagination he had. If we hadn’t have had conversations like this before I would have just assumed that he was still drunk. “The world needs more heroines like me in it. I need to save the Gentleman in distress.”

“I thought that I was a Damsel.” James scoffed indignantly.

“You can’t be a Damsel with a beard as epic as yours would have been. Millions from around the world would have come to see it and taken photos and written poems and sonnets about its wonderfulness, you would have been featured in magazines and books about bearded history, you would have taken the top spot in Beardly Beards.”

“I do like the sound of this one. I would have been knighted,” James stated, running a hand over his chin as though he had a beard. He didn’t, he just had slight stubble.

“The fame would have gone to your head.” I told him warningly.

“I would go crazy and attempt to shave off my beard, to rid me of such a cursed life that would have befallen me.”

“I would have stopped you. I would have made you see that there’s more to your life than the bearded way that you had come to know and slowly detest with every fibre of your being.”

“Then we would have returned to the United Kingdom, to be confronted with the angry mob after the untimely death of Kieron Nott. They would have interviewed us relentlessly for days, until they heard our amazing story of courage and bravery. I would get a second knighthood and you would be my first lady, you would be given a sainthood and your story will be re-enacted in plays, the likes of which shall be played in shoddy pubs around the entire of Hogsmeade.”

“It shall be a great life,” I said, trying my hardest not to laugh. If anyone heard our stories they would think that we were crazy. Hell, at times I thought that we were actually crazy.

“You could always have been a bearded lady? We could get double the fame and fortune.”

“I don’t think I can grow a beard.... maybe a uni brow.”

“That won’t make money,” James told me sadly and I couldn’t help but let out a loud laugh, causing James to smile, before letting out a small groan.

“Are you feeling any better?” I asked him in concern, placing a hand on his shoulder and squeezing it gently.

“Maybe a little,” he told me. “We should probably get going somewhere; otherwise I will have to add frostbite or a cold on top of my epic hangover.”

“That would make it even more epic,” I told him as he looked at me from where he lay his head on the table, my hand still on his shoulder.

“I can barely survive this. I am not sure I’d be able to survive anything else on top of it,” he told me sadly, sounding like he was on the verge of becoming tearful. He ran a hand across his face again and I noticed that he had nail polish on.

“Is there a reason why your nails are painted red?” I asked, trying to stifle the laugh that threatened to escape my lips.

“What?” James asked me, before sitting back up again and looking down at the aforementioned nails. He let out a groan and tried to rub off the colour with his fingers. He was failing.

“That’s my sister for you. How did I not notice this earlier?” he asked me and I gave a shrug.

“You’re not going to get it off like that, you need to get a remover,” I told him and James groaned as he stood up.

“I need to get a new sister,” he told me darkly, before waiting for me to stand up. We began a slow walk together around the park. I stuffed my hands in my pocket to warm them.

“Where are we going?” I asked him, as he walked slowly next to me as though he were dead to the world.

“I’m not sure, however far my body can take me. You might have to drag me the rest of the way if I collapse,” James told me honestly. “Or just leave me there, I’d understand.”

“Why didn’t you just send me a message to cancel? If you’re feeling so bad?” I asked him, wondering why he was forcing himself through this hangover from hell just to see me.

“Because I told you I would meet you.” James told me, before peering around the park. “Is that some sort of a hammock?” James pointing ahead of him as he slowed his walk even further so it was more of a shuffle.

I looked at where he was pointing and saw that there actually was a hammock; why on earth was there a hammock around? That had to be one of the most unusual things I had ever seen.

“I think it’s some sort of swing,” I told him; after all it was in the play part of the park, although why on earth did someone think that would suffice as a toy?

“I think I need to have a lay down on that thing,” James told me as he began to walk again towards the hammock. I followed him slowly, my arms wrapped around myself as I tried to shield myself from the coldness in the air.

I watched as James climbed into the hammock swing thing and lay down; he let out a groan as he rested an arm over his eyes.

“I’m not sure if this makes me feel better or worse?” he told me as I neared him. I looked down at him and gave a smile; he was still looking pale. “I can’t tell if my head is spinning or if it’s the swing moving.”

“It might be a bit of both,” I told him, shuffling my feet and wondering if he would mind if I sat down on it as well.

He moved his arm to look up at me, as though sensing my thoughts, “Are you going to lie down as well?” He shifted slightly so that there was more room. “There’s enough room for both of us.”

I looked at the hammock swing sceptically, “Are you sure that its going to hold the weight of both of us?”

“Only one way to find out,” James said, moving his arm back over his face, “I don’t want you to be standing there all day; there might be a high chance that I won’t be moving from this hammock for a while now.”

I gave a small laugh and shook my head as I thought of the best way to get into the hammock without us both toppling out of it.

“Want me to hold the bars so that we don’t move as much?” he asked me as he moved his arms again and looked at me. I shook my head at him as I climbed onto the hammock and lay down next to him. My head resting on his arm, which he moved to wrap around my shoulders. I could feel my cheeks beginning to redden, knowing that he was in no state to think about his actions and that it didn’t mean anything.

“Don’t be surprised if I fall asleep,” James told me as I lay against his side, my head resting on his shoulder as I tried to suppress my grin by biting my lip. “But please wake me up if you have to leave, I don’t want to be stranded on here alone.”

We lay in silence for a while and I wondered if James had actually fallen asleep. I didn’t want to move to check, incase I woke him up. My side was warm but my face was beginning to sting from the bite of the coldness in the air. I was wondering if I could hide my face in James’s shoulder as well when we were interrupted by a shriek.

“This is a public place.”

I turned around, after jumping slightly at the sudden noise and I could hear James groaning from next to me as I looked at the middle aged woman, scowling down at us.

I looked back at James, who was peering at her through half closed eyes.

“Seriously, lady, I am really hung over and I can’t be dealing with your loud voice this early in the morning.”

The lady scoffed at him. “Some of us have been up since the crack of dawn.”

“That might explain why you’re so cranky; you haven’t slept enough. Now can you please leave me and my friend alone so that we can go back to sleep?”

“My son wants to play on this swing,” the woman told us indignantly and I sat up, going to move off of the swing, but James put a hand on my arm to stop me.

“Well, I’m not done swinging on it.” James stated.

“That’s not acceptable,” the lady stated again, James interrupted her before she could speak again.

“Look lady, I don’t make the rules. I was here first, so you’ll have to wait until I’m done swinging,” James said, managing to sit up and looking at the woman. I felt a little embarrassed as I watched them both bickering, not wanting to draw attention to myself.

“Get him off of the swing, Mummy, I want my turn now,” the womans snot nosed child was saying, tugging on his mother's sleeve and pointing at us.

“There are plenty more swings over there, this one is occupied,” James told her, waving his arm around the empty park around them.

The lady and James stared at each other for a while and I was unsure just where this was going to go, when the lady’s son decided that the best course of action would be to climb onto the swing thing and attempt to push James off of it.

“Oi, you little sod!” James cried, holding onto the bars of the swing to stop himself from being pushed off.

“I’m getting off of here; I don’t want to be kicked again.” I cried, getting off of the swing and holding onto my leg, where the boy had kicked me really hard. I looked up at the mother who wasn’t trying to stop her son; instead she was just watching the scene unfold in front of her.

“I will push you off of this, you little brat,” James exclaimed in annoyance, still holding tightly to the bar.

“My son is not a brat,” the woman cried.

“I think that you’ll find that he is; he kicked me and he’s attacking James,” I cried, pointing at where the boy was still trying to push James off of the swing.

“I am telling you now; if you don’t remove your child, I will throw up on him. I am extremely hung over,” James warned her.

The woman snarled at James before taking hold of her son's arm and pulling him off of the swing gently, nearly taking James with them as the son was holding onto to James’s arm. “Let’s go, Terrence; you would not want to catch anything from playing on this one.”

I looked at her, horrified at her words. James seemed to be fuming.

“I’m glad you’ve taken your monster away, I was afraid that if he bit me I would need a Rabies shot,” James called after her; he shook his head before turning to look at me. “Well, that was eventful; remind me to never have crazy brats as my children.”

“I have no words for what just happened,” I told him, glancing up to see that the mother and Terrence were walking out of the park. Terrence was looking back at us and seemed to be flipping us the bird.

“If I dared act that way when I was that age, my mother would hex me into next week, and then my Grandmother would hex me into the week afterwards, then when I recovered from that my father would just look at me in disappointment and tell me that I’ve let him down.”

“I hate when parents say that they’re disappointed in you, it makes you feel a hundred times worse.”

James nodded, still looking at where the woman and Terrance had left the park, making sure that they were out of eye shot before standing up from the swing and moving away from it.

“Now that I’ve made them leave, shall we go find more people to terrorize?” he asked me. “Or find some food? I think that I can attempt to eat some food.”

“I don’t want you to be sick,” I warned him as we began a slow walk out of the park.

“I don’t want to be sick either, but I’m hoping that food would make me feel a little better,” James told me; he had a hand on his stomach and let out another groan. “I hate being sick.”

“I don’t think anyone likes being sick,” I told him honestly. He shook his head at me.

“Where did you want to eat?” he asked me. I gave a shrug as I looked around us; we had wondered out of the park by now and were just casually walking down some roads, not seeming to know or care where we were.

“We could probably walk around until we found somewhere that sells food, and possibly hot chocolate. I could really do with some hot chocolate right about now. I feel like my fingers are going to freeze off.”

James grabbed for my hand and I looked at him in shock; he held onto it and placed it into his coat pocket with his own.

“Well, I can keep this hand warm,” he told me. “You’ll have to put your other hand in your own pocket.”

“I could have put both in my own pockets,” I told him quickly, giving him the choice of letting go of my hand if he wanted to. Although I hoped that he would not; I felt the warmth spreading through me and I could barely contain the smile that had crossed my face.

“But where would the fun be in that?” James asked with a coy smile, “Besides, this way you can help guide me down the roads, I don’t exactly have the best co-ordination at the moment.”

We walked in silence again, enjoying being with each other.

“You know,” James began, making me turn to look at him as I waited for him to finish talking. “I have got to say that this has been the strangest day that I’ve had so far, and believe me, I’ve had quite a few weird ones with those family members I have, who are beyond crazy at times.”

“It’s quite a strange day, I agree. When I woke up this morning and got myself ready to come and meet you, I never imagined that, A, you would be hung over or still drunk, I am yet to decide which one it is; B, that you would almost have a fight with a woman and her son over a swing; or C, that we would have made plans to elope so that you could have an alibi for killing someone.”

“It has been an eventful day.” James nodded. “I’m not sure if I would have changed any of it, though, it would probably the hung over part. That part is slowly and surely killing me. Although, I have yet to throw up, so in my eyes that’s a win right there.”

He turned to smile at me and I gave a laugh.

“How about we go and get some chips?” I suggested, noticing that a chip shop was open; it had seats and tables in it as well so we could both sit down and have something to eat.

“Sounds like a good idea to me,” James stated, pulling me in the direction of the chip shop. I followed after him, thankful that I had thought to ask my mother if I could borrow some Muggle money from her, as she worked in the Muggle world; she had Muggle money on her, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to buy myself some chips and I couldn’t just expect James to buy me some.

We entered the fish and chip shop and took a seat at one of the table, James letting go of my hand as he began to unbutton his coat. I felt the warmth of him vanish instantly and I longed for him to hold my hand again, but I settled for taking off my own coat, then my scarf and hat, before sitting on the chair, my coat hanging on the back of my chair whilst my hat and scarf was placed on the chair next to me, with my bag.

James had reached for the menu and was looking at it with a quizzical look on his face, as he decided what he wanted to eat. I was relishing at being in the warmth, hoping that we could be in here for a while, whilst hoping that James would not end up feeling or being sick and we would have to leave, either in a hurry or from being forced out of the shop and asked never to return.

“I think I am going to need to have some chips and curry sauce, that should be able to soak some of the alcohol up, don’t you think?” James asked, looking over his menu and at me, I looked away from him and down at my own menu, which was placed on the table in front of me. I gave the menu a once over, familiarising myself with the food on offer.

“I think that you’re crazy, but It’s your choice. I just hope that you don’t regret it.”

“Nah, it is a fool proof hangover cure, my Uncle Ron swears by it. Fatty food or curry manages to make my Uncle feel right again; it may take a while, but he still feels alright in the end.”

“I’ve got to admire just how truly extraordinary your family is, they sound very entertaining.”

“Maybe if you told me more about your family I would find them entertaining too,” James said to me. I looked up at him quickly; I hadn’t told him much about my family, I didn’t want him to find out about my dad and want to be around me because of who he was. He would understand that, right? But it was just working out when the right time would be to actually tell him the truth; would I be too late? I just knew that it wasn’t now, now was not the right time to tell him.

“They’re just a normal family really, we don’t have many dramas. We fight occasionally, and by ‘we’ I mean me and my brother. I always win in those fights, mainly because of how awesome I am.”

“Ah, I see what you mean. I was going to comment on how high a level of awesome you’re being today, but I thought that you would already know.”

“I did know that, thank you. I woke up this morning thinking to myself, ‘I feel pretty damn awesome right about now, It is going to be an awesome filled day’, so with my awesome levels practically off the chart, my brother is clearly no match for me. But sadly he’s a fool and he keeps trying to win arguments that he started, such as ‘why haven’t you moved out and got a job yet?’, ‘what do you mean you’re still in school? You should be out living your life’, ‘Make me a coffee’, ‘why did you put salt in my coffee?’ And my all time favourite, ‘Why is there a saucepan in your hands? Why are you advancing on me? Dad, she’s going to hit me with a saucepan’.”

James laughed loudly at my words and I grinned back at him. I spotted the waitress coming over to us from the corner of my eye a small notebook and pen in her hands.

“It sounds like a right laugh,”

“It can be at times, but obviously not as hectic as yours.”

“I really don’t think any family can match mine in those stakes,” James said to me before looking up at the waitress who had greeted us both and was waiting for our orders.

“I would like some chips, curry sauce and I would like to go for a fizzy cola, thank you,” James said, looking down at his menu as he read out his order, before looking up at the waitress with a smile. The waitress wrote his order down before turning to look at me.

“And what would you like, Darling?” she asked me nicely with a friendly smile on her face.

“Erm, I will have the same, I think?” I said, putting the menu back down on the table and looking at the waitress with my own friendly smile.

“Thank you, I will just go and get your drinks.” She walked away from us and James looked at me with an eyebrow raised.

“Ordered the same as me and you don’t even have a hangover,”

“Yours actually sounded good, so I wanted to have it as well.” I gave a shrug; it really did sound nice.

“I thought that I had started a trend, I thought I was popular.”

“I think if anyone is the trend setter and being popular it would be your uncle Ron; he was the one who started eating the hang over cure.”

“Damn him!” James said, shaking his fist in the air as though threatening his Uncle. “Always stealing my fame and fortune.”

“How are you feeling now? Any better?” I asked him, arms crossed in front of me on the table and my head tilted to the side as I looked at him.

“I am still feeling like absolute shit, but I’ve decided that if I don’t think about it, then I should be fine. That and I’m using all of my energy to not throw up, I am hoping that the food helps in some way. I am not sure that it will, but I still have high hopes about it all.”

“I feel pretty sorry for you,” I told him honestly. “I am not sure that I would be able to get out of my bed. Wouldn’t you like to be in it all day?”

“In your bed?” James asked with a mischievous smirk on his face, causing me to think back to what I had said and realising what I had made it sound like. “I wouldn’t leave your bed for one moment.”

“James!” I cried, ducking my head into my hands as I felt my face go red in embarrassment at his words. I heard him chuckling from across the table.

“I didn’t say that you were in the bed, I just imagine your bed to be comfy.”

“That’s nice of you, kicking me out of my own bed.”

“I would never kick you out of bed,” he told me. His eyes seemed to be glinting in delight at my embarrassment.

“You’re making me uncomfortable now,” I said, peeking up at him over my hands and seeing his smug grin.

“I would not mind having you in the bed with me if that’ll make you feel any better?” James told me.

“You’re unbelievable, do you know that?”

“Well, I’ve never heard the word ‘unbelievable’ whilst I’ve been in bed, but I will quite happily give it a try if you’re willing?”

I blanched at his words and he smirked at me in satisfaction, before turning to look at the waitress who had brought us over our sodas. I tried to stop blushing madly and thanked the waitress; she looked at me with a smirk of her own before walking away from us and I realised, my mouth hanging open wide, that she had obviously heard our words. I was entirely thankful that there was no one else in the fish and chip shop otherwise my embarrassment would be ten fold.

“You need to stop, you’re making me blush.”

“You look cute when you blush,” he told me before taking a sip of his soda and closing his eyes and being quiet for a minute. I knew that he was trying to stop whatever reaction he was feeling on his hang over from the soda and it gave me time to try and collect myself after his admission.

Did he really think that I looked cute when I blushed? I tried to stop myself grinning at his words, or just grinning about anything that had happened with James today. I had to admit that I loved hung over James, mainly because he was flirting with me, holding my hand and saying things that caused me to melt at them. Even the inappropriateness of some of the things that he had said in jest, although part of me hoped that he was being serious and wanted me in that way. I was kidding myself I know. But a girl can dream, right?

“I can’t believe that the waitress overheard all of that. I can never show my face here again without feeling embarrassed.”

“I’m the one who should be embarrassed, you’re the one who’s making it sound like you don’t want to even be in bed with me,” James stated. I opened my mouth to disagree with his words, when I closed it quickly, realising what he was about to get me to admit. I could see the mischievous glint in his eyes as I realised that he knew what he was about to get me to say; he gave me a smug grin before he took a bigger sip of his drink this time.

I shook my head at him, before deciding to change the subject back onto his hang over. “How are you feeling now? Is the soda making it worse?”

“No,” he replied. “It is actually making my stomach settle a bit and making me feel less like I’m dying a slow and horrible death.”

It wasn’t long before our food came and I slowly began to eat. James seemed to be feeling better with every bite he took, the colour at least was returning to his cheeks.

“It’s not long before we go back to school,” I told him, after I had swallowed my mouthful of food. “Are you looking forward to it?”

James gave a shrug, “Not especially, the only good thing is that I get to see you.”

“You’re just saying that because I’m here,” I told him, shaking my head at his words as I dug my fork into another curry covered chip.

“I’m not, you’re honestly my favourite person right now, especially after finding that comic. I don’t even know how I’m even going to thank you for that,” James told me honestly, looking at me intently. I blushed at the idea that I was his favourite person at the moment; it was a great boost to my ego.

“It was nothing, it’s fine,” I told him, “Thank you for my presents, by the way. I loved all of the chocolate.”

James had sent me a bath set to begin with, which smelt absolutely gorgeous and I had used in my bath the night I had received it, but the next day I had gotten a rather large package containing a lot of sweets and chocolate. I didn’t recognise some of the brands, so knew that it was likely to be Muggle. Some of the ones I tried were mouth watering.

“In my eyes, I should get you a lot more,” James told me honestly and I shook my head at him.

“What you’ve got me is more than enough, believe me. You don’t need to get me anything else.”

“You don’t know how much that meant to me,” James told me honestly, putting his fork down and grabbing for my free hand to hold. “I will never be able to thank you enough for that. But I will try and find a way to make it up to you.”

“You really don’t have to,” I told him, looking down at his hand entwined in mine.

“No, but I want to.” James told me, letting go of my hand gently so that he could pick his fork back up and continue eating. “When you least expect it.”





A/N: This chapter... well, what can I say about it? Haha, I shall let you all read it, I have absolutely no idea where it all came from but just... yeah. :D

The next update will be in three days, which will be on my birthday! Yay!!! :D Let me know what you think.


Chapter 20: The One With The Cold
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Here is the next chapter! I hope that you all like it :D Let me know what you think, it'll be an awesome birthday gift for me (It's my birthday today!) :P *hint hint* 


Have some birthday cake from me! *gives cake and party bags full of sweets and toys*

Thank you to my beta Sam for doing an awesome job, as always.




I was huddled up at the Hufflepuff table, shivering as I wrapped my arms around myself and stared down at the soup sitting in front of me, untouched and going as cold as I was feeling. I had put on two jumpers under my robes, as well as a t-shirt and thick tights under my skirt, but still I was freezing.

Michelle had thrown me looks of concern; my cold had begun not long after I had seen James, starting last night when I had gone to Michelle’s house to spend the night before we went back to Hogwarts. Her family had been really nice and tried to convince me to take a potion to soothe the effects of the cold, but I had politely declined. I still wasn’t sure why I had done that, I was clearly delirious, because all I could think of now was that damn potion. I regretted my choices of this morning and made a vow to have others make my decisions for me; I obviously couldn’t be trusted.

“Why don’t you try and eat some of the soup?” Michelle offered, pointing down at the soup in front of me, but I shook my head at her as I ran a hand over my clammy forehead, pushing my hair away from my face and knowing that I must look like a wreck. I was struggling to find the effort to care.

“I don’t feel hungry,” I told her, wincing as my throat ached from the use of my voice. Swallowing was no better either.

“Did you want to go to the hospital wing?”

I shook my head again; it was too much effort to walk that far. I just wanted to go to my bed and sleep, although I had been sleeping for most of the train ride here. I was planning on going to find James, to thank him once again for my presents - some bubble bath and lotion with hints of honey in it and smelt absolutely gorgeous, when I could smell, and then a massive box of chocolates and sweets, which was currently in my bag so that I could have it with me at the castle. My plans to thank him went downhill when I fell asleep on the train. I wasn’t sure if James had been trying to find me at all; I was stupid for getting my hopes up, but I knew that Michelle wouldn’t have told me even if he did.

I tried to look for him in the Great Hall, but it was too busy to see around the students, chatting loudly and telling each other about their holidays and what they had got for Christmas. I knew that I would see him tomorrow during lessons, although I wasn’t sure I wanted him to see me like this.

“At least have something, I don’t want you collapsing on top of this,” Michelle told me, leaning across the table and trying to get me to look at her instead of around the hall. I gave a sigh before picking up my spoon and dipping it into the barely warm soup, making sure to have a few mouthfuls, before it got too much and I pushed it away again.

She didn’t seem too happy, but she didn’t say anything else, focusing on finishing her own dinner and talking with Sian. Isabella wasn’t with us, she didn’t come back from her holiday until tomorrow; she had managed to get special permission from the Headmaster if she promised to catch up on the work that she would miss.

My head was beginning to pound and I wanted to go back to sleep, hoping that I would wake up in the morning and feel a lot better. I told Sian and Michelle as much, and held out a hand to stop any of them following me, telling them my plans to sleep. I walked slowly out of the hall, sidestepping a few people as I walked, my arms wrapped around myself to keep the warmth in me. I chanced a look at the Gryffindor table, but I wasn’t able to see James or William. I carried on my way feeling a little sad that I didn’t see him, but looking forward to getting into my pyjamas and climbing into bed.

When I arrived at my dormitory, the common room was empty as everyone was down in the hall. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and change into my pyjamas, before climbing into bed and wrapping the covers over me, the patchwork quilt included. I was vaguely aware of Snowball climbing onto me and meowing, but I fell asleep very quickly.

~~

I woke up many times in the night, coughing loudly and feeling a burn in my throat. My sleep hadn’t done any good and now I was walking around school with my nose bunged up as well as my throat feeling like it was burning. My head was feeling very heavy as well. I was a walking mess and I knew that I should just hide away like I wanted to.

In my lessons I was just barely able to concentrate. Thankfully the teachers seemed to know that I was feeling under the weather so didn’t ask me to participate much during the class. The only lesson I was actually excited about going to, like the loser I was, was potions, and that was only because the classroom would be heated from the potions we would be making.

Which was where I found myself now, sitting as close as possible to the bubbling cauldron as I could safely be and watching as Michelle made our potion, thankful that she was taking pity on me and wasn’t trying to force me to help out. She must have known that I wouldn’t be much help to her. The fumes from the potion we were making, a Shrinking Solution, were enough to clear my airwaves and I was able to breathe through my nose for the first time that day. I knew that I should move away from the cauldron, in fact the Professor Noble had been throwing me cautionary looks to move away every time he caught me too close to it; I didn’t want to end up with the potion on me, but I also wanted to stay warm.

Thankfully he had taken some pity on me, using his wand to fill robes with a warming charm, but only because of how dangerous it would be if I continued staying too close to the cauldron. I could hear James give a small laugh from the table next to mine and Michelles, and turned to look at him, enjoying the warmth that was now slowly filling me as he moved moved further down the table, warning me that the charm wouldn’t last very long, but in that moment I didn’t care. I was warm, and that was enough for me.

James was laughing at something that William had told him, his blue eyes twinkling in delight as he chanced a look at where the Professor Noble was, scared of being told off for being loud, before his eyes fell onto me. He gave me a small wave, which I returned. I was going to open my mouth to say something to him but I heard Michelle scoffing from behind me.

Turning to look at her I noticed that she was shaking her head, placing some more ingredients in the cauldron and stirring the contents. She didn’t look too happy and when I asked her what was wrong, she just shook her head again, but didn’t respond. Instead, she threw a disdainful look towards where James was sitting, which I was annoyed about; he hadn’t even done anything to warrant a look like that.

Barry and Elijah managing to blow up their cauldron at the back of the classroom made me forget all about it.

---

Thankfully they weren’t far enough into their potion to require many people a trip to the hospital wing and only a few people were in the ‘splash zone’. It meant though, that our lesson was cut short, as Professor Noble was forced to take everyone affected, so we all had twenty minutes to kill before the bell would go.

I was about to turn and ask Michelle what she wanted to do, but she was packing her things up and had stormed from the class, without any other word to me. I watched her go numbly, still in shock about her behaviour, and slowly began pushing my own things into my bag. I looked up when I sensed someone standing by my desk, and saw that William and James were looking at me.

“Did you want to hang around with us?” William asked me and I nodded slowly, murmuring out a ‘thank you’ that was barely heard. James seemed to grin though at the sound of my raspy voice, biting his lip to try and stop it and he helped me put my backpack on.

“What’s up with Addison?” William asked me, as we slowly began to walk out of the classroom. We were one of the only ones still in it, everyone had rushed out as soon as possible. I gave a shrug in response to Williams questions, covering my mouth as I gave a cough before answering, my voice breaking slightly.

“I’m not sure, she didn’t say. She just started scoffing before she stormed out,” I told them. I didn’t want to mention that she had thrown a dirty look James’ way. I still wasn’t sure what that was about and didn’t want to add any unnecessary drama.

“Are you losing your voice?” James asked as both boys fell in step either side of me, as we slowly made out way out of the dungeons.

“I think so, my niece has definitely given me her flu.” I told them, William stepped away from me.

“I don’t want to get ill,” he told me jokingly. “If I had known you were contagious, I wouldn’t have let James bully me into asking you to hang around with us.”

I laughed and noticed that James had shot William a glare, but William grinned and stepped back to walk normally.

“I didn’t bully you,” James argued back over my head as both the boys were taller than me. “I asked you to ask Abigail because I was busy and you were closer.”

“Sure, that’s the reason.”

I gave a chuckle at their behaviour, thankful that they had asked me to be with them, otherwise I would have been left alone until the next lesson, which for me and James was Muggle Studies.

“How was your Christmas, William?” I asked the boy. “Did you sort out things with your sister?”

William gave a scoff of his own; the last I had heard William’s twin sister had threatened to tell their parents that William had got a girl pregnant, which according to William was a lie. “She’s a bitch. Thankfully, she didn’t, I threatened to tell our dad that she’s sleeping with the boy that lives next to us, so we’re even.”

I opened my mouth in shock.

“Yeah, but yours is true, unlike her lie,” James stated, noticing the look on my face. “We didn’t think it was true until we caught her sneaking back to William’s house over the holidays. She was not happy to see us.”

I was amazed that William and his twin sister acted that way to each other, especially when me and my brother and sister wouldn’t act that way, but every family was different.

“Especially considering she has a boyfriend at Hogwarts.”

I couldn’t help the gasp that escaped my mouth at that admission and William turned to look at me.

“Oh yeah, my twin sister is a slut,” William told me, “She knows never to threaten me again otherwise me and James shall be telling her boyfriend.”

“Hey, don’t involve me in this,” James said, holding his hands up in defence, which caused William to raise an eyebrow up at him in disbelief, arms folding themselves across his chest.

“Unless you want to admit your own secret, I suggest you rethink what you’ve just said,” William threatened and I was intrigued again at the mentions of James’ secret. It must be big if William was threatening to use it against him.

“You’re a jerk,” James told him.

“You’re a coward.”

“You’re the worst best friend.”

“Would you rather Barry or Elijah?”

“No, I’d rather put up with you.”

“I thought so. I’ll see you both later, enjoy Muggle studies,” William said, backing away from us both and throwing James a knowing look, which he ignored.

“Remember when we said we’d get new best friends?” James asked, looking down at me. I nodded at him, remembering the conversation we had months ago. “Maybe that should be sooner than later.”

“Would he really tell your secret?” I asked, not knowing if he was joking or not.

“He wouldn’t, but I don’t appreciate the threats. I’m most certainly not a coward though, although maybe a little.”

“I could never imagine you as a coward,” I told him honestly, wincing again as I swallowed, and we continued on our way to our classroom at a slow stroll.

James smiled at me gratefully. “Thank you.”

“So what’s your secret?” I asked him, smiling mischievously.

James shook his head at me and laughed. “That you will have to find out yourself.”

“I’ll ask William,” I threatened, although I didn’t mean it. I would never ask William to spill James’ secrets.

“If he wants to keep all of his limbs intact, he wouldn’t spill the beans,” James warned me.

“Will I ever know?” I asked, wondering if he would ever tell me.

James didn’t speak for a moment, as though thinking about his answer. When I turned to look at him it was to find him watching me intently.

“One day I’ll tell you,” James told me and I gave him a thankful smile.

“Then I’ll wait for you to tell me.”

--

I was relieved when we sat down at our usual table in Muggle Studies, the few other people in our class filling in around us.

“Do you know how cute you sound?”

I rolled my eyes but contained my smile and blush at James’ words. I shook my head at him.

“I really don’t,” I told him honestly. How on earth could he think that me barely being able to speak and the fact that my throat was on fire was cute in the slightest? He was obviously lying.

“Well, I think that you do. I wonder how long until you lose your voice completely?” he asked me, slouching in his chair, but with his head turned to look at me.

“I don’t know. As long as the pain goes away, I don’t really care,” I admitted, coughing into my sleeve and then wincing at the pain I was feeling. It was like someone had clawed at my throat.

“Do you know what’s good for that?” James asked me and I turned to look at him, waiting for him to answer. “Sweets, want one?” He gestured down to his pocket and I looked down to see that he had a bag of sweets in there.

“Thank you.” I told him gratefully, reaching into his pocket and taking a sweet, knowing that it couldn’t make my throat feel any worse than it did. “So how was your Christmas other than your epic hangover? We never got a chance to talk about it.”

James let out a groan as he remembered the pain he was in with his hangover. “It was good. Albus behaved himself, which was good; he’s normally a little shit. I think it’s because he’s got a massive crush on some girl so he’s feeling pretty happy, but he won’t tell me who it is. But that’s nothing compared to how I felt when I got your gift. I honestly could have kissed you for that.”

My cheeks tinged red at his words and James seemed to have realised his slip of the tongue. “Er... hypothetically of course, ” he added in embarrassment and I nodded along with him, ignoring the slight sinking feeling that suddenly went through me. “I am forever in debted to you, though. I’m not sure I could ever thank you enough.”

“It was seriously nothing,” I told him, shaking my head as the teacher walked into the lesson.

“I know how I can repay you. I shall tell you a secret,” James told me and I felt elation at this. Was I finally going to find out what William had been keeping a secret for James?
Professor Hargreaves interrupted us by handing out sheets of parchment, on a new hobby from Muggles, this time about something called Wood work. Beginning to engage the class in a discussion about it, making a few notes on the board that they were to all copy down.

“Really?” I asked quietly, fighting the urge to get him to tell me quickly, not caring if the teacher noticed us talking. I needed to know. “Is this the one you and William were talking about?”

“No, it’s not that one. It’s another one,” James whispered back, shaking his head as he dug his hand into his pocket and took a sweet out, popping it into his mouth. I followed suit, realising that I had taken an apple flavoured one.

“That’s disappointing,” I whispered back, my voice cracking, which caused James to grin at me.

“You’ll like this one,” he told me, moving his chair closer and leaning next to my ear to whisper to me. I kept my eye on the teacher in case he noticed. “I own an invisibility cloak.”

It was a good thing that my voice was breaking, because it meant that my gasp of suprise caught in my throat, although it did make me cough uncontrollably. James had to pat me on the back gently as I struggled to stop, hands in front of my mouth and my throat feeling like it was on fire.

“Are you alright?” he asked me. A few other people, including Professor Hargreaves, was looking at me in concern and I nodded as I coughed a few more times and wiped at my watering eyes.

“Abigail, did you want to go to the Hospital wing to get a Pepper Up potion?” Professor Hargreaves asked, coming over to where I was sat. James still had his hand on my back and was rubbing it gently in case I started violently coughing again. Which I did, my hand flying to my chest as It felt like it was burning with every breath I took.

“James, would you like to take her?” I heard the teacher say and James nodded, standing up and taking my arm gently in his warm hands, helping steer me from the room.

Once we were out in the corridor, I could feel the coldness filling me again and I shivered as we walked. Thankfully I had stopped coughing and was able to breathe a bit through my nose again. I tried to wrap my robes tighter around myself, but it wasn’t doing anything to keep the warmth in. James seemed to have noticed this and took his robe off to drape it around my shoulders. I opened my mouth to argue but he seemed to know that I would, because he stopped me.

“Don’t argue, just take it,” he told me and I smiled gratefully at him as we made our way through the corridor and towards the staircase. I wrapped it around me and felt the warmth of where he had worn it. The robe itself was too long for me, especially in the arms and it was just barely skimming the floor as I walked.

“So how long have you had the cloak?” I asked him as loudly as I could.

“The one you’re wearing?” James asked stupidly before shrugging. “I got it this summer because I had some sort of growth spurt and needed a new one.”

I nudged him away from me and he laughed loudly, the sound echoing around us and I hugged James’s robe around me, wishing that I could smell it, but sadly my nose was still blocked.

“Not this one,” I told him, coughing again, which caused James to watch me in case it turned into another coughing fit.

“Oh, the other one.” He grinned, moving forwards to reach into the pocket of his robe and pulling out a sweet. His fingers brushed against my leg accidently when he did so and my stomach flipped at the contact. James didn’t seem to notice. “I was given it by my dad, it used to belong to my grandfather.”

I nodded in amazement; it must be so awesome to own an invisibility cloak. There weren’t that many around and I knew that they were very rare. I had never seen one before.

“But, dad took it from me over the summer and I’ve only just been given it back,” James informed me.

“Why?” I asked as we made it to the staircase and we walked up them slowly. Well, I was walking slowly and James was kind enough to walk at my speed.

“I snuck out over the summer holidays to go to a party with William,” James told me honestly. “It was a shit party, but I drank more than I should have and tried climbing through the kitchen window at nearly five in the morning as I left my keys at home. Dad caught me, he was having breakfast and getting ready to go into work early; he was not happy to see me in the state I was, especially because I was meant to be grounded.”

I shook my head at him in disbelief and he gave a shrug. “I know, I’m a rebel, but in my defence William made me.”

“Nice of you to blame your friend,” I said as we walked along another corridor and got closer to the Hospital wing.

“It was his fault; he told me I either come willingly or he was going to kidnap me.” James laughed. “Although even he had to admit that it was a shit party. It was some Muggle that he used to go to school with. The whole lot of them were jerks, but we drank all of their alcohol, ended up breaking their garden fence and caused the police to come and kick us out. It was a laugh and in hindsight I probably should have stayed at William’s house the night. But, apparently I’m an idiot.”

I would have argued with him, but we arrived at the hospital wing and James opened the door wide for me to go in, following close behind me when I entered the room.

It was practically empty, save for what looked like a first year in one of the beds, a bandage wrapped around her left arm. She didn’t seem to notice or care that we were in the room, intent on just gazing ahead of her and looking like she was lost in thought.

The Healer, Madam Ashwin, came over quickly, a questioning smile on her face as she looked between us. I opened my mouth to speak, but James talked to her for me, which I was very grateful for.

“Abigail has the flu and the teacher has sent us down to get her a Pepper Up Potion, if that’s alright,” James said for me and Madam Ashwin turned to look at me with a caring look as she held a hand to my forehead.

“Oh dear, you’re burning up. Let me just get the potion and see if we can make you feel better.” She gave me a small wink and walked away and over to her office.

“Thank you,” I said, turning to James ,and he wrapped an arm around my shoulder and pulled me to him. I rested my head on his chest as he gave me a one armed hug; it still felt heavy and stuffy, but being around James was making me feel a lot better.

“You’re welcome. As cute as your voice sounds, I don’t like seeing you ill,” James told me. “Let’s hope that you’re back to your regular awesome self quickly.”

“I hope so too, I hate feeling like this,” I told him, bringing a hand up to my mouth as I coughed again.

Thankfully Madam Ashwin came back over with a potion in her hand. I had never been happier to see a potion in my entire life. James removed his arm from around my shoulders as Madame Ashwin guided me to one of the free beds and made me take a seat on it, before handing me the potion to drink.

“How do you feel?” she asked me, as she took the now empty potion bottle from me.

“A lot better, thank you,” I told her, noticing that my throat still sounded hoarse, but it was no longer burning. Neither was my chest, and I was able to breath properly. I also noticed that James was smiling at the sound of my voice still being croaky and realised that he was a very strange guy for wanting it to stay like I had a frog in my throat.

“Sadly it’ll only mask the symptoms, but you should be feeling better for a few more hours.”

“Thank you. As long as I can feel normal for a little while, I don’t mind. It’s good to feel warm again, though.”

Madame Ashwin left us both and walked back to her office, after telling us that we were able to get going back to our lesson. James and I left the hospital wing and slowly began to make our way back to our Muggle Studies lesson. I took off the robe that James had leant me and I gave it back to him. He shrugged it back on, giving a small sniff as he did so.

“Now my robe smells like you,” he told me with a chuckle, bringing the front of his collar to his nose to smell it again and I felt a little embarrassed.

“I hope I don’t smell bad.”

“It smells a little of honey,” he told me, “Is that the bath set I got you?”

I nodded. I had used it this morning in the hopes that a shower would make me feel better. It had done for a little while.

“I obviously made a good choice,” he told me with a grin.

“Yes, you did.” I agreed.


Chapter 21: The One Where James Convinces Me To Break The Rules
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



“Can you believe that they are letting us loose with these Muggle torture devices?” I said to James, who was looking down at the hammer in his hand and looking back down at the wood on his desk. My throat croaked as I spoke, my cold still in full effect and had been for a few days.

I had a screwdriver in my hands and was unsure what to do with it; the only thing I had worked out so far was the it was called a screwdriver. We were currently in Muggle Studies; at the moment our lessons were focused on Muggle past times and hobbies, this time focusing on woodwork and how some Muggles spend their time making things, otherwise known as ‘D.I.Y’. The teacher was talking to us about how we were going to be spending the next few lessons, making something ourselves out of some wood. He had sheets of paper that we could choose from to make our items.

“I really can’t, especially with us lousy lot. We can barely be trusted with books, I always manage to give myself a paper cut,” James stated, hitting the wood with his hammer, seemingly for something to do.

“Yeah, you and others around you,” I stated, remembering the time that he accidentally gave me a paper cut handing me a book. Paper cuts hurt a lot more than you think that they would. I gave a cough as my dry throat was feeling scratchy; it didn’t do much to it, and I tried to ignore it, wishing that I had brought a drink with me to the lesson.

“I’m not sure if I want to be around you when we’re using all of these sharp objects to make these Muggle things. You might end up having to visit the hospital wing,” I stated, looking at the sheet of paper that I had gotten from the teacher. I had told him that I wanted to attempt to make some bookends to go on my shelf so he handed me the sheet of paper that I was to follow to make them. James had a sheet of paper in his hands to make some sort of a box; we had talked about how we would be in competition with each other to see who could finish their one first and whose would look the most like the object they were meant to be making. I was hoping that I would win so that I could rub it in James’s face that I was better than him. I didn’t want James to think that he was better than me, because I knew for a fact that he would rub it in my face.

I put down my screwdriver and picked up a saw. I had already measured out the amount of wood that I would need and had placed the wood on the end of the desk and proceeded to try and saw the wood just like the teacher had shown us all early on in the lesson. I was having no luck at all with it, I managed to get my saw stuck in the wood and was unable to move it without a lot of force and effort. I stopped moving and turned to look at James, who was having the same problem as I was.

“I tell you what,” James said, tugging on the saw and managing to get it to move through the wood. “I don’t envy the Muggles one bit, with having to chop and saw wood by hand; it would be so much more easier with magic and a wand. You could just wave it around and have the wood cut itself, speaking of which you could just wave your wand around and have the box or book ends make themselves, it would save a lot of time and arm ache.” James shook his head as he continued to saw. He managed to get into some sort of routine with the way he moved his arm and he was beginning to cut through the wood some more. I was jealous myself; I looked back down at the wood and put my saw to it, trying again to cut the wood by copying James.

“It would be easier, but sadly unlike us the Muggles don’t have magic to their disposal, so they have to use things and items like this,” I said before coughing again, using the sleeve of my robe to cover my mouth. I winced as I swallowed and gave sniff of my bunged up nose.

“How are you feeling?” James asked me, “I can tell that you’ve still got your cute ‘almost lost your voice’ thing going on.”

I rolled my eyes, “I don’t find it cute at all, if anything it’s more annoying. My throat hurts a lot and I can’t stop shivering from being cold and then getting too hot. It is like I can't win. I have literally got on about three layers of clothes and I am still cold. Not only do I have on my robes and shirt, I also have a t shirt on underneath it, then under my tights I have on a pair of leggings and well as two pairs of socks,” I told him, amazed that I was able to move any of my limbs with so many layers on them. I can’t believe that I still felt slightly cold, I was sure that I would end up over heating.

“It’s got to be the fact that it’s so cold outside and that this castle is severely lacking in keeping the heat in it, it’s probably one of the downfalls of having a school that’s in a medieval castle. It manages to keep the cold in more than anything else.”

“Which isn’t good for someone who has a cold like I do. I must admit that I’m glad that I’m not Slytherin, just because I can imagine that the dungeons would be freezing in the winter. It makes me glad that I’m in Hufflepuff, we’re right near the kitchens so I guess we have the heat from that. We also have those amazing patchwork quilts that keep a lot of the heat in them.”

“It’s not as great in the Gryffindors boys dormitory. The bad thing about being in a tower is the fact that we are always hit with the wind, so when it’s a very cold wind, like now, it has a tendency to make the dormitory cold. I’m thankful that we have the heater boiler thing in the middle of the room, otherwise we would be frozen,” James told me.

“There is that.” I stopped to cough again, before going back to my saw and cutting the wood again. I was about three quarters of the way through cutting it to the size that I needed, I noticed that James was cutting the second piece of wood that he would need for his box. “Ugh, I’m feeling proper shit right about now.”

“Why have you not gone to the hospital wing again?” James asked me in concern. I gave a shrug as I finished cutting the first piece of wood. It fell to the floor with a thud and I began to cut the other piece of wood that I had measured out before. I had drawn all the pieces of the wood that I would need to cut so I did not have to do it all bit by bit and waste more time on it. I began to saw again before I answered his question that he asked me a lot recently.

“I don’t want to have to go to the hospital wing for every little thing that is wrong with me,” I told him honestl., “There is no need for me to run to the Healer because I have a cold, my own body will handle it.”

“It is doing a superb job so far I must admit,” James said sarcastically to me as he picked up his wood and made sure that all of his cut bits were the right length that he needed.

“I’ve gotten through colds and flus before, I can get through this one,” I told him, finding it a bit easier to cut this piece of wood. It was like I had gotten into the swing of things; it was just hard sometimes to cut the wood, as though I were going against the grain as I moved the saw. It might explain why it was more difficult to move the saw one way then the other.

“Do you not want to get something that can make you not lose your voice?” James asked. “As much as I love the fact that it is making you sound so cute and sexy, I must admit that I am worried that you will lose it completely and I won’t have anyone that I can talk to in class.”

“I’m glad that I’m not the only one suffering from this cold,” I told him honestly. I was the one with the cold and he had moaned more about it than I had. Surely it should have been the other way around?

“I may very well suffer further, especially if you give your cold to me. It shall be worse for me as well, as I am a man and it is scientifically proven that men have worse colds than anyone else.”

“How many species are you counting in this?” I asked with a laugh.

“Just the men and women at the moment, but seriously if I catch this I shall be whiney, loud, obnoxious, clingy and just a general annoyance to be around,” James told me, shaking his head as he pointed at me for emphasis.

“So much like any other day I spend in your company,” I told him, cheekily poking my tongue out at him.

“I am going to let that slide as you are so ill, but it’s true. Let us hope that I don’t catch your disease. The world may surely end.”

“That’s a bit over dramatic don’t you think?” I asked him. “The world does not revolve around you.”

“I couldn’t really tell what it was that you were saying right there at the end, as your voice kind of disappeared, so I am going to assume that you said that the world did revolve around me, and your words are true of course. The world does in fact revolve around me. I have it on good authority as I have been told this many a time. I may be leaving out the fact that they may have said that it does not revolve around me, but still.”

“Your selective hearing has got to be a good thing for you,” I told him with a small laugh, amazed that he could just talk and talk and think and think about something for so long. He was worse than a woman when it came to talking; James was the kind of guy to just keep talking if he was in an awkward or silent situation. It was great because most of the time I had no idea what it was that I wanted to actually say. So the fact that he was the one to fill those silences was a good thing.

“It really is, it makes me hear what I want to hear.”

“How are you both getting on with your projects?” Professor Hargreaves asked us as he came over to check on our progress. I nodded as I finished sawing the piece of wood and started on my next bit.

“It’s going good, I just need to finish cutting the pieces out, then I can start with those nail things.” I told him, trying not to cough again, but my throat was really tickling. I would not have minded if it was not for the fact that every time that I did cough it would feel like I was ripping the inside of my throat apart. Maybe I should try and stop talking? That might work for me. But I knew that I would not be able to do that until I went back to my dormitory later on after lessons. I was not sure if I would make it to dinner that night, I was feeling pretty exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep, or just be in my bed wrapped up in the covers and not having to be outside in the cold. Not to mention that I didn’t exactly have much of an appetite at the moment, I really wasn’t winning with this cold. I could not wait for it to get out of my system, or to at least tone down a bit. The whole breathing at night thing would be a real bonus if that one went first.

“Good, good, Abigail,” Professor Hargreaves said with a smile. “That is good progress.” He turned to look at James.

“And how is it all going for you, James?” he asked him, looking down at the pieces that James had managed to cut out. I was amazed that he had managed to cut the wood so fast, I was a bit suspicious that he had used magic, although I might be behind because I am just that slow today. I did not know at all.

“It’s going good, sir,” James said with a nod and a smile at the professor. “I bet this is going to be the best box that you have ever seen in the history of boxes.”

“I bet that it will be, James. Have you given any thought as to how you are going to decorate it? Or what you are going to use it for?” The teacher enquired. James looked as though he was in deep thought as he took a minute to come up with an answer. He looked around him before leaning closer to the teacher.

“I am going to keep my secrets in it,” he whispered to him before giving just the one nod of the head as though asking the teacher if he understood. The teacher smirked before nodding back.

“You best make that a much bigger box, James.”

“No,” I stated before I could stop myself, “The bigger box will be for his ego.”

The teacher smiled and shook his head before walking away from us both. James had turned to me with a look of shock on his face as he gave a loud gasp.

“Abigail Higgs, you are down right evil today. This cold is making you delirious.”

“I blame you,” I told him.

“And here I was, going to show you my cloak later.”

I looked up in surprise at his words; he was going to let me see the invisibility cloak? He saw the look on my face.

“Oh, it’s all changed now the cloak is involved.” He laughed, shaking his head and lining up some of the wood.

“You’re really going to show it to me?” I asked him. Did he trust me enough around it? What if I accidentally ripped it, or tripped over it, or god forbid lost it?

“I was going to suggest meeting up after dinner,” James told me, eyes still focused on the pieces of wood in front of him. “Unless, of course, you’re busy.”

I shook my head, before realising that he probably didn’t see me doing it. “No, I have no plans,” I told him, coughing slightly before continuing. “I was only going to do some reading and ignore that essay I’m meant to be writing for Potions.”

“Ah, I should probably do that as well. Ignore it and not do it. Who wants to write three feet on Golpalott’s third law?” James asked me, scoffing and leaning down slightly to make sure his wood was perfectly aligned. “Shall I come and meet you outside the Hufflepuff entrance about seven?”

A smile spread across my face as he glanced up at me. “Sure, seven sounds good.”

~~

“Hey, have you seen the notices that have gone up on the board?” Isabella asked me at quarter to seven that night, as I began fastening the laces on my shoes. I looked up at her and shook my head, glancing over at Michelle, who was writing something down in her notebook that I knew contained her ideas for Quidditch plays that she would force poor Lucenn to listen to, in great detail.

“I haven’t, what are they?” I asked her, as Isabella settled herself on the edge of my bed and stroked Snowball, who was watching me as though I was the most fascinating thing; he was probably after some treats. The bad thing was that I didn’t have any, because he found the stash and ate them all, so he was trying to guilt me into somehow getting him more. It wasn’t working yet, but he knew that I would eventually wear down and give in to his demands.

“Our apparition lessons will be beginning soon,” Isabella told me happily, bouncing slightly in excitement, “I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting to get my license for ages now.”

“I can do the lessons, but I won’t be able to take the test until August, because that’s when I’ll be turning seventeen,” I told her sadly. I would love to be able to take my test with everyone else, but I was one of the youngest in the year so was forced to wait. I wasn’t too sad about this, it would give me more time to practice, and give me more of a chance of passing first time, unlike Darryl; it took him three attempts and almost his entire left hand to pass the test.

“Oh, I forgot that you were one of the young ones,” Isabella told me, wrapping an arm around me and hugs me to her. I saw Michelle glance up at us quickly before looking away, giving a slight shake of her head.

I laughed as I held onto Isabella’s arms. Snowball moved closer to us and pushed his head onto us in an attempt to get strokes. He succeeded when Isabella let go of me to pick him up and put him on her lap. I went back to trying to get ready for meeting James. Michelle stood up from her bed and walked out of the room without another word to us both and I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty. I had no idea what was wrong with her and I knew that I should go and find out.

“I wonder what – “ I began, but Isabella interrupted me.

“Don’t worry about the spoilsport, whose main goal is to apparently ruin everyone else who’s having a good time,” Isabella stated and I knew that I should come to Michelle’s defence, but I also knew that Isabella was right. So instead I said nothing, choosing instead to look down at my clothes and wondering if I looked alright. I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard but also wanted to look nice.

“You look fine,” Isabella told me as though reading my thoughts. She was still stroking Snowball, who was loving the attention. “Are you nervous?”

“We’re only hanging out, it’s nothing special.”

“Hmm.” Isabella said, clearly not believing me and I felt my cheeks reddening. It wasn’t a date or anything, we were just hanging out with each other. It was just that he was going to be showing me his invisibility cloak, not that I would tell anyone that’s what we were doing. It wasn’t my secret to share, and I didn’t want James to think that I was untrustworthy by telling anyone.

“You better get going,” Isabella told me, looking down at her watch and smiling up at me. “Curfew will be soon, so don’t get caught sneaking back into the common room.”

“Thanks.” I told her, grabbing for my wand and putting it into my pocket before leaving the room with a goodbye at her. I walked through the room, sidestepping Horatio Demarcus who nearly walked into me as he shoved Louis Weasley so hard he almost fell over the back of the sofa, but both boys were laughing so I didn’t want to tell either of them off. I made my way outside the common room; no one paid me any attention as everyone was focusing on each other. I didn’t even see Michelle in the common room, and stood in the deserted hallway.

I wondered what time James would be showing up; he told me to meet him here and all I could do was wait awkwardly for him to show up. I hoped it would be soon; I kept getting the feeling that I was being watched fall over me and it was making me uneasy.

Hands grabbed my sides and I let out a loud shriek of horror, which broke in my throat, jumping away from the hands and whirling around as my hands flew to my mouth. My heart felt like it was in my throat, beating madly as I tried to calm my breathing and see who or what had just grabbed me and shocked me. I heard laughter before James materialised out of thin air, his eyes glinting with amusement as I moved forward and hit him in the arm.

“You jerk. You scared me!” I cried before I could stop myself, still trying to get my heart to stop thumping wildly against my chest.

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t resist,” James told me, pulling the cloak off of him fully and pulling off his backpack so that he could stuff it inside. I looked him over, noticing how nice he looked in his oversized blue jumper, the same colour of his eyes. His hair was sticking out messily and he pushed one of his hands through it after throwing the backpack over his shoulder. He ran his fingers through his hair a few times, making it more ruffled than before and smiled sheepishly at me. “Shall we go for a walk? I want to go somewhere a bit more private, then I can show you.”

I nodded and we both fell in step beside each other as we walked along the corridor and into the large hall that the staircase started in. I let James walk in front of me and lead the way as we walked passed the few students who were still within their curfew. After the first two flights of stairs, we were able to fall back into step with each other because less people were around to force us apart and we began talking again.

“Did you see the notices for the Apparition lessons?” James asked me, turning to face me as we walked up another flight of stairs. It moved as we walked, taking us to another corridor, and James and I walked slowly down it.

“Yeah. Are you going to do them?” I asked him, stuffing my hands into my pockets, not sure what else to do with them.

“Yeah. I’m excited. It took Teddy two times to pass, so I’m hoping to get first time so I can rub it in his face,” James informed me and I smiled; that was exactly the same with me and my older brother.

“Darryl took a while, too. I want to pass first time, so I’m better than him. If I fail like him, he won’t let me forget it,” I replied, which was true. Even though Darryl had failed, he wouldn’t let me forget that I was just like him and drive me nuts with it.

“We better make sure we get a lot of practice in then,” James told me. “Although we can help each other.”

“Yeah,” I agreed as we continued walking, further into the school and towards some disused classrooms and corridors. “I can’t take the test until after my birthday, though.”

“Me too. It’s one of the downfalls of being born on the twenty ninth of August. If I was born just a few days later I would have been in the year below and may never have known you,” James admitted. “I’m glad that I wasn’t, though.”

“The same with me,” I told him in agreement. I hated to think how it would be if James was in the year below me.

I was just wondering how far we would walk when James came to a halt and looked around. I stopped as I did the same, noticing nothing but quietness and emptiness.

“Here seems like a good enough spot,” James told me, pulling the bag off of his back and placing it on the floor beside the wall. He squatted down next to it and began pulling out the cloak again before standing back upright and holding it across his arms, looking at me expectantly. I took a hesitant step forward, holding my hand out slightly, but being too scared to touch it. It was priceless and I didn’t want to do anything to destroy it. I glanced up at James, who gave me an encouraging nod and I looked back at the cloak and placed my hand across it.

It felt smooth like silk and slightly cool to the touch, almost like water. “This is beautiful,” I told him honestly.

“Do you want to wear it?” he asked me and I was definitely shocked as well as very excited. I was going to be invisible.

“I would love to,” I admitted to him and he held it out further to me. I took it gently and held it out in front of me, glancing at James again before wrapping it around myself and disappearing completely from view.

“This is so awesome,” I told him, the urge to get up to all sorts of mischief was running through my veins, making me feel like I was capable of doing anything. I could hide places and no one could find me, I could spy on people, I could move things and no one would know it was me. I moved quietly around and looked at James, who was still staring at where he thought I was still standing. I could run away and he wouldn’t be able to find me.

James let out a laugh and looked around as though he would be able to see me. “Where are you?”

I stayed quiet, hand going over my mouth as I moved around James again, standing closer as I moved around him and watched his eyes and head dart around to pinpoint exactly where I was.

“Being silent isn’t going to help you. I’ll be able to find you no matter where you are, so there’s no point in you even thinking about leaving with my cloak,” James laughed.

“Oh yeah, and how’s that?” I asked him, intrigued and without thinking. That gave my position away to James, who lunged forwards and grabbed for me, wrapping his arms around me tightly and holding me to him so that I couldn’t escape.

I gave a laugh as James kept hold of me in one arm whilst taking the cloak off of me with his other; the material slid over my face and messed my hair up and he looked down at me. I couldn’t help but laugh and neither could James, but he just seemed to be laughing at the state of my hair, which I couldn’t sort out as he was trapping my arms. I felt James’s hand in my hair and he pushed it gently out of my face so that I was able to see, before he rested the hand on the side of my face.

“If you had taken my cloak I would have been in so much trouble with my dad, who would have come after you as well. So, really I’m saving you from being hunted down by an Auror and the saviour of the Wizarding World.”

“My hero.” I giggled before I could stop myself, attempting to push James off of me and he relented, dropping his hand from my face and his arm from around me and taking a step back from me as he took the cloak from around me and wrapped it around his own shoulders so that he was just a floating head. “That looks really freaky,” I told him as I ran my fingers through my hair and attempted to flatten it.

“I wonder how many first years I could freak out?” James mused.

“I think you’d scare anyone like that, no matter what age. I’m not sure many people would expect a floating head to randomly appear coming towards them,” I admitted, moving to lean against the cold wall of the castle and glancing out at the darkness.

“That is true,” James stated, pulling the cloak off of himself and folding it back up in his arms, before leaning next to me, resting one of his feet on the wall behind him.

“It must be so tempting to cause a lot of trouble with that thing,” I said, nodding down at the cloak and James nodded.

“Yeah, it takes a lot to not sneak around and spy on people, or go places I’m not meant to.”

“It’ll be fun to see what people get up to when you’re not there, or see where they go when they say that they’re going somewhere else.” This was a common worry I had about Michelle, ever since we had come back from the holidays she seemed slightly strained with me, a bit distant and going back to the way she had been about mine and James’ friendship. Part of me had been thinking that she was disappearing off somewhere, but I had no clue where and I knew that she would never answer my questions, or tell me that I was being silly.

I still had a gut feeling, though, that was telling me that I was right.

“Actually, I do have a way of finding that out,” James told me, taking a seat on the floor and grabbing his backpack again, pulling it onto his lap. I slid down the wall to sit next to him, a bit closer then I was aiming for when I fell slightly, but James didn’t seem to mind and I was trying my luck by not moving. I stared into his backpack; it seemed full of things and I was intrigued. Why did James need so much stuff?

He pulled out a pile of tatty looking parchment and I wondered just what he was up to, and whether or not he was going to make a start on his homework, and why on earth this would help find things out. He pulled out his wand and tapped the piece of parchment, muttering something under his breath that I didn’t catch and writing appeared on the front of the page in elegant handwriting. I watched as the ink moved and formed the image of a map - not just any map, a map of Hogwarts.

“Is that – “I began in awe, looking down at the parchment, leaning closer to James to get a good look. He chuckeld slightly.

“Uh-huh,” he stated. My eyes focused as he began to unfold and fold the parchment as though trying to find something. When he got to what he was looking for, he held it up for me to see.

“Is that us?” I asked, looking at the two dots, all alone in the corridor, both of them labelled as me and James. I looked up at the ceiling as though there was someone looking down at us both and James gave a chuckle.

“I have no idea how it works,” James told me, equally in awe at the amazingness that was the map in front of us. It was the work of genius. “But it was made by my Grandfather and his friends, it tells you where everyone is in the school.”

“You can find anyone on here?” I asked him, looking up at him and he nodded at me, handing it to me and I took it gently, shuffling on the spot as I looked down at the map. I folded the parchment and scanned over where I knew the Hufflepuff common room would be. I looked at the girls dormitory and saw that Michelle, Sian and Isabella were all in there. I scanned across a bit more of the map before I realised that practically everyone was either in the common rooms or the dormitories as the corridors and classrooms were all empty, save for a few random dots here and there, probably the prefects doing their rounds.

“What’s the time?” I asked looking up at James, who was looking at the map over my shoulder. I hadn’t realised just how close I was to James until that moment; I was practically leaning on him, one arm resting over his leg, which was leaning against mine, whilst I was practically hugging him.

I moved away slightly as James looked down at his watch and I tore my eyes away from the parchment to wait for his response, I saw him wince slightly. “It’s way past curfew,” he informed me.

I hadn’t even realised that much time had already passed, it seemed like only minutes had gone by.

“We should probably get back,” I told him reluctantly. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to leave.

“Or, we could just stay here,” James said to me, resting his head back against the wall but turning to look at me. “I don’t have an early class tomorrow, and we have the map and cloak to help hide us.”

I deliberated for a moment; I had never broken the rules that much, I had never snuck out or stayed up all night in the company of a boy. I didn’t want people to talk about it and make up rumours.

“I’m a prefect,” I stated as if that was the answer. He just shrugged at me.

“Yeah, you say that, but I’ve never seen you go to meetings or doing patrols,” he told me honestly.

“Have you been following me on the map?” I asked him, wondering how he knew that.

“Not just that,” he stated, not denying that he had been stalking me by using his map. I should probably have a word with him about that. “But you never talk about it, and you just never seem to be at one.”

“The Seventh Year Hufflepuff prefects have taken over most of the rounds, so we’re not really needed to do it. It’s a bit rare when we are required to do it,” I admitted to him, which was true; we were never asked to do it, which I knew I was lucky for.

That just meant that next year I would be required to do the rounds and actually do my duties as a prefect.

“Fair enough,” James said. He glanced down at the map and muttered something under his breath. I turned to him in question to see that he was beginning to grab the cloak and had thrown it over us, putting an arm around me and pulling me to him to ensure that we were both covered completely as was the bag.

I turned to look at him, the question on my lips of who it was, but he held a finger to them to stop me from speaking. The fact that he did this was enough to shock me into silence, then I heard Peeves talking to himself as he came down the corridor and I knew why James had silenced me. He dropped his finger from my lips slowly and I took a breath. I didn’t even realise that I had held it as I stared at James, unable to drag myself away from looking over his face. James was watching Peeves carefully, seeming unaware of my state and I tried to pull myself together as I turned my head slowly to watch the poltergeist float slowly over us, trying to breathe as quietly as I could. After what seemed an age, he disappeared from view and James looked down at the map to check the coast was clear before pulling the cloak off of our heads, but not off of our legs.

“That was close,” he told me, “Maybe we should be heading back. I can always hide us under the cloak.”

But I didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay with James here.

“If you wanted to stay we could,” I began and James turned to smile at me as he nodded slowly.

“Good, because I brought supplies,” James told me, pulling his backpack closer to himself and opening it. I leant closer to him so that I could get a good look in the bag, my hand resting itself on his bent knee, but he didn’t seem to care.

“Wow, you are quite prepared.” I laughed as I saw quite a few comic books, bags of what appeared to be sweets, bottles of some fizzy pop and a couple bags of crisps.

“I was hoping that you would agree to stay out all night,” James told me with a shrug. “So I wanted to be prepared, so that we wouldn’t have to go back.”

“We might get caught,” I told him, glancing up at him. He seemed to have been watching me.

“Not if we keep an eye on the map; we can also just hide under the cloak the whole time if you want?”

“I’m not sure we’ll both fit under there,” I told him quietly; we had to do quite a bit of squeezing to fit under the cloak when we were hiding from Peeves.

“Sure we will,” James told me brightly, gesturing for me to shuffle forward, which I did, although I was slightly confused as to why. James moved over so that he was sat behind me and he wrapped his arms around me to pull me backwards so that my back was against his chest. “See, we’ll both fit now.”

My cheeks were heating up, I could feel them practically burning as I tried to hide the excitement and nervousness that was threatening to burst out of me. James’ arms were wrapped loosely around me now and he brought his knees up so that I could lean my arms on them.

“Er –” he stammered. “If you don’t mind sitting like this? I should have asked you first instead of assuming.”

“It’s fine,” I told him quietly, hoping that I could blame the sound of my nervous voice on the cold I still had. “Aren’t you worried about catching my cold?”

“It’s inevitable that I would have anyway. Might as well speed the process along,” James told me with a laugh. I relaxed slightly at the beautiful sound of it, letting myself lean against him as he reached into his bag and pulled out one of the comics.

“Shall we read the comic you sent me?” James asked and I could only nod, relishing in the warmth that was going through me at being in James’ arms. This was going to be the best night in a very long time.






A/N: Once again, thank you to my amazing Beta Sam! *squishes*

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and for reading and reviewing. I would love to know what you all think of this chapter! :D


Chapter 22: The One With The Morning After
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I have a ton of apologies for the lateness in getting this chapter out. I had family emergencies and work practically non stop and when I wasn't working I was sleeping. It's just been hectic!

Thanks to my awesome Beta Sam for all of her hard work! :P

Let me know what you think! And I hope to get the next chapter up by the 18th.




I had been having a really nice dream. James was in it and he had been saving me from a rogue dragon that had been let loose in Diagon Alley, whilst I had been trying to buy my school supplies. The dragon had somehow cornered me down one of the aisles in Madam Malkins robe shop and James had appeared and distracted it with a dance.

It was strangely confusing and I couldn’t help but look around me as I tried to shake the dream off of me. But it was hard to, when all I saw was the corridor wall of the castle in front of me, I couldn’t help but think that I was still in my dream, especially because it felt like someone or something was stroking the side of my cheek softly.

“Morning sleepy head,” James yawned from behind me and I jumped slightly, realising that I was in his arms and resting against his chest. Looking down at the robe that had been thrown over me, the realisation of what had happened last night came rushing back. The last thing I remembered was it being nearly four in the morning and James had been holding a comic book out for us both to read together and now I had woken up still in his arms and still leaning against his chest. My legs had gone numb from being on the hard floor and I knew that James had to have been feeling the same way.

“Morning,” I told him softly, leaning forwards and rubbing my eyes as the robe fell off of me slightly and James loosened his arms from around me, and I realised that the soft feeling I felt on my cheek was probably from James trying to wake me up. “I’m sorry I fell asleep on you.”

“It’s alright,” James told me. “I didn’t mind.”

I nodded slowly, pushing my hand through my hair and trying to flatten it as I tried not to get embarrassed about falling asleep literally in James’ arms.

“Did you manage to get some sleep?” I asked him slowly as I stretched my legs out in front of me, determined not to look up at James because I was nervous about what I would see on his face.

“Not even slightly,” he admitted, but I noticed a hint of amusement in his tone.

“Sorry,” I mumbled again and James reached for my hand, which caused me to finally look up at him. He was giving me a smile, which I couldn’t help but return to him. “What time is it?” I asked him.

James looked down at his watch as he stifled another yawn. I couldn’t help but yawn myself, stretching my arms wide and trying to get the energy to get up and off of the floor, instead of crawling back up to James and leaning on his chest again, wrapping the robe around us both and going back to sleep in his arms. It was very tempting.

“It’s nearly six in the morning,” he told me and I let out a groan at his words. “I know, it’s too early but we should probably get moving. Teachers will probably be coming down here soon, or ghosts.”

“Have you been keeping an eye on the map all night?”I asked him. He must have been really bored if he was just watching the map all night.

“Something like that, yeah.”

“Why didn’t you wake me up? That must have been boring.”

“Because you looked cute when you were sleeping and I didn’t want to disturb you,” he admitted honestly.

He stood up and stretched his arms above his head, the skin of his stomach peeking out from the bottom of his top as he did so, and it took everything in my power to not stare at the exposed part of his skin. I heard his back click and he let out a small groan and I was quick to say my apologies to him.

“It’s not your fault, don’t worry about it,” he told me, stopping his stretching and holding his hands out for me to take so that he could help me stand. “We should probably go and sort ourselves out before we go to the Great Hall, we don’t want to look like we’ve been out all night and up to no good.”

I agreed with him, stretching myself and grabbing his robe to carry as he picked up his backpack. He put his invisibility cloak into the backpack before grabbing the map and looking down at it.

“it’s completely deserted in the castle, I think everyone is still in their common rooms or dormitories, so it should be safe to walk to the toilets. By the time we’re done they should have started serving breakfast in the Great Hall,” James told me and I nodded as we both started a slow and sluggish walk back towards the toilets so that we could make ourselves look more presentable. As we neared where the toilets were, I realised that it was the boys toilets, James looked a little uneasy as he turned to look at me.

“Did you want me to go in and check to see if there’s anyone in there? Then I can keep guard out here so that no one comes in to disturb you?” he asked me and I nodded at him. I honestly didn’t care in my tired state if it was the boys toilets, I just wanted to wake myself up with the cold water from the tap and use the facilities. James nodded before opening the door and entering the room, he came back a few seconds later to inform me that the coast was all clear before I went inside and he stood by the door. I looked around me as I walked to the mirror; it wasn’t as dirty as I imagined that it would be, in fact it was quite clean. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but living with the giant mess that was my brother, anything was possible.

I looked at my reflection, the dark circles under my eyes, the paleness of my skin and the birds nest that was replacing my brown hair, and wondered what I would try and fix first. I turned on the tap and cupped some water in my hands, rinsing my mouth out and spitting the water back into the sink, before getting another handful of water and putting it over my face, the coldness of it waking me up and it would have to make do until I could get back to the dormitory and have a shower.

After I had sorted myself out I went outside to find James leaning against the wall, his head back as he looked at the ceiling. He turned to give me a lazy grin as I stood next to him, his eyes skimming me up and down, before he went inside the toilets himself and I stayed out here.

Once he had finished sorting himself out and he came back out, we continued our slow walk down the corridor and towards the stairs. It was a bit later in the morning when it was acceptable for us to be up and about the castle without anyone being too suspicious about where we were going.

The Great Hall was deserted when we arrived, there weren’t even any teachers but the beginnings of breakfast was starting to arrive on the tables. We decided to sit on a table near to the door; there wasn’t anyone else around so it didn’t make sense to sit on our own houses tables.

I looked at the food as James pulled a cup towards him and a large jug of coffee, wondering what to eat and being a little self conscious about wanting to eat my own body’s weight in bacon, choosing instead to just grab for a slice of toast. James seemed to have noticed my deliberation and the fact that I was looking at the bacon beforehand, because he used a fork to pick a stack of three slices and placed them on my plate.

“If you want to eat the bacon, just eat it. I’m going to do the same,” James told me, trying to make me feel a bit more at ease.

“Thank you.” I said softly.

“You don’t need to be embarrassed about it,” he stated honestly, sipping from the cup in his hands.

We ate slowly, enjoying our time together, and it wasn’t long before we both decided to go back to our dormitories to get ready for school. I had no idea how James was going to manage to get through it all, especially when I could barely get through walking the short distance to the Hufflepuff common room, and I had a small amount of sleep.

James had to walk so many more flights - I felt sorry for him.

The common room was practically empty, save for Horatio Demarcus who was glaring into the fire and in his own little world. He didn’t even look up when I walked passed him and made my way towards the sixth year girls dormitory. The other girls were all still sleeping, so I crept quietly over to my bed, stroking Snowball who was sleeping on my pillow as I reached for my school clothes and wash things so that I could have a shower and get changed.

Once I had felt more human and was ready for the school day ahead, I came out of the bathroom and noticed that everyone else had begun getting up.

“Morning,” I heard Isabella say brightly and I turned to see that she was sitting on the edge of her bed. Her hair was in disarray and she was blinking sleepily at me. “And what time do you call this?”

I blushed, wondering what I was going to say to her to stop her jumping to the wrong conclusions, but I was obviously too slow for her.

“I need to know everything!” she cried happily, standing up and walking over to me to grab hold of my arm and grin manically in excitement. I was honestly surprised and happy that she was as excited about mine and James’s friendship as I was.

“I – er –” I shrug dismissively, although I couldn’t help but smile with her. “There’s nothing really to say.”

“I don’t mind what it is you tell me, even if it’s just small, I just want to know something.” Isabella seemed to be bouncing around on the spot, finally letting go of my arm so that she could grab her things and head towards the still vacant bathroom. “I need to hurry so you can tell me at breakfast.”

I watched her leave, a bemused smile on my face before glancing at Sian, who was shaking her head but grinning at her friends behaviour. I turned to look at Michelle and saw that she had her back turned to me and seemed determined to not look at me.

“Morning Michelle, did you want –” I began, wondering if she wanted to go down to breakfast but she grabbed things and walked into the bathroom before I could finish as soon as Isabella walked back out. I stared after her dumbly as I processed what had just happened. I didn’t know why she had just ignored me and I really didn’t think I had the energy to find out what was wrong with her.

“Are we waiting for Michelle?” Isabella asked me, bringing me out of my thoughts. I turned to look at her and shook my head as Michelle pulled her socks and then her shoes on.

“I don’t think so, she just ignored me,” I admitted, a little hurt that she was ignoring me and thinking back desperately to what I could have done to make her act this way. Nothing came to mind.

Isabella gave a loud scoff and rolled her eyes as she stood up and grabbed my arm, pulling me out of the room so that we could head towards the Great Hall, linking her arm through my own as we walked. I noticed that a lot more people were in the common room, minus Horatio Demarcus who had disappeared.

“Don’t pay attention to her, she’s just sulking because she tried talking to Ethan, who didn’t want to know.”

I felt a bit sorry for Michelle, but knew that she had no reason to be taking it out on me if she wasn’t happy about the way that she had been treated. I don’t control Ethan.

We took a seat at the Hufflepuff table and Isabella was upset that we couldn’t talk about what happened between me and James, as a group of fourth years took a seat next to us. I couldn’t help but grin at the scandalised look that Isabella threw them for having the audacity to sit next to us, especially when there was room further down the table.

“I’ll tell you after breakfast. We both have a free period, don’t we?” I asked her, knowing that I should probably use the free period to do some of my homework, but that could wait until later.

“Yeah, because I want to know everything, especially because I want to know why he looks so tired,” Isabella pointed out, nodding her head to behind me. I turned to look and my eyes found James, who was sitting next to William. James was yawning widely and stretching his arms wide, catching William with his arm and receiving a punch to the side. James laughed before wrapping his arm around William’s shoulders. William rolled his eyes, but didn’t push James away. I grinned at him before my eyes flickered down the rest of the Gryffindor table and settling on Rebecca, who was glaring at me.

I looked away quickly, turning back to face Isabella as an uneasiness filled me at the look Rebecca had given me. I still didn’t understand why she was reacting this way to me; she was beautiful, she had more of a chance with James then I did.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Isabella asked me, after swallowing her mouthful of porridge, which she had added cut up bananas too. I gave a shrug and Isabella looked behind me again, her eyes searching for what could have caused me to act this way. I knew she had found Rebecca the moment that her eyes squinted into a glare.

“What’s her problem?” Isabella asked me and I shugged, playing with the napkin in front of me. “Why don’t you take a picture, it’ll last longer,” she added louder and I looked at Isabella in horror at what she had done. “Yeah, thought you would look away after someone confronted you.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” I told her quickly, not wanting to end up starting a fight with Rebecca. I didn’t want this to get any worse than it already was.

“I did. She needs to learn that she can’t treat my friend this way.”

“Thank you,” I told her honestly. Isabella gave me a wink before going back to her porridge.

“I’ll always stick up for you, Abigail.”

~~~

The biting chill in the January air was enough to wake me up. With the added bonus of the falling snow the castle looked quite magical as I walked slowly around the grounds with Isabella, although I knew this had the chance to make my cold get worse. We both went back to the common room to grab our school bags, as well as scarf and gloves, and in Isabella’s case a furry hat that was shaped to look like an owl’s face. We decided to come out here so that we wouldn’t be overheard by anyone else that had a free period.

I had told her everything that had happened last night and the early hours of this morning, of course leaving out the parts about the cloak and map, as they weren’t my secrets to tell. Isabella’s overjoyed smile was enough to rival my own and it was great to have her be as happy about everything as I was. If her loud squeal and excited clapping about me waking up in James’s arms was any indication. This was how a best friend was meant to react to news, not be mad and jealous.

“Please tell me that you kissed, him moving to sit behind you so that you could ‘read the comic book’ was the perfect chance for that to happen.”

“No,” I said shaking my head. Isabella looked practically devastated by my admission and I felt a little guilty that I was the reason she was looking like that.

“How could you not have kissed?” she demanded loudly, grabbing for my arm and shaking me.

“Because I know he doesn’t see me in that way. He only sees me as a friend.”

Isabella let out a loud groan of frustration at my words, placing a hand on her forehead as she shook her head at me. “You two are so frustrating, do you know that? Of course he likes you! If last night is any indication, it’s a hell of a lot. You two need to get your act together and just give in to the chemistry between you.”

“I don’t want to get my hopes up for it to crash down around me,” I admitted. I didn’t want to ruin things between me and James, just because I was hoping too much and reading too much into things. I wasn’t sure I could stand the humiliation, or the fear that I would lose James from my life. I never wanted to screw up what we had.

“You’re in denial,” Isabella stated in disbelief. “You need to open your eyes, Abigail; he likes you.”

“I don’t want to ruin things,” I admitted once more, not knowing what else I could say and trying not to get my hopes up at Isabella’s words. I had thought many times about what it would be like if James did actually like me, but I always had Michelle's words ringing in my ears, telling me that he would never look at me in that way.

“It’s freezing,” Isabella stated, skipping slightly in an attempt to warm herself as we walked closer to the door that would lead us back into the castle. “Shall we get a hot chocolate before we have to go to our lesson?”

I nodded in agreement and we both walked in through the door by the greenhouses, heading in the direction of the Great Hall. I was pulling my gloves off of my hands and stuffing them into my pocket when Isabella got my attention again.

“Hey, it’s Michelle.”

I looked up, ready to call for Michelle to stop, even though she had ignored me earlier, when the sight of Barry and Elijah coming out of the corridor stopped me. They seemed to be whispering about something and I didn’t want to draw attention to myself around them; I had been avoiding them since the Love Potion incident and I think even James has been as well, or at least seeing less of them.

“Ok, why on earth was she down the same corridor as not only Barry and Elijah, but also bitch face?”

I frowned as I noticed that Rebecca was walking slowly out of the same corridor, slowing my footsteps down so that I would definitely avoid getting closer to them. I heard the accusation in Isabella's tone and knew that she was suspicious of the fact that they had all been down the same corridor, but they didn’t all come out at the same time and it was a corridor that was used regularly. I trusted Michelle, even if we did fall out all the time; she would never talk to them, that I was sure of. She disliked them as much as I did, so I knew that there was another explanation for what we had just seen.

“How weird was that?” Isabella asked, turning to look at me. It was weird, but I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want the beginnings of doubt to plague my mind; no matter how Michelle treated me, I knew she would never do what Isabella’s tone was suggesting.

“Maybe they’re just walking down the same corridor, it’s not uncommon,” I informed Isabella, coming to Michelle’s defence.

All Isabella replied with was a, “hmmm.”

~~

Michelle was still ignoring me as we sat in potions. I honestly didn’t mind as I was trying to conserve all my energy into not falling asleep at my desk; it was one of the toughest struggles I had to face in a while. It didn’t help that the teacher was making us take notes as he talked and wrote things down on the board; it was enough to drive anyone to sleep. I sat up straight, covering my mouth with my hand as I yawned, before turning my head to look at where James and William were sat. James was trying to lay his head on William’s shoulder, but William kept trying to shove James away from him as he tried to write his notes. I felt a bit sorry for William and James, although I laughed quietly when James shoved his head onto William’s shoulder and nearly pushed William out of his seat. William glanced up at me before nudging James and turning to give him a knowing smile as he whispered something into his ear. James looked up at me and gave me a sleepy grin and I felt my heart fluttering at it as I imagined what it would feel like to see that smile first thing in the morning; I would give anything to wake up in James’s arms again.

William’s words to James brought me out of my musings, and I knew that my cheeks were probably red. “You haven’t got long to do it, James. Time is ticking.”

I frowned slightly at his words, confused as to what they meant, James was giving William a hard look before turning to look at me again and noticing my confusion.

“Don’t worry about him, he’s a jerk,” James stated, leaning closer to my table and whispering to me.

“Be careful what you say, James,” William warned, although he didn’t say anything more as he glanced back up at the board.

“How you feeling?” he asked me and I shrugged as I took in the dark circles under his eyes and the paleness of his face.

“Terrible,” I admitted to him quietly, glancing at the teacher who was still writing on the board. “I don’t know how we’ve made it this far without falling asleep.”

“I’ve been close, but William won’t let me sleep on him.”

“That’s because you have a fat head, I don’t want to be crushed under the weight of it,” William muttered, causing James to flick him in the arm. William retaliated with a punch to James’s arm that I knew had to hurt him, but James just gave a laugh and rubbed his arm.

“You’ve made it go dead, I’ll get you back for that.”

“If you value your life you won’t even try,” Williiam drawled dangerously and I knew that I wouldn’t even try and attempt to get William back if I were James.

“I think I’m going to crash after this lesson finishes,” James informed me, still rubbing his arm and trying not to yawn. “These next twenty minutes will be the longest of my life.”

“I don’t think I’ll make it to dinner either,” I told him, rubbing my eyes with my fingers as I felt the tiredness beginning to try and seep into me again.

“It was worth it, though,” James said honestly and I couldn’t help but feel elation at his words. “I can’t wait to do it again.”

I heard Michelle move next to me and knew that she was hanging on mine and James’s every word. I wondered what conclusions her mind was jumping to at the little information she had.

“I won’t be able to see you until tomorrow,” James admitted and I noticed a hint of sadnesss in his voice.

“You’ll be sick of me soon, I’m surprised you’re not already.”

“I could never get sick of you, I actually miss you when you’re not around,” he replied honestly, his hand finding his hair as he seemed a bit embarrassed about his admission. He looked really adorable.

“James, would you be so kind as to go back to your table and stop annoying the other students,” the teacher called from the front of the class, causing me and James to turn to look at him, I turned to look back at James as he pushed his chair back to his desk, not realising that he had moved so close.

I heard laughing coming from behind us and I glanced back to see Barry and Elijah laughing at each other, before looking at me and whispering.

I turned back around at once, feeling uneasy about what they could be up to. I just hoped that this time James and I weren’t involved.
 


Chapter 23: The One With The Duel To The Death
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I hope this turns out alright as I'm posting it from my phone, if not I'll sort it out when I get home as I'm out visiting family in London. 

Thanks to my amazing Beta Sam (TheHeirOfSlytherin) for her help!




 

 

James gave a smile before grabbing for the bottom of his trouser leg and pulling it up slightly to show me that he was wearing patterned trousers underneath. No wonder he wasn’t shivering as much as I was.

 

“Are those pyjamas?” I asked him, peering closer and seeing tiny snitches flying across them. They were really cool pyjamas.

 

“Yep, if I’m cold I’ll wear them under my uniform and robes,” James told me with a smile.

 

“I hope that they’re not the ones that you’d slept in the night before,” I said an eyebrow rose at him quizzically.

 

“Not always. But sometimes I’m feeling too lazy, or I get out of bed late...” James told me, trailing off at the end with a shrug. I shook my head at him, even though I had to admit that it was a really good idea - damn him for being quite clever! Although there was no way that I could wear my pyjamas underneath my school skirt without someone noticing.

 

“It sounds like you live a tough life,” I said, wrapping my arms around myself as I tried to stop shivering.

 

“I do actually, it is a hard life being me and being this awesome. Kind of a curse really,” James said, scratching his chin and pulling a silly face.

 

“I wouldn’t wish your curse on any else,” I stated as we began to walk slowly again, the sound of our feet crunching on the fresh snow meeting my ears.

 

“Are you saying that I’m cursed?” James asked me, pretending to sound hurt.

 

“You called yourself cursed first,” I pointed out to him.

 

“I’m allowed to insult myself, but you can’t insult me. That’s just mean, really,” James stated, still pretending to sound hurt. I could tell that he was joking because he couldn’t keep the ghost of a grin off of his face.

 

We walked around in comfortable silence for a while, walking through the snow that had settled on the ground of Hogwarts. I tightened my coat around myself, thankful that I was beginning to warm up a bit more. We were heading towards the lake, which we noticed seemed to be iced over. I didn’t understand why he wanted to walk over here, but I was happy to if it meant I got to see James; I hadn’t spent much time with him in the passed few days, he was spending some time with William and I was finally focusing on my homework that I had been trying to ignore as well as spending more time with Isabella. Michelle was talking to me again, but was spending less and less of her time in the common room. I figured she was just spending her time with Lucien, in the hopes of convincing him to go along with her ideas for Quidditch. James had been sending me letters, though, even if we couldn’t see each other, which I was surprised about, but was enjoying. They hadn’t been about much of anything, he was just asking how I had been since the other night; apparently James had fallen asleep as soon as he had gone back to the dormitory and didn’t wake up until William pushed him out of bed the next morning for sleeping so long.

 

“I wonder how solid that ice is?” James mused, causing me to look at him as he shoved his hands into his pockets.

 

“I’m assuming pretty solid, seeing as though it’s frozen water,” I said with a small laugh.

 

“Don’t laugh at me, Abigail,” he told me, turning to look at me and reaching an arm over to try and poke me, but I moved out of his reach. “I bet that I could go through it.”

 

“I bet that you’re an idiot, you wouldn’t do that. It’s stupid to even think that you could,” I told him honestly. Anyone that thought that diving through an icy lake was a good idea was a mad man.

 

James had a glint in his eyes and he seemed to be pulling his wand out of his pocket; he handed it to me and I took it before looking at it and then him in confusion. He backed up roughly a dozen steps before blowing onto his un-gloved hands as though warming them, whilst trying to psych himself up for something. Realisation crossed my face on what he was about to do, just as he had taken his first running step.

 

“James, don’t!” I cried, but it was too late. Before he neared the edge of the lake he jumped in the air and grabbed his legs, and he cannon balled through the ice as easily as a hot knife cutting through butter. I could only look on in shock as I ran to the edge, dropping his things next to me, careful not to fall in myself and wait for James to resurface. That nutter better not be drowning.

 

He surfaced with a large gasp of air and I felt my heart beating madly; those few seconds had to be the longest ones of my life.

 

He looked around, with wide, shocked eyes, before finding where I was kneeling. My knees were in the snow, I was now starting to feel the cold freeze through me and I was getting goose bumps appear on my arms and legs. James began swimming slowly towards me, as though his arms and legs were heavy.

 

“Oh, shit. It’s fucking freezing in here!” James cried loudly. I could hear his teeth chattering as he trod water. I was staring at him wide eyed; I was torn between being fearful for his health and laughing out loud. “Abi... help me.”

 

“James, this has got to be the craziest thing I’ve seen you do,” I told him, trying to think of a way that I could get him out of the lake without getting wet myself. I didn’t see how it was possible. He swam towards me, pushing past the small pieces of ice that had been floating on top of the water, but were now broken up thanks to James.

 

What kind of idiot just runs and jumps onto ice, thinking that doing a canon ball into the lake was the best thing to do in that moment? He was going to get hyperthermia and here I was trying to stop myself from laughing. It wasn’t my fault, it was the look on his face when he canon bombed into the ice and realised halfway through that he was going to actually go through the ice that had me laughing.

 

“I think this is the worst decision I’ve ever made,” James said as he reached the edge and attempted to pull himself out of the water, with the help of my hand to pull him back onto the snow covered ground.

 

“I regretted that instantly,” he said standing up and wrapping his arms around himself as he shivered violently, his shaky breath was coming out in clouds and his hair was dripping icy cold water down his face.

 

I instantly took off my coat and put it around his shoulders, “Let’s get you up to the hospital wing before you die of pneumonia.”

 

“Well, that really woke me up. Why did I do that? I don’t know what I thought I was expecting to happen, but it certainly wasn’t that,” James told me, putting his arms into my coat and doing it up on himself. It was a bit tight but he managed to fit into it, pulling the furry hood up so that it covered his head. I grabbed hold of his arm and began steering him away from the lake and over to the castle as quickly as we could manage to walk. I could feel the nip of the icy wind hitting me and the coldness of the day was beginning to spread through me. I hated to think just how cold James was in that moment.

 

“Remind me to never do that again,” James told me as we made it to the castle and walked inside. I was grateful for the heat that warmed me, but I could still feel the cold in my arms, as though it was trapped in my sleeves.

 

“I think that fact that you might catch a very severe cold or pneumonia might be a big enough reminder,” I told him as I pulled him towards the staircase so that we could begin the walk up to the hospital wing. I hoped that James had enough energy and strength to get there; I didn’t fancy carrying him or dragging him. I would probably end up leaving him in the corridor, bundling him up with some tapestries hanging from the walls or trying and wrap him up in a rug, but thankfully I didn’t have to resort to that as James managed to make his way to the hospital wing.

 

“Mr. Potter, what have you done to yourself this time?” Madam Ashwin asked, guiding James over to an empty bed across the room and nearer to the fireplace that was heating the room up. She quickly walked over to a cupboard and pulled out what looked like a long shirt that would reach to past James’s knees.  She handed them to him and quickly moved away so that she could shut the curtain around James and the bed. “Get changed out of those wet clothes and put those dry ones on before you catch your death!” she told him through the curtain.

 

She turned to look at me and saw that I was shivering as well. “What on earth have you two been doing?” she asked me, the scolding tone was still in her voice.

 

“James fell into the lake,” I told her quickly, ignoring the fact that I was telling a lie. I could hear James’s teeth still chattering together even from behind the shut curtain. I tried not to think about the fact that James was getting undressed not that far from me and tried to focus on Madam Ashwin. “I helped him get out and then I gave him my coat because he was shivering so much. I brought him up here straight away,” I told her; at least that part was true.

 

“It’s a good thing that you did, once James is changed you should go and stand by the fire to warm yourself up.”

 

“I’m ready,” James called through the curtain not too long afterwards. Madam Ashwin pulled the curtains back open and made James get into the bed. She checked his temperature as she waved her wand at the clothes he had been wearing; they instantly hovered in front of the fireplace so that they could dry off. I stood next to them, including my coat, and let the fire warm me up as I looked over at James.

 

“I can’t believe I’m basically wearing a dress,” he muttered to me as he got comfortable in the bed.

 

I gave him a smile. “I think it suits you,” I told him.

 

“Maybe if I had the right shoes...”

 

I laughed out loud at his statement; trust James to come out with something like that.

 

“I could do with some shoes or socks at the moment, my feet are freezing,” James said. “Or some slippers. I would kill for some slippers right about now. I think you should give me your socks.”

 

“I’m not giving you my socks; you’ve already had my coat.” I told him, I’m glad that my feet weren’t cold; my trusty boots were doing a good job at keeping the cold out of them, well, that and my thick, furry socks.

 

“What kind of friend are you? Not even willing to give me socks for my freezing cold feet? I could get frostbite,” James told me. The cover of the bed was pulled up to his chin as Madam Ashwin came over with some potions for him to take.

 

James took them obediently and Madam Ashwin left us alone as she told us that she would be updating her files as the potions began to work their magic.

 

“If you hadn’t have been wearing your pyjamas under your school uniform today, then you could have been wearing them now. Actually, if you hadn’t have jumped in the lake you wouldn’t be in this situation now, would you?” I said to him.

 

“Am I about to get lectured? Because it feels like I’m about to be lectured.” James asked me with a small smile at me as he pulled the covers more around him. I walked over to his bed and helped him lift the covers so that his back was covered as well. I reached into my pocket and pulled out James’s wand, placing it gently onto the side before looking back down at him. He was looking up at me with an adorable expression on his face, his hair half flat against his forehead whilst the rest was beginning to stick up again and he looked so helpless and small wrapped up in the covers like that and it was like he was building himself a little cocoon.

 

“No, I think that you’ve learnt your lesson,” I told him, tucking him in some more and finding my hand resting itself on his shoulder. I realised what I was doing and tried to brush the moment off and pretend that it didn’t happen. I gave a small cough and ran a hand through my hair, pushing it out of my face.

 

“You should be careful that the cold doesn’t make your cold come back,” James told me. “As adorable as your voice was, I don’t want you being ill again.”

 

“You probably should have thought about that before you jumped in a lake covered in ice in almost zero temperatures, therefore needing my coat before you caught anything yourself,” I informed him. I didn’t want my cold to come back either, I had only just got my voice back to normal and didn’t want to lose it again either. “I hope that you’re going to have a long bath or shower after you’re out of here, because you smell a bit like pond.”

 

“Well that’s nice of you to say,” James laughed. “And here I was about to ask you if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend.”

 

“What?” I asked in shock as what he said hit me, did he just ask me out to Hogsmeade? Especially a Valentine’s day Hogsmeade trip? Didn’t he have anyone else that he wanted to ask? “Did you hit your head on a rock when you crashed through the ice?” I asked him slowly, unsure if he was joking.

 

“I don’t remember, but as soon as I went under the ice all I could feel was the pain of the cold water, so there’s a high possibility. But my question still stands; do you want to go to Hogsmeade with me?”

 

“It’s the Valentine’s day one,” I told him slowly, wondering if he knew what day he was asking me to go to Hogsmeade with him and hoping that he wasn’t concussed.

 

“Funnily, I’m aware of that fact. I think I read it on the notice that was put up in the common room,” James stated, looking at me expectantly. I was looking back at him with shock, still not believing that he was asking me to Hogsmeade.

 

“Is there no one else that you would rather go with?” I asked him as I looked down shyly, scuffing my foot on the floor as I felt myself becoming embarrassed. What would I do if he did actually want to take someone else?

 

“I personally want to go with you,” James said and he seemed to be faltering in his words as he spoke them. “That is why I have asked you.”

 

“Oh,” I stated. He did want to go with me, he wasn’t joking. I looked back up at him and saw a small hint of embarrassment and a small hint of fear of rejection on his face as he waited for my answer

 

“Yeah, I would love to go with you, James,” I replied, scuffing my shoe again as I bit my lip to keep myself from smiling widely. I glanced up at him to see a gleeful look on his face now; the embarrassment and fear had completely gone.

 

“I’ll let you know what time to meet me; I just need to do something with William in the morning so I’ll probably meet you at around midday,” he said happily.

 

I nodded eagerly and went to open my mouth to say something, but I was cut off by a bell sounding around the castle. I looked around the room for the source of the noise, before realising that the bells meant that the start of dinner had arrived.

 

“Do you think that you’ll be allowed out of here for dinner?” I asked him. James gave a shrug at me in answer.

 

“Maybe she won’t let me out for a while,” James admitted, nodding in the direction of the office. “I’m quite hungry, I could starve up here.”

 

“Do you want me to bring you something up? I could sneak you a few rolls?” I suggested.

 

“Just rolls? I’m disappointed in you; I think when we go to our date at Hogsmeade I’m going to have to work on your sneaking and stealing skills,” James said with a scoff as though he was actually disappointed in me.

 

I grinned widely at his use of the word date. I was going on a date with James Potter to Hogsmeade. I wanted to jump up and down on the spot and cheer loudly at his words, but I used all of my energy and strength to stop myself.

 

“Are we going to spend the date being criminals?” I enquired. “Because I’m not sure if I want to go down the route of criminal mastermind.”

 

“You probably should have said something before I asked you out on the date; well it’s too late now, no going back. It’s going to be a date of a lifetime, one that you will remember for years to come.”

 

I grinned. “That’s making my expectations of the date get really high; I hope that you can deliver on these promises.”

 

“Oh, I’m good at delivering on my promises,” he told me with a wink.

 

“If you didn’t, then I would have no choice but to tell everyone that you wear dresses at night time.”

 

“No one would believe you,” James said with a loud gasp at my threatening words. “I shall deny the entire thing.”

 

“I could take a picture of it, I would show the whole school.”

 

“You don’t have a camera; there will be no photographic evidence so people would just assume that you’re lying,” James told me with a smug grin.

 

“I could get one from my dormitory, I’ll sneak in at night when you’re sleeping and I’ll take my picture then.”

 

“I should probably tell the headteacher your plans, we could have a serious stalker issue on our hands here. If you wanted a picture of me, Abigail, you only have to ask me. I will quite happily pose for you.”

 

I laughed at his words and shook my head. “It’s not my fault that you’re enjoying wearing the night gown as much as you do.”

 

“It is quite roomy and comfortable, you girls have some great ideas, I might have to see if I can keep this one.”

 

The sound of Madam Ashwin’s footsteps coming towards us stopped us continuing with our conversation and we both turned to look at her.

 

“Abigail, are you feeling a lot warmer?” she asked me and I nodded. “Then you may go down to dinner. James, I’m afraid that you’re going to be in here for a bit longer.”

 

“Oh, what? I’ll miss dinner.”

 

“You should have thought about that before you dived into the lake when it was iced over. You’re lucky I don’t send a letter back to your parents about this, maybe they could knock some sense into you?”

 

“Highly unlikely,” James told her honestly, “They’ve been trying for years, yet the stupid recklessness still manages to come through.”

 

“It’s going to get you seriously hurt one day, James.”

 

“Good thing I’m not a serious guy, then.”

 

Madam Ashwins lips thinned into a tight lipped smile as she shook her head at James’s words, before walking over to the other patients in the room to tend to their injuries and maladies.

 

“I should head off to dinner.”

 

“Okay, I’ll send you an Owl later, if I ever spring myself out of here. I don’t think I’ll last much longer.”

 

“I’ll be back to bring your rolls,” I told him happily as I grabbed for my coat and began backing out of the room.

 

“Make sure they’re the good rolls, I don’t want any of that brown bread,” James called after me and I nodded and waved at him. “Don’t leave me for too long.”

 

I left the room and walked down the corridor, hugging my still damp coat to myself as I did so, but I ignored it as I thought about how James had asked me to Hogsmeade with him. My grin was wide on my face and I skipped for a few steps as I struggled to keep my excitement to myself.

 

James had asked me on a date to Hogsmeade.

 

“What’s made you so happy?” Isabella asked me as I took a seat opposite her and next to Michelle and Sian as I sat down at the Hufflepuff table, stuffing my coat down onto the floor as I looked at the food and decided what I wanted to eat. I noticed that we only had brown rolls today; James wasn’t going to be happy.

 

“Nothing,” I told her coyly, struggling to keep the grin off of my face, not wanting everyone to know incase I had actually dreamt James asking me to Hogsmeade.

 

Michelle turned to look at me and I could sense Sian looking at me out of the corner of her eye as she waited to find out what I was so happy about.

 

“It’s clearly something, spill the beans, Higgs,” Isabella said, holding her hands out to stop me from grabbing some of the shephards pie. I gave a loud fake sigh as I looked around us all to check that no one was paying us any attention before leaning forwards to whisper to them.

 

“James just asked me to Hogsmeade on Valentines day,” I told them.

 

Isabella’s reaction really shouldn’t have surprised me; she let out a loud shriek of excitement, which caused the noise in the hall to dim slightly before picking back up and lots of people had turned to look at her in question. Isabella threw a hand over her mouth as she looked at me in horror at her actions.

 

“I’m sorry,” she told me honestly, through a gap in her fingers. “But I’m so excited.”

 

I smiled; that was how I wanted to act, how I probably would still be acting later that night when it was safe for me to.

 

I turned to look at Michelle who was looking at me in shock, her fork halfway to her mouth. She blinked rapidly as she placed the fork down before seeing that I was watching her and waiting for her reaction. She gave me a smile that I saw didn’t meet her eyes and she didn’t say anything else. Isabella grabbed my attention before I could dwell too much on Michelle’s reaction, even though my stomach was now twisting nervously about why she was reacting like this. Why couldn’t my best friend be happy for me?

 

“You need to tell us everything!” Isabella told me happily and I grinned again as I put some food onto my plate now that she wasn't stopping me.

 

“I’ll tell you all later.”

 

“This is so exciting,” Isabella told me, looking at Sian who was nodding as well, before looking at Michelle.

 

“I’ll have to wait for the details until later,” Michelle informed me. “I need to go and see Lucien.”

I nodded at her, before picking up my fork and beginning to eat my dinner.

 

“Well, I can’t wait to hear, so I hope you don’t mind telling the story more than once. I’m actually so excited, I’m going to help you pick out your clothes... we don’t have long to plan!”

 

I grinned again. In a few days I was going to be going on a date to Hogsmeade with James. I couldn’t wait.

 

“We’ll have to save the plans for later, I’m going to visit him in the hospital wing after dinner. I promised to take him up some rolls.”

 

“He’s in the hospital wing? Is he alright?” Isabella asked me in concern and I nodded.

 

“Yeah, the idiot just decided it would be a good idea to test the strength of the ice on the lake,” I informed them and Sian gave a small laugh as Isabella shook her head. Michelle had gone quiet beside me and the only reason I knew she was still there was because she was sitting beside me.

 

I ate the rest of my dinner listening to Isabella and Sian telling me about their day. Michelle had left us with a short goodbye and I didn’t know whether or not to follow her and ask what was wrong, but Isabella kept me talking. I made a mental note to ask Michelle what was wrong with her, knowing there was little to no chance of her actually telling me. Maybe I should ask James if I could borrow his cloak or map and follow Michelle to find out where she was going.

 

I looked down at my watch, realising that I should head up to the hospital wing to take James some food; there were no more rolls left so I figured that I would just grab some cakes. Surely some food is better than no food.

 

“I should go,” I told Isabella and Sian. “I’ll see you in the dormitory later, yeah?”

 

They both nodded at me and I wrapped the cakes in a clean napkin before leaving the hall and beginning to make my way back up to the hospital wing. Before I even made it there, I saw James walking towards me happily. I didn’t realise he would be let out this early; he was wearing the clothes he had on when he jumped into the lake and I hoped that they were dry.

 

“Did you discharge yourself?” I asked him before I could stop myself, knowing that it was highly likely that he left without being told to.

 

“No, Madam Ashwin said that I could go, as long as I agreed to take two more of the potions she gave me. I think she was annoyed with the amount of whining I was doing about being hungry.”

 

I laughed as I shook my head at him before holding out the napkin of cakes; he took it and opened the napkin, letting out a surprised noise at seeing that it was cakes and not the rolls he was expecting.

 

“I’m impressed, maybe we’ll make a better criminal out of you yet,” he told me and I grinned as I rolled my eyes and shoved him with my shoulder. He began to eat one of the cakes before passing me the other one; I took it happily and we both ate as we walked, not caring what direction we were heading in. We ended up in a corridor which had suits of armour lining the walls and I tried to think of where about in the castle we were, as James walked up to the suits of armour and pulled a sword off of one of them before walking to another to do the same. He turned back to me and held one out and I took it slowly.

 

I looked at him in shock. “Did you really just pass me a sword?”

 

“I may have done,” James told me with a shrug, holding on to his own and swinging it around. I made sure that I was out of sword range.

 

“You’ve only just got out of the hospital wing and you’re already planning to play with swords? Do you want to go back?” I asked him, looking down at the sword in my hands.

 

James laughed and shrugged at me, still swinging the sword around him and trying out different poses with it.

 

“Won’t the statues be upset that we’ve got their swords?” I enquired, wondering why the swords were loose on the statues anyway. Surely the teachers would want it so that no students, like me and James, would take the swords and try to run each other through with them. Maybe the teachers actually trusted us?

 

“And what would we do with these swords?” I asked him, holding the sword in my hand and feeling the weight of it; it was quite heavy and I admired anyone that wore a suit of armour whilst wielding a sword at the same time. They had to have some serious fitness going on. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do both.

 

“We have a sword fight of course, what else would we do with them?” James asked me, throwing the sword in the air and catching the handle with his other hand, he gave a smug grin before getting into a fighting stance and pointing the sword at me, I couldn’t resist a chuckle at the way that he was standing and the stupid look on his face. “What else would we do with swords? Pick the left over roast beef from our teeth?”

 

“We haven’t had roast beef in days; if you’ve still got some in your teeth, you’re clearly not brushing them and I am quite worried and disgusted.”

 

“I haven’t got roast beef in my teeth; I was just saying that for emphasis. Now draw your sword, I challenge you to a duel!” James cried the last part and I shook my head and rolled my eyes at him before I held out the sword myself.

 

“Are you not going to have a proper stance when you hold it? How would I know that you are ready for a fight?” James asked me.

 

“Like this,” I stated, before hitting his sword with mine. He let out a gasp at my action and hit my sword back with is own.

 

“That sounds like fighting talk to me,” James told me.

 

“You are the one who wanted to have a sword fight, and it was also you who passed me the sword. So if anyone is speaking fighting words, then it’s you!” I told him honestly as I thought back to how this started; it was entirely James’s fault. I just hoped that this didn’t escalate too far, I didn’t want to end up wounded, minorly or even fatally. I wouldn’t be impressed at all, I also don’t think that the healer, headteacher or the school board of governors as well as the Ministry of Magic would be that impressed if James managed to run me through with a sword. I’m not sure how he would explain it away anyway. Then James would have to tell my family that he had killed me with a sword and my dad would destroy him. What a sad day for James, having not only run his friend through with a sword, but also being destroyed and possibly killed by his idol. I really couldn’t see this sword fight ending well, and yet I did nothing to stop it happening.

 

“Shouldn’t you be saving me instead of fighting me? Kind of like I’m a Damsel in Distress?” I asked him, still trying to hit his sword with my own, the fear that we were going to seriously injure ourselves fading with the amount of fun I was actually having.

 

“I thought you might want to fight, you know all that girl power stuff, equal rights and the like,” James stated.

 

“Sometimes us girls like to be saved,” I told him honestly. James considered this for a moment before waving his sword and hitting the blade of his to mine, the sound of the blades hitting each other echoing around the corridor and I knew that it wouldn’t be long before we were caught by someone.

 

“Maybe we are two rivals, who secretly have feelings for each other, but we battle it out in a sword fight.... to the death!”

 

“I’m not sure that I like that outcome,” I mused, with a small frown at his words. Was he pretending to have feelings for me? Before I could think more on the meaning of his words I brought my sword forwards to hit James’s again. James thrust at me with his sword and I dodged out of the way, before swinging around and bringing my sword up to hit his. He blocked it quickly. I swung again and he jumped out of the way, doing a roll on the floor before jumping back up and doing some kind of flip to show off. I watched him in surprise; I was more surprised that he didn’t manage to cut himself with the sword. Whilst I was watching him, though, he used the opportunity to grab my arm and pull me towards him so that we were almost nose to nose, his blue eyes staring into mine as he smirked at me.

 

“There’s no way out of this, Higgs,” he breathed, his warm breath on my face. I glanced down at his lips quickly before I looked back up at him. My heart beating madly at the close proximity that we were in. I bit my lip to stop myself from smirking; I was failing.

 

“Oh, no,” I wailed dramatically. “However will I get you to let me go?”

 

“I will let you go on one condition,” James whispered. We were still flush against each other and I could feel his chest rising and falling with every deep breath he took.

 

“And what’s that?” I asked him, beginning to find myself getting lost in the smell of him, his coconut shampoo was filling my nose; I loved when he used that shampoo.

 

“A kiss,” he said tenderly.

 

I stilled at his words.

 

What?

 

Before I had a chance to respond, not that I knew how to, James was leaning forwards and placing his soft lips against mine.

 

I thought that my whole body was going to melt; he pulled away from me all too soon and was looking at me expectantly he seemed nervous.

 

I stared at him for a while, realising that his arm was still around me, pulling me to him. I was unsure what to do, all my mind could think of was the fact that James had just kissed me.

 

James Potter kissed me after asking me earlier if I wanted to go to Hogsmeade with him on a date.

 

I might scream in excitement.

 

I realised that he was watching me, waiting for my reaction; at the moment shock was the biggest emotion.

 

“Oh, what do we have here?” came a cackle from a few feet away from us. James and I pulled away quickly and almost jumped away from each other and looked in shock at the source of the voice, only to see that Peeves was floating around and laughing at us. We both let out a groan of annoyance.  

 

“What do you want, Peeves?” James asked, looking up at the poltergeist with a frown.

 

“Tut, tut. Two sixth years making babies in the corridor.”

 

“We were not ‘making babies’,” James told the poltergeist with a small frown, “That is not how you make babies.”

 

“It is a good thing that Peevesy stopped you both, yes it is. We don’t want the ickle firsties to see this when they come down here.”

 

“Why don’t you go and bother someone else, Peeves? I hear that Filch is around somewhere and I bet that he would love to get a visit from you.” James tried to coax the poltergeist away from us both, knowing that Peeves never missed an opportunity to annoy the getting-quite-old-and-should-probably-think-about-retiring-soon, caretaker, Mr Filch.

 

“You won’t be getting rid of Peeves that quickly, Peeves should be teaching you both a lesson.” The poltergeist nodded at his own words and looked over at us both. I was worried that Peeves would start throwing things at us. I glanced down at my sword trying to think if you could use one against a Poltergeist; I mean, he didn’t even have a body, how would I be able to use it against him?

 

Peeves saw me looking down at the sword and gave a loud laugh. “You won’t be able to get Peeves with a sword,” he cackled loudly as though the idea was so ridiculous that he couldn’t think of anything else funnier. “A sword hurt Peeves?” he asked rhetorically, laughing again and rolling about in the air. I watched him as James inched closer to me and grabbed for my hand; I turned to look at him and gave him a questioning look. James glanced up at Peeves quickly, before looking back at me and nodding his head behind him. I instantly knew what he meant for us to do; he wanted us to run away whilst Peeves was distracted.

 

Without thinking about what would happen if Peeves followed us, we both took off at a run down the corridor. As James was a lot faster then I was he was practically dragging me down the corridor by my arm, but I didn’t mind, it was getting us away from Peeves.

 

I heard him calling behind us as he noticed that we were leaving. “Oi, get back here! Peeves is not finished with you, you can’t run from Peeves.”

 

We heard his cackles following us down the corridor as I ran after James, letting him guide me. Well, more like drag me down different corridors and through different doors; I had no clue where he was taking us and I was just putting my full trust in him. I just wanted to get away from Peeves. I really hoped that he would get tired of chasing us soon or get distracted by some other unsuspecting person.

 

“I think we’re going to have to split up,” James told me honestly as he pulled me into a small alcove and glance out for a sign of the poltergeist. “I’ll distract him, then you can run back to your common room.”

 

“What will you do?” I asked him, not wanting him to sacrifice himself so that I could get away.

 

“Don’t worry about me, I can get away from Peeves,” he told me, giving me a wink before rushing out of the alcove and running back the way that we just ran from. I peered out and saw him antagonising the poltergeist before running away again, Peeves following him with a loud cackle.

 

I waited in the alcove for a few more moments, trying to keep the smirk off of my face at the fact that James had kissed me, before walking down the corridor and trying to stop myself from giggling.

 

 


Chapter 24: The One Where My Heart Tore To Pieces
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Here's a new chapter for you all! Let me know what you think! Next chapter shall be soon. A huge thanks to my Beta Sam for her help on the chapter! :D

 




I walked around the castle aimlessly, unsure what exactly to do with myself.

There were no classes and no one to be around. Michelle had mentioned talking with her Quidditch teammates when she rushed off this morning, I assumed that they were talking strategies and plays, mainly because that is what Michelle had been mumbling about the whole morning when I had seen her at breakfast.

I would have spent my time with James, but he too was busy with his own Quidditch related reasons; he was currently training for Gryffindors upcoming Quidditch match against Hufflepuff. Michelle had been annoyed at the fact that Gryffindor had booked the entire pitch for the whole day so that they could train, but I knew that Hufflepuff had booked the pitch for the day after tomorrow, so I think that it was fair that Gryffindor had time for themselves to train.

The match between my house and James’s house was going to take place on the sixteenth of February, and both teams were quite excited. I knew that Gryffindor weren’t going to be training on Valentines day as James had said his teammates had flat out refused to miss a day out at Hogsmeade, not that their captain would have made them stay and train. Hufflepuff wasn’t going to be training either, as they all wanted to go to Hogsmeade instead. Well, everyone except for Michelle, who would have been happy enough to train all day. If she ever did make captain I knew that she would have tried to force her teammates to stay and train; they would have staged a riot and probably would have performed a mutiny. So, I guess that it was good that she wasn’t the captain of the team.

But still, tomorrow was going to be Valentines day and I was beyond excited. I was going to be in the village on a date with a boy. Instead of walking around the village talking to Michelle, or rather, listening to Michelle moaning about how everyone was sad for catering to the needs of the consumers who had made up the day so that they could sell merchandise that was unnecessary and unwanted. I rolled my eyes whenever she spoke of this as I knew that if Ethan had asked her out she would be one of the ‘mindless drones’ or ‘bunch of sheep’ that she called everyone who was on a date on Valentines day.

I on the other hand liked the idea of this day; it was good to have a day that was dedicated to love and people's feelings for each other. I know that they could just celebrate their love any other day of the year and probably should, but it was still nice to have the love around, no arguments, just happiness. And now I was finally a part of it, I was no longer going to be the loser that would be dateless and have to hang around with my equally dateless friend. And I was not just going with any guy, I was going with James Potter.

I kept having to stop myself from screaming in excitement and jumping around the corridor doing some sort of a happy dance. If someone had told me at the beginning of the year, that I would be spending my time at Hogsmeade on Valentines day with none other than James Potter, I would have laughed in their faces. But now I was going to be with him.

At the time I was annoyed by the fact that I had been the victim of a cruel joke with the love potion, but it had made James talk to me more and we have been getting to know each other and becoming closer as the days have gone on. It’s been good. I seriously couldn’t imagine not having him in my life, or not having him around me anymore, in all honesty. It had felt like he had been in my life the entire time, how had we not been talking before?

As cliché as it sounds, he really has made my life different, he’s made me a much more confident person, and he’s made me happier. I hoped that my present for him was going to be good enough and not pathetic. Ever since I had found out that he liked comics, I had been toying with the idea to make my own for him and call it ‘The Unspeakable’. It would be about James being a superhero and fighting crime and I had been working on that instead of my homework. I just hoped that he would like it enough; I hadn’t had the guts to show any of my friends my work, so it was a big deal for me.

I grinned to myself as I walked further down the corridor and towards the girls toilets, wanting to take a quick stop in there and check my hair; the wind from outside had caused it to fly over my face and I was worried that it looked too much like a birds nest.

Although when I was at the mirror I heard voices of a group of girls outside the toilet. Knowing that I didn’t want to be accosted by them or end up facing them when they could be mean or say horrible things to me, I decided to dart into the nearest cubicle until they had left the room. I was a coward I know, but I really didn’t want to face them and have my good mood ruined.

“I can’t believe that Valentines day is tomorrow.” One of them was moaning and I vaguely remembered hearing the voice but couldn’t place who it belonged to. “That’s not enough time to even begin getting ready.”

“And you need all the time you can get,” a different voice said snidely, but with a joking tone to their voice. The other girls laughed.

“Speaking of needing all the time in the world to get ready. Did you hear who James Potter is taking to Hogsmeade?” came one of the shrill voices of one of the girls. I resisted groaning out loud at her words, now I definitely couldn’t go out there now that they were talking about me. I hoped that they would change the subject and just leave, but I knew that they were all hanging around the mirror and putting on more makeup.

“It’s that Abigail girl, isn’t it?” one of them asked. Someone else laughed at the mention of my name.

“Poor girl. Although I think it’s hilarious what he has planned, though. I can’t believe that she hasn’t noticed anything yet, it’s so obvious to the rest of us.”

These words piqued my interest immediately. What were they on about? What had James planned?

“I know, especially because his friends aren’t exactly quiet on the subject, are they?”

“I feel sorry for her, she doesn’t realise that James is just playing her, that he’s going to stand her up in front of all of his friends. Apparently they’ve been planning this from the start of the year on the train, if only she had just continued walking and ignoring James then he wouldn’t have picked her as his victim.”

The world seemed to be spinning and I placed my hand on the wall, trying to keep myself steady on my feet.

“It’s sad that she clearly thinks that he actually wants to talk to her and be her friend. Why couldn’t she see that he was never interested in her?”

“It should be entertaining, though, tomorrow. We should probably hang around and see it happening, I know that all of James’s friends will be watching.”

I wanted to throw up, they had to be lying. James wasn’t like that, James wouldn’t do that to me.

“I heard him laughing with William and Rebecca over it.”

“No wonder Rebecca hates her. I would hate anyone that was hanging around with my boyfriend so much.”

I shook my head as tears prickled in my eyes. They had to be lying; James wasn’t dating Rebecca, he told me he wasn’t.

“Speaking of which, did you hear that Rebecca and James were caught kissing in the Greenhouses last week?”

“It was only by that Addison girl –”

“Who?”

“You know, the Quidditch obsessed one.”

“Oh, the one who had that massive crush on Ethan Richards?”​

A loud laugh erupted from them all as I tried to blink the tears from my eyes, struggling to not give in to my sobs. I didn’t want them to catch me, I didn’t want to see their faces and have them know that I had been listening.

“That is hilarious.”

“Isn’t she meant to be Abigail's best friend?”

There was a scoff.

“Some best friend she is.”

The girls laughed together whilst I felt like my heart was going to rip apart. I couldn’t believe it, he wouldn’t do that to me, he wouldn’t treat me in this way. If Michelle knew she would have told me.

I wiped my eyes with my shaking hands as I stepped out of the cubicle slowly, peering around to make sure that the coast was clear before coming out of the cubicle fully. I couldn’t get my head around the thoughts that were now running through my head. James wouldn’t do this to me, he wasn’t like what they said. I knew him.

Or did I?

We had only been talking for a few months and that was only because of the love potion. We didn’t hang around with any of his friends, or even talk to them, except for the odd occasion that William joined us. Maybe he wanted to keep me away from them so I wouldn’t find out?

If he was actually secretly dating Rebecca that would explain her reaction towards me.

My mind was racing. I didn’t want to believe it, I couldn’t believe it, but certain things were beginning to flit into my brain, things that I hadn’t paid much attention to before.

The looks shared between James, Barry and Elijah during classes. The way that Barry and Elijah would look at me in class before whispering and laughing with each other. The fact that William was always going on about this ‘big’ secret that James had and now there was the countdown that William had given James, in my guesses it was to reveal it. I tried to think of how many days William had given James to reveal it and realised that it would end tomorrow, which was Valentines day. Is that what he meant by it all? Was it all a plan for the big reveal on Valentines day to be him standing me up in front of everyone so that they could laugh about it? Is that why he wasn’t going to be meeting me in the castle, but in the village because he was ‘meeting up with William’ in the morning.

Everything was fitting into place, everything that I hoped wasn’t even true. But it made sense, what other reason would he have for being so friendly to me? For wanting to be a part of my life? For always being around me?

I stumbled out of the toilets and walked down the corridor, not really focusing on where I was going, but knowing that I needed to move. I kept my head down so that no one could see me crying, which caused me to bump into a few people, who walked on by as if I was nothing.

Because I was nothing. I had always been nothing.

I didn’t even realise that I was heading towards the Hufflepuff common room until I was standing in front of the barrels and it took even longer to remember that I needed to use my wand to get in.

I was surprised that I didn’t get my face squirted with vinegar and got in first time, my mind was all over the place and my eyes were clouded with tears as I made my way to my dormitory, not caring who I had walked into, yet still managing to throw apologies over my shoulder at anyone I had walked into.

Snowball instantly came over to me when I sank onto my bed, jumping onto my lap and rubbing his head over my hand to get me to stroke him. I did, absent-mindedly as I let my sobs escape me, let the barrier come down and let myself cry loudly over what I had just found out.

It couldn’t be true. He wouldn’t do that to me. Michelle wouldn’t do that to me, if she had seen James and Rebecca together she would have told me. It would have been one of the first things she would have said to me when she found out. Although it would explain all of the dark looks she had been throwing him lately, the angrier than normal way she behaved towards him.

I shook my head roughly, I would talk to Michelle first, there was no point in getting worked up if it wasn’t true.

But that didn’t stop my tears from falling, it didn’t stop the uneasy feeling twisting my stomach and making me feel nauseous with every breath I took.

Michelle came into the dormitory about an hour after I had come back. She didn’t notice me for a moment as I was sitting with my back against my headboard with the curtains moved slightly to block some of the light in the room. It was making my headache worse.

“Abi? Are you alright?” she asked me after she had turned around and saw me. She must have seen my red blotchy face, I wasn’t the most attractive crier. I bet Rebecca still looked beautiful when she cried, no wonder James was seeing her. Why would he ever look twice at me?

I shook my head, eyes swimming with tears again and I willed them away. I didn’t think I had any more tears left in me to cry. Apparently I was wrong about that as well.

“No,” I managed to get out, my voice thick with emotion. I looked down at my hands and I felt the bed dip slightly as Michelle sat next to me.

“What’s wrong?” she asked me.

“I – I overheard something today,” I told her, hoping that I would be able to get the words out without crying again. “About James.”

“Oh?” Michelle asked after a moment and I knew that she had been hiding something.

“I heard a group of girls. They said that... they said that you saw James... and Rebecca.” The tears were blinding my vision again, I could feel them dripping down my face again, splashing onto my clenched hands.

She was silent and I didn’t know what to make of it. Begging her in my head to tell me that they were wrong, to tell me that she didn’t see anything and that the girls were lying. That James did like me, that the small kiss we shared was real.

“Did you know?” I asked Michelle quietly. She shifted on my bed and I didn’t want to look up at her, didn’t want it to be true.

“Yes,” she said equally as quietly, shifting slightly on the bed. I closed my eyes together tightly, but tears still managed to leak out, as my worst fears had been realised. He had been playing me for a fool. He had been using me. “I saw them at the Greenhouses.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her, finally looking up and seeing the guilt on her face. I was so angry, angry that I had fallen for James’ charms, that I had ignored Michelle when she had been trying to warn me off. That I was stupid enough to think that he cared about me in the slightest.

“Because I didn’t want you to be hurt,” she admitted, which almost made me scoff. She must have seen the disbelief in my face because she continued speaking. “It was why I had been trying to warn you off, I just had a feeling about him. I didn’t want him to hurt you, but when I saw them both together -” She stopped for a second as she tried to form her words, words that I didn’t want to hear. “-Abigail I’m sorry, I didn’t know how to tell you.”

“You could have told me the truth,” I told her.

“You wouldn’t have believed me,” she admitted and she was right. Part of me wouldn’t have believed her, part of me didn’t believe those girls until I had the confirmation from Michelle. But they both had to be right, Michelle would have no reason to lie about it and have no reason to have talked to those girls.

It had to be true and it was killing me.

“I’m so sorry, Abi,” Michelle said softly, placing her hand on my arm and I nodded slowly.

What the hell was I going to do now?

“I think I’m going to go to bed.”

“Abigail, I don’t think –”

“Michelle, please,” I told her angrily. “I just want to – I can’t, okay?”

Michelle looked at me, before nodding and standing up. I gave her one last look before closing the curtains to my bed fully, grabbing my wand to cast a silencing charm around my bed. Before using the last of my energy to sob into my pillow.








A/N: Please don't hate me!


Chapter 25: The One Where I Try To Avoid Everyone
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Massive thanks to my wonderfu Beta Sam. 

I really need to get back to doing some chapter images for thi





I’m not sure who told Isabella, whether or not she heard through the grapevine, or if Michelle had told her. But she came straight to my bed, pulling back the curtain and pulling me into the biggest hug she had ever given me. She didn’t say a word, just let me cry on her shoulder, waited for me to speak first as I clutched to her. No words came, but she didn’t seem to mind, just letting me get it out of my system.

Michelle just seemed to be awkwardly watching us and I knew it was because neither of us were the kind of best friends that hugged; she had a guilty look on her face that must have been from the fact that she didn’t think to hug me, but I didn’t mind. It was weird to others that we didn’t hug, but it worked for us. With Isabella it was different, she was a very huggy person and whilst it took a bit to get used to, I couldn’t have been more thankful right now.

After what was probably much too long, I pulled away from Isabella and wiped my eyes with my sleeve, giving her an apologetic smile for the fact that I had just cried on her. She just grabbed for my hand and squeezed it gently, shaking her head slightly in a silent message to not worry about it.

“When you’re ready to talk, I’ll be here,” Isabella told me. I smiled weakly at her. “Even if it’s the middle of the night.”

I nodded as I sniffed, trying to give her a thankful look as I didn’t trust myself to speak yet. I didn’t want to dissolve into sobs again, I was feeling pathetic at how much I had actually cried over this.

That night I spent the entire time awake, my mind racing too much to let me sleep for long. I had woken to the sounds of my sleeping roommates and the overwhelming darkness that the late hour brought, as well as an overwhelming urge to draw. I retreated from my bed long enough to freshen myself up and grab for my sketchpad and pencils from my trunk, settling back into bed, careful not to disturb Snowball at the end of the bed, and closed the curtains so that I could use the light from my wand to draw.

It was the only thing I could think of that would take my mind off of things, the only thing that I wanted to do. I had let my drawing take a back burner, focusing my time on school work as well as being around James. I wouldn’t let it go this long again, I would focus all of my attention on my work. It was going to be my career after all.

I’m not sure when I fell asleep, but I woke up to the sounds of Isabella waking me up by speaking softly from next to me. I opened my eyes when she began gently prying the pencil from my hand and looked at her as she gave me a small smile.

“These are amazing,” she told me, nodding her head in the direction of the papers that were scattered across my bed. I had gotten quite a bit of work done, just letting my mind go on autopilot as I lost myself in drawing. The result had been a small comic detailing the beginnings of a woman getting revenge on her ex superhero boyfriend who broke her heart.

I gave a shrug as I sat up and wiped the sleep from my eyes. I didn’t know how to react when people complimented my work, not that I allowed many people to see it. James was going to be one of those people and now he wasn’t. Tears prickled in my eyes at the realisation that I was going to show James my work, that he had sounded so interested and it had all turned out to be a lie.

Isabella took hold of my hand comfortingly, her thumb running over the skin of my hand as she waited for me to talk.

“I wish I could hate him,” I admitted tearfully, my voice sounding as small as I felt in that moment as my emotions overwhelmed me. My words were true, I really wish that I could hate him.

“I can hate him enough for you,” Isabella offered, drifting into a silence as she waited for me to continue talking. When I did I felt like I was just exploding with everything that was in my mind, I knew that some of it wouldn’t even make sense, but I needed to get it out.

“What does any of it matter? It was all a lie, it was all for show. He was obviously playing me for a fool and I’ve let him. I’ve fallen right into whatever trap he had. You all warned me, Michelle told me time and time again that it wasn’t real, that he was planning something, that he was doing it for a laugh,” I cried, wiping the tears that had now fallen, roughly from my eyes with my free hand as I gave a sniff. I could feel my nose running and I knew that I looked like absolute hell. “Why couldn’t I see it?”

“Because you wanted it to be real. Hell, we all wanted it to be real for you, we wanted you to be happy. I thought that he was a nice and decent guy, but ... things have changed now,” Isabella told me honestly. “I’m so angry at him, I just want to hurt him.”

I shook my head. “I don’t want this to go on, I want it to stop. I want to forget about it. Which means that I will cut him out of my life, which I should have done before. I should have listened to Michelle, she was right all along.” I removed my hand from her grip and ran it over my face wearily. “Why was she right?”

I wiped my eyes again, failing at keeping the tears at bay. I wish I could stop this, I wish I didn’t let it affect me this badly. But it had. I had let James in more than I had let anyone else in, I had talked to him about most things, I had let my guard down. I thought that he liked me.

Why didn’t he like me?

How could he treat someone like that?

“I think I’m just going to stay up here all day, I don’t want to face everyone,” I muttered quietly to Isabella, who looked at me for a moment before nodding her head. “I don’t want to be the laughing stock of the school.”

“You’re not the laughing stock of the school, Abigail.”

“I feel like it,” I admitted, scrubbing a fist over my forehead in annoyance. “Why did he do this? What has he achieved in doing this?”

Isabella watched me again, unsure what she could even say to make me feel better. I gave a sigh before I moved back into my bed and lay down, bringing the cover over me and bringing it up to my face. Not caring that my drawings were still across my bed, that I was probably ruining them.

I wished this didn’t hurt as much as it did, I wished what I heard was a lie.

I just wished that James would tell me that it was all a lie, that he would make me trust him.

~~

“Abigail?”

I blinked as I heard the voice next to me. I hadn’t even realised that I had fallen asleep. I must have cried myself to sleep. God, I was so pathetic.

“Abigail,” the voice said softly again. “Are you going to come down to dinner?”

I felt a hand on my shoulder; trying to comfort me and I recognised that the voice belonged to Michelle. She had come back from Hogsmeade and I had clearly slept until dinner. I really was pathetic if I had fallen asleep for that long.

I shook my head at her words as I closed my eyes again, feeling tired still.

“I don’t want to go.”

Michelle was silent for a moment before she moved away from the bed, moving her hand from my shoulder as she went.

“Did you want me to bring you anything back up?” she asked me, but I couldn’t answer. I was falling back into my slumber and I couldn’t find the energy to respond.

~~

I woke up again and noticed that it was dark outside, but that could mean that it was just after dinner; it got dark quite quickly. It didn’t help that the sky seemed to almost constantly be covered in dark clouds, waiting for a downpour of torrential rain, that or Snow.

I sat up in my bed and looked around the dorm, noticing that none of my room mates were in the room; they must either be still at dinner or down in the common room. I gave a sigh as I ran my hands over my face before pushing them through my hair, my thoughts going to James immediately.

I felt so guilty for having left him waiting in Hogsmeade, but I reminded myself that was his plan all along. He was the one who was faking it all, he was the one that was choosing to hurt me.

And boy did it hurt me.

I really didn’t understand it. How could he do this? How could he want to do this? What was he getting out of it?

Why wasn’t the James I had grown to like the real side of James? He must have been one fantastic actor to come up with all of that stuff, to make me feel like I had found a really good friend, possibly more. But I had been right, I had been true in thinking that it was too good to be true, that he couldn’t possibly like me in the same way that I liked him. He had been faking the entire time.

There had to have been some things that he told me that was true, the whole comic book love couldn’t have been faked, he knew too much. He couldn’t have researched that all and remembered, he had to have a love for it there. But the other things?

I gave a sigh and told myself to not cry again - it wasn’t worth it, he wasn’t worth it.

I turned in my bed and went to grab my wand off of my bedside cabinet so that I could light the candles in the room when I noticed a plate on my side, napkins placed on top of it. I allowed a smile as I realised that Michelle had brought me up some food. I was so glad that she had done this, I didn’t think that I had the courage to go down to the Great Hall and face James and all of his friends, who were probably laughing at me. I could picture Rebecca's smug grin on her stupid face and realised that she was probably in on the whole thing too. Maybe they had conspired together? That might explain why Rebecca was so nasty to me at times.
But I didn’t understand what I could have done to deserve to be their target. To deserve to be treated in this way.

I just wanted to disappear, I wanted to go home and never come back.

I wished so hard in that moment that I wasn’t at Hogwarts.

I heard footsteps coming back into the dormitory and I settled back into my bed, closing my eyes, pretending that I was asleep, hiding my wand next to me. A cowardly thing to do, but I didn’t want to face their questions again.

“Can you believe that he’s playing the victim in this?” I heard Isabella say angrily as she walked into the room. She stopped for a moment before giving a sigh. “Is she still asleep?”

I heard someone else taking a few tentative steps towards me before walking away, muttering a whispered, “Yes.”

“I just want to wring his neck for hurting her. Abigail doesn’t deserve this, she’s so amazing.”

“Have we thought that maybe someone got it wrong? Maybe it’s just a rumour that got out of hand?” Sian’s voice said and I felt my stomach twisting horribly at the thought. The thought had crossed my mind so many times, mixing with the guilt at just standing James up at Hogsmeade.

“Michelle saw him with her own eyes, people overheard Barry and Elijah talking about it,” Isabella hissed, keeping her tone low so she didn’t wake me. “I can’t believe he had the audacity to look so downtrodden during dinner. If I didn’t know any better, I would have felt sorry for him.”

There was shuffling from the other side of the room, the two of them must have been sorting their bags out for school in the morning. I was so sure that I wasn’t going to go, I had Muggle Studies and I didn’t want to have to face James. I knew, though, that I may not have much of a choice.

“I still can’t believe he had the nerve to ask me if he could talk to her,” Isabella hissed angrily and I perked my ears up at that, my heart stopping slightly. He still wanted to talk to me after everything. “'I don’t know what I’ve done to upset her, but can you please tell her I’m sorry,’” Isabella stated with a scoff.

“I would have told him where to shove his apology after what he had planned,” Sian said as I felt my eyes watering under my closed lids. I didn’t dare open my eyes otherwise they would know that I was listening to them.

“Yeah, well, unlike him I have more respect for Abigail’s feelings. If I attacked him in the Great Hall people would talk and she would be talk of the school. No matter how much he deserves to be hurt and as much as I want to.”

“She didn’t eat the sandwiches you brought up for her,” Sian stated after a while of silence and I realised that it wasn’t Michelle who had brought them up for me. My heart swelled at how great a friend Isabella was being. I wished I could thank her, but then they would know I was awake.

“She’ll get around to it when she wakes up. We’ll let her sleep for a bit longer.”

They both began talking about their lessons the next morning and I zoned them out as I was left with my thoughts again.

I was dreading tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to face any of the Gryffindors. I would be alone in some of my lessons with them, I wouldn’t have Isabella backing me up and I needed her to get me through the day.

I wish I was as strong as she was.
 


Chapter 26: The One With The End Of A Friendship
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N my silly computer copied and pasted the document twice so I'd like to apologise for that. A massive thank you to Sam for being my Beta
Hope you all enjoy!

----------------

My hand was aching as I scribbled furiously on the parchment in front of me, continuing my work from the night before. I didn’t sleep last night, no matter how hard I tried to. Instead I stayed up, finishing my comic book, adding in little details and colouring in the pictures I had drawn.

“Are you coming down to the Quidditch match?” Michelle asked me. I looked up from the parchment with a frown; it was eight in the morning, and the match wasn’t until one in the afternoon.

“No. Are you going early?” I asked her. It wasn’t surprising that Michelle would choose to go early, but by five hours?

“Abigail, you do know that it’s nearly ten, don’t you?”

I looked up at her words, my hand stopping the movement of the quill, staring at her for a moment before looking down at my watch. Wow, how on earth had nearly two hours passed without me realising?

“Oh,” I said, looking up at her and seeing that she was hanging around by the end of my bed. I noticed as well that Sian and Isabella had both disappeared from the room. When that had happened, I don’t know.

“I think that you should come down to the match,” Michelle told me, her tone sounding firm, giving the impression that I was about to have no choice in the matter.

“I’m not going.” I shook my head, picking my quill back up so that I could continue my colouring. “I don’t want to see him.”

“Come on, Abigail, it’s been two days now.”

“It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what’s happened,” I snapped at her without meaning too. I didn’t look at her, keeping my eyes firmly on the parchment. “Two days doesn’t make everything better and forgotten.”

“I know that. I just thought you would stop hiding out in here,” Michelle told me honestly. “You’re stronger than this, and you don’t need to keep hiding up here.”

“Then you clearly don’t know me as well as you claim. I’m not that strong.”

“Come on Abigail, it was just a crush –”

“Michelle, I said that I wasn’t going to go. Can you please just stop?” I told her, my grip tightening on my quill as I tried to stop myself from throwing it at her.

“Fine,” Michelle stated, moving away from my bed and walking out of the room without another word to me.

I didn’t have the energy to deal with falling out with her as well as James. Why couldn’t she be more supportive? Why couldn’t she understand that I wasn’t going to magically get over this ‘friendship’ with James in two days? I thought that he was a lot more than just a friend; we connected so well, in such a short amount of time he became like one of my best friends, I thought that he liked me as more than a friend.

I couldn’t just forget that as quickly as Michelle expected me to.

Sighing, I put my quill back down and rubbed my hands over my face, attempting to scrub away my tiredness before looking down at Snowball, who was licking his paws.

“Should I go to the match?” I asked him. I didn’t want to, I knew that it would hurt me to see James. But I knew that it was something that I would have to begin doing; I had to go back to classes tomorrow and I had Muggle Studies. Surely it would be better to see him from afar first, rather than breaking down in the classroom.

Snowball stopped licking his paw to look up at me, blinking at me with his tongue still sticking out slightly.

“You’re right, I could sit at the back and finish my work,” I stated, picking up my pieces of parchment. “Maybe if I sit far enough at the back I won’t see anyone else, they won’t all laugh at me –”

I trailed off as I thought of how many people probably know what had happened by now, how many people were whispering about me and speaking about me behind my back.

The door opened and I was surprised to see Sian had come back; she glanced around before spotting me and walking over to me.

“Abigail, I think you should come with me,” she told me seriously, sounding a little out of breath as though she had rushed here.

“Why?” I asked her, feeling my stomach twisting nervously at the serious look on her face. “What’s happened?”

“Isabella had a word with James - I say a word, she yelled at him,” Sian admitted and I wanted to groan. I’d told her that I didn’t want anything else to happen, that it wasn’t worth it. “Then she yelled at William and I thought that they were going to get into a fight, but she stormed off instead. But that’s not before we realised something... it’s just better if you come with me, Isabella can explain it a lot better.”

I watched her for a moment, my body not wanting to move as I tried to think about what it was that they knew. I didn’t want to be another joke in the school, if they told me something else about James’ fake friendship with me I didn’t know if my heart would be able to take it.

“Why couldn’t Isabella come up here to tell me?” I asked her, finally slowly standing up as I dropped my pieces of parchment to the floor and slipped on my shoes.

“She’s so angry, she told me to get us both to meet her because she had something to do,” Sian explained honestly.

I nodded slowly, grabbing my jumper and pulling it on over my clothes that I had changed into in the early hours of this morning. Sian handed me my coat and I was wary about why.

“It’s really cold in the castle,” Sian told me, noticing my weary gaze.“Come on, I don’t want to leave an angry Isabella out in the castle too long. I honestly think that she might slap someone.”

I followed after Sian, intrigued as well as a bit worried about what I would be met with as soon as I stepped foot out of the dormitory and into the castle, seeing the people that I had been avoiding. It was surprising when no one even glanced up at us as we walked through the busy common room.

“What’s going on, Sian?”

“It’s –” Sian began, stopping for a moment as though she was trying to think of a way to word what she wanted to say. Before she could get another word out the sound of someone yelling caught my ears.

Sian sighed before looking at me.

“Is that Isabella?” I asked and Sian nodded. I was beginning to feel sick, nervousness filling me and making my head swim a little as I began to catch her words.

“You have some right bloody nerve!”

My gut was telling me that it was probably James that she was yelling at. I didn’t want to see him; I didn’t want him to see just how humiliated I was over the entire thing.

“I know, I’m sorry. But I had to.”

Confusion settled over me. That was Michelle’s voice; why was she here? And more importantly, why was Isabella yelling at Michelle and not James as I thought? I took a few more steps, knowing that I shouldn’t eavesdrop, but I wanted to know what was going on. These two may bicker a lot, but there was nothing that would warrant this kind of reaction out of both of them. I turned to look at Sian, who didn’t look surprised to hear Michelle’s voice.

“You had to?” Isabella cried indignantly. “You’re her best friend!”

This was about me. This had to be about me. I had no idea what was going on but a nauseous feeling was beginning to run through me. What happened? What did Michelle do?

“I didn’t mean for it to get this far. I tried to warn her away from him, if she had listened I wouldn’t have done it. She should have listened,” Michelle stated in an annoyed tone and I felt the sickness getting worse. She blamed me for this?

“So, because you were jealous of her friendship with James, you had to ruin it? Ruin it so much that you not only destroyed your ‘best friend's’ life and broke her heart, but you also made sure the guy who was actually interested in her disappeared from her life.”

Michelle didn’t say anything, but I didn’t need to hear her say anymore, this was more than enough.

I wanted to throw up; I thought that my knees were going to collapse from under me at hearing what I just had. Michelle had done this; Michelle was the reason why everything was ruined, because she had ruined it. She had made sure to destroy mine and James’ friendship because she was jealous. She was meant to be my best friend.

“He didn’t do anything wrong, did he?” I heard Isabella growl angrily.

“No.”

The tears were prickling at my stinging eyes, as Michelle’s words ran through my brain. James didn’t do anything, he wasn’t any part in whatever it was that had happened, and he didn’t actually know what was going on.

I felt my feet moving as anger filled me. I turned around the corner and stopped. Neither seemed to have noticed me. I’m not sure if Sian followed me or stayed behind.

“Please don’t say anything, I promise I’ll sort it all out. I don’t want her hating me.” Michelle was pleading with Isabella, who looked as angry as I felt.

“No, I will not keep this for you. I will not have her not knowing that her ‘best friend’ could stoop this fucking low,” Isabella growled out and I was thankful, thankful that I at least had one friend who was looking out for me.

“Please, she’ll hate me!” Michelle cried, holding a hand out that Isabella recoiled from.

“It’s a bit too late for that,” I stated in a low and calm voice, although I wasn’t feeling that way. Both of them turned around to face me, their eyes widening slightly in horror, before Isabella turned to glare at Michelle again.

“Abigail,” Michelle began, taking a few steps towards me. “I can explain.”

“How could you?” I asked her, cursing my eyes for watering so much. Michelle’s face dropped, but not before she shot Isabella a glare as though this were her fault.

Michelle stated quickly, “I was talking to Rebecca –”

“The girl who tripped me? The girl who wanted me to stay away from James because she wanted him?” I asked. “The girl who hates me?”

Michelle nodded. “Its how I came up with the idea to lie about James. I thought that if Rebecca hung around James more, you would see what he’s really like and you would have forgotten all about him and your silly crush. When that didn’t work I had to change it.”

My fists clenched.

“It wasn’t just a silly crush.” I shot out. I wanted to hit out, I wanted to cause pain, but I wouldn’t.

“You never would have had a chance with him. I was trying to help you, trying to make you see,” Michelle told me honestly, giving a small shrug as though it were no big deal, trying to turn this around so that I was the one over reacting. Like always.

“But I did have a chance with him!” I cried angrily, “He liked me. He wasn’t lying like you told me; he wasn’t faking it like you convinced me and so many others that he was.”

“He would have only broken your heart in the long run. I was saving you the hassle -”

“How? How do you know that? Is it because I’m not good enough for him?” I interrupted her quickly.

“You’re not,” Michelle snapped and it stung at my heart that she actually did think that. “We’re not from the same circles, he’s popular and we’re –”

“Not ‘we’ just ‘you’. James didn’t care about any of that; he liked me because of me. He didn’t expect me to change for him, he told me everything about himself, and he opened up to me.”

“If you two are such ‘great friends’ why the hell haven’t you told him who your dad is? Why are you keeping that a secret from him if you trust him so much?” Michelle shot back at me.

“Because I – ”

“Because you were scared that he was only interested in you because of whom your dad was. I know you were and I was just trying to save you being hurt in the long run from finding out that was exactly what he wanted.”

“You don’t know him.”

“Neither do you,” Michelle growled, her arms folding across her chest.

“I know him a lot better than I know you, and you were meant to have been my best friend for years.”

“I am your best friend, don’t be stupid.”

I shook my head, “You’re not. Best friends do not treat each other this way, they don’t make up lies and rumours about the other, they don’t put them down, tear at their self confidence and use it against them to make them stay. They don’t bully or belittle the other, they support and help. They encourage crushes, dreams, aspirations. They tell each other everything about themselves because they know that their friend is going to be there to support them.”

“I do support you,” Michelle began angrily and I gave a scoff, pushing my long brown hair out of my eyes angrily.

“When I told you that my dream job was to work in comics like my dad, you laughed and said it would never happen, that I was just wasting my time and the only way I would get in was through him,” I told her, remembering the words that she had told me all those years ago, the amount of times she would scoff when I would talk about what it would be like when my own ideas were finally out in the world. “I got accepted to be an apprentice in America when I graduate from here next year and I did everything myself, none of them know who my father is, I did this because of my own talents.”

“You got in?” she asked in shock, her arms dropping from her chest as she stared at me, looking hurt that I hadn’t told her. I almost laughed.

“That’s right and I was too scared of hurting your feelings over it all that I was trying to work up the courage of how to tell you, I was even beginning to come up with plans on how I could come back and see you, or how I could have you come and see me. But now that you’ve shown your true colours, I don’t need someone like you in my life, I don’t need it.”

“I said I was sorry,” Michelle tried, reaching her hand out to stop me from walking away from her, from walking away from this joke of a fucking friendship we had going on.

“Sorry isn’t enough this time. Sorry will never be enough,” I told her angrily, dodging away from her outreached hand. I was done with this, I was done with her. “I lost him because of you.”

“You haven’t lost him.”

I frowned before whipping my head around at the sound of the new voice; I had totally forgotten that we were in a corridor, where anyone could overhear us.

William was standing next to Isabella, his arms folded across his broad chest as he stared at Michelle incredulously.

“I haven’t?” I asked softly, my voice failing slightly as William’s words gave me hope.

William turned to look at me, his face softening as he did so. “No, you haven’t.”

I gave a breath of relief, running my hands through my hair to push it out of my face. I haden’t lost James. Michelle hadn’t ruined everything for me.

“I knew that something must have happened when you didn’t show up to Hogsmeade,” William stated to me. “James had found me an hour after you were meant to meet each other.”

Guilt plagued me, the nauseous feeling returning to me at his words. James had waited for an hour for me and I didn’t show up.

“We both assumed that something had happened to stop you coming, he was all set to come and find you to ask what happened, but we bumped into fuck face over there,” William nodded in the direction of Michelle. Isabella gave a small laugh at Williams’ words. “James asked her if she had seen you and Michelle had told James that you didn’t want to see him. That you didn’t know how to let him down gently that you weren’t interested in him. At first we didn’t believe her, but we figured what reason would she have to lie? She was your best friend and she sounded so bloody convincing.”

“Did you seriously do that?” Isabella demanded for me. I was glad. I didn’t want to turn and face Michelle; I wasn’t sure what I would do. It was killing me that someone I trusted was treating me like this, making sure that I was hurt because they were jealous.

Michelle didn’t say anything. I was honestly surprised that she had stuck around; I thought she would have run off.

“I can’t believe you,” Isabella spat, moving forwards to grab for my arm and pulling me towards her, shooting dark looks at Michelle. “Let’s leave; if we stay here I might actually hit her.”

I let myself be guided down the corridor, William walking next to me as I waited for him to explain more, and Sian trailing behind us.

“I can honestly say that I never saw James that upset and I hated you a lot for making him feel that way. I wanted to come up and see you, demand what your problem was, but James stopped me,”

“I didn’t, I swear I didn’t,” I said quickly, hoping that he could see how sorry I felt about the entire thing.

“I know that now, Isabella was the one who made me see that something had happened,” William admitted, nodding at Isabella who was now holding my hand in support; it was enough to calm me and make me focus. “That was mainly because she nearly punched me in the face in her attempts to attack James.”

I turned to look at Isabella, who shrugged in reply. “What can I say? I’ve got your back.”

I was so grateful for her, I wasn’t sure if she would ever know just how much. She seemed to know, though, squeezing my hand and smiling at me before I turned to look back at William.

“I didn’t appreciate you man handling me,” Isabella shot at him.

“I didn’t appreciate you trying to punch me in the eye,” William shot back, a smile playing across his lips. “After I had gotten her away from James, she began yelling abuse at us. Telling him that he was a complete pillock, how dare he treat someone so amazing in such a shitty way. That she hoped he was proud of himself for ruining everything and for destroying your life. That confused both of us instantly and we ended up in a very heated discussion about what we had both heard.”

It was all fitting together, the reason why James didn’t come and find me after I had stood him up, why I didn’t hear anything from him. Which helped me believe Michelle’s lies.

“When we were still yelling at each other, Sian came up to us and told us that her sister had heard Rebecca telling her friends about how James was now going to be hers. That she had finally gotten you away from him,” Isabella told me, nodding in the direction of Sian as we walked out of the castle and across the path. I realised that we were heading in the direction of the Quidditch pitch; we were the only ones as it was still too early for the beginning of the match.

“That was all this morning around breakfast,” William said, finishing the story, and I couldn’t help but feel so much anger directed towards my now ex-best friend. I still couldn’t believe that she could do this to me. “James wanted to come and find you, but he had to go and talk to his Quidditch captain and couldn’t come and find you, so I volunteered. That’s when I found Isabella yelling and saw you.”

“Where is he?” I asked William. I wanted to find James; I wanted to tell him that I did like him, that it wasn’t my fault all this happened.

“He should be down on the Quidditch pitch still, the games isn’t for another few hours so I’m hoping he’s still down there,” William stated. I nodded, taking my hand out of Isabella’s sprinting towards the pitch. I heard Isabella cheering behind me and it spurred me onwards.

I stopped running as soon as I got to the doors that would lead me onto the field, my chest was hurting and my throat was stinging as I gasped in air, but I didn’t care. I needed to find James.

I slowly walked through the doors, trying to calm my breathing. The nerves were getting too much that they were enough to make me stop and run away, but I needed to see him, I needed to apologise and make things right. I needed to make sure he knew that Michelle had been lying, I did like him.

James was standing in the middle of the pitch alone, a Beaters bat in one hand and what looked like tennis balls in his other. He was throwing it up and down in the one hand, catching it easily before throwing it in the air and hitting it as hard as he could with his bat.

He did this a few more times before he realised that someone was behind him.

“William, did you find her?” he asked, throwing another ball in the air and hitting it with the bat. If he wasn’t a Seeker I knew that he would have made a good Beater.

“It’s me,” I said softly as James threw another ball into the air, but he missed it with the bat as he turned around to look at me in shock.

“Abigail?”

I stopped walking and looked at him; I had no idea what to even say. It was awkward and I hated it.

“I’m sorry,” I said honestly, my hands wringing together in front of me nervously. I hated this tension, hated what had happened. “I’m so, so sorry for standing you up.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” James told me, taking the few steps to close the distance between us as he dropped the bat to the floor.

“I never thought for one moment that Michelle would do something like this. She’s meant to be my best friend,” I told him sadly. I still couldn’t believe that Michelle would have done something like this. “How could I not trust her, though? I mean, I don’t get why you talked to me in the first place, you’re amazing and popular and I’m nothing.”

James grabbed for my hand and I looked up at him; he had a hard look on his face and he furrowed his eyebrows together. The tension and awkwardness was slipping away as we looked at each other.

“Don’t ever think like that about yourself. You’re an amazing person, Abigail. That is why I wanted to talk to you. Well, the whole love potion incident kind of forced me into declaring my feelings before I was ready to.”

Part of me didn’t believe him and it must have shown on my face because James was quick to speak again, stumbling a little over his words.

“I’ve honestly wanted to talk to you for a while now,” he admitted, looking a little embarrassed to be admitting this information. “You can ask William if you don’t believe me.”

“Seriously?” I asked in shock.

“Seriously,” James repeated. “I spent most of the summer talking with William to give me the courage to begin getting to know you better”

I was so surprised at this; he had talked about me to William?

“On our train ride back when I was running down the corridor, I was actually running to find him. He’d threatened to tell Elijah about my feelings for you and I ended up running down the train trying to find him. But I ran into you instead.”

I nodded slowly, trying to process his words - he had feelings for me.

James waited for a moment before he spoke again, as though he was trying to work up the courage to say the next words.

“I thought I was going to be able to handle my crush on you. That I’d be able to ignore it. I assumed that you weren’t interested in me that way. But then I smelt that damn love potion and everything you’ve done since then has reminded me of it. The honey lip balm, the ink you spilt in class that one time, the parchment has got to be the comic books. The only thing that hasn’t made an appearance is strawberry. William finds this all so bloody hilarious of course, he even gave me a bloody timeframe of when I had to admit my feelings for you before he told you for me.”

I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I reached down into my bag and rummaged around in it, until I could find what I was looking for. I pulled it out and handed it to James, who took it slowly and looked down at it. A wide grin filled his face ad he shook his head in disbelief.

“I can’t believe this.” He laughed, running a hand over the back of his neck as he looked up at me. “Strawberry chewing gum?”

I nodded, leaning closer to him as I tried to stop my stomach from turning to slush at his admission. He liked me; he smelt things that reminded him of me in the love potion.

“I smelt things that reminded me of you,” I admitted myself and this made him look up, a grin beginning to spread across his face.

“Oh, yeah?” he asked, his hand finding mine and causing me to blush. He placed my packet of chewing gum into his pocket as he moved to hold my other hand as well.
“Yeah, parchment –”

“That’s just copying me,” James stated, interrupting me. His fingers laced into my own, his warm hands spreading heat through me at his touch.

“I’m not copying you. There was also chocolate, which you gave me after the love potion incident. The coconut of your shampoo, strangely enough apple was in there... but I haven’t noticed that around you.”

“We’re clearly not meant to be,” James whispered, resting his forehead against my own as his hands left mine to skim across my waist.

“Clearly...” I managed to squeak out as I tried not to think about the amazing feeling going through me at the feel of his hands on my hips, or at the fact that his lips were close to brushing over mine.

“...I’m clearly destined for William,” I replied my own voice coming out huskily. “I saw him eating an apple the other day.”

James’s eyes lit up in humour and his grip tightened on my waist, pulling me closer to him. “I’m not going to let him near you; I want you all for my own.”

He closed the distance between us, pressing his lips against my own in a gentle kiss, taking the breath out of my lungs as I gripped hold of his arm through fear that I was going to stop breathing and end up collapsing.

“That’s of course if you want me,” James told me as he pulled away to ask me.

“Of course I do,” I stated, feeling like I was on cloud nine. I wasn’t sure if this feeling was ever going to go away.

James seemed happy with my answer as he pressed his lips lightly against my own again. It was the most wonderful feeling I had ever felt, the butterflies in my stomach were going crazy and I thought my heart was going to beat out of control.
James slowly moved his lips against my own, parting slightly and I instinctively followed his lead, my legs feeling like jelly when I felt the gently press of his tongue against my own.

I can’t believe this is happening. My first proper kiss was with James Potter, the person I had the biggest crush on for so long now, and here I was making out with him. I wanted to laugh in excitement, jump around and scream loudly, tell the entire world. James titled his head a bit more to the left, which caused our teeth to clack together.

“Oh god,” James groaned in embarrassment as he quickly pulled away from me, his face was flushing and he put his hand over his face. “I’m sorry. That was my fault; I got really excited and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I’ve wanted to kiss you. Did I hurt you?”

I couldn’t help but giggle. “I’m fine. It’s alright.”

“No, it’s not. I wanted our first proper kiss to be amazing and then my giant bunny teeth got in the way,” James told me, dropping his hand from his face and putting it on his hip as he shook his head. “I’m so disappointed in my own body, it’s like it’s out to get me.”

“You don’t have bunny teeth,” I tried to tell him. James came closer to me, flashing his teeth at me so that I could look at them.

“Look at these bad boys, taunting me with their extra length,” James’ voice was muffled as he was pulling his lips back slightly and pointing at his front teeth.

“Well... aside from food in them, I don’t see any other problems. They just look normal,” I joked, glancing up to see that James looked horrified, before trying to pick the imaginary food out of his teeth.

“Oh no,” he exclaimed, turning away from me so that he could get the food out. I instantly felt bad for my joke.

“No, James, I’m joking. It was a joke,” I told him, grabbing for his arm to turn him. He dropped the hand from his mouth slowly.

“Really? You’re not just saying that to make me feel better?” he asked me and I nodded. “This isn’t going how I thought that it would, our first kiss was meant to be perfect.”

“It was perfect,” I told him honestly, wrapping my arms around myself as a grin spread across my face at the thought of James’ lips against my own.

“You deserve a better kiss, preferably one with fewer teeth,” James admitted and I shrugged.

“We could always practice,” I said without meaning to. “I mean, if you wanted to of course.”

James responded by taking my hand gently and moving closer to me, leaning down to kiss me again.

“It’s about fucking time.”

I pulled away from James as I jumped at being scared by the voice. I was too lost in my kiss with James to realise that someone had arrived at the Quidditch pitch. We both turned and saw that William and Isabella were both watching us, Sian wasn’t with them. Isabella had her hand gripped around William’s arm as she jumped up and down in excitement. There was even a smile on William’s face, as he glanced at her and rolled his eyes at her behaviour.

“I’m so happy, we actually came down here to make sure that Abigail didn’t kill you,” William admitted. I felt James’ hand gripping my waist and pulling me closer to him so that he could wrap his arms around me in a hug.

“Nope, no killing here,” James admitted and I smiled as I leant my head against him, my own arms snaking their way around him.

“Come on, William, we should get going,” Isabella stated grabbing for William’s hand to pull him away.

“Yeah, we should leave the two love birds alone,” William told her with a laugh as he let her drag him away.

“I don’t know why I keep you around,” James yelled after William’s retreating form. William turned around; hand still in Isabella’s to yell back.

“Because you love me.”

“If I squeezed you as much as I loved you, you’d explode,” James shot back with a grin, causing William to groan loudly. It must have been an inside joke between the two that I hoped one day James would share with me.

“Now, where were we?” James asked me as he turned back towards me.

I giggled before leaning towards James to kiss him.



Chapter 27: The One Where I Learn More About William
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I can assure you all that I haven't forgotten about this story! There are no plans to abandon it at all and I am going to continue it. I can only apologise about the wait. 

A massive thank you to my Beta Sam, for being awesome!




“I have to go,” James said sadly and sounding reluctant as he leant his forehead against mine.

I nodded, unable to actually process anything let alone form words. I was still breathless from the kiss that I shared with him, and my mind was still reeling from everything that had happened in the last hour alone.

I looked up into his eyes, grinning before I could stop myself and James pressed his lips against mine gently and in one final kiss before moving away from me. The warmth of his hand left my hip and I shivered slightly as I blinked around me. I had forgotten that we were stood in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, which would soon be filled with everyone in the castle.

“Yeah,” I said slowly, finally finding my voice again as I pushed my hands into my pockets.

James bit his lip as he looked down at his watch and letting out a groan. “I wish I didn’t have to, I wish I could stay with you.”

“You have to go. I don’t think that Gryffindor will be too happy if you miss the game,” I told him shrugging, even though I wish that he could stay with me.

“You’re worth it.” He bent down to pick up the bat and the tennis balls as I felt my cheeks redden at his words. “Are you going to watch the match?”

“Of course, there’s a really good looking guy who plays for the Gryffindor team,” I joked daringly. James looked up at me and smiled. “Think I might have to ask him out on a date.”

“Nathan Thatcher get’s all of the girls. It’s those damn boy band looks and the fact that he’s a Chaser.”

I laughed at him and shook my head at him.

“Are you sure? His dad is a famous musician.”

I was surprised. “Is he?”

“No idea, probably.” James laughed and I shoved him away from me as I rolled my eyes at him.

“You should get going before you’re dragged to the changing room by your Captain,” I told him. I didn’t want him to go, but he had to get to the match; people were beginning to arrive. James looked almost reluctant as he turned around and began walking off, throwing me looks over his shoulder as I slowly made my way out of the stadium.

“And you shouldn’t be jealous of the Chasers. Everyone knows that girls love the Seekers,” I called back, which caused James to turn but continue walking backwards.

“Good to know. I’ll seek you out after the game.” He laughed loudly at his own pun and I chuckled as I turned away; the grin was beginning to hurt my face, but I didn’t care. I was happy.

--

William, Isabella, and Sian were waiting for me outside of the stadium and I was thankful. I didn’t want to have to sit on my own because I had lost them; at least Michelle would be on the pitch so I would have avoided being forced to sit with her.

I still can’t believe that she had done this to me.

Isabella was feeling the same way, the difference was the she was very vocal about it.

“Is there any way that I can throw something at her?” Isabella growled, glaring up at Michelle as she flew above the stadium. I had tried not to look at Michelle, focusing instead on where James was hovering and the sweets that William was sharing with us. Apparently, his dad had sent him a massive package of sweets and he was nice enough to share with the rest of us. Something he didn’t have to do.

“Don’t waste any of the sweets,” Sian stated, glancing at the ones in Isabella’s hands warily.

“I would never throw sweets,” Isabella shook her head, shifting in her seat as she brought her foot up to rest on the back of the stall in front of her, holding her hand out to William, who was sat next to her, to give her some more sweets. He obliged with a roll of his eyes.

“Does anyone have any weapons on them?” she asked, looking at each of us in turn.

“Not in this coat, love,” William said and I giggled. “Just sweets in this one.”

“Love?” Isabella scoffed, shaking her head at William. “Who says love anymore? Aside from old people that is.”

“Would you prefer Sweetheart? Pumpkin? Sugar? Hot lips?”

“Hot lips?” Isabella broke into loud laughter, causing the people in front of us to turn around and face us. I looked away from Isabella and William to find James again. “You’re ridiculous. COME ON GRYFFINDOR, KICK ADDISON OFF OF HER BROOM!”

I turned to look at Isabella, eyes widening slightly at her yell; quite a few people had turned to look at her again.

“You can be quite a scary person when you want to be,” William said. Our eyes met and I could tell that he was a little impressed. “Not to me, of course, I’m not scared of anything.”

I watched as Isabella turned to look at him with her eyebrows raised.

“We’ll see about that, ” Isabella told him, shifting in her chair. “Stupid Gryffindors with their bravery.”

“Half of it isn’t bravery, its stupidity.”

We settled back into watching the game; Hufflepuff were winning by twenty points, but I didn’t care. I wanted James to catch the Snitch; I wanted him to be happy.

“Why are you even over here in enemy territory?” Isabella asked William. I could see that she was leaning her shoulder against him, but William didn’t seem to care. It was weird to think that just a few hours ago she was yelling at him and threatening violence. “Shouldn’t you be sitting with the other Gryffindors?”

“And miss your commentary on hurting Addison? I wouldn’t miss that for the world.”

“It’s not my fault that she’s a bitch,” Isabella stated and I agreed with her wholeheartedly.

“Are you sure that you’re a Hufflepuff?” he asked her.“You’ve been quite threatening today.”

“I’m fiercely loyal to my friends. We’re not all hugs and pleasantries; she shouldn’t have been such a class A Bitch. Oh, how I want to hurt her.”

“I want to let you. I still can’t believe that she did this to me,” I stated, eyes focused on James. I could feel my eyes sting with angry tears again as I thought about how much Michelle had almost destroyed my life.

I found her flying around the pitch, glaring at her as I tried not to shake from my anger. I had no idea how I was even going to face her in lessons, or in the dormitory that I shared. I wished that I could avoid her forever, but I wouldn’t be able to.

I was terrified that she was going to play herself as the victim in this and that I would give in and forgive her, as I had always done. But, I was determined to be stronger; she had completely betrayed me and shattered my trust in her.

“GO ON, JAMES!” William yelled loudly, standing up and cupping his hands around his mouth to make his voice louder. The Hufflepuffs around us glanced at William, before turning back to the game and not saying anything. I watched as my boyfriend flew across the pitch, leaning low across his broom in an attempt to make it faster, hand outstretched in front of him and the Hufflepuff Seeker close behind him.

“COME ON JAMES!” I yelled with William and several Hufflepuffs looked positively scandalised that I was cheering for another team. Not that anyone said anything to me.

James managed to catch the snitch and me, William, Isabella,and Sian erupted in loud cheers and stamping of our feet. We should have been supporting our own house, but faced with the choice of supporting your ex best friend who almost succeeded in ruining your life, or the guy of your dreams, wouldn’t you have chosen the latter?

“In your face, Hufflepuff!” William called loudly. “You all suck.”

I turned in time to see Isabella get William into a headlock and pull him to the floor as she attempted to hurt him.

Of course, Isabella was the fiercest Hufflepuff that I had ever known; it wouldn’t take much for her to attack like a badger. We’re not always as placid as people think that we are.

--

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I haven’t got claw marks from your vicious and unnecessary attack on me in the stadium,” I heard William telling Isabella.

“Oh, you so deserved it. Be thankful that’s the only place I hurt,” Isabella shot back.

“You did hurt me in other places, but we’re in too public a place to show you. Although if you want to go somewhere a bit more private.”

My eyes widened in surprise at his words being so forward and I heard Isabelle chuckle behind me.

“You wish, Sutton,” Isabella shot back still chuckling.

They were both trailing behind James and me as we walked through the castle and had been flirting with each other ever since we had left the pitch. Sian had left us to go and find her sister and James had caught up to us about half an hour after the match was over. His hair was damp from the shower he had taken and he smelt of apples.

He grinned at me knowingly when he caught me sniffing his hair.

I watched as James frowned slightly as he looked at William and Isabella laughing with each other.

“Wow, they sure do work fast in their flirting,” he said turning to face me. I agreed with him. “It was only this morning I thought that she was going to beat the crap out of him.”

“The world works in mysterious ways,” I stated. And it really did, it’s strange to think how in a matter of hours your entire life could change, how you could be best friends with someone in the morning, then find out that they’re backstabbing and untrustworthy in the afternoon.

“It’s oddly unsettling, but at least we don’t have to worry about our friends not getting along when we hang out with each other,” James told me, pulling me closer and placing a kiss on my head. I felt myself blushing as he did so. I didn't think that I would ever get over the fact that I was now dating James, that he would be doing this.

I surely had to be dreaming. I had to keep pinching myself to make sure that I wasn’t.

“Wasn’t he seeing with some girl from Ravenclaw?” I asked, looking back at our friends. William was grinning at Isabella, who seemed to be miming kicking someone. I could guess that it was probably about Michelle or Rebecca. I turned back around as James gave his answer.

“That ended pretty quickly; apparently William’s sister doesn’t take too kindly with her brother sleeping with her friend.”

I couldn’t help but be shocked, glancing back at William, who was watching Isabella intently.

“Do you think that he’ll keep trying it on with Isabella?” I asked quietly. James shrugged, throwing an arm around my shoulder as we walked and left the two behind us.

“Probably, this is William we’re talking about; he wouldn’t look like it, but he’s a massive flirt. Like father, like son.” James chuckled at his own words. “The real question is if she’ll take the bait.”

“Is his dad a womaniser too?” I asked, I didn’t know anything about William’s life, aside from the fact that he had a twin sister and a younger brother.

“Duncan? No, he’s not a womaniser, he’s never liked women. He goes through a lot of men though, and he is the biggest flirt I have ever seen.”

I frowned as I processed his words and remembered that William had a twin sister and a younger brother.

“Was William and his brother and sister adopted?” I asked carefully, “You don’t have to tell me if William wants to keep it private.”

I knew that I was prying into James’ best friend’s life, and he probably wouldn’t even be able to tell me, but I couldn’t help but be curious about it.

“No, it’s alright, I can tell you. William won’t mind.” James guided me over to the stairs of one of the staircases and we took a seat on them; the corridor was empty so we weren’t likely to trip anyone up and it gave a chance for William and Isabella to catch us up, if they wanted to.

He looked around us before turning to me and speaking in a quieter voice. “Duncan is William, Sophie and Steven’s uncle on their mother’s side. Their mother was troubled; I’m not sure what exactly happened as William doesn’t like to talk about it, but William and his siblings ended up being taken from her and Duncan stepped in to look after them whilst she sorted her life out. Their dad had left and couldn’t be found and if Duncan didn’t take them, the Ministry would have found another home for them and split them all up. They’ve been with Duncan ever since.”

I was shocked; I really wasn’t expecting him to have that kind of background. I didn’t know what I could say to that, it was so sad.

“How old was he?” I asked softly. I really wanted to hug William, but I didn’t have the guts to.

“I met him when I was six. He wasn’t the talkative person that you see now; back then, he was so quiet and apparently wouldn’t open up to anyone. Duncan is my Aunt Audrey’s best friend and had come over when she was babysitting me. The minute that I saw William, I knew that we would be best friends and here we are now.”

“And the idiot has been the bane or my existence ever since.”

I jumped and whirled around at the sound of William’s voice, feeling instantly guilty that we had been discussing him. He didn’t seem angry or upset that we had done though and I noticed that Isabella wasn’t with him anymore.

“You love me really,” James shot back. “Where’d Isabella go? Scare her off already?”

“No, she said something about finding Sian,” he told us, sitting down next to me on the stairs and clasping his hands in front of him as he watched me. “She told me to say goodbye to you.”

I nodded, still staring at him and he glanced at James quickly, a slow shake of his head.

“You told her the entire thing, didn’t you?” he asked.

“As much as I know.” James replied.

“I’m sorry,” I said quickly, not wanting James to get in trouble for telling me. “I asked, I didn’t mean to pry.”

“No, its fine, I don’t mind,” William told me. He seemed genuine, but I couldn’t help but worry about repercussions. If this was with Michelle, there would certainly be repercussions. “You can ask questions, its fine.”

I nodded. I didn’t know what questions to ask that didn’t seem like I was prying too much. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to answer them. William seemed to realise my deliberation.

“How about I just catch you up with what James hasn’t told you,” he said, shifting so that he was turned to face me as he spoke, looking me in the eyes and I noticed that he seemed perfectly calm and happy. No hint of anger towards me at all. “No, I don’t see my biological parents. I hate my biological father with a passion; he has never been there for me. My mother I haven’t seen since I was twelve, she moved away and I have no idea where she went. I honestly don’t want to find her. I don’t want anything to do with either of them. To me, Duncan is the only parent I have ever known or want. He is my dad.”

I nodded. The urge to hug him was getting stronger and before I could chicken out I threw myself forwards and gave him a quick hug. I went to pull away quickly in embarrassment, but William wrapped his arms around me and held me to him.

“I’m sorry you had to go through that,” I told him honestly. I couldn’t imagine going through that myself.

“Hey, I’ve managed to get through it,” William told me as I let him go.

“Because you had Duncan, he’s pretty damn awesome,” James said, wrapping an arm around me and pulling me so that I was leaning against him as I faced William.

“Yeah, dad is. He officially adopted me when I was eleven and I took on his last name as soon as I was able to. Sophie and Steven aren’t ready for that step yet, it’s why our last names are different, but Sophie is still in contact with our biological father and mother. It’s only a letter once or twice a year, but that’s her choice. They tried to write to me once, but I burnt the letters. They didn’t try again.”

“I’m feeling sad for you again,” I told him honestly and William smiled.

“You really shouldn’t. I’ve got an amazing dad, I’m happy.”

I couldn’t help but watch him though, feeling sad again but happy that he had a great dad like Duncan. William rolled his eyes but smiled.

“Do we need to hug again?” he asked me. “Would that make you feel better?”

I nodded and he held out his arms for me to lean forwards and give him another hug.

“I hope that I can meet Duncan one day, he sounds amazing,” I told him honestly.

“Don’t worry, we’ll arrange for you to come over in the Easter holidays and you can meet him then.”

I nodded against his chest. Thankful that William didn’t mind that this information was confided to me and that he trusted me to know it.

--

“Do you know that I don’t think that I’ve officially asked you out yet?”

I thought about James’s statement as we walked slowly down a corridor. There wasn’t much for us to do after dinner that night, except stroll along some corridors. It was raining so we didn’t want to go outside, that and it was dark.

“Huh,” I stated, realising that he was right. Was he having second thoughts about wanting to be with me?

“Yeah, we should probably sort that situation out.” James told me, stopping our walk so that he could turn to face me. “Would you like to be asked in a romantic way, a dramatic way? Would you like a banner, which I would trail behind me on my broom when I flew around? OH! No, I’ve got it! There shall be a musical number performed in the Great Hall. I’ll get William in on it, he’s a great dancer. I can sing about my feelings for you.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at him, so hard that I was practically bent over in two and clutching at my stomach, which was beginning to hurt. James was laughing next to me, his eyes twinkling in amusement as he watched me. It was a while before I could stop long enough to speak.

“As fantastic as the musical number would be,” I told him honestly, because it really would be. “I don’t think that William would go along with it.”

“Nonsense, he loves dancing... although that might just be when he’s drunk?” James added as an afterthought.

“I think I’d prefer you just asking me,” I stated, feeling my cheeks heating up a little, feeling nervous at the thought of him asking me out officially.

“So, no banners?” he asked, sounding a little put out.

I shook my head, hoping that he wasn’t being serious.

“How would you like me to ask you?”

I shrugged. “However you want to.”

James shifted on the spot, looking nervous himself. I could tell because his hand had found the back of his head and was scratching it as he looked at me.

“But... what words would I say?” he asked me, sounding deadly serious.

“Will you go out with me?” I supplied for him, what else would he say?

“Yes, I would love to go out with you, Abigail.” James grinned at me and it took me a second to realise that he had just tricked me into asking him out.

My mouth fell open and I shook my head at him. James seemed pretty excited though as the hand fell from the back of his head and grabbed for my hand to pull me over to him.

“I can’t wait to tell everyone that we’re official, you’ve made me the happiest boy in the world,” he told me, sounding very much like a teenage girl as he spoke.

He really did know how to make me laugh.
 


Chapter 28: The One With The Protection of Sacred Pancakes
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I wanted to get this chapter out for you all now, even though it hasn't been through my beta yet. I shall edit that one in once I get it back, but I couldn't hold this from you any longer. :P 

Some good news as well and a question, first! I have written most of the next two chapters (YAY!) secondly! This story is going to continue through to the end of their seventh year, and I want to write from James', William's and Isabella's PoV's as well. So, would you rather I continue this as one big story and just change the PoV's, or would you rather I post it as a sequel? Let me know in the comment box. :D




“I love pancakes,” I told Isabella and Sian, smiling as I dug into the sizeable stack on my plate. I was waiting for someone to comment on how I shouldn’t eat so much – Michelle would always give me eye rolls and comment on how it’s not healthy – but none of them said anything. Isabella’s own plate was bigger than mine was and she was tucking into it without a care in the world and with chocolate syrup on her chin.

“Me too,” Isabella said, letting out a blissful groan that made me look around in embarrassment at the looks that were thrown our way. Isabella didn’t care as she wiped her chin with her hand and licked the chocolate sauce off of her fingers.

“Well, that noise should be made illegal.”

I turned around at the sound of William’s voice as he joined us, sliding into the seat next to Isabella. It was a late breakfast, but neither of us had classes first thing so we weren’t in any hurry.

“It wasn’t for you, Sutton,” Isabella told him, digging her fork into more pancake and shoving it into her mouth, I looked away from her and around the emptying hall, there was no sign of James anywhere.

“He’s had to go and have a word with Professor Longbottom; apparently there was a message from home or something?” William said as he turned to look at me. He must have read my mind. “James told me to let you know he’ll see you in Muggle studies.”

I nodded as I went back to my breakfast. I wonder what message James had gotten. Was I meant to ask about it? I’d never dated anyone before, so I wasn’t sure what I was allowed to ask about or not. I didn’t want to see like a crazy girlfriend who needed to know everything about their boyfriend.

That word still felt weird to say.

Boyfriend.

I have a boyfriend.

“You touch my pancakes again and I’ll make you regret ever being born,” Isabella warned and I looked up to see William holding his hands up in defence, although he was clutching hold of a fork.

“Calm down, they’re just pancakes,” William laughed as he shook his head and Sian winced next to us.

“You’ll learn that they’re not just pancakes,” Sian told us as Isabella moved so that she was shielding them from William.

William tried to reach for one and Isabella quickly brought her fork up and jabbed at him, narrowly missing William’s hand and catching the wood of the table instead.
William let out a cry of shock before shaking his head.

“You are a very violent Hufflepuff,” William stated in amusement. Isabella opened her mouth to argue back with him when the last person I wanted to see, but unfortunately had to share a dormitory with interrupted us.

“Good morning, Sian,” Michelle stated loudly as she walked passed us. I rolled my eyes, although I couldn’t help the squirming I felt in my stomach at seeing her. I felt guilty for not speaking to her, this insistent need to apologise and get us to go back to friends again was strong, but I pushed it down. It was something that I had been doing since we began being friends; it was just a habit now. I needed to get out of it, I needed to be strong. It was hard when we shared a dormitory and she went out of her way to speak to Sian and ignore Isabella and me completely.

Sian looked confused as Michelle continued walking slowly passed us as though waiting for Sian’s reply.

“If you don’t move on, I’ll stab you with my fork,” Isabella warned Michelle, not looking back at the girl as she licked syrup off said weapon.

“I’ll have you expelled,” Michelle hissed and Isabella gave a shrug.

“You’re forgetting that there are four witnesses that will say you hurt yourself,” William told Michelle, pointing at us all as we sat at the table. I glanced up at her, even though I knew that I shouldn’t and the dark glare that she shot me made my guilt squirm again, I gripped my fork tightly as I tried to stop feeling guilty. She hurt me. I have every right to be mad at her.

“Don’t think it’ll last,” she shot at me angrily and I felt my hand shake. William reached over and placed his own on mine and I found it comforting. I tried to focus on that instead and looked at him to see that he was glaring at Michelle.

“How’s Ethan doing?” Isabella asked, bringing some more pancakes up to her mouth, chewing them slowly as she kept her back to Michelle. A smirk was across her face and she gave me a wink.

“Fine, I’m going to see him later as a matter of fact,” Michelle said regally and smugly.

“Does he know, or are you going to be watching him from the other side of the lake again?” William asked. Michelle ignored him still resolutely glaring at the back of Isabella’s head.

“When you see him, tell him I said ‘hi’ and that I really enjoyed last night. He’s a very good kisser, but, you wouldn’t know that would you?” Isabella said finally turning around to grin at Michelle, who looked horrified at Isabella’s words.

Even I was shocked and I could have sworn that William’s grip on my hand stiffened for a moment. When was Isabella meant to have met up with Ethan and why didn’t I hear about it? Did Isabella not trust me enough to tell me?

Michelle glared at her and I thought for one second that she was going to hit her. Michelle huffed loudly and stormed away from us and Isabella cackled as she turned back around to face us. Noticing that we were all watching her.

“Is Ethan a good kisser?” Sian asked as William let go of my hand.

Isabella gave a shrug. “I have absolutely no idea.”

I couldn’t help the laugh that escaped me.

--

James wasn’t in Muggle studies when I took my seat. The teacher had yet to arrive and only a few other students were in the classroom as well, so I decided to doodle on my parchment as I waited. I had begun to draw the main character in the comic I was working on – with the ex girlfriend of a superhero - when there was movement beside me and I jumped as James spoke, causing my arm to swing into the ink pot on my desk and cover me in ink.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” James told me, waving his wand to get rid of the ink that had spilled over the desk, parchment and myself.

“No, its fine,” I laughed, looking down at my work and noticing that half of the woman I had drawn was covered in the ink James had yet to clean. I stared down at it, it looked like the woman was shrouded in darkness and I instantly was hit with an idea.

“I’ve ruined your work, I’m sorry, I’ll fix it,” James told me, raising his wand again but I held up my hand to stop him.

“No, it’s perfect – I just," I began, but I didn’t finished as I gripped for my quill again and started drawing a box next to the picture, hastily drawing a rough figure of a man, looking shifty under a streetlight. My mind was completely lost in my work as my hand moved quickly, and it wasn’t long before I realised that I had filled the entire page of parchment with my comic book scene. I smiled as I looked at it, before turning to look at James, who was rested his head in his arms and watching me with a smile on his face.

“Sorry,” I told him honestly, realising that I had just completely ignored him and then realising that I had just drawn this out in the open in the classroom in front of anyone else that was in the classroom. Although looking around I realised that we were completely alone. I couldn’t have missed an entire class could I? “Is class already over?”

James shook his head, still looking at me happily. “The teacher didn’t show, so everyone left about ten minutes ago.”

“You could have stopped me and we could have left as well,” I told him, feeling bad that I had kept us here long after everyone else had left.

“Its fine,” James shrugged, lifting his head from his arms and still looking at me with a smile on his face. “You were so enthralled by what you were doing I didn’t have the heart to disturb you.”

I nodded slowly, realising that James must have been watching what I was drawing.

“You probably have no idea what’s going on – “ I began, the scene I had drawn was halfway through the latest part of my comic.

“I haven’t looked at it,” James told me honestly, “I was watching you the entire time.”

My cheeks heated up at his words and I bit my lip to attempt to stop my smile. I failed.

“You could have looked, I wouldn’t have minded,” I told him.

“I wanted to wait for your permission, I wasn’t sure if you were ready to share it yet.”

I could have kissed him. It was strange how much he understood me, how much he knew about me without me even telling him.

I leant forwards to give him a kiss on the cheek, before pushing the parchment towards him. “You can look at it,” I told him nervously as I sat normally in my seat.
James looked at me, his eyebrows raised questioningly. “Are you sure?”

I nodded, before covering my eyes with my hands. I was nervous about his reaction. “It might not make sense, you’ll have to see the rest of it first.”

James was silent and I could only let the thoughts run through my head that he hated it. He was obviously just trying to think of something nice to say about it. Oh, god, if he felt that way about this one, he was going to hate the one I made him for Valentine ’s Day that I had yet to give to him.

James gripped my hands and pulled them away from my face, but I kept my eyes closed. I didn’t want to see him try to hide his feelings about it.

The feel of his soft lips pressing against my own made my eyes flutter open and my heart to thud quickly in my chest. He cupped my face with his hand, thumb trailing across my skin and my heart seemed to go into overdrive at just that.

“I loved it and I would love to see the rest, if you wanted to show me of course,” James told me softly.

It took a while for me to get my breath back. “Of course I want to show you.”

James dropped his hand from my face slowly and turned to grab his things. “Shall we get going? Everyone else has left and we can go for a walk around the castle.”

I nodded as I gathered my things, pushing everything into my bag and making to grab for my coat. I looked up when I couldn’t find it and saw that James was holding it up to help me put it on. I turned so that he could help me into it and smiled as he leant forwards to place a tender kiss on the side of my face.

“Did you want your Valentine’s Day present?” I asked him before I could chicken out. Now that I knew he liked this one scene I wanted to know what he thought of the present I made him.

“You got me a present?” he asked me in surprise as we walked out of the room – James holding the door open for me – and we walked side by side. I was wringing my hands in front of me, wanting to just grab his hand and hold it, but not having the guts to do it. We’d kissed and held hands, why was I suddenly nervous of doing this?

“Yeah, I made you something,” I admitted and he looked genuinely happy to hear that.

“In that case, we can go and get your present,” he told me as we made it to the staircase and began walking up them.

I really wasn’t expecting anything.

“Really?” I asked him. James looked at me and nodded as we walked slowly in the direction of the staircase.

“Yeah, shall we go to the Gryffindor tower first to get them?” James asked and I turned to him.

“Two?”

James smirked and we continued making our way up the stairs. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was that he had gotten me and hoped that my own gift would be enough, I had only drawn him the comic, what if it wasn’t enough?

I bit my lip as I lost myself in my worries.

“Hey, Abigail, can you hold this for me?” James asked me and I held my hand out as I continued worrying, teeth gnawing on my lip as I tried to think of something else that I could give him as a gift. Maybe the chocolate I had been sent from home?

Something warm filled my hand and looking at my own quickly I realised that James had held my hand. I looked at him and he flashed me a large grin that had me snorting in laughter, realising that he had used a line to hold my hand.

“You’re so cheesy,” I told him as I shook my head.

“You love it,” James responded. And I did. I really did.

--

We didn’t exchange our presents until we had both gone out onto the grounds. It was cold out but we didn’t care as we walked hand in hand until we found somewhere private to sit. It wasn’t too bad a day outside, still cold, but not raining or snowing. I found that a major plus. We both settled on a bench just by the castle wall and both of us took our seats, clutching hold of our backpacks as we grinned at each other.

“Did you want to go first?” he asked me and I quickly shook my head feeling nervous.

“Did you?” I asked and he shrugged as he looked down at his bag. He was suddenly shy and looked adorable. “How about we both go at the same time?” I offered as a compromise.

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

On the count of three we both exchanged presents. And I couldn’t help the smile that escaped my lips and the small squeal of happiness at the fact that he had gotten me rose. But it wasn’t just any rose, no, the colour was a little off, but as I looked closer I realised that the petals were made of what appeared to be pages of a comic book. My eyes widened and I looked up at James in shock, he was looking at me sheepishly as he clutched my comic to his chest.

“This is – “ I began, not knowing what else to say. He had gotten me a rose made entirely out of comic book pages. “Where did you find something like this?”

“Well, I made it over Christmas when I had gotten that new comic off of you, I decided to put my ruined one to good use and my cousin Molly helped me make this for you,” James told me, before looking down at the other present in my hand, the only one that was wrapped. “Don’t forget your other present.”

I handed him my rose as I began to slowly unwrap the present. I realised that it was the box that he had been making during out muggle studies lesson, only he had painted it in a light purple. My favourite colour.

“How did you know purple was my favourite colour?” I asked him, I had never admitted to it in front of him. In fact, I don’t remember ever mentioning it to anyone.

“I’m not sure if you know, but I’ve kind of had this massive crush on you for quite some time now. I’ve picked up a bit of information here and there,” James told me bashfully as though he were admitting a big secret.

I ran my fingers over the wood, before opening it. Music began playing and I couldn’t help but give a laugh, this was amazing.

“Thank you,” I told him, looking up and hoping that I wasn’t going to start crying. It was taking a lot to stop my eyes from watering and I had to quickly look away from him and back down at the box otherwise I would have burst into joyful tears.

“My granddad had the mechanism from an old Muggle music box he had in the shed, I asked if he could send it to me and William helped me put it into the box whilst I painted. He wasn’t too happy because I managed to get purple paint in his hair.”

“How did that happen?” I asked, still listening to the music and trying to work out if I knew the tune. I didn’t, it must have been a muggle song.

“I threw it at him, but that’s neither here nor there –“ James told me, “so –err... did you like them?”

I didn’t have words for how much I liked them. Instead I leant forwards and pressed my lips against his own.

 


Chapter 29: The One With The Slap
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Once again this is unedited, I shall edit in the beta-ed version when I get it back, I just couldn't keep this from you wonderful people any longer! :D

Let me know what you think!!




As exciting as dates went, mine and James’ at the library was in my top two best dates I had ever had. Granted we had only been on one before hand, but James had said that we could call this a homework date because he had brought sweets with him. I didn’t think that we could call it a date if William and Isabella were going to be joining us, either.

I didn’t mind though, as I got to spend time with James, even if it was to finish our essays that we had been neglecting recently, not to mention the Muggle Studies coursework that we were recently starting. We had to pick a hobby that a Muggle would partake in and compare it to the closest thing that we had in the Wizarding world, before coming up with an idea on how we could combine the two. I had no clue what hobby I was going to choose, but neither it seemed, did James. So I wasn’t feeling too bad about it, and thankfully, it wasn’t due until just before the end of the year, so I wasn’t in any rush to pick a hobby just yet. I just had to make sure I didn’t fall behind as it was quite a bit of work.

“Whoever said that Muggle Studies was an easy subject needs to be beaten with something,” James told me and I laughed as I turned to see him frowning down at the parchment of questions we had to focus on. He was massaging the sides of his temples with his fingers as he did so and I couldn’t help but stare at him happily.

The urge to jump around in excitement every time I looked at him and remembered that we were dating, got stronger daily and it took a lot of effort to not dance around like a crazy person whenever I thought about it. I held in my feelings though, I didn’t want to scare him off.

“Do you know what hobby you’re going to write about?” James asked me, turning to glance at me and I shook my head.

“Not even a clue,” I told him honestly. “But I’m going to focus on my Charms essay first. I don’t even want to think of coursework right now.”

“That’s a good plan,” James told me, shoving his parchment back into his bag before grabbing for another piece and pulling it out. He smoothed it down on the table in front of him and I glanced at his messy scrawl of writing, he had a lot more written then me.

“I’m just going to get a book, and then I’ll be right back,” I told James, nodding my head backwards and in the direction of where the Charms books were kept, which wasn’t too far from our table. James nodded as I stood up, “Don’t eat all of the chocolates.”

“I promise nothing,” James told me, glancing up at him, and grinning.

I laughed as I turned around and walked over to the section I needed. I suppressed a groan as I realised that Rebecca and her friends were occupying the table that had previously been empty when James and I had entered the library. It was as though they had appeared just to make my life difficult.

I hesitated for a moment as my eyes caught Rebecca’s, but I forced myself to walk over to the book that I needed. Maybe if I hurried, I wouldn’t have to hang around here for longer than I had to.

I winced as I heard them whispering to each other, just loud enough so that I was able to hear my name but nothing else except their giggles. It made my stomach clench unpleasantly, but I tried to push that feeling away, knowing that they were doing it to get a reaction out of me.

It was with relief that I found the book that I needed. Taking it off of the shelf, I turned to quickly walk away, but Rebecca had pushed her chair backwards and in my way, so that I had no choice but to walk around her. She sneered at me as I asked her politely to move out of my way, before attempting to step over her outstretched legs when she refused to move them. She lifted her leg as I moved though, which caused my feet to catch and for me to go falling onto the floor, my knee colliding painfully with the corner of the book that I dropped.

Tears sprung to my eyes instantly as they laughed at me. I refused to give them the satisfaction of knowing that they had made me cry so I willed myself not to sniff as my cheeks burnt in embarrassment. I stood up slowly, ignoring the pain shooting through my right knee as I did so and pleaded with my body not to limp and betray me.

“Pathetic,” Rebecca hissed as I left, clutching the book to my chest and cursing myself for being so damn sensitive about it all. Maybe I was being pathetic. It wasn’t until I was out of eyesight of the now laughing group, that I wiped my eyes on my sleeve.

I hobbled as quickly as I could back to the chair I had occupied, hoping that James wouldn’t notice, but he did. He seemed to notice as soon as I came back that something wasn’t right. He was standing by our table and had turned to look at me as soon as I came back, but I avoided eye contact.

“What’s wrong?” James asked me, he must have noticed the tears that I had been trying to hide from him. I shook my head as I wiped my eyes with my sleeves and ducked my head as I tried to contain them. I didn’t want to tell him, I didn’t want to be someone who can’t handle things and goes running for help every moment someone said something mean.

“Abigail –“ he began slowly, crouching in front of me and taking one of my hands in his own, before raising his other to brush my hair out of my face. I couldn’t help but look up at him; he was a little blurry through my tears. “-what’s happened?”

“It’s nothing.” I shook my head, sniffing as I tried to give him a smile, but it faltered and he saw.

“It’s not nothing, you’re upset.”

I didn’t want to say, I didn’t want to make this worse, but James was staring at me, waiting for me to say and I couldn’t help but let the words spill out.

“Rebecca tripped me,” I told him quietly. “But, I’m alright. It’s fine.”

James stood up quickly and I tried to get him to stop as he moved in the direction that I had just been. I followed him as quickly as I could, not wanting him to make things worse. I just wanted to forget about it all, he didn’t have to defend me.

“Oi, Rebecca,” James called angrily, walking over to where Rebecca was sitting with her group of friends. She fluffed her hair and licked her lips when James walked over to her and I felt jealousy swim through me at her actions.

“What is it James?” she cooed, standing up and pursing her lips as she looked at him.

“If I find out that you’ve upset my girlfriend again, I won’t be happy,” he seethed and I felt pride fill me at the use of the word girlfriend. I still kept thinking that this was all a dream and that I would wake up and find that James didn’t see me in that way.

“James, it’s fine,” I tried to tell him but he had already taken a step closer to Rebecca, who seemed a bit abashed that James was talking to her like that.

“I want you to apologise,” James demanded and I knew that he was asking for a miracle. Rebecca would never apologise to me and if she did, it would never be sincere.

Rebecca looked away from James and turned to me, giving me such a fake sweet tooth rotting smile as she said, “Sorry Abigail, my foot must have slipped.”

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t believe her and neither did James it seemed, and he was still giving her a hard look. Rebecca placed her hand on his arm, causing jealousy to hit me that she had the nerve to do so, James glared down at it as he moved away from her.

“Don’t let me catch you doing it again,” he warned her and she batted her eyelashes at him, hand moving to her hip and pushing her chest out slightly. I couldn’t believe the nerve of her

“Apologising?” she asked softly.

I was thankful to see that James was shaking his head as he backed away from her. I knew that I could never compete with Rebecca, she was so pretty, and if she had a nicer personality, I couldn’t help but think that James would go for a person like her. What did he see in me when she was around?

“Your desperation disgusts me,” he told her, lip curled in disgust and his voice sounding venomous, “and you’re an idiot if you think I’ll appreciate you attacking my girlfriend. Stay away from us.”

Rebecca’s smile fell from her face as she glared after James, before turning to look at me and I knew that she was going to get revenge for that. She blamed me entirely for what James had just done. I just wished that she would go away and leave me alone. He grabbed for my hand and we walked back to our table. He let go of my hand so that he could hold the chair out for me to sit on, before James came and sat down next to me, reaching for my hand again, and kissing the back of it as he turned his back on Rebecca. I turned to see her stomping off with her friends and further into the library, shoving passed Isabella and William as they went. William had to grab for Isabella’s shoulder to stop her from shoving Rebecca back.

“How’s your knee?” James asked me.

“It’s fine, you didn’t have to do that,” I told him honestly. I didn’t want him to think that I expected him to rush to my defence and aid whenever someone said anything horrible to me.

“Of course I did,” James said, “You’re my girlfriend and I don’t want anyone to hurt you. If they do I won’t be happy with them.”

“Someone hurt you?” Isabella demanded, dropping her bag onto the desk as William sat down. I looked up at her and saw the anger in her eyes. I didn’t want to say anything, I knew that she was going to go after Rebecca.

“Rebecca tripped Abi and hurt her knee,” James told her and I didn’t get up in time to stop Isabella from storming away from the table. William scrambled out of his seat to chase after her, yelling for her to slow down, but not telling her to stop.

“I hope she doesn’t do anything –“ I began but stopped as I heard Isabella’s voice call for Rebecca, before the sound of something getting smacked hard reverberated around the room. I let out a gasp of shock, my hands flying to my open mouth as I turned to face James, who was equally as shocked.

“Do you think she slapped her?” I asked as I moved my hands away from my mouth. That was exactly what it sounded like she had done.

William dragged Isabella back to the table soon after the noise was heard, and pushed her down into the seat opposite me before he took the one next to her. She was cradling her hand and wincing and William seemed impressed.

“I’m really sorry, Abigail,” Isabella told me honestly, slowly clenching and unclenching her hand as she grimaced at the pain. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to hang around with you this evening. There’s a very high chance that I’m going to be in detention until the Easter holidays.”

William laughed. “It’s only a week away, you’ll be fine.”

“What did you do?” I asked her, moving my leg and trying to stop the grimace as I bent my knee. I felt pathetic for being in pain, I was probably moaning over nothing and over reacting.

“I slapped her. It was so hard, that I nearly broke my wrist,” Isabella told us happily.

“I thought she was going to fall over from the force of that one,” William said sounding amused, staring at Isabella as he ran a hand over his mouth. “You really surprise me, Isabella.”

“It’s good to keep people guessing,” she said back, slouching in her chair and looking around. “People seriously underestimate us Hufflepuff's.”

“You really are a vicious lot on the quiet.” William shook his head as he let out an amused chuckle.

“The word you’re looking for is loyal,” Isabella told him with a smirk, still cradling her hand as she watched William grabbing for things out of his backpack. He sensed her watching and looked up at her.

“Are you not going to do any homework?” William asked her, I looked at Isabella in time to see her shrug.

“There’s no point, a teacher will be here soon,” Isabella told us. As if on cue, Professor Longbottom came over to our table a sombre expression on his face.

“You alright, Uncle Neville?” James asked as he neared , and he gave James a brief smile before looking down at Isabella, who turned around to face him.

“I’m alright, James, however I need to speak with –“

“I’ve got my things ready, sir,” Isabella said standing up and grabbing for her bag. “Are we going to your office? After you give me my detentions we can continue our discussion on how you tamed that fanged geranium to be your pet.”

“I told you, it’s not a pet,” Professor Longbottom told Isabella as they walked out of the library.

We all watched them go before going back to our work, wondering when she would come back.

“I feel like I’m going to be a third wheel,” William told us after a while of working. I was very nearly finished with my essay as I looked up at him, stretching so that my back clicked.

“I don’t think you are,” I told him honestly, I didn’t mind him hanging around with us at all, I loved being around William he was funny. Now I thought about it, I didn’t want to kiss James in front of William in case it made him uncomfortable, I also didn’t want him to think that I was taking away all of James’ time when he could have been hanging around with William.

“Good, because I wouldn’t go anywhere anyway,” William told us. “You’ll have to just put up with me.”

“Only because you haven’t got any other friends,” James snorted as he tapped his quill on the wood of the table, he’d been finished with his essay for a while now.

“I could have other friends,” William shot back. “What about Isabella or that Sian girl? She seems nice, wherever she may be.”

“She’s hanging around with her sister today,” I told him honestly. I felt a little guilty that Isabella was hanging around with me so much, as she spent less time with Sian. However, Sian had assured me that she didn’t mind as she spent a lot of time with her sister, and Isabella confirmed that she would spend most of her time alone as Sian was off with her family.

“My siblings are my friends,” William said pointing at James, an eyebrow raised at him. James scoffed and shook his head.

“Your sister and brother aren’t friends, besides even if we did class them as friends – which we’re not - you can only count Steven in that, he’s the only one that likes you,” James told him. I found it weird that William didn’t have more friends, how can people not like him?

“I’ll have you know, that it’s me that doesn’t like Sophie. I disliked her before it was cool,” William informed us.

“What a lovely sentiment from my darling twin brother.” We all turned to look at the new person that had just walked over to us and I finally met William's twin sister, Sophie. I recognised her, from seeing her in passing. She was wearing her Ravenclaw robes, her blonde hair up in a messy ponytail and thick-rimmed glasses that looked like more of a fashion statement then being used as actual eyewear. She was quite tall - taller than me - and I knew that if William stood next to her they would be around the same height, although William would be just a bit taller. You could only tell that they were siblings if you looked at them closely enough, you would never be able to tell that they were twins.

“What can I do for you, Soph?” William asked as Sophie gave both me and James a friendly smile in greeting. She pushed her hand into her robe pocket and pulled out two thick envelopes.

“Duncan’s sent us letters,” she told him and William nodded before looking down at the other letter.

“And I have Steven’s because?” he asked.

“Because you’ll see him before I do,” Sophie told him, pulling the strap of her bag onto her shoulder as she stared at William.

“You’ll see him a lot more if you weren’t too busy cheating on your boyfriend,” William said, which caused Sophie to punch him hard in the arm. I felt my eyes widen at Williams casual mention of his sister cheating on her boyfriend, and Sophie’s almost calm reaction to it.

“I don’t have a boyfriend anymore, Wilma,” Sophie hissed at him, “I’ve been through two new guys since then. Keep up. I’ll see you later you douche bag, say hi to Stephanie for me.” I wondered if she meant Steven. Or if William was seeing someone called Stephanie?

Sophie waved a goodbye before leaving, William shoved his brother’s letter into his pocket before opening his own one.

“So, you don’t seem to hate your sister as much as you say,” I stated, not knowing what else to say. James and William had talked about how Sophie and William would argue all the time, and aside from some bickering just now, they didn’t seem to overly hate each other.

“She’s being nice,” William told me, “believe me, it’ll get a lot worse. You can see that of course when you come over in the holidays.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that I was invited to Williams over the holidays. I had been worried that he was just inviting me over to be nice, I didn’t realise that he sincerely wanted me to go.

“Your dad won’t mind?” I asked as James shuffled next to me to rummage in his bag.

“Of course not, he’s already mentioned here that he can’t wait to meet you, especially after hearing so much about you over the summer from James.” William threw a smirk at James, who began to bash his head against the table as he let out a groan.

“He’s going to embarrass me so much in front of Abigail,” James stated to William, who laughed again. I couldn’t help but smile at hearing that James had talked about me to others, I still found it weird that he had a crush on me all this time.

“You only have yourself to blame,” William told him and James groaned again before sitting back up straight and pulling what I saw was a comic, towards him.

“I can’t believe that you’re reading Gertrude the Goblin,” William said as I moved my chair closer to James, abandoning my essay so that I could read the comic with him. I looked up at William sheepishly, James seemed unabashed about reading it. “What are you? Nine?”

“I’ll have you know, it’s both wonderful and educational.” James told him as I let my eyes skim the first page.

“Why aren’t you reading that one that kept you awake for most of the night? The one that you got off of Abigail.”

I looked up at William’s words intrigued. Which one was he reading? I turned to look at James who was beginning to go a little red at what William had said.

“You’re a terrible friend,” James shot at William.

“You stayed up most of the night reading it? Did you like it?” I asked, I hadn’t found out what he thought of the comic yet and I was curious. Surely he must have liked it if he stayed up reading it.

James didn’t say anything, but his grin widened and his blush deepened.

“I haven’t seen him fan girling this hard since the last issue of ‘The Minister of Destruction’, I swear he almost cried when that one got sent to him,” William told me. I felt a swell of pride in me at hearing that James had fan-girled over my dad’s comic book, I couldn’t wait to tell my dad about it. “Speaking of which, it’s been a while since you’ve woke me up at three in the morning to gush excitedly about what had happened.”

“That’s because there hasn’t been a new issue for a few weeks, I’m eagerly waiting for the next issue,” James told William. I knew that my father was working on the latest issue and had run behind due to other commitments, so the issue had been pushed back a week so that he could catch up. I knew that my father would never normally let it get to this, but there had been an influx of interest in his other comics and he became temporarily snowed under. I couldn’t wait until I would go home in the Easter holidays and help him out. My father and I would normally spend an entire day in his office, eating our Easter eggs and bouncing ideas off of each other, whilst Darryl would lie on the sofa in the office and read a book. I really missed my family whilst I was at Hogwarts and I couldn’t wait for them to meet James, but was it too early for me to introduce my family to him.

“I wish I knew how long it would be until Colin Deacon would produce the new one,” James stated, and I smiled at my father’s name.

“It shouldn’t be long, probably in the next few days or so, I know that he’s been snowed under at work,” I told him with a shrug. I looked up when I realised that we were now sitting in silence to find William and James staring at me. It was in that moment that I realised that I still hadn’t told James who my father was and I cursed myself for not being brave enough to admit to it now.

“How do you know that?” William asked me and I gave what I hoped seemed like a nonchalant shrug.

“My dad told me,” I stated to them and William nodded slowly.

“Is he a big fan as well?” he asked me in interest.

“Something like that, yeah,” I stated, hoping that they wouldn’t see through my lie. I knew that I had to tell James soon, and I was planning to, it’s just that I knew that I couldn’t just blurt it out now. I had to come up with a plan, and figure out how I was going to explain the reason why I hadn’t told James about him.

“It’s where Abigail got her love for comic books,” James told William and I nodded along with his words. “I’m going to need to get your dad to let me in on his inside information, he seems to know a lot. I hope to one day get to that level of knowledge.”

“You’ll have to meet him one day, he’s brilliant,” I told James honestly and he seemed excited about the prospect of meeting my family.

“I would love to meet him, I can’t wait to see the man that is, with no doubt, going to have a bigger comic book collection than me. You can come and meet my family as well, the ones that don’t go here of course. I’ll introduce you to those nutter's another day.”

I smiled at his words. I found it weird that I had yet to properly meet the cousins that came to Hogwarts already, but they seemed to just keep themselves to themselves at the moment, although I had seen James’ sister and brother occasionally as I passed them in the corridors, but I hadn’t been introduced to them yet as I hadn’t been with James when I saw them.

James and William quickly fell into discussing the plans for the Easter holidays and I couldn’t help but watch James as he talked animatedly. My eyes flickered across his handsome face, taking in the easy smile that seemed to be permanently spread across his face and the glint in his eyes every time he laughed at something that William said.

I couldn’t wait to tell him who my father was, and I had a great idea on how I was going to do it.

I just hoped that James wouldn’t be too angry at me from keeping it from him.


Chapter 30: The One With Colin Deacon
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Un-betaed until Sam sends it back to me. :D All mistakes are mine. Also I am going to respond to your wonderful reviews soon! I promise! And!! I've made chapter images again! I've been putting them in, so go and check them out if you want?






The Easter holidays had started a few days ago, and I had really enjoyed being home. It was nice being around my family again, especially my dad. Although, dinner on the night I had come home had been filled with questions about James and me. My mother seemed excited, whilst my brother and dad seemed protective and weary, until I told them about me and James bonding over our mutual love for comic books. As well as James’ obsession with my dad, even though he didn’t know who he was.

My dad had warmed up to the idea of him immediately, he absolutely loved hearing about his fans, and would sometimes go in disguise to the comic conventions that took place around the world, taking me with him to the ones that were in England. It was a brilliant place to go and my dad loved seeing how much people actually enjoyed his work and hearing their real opinions about it all. As people didn’t know that he was Colin Deacon, it was easier to get real constructive feedback from them, and hear hints of what they wanted to see happen. It was how two men in one of my father’s series developed into a romantic relationship, because many fans had talked about how they had obvious chemistry.

My dad helped me come up with the idea on how to tell James who he was. And that was why I was waiting in front of my fireplace for James to come round, I had sent him a letter the previous night inviting him over, and he had responded quickly saying that he would love to.

I was beyond nervous as I paced in front of our fireplace. What if James hated me for keeping this a secret from him? What if he walked out and left me?

I couldn’t think long on my decision, because our fireplace roared to life and James stumbled out of the green flames. He stood up quickly, and looked at me with a grin, I wanted to run at him and hug him tightly, but I stopped myself.

“Well, I was planning a more dignified entrance into your house,” James told me with a chuckle, looking me up and down, and I couldn’t help but grin again at seeing him. It had only been a few days but I already missed him. I was such a hopeless case.

“So, what’s so urgent that you summoned me?” James asked, holding his arms out so that I would come over and hug him.

“I didn’t summon you,” I told him, wrapping my arms around him, and smiling in excitement. Maybe this plan would actually work. “I’m glad you came out in the right fireplace. Dad doesn’t normally allow the Floo network to be attached to our fireplace. But it’s a special occasion.”

“It better be good,” James smiled at me, as I released him and he looked around my front room in interest. I could barely hold in my excitement at what I had planned, the smile becoming an almost permanent feature on my face. “I had a very full day of sitting around and eating all of my Easter eggs.”

“Oh, it is, it’s really good.” I assured him, taking his hand and leading him out of the room, his smile widened as he realised that there was no one else around us.

“We’ve only been dating for a few weeks, I’m not sure I’m ready for the step.” He joked and I rolled my eyes at what he was implying.

“It’s not that,” I told him feeling a little embarrassed, although part of me was terrified that maybe he wasn’t joking and did expect that. I quickly tried to push those thoughts away. “I need to show you something.”

“Do you now? Well, I’m alright with looking at things,” he winked as we made it to the door of my father’s office.

“You’re hilarious,” I deadpanned, which I totally would have pulled off if I knew that my face wasn’t red in embarrassment.

“I aim to please. This is something that you should remember.”

I felt my cheeks practically burning as I hit him on the arm. He laughed at me and my reaction to his words, and I couldn’t help but grin along.

I opened the door and led James inside, turning quickly to look at his face as he shut the door behind him. James was looking around the room with his mouth open in admiration as he took everything in. All of the artwork that covered the walls, the bits of storyboard in frames, the ornaments and action figures that were on shelves.

“Wow, this is an impressive collection you have,” James admitted, awestruck. He walked over to some of the figurines that were on a shelf, looking at them carefully, “this is a lot of stuff by Colin Deacon.”

He seemed amazed as he turned to look at me for confirmation; I nodded at him, biting my lip as I struggled to stop the grin.

“It’s all my dad’s.” I told him, my excitement almost reaching boiling point, my face was seriously hurting from the amount of smiling I was doing, but I couldn’t seem to control it. I felt like I was going to burst.

“He must be a huge fan of Colin’s work,” James admitted, still looking at everything. I could tell that this was his idea of heaven, he looked like a kid in a candy store. “He puts my collection to shame.”

“He’s not Colin Deacon’s biggest fan, though, that’s definitely you.” I told him and I heard movement from the other side of the room, knowing it was my father.

“Did you bring me here to show me this?” James asked me, “because this is awesome and I must say that I am incredibly jealous.”

“No, I wanted you to meet someone very special,” I said, turning to look at my father who was waiting to be introduced to James.

“This is my father, Deacon Higgs,” I said, indicating my father, who had come to stand at my side. James turned to look at my dad, not realising that he was there, and moved forward to shake his hand politely. “But you’ll know him under his alias of Colin Deacon.”

James stopped shaking my dad’s hand instantly, but was still gripping it tightly as his mouth fell open in shock. The look was priceless.

James just stared at my dad, his eyes were wide, and he wasn’t moving. I was terrified that I had broken my boyfriend.

“You’re.... you’re Colin Deacon?” James stammered finally. I had never seen him this speechless or this shocked.

My father laughed and nodded. “That’s me.”

James turned to look at me, his hand leaving my father’s as he laughed and backed up a step. “You’re having a joke, this is funny. I don’t get it, but it’s funny.”

I shook my head. “No joke, James.”

James was still laughing, this time running both of his hands through his hair before they were rested behind his head and he began pacing nervously around the room. “This has to be a joke. I can't have just met Colin Deacon.”

His hands ran back through his hair and covered his face; the way that his hair was sticking out messily made him look cute and I couldn’t help but laugh along with his own excitement. “You’re not joking?” he asked us as he dropped his hands from his face and I shook my head.

My dad was just standing next to me in silence, watching James.

“Oh shit!” James said suddenly, before looking at my father in horror. “I didn’t mean that, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to swear, it’s just... you’re my idol.”

My father held his hands up and chuckled. “I understand, it’s fine.”

“Is it bad that I want to hug you? And tell you how much your work has changed my life? Would that be too creepy?”

“Creepy, yes, but I’ll allow it.” My dad said, holding his arms out and James instantly moved into them, hugging him tightly. Before letting out a loud giggle and backing away with the grin still on his face.

“Oh god, I just met Colin Deacon, and I hugged him.” James whispered excitedly to himself and I couldn’t help but laugh. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me this.” He told me, looking at me and shaking his head slowly but the grin still on his face.

I instantly felt guilty and tried to think of what I could say to explain why I did. But James spoke again quickly. I had never heard him ramble this much before.

“No, I understand entirely. You wanted to make sure that I liked you for you, and not who your father was. Just like I do with my dad.” James admitted to me.

I was so glad that he understood why and he wasn’t mad at me for hiding who my dad was.

“Oh.... oh, I’m dating Colin Deacon’s daughter.” He suddenly said, I noticed that he was beginning to pale. “I never thought that this would ever happen - This is a lot to take in.”

“Did you need to sit down?” my dad asked, putting a hand on James’s shoulder and guiding him towards his desk. James nodded numbly as he took a seat in my father’s chair and put his head between his knees.

“Is this what a panic attack feels like? Have I died and gone to heaven?” James was muttering as he took in deep breaths and I couldn’t help the worry that filled me. Maybe I should have eased James into this, had I killed my boyfriend after only a few weeks? Was Harry Potter going to get revenge on me?

“Am I sitting in your chair? The chair where you sit when you think up your most brilliant ideas?” James suddenly said, looking up at my father who was nodding.

“Yep.”

James gulped his fingers hovering just above the desk, and I noticed that his hands were shaking. He raised his shaking hands to his face again and covered his face as he took deep shaking breaths.

I walked over to James, wanting to put an arm around him to comfort him, but I was well aware that my father was in the room. He looked up at me, an amused expression on his face and I couldn’t help but wonder if my dad thought that my boyfriend was crazy. I shot my dad a wide-eyed look, asking him what to do now and he just shrugged, he looked like he was really enjoying this.

Thankfully, my dad walked over to where James and I were stood, reaching across him to pull down a piece of parchment that he had been working on the previous night, when we had both come up with the idea of how to let James know who my dad was.

“I actually wanted your opinion on this new character I’ve made.” My dad said, pulling a piece of parchment towards James, who moved his hands and looked down at it. “It’s a new person I’m hoping to introduce in ‘Minister of Destruction’.”

James’s eyes widened. “Is this me?” he asked suddenly in a terrified voice as he took in the picture in front of him. It was of a teenage boy that my father had named James; he had the power of invincibility and was going to be one of The Minister of Destructions sidekicks.

“I base a lot of my characters on people that I know. I’ve heard a lot about you James and how much you admire my work, so I wanted to do something as a thank you for being such a big fan of my work, after all I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without fans like you.”

James looked down in awe, his eyes wide again. “Would you think any less of me if I burst into tears?” James asked suddenly and my dad clapped him on the back.

“Not at all.”

We spent quite a bit of the morning in my father’s office, James listening intently to everything that my dad said and asking questions about everything and anything he could. He seemed so happy and I knew that this was the right decision to tell him, although I was worried that he would faint from the shock at some point. I was proud that he managed to keep a check on at least some of his fan girling, although occasionally bits would make themselves known.

I figured that in order to let my dad get on with some of his work, I would show James around the rest of the house and go and hang around in my bedroom. My father’s eyebrows rose at my suggestion, and he glanced from me to James, who was holding my hand as I pulled him towards the door.

“If you get up to anything,” I heard my father begin to warn, I turned at the door to look at him, James behind me. “I will stop writing Minister of Destruction. Indefinitely.”

James gasped and my mouth dropped open in shock. “You wouldn’t,” I said before I could stop myself and my father crossed his arms in front of his chest as he stared at us.

“Try me,” he stated. I could tell that he was enjoying this immensely, and with that threat above our heads, I knew that we wouldn’t even try anything. My dad grinned happily, knowing that his threat had worked.

“You’ve been warned.”

--

“Your dad is the coolest person in the Wizarding world,” James told me as we both sat on the edge of my bed; Snowball was lying on James’ lap, purring contently as James stroked him lazily.

“Your dad is Harry Potter, saviour of the entire Wizarding world,” I shot back. How could my dad even compete with that? “Some would argue that was a lot cooler.”

“None of these people have seen him throw a tantrum at losing to Uncle Ron at the Muggle board game Cluedo,” James stated, smiling as he looked around my room.

I was glad that we were left alone, and that the only other person in the house was my father. If Darryl or my mother were here, they would be bombarding James with questions about his intentions and not leaving us alone for a minute. They didn’t know that my father had the best way of keeping us in check, by threatening us with withholding our favourite comic book.

“Thank you for telling me,” James suddenly said after we sat in silence for a while. I turned to look at him and saw that he was watching me, a soft look across his face as his eyes flickered down to my lips, then back up to my eyes.

“You’re welcome, I would have told you sooner, but I didn’t know how and then it got later and later and I didn’t know how to bring it up.”

James nodded, leaning forwards so that his lips were inches from my own, my stomach squirmed in the only way that James made it do and I couldn’t help but beg in my head that he would close the distance. He didn’t, instead hovering just above my lips, and I could tell that he was beginning to smirk. I leant forwards so that our lips met, it was a small kiss, knowing that we could be caught and ended much too quickly.

“You know you’re going to have to come and meet my dad now, right?” James told me, sitting back up straight. Snowball meowed loudly at him, and James had to continue stroking the cat’s fur to get him to stop. I rolled my eyes at how demanding my cat was.

“The idea of meeting your dad is terrifying,” I admitted truthfully. I had only ever spotted Harry Potter from afar on the train station, and even then, I couldn’t help but stare at him.

“He’s not so bad, how about you come around tomorrow before we go and meet William and Isabella?” James suggested, and I nodded, nerves filling me again. What if they don’t like me, or think that I’m good enough for James?

James must have sensed my worry, because he wrapped an arm around me and pulled me closer to him, kissing the top of my head.

“He’ll love you, how could he not?”

A cough at the open door made us look up, and I saw my father standing at the doorway, staring at us. James dropped his arm from around me and I sat up quickly, my cheeks reddening even though we hadn’t been doing anything. My father smiled.

“How do you two feel about going out for lunch? My treat.”

I nodded happily, turning to look at James who was staring at my father again as though he were the most awesome person he had ever seen. I laughed and James pulled himself together and nodded slowly.

“Great, get ready and I’ll meet you downstairs,” he told us, before pointing at James, who gulped, and then at me. “I can keep an eye on you both, and I can make sure James knows what would happen if he ever broke your heart.”

I couldn’t help but stare open mouthed after my dad; I turned to look at James, who looked a little scared.

“Your dad scares me. He’s of course still my idol, but he scares me,” James told me as I picked up Snowball from his lap and put the cat onto the floor, Snowball meowed indignantly at me and stalked off to his bed by the window. “I love that man so much.”

“Am I going to have to fight my dad for your attention now?” I asked James as we both walked out of my room.

“Only all the time,” James told me jokingly.


Chapter 31: The One Where I Meet A Duncan In Disguise
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I'm sorry about the wait for this! I was using last month to focus on writing Louis, and this chapter gave me a bit of trouble to write. Until I went to a restaurant that only served desserts and bam! Chapter written! :D 

I'm going to be spending the whole of next month focusing mainly on this story, so I'm hoping to actually write it! I may need some poking on the forums or something? If you see me online, just poke me and tell me to get writing this story! :D

Anyways, let me know what you think! I'm excited about hearing it.




“This is a really nice place.”

I looked around at the restaurant that James and I were sitting in, eyes wide as I took in the dark blue floor and walls that seemed to sparkle around us. There were booths all around, and quite a few other patrons chatted animatedly in their own ones. It wasn’t that far from James’ house, and Darryl had been nice enough to bring me here, he had even been nice when he had met James. I was actually surprised that he didn’t threaten him, although I was entirely thankful that he hadn’t. I didn’t want my big brother to scare James off.

“It hasn’t been here long, I’ve been a few times with dad,” James told me, looking up from his menu to give me a smile that caused my heart to flutter. I wasn’t sure if that feeling would ever disappear when I was around James. I really hoped that it didn’t.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant that only sells desserts.” I pulled the menu towards me. Everything looked amazing and I didn’t even know what I wanted to get.

“Dad loves it here, mum says that it’s bad for her figure and moans every time were here. She normally ends up getting the biggest ice cream though,” James said with a laugh as he put his menu down and looked at me.

I glanced up at him, a smile on my lips at his story, before looking back down at the menu. It took a while before I finally decided on a strawberry Knickerbocker glory, and James went up to put our order in.

When he came back, he sat across the table from me, and watched me. I looked up, feeling a little nervous at whether or not we’d be sitting in awkwardness. It had been a smooth transition from how we were before to our relationship now, and the only real thing that had changed was that now we held hands and kissed each other. I still found it amazing that we were actually boyfriend and girlfriend, or that James fancied me at all.

“So, we should probably get to know each other a bit better,” James told me, taking my hand over the table and lacing his fingers through my own. “Instead of just kissing all the time.”

“I don’t even know your name,” I joked and James rolled his eyes, but grinned at me. I loved when he smiled, he would get these cute dimples. “That might be a good start.”

“That’s good, because neither do I,” James laughed, “I developed amnesia after being in a terrible accident. You are the first face that I’ve seen, and by golly it’s a beautiful one –“

“By golly?” I asked with a snort, hoping that James didn’t notice that I had. “Who says that anymore?”

“No idea, because I don’t even know my own name.”

A woman came over with our food, shooting James a confused look at his statement and I had to hold in my giggle. She placed a waffle in front of James, covered entirely in chocolate sauce, banana and strawberry, and my ice cream in front of me. She left after telling us to enjoy our food.

“Can you...” James seemed to be struggling to think of something to ask me, so I waited, digging my spoon into my ice cream, and eating it slowly. I watched as James’ eyes followed my movement, before he gave a cough and quickly looked away with a slight reddening to his cheeks. “Can you speak any languages?”

“English. I’m very fluent in that.”

“As well as sarcasm. You kept that one hidden,” James added, picking up his fork so that he could begin eating his waffle.

“I’ve been learning from Isabella,” I told him honestly. “I know a little Czech.”

“Really?” James asked curiously, his eyebrows rising in surprise.

I nodded, eating a bit more of my ice cream before answering. “My next door neighbour taught me when we were growing up, she moved away before our fifth year and I guess I just remember it.”

“Have you ever used it in your comics?” James looked at me as he waited for my answer and I gave a shrug.

“Not yet, but I want to. How about you? Do you know any other languages?”

“Apart from nerd? Just German.”

“Where did you learn that?”

“I kept trying to read a book in Aunt Hermione’s house that was written in German, she agreed to teach me. I don’t know where she learnt it from, but I know enough to get myself by.” James ate a bit more waffle as I slowly at my ice cream, I didn’t want to make a mess, but James didn’t seem to care. He had already dripped chocolate sauce onto the table. “So if we ever get kidnapped and abandoned in Czech Republic or Germany, we’ll be fine.”

I laughed, and James grinned at me, wiping his mouth with a napkin to catch any sauce left behind.

“Michelle said that she knew French, but she wouldn’t ever speak it or teach me any words,” I admitted, feeling a little worried that James would get angry that I was talking about her.

He surprised me with his next words though.

“Do you miss her?” He looked sincere, and not at all annoyed that I had brought her up.

“Sometimes,” I admitted truthfully, “She was my first friend, my best friend. Actually, she was my only friend for so long. It just feels weird to not have her around.”

“It’s okay to miss her,” James told me seriously, I shook my head at him.

“After what she done I shouldn’t, other people wouldn’t.”

“You shouldn’t care what other people think. What do you think?” he asked me. I could feel him watching me intently and it was making my cheeks heat up slightly.

“I really shouldn’t miss her, but I do. There were some great times with her, it wasn’t all bad. Just... more than half of the time with her was bad.” I felt like a terrible person for admitting to missing her, even though she had been making my life so much harder, and for what she had done to me.

James scooted around the booth so that he was sat next to me, pulling his waffle over with him. “I would never think less of you if you missed her.” He reassured me, and I couldn’t help but smile at him gratefully.

“Thank you.” I dug my spoon into the ice cream again and took a bite. “Did you want some?” I asked James.

He grabbed for my hand that held the spoon, but instead of taking the spoon, he pulled me towards him and kissed me. Once again taking my breath away and stopping my brain from functioning, turning me into a gooey mess on the floor.

Although, that might have been the ice cream that had dripped from my spoon.

“I do love the taste of strawberry ice cream,” James told me, pulling away slightly to lick his lips and making my stomach flip at the smirk that began to cross them.

“I ...err ...” I began, not even sure where I was heading with that sentence. James laughed, before leaning in and rendering me speechless again.

A cough broke us apart with a jump, and I put my head in my hands as I had the sudden image of a staff member about to tell us off for making out.

“Oh look, you’ve made her embarrassed,” I heard the person say, realising that it was a girls voice.

“I didn’t embarrass her, you did. Why are you stalking me?” James asked from next to me. I looked up as he put his arms around my shoulder. “Don’t touch my waffle.”

The girl, who I recognised as James’ little sister Lily, a second year Ravenclaw, rolled her eyes at James, but held her hands up as she dropped James’ fork onto the table.

“I’m not stalking you, if I knew that you were here I would have made you get me a dessert,” she told him.

“Who are you here with?” James asked, looking around the room, but it was hard to see who was in most of the booths.

“Oh, only Hugo, we walked here because we were bored at home. He only had enough money to buy the one ice cream, and ... well, we all know how Hugo is with sharing.” Lily turned to me quickly, bright brown eyes inquisitive and red hair up in a bun, she leant her right elbow on the table and rested her chin on her hand as she stared at me.

“So, you’re Abigail?” she asked me.

“No, this is William,” James joked.

“I didn’t realise he took after his father,” Lily retaliated quickly, which caused me to give a frown at her words. James didn’t elaborate and neither did Lily, both siblings staring at each other. Lily looked away from James first and held her left hand out for me to shake, I took it gently, noticing the firm grip that she had before she let go of me. “I’m Lily, James’ favourite sister.”

“You’re my only sister.” James shook his head from beside me.

“It’s nice to meet you,” I told her honestly. I was surprised that I hadn’t met any of his family properly beforehand, so was happy to have finally been introduced to his little sister.

“Are you both coming home after here?” Lily asked us, I turned to James not knowing the answer to her question. James was shaking his head.

“We’re going to William’s for a bit after this and then I’m taking Abigail home. I’ll bring her around another time.”

“Mum and Dad want to meet her,” Lily told us, eyes falling onto James’s waffle again. He pulled it closer to him to protect it, and she gave a pout.

James gave a groan from beside me at the look she was now shooting him.

“If I give you some money will you leave us alone?” James asked, reaching into his pocket and pulling out some muggle money, he passed it over to his sister.

“Thank you, Jimmy,” Lily said happily, putting the money into her pocket.

“For that I’m going to take the money back from you,” he warned her, moving forwards to reach over the table. However, Lily dodged out of the way, apologising profusely to him. I picked up my spoon again and began eating my melting ice cream before it would turn into ice cream soup as I watched the two siblings together. It reminded me of me and Darryl.

“You’re really pretty,” Lily told me as I was mid mouthful and I choked at her words. She really thought that I was pretty? She didn’t give me a chance to catch my breath and answer her, as she walked away from the table and made her way back over to a booth towards the back and out of eyesight of us.

“Are you alright?” James asked me, rubbing my back as I managed to stop coughing.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I told him.

“Sorry about my sister. I would have introduced you to her at school, but I honestly keep forgetting that not everyone knows my family already.” James ate his waffle again and I wondered if it was cold now.

“Its fine,” I reassured him.

“Did you want some?” James asked, holding his fork up to my lips. I took a bite and had to keep in the groan at the taste of it. It was delicious and I knew that next time I was going to order the waffle. “I would introduce you to Hugo, but .... It takes a bit of build up and preparation to meet that boy.”

I frowned at his words, I had seen Hugo in passing at Hogwarts and he seemed fine, just a little quiet and moody looking. I just put that down to him being a teenager.

“He’s just a lot to handle at once,” James informed me, noticing my look. “Much like Albus, but Albus is just an angry person all the time who thinks the world owes him a favour.”

“Sounds like fun,” I said, unsure what else I could respond with.

“Speaking of fun, you’ll get to meet Uncle Duncan today,” James told me happily, a mischievous glint in his eye and it took me a moment to realise that who he meant.

“William’s dad?”

James nodded. “He’s been looking forward to meeting you.”

I hope that I wasn’t too much of a disappointment.

--

I had never been more shocked then I had been when I arrived at William’s house. Not because William answered the door topless, cue furious blushing on my part and averting my eyes, which William found hilarious. It wasn’t even because Isabella was already there, and I didn’t even realise that they were this close already. No, it was because of William’s dad, who was getting ready in the kitchen.

I stopped dead at the sight of him, and couldn’t help but stare at the large man standing in front of me. He was well over six and a half feet tall, seemed to be made of pure muscle, and was giving me the friendliest smile I had ever seen.. That wasn’t what made me stop in shock, it was the fact that this giant mountain of man had on so much make-up. Black eyeliner lined his purple sparkly eyes, his cheeks a bright pink and his lips covered in a thick red that was outlined by a darker shade. The purple matched the long dress he was wearing, that was covered in sequins.

He looked amazing.

“This is my dad, Duncan,” William stated turning to look at me. He noticed my shock at once and he seemed quite pleased with himself. “Oh, didn’t I tell you that he was a drag queen?”

William’s dad was a drag queen? I suppose that would explain the make-up and the dress. I didn’t know what to say. What could I say? I hadn’t been prepared for this to happen.

Duncan was giving me a soft smile, before turning to look at William, and frowning as he noticed that he was only wearing trousers.

“William, go and put some more clothes on, we have guests,” Duncan scolded his son, hands on his hips as he raised one perfectly drawn on eyebrow at William. I had to admit that I was jealous of just how perfect his eyebrows actually were. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, and I felt a little embarrassed that I couldn’t help but stare.

Duncan noticed me admiring him and gave me another smile. I blushed as I hid a little behind James, who gave a small laugh as I held onto him.

“Your eyebrows are amazing, you need to teach me how to do that,” Isabella stated, more confident then I was. I was thankful that she had spoken and taken the heat off of me.

Duncan grinned. “Thank you. William will have to teach you, he’s a lot better at doing them.”

“And thank you for that, dad,” William muttered from across the kitchen, digging through a pile of neatly folded clothes that were on the table.

“I hope that you’re going to be re-folding all of that,” Duncan told William, who rolled his eyes. “I don’t slave away all day at home for you and your brother to wreck things.”

“Of course,” William told him, grabbing for a t-shirt. I turned away as he pulled it on and glanced at Isabella, who was watching William. She noticed that I was watching her, and stuck her tongue out at me.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me, Will,” Duncan told him.

“We all know that Sophie is the worst one out of all of us,” William stated.

“I’m not getting into this again; I have to go to work.” Duncan shook his head as he grabbed for a few things and began making his way out of the kitchen. “Don’t destroy anything, and I know how much alcohol is in the cupboard William.”

“Are you sure? Aunt Audrey was around earlier, and we all know that she’s as big a drinker as you.”

“Don’t blame Audrey, and I only drink because you kids stress me out. Have fun, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Abigail, I can’t wait until I next see you, I promise I won’t be rushing into work so I can finally get to know you.”

My eyes followed Duncan as he left the room before turning to look back at William, James had moved so that he was holding my hand and I leant against him.

“Your dad is... just, wow,” I stuttered out and William laughed.

“He’s a big shock for people when they first meet him,” William told me, moving to lean next to where Isabella was.

“Especially when you don’t warn them about him,” Isabella stated, shoving William with her elbow.

“I’m so used to it, I just forget he’s different.” William stated.

“So, is it true that James cried when he met your dad?” Isabella asked me quickly, interrupting William. I turned to look at James, who was glaring at William and shaking his head slowly.

“Err –“ I began, not knowing if I should answer that question. Would James want it known that he was close to tears.

“So, that part where I asked you not to tell anyone, William,” James stated, shifting on the spot.

“You’re yet to meet Darryl properly,” I told him, knowing that my brother was very interested in meeting James for longer than five seconds. I didn’t want him too, I didn’t want Darryl to scare him off by trying to be the protective big brother. “He can be scary when he wants to be.”

“I hope he doesn’t hurt me,” James admitted truthfully, and I felt bad that he seemed worried. I moved to place a kiss on his cheek, which cheered him up instantly.

“Who would want to hurt you?” I asked him truthfully.

“I would,” William admitted, which caused James to move over to him and punch him in the arm, before going over to one of the kitchen cupboards and opening it.

“So, what are we going to be doing today?” Isabella asked us. I turned to look at William who gave a shrug and faced James, who was rummaging through the cupboards.

“Ethan wanted to meet up; I think he’s getting too bored being cooped up at home and looking after his younger siblings.” James pulled out a packet of crisps, even though we hadn’t long eaten our desserts.

I felt my eyes widen slightly at his words though, and turned to look at Isabella who had the same expression on her face.

“As in Ethan Richards? Slytherin Seeker?” Isabella asked.

“The one and only,” William said loudly, as though he were announcing somebody very important. “You’re familiar with Ethan?”

“Only in passing and sharing some classes, not to the extent of Abigail though,” Isabella stated, and I ducked my head slightly at her words, remembering the few times that I had been around Ethan. Michelle had been with me and forced me to go and ‘stalk’ the poor guy, so I didn’t think that he thought of me too greatly, he probably thought that I was as bad as Michelle.

I chanced a look up and saw James watching me, crisps hanging out of his mouth as he looked at me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the emotion that I was seeing across his face.

“Michelle loves him,” I told them honestly, feeling my face heating up at the embarrassment of having followed Ethan around. “She used to drag me around after him so that she could watch him and talk to him.”

“Sounds like what James made me do with you,” William stated, turning to look at James before rolling his eyes and shoving him roughly. The crisps fell out of James’ mouth and he failed at trying to catch them before they hit the floor. “Oh, stop being jealous, James. Abigail doesn’t fancy Ethan.”

I couldn’t help the small smile that crossed my face. What did James have to be jealous of? I had never thought of Ethan in a way like that, and Ethan would never think of me like that. I was still amazed that James liked me, so the thought of anyone else was impossible to me.

“I’m not jealous,” James stated as he straightened back up and glared at William, who snorted. “I’m not.”

“The face tells us a different story,” William laughed. “Now, get ready and we’ll go.”

“I just need to use the bathroom first,” I said quietly.

“It’s just upstairs and the second door on the left,” William told me, before pushing James away as he tried to get him into a headlock.

After I had washed my hands, I walked down the hallway leading back to the stairs slowly. I found myself looking at the large amount of pictures that lined the walls, which documented William, his brother, and sister growing up. James was in quite a few of the ones with William, and I couldn’t help but smile at just how close the two had been growing up together. There were a lot more of William then the others.

I was so enthralled by the pictures that I didn’t realise that I wasn’t alone in the hallway until someone grabbed my arm. I jumped and whirled around, my heart beating frantically in my chest and got a glimpse of James, before I felt the press of his soft lips against mine.

His hands had moved to my hair, as he pressed me against the wall. Our kiss was urgent and left me breathless, as I moved my own hands to grip at the front of his t-shirt to hold onto. I felt like I was going to float away with the happiness that came from kissing James. I never once imagined this would happen and now I could never imagine myself coming down from this high.

James was a fantastic kisser, and I only hoped that I wasn’t terrible. But, I was happy to keep practicing.

“I wish that I could just stay here all day kissing you,” James told me, his breath tickling my lips as I tried to get my breathing to even out. He kissed me again before I could say anything, and I wasn’t sure how long we stayed like that. It wasn’t until I heard Isabella speaking that we pulled away from each other.

“They’re up here kissing!” I heard her yelling down the stairs, a joyful tone to her voice. James moved away from me and I turned to look at her as we began walking back to the staircase. She gave me a wide smile, before cutting in between me and James as we walked. “Don’t even think about James, I’m staying between you two so we can finally go to Ethan’s house.”

I felt myself gulping at the thought of going to Ethan’s house. If Michelle knew she would be so angry with me.

“Maybe we should take pictures of us all with Ethan and show Michelle when we get back to school?” Isabella suggested as though she had read my mind.

I couldn’t help but wonder how she would react to that.


Chapter 32: The One Where We Visit Ethan Richards
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: Wooo! An update! I know! I'm as shocked as you all are :P I've planned the rest of this story out, so all I've got to do is write it, and plan the sequel. 

I would love to know what you all think, even though I totally don't deserve it for making you all wait. *hugs you all to be forgiven*

Edit: Just realised that I forgot to copy the beginning of the chapter in. *rolls eyes at myself




The Knight Bus was still a weird experience, no matter how many times I had used it before. There was nothing right about speeding through the streets and watching as the bus seemed to fit in impossible gaps, and not destroy anything in its path. The only reason it hadn’t crashed into a ball of flames yet, was due to the amount of magic that had built it.

I was thankful to get off it, hunching over slightly as I breathed the sea air into my lungs and wondered when my legs would stop shaking. Isabella didn’t seem to be fairing much better as she sat beside me on the pavement, her face a little pale. William and James didn’t seem affected, instead waiting for us to calm down. I stood up straight and saw that James was looking at me in concern.

“Are you alright?” he asked me, taking my hand gently. I nodded, not trusting myself to speak just yet in case my body betrayed me.

“Get up you loser,” I heard William say, and turned around to see him nudging Isabella with his foot and her trying to grab it and bite his leg.

I giggled at the scene as she got up off the floor and threatened him. William held his hands up to stop her trying to hit him and James chuckled before leading me along the pavement. It wasn’t long before we got to the end of the road and I realised that we were near the seaside.

The beach was in front of us, a low wall dividing the pavement from the sand as the sun shone down on us. I was disappointed to see that the sea was out, revealing only mud. People were walking through it, headed in the direction of the boats stranded in the mud.

As I lived in Oxford, I didn’t get to see the beach that much, unless my family went out for the day. Even then, it was a lot of effort, and we barely made the trip.
Some of my best memories were family trips to the seaside, eating fish and chips on the sand and throwing our left over’s to the seagulls that hovered overhead before going to get ice cream and eating it whilst we walked around the arcades.

“Where does Ethan live?” I asked James, thankful that I wasn’t feeling sick anymore.

“One of the roads along here,” James told me, pointing in the direction of what looked like a strip of arcades. I smiled at the idea of going into them, feeling like a kid again.

“Come on you two; stop flirting so that we can get going. Ethan is probably waiting for us,” James called behind us. I turned to see that William was behind Isabella, his arms wrapped around her and holding her arms down as he walked them forwards. Isabella was smiling as she struggled to get her arms free.

We didn’t have far to walk before we found Ethan’s road. There were quite a lot of houses around, joined together to form an estate. We had to walk through many alleys between the clusters of houses before we made it the middle of it and to the park. One of the swings was broken, and the seesaw had tape around it to stop people from going onto it. However, sitting on the broken seesaw was a tall dark haired teenager, smoking and looking down at something in his hands.

It was weird to see Ethan outside of school, wearing a tracksuit and with his hair slicked back with gel. I didn’t even know that he smoked, or that he had his ear pierced. It was as if I was seeing him for the first time, and that he had been wearing a disguise the entire time.

Ethan looked up as we neared him, jumping off the seesaw and putting the small thing into his pocket, it looked like one of those talking devices that we learnt about in Muggle studies, that Muggles would use.

He smiled, cigarette in his hand as he neared us, greeting us all before faltering when his eyes fell onto me. I saw in horror as his smile slipped from his face, before his eyes darted around us as though searching for someone. I realised with a sinking feeling that he was probably looking for Michelle.

I knew that this was a stupid idea to come along. Ethan probably hated me. I backed up a few steps, my back colliding with William who didn’t move and was stopping me from escaping.

“I’m sorry,” was all that I could blurt out as his eyes settled back onto me. Ethan shook his head slowly at my words.

“She’s not around is she?” Ethan asked and I shook my head quickly, he seemed to relax at that and the easy smile was back on his face.

“Good.” He nodded, bringing the cigarette up to his lips and taking a drag of it, before nodding behind them all so that they would walk in that direction. “I thought for one second that you had brought her with you.”

“They’re not friends anymore,” James stated coming to my defence.

“I heard that,” Ethan stated, putting his cigarette out on the wall and throwing the end of it into the bin as they passed. I realised that we were walking back in the direction of the beach as he directed us back the way that we had come. “So it seems that she would screw over the one person who was meant to be her friend.”

I didn’t say anything.

“I always wondered what you were doing with her when she dragged you around after me,” Ethan stated, taking me by surprise. “You were always so quiet that I assumed she forced you to go around with her.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, not knowing what else to say, but pleased that he didn’t seem to have any ill will towards me. “I’m sorry for it all.”

Ethan shook his head. “It’s not your fault, don’t worry.”

I nodded as we walked, Ethan finally turned to the others.

“I didn’t know that you smoked,” Isabella stated from behind me, and I was glad that I wasn’t the only one wondering when he had started.

“It only ever happens when I’m at home, depends on who I’m around really. My ‘friends’ here they all smoke, and it helps me deal with the stress of being back in this place. I don’t normally wear all of this, but they do. It’s bad enough that they think I’m better than they are because I go to a ‘prestigious boarding school’ where I’m not allowed a mobile phone. They tend to stop when I’m wearing all of this and being one of them again.”

So, I wasn’t the only one who would do anything to fit it and make my life easier. Ethan seemed like such a strong person that wouldn’t let anyone push him around, so to know that he would change himself to fit in shocked me.

We were finally back on the seafront and were heading to the sand. “Thanks for meeting up with me. I hate being back here,” Ethan stated as he sat down on the sand. We all sat with him and looked out at the mud, although I could see the sea in the distance.

“Why didn’t you stay at the castle over the holidays?” Isabella asked. James moved behind me so that I was sitting between his legs and wrapped his arms around me as I leant back on his chest.

“My mum isn’t very well, so I come back whenever I can to help look after my little brothers and sisters. My deadbeat dad is no good, spending all of his time at the local pub instead of helping, so I do what I can to give my mum a break from it all. Sadly being here means I have to deal with the shit people that I grew up with. I honestly can’t wait until I get my N.E.W.Ts and can get out of this dump and live in our world. I’ll be able to get a job and help mum afford a place out of this hellhole. If I had to be here for a few more years I’ll end up going crazy.”

I couldn’t help but look at him sadly, and Ethan was digging into his pocket for something, as we were all silent around him. He pulled his empty hands out, clearly not finding what he was looking for.

“Can someone talk about something else, before I feel the need to smoke,” Ethan gave a small laugh and a shake of his head. He turned to look at William and Isabella who were sitting close to each other.

“What’s the deal with you two, now?” he asked. I smirked as James laughed behind me, the vibrations of his chest against my back as he did so.

“There’s nothing going on,” Isabella stated, as William rolled his eyes beside her in amusement. She nudged him when she saw.

“Right, you’re not flirting with each other and I’m dating that nut job Michelle. Oh wait, those are both lies,” Ethan joked, before quickly turning to me to offer me an apology. It still felt weird that I didn’t have to worry about people joking about Michelle, even if it did make me uneasy. I gave a small shrug, and James rubbed his hand down my arm comfortingly.

We each recounted what we had done with our holidays so far. James bragged about the amount of Easter eggs that he had received and eaten, and Isabella doing the same.

“I’m jealous,” Ethan stated shaking his head as he leant back on the sand. I moved my feet and cringed a little as the sand went into my sandal, it didn’t help that James had spent the past few minutes using his own foot to cover my legs with the sand as well.

“Did you not get any?” Isabella asked sounding horrified at the very thought of it. I received a few, but I hadn’t had the time to eat them yet.

“I got a few, but I split them up to give to my brothers and sisters,” Ethan shrugged and I couldn’t help the ‘aww’ that escaped my lips.

Ethan seemed abashed at that and ducked his head for a moment, looking back out towards the sea that was slowly starting to come back to the sand.

A loud noise filled the air, causing me to jump in James’ arms and drop the handful of sand that I was planning to put down his t-shirt. James chuckled behind me and Ethan pulled the small thing out of his pocket, pressing something on it and putting it up to his ear. I heard a muffled voice the other side that I struggled to understand.

“Calm down, Beth,” Ethan stated, a hand risen up to run across his forehead as he spoke. I exchanged looks with Isabella, who gave me a small shrug in reply. I looked up at James, who had leant down to kiss my forehead.

“I’m at the beach,” Ethan continued as though we weren’t there. He stood up and turned around so that he could look over the wall, we watched in curiosity. “I can see you. Turn left. No, that’s right, I said to turn left. Walk in a straight line over to the beach and you’ll see me.”

He waved his arm around, before moving the object from his face and putting it back into his pocket. He brushed the sand off his trousers and it wasn’t long before a girl was at the wall and looking down at us all shyly. I knew that it was Ethan’s little sister Bethany from Michelle, who had pointed her out quite a few times when we were talking.

“What is it?” Ethan asked. Bethany leant forwards to talk to her brother quietly, a worried look on her face as she spoke.

“Did he?” Ethan asked angrily. Bethany looked like she was about to be on the verge of tears and I had no idea what had happened, but it sounded quite serious. “Fucking bastard.”

Bethany glanced at us all again, before looking at her brother, who had reached into his pocket and pulled out a few notes that I saw was muggle money.

“Take this and get one of those family meals from the shop you like,” Ethan told her, handing the note over. “I’ll go and get him out of the house.”

James tensed behind me, standing up at those words, as did William. I stood up slowly; ignoring my need to cringe at just how much sand had filled my sandals at the movement and from James. I dusted the back of my shorts off as Isabella moved towards me.

“Is everything alright?”James asked Ethan, clapping him on the back as he put his money back into his pocket. The annoyance seemed to be radiating off Ethan as he shook his head.

“Just my good for nothing dad,” Ethan stated, turning to look at them. “I thought he would be at the pub all day and I would be able to spend the day out with you lot, but apparently he gambled his drinking money and went back to the house to take what was going to buy the kids dinner. I just need to make sure he actually leaves the house and lock him out.”

“We can help you,” William stated, and Ethan shook his head quickly.

“No, it’s fine. I appreciate it, but it’s easier if I do it. He’s scared of me because of my ‘talents’,” Ethan glanced around at that word to make sure that he wasn’t overheard, and I knew that he meant magic. “It won’t take much to get him to go away. I just wish that he didn’t take the money, now I’ve got to use mine and hope that I have enough to get me the train back to London so Bethany and I can go back to school.”

I wished that there was something that I could do to help. Aside from offering to give him money, that I knew he wouldn’t take from me, I was at a loss.

“If you don’t have enough money just let me or William know. You can stay at one of our houses with Bethany the night before and we can bring you with us,” James stated, and I felt a swell of pride fill me at his words. “My parents won’t mind at all, and I know that Duncan will do anything that he can do to help.”

“Thanks everyone, I appreciate it,” Ethan stated, his head bowed again humbly. He gave a loud sigh. “I honestly thought that I would be able to stay out longer. I’m sorry that you all had to travel down here to see me.”

“Don’t worry about it, Ethan, its fine,” I stated, wanting to reassure him. He seemed like a good guy, and I hated that he was going through this. He gave me a smile, before holding his arms out to hug me goodbye. I was surprised as I hugged him back, and he turned to give Isabella a hug as well.

“I should get going,” Ethan said regrettably, as he patted William and James on the back and pulled himself up onto the wall to climb over it.

“We’ll probably be down here for a while if you wanted to come back,” William stated, and Ethan nodded before disappearing.

Ethan didn’t come back, but we still had fun down the beach and seafront anyway.

--

“I had a great time today,” James told me happily, leaning his forehead against my own as we stood outside of my house. He had walked me here, leaving Isabella and William at the top of the road so that we could say goodbye to each other. I would be seeing Isabella the night before school so that we could travel to the station together, and we planned to have a sleepover.

“I did too,” I agreed. It has been a lot of fun today, all of us spending the day at the arcades and along the beach. We even went into the small theme park that was along the seafront, watching as the Muggles went on the ride, and talking about which ones we would go on ourselves. We all made plans to return in the summer holidays and drag Ethan with us for a much-needed day out. After that, we got burgers and drinks and sat on sand to enjoy them, before messing around on the beach.

Although my favourite part of the day was when Isabella had shoved William into the sea, and in the distraction that caused I managed to put sand down the back of James’ top.

“I still have sand in my shorts,” he grumbled at me, kissing me lightly on the lips. I grinned at the knowledge.

“I had to get revenge for you putting sand on my legs earlier,” I told him honestly. I leant closer to kiss him, but James pulled away from me, his head turning to look at the front room window of my house. I turned to look and saw that Darryl was watching us through the window, glaring at us and tapping a make-believe watch on his arm.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head, realising that the moment between James and I was gone as I unwrapped my arms from around him and took a step backwards.

James looked away from my house and back down to me, reaching for my hand, and bringing it up to his lips to kiss it. My stomach felt like jelly at the act, and I smiled fondly at him.

“I’m sorry we didn’t get time for you to meet my parents,” James told me sadly, both of us trying to ignore that my brother was still at the window watching us. I really hoped that he didn’t come out to escort me inside.

“Its fine,” I told him, knowing that his parents had been too busy with work for the days that Abigail had free.

“You’re definitely going to meet them in the summer holidays,” James told me, “I hope that you like them.”

“I hope that they like me,” I corrected him. I really hoped that they would, I didn’t want them to hate me or be disappointed in me. What if they didn’t think I was good enough for James? What if they expected someone better looking, or with a better personality.

James kissing me stopped my internal worrying, and I stopped thinking as I clutched hold of the fabric of his top in an attempt to centre myself. When he pulled away, I tried to catch my breath, and stared up at him.

“Abigail, they will love you. I’m one hundred percent sure of it,” James told me. He sounded so honest and sure of himself, but I couldn’t help but worry.

“How do you know?” I asked him.

“Because you’re one of the best things that’s ever happened to me,” James said, kissing me on the lips again, but this time it was brief. “Now, you should probably get inside before your brother hurts me.”

“He knows better than to hurt you,” I told James truthfully. I would hurt Darryl if he done anything to James, and I knew all of his secrets so it was easier to hurt him.

James smiled and waited until I got to my door and opened it before he walked back up the street and towards William and Isabella who were waiting.

When I closed the door I turned around to see that Darryl was staring at me expectantly, his arms folded across his chest.

“Wait till I tell dad that you were kissing James outside the house,” he threatened me. I knew that he was doing it jokingly as he was struggling to keep a straight face and his eyes were glinting happily. My brother was all bark and no bite, and he knew that I knew it.

“If you do I’ll tell him that you used to sneak out of your bedroom window when you were fifteen to go clubbing with your friends.”

Darryl dropped his arms, and looked at me in shock and I knew that I had him. What I hadn’t counted on was my father coming out of his office and looking at us both with his eyebrows raised.

“If you both think that I don’t already know those things, you underestimate me. There’s not a thing that goes on in this house that I don’t know about,” he warned us.
Darryl gulped and I tried to keep the guilt of potentially spilling Darryl’s secret from filling me.

Sometimes I wondered if my dad really was a superhero.
 


Chapter 33: The One Where We Go Back to Hogwarts
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Easter holidays had gone far too quickly. Before I knew what had happened we were all waiting to get on the train and head back to school.

It had been, by far, the best Easter holiday that I had had in years. I don’t think I went a day without seeing or speaking to Isabella, who had spent the night before at my house so that we could get the train together. It was still odd to have someone staying at my house that wasn’t Michelle. I knew who I preferred to have over, though. It was like a proper sleepover, with junk food, music, and makeovers.

I was still sporting the curls that she had put into my hair, using only rags of material. I had no idea how she had done it, but I loved it so much. I loved the way that they bounced around my head, which Isabella found hilarious. I would often catch her smiling my way when I would shake my head.

James loved them more than I did. When he had seen me on the platform, he had run straight over to me and picked me up for a hug. I laughed in embarrassment as my brother frowned at us, trying to put his best angry face on as he stared at James.

“I love the hair,” James told me after her had put me back down. His hand found one of the curls and he twirled it around his finger.

“Isabella did it,” I told him happily, watching his face as it lit up.

He raised my long hair up to his mouth and put it just under his nose.

“It’s like a fancy moustache,” James said happily, wriggling his eyebrows as he held my hair to his face. I couldn’t help the snort that escaped me, as I tried to move away from James.

A cough from my brother caused James to stop playing with my hair. We both turned to look at him.

“Hi Darryl, how are you?” James gave a small wave to my brother, who was still frowning, arms crossed against his chest.

“Fine, when you’re not manhandling my little sister in front of me,” Darryl stated. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at his behaviour. I had been witness to him and his ex-girlfriend doing a lot worse than mucking around with hair and pretending to have fancy moustaches.

“There was no manhandling,” I told Darryl, giving him a hug as I bent down to pick up my bag that I had brought back with me. James was quick to pick up Snowball’s cage for me.

“There better not be either,” Darryl warned, more to James. “I’ll be watching you James.”

“At school?” James asked with a small exaggerated frown, and I tried to stop myself from laughing.

“You’re not funny,” Darryl stated.

“I think he’s very funny,” I told Darryl, knowing that he was just joking. He had told me the other day that he approved of James, so I knew that he was just trying to intimidate him. “Now, stop being so protective. Thank you for bringing me here. I’ll write you later.”

“Keep your hands to yourself, Potter,” Darryl called across the platform as we walked away.

“Will do, Higgs,” James called back, his free hand raised above his head. We climbed onto the train, and I led the way down the carriages as we tried to find a compartment to sit in. Quite a few students had gone home for the holidays, so it was busier than it normally would have been.

I found a free compartment and we both settled into it, waiting for Isabella and William. Isabella had gone to get Sian and had told me that she would meet me on the train, and I had no idea where William was.

“Your cat is staring at me,” James stated, nodding at Snowballs cage, which was on the seat opposite us. “Surely he stared at me enough when I came around to yours?”

I leant down to look in Snowballs cage. “Apparently you’re fascinating.”

“I’ve been told that,” James said, moving his arm behind me and pulling me to him in a hug. His hands found my hair again, and he began playing with the curls. “Don’t understand why, I’m boring.”

“You’re not boring. You’re one of the most fascinating people I’ve met.”

“I’ll try not to be offended by that comment,” Isabella stated, coming into the compartment with Sian following close behind her. I leant over and moved Snowball onto the floor so that they could sit down.

“I said one of,” I tried telling her quickly, scared that she would be annoyed. I hated that I felt the need to defend myself so quickly. I knew that Isabella didn’t mean it like that. I was so used to having to defend myself around Michelle, that it was second nature to do so.

Isabella gave me a wink and a smirk and I had to remind myself that she was joking. It was a struggle to remember that not everyone acted like Michelle did.

James was looking out of the window as the train began to move slowly away from the platform. “Has anyone seen William?” he asked us.

Isabella and Sian shrugged, and I shook my head as James turned to look at us. He gave a small frown before standing up.

“I’m going to go and look for –“

“Sorry I’m late,” William stated as he came into the compartment, two people behind him. James seemed to relax at the sight of his best friend and sat back down next to me. He had a smile spread across his face as he looked at William, who threw his bag under a seat, and sitting next to Isabella. “I tried to lose the siblings, but they followed me.”

“We don’t want to follow you,” Sophie said as she took a seat next to me, glaring at her brother. I saw that their younger brother Steven was hovering in the doorway awkwardly. I hadn’t realised just how tall he actually was, and he was only a fifth year. He had to be six foot already.

“You can sit down Steven, they don’t bite. Well, Isabella might.” William patted the seat next to him. Steven seemed to be questioning whether he wanted to sit down until William grabbed his hand and pulled him over. Steven seemed to flop into the seat, his long legs stretched out in front of him.

“I’ll bite you in a minute,” Isabella stated to William, nudging him with her elbow.

“Promise?” He asked her with a smirk crossing his face.

“Oh god,” Sophie groaned, shaking her head so that her short blonde hair brushed against her shoulders. The last time I had seen her, her hair was much longer. “Please tell me this isn’t going to happen for the entire train ride.”

“I can assure you, that it probably will,” Isabella stated, turning to wink at William. I couldn’t help but watch them. I knew that they were mainly doing it because it was annoying Sophie, but Isabella’s confession last night at mine couldn’t help but run through my head. She had told me that she fancied William, but liked the flirting between them too much to act on it. I had been sworn to secrecy, so I would never divulge that information, not even to James.

“You both sicken me.”

“No one’s making you stay,” Steven told her, his voice was quiet, but deep. William nudged his brother and laughed at his words as they both looked at their sister.

“Unluckily for me, there’s no one else to talk to.” Sophie held up her hand to swear at her brothers.

“Why don’t you go and talk to Rebecca? I saw her skulking around,” Steven stated, and the mention of the name had my stomach squirming unpleasantly.

“That bitch isn’t my friend,” Sophie shot back angrily. “She tried to hit on my boyfriend.”

“The one that you were cheating on?” William asked, James had wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer so that I was leaning against him. The rest of us in the carriage were silent as we watched the siblings fighting amongst each other. I knew better than to get involved in it.

Sophie rolled her eyes. “He cheated on me first with that cow. I just got my revenge.”

Steven frowned, a look of disgust across his face as he pushed a hand through his extremely messy bed hair. “You got revenge by sleeping with our neighbour? Surely you can’t have been that desperate.”

“Speaking of desperate, remember when you hit on Nikolos Demarcus?” William asked. Sophie actually did kick him this time.

“I thought I told you to never bring that up again,” Sophie hissed dangerously. William cradled his leg, but didn’t look sorry for what he had said.

“You tried to hit on Nikolos?” Isabella asked intrigued, she was actually leaning forwards in her eagerness to hear more about what had happened. William was staring at her in confusion over why she was so interested. I had to admit that I was just curious because of what I had heard Sian and Isabella gossiping about. “When? I thought he left halfway through his seventh year?”

“I saw him at a party over Christmas.” Sophie gave a shrug as though it wasn’t important, although there was a slight red tinge to her cheeks. “I was drunk, so was he. I went to kiss him and he told me that he had a boyfriend, but he was flattered.”

“I was there,” William stated after laughing at what his sister had said. “His exact words were, ‘please leave me alone, you’re the wrong gender’.”

“No it wasn’t, don’t be an idiot.” Sophie snarled at him.

“Why is everyone so obsessed with Nikolos Demarcus anyway?” William asked, looking at Isabella and waiting for her answer.

“Let me see,” Isabella pretended to think, a smirk playing across her lips. “The tattoos, the piercings, the Mediterranean good looks. Should I go on?”

“Yes,” I said before I could stop myself. I threw my hand over my mouth as everyone turned to look at me. James had stopped playing with my hair and was waiting for me to say something else. “I didn’t meant it like that. He just sounds like he could be a good character, that’s all. Oh, look, Snowball wants to get out of his cage.”

“Am I going to need to get tattoos and piercings?” James asked quietly after a while of very awkward silence.

“Maybe a leather jacket as well,” Isabella stated. I was trying to hide my face with my hair as I fumbled with the door on Snowballs cage. I can’t believe I had just said that.

When I pulled Snowball out of his cage, I sat him on my lap and began petting him. Trying not to think about how James hadn’t put his arm back around me.

“This is hilarious,” William stated and I finally glanced up at him. “Come on, James. Abi isn’t going to run off to find Demarcus and be with him instead.”

“I don’t want to run off with Nikolos,” I tried to assure the room, turning around to look at James and being terrified of what James would do. He was glaring at William, but turned to look at me. The glare melted off of his face and was replaced with a grin, he leant forwards and kissed me, his hands cradling my face as his lips moved against my own.

It was the kind of kiss that took my breath away, that made me forget how to breathe, that made me forget everything including my own name. James pulled away and I took in a deep breath as my eyes fluttered open again.

“Do you have to do that here? It’s not like Nikolos is waiting in the darkness to steal Abigail away from you,” Sophie stated, and I felt the blush creeping across my face at the realisation that we had done that in front of everyone. I bit my lip as I leant back onto the seat, James’ hand laying on my thigh, his fingers running gently over the material of my jeans.

“Well, if he was, he now knows that Abigail is taken.” I heard William state as I turned to look at him. I realised that Snowball had left my lap and had gone to take refuge on Steven’s, who seemed quite happy stroking him.

--

Isabella and Sian were talking animatedly to each other about their holidays, both of them laying across Sian’s bed as Sian told us about her holiday abroad. I spoke a few times, to give them my own input, but otherwise kept quiet as I lay on my own bed. I was feeling tired from the long train ride, and wanted to go to sleep, but we had dinner soon and I was feeling hungry.

Michelle was in the room with us, pointedly ignoring us as she put her things away, but I would catch her shooting dark looks in Isabella’s direction, who would just roll her eyes. I wanted to snap at her to stop being so childish, but I found myself holding my tongue, especially when her dark looks would come my way. The silence between us was something that I hated, It was exactly like we used to be when Michelle would fall out with me and I was expected to be the one to apologise. I felt the need to do it now, a reflex that had been manipulated into me over years of our supposed friendship, that I struggled to ignore. I couldn’t forgive her for what she had done.

Around seven we all made our way to the Great Hall, not in a rush as our common room was close and Michelle followed behind us slowly. I couldn’t help but think that she was up to something, especially when she chose to sit near us and next to Freya Jackson in the year below, engaging her in conversation. I had no idea when they had started talking to each other.

“How many times did you meet up with William over the holidays?” Sian stated, bringing me out of my thoughts on Michelle.

“Not that many times,” Isabella replied with a shrug and a coy smile across her face. “Just a handful. His dad is hilarious, I think I may love him.”

I grinned at her words, excited about when I would be able to meet Duncan properly, especially after everything that I had heard about him from James, William, and now, Isabella.

“Oh, we also saw Ethan Richards,” Isabella stated, and I could sense Michelle sitting up just a little straighter at her words. I told myself that I wouldn’t look at her, focusing on Isabella as she spoke.

“Where did you see him?” Sian asked a little louder as the chatter in the Great Hall rose, with the rest of the students filing in. I glanced up but couldn’t see James or William, but I did see Steven’s head above most of the others, he headed over to the Gryffindor table.

“We met him near his house. William wanted to meet up with him and dragged us all along with him, he’s actually quite a cool person. I know he’s got that angry look on his face all the time, but I think that’s just his resting bitch face.”

I snorted at her words, covering my nose and mouth with my hand in embarrassment. Sian and Isabella turned to look at me in amusement.

“Sorry,” I apologised, dropping my hand as the noise in the hall quietened down so that Headmaster Flitwick could talk to us. I dropped my voice as I leant closer to her to speak. “Resting bitch face?”

“It’s when your normal face looks like you want to hurt or kill someone,” Isabella told me.

“Like your face all the time,” Sian whispered with a laugh. Isabella responded by slapping her lightly on the arm.

I smiled at the ease that they both joked around each other, without the fear of hurting the others feelings because they knew their friend so well. I wished that Michelle and I had had that kind of friendship, maybe none of this would have happened between us? When I looked at her, she was glaring at me as though I had stabbed her in the back. A feeling of hurt filled me as she sneered and turned away.

I tried to push down the need to apologise to her, and instead focused on the words that our headmaster was speaking, but the only things I heard were that our Apparition lessons had been late because the instructor had developed a small case of Dragon Pox, but they were starting in the next few days.

--

“Why were you so preoccupied during dinner?” James asked me as we walked slowly around the field. He had found me after dinner and asked if I wanted to go for a walk with him before our curfew.

I gave a small shrug and felt his hand tightening in my own. “I just struggle a bit with not speaking to Michelle. I keep feeling like I should be apologising to her so that she stops hating me. It’s something that I’ve done for so long, even if I don’t need to apologise. I don’t like the idea of someone hating me.”

James let go of my hand and wrapped an arm around my shoulder, placing a kiss on the top of my head as he pulled me to him.

“Noone could hate you, Abigail, you’re too cute and adorable,” he told me and I grinned stupidly at his words.

“You have to say things like that, you’re my boyfriend,” I said quietly, wrapping my arms around him and leaning my head on his chest as we stopped walking.

“And you’re my girlfriend. You’re also the nicest, sweetest, and best looking girl that I know.”

I buried my face into his chest to hide the blush as my stomach flip-flopped at his words. My grin was wide and I moved my head up to place a kiss on his cheek.

He turned his face to try and capture my lips with his own, but we were interrupted by someone yelling across the field.

“JAMES!”

I barely had time to move away from James before a small dark skinned teenager came running at us, jumping into James’s arms and hugging him tightly. Her hair was sticking out wildly, and looked really soft and bouncy.

“Roxanne,” James said happily, and I realised that it was his cousin Roxanne Weasley. James hugged her for a few more moments before letting go of her. Roxanne smiled widely at him, before turning to face me, she took a step forwards and held her hand out to me.

“It’s nice to finally meet you, Abigail,” she said happily, her tone friendly as I shook her hand.

“You too, Roxanne,” I replied. James laughed as he put his arm back around me and looked down at his cousin.

“What’s up, Roxilocks?” James asked, his hand reaching out to mess up his cousin’s already wild hair. She pulled away from him and shot him a look as she tried to smooth it back.

“Don’t James, I lost my hair band and I can’t fix this,” Roxanne told us with a groan. She turned to me and reached out to touch one of my curls, pulling it gently so that it bounced when she let go of it.

“I wish my hair was like this, instead of the frizz bomb that I have,” she grumbled.

“It’s not normally like this,” I told her, even though I wished that it was. “Isabella curled it for me last night.”

“it’s really pretty.”

I felt my cheeks heating up at her compliment. “Thank you.”

“Are you busy? I want to go for a run,” Roxanne said, turning to James and bouncing up and down on the spot as she spoke. “I ate a lot of sherbert earlier and I need to burn off some energy.”

James rolled his eyes, as though this was a very big inconvenience for him. “I suppose I could be persuaded. Did you wanna join us Abigail?”

I laughed at the joke, before realising that they were being serious. “Oh, you don’t want to see me running. I give up after a few steps and need to sit down.”

James and Roxanne both laughed. “Do you mind if I go for a run with Roxanne?”

I was amazed that he asked me, he really didn’t need to.

“Oh, er, yeah I can see you tomorrow in Muggle Studies,” I told him with a nod, I could work on my comic if I went back now.

“I’m sorry I cut our walk shut for my crazy cousin,” James stage whispered to me, and Roxanne shoved him in the shoulder, causing him to laugh.

“Oi! I am not the crazy one, that’s Hugo. I was voted the least crazy member of our family,” Roxanne grumbled, shaking her head and pointedly turning away from us to give us some privacy to say goodbye. James gave me a quick kiss goodbye, before kissing the tip of my nose which made me giggle.

“I really like you, Abigail,” James whispered, and my heart sky rocketed as he moved away from me and walked over to his cousin. He pushed her in the back and she stumbled forwards before attempting to run after him to shove him back.

I watched them run off before walking back to the castle, heading towards the Hufflepuff Den.

I really liked him too. Quite a lot.




A/N: I would love to know what you all thought of this chapter! I have the rest of this planned, so woo! :D


Chapter 34: The One With Roxanne
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who nominated this story for two Dobby's, they're in the final for Most Addictive and Best Next Gen and you have all made me so happy that you've voted. I could honestly cry (and have done). Voting is open until the 29th I believe, so I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone now, in case I don't get another chapter out in time for it ending. I love you all so much!

Now, onto the next chapter!




“What are you doing back so early?” Isabella asked as I walked into our dormitory. She was sitting on Sian’s bed and flipping through an issue of Teenage Witch, as Sian read her own copy. Michelle was sitting on her own bed, searching through her school bag for something, but I tried not to keep my attention on her for too long.

“James and Roxanne decided to go for a run, and I didn’t want to join them,” I stated, my eyes flicking over to Michelle as I heard a small laugh coming from her direction. She looked up at me, and I turned away quickly, the thought of how we used to be friends stabbing at me.

Though were we really ever friends? Or was I only there until someone better came along for Michelle? Someone to make herself feel better.

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that if I were you,” Michelle stated, as though she were incapable of being nice and the pain in me worsened that could say something like that. Hadn’t she done enough damage to me? Did she want to continue making my life hard, and take every bit of self-esteem from me?

“What is that supposed to mean?” I found myself asking angrily, feeling a rage fill me at the fact that she still felt the need to do this to me.

“It means that you don’t know him as well as you think you do.”

I wanted to scream at her that I know him better than I ever knew her, that I know him better than I know anyone else. That he wouldn’t do that to me. But she was giving me a hard look and the anger was keeping me silent, my confidence slipping through my fingers like smoke. The hard look that she was giving me was always the one she gave to shut me down, and I couldn’t help but give in to it, feel the old pulls of the way that she had manipulated me over the years until it effectively shut me up. Until that anger had turned and was aimed at myself for letting myself be controlled like this. I could tell in the small tug at her lips that she knew the power she still had over me, and I knew that she was going to abuse that.

“Why don’t you just fuck off, Michelle,” Isabella growled, turning to look over her shoulder at Michelle, who turned to look at her. “Go and spread your venom elsewhere before I give you another black eye.”

“You didn’t give me one before,” Michelle huffed, arms crossing against her chest and I couldn’t help but stay in silence, trying to subside my anger. I didn’t know what to say, or how to stop this.

“I’ll make sure to give you one this time,” Isabella threatened, I could see her fists clenching beside her.

“How about you –“

“Enough!” Sian snapped, causing everyone to turn and look at her, she was shaking her head and kept her eyes focused on Michelle as she spoke. “We all have to live in this dormitory together and I am not going to put up with everyone squabbling. I get that something terrible happened, but I don’t want it to escalate in here. This is where we should be coming to sleep and chill out in our own personal spaces. Can we just agree that this is neutral ground and that whatever hatred you all have for each other is kept out of here?”

I stared at her, knowing that she made sense. It would surely make it all easier if we agreed to get along in the dormitory, but I was still too angry at what Michelle had done, and what she seemed to be continually doing.

“Next year is going to be stressful enough without you all threatening each other,” Sian added when no one spoke. I glanced at Isabella, whose jaw was clenched tightly as she stared at Sian with an unreadable expression on her face. When my eyes flickered to Michelle it was to see that she was watching me pointedly. “Can you please just stop arguing?”

“I’ll drop it... for now,” Isabella stated, dropping the magazine on Sian’s bed and standing up. “But don’t be surprised when it all goes to shit within a few days.”

Sian was shaking her head and sighing, eyes following Isabella as she walked over to me and grabbed my arm, pulling me towards the dormitory door and taking us both out of the room.

I let her guide me without any protest towards the common room, before we both took a seat on the sofa next to Horatio Demarcus, who was slouching on the sofa. He gave us a brief glance as we sat down, but didn’t say anything, not even when Isabella let out a loud groan of annoyance.

“Do you want to play Chess? I want to watch the players destroy each other?” Isabella asked, and I shook my head slowly.

“I don’t really know how to play,” I told her honestly.

“I’ll play. I could watch things beating the shit out of each other,” Horatio stated, sitting up and using his foot to hook the leg of the chess table, dragging it towards them.

“What’s pissing you off then?” Isabella asked as she sat up straight and began setting up her pieces. Horatio heaved a large sigh before shaking his head, eyes glancing into the corner. I followed his gaze and saw Louis Weasley and his girlfriend Freya Jackson; they were both sitting in the chair by the bookcase, giggling over something. They looked happy, and I couldn’t help the small smile that crossed my face at seeing them. I wonder if James and I looked like that to other people?

“Nothing,” Horatio stated, making me turn to look at him again. “Pawn to E3.”

--

I hadn’t seen or heard from James since the day before, I understood that he was busy catching up with people and tried not to worry, but Michelle’s words still got into my head. I knew there was no truth to her words at all, I trusted James, I didn’t trust her.

Why did I let her try to hurt me still? Why couldn’t I just completely let her go?

James made me jump by coming up behind where I was sitting, wrapping his arms around me and kissing me on the cheek. I turned my head with a smile and he moved his kiss to my lips. After he had left me breathless and wondering what my own name was, he pulled away and moved to take the seat next to me. His hands reaching for my own, fingers slipping through my own and pulled my hand up to place a kiss gently on my knuckles.

My heart beat frantically against my chest as butterflies went crazy inside of me. James grinned at me, a small dimple appearing in his cheek as he did so, and I knew that I was a total goner for this boy.

“Morning,” he said softly, voice slightly raspy as he spoke.

“It’s technically the afternoon,” I told him, my voice coming out to sound like a whisper, not able to take my eyes away from his gaze.

“I didn’t see you this morning to say it,” James told me, leaning forward to place a small kiss on my lips again, before turning to sit in his chair properly, hand still gripping mine.

I tried to be conspicuous as I took a deep breath to try and steady my beating heart, but a glance out of the corner of my eye made me see that James was smirking.

“Did you have fun running with Roxanne?” I asked him as our fellow classmates began slowly coming into the room and taking their seats around us.

“I did,” James said, his face lighting up as he spoke, “I didn’t get to see that much of her over the holidays, so it’s nice. Don’t tell anyone but she’s my favourite cousin.”

“I won’t tell anyone,” I promised him, shaking my head slightly. “Can you imagine the outcry if anyone was to find out?”

“Oh, the rest of my family would destroy me,” James chuckled. “There can’t be any favourites in our family. There’s a lot of jealousy.”

“I’m glad that I don’t have many cousins,” I told him truthfully, my father was an only child and my mother had an older brother who had two kids. That was the extent of my family.

“I have too many, we can share them if you want?” James offered, I gave him a smile in return, but didn’t say anything as the teacher called the class to quiet so that he could begin the lesson.

“You wouldn’t want them anyway,” James muttered to me knowingly out of the corner of his mouth. “Christmas and birthdays become so expensive.”

--

“Can’t you put each other down for more than five minutes?” William asked, sounding put out, but with a smile on his face as he looked at us.

I felt embarrassed as I pulled away from the kiss, turning to bury my face in James’ chest as I tried to stop my cheeks from turning red. I forgot that there were other people in the world, let alone in the corridor, when James kissed me.

I felt the vibrations of James’ chuckle across my cheek as he wrapped his arms around me and held me closer. I loved that he was taller than me.

“It’s not my fault that she’s irresistible,” James stated, making me smile wider – which I didn’t even think was possible. My cheeks were going to kill me.

I turned my face to look at Isabella and William as we all waited to enter the Great Hall, realising that there were more people around us now, waiting to go inside and start our first apparition lesson. I couldn’t help but worry how many people had seen us kissing against the stone wall.

“James let go of her so that we can go inside,” Isabella stated, reaching forwards and taking hold of my wrist gently, tugging me in the direction that all of the other students in our year were walking. James kept hold of me, turning so that he was behind me now, but still having his arms wrapped tightly around my waist.

“Abigail I don’t want to alarm you,” William stated, which instantly made me worry about what he was going to tell me as I struggled to walk with James holding me back, and Isabella tugging my arm. “You appear to have some sort of James attached to you. Don’t worry, I don’t think it’s a fatal rash, but there’s definitely a cream for it.”

I snorted before I could stop myself, and James chuckled from behind me, still holding me tightly. I wondered who would let go first out of Isabella and James, and worried that my arm would be pulled out of the socket before either one of them gave up the tug of war. I looked to William for help, and he gave a short laugh and a shake of his head.

“Come on, James, let her go,” William stated, stopping in front of me so that I was sandwiched between them, and reaching for James’s hands wrapped tightly around my waist. Isabella was still holding my wrist and waiting for William to help her.

“No, I don’t want to,” James whined as William grabbed for his hands to get them to unclench.

It took a while, but William finally managed to get James to let go of me so that we could go into the Great Hall.

“Pathetic,” Michelle shot at us as she passed, and I watched as Isabella stuck her foot out in an attempt to trip her over. Michelle jumped over it easily and threw a glare at Isabella.

The hall had filled up quite quickly whilst we were outside, and there weren’t many spaces left for us to occupy, especially not together. Which would probably be a good thing, as I would get distracted by James and wouldn’t listen to the instructor. Isabella seemed to have read my mind, and took the two spaces nearer to the front so that William and James would have no option but to go to the ones at the back.

I turned to look at where James and William had stood, and smiled as James blew me a kiss. William shoved him and I turned back to the front and giggled.

“Oh god, if I knew that you would be there, I would have gone to the back,” Isabella growled angrily, and I looked to my left and saw that we had stood next to Michelle and Rebecca. I felt unease fill me in seeing the predatory look across Rebecca’s face and wanted nothing more than to escape. If Rebecca was within reaching distance of me, I knew that it would somehow end badly. I wondered if Isabella would swap with me?

“Okay, everyone turn this way and we shall begin.”

I turned towards the man standing in front of us, and saw that not far from where we stood was Professor Longbottom. I instantly felt relief fill me at seeing him, knowing that Rebecca wouldn’t be able to do anything to me whilst he was there.

“My name is Jared Linheart and I shall be your instructor. Let’s get straight down to it. The first three things you need to know are the three D’s,” he called out.

There was giggling from behind me, and I rolled my eyes as I heard what sounded like Elijah whispering something crude to what could only be Barry. It surprised me when I heard Ethan reprimanding Elijah and telling him to grow up. I turned around to face him curiously, and Ethan looked at me.

“You alright, Abigail?” he asked me quietly, I nodded in reply to him.

“You?” I asked politely. It felt weird that Ethan was happily talking to me, and I could sense Michelle tense up beside me. I felt bad that a sense of joy filled me at the fact that she was witnessing this.

“Yeah, I’m good thanks, I haven’t seen you or Isabella since you came to visit me in Easter,” he stated.

“Missing us already?” Isabella asked, turning to look at Ethan. I found it hard to keep focusing on Ethan when I felt Michelle’s eyes boring into the back of my head,
I knew that she was giving me the filthiest look that she could muster and I really didn’t want to have to look at her.

“Will you three please stop talking, you don’t want to miss anything important and end up splinching yourselves,” Jared said, causing us to all turn and face him. I offered him an apologetic smile and ducked my head slightly at being caught talking.

“Now, who’s ready to start trying to apparate?”

--

No one managed to apparate that lesson. Which James seemed put out about. It was really funny watching him pouting as we stood outside of the Great Hall. I wasn’t sure what we were waiting for, but Ethan had joined us, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Michelle would be nearby trying to spy on us.

“So, what’s everyone doing now?” Ethan asked us, hands shoved into the pockets of his trousers as he waited for us to answer.

“I’ve got Quidditch practice in an hour,” James stated as he looked down at his watch. “So, I need to go and get changed for that.”

“I have quite a bit of homework to do,” Isabella stated with a shrug, as William agreed with her.

“Probably homework as well,” I added, even though I had done quite a fair chunk of the workload, I wanted to get ahead and begin preparing for the end of year exams that were coming up.

“How about, we all go and get our homework and sit in the Quidditch stands whilst James’ practices?” William suggested, looking at us all to see if anyone would disagree.

It seemed like a good idea to me, that way I could watch James playing and not have to sit on my own in the stands.

“Sure, shall we all meet there?” Isabella asked.

Everyone agreed and we began going our separate ways, or I would have if James didn’t grab hold of my hand to stop me.

“Oh god, public display of affection coming up,” William groaned loudly, throwing his hands up in the air as I glanced at him. “I’ll meet you all down at the pitch.”

“I’ll try not to be late,” James said, pulling me after Ethan and down the corridor that would lead to the dungeons, Ethan had hurried off and I was thankful that no one would be standing awkwardly around as James and I said goodbye to each other.

James stopped walking as we turned around a corner to an unoccupied section of the dungeons, it was dark and slightly musty, but I didn’t care. I braced myself as James twirled me and pressed his lips against mine, gently pushing me against the wall as one hand slid down to my waist, the other pressed against the wall.

It was so easy to get lost in his kisses, feeling like my head and stomach were both turning to mush at his touch. I never wanted this to stop, I never wanted him to go away. He pulled away slightly so that I could catch my breath, and I heaved in a deep breath as I clutched the front of his T-shirt, head turning in an attempt to find his lips again, but he was moving his kisses along my jaw, before moving to my neck.

I gasped at the new feeling, his lips mouthing at my neck and collarbone, causing my knees to weaken at the touch. This was new, this was something that we had never done before and it excited me, as well as made me slightly anxious.

James pulled away quickly at feeling me stiffen under his touch, eyes searching mine. It took a while before I could get my head to stop swirling and I could focus on him.

“Are you alright? Was that going too far?” he asked in worry. I shook my head quickly, wanting to tell him that it was brilliant, that I was enjoying it, but the words wouldn’t come out. I reached up to cradle my hand on the back of his head and pulled him to meet my lips again, eager to show him that it was fine, that he didn’t have to worry.

“If you ever feel like we’re rushing anything,” he told me earnestly in between kisses, “you tell me and I will stop straight away.”

I nodded as he pulled away from me and rested his forehead against my own. The coolness of the wall behind me was causing me to shiver, but I didn’t want to move from the position that we were in.

“I have to go and get ready,” James told me reluctantly. “I don’t want to go.”

“Then don’t,” I said before I could stop myself. I surprised myself that I could be so forward, and looked up into his eyes to see that he was fighting against whether or not he would.

“Don’t tempt me,” he whispered huskily, and that voice alone caused a shiver to go through me which had nothing to do with the coolness of the dungeons. “I would do anything that you asked of me.”

I bit my lip at his words, realising the power behind his words.

“Go to your practice,” I told him, even though I wanted to stay here and kiss him for the rest of the day.

James nodded, his head dipping forwards to kiss me again, and we stayed like that for a bit longer, neither of us ready to say goodbye yet.

“Okay, I definitely have to go, otherwise I won’t.” James took a step away from me, and I loved that he looked dishevelled, knowing that I had been the one to cause that look to cross over him. I wanted to see more of it.

I nodded, standing up straight and hoping that my knees wouldn’t buckle as I began walking with James out of the dungeons and into the entrance hall.

A few students were milling around, but James didn’t care as he pulled me closer for one more chaste kiss. “I love that you wear that strawberry lip stuff,” he told me, and I smiled against his lips, making a mental note to wear more of it.

James pulled away and I watched him leave to go and get his things, calling to me that he would see me on the pitch. I couldn’t stop the goofy smile that spread across my face as I headed towards the Hufflepuff common room, wondering if Isabella would still be there.

A meow broke through my thoughts and I saw that Snowball was waiting for me at the top of the corridor. I smiled as I bent down to pick him up, burying my face into his fur and giving him a kiss as I carried on walking towards the entrance of the Hufflepuff den.

“Do you want to come to the Quidditch pitch as well?” I asked him, knowing that he wouldn’t answer me because he was a cat, but still pretending that he had anyway. “Oh, sorry, would that cut into your important laying around time?”

Snowball rubbed his face against mine, as I laughed.

“Bitch.”

I didn’t manage to turn around to see who had shouted the words, as hands pressed against my back and pushed me roughly. I stumbled, throwing my hands out and dropping Snowball as I tried to stop my fall. I caught my left hand on the sharp stone wall and fell down on my right hand, landing at an awkward angle and causing my head to smack against the floor painfully.

Tears sprang to my eyes and before I could stop them, they were falling down my face as the pain spread through three different points of my body.

“You’re not good enough for him,” a cruel voice said, laughter in their voice as I sat up slowly, cradling my right hand in my left. “When will you see that?”

Through my tears, I saw that Rebecca was walking away from me, a slight skip in her step as she did so.

I struggled to my feet, feeling a warmth in my head at where it had connected with the floor as a headache began forming.

“Abigail?”

I blinked quickly to clear my eyes of tears, and saw a shocked Louis Weasley standing in front of me, a bewildered Horatio standing next to him, and an angry Roxanne behind them. They looked worried and I shook my head quickly, even though it hurt to do so. “I’m fine. I just fell over, that’s all.”

I knew that they didn’t believe me, I wouldn’t have believed me either. I wiped my eyes with my hands, and let out a cry of pain at the sharpness that shot through my right wrist and fresh tears filled my eyes.

“Come on,” Roxanne said gently, rushing forwards and throwing an arm around me to steer me down the corridor. She was shorter than me, and younger, but I let myself be guided by her. “Let’s get you to the hospital wing.”

“I – er – “ Horatio began, “I let your cat into the common room.”

I nodded a thank you at him as I walked down the corridor, I wiped my eyes with my left hand and tried to will my headache into going away. I was so pathetic, I couldn’t believe that James’ family had seen me cry like this.

I couldn’t believe that Rebecca had done this to me. Why was she going out of her way to be horrible to me? I hadn’t done anything to her. I tried my best to ignore her.

“Who did this to you?” Roxanne asked me as calmly as she could, her voice was soothing.

I shook my head, I knew that if I mentioned who it was, it would make things a lot worse for me.

“I’m meant to be meeting Isabella and that down on the Quiditch pitch,” I told them all lamely, realising that Horatio and Louis were trailing behind us, unsure what else to do.

“We can go and tell them what happened if you want?” Louis offered. I hadn’t realised that they had been following us, and I ducked my head, worried about the eyes of the students that had turned to look at us curiously. The pain in my wrist was keeping the tears in my eyes and I tried to clutch it gently.

“You go and do that, and I’ll take Abigail up to the hospital wing,” she turned to look at me, eyeing my forehead with a displeased look on her face. I didn’t think that I was bleeding, but knew that a bruise was going to form.

“Thank you, Roxanne,” I told her honestly, so thankful that she was there.

“Who did it?” Roxannes asked me again, this time softly as we walked up the stairs slowly.

I shook my head again, and I could tell that Roxanne wasn’t happy with my answer. I felt worried about her reaction, even though she was younger than me, and hoped that she wouldn’t push this. I didn’t want more people to get involved than was necessary. I wanted to just forget about this and hope that it would go away.

“James is going to want to know who it was,” Roxanne told me, and I knew that it was the truth. “And so will William and Isabella, I’ve heard how her temper is from James.”

I swallowed as we continued walking slowly, and I was thankful that the staircases weren’t moving to interrupt our journey. My wrist and head began to throb in time with each other, and I just wanted something to take the pain away.

“She’s going to go mental,” I stated knowingly, “I don’t want her do something and get in trouble again.”

Roxanne pursed her lips, an unimpressed look on her face.

“It’s Rebecca isn’t it?” Roxanne asked, and I realised too late that she knew she was right by the way that my body stiffened. “That cow. She needs to realise that she’s messing with the girlfriend of a boy with a very large and protective family. I’m going to send a letter to dad and get him to send me the worst things he can. She’s not going to know what hit her.”

My eyes widened at her words, but before I could tell her that it wasn’t worth it, that she didn’t have to do that and get herself into so much trouble just because of me, but the Healer, Madam Ashwin, interrupted us by coming over.

“Abigail fell on her wrist and managed to hit her head on the floor of the dungeons,” Roxanne stated before I could answer myself. My injured wrist was instantly cradled by Madam Ashwin as she looked over it, I winced at the pain, but let her carry on with her examination.

It turned out that my wrist was just sprained, which I was thankful for. Madam Ashwin gave me a potion to help the pain, and wrapped a bandage around my wrist to help keep it supported as it healed. My head bump was going to bruise, but she wasn’t too worried about it being any worse than that, I was to take it easy and come straight to her if I begun feeling sick.

“How long will I have to keep the bandage–“ I began as I looked down at my bandage, but jumped when I heard a commotion outside of the window. My eyes widened and mouth fell open as James climbed through it, a broom clutched in his hand and a very concerned look on his pale face. His eyes found me immediately, and he dropped his broom to rush over to me, he was still in his Quidditch uniform.

“Mr. Potter, that is no way to enter the hospital wing,” Madam Ashwin scolded, but James ignored her and hurried over to me, eyes searching over me and settling in on my forehead. A darker look crossed his face, before he looked down at my wrist and reached for me, handling my wrist as though it were delicate.

“You climbed through a window,” I stated stupidly as James frowned darkly, he looked up at me, the look relaxing.

“Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” I told him, and aside from the pain and the embarrassment that this had happened, I was. “Why did you climb through the window?”

“It would have taken too long to come up the stairs,” James told me, eyes hardening. “What happened?”

“It seems that Miss Higgs tripped down in the dungeons and has sprained her wrist, and gotten a nasty bump on her forehead,” Madam Ashwin answered for me, eyes rolling over James again disapprovingly that he didn’t apologise for coming through the window. She turned to look at me, and I struggled to tear my eyes away from James’ to meet her stare. “You are free to go, but remember to come back instantly if you feel sick.”

She walked away from us, and I turned back to James, who was sharing a look with Roxanne as though they were communicating silently.

“Who?” he asked simply, and I didn’t want to tell him. I didn’t want him to get angry and do something that would end up with him in trouble. He had already left his training to be here with me. I bit my lip, mouth opening to say something, before I closed it again.

“Rebecca,” Roxannne said, arms crossed as she stood next to James, considerably shorter than him in height, but making up for it by her fierce attitude. They both had the same angry crossing their features, and it was easy to tell that the two were related.

“That fucking cow.”

The new voice was a surprise, and I turned in time to see Isabella storming out of the hospital wing. I felt dread fill me as I stood up from the bed that I was sitting on, and tried to make my way out of the room to stop Isabella. If she went storming up to Rebecca things would become worse and I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.

James’s arm wrapped around my shoulders, and he pulled me to him, kissing the top of my head as gently as he could as I wrapped my arms around him. I felt tears prickling in my eyes even though I had no reason to cry anymore, I was as fixed as I could be, and this wasn’t going to solve anything. Still, I clutched to James as he rubbed my back.

“Someone should go and stop Isabella,” William said slowly, and I knew that he had no intention of doing so. I worried about what was going to happen if someone didn’t. “Did you have to go through the hospital wing window?”

“It was the quickest way to get here,” I heard James say, his chest vibrating as he spoke, and I pulled away from him and slid my uninjured hand into his. A silent motion that I was ready to go.

I looked up at William as he shook his head, a fond smile on his face, He glanced down at me as we all walked together.

“How are you feeling?” he asked softly.

“I’m fine,” I told him, wondering if I really was fine, or if it was the fact that I was surrounded by all of them that was making me feel a lot better?

“How hurt do you think Rebecca will be when we finally find Isabella?” he asked. Roxanne was the one to answer.

“Hopefully she’s the one that needs to visit the hospital wing,” she said darkly. “Don’t worry, if she thinks that’ll be the last of this, she’s sorely mistaken. If I see her so much as look in Abigail’s direction she’s going to wake up without hair.”

“Uncle George’s hair removal elixir?” William asked as James stayed quiet.

“The very one,” Roxanne said, and she and William high-fived each other. I couldn’t bring myself to join in with them, as much as I hated her for what she had done to me, I wouldn’t wish something like that on her, and I knew that I should at least want some kind of revenge for the way that she was continuously targeting me. Why couldn’t I do that?

“You should get back to your training,” I told James honestly, even though I didn’t want him to go. “Your captain won’t be happy that you left.”

“I should probably tell him why I left,” James stated, “do you want to come down there with me? William and Roxanne can go and find Isabella, make sure she doesn’t do anything too bad.”

I nodded, hand tightening in his.

“Thank you so much, Roxanne,” I told her honestly. Roxanne gave me a smile, before pulling me into a hug that surprised me.

“You’re welcome, our family look after each other.”

“Come on, little Weasley,” William said, reaching for Roxanne’s shoulder and pulling her after him down the corridor. “We’ll use the map to find her.”

“Don’t forget to give that back tonight, I need it,” James called after them as we began our walk.

“How are you really feeling?” James asked me after we walked in silence for a while. It was an easy silence and I was quite content with being in it, just holding onto James’s hand.

“I’m fine,” I told him, the same words had fallen from my mouth too many times in the last half an hour. I knew that James didn’t believe me as he stopped us on the pathway to the Quidditch pitch and looked down at me. He rose his hands to cradle my face, waiting for me to answer, and it was like he could read me like a book.

“Abi –“ he said, pressing a soft kiss against my lips and making my heart falter. He pulled away much too quickly and I took my time opening my eyes to look back up into his beautiful eyes, my uninjured hand was clutching hold of one of his arms as a way to steady myself.

Tears prickled at my eyes again, and I furiously willed them away, I didn’t want James to see me crying all the time.

“I wish that she would leave me alone,” I answered truthfully.

James’ thumbs caressed my skin tenderly, pressing his lips against mine again.

“She will, we’ll make sure of it.”

I believed him. He had no reason to lie to me.

“Let’s talk about this later and get you back to your practice,” I said as James dropped his hands slowly from my face. He nodded as he reached for my hand again and we continued on our way.

I glanced at his free hand and gave a small frown as I realised that he had left his broom back in the hospital wing.

“You forgot your broom,” I told him, and I wasn’t sure why I found that funny. James gave a loud groan at his forgetfulness, before digging into his pocket to pull out his wand and waving it behind him and in the direction of the castle, both of us still walking.

“Accio my broom.”

It wasn’t long before it rushed down to him, and he caught it easily without even turning to look. James saw my amazed look and gave me a wink as he pocketed his wand.

Thankfully, he managed to finish the remainder of his training without being called away again, and I watched him in fascination on the pitch, the pain in my wrist and head were gone, but the worry about Isabella still strong in my gut.

I hoped that someone had stopped her before she got into serious trouble.


Chapter 35: The One Where James Apparates
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I'm not sure if I ever thanked each and every one of you who voted for this story to win a dobby, but if I haven't thank you all so much! I'm sorry about the wait for this chapter, but I was writing the sequel through November for Nano, and it's about 7 chapters done so far! So, hopefully I have a lot written by the time I finish this one. :D

I would love to know what you think of this chapter.




James was holding my hand under the table, thumb gently caressing the back of my hand and making me feel calm. I had been on edge since what happened the day before with Rebecca, and although my wrist didn’t’ hurt as much, I still had it in the bandage. My head had begun to bruise, and Isabella had spent the morning putting foundation over the bruise as gently as she could so that it wouldn’t be obvious what had happened, as Michelle watched from where she was getting ready. I could tell that she wanted to ask, but I didn’t want to talk about it with her, she had lost that right when she had done what she did.

Isabella had come back late, a look of anger on her face as she entered the dormitory, and I waited nervously to find out what she had done to Rebecca. I didn’t want her to get into trouble, or for Rebecca to be hurt, no matter what she had done to me.

“Detention every night for the week,” Isabella had informed me, eyes skimming over my head, which I tried to cover with my hair. “I wasn’t able to do more than yell at her because she had her little followers around.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” I told her, feeling bad that this was happening and that it had all escalated out of control. “What if you get suspended? What if she targets you?”

“No, she needs to realise that she can’t go around bullying people without any kind of consequences to her actions. I don’t care who she thinks that she is, she needs to realise that she can’t treat people like this, that we will stand up to her if she keeps this up.”

I had bitten my lip, and Isabella had just given me another look before hugging me and then going over to her bed so that she could get ready to go to sleep.

I hadn’t had much sleep, between the throbbing of my head and wrist once the pain relief had worn off, and the worry about what I was going to face in the morning keeping me up. Rebecca was quite popular, she had many friends, and I was worried about what I was going to be facing.

“Are you alright?” James whispered next to me. I turned to look at him, realising that I had been staring at the sheet of paper in front of me instead of talking to him. I nodded slowly, giving his hand a squeeze and sitting up straight.

“Have you come up with an idea yet?” I asked James, not liking the worry that had flitted across his features as he looked at me. He didn’t say anything for a few moments, eyes still boring into mine, as though willing me to open up and tell him what was on my mind.

“The only hobby that keeps springing to mind is knitting,” James told me and I laughed at his idea. “I know that the only reason it does is because William wants me to knit him a blanket.”

I nodded and reached up a hand to brush my hair away from my face, wincing as my finger rubbed against the graze on my forehead.

“Abi-“ James began again, he sounded really concerned about me, and I felt my eyes prickle. I wasn’t going to cry about this again.

“I’m fine, James,” I told him, turning to give him a quick kiss on the cheek before letting go of his hand and picking up my quill so that I could begin planning my own hobby to write about.

I knew he didn’t believe me.

“Are you going to go with knitting?” I asked him, realising that he had gone silent and worrying that it was because of me. I didn’t want him to be angry with me. I knew that I was probably being irrational, but I couldn’t help myself, it was still ingrained in me since my friendship with Michelle.

“Of course, I’m going to make William the best blanket in the world. I may need my cousin Molly to teach me though,” he told me, leaning his elbows on the desk that we shared, pressing his arm against mine before pressing a small kiss to my hair. I felt relief that he wasn’t angry with me.

“Do you think she will?” I asked.

“Of course she will, she loves me I’m her favourite cousin,” James grinned, nudging me with his shoulder lightly. “I’m everyone’s favourite cousin.”

--

I couldn’t help but smile as I watched William get his sister into a headlock and try to rub the top of her head with his knuckles. Sophie gave a loud laugh and shriek as she tried to shove him off her, pushing him away and punching him as hard as she could in the arm. William laughed loudly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her to him in a hug, Sophie seemed to be on guard though, and quickly jabbed him in the stomach. William doubled over before standing up straight again and pushing his foot behind her knee and causing her leg to buckle. Sophie grabbed William’s arm as she fell and dragged him down to the floor with her.

“Sutton, Bird, behave,” Professor Longbottom called across the room as the two siblings both got up from the floor and began shoving each other. “Don’t make me separate you both.”

William tried to look innocent as Sophie stopped shoving William. She turned to stick her tongue out at William as she put her blonde hair up into a bun, William swore at her and earned another reprimanding from Professor Longbottom.

“I thought they hated each other?” Isabella stated to me as I looked away from William and Sophie. I gave a shrug at her words, I had no idea what was going on with those two, one day they hated each other, the next they were fine.

“They’re talking at the moment,” James told us, appearing in the empty space next to me without a sound. I couldn’t help the excited grin that took over my face at seeing him. “Sophie brought him some chocolate frogs and he instantly forgave her. That boy would do anything for a chocolate frog.”

“Isabella should bear that in mind,” Sian joked, earning an elbow in the side from Isabella, and a hiss to stop talking.

James was watching them curiously, before turning to face me and holding out a hand for me to take. When I did, he pulled me closer to him and wrapped an arm around me.

“What are you doing after dinner tonight?” James whispered to me as we waited for the instructor to finish speaking to Professor Longbottom.

“Probably some homework,” I tell him, wondering if he had a plan for us both.

“Is any of it due tomorrow?” he asked.

I shook my head, and a mischievous look crossed James’ face.

“What are you up to?” I was intrigued by why he was so happy about this fact.

“Nothing,” James shook his head, the grin still on his face. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he had a plan for us.

“James –“

“Quiet down everyone, and we’ll get started on our second lesson.” I turned to look at the instructor as the hall went silent; a few lingering murmurs here and there as people finished the end of their sentences. “Is everyone standing in front of a hoop? Excellent, does everyone remember the three D’s?”

We set to work, and I tried focusing on appearing in the hoop. It was still quite a struggle, and I wondered if I would ever be able to perform the necessary magic to do it. Surely if my brother Darryl could do it, I could.

A loud crack from right next to me caused me to jump, and I whirled around to find the source of the noise.

“Oh my god,” James exclaimed loudly. He was hunched over in the hoop and staring down at the floor with an excited look marring his very pale face. I stared wide-eyed, wondering what had happened. Was that crack I heard because he had broken something?

“Did he just apparate?” I heard Isabella ask from behind me as I reached out for James, who was still hunched over.

“I feel like I’m going to be sick,” James groaned, hands on his legs, as he stayed bent over. Professor Longbottom and the Apparition teacher rushed over to him, as the rest of the class began talking in excited whispers.

“James? Do you need to sit down?” Professor Longbottom asked, as the apparition teacher held out a bottle of water for James to sip from. Worry flooded through me, and I felt Isabella take hold of my hand to try to comfort me because I couldn’t go to him. James shook his head as he took a sip of the water inside the bottle and stood up slowly, his face was beginning to get its colour back.

“I think I just apparated,” he stated, putting the bottle down on the floor outside of the hoop and took a step outside of it. Professor Longbottom and the instructor waited near him, in case they were needed again. “That sickness was horrible, I felt like I was getting sucked through a very small tube and my body was contorting to fit.”

He done it. I couldn’t believe it! Well, I could, he was clever enough to get it this quickly.

“Did you want to attempt again?” The instructor seemed quite excited as I watched James nod and prepare himself outside of the hoop. The silence in the hall was heavy, as everyone seemed to see if James could do it again, it was a lot of pressure and I let go of Isabella’s hand to cross my fingers that he would do it again.

He spun on the spot and a loud crack filled the room as he disappeared, before reappearing in the hoop. He stayed standing, although he stumbled a little and had to right himself. The hall erupted in cheers and claps, and James looked quite proud of himself, although pale again. I was so proud of him. James turned to me, pulling me into a hug, and whirling me around as he cheered loudly. I laughed as he put me down and jumped happily on the spot.

“Congratulations, Mr. Potter,” the instructor called as people around us patted James on the back in celebration. “Our first successful apparition.”

James managed to do it another once before the end of the lesson, the rest of the time he was trying to help me. Sadly, I didn’t seem to be getting the hang of it myself, and no one else seemed to either. I didn’t mind though, I was still basking in the joy that James had apparated.

“Meet me after dinner,” he told me as we all filed out of the room and William grabbed for James to hug him. I nodded and he gave me a wink before William pulled him away to talk with Ethan. Isabella and Sian were waiting for me to go with them to go to our dormitory to hang around before dinner in an hour’s time.

--

“Abigail?”

I looked up from the cobblestone floor that I was scuffing my shoe against, curiously looking around the corridor that I was meant to meet James in search of the person who said my name. The voice didn’t sound that familiar, but I was sure that I had heard it before.

James’ younger brother Albus was walking towards me, a stoic look on his face as he neared and I couldn’t help but feel anxious over what he wanted. We hadn’t had much - if any - conversation between each other so I had no clue what he wanted from me now.

“Are you seeing James soon?” he asked me. He didn’t seem too bothered that I hadn’t given him a greeting, he was just standing in front of me with an expressionless look on his face. He was only just taller than I was, and I took in the shagginess of his dark hair, and the brightness of his green eyes that matched his Slytherin tie. Albus and James looked a lot alike, but Albus seemed to resemble their father more, whereas James looked more like their mother.

“Y- Yeah, I’m just meeting him no-“ I began, only stuttering on my words slightly as I spoke. Albus cut over me before I could finish the sentence.

“Good, can you tell him that he’s a fucking idiot,” Albus told me. His eyes seemed to dance with darkness before he walked away. “He knows why.”

I turned to watch him walk away, staring at him with a frown as I tried to work out what had just gone on, and why I was telling James that he was an idiot. Had James done something to annoy him?

“I – “ I didn’t manage to say anything else as he turned a corner, hands shoved into the pockets of his robes.

It wasn’t long before I was joined by James.

“You alright?” he asked me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders.

“I just saw Albus, he wanted me to tell you that you’re an idiot,” I told him honestly, turning my head to look at him and away from where Albus had walked.

James gave a frown, looking up in the direction of the way that he assumed that Albus had gone.

“I don’t think those were the words he used, he normally puts a few swear words in there,” James told me as we began walking down the corridor.

“He did, I just chose to omit them.” I wasn’t comfortable swearing at James, even if it was a message.

James rolled his eyes. “My delightful brother.”

“He said you know why he called you an idiot, what did you do?”

“Who even knows?” James stated with a shake of his head, “I probably told mum or dad something that he didn’t want getting out. Or he’s just blaming me for something that he thinks I’ve done. With Albus it could be a number of things.”

“He didn’t seem too happy.”

“He never is, he’s just a massive ball of pent up emotion our little Albus,” James stated, guiding me up the stairs. I wondered where we were going and what he had planned, especially because he had a backpack with him.

“Are we having another date night?” I asked him curiously, hoping that we were, I had so much fun last time, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like now that we were dating each other.

“How did you guess?” James asked, and I realised that he was taking me to the corridor that we had our last one in.

“The backpack was a big hint,” I told him happily.

“Oh, bugger,” James said as we got to the beginning of the corridor and saw that Peeves was hovering near a statue. We stopped walking, and James pulled me quietly back around the corner before Peeves could notice that we were there. “Of all the corridors...”

“What are we going to do?” I asked James quietly, if Peeves saw us he wouldn’t let us go without some sort of prank.

“The cloak,” James told me happily, reaching for his backpack and pulling it off his back so that he could get the cloak out of it. “Ah, that might be why Albus told you to call me an idiot, I told him that he couldn’t have the cloak tonight because I was going to use it.”

“What did he want it for?” I asked him as James handed me the cloak and put his bag back on. He unfolded it and covered us both with it, he turned me around so that my back was pressed against his chest and walked slowly with his arms wrapped around me. We stayed quiet as we walked carefully around Peeves, who seemed too interested in the statue to notice us – I hoped that he wasn’t going to destroy it and have teachers come running up here.

Once we were a safe distance away from Peeves, James pulled the cloak from us and bundled it under his arm as we continued along the corridor. Curfews were beginning to start and students were heading back to their dormitories, so our corridor was deserted.

“He wanted to prank someone, but that can wait until tomorrow,” James told me happily, looking around before taking his bag off and placing it on the floor. We both sat on the floor, the coldness of the stone going through my clothes as I sat next to James. I shivered and James noticed instantly.

“It is a bit cold, isn’t it?” he stated, “Surprising considering it’s nearly May, you thought it would get a bit warmer.”

“Don’t forget it’s the night, and we’re in Scotland and a large castle,” I told him, trying not to shiver.

“Did you want to find an empty classroom?” James suggested, head resting against the wall behind where we sat as his eyes met my own. I nodded and he packed his map away and the cloak, before standing up and holding a hand out for me to take so that he could help me stand.

“And what are you two doing here?” A voice interrupted us before we could move from our spot to find an empty classroom.

“Bugger,” James hissed as we both turned to look at Professor Longbottom who was staring at us with his arms folded across his chest, and his eyebrows raised at us.

“You do know that your curfew is in ten minutes, don’t you?” he asked us.

“Is it?” James tried to sound innocent, but I knew that Professor Longbottom wasn’t falling for it, James must have known as well.

“Come on, we’ll all walk back together,” Professor Longbottom stated, and we all began a slow walk down the corridor, Peeves had disappeared from by the statue as we passed it.

It was the first time that I had ever been walked back to my common room by a teacher – who insisted on walking me all the way back to my common room and leaving James to head off himself to the Gryffindor tower once we got to the stairs. It was a little awkward as I tried to think of what to say, but nothing was coming to mind, so I was walking in silence.

“Make sure you don’t stay out past curfew again, Miss Higgs. Otherwise I’ll be writing to your parents like I will be James’,” Professor Longbottom warned me as he walked away from the barrels that would grant me entrance to the common room. I nodded at his retreating back; I wondered if Professor Longbottom was joking about writing to James’ parents? I knew that they were old friends and hoped that he was joking, I didn’t want James to get into trouble for being out passed curfew.

James appeared out of nowhere as soon as Professor Longbottom left, and I had a feeling that he might have been using his invisibility cloak to follow us down here.

“Is he really going to write to your parents?” I asked as James wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a kiss.

“Probably, dad will have a field day when he finds out,” James told me, but he didn’t seem too concerned. “Want to sneak away again?”

We had already been caught once before, and I didn’t want to be caught again. I yawned before I could give an answer, and James took that as answer enough. He chuckled, pressing a kiss to my forehead, careful to avoid where my graze was.

“Go to bed, I’ll see you tomorrow,” he told me. I nodded and tiptoed so that I could kiss him on the lips.

“Goodnight, Potter Boy,” I said, and James grinned as he pulled away from me.

“I like that,” James told me, hugging me tightly again like he didn’t want to let me go. “It makes me sound like a superhero.”

“You are to me,” I told him honestly. “See you in Potions, Potter Boy.”

James gave me another kiss before pulling the cloak on properly and disappearing from view, and I turned to tap the barrels to let me into the Hufflepuff common room. Maybe I would have some time to get some of that homework out of the way before I went to bed.


Chapter 36: The One With My Sidekick Snowball
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

"Did you want to try another date?" James asked me as we walked around the field. I reluctantly shook my head at him.

"We'll get caught again; I think Professor Longbottom has been keeping an eye on us."

James sighed, "I bet dad put Uncle Neville up to it, dad sent me a howler this morning basically laughing at me and saying he has eyes all around Hogwarts."

“Did you get that at breakfast?" I asked, wondering if it happened before I got to the great hall.

"No, dad sent it in the early hours so that it would wake me up at five this morning."

I gave a laugh without meaning to, and James shot me a look as I struggled to keep a straight face. I couldn't help but feel nervous about when I would meet James parents.

"Dad is loving this, and I have a feeling that he's going to do everything he can to embarrass me in the future."

"How bad is he going to be when I meet him?" I asked.

"Terrible," James warned me.

"Maybe I shouldn't meet him?" I suggested, giving him the option to get out of it so that he wasn't put through the embarrassment.

"Of course you should meet him; we'll just make sure that mum is around at all times, she can calm him down." James reached down for my hand and brought it up to his lips, pressing a kiss to the back of it.

"What if they don't like me?"

"How could they not like you? You're awesome." James told me and I smiled at his words, although he had to say that.

"You're biased."

"I'm right," James countered as we sat down on the field. "There's nothing to worry about."

I disagreed entirely with him on that one and James noticed the look on my face.

"Are you worried because he's Harry Potter? You shouldn't be he's just like every other person. Well, that's a lie, he's more annoying," James said trying to make me laugh. I gave a small chuckle. "But he's just like every other dad out there, he's embarrassing, he makes terrible jokes and he's shit at dancing."

"I'm more worried about the fact that he's your dad more than anything," I admitted.

"You should be more worried about the rest of my family, they're the crazy ones."

"I am worried about that, there's so many of them." I was thankful that there were only a handful of them around the school.

"This is why I’m introducing you to them slowly. I think if you met them all at once you'd leave me to save your sanity."

"You're worth losing my sanity over." James blushed at my words, his cheeks reddening and making him look adorable.

He leant forwards and kissed my cheek, suddenly going shy and ducking his head.

"You're so cute."

"You two are disgusting." I looked up at the words and saw Albus standing above us and who I knew to be James' cousin Fred Weasley, and a girl I didn't really know, but I recognised as being in Albus' year.

"What do you want Alby?" James asked.

"An introduction maybe?" Fred responded as Albus stated at James instead of answering.

"Abigail this is my annoying brother Albus, and even more annoying cousin, and their friend Leanne," James told me and I offered a smile and a quiet hello.

"No special introduction for me?" Leanne asked, her tone had a hint of flirtation to it and James frowned, as did Albus.

"I don't really know you," James stated, shrugging as he spoke.

“You two are so dorky,” Albus told us, eyeing up the comic in James’ hand as he pulled it out of his backpack. I noticed that it was the latest issue of Minister of Destruction; I hadn’t had time to finish my own edition because of schoolwork so I was excited to read it.

“Don’t you have anyone else to bother?” James asked Albus as he handed me the comic book. I could feel it vibrating slightly, the magic in it coming to life because someone had picked it up. Dad had told me that it was the most explosive edition yet, and I was a little scared about what that could actually mean.

“Why would I bother anyone else when annoying you is so entertaining?” Albus asked an evil smile across his face as he regarded us.

James just nodded, leaning closer to me and getting comfortable so that we could begin reading the comic book together.

“Fine, try and act cool in front of your girlfriend, whatever,” Albus sneered, shaking his head because James wasn’t retaliating to him. He reached into his pocket, and for a small moment, I thought that he was going to pull out his wand and attempt to hex James, but thankfully, it was only a letter. “Dad sent me a letter to give to you. Tell him that I’m not his Owl.” He threw the letter in the direction of James and walked off in what appeared to be a huff, Fred trailing behind as Leanne lingered for a moment.

“Your book is smoking,” she told us, nodding down at the comic in my hands before giving James a large grin. I looked down at the comic book to see that it was indeed smoking from the edges. I opened it up quickly and a large plume of smoke flew up from it and engulfed James and I.

“Was that Albus I saw skulking around and attempting to be menacing?” William asked standing next to us as the smoke cleared. He must have snuck up when we were distracted. “I must admit that the smoke is a nice touch, he’s getting more and more evil as the days go on.”

“No, that’s from the comic book,” I told him, passing the comic back to James, who put it back in his bag. James instead grabbed a ball from inside it and threw it up to William. “Is there anything you don’t have in that bag?”

“A life,” William answered quickly, laughing loudly and throwing the ball at James, who didn’t look too impressed as he stood up. “You joining in, Abigail?”

I shook my head, “I think I’m going to get some homework done instead.”

The two boys had played catch with each other for quite a while now, and I was amazed that they hadn’t gotten bored of it. Isabella and Sian joined us on the field not that long ago, and we all settled down to finish the essays that were due at the end of the week. I liked that there was a group of us hanging around with each other now, and that no matter where one of us was, the rest seemed to follow as though they had a locating spell on them, or there was some sort of magnetic pull.

“Ow, you fucking bitch,” William cried and I looked up quickly to see that he was clutching hold of his arm and turned to face Sophie. “What the hell was that for?”

“Because you’re a massive jerk, do I need any other reason?” she snapped, before storming away from us. James little sister Lily following her as the rest of us were left confused over what had happened.

“Dad would have found out eventually. At least this way he’ll get over his anger before we go back home,” William called loudly after her, not caring that anyone else would be able to hear their conversation. “I’m saving you in the long run.”

“He sent me a fucking Howler!” Sophie screamed across the courtyard before her and Lily disappeared.

“What did she do?” James asked, throwing the ball over to William to restart their game again as though nothing had happened to interrupt it.

“She’s failing Transfiguration,” William admitted, chucking the ball a bit higher so that James had to jump to reach it. I felt my eyes flicker instantly down to the patch of skin that was visible as his shirt rode up and I looked away quickly when I felt my cheeks heating up. I avoided Isabella’s gaze as I tried to focus on my homework again, not sure if she had noticed or not.

“Why did you have to tell him, though?” Isabella asked from beside me as we sat on the field.

“I didn’t, Steven did accidentally. I’m just taking the blame so that she’s angry at me,” William stated.

“But, you two were getting on with each other,” I said, remembering the previous few days. Sophie had been coming to hang around with William and us lately, and it had been nice getting to know William’s twin sister a lot more than I had been. She may seem like the kind of person who would turn her nose up at you, but she was friendly and had the same dry wit and sarcastic nature as William. There were quite a lot of similarities between the two and it was only in those moments that I saw the resemblance.

William shrugged. “She’ll get over it and talk to me again. Just give it a few days.” He caught the ball, but didn’t throw it back to James. “I’m tired of this, and my arm is aching now. Anyone want to go and laugh at Hufflepuff’s attempts at training for the cup?”

--

The door to the dormitory slammed open and Michelle trailed in with a face of thunder. I looked away quickly, but she managed to catch my eyes and the frown on her face deepened. I didn’t say anything, choosing instead to concentrate on my drawing, even though the urge to ask her what was wrong was strong.

“Are you so heartless that you don’t even want to know what’s wrong?” she snapped at me, and I could tell from her tone that she wanted an argument.

I ignored her again, hoping that she would stop and just take her mood out on someone else as she put her broom down beside her bed and pulled off her socks and shoes.
But, I should have known that Michelle would be persistent.

“You don’t even care how Hufflepuff are getting on with their training to try and win the Quidditch cup?”

I closed my eyes, trying to focus on ignoring her, but she was carrying on and I knew that she wouldn’t stop until she got a reaction out of me.

“Why don’t you ask Rebecca?” The words slipped out before I could stop them, even though I planned to ignore her, draw the hangings around my bed and shut her out so that we wouldn’t have to do this. I didn’t have the energy to fight anymore.

“Rebecca isn’t as bad as you all think, she makes sense.”

She’s bullying me, I wanted to say to her, but it was catching on my throat. I couldn’t believe that she was taking Rebecca’s words to heart and believing them. I didn’t say anything in response.

“At least she talks to me; the same can’t be said for you.”

“And whose fault is that?” I muttered before I could stop myself.

“James. Isabella. Take your pick,” Michelle said simply.

“No, I am not going to have you blame James and Isabella for this, you were the one who chose to try and ruin everything. We were meant to be best friends,” I told her standing up to face her. The betrayal from her hanging around Rebecca hit me hard and it still hurt that this had happened after everything that we had been through, after everything that Michelle had done. “I thought that you were my best friend.”

“I am – I was,” she shot back.

“No, best friends don’t do what you’ve done. Best friends are supportive of one another; they are there for each other.”

“I was being a best friend and trying to protect you,” Michelle said angrily, hands gesturing wildly as she spoke from the other side of the room. I was struggling with keeping eye contact with her, wanting to look away and hide from this happening, but I needed to stand up for myself, I needed to stop people from thinking that they could walk all over me.

“From what, being happy? James is nothing like you thought he would be.”

“I was trying to protect you in the long run,” Michelle butted in, voice still high. “James is only being the perfect guy until he gets what he wants from you and then he’s going to drop you like you’re nothing. I don’t want you to be like every other girl.”

“Oh my god,” I cried, hands pushing through my hair as I gave a humourless laugh. “He’s not what you think he is.”

“I’ve heard –“

“I don’t care what you’ve heard, I know him. He is not like that. He is not using me for anything.”

“But you don’t know him,” Michelle laughed, “You don’t know him at all. You’ve only spoken to him this year, he could be hiding the real him. Barry and Elijah have told me -”

I couldn’t believe that she had been speaking to Barry and Elijah, who knows what crap they’ve been saying. I was done with this argument, I wanted it to end.

“You need to let this go, you need to stop speaking like that. I don’t know what I’ve done to you to make you want to ruin my relationship –“

“He will leave you,” Michelle interrupted me again, and I was getting frustrated that she thought that she could just keep cutting me off, trying to silence me like she used to in the hopes that I would just stop and let her say what she wanted. I could feel the urge to do so rearing its head, my old behaviour threatening to take over and push me back to being the way I was at the start of the year. I was trying to change and make myself stronger, try and stick up for myself so that I didn’t have to rely on anyone else, and Michelle was doing every trick that she knew to stop me.

“Michelle this isn’t fair what you’re doing,” I told her, trying to make her see sense, trying to make her see that she was making up all of this in her head and she needed to stop and face reality. “You can’t talk to me like that, you can’t say things –“

“No, what’s not fair is that you get the guy that you like when I’m no closer to getting Ethan. What’s not fair is that you’re closer to Ethan than I am and I have to witness you flaunting that fact.”

I felt my mouth fall open as I shook my head slowly. Was that what this was all about? Because she couldn’t get Ethan, no one could be happy?

“What are you talking about?” I asked her, “At no point have I flaunted the fact that I talk to Ethan in your face. He is James’ friend –“

“And you just love the fact that you’re talking to him, trying to get revenge on what happened between us and using this to try and hurt me.”

I stared at her, wondering just how she could still be trying to turn this around so that she was the victim, how she could forget about everything that she had done to me.

“Like you hurt me?”

“When are you going to get over that?” Michelle asked after a beat of silence. She wasn’t going to change; she wasn’t going to stop being the spoilt little girl that I thought was my best friend.

“Michelle, I’m done, I don’t want to do this anymore. Just stop talking to me –“

“Oh no, we are not done,” Michelle said as I turned my back on her, I heard her steps across the room and I knew that she was coming over. I braced myself for her trying to get the last word in, ready for her to whirl me around to face her, but it didn’t come. Instead a cry of pain and a loud hiss had me turning around.

Michelle was clutching at her bare ankle and glaring down at Snowball in between us, who had his back hunched and his paw up as though ready to strike her.

“Fucking crazy cat,” Michelle growled angrily, letting go of her ankle and I could see where Snowball had scratched her and the blood that had been drawn. Snowball hissed again before I could come to his defence and struck out, Michelle let out a scream and jumped out of the way, heading towards the door and rushing out to avoid my cat who was trying to follow her. I sat down on my bed, the argument with Michelle had worn me out, and I felt myself shaking.

Snowball jumped up next to me and rubbed his head against my arm, and I reached up to stroke him. He climbed into my lap and I pressed a kiss to the top of his fluffy head.

“Thank you,” I told him. I couldn’t believe that Snowball attacked Michelle like that. He must have thought that she was going to attack me so came to my rescue.
“You’re like my little sidekick.”

Snowball purred loudly, eager to get more strokes and I lay down on the bed, trying not to think about the argument that had just happened.

Was my life ever going to be easy?

I was left alone in the dormitory for quite some time before Isabella came up to find me.

“You been hiding up here all along?” she asked me, going over to her bed and grabbing for the jumper that she had thrown on there this morning, changing the one that she was wearing for it.

“Yeah, just chilling with Snowball and doing some drawing,” I told her, wondering if Michelle was downstairs too scared to come up in case Snowball attacked her again, or if she was wandering around the school without any shoes or socks on.

“Nothing else exciting happening?” she asked me, fixing her hair up into a ponytail as she turned to face me. I got up from the bed and pushed my feet into my flat, not telling her about my argument with Michelle. She couldn’t fight all of my battles for me.

“Nope.”

“Good, now let’s get down to dinner before the rest. I’ve heard rumours that there’s apple crumble for dessert and I want to get my fair share of it.” Isabella grabbed for my arm and pulled me laughing from the room.

“At least leave some for me,” I said as we rushed through the common room, I turned my head and caught sight of Michelle sitting on one of the sofas and talking to Freya Jackson in the year below, before we left the room.

“I can’t promise anything.”




A/N: I would love to know what you all think! Michelle really needs to let this all go and let Abigail and James be happy!

:D More is coming soon, don't you worry!


Chapter 37: The One With The Three Person Date
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I know a lot of you have been waiting for this chapter, so I hope that it doesn't disappoint :D Don't forget to let me know what you think! I can't wait for your reactions haha. 




I looked around the cafe curiously, letting my eyes take in the decorations that hung around us. I had never been inside this place, only passing it with Michelle and listening to her sneering her nose up at it and the idea of ever going in there. It wasn’t as bad as I thought that it would be in all honesty, but that still didn’t make me feel any less awkward at being surrounded by so many couples on other tables. My hands fiddled with the long sleeves of the jumper that I was wearing as my gaze fell back on James, who was staring at the abundance of doilies that covered our table.

“Why are there so many doilies? Even my Nan doesn’t have this many and we forced her to have a doily collection,” he mumbled just low enough for me to hear him, picking at the corner of one underneath the menu in front of him.

I sniggered at his words, covering my mouth as I glanced quickly at everyone else around me.

“How can you force someone to have a doily collection?”

James dropped the corner of the fabric and looked down at the menu, eyes scanning over the items listed on it in fancy scripture. I would have felt underdressed if James wasn’t wearing torn jeans and a Muggle Man t-shirt that brought a smile to my lips when I saw it. He was wearing a jumper, but because it was chilly in Hogsmeade he gave it to me to wear and I hadn’t taken it off because it smelt like him.

“Well, none of us knew what to buy her for Christmas, because she had everything and without actually meaning to, we all ended up buying her a doily collection.”

Another giggle escaped my lips, I saw the corners of his mouth pucker, and an amused look crossed his handsome face. I couldn’t believe, even now, that we were dating each other. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

“You would have thought that one of us would have co-ordinated gifts with each other,” James continued.

“What has she done with them all?” I asked as I looked down at my own menu.

“She sewed them all together and made a large blanket that’s on the sofa, it’s surprisingly warm. What did you want to get?”

“I’m not sure, I didn’t bring that much money out with me,” I admitted truthfully. If I had know that we were coming here I would have brought more out with me, but James had surprised me.

“I can buy it, it’s fine,” James waved a hand and I shook my head at him.

“I can’t let you do that,” I argued back.

“Abigail, I invited you here on a date, I wanted to treat you.”

“James –“

“How about I get this and you can buy me sweets when we go to Honeydukes? Does that sound fair?” James offered as a compromise. I reluctantly agreed and a triumphant smile crossed his face as he reached for my hand across the table.

“Fine,” I said, reluctantly, not wanting James to feel the need to buy my meal for me just because we were dating. It was something that I would have to get used to.

“Little do you know that you’re coming out worse in this, I’m planning on getting a lot of sweets,” James joked, leaning over the table and puckering his lips slightly. The look on his face was adorable and I ignored the possibility that we were being watched by a whole room of people to close the distance between us and press my lips against his.

“Well, this is awkward.”

I only just stifled the scream that threatened to escape me as I jumped, my heart thudding wildly in my chest at being scared by the new voice. I almost fell out of my chair as I sat back straight and turned to face who had scared us, James actually did fall out of his chair, and his loud yell filled the room. A man with messy raven hair beginning to streak with grey and round glasses was smiling widely at me, ignoring James as he got up from the floor to sit back in his seat. I instantly recognised him as James’ dad; his face had been plastered over enough newspapers and textbooks in my life for me to know who he was.

I gulped as I felt my hands shaking; my heart thudding more frantically if that was even possible. I hoped that I didn’t start having a panic attack.

“Hello, you must be Abigail,” Harry Potter stated, holding a hand out to me. It took a moment before I realised that I needed to shake it, and with a trembling hand I grasped his warm one and shook it, hoping that it wasn’t too sweaty. “James doesn’t stop talking about you.”

“Dad, what are you doing here?” James asked as Harry let go of my hand, he continued smiling at me unnervingly and I fidgeted in my chair as I broke the eye contact and looked down at my hands. I wasn’t expecting this at all, I was terrified at the idea of meeting James’ parents over the summer and was working on getting my courage up to do so, but now all of my planning had been for nothing because Harry Potter was sitting at my table.

I took a deep breath as quietly as I could, chancing a look up at James to focus on, he was looking at his dad and waiting for an answer from him.

“I was passing by and saw you both in here, so I thought that I would come and see you. Oh yes, I am ready to order,” Harry added as the waitress came over to the table and brought a cup of coffee with her to place in front of Harry. He must have ordered it when he came in and I wondered just how long he had been in here before he came over to interrupt us. We all placed our orders with the waitress and she left us with a large smile directed at Harry, who grinned cheerily back at her and waved.

“Why didn’t you go and bother Albus, or Lily?” James asked, glancing at me as he spoke.

“Albus ran away from me,” Harry answered simply as though this was a regular occurrence. I had met Albus and I could see him avoiding seeing anyone that he was related to. He seemed to keep to himself unless he was giving me insults to pass onto James. “I was about to chase him around the village and embarrass him in front of his friends, but you two were closer. So, are you enjoying it here? I haven’t been here for a very long time.”

“When would mum have made you take her here?” James asked with a frown on his face. From what I’ve heard about James’s mum she didn’t seem like the type that would want to be in a place like this, I was still a little shocked that James chose a place like this.

“Who said it was with your mum?” Harry asked and I turned to look at him in time to see him winking at James.

A disgusted look crossed James’ face and Harry turned to look at me. I gulped.

“So, Abi – do you mind if I call you Abi?” he didn’t wait for me to answer him before he continued. “What are your intentions with James?”

“Err-" I began, not knowing what on earth I could say to that. Words were failing me as Harry looked at me expectantly, sipping at the cup of coffee and looking at me over the top of his glasses.

“Dad,” James warned, but Harry held up a hand to stop him speaking.

“James, I need to get my practice questions in for the moment that Lily – god forbid – brings a boy home and I need to interrogate him. This is a brilliant opportunity and it’ll help me get to know my future daughter-in-law a bit better.”

“What about Albus?”

“Yeah, right, Albus is too moody to have anyone want to date him long enough to meet the parents, I’ll worry about that when the time arrives. That boy is going to be living at home with me and your mother until he’s forty years old.”

Harry fixed his green eyes back on me and I hid my hands under the table so that he didn’t notice just how scared I was. He probably would notice though, he was Head of the Auror Department for a reason.

“You can answer me truthfully, Abigail,” Harry said seriously as he leant forward and turned his back on James, who was frowning as though wonderful just what his father was up to. “Has he bribed you to go out with him? Has he threatened your family’s safety? Has he given you a love potion?”

My eyes shot to James’ at the last one, and he was shaking his head, giving his dad a look of disbelief.

“Dad, what are you doing?” James asked in horror.

“What? I want to get to know Abigail a bit better, I’m happy that you’ve finally met a girl. I thought for sure that you were going to end up marrying William. I need to know that she’s doing this of her own free will.” It was unnerving just how intense Harry’s gaze was and I hated to think what it would be like if I was under a proper investigation with the man, I would probably end up confessing to crimes I had nothing to do with to get him to stop looking at me like that.

James rolled his eyes and Harry began talking about the doilies as we waited for our food. It was as Harry was trying to convince James to steal one for his Nan that the waitress came back to our table with the sandwiches that we had ordered. She battered her eyelashes at Harry as she placed our meals down in front of us, and Harry gave her a friendly smile before turning his attention back on me and James.

“So, Abigail, tell me about your family," Harry said as though he hadn't just asked James to commit a crime. Instead he was pulling the tomato slices out of his sandwich and putting them on James’ plate, who rolled his eyes yet still put them into his own sandwich. I was tearing my sandwich apart because my nerves had all but supressed my appetite.

“Err –“ I wished that I was more confident enough to speak to him, but I was basically a mess right now. It wasn’t just any parent, it was Harry Potter, the saviour of the Wizarding world and one of the most important people in James’ life. I could feel the eyes of people around us, and that didn’t help at all. I put the sandwich down and wiped my hands on my jeans. “My mum works in a care home and my dad writes comics.”

Harry’s eyebrows shot up at those words and he turned to look at James knowingly. “Oh, does he now? Would I know him?”

I was surprised that he would ask me that, I was sure that James would have told him who my father was, especially after meeting him over the holidays.

“He’s Colin Deacon,” I told him slowly.

Harry’s eyebrows rose even further if that was even possible. “You didn’t tell me that.”

James was mid mouthful and waved at his mouth to indicate the fact.

“Wait, is that why James came home with a love struck look on his face over Easter and wouldn’t stop grinning and dancing around the place?” Harry asked as he turned his gaze back on me.

The image of James doing that played through my mind and I grinned over at him, his cheeks were tinged with red as he threw his dad a betrayed look.

“I wasn’t expecting that. I thought that you two had slept together –“

I choked on my sandwich, my face heating up at his words as James spluttered from the other side of the table. Embarrassment flooded through me at Harry’s words and I couldn’t believe that he could say something like that in such a blasé way. I covered my face with my hands as I willed the ground to swallow me up so that I wouldn’t have to be here.

“At least I don’t have to give you two a lecture on rushing into things so quickly. Especially not at Hogwarts, the risk of expulsion alone should be enough of a deterrent.”

“Please stop talking,” James cried. I didn’t know what he was doing because my hands were still covering my face and I was pleading that no one else could hear what Harry was saying to us. I was completely mortified.

“Seriously though, is this a conversation that I need to have with you two?”

“I can’t believe this is happening,” I mumbled through my hands, opening my fingers to peer through them at James who had gone completely red as he stared at Harry in horror.

“I don’t know why you’re so embarrassed about this. Sex is a natural part of life, I mean, me and your mother still –“

“I’ve lost my appetite,” James stated, pushing his plate away from him and looking like he was going to be sick.

“I would rather you came to me with any questions, rather than going to William and him giving you terrible advice,” Harry said and I could have sworn that his voice was getting louder. I would have chanced a look around at the –now quiet – room, but I wasn’t sure if I could look anyone else in the eye.

“I’m not having this discussion.”

“You’re obviously not mature enough to do it if you can’t even mention sex without getting embarrassed,” Harry shot back.

“I’m only embarrassed because my dad is trying to discuss my possible sex life with me.”

Harry fixed me with a look I couldn’t determine before he looked back at James, he lifted a napkin to his mouth and dabbed at the corner of it before folding it and placing it back neatly on the table and reaching for his cup of coffee. I had no idea what he was going to do next, and I was equally terrified and curious as I waited for him to speak. James looked like he wanted nothing more than to leave the room, I hoped that when he ran he took me with him.

“So you admit that there is a sex life?” Harry was sipping his coffee calmly and I still didn’t understand how this was happening in my life. “Are you using protection?”

“Oh god, please stop this. There’s nothing happening between us,” James blurted out quickly. “We’ve kissed and stuff, and of course there’s been a bit of grabbing of – oh dear god what am I saying?”

I felt my mouth fall open as I looked at him and he was throwing me an apologetic look as he had his hand over his mouth. I couldn’t believe that he had said that in front of his dad of all people.

“Fuck,” James hissed, shaking his head and putting her face in his hands. “Fuck. I need to stop talking.”

Harry was laughing next to us as though this was the most hilarious thing in the world. I could safely say that I never wanted to come back to this place because it would remind me of this moment for all of time. We ate the rest of the meal in awkward silence. Well, James and I felt awkward whereas Harry looked quite happy with himself as he ate his food and nodded greetings to those around us.

“Go on you two,” Harry said after we had finished eating and were just sitting at the table in awkward silence. “I’ll pay for this. Abigail I can’t wait to see you in the summer.” The grin he gave me was wicked and I was scared about what questions he planned to ask me that time.

I nodded slowly, thanking him for the meal as James grabbed for my hand and practically pulled me from the cafe with a wave at his dad. Once we left the building, I was thankful for the rush of fresh air that hit me as I took in a deep breath and let James guide me down the road. He stopped once we had put quite a distance between us and Madam Puddifoot’s, and turned to face me.

“I am so sorry for all of that,” he told me, his fingers playing with the skin on the back of my hand. “I wasn’t expecting him to be there, and then I wasn’t expecting him to say those things – I should have known that he would, because he’s an embarrassing little shit and seems to live to torment me. If I didn’t know any different I would think that William told him where we were – oh! Oh that little fucker probably did. I need to find him so that I can beat him.”

“It’s fine,” I told him, now that I was away from Harry and the embarrassing situation I could almost see the funny side of it all. Only if I didn’t think about the amount of people that were around us and listening to everything that Harry had been saying to us.

“I wish that it was mum that had come here, she’s not embarrassing at all. I don’t know why dad chooses to do this. Probably because I’ve never brought a girl to meet the parents before, not that there’s ever been a girl for them to meet before –“

“You’re rambling,” I said, reaching a hand up to his cheek and cradling it in an attempt to get him to stop talking. He had a tendency to ramble when he was nervous, the words tripping over themselves as they spilled from his mouth before he could think about what he was saying.

“I know,” James said, leaning into the touch and looking at me with such bright blue eyes they could be mistaken for the sun. I felt a rush of affection flood through me so quickly that it almost made my knees buckle from under me and I knew that I had never felt this way about anyone else. It was such an intense and powerful emotion that I had to swallow a few times to try to get my voice to stop trembling.

“Shall we go to Honeydukes?”I asked him softly.

James nodded, his hands slipping around my waist and pulling me closer to him, pressing his lips gently against my own before placing soft kissed across the skin of my face and then up to my forehead before holding me against him. He was tall enough to rest his chin on the top of my head and I buried my face into his neck and breathed deeply, he chuckled as my lips pressed against the sensitive skin on his neck and pressed another kiss to the top of my head.

“I really like you, Abigail,” James whispered into my hair as the sun beat down on us, and students walked past us. We didn’t care about them, we were in our own little world. “I don’t think I can even begin to tell you just how much.”

--

William and Isabella found us back at the castle, James and I had decided to go back once we had brought a lot of chocolate and sweets – we shared the cost of it between us as James didn’t have to pay for our lunch – and joined us as we sat on the field. Their laughter at each other could be heard from the other side of the field and once they joined us it was to see Isabella getting a piggy back from William, who had the widest grin I had ever seen across his face.

“We both passed,” William told us happily once Isabella jumped down from his back. James got up to hug William tightly and bragged loudly to the field that his best friend was a genius, whilst I gave Isabella a hug, and then William once James had let him go.

“I knew that you would,” James said happily, pulling Isabella into a hug and rubbing the top of her head with his knuckles. She gave a loud cry as she shoved him away and attempted to kick him, but he dodged out of the way of her and ran away. William and I watched in amusement as James cackled loudly as he evaded her easily, but Isabella still tried to hurt him as she straightened out the mess of her hair.

“I’m going to kill you, Potter,” she threatened.

“Do you think she’ll get him?” I asked William as we watched them.

“Oh yeah, she’s violent and James is too overconfident. It’s heading for disaster.”

James laughed as he seemed to dive forwards, but ended up doing a series of somersaults that had my mouth falling open in admiration and William cheering. James seemed to get too confident at the end though because he stumbled on the last flip and ended up sprawling to the floor in a heap. Isabella took this as an opportunity to attack him.

“So how was your date?” William asked turning his back on the two fighting teenagers and flopping down onto the field. He stole a few of James’ sweets before laying on his back and staring up at the cloudless sky, I lay down next to him as I listened to Isabella and James laughing loudly.

“It was good, Madam Puddifoot’s was a little ... overwhelming,” I admitted truthfully to him, eyes trailing over the clouds in the sky and seeing if any of the shapes resembled anything.

“I hate that place,” William admitted. “Some girl tried to make me go there with them on a date, and it was the worst.”

“Why did you suggest it to James?” I asked, wondering why he would if he hated it.

William shrugged, I could feel his shoulder move against mine as he did so. “James wanted to take you somewhere nice and I knew that girls kind of like that place.”

I nodded slowly. “It would have been better if his dad didn’t show up in the middle of it.”

William laughed, turning to look at me as he leant up on his elbows. “You’re kidding? What did you think of him?”

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to admit the embarrassing things that had happened, but I knew that they would find out from either me or James eventually. I just wanted the memory of it to fade into a distant memory.

“He’s not what you were expecting, is he?” William offered and I nodded in agreement.

“He’s really not, I thought that he would be really serious and no nonsense,” I told him as James and Isabella came over to us, lying down next to us. James lay on his stomach next to me as Isabella rested her head on Williams’s chest.

“Who are you talking about?” Isabella asked us.

“James’ dad. He crashed James and Abigail’s date,” William stated and I turned to see that his fingers were playing with Isabella’s hair. I felt a grin cross my face at seeing it, and turned to see if James had noticed as well, but he had his eyes closed as he rested his head in his arms.

“He embarrassed us, that’s all I’m telling you,” James mumbled, William laughing beside us at James’ words.

“Did he tell Abigail about how you used to run around in a dress when you were younger?” William asked, Isabella laughed loudly and I bit my lip to stop my own laugh escaping as I turned back to look at my boyfriend. His eyes were still closed but he had raised a hand – which hovered over me – and raised his middle finger at William, who grabbed it and bent it backwards with a laugh. James let out a cry of pain and snatched his hand back.

“Fuck you, it was a cape,” James said sounding annoyed, putting his arm back under his head and burying his face in the crook of his elbow.

“Not whilst the girls are here, and it was a dress. More specifically your mothers dress,” William laughed.

“I would have used your dads but he locked his wardrobe.”

“He only locked his wardrobe because you ripped his favourite dress,” William shot back and it was amusing to listen as they bickered back and forth quickly to each other. It was rather entertaining and I loved hearing stories about James when he was younger, I had a feeling that he had many stories about him.

“I didn’t rip it, you spilt your drink and used one of his dresses to clean it up. I just got the blame,” James said tiredly, face still buried in his elbow.
William laughed loudly at what must have been the memory of that moment, before we all settled into silence. I continued staring up at the sky above us and listening to James’ steady breathing from next to me.

“So, has anyone even started studying for our end of year exams?” William asked.

“We still have four weeks, that’s plenty of time to study, shut up, Sutton,” Isabella growled, reaching her hand back to smack William in the chest. I watched as he captured it with his hand and held it so that she couldn’t hit him again. He didn’t let go of it though and I wondered just what was going on between those two. I would have to ask James when he woke up from his nap.

“At least you don’t have your apparition test anymore,” I reminded them. I was a little sad that I couldn’t do my test at the same time as them as I was born in august, but at least I could do it with James in the holidays, he was only a few days younger than me.

“Don’t forget the Slytherin vs. Hufflepuff match.” James muttered, I turned at the sound of his voice and saw that he still had his eyes shut. He rolled onto his back and held an arm out towards me, tapping his chest with his fingers in a silent gesture that he wanted me to lay with him. Not caring that William or Isabella were with us I shifted over and rested my head on James’ shoulder, wrapping an arm around him as he held me to him, burying his face into my hair.

“This is nice,” James mumbled into my hair as William and Isabella began talking amongst themselves, both laughing at something I didn’t know about. I hummed at James’ words, feeling my eyes closing as my fingers played with the fabric of James’ top. He mumbled something else that I just barely caught, my heart sky rocketing at what I had to have misheard him, because it sounded a lot like he said that he loved me.


Chapter 38: The One When Ethan Shocks Me
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: No, your eyes are not decieving you, there is a new chapter! YAY for my muse wanting to finish this story! :D



“What are your plans after school?” I asked Ethan as we waited in the entrance hall for the others to arrive, it was one of the benefits of having our common rooms so close. There weren’t too many people here yet, most people not ready to head down to the Quidditch pitch where Ethan should be. Instead, he leant against the wall as we waited for James and William to join us.

Ethan looked at me for a moment, as the question seemed to play in his mind. He finally settled on giving me a shrug.

“I’m not sure. I don’t think that I have any,” he admitted truthfully, looking around us. “For a very long time I wanted to be in the army.”

I had heard snippets about the army in my Muggle Studies lessons, not too much information given to us about it, but I knew it to be a way for Muggles to defend themselves against other countries.

“What made you choose that career?” I asked, not wanting to ask him what made him change his mind about it. I wasn’t sure if he would want to answer that question, it was personal in my eyes, especially if it made him change what could have been his dream job.

“I wanted to escape from the hellhole I was living in. I didn’t want to spend my life living on that estate and resort to crime like everyone I grew up with. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen now,” Ethan explained without me asking. I was happy that he felt comfortable talking about this with me and seemed to trust me enough.
“My mum’s sick, and my dad is a waste of space that spends more time drinking than being around. I need to be able to get to her straight away if she needs me, and I’m not sure that I would be able to do that if I was in training.”

“I’m sorry,” I told him, not knowing what else I could possibly say to that. He shot me a thankful smile and nodded, seeming to understand.

“Thankfully Professor Flitwick has given me special permission to Floo home if I need to be there for her. My mum refuses to interrupt my studies and tells me I need to stay here. She actually had to push me back on the train after the holidays.”

“I hope that she gets better soon,”

“Me too.”

I sensed that he didn’t want to talk anymore about it so I fell into silence; unsure how we could go passed this situation. Where were James and William?

“Is Rebecca still being a bitch to you?” Ethan asked and I stilled at his words, looking down at my shoes and shrugging. I wondered if he knew about that because of James, or because there was a rumour going around that I had yet to hear about.

“She hasn’t done anything since she tripped me and I had to go to the hospital wing,” I told him quietly, well aware that there was people around us who could easily listen in. “I’m not sure if she finally listened to Isabella or not?”

“She’s a scary girl when she wants to be, I can see why she’s gotten William’s attention, and he’s a very hard guy to impress.”

It’s good to know that James and I weren’t the only ones to notice the flirtation that had been going on between William and Isabella.

“I just wished that she would leave me alone, I don’t know why she’s so hell bent on trying to make my life so miserable,” I muttered, I didn’t expect an answer from him when I couldn’t even answer it myself.

“Because she’s a sad and lonely, insecure girl,” Ethan said simply. “She’s so used to getting what she wants, that when something is out of her grasp she acts like a child until she gets her way. She needs to learn that she can’t act that way and that she can’t hurt you just because she wanted James.”

“How do you know that?” I asked him curiously, eyeing him as he sighed sadly next to me, turning to give me a sad look.

“Because I used to date her,” Ethan admitted and my mouth fell open. How did I not know that? With Michelle’s infatuation with Ethan, I thought that she would have said something about it, but she didn’t.

“What? When did that happen?” I asked loudly, before realising that people had turned to look at us and gave Ethan an apologetic look.

“The end of fifth year, it was only for about five months, but still – Never again,” Ethan shivered as though thinking about it sent a chill down his spine.

“Why?” I asked before I could stop myself, realising as soon as it came out that it sounded horrible. Ethan spoke before I could apologise.

“Because I thought that she was cute,” he said as though it was that simple, and I guess that it was. “She just wanted to go out with a Quidditch player and try to get more popular.”

“How did I not know about this? I thought that Michelle would have said something about it at least.”

Ethan shrugged, “She knew about it so I’m not sure why she didn’t tell you, but you didn’t really involve yourself in shit like this, you didn’t seem to care about gossip and that’s what I liked about you. That’s how I knew that you weren’t like Michelle and the others because you see people for who they are, not for what they can get you, or how it would benefit you in the long run.”

“What made you break up?” I pushed, wondering if I was being too forward in asking.

“She dumped me when she found out where I lived; apparently I’m not posh enough to date her,”

“That’s horrible,” I gasped, hands over my mouth as I thought about how downright horrible Rebecca was. How could she dump someone just because of that? “You can’t control where you live.”

Ethan shrugged again, looking around the entrance hall again, but no one else had turned up yet. “She’s heartless, right? That’s all in the past though, but she hasn’t changed, and she’s not going to change because she’s happy being the venomous person she is. The only thing that she responds to is someone standing up to her, because underneath all of those hurtful words and derogatory remarks, she’s a coward. Or you could always go to a teacher and get her expelled, which would work too.”

I was too scared to go to a teacher; I didn’t know what the repercussions of that would be. In my head, they were a lot worse than what Rebecca had already put me through. Ethan looked down at his watch and huffed out a breath as he stood up straight and reached for his broomstick that had been leaning next to him.

“I need to get going. Get everyone to meet me after the match, yeah?” he asked, and I nodded. He held out a fist towards me and I bumped it with my own happily, he gave me a wink before walking away.

“Good luck, Ethan. But, Hufflepuff are going to win,” I told him and he let out a loud laugh as he carried on towards the doors.

“That’s what you think. Slytherin are going to wipe the floor with you Hufflepuff’s.”

James and William finally turned up five minutes later, both bickering about something under their breath as they neared me.

“Sorry we’re late, blame William,” James said jerking a thumb in the direction of William, who was frowning at James and kicked the back of his knee in retaliation, and causing James to buckle to the floor.

“Don’t blame me, you’re the one who wouldn’t meet Abigail until you found a t-shirt without a stain on it,” William said, grabbing for my arm and pulling me towards the door so that we left James to get up himself. I could only watch over my shoulder at James, who rushed after us and put his hand into mine.

“It’s not my fault that the one I wanted to wear had a suspicious stain,” James countered, talking over my head at William, who shook his head slowly, a disgusted look across his face.

“All of the stains on your clothes are suspicious,” William shot back. I knew that if I didn’t interrupt them they were going to be bickering all the way to the stands.

“Isabella headed down to the stands to get us some seats,” I told them, and the trick worked in successfully stopping them. Williams face seemed to light up for a moment and I turned to look at James, who was shaking his head at his best friend.

“How are you doing after Harry spoke to you?” William asked me as we neared the stands. The sound of the students already there met our ears and I felt excitement filling me at the prospect of the game. I wasn’t too sure if this was the last one left, but I knew that it was quite a big one – well, I guessed that from what James, Ethan and William said the other day.

“I’m worried that he’s going to jump out at me from behind something,” James said warily as he glanced around as though Harry would be here. I looked around quickly myself and William laughed.

“I wasn’t talking to you,” he shot at James. “But, that does sound like something that he would do. I’m glad that I’m immune to embarrassment.”

“You don’t get embarrassed by anything?” I asked sceptically, everybody felt embarrassment at some point in his or her lives. It was human nature.

“Nope, my dad can try anything he wants and it won’t even phase me,” William said coolly. I was still suspicious, so turned to look at James who nodded in confirmation of William’s statement.

“It’s true. Once Duncan started trying to tease William about some girl he was dating and William just started talking loudly about his sex life,” James told me, William looked quite proud of himself and I started to wonder if I had to worry about William trying to embarrass me as well as Harry. Maybe they would team up with each other.

“Harry’s still attempting to get me, but it hasn’t worked so far,” William admitted as we entered the stadium.

“He will, he always finds a way,” James told him; William gave a loud scoff at that.

“Do we have to sit in the Hufflepuff stands?” William whined as we walked up the stairs slowly, I tried not to react to James walking behind me and poking me with every step I took, in an attempt to tickle me.

“This is where Isabella has gotten us seats,” I told William, turning to face him but having my vision blocked by James’ handsome face, he pulled a funny face which caused me to laugh and turn back around so that I could continue climbing.

“Eurgh, I’m going to catch niceness,” William muttered.

“Don’t worry, William, you’re enough of a jerk to be immune,” James told him as we finally made it to the top. I didn’t catch William’s retaliation to that as I search for Isabella, I found her quickly and headed towards where she had saved us seats.

“William, was that you I heard badmouthing Hufflepuff?” Isabella asked as William took a seat next to Isabella before I could, I wasn’t sure how he got in front of me but I think he might have climbed over a few of the people to get there. Sure enough when I turned around I saw a few disgruntled second years shooting William dark looks. William of course seemed oblivious, either because he didn’t care or – no, it would be because he didn’t care.

I sat right on the end of the seat and James settled next to me, looking around and noticing that the stands looked quite full now, the match should be starting soon. I wondered how Michelle was doing and if she was nervous.

“I never imagined at the beginning of this year, that you would be following me around like a lost puppy,” Isabella said loudly, I turned to look at her, wondering what she was talking about. She was smiling at William, who in turn was swearing at her. “I should get you a collar.”

James gave a chuckle and stretched his arms wide as he yawned, his arm rested behind my shoulders, giving me a wink as he did so. A smile puckered at my lips at his move, he was so cheesy at times.

“For that you’re not getting any of my sweets.”

“You share your sweets with other people?” James sounded offended as he elbowed William in the side. William laughed loudly as he dodged away from James, and Isabella darted for the sweets in William’s hand.

“Give me the sweets!” Isabella declared, struggling against William and I smiled at their flirting.

“That’s it, we’re no longer dating,” James sniffed, as William and Isabella battled it out next to him for the sweets. They ignored him and James rolled his eyes before turning back to face me, his blue eyes alight with what could only be described as mischief. “What are you doing tomorrow after lessons?”

“Not sure, I assumed something with my boyfriend, but if he’s dating William instead -”

James shook his head quickly at my words. “No one wants to go out with William, not really. Want to go on a date?”

“I suppose I could be persuaded.” I felt a smirk pulling at the corner of my lips as James pulled me closer to him to press a kiss to the tip of my nose and then my forehead. “Hopefully your dad won’t join this one.”

“Ew, you need to stop that,” William said from behind James and before I could stop him he was waving the Slytherin flag in between me and James. “I came to watch the match, not you two smooching.”

“Smooching?” Isabella laughed, shoving William in the shoulder as she shook her head at him, lollipop in her mouth that she must have stolen from William’s bag of sweets. William seemed distracted by Isabella so James reached for the sweets and took them from him, also knocking his flag to the floor in the process. He held the bag out to me and I dug in for a lollipop myself.

I turned to look back at William who was whispering into Isabella’s ear, I wasn’t sure what it was he was saying but it was causing her to smile wickedly. She shook her head and raised a hand to press against William’s face to push him away from her.

“In your dreams, William,” she told him, eyes looking out to the field as the announcer’s voice rang around the pitch. “Get your mind out of the gutter. You’re pure filth.”

“I may be filth, but you’re the one who wants to roll around in it,” William shot back.

The stand erupted around us as the players flew onto the field, the announcer calling their names as they flew on. I clapped politely as Michelle’s name got mentioned, my smile tight. I cheered loudly with the others at Ethan’s name. Professor Hargreaves came onto the pitch to referee the match and released the balls into play. James’s eyes seemed to follow the snitches path with ease on its release, and it was amusing to watch his head and eyes move as though he was mesmerised by it.

“Once a Seeker always a Seeker, huh?” I smirked at him, and he turned to look at me, pressing a kiss to my lips instead of saying anything. I giggled and pushed him away gently, resting against him as the game started.

The match was intense, us Hufflepuff’s might be known for being nice and friendly, but on the pitch it was a different story. We seemed to be ferocious when it came to the possibility of winning the Quidditch cup and it seemed Hufflepuff’s players were doing everything they could to get points.

“You know, I would have expected this dirty playing from the Slytherin’s,” William said loudly, leaning towards James as he spoke but getting mine and Isabella’s attention anyway.

“Maybe you’ll learn to never underestimate a Hufflepuff,” Isabella told him smugly, looking proud of being a Hufflepuff, her chest puffing out as she cheered loudly along with the rest of the stands for Hufflepuff to win.

William rolled his eyes at that and I laughed as I joined in with Isabella in cheering for our house to win. James removed his hand from behind me before standing up, William following his cue to stand next to him. James cracked his knuckles as William done some weird jump next to him as though warming up and I was instantly curious about what was about to happen.

Slytherin, Slytherin, we all sing for Slytherin. Hufflepuff will lose because they can’t compare to Slytherin,” both James and William sang loudly. It was more of a yell then a sing and it came with stamping feet and pounding their fists on their chest. I couldn’t help but laugh as the two done this in sync, noticing that all of the Hufflepuff’s were watching them instead of the game.

“Oh god, you have a chant,” Isabella said, glancing at me and shaking her head as I laughed again. “You do know that you’re not in Slytherin, right?”

They just shrugged before continuing their chant. It wasn’t long before that chant went around the stadium, other people picking it up and singing it as loudly as they could. I had to admit that it was quite catchy and I was fighting the urge to join in with them.

The chant stopped once Ethan shot quickly across the field, leaning low on his broom to get more speed behind him.

“Come on, Ethan!” James yelled loudly, standing up and cupping his hands around his mouth, and I found myself clapping along with him, urging our friend as he flew after what I assumed was the Snitch. I couldn’t see it, but Ethan’s face filled with determination as he flew around the field.

“Kick the Hufflepuff seeker off his broom!” William called and I winced, knowing that Isabella was about to get defensive. If I didn’t know any better I would say that he had done it on purpose to get a reaction out of Isabella.

“And while you’re at it kick Addison off!”

Ethan moved in a blur towards the other side of the pitch, I couldn’t tell what was happening because it was so far away and they were flying so quickly, but the others seemed to be able to tell what was going on. James gave a cheer and threw his hands up in the air, William right beside him cupping his hands over his mouth and giving a loud howl of happiness.

“I take it Ethan caught the snitch,” I said to Isabella who was frowning as she crossed her arms in front of her chest.

“Stupid Slytherin,” Isabella growled, before batting William's hands away as he attempted to pat the top of her head. “I will break your arm, Sutton.”

“Such a sore loser,” William teased with a laugh, dodging out of the way of any attacks Isabella was throwing his way.

“We weren’t even playing against you,” Isabella stated as people began getting ready to leave the stands. We waited behind for people to leave so that we weren’t crushed in the group of people all shoving each other to get through. “Stop trying to mess up my hair.”

“You losing have given Gryffindor a better chance at winning the Quidditch cup,” William informed us happily. “Although now that means that James has to train twice as hard so that he wins his last match.”

“Eurgh,” James groaned, “Don’t remind me, Jeremy is going to be kicking my arse until it’s over.”

“We’re still ahead when it comes to House points,” I reminded William, as I rubbed James back soothingly; William just shrugged at my words.

“That’s not as important as the Quidditch one,” he tried telling us and Isabella gave a loud scoff as she stood up and attempted to grab hold of William’s hair. He ducked his head out of the way and she climbed onto his back to get closer, causing them both to tumble and fall onto the seats with a loud laughter.

“We’re going to meet Ethan at the changing rooms, we’ll see you two down there if you can stop flirting with each other,” James told them, taking my hand so that we could finally leave the – now empty – stand. Isabella tried to protest at James’s words but collapsed into loud giggles again, I turned my head before I went down the stairs and saw that William was on top of her tickling her in the sides.

“Those two need to get a room,” James said with a shake of his head.

“Or admit their feelings for each other,” I added as James nodded.

“They’ll never be as great as us though,” James stated, “I don’t think that anyone can.”

“We’re the best that’s why,” I agreed.

We didn’t meet anyone else on the way to the changing rooms and walked slower than normal so that we could poke each other in the sides. I wasn’t sure who won the war, but I knew that James had started it no matter how much he tried to deny it.

“Michelle is over there,” James said grabbing my hand and stopping me as the changing room came into sight. I frowned at his words before turning around and seeing her talking with Ethan. She must have been waiting for him there, and he didn’t look too happy about it.

I was about to suggest that we leave, but Ethan’s voice rose loudly so that we were able to hear what they were talking about.

“I don’t know how many more times I can tell you that I’m not interested without becoming a total prick about it,” Ethan told her. I knew that James and I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping and made to tug him away from the scene.

“Ethan, what about –“

Ethan ran a hand over his face in frustration, before looking at her again. “I’ve tried being polite Michelle. I’m not interested in you, and I don’t appreciate you following me around either, it’s making me hate seeing you around.”

Michelle looked like her heart had broken at his words, and Ethan shook his head before walking back into the changing room angrily. Michelle turned around and stopped once she spotted me and James. I felt an urge to ask her if she was alright, but I pushed it down. I didn’t owe her anything; she lost that right when she started trying to make my life hell.

“Why don’t you just fuck off,” Michelle shot at me, and I was shocked at the way that she had just spoken. James stilled next to me at hearing Michelle and I held onto his hand tighter just in case he walked over to her.

“Don’t speak to her like that,” James snapped back angrily.

Michelle stared at him, eyes trailing over him as a sneer appeared on her face. I didn’t like the way that she was looking at him like he was nothing more than the dirt underneath her shoes.

“What is your problem?” I asked her, feeling more confident than before, and her eyes moved to mine. All I could see behind them was pure anger; I feared that she would attempt to take it out on me.

Michelle didn’t answer our questions, the angry look morphing to a sly grin that I was worried more about. I dreaded to think what she was up to.

“Does he know who your father is, or are you still keeping that a secret from him?” She nodded her head in the direction of James. She was being spiteful because she was angry, I knew she was. “Are you still terrified that he’ll only like you because of who your dad is?”

“As a matter of fact I do know, and I don’t care if she didn’t tell me straight away. I want to go out with her for her, not who her dad is,” James snapped and I could see the moment that Michelle realised her plan didn’t work register. She seemed to recover from that instantly, turning her attention back to me.

“What about the things that he’s hiding from you?” Michelle spat, glaring at James with her hands on her hips. “Things about him and Rebecca.”

“What the fuck are you on about? There has never been - and never will be - anything between me and Rebecca, she’s delusional if she thinks that there is. Why are you so fucking hell bent on trying to break us up that you seem to make up things like this? Are you just jealous because you can’t get Ethan that you need to try and ruin everything else around you?”

Michelle didn’t say anything, choosing instead to keep her glare on James.

“I don’t trust you; no one can be this nice. You’re hiding something.”

“Michelle, shut up –“ I began, as James spoke as well.

“Do you even hear yourself? Just because you can’t be nice doesn’t mean that everyone else has an ulterior motive when they’re nice. Did you think that maybe I genuinely like Abigail and want to go out with her?” James shot back at her.

Michelle sniffed as she shook her head to get her hair out of her eyes. “I’m just trying to protect her from being hurt.”

“By hurting her yourself? Great plan that one. You should have been protecting her from you, you’re the only one I’ve met so far with an ulterior motive to being around Abigail and wanting her friendship, you just wanted someone that you can control and don’t like that she’s finally seen you for who you really are.”

James had said the things that I had been longing to say for years, things that I didn’t have the courage or bravery to say before. I wished that I could have done, wished that I had enough of a spine to do it, but when it came to Michelle I couldn’t help but fall back into the person I was before. I needed to work on that, I knew that, but I was doing a lot better.

“If you don’t change your attitude towards people, you’re going to end up alone in this world,” I warned her, and James squeezed my hand. I was glad that he was there.

“It won’t be long before you come crawling back, you always do,” She scoffed before shoving passed us and walking away. I really hoped that one day Michelle could realise what she had done and take responsibility for it, maybe then I could be closer to thinking about possibly beginning to forgive her.



A/N: Is that... is that a backbone I see, Abigail? :D

I would love to know what you think about this chapter! Let me know in the comment box below. Also, if any of you have any questions you want answered that I haven't already you can check out my Meet The Author page on the forums. 

Love you all!

Tammi 

xx

 


Chapter 39: The One In Which James and William Aren't Happy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: So... yeah another update haha. I'm hoping that I manage to finish all of this chapters soon so that I can begin uploading the sequel. I've written most of the chapters for this one now, the next one though is about halfway written, so hopefully I have it finished within the next three days.

Anyways, I hope that you enjoy this one. 




I couldn’t help but watch William during the lessons I shared with him. He wasn’t his usual self; his face seemed to be in a permanent glare, shooting dark looks at anyone that dared to look in his direction. I had been victim to a few when he was looking around the classroom, but his face lightened into an almost smile every time he realised, so I knew that it wasn’t anything to do with me as to why he seemed to be in such a bad mood. It possibly had something to do with the letter that he was attempting to burn at breakfast this morning before a teacher scolded him and forced him to put it out.

I wanted to ask James about it but I didn’t have a chance too, the teachers using the lessons to give us recaps on things we had learnt over the year in preparation for our end of year exams that were fast approaching. The Hufflepuff vs. Slytherin match had been days earlier, and thankfully Michelle had been too busy to do anything but throw dirt looks in my direction.

William’s mood seemed to worsen as the day went on, until he was snapping at anyone who talked to him, even James. James seemed to be in a mood by association, the look on his face souring in potions when William lost Gryffindor points before being sent out of potions. He disappeared when the lesson ended and James and I had spent our time trying to find him.

“I wish I had the map, this would have been a lot easier,” James said in annoyance, looking around the field. William wasn’t out here, he wasn’t anywhere we searched in the castle; he had done a good job at hiding.

“Where is it?” I asked.

“Albus has it, and the cloak,” James gave a huge sigh as he put his hands on his hips and looked around again. “Maybe I should find him first?”

Albus wasn’t on the field either and James gave a frustrated groan from next to me. “This is fucking stupid, how hard could it be to find two bloody people?”

I reached out for him, wrapping my arms around him to hug him. His arms tightened around me instantly.

“It’s alright, we’ll find them,” I attempted to soothe him as best as I could. “We’ll sort this out. Maybe Isabella has seen him?”

Everything felt better in James’ arms, the whole world seemed to melt away, and I hoped that it was helping him calm down a little. I hated that he seemed so down, I wasn’t sure if it was just to do with William or something else entirely.

“I’m sorry; I’m just stressed from William and the amount of pressure of this last Quidditch match. Jeremy really needs to cut back,” James told me, face buried into my hair, I rubbed my hands up and down his back in an attempt to soothe him. “I hate feeling like this, all moody and shit.”

“Oi, Potter!”

James let go of me to turn and face whomever it was that had called his name. I noticed with an unpleasant jolt of my stomach that it was Barry; Elijah was standing behind him with a strange look across his face.

“What do you want?” James asked, slightly defensively and I grabbed hold of his hand, feeling on guard and tense at seeing them. They never officially apologised for the love potion incident at the beginning of the year, and I wasn’t even sure of what their real intentions had even been in using it. Probably just a quick laugh at James’ and mine expense.

“Are you sure that you’re not under a love potion still? Why else would you go for a Hufflepuff?” Barry laughed, Elijah chuckled next to him, and I felt anger at his words. Why couldn’t he just go away? I tried to tug James’ hand to move us out of the situation, but James wouldn’t move. I didn’t like the look on his face, the way that his jaw was clenching in anger.

“Do you want to try repeating that?” James seethed through gritted teeth, and he let go of my hand as his hands balled into fists.

“James –“ I said, trying to get his attention again to try and get him out of this situation.

“Oh, come on, James. We all want to know if the rumours about Hufflepuff girls are true,” Elijah stated joining in with Barry. He glanced at me and licked his lips, making some weird lewd gesture that Barry hooted boisterously at.

Before I could stop James, he rushed over to Barry and punched him in the face. I let out a scream of shock as Barry fell to the floor and Elijah began backing up, hands raised in defence as James took a threatening step towards them.

“You say one more word,” he threatened angrily, shoving Elijah as Barry groaned on the floor clutching hold of his nose. “You say one more fucking word about her and I will destroy you.”

“James! That’s enough!” Professor Longbottom was rushing over to us, wand at the ready in case he had to stop a fight from starting, but James had backed away at the sound of him. “What on earth – My office, now.”

“I’m sorry,” James said as he turned to look at me, taking a step towards me but Professor Longbottom had grabbed for his shoulder and was steering him back towards the castle. I could only stay where I was, James’ bag down by my feet as I looked at them in horror. “I’ll see you soon. I’ll come and find you.”

Barry threw me a look and I saw blood seeping through his fingers as he clutched at his nose. I was amazed at how powerful James’ punch must have been to bring on blood. Did he break Barry’s nose?

I picked up James’ backpack and looked around the field, wondering what I could do now. I was tempted to walk up to professor Longbottom’s office and wait for James to come out, but I didn’t know how long that would take. I didn’t know where Isabella or William were. Within the hour I had found William, he was sitting on a small set of stairs in the sixth floor. I breathed a sigh of relief and hitched James’ heavy bag back onto my shoulder as I headed slowly over to him, not sure what mood he would be in. William had his back to me, and seemed to be trying to piece back together torn up pieces of parchment. He tensed as though he knew that someone was watching him, but didn’t turn around, pieces of parchment still in his hands.

“I know what you’re going to say, James. I know that I rip them all up or set fire to them, but there’s been more lately... and I can’t help but wonder why he’s so hell-bent on talking to me.”

I didn’t know what to say to him, knowing that the parchment he was trying to piece back together was the letter he was attempting to burn at breakfast this morning. William turned around and surprise crossed his face as he looked at me.

“I’m sorry, I can go if you –“ I began, but William shook his head.

“Where’s James?” he asked, glancing around for a sign of him.

“He’s in professor Longbottom’s office,” I told him, shuffling on the spot as I ran my hands up my arms. “He punched Barry in the face.”

William’s eyes widened and he gave a humourless laugh. “Fuck, James never loses his temper enough to punch someone. What did Barry say?”

“Him and Elijah were saying horrible things about Hufflepuff girls, and made out that I had given James love potion. He punched Barry before I could do anything to stop him.”

“You wouldn’t have been able to do anything to stop him anyway, he’s very protective of you,” William told me as I went and sat next to him on the stairs. I shrugged, ducking my head as I shifted James’ bag to the floor beside me. “I mean it, he really likes you.”

“I like him too,” I told William, glancing up at him and seeing that the angry look in his eyes had all but gone.

“He’s liked you for a very long time now. I think it all started back in our third or fourth year. I’m not sure what you had done but you were suddenly all her could talk about, but he didn’t have to guts to talk to you, he always got really shy around you.”

That didn’t sound like James, he was one of the most confident people I knew. I told William this and he gave a short laugh that lit up his eyes and made him shake his head.

“Not when it came to you, it’s why I had to threaten him into telling. I’m glad that you both got together, you make him happy.”

“Thank you,” I said softly. I knew that William didn’t have any problems with me and James being together, and around each other every day. However, I still worried that William was annoyed that I cut into any time he wanted to spend with James. It made me happy to know that William didn’t seem to mind. We sat in silence again, as William looked down at the parchment, I peered at it set out like pieces of a jigsaw that needed putting back together.

“I’m worried about you, James is too, he’s been on edge all day,” I admitted to William.

“I’m worried about me too,” William sounded so tired and defeated in that moment as he heaved a huge sigh. “I hate this, I hate that I crave that mans attention and love, hate that there’s still a small part of me that wishes he would treat me like a son.”

I didn’t know what to say, whether he would want me to give an opinion as he stared down at the torn and burnt pieces of parchment in front of him as though they would put themselves back together. I brought my knees up in front of me, wrapping my arms around them, and resting my head on the top of my knees. “Why don’t you use magic to put it back together?”

William was silent as though contemplating my answer, before slowly shaking his head, pushing one of the pieces onto another one with his finger. He looked so young and defenceless, the pain that this was causing him was easy to read in his eyes, and it tugged at my heart to see him so open with his emotions. I could see just how much this was hurting him but I didn’t know what I could do to make this better. I reached a hand out to grip his arm, hoping that this was a sign to him that I was here for anything that he might need.

“Because I’m not sure if I actually want to read it and find out it’s to tell me how much he hates me and how disappointed he is in me,” he finally answered my question. I couldn’t believe that someone could say something like that to their own child, how they could treat their own flesh and blood in such a horrific manner. I was thankful that my parents had unconditional love for me, knowing that there was nothing I could do to make them stop loving me. Looking at William I knew that some people weren’t as lucky as me.

“Normally I don’t give a shit,” William continued, hand moving to rest on top of mine and clutching hold of it. “I haven’t done for years when it’s come to that man. Duncan is my dad, and I don’t need anyone else. But, this is the fourth letter that he’s sent me this year. I can’t help but wonder why?”

“You shouldn’t feel guilty if you wanted to read it,” I told him softly head moving off my knee as he looked into my eyes. His eyes were glistening and I wanted to hug him and hurt the man that he should have been calling father. “You might regret it if you don’t read it.”

“I shouldn’t want anything to do with him.”

“He doesn’t deserve to know you,” I said, remembering the stories that I had been told. “It’s his loss if he can’t see how wonderful you are.”

William chuckled at that, giving a small sniff as he moved his hands to run through his blond hair, scrubbing at his head as he looked back down at the letter.

“I can help you put it back together if you want? Then if you want to read it, you can, if you want to destroy it again that’s fine too. It might make you feel a bit better if you tear it apart a second time.”

William nodded and I moved to sit on the stairs and help him put together the letter, I only caught a few words of it, trying my hardest to ignore what it said as it wasn’t my letter to read. I couldn’t help but worry about what it contained when I saw some of the words and part of me was hoping that William wouldn’t want to read it. Who knows what it would contain and how he would react to it.

Once we finished William picked it up and took a deep breath, before lifting it and letting his eyes skim over it. I bit my lip in worry as I twisted my hands in my lap, watching his face for any sign of what it contained. William didn’t get far before he began tearing it up.

“I don’t care what he has to say to me. I’m done.” William said, finality to his tone as he tore it back up again, making the pieces smaller this time before pushing it into a pile, and pointing his wand at it. It erupted into flames before going out just as quickly, leaving behind ash in its wake. William stamped on it a few times for good measure as I stood up.

“At least you got to tear it up again,” I told him, trying to find the bright side in the hope that it would make a smile appear on his face. I saw the corner of his mouth pull up and felt triumphant; I hated seeing William so sad.

“You’re a truly wonderful person, Abigail,” William told me, hugging me tightly. “Don’t let anyone ever make you believe differently.”

“Thank you, William,” I said accepting his compliment. “Did you want to go down to dinner? James might be out by now.”

William nodded before taking James’ bag from me and putting it on, we both walked in silence down the stairs and it was a nice comfortable one. James was looking around the Great Hall when we arrived and his face brightened at seeing us.

“You alright?” he asked William as he wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “I was worried about you.”

“Fine. I had a talk with Abigail and I feel a lot better.” William nodded in my direction and I grinned at him, thankful that I could help him in any way that I could.

“And the letter?” James asked curiously, the worry in his tone.

“Burnt it. I didn’t want to know what he had to say,” William said. “What’s this I hear about you punching Barry?” he jerked his thumb behind him and I saw over his shoulder that Barry and Elijah were in the hall.

“He deserved it, I would have gone for Elijah as well, but Uncle Neville turned up.”

“What’s the damage?” William asked, frowning in the direction that Barry and Elijah were in. I noticed that Michelle was now standing with them and inspecting Barry’s face with an angry look on her face. Since when did Michelle hang around with Barry?

“A few detentions and a bruised knuckle,” James told him, bringing his hand up and showing us. I tore my eyes away from Michelle and looked down at James’ knuckle that seemed more swollen then normal and had faint bruising beginning to show.

“Did you break his nose?”

“Yep,” James told William as I gingerly touched his knuckles, tracing over them with the tip of a finger.

“Good boy, I taught you well,” William said clapping him on the back before turning to look at me. “Are you joining us at the Gryffindor table? Most of the teachers have gone and it seems empty enough that no one would care if you did.”

“Sure,” I agreed happily, as James smiled at me. “I can’t see Isabella or Sian at the Hufflepuff table, so I would have been sitting alone.”

“So we’re second best? I see how it is,” James joked pretending to be upset by what I had said.

“Mate, we’re not even second best, Sian was before us so we’re third best.” William shook his head as we took our seats at the Gryffindor table, William climbed over the table so that he could sit facing us, careful not to put his feet on any of the food.

“And after I defended your honour,” James huffed, reaching for the chips and putting some on his plate, before putting a few on mine. William made a whining noise until James put some on his plate too.

“You can’t look after just one of us,” William told him. “This is a three-person relationship.”

“I didn’t agree to this,” I laughed as I cut myself a slice of steak and kidney pie and waited for William to be done with the gravy.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get rid of James,” William said matter-of-factly. “He’s only holding us back.”

As we all ate dinner and laughed amongst ourselves I was glad that things had gone back to normal, or as normal as things were at the moment. I never would have imagined that my life would be filled with so much drama, but I wouldn’t trade these last few months for anything. I had gotten some terrific friends and the best boyfriend who I hoped were always going to be in my life. The end of my sixth year was drawing to a close and I couldn't be happier with how it was ending.


Chapter 40: The One With The Return of Harry
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: I can't believe that we're only a few more chapters away from the end! Harry wasn't meant to be in this chapter, but that little bastard snuck his way in and I couldn't get rid of him. I let him stay because embarassing dad Harry is my favourite thing ever! I hope that you like it, let me know in the box below. :D




“Have you made my blanket yet?” William asked as soon as James joined the two of us on the field. Isabella was gone when I woke up this morning, and I found William strolling around looking bored outside the Great Hall. Well, I say I found him, but he was the one to run up to me and begged me to go onto the field with him because James was at Quidditch practice. We had been on the field ever since just talking with each other, and eating the sweets, that William always seemed to have on him.

“No, be patient, I’m working on it,” James told him, before lying back on the grass and throwing an arm over his face. He was still wearing his Quidditch uniform from his practice, and I knew that he wouldn’t change anytime soon because the match was this afternoon. I didn’t understand why he had practice this morning; I figured that their captain would want them well rested.

“Right now?” William seemed hopeful.

“No, not right now. I’ve just finished my practice.”

“I feel like I’m never going to get this blanket,” William seemed to trail off at the end; giving a short laugh, when I turned to him he was looking in a different direction. I jumped when I spun my head around and saw Harry Potter stood above me, seeming to appear out of thin air. He winked at me before moving over to James and nudging him in the side with his foot. James groaned before moving his arm and peering up at his dad, a frown settling on his face.

“Why am I not surprised that you’re here?”

“Did I miss the match?” Harry asked ignoring James’ question as he nudged James in the side again with his foot.

“No, it’s not till tonight,” James stated as he got up from the floor and stretched his arms above his head. He was taller than his dad by about a head, but that didn’t seem to faze Harry as he poked James in the chest, a serious look crossing his face.

“You’re lucky that you weren’t banned from the next match for punching that kid,” Harry stated in a low tone, and I nervously wrung my hands together, eyes looking around to see if anyone was watching us. Quite a few people were.

“He deserved it,” James stated simply with a shrug, “he was being a jerk.”

“What did I tell you about violence?”

“Don’t get caught,” James suggested with a sly grin at his dad, who didn’t seem impressed by the answer.

“You’re lucky that Neville was around to stop you before you done any real damage,” Harry reprimanded James. “I’m not paying for those classes if you’re going to use them to have fights with your classmates and almost get kicked out of school.”

“It wasn’t his fault, Harry,” William piped up as he came to stand next to James in solidarity. I stood up as well, but stayed a bit to the side. I wasn’t sure what I could say to defend James in this situation; I didn’t want to make things worse. “It was a good punch though.”

“You’re lucky your mother hasn’t come down here. She was livid when we got the letter about you.”

“Dad, he deserved it. I wasn’t going to have him bad mouthing Abigail,”

Harry glanced at me, before looking back at James and clapping him on the shoulder. He opened his mouth to say something, but was distracted by James’ cousin Roxanne walked over to us reading a magazine. Harry reached a hand out as Roxanne came over to us, and put it around her shoulders to pull her in for a hug.

“What are you doing here, Uncle Harry?” Roxanne asked as she wrapped her arms around Harry. She was still in her Quidditch uniform too. Harry didn’t answer her question, instead staring down at her hand.

“What have you got there?” Harry asked, nodding down at the magazine that Roxanne was holding. She moved it quickly behind her as she moved away from him and gave a shrug. She was trying her best to look disinterested, even I knew that was a mistake, and I barely knew Harry.

He darted quickly towards her, feigning going to her right so that she moved and he snatched at the magazine with his left hand. Roxanne tried to take it back but Harry moved out of the way and let his eyes scan over the front page. From what I could see of it, it was a teenage girl’s magazine that I used to get once upon a time, with a group of people I didn’t know plastered on the front page.

“Give it back, Uncle Harry,” Roxanne cried, jumping up and trying to pull Harry’s arms down in an attempt to reach for the magazine. It was to no avail. James seemed amused next to me, and I knew that he was just thankful that his dad was focusing on someone else and not embarrassing us.

“Oh no, what’s so amazing about this magazine? What are you hiding?” Harry opened the magazine and turned away from Roxanne, who was trying to jump up his back in a bid to get it back. I wonder how long this was going to go on for until someone got hurt.

“Please, Uncle Harry. Just leave it alone, it’s just a magazine,” Roxanne tried to tell him and I heard Harry scoff as he stopped in the middle page, before giving a loud triumphant laugh.

“Oh, I see why you were guarding this with your life, there’s a poster of that Wasps Beater Jason Turner in here.”

James’ face seemed to light up at his father’s words as he turned to look at Roxanne.

“I thought you didn’t have a crush on Jason,” James cooed at his cousin, she jumped down from Harry’s back and walked over to James, punching him in the arm as hard as she could. It sounded painful, but I knew that James deserved it a little.

“I don’t,” Roxanne screamed her cheeks were red from embarrassment as she kicked at James and stormed away from us, shoving Harry out of the way as she run off.

Harry turned to grin at me as he held the magazine out; I reached for it tentatively remembering how awkward the last meeting with him was. I couldn’t believe that I had seen James’ dad twice so far.

“You know, if I didn’t know any better I would think that you were stalking me on purpose,” James said coming to stand next to me. I was thankful that he done so, because I was worried about what Harry would say to me next in an attempt to embarrass us. “You can’t just stroll into Hogwarts whenever you feel like it, dad. There are school rules.”

Harry scoffed at James’s words and shook his head as he waved his hand at a group of students who were looking at him curiously.

“I saved the world, you know,” Harry said turning back to face James with a smug look on his face, but attempting to act as innocent as he could. I honestly didn’t know why he was even trying to look innocent. “I think that entitles me to come to Hogwarts on the odd occasion.”

“I’m telling mum,” James threatened and Harry laughed aloud as he shook his head. “I’ll say that you’ve been following me.”

“Good one, James. If you must know, I’m here on official Auror business, very secret, very important. I just figured I would use that as an excuse to reprimand you for fighting.” Harry played with the sleeves of his robes, fingers undoing and redoing the cuff links of his shirt underneath as we waited for him to elaborate. It must be quite bad if he was here, he was the Head Auror after all.

“Are you going to tell us what’s going on?” James asked curiously.

“Are you an Auror?” Harry shot back, grinning mischievously at the look on James’ face when he didn’t reply. “Now if you don’t mind I have an important meeting with Neville. Oh, wait, there’s Albus – if you see Neville tell him I’ll be late.”

“Dad!” James called as Harry began walking across the field; the sound seemed to have alerted Albus who had been standing with Fred. A look of horror crossed Albus’ face before he began running as fast as he could back to the castle; Harry was hot on his heels as he sprinted after his son.

“Err – “ I began not knowing what the hell to say.

“I wish that I could say this was a first, but it’s really not.”

The mystery of Harry’s appearance was answered when Isabella came back from her Defence Against the Dark Arts class and informed me that Harry was giving a speech in it. I knew that he had come a few times to give talks, so it made sense that Harry was there for that. I was glad that he was here for an actual reason and not because he wanted to embarrass us, although from what Isabella told me, James was called to Professor Longbottom’s office later that day. I was unsure as to why, but I assumed it had something to do with his dad.

--

“Is that Harry Potter at the teachers table?” Sian asked and I whirled my head around to face the top table. I hadn’t bothered to glance at it once I had come into the room and now that I did, I could see Harry sitting next to Neville. “I thought he would just be here for the talk?”

“I can’t believe that he made me and James believe that he was here on official Auror business, when it was actually just to give a talk.”

“Albus doesn’t look too happy about Harry being here,” Sian stated, nodding her head in the direction of the doors. I turned around and saw Albus beginning to head towards the Slytherin table with a look of thunder on his face.

We weren’t the only ones to notice that Harry had joined us for dinner, the sounds of the students excited whispering to each other filling the hall. Glancing at Harry again, I saw that he was trying to get James’ attention, but to no avail as James seemed to be avoiding his eye. I hoped that Harry wasn’t going to do anything to draw attention to us, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.

“Oh shit, Harry Potter is coming over here,” Isabella hissed and I looked up so quickly my neck cricked. I hissed as I rubbed my hand across the skin on the back of my neck and stared in horror at Harry who had taken the free seat next to me. I was aware of the hall going quiet as he sat down, but I wasn’t sure if that was because I could hear my own blood beating in my ears as panic began to fill me.

“Don’t look so worried, Abigail,” Harry said calmly, reaching for a plate of chocolate cake and cutting two slices of it, passing one to me. “I just want to talk to you without James interrupting.”

I nodded slowly, eyes glancing across the hall to find James, but only seeing the faces of the other students staring back at me. I quickly looked back down at the cake in front of me.

“I shouldn’t have chocolate cake, Gin has banned me,” Harry admitted as I dug my fork into the dessert, trying to gather up the nerve to talk back to him. I was so nervous that I could feel my hands shaking.

“I ... Did you sort out your official Auror business?” I asked Harry tentatively.

“Oh, yeah, I was only really up here because James punched that boy and Nev had to tell me. Gin was busy and I was in the area –“

“Were you in Hogsmeade?”

“No, back home.”

I knew that his home was nowhere near Hogwarts, but didn’t say anything. Harry both confused me and scared me a little.

“I would have gone home sooner but Nev convinced me to give a talk in a few classes,” Harry told me. There was a scoff from near us, and I glanced in the direction of where it came from, James’ cousin Louis was shaking his head and smirking as though he didn’t believe Harry.

“So, Mr. Potter,” Isabella stated, leaning on the table and resting her cheek on her hand as she regarded him. “Have any embarrassing stories about James that you want to share?”

I raised my eyebrows at her daring and she gave a shrug at my reaction.

“I have so many.” Harry sounded genuinely happy as he brought another forkful of cake up to his mouth. I glanced around the hall again and, although, the chatter of the students surrounding us had risen again I knew that many people were listening in. I still couldn’t see James and wondered if he was still even in the Great Hall?

“Did you know that James used to run around naked when he was younger,” Harry said louder than before and I felt embarrassed on behalf of James for having stories being shared about him. There was a bit of laughter from those around us, one louder than the rest of them and all attention went back to us. “Refused to put his clothes on, Gin and I thought that he was going to get a career in stripping.”

“Oh my god, this is hilarious,” Isabella laughed, the entire table seemed enthralled by the conversation.

“Tell them about the police incident with William,” Louis suggested to Harry, whose eyes lit up.

I wanted to know all about them, but I wanted James to be the one to tell me, or have Harry tell me when we weren’t surrounded by people we went to school with. Harry seemed to have noticed my reserved look because he shook his head at Louis’ suggestion.

“I’ll save that story for another time,” Harry stated, reaching for another slice of chocolate cake. I was still eating mine slowly. “Just like all of my other stories about him. He was a weird kid growing up –“

Another loud laugh caused Harry to turn in his seat to face the Slytherin table behind us, I turned my head curiously to see that Albus was sat behind us. He must have been the one laughing so loudly when Harry was spilling tales about James.

“I don’t know why you’re laughing so hard. I have a lot more stories about you,” Harry threatened and Albus instantly stopped laughing to shot his father a dark glare. It was quite a scary look, but Harry seemed unfazed by it. “You better make sure that you eat all of your vegetables or I’ll be telling them all about your alter ego.”
Harry turned to face me as I looked at him in confusion, wondering what he meant.

“Albus used to play dress up with Lily when he was younger,” Harry whispered into my ear, leaning closer to me so that no one else could hear. I sniggered without meaning to as Harry leant away and continued eating his second helping of cake.

“Darryl used to do that too,” I admitted quietly to Harry, pushing the cake around my plate with the fork.

“Who’s Darryl?” Harry asked me curiously, although there was a slight edge to his tone that I couldn’t quite place.

“My brother,” I told him slowly.

“Oh. Tell me more about your family,” Harry said, turning to face me and giving me all of his attention. It was unnerving how it felt like he was looking into my soul.

“What are you doing?” James appeared at our table before I could say anything else, William sat down beside Isabella, nudging her over with an elbow to the side.

“I’m getting to know Abi,” Harry said trying to sound innocent as James reached for my hand and tugged it gently. I stood up and tried to ignore the feeling of everyone’s eyes on me.

“Come on, let’s go before dad can embarrass me any further,” James said to me before looking back at his dad. “I thought that you were here to talk with Uncle Neville.”

“I was and we talked. Official Auror business.”

“You can’t use that excuse to just turn up here and interrogate my girlfriend,”

“Well, if you brought her over in Easter when I asked you to I wouldn’t have had to come up here – on official Auror business. I just wanted to get to know the infamous Abigail.”

James didn’t say anything else, walking away from the table and heading towards the entrance as I trailed after him, waving at Harry as we left. Harry waved back as he stood up.

“Your mother wants you to write to her,” his voice echoed around the hall and James waved a hand above his head to show that he heard. We managed to make it to the doors before Harry’s voice sounded again. “Use protection!”

I wanted the ground to swallow me up so that I could disappear and have this never happen. I could never look my classmates or teachers in the eye again.

--

I could feel the eyes of everyone on me, and it was making me feel uncomfortable. Isabella was smirking next to William and I knew that they were getting joy out of seeing me squirm.

“I’m surprised that Harry isn’t trying to sit with us,” Isabella stated as I slouched in my seat and tried to make myself as small as possible.

“I think that Professor Longbottom has made sure he’s sat with him,” I said, nodding in the direction of where Harry was sat with the staff members.

“I’m so glad that I don’t have a dad as embarrassing as Harry,” Sian stated softly as we waited for the last of the spectators to take their seats. “I’m not sure how James has handled this.”

“He’s been through a lot worse,” William said as my eyes trailed over the grounds. The entire school seemed to come out for the last match of the year, the stands a mix of Ravenclaw and Gryffindor colours. I was following Quidditch a bit more than I had been before when I was friends with Michelle, but I still didn’t understand the points system at all. I was just excited to see James on the pitch.

“This is why Aunt Ginny doesn’t let him out on his own, he can’t be trusted,” William told us. “She must have turned her back and he snuck out.”

“I can’t believe he’s in charge of the Aurors,” Isabella stated. “I bet he’s the best boss. I’m tempted to become an Auror just so I can hang around with him all day.”

“I would suggest dating one of his children, but you should probably just date me instead,” William said coolly. His statement made me turn around to look at them, and my eye caught Sian’s as the Isabella and William stared at each other.

“You’re an idiot,” Isabella said with a laugh, before a fond smile crossed her lips and she slapped William on the thigh. I noticed that her hand stayed resting on it, and he had his arm around the back of her seat, hand resting lightly on her shoulders.

I still couldn’t believe that those two were still denying anything was going on between them. This must have been what it felt like to everyone when me and James were dancing around each other and not admitting to our feelings out loud. It was a little frustrating to watch.

“Stop watching me and focus on the game, Sutton,” Isabella warned as the commentator announced the two teams and they flew onto the pitch. I couldn’t help but be distracted by them both instead of the game, feeling my eyes being drawn back to them whenever I wasn’t watching James on the pitch. I wasn’t sure if they noticed half the time the way that they sat with each other, both leaning on the other, lingering touches and whispering in each other’s ears. I would have to make it my mission to get those two together before the end of the next year, I knew that James would help me with it.

Gryffindor lost to Ravenclaw sadly, but James didn’t seem too beat up by it, congratulating the other team on the field whilst Ravenclaw house seemed to erupt around us. I still had no clue whether this meant that Ravenclaw had won the cup or not, but Isabella seemed to be rubbing it in William’s face that Gryffindor had lost so I could only assume that Gryffindor hadn’t won it.




A/N: Who noticed a little connection with Beat It? :P


Chapter 41: The One With Ginny Potter
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Have you started packing yet?” Isabella asked the group as we hung around on the field. Quite a lot of students were outside, enjoying the last day of the school year and relishing in the thought of no more exams. Thankfully the end of year exams weren’t as difficult as I worried, and I hoped that I had passed them. It seemed like time had just breezed by without me even noticing, and I was going to be going home for the summer.

“Of course not, we’ll do that tonight,” William scoffed, leaning back against the tree trunk. I was sat by his feet, whilst Isabella lounged beside him. James, for some reason, was climbing the tree, and causing my heart to fly to my throat every time he moved.

“We need to make sure that we all meet up. I’m going to go crazy if I don’t see any of you all summer,” Isabella stated, before turning to look at me. “I live in Diagon Alley, and my mum works a lot, so you can come over all the time.”

“Why would anyone want to see you?” William joked, earning a glare from Isabella. “I can’t wait to get away from you.”

Isabella punched him in the arm, which William tried to avoid.

“Maybe you two need to meet up alone, finally work that sexual tension out,” James suggested as he hung upside down from the tree, arms hanging low as the bottom of his shirt bunched up around his chest. An urge to run my fingers over the exposed skin was strong, but I managed to contain myself.

“Don’t be jealous because you two aren’t sleeping together yet,” William shot back jokingly. I turned to look at him quickly, my mouth falling open at what he had just said and he had the decency to give me an apologetic smile.

“Yeah, it’s been what, four months now?” Isabella stated, “I’ve normally already slept with the guy by now.”

“You don’t normally wait for four minutes,” Sian joked and Isabella let out an undignified gasp before hitting her in the arm. Sian laughed and told Isabella to try denying it. I looked at James, who was still hanging upside down and it was to see him giving me a small smile.

“Well, unlike you lot, we are able to control ourselves,” James told them, lifting himself back up and grabbing hold of the branch to hang normally. I couldn’t help but watch as he moved, admiring the amount of strength he seemed to have in order to do that. I wouldn’t have been able to pull myself up onto the branch, although I probably wouldn’t have even been able to reach it. “We don’t all rush into things like that until we’re ready.”

James climbed higher up the tree and I watched him in fear. I was worried that he was going to slip and hurt himself, especially with how quickly he seemed to be moving.

“I wouldn’t be worried about him, he hasn’t fallen out of a tree since I pushed him back when we were younger.”

“I nearly broke my arm,” I heard James calling out and I struggled to see where he had gotten too, the leaves too thick for me to see too high up. I think it was best I didn’t know.

“It was a sprain.”

“Aren’t you scared of being that high?” I asked, hoping that he would come down a bit so that I wouldn’t have to worry so much.

“James is one of those weird people that aren’t scared of heights,” William told me.

“I’m not scared of anything,” James called, and I could honestly believe that to be true. He seemed very fearless.

William gave a loud snort of derision at his words. “James be careful of that spider next to your hand.”

There was a scream followed by the sound of branches snapping, and I watched in horror as James seemed to fall from the tree at a fast speed. He grabbed onto a branch quickly, stopping himself from falling all the way to the ground and let out a small laugh. I felt my heart fly to my throat as I stood up and reached for him, he dropped to the ground and let me hug him as I tried to calm myself down.

“You’re a jerk,” James told William angrily. “I could have really hurt myself.”

“You’re the one who was pretending not to have a fear of anything. Did you know that James once cried because of a spider.”

“You threw it in my face,” James said, letting go of me to walk over to William to kick him in the shin.

“Ow, that was my shin, you bastard.”

I laughed as William tried to tackle James to the floor, but James dodged out of the way and set off at a run. William scrambled up from the floor and chased after him, leaving Isabella, Sian, and I behind to watch them.

Isabella was watching William with a fond look, and she rolled her eyes after knowing that I had caught her.

“You should ask him out.”

“Maybe,” Isabella stated with a shrug, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear and looking away from me and down to the daisy chain she was making. “We’ll see what happens over the holidays. Never mind that though, come here and I’ll make you a flower crown.”

--

“Do I have to sit in between you two?” William threatened. I couldn’t help but smile, glad that my face didn’t redden in embarrassment at William’s comment. I felt like I had a better control over my embarrassment now, I think it helped that William liked to say something every time he caught me and James kissing each other, or being ‘loved up’ as he put it. The train rocked us as it hurtled down the track, the landscape was nothing more than a blur as we raced passed it on our way back to London to start the holidays.

“You didn’t have to come into the compartment with us,” James stated, turning to look at William, his arm around my shoulders. William was smirking, pleased that he had stopped us kissing, and I knew he was doing it just because he could. “You could have gone off and found other friends. Or stay with your sister and brother?”

“Why would I want to be near Sophie? It’s bad enough I have to see her over the holidays, why punish myself early?”

“Such love coming from my twin brother.”

Glancing at the door, I noticed that Sophie was leaning against the doorframe, eyes slightly red as she looked at us.

“As if you know what love is,” William stated. “I’d rather sit be with anyone else then you.”

“Why don’t you go and find Isabella?” I suggested to him. “I think she’s sitting with Sian further down.”

“Oh, has William still got the hots for her?” Sophie sounded excited at the idea of it, and William didn’t look best pleased. I probably shouldn’t have said anything if I knew this was how Sophie would react.

“Shouldn’t you be with your random shag of the month?” William asked, arms folded across his chest as Sophie sat beside him. I watched as her face fell slightly, before a brilliant smile crossed her face like some mask, and I knew that she was hiding something. William noticed straight away even though he hadn’t been looking at her, as though they had some sort of connection to each other’s feelings. He looked at her sharply, eyes trailing over her face and the deep frown he normally had on his face when she was around, eased into concern.

“FiFi?” William said tenderly, arms uncrossing and moving his wrap one around her shoulders. Her face dissolved into a heartbroken one as she buried her face into his chest, beginning to sob.

“Come with me,” James whispered into my ear. I nodded, and let James take my hand, leaving Sophie and William behind in the compartment.

“Where are we going?” I asked James as we ventured down the corridor of the moving train, pushing through the crowds of people that were gathering. Students using the last few hours to speak to their friends.

James didn’t say anything, continuing to walk us down the corridor. I saw a few people that I recognised to be James’ family members, but James didn’t greet them. He seemed too eager to get to wherever he was taking us. I was quite excited, especially because I would be able to spend some time alone with him.

“Here we go,” James stated as we got nearer to the front of the train. There weren’t many people about, and I found that strange, but didn’t question it. He opened a compartment and pulled me in, I looked around, noticing thankfully that it was empty. I heard James shutting the door and locking it behind us, before he came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist, lips instantly at the back of my neck.

Goosebumps appeared on my skin at his tender touch, and I bit my lip to try to stop smiling, hands entwining with his.

“I wanted to spend some time alone with you before the holidays began,” James told me, turning me around, and pressing his lips against my own. His body pressed against mine and he pushed me gently back towards the seats. I sat down once we got there, and James pushed me slowly so that I was laying down, climbing on top of me so that we were pressed against each other.

I didn’t care that we were in the compartment, or that anyone could come in if they used the unlocking spell. All I cared about was kissing James because I didn’t know how long it would be until we kissed each other again.

--

William was shooting us knowing looks, and I was avoiding his gaze as we walked off the train, pulling our belongings behind us. James’ hair was still unkempt from my fingers continuously running through it, and his lips were still slightly plump from our alone time. He looked thoroughly ravished, and it felt good to know that I had caused that. I knew that I had to look the same, and hoped that my parents wouldn’t notice.

I spotted my parents and rushed over to them, pulling James with me as we were holding hands. I Let go of it, and placed Snowballs cage down, so that I could give my parents hugs in greeting.

“You remember my boyfriend, James,” I said turning to point at James. James was staring at my father adoringly, before realising what he was doing and holding out his hand to shake their hands. They looked expectantly at William, who seemed to be hovering by James’ shoulder and smiling at us all. “And this is James’ boyfriend, William.” I joked.

My parent’s eyebrows rose, and I knew that I had caught them off hand with my comment. William gave a short laugh, shaking his head and elbowing James out of the way so that he could shake my parent’s hands in introduction.

“James wishes that I was his boyfriend. Hi, I’m William, I’ve been hanging around with Abigail and trying to find an ointment to get rid of this disease she appears to have, named James.”

My parents laughed, and James shot William a betrayed look. William didn’t seem to care, turning to James and giving him a smug look. He seemed quite happy with himself for what he said.

“It was nice meeting you, but I see my dad. Catch up with you both later,” William shot at us, before rushing away quickly. He disappeared quickly from view.

“I see my mum,” James stated, and I looked around for a sign of Harry Potter, feeling nervous at the idea of him out there, let loose in the crowd and probably ready to jump out and embarrass me. “Abigail, can I steal you for a moment so that you can meet my mum?”

I turned to look at my parents, ready to ask if it was alright, but my mum cut me off. “It’s fine, dear. We’ll go and get your things on a trolley and come and find you.”

I smiled before taking James’ hand nervously again and he guided us through the crowd and in the direction his family were in. Nerves were settling into my body, and I took a few deep breaths to calm myself.

“Mum, this is Abigail,” James said, hand on the small of my back as he introduce me to his mother. She had a kind face, but from the stories I heard she wasn’t someone to be crossed. I wasn’t sure who I was more nervous about being around, her, or Harry.

A wide smile broke out on her freckled face, and she gave me such a warm smile, I couldn’t help but match it. She reached for me and pulled me into a hug as I laughed nervously and hugged her back quickly.

“I’m so happy to finally meet you,” she said genuinely, making me feel a lot more at ease. “James hasn’t stopped talking about you. Strangely, neither has Harry.”

I felt my eyes flickering around at the mention of Harry, and James’ mum seemed to have noticed.

“Oh, don’t worry, dear,” she said knowingly. “He’s causing trouble at work. He won’t bother you here.”

I nodded slowly, wringing my hands nervously in front of me. James talked a lot about his mum, and I knew that he looked up to his parents, so I hoped that I was making a good first impression. “I hope you’re well, Mrs. Potter.”

“Please, call me Ginny,” Ginny stated. “I’m very well, thank you. A lot happier now that my babies are home. How are you?”

“Good. Tired from the train ride.”

James gave a small cough next to me, and I felt my cheeks heat up at the memory of how I spent the remainder of my trip. Ginny was giving a small frown as she looked from me to James, but didn’t question it, which I was thankful for. If Harry was here I knew that it would be a different story.

“I heard that you’ve already met my husband, and I would like to apologise, but just the one wouldn’t be enough.” Ginny shook her head, but she sounded fond as she spoke about Harry. “You’re lucky I managed to stop him send letters to you.”

“I wish that dad would calm down a little and not show Abigail just how crazy he is at first,” James stated next to me, hand moving from the small of my back to take hold of my hand gently.

“It’s probably better to get it all over with now. He’s a bit of a handful at times, best you know that from the start.”

“Is dad going to be back in time for dinner?” James asked as Albus joined us and hugged his mother. He turned to look at me, then James and then down at our entwined hands.

“Of course he is,” Albus said, hands shoving into his pockets as he stared at James with a hard look. “It’s a tradition that we get Chinese when we come home from Hogwarts. Teddy’s home too, isn’t he?”

“He is. Have you seen Lily? We can get going once she turns up,” Ginny said, running a hand through Albus’ dark hair. He pushed her away in disgust and then glanced at me again. I quickly looked away and at James, noticing that my father was standing behind him. “Did you want to join us for dinner, Abigail?”

I opened my mouth to thank her, but say that I was going to spend it with my family, when my dad spoke from behind me.

“I’m sure we can arrange for her to get to yours.”

James gave a squeak, his face turning red as he let go of my hand and whirled around. My dad gave him an amused look before glancing at me and laughing. I had to laugh too, James was looking at my dad as though he owned the entire world.

“Are you alright, James?” Ginny asked from behind us, and as I turned I saw that Albus was looking at the scene curiously, finding it funny that James was acting that way.

“Do we need another hug, James?” my dad asked, holding his arms out as James nodded meekly. He walked forwards, hugging my dad tightly, and giving a giggle.

“Oh,” Ginny said, seeming to realise who my dad was, as James still hugged onto him. My dad didn’t seem to mind that James was still attached to him. “It’s nice to finally meet you. James has spoken a lot about you too.”

“Is this the comic book guy that James wants to marry?” Albus asked as Ginny and my dad shook hands. Ginny turned to scold her son, my dad giving a laugh as James finally let go of him.

“Yes, that would be me. Although I have to tell him that I would never leave my wife for him.”

Ginny and Albus laughed, and I tried to comfort James, who was pouting a little.

“You ready to go, Abigail? Darryl and your mother are waiting in the car,” dad said, and I gave a nod in reply. I was aware that everyone was around us, and wasn’t sure if I could handle them all being there when I kissed James goodbye. He noticed my unease and took my hand, bringing it up to his lips and pressing them to my skin.

--

There was a bit of a struggle from behind the door, and I heard muffled cries of pain before the door opened and James smiled at me broadly. Lily pushed him and grabbed for my hand to bring me into the house, elbowing James away as she pulled me into a hug.

“She’s my girlfriend, why did you get to open the door?” James complained, as I hugged Lily back in amusement.

James grabbed for Lily’s shoulders and pulled her away from me before wrapping his arms around me holding me tightly. I had to move the box of chocolates that I was carrying out of the way so that they weren’t crushed, and hugging him back with the one arm. 

“Did you bring chocolates for me?” James asked, smiling down at the large box of chocolates in my hands, I glanced down at it before looking back up and shaking my head at him.

“No, I brought these for your family, as a thank you for letting me in their house,” I told him feeling instantly stupid that I had brought it with me. It was something that had been drummed into me from a young age, when going to someone’s house for dinner, bring a gift, whether it be chocolates or a drink.

“Oh, I thought I told you,” James stated, giving a small wince which caused my stomach to drop, “dad’s not allowed chocolate, he’s deathly allergic.”

My stomach fell further at his words, how did I not know that his dad was deathly allergic to chocolates? I was a bloody idiot, why wasn’t I told? Why didn’t we learn about this at school when they taught us about Harry Potter’s life? That should have been the first thing we were all taught.

James’s own face fell at my silence and hesitation, my eyes had widened as I felt embarrassment flooding through me, wondering how I could stash the chocolates before I killed Harry Potter. James quickly shook his head.

“No, no I didn’t mean it, I was joking.” He told me quickly, a fear of his own on his face. “I just wasn’t expecting you to bring a gift, I made a joke before I thought it through.”

“She brought a gift because she has superb manners, unlike you, leaving your guest outside instead of inviting her in,” Ginny said, coming over to us. “James only tells people that Harry is deathly allergic to chocolate so that he could have them all to himself. It’s nice to see you again, Abigail. James move out of the way. Why don’t you go into the front room, maybe you’ll wake your father up.”

I noticed a snappish tone in her voice at the last words as James guided me into the front room, I turned to him questioningly as Ginny and Lily walked towards the kitchen.

“Ah, and here is dad,” James said as I looked around the spacious front room, letting my eyes take in all of the pictures that lined the walls that I would inspect later for baby pictures of James. My gaze fell down to the sofa under the front room window to see Harry stretched out on it, face pushed into a cushion as he slept.
“Here is my dad again. The saviour of the Wizarding world, pretending to be asleep on the sofa in an attempt to avoid the argument he’s having with mum. The drools a nice touch I must admit.”

“Go away, James,” Harry muttered, not opening his eyes and attempting to speak quietly.

“Behave yourself whilst Abigail is here by not trying to embarrass us, and I might consider it,” James crossed his arms as he tried bargaining with his dad.

“Fine. Just go away will you?”

“Let’s go upstairs so that I can show you my room,” James said happily, grabbing for my hand and pulling me slowly from the room as though waiting for Harry to say something. Nothing came, and I was surprised. Maybe he was being good on his word.

I followed him out of the room, smiling at Lily and Ginny as they watched us from the kitchen. Lily giggled as she whispered something into her mum’s ear before the two of them looked back at me and James again.

“Can you please stop,” James begged them, taking hold of my hand and pulling me towards the stairs.

“What’s wrong?” I asked quietly as we headed down the corridor and James stopped at the door furthest away.

“They’re just excited that I’ve brought a girl round,” James told me. It made me feel special that he had never brought anyone home before, I wondered if any of his friends apart from William had come round here. I knew how protective James was when it came to his family.

He opened the door and I walked into the large bedroom, eyes trailing over everything, eager to explore every nook and cranny. I stood in the middle of the room as James walked around me, hand lingering on my waist. Everything in here screamed James, and it was better than I could have ever imagined.

“I love your room,” I told him honestly, looking around in awe at everything that lined his shelves and filled his walls. His room was slightly messy, as though someone had grabbed everything on the floor and pushed it into the nearest cupboard or wardrobe and the only things left behind was whatever had dropped back to the floor. I knew that if I looked under the bed or in the wardrobe I would find lots of mess.

“It’s not normally this tidy,” James admitted to me, taking a seat on a chair, and moving himself side to side.

Comic books were in protective wrappers and sitting on a shelf surrounded by various action figures, a few I recognised as being from my father’s comic books. Artwork covered his walls, looking at the writing underneath I could see that they were done by him, although a few had William’s name on the bottom. Pride of place, and in glass frames, were the picture that my dad had drawn of James and given to him when he came over at Easter, and one of my dad’s comics from years ago. I let my fingers touch the glass that protected the comic book, eyes trailing over the cover and recognising my dad’s drawing with ease.

“Your dad signed it,” James told me, still in his chair behind me. He seemed intent enough to let me walk around his room and look at his things, waiting for me to finish. “I asked for it to go into a frame years ago so that Albus couldn’t ruin it.”

“I remember him signing it,” I told him honestly, remembering the day well. I had met James before when we were children in a bookstore and my dad had signed this comic for him when he heard that he was James’ favourite comic book writer.

“What?” James stopped spinning in his chair as I turned to look at him, leaning back against the desk as I watched him. His shock seemed genuine and I knew that he was thinking about that day.

“You were the girl that read comics with me,” he said slowly.

I nodded at his words. James laughed, stretching his arms above his head, legs out in front of him.

“I had such a crush on you when I was younger. I remember telling dad about how pretty you were and that you were wearing a nice dress,” James admitted, his cheeks tingeing red as he said it.

“No you didn’t,” I laughed kicking my foot out to tap him with it, there was no way that he fancied me back then.

“I’m serious, just ask him. He’ll happily tell you about it because it’ll embarrass me,” James admitted. “I used to beg everyone to take me to the book store in the hopes that I could see you.”

I grinned, not being able to believe that James had a crush on me back then. It was amazing the things that I was beginning to find out about him, if we had seen more of each other back then things could have been a lot different now.

He tapped his lap and I walked across the room and took a seat on it gingerly, not wanting to crush him under my weight. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer, before letting out a loud groan.

“You’re crushing me,” He cried and I tried to stand up quickly in horror that I had broken my boyfriend, but James held me to him and let out a laugh. “I was joking, you’re fine,” He told me apologetically before spinning us around on the chair.

“Stop,” I cried with a laugh, putting my feet down on the floor and stopping him from spinning us around as quickly as he had been. “I’m going to throw up.”

James laughed his mouth close to my ear as he did so; tickling me and making me squirm away from him. He pushed my hair away from my ear and pressed a kiss on the skin just behind.

“If this is all me and your mother have to worry about, I don’t mind you two being up here alone,” came the voice of James’ father. I almost squeaked in surprise and tried to stand up from James’ lap, but he kept his arms around my waist and stopped me. I was worried that Harry was going to go back on his promise and embarrass us again.

“You could have knocked dad, we could have been up to all sorts,” James stated, grinning at his father, who rolled his eyes at him.

“Not in my house you don’t, your mother would have a fit,” Harry told us, an amused expression on his face, as though he was remembering something that only he was privy too.

“Just because you and mum were up to no good at my age, doesn’t mean that me and Abigail are,” James told him, shrugging behind me as he rested his chin on my shoulder.

“Precisely. I know exactly what your mother and I were like at your age, which is why she’s getting people to check on you both at regular intervals. Surprisingly, Lily was the one to volunteer to help supervise.”

James tutted.

“I’m nearly an adult, I’m the responsible one of the family. I was nominated least likely to get their girlfriend pregnant at the family awards.”

I almost blanched at his words, as Harry raised an eyebrow at him.

“Louis got my vote,” Harry stated, and I wondered why he wouldn’t vote for his own children. Although, I could see why Louis would get a vote, he was very shy in the Hufflepuff common room. Maybe he was the same when he was around his family.

“Well, Louis won,” James replied. “Don’t worry dad, this year will be mine. I can feel it.”

Harry rolled his eyes as I continued sitting on James’ lap, not really contributing to the conversation.

“Just make sure that you two don’t do anything, or at least don’t do it under my roof. I don’t need to walk in on that and neither does your mother. I know you’re both old enough to know better.”

I wanted the ground to swallow me up. I was mortified that this conversation was happening, whilst I was sitting on James’s lap, although I really should have known it would. This was James’ father after all.

“Is that why you came up here? To tell us off in case we were doing anything?” James asked, arms wrapped around my waist so that I couldn’t get up, he must have known that I was going to move away and sit on the bed.

“No, I came to tell you that Teddy is back with the food. If you want anything to eat you better get down there before he can eat it all.”

--

Dinner went better than I could have hoped, Harry was polite and courteous and I wondered if maybe that was due to Ginny being in the room as well. Maybe she was the secret weapon when it came to controlling him? Ginny was absolutely lovely, asking me many questions and giving me fond smiles. Albus didn’t seem to care that I was there, whereas Lily mentioned how she couldn’t wait until we got to know each other more without James’ ban in place. I glanced at James at this admission and he was careful to avoid my eyes, conversing with Teddy instead even though I knew that he had heard what had been said.

“James’ ban?” Ginny asked curiously as she twirled her fork into her noodles.

“Yeah,” Lily said loudly, eating happily as she seemed to relish having everyone’s attention on her. “When he started talking to Abigail he told all of us at Hogwarts that we weren’t allowed to talk to her in case we scared her off.”

My eyes widened at this, turning back to James who was looking sheepish.

“Is this true, James?” Ginny demanded in annoyance. I could hear the sound of her fork dropping onto her plate beside me, and James’ gaze flickered from me to his mother.

“You know what they’re all like, mum,” James tried defending himself, indicating everyone around the table with his fork, bar me. “They’re mental, the lot of them.”

“I can’t believe that you would say that –“ Harry snapped, and I almost laughed because he was the worst of them all.

“Dad came into Hogwarts just to embarrass me. Can you imagine if I let the rest all rush at Abigail at once? It’s safer if she gets to know them one at a time, no one can handle that amount of crazy thrown at them at once.” I knew that he didn’t want them all to come at me at once, and for that I was thankful, but I didn’t realise that he had actually banned them. Although, I was more surprised that they actually listened to him.

“Well, the ban can be lifted now,” Harry said happily, grinning with a mouthful of food. “Welcome to the family, Abigail. You’re going to need all the luck you can get.”






A/N: Wooo! We're winding down to the end, only a few more chapters to go and then it's sequel time! I'm so excited about it!

Love you all!


Chapter 42: The One With The Sleepover
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 A/N: This has to be the most cliche chapter I've written, and I've loved it! Haha I hope that you enjoy it :D I had a bit of trouble with it, but it's finally here. :D Thanks to Julie for her help! :D




“When’s that little friend of yours going to come over?” Darryl asked, throwing himself down onto the sofa next to me and putting his legs over my lap. I rolled my eyes, but kept his legs there as I carried on reading.

“What little friend?” I had no clue who he meant; I didn’t have friends shorter than me.

“Michelle.”

I felt my stomach twisting at the name. Of course, my family would ask where she was; they thought that we were still best friends and she would often come over during the holidays.

“She won’t be,” I said softly, hoping that he didn’t hear the hurt in my voice. “We’re not friends anymore.”

“You’ll make up again, you two are always falling out,” Darryl told me, and I wish that it were as simple as that.

“Maybe not.”

“You didn’t fall out over James did you?” Darryl asked suspiciously, and I could hear the hard edge to his tone.

“Was there anything you actually wanted?” I turned to look at him, putting my comic book down, and raising my eyebrows at him.

“I can’t sit with my favourite little sister and ask how she is without an ulterior motive?”

“Not you, no.”

Darryl tried to look offended, but it failed because a smile split across his face. “I just missed you, that’s all. If you tell anyone though, I’ll deny it.”

I shook my head and opened the comic book so that I could ignore him. Darryl hated when I ignored him, and proceeded to poke me until I gave a grumble in reply.

“When can I meet James?” Darryl asked as he moved, his leg digging into my knee painfully.

“Why?” I asked, pushing him away, but he put his legs back on me.

“Because I’ve heard a lot about him, and I want to know if he’s good enough for you.”

“You’re not going to scare him off are you?” I asked, knowing what Darryl was like. He was the same with our eldest sister, and any potential boyfriend she has.

“I just want to get to know him, that’s all. If I happen to mention that if he hurts you I’ll break every single bone in his body, then I can’t be held responsible.”

I rolled my eyes at the idea that my brother could hurt anyone.

“You won’t hurt him. I won’t let you.”

Darryl scoffed as he shook his head and plucked the comic out of my hands, throwing it onto the other sofa and earning a glare from me.

“As if you could hurt me.”

I reached my arm up, attempting to put him into a headlock that he knew was coming. He blocked my attack, ducking his head, and shoving me in the side to escape. I laughed as he grabbed for my hands and used the momentum to shove me off the sofa. Getting up from the floor, I jumped on top of him, causing him to let out a loud groan of pain, and I punched as much of his arm as I could reach.

“Children, you know the rules, no fighting in the house. Your mother won’t stand for it,” dad told us, coming into the room and watching us. He was shaking his head in a mock scold, but his eyes were alight with humour.

“Mum’s not here.” Darryl grabbed my arm to pull it behind my back, but I dug my knuckles from my free hand into his ribs. “Ow, that hurt.”

“In that case, best not to fight on the sofa. Move it to the floor, and try not to break anything. She’ll know if we repair it. Did you give Abigail the letter that came for her?”

I pushed Darryl in the face, and away from me, holding my hand out expectantly as I sat up straight. “Why didn’t you say that I had mail?”

“Because it might be from your boyfriend, and I wanted to check it first to make sure it’s appropriate.”

“Dad!” I cried, turning to look at my father, who was smirking.

“Don’t worry, I’ve memorised James’ writing. This one isn’t from him.” He stopped laughing at the look I was giving him. “I’m only joking, Abi, I wouldn’t do that.”

“Here’s your precious letter,” Darryl stated reaching into his pocket and pulling out a crumpled letter. I snatched it from him and moved away before he could take it from me. “Dad, she really hurt my arm.”

“And you really deserved it.” Dad reached for Darryl’s collar, pulling him up to his feet. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for work? Leave Abigail alone.”

“Dad, is it alright if my friend comes over later?” I asked, looking up from Isabella’s letter to wait for his response.

Once he agreed, I rushed off to write back to Isabella, excited that I would be seeing her.

--

It felt strange to have Isabella in my house, especially when the only other friend I had round was Michelle. I hoped that my dad liked her. I was glad that Darryl had gone to work – something that I was still trying to process.

“Hi, I’m Isabella,” Isabella had a charming smile on her face, hand held out in front of her to shake my fathers. “Is it alright if Abigail comes to stay at mine tonight?”

My dad shook her hand, amusement dancing in his eyes and I knew that she had won him over instantly. With Michelle it took a while, because my dad always thought that there was something strange about her, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He was right in the end.

I hadn’t been able to see anyone of my friends until the third week of the holidays, mainly due to spending time with our families, or going on holiday like James, who was on holiday in Portugal for a week.

It was the longest that I had gone without seeing them, or speaking to them, and I missed them all. Especially James, who I had barely spoken to all week apart from a postcard sent from him saying that he wished I were with him.

I missed his face, but thankfully, he was due back in the country today, so I was excited about hearing from him.

“Of course she can,” my dad told Isabella, causing us to both giggle and clap in excitement like the teenage girls that we were. “Where do you live?”

“I live in one of the flats above Slug and Jiggers in Diagon Alley. Our friend Sian is going to be joining us later on, and I wanted to have a sleepover. I’ve missed having Abigail around, if I’m being honest. She keeps me out of trouble.”

I hardly thought that I was the one keeping her out of trouble. If anything I’m the reason she had so many detentions the past year.

“Did you need me to take you?” dad offered, lifting his cup of coffee to his lips and taking a sip.

“No need, Sir,” Isabella said happily. “I can apparate us. I got my licence before we left school.”

“Congratulations, Abigail can’t take hers until after her birthday in a few days.
In that case, I’ll get back to work and leave you both to it,” he walked around the counter, cup in his hand, and pressed a kiss to my forehead on his way to the kitchen door. “I’ll leave you some money on the counter whilst you go and get your things.”

“You should go to sleep. You look exhausted,” I scolded, knowing that my dad had been up all night. He waved a hand to show that he heard me, before walking from the room and leaving us behind.

“Does your dad work nights?” Isabella asked, turning to look at me.

“Kind of,” I stated, head tilting slightly to the left as I gave a small shrug.
“He stayed up all night working on the latest issue of Minister of Destruction.”

“That comic book that you and James love?” she said slowly, sounding like she hoped that she had the information correct.

“One of them.” I stood up from the stool I was sitting on and headed out of the kitchen. Isabella followed behind me. “He’s deadline is in the next few days for the Minister of Magic, and he still hasn’t finished it.”

“That’s not good.”

We walked up the stairs and headed to my bedroom. Snowball looked up once we had entered the room; he gave a small meow in our direction before going back to his nap on my bed.

“He’ll get it done in time, he always does. After quite a few sleepless nights, though,” I told her. It was my dad’s routine, which had worked for him for years, apparently. He would spend the night and most of the morning shut away in his office, head bent down over his desk and work until he was finished. It was why I spent so much of my time in there with him, learning everything that I could and hoping to pick up some tips from him when it came to my own. I had learnt the spells to make the pictures move before I even started Hogwarts, having seen it repeated continuously throughout my childhood.

“I just wanted to warn you,” Isabella said in a quiet voice, and I turned to look at her curiously, as I searched for my pyjamas. Snowball had moved to curl up on her lap, and Isabella had a mischievous glint in her eyes as she stroked his fur.
“I’ve got a stash of alcohol for us to get through.”

This was going to be nothing like the sleepovers that Michelle and I ever had. I was excited.

--

“So, Abigail, I’ve been wanting to ask you,” Isabella stated, shifting so that her legs moved underneath her, sipping at the alcohol in her glass and giving me a look that had me worried. “When do you think that you and James will do the deed?”

I choked a little on my own drink, wiping my mouth and laughing at my own actions. My head was beginning to feel a little fuzzy as I looked at Sian, who had hit Isabella on the arm, telling her that it was personal and she shouldn’t be asking questions like that. I didn’t mind. I liked that I had friends that I would want to have conversations like this with, months ago you wouldn’t catch me even thinking about talking to Michelle about something so private.

“Oh, come on, you all know about my sex life.” Isabella held a hand up in defence. “I’m just curious.”

“Not everyone is comfortable talking about it like you,” Sian reminded her, eyebrows raised high as Isabella shrugged. I was thankful that she would come to my defence and try to not put me on the spot. She was a good friend.

“I know that, and that’s why I talk about mine so that you know that if any of you have any questions about things, that you can talk to me. I’m not a slut for nothing.” Isabella joked as Sian laughed.

“I don’t think that you’re a slut,” I said, shaking my head. Isabella reached for my hand and squeezed it.

“Thanks,” she smiled, holding her glass out for Sian to refill. “I just want you to know that any question you have about it all, you can come to me. There is no question that’s too embarrassing.”

“I’m just –“ I began, biting at my lower lip in worry. I took another drink to try to get more courage, looking down at my hands as my friends waited for me to speak.

“It’s alright, Abigail, anything you say to us won’t go any further then this room,” Sian told me encouragingly. I trusted them completely; I just had no idea how I would begin speaking about the things that were worrying me.

“I’m nervous that James expects it from me soon, because we’ve been dating for nearly six months now.”

“Don’t rush into anything until you’re ready,” Isabella told me, reaching for a few sweets from the bowl in front of us.

“I won’t, I know that.” I took another drink, the warm feeling inside of me growing. “He would never push me into anything, and he’d wait for as long as I want. But, I just worry that I should be doing it.”

“Don’t do anything because others are, you’ve got to live your life how you want. If you want to wait a few days, that’s your choice, if you want to wait thirty years, then good for you!”

I ran my fingers over my lips, which were slightly numb, and thought about James.

“I’ve been thinking of doing it on our year anniversary,” I mumbled, they heard me, and both gave a squeal of happiness that had me smiling wide.

“Oh, that is so adorable,” Isabella cried, clapping her hands as Sian hugged a pillow and grinned at me. I could feel my cheeks flushing red.

“I am going to give you a crash course on contraception,” Isabella stated, grabbing for my empty glass and filling it back up. When did I finish my last drink? I could barely taste the alcohol in them anymore.

I giggled as Sian commented on Isabella being the expert.

“What about you, Sian? Have you ever –“ I trailed off as Isabella gave me back my glass.

“No, I haven’t met anyone that I would want to do that with, most of the guys our age are jerks, or idiots. I think the exceptions are James, William, and Ethan.”

“They don’t get much better when they get older,” I told her knowingly, reaching for some cheese and onion crisps. “My brother decided to greet me by burping in my face this morning.”

Isabella and Sian burst into laughter, and I couldn’t help but join them.

“I’m glad that I’m an only child,” Isabella stated.

“I thought that my sister was bad.” Sian laughed. “I’d hate to have a brother if that’s what they’re like.”

We continued laughing, eating the food until there was hardly anything left in the bowls.

“I have a question.” Sian stretched out on her stomach and put her head in her hands as she looked at us. “When are you and William going to finally get together?”

“Yes! I would like to know that too,” I said to Isabella, high-fiving Sian once she held a hand up to me. Isabella rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“There’s nothing to say.”

“Like fuck there isn’t,” I cried, throwing my hand across my mouth as they both looked at me with their eyebrows raised, before bursting into laughter.

“Bloody hell, Abigail,” Sian said, as I dropped my hand and laughed with them.

“You’re brilliant,” Isabella grinned at me. “And nothing is going on between us.”

“I have a feeling that someone is lying.” Sian looked at me but nodded in Isabella’s direction.

“We’ve kissed a few times, and other things –“

“You may have also gone to his house a few times since the holidays began – “ Sian continued for her, before stopping quickly and sitting up, she seemed to have processed what Isabella had just said. “Hang on, what do you mean other things?”

Isabella just gave a coy grin, standing up quickly. “Oh, would you look at that,” she said looking down at the empty bowls. “I think we’re out of snacks.”

“Isabella, you can’t leave us hanging like that.”

“I’m getting snacks.” Isabella called as she left the room, “and then we can continue with James and Abigail.”

“That girl is unbelievable,” Sian said with a shake of her head.

“That’s what William said last night,” I joked before I could stop myself. Sian erupted into laughter and I giggled around my drink.

“Isabella, you’re going to be so proud,” Sian yelled loudly so that Isabella could hear her, “you’ve finally corrupted Abigail.”

Isabella joined us a few moments later, her hands empty.

“I still can’t get over just how cute you and James are,” Isabella stated, sitting back down next to me and wrapping an arm around my shoulders. She pulled me closer and seemed to be petting the side of my face. “Waiting until your anniversary is just so adorable. If I ever had a relationship, I would want it to be like yours. You both bring me so much joy.”

“She’s the ultimate Jabigail fan girl,” Sian informed me, as Isabella agreed.

I snorted at the word Jabigail.

“I should probably tell James my plans,” I said as Isabella let go of me and reached for the empty bottle in front of us. “But I don’t know when I’ll see him next.”

“When does he get back from his holiday?”

“Today,” I looked down at my watch, finding it hard to focus on the time. “I think I should send a letter to James,” I stood up, going over to Isabella’s desk to grab a few sheets of parchment and a self-inking quill. The alcohol had given me a lot more confidence and bravado. “To tell him that I love him, and that I think we should have sex on our year anniversary.”

“Yes! We shall help you!” Isabella cheered, Sian agreeing beside her.

“Once we’re done we can go to the shop, because we’ve run out of food.” They both moved closer as I sat back down in the circle. I had to steady myself as I put the parchment down on the floor. This was the best idea I’ve had today.

--

“Am I missing James too much that I’m hallucinating, or is that James, William, and Ethan?” I whispered, leaning closer to Sian, who was walking beside me. We were walking with linked arms down Diagon Alley, as Isabella skipped on the cobblestones behind us.

Sian looked from me and over to where I was pointing outside Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes.

“I think it is them,” Sian said, unlinking her arm from mine, and pushing me towards them. “He must have got your letter and wanted to see you! Go and get him.”

“Hey,” I cried happily, running up to James. He turned at the sound of my voice, before readying himself as I jumped at him. He caught me with a laugh, holding me tightly to him, only stumbling a little as I wrapped my legs around him.

“Abigail? What are you doing here?” James asked, lips pressed against my cheek before I moved to press mine against his. I had missed him so much, and it felt so good to be in his arms again.

James chuckled lightly, breaking our kiss and leaning his forehead on mine.. “I’ve missed you too.”

I must have said that aloud, maybe I had had a lot more to drink then I thought.

“Did you get my letter?” I enquired, hand raising up to stroke down his face. He was so tanned, he looked beautiful.

“What letter?” he asked in confusion, letting me go so that I stood on the ground again. I was vaguely aware that we were alone, the others must have gone to the shop already.

“I sent you a letter. I thought that was why you were here?”

He was so adorable when he was confused; I loved the way that his nose scrunched up slightly. I reached up a finger to run down it, giggling.

“Have you been drinking?” James asked me, his hands on my waist. I moved my hands to his arms, before cradling the back of his head and pulling him in for another kiss. By the time we pulled apart, I was breathless, and the others had come back, bags in hand.

“Once you two are quite done, we can get back to Isabella’s,” Ethan stated, holding up two bags, one of them clinking once he moved. “Apparently there’s a sleepover happening, and we’re invited.”

“Won’t your mum mind?” I asked Isabella, turning to look at her.

“Not at all,” Isabella stated as we all began making our way back to her home. James’ hand was warm in my own.

“Is she home?” James asked as I looked around us at the darkened street. It felt so different at nighttime.

“She’s at her boyfriends; she should be home day after tomorrow when she finishes work.”

William stopped outside the door that led to Isabella’s flat and I couldn’t help but wonder how many times he had been here before.

“I have a few games that I think we’ll have lots of fun playing,” William said happily, holding the door so that we could all walk in.

“Hello, Abigail,” William said to me with a wink. “I’m a little sad that James gets all this love and I get nothing.”

I pursed my lips, hand moving to tap William on the side of the face before I hugged him tightly, causing him to stumble backwards into the wall.

“I want in on this hug,” I head Ethan saying, and I felt arms wrap around us, my face was pressed to William’s shoulders.

“I’m not missing out either.” I felt James pressing up behind me as he joined our hug and I couldn’t help but laugh as they all squeezed me tightly. If they didn’t stop, I was going to have the air pushed out of me.

“Come on you lot, this alcohol isn’t going to drink itself.” It sounded like Isabella was at the top of the stairs, but I couldn’t see her.

“Sorry, there’s a group hug. We’ll be up in a minute,” William laughed, and I felt it vibrate against my cheek. I stumbled as they tried to get into the door without letting go, and ended up pushing William to the floor. Ethan grabbed for me to stop me falling, but James wasn’t as lucky as he tripped over Williams’ legs and landed on the stairs.

I didn’t think that I would ever stop laughing.

--

The sleepover was moved to the front room, as there wasn’t enough space for us all in Isabella’s room. I didn’t mind so much, I was sitting between James legs, back resting against his chest as he sat against the sofa, one hand on his leg whilst the other clutched a drink, which Ethan had mixed for me. We were in the middle of one of William’s drinking games, ‘Never have I ever’, and I was losing spectacularly. You had to take a gulp of your drink if you had done the thing the person said they had never done, which meant that I never drank anything. Although that would probably be considered winning.

I bowed out of the game after a while, and settled for watching it unfold in front of me. It was entertaining to see what my friends had, and hadn’t done, and it seemed that they were trying to say things to get the other to drink.

“I’ve got one,” Sian slurred with a grin, pointing at the rest of us as she pressed her back against the armchair. “Never have I ever seen anyone in this circle completely naked.”

I giggled, looking around at everyone and saw William and Isabella raising their glasses to take a drink. I was surprised when James drank from him, and turned my head to look at his questioningly.

“Who have you seen naked, James?” Isabella asked, “Is it Abigail?”

I shook my head, knowing that he hadn’t, but who else was it?

“Sadly no,” he stated, glancing at me and sticking his tongue out at me. “I’ve seen William naked more times than I’ve seen myself naked. There is literally nothing that boy has hidden from me.”

The rest of us laughed and I turned to see William looking smug, chin lifted proudly.

“Bugger,” Ethan said, bringing his glass up and downing the rest of the liquid. “I forgot about William and his inability to wear clothes. He streaked once and I got an eyeful.”

“As did the Muggles in my neighbourhood,” James said from behind me.

Ethan reached for the bottle beside me, and poured himself another drink as they decided who would go next. I raised my glass to sip at the liquid inside, grinning as I felt James pressing kisses to my neck, hand pressing against the top of my stomach, fingers spreading wide and brushing against the underside of my bra, albeit over my top. I felt my stomach flipping pleasantly and I had to bite my lip to stop from breaking out into a wide grin.

“I’ve got one,” Ethan said after no one else had spoken. It was a struggle to focus my attention on him, and not on what James was doing. “Never have I ever had sex with anyone in the room.”

That got my attention as I looked at Isabella. It seemed that everyone else was doing the same, and the two of them just stared back at us, not moving to drink at all.

“This is cheating,” Isabella stated, shifting from her position on the floor and moving slightly closer to William as she did so. If she moved any closer to him, she would be sitting in his lap. I reached my hand up to cover my mouth, hoping that I hadn’t said that aloud. A quick glance around confirmed that I hadn’t.

Good.

“I’m feeling bullied right now,” William sniffed, moving his hand to behind Isabella and leaning on it, legs spreading out in front of him.

Neither of them drank anything, and I wondered if it was true that they hadn’t slept together yet. I was amazed, I thought for sure that they had. A quick look at Sian was all I needed to see that she was thinking the same, she looked shocked.

“I have a feeling that two people in this room should be drinking instead of lying,” James stated, sitting up a bit straighter and pulling me closer to him, fingers moving a bit higher. Not that I was keeping track or feeling excitement fill me whenever he did.

William was shooting James a dark look, and Isabella was shaking her head at William. I couldn’t help but cheer as they raised their glasses, clinked them together, and downed the rest of the liquid.

“When?” Sian demanded instantly, clapping as she moved to sit with her legs underneath her. “Where? I want all the details!”

“All of them?” William asked.”Some are sordid, the others aren’t suitable for such young ears.”

I heard James’ noise of disgust behind me and I giggled again.

“At the beginning of the holidays,” Isabella told us reluctantly, and I wondered why she hadn’t told us about it earlier.

“Why didn’t you tell us?” I sat up straighter, moving away from James and causing his hand to leave my body. I felt his fingers trailing across my back though, so I didn’t mind too much.

“I was going to, I was just too excited about what you said,” Isabella told me, “I didn’t want to steal your thunder.”

“What did you tell her?” James asked from behind me, and I reached a hand down to tap his thigh.

“I wrote it in the letter,” I said, feeling a little hot under the collar, not sure I wanted to say out loud in front of Ethan and William what it contained.

“Ah, the elusive letter.” James’ fingers were moving to my sides, and I jerked at the way it tickled me. “I’ve never been more excited to get post.”

“Shall we play another game?” Ethan asked us all, “I’m sure that we can get the information out of them eventually.”

“Not us,” James stated, and I felt him pressing kisses to the top of my back. “I haven’t seen Abigail in a week, I’m going to go and ravish her in the hallway.”

“Such a gentleman,” I snorted, even though I couldn’t contain my excitement as James stood up and reached for my hand to pull me to my feet. I left my drink behind when I noticed that he hadn’t brought his.

“If you use my bed, don’t have sex in it,” Isabella told us, giving me a wink, and sticking out her tongue at me. I returned it.

“Oh, don’t worry, we’re saving that for William’s bed.” James joked, guiding me out of the room. I barely heard William’s reply as we left.

“Rude!”

James walked us towards Isabella’s room, hands not leaving my sides and I couldn’t help the laughter that was escaping me as he tickled me.

“I’ve missed you,” James said as he closed the door behind us and pressed me back against it. My hands moved to behind his neck, as I moved my tongue against his own, fingers rubbing the hair at the nape of his neck. He trailed his hands down my sides, over my hips and down to my legs, grabbing them and lifting me so that I could wrap my legs around him.

“Don’t worry, I won't let you fall," James told me, pressing his body closer to me as his hands moved down to securely hold me. My head was swimming, whether from the kiss or the alcohol, I wasn’t sure, but I would gladly pass out of this was the way it would happen.

Didn't he know that I had already fallen head over heels?

“We have to stop,” James told me breathlessly after a while, although he didn’t make any movement to do so, tongue dancing against my own again. I didn’t care, it felt nice, although I was amazed that he was able to hold me up for so long. I had to be heavy.

He kissed me again, moving his body against mine and making me feel like I was going to turn to mush, before he groaned and let go of my legs so that I could stand normally.

I raised my fingers to trail against my numb lips as I watched James sit down on Isabella’s bed, leaning forwards and staring at me with such a heated look, I was tempted to push him back on the bed and continue kissing him.

“Did you want to go back into the other room?” I asked him, raising my hands to try to flatten my hair, as James watched my every move.

“Let’s give it a minute,” James said, voice sounding strained.

I grinned at his words, realising the effect I had on him.

“Do you think they’re playing spin the bottle yet?” I asked, hoping that it would help James focus on something else.

“It really wouldn’t surprise me if they are.” James gave a laugh, running a hand over his face before standing up. It was a struggle to keep my eyes on him, and not trail over his body.

“I love you,” he said, pressing another kiss to my lips.

“I love you, too.”

 


Chapter 43: The One With The Make Over
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

My beautiful Abigail,

Guess who made Quidditch Captain? I’ll give you a clue, it’s someone awesome and brilliant, and you think he’s gorgeous! .... before you say William, I’m going to tell you that it’s me. Although why anyone would think that William is gorgeous is beyond me, they clearly haven’t seen him in the mornings. Speaking of people thinking William is gorgeous, Isabella keeps sending letters to him, and he’s being secretive about them, I think we need to question them both on the boundaries of friendship.

I hope that you’re doing alright. I wish we could have stayed longer at Isabella’s, and that dad didn’t need to see me urgently. It turned out that he lied about needing to see me, and wanted to let me know that he read your letter you sent me... apparently you addressed it to ‘Potter’ and he thought it was for him. I er... I wish I could say that he won’t be embarrassing about it, but it’s my dad we’re talking about. Don’t worry; I’ll protect you from him.


It was a lot of fun, though; I think it was a good thing that we made Ethan come along. He needed to get out of the house, and that’s why he was out with me and William when you saw us. His mum is ill again, and he has been looking after her ever since the holidays started. I’m worried about him.

I wish that I could see you everyday like when we were at school. William is tired of my moping, as is dad, he says that I should invite you around. So, let me know when you’re free and we’ll meet. If you don’t reply I shall just turn up at your house and climb in through your window... if your dad or Darryl read this over your shoulder, I’m of course joking (I’m not joking).

Seriously, apparently I’m being pathetic without you around. William is planning to stage an intervention.

Much love,

James.

I smiled down at the letter in my hands; reading over the words again and feeling my chest swell with pride at the fact that he had made Quidditch captain for the Gryffindor team. I would have to invite him over to babysit with me tonight.

---

“You know,” James said holding his nails up to inspect them. “This is really good; she does a much better job than William does.”

I leaned over so that I could see my niece’s handiwork and noticed that she had gotten nail polish all over the skin around James’ fingers. He turned his hand as he brought his nails closer to his mouth, blowing air onto them so that they would dry. I was babysitting her for my sister Sarah as she had a date, and my parents had to go to a function for my father’s work, so were unable to look after her. Darryl had big plans to get drunk with his friends, and probably spy on my sister’s date, so it was down to me to look after her. I didn’t mind, I relished any opportunity I have to spend with her, I was even more excited when my dad suggested that I ask James to come and help.

“I can’t believe that you let her paint your nails,” I said as my niece rummaged through her small handbag, pulling out various items that looked like children’s play make-up.

“It’s no big deal; I grew up around my sister, William, and girl cousins. I had this forced upon me whether I wanted it to happen or not. It was just easier to go along with it instead of fighting.”

Christina seemed to be deliberating over a choice of two eye shadows before looking up at James’ face, a frown puckering at her brow as she regarded him. James stopped blowing on his nails to look down at the colours she was holding.

“I’m thinking the bright blue today,” James said happily, and Christina’s face lit up as she nodded before poking her finger into the eye shadow and attacking James’ face with her finger. I knew that she had poked him in the eye – I knew from experience just how much it could hurt when she done this – but he was a good sport and didn’t complain once.

“I hope that you know I’m going to get a picture of this once she’s done,” I told James happily, running my fingers through his hair as I stood up so that I could leave the room and start preparing dinner. “What will the Gryffindor Quidditch team do when they see what their new captain does in his spare time?”

“That picture will never see the light of day,” James said as I walked away from him.

I turned to grin evilly at him, shrugging my shoulders in response to him. He was staring at me as Christina made the blue eye shadow go up to his eyebrows; I struggled not to laugh at him.

“Maybe I’ll keep it just for myself,” I suggested. I wasn’t going to show anyone the photos and he knew that, but I couldn’t help but joke with him over it. He looked so adorable when he was flustered.

“Ah, if you wanted a private photo collection of me you should have asked, I’ll be quite happy to pose for you,” James threw back at me, wiggling his eyebrows seductively as I felt my cheeks heat up at what he had implied.

“Stop talking,” Christina scolded James, grabbing his chin so that he faced her again and James obeyed her instantly, apologising, and closing his eyes. She had such a look of concentration on her face and I knew that she had warmed to James; it felt good to know that my family seemed to like James, and I just hoped the same with his family. I couldn’t help but worry at times that they would think that I wasn’t good enough for him.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” I told them, tapping my hand on the doorframe as I walked away from the room and into the kitchen.

--

James kept his make-up on until I had put Christina to bed, I think he was a little worried about her reaction if he washed it off before hand, and strolled into my bedroom rubbing at his face with tissue before sitting on the bottom of my bed.

“Did I get it all?” he asked, turning to show me his face. He hadn’t. There was a big streak of blue underneath his right eyebrow, and I moved to sit cross-legged in front of him to help wipe it off.

I only managed to get half of it off before James surged forwards, pressing his lips urgently against mine, the force of the kiss sending me backwards onto the bed as James followed, pressed tight against me.

“Sorry, I just really wanted to kiss you,” James stated, leaning his head back so that he could look down at me. I felt my heart beating wildly as my stomach jolted pleasantly, I shifted underneath him and realised that my legs were either side of his hips. We had never been in this position before when kissing. I bit my lip and his gaze darted down, before he groaned and leant forwards to kiss me again.

I could stay like this forever, just kissing him until we ran out of breath. I moved my hands up to grip his hair, tugging lightly and causing him to let out another soft moan against my lips, before he grinned, moving his kisses to my jaw line. I moved my hands down, skimming his shoulders before going under his and lightly caressing his sides. His body bucked at that and he shied away as he buried his face into my neck and laughed loudly, warm breath tantalising against my skin.

“Don’t, that tickles,” James said, laughter still stifled against my skin.

I waited until he began kissing my neck again before I moved my hands back down to his sides, he jerked as though I had shocked him as he laughed again, moving so that he was straddling me on the bed, knees either side of my hips as I smiled innocently up at him.

“Abigail,” James warned, grabbing for my hands to stop me and putting them above my head, trapping them there as he stared down at me. His eyes looked blown, his face flushed, and lips slightly puckered from our kiss. I wanted to feel his lips on me again.

“I wasn’t doing anything,” I tried feigning innocence, but he wasn’t falling for it for a second.

“Oh, really?”

The look in James’ eyes was pure evil as he moved one of his hands, trailing softly against the skin on my arm and causing me to laugh loudly. He shushed me, but carried on moving his hand. I was well aware that my niece was asleep and that I shouldn’t make a lot of noise, but that was proving to be impossible when James was doing this.

His hand moved along my stomach, pushing the top up slightly as he did so, as he moved his lips down to the skin along my collarbone. I never wanted him to let me go, I wanted him to continue doing what he was doing. He seemed to be enjoying having this hold over me as he continued moving his hands so that his fingers tickled at my skin, brushing along the curve of my breast before moving down to my side. I attempted to stop laughing but it was hard to do so and James knew.

“See, it’s not funny, is it?” He asked me, looming back over me and so close that if I moved my head up I could press my lips against his.

“I thought it was really funny,” I teased him before I could think about what I was going to say. I liked that I seemed to lose my filter when it came to James, the guard that I had been putting up all of those years coming down around James. I felt so ease with him, trusting him completely. His encouragement had me coming out of my shell and I loved the person that I had become with his, and the others help.

“Oh, do you now?” The mischievous look was back on his face, as he leant forwards to kiss my neck, the skin prickling as I felt my eyes fluttering closed at the contact. “We should stop.”

James sat up with a small sigh, he seemed to be struggling with his own decision, but he released my hands from his grip and looked down at me, still sitting on top of me. I felt my chest heaving, and noticed the way that his eyes flicked down before focusing back on my eyes, looking a little embarrassed that I had caught him staring at my body. He made me feel so wanted and loved, I could never thank him enough for giving me confidence in myself.

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to do that. It’s not that big a love bite,” James said catching my attention again, his finger trailing over the part of my collarbone that prickled after he had been kissing it. I hoped that it wasn’t too big of a mark; I needed to be able to cover it with my clothes so that no one in my family saw it. I shook my head, sitting up and kissing him softly on the cheek as I did so.

“Its fine,” I told him honestly, “I liked it.”

“Yeah?” James asked, hand rising to cradle the side of my face.

“We should do that again,” I said eagerly, and James looked like Christmas had come early.

“Shall we go downstairs? Otherwise I’m going to start kissing you again and I don’t want Darryl or your dad coming in to kick me out,” James said getting up from my bed and turning to hold his hand out for me to take. I did so and he helped me stand up before guiding me out of the room.

It was as we were standing in the kitchen getting some snacks to binge ourselves on that he asked me to spend the night at his. I almost dropped the packet of crisps in my hand, thankful for James’ quick reflexes as he caught it before it spilt all over the floor.

“Tonight?” I blurted out, nerves filling me at the idea of staying at James’ the night. I really wanted to, but I was worried that my parents wouldn’t let me, or his parent’s wouldn’t let it happen, or that James expected us to take the next step in our relationship. I was fine with what we had been doing so far, and was grateful that James was taking things slow with me, but I was constantly worried that it wasn’t enough for him.

“No, at the weekend. My parents are going away, Lily will be at Rose’s, and Albus will be at Fred’s house. I’ll be home alone, so thought that you might like to stay.”

I let the information process in my brain. We would be alone in his house the entire night, possibly weekend with no fear of anyone walking in on us. I gulped and James’ noticed, instantly knowing what I was thinking. Either he was a good mind reader, or he just knew me that well.

“There will be no funny business,” James told me quickly, shaking his head as he looked at me. “You’ll just be sleeping over; I’ll even sleep on the floor if you want? You’ll be keeping me company; I’m not asking you there so that we can have sex. There will be kissing of course, because we’ve kissed before and I always want to kiss you, I mean – why wouldn’t I? You’re breathtaking, and I love you. I swear I’m not asking you over for an ulterior motive, we’ll wait until we’re both ready for that step. I’m not even sure that I’m ready to take that step, I worry that I’ll be a massive disappointment to you because I’m a virgin and –“

I reached over to grab James gently by the chin, stopping him mid tangent, I knew that if I didn’t he would just carry on. I felt better at hearing his words, and he looked at me imploringly, blue eyes wide and glistening as he looked at me. I kissed him on the tip of the nose before letting him go.

“I’ll stay,” I tell him, and his smile is so wide and genuine that I can’t help but smile along with him. “I mean, it’s not like we’ve never fallen asleep together.”

“You’re right, you’ve fallen asleep on me at least twice,” James agreed as we took the snacks into the front room. “I just thought that this time it’ll be fun to fall asleep in a bed, and I get to see your adorable face in the morning.”

I scrunched my nose up at his words and threw my crisps at him. He attempted to catch them in his mouth, but failed so badly that we both ended up crying with laughter.

We settled into comfortable silence, both of us lounging on opposite sides of the sofa, but having our legs rest on each other in the middle as we listened to the dulcet tones of the radio. I had no idea what station James had put it on, but it was nice to have it on in the background.

“I can give you your birthday present,” James told me, sounding shy all of a sudden. It was a strange emotion to see on James, he was normally so secure and made me feel confident and ready to take on the world just by being around him.

“Should I be worried?” I asked, eyes flickering over his face as he looked at me, head resting in his hand, elbow leant on the back of the sofa as he faced me. His legs tangled with mine, and he looked so happy and at home, that it felt like we had been doing this for years.

“I hope not,” he said, although I was intrigued by his reaction. I knew he wouldn’t tell me, wanting to keep it a surprise. “What are you doing for your birthday?”

“Having a meal with my family, I think dad’s taking us to some place in London. I can ask if you can come along.”

James shook his head slowly, hand moving forwards so that his fingers ran through my hair. “I can see you when you stay over. You should spend the day with your family. You don’t get to see them much.”

“So, we’ll be alone the entire time?” I asked.

“William will be there at some point I think? He wants to give you a present as well. He was... well, he was quite insistent about it. Are you going to tell your parents that you’ll be staying?”

I shook my head. I didn’t think that they would let me stay over in a million years, especially if I remembered the way that they treated Sarah when she got her first boyfriend. “I’ll talk to Isabella about it, maybe I could pretend that I’m staying at hers the night? Won’t your parents mind me staying?”

“I don’t think that they would, although they would probably make you stay in Lily’s room. I wanted to just spend time with you, and avoid you being around my dad for a while.”

I groaned and tried not to think of how he was going to embarrass me about the letter.

“Shall we talk about it?” James asked me, shuffling on the spot and reaching for more of the snacks. I was nibbling slowly at the corner of a crisp. I felt a lot more confident when I had been drinking, but I knew that this was a conversation that we needed to have. I nodded at his words, trying to think of what I could say without sounding like an idiot.

“I think that’s a really good idea, waiting until our anniversary,” James started, “If you wanted to do it sooner, or later, then that, that’s fine too. I don’t want us to rush into anything that you’re not comfortable with.”

“We’ve already done quite a lot,” I admitted with a smile, James’ matched my own. “I haven’t felt rushed at all, and it’s felt really nice.”

James’ hand found my leg and he ran it up and down my jeans slowly. “Me too. I have an idea then.”

“What’s that?” I asked curiously.

“How about we just keep doing what we’re doing, and if things happen they happen. But, we’ll make sure that we’re prepared for it at all times.”

“That seems like a good idea to me too.”

“And of course, we can both stop things at any time, if either of us think that we’re rushing.” I nodded again; glad that we had worked things out and had a conversation about it all. “Now, shall we talk about the fact that William fell asleep in the bathroom the other day at Isabella’s? Or that I woke up to find you hugging Ethan?”

“You were hugging the table leg,” I retaliated. “And I wasn’t hugging Ethan, his back was really warm and I was cold, so I was drawn to it.”

James rolled his eyes dramatically. “That’s what they all say.”

“I was only cold because you would rather hug a table.”

“I don’t blame you for being near Ethan. I would do the same; he’s so warm all the time, like a personal heater.” James slouched slightly, hands still on my legs.
“I’ve woken many times pressed up against him after drinking at Williams.”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” I laughed. “Although, I want to hear all about William’s parties after we order pizza.”

James chuckled loudly. “This is going to take a while. They’re legendary.”

“You can tell me more when I stay over.”

James grinned like the Kneazle that had the cream. Before he started speaking about some of the things he had got up to whilst out with William and Ethan. I definitely needed to talk with Isabella about it all. James and I would be alone all night at his, and I couldn't wait.




A/N: One more chapter left! I better hurry up and think of a summary for the sequel :P


Chapter 44: The One With Potter Boy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Are you sure that you’re ready for this?” Isabella asked, her hands on the tops of my arms as we stood in the front garden of James’ house.

I was nervous, and she knew it, but I appreciated her asking anyway. I was ready for this, I was excited for this. James and I were finally going to be alone for the rest of the day and the night.

“I am. I can’t wait. I haven’t seen him since before my birthday,” I told her. I only saw my family and Isabella yesterday, and that was only because Isabella came to dinner with my family yesterday for my birthday and then stayed at my house for a pampering night – her gift to me for my birthday – and I had told my family that I was staying at hers tonight.

They didn’t even bat an eyelid when we mentioned it, believing that I was actually going there, and I felt guilt tug at my stomach that I had lied to them. It was battling it out with the nerves I was feeling, and I tried to ignore the slightly nauseated feeling in my stomach. I just knew that someone was going to catch me, or work out that I had lied.

“Thank you for bringing me,” I said to her, “and for helping me out.”

“You’re welcome,” Isabella said, smiling at me and reaching up to push my hair behind my ears. I couldn’t help but love her for mothering me. It was a vast difference from what I was used to with Michelle. I hated to think what she would have been like in this situation, she probably would have told my family what I was really doing. “I’ll let you get to James now. Remember, if you want to come back at all, just send me a message and I’ll come and get you. If not, I’ll wait to hear from you tomorrow for me to bring you back to mine.”

“You’re the best friend,” I told her, pulling her into a hug. She hugged me back tightly before letting go and giving me a wink. She disappeared with a pop and I was left to go into James’ house alone.

He was already at the door waiting for me as I walked up, and I rushed forwards to wrap my arms around him. He guided me inside, closing the door behind me and let me go long enough so that I could take my backpack off and leave it at the foot of the stairs.

“How’s the birthday girl doing?” James asked me as I stared at him, hands entwining with his and realising that he still had the nail polish on.

“It’s not my birthday anymore,” I told him, “that was yesterday.”

“You still haven’t got your presents from me yet,” he stated. I couldn’t wait to see what he had got me, it was something that I couldn’t stop thinking about yesterday, I wondered if it would top the rose he made me?

“So, what’s my present?” I asked him happily. It felt weird to be in his house just the two of us. I was expecting Harry to jump out at any moment to scare and embarrass me. I still wouldn’t believe that he wasn’t out there somewhere, waiting.

“This,” James said, leaning forwards to press a kiss to my cheek.

“I love it,” I told him truthfully.

“That’s not all, though,” he nodded towards the door.

“You’re kicking me out?” I joked, eyes squinting at him suspiciously, as he pushed his feet into his shoes, before grabbing for a gift bag. “That’s not such a great present.”

“As if I would ever kick you out,” James replied, opening the door and leading me out of it. “I’m taking you for dessert.”

I remembered the place we went to before, the place where Hugo and Lily had been too, and felt my stomach give a grumble. I loved it there, and instantly thought of all the ice creams I wanted to try. “And I’ll give you your present when we get there.”

“I don’t know what I want to get,” I admitted as we walked slowly through his front garden, and out onto the street. It was still warm and sunny, even though it was late afternoon. The summer heat warmed my face as I tried to lean around James to get a peek at the gift bag. He moved it out of the way and kissed me in an attempt to distract me.

I didn’t get my gift until we had sat in the dessert place and ordered our food. James looked worried as he passed me the bag, and I almost didn’t open it because I was worried about what it contained. The excitement got too much though, and I opened it up and removed the tissue paper on top.

Inside was a large notebook, with writing on the front.

The Adventures of Abigail Higgs and Potter Boy,” I read loudly, fingers trailing over the words as elation filled me. Tears prickled at my eyes I was so excited and touched by what he had done. “Did you make a comic book about us?”

James nodded, looking embarrassed, and it was a new thing to see on him. I flicked open the front page, and couldn’t stop smiling at the drawing he had done of me. I had a cape and a mask, my dark hair blowing in the breeze, with a hunky man beside me, which I knew to be James.

“I know that I should have got you something that’s less shit. But, I know how much you love comics, and I got this idea from the one that you made me. I’m sorry it’s terrible, I’m shit at drawing and –“

I put the present down just so I could press my lips against his, throwing my arms around his neck to pull him closer. “It’s amazing. Thank you, I can’t wait to read it.”

He always got me such thoughtful gifts, and it made me feel all sorts of fuzzy inside that he went to so much trouble.

“No it’s terrible,” James said pulling away from me and leaning to put his hand into his pocket. “It’s really shit. I’ll give you this, it’s the real present.”

He pushed a small box over to me, and I took it from him to open slowly. It was a necklace with a tiny pendant of a comic book, it opened to reveal tiny pages with movement on it.

“I love them both. James these are really amazing,” I told him honestly, trying so hard not to squeal loudly in happiness. He grinned, the unease finally leaving his face as he picked it up and gestured for me to turn around so that he could put it on me.

“This is much better than the comic,” James said, and I hated that he thought the comic wasn’t a good gift.

“James, if you had only given me the comic I would have been happy. It’s amazing, and I know that I’m going to love it.” I told him, not paying attention as our ice creams were put in front of us, other than to give the waiter a thank you.

“Really?”

“Yes,” I gave him a kiss on the cheek, lips brushing against the slight stubble that was there. “We can read it in bed together later.”

“I didn’t manage to get the pictures to move, though,” James said, reaching for his spoon and digging it into his dessert. He held the spoon to me so that I could get a taste first, and I happily ate it, licking my lips to chase any left behind as James watched me.

“This ice cream is so good,” I said, before offering him some of my own. “I can teach you the spell, I’ve watched dad perform it so many times, and I knew it off by heart before we even got to Hogwarts.”

“I would like that,” James said as we dug into our desserts. He looked up at me after a while, eyebrow puckering slightly as I waited for him to speak.

“Do you really like your gifts?” James asked me, and I didn’t like hearing him so worried. I fingered the pendant around my neck with my free hand.

“I love them.”

--

“I’ve been meaning to ask you something,” I said, leaning against James, later that night. We were sat in his garden shed, watching the TV that he had promised to show me in Muggle studies. It was quite exciting, even if at times, it hurt my eyes, and I could see why Muggles liked it so much.

“Should I be worried?” James responded lightly.

“It’s something that William told me.”

“I should definitely be worried then,” James joked. “Go on, throw it at me. I’m prepared.”

“He said that you’ve fancied me for quite some time. I wanted to know why I didn’t know about it?” I asked him, hands caressing the skin of his arm. The television was on in front of us, but I had no idea what we were watching, I was too interested in hearing what James had to say in reply.

“I didn’t know that you fancied me for a long time, either.”

“Yeah, but I’m shy. You’re not.”

“I am when it comes to you,” he admitted, and I wanted to coo and pinch his cheeks because he was just so adorable. I held it in because it would require me turning around, and the chair was too comfy. “Every time I was around you I would get tongue tied, and start rambling. I didn’t have the nerve to talk to you, because I never thought that you would feel the same way about me.”

“Tell me about it,” I said, eager to learn more about it, mainly because I couldn’t believe that anyone would fancy me for so long. I still had to pinch myself at times to make sure what I had with James was actually happening, because it was a dream come true to me.

“I would, but you’ll end up getting a big head about it,” James poked me in the side, and I laughed as he tickled me. I struggled against him, as I fought to get him to stop. I knew that he was doing it to stop me asking about it, but I wasn’t going to let him get away with it that easily.

“I’ll tell you when I started liking you if you tell me yours,” I offered as a compromise.

“That’s easy. You fell in love with me when you saw my rippling muscles and how undeniably cool I am,” James said flexing a bicep and making me giggle again. “You can touch them, I don’t mind.”

I reached up and ran my hand over his arms, dramatically swooning. He laughed and wrapped his arm around me again, pressing a kiss into my hair before resting his face on me.

“I spotted you reading at a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. I was meant to be looking for the snitch when I noticed you, you didn’t seem to realise that anything was going on around you, and I couldn’t stop staring. I was too distracted by your smile that I missed the snitch and lost the game.”

“No you weren’t,” I said, lightly tapping his arm.

“I really was. Just ask William. Ever since then I began noticing you around the castle, and telling William all about this amazing girl. I tried a few times to smile at you, but you were always looking at the floor whenever I passed. I managed to finally get you to talk to me when I asked if I could borrow a quill, and I was so happy for days. I didn’t even need it, I had one in my bag.”

“So you just wanted to talk to me?”

“Yeah. I fan girled so hard to William every time you looked in my direction. He got sick of it in the end. How about you? When did you start liking me?”

“A few years ago, I wasn’t sure what you done, but I found myself noticing you. You weren’t like other people, you seemed to be so nice, and so friendly, and you were nothing like the rest of the ‘popular crowd’ you seemed to have the time of day for everyone.”

“Nothing to do with my brilliant looks?” James asked.

“Well, that helped a little. It was really your Quidditch skills that got me.”

James turned my face so that he could kiss me, and I laughed and attempted to move when he decided it would be funny to lick my cheek, but he trapped me in his embrace.

“I always knew you were after my Quidditch skills!”

--

“Shall we get in our pyjamas?” James asked, “That way we can just lie in bed and read comic books until we fall asleep. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling tired after that fish and chips we had for dinner.”

I nodded, walking over to my bag and pulling out my pyjamas, suddenly feeling self-conscious over what I had brought with me. They seemed like a great idea when I put them into my bag, but I was now worried. I glanced over at James, who had pulled his top off. I couldn’t help but let my eyes trail over his bare back, and he seemed to sense this because he turned around.

“Sorry,” I said quickly, turning back around to face my bag. “If you want, I can leave so that you can get changed.”

“No, it’s alright,” James told me, “I don’t mind.”

I nodded, hearing the movement of fabric again, and couldn’t help but glance over my shoulder at him again as I pulled my own top off. James had faced me, but his eyes were focused on his trousers, that he was slowly removing, so that he was in his boxers. I should have turned around and given him some privacy, but I didn’t think that I physically could.

It took all my strength to pull my top on, and remove my own trousers to put my pyjama bottoms on quickly, excitement filling me at the idea that James was in the room as I had done so. When I looked up it was to see him staring at me, a hungry look on his face, and I felt myself whimper softly at the intensity of it. The noise made James look away, and I tried to steady my nerves that I was about to share a bed with James for the first time.

“It feels like one of our corridor dates,” I told James, voice shaky as I stood beside the bed, not sure what side he normally slept on, or what side I would be sleeping on.

“Only this time it’ll be more comfortable,” James said as he pulled back the quilt and climbed in. I followed suit and got into the other side, propping myself up against the pillows as James put his arm around me.

“And we won’t get caught by anyone,” I grinned, loving just how soft his bed was. I could sleep in this all day if he let me. James reached over to his bedside cabinet and picked up the comic that he made me, handing it over, and making himself comfortable. I opened it up and began reading.

It was the early hours of the morning when I realised that James had fallen asleep, I was too intrigued by the comic that he made about our relationship, both of us being superheroes and fighting villains around the school to notice beforehand, and I wondered when it happened. I put the comic book down, before reaching across him and turning out the lamp, pressing a light kiss to his forehead as I lay down next to him.

He looked so innocent when he was sleeping, his face slightly highlighted by the light from the moon. His chest rose slowly, my hand moving with it, and I smiled contently, shuffling closer to him so that my head now rested on it.

I would gladly stay in this moment forever. Something that I never imagined would happen little more than a year ago. My sixth year at Hogwarts was nothing like I imagined, and even though there were some terrible times, it was by far the best year of my life.

Who knew what my seventh year would bring?
 




A/N: Here it is, here is the last chapter of this story (although not the last in the series of this story. I wish that I could tell you just how many sequels there are going to be of this, but I keep adding more to the amount :P) 

I would just like to thank every single one of you, you've made this story what it is, and I still can't get over just how much people have enjoyed it. I never thought in a million years that it would be popular in the slightest, or that I would be nominated for a Dobby, let alone win one! Or that it would be my most reviewed story ever!

I just want to hug you all and squeeze you, and continuously tell you how much I love you. Thank you so much! I LOVE YOU ALL

And for the final time, I would love to know what you think of this chapter, or of the story in whole. :D

Also... the sequel will be up about five minutes after I post this. It's called ' Abigail Higgs and Potter Boy Strike Back! ' 

I'm going to just go and cry somewhere that I can mark this story complete. *hugs and love for you all!*


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com