Chapter 1 : 'Train Ride', Seventh Year.
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Chapter image by ariana_tithe @ TDA.
Beta'd by the amazing kurlz.
I do not own anything to do with Harry Potter, and I am so jealous of J.K Rowling.
Amelie Harris ran quickly down the platform, her trunk charmed to follow behind her. She wore a skirt and a worn Weird Sisters t-shirt, her school robes packed into the bag swinging at her side. Her long, dark hair flew out behind her as she weaved between parents waving goodbye to their departing children.
“Fuck, fuckity, fuck,” she said to herself as the train began to pull out the station, white steam billowing out the top and blinding her momentarily. When it cleared, she watched it out of sight and sat defeated on her school trunk.
“Mummy, what does fuck mean?” A little girl asked harmlessly, her wide eyes looking up at the woman standing next to her. The woman looked angrily at Amelie, who chuckled softly, shaking her head.
“You should tell her, she’ll be a young lady soon,” she told the woman. Amelie smiled sweetly at the young girl, who smiled innocently back.
The lady bustled and pushed her child away from Amelie, muttering angrily about teenagers.
Amelie pulled her wand out of her pocket and cast a Patronus, a silver tiger protruding out of the tip, which sprinted away. She knew that it would reach Hogwarts soon and a professor would come and apparate her to the castle. She’d done it enough times. It wasn’t a surprise when she didn’t get Head Girl. Apparently it was for her mother though, who decided that Amelie was the smart one in the family, mainly because she was the only one in the family (unless you counted all the ex-stepbrothers and sisters).
“Did you miss it too?”
Amelie turned awkwardly on her trunk and saw James Potter walking towards her, dragging his trunk along behind him. His owl hooted loudly on his shoulder. He was wearing Muggle clothes, jeans and a t-shirt, and his hair was wet from the rain outside the station.
“Yeah…but where is the rest of your family?”
“Came with the Weasley’s. Had to stop into Wheezes to get some emergency supplies…” He gestured at a brown bag clutched tightly in his right hand, which was whirring noisily.
“Nice one, Jimmy,” she smiled, standing up and hugging him.
“How many times to do I have to tell you to not call me that?” James said, amused, pushing her back with his hands on her shoulders.
“At least one more time.” Amelie ruffled his hair playfully before sitting on a bench near a large station clock.
“I’ve missed you. It’s been a long summer,” James said, sitting beside her.
“It must be such a strain to be the son of the Boy Who Lived,”
“You know my dad rode a flying car to school once when he missed the train,” James reminisced, folding his arms across his chest.
“Yes, you’ve told me that story at least two hundred times,” Amelie said sarcastically, looking at James.
“My dad was a complete git this week…” he began.
He had changed over the summer; he had grown leaner and taller, his shoulders were broader and his chest toned. His dark hair had grown as well and now hung in front of his hazel eyes. James also had more freckles on his nose, which Amelie was finding quite distracting as he talked.
Amelie had never found James’ face distracting. And yet he was talking to her and she wasn’t listening. Instead she was mesmerised by the way his lips formed the words. Amelie shook her head slightly, trying to focus on what James was saying.
“…And then Dad said that he knew better and that I couldn’t go out, so I went over to Teddy’s and lived there for a weekend. It was good apart from the fact Victoire was always there and you know how much I love her.”
“You are not her greatest fan,” Amelie said vaguely, looking down so not to be mesmerised by James' eyes.
“How was your summer, Amelie?” James asked, stretching his arm out across the back of the bench.
“That’s cool,” he said quietly, playing softly with a strand of her hair. She felt goose bumps appear on the back of her neck.
Since when did I get goose bumps? Since when did I get goose bumps when James touched me?
“Potter, Harris, come here please.”
“Professor, good morning. Did you have a lovely holiday?” James smiled, hastily standing up to greet Professor Sinastra. He could charm anyone when he wanted to. Including me, apparently, Amelie thought. He was the son of Harry Potter and being famous obviously counts for something. The professor blushed slightly and smiled.
“Yes, thank you, Mr. Potter. Come this way please.”
She led the two students along platform, back towards the barrier. Before they reached it, however, they took a sharp right and the teacher ushered them into a small room. It was decorated plainly and there was a single window, which showed the Muggle station outside.
“You are going to have to take a port key to Hogwarts.” The two students nodded as the professor continued to talk.
“This one,” she gestured at an old drinks can, “leaves in ten minutes. I will take your luggage now and it will be waiting in your dormitory when you reach Hogwarts.”
“Cheers, Professor,” James said, happily. Amelie rolled her eyes at him and James shrugged innocently. Professor Sinastra giggled before disapparating to Hogwarts.
“I can’t believe you can make them giggle. They are middle-aged women for crying out loud!” She said, swatting him playfully in the back of the head.
James smiled broadly at her and Amelie’s stomach gave a small leap. My stomach has never leapt because of James Potter. Sure it’s lurched, but that was the time he ate Cockroach Cluster for a bet - and that wasn’t pretty. Amelie turned and looked at him again. He was carving his name into the underside of the bench with his wand, his hair flopping into his eyes. She had the sudden desire to reach out and touch it, to move it out of his face.
What the hell is going on?
James and Amelie had been friends since first year, meeting on this very platform all those years ago. Her cat had wandered off into the crowd of people and he helped her find it. He was just a scrawny 11-year old boy who was tired of his family being gawked at. Since then, their love for each other had been purely platonic.
Is still purely platonic, Amelie reminded herself forcefully, while she absentmindedly watched James’ bicep flex with every movement. Purely platonic.
“Hey that’s cool!” James shouted, leaping up from the bench and examining the drinks can, which was turning blue, “look at it go!”
“Usually, Jimmy, that means it is time to go,” she said patronisingly, looking at her watch, “grab hold of it, it’ll leave in about thirty seconds.” James scowled at the use of his nickname, before placing his index finger on the drinks can. Amelie did the same, tucking her long hair behind her ear.
“Ready?” She managed to say before there was a familiar pull at her navel, the small room spun around her and she left her feet leave the floor.
James probably wasn’t ready.
The two teenagers fell clumsily in Hogsmeade station, James landing awkwardly on top of Amelie. He smirked, raising an eyebrow.
“Please, Amelie, we are barely into the start of the school year and we are already on top of each other?” Amelie blushed furiously, her face heating up. She laughed weakly before James rolled off her onto the floor. Without all the weight of his body on Amelie’s, it felt very empty.
It was still raining when James and Amelie quickly ran into the waiting room, their feet splashing in the puddles on the platform. A stern short man wearing a uniform was sitting behind a desk in a tiny ticket booth. A pile of papers was tottering dangerously high above his bald, shiny head. He scowled when they entered.
“Hogwarts kids?” Amelie and James nodded, “Longbottom said to expect you. You are going to have to wait until the coaches arrive and that won’t be for another couple of hours.”
“So what are we meant to do till then?” James asked.
“Sit,” the man said grumpily, gesturing to two rickety chairs near a dwindling fire.
“Great,” James muttered angrily under his breath before pushing Amelie gently towards the seats. She sat down, pulled her book out of her bag and began to read.
“You’re not going to study, are you? Because if you are, I’m out of here and you can sit here with angry bald dude and crazy lady,” James whispered, indicating a little old lady sitting alone on a bench. She waved eagerly at Amelie who, a little unnerved by the enthusiastic welcome, waved half-heartedly back.
“I’m not going to study, Jimmy, I’m going to read. There is a subtle difference.”
James sat in the chair next to her, the wood groaning underneath his weight. Amelie tried to read her book, but he kept making funny faces at her, which made her giggle. Giggle? That was something that fourth years did. She hit him around the head with her book, laughing loudly.
“Want to get a Butterbeer?” James pleaded with her, his brown eyes wide. Oh no, thought Rose, he’s pulled out the puppy-dog eyes. Must not surrender to chocolaty goodness.
Amelie looked around the dingy waiting room. She supposed that the Three Broomsticks would be better than this, with its roaring fire and thriving atmosphere. Plus the crazy old lady in the corner was mumbling worryingly underneath her breath, two knitting needles in the air in front of her.
“OK, lets go,” she sighed, closing her book. She had just finished putting it away when James took hold of her hand, impatient to leave the small, dull station. The two teenagers approached the door, passing quickly by the old lady.
“You are a wonderful couple, you know that?” She grinned, showing two missing teeth.
“Yeah we know,” James said quickly, eager to go to the pub. So many strangers guessed that they were a couple that it was second nature to both of them to say that they were. It was quicker and easier than explaining that they ‘just good friends’.
James was looking out of the window into the street - where the rain was still pounding down - waiting for an opportunity to leave. Amelie stared at him, her green eyes wide. It was weird. She had seen him grow up. He used to be this skinny, lanky boy with hair that covered his eyes and a mouth that was too big for his face and an annoyingly overbearing desire to stop his female friends and relatives from dating. She looked down at their entwined hands, her heart thumping in her chest.
They had come close to kissing once. It had been New Year’s Eve and they had been completely drunk and sitting in a dark room with the muffled thud of music from another room. They had got inches apart before James swiftly turned away and vomited. They vowed never to get into that situation again.
And yet here they were. Amelie’s eyes travelled up and down his face, crossing over his hazel eyes and the smattering of freckles over his nose and his lips.
Here’s a chance, Amelie. Take it.
Amelie leaned in and lightly brushed her lips against his cheek. James turned away from the window, gazing at her, and she smiled gently.
“Just playing along with crazy lady, you know, for a change,” she said innocently. A flattering of eyelashes caused James to smile and Amelie suddenly felt very nervous.
James chuckled softly, lifting his hand and tucking a stray piece of dark hair behind her ear. He was so close now that Amelie could count the freckles on his nose and see the holes in the next of his t-shirt.
This was weird. Where was this going?
He kissed her. His soft lips met her own and slowly moved against hers, encouraging her to respond. It wasn’t disgusting, but it wasn’t nice. It was alien and different. This was weird, so weird, as in if-she-had-sisters-she-could-be-in-a-band kind of weird.
James’ hand went from her hip and buried itself into her long, dark hair.
This was weird. She wanted to push him off her, but it did feel nice. James had his arm wrapped around Amelie’s waist, and her hands were resting on his chest. James kissed her tenderly again, his hands rubbing small circles on her back. He’d done this before.
“Hey! You two! I’ll have none of that in my waiting room!” The old man had moved from behind his desk and was frowning and gesticulating at the two teenagers.
Pulling herself away from James, Amelie stared him. He stared back.
“That was weird,” she said but she couldn’t ignore the slightly disappointed look on James’ face, “oh no, not because you’re a bad kisser… I mean, it was nice and that… but I just… it’s just that… I mean…”
“Don’t worry,” he said quietly, “you don’t have to say anything.”
“It’s fine!” James replied, more brightly, “it was weird for me too!” He opened the door and they both left the waiting room, the rain still pouring down. James pulled Amelie along the high street towards Zonko’s, her bag swinging by her side. They stepped inside, and James shook his head like a dog, water spraying everywhere.
“Oh, Jimmy, stop it.”
“I’m sorry,” he said and instead sprayed the water in her direction.
“You arsehole!” Amelie hit him with her bag and as the backed around the corner they bumped into a person. Two persons, they realised after closer inspection, two people so closely intertwined and their faces so closely stuck together Amelie couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began.
When they finally broke apart, with James and Amelie just standing watching them, they smiled giddily at each other, fingers entwined, lovesick puppy dog stares intact.
“Oops,” the boy said happily, throwing an arm around his girlfriend, “we’re just so in love.”
The couple sauntered off into another section of the shop, looking for a dark corner so they could cuddle and smooch and whatever.
“That sort of thing just grosses me out,” Amelie began, shuddering slightly, “like the tongue and the lips. I remember Nick used to be…”
She was caught off guard as James pulled Amelie closer to him and began to kiss her. Again. The breath caught in her throat. He wrapped his arms around her waist and began to kiss her with so much energy that he lifted her off the floor. This wasn’t weird, Amelie thought, and she responded with equal eagerness.
This definitely was not weird.
So this is the first chapter of 'Raining'. Squeal, excitement, etc. etc. I hope you like it and please leave a review!