Chapter 1 : James(II) Potter
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Chapter Image by fantastic niika @ TDA
I could feel her eyes on the back of my head. Hell, I could imagine the glare that she was giving me now. I know I had screwed up big time today, but admit it to her and bruise my ego? I don’t think so. To lighten things up between us, I turn back and flash my best ‘James-Potter-The-Quidditch-God’ smile and . I could almost see the smoke pouring out of her ears as her cheeks flushed a furious shade of red.
She was mad. Really, really, really mad.
I was a dead man.
As if on cue, the bell rings as I turn to face the front. I’m telling you, McGonagall has it in for me, that woman hates me.
While everyone else cheers, I groan and slump lower into my chair. Today was the last day of the week and Transfiguration is my last class on Friday. Thank god it was Friday; I don’t think I could stand-
“JAMES SIRIUS POTTER!” I heard Emma screech. Ah, what a lovely temper my best friend has. I flinch and turn my head slowly to face her. She was fuming. Great. What a way to start the weekend. She hoists the strap of her heavy bag over her shoulder.
“Why don’t you let me carry that for you. It must be heavy,” I say faking nonchalance
“Don’t you pull that move on me, James! You know you’ve screwed it up big this time!” she screeches.
“Whoa, whoa! Calm down woman!” I yell backing toward the door. She pulls the bag further up her shoulder and stomps towards me. I duck as she aims a punch at my face, and in the process I hit my forehead on the table.
“Aaah!” I scream as my head shoots up and I hold my head to lessen the pain. I rub my forehead with my palm as Emma looks at me smugly, grinning and tapping her foot impatiently against the floor.
She raises an eyebrow suggestively and says, “You got what you deserved, Potter. Don’t say it’s my fault that you hit your head on the desk. Anyway, it’s always a wonder how your shoulders hold that big inflated head of yours. Speaking of egos-”
I cut her off by walking away hoisting up my bag and pulling hers with it. She stumbles as her leg catches on a bump on the floor and she falls down face first onto the cold stone floor. I yank the strap of her bag again causing the contents to fall on top of her. I saw her flinch as the ink bottle breaks all over her causing her uniform to go all blue. Thank Merlin she decided not to use green ink.
“Not helping James.” I heard her muffled voice.
“I know. Just trying though.” I could feel the grin spreading across my face.
Emma Hughes; part time partner in crime and full time best friend.
I can proudly say that I’ve lived up to the reputation that precedes my name. Honestly speaking though, it isn’t easy to better what James Potter (my grandfather) and Sirius Black had done during their days at Hogwarts, but I think we came pretty close. The prank we pulled on the Slytherins this year on Halloween was classic. Plastic snakes falling on the entire House table during Dinner. Ah, you should have seen Scorpius Malfoy screaming like a little girl. That’ll teach him to flirt with Rosie.
Back in the present but several hours later, I was walking back towards the Common Room with Emma. It had taken us a fair amount of time to clean up the classroom, restore her dress back to its usual colour and eat dinner.
I cast her a quick glance, not wanting to be caught looking at her unnecessarily. In the past few months, I’d developed a sort of crush on her. She was pretty, to say the least. She had brown curls that bordered on black. Her eyes were hazel, just like my own. But her best quality was her beautiful smile that lit up the entire room. Our eyes met and I look away a slight blush creeping up my cheeks.
“What?!” Emma asks as she lightly hits my shoulder.
I shake my head. “Nothing,” I say dismissingly, clearing my throat. “Nothing, I was just...” I trailed off as she walked ahead before pausing and turning to face me. She folds her arms across her chest a determined look present in her eyes as she waits for an answer.
“Uh..Um..I-” I stutter.
When I can’t come up with a coherent sentence in response, she shrugs and skips up the stairs to the seventh-year girls’ dormitory. That was Emma for you. She never pried unless she thought it was necessary for her to know what you were going to say.
I was doing it again, thinking about her in the middle of the Common Room, looking like a complete idiot, standing there, doing nothing. My mate, Fred Wesley comes up behind me and thumps me on the back. “Ready for Easter, James? Who’re you calling over this time? Em again?”
I round on him, suddenly angry. “No one calls her that except me got that?” I said.
Fred raises an eyebrow, “Touchy, aren’t we today? What’s up mate? Minnie got to you?”
“I don’t know,” I say as I rub my temples. My head aching, I fall into a nearby armchair and lean back, closing my eyes, trying to get rid of the images of me and Emma together from my mind.
This was wrong. We are just friends; I wasn’t supposed to be feeling this way.
Oh bollocks, now I’m becoming a pansy too!
Gryffindor Common Room, 1a.m.
After what felt like minutes; I felt a gentle prodding on my shoulder and my eyes snapped open. The first thing I saw was a face too large to be normal peering at me from right above.
“Aaargh!” both of us screamed together, me, because I was startled and Emma because I was screaming.
After we’d both screamed our lungs out, she places a hand on her chest and says, “Bloody hell, you scared the shit out of me James. Don’t do that to me ever again, or to anyone for that matter.” she adds as an afterthought.
I frowned and said, “Why in Merlin’s name were you peering at me like that Em?!”
“I’d been trying to wake you for more than ten minutes now, James. So, I was trying to see if you were alive.”
“I was breathing wasn’t I?” I snap crankily at being woken up in the middle of the night.
“Yeah, but I was just making sure.” she shoots back. “Sorry, for trying to make sure my best friend was alive.” I could sense a hint of annoyance in her voice. With that, she turned on her heel and marches up the stairs once again.
I saw her legs going up the staircase leading to the Girls Dormitory. I feel bad at having snapped at her. Emma and I were very unlike other boy-girl best friends. We never fought. Okay, so maybe we fought a little (Fine. A lot), but it was over trivial things and I’d never snapped at her like I had just.
“Emma!” I call out but it was too late, she had already disappeared.
I ran after her and started climbing up the stairs. I’d barely climbed a couple of steps when a loud wail sounded and the ground below my feet gave away and I slid down.
Great Hall, 8:30, Breakfast
“You were the guy who tried to climb up to the Girls’ Dorms last night?” Lily, my little sister asked me, shock all over her face
The night before I had run as soon as I had landed on the carpeted floor of the Common Room.
I looked around, trying to see if anyone had heard us.
“Say it a little louder won’t ya Lils; I think someone at the Staff table didn’t hear you.” I say annoyed.
“Say what a little louder?” Emma asked, sliding into a seat next to Lily.
“Nothing,” I quickly dismiss before Lily could say anything. She closes her mouth and pouted at me.
“Oh nothing, it’s just that James was the guy who tried to sneak up the Girls’ dorms last night,” Albus, my younger brother yells from somewhere down the table.
I threw my hands up exasperatedly. “Thank you, Albus. Would you mind minding your own fucking business?”
“Language, James,” both Lily and Emma scorn at the same time. They look at each other in surprise and burst into a fit of giggles. Funny how both of them sound like my mother when they do that.
On second thought, Emma, not so much, no.
Wait a second, Em was giggling? How very unlike her. Maybe she was spending too much time with my sister. I need to do something about that.
Once she stops giggling, Emma turns to me and arches an eyebrow. I shrug and continue with my breakfast. A few minutes of silence later she pipes up irritated, “Well, care to explain yourself?”
“Nope,” I simply say, popping the ‘p’, my mouth full.
Lily shoots me a withering look as I stare at Emma defiantly.
“Okay!” Emma huffs loudly. “But mind you, James. I’m going to get it out of you by the end of today, or else-”
“Or else what?” I challenge her.
“Or else nothing.” She finishes lamely.
“No. I bet you couldn’t get the secret out of me by the end of today.” I dare smirking smugly.
“You know what? I bet I can,” She shoots back, her eyes darkening. “You’re on, Potter.”
I fold my arms smugly across my chest. “Bring it, Hughes.”
She gets up ready to walk away when I speak again, “Wait, there’s a catch.”
She turns back to face me. “What, I can’t use magic or potions of any sort?”
I shake my head, “Or alcohol.”
Emma stares at me, her eyes narrowing. “I would never stoop that low, James. You know that.” Her voice is deathly low and she is getting wound up now.
“You never know.” I shrug, knowing that this was getting on her nerves. She hated it when I behaved this way.
But I have a plan. A plan that I knew would work.
“So, what does the loser have to do?” Lily asks from behind me.
Emma eyes me expectantly, “The loser has to confess their undying love for the winner.”
Fred gets up and starts yelling, “Place your bets. Come on people! Get the money flowing!”
Emma glares at him before she speaks, “I’ll be in the library doing my Transfiguration essay, which I may add we need to submit this Monday.”
I slide back into my seat at the table, a smug, satisfied smile on my face.
Lily pokes me in the arm then, “James! What was all that about?”
“I think I know.” Fred pipes up from beside me.
“When did you get here?” I ask him.
“Right after I finished collecting all the bets. The odds are on you winning mate. All the guys are rooting for you and the girls, except the members of your fan club, for Emma. And you know how cautious most girls are with their money, no betting and all that shit.” Fred rambled on but I didn’t take much notice, tuning him out.
Then suddenly it seems to register what Fred has said. “Hey, wait a minute! What did you just say?”
“That the number of girls in your fan club is increasing.” He replies hesitantly.
“No, no, before that. The first thing you said before you started talking to yourself.” I ask slowly.
“ ‘I think I know.’ And I was not talking to myself!” he answers reproachfully.
“Don’t whine, Fred. You were. And what do you mean by ‘I think I know’?”
"I meant what I said.”
“What do you mean by that?!” I ask him again.
“It meant that, I think I knew what you’re up to.” He says, slowly, as if I found what he was saying hard to understand.
“Do you know what I’m up to?” I asked patiently.
Do not lose your temper. He is your friend. Do not shout at him. It’s early in the morning and the day has just begun. Don’t spoil the day for yourself.
“I think I do,” He nods.
“Urgh!” I shout in frustration and shove Fred off the bench.
Library, 12:13 p.m.
I swear if she pokes me once more, I was not going to hold back just because it was the Library and ask her what her bloody problem is.
I stood up, pushing the chair back. It scrapes loudly and the next instant Madam Pince, the old bat we had for a librarian, was standing next to me. She presses a long wrinkled finger to her lips and whispers, “Silence in the library.”
“Haven’t we heard that one before?” Emma mutters from next to me. Next to us, Lily bursts into another fit of giggles and Pince shoots her a deathly glare which immediately silences her.
Pince presses her finger to her lips to emphasise on her point and then leaves.
“What?” I ask Emma through clenched teeth.
“What?” she replies innocently.
Oh no. Not that Puppy-dog-eyes-I’ve-got-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about-look.
I just shake my head and look back towards my essay, which I might add was extremely frustrating, not a surprise, considering it was Potions, which was easily my worst subject.
An hour and a half later I still was not done with it. I hastily scribble out the last sentence to end the essay and drop my quill onto the table before leaning back into the back of the squishy armchair I’d settled into not too long ago. I’d shifted to the Common Room after being unable to stand Emma and Lily’s incessant chattering and the formers pestering about the subject we’d had a bet on.
I push the portrait-hole door open and step out into the crisp autumn afternoon. Walking down the castle corridors, I look around at the students who walk past me. It was one of the rare occasions when I had time to myself and wasn’t surrounded by my flock of fan-girls or Emma or Fred or any other family member of mine (which is pretty huge, let me tell you). I inhaled the scent of the castle and knew I would miss it when I graduated. This year was my last and I was going to make the best of it.
A pair of hands suddenly closed my eyes and I tumble to a halt. I shove my hands into my jeans pockets and lean back so that the tiny person who had obscured my sight could stand properly. I went through the names of all the people who were shorter than me.
Almost everyone, great. I had inherited the tall Weasley-gene.
I bit my lip and said, “May?” I immediately got my vision back and turned around to face my girlfriend of two years.
Marietta Longbottom. My girlfriend since the start of our sixth year at Hogwarts, Marietta, also called May by me; was Professor Longbottom’s only daughter. So I was under his hawk-like (if that were possible, Professor Longbottom was far too nice) eye all the time. I leant in and pulled her into sweet kiss.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, which guy in his right mind would look at another girl when he had Marietta Longbottom for a girlfriend? You see, Marietta, or May, was one of the nicest and hottest (okay, the hottest) girls in Hogwarts. Though she was very popular, she was extremely nice to everyone. Maybe it was her mother, Hannah Longbottom, owner of The Leaky Cauldron, or her father, I don’t which, but they sure had taught her well.
May pulls back and giggles. “Hey, handsome. How’s my favourite man doing?” May was in Ravenclaw, how, no one knew. Her father had been in Gryffindor with my parents and her mother in Hufflepuff, so when she got sorted into Ravenclaw it was a surprise to everyone.
Neville was overjoyed, to say the least.
May had always been a part of the extended Weasley-Potter family, since Neville was an extremely close friend of both Mum and Dad. But, it was at the end of fifth year, when I had built the rep of a Casanova, that I had noticed May and by the end of summer, I’d asked her out.
With soft brown curls cascading down her slender shoulders and a winning smile, beautiful brown eyes, deep brown like melted chocolate and soft, pink lips, May was any man’s ideal woman. Or so I thought.
But, that was before I saw Emma, as in really saw her.
It all started at Teddy and Victoire’s wedding actually. Emma had worn a dress and put on some make-up. I was shocked to see how stunning she looked. Outfitted in a light pink knee-length off-the-shoulder dress, Emma was easily the best looking girl in the house, after Vic that is. (Vic’d kill me if she heard me saying Emma looked better than her, though she and Emma got along pretty well, Emma was one of Vic’s bridesmaids.) Emma’s brown hair hung loosely on her shoulders though I noticed she’d done something to it, her eyes round and excited, and a laugh escaped her lips. Ah, the lips; her lips looked pink, a kissable pink. I had to hit myself thrice to get rid of the thought (I bet Teddy thought his best man was mad). I couldn’t help but stare at Emma, who mouthed an exhilarated ‘Hi’ to me, as she walked down the aisle with Fred at her arm.
When the song changed and Vic started walking down the aisle, I tore my eyes away from her and looked at Victoire. She had nothing on Emma.
It was then that I realised, I was falling for my best friend. The whole thing was, in reality, triggered off at the dress fitting when all of the Wedding party had to tag along. I had seen Emma in a dress for the first time then.
I shook my head once again to get rid of thoughts of Emma and concentrated on May, my girlfriend. I loved her.
I leant in for another kiss and brought my arms down to hold her tiny waist. She responds sweetly, I could feel her smile against my lips and I intensified our kiss, kissing her harder. Several seconds later, she pulls back and I hear her mutter, “Darn oxygen.”
I chuckle, though May was all prim and proper most of the time, when she swore, she swore as well as any guy at Hogwarts, maybe even better I’d say.
I intertwine my fingers into hers and we start walking down the castle, she chatting as I listen.
Saturday, Astronomy Tower, 11:05 p.m.
I pushed her up against the wall of the Astronomy Tower and looked into those hauntingly familiar eyes. The eyes that made my heart start beating a million times faster.
My arms were on the either sides of her beautiful face, against the wall. I could notice the visible change in her breathing pattern; her breath was getting shorter by the minute, as if my presence made her breathless.
Her hand reached up and cupped the left side of my face, and her thumb caressed my cheeks. I leant into her palm and flipped it over so I could kiss the inside.
Slowly, our faces neared and what felt like an eternity later, her lips found mine and there was no looking back.
Needless to say, I’d won.
And in more ways than one.
A/N: I have no idea where that came from. I started off with something, then ended up with something else, wasn't satissfied, finally go this! I ttook me about 5 MONTHS to write this! I guess I just gave up on it in the middle, and started writing it again after the New Year! Now on to the critique:
1.Was James too off in the beginning? Too cliche?
2.What about Emma? Marietta? Do they sound believeable?
3.What did you think about the general characterisation?
Squee! So excited to hear what you guys think! Go on review!
EDIT: Put up the beta-d version and added some stuff here and there! Kudos to my beta kaityb! Thanks so much! :)
EDIT2: Chapter Image!
EDIT3: (god, they're so many edits, aren't there? Fixing a couple of errors pointed out bu Niyuri! :) I might consider a sequel, now that I have the time! *sounds excited*
EDIT4: Okay everyone, be very excited! THIS ONE-SHOT IS GONNA BECOME A SHORT-STORY! YAAY! It should be up in a couple of weeks! :)
EDIT5: Fixed another mistake! :) And removed chap image. Gonna use it in the last chapter, requesting for a new one! :)