Chapter 18 : Eggs and Deals
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Once again, HUGE thanks to emmapotter for her beta services! Everyone, please wish her luck for her 12th grade exams because she's been doing beta work while she studies! AK, I know capital letters aren't proper grammar but you deserve them! Good luck, babe!
The morning of Easter Sunday was proving to be very pleasant indeed. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were chirping and there were chocolate eggs by the plenty to eat which, needless to say, we were finishing fairly quickly, despite there being a rather scrumptious meal that was being cooked by the house elves for dinner later on. Everything looked green and bright and cheery…a bit like how I felt, actually.
We had all decided to stay at the castle for Easter, much to the chagrin of all our families. James and Prentice decided that their parents would have them for the rest of their lives, but Hogwarts deserved their time, so they stayed back. James’ siblings and cousins didn’t want to go for Easter without him and hence, stayed back as well. Mona would pick spending time with Prentice over spending time with dear old mum any time, so she also stayed. Landon had gone the sentimental route as well and was also staying back so, of course I was staying. This was a good thing, because we were finally spending some quality brother-sister time together, something that we hadn’t been able to do much of, in a while and who better to do it with than my mates?
Since it was Easter, Henry had the day off from work and had decided to come visit me at school. Hardly anyone was staying at the castle, so it was fairly peaceful. I was pretty happy because I wanted to see him outside of Hogsmeade and I had wanted Landon to meet him as well. Lily had also wanted to meet Henry in person, since everyone else had met him. Except Hugo, that is, who was walking around the castle with one Matilda Vane, even as we spoke. The rest of us, minus Prentice and Mona who had gone out on a date, were sitting by the lake.
Henry and Landon were getting on brilliantly, which came as a great relief to Henry, who had actually been nervous to meet my brother! I had found this hilarious, considering that Henry was three years older than him. Lily had taken to Henry quite nicely as well and kept sneaking glances at him when he wasn’t looking but I knew her well and could always tell.
I had a hard time not grinning from pride. Henry did look rather good after all, wearing jeans and a white t-shirt that fit him to perfection. His dark blonde hair was ruffling gently in the afternoon breeze as he leaned against the beech tree, one leg stretched out in front of him with the other pulled up. His hand held mine gently as I sat next to him, his thumb doing lazy circles against the skin on the back of my hand. His blue eyes looked a little tired, but entirely content, as he helped us devour the Easter chocolate.
“Rose, tell your grandmother that I love her,” Henry said, as he licked some chocolate off of his fingers.
“Actually, it was Lily who told her to send you one.” I corrected gently.
“Really, now?” Henry asked, and turned towards Lily. “Thank you very much. It’s been a while since I ate anything homemade.” Lily smiled shyly as she ate her Easter egg.
“You’re welcome. Nana doesn’t mind. She loves feeding people.” Lily said and everyone chuckled.
“How come you don’t get homemade food often?” Rose asked interestedly, tossing her hair over her shoulder before she broke off a chunk of Scorpius’ egg and put it in her mouth. Scorpius didn’t look very happy about sharing but he let her take it with a roll of his eyes.
“I’m always travelling and I rarely stay at home, so there’s not much point in having a housekeeper. My own prowess at cooking extends to making a cup of coffee and not burning the toast. And my Uncle Quinn is not any better than me. He, on the other hand, does have a housekeeper, though.” Henry stated as he ate some more chocolate.
There was a brief silence and I could tell that everyone wanted to ask why he didn’t address his parents. Henry and I had talked about it a while back, actually. The truth was that his parents had passed away when he was 10 years old. He only had a Muggle aunt and uncle who couldn’t provide for him with two kids of their own and his father’s brother, Uncle Quinn. Uncle Quinn was 24 at the time and could barely take care of himself let alone his only nephew. But he managed and Henry came to Hogwarts never resenting him, thinking of Uncle Quinn as his friend as well as his guardian and godfather. I was pretty sure that Henry noticed the pause in conversation as well, even though he was smiling, but he didn’t say anything and, thankfully, no one else did, either.
“Well, you’re always welcome to our house if you’re in the mood for a home cooked meal.” Landon offered with a grin. “Mum and Dad would love to meet you.”
“Or you can come to ours. There’re so many people around that one more hardly makes a difference.” Albus added, green eyes twinkling behind his glasses.
“Thanks mate. I’ll keep that in mind.” Henry said with a smile. I gave his hand a light squeeze and smiled warmly. He smiled back as he finished his chocolate.
“If you don’t mind me asking, though,” Landon started, curiously. “What made you want to be a radio host?”
“It was never the plan to be a radio host, to be honest.” Henry admitted. “I was halfway done with training as a Healer at the time. I’ve always liked meeting new people, getting to know them and finding out their thoughts on the world. My Uncle’s friend worked as a producer for WWN and I met him when I went to his house for dinner. I was just joking around, talking to everyone, getting them to reveal little secrets they’d kept and he thought I’d be good at being on the radio. Next thing I knew, I was going live for a trial run.” He finished, smiling a little at the memory. “Needless to say, the show caught on.” he added.
“You don’t need to tell us. Mona’s been listening to your show for ages. I have to say, these days we’ve taken to listening to it as well.” Rose added, with a grin.
“You lot listen to my show?” Henry asked, turning to me. “I didn’t know that.”
“Yes, well, it’s the closest thing to talking to you so…” I trailed off .
“Awwwww.”, everyone chorused loudly.
I blushed as Rose and Lily cackled away while Landon, Albus and Scorpius smirked.
“Shut your faces, all of you.” I muttered which only caused them to laugh more.
“That’s nice of you guys.” Henry inserted and I smiled gratefully.
“I’ve started listening to it, too.” Landon admitted.
“Me too.” Albus and Scorpius echoed and my eyes widened.
“And you were making fun of me!”
“Well, you have vested interests, don’t you?” Albus remarked, with a shrug.
“We, on the other hand, listen out of pure intellectual interest.” Scorpius helped out, before he turned to Henry. “Compelling stuff, I loved last week’s show on the riots in Transylvania.”
“Thanks mate.” Henry said, appreciatively.
“It’s pretty cool that you get to cover everything in person.” Lily said excitedly. “How many countries have you been to until now?”
“I think that I’m at 39, besides Scotland of course.” Henry replied, after taking a moment to count mentally.
“That is a very impressive number.” Albus said, enviously.
“The fact that I don’t pay for it isn’t as impressive though.” Henry said, smiling.
“I would kill to travel, and not pay for it!” moaned Lily.
“No wonder James wants to play Quidditch for a living. All that travel, money, new places to roam and destroy; everything he loves in one package.” Rose remarked and we all laughed.
“Where is that boy, anyway?” she asked, looking to Albus and Lily who both shook their heads.
“That boy is here, my favorite cousin.”
James’s voice came from behind me and I tried not to get too nervous. He couldn’t see Henry yet but when he did he would have to talk to him for the first time. He couldn’t ignore him like last time and run off, not with Lily, Albus and Rose all watching.
“Don’t try to flatter me, James. It stopped working when I was in second year and you tried to trick me into making Polyjuice Potion for you.” Rose said, with a grin. “Besides, I know for a fact that you like Teddy best and then Dominique.”
“Yeah, well, Teddy’s like a brother and Dom is a riot so you can hardly blame me.” laughed James as he walked into my view. “Hey, Landon! Is that one of my Nana’s chocolate eggs you’re demoli –” he stopped talking and his grin slipped off his face when he spotted Henry and I. His stare was so intense that it took all of my willpower not to cringe and pull my hand away from Henry’s.
“I don’t believe we’ve met.” James said to Henry in a voice that suggested that he would have liked to keep it that way.
Henry just smiled warmly.
“No, we haven’t. Henry Hutchinson.” Henry let go of my hand as he sat up straighter and extended his hand to James who took it without hesitation.
“James Potter.” James said, in a slightly flat voice as he withdrew his hand and stuck it in his pocket. “You must be Aidan’s boyfriend.”
Like he didn’t know!
“For all intents and purposes.” Henry said cheerfully as he winked at me. I gave him a weak smile back, trying not to let on that I was a little scared of James blowing up at me.
“Sit down, James. You want some chocolate?” Lily asked, smiling at her brother.
“Yeah, sure. Thanks, Lils.” James said, as he sat down between Landon and Lily with his legs drawn up.
He took an Easter egg from Lily and started eating, barely looking at anyone as they talked and laughed. Henry, almost sub consciously, interlaced his fingers with mine and I didn’t miss the look that crossed James’s face as his hazel eyes lingered on our hands. It made me uncomfortable and yet it satisfied me. I tried to ignore it and focus on the conversation at hand.
“Do you want me to introduce you to one of my friends, though? It’s only a couple of weeks away and I want you to have fun with someone you actually like.” Rose offered and I furrowed my brow with confusion.
“Whoa, whoa, what’s going on?” I asked, looking around.
“Rose wants to set up Landon with some of her friends so he has a date to Lily’s birthday party.” Albus said, rolling his eyes at this.
Rose chucked a rolled up plastic wrapper at his head.
“Spare the poor guy, Rosie.” he added
“It’s bad enough that I’m stuck with one of your friends.” Scorpius said and we all raised our eyebrows. “I’m talking about Rose’s alter ego that I started dating, not the weird, evil one that sets up innocent guys with her mad mates.”
The boys roared with laughter while Lily and I giggled.
Rose started punching Scorpius’ arm furiously. “Sorry, love. It’s a Slytherin tendency to say things you don’t want to hear.” smirked Scorpius.
“Yeah, well, why don’t you limit those Slytherin tendencies to the bedroom where I like them.” Rose retorted with a smirk of her own.
James choked on his chocolate.
“Rose, TMI much?” he asked, spluttering while I giggled and Lily snorted.
“Oh, James, that’s not too much information. You know what is, though?” started Rose innocently. “He does this thing with his tongue when we’re –”
“Ok, I’m not listening!” said Albus, covering his ears while James glared at a slightly pink Scorpius.
Landon barely looked scandalized and was enjoying a good laugh.
“See, this is what we have to listen to everyday!” I remarked and Lily nodded.
“You have my sympathies.” said James darkly as he continued to glare at Scorpius. My stomach jolted a little when I realized that it was the first thing he’d said to me today.
“Come now, mate.” Landon said, clapping a hand on James’s back. “It’s a natural process, isn’t it?”
“It had to happen sometime, mucker.” Al agreed.
“At least now you know who to beat up if she ends up pregnant.” Henry offered and I couldn’t help but start laughing at the look on Scorpius’ face.
Lily, Landon and Albus laughed with me but James looked less than amused as Rose huffed.
“The way you lot are talking anyone would think I didn’t know how to do a decent contraceptive charm. Scorpius is pretty good at it too.” Rose added.
“You’re not helping, love.” Scorpius rolled his eyes but he kept a wary eye on James whose hand was twitching slightly for his wand.
“And it’s not a disease either, Al. ‘It had to happen sometime’.” Rose said mockingly and Albus laughed.
“I meant no offense.” He replied with no sense of remorse.
“Lily, that Fenwick kid is going to spend the rest of his life in St. Mungo’s if he gets closer than 5 feet of your body.” James said in warning.
“Keep dreaming.” Lily shot back.
“Say what, now?” asked Albus, now very interested in the conversation. “What have you two been up to?”
Lily just rolled her eyes.
“I don’t think that’s any of your business.” She retorted.
“They’re pretty protective of the kid, huh?” Henry whispered in my ear and I tried to keep away the small shudder of pleasure at the contact.
“She’s the youngest and she’s a girl. Damn right they are.” I whispered back.
“Please, Lily, PLEASE tell me you’re still a –”Albus moaned pleadingly.
“Don’t even say it, Albus!” Lily said loudly, her face beginning to match the colour of her hair. I half expected her to whip out her wand and hex Al and James into oblivion.
“Lay off the kid, boys. She’s still all pure and stuff. I would know.” Rose was rolling her eyes as she spoke the words. “Try and be more like Landon on the brother front, would you?”
“I really don’t want to get dragged into this, but cut her some slack, lads.” Landon said, smiling at Lily before looking from Al to James.
“I know what you mean, mate. But I bet even you’d get a little jumpy if it was your sister.” James said smartly.
“That’s a fair point and maybe I would act that way but I don’t think the situation has arisen yet.” Landon countered with an easy grin.
Rose started clearing her throat in a loud and fake way, Lily giggled a little but covered it up with a fake cough and Al snorted. He snorted and Landon froze.
“Something tells me the temperature just dropped ten degrees.” Said Henry quietly. “But don’t worry. I think you’re about to face some heat.” He looked to be enjoying himself as he grinned down at me, the idiot.
“What was that?” asked Landon, looking around at my three prat friends who immediately pretended to be interested in the lake, the sky or the grass.
“Nothing.” Lily, Albus and Rose said together. Rose was actually grinning. I noticed that James looked pretty smug, yet, at the same time he looked like he really didn’t want to hear whatever was coming.
“Don’t make me pull the Head Boy card on you three!” Landon exclaimed before he turned to me. “Tell me this doesn’t mean what I think it does!”
“That sounds familiar.” Al said musingly and I glared daggers at him, before turning back to Landon. I let go of Henry’s hand for good measure. I’m sure he didn’t mind since he was trying not to laugh.
“Well,” I started cautiously. “I suppose that would depend on what you thought it meant.”
“Fuck me sideways.” Landon muttered incredulously.
“That can be arranged if you let me set you up with –” Rose started, but Scorpius covered her mouth with his hand for which I was very grateful indeed.
“When was this?” Landon asked after a moment of silence.
“About this time, last year.” I said with some reluctance.
I didn’t exactly want to discuss the details of how I lost my virginity in the presence of my brother, my former love interest and my current love interest, all at the same fucking time!
“Okay, hit me. Who was it?” Landon asked, with a grimace as he braced himself.
“This is the best part.” Lily giggled and for the first time, I was overcome with the strong urge to kick her.
Luckily Al must have been feeling sorry because he did it in my stead.
“Um… well,” I stalled, trying to find a way to put off sharing this information but I saw no way around it.
“Seanan Carmichael.” I said at last with a sigh.
“You’re fucking joking.” James exclaimed, speaking once more at an unwelcome time.
“I’m not incapable of getting a shag, James.” I stated coldly.
“No, he’s right! You must be fucking joking!”
I flinched at Landon’s loud words that could probably be heard at the castle. “Carmichael?? Why, Aidan, why would you do that to me?” my brother lamented, letting his face fall into his hand.
You know, the way he and James were talking, you’d think this was a bad thing.
Seanan Carmichael was 2 years ahead of me and only a year ahead of Landon, Prentice and James. He’d been a Ravenclaw and no one (not anyone in his year or even my brother) could hold a candle to him when it came to academics. See, by 5th year, Seanan had gotten work published by every major intellectual magazine. His grasp on magical theory was second to none and many had called him one of the most brilliant students that Hogwarts had seen, the last one being Rose’s mum.
That wasn’t all though. He was Quidditch Captain for his house and, despite Landon’s complaints about his captaining skills, a bloody brilliant Seeker. He was also Head Boy, perhaps one of the most popular ones ever. He was also very well liked, always ready to help with homework or anything else, no matter how big or small. And, he was without a doubt, the best looking boy in the castle. Even when he was younger, he was exceptionally handsome. He had chocolate brown hair, a dusky complexion and amber eyes that looked like a mix of gold and honey. No one ever wore a Hogwarts uniform with such grace in a 6 ft body. So, naturally, all the boys hated him but couldn’t help having respect for him. All the girls wanted him but just didn’t have the courage to go up and flirt with him, even if they wanted to which, I hear, they did.
“Seanan Carmichael, of all the people! I can’t believe it.” James said, shaking his head.
I wished he would get struck by lightning, then and there.
“You knew I hated that prick, Ade!” Landon said.
“Oh yes, I lost my virginity to Seanan Carmichael thinking ‘Oh, Landon thinks he’s a prick! Let’s piss him off by sleeping with him!’” I exclaimed and Henry started shaking with silent laughter beside me. I couldn’t help but elbow him in the ribs.
“Couldn’t you get someone else?” Landon asked desperately.
I rolled my eyes.
“You know, mate, I don’t think that option is available anymore. What’s done is done, after all.” Al said, helpfully, to make up for starting all this, but I still gave him an icy look.
“If it were my sister then I’d be grateful, to be honest.” Scorpius admitted, still clamping down Rose’s mouth with his hand. “I mean, if you think about it, she could have done a lot worse.”
I love you Scorpius Malfoy.
“I suppose he’s right about that.” James granted, although grudgingly. “It could have been a Slytherin.”
“Thanks a lot, mate.” Scorpius said, scowling lightly.
Rose used this as a distraction and pulled his hand off of her mouth.
“Landon, isn’t it better that you know Aidan is capable of getting laid? You wouldn’t possibly want someone like Valentina Vaisey for a sister, would you? No one would feel her up even if she paid them!”
Henry burst out laughing. Thanks a lot, Rose, really.
“Yeah but still, I get where Landon is coming from. Seanan Carmichael, honestly.” James continued, glancing at me.
I narrowed my eyes. Why, that prat!
“Who was your first time with, then?” I asked James, loudly.
“What?” he asked, brow furrowing to frame those hazel eyes that were so easy to get lost in.
I quirked an eyebrow in return, trying to not look at the gold flecks in his irises.
“Since you clearly think that you have better taste than me, why don’t you share who your first time was with?” I asked, cocking my head to the side.
James’ mouth opened and closed like a goldfish’s.
“You know, I’d like to know that myself. I’m surprised I don’t know this already.” Albus said, speaking as if he kept a catalogue on who lost their virginity to whom.
“I don’t think this is necessary.” James mumbled.
“Now, even I’m curious.” Landon stated, giving me a look that told me he was dropping this until a later time before he turned to James.
“I’m not.” Lily said, covering her ears.
“Well, I am. Out with it, Potter.” she ordered.
James rolled his eyes before he spoke.
“If you lot must know,” he said loudly, looking at all of us but his gaze lingering on me a little longer than necessary. “It was Fiona Zeller.”
My jaw dropped to the ground and I didn’t need to look at the others to know that they had similar reactions to mine.
Henry looked surprised too since Zeller had been in his year.
“Your first time was with a Slytherin?” Scorpius asked loudly as he started to grin.
“Would you look at that, the pot that called the kettle black.” Rose stated with glee.
“Dude.” Albus said with his eyes wide. “Seriously?”
James ruffled his dark hair uncomfortably.
How very eloquent, James Potter.
“Now I don’t feel so bad about Aidan’s first.” Landon proclaimed with a grin.
“Is it over?” Lily asked, uncovering her ears.
“Yeah.” we all answered. She looked a little suspicious but said nothing more.
“I never took Zeller for a paedophile.” Henry said with a smile and James smirked.
“I was 15 and she was 17. The age difference is comparatively small.” remarked James. No one needed to ask who he was comparing with.
“So, Landon, what about you, mate?” James asked, changing the subject expertly.
“I didn’t agree to say anything!” Landon said, looking around.
“Oh, come on, Landon!” Rose coaxed. “We all told!”
“You didn’t! You just said that you and Scorpius had done it!” Landon argued.
“Yeah but Scorpius was my first and I was his.” stated Rose simply. “Now tell.”
“I love how we keep these things private.” Scorpius said, with a grin as he rolled his eyes at Rose.
“Yeah, James and I told too!” I added.
Landon sighed at long last.
“Fine. It was Sasha.” he conceded, blushing slightly.
I started grinning.
“Sasha Chen? The Head Girl?” I asked tauntingly as I pictured the short, slim and rather pretty girl from Ravenclaw. Landon threw some grass at me.
“Shut your face.” he said playfully.
“I think that’s cute!” Lily declared.
“What, the fact that he slept with Sasha? Or the fact that Sasha was his first?” Albus asked
Lily shrugged.“Both.” She smiled warmly in approval of my brother’s choice. “What about you, then?” she asked Albus.
“Well, since everyone’s said and I know that Rose will make me anyway, it was Christine. On the night we beat Ravenclaw at Quidditch.” he added.
We started laughing.
“Consolation sex. Good job, mucker.” smirked James, in approval.
“Funnily enough, we didn’t think of it that way.” Al said dryly.
“Was she any good?” Rose asked and Al blushed.
“I don’t exactly have anyone to compare her to.” he said shyly and I couldn’t help but smile.
“Awwwww!” we all said together and I was glad that this time I wasn’t on the receiving end.
We passed the day away with such useless banter. I eventually got Henry to reveal who his first time was with, when we headed inside for dinner and I was immediately glad that no one had asked him out loud because I was pretty sure that James would have killed Henry if he’d found out that Henry’s first time was with Dominique, his favourite cousin.
Henry stayed with us through dinner as well, laughing and joining in with the conversation. He attracted the attention of some of the people who were in the Great Hall but since he was there with the Headmaster’s blessing, no one could or would say anything. No one was sitting close enough to recognize him without the signature bright blonde hair of Hayden Harkins, either.
James never addressed Henry directly or looked at him, even. He was civil enough when Henry brought up something that he was expected to answer, but his tone was nowhere near as friendly as Landon, Al or Scorpius’. I was still grateful because no speech from James Potter was definitely better than yelling. James even passed the shepherd’s pie when Henry asked no one in particular. I thanked my stars and Ginny Potter for raising him right and teaching him manners that seemed to come naturally to him.
Albus, Landon and Henry were fast getting to know each other and I looked on fondly as the three joked with each other, Scorpius at times taking his eyes off of Rose to join them. Lily hung on to every word Henry uttered and I had a feeling poor Ross would have to meet the high standard that Henry seemed to be setting for him.
Rose seemed to feel that he definitely matched his expectations since he met her wit with his own. Many times I found Rose give me an approving look (which scared me a little, because she looked like my mum then). Then, sooner than I wanted, it was time for him to go and we left the others, who gave him warm goodbyes and invitations to come watch the Quidditch finals. Even James spared a handshake and a small nod. Before he left, though, he wanted to look around the school a bit more so we set off for a short walk around the castle.
“So, did you have a good day?” I asked as we walked up the stairs. Henry slipped his arm around my waist and pulled me close so we were practically joined at the hip.
“The best.” he said, kissing my cheek.
I still blushed at his slightest touch.
“That’s really cute by the way.” he stated casually as we walked around the second floor. He flicked the metal of the suits of armour, but stopped when one snapped at him to ‘Quit it’.
“What’s cute?” I asked after I laughed at him a little.
“That you turn red at the merest physical contact.”
I blushed even more at that, but tried very hard to control it.
“Does it make you uncomfortable? Because I can stop if that’s the case…” Henry trailed off, withdrawing his arm from my waist.
Just as his hand was about to leave my waist I stayed the movement, keeping his hand on me with my own.
“I don’t mind.” I said softly, pulling his arm back into place.
He wasn’t smiling for once but it didn’t make him look any less handsome. As we climbed up to the next floor, his fingers applied the lightest pressure on my waist. I nearly lost my balance and fell but his fingers only tightened, keeping me upright. We walked down the main corridor on the third floor, his eyes never leaving me. He finally paid attention to where we were.
“Is the Defence classroom still here?” he asked and I nodded as I led him to the last classroom on the left.
“This used to be my favourite class! I know it’s bad of me, but when I was a kid, I wished that the world wasn’t as peaceful as it was, just so I could get at the bad guys with everything I learned here.” he admitted sheepishly.
“I suppose everyone likes a thrill. Being an Auror these days is only a little less hard than what it used to be, I hear. But if you were so good at Defence, why did you start training as a Healer?” I asked as we got to the door of the classroom.
“Jon, Mark and I snuck into the Forbidden Forest once in 6th year. We got pretty badly hurt because of some of the wolves in there. We chased the wolves away but Markwas really badly hurt and losing a lot of blood. Jon and I had no idea what to do, how to fix him. He nearly died while we rushed him to the Hospital Wing.” Henry paused for a second as he thought back to that time. “It was then that I realized that professions like Healing have more nobility in them than just going after the bad guys.”
“That’s actually rather profound.” I said after a moment.
He quirked an eyebrow at me.
“Were you expecting something more shallow from me?” he asked and I grinned, attempting to lighten the mood.
“Yeah, actually. I thought that you would’ve wanted to save all the damsels in distress and be the Healer of their dreams.” I said
He laughed.“Clearly that didn’t happen.” he said as I took out my wand and unlocked the door to the classroom.
I snorted as I pushed the door open.
“Big deal, girls still fawn over you.” I remarked as I led him inside. “Here you go. It’s stayed the same for the most part since your last year, I think.”
“Wow, it really has. So is this Professor Millian any good?” Henry asked, as he took in the surroundings.
“He’s a tough grader but he knows the subject back to front, so I can hardly complain. He assigns way too much reading though.” I said, nodding towards the numerous bookshelves lining the walls of the classroom.
“Come on.” I said, heading back out with Henry following closely.
“And where are we going now?” he asked as I locked the classroom.
I led him around the corner by the hand.
“To the other classrooms of course. You should see the Transfiguration classroom since Wanless started here.” I stressed as I pulled him along.
“Well, okay, but why are we heading behind a tapestry?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
I laughed at his expression.
“This, dear naïve Henry, is the reason why I make it to my classes on time. I give you, courtesy of Albus Potter, a hidden shortcut!”
I pulled back the tapestry with a flourish.
“You have flair, I’ll give you that.” Henry chuckled, as he let me enter first before following.
“That I do. It’s one of my few redeeming qualities.” I said dryly, as I guided him through the narrow and upward sloping passageway.
“That is hardly true.” he countered and I snorted. “I think you’re fascinating.”
“Are you sure you don’t have another girlfriend somewhere that you’re confusing me with?” I joked. “I’m not even the least bit fascinating.”
“But you are. I saw it the very first time we went out.” He said softly as we got to the darkest part of the tunnel, where the thin metal twisting staircase that led to the upper floors was.
“You, Mr. Hutchinson, are deluded.” I said simply as I made to move to the staircase.
His arm slipped around my waist and pulled me away from the stairs, using the leverage to push me against the wall. It was a bit of a shock to my senses, all the different feelings, like the dry, cool stone behind my back, since I could barely see. He moved in closer to me, I could feel his hot breath against my face. He placed his hand on the wall next to my head and leaned on it. His other arm snaked around my waist and pulled me, making me flush against him. My heart thudded against my ribcage treacherously and I was glad that it was dark because I must have been very red. His scent was making me feel lightheaded and his being so close to me, made me feel like he was taking up all of my space. He leaned in and placed a small open mouthed kiss next to my ear.
“You were saying?” he whispered to me.
I was about to reply when he started dropping similar kisses along my jaw and down to my neck, making me gasp.
“I forget.” I breathed and I could feel him smile against my skin.
“Good. You argue too much.” His hand moved off of the wall and into my hair as he pushed me against the wall again.
“If it’s any consolation, arguing, is the last thing on my mind right now.” I gasped as one hand knotted itself in his hair and the other explored the firm ridges of muscle on his chest and abdomen through his t-shirt.
His voice was low and husky, sending shivers down my spine as he spoke into my ear.
I was getting tired of waiting and pulled him up so his face was level with mine. He didn’t resist, rather, he kissed me urgently, need and passion fuelling us both on. He gently pulled on my hair, making me gasp and he used the moment to slant his lips over mine and slip his tongue in my mouth. I wasn’t even breathing and my knees were growing weaker and more unstable. Almost as if he sensed this, Henry removed his hand from my hair and let it trail down my body to my thigh. He gently pulled on the back of thigh, making the hem of my summer dress rise up. Perhaps it was the feel of his cold hand on the warm skin on my leg, or the flood of warmth that was being caused by his tongue assailing my mouth. Either way, it sent a jolt of electricity down my body.
Henry pulled my leg, wrapping it around his waist as he lifted me up a few inches so he was supporting my weight with the help of the wall. He broke the kiss and his lips drifted to the hollow of my throat, placing warm kisses the entire way. He nipped at my skin and my heart started beating a little faster as his mouth approached the neckline of my dress. But he never crossed that line and nor did he give any indication of wanting to, though I could tell that he did. It was because of this that I pulled his face away from me and kissed my way up to his lips from his neck. His hands clenched at my skin tighter but I didn’t mind. I just wanted to keep going on and on and –
The voice echoed a little and made Henry jump away from me real quick. I had the presence of mind to make sure I landed on my feet before I turned around, looking for the source of the voice frantically, even though I didn’t need to; I’d know that voice anywhere. I just needed to know where it was coming from. Why did James Potter have to find me now, of all times?
~*~*~*~ ONE HOUR LATER~*~*~*~
“Are you guys done yet?” I asked tiredly, resting my face against my hand.
“Not really.” giggled Mona and the girls broke out into fresh peals of laughter.
“Oh grow up, you guys!” I moaned. “Except you, Lily. You take your time growing up or your brothers might kill me. Just stop laughing for now.”
“Come one, love. Did you expect us to not take the mickey out of you after this?” chortled Rose.
I sighed heavily.
“Not really, no.” I replied in a defeated manner.
“I have never felt more embarrassed in my whole life!” I groaned as the memory kept playing on a loop in my head.
“Which is saying something, isn’t it, Ade?” Lily asked, with a grin and I glared at her.
“Get over it, sweetheart. I’m sure Henry will be soon enough if you are. And James isn’t such a hypocrite, to give you hell about being in a position that he himself has occupied on numerous occasions.” Mona pointed out reasonably.
“If he is then I can take care of it. You’d be surprised at how much you can subdue that boy with blackmail.” Rose supplied helpfully.
I nearly jumped out my skin at the throat clearing that came from behind our sofa.
“James!” exclaimed Rose sheepishly as she turned to look at her cousin.
I just wanted to curl up and die.
“Ladies. I was wondering if I could talk to Aidan.”
It wasn’t really a question and as much as I wanted to refuse. Mona, Lily and Rose looked like they would have disapproved if I had declined. I resigned myself to my fate with a deep sigh.
“Sure.” I said, trying to keep my voice steady and failing at keeping my cheeks from reddening. I stood up and followed James out of the common room.
“What’s up?” I asked casually. James raised an eyebrow at me.
“Right, stupid question.” I muttered.
“Only a little.” James admitted, with a small grin. “Um, listen. I’m sorry about interrupting you when you were…” he paused, looking for the right word. “Occupied. I was just taking a shortcut back upstairs. I didn’t know you were in there.”
“I hadn’t planned on using the space for that purpose either, to be honest.” I mumbled as the heat rose on my neck. “I’m sorry about that.”
“Not much to be sorry about. He is your boyfriend.” James shrugged but he couldn’t keep the bite out of his voice, causing me to crick my neck as I looked at him.
He sighed as he met my eyes. “I’m sorry I’m like that. I just… I don’t know.”
“It’s ok, I get it. You don’t have to like Henry.” I stated simply.
“It’s not that I don’t like the bloke –” It was my turn to raise my eyebrow and he stopped talking and rolled his eyes. “Fine, I’m not crazy about him. I just don’t think that he’s good enough for you, that’s all.”
“Well, since you’ve only talked to him directly for a couple of minutes put together, forgive me if I don’t trust your judgment.” I said calmly.
“I don’t have to talk to the guy to know that he’s not right for you.” he replied curtly.
“That’s right! You don’t have to bite the bun to know it’s sweet!” crowed the Fat Lady.
“Shut up.” we said to her, together.
“Honestly!” she exclaimed indignantly, before muttering darkly about never letting us back into the common room for our cheek. We barely noticed as we turned back to face each other.
We didn’t say anything for a while as we sized each other up. I probably looked the same mess I was when he caught me with Henry; hair messed up, cheeks flushed pink and lips ever so slightly swollen. He on the other hand looked as put together as ever; dark hair ruffled in a stylishly messy way, grey t shirt and dark jeans fitted well and hazel eyes sparkling with fire. It occurred to me, that perhaps, he was actually concerned for my own welfare. It was this thought that let some of my building annoyance fade.
“You know what, James?” I asked warily. “You may not like him and you may not think he’s good enough for me but it’s my decision and I’ve made it. You’re just going to have to live with it.” I said firmly.
He continued to stare at me before he spoke.
“I know that… I just don’t like it.” he muttered the last part but I barely heard it, so I knew it wasn’t for my benefit. “I just want you to know how I feel about this situation.”
“Oh, you’ve made how you feel plenty clear with your behaviour over the last few weeks.” I remarked with a loud and very unladylike snort.
He had the decency to look a little embarrassed as he ran his fingers through his hair.
“I guess I wear my heart on my sleeve.” he stated quietly as he stared at the floor.
“How very Gryffindor of you.” I deadpanned and he smiled a little as he shook his head.
“I find it funny that you, of all people, say that.”
I couldn’t help but smile back. No one can resist returning a smile to James Potter.
“So do I.” I said softly.
“I’m sorry about how I’ve been acting.” he said after a pause. “I’m just a little protective. It’s a Potter thing, I guess.”
I found that hard to believe, seeing how Al got on with Henry so much better, but I said nothing. James Potter was apologizing and I wasn’t about to turn away from that.
“That’s ok. I can look after myself though.” I countered gently.
“I was just keeping an eye out for my chaser…and my friend. I’ll try and be nicer to the bloke…if you want.”
He looked up at me suddenly, and I almost stepped back because of the intensity of the look he gave me, hazel eyes burning bright.
“That would be good.” I said my voice barely more than a whisper.
He nodded jerkily.
“Alright then.” he hesitated before he spoke again. “Are we okay, now?”
I thought about this silently, unable to look away from his face.
“We will be…I think. As long as you remain the James Potter you are now and not the prat that you’ve been.” I said lightly.
“That’s easier said than done, but I’ll try.” he said, stepping closer to me so he was only half a foot away, close enough for me to feel the heat coming off of his body.
I’d be lying if I said that breathing was an easy task when he was standing that close. “Deal.”
“Deal.” I said in return.
He extended his hand to me and I took it without hesitation. His hand was a little colder than mine but the feeling of his skin was entirely too pleasant for me to feel innocent about. He gently pulled me into a hug that was both warm and welcome.
Which, may be why I felt guilty about it.
A/N: Well, what did you think you guys? Please, please, please let me know with a review! Feel free to drop by my MTA page for any questions you guys have! And by the way, I'm almost at 10,000 reads! Can you believe it? Thanks so much for everything, you guys! I can't tell you how much this means to me!
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