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Breathless by dream_BIG
Chapter 4 : I Battle A Rabid Rat.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 55


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People, I have decided, are much too meddlesome for their own good. Okay, yes, I got married to Albus Potter. That’s what you needed, isn’t it? So why in God’s name are you trying to make this work?







I mean, we’re perfectly content with going back to our respective houses, and, save from the occasional glance at our rings and the fact that we no longer can date whoever we want, completely forget about each other. In fact, we’d be more than content – doing that would make me bloody ecstatic.







I mean, I wanted to marry him. I know what I need to do. And I’m cool with that. There’s really no problem with this marriage. I just don’t want anything to do with him any longer.







Then again, this is our families we are talking about here, so they absolutely insist that we go on a honeymoon.







And by ‘insist’ I mean that my father literally carried me to the car, unceremoniously dumped me in, and restrained me with some choice spells that would only let me out if the driver of the car – oh, hey, James – let me.







Which, even though I desperately need to pee, would have to be never.







“James, please,” I begged. “I really need to go to the bathroom. I’m about to pee myself.”







Al, who was also restrained beside me, wrinkled his nose. Whatever.







“Just don’t think about water and toilets and geysers and the Niagara falls – you really don’t need to be thinking about those, trust me – and all the millions of gallons of water that gush over the surface of this earth on a daily basis.” James sang maliciously.







That’s it.







“But I have my period and I really need to change my tampon!”







Merlin, I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody pull into a gas station so quickly. Smirking, I jumped out of the car and sprinted to the bathroom, taking my sweet time in coming back. Humming contentedly, I slid into the backseat of the car and put my seatbelt back on. That’s when I realized that both Al and James were watching me warily.







“What?”







“So, are you all set, then?” James asked cautiously. “Do you need anything? You’re not going to yell at us, are you? Please don’t yell at us. Oh, dear Merlin, you’re not going to pull a Lily and cry, are you? Don’t cry, seriously. I don’t know what to do when you girls start crying. Al, you can deal with her when she starts crying.”







“Oi, why me?” Al cried indignantly.







“She’s your wife.”







“So?”







I smirked again. “I don’t have my period, guys. I just really had to pee.”







James gasped in outrage. “You conniving little Slytherin!”







“That’s me.” I said sweetly.







His hazel eyes twinkled mischievously at me in the rearview mirror. “You know, dear sister-in-law, I do believe that I have found a powerful ally in you.”







I grinned. “I don’t know, Potter. We’ll have to see just how clever you are before I join forces with you.”







James snorted. “Please. I’m the master of all plans.”







“Actually, James, I do believe the mastermind behind every single great prank was yours truly.” Al spoke up from next to me. James scowled.







“Yeah, well, what about The Great Noodle Incident of ’11?” He argued.







Al smirked. “I was the one who threw the noodles at Todd. I started it.”







“You were eight!”







“I still started it.”







“Wait, what happened?” I asked, intrigued.







“You tell her, Al.” James grinned at us in the mirror again, and Al rolled his eyes.







Wow, James, you’re so discreet. Really.







“Victoire brought home her first boyfriend that year.” Al explained to me, his eyes suddenly years away. He smiled in a reminiscent manner. “Todd. He seemed more interested in my dad, to be perfectly honest. But this was Tori’s first boyfriend, so everyone had to be nice. Except Teddy.” He tacked on at the end.







“Teddy was just jealous, though.” James smirked. “Even though he didn’t want to admit it.”







“Exactly. Ted and Victoire – they’re, like, meant to be or whatever. We couldn’t have this Todd character messing it up for him. We’re on Ted’s side, anyway. Teddy’s our man. So, me being the genius that I was, even at the tender age of eight –”







“Way to be modest.” I complimented.







“Thank you.” He replied without missing a beat. “I decided that we’d had enough of Todd, so I launched a series of whoopi cushion wars, complete with dungbombs and various other embarrassing joke products. Finally, I threw noodles at him. He completely lost it.”







James laughed. “Best family food fight ever.”







“Uncle Bill threw him out after that. Victoire seemed sort of relieved, actually.”







I laughed. “Has there ever been a normal family get-together for you guys?”







They actually had to think about it.







“Well,” James began. “There was that one time, when – wait, no. We blew up the tree.”







“Christmas ’14?” Al asked absently. “Best year ever. Dad’s forty-fifth birthday went pretty well.”







“Naw, Lily brought her boyfriend, remember?”







“Oh, yeah. Rose was brilliant with her beauty charms. I wonder if he still looks like a clown.”







“I think he does. Bloody wanker deserved it – trying to hook up with Rosie while he was still dating Lily, what was he thinking?” James shook his head in wonderment.







“…I’m taking that as a ‘no’, then?” I laughed, remembering the year that David Hopper came back to school with permanent clown hair.







“Just wait, Adele. You’ll have so much fun. Our family is insane, but in a good way.” James twisted around to send me an earnest smile, and I couldn’t help but smile back.







“I bet it’s better than my family any day.” I said, shuddering as I remembered the horrible, quiet Christmases I used to spend with my family. Sometimes I felt like we were sitting through a funeral or something; whenever I or Scorpius so much as smiled, we would get an appalled look. Apparently, smiling during Christmastime is an obscene act of some sort.







“Is your family huge?” James guessed.







I shrugged. “Sort of. It’s old people. Pure-bloods. People I don’t know.” I made a face. “Teenagers wearing ball gowns and thinking that my jeans and shirt are inappropriate.”







“That,” Al said. “Sounds absolutely painful.”







“It is. I try to spend Christmas at Hogwarts. I don’t know what I’ll do now that I’ve graduated.” I sighed.







“You’re spending Christmas with us!” James cried. “Duh. You’re a Potter now.”







I cringed slightly, and Al’s eyes slid towards me. “Er. Right.” I muttered, attempting – and failing – to sound thrilled about that fact.







It’ll take some getting used to.







Okay, maybe more than ‘some’.







***







“Well.” I said dryly. “This is romantic.”







As if on cue, one of the hot pink shutters on a window fell off and crashed into the snarl of weeds below. The smashing sound echoed around the lot, and I saw one of the neighbors peek out at the house, a disapproving expression on her face.







James started laughing next to me, while Al made a couple of weak protesting sounds as he gazed at the ‘house’ (I use that term very loosely) in horror.







“That cannot be inhabitable.” He said. Another crashing noise sounded from the house, and I couldn’t help but fervently agree with him.







“Oh – god – too – funny!”







James seems to be rendered incapable of proper speech due to his excessive-to-an-indecent-amount of laughing.







Bloody git.







“No way.” I continued. “There is no way.”







“Aw, come on, guys!” James said good-naturedly, throwing an arm over both of our shoulders. He let out a couple of more snickers. “Nana and Grandpa Weasley came here for their honeymoon! Uncle Bill was born nine months later; it must have been somewhat effective, right?”







Al shook off his arm with an angry scowl. “Okay, first off: We are not going to have any children.”







“Agreed.” I piped in.







“Secondly,” He continued. “Nana and Grandpa came here for their honeymoon like, fifty years ago.”







“Back when this place might have been in partway decent.” I added.







“And even then, I don’t think they had tons of money, so this place was probably cheap.”







“Which means that, at this point, it’s practically free.”







Our logic is airtight. He can’t argue with that and win.







“Well,” James said briskly, taking our wands and stuffing them in his pocket. “I’m supposed to leave you here, so my work is done. Peaceout, suckas.”







Apparently, he doesn’t need to argue. He can just leave.







With that, he promptly got in his car and drove away, with me and Al gazing incredulously after him, too shocked to even yell in protest.







He’s kidding. He’s kidding.







He’s not honestly just going to – I mean, he wouldn’t just – right? He – he…oh god.







He would just leave us here. Why? Because, according to his convoluted sense of sick, twisted humor, this situation is amusing.







I can assure you that it is not. In the slightest.







“He is coming back, right?” I asked weakly, my voice already hopeless.







Al turned to look at me with a tight, disbelieving expression. “Does it seem like he will?”







Crap.







“Well, we might as well look around inside. Maybe it’s just built that way to ward off the muggles or something.” Al suggested, after a moment of standing there and looking thoroughly lost.







“Sure.” I said optimistically. I picked up my bag and trailed after him as he opened the rusty gate gingerly.







It came off.







Well, it can only get better from here, right?







“Er…” He said, looking back at me unsurely with the gate still clenched in his hand. I shrugged at him, so he dropped it on the ground a couple of feet away from us. It promptly erupted into a shower of red dust.







Wrong. It can only get worse.







The front door came off of its hinges. The stairs were caved in. There was no roof. There was a rat the size of a dog living under the floor.







That was about when we decided that this house was not, in fact, made this way to ward off the muggles. It actually was a hopeless cause and we could just forget about trying to live in it for two weeks. So we did what most people would do when confronted with a rabid, mutated rat: we ran like hell.







“Is it coming after us?” I screamed over my shoulder at Al.







“Yes! Keep running!” He yelled back. I shrieked again and picked up the pace just a little. I mean, I don’t have to run fast, necessarily, to outrun this crazy rat.







Just faster than Al.







Why did James have to take away our bloody wands?” I moaned as I ran. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”







“Good thing we used to play Quidditch, right?” Al panted as he ran up next to me. I laughed breathlessly.







“Are you always this bloody optimistic?” I asked.







He shrugged, the wind whipping his thick black hair around his head as he glanced over his shoulder again. “I try to be, yeah.”







“Is that a Gryffindor thing?”







He grinned unexpectedly at me. “No; it’s an Albus Potter thing. Come on.”







He grabbed my hand and veered left in a sharp, angular turn that made me stagger unsteadily. I gasped as he pulled us into a clump of large grass, his movements quick and precise.







A Seeker. Made to be fast, agile and quick-reflexed. Of course.







I let out an involuntary squeak of surprise as he suddenly pulled me against him, and he covered my mouth with his hand.







“Shh,” He whispered. I nodded gravely at him, and he let go of my mouth, putting his finger to his lips once again as he started to raise his head above the grass. I grabbed his arm before he could, and he looked down at me, exasperation clear on his face.







‘What?’ He mouthed.







‘Blond hair,’ I gestured to my head, then his, ‘Black hair. Let me.’







He nodded, and I slowly raised my head up over the grass…







…right in the face of the rat.







I screamed.







In hindsight, that might not have been the best thing to do, as it alerted the rat, whose eyes glowed red – holy shit – as it bared its teeth at me, foam dripping out of its mouth.







“Run!” I yelled, grabbing Al’s hand and wrenching out of the grass. Al ran ahead of me, nearly dragging me next to him as the Rat’s breath got hotter and hotter on my heels. I stumbled suddenly, and there was the lightest of touches on my shoe, then –







BOOM!







I turned around, panting, my hair flying wildly all over the place, and saw that the rat, seconds away from sinking its teeth into my skin, was lying dead on the ground. I moaned in relief and slumped against Al, too frightened to even care about the fact that I was literally shaking as I pressed myself closer to the protection of his arms.







“Are you alright, miss?”







I looked up, surprised, to see that a muggle was standing in front of me, his gun smoking slightly, his expression one of concern. He seemed really old, his face tanned, his skin like leather.







Merlin, where has James taken us?







“I’m fine.” I said shakily, smiling weakly. Al’s hand started to automatically rub my arm in a methodical manner, as if he had been comforting girls his whole life and was a pro at it by this point.







Thought, judging by the amount of very…er…emotional female relatives he has, he probably is.







“Where’d you come across that thing?” The muggle nodded his head at the rat.







“The abandoned old house over there.” Al gestured vaguely, but the man seemed to understand.







“With the pink shutters?” He asked.







I shuddered. “That’s the one.”







“What were you kids doing over there?” The man’s eyes narrowed at us slightly. “Just goofing around?”







Me and Al exchanged looks. I laughed nervously. “Well, you see…there’s a funny story behind this, actually.”







The man’s expression stayed polite, but I could tell that he was sizing us up. “I have time. See, that property still belongs to someone. What you two just did was trespassing.”







Al shook his head. “No, no! It belongs to my grandparents. There was no trespassing involved.”







“What’s their name, then?”







“Weasley.”







He straightened up slightly. “Arthur and Molly?”







Al smiled, surprised. “You know them?”







“Sure I do.” The man smiled suddenly, the lines around his mouth and eyes telling us that he did that a lot. “We honeymooned together, right there in that house. Say, are you also their granddaughter?”







He looked at me, and I shook my head, opening my mouth to correct him –







“She’s my wife.”







Whoa.







Have you ever thought about how utterly bizarre that sounds? Wife. Wife. I’m his wife.







Dude. I have a husband.







Holy Merlin. I’m married. I have a husband.







Shit.







“Married young, did you?” The man let out a bark of laughter, and I smiled dazedly.







“Yeah, we did.” I said, adding my own nervous laugh to his booming rumble. Al shifted slightly next to me, clearly uncomfortable with having just blurted that out.







“Well, come on, then!” The man said, smiling as though he had just won the lottery. “A young couple – you guys’ll be the center of attention. Joan will love you.”







“Er – where, exactly, are we going?” Al asked, his arm unconsciously tightening around me.







Lovely. Another overprotective male.







“My house. We have a bit of a honeymooner’s hotel there. Joan – my wife – loves the company. Says there’s something magical about a married couple. I’m David, by the way.”







“I’m Adele.” I smiled politely. “And this is Al.”







“Adele and Al. Oh, Joan’ll love you.” David laughed again, shaking his head.







As Al and I exchanged another wary glance, I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly we’d landed ourselves into.














hey, hey,  heyyyy!
wassupp, homies?!
so, guess what?? breathless is back on track!!
i no longer have incurable writer's block - it's cured! i could tell that this story was finally going to move forward when i started to daydream scenes for it during french.
al may have a sudden character change - he's now cocky and a little arrogant, but with that still underlying tone of sweetness that he had in the chapter previous to this...or the one before that.
i know that he's changed - i needed to do it. see, i completely changed al. new character on the banner, new personality...thought it would help with the writer's block. and, lo and behold - it did!
yay!
please review, lovesters :D

PS  -  i'm having major issues with my summaries. anyone want to help? i'll love you forever - credit you and everything! *winning, hopeful smile*


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