Chapter 2 : Circles
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A/N: This chapter begins roughly three months after they finished school
chapter image by the wonderful .asperity @tda
Unanswered questions would be the only thing to stop them now.
He was the poet, while she was the muse.
She had a pen that she knew how to use.
-Circles by All Time Low
August 16th, 7:12 A.M -June and Stella's Flat
“STELLLAAAA!” I shout her name from my bathroom, frantically trying to get ready. “IT’S OUR FIRST DAY AND I’LL BE DAMNED IF YOU MAKE ME LATE!”
I hear a loud thump; the sound I have come to associate with Stella’s bum going from couch to floor. I hear a few indiscernible mumbles followed by, “I’M UP, I’M UP!”
Next thing I know, she is stumbling into the bathroom. She was out until who knows when and she slept on a coach, but she still looks gorgeous. She has that luscious blonde hair you only see in those hair potion ads in Witch Weekly. I, on the other hand, have been up for over an hour trying to look presentable. I often refer to this morning hair ritual as ‘taming the beast’. I love my hair, but it would hardly be considered manageable.
“Good morning, darling, ready for our first day at work?”
I try to answer but she interrupts me by laughing. “Ha! Imagine that. I, Stella Mae Anderson, have a job!”
I snort, “Yeah, real shocker. But if you don’t hurry up, ‘Stella Mae Anderson’, that job will be history before you even start.”
“Alright, MUM, I’ll get right on that.” She throws a towel at my head and flounces out of the bathroom, whistling.
Stella has a killer throw, probably from all those years of playing chaser, so my hair is now a brown mess vaguely resembling a bird’s nest. It takes me another fifteen minutes to make it semi-decent again. I sigh, realizing that there is not much more I can do, and I dash down the stairs only to see Stella munching on toast, staring at a letter.
“We don’t have time for you to be reading your love letters, Stell, we have to get going!” I huff, grabbing an apple off the counter (one of us has to eat healthy).
Tossing it to me, she says, “It’s not my love letter; it’s for you, little miss sunshine. Don’t worry, I didn’t read it or anything.”
Sure enough, the letter has my name on the front. “Did you happen to recognize whose owl delivered it?”
She shakes her head, unable to talk due to the large amounts of toast being shoved in her mouth. Manners aren’t really her strong point.
Hastily, I open the letter.
I know it’s been too long since I’ve last written. Quidditch training has been amazing, but awfully time consuming. However, I want to make it up to you by taking you out for lunch this Saturday. I have a weekend off and I’d love to catch up.
If you’ll have me,
James Sirius Potter
Ps. All this training has made me extra fit, so I wouldn’t turn this offer down if I were you (;
I can’t help but laugh as I read the last line, typical James.
“Who is it from?” Stella demands, trying to rip the letter away from me.
“A mister James Potter asking me out to lunch, that’s who.” I try not to smile, but everyone knows he is absolutely dishy. Personally, I prefer a different Potter, but that’s not something I should be thinking about.
“No bleeding way! He is such a dish!” I rest my case.
“Yes way. You see, we first started talking when Al- um, I mean, when I went to the Potter Christmas party over the holidays. He has been hinting at wanting to take me out since graduation, and we’ve written back and forth a few times, but I’ve never felt right about saying yes…” I look down at the floor, trying not to think about him.
“Because of Albus?” She pats me on the back consolingly.
I shove her away, “No, definitely not because of that tosser!” I insist, but Stella knows me too well to believe me.
“You know, the best way to move on is to find a new man, and I think James would be a great start. Plus, it would totally make that muppet Albus Potter jealous.”
“Eh, I don’t know. Wouldn’t that mean I’m basically using James just to get his brother jealous? A brother who, for the record, I despise?”
Even I don’t truly believe it when I say it.
“Well, I guess you could think of it that way. Or you could think of it as accepting a friend’s invitation to lunch, and in accepting that you might drive his prat of a brother wild with envy.”
I laugh, “I like the way you think Anderson, but there’s only one problem. Albus hates my guts, so why in the name of Merlin would he be ‘wild with envy’? I could understand him getting pissed off about his brother going out with his ex, but jealous? Not going to happen.”
“June, when are you going to get it into your thick skull? The boy is crazy about you. I see him all the time and-”
I interrupt her. I know whatever she has to say can’t be true. “Please just stop saying that, will you? If he really still had feelings for me, then why hasn’t he tried to apologize, or even talk to me, since our breakup?”
Muttering under her breath she says, “Because you both are stubborn gits.”
I take my bag and walk towards the door, gesturing outward. “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. Now let’s go, I can handle this James stuff later. We need to get a move on; we are late as it is.”
Dejectedly, she heads out, still muttering. I slam the door shut, wondering why things just had to be so bloody complicated.
August 16th, 12:46 P.M - Ministry of Magic
Why, in the name of all that is holy, did I want to get to work so bad this morning? Was I afraid the floo powder wouldn’t be safe without me? Because working in the transportation department has to be the most boring thing in the world. Stella’s off at Auror training while I’m stuck helping file reports on the portkeys that have been used this month. The only bright side of this mind numbing work is that it’s given me plenty of time to think.
There have been so many questions running through my mind today.
Why hasn’t Albus tried apologizing yet?
Would I even forgive him if he did?
Is saying yes to James a good idea?
Why is James even asking me out? Yummy quidditch players usually go for the more gorgeous, leggy type.
When’s my lunch break? I would kill for something meaty right now.
My mind is a mess, just running in circles; never actually getting anywhere.
I want him back.
Then, at the same time, I don’t.
After all, I broke up with him for a reason. He accused me of cheating and he betrayed my trust by throwing what I’d told him about my mom right back in my face. I know he felt hurt, but it’s nowhere near as painful as his words were to me. He’s the only one who knows my mom left when I was 7; I’ve never even told Stella. Telling him was a huge deal for me and I just don’t see how I could ever fully confide in him again. Which may not even be an issue, because he isn’t showing signs of wanting me back any time soon.
So this potentially could be the biggest waste of my time in the history of time wasting. It’s like I’m worrying about spilled milk that hasn’t even spilled yet.
I let out an exasperated sigh, letting my head fall to the desk.
“Sleeping on the first day Adams? Tut tut.” said a woman with a very condescending tone.
My head shoots up to see the voice belongs to Mrs. Carey, my less-than-pleasant supervisor. “Oh, no I was just…” Banging my head in frustration over my pathetic life? “Testing out the strength of the desk!”
Shooting me a dubious look she questions, “Testing the strength?”
“Yes! Wouldn’t want it collapsing and have all this paperwork go askew.”
“Right… Well once you're done with your testing I’d like for you to organize my desk. I don’t have the time to do it myself, and it really must be done, so I thought you’d be perfect for the job.” She smirks at me, intensifying the disdain I was already feeling.
“Yeah, I’ll get right on that Mrs. Carey.” I feign enthusiasm, using all my willpower not to roll my eyes.
“Good.” She says and moves to leave, but suddenly turns back around. “ I also need you to run this file over to the Law Enforcement department. The Aurors' office wants to monitor some of the floo networks for one reason or another and needs the proper papers.”
I gulp, “The Aurors' office? You sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. That’s not a problem is it?” She says it in such a overly concerned way that you just know has to be sarcasm.
“No, um, of course it’s not. I’ll go right now.”
I grab the file and rush out. She yells “Don’t forget about my desk!” at my retreating figure, but I ignore her.
Of course, she would send me there. The ONE place I might run into him. I know it’s a long shot; he’ll probably be in some classroom with Stella learning their training or whatever they do. But still it’s a possibility and I don’t think seeing him will come to any good.
I head down to floor two anyway, hoping that elevator might get stuck or even blow up.
No such luck.
In fact, the elevator seems to have gotten an upgrade because there’s no way it was that fast this morning. Because of the turbo-charged lift, I make it to the offices in record time.
I take one look around and realize why so many people are attracted to the idea of working here; there is so much action! People are hustling from place to place and it makes my department look like a ghost town by comparison. Standing amidst all this action, I also realize I have no idea who I’m supposed to give this to. ‘To the Aurors' office,’ she said. Well, that’s real specific. Maybe that guy over there-
“Can I help you, Miss?” A mystery voice whispers into my ear. I’m so taken aback I nearly fall over.
I turn around and see the voice belongs to a man who is now laughing. “Did I scare you? Sorry, I was merely trying to be helpful.”
He looks about twenty-three years old, and has the most remarkable smile. His dark blue eyes leave me momentarily speechless. “Um…” Why was I here again?
He points to the files in my hand and smirks.
“Right! The files!” I practically shout. “Oh, I mean no, you didn’t scare me. However, you can help me.” I give him my best wink, trying to redeem myself after that pathetic first impression. “You see, I have these files here that my lovely boss wanted me to deliver, but she seems to have refrained from mentioning who I’m supposed to deliver them to.”
He laughs, whether it's directed at me or because he thinks I’m funny is not clear. I’m hoping for the latter, but it seems unlikely at this point. “Well, Miss-”
“You can call me June.” I interrupt. Miss sounds too formal.
“Alright, June it is. Well, June, it’s my lucky day because those files are for me.”
I hand him over the files, “Your lucky day? Wouldn’t I be the lucky one since now I don’t have to walk around looking like an idiot?”
His hand still lingers on mine instead of taking the papers, “On the contrary, It’s my lucky day because I got to meet a beautiful lady like you.”
I’m about to reply when a person behind me clears their throat. “Ehhhem, Thompson?” Says the throat clearer, sounding very pissed off.
I would recognize that voice anywhere.
“Oh Potter! Didn’t see you there, I was distracted by my conversation with June here. How can I help you?”
Before answering him, Albus stares me straight in the eyes. They look dead. There’s no glint of humor, no sense of recongnition. Just nothing.
Quickly as the look came, it’s gone, and he turns his attention back to the guy. “You’re needed in the conference rooms as soon as possible.” Al mutters.
“Thanks for the heads up, kid,” Potter practically shudders in anger at being called kid. “I’ll get over there right away.” He then turns to me, “It was great meeting you, I’m sorry our time is being cut short. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you around.”
With one last smile, he’s gone.
“Tosser.” I hear Al say under his breath. I ignore it though, as I turn to leave.
“Wait-” he says with what I can only identify as desperation.
I whip around, “What, Albus?” There is nothing but anger and hurt in my voice. So much so that even I’m a little surprised by how it sounds.
His eyes become glued to the floor, “Nothing. Forget I said anything.”
I stand there, waiting for him to stop being a coward and look at me. After a minute, he looks up. “Already forgotten.” I say with complete clarity.
There’s more meaning behind those words than just forgetting he said anything, and he knows it. He’s seems to have gotten the message because he leaves without one backward glance.
The only problem is, I’m not sure that’s the message I wanted to send.
August 16th, 10:29 P.M - June's Bedroom
Tap. Tap. Tap.
August 16th, 10:32 P.M
Tap. Tap. Tap.
August 16th, 10:35 P.M
“WOULD YOU QUIT IT WITH THE TAPPING ALREADY? I’M TRYING TO DO MY FACIAL YOGA IN PEACE!” Stella yells from the other room.
Facial yoga? I’m not sure I even want to know...
Her sudden outburst stopped me from tapping my nails on my desk again. I can’t help it though. I always start tapping something when I’m nervous, and boy, am I nervous. I’m currently writing my response to James and I have no idea what I’m going to say.
So far I’ve crossed out every letter I’ve started.
Howdy, James, It’s June!
Hello ,James Sirius Potter, June Evie Adams here to accept your invita
Yo baby, its yo gurl June hitting yo up. Holla at yo gurrl!
Yes! I’ll see you then, Jamipoo
Eh, I’m not so sure. I mean, it’s not you! It’s me, honest. I’m allergic to restaurants!
Okay, so I wasn’t exactly putting forth my best effort, but I’m stressing out here. I’m about to just give up when Stella comes barging into my room.
“Still freaking out about James?”
I appreciate that she’s trying to be nice, but all I can do is laugh at her with her hair being the way it is. There is a ridiculous bun type thing atop her head and she has the brightest lime green headband on I’ve ever seen.
“Don’t you laugh at me, Adams. I’m trying to be a good friend! You would never have seen me like this if it weren’t for the fact that I was so filled with concern that I had to come check on you.” Stella pouts, trying to get the headband off.
I manage to calm myself down enough to answer. “I’m sorry, Stella, that was rude of me, but why in name of Merlin is your hair like that?”
“It’s for the facial yoga. You need all your hair out of the way to work all the face muscles properly. If I do it right I’ll be able to keep my skin wrinkle free forever! However, I digress; the issue at hand is not the state of my skin. We are talking about you here.”
Normally, I wouldn’t let this type of thing go, but I really need her help so I have to. “Right, about this whole saying ‘yes’ business… I’m not so sure if it’s a good idea anymore.”
“And why is that?”
I fill her in about my encounter in the Aurors' office and what I said to Albus. “So, I think I may have made it seemed like I’ve moved on, which I obviously haven’t. If I go on a date with James and Al hears about it, well then he will definitely think I’m over him.”
Stella takes a moment to collect her thoughts. It isn’t until a minute or two later that she speaks. “You know what I think? I think you should stop giving a damn about what your actions may or may not be doing to Albus Potter and start being concerned with what you want. After all, you like James, as a friend at least?”
I slowly nod my head.
“You think he’s the epitome of hotness, and that you’d enjoy spending time with him?”
Again, I nod.
“Well then I don’t see the problem! If you and Al are meant to be then it will work itself out. In the meantime, enjoy yourself, June. Life is too short to waste it all on worrying. Plus, too much worry brings premature aging.”
I laugh, “Who would have thought? The pretty blonde who does facial yoga actually can give out some pretty good advice!”
She smirks, “Oh don’t act so surprised. You know you’d be positively lost without me.”
I smile a genuine smile, saying with all seriousness. “Your right, I would be lost. You’re a great friend, Stell.”
She beams right back at me, giving me a hug. “You’re not too bad yourself. Now get writing. You don’t want to keep James waiting.”
With that, she makes her exit, and I set to write my response (for real this time).
Sounds like a date, Potter. Pick me up at 11?
P.S. Even more fit? I think I'll be the judge of that.
Short with just a little bit of sass; perfect. I put my quill down and roll it up, tying the note to my owl and sending it off. I watch him gradually fly into the darkness until I can see him no more. Taking this as my cue to go to bed, I lay down to sleep, all the while hoping I made the right choice.
A/N: So there's chapter two! I hope it wasn't too confusing that I jumped ahead a few months. This story isn't about them at Hogwarts, so I didn't feel it was necessary to write the graduation and all that. Better to just start at the action!
A/N2: Edited July 22nd for grammar mistakes (thanks Arethusa, for beta'ing :D)
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