Chapter 26 : The New Men
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Fuming, he pulled his teachers’ robes over his head and pulled on a pair of jeans and t-shirt.
Grabbing his mobile and wallet from his bedside table, he pocketed it and stormed back out of the room.
Taking all the secret passageways he knew, so as to avoid his interfering father, he found himself in the Entrance Hall in no time and quickly hurried out of the front door.
Skirting around all the students coming in for lunch, he finally made it to the front gates.
After muttering the password that only the staff knew the gates opened and he made his bid for freedom.
A small time later he reached Hogsmeade and pulled out his mobile phone.
Swearing as he saw the signal bar on zero, he shoved it angrily back in his pocket and took his wallet out instead.
Checking how much money he had, he saw he possessed enough to get nicely pissed so made his way to the Hog’s Head, thinking there wouldn’t be any Hogwarts students hanging out there even though the Hogsmeade rule had changed so that sixth and seventh years could come in during free periods, up until 8pm.
However, just as he’d ordered his first of what he planned to be many firewhiskys, he was surprised to hear his brother’s voice coming from the back room.
“Yeah, thanks very much mate, can’t believe none of us know how to fix bleeding wounds! Good job you have the muggle first aid kit!”
Al entered the bar a moment later, clutching a green box with a big white cross on it.
He stopped when he saw James sat at the bar, the firewhisky that had been in his glass a moment ago already gone.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” he asked bluntly.
James raised his eyebrows and reached behind the bar for the bottle of whisky.
Pouring himself another drink and throwing a few sickles into a glass jar beside the till, he took a sip and then said, “Getting pissed. What about you? What’s the box for?”
“Jessie,” said Al, suddenly remembering he was actually meant to be going somewhere. Making his way towards the stairs, he continued, “She’s managed to cut herself on a nail sticking out of one of the walls and she’s bleeding.”
James found himself surprisingly concerned for his brother’s best friend.
Setting his half full glass down, he got up and followed his brother up the stairs.
Once at the top, James turned a corner and saw Al bending down next to Jessie, whose face was screwed up in pain, a guy James didn’t know holding what looked to be a piece of wadded up tissue against her lower leg.
Behind her sat Leanne, not actually doing anything but glaring between Jessie and the randomer with a look of annoyance on her face.
“Wow,” James said, as Jessie looked up and gave him a weak smile, “Trust you to hurt yourself on what’s probably the smallest and most unlikely thing that could’ve injured you in this building.”
“Shut up James,” said Al over his shoulder, as he fought to open the first aid box.
“Here,” said the guy James didn’t know, “Let me.”
He reached out for the box, but Al moved it out of his reach, with a sharp, “No thanks, I’ve got it.”
The guy held up a hand and said, “No probs, mate, it’s just she’s bleeding quite a lot and this bit of Kleenex isn’t going to last for much longer.”
Al glared at him and with one final tug the box burst open, showering them all in bandages and antiseptic wipes.
“Smooth,” commented James, bending down and gathering up the plasters that were surrounding him.
“Fuck off,” said Al, looking simultaneously furious and mortified.
“I could give you detention for that, Al, swearing at a teacher,” said James as he moved to put the plasters back in the box.
“Like I give a shit,” said Al furiously as he tore the wrapper off a pack of bandages.
“Er, I don’t mean to sound rude or interfering here,” said the randomer, “But don’t you think we should clean the wound first?”
James waited for Al to explode.
As her brothers attended to Jessie’s wound, Lily was making her way out of the Great Hall after wolfing down three slices of garlic bread and a massive bowl of pasta.
Just as she reached the doors, a voice behind her called, “Hey, wait up!”
Looking round, she felt her heart stop.
Chuck Davis was jogging towards her, his gorgeous face beautifully highlighted in the midday sun.
Lily looked behind her, convinced he couldn’t possibly be speaking to her.
When all she saw was wooden doors, she began to feel hopeful.
Turning back just as Chuck reached her, she said, “Um, are you speaking to me?”
He grinned a heartbreaking grin, one that turned her legs to jelly and filled her stomach with butterflies.
“Of course,” he laughed, reaching behind her to push the doors open, “Who else would I be talking to?”
Lily felt herself turn red.
“Well…” she began, but was interrupted by Chuck who said, “Wow, they really made that bread garlicky, huh? I can smell it all the way over here!”
Lily felt her heart stop again but this time, it wasn’t for anything good.
Eyes widening, she remembered the lunch she’d just consumed.
Oh my god! She thought hysterically, frantically searching her pockets for gum. Chuck Davis cannot be speaking to me for the first time ever when I smell like this!
Chuck was still talking, apparently oblivious to Lily’s internal nightmare.
“-I mean, Hogwarts does have some of the best food here but man can it make you pile on the pounds! You know what I mean?”
He looked at Lily expectantly.
Still keeping her mouth firmly close, she made a noise of agreement just as her hand closed over a packet of mints.
Completely overwhelmed with gratitude that she’d developed a mint addiction by the time she was three, she covertly slipped one into her mouth.
“Anyway,” Chuck was saying, “I haven’t properly introduced myself: I’m Chuck Davis.”
Oh, I know who you are, thought Lily as she practically melted under his gaze.
“Lily,” she said, giving him her most dazzling smile, “Lily Potter.”
“Yeah,” said Chuck, as they made their way down to Potions, “I can’t believe I didn’t realise that last year!”
Lily wasn’t sure whether to take this as a compliment or not but decided to keep smiling anyway.
“I was quite quiet, in fairness to you,” she replied, trying to make him feel better. “I mean, the only time we kind of talked was when I accidentally dropped Arachnid eggs on your new shoes!
“Oh, that was you?” he said, looking suddenly enlightened. “Sorry, I didn’t even realise!”
Trying not to feel severely put out, Lily gave a little laugh and said, “Yeah, sorry about that.”
“God, those shoes were ruined!” said Chuck, shaking his head sadly. “Had a date that night, too.”
Lily could feel herself starting to get pissed off.
Was her dream man actually a bit of a tosser?
Chuck, obviously noticing her less-than-impressed facial expression, suddenly said, “Oh, not that I’m having a go! I mean, really, I should never have worn them to class. Bit of an idiot really.”
Lily felt herself mollified slightly and found her wedding fantasies starting to return.
“I am sorry,” she said again, trying to get her flirt on.
She needn’t have worried though.
Just as the pair of them reached the Potions dungeon, Chuck turned to her and said, “No worries – you can take me out tomorrow night to make up for it!”
Slightly stunned and unsure whether to be pleased or offended, Lily forced herself to smile and say, “Sure thing! Six o’clock sound good to you?”
“Definitely,” nodded Chuck as they went inside. “But I warn you – I have expensive taste!”
She grimaced slightly as she took her place at her desk.
Well, she thought, not entirely happily, It’s a start.
A/N: Wow, a chapter that's over a thousand words! Not been one of them for a while! I hope you enjoyed it!
What do you think of Chuck and Mark?
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