Tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.
“Potter,” I groaned, rolling over and pulling the blanket over my head. “Stop making that noise.”
“Shut up and let me sleep,” His muffled voice countered from next to me.
I sat up straight in bed and looked to my right. Al was burrowed under the blanket so that only his mop of black hair was visible. So, if he’s not making that noise, then…
I whipped my head towards the window and saw –
“Athena!” I cried ecstatically, springing out of bed and pulling the window open. My bright grey owl – almost silver – fluttered in and landed on my shoulder, nuzzling me affectionately on the head as I untied the letter from her leg.
“What is it?” Al asked groggily, sitting up in bed and peering at me.
“It’s a letter,” I told him, crossing over the floor and perching myself on the edge of the bed. I unfolded the paper, my eyes widening slightly in surprise. “From your mother.”
“What?” He untangled himself from the blanket and crawled towards me, leaning over my shoulder to read the letter as well.
Dear Al and Adele,
We are really, really sorry about that terrible honeymoon location, but hope that you two are safe and in good hands. James is an idiot, but I think we all know that pretty well already. Don’t worry Al, he’s currently being forced to clean out your room using no magic –
“Brilliant,” Al whispered. “My room’s a mess. It’ll teach the idiot a bloody lesson.”
– and has to move all of Adele’s things in there as well. I would have made him do the enlarging spells, but you know how James can get with his revenge. I know you two must be anxious to get home – or, to be precise, as far away as possible from wherever you’re currently staying, which I hope isn’t too bad – so I’m also sending one of your wands over. I would send both, but Harry wouldn’t let me, just in case they fall into the ‘wrong hands’. I swear, he is so paranoid I am not paranoid, Ginny! I just want them to be safe! Okay fine, he’s not paranoid. Happy now, Harry? Not really. EITHER WAY, come home as soon as you can – we’re all terribly worried about you. I would have tried to contact you earlier, but none of the owls could seem to find you, which was quite odd considering they’re supposed to be trained for this type of thing. Astoria told me that Adele’s owl was pretty attached to her, so I’m hoping Athena did the job! Write back soon to let me know when you’re coming.
“We’re going home!” Al crowed as soon as he was done reading the letter.
“I’m being forced to move into your room with you?” I asked, horrified.
“Who cares about that? We’re going home!”
“But I don’t want to move in with you! I want my old room!”
“Well, we’ll just get them to move your stuff back! Stop whining, for God’s sake.”
“I’m not whining, you tosser. I just don’t want to have to endure the torture of having to stay with you any longer.”
“I’m going to let that one slide, since I get to go home.”
“Or because you don’t have a snarky comeback.”
“Please don’t sing like that. Honestly, you’re even worse than my father.”
“Okay, you know what? Your pissy nature is raining on my happy parade, so do me a favor and bugger off.”
“I really hate you.”
He ignored that, and, rolling his eyes, turned eagerly to the owl perched on my shoulder. A wand was attached to her other foot. Al reached forward to untie it from Athena, but she hooted indignantly and nipped at his fingers.
“My owl has good taste,” I said smugly as Al hastily retracted his hand.
“Look, just get the wand, alright? I don’t have time for this,” He said impatiently. Shooting him a superior look, I reached over to untie the wand from Athena, stroking her feathers a bit.
“Whose wand is it?” Al asked.
I grinned. “Mine. Guess you’re Side-Along Apparating with me.”
He looked as though he was ready to kill something. Instead, he settled on arguing with me to relieve his tensions.
Honestly. Who does that?
“What kind of person names their owl Athena, anyhow?” He snapped childishly at me.
I raised an eyebrow, clearly amused. “Well, what other option do you have for me, O Christening Master?”
“Of all the Greek names to pick, you could have chosen Hermes, who was the messenger of the Gods –”
“But I chose Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, whose sacred animal is the owl,” I finished, raising both of my eyebrows at him this time.
He sulked. Damn right, Potter. You think just because I’m a witch, I don’t take the time to learn Muggle Mythology? Think again.
“Whatever. Just take me home,” He muttered.
I bit my lip. “We just can’t up and leave, Potter.”
He shot me a disbelieving look. “Yes we can.”
“What’ll everyone think if we just disappear?” I argued.
“Better question – who bloody cares?”
“Potter, come on. We should at least say goodbye and thank them for their help,” I said reasonably.
He looked disgusted. “Excuse me, but are you a Slytherin or what? Aren’t you not supposed to give a shit about those things?”
My jaw locked. “Well, I do. Put on some clothes, we’re going downstairs to say goodbye.”
“The hell we are,” He spat. “We’re going home.”
My eyes narrowed. “We’re not going home until we say thank you and goodbye.”
“I’m sorry, but who has the wand here? Oh, yeah! That would be me. So shut up and do it,” I said loudly and in his face.
His eyes were spitting green fire at me by this point, his face looking as though it was carved out of ice. “Fine,” He spat, turning around and stalking into the bathroom. “We’re leaving in fifteen minutes, though. No arguing.”
The door snapped shut behind him, and I let out a shrill breath. The stupid arsehole always manages to get in the last word, even when it’s clear that I’ve won the argument.
That is so bloody frustrating.
Athena hooted from her perch on my shoulder, and I gave a small start, reaching up nonchalantly to stroke her head. Looking down at the letter, I sighed, reached over to grab a pen, and wrote back a short response on the other side of the parchment.
Thank you so much for sending over my wand. We’ll be there soon.
You know, it makes much more sense for the Gryffindor to be the polite one. Gritting my teeth slightly, I tied the letter to Athena’s leg and kissed the top of her feathery head. Hooting once and giving me an affectionate nip on my ear, she spread her wings and sailed out of the window.
“You’re leaving? Already?” Joan looked absolutely desolate.
“Yeah,” I said, trying and failing miserably to sound apologetic. “I know it’s very soon, but –”
“Oh, don’t go,” Joan pouted.
“I’m sorry, we’ll…er…really miss this place,” I lied. Al sighed heavily from next to me.
“Five minutes,” He muttered in my ear. I stepped on his foot, whilst continuing to smile innocently at Joan.
“Okay, but at least come back soon,” Joan pleaded. “It was really a pleasure having you here.”
“We’ll definitely try,” I promised. More lies. “Thank you so much for all of your help.”
“Oh, it was not a problem,” She said fervently. “Keep me updated, okay loves? I want to hear all about the children. I’m sure they’ll be beautiful.”
My smiled gritted. “There will be no children.”
She laughed airily. “That’s what they all say,” She winked. “And at the rate you two are going, I’m sure that there will be at least threechildren.”
I was fully glaring at this point. “Right,” I snapped. “I just wanted to say thanks. Bye.”
“Goodbye, come back soon!” Joan cried dramatically, evidently not noticing that I was ready to physically harm her and reaching forward to envelope the two of us in another bone-crushing hug. I spluttered slightly when she finally let me go, and, sending her one final tight smile, grabbed Al’s arm and speed walked out of there as fast as my legs could carry me.
“Bye!” Joan called from the door. I raised a hand without looking back, and turned quickly around the corner, where I promptly broke into a sprint.
“Whoa, there!” Al exclaimed, tripping slightly before pumping his legs faster to keep up with me. “Someone’s in a hurry. You still have time before those five minutes are up, you know.”
“I just want to find a place so that I can summon my stuff and Apparate the hell out of here,” I muttered, skidding around a corner and coming across a large tree perched on a hill a couple of yards away.
Okay, so perhaps it was more than a couple.
“Let’s go there,” I pointed at the tree, and Al groaned from next to me.
“You couldn’t have picked a slightly closer spot?”
“Oh, stop whining, Potter,” I shot back. He grumbled angrily under his breath but followed me to the tree anyway, huffing in exasperation as he climbed up the (steeper-than-it-really-looks) hill.
“You would bring us to a fucking mountain,” He panted, leaning over to catch his breath as he stood on the top, underneath the tree.
“Don’t exaggerate,” I huffed back. “And, besides, it’s a nice spot. This place looks beautiful.”
He rolled his eyes. “Oh yes, it’s absolutely gorgeous.” His words dripped with sarcasm. “Now hurry up, it’s almost one and I’m hungry.”
“Well, if you weren’t in such a rush to get out of Joan’s place, we could have eaten before –”
“If you hadn’t insisted on staying to say goodbye, we would have already been –”
“It’s common courtesy, you tosspot! You’re supposed to thank the people who’ve helped you out –”
“Who the fuck cares?”
“I do!” I yelled, the wind whipping my hair around my head. A couple strands slapped at my cheeks as I glared up at Potter, who was glowering down at me as though all the world’s evils originated from my body.
“For god’s sake, why?” He threw his hands up.
“Because that’s how I’ve been taught my whole life,” I said icily. “And perhaps you’ve failed to learn how to be polite, but it’s something that I care about.”
“Oh, drop this ‘I’m so noble and mighty’ act of yours, Malfoy –” Potter spat.
“It’s not an act,” I cut across. “You know, maybe there’s a lot more to me than you think, Potter.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not seeing anything new about you, other than the constant belligerent attitude you seem to have towards the rest of the world,” He said coldly.
“You don’t know me,” I said in a low voice, stepping up so that I was standing right in front of him and glaring defiantly into his eyes.
“Then let me know you.”
The words were surprisingly soft, and I stopped, the harsh words at my tongue vanishing and the cold mask on my face slipping away. My shoulders slumped slightly as I stared up in confusion at the mystery that was Albus Potter, who was looking at me almost expectantly, waiting for me to say something.
“I –” But the rest of the words seemed stuck in my throat. Truthfully, I didn’t have any other words to say.
He left me speechless.
I looked down and took a deep breath. “I – uh…better summon our stuff so that we can go home,” I mumbled, not daring to look up again.
I raised my wand and started to say, “Accio Adele’s suit –”
“You better not do that,” Al’s voice said from next to me, his hand resting lightly on my wrist to stop me.
“Because you’ll get every single Adele’s suitcase within a hundred kilometers of this place.”
I blushed slightly. “Oh…right. Er – Accio Adele Malfoy’s suitcase.”
I waited expectantly, but nothing came zooming towards me. I looked closely at my wand in confusion. Weird, but it looks like mine…maybe…
“Wingardium Leviosa,” I whispered, pointing the wand at a pebble. The pebble shot up, and my brow furrowed more.
“Why isn’t anything happening?” I asked.
“Maybe because that’s not your name anymore,” Al suggested. “Try Potter.”
I made a slight face. “Eurgh – Accio Adele Potter’s suitcase.” The name sent shivers up my arms and down my spine. Adele Potter.
Ew. It sounds good.
My suitcase, wonderfully intact, came to rest at my feet, which made my face even more disgusted and incredulous. “Oh my god, why did it work?” I asked desolately.
“Well, perhaps it’s because –”
“Rhetorical question!” I cut across quickly, looking up at him just in time to catch the childish scowl he sent my way. I hid a smile behind my hand and quickly turned back to the front again before he saw it.
“Accio Albus Potter’s suitcase, and…in two seconds, we’ll be off,” I said happily, sticking my wand back in my pocket and watching as his suitcase plopped itself at my feet as well.
“Alright,” Al picked up his suitcase and handed me mine. I held out my hand for him to take.
“Ready?” I asked as he grasped tightly onto it.
“More than ready – let’s go,” was his reply. I allowed myself a brief scowl before turning on the spot and into the tight squeezing feeling. A soft ‘pop’ signified the end of the innards-squishing session, and I panted slightly as I regained my footing.
I don’t think there will ever be a time when I won’t hate apparating.
“Okay, where are we?” Al asked sharply, looking around him at the trees.
“We’re near my house,” I told him, tugging on his hand and starting to lead the way through the forest.
“Near your house?” His voice was loud in the wilderness. “Why did you take us to your house? We were supposed to go to mine!”
“And we would have, if I knew where you lived,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Now be quiet, there are things in here that go bump in the night.”
“This isn’t nighttime,” he countered.
“No, but they still get pissed, so shhh.”
Muttering angrily under his breath – I thought I caught a steady stream of naughty words, but wasn’t too sure – he followed me through the forest, occasionally stumbling slightly when I fell over a random tree trunk or root and tried using his hand to haul myself back up again.
Okay, so I’m a little clumsy. Sue me.
“Why are we even in here?” He finally asked, breaking the silence with a thankfully softer voice.
“The protective charms around the manor don’t let anyone in any closer than that,” I said. “We’re almost there, though.”
“You live in a manor?”
“I’m a Malfoy. What do you think we live in, a hut?” I snapped.
“Well…I figured that you guys might have wanted to move out of the Malfoy Manor –”
“We don’t use a lot of it,” I said shortly, though my hand involuntarily convulsed slightly around his. “My dad’s completely cut off most of the rooms in the manor.”
“Then why do you still live there?” His voice was laced with genuine curiosity, so I decided not to snap his head off for bugging me with his incessant questions.
I turned around to look at him. “Because it’s home.”
He opened his mouth to ask another question, but I abruptly turned around again, nearly dragging him in my haste to get to the gate. He let out a low whistle when he saw the towering fortress.
“Dude, this is where you live?”
“No, I just like coming here occasionally and pretending that I live here.”
“Okay, gosh, no need to get all snappy with me –”
“Mincy!” I called in a loud voice. There was a sharp ‘pop’, and our house-elf appeared in front of me, sweeping in a low bow.
“Hello Missus!” She squeaked enthusiastically when she saw me. “Mincy did not know that you was coming, Missus, for Mincy thought that you had married the Potter boy –”
I made a face. “I did, Mincy.”
Her wide eyes grew large as she took a look at Al. “Oh! Master Potter! Mincy is so glad to meet you!”
“It’s nice to meet you, too, Mincy,” Al said in a polite voice. I couldn’t help but smile slightly at that. Anyone who’s nice to my house-elf immediately passes the ‘Not a Douche’ test.
Though with Albus Potter, I guess this brings him only one step up to ‘Major Jerk’ instead of ‘Downright Arse’.
Well, he’s making progress!
“Could you let us in, Mincy?” I asked. “We’re really hungry, see, and –”
“Of course Missus!” Mincy cried in delight. “Mincy would love to bring you in – she misses you so.” At that, her ears drooped and her eyes filled with tears, but she quickly dabbed them away with her skirt.
“I miss you, too, Mincy,” I said gently, bending down to hug her. “I’m going to move back anyway, so you won’t need to miss me anymore, okay?”
“Oh, no, you is not allowed to come back, Missus,” Mincy shook her head so that her ears flapped. “You is married to Master Potter, so you must live with the Potters from now on.”
My gaze flattened. “Well, we’ll just see about that.”
“Adele? Sweetheart, what are you doing here? Ginny must be going ballistic over there, waiting for the two of you to come –” My mother’s monologue was cut off as she hugged me tightly, muffling her words into my hair.
“I don’t know where the Potters live, so I just apparated home,” I told her, and she smiled, brushing a strand of hair out of my face.
“You can always come back here whenever you want,” she promised me.
“That’s fine, because I’m just going to be moving back home.” I shrugged, my words hardening slightly.
Mum frowned, but didn’t say anything else. Just then, my dad appeared.
“Who’s that?” He asked, walking towards us down the hallway.
“Daddy!” I flew at him in a huge hug, and he let out a delighted chuckle, picking me up and spinning me around like I was a little girl again. Potter muffled a laugh behind a cough.
“Hi, princess, what are you doing here?” He asked once he’d set me down.
“She doesn’t know how to get to the Potters so she came home,” Mom informed him.
“Great! So you’ll have lunch with us, then?” Dad asked enthusiastically. I immediately perked up.
Al let out a little cough. “Sure, that sounds great.”
My mum gave a start, as if she’d just realized that he was standing there. “Hi, love,” She said warmly, enveloping him in a hug as well. He looked decidedly surprised as she did so, but hugged her back awkwardly anyway. Dad merely nodded, reaching forward to shake his hand whilst glaring chillingly at him.
Oh, god. This is just like that time with my first boyfriend.
“Daddy,” I said, rolling my eyes. “You can drop the overprotective father act, for Merlin’s sake. I mean, you bloody set this marriage up, so it’s assumed that you approve.”
Dad huffed slightly. “I like scaring people.”
Al couldn’t quite hide his grin. “If it helps, your glare was very frightening, sir.”
“Really?” Dad perked up. “Brilliant! I’ve got loads of practice, of course, but Addy’s last boyfriend was absolutely impervious to it, so I was starting to get worried –”
“Dad, you threatened to personally give him a vasectomy with a rusty kitchen knife if he so much as looked at me,” I said disbelievingly. “He was terrified of you.”
Dad looked as though he was ready to burst with pride. I swear I’ll never understand him and his obsession with sadistic death threats.
“I’ll send Ginny an owl; why don’t the two of you just stay here for today, and then go back tomorrow?” Mum asked hopefully, biting her lip and looking pleadingly at me and Al.
I shrugged. “Well, I’m fine with it.”
Al sighed at my mom’s pleading face – that woman can get anything when she puts that face on. She once got my dad to take two weeks off of work and take the rest of us on a vacation to France with just two minutes of persuasion.
That, right there, is skill. I hope to be as adept as her one day.
“Yeah, okay,” Al finally gave in, and mum hugged him again, patting his cheek before gliding off to send her letter.
“So, where’s Scorpius?” I asked, noticing the conspicuous lack of pratty brother in the vicinity.
“Oh, he’s upstairs,” Dad said dismissively. “You two’d better drop your stuff of in Adele’s room, actually, since lunch’ll start –”
“I’ll show him one of the guest rooms,” I cut across, picking up my suitcase and, without thinking, reaching over to grab Al’s hand so that I could drag him upstairs.
Dad’s eyes immediately flicked down to our intertwined hands, and he smirked widely. I quickly dropped it – crap.
“No, you two might just want to bunk in your room,” he said innocently, the smirk still spread over his face.
I glared at him. “Shut up, dad.”
“Well,” he called after me as I started trudging up the stairs, an extremely bemused-looking Albus Potter following me. “You’re going to have to clean them up yourself, because Scorp’s had a couple of friends over. Mincy wanted to clean them, but I told her to let the boy build some character and clean the rooms himself. You could always build character, too, if you’d like.”
I stopped in the middle of the staircase and turned around to look at my dad’s unbearably smug face. “You’re kidding me.”
He shrugged and put his hands in his pockets. “See for yourself if you don’t believe me.”
I let out a short scream of frustration and stomped the rest of the way up the stairs to my room on the fourth floor. My family is possibly the most annoying, unhelpful bunch of people I have ever had the misfortune of knowing.
God damn it.
“This is your room?” Al asked as I opened the door and stepped through.
“Yes,” I said shortly, not wanting to get into another sarcastic verbal-joust.
He looked around, surprise evident on his face. “It’s not what I expected.”
I sighed and looked around as well. My room was large, but at the same time, really colorful and bright. I had always loved art, and you could see that with my room – the way it sort of seemed like a really big art studio more than anything else. Paper cranes and paper stars hung from the ceiling, and a string of paper lanterns threaded its way around the room. My massive bed was surrounded by a canopy of filmy gauze, beads falling from the top of the canopy rod and onto the floor. The floor was a soft wood, but a circular rug covered part of it. The walls were painted bright blue and lime green, with one of them covered in paintings. The room glowed with a sense of ethereal color and light.
“What did you expect?” I asked, plopping my bag down by the door and making my way towards the angular couch near the massive fireplace and bookshelf.
He shrugged, walking slowly through the room, occasionally reaching up to touch a paper crane or trail down a column of falling stars. He stopped at a big magical snow globe of Hogwarts and tapped at the glass, making some of the people inside of it shoot him hand gestures of anger. “I guess…something more…Slytherin.”
“I have a poster, if that helps,” I said idly, following him with my eyes as he drank everything in. My room was an eyeful, I had to admit – it had the effect of looking a little magical and surreal.
“Where?” He asked, turning around, searching for it. He laughed loudly when he finally saw it, hanging innocently on my closet door. “You sure have a lot of Slytherin pride,” He noted sarcastically, taking in the extremely small size of the poster.
“It didn’t match the rest of my room,” I shrugged. “And I like it just the way it is.”
“Did you paint these yourself?” He asked softly, looking in awe at the wall covered with paintings.
“You’re really good.”
The compliment caught me off guard. “Not really,” I said right away.
“No, I’m serious,” He insisted. “I mean, you captured the Gryffindor Common Room perfectly – hold on, how did you even get in there?”
He turned to me from the painting on the wall and I blushed. “Rose took me,” I said. “I wanted to see what it was like.”
“Why’d you paint it?”
“Because it felt like home and I liked it,” I said matter-of-factly. He looked surprised for a second before turning back to the painting.
“Hey,” he laughed slightly. “I’m in it.”
My brow furrowed – I don’t remember ever taking notice of him in school. I mean, I may have once or twice, since well, face it, he’s hot...like really hot, you know, with those eyes that just sort of –
Okay, I’m just going to stop talking.
“Really?” I asked incredulously, standing up and walking up to the painting as well. “Where?”
He pointed carefully at a spot on the canvas, and my eyebrows flew up – nestled into an armchair, painted with perfect clarity, was Albus Potter, his unmistakable black hair sticking up at odd angles around his face, which was tilted down slightly towards a book.
I let out a surprised laugh. “Gosh, I don’t even remember painting you.”
“And I don’t remember a crazy Slytherin setting up paint supplies, seemingly right in front of me.”
I grinned slightly. “That’s because I didn’t. I painted that from memory, which is why I find it so weird that you appear in the painting. I don’t remember remembering you.”
“It looks exactly like me,” He murmured, moving his face slightly closer to the painting. I blushed brightly – the fact that I’d painted this from memory and he appeared in it strongly implied that –
“I wasn’t stalking you or anything!” I said, horrified at the mere prospect.
He laughed loudly. “I wasn’t implying that you were.”
“Good. Because I wasn’t.”
“Though now that you mention it –” he started. My eyes narrowed and I swatted him on the arm.
“I didn’t,” I said firmly. “Sometimes I just paint subconsciously, I guess.”
“The view from the astronomy tower?” He guessed, moving onto the next painting. I nodded, and he made his way across the wall, guessing the subject of each painting, his voice growing more and more awed with each one.
“The Quidditch Pitch from your broom, the Whomping Willow, The Black Lake, The Black Lake at Night, The Great Hall, Rose and Lily arguing – this one is bloody hilarious –, your brother watching the fire…wow,” he said. “How do you do it?”
“I really like painting, I guess.” I shrugged. “They were just things that I didn’t want to forget.”
“What’s this?” He asked, pointing to another one.
I grinned. “Fireflies in my backyard. Looks amazing, doesn’t it?”
“This had to be your imagination,” he said disbelievingly, looking at the painting, the million fireflies that flickered through the dark trees.
“No, it’s not,” I said. “They only come once a year, which is around next week. We’ll come back and I’ll show you.”
He turned to smile at me. “I’d like that.”
I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face in response. “I think you really will.”
His grin widened. “See – I knew you could smile.”
“Oh, shut up.”
I couldn’t stop smiling.
hi! so, this chapter totally makes me happy. i don't really know why, but it does. maybe because al's finally showing his sweet side a little, and adele's...well...angry...still...
either way, they're changing! anyone else happy? WELL BE HAPPY. kidding
anyway, this is the story first getting spreed, in case you didnt know :) the suckish thing in this situation is that chapter eight is the last chapter that i'd written out, which means that...well...only two chapters are getting spreed? basically, the real spree is kind of going to be Welcome to the Chase...
well, i'm still going to update this to chapter eight! and write more. i'll get on that for sure, promise :)
i requested a new banner, so hopefully i get that soon! if it's up by the time this chapter comes out, tell me what you think! if not...well, just ignore me, then :)
thanks I LOVE YOU ALLL <3
ps review! and favorite quotes! i really like favorite quotes! a lot! even though most people would think that it'd get a little repetitive, you know - EITHER WAY I LIKE FAVORITE QUOTES SO YEAH. please review? i love you. really, i do. a lot.
bye for real ;)