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Chapter 29 : Super Secret Agents
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29. Super Secret Agent
Don’t be an obsessive girlfriend.
Don’t be an obsessive girlfriend.
Don’t be an obsessive girlfriend.
As you can see, the pure intense focus that I was drilling into my head—regarding my attempts to not come across as an obsessive and/or needy wannabe girlfriend of one Albus Severus Potter, wasn’t really helping me retain any semblance of dignity.
There was no time for an inner monologue at a time like this.
“Yes?” I said, nervously, trying to still my suddenly crazy pet butterflies—the ones who lived in my stomach.
Wait, wait, wait.
Was that a question or an answer?
“Uh,” Albus looked nervously around the kitchen, where he had ended up while I was chanting instructions to myself for the pending conversation. “Come in here.”
And then he pulled me into the panty.
Which was surreal, and not at all the way I had dreamed it to be. You know, ending up inside a dark closet or broom cupboard had been the subject of many a day dream.
Not exactly the Weasley’s kitchen pantry.
A logo on one of the many breakfast cereals barked at us to ‘not do anything inappropriate’ and then muttered something about ‘petulant adolescents.’
Albus silenciod it.
Then he pulled the pantry door shut. It was a big pantry, granted, but obviously not the most spacious room. Nor was it well lit.
I could still see Al’s face pretty well though.
And it was quiet enough that I bet he could hear my heart thumping in my chest. KA-THUMP. KA-THUMP. KA-THUMP.
“Are you upset or something?” He asked, lifting one hand awkwardly and running his hand nervously through his messy hair. “Like, uh, are you angry or something?”
Clearly, he was very good at these heart to heart conversations.
Not that I was the most eloquent heartfelt person out there or anything.
“Why are you avoiding me then?”
“Hang on,” I said out loud, voicing my terribly confused thoughts. “You were angry with me. I was giving you space.”
Despite the lack of light, I could see Albus’s face outline relatively well by way of the crack in the door, and watching his brow line rise.
“I was angry with you?”
We clearly had some communication issues to work through.
I frowned at him.
“Of course you were angry with me.” I told him, obviously—a little disheartened that Albus didn’t know why he had been glaring at me. “I stopped you from going and fighting for your family.”
Albus stared at me, one brow lower than the other as he conveyed his incredulity.
“You didn’t stop anything.” He said confused.
I frowned—not entirely sure why he would be angry with me if he weren’t convinced I had been the one responsible for his inability to save his parents and whatnot.
“But I pulled you out of the room. And you didn’t talk to me.”
Albus stared down at me—the look of shock on his face would have been adorable if I didn’t suddenly feel like the world’s biggest tool.
“Well, yeah,” he said obviously. “My family was fighting for their lives on the other side of the door. I was a little distracted. And sure, I wanted to go and help but it wasn’t you who said I couldn’t. It was the adults.”
I stared at him, blankly.
“I mean,” Al said, getting a little off topic. “I’m seventeen, Kats,” he reminded me, “and I should be able to go and help protect the people I love when I feel the need to. Like, my parents and Lily and James, and Rose, and Scor and Fred and you.”
His declaration of loving me sent me into a moment of blissful happiness, but it was quickly lost by more overwhelming confusion about exactly why he had been angry with me and why this had all happened.
“But… why were you angry then?”
Albus stared at me silently for another moment, before rolling his eyes. “I was never angry with you, you silly bint.” He told me—I frowned at the new term although that just made him chuckle.
I stared at him silently for a moment, opening and closing my mouth like a warthog that couldn’t get its tusks in order.
“But… I gave you space…” I spluttered pathetically.
“Why would I want space?”
I made a mental note to gruesomely murder Scorpius Malfoy next time I saw him.
No matter how much Rose protested.
“Uh. Scorpius said that because of your traumatic problems with your family post the incident you would want some space?” I said slowly.
Albus looked confused.
“Why would I want space?”
This time I was really confused. Hadn’t I just answered that question?
“I mean,” Albus expanded, seemingly sensing my outright confusion, “why would an event that made me worry about the life of my family and friends make me want space? Wouldn’t I want to be, like, molly-coddled or something?” He asked, with a curious stare.
That would make sense.
Damn that Scorpius Malfoy.
“But… you… I… Scorpius said…” I spluttered.
Albus leaned forward, and for a moment, his face leaning towards mine sent my heart spiralling out of control. He didn’t do anything.
False alarm, folks.
“Do me a favour, and don’t ever listen to any advice Scorpius gives you about me?” He asked me with raised brows.
My heart was still slowing down, and I was filling with a deep sense of disappointment, but I was aware of what he was saying, so I nodded, and he continued.
“I mean, Scorpius may be my best friend,” he explained. “But a lot of the understanding he thinks he has is all information-slash-advice that James has given him over the past couple of years.”
That made sense though.
James should know what Albus was like, what we would go through etc. etc. They were brother’s for Merlin’s sake.
Albus frowned, however, when I pointed this out to him.
“I’m not like James,” He said stubbornly. “James is arrogant and in love with himself. It’s an issue we’ve been trying to get him to confront.”
“Are you kidding? You’re like the younger, jerkier version of James. In a year or two, you’ll have your very own Sabriel Malfoy-esque mini-stalker.”
I grinned at him.
He stared at me.
“You're gonna think about that later, mister,” I informed him, “and you're gonna laugh.”
He continued to stare at me, although I could see the faint outline of his grin in the light from outside.
“So we’re good?” He verified.
I nodded. “You don’t hate me?”
He grinned. “Never.”
We both had our hands pressed against the pantry door, in order to exit the small cramped space, when we heard it.
Albus muttered a very obscene word.
I frowned at him. “You kiss your mother with that mouth?” I demanded with wide eyes.
He smirked slightly, before shrugging. “I said frogs.
Sure he did.
“Come on, then.” I urged Al, putting my hand against he door again.
”No! Don’t!” he hissed suddenly, his hand latching onto my waist and gently pulling it back—away from the door. He grabbed my other hand as well, pulling it back as well—the end result being that his actions brought my back slamming into his front—with his hot breath softly on my neck.
“What?” I said faintly, trying to make sure my knees continued to work.
Albus didn’t move. I couldn’t exactly look at his face, considering the idea that he was right behind me—with his warm arms encircling mine and, FOCUS!!—But I heard his breathing quicken slightly.
“Think about it, Kats,” he said, as he too seemed to be a fan of my new nickname. “We’re alone, in a dark pantry closet. They’re our parents. What do you think they’re going to think?”
Even though my higher brain functions were definitely not responding—due to the fact that all my nerve endings were exploding from the proximity between myself and the ever amazing object of my affections—I could digest enough to figure out that Albus definitely had a point.
And a good point, at that.
“Sweet crappers,” I muttered under my breath.
“So what?” I hissed to him under my breath, while Albus backed away from the partially slated door of the pantry, pulling me with him. “We just stay here until they go away? Rose and that are going to come looking for us.”
Albus stared at me sarcastically.
“Katie. If the way Rose and Scor were staring at each other is any indication—they’ll be far too distracted to even realise you and I have disappeared.” He reminded me. “And Fred was already engaged in a game of chess with Hugo. You could call it a battle to the death, if you like.”
Again, the God of Sex had a point.
“We can wait this out,” Albus concluded grandly. “They’re not going to come in here, and they won’t chat in the kitchen forever.”
Despite the fact I knew this was not the case—my parent’s could certainly seat themselves in the kitchen and chat forever—the fact that Al’s hand sit rested on my waist was enough motive for me to simply smile at him and nod a little.
Because, honestly, was I really going to pass up the opportunity to stay for an extended amount of time in a dark cramped space with Albus Potter?
And if you didn’t quite catch the rhetorical air of that question, the answer is no.
No, sir, I would not.
The adults started speaking—something natural about how dinner was and how nice it was and how nice I’d been during my stay—which was nice—even though I was barely listening. I was content so stay entirely silent as I waited for the adults to vacate—just focusing on being this close to Al, and the surreal situations that sometimes worked in my favour.
Albus wasn’t so content to stay silent.
“I’m glad you’re not angry at me,” he whispered into my ear.
His hands tightened slightly around my waist.
I smiled to myself. “I’m glad you’re not angry with me. Scorpius had me worried you would never talk to me again.”
“I would never stop talking to you, Kats,” he said seriously. I smiled up at him—twisting my neck at a weird unnatural angle until he decided it was simply easier for him to turn me around.
It was good he did, as well, because I certainly didn’t have any control over my own legs at that point.
Damnit, knees, don’t fail me now!
And then I was standing barely inches from him, staring at Albus with wide eyes, heavy breath and his hands resting wonderfully on my waist. My hand had automatically rested on his arm—and my fingers rested lightly on his bicep as he stared down at me with his brilliant green eyes.
“You’re too important to me, Katie.” He said, a little hoarse.
I smiled up at him, my throat far too dry to say anything at this glorious point in time.
Come on knees.
Stay with me!
“What about this Katie girl?”
I only faintly registered hearing my name outside. I was far too focused on Albus as he leant forward a little.
“I couldn’t not have you in my life,” he said—making sense only after I played the sentence over in my head a couple of times.
But I got it.
Boy, did I get it.
“Well what about her?”
And then he was leaning down—his face closing in on mine—my breath hitched and I tilted my head up to see straight into his deep green eyes.
“I’m not a moron, Dad. I can see the signs from a mile off.”
He was staring at my face now, eyes so intent it was as though they could see into my soul. (As lame as that sounds, Albus Potter leads me to moments like these.)
“What signs? We weren’t aware they were that obvious.”
He lifted a hand, slowly, to brush a longer, more irritating piece of my hair behind my ear. Once he had done so, he didn’t move his hand. He just kept looking at me, his hand resting over my ear while his thumb stroked my hair.
“I’m an auror. I’ve been trained to see these things. Dad you have to have noticed—”
He leaned in. I stopped breathing—leaning up to meet hi—
“—Well, she’s clearly cursed.”
I froze. Albus froze. Inches from each other—still staring at his delectable lips and outside they were talking about me. James Potter was asking the other adults about me.
I couldn’t help it. Moving away from Albus meant that I was probably insane, in some way—and I would never find myself in that impossible situation again. But—and I can’t believe I’m saying it—my attention was no longer on Albus.
It was entirely on the conversation outside the pantry door.
His attention wasn’t on me at that point either. His gaze—which I hadn’t been able to read up til that point, was suddenly alarmed. His shocked gaze turned to the pantry door—where he stared intently for a moment, as if willing James to repeat what he was saying.
So I stepped back, eyes still latched onto Albus before I tore my gaze from him—and made my quick way to the door. I bent over a little so that I could see through the slats, as well as slow my beating heart. Albus joined me quickly—looking at me with an alarmed look on his face.
It was all of them—my parent’s included. They were standing the kitchen, an assortment of drinks in their individual hands, and all having a heated conversation.
“For Merlin’s sake, James,” Ginny said to her eldest son. “Katie is just a normal girl—something new for our wide and varied family. Leave her alone.”
For obvious reasons, the mere concept that I could be cursed was nerve wracking. As Ginny disregarded the idea was a relief. I felt my muscles relax, and let go of a breath that I didn’t know I was holding.
I looked over at Albus and laughed quietly. “Phew—” I whispered to him. “That had me—”
I froze again, and my gaze snapped back to the door. Everyone was staring at my father now—and my mother, who stood anxiously beside him, swaying slightly.
My stomach dropped.
Dad cleared his throat.
“Your son’s observation skills are uncanny,” he said to Harry and Ginny.
Oh, my god.
The single word had far more emphasis as at least three people said it at the same time. Ron, Ginny and Harry all stared incredulously at my parents. James looked reassured, and Hermione looked entirely distraught.
“I knew it.” James said. “She’s been cursed, hasn’t she?”
Ginny wasn’t simply exasperated the next time she spoke to her son. “James!” She snapped suddenly. Her son jumped, but looked straight at her, silent. “Show some respect,” she ordered. “The poor girl’s just in the other room. Let’s not talk about this here.”
“She’s not out there,” James said quickly. “I checked. She’s disappeared somewhere with Albus.”
They all exchanged smirks, and Albus shifted slightly.
“Well, fine.” Harry said quickly. “We can debate exactly what their teenage hormones have gotten them into at another point—clearly we have more important things to discuss.” He looked at my father, with wide eyes. “How, exactly, is Katie cursed?”
My father didn’t manage to reply, before Ron had started speaking.
“I tried to tell you at the ball, mate,” he said frankly. “Mione had a theory pretty much as soon as we met her.”
Hermione nodded her head briskly. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all,” she said hurriedly. “I was theorising. I’d heard rumours of the families of this sort of thing happening before, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.”
Ron scoffed. “You didn’t jump to conclusions.” He said. “You took and tiny little step, and there conclusions were.”
There conclusions were.
I was cursed.
I was bloody cursed.
I was shaking a little now. Albus seemed to notice, despite the darkness and rested a friendly hand on my shoulder, watching me anxiously.
I kept my eyes glued firmly to the adults and their conversation.
“What exactly happened?” Harry asked Mum and Dad.
Mum shook her head. She seemed upset—with good reason—and had wrapped an arm around herself, like she always did when I did something stupid.
“It was our fault, really.” She said with a slight pause—as though she had gone over the idea again and again in her head. “We—we just felt so strongly about magic and how badly it had been misused, and we were so anxious to get away. We were already planning having a baby—and we didn’t want the baby to grow up in a world that could flip on its head so quickly…”
That much I knew.
She told me that every time I wanted to know.
Nothing about a bloody curse, on the other hand.
“What actually happened, though?” Ginny repeated her husband’s question.
My mother sighed again. “We left the magical community about two months after everything. We sorted out our affairs, applied for muggle jobs, bought a car and took lessons and how to drive it. We did it all so quickly…”
Again, my mother seemed to be having problems actually answering either of the Potter’s questions.
My father took over—seeing Ginny open her mouth to verify again.
“By the time we were leaving—a lot of people were doing the same. Deciding that the magic wasn’t worth the death and making the decision to stay away from it. At that point, not all the death eaters had been caught. There were about fifty or so left over supporters of Voldemort still running around, and they’d heard the stories.”
The drop in my stomach seemed bottomless. All I could do was stare at my parent’s faces as they let the awful truth about it fall from their lips.
“…They saw it as the ultimate betrayal.” My mother said then. “Wizarding people—pure bloods—sacrificing magic for a muggle life. They wanted us to pay. And we happened to accidentally encounter a death eater by the name of Walden Macnair.”
“It was Adversus, wasn’t it?” Ron said hoarsely. “We noticed, around that time period, that it was becoming increasingly common amongst the death eaters. Adversus Anima.”
My mother let out a dry sob.
I felt my entire insides collapse onto one another. Albus’s hand grasped mine tightly, and I found it comforting to remember that he was standing right beside me.
Hugo’s shout made me jump. It made Albus jump. Heck, it even made all the adults in the room jump.
“Come look at this. Lily and I made it—it’s important. Come and look!”
As the parents trailed out of the kitchen door with mutter whispers of furthering this discussion elsewhere, I was frozen in the pantry, finding it terribly hard to breath. Albus rubbed my back soothingly, and kept his grip tight on my hand.
I looked up to see his face, pale and shocked as he stared at me.
“Merlin, Kats,” he said slowly. “I’m so sorry.”
Good lord, I can be dramatic when I’m in the mood can I not?
Now, I am aware of your (you being every single person who has ever given me feedback) unified hate of cliff hangers. And being that I managed to fix Katie’s and Al’s relationship, fit in an almost kiss, as well as introduce what will become pretty much the second most important plot development in this entire story in simply this chapter—I can understand that you might be a little annoyed with me.
On the other hand—maybe you simply love my writing skills and would like me to update soon? Yes?
If yes is the answer, or even if it isn’t, the next chapter will be up ASAP. I apologise for the cliff hangers, as well as this new complication. I hope it doesn’t disappoint you guys too much.
PS. Before the hate mail comes rolling in, Katie is not the character that I hinted would die a few A/N’s ago. Just so you know. :P
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