“So, am I going to be an uncle any time soon?”
Al ducked down under the table to retrieve his fallen glass, his face glowing. Mine was slowly turning a wildly attractive shade of puce as I continued to cough loudly due to the rather large piece of lettuce I had choked on.
Sexy, I know.
“No!” I managed.
“Absolutely not,” Al agreed fervently, emerging from underneath the table.
“It’s just not going to happen. At all.”
“So you can take that smirk of yours and stick it up your arse, you tosser,” I finished angrily, shoving Scorpius’ annoying little head towards the table.
“Ow,” he whined, rubbing the back of his neck. “It was just a question, gosh –”
“Don’t be a prat, Scorpius,” I snapped.
“So you’re telling me,” Scorpius said gleefully, apparently recovered from his gruesome, Adele-induced neck injury, “that you two are going to live as like, celibates for the rest of your lives?”
My face was bright red. I stuffed a forkful of food into my mouth to avoid answering. Al stuffed four forkfuls.
“Seriously? No sex at all? You’re bound to snap sooner or later,” Scorpius continued, clearly enjoying himself. I glowered darkly at him over my dinner plate.
“Scorpius,” Mom said in a warning voice. She sounded more amused than anything, though, so he kept going.
Thanks, mom. Really.
“I give you guys a month. Tops,” he finished with relish, sitting back in his chair and raising his water glass up to his smirking mouth.
“Three weeks,” Dad challenged from the other end of the table. My mouth dropped open in a horrified grimace.
“What?” he said innocently. “It’s a good bet.”
“Are you serious?” I exclaimed. “Shouldn’t you be, I don’t know, all concerned and whatnot about your daughter not having children until she’s at least thir –”
“Frankly, I don’t care what you do,” he said cheerfully. “You’re married. Go ahead. Get pregnant.”
Al choked loudly on his broccoli.
“I am not getting pregnant,” I hissed icily over the sound of his coughing. “I don’t need this shit right now.” Shoving the plate away from me so that it clanged loudly against my bowl, I got up and stomped out of the dining room.
“Adele!” My mom called after me, sounding apologetic. “Honey, we didn’t mean it –”
“I hate you lot!”
Okay, so maybe I’m a little unnecessarily dramatic. In my defense, my family sucks.
My sharp breaths echoed around me as I tried to walk off my anger, footsteps sounding loudly through the unused hallways. I was just – so mad. I can deal with spending the rest of my life with a guy I barely know. But my stupid family doesn’t need to start rubbing it in. They just don’t know when to stop. I’m not the kind of person that’ll blow up whenever someone teases me just a little, but I think they can all tell that I’m a little sensitive about – you know. That. Albus Potter. Me. Having –
Because we’re not going to. Obviously. That’s just – totally and completely – absolutely never going to happen. Impossible. We’re married, and that’s about as close as we’re going to get. It’s nothing serious.
Yeah, because marriage is never serious.
Oh my god, what am I even thinking about?! A frustrated noise slipped through my teeth and echoed around the stillness. Of course I’m never going to do anything with Albus Potter – I don’t even freaking like the bloke! Hell, I barely even know the bloke! We’ve just been thrust into the same uncomfortable predicament with each other, is all. We can just pretend to be completely oblivious to each other. Simple, really. I’m making a huge deal out of absolutely nothing at all.
But there’s still that huge elephant in the room – am I really going to be okay with living like a nun for the rest of my life?
To be frank – no, I’m not.
“Where’d you disappear off to?” Al asked as casually as he could as I slipped into my room two hours later.
“Got lost,” I said shortly.
“In your own house?” he asked incredulously
I shot him a glare. “We don’t use most of it, okay? I’ve never been around the whole thing before.”
“But still – aren’t you, like, curious about the rest of it?”
“Oh yes, I’m simply dying to find the room where your Aunt Hermione got tortured,” I snapped sarcastically. “I’m sure it has tons of lovely memories.”
He stiffened. “That was here?” His voice was low.
“No, it was next door.” I spared him another glare.
“You don’t have to be such a bitch all the time,” he told me, his eyes brightening slightly in anger.
“It’s what I do best,” I all but snarled.
“Clearly – you’re pretty fabulous at it,” he got off the couch, looking irritated. I tried not to let a satisfied smile spread over my mouth – this makes much more sense than thinking about sex with Albus Potter. Honestly, I can’t believe the thought even crossed my mind. It’s preposterous.
“Stick around and I’ll show you just how fabulous I am,” I muttered furiously.
“What the fuck is your problem, huh?” he demanded, walking towards me.
“All of this!” I exclaimed. “Everything about this fucking situation is my problem, Potter! I hate it. I hate every part of it.”
“You think I don’t?” He said incredulously, his voice sounding livid at this point. “I’m trying to make this work, but you insist on being an absolute bitch all the time –”
“You know what I hate most of all?” I cut across, my voice slowly building up to a shout.
“I don’t care!”
“The fact that I’m stuck with you for the rest of my life!”
“Trust me, I’m not thrilled about it either,” he said coldly, his eyes like green ice.
“I despise you!” I screamed.
“I abhor you!”
“You’re such a – god, I can’t even find words to describe how completely detestable you are –”
“Well I have absolutely no problem whatsoever, you bitter little hag –” his voice climbed towards a bellow as well.
“I don’t want to live like a nun for the rest of my life.” My voice was quiet, sounding almost defeated.
“You – what?” The anger died out of his eyes as he looked down at me.
“Don’t make me repeat it, please,” I muttered, looking at the floor.
There was a short silence.
“Do you have bipolar disease? Schizophrenia, perhaps?” he finally asked.
“Don’t avoid the topic,” I said, raising my eyes to look at his.
“I’m not even kidding; your multiple personalities are shifting way too fast for me to keep up –”
“Potter, I’m serious.”
“So am I, it’s really freaky –”
“Al.” My voice was soft, but he must have heard it, because he immediately fell silent.
He bit his lip, green eyes looking anxious. “I –” he stopped.
He took a deep breath and looked away, tousling his hair with a nervous hand. “I don’t know.”
“Well, that’s convenient,” my voice was bitter.
He looked hesitant. “You know – you don’t always have to be so…aggressive all the time.” There was a short pause, and he rushed on as hastily as he could, so that the words blended together a bit, “I mean, tons of people get arranged marriages and end up falling in love, it’s not that hard as long as we both cooperate a little –”
“You really think you could fall in love with me?” I asked, my tone unreadable. Maybe because I hadn’t decided what I felt – I couldn’t find words to describe the emotion. It was a confusing mix between surprised, outright shocked, somewhat pleased and extremely nervous.
One of these days, I’ll explode.
“I don’t know,” he muttered, sounding uncomfortable and distinctly embarrassed. “Maybe.”
There was another short silence while I struggled to find something to say, then –
“I just don’t know you,” he finished, his voice barely louder than a whisper.
Then let me know you.
We both jumped violently as there was a knock on the door.
“Who is it?” I asked, my heart beating forcefully in my chest. My voice sounded shaky and much too high for it to be normal.
“Go away,” I told him.
He opened the door and stepped into my room, smiling broadly. “Hey, little sister,” he said.
I glared. “What part of ‘go away’ don’t you understand?”
I was cheerfully ignored. “Mom told me to apologize.”
I sighed loudly. “What are we, three? You don’t need to fucking apologize.”
Scorpius looked extremely confused. “But mom said –”
“Apology accepted,” I cut across, smiling tightly. “Bye.” I then proceeded to shove Scorpius out of my room, ignoring his mumbled protests.
“Wait, but mom said –”
“Goodnight.” I shut the door in his still-talking face. Letting out a breath, I turned around to look at Al, but he had crossed the room to his bag and was already pulling his pajamas out.
“Well I’m beat,” he announced apprehensively, edging towards my bathroom. “Guess I’ll change and then go to sleep.”
“Um, but –”
“Yep, I’m dead tired,” He finished loudly, stepping into my bathroom and closing the door behind him with a loud, audible clicking noise. I stared at the door in confusion – what is his problem?
Then I realized that Albus Potter had just saved me from what was bound to be an extremely uncomfortable situation – whether or not we even finished our conversation or pretended that it never happened.
Bloke’s smarter than I thought.
I seriously really hate awkward silences.
“You comfortable?” I asked, staring up at the dark canopy hanging above my head.
“I’m fine,” Al’s voice said from next to me.
Another awkward silence.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate those things?
“My room looks kind of freaky at night, doesn’t it?”
Oh my god, someone please just kill me now.
Al decided not to deign that with a response, which I didn’t blame him for. Honestly – what is wrong with me?
I cleared my throat awkwardly, and Al sighed. “Good night,” he said.
The bed moved ever so slightly as he turned over onto his side.
There was a short silence.
Then let me know you.
“My favorite color is green,” I said suddenly, feeling extremely stupid. “Not the Slytherin green, but more of a lime green. But not even exactly lime, either; it’s more like…vibrant. Sort of the color you get when sunlight falls through leaves.”
Al didn’t say anything. I had the distinct notion that he was trying to figure me out.
“I really love night, because everything’s quiet and mysterious. Different. Magical, in a way. Sometimes I spend hours staring at the stars, trying to figure out what might be out there. I like to fall asleep with moonlight on my pillow.”
More silence. I felt like an idiot.
“I love the cold, but I get sick of winter after a little while. My favorite time of year is during spring, when everything’s green and coming alive, and it’s not too hot. I like to read under the sunlight, when there’s a light breeze. I really love being outside.”
Al turned over onto his back and let out a soft breath.
“I love the ocean and flying on my broomstick. I absolutely adore Quidditch. I love art and reading, too.”
I licked my lips, hoping he would say something. He stayed quiet, his breathing slow and steady, letting me know that he was listening.
And that was all I needed, really.
“When I was eleven, the Sorting Hat…” I hesitated, biting my lip. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Al’s face turn slightly towards mine. “The Sorting Hat told me I should be in Gryffindor.”
He let out a quiet gasp.
“I told it to put me in Slytherin, because I wanted to be like my dad and my brother, but I never fit in. I was too Gryffindor to be a Slytherin. All my friends were Gryffindors…I still wish I hadn’t told the Sorting Hat to put me in Slytherin.”
A short silence.
“I’ve never told that to anyone before,” I sounded strangely relieved, and surprised at my own audacity.
My voice faded into stillness, and I wondered if he was going to say something. He seemed at a loss for words.
“I’m crazy about muggle music,” I added, hoping desperately that he wouldn’t bring up the Gryffindor thing.
He laughed slightly. “I know.”
I turned my face to look at him, my eyebrows furrowing in the middle. “How…?”
“Spin that record, babe,” he said, looking amused.
I bit my lip, horrified. “Fuck – that’s embarrassing.”
“I thought it was kind of cute,” he said. There was a second of shocked silence. “I was not supposed to say that.”
I laughed, then hummed the song softly under my breath.
“Why’d you tell me those things?” Al asked after a couple minutes. I turned my face to the side to look at him. He was facing me now, his hair glinting slightly in the darkness and his eyes looking curious and greener than ever.
“I don’t really know,” I said truthfully. “Maybe I was trying to let you know me.” I let a corner of my mouth lift up slightly, then faced the ceiling again, closing my eyes.
I don’t think either of us slept that night.
something about this chapter made me really happy, too. but don't worry - i'm not starting any sexual tension for a while. well, obviously there will be since they, you know, live together and all, but...i think i'm just going to have random, awkwardly sweet moments like these more than anything else.
who thought that was adorable?! i did! anyone shocked?
please please PLEASE review, guys! i don't know what was up with last chapter, but if i'm doing something wrong/offensive, let me know, okay?
i understand that the arranged marriage thing might be a little bit of a sensitive topic. but the thing is, lots of people get those kinds of marriages in many cultures. in fact, my parents had one, and they're so in love it's ridiculous. just yesterday my daddy came bounding into my room so that he could tell me that for my mom's 40th birthday, he was going to buy her 40 presents and he needed help shopping (because he's totally clueless <3) . then he told my mom about the presents and she started squealing excitedly. she couldnt stop smiling for the rest of the day (she then later told me she was in shock because she couldnt believe my dad could come up with something like that).
my parents are so wierd. yet, oddly, unbelievably adorable.
i'm going to start writing new chapters for this soon...meanwhile i'll be updating Welcome to the Chase XD