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The World According to Us. by xXJamesandLilyXx
Chapter 4 : Intrepid Explorations and Evil Bathtubs
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 2

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That's Elise there :D
Chapter image by !batman @ TDA!



 I’m lying on my front underneath a huge beech tree next to the pond, with my four new best friends, and I’m eating some of the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted. The reason that I am eating chocolate cake for breakfast is because, as we set off for the stairs, we ended up sitting down on the sofa in the common room after laughing so much on the way down. Unfortunately, Jen sees sofa before midday, she goes into sleep mode. It took us an hour to wake her up, and after that breakfast was finished, so I went to James, who took us all down to one of the basement corridors, and up to a painting of a fruit bowl. He tickled the pear, and it giggled. Yes, a painting giggled. I’m getting used to the weird things here at Hogwarts.

Then the wall became a door and opened to reveal a huge room, with four tables that I realised must be directly beneath the four Hogwarts House tables. I couldn’t help but look over to see what was for lunch, but my way was barred by a particularly cute house-elf.

Usually I don’t find them cute. We used to have one when we were really little, called Kreacher, but he died when I was three. Apparently he was, like, one hundred and eighty or something like that! Then we got Jessie, but she’s just not cute. She’s just not. But anyway, this house elf had a sweet little pointy nose and huge, deep brown eyes. It wore the same as all the others, a white teatowel, tied like a toga and emblazoned with the Hogwarts crest. Actually, wait a sec! That wasn’t the Hogwarts crest, that was the Gryffindor lion! Nice...

‘What’s up, Biscuit?’ James asks. Biscuit? I’ve known some pretty odd house-elf names, but Biscuit... TAKES THE BISCUIT! Oh! I amuse myself! I’m too busy with my internal laughing that I am shocked out of my thoughts by the house-elf’s squeaky, piercing voice

‘Master James, my name is not Biscuit!’ The house-elf seems nervous, worried for his answer ‘My name is Florentine, Flo for short, and definitely not Biscuit!’ It looks moody, which is a surprisingly cute look on a house-elf.

‘Hey, Flo’ I say, holding out my hand for the house-elf to shake, and smiling when it does. ‘Do you think we could get some breakfast...’ I deliberate for a moment, before adding ‘Please?’

‘Of course, Miss Lily, Misses Elizabeth, Jennifer and Carlabelle. ‘ she nods to them each in turn ‘What would you like for breakfast?’

‘Ooooh, I love this game!’ Carly squeals, jumping up and down in excitement. ‘Hmmm... one strong black coffee, and... Ooh! CHOCOLATE CAKE!’

So now I’m eating chocolate cake. At ten o’clock in the morning. Mum always said we’re not allowed to eat sweet things before midday, and I’ve always abided by that rule, with a couple of exceptions... but as a rule, I’m a good kid. Hell, I’m THE good kid! James is too naughty, and Albus knows he can get away with murder because he’s Dad’s favourite. Yes, I know about that. I don’t think Dad does it on purpose, or even knows about it. He barely ever shows it. But it’s there.

‘Do you think James would consider going out with a first-year?’ I hear from my left. It’s Carly, looking through my Witch Weekly and shaking out her blonde curls, practising her most winning smile.

 ‘You being eleven years old and him fourteen, I’d say no, personally.’ I flick through another page of the Quibbler and laugh, either at Aunt Luna’s hilarity or hers. I’m not sure. I smile at Carly, who is lying with her legs in the sun and upper body in shade, attempting to top up her tan in the...erm...sun. Our intrepid exploration ended pretty quickly, due to Carly’s moaning and the discovery of this tree, which shades us from the wan sunlight.

 ‘Are you sure?’ Carly asks, Witch Weekly now thrown to one side and her full attention on me. I turn and realise so is both Lizzie and Jen’s.

‘His being completely in love with Anya Wood might not be great for you as a couple either.’ I put away the Quibbler and sit, cross legged on the picnic mat Elizabeth had the forward thinking enough to bring.

‘Oh.’ Carly sounds disappointed, and her smile falters. God bless Jen, she interrupts the silence with a shout

‘Oooh, let’s climb the tree!’ Jen jumps up, quickly followed by me and then, with much encouragement and the surgical removal of her strappy heels, Carly. Lizzie refused to come up, but took out a book and sat under the tree, resuming her past pose.
Jen was first to the tree, and out her foot on a low knot to pull herself up to a thick branch, perching on it and sliding up to the end of it, directly above Lizzie, and shaking the branch so that the leaves fell onto her head and book, a thick, serious-looking tome with teeny tiny print and yellowed pages. Once Carly and I have climbed up onto the same branch, shaking it and making as many annoying noises as we can, she’s given up and is climbing up behind us.
 Once we’re all in the tree, we establish our places, where we will, no doubt, spend a lot of time in the following years. Jen is the highest, up in the crook between two branches in a V formation, absent-mindedly pulling leaves off the tree and shredding them, dropping the pieces onto Carly’s head, directly beneath her, who is struggling to keep upright, perched side-saddle on a horizontal branch. I’m watching them, sitting close to the main trunk of the tree, a bit lower than Jen but considerably higher than Lizzie, who has found the most stable place in the entire tree, and is sitting, holding on for dear life, near the bottom of the tree, but still near enough for us all to talk to her

‘So...’ Carly starts, her face lighting up as she thinks of a conversation topic ‘What’s everyone’s Blood Status?’

‘Carly!’ I say, surprised. ‘You can’t just ask a group of people at large their Blood Status!’

‘What, I’m just curious!’ she’s indignant now ‘I’m a Muggle-born, I just wanted to know where everyone comes from!’ We’re all silent for a moment, unsure of who should go first.

‘Half-blood.’ says Lizzie, surprising us all, usually she’s the last to talk. ‘My mum was a witch but my dad was a Muggle. In the oddest way I’ve always felt more alike to him than her, that’s why I was so surprised when I got my letter. My younger sister is more like her, more spontaneous and extrovert.’ After this comparatively long speech, she bows her head and is silent again, as Jen speaks up

‘Pure-blood. Eurgh I hate that word. What should we call it, really, what am Lily and I going to do? Pure-blood just sounds so...condescending. Proud, and not in a good way.’

I nod my head in agreement.

‘Let’s call it...’ Carly starts, looking to us for ideas

 ‘Of magical descent?’ I suggest.

‘Sounds like it’s out of a textbook.’ Carly dismisses this with a wave of her hand.

 ‘Um... Someone-Who-Doesn’t-Have-Any-Muggle-Blood?’ Jen says this very fast, as if it’s all one word, giggling as she finishes.

 ‘Be serious!’ I laugh, ‘We’ve got to live with being labelled this for the rest of our lives, we might as well come up with a good name for it!’ We’re silent for a few moments, thinking of this, until Lizzie says, in her quiet voice, barely more than a whisper

‘How about... Diverse Parentally Challenged? DPC for short.’

 ‘Oh my God Lizzie, you’re a genius!’ I jump onto her branch, dropping gracefully as the others follow my lead and we slip out of the tree all together, packing up our intrepid rucksacks as we walk back to the castle.


 I’m up bright and early (eight o’clock on a Saturday), and decide to get a shower in before any of the other girls in my dorm are up. Elise is still snoring, and will be until about midday, it being a Saturday and all. I roll my eyes at my very small friend, smiling fondly at her sleeping figure as I gather up a towel and the bag of scented stuff mum put into my bag and make my way into the girls’ bathroom. I see the shower cubicles on my left, and make towards them, but something catches my eye from my right, and I turn to face it. A bath. A nice, big bathtub.

Couldn’t hurt just once, could it? I know I don’t believe in taking baths in huge bathtubs, it’s bad for the environment, global warming and all, half of which could be fixed by wizards if the Muggles wouldn’t notice something was wrong (stupid Statute of Secrecy), by the way.

I skip over to the bathtub (more of a small swimming pool really) and start turning whichever taps I see. One spews out boiling hot water, and I leave that particular one for a while, my now bright red foot burning as I hop to the side, trying to find my wand, and say the spell for healing burns. Okay. Calm. Nicey nicey nicey.


The next one has a rather more satisfactory effect, spitting out tiny jets of foamy, lukewarm bubbles from a nozzle which follows me wherever I go, shooting exactly towards me, whichever direction I move in. After a while this sensation becomes less fun and a little painful and tiring, as the tap gets more and more aggressive, shooting jets at me harder and harder until I’m running from it, from side to side of the huge pool, getting faster and faster until, with a resounding crack I fall onto the floor. Ow. I’m now curled up in a ball and letting the jets hit me as hard as they like, me lying injured (My bottom may be broken) and naked in a pile on the floor of a swimming pool.

 Suddenly, as if taking pity on me, one of the taps starts to trickle warm water, the perfect temperature for my favourite type of bath, and the jets cease and point upwards, making clouds of bubbles appear above me and fall gently to the surface of the steadily rising water, which has now been dyed a pretty shade of turquoise blue and has a gently shimmering haze and small white bubbles bouncing across the surface. A candle at the side of the bath starts to burn gently, releasing my favourite scents, filling the air with the smell of mint, cut grass and new books.

Ah, I knew baths could be relaxing.


An hour later, around quarter past nine, I’m finally ready to get out, stretching out as I wrap my towel around me and go into the dormitory to change, pulling the curtains as I quickly slip into my favourite pair of worn-in jeans with ripped knees (Mum won’t let me in the house with them, so I have to make full use when at Hogwarts). I pull on one of my dad’s old t shirts and tie it up around the waist. I love wearing huge shirts. They’re much too big for me, but they remind me of home while I’m at school. This one’s practically an antique, Dad owned it even when he went to Hogwarts himself, and it still smells slightly like Grandma Weasley’s soap.

I pull myself together, realising that I’m in the middle of a dormitory with seven sleeping girls, and I’m sniffing a t shirt. I shake my head and take one last look at Elise, still sleeping like a baby, before grabbing a quill and parchment and going downstairs to the common room to write back to Mum.

 Hey Mum!

 Yes, everything’s fine here, I’m totally enjoying myself (well, have enjoyed the past twelve hours that I’ve been here), and am yes, surprised, but also very pleased about Uncle Harry coming to teach here. He’s a great teacher, and it’ll be nice to have some family around, though I’m sure he’ll turn a blind eye to James’s pranks. Ah well, what is McGonagall for?

I pause for a moment, deciding whether or not to mention the Annabelle incident, but decide against it.

Oh, but I had a funny run-in with the girls’ dormitory bath, have you ever been in there? All’s good, but I have a bit of a bruise coming out on my hip. Hope you’re all fine at home!

Love you lots

 Rose xxx

 That seems alright. Perfect, even. I’m glad I didn’t mention the Annabelle incident, Mum would have a freak-out and tell Uncle Harry, who would practically stalk her to do a ‘background check’.

 I’m on my way up to the Owlery when I bump into a tall someone on the stairs. I start to apologise, but when I look up realise it’s my cousin, Victoire.

 ‘Oh, hey, Victoire!’ I say, smiling.

 ‘Hey!’ she smiles too, but it doesn’t reach to her eyes and she looks shiftily away, fiddling with her skirt.

 ‘So...’ I start again ‘What brings you to this part of the castle?’

‘Um... I’m sending a letter.’ She does the shifty eye thing, but I just look down

‘Me...too.’ Lame.

‘Okay then, see you around Rose!’ She practically skips away from me in her haste, disappearing around the corner before I have a chance to say goodbye. Something’s up, but I don’t have time to ask.

I finish climbing the staircase and find myself in the Owlery. Lots of people say they love it, but I personally can’t see why. It’s all owl poo and hay and it smells. I call down Pigwidgeon, our family owl, who lives mostly at Hogwarts nowadays, unless we’re all at home. Anyway, Mum has her posh work owl if she needs to use it, and now Uncle Harry, her very own messenger service, which I am quite sure she will utilise to the utmost.

Pig lands on my arm, giving me enough time to grab his leg and, rather forcefully, push the letter into his claws. He tweets excitedly, puffing out his tiny chest and taking off. I watch him fly away from the castle, then wheel around and veer off to the right when he realises he’s going the wrong way. I laugh quietly. Even with his directional difficulties, Pig will still make it to Mum and Dad before this afternoon. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have a reply by curfew.

As I turn to make my way back down, I bump into someone, falling to the ground in a pile of straw and hitting my hip, hard, on the same spot as I hit it this morning. My butt aching, I take the white hand offered to me and it pulls me up. I dust myself down, removing pieces of straw from my jeans and hair, so it’s a few seconds before I remember the person who helped me up, and I turn to face them.

Just my luck.

Scorpius had that attractive half smile on his face and – WAIT! Sorry, what I meant to say there was gloating smirk. Scorpius was wearing the same gloating smirk as he is most of the time when he sees me, one eyebrow raised with his arms crossed and his feet apart, looking straight down at me (Yes, straight down. I may be thirteen, but I am only five foot one. Scorpius is at least five eight.). He looks at me expectantly, and I realise he’s waiting for a thank you. Well. He may have helped me up, but he probably only did it so that he could... create this awkward moment and embarrass me. Yes, that’s what he did. Well, I’m not giving him the satisfaction.

I say, in the calmest voice possible,

‘Oh, hello Scorpius, I would stay and chat, but I have to run.’ I smile sweetly before finishing ‘Oh, and I don’t like you!’, before stalking out of the Owlery and down to breakfast.

Weasley one, Malfoy nil.


 I felt bad for running away from Rose, but no-one could know what was in that letter. Even I was in such a daze when I wrote it, with so much input from Roxanne and Molly (particularly Roxanne) that I’m not even sure exactly what’s in there. In my dream last night, Teddy didn’t have a problem with me wanting him to...sneak into the castle. Why did I let Roxie do this!? Oh dear God, I think I’ve just made a terrible mistake!

 I run back up the stairs to the Owlery, stopping in the doorway and hiding as I hear voices coming from the top. That’s funny, I didn’t hear anyone coming up and I’m pretty sure I didn’t see anyone there while I was up there. Ah well, I was in a pretty big daze when I sent the letter too. I look tentatively round the corner and see the back of Scorpius Malfoy, his white blonde hair unmistakeable, and Rose, standing and gaping like an idiot. I must tell her about that, it doesn’t flatter her at all. She’s looking at him like... like she finds him attractive! No! I wish I could see his face too, I bet he likes her back. Actually, scratch that, they hate each other. Anyway, back to their conversation, or lack thereof.

‘Oh, hello, Scorpius, I would stay and chat, but I have to run’ Where is she going with this? ‘Oh, and I don’t like you!’ She storms out of the Owlery then practically skips down the stairs with glee, giggling and smiling to herself as I shrink into the shadows. I didn’t have to. She skipped past me as though I was part of the wall. Surprising, being as my hair is usually a beacon shining whenever I want to hide from anyone.

I turn my attention back to Scorpius, who is sitting down next to the window that Rose just stood by and running his hands through his hair, leaning against the wall and looking as if he’s on the brink of crying or removing his hair with his vigorous pulling. Unlike when James and Albus do this, it’s not in a relaxed way, it’s in an I-Want-To-Claw-My-Brains-Out way. He looks stressed, poor guy. I decide that I should go with the I-Just-Came-Up-The-Stairs routine and step down a few, silently, then walk back up them briskly, stopping suddenly as I ‘realise’ Scorpius is in there too, and saying in the most nonchalant manner I can manage;

‘Oh, hey, Scorpius. You okay?’ He jumps, looking up at me wide-eyed, before hastily muttering something I can’t make out and practically running for the door past me, stopping hastily before he gets there in the doorway as I decide to talk to him.

‘You’re sure you’re okay?’ I ask gently, sincerely worried for the Slytherin boy who my family hates.

‘Yes...No...Argh!’ He shouts, resuming his muttering while walking up and down the Owlery. ‘Ever since...Hogwarts Express...First year... No! My parents... Goddamn redhead... But her parents! NO!’ He bellows the last word with unbelievable venom, looking straight at me. His eyes are a pale grey colour, and I could swear I see them cloud over for a moment before he runs out of the room, leaving me shell-shocked, waiting for a second before running after him at top speed.

Ever since the Hogwarts Express, First year... I remember once Rose saying that the first time they met was on the Hogwarts Express first year! That part fits perfectly, what did he say next... something about his parents, that’s obvious enough, they would never approve. Redhead, also pretty clear. Something about her parents; well, Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley never had the best of relationships.

As I run fast as I can up one of the staircases, jumping the trick step, I realise we’re on the fifth-floor corridor. At one of the entrances to the Room of Requirement. Wait a second! Once you’re inside the Room of Requirement, you can make it so that no-one else can come in! I put on a spurt of speed, sticking my foot in between the door and the frame as Scorpius tries to shut it. Now, I may be short, but I’m not by any means a weakling, and Scorpius is only thirteen. I force the door open easily and am faced with one very angry teenage boy, wearing an expression of such confusion on his face that I feel sorry for him for a second. Then check myself ‘Your family hates him.’ Then realise he doesn’t seem such a bad guy and go back to feeling bad for him.

‘’ he starts, falling into a chair which I swear wasn’t there before as he trails off.

‘Yeah. Um.’ I sit down in another, a squashy pink armchair with a floral pattern just like Grandad Weasley’s favourite. I wonder if it’s one of those Muggle reclining ones like his... Sorry. Not the time.

‘I didn’t mean to start...talking back then.’ He’s looking at his hands now, twisting them together tensely.

‘I get it. You’re in love with my cousin.’ I begin bluntly, deciding this is the best approach, and he looks up suddenly.


‘Love is a strong word... I don’t really think that qualifies as love. Anyway, what would our parents think? My parents hate her parents. End of story.’ He looks defeated, going back to the hand-twisting, his beautiful grey eyes sad and downcast.

‘You know, I’m sure my aunt and uncle would get over it. If they didn’t think you were going to mess her about. I know they’re really protective of Rose...’

‘Rose?’ he asks, his face now contorted into a grimace. ‘Why would I like Rose? The girl hates me.’

I slowly start to put the pieces together in my head before I hear Scorpius say, as if from a million miles away.

‘Ever since I saw her on the Hogwarts Express yesterday, it’s like love at first sight! I can’t get her out of my head, and I’ve only talked to her once! But not only is she daughter of my parents enemies, she’s a first year! I’m in third, it’s not right!’

My mouth opens in a tiny ‘o’ as I realise what he means.

‘No...’ I’m shocked.

‘I’m in love with Lily Potter.’

Oh sweet Merlin.


I know I sound like a nerd, but the fact is I can’t wait for classes to start on Monday. I’m so looking forward to beginning my magical education as, at the moment, all I can do is a Bat-Bogey-Hex and a Jelly Legs Jinx, and somehow I don’t think they’ll come in handy very often. Unless I want to hex this hugely annoying third-year boy sitting next to me. Oh yeah, that’s my brother. Already did that on the way here.

‘So, Lils, how’s your first day been?’ he looks at me for a second then puts his arm around my shoulder, not waiting for an answer before he looks straight past me to Carly, and asks her ‘And yours...?’ silently asking for her name with his eyebrows. I don’t get how he does that. No-one else I know can ask questions with their eyebrows.

‘Belle. And my first day’s been great, thank you.’ She says, batting her eyelashes. What’s this now? She can’t go after both my brothers, that’s just not allowed! It’s just not! And since when did anyone call her Belle? Oh Merlin now she’s moving closer, over me and practically sitting on his lap. Need I remind you that she is eleven years old! Yeah well, she is. This is ridiculous. I sit back in my original place, directly between them, and say, in my loudest voice

‘Carly? Could we talk for a minute. Up in the dormitory?’ I motion with my eyes and head, and she gets the message. As soon as we’re around the corner, not even in the dormitory yet, but walking fast, I hiss

‘Both my brothers? Really?’ She looks at me as if I’m about two, and says in a patronising voice

‘No! I used to like James...’

 ‘What, he was your morning crush and Albus is the afternoon? You move on fast...’

 'Now I like Albus! Please help me with this, Lily! What does he like, what does he hate, what does he look for in a girl, please!’ She puts her head on her shoulder and does the puppy-dog eyes, and I’m gone.


She starts dancing up and down the stairs, making odd squeaky noises. I hold my hand up, signalling for her to stop, and she does, dragging me up to the dormitory and sitting me on her bed, shutting the curtains and looking at me with an attentive look I haven’t seen yet on her. It looks cute.

‘Okay, where do I start? Full name Albus ‘Al’ Severus Potter, third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, loves Quidditch and wizard’s chess, son of... well, you know that story. Don’t bring it up though, he hates it when people only talk to him like he’s an information source.’

She’s listening intently, her blue eyes wide and her gaze wondrous. She nods and repeats it back to me

‘Albus Severus, third year, pretend to be interested in Quidditch and wizard’s chess, don’t bring up the parents. Got it. Anything else?’

‘Um...’ I think. There’s a lot more, but how do you sum up eleven years of knowing someone in a condensed format?

‘Relationship history?’ she asks, genuinely enthralled

‘Oh yeah, he’s had loads of girlfriends.’

‘Really?’ Carly looks crushed

‘Oh yeah, there was Rachel, Amelia, the Polish one, the girl next door, the crazy one, the blonde...’ She’s becoming more and more upset every second, so I decide to stop teasing. ‘I’m kidding, he’s only ever had one girlfriend, he was five, and she was Rachel Longbottom.’ Carly’s mood improves greatly and she sits up. Then it hits her.

‘Why am I up here then?’ she sprints off my bed with a quick hug, running out of the door and then back in to apply lipgloss and mascara and brush her already perfect blonde hair, practising her smile. I roll my eyes, then, beckoning to Jen and Lizzie who have been sitting on her bed, watching. I can’t believe neither of us noticed them, but anyway, I smile mischievously and indicate the direction of the door

‘You want to go watch?’

‘Um, duh!’ Jen answers, and we all scramble for the door.

I get out first and sprint down the steps, tiptoeing and eventually coming to a stop at the bottom of the staircase, peering around the corner with my neck craned and my ears pricked just in time to hear him finishing

‘So I’ll meet you by the statue of the hunchbacked witch on Saturday at eleven? Great’ he does a really weird thumbs-up thing, implying to me, at least, that he’s either into her, or intimidated by womankind on the whole. Well, I know that he’s intimidated by womankind on the whole, and prefer to think that, with all her charmingness and cuteness, that he likes her back. Though I’m not quite sure how long her crush on him is going to last.

When she walks around the corner and is faced by three excited and wondering faces, she grabs me by the hand, and I hold Jen’s, praying to Merlin that she’s had the initiative to take Lizzie’s and the poor girl is not standing there looking like an idiot. I look quickly back and see that, yes, she is being dragged along by us, and, as we enter the dormitory again, drag them all to my bed, sitting down and rummaging in my drawers for my secret stash, emerging with a handful of Chocolate Frogs and four packets of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, and throwing them at each of the girls. Jen catches Lizzie’s as it flies through the air, shrugging and breaking off its head

‘You snooze, you lose.’ Lizzie fumbles for hers, picking it up off the bed, red faced, and Carly dives for hers, missing it by a mile, and letting it hop off when she didn’t catch it quick enough. Jen having already eaten her whole thing, and me not being in the mood for chocolate (did I just say that?), I pass around the Every Flavour Beans.

‘So why are you meeting him on Saturday at the statue of the hunchbacked witch?’

‘We’re going into Hogsmeade.’ She answers proudly.

‘Carly.’ I say sternly ‘You do know first years aren’t allowed in Hogsmeade?’

‘We’re not?’ she looks crushed.

‘Trust Al to find a way around it.’ I roll my eyes. ‘He’ll be getting you in through the Honeydukes tunnel, and then trusting all his friends to camouflage you.’ Ridiculous. ‘Oh, and he’ll probably want you to dress a little bit tarty, so you look older. Not for his own personal reasons, of course.’

‘How do you know all this?’ Jen asks.

‘When you’re the only kid left at home, you find out a lot about your parents lives at Hogwarts. And I’d say it will take James about five seconds to realise he hasn’t got this, and neither has Albus.’ I wave a piece of parchment in their faces, labelled the Marauder’s Map, watching their reactions, and sternly cautioning Carly not to use it to stalk Albus.

‘Five...’ There’s a small dot labelled ‘James Sirius Potter’ running down the steps from the boys dormitory ‘Four...’ through the common room ‘Three.’ pausing to chat up some fourth-year girls ‘Two.’ I stand up and cross the room to look out of the doorway. ‘One.’

James is standing on the banister up the staircase to the girl’s dormitory, holding onto the cracks in the stone and looking at me with an infuriated expression, mixed with the careless arrogance that his features always displayed. Carly ran down the stairs, blushing, and I rolled my eyes, for the fiftieth time today. When did people get so silly? Seriously, my eyes are getting tired from all the rolling.

He holds his hand out and says, smiling


‘Map what?’ I ask ‘What’s the magic word, James?’

‘Hmm...’ he smirks again. ‘How about Accio map!’ I hold it tightly as his face turns red with the effort of trying to pull it out of my hand by magic. I pass it to Jen and hold out my hand for him to heave himself up the last step.

‘Actually, James, we’re going to need your help with something.’

‘What makes you think I’m up for it?’ he’s in the power position now, back where he’s comfortable, and he’s loving it.

‘The fact that it involves both illegal and mischievous acts, the possibility of embarrassing Albus in front of a girl to test her mettle, and a rather brilliant master plan.’

James smiles the smile he reserves for master plans.

 ‘I’m in’

And so Operation Hogsmeade was born.

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