Chapter 2 : Family Dinner
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Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy
So, where did we leave off in this exciting story of my life? Oh, yes, I painfully remember—I was lying fully on my best friend’s brother, Albus Potter, and finding my face turning the color of a tomato. Oh, just lovely.
While I was on top of him, I couldn’t help but notice his bright green eyes, the same eyes, I was sure, that his father held. Everyone always said that he was a spinning image of his father in every way, and that was probably why so many girls were always sighing at the sight of the mysterious Potter son. For some reason, though, Albus never seemed to date. Ever. There had been some whispers going around that he was having some sort of fling with Rosalie Grant, but those were quickly shot down for reasons I honestly wasn’t aware of. I’d always stayed out of Albus’ business, and he stayed out of mine—our only connection, really, was Lily herself. And, even then, we’d barely said several words to each other.
“Do you mind getting off of me?” asked Albus now, breaking me out of my reverie, and my face got, if possible, even redder. I had simply been laying there, staring into his eyes; he surely must have thought that there was something wrong with me. Honestly, could I blame him?
“Sorry!” I said abruptly, pushing myself onto my palms and getting back to my feet. “I’ve n-never been very graceful, and it’s even worse when I Floo, you know, because you just get all dizzy and lose your balance, like I just did…” I trailed off, and realized Albus was staring down at me like I had three heads. My face burned with embarassment, and I began to fidget anxiously, an awful habit of mine. Fortunately, just as I was brushing some ashes off of my jeans, Lily Flooed into her home—into the sitting room, to be exact. I glanced around the room, noticing the fashionable furniture spread throughout the room, as well as the sleeping German Shepard in front of the coffee table. It was no surprise that the Potters had a large amount of money, since Mr. Potter was the Head of the Auror Department, and Mrs. Potter was a retired Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies and now a Quidditch Correspondent for the Daily Prophet. Obviously, the Potters never struggled with their bills.
Lily came to my side, and notice the strange look Albus was giving me as well as the blush still on my face, and raised her eyebrows. “What’s up with the two of you?” she asked bluntly, looking between the both of us. And then she turned on her older brother. “Why are you being so rude? This is my guest, and you are looking at her like she’s a nutter!” snapped Lily, her eyes narrowing and the back of her neck turning red, whenever she was about to let her temper loose. Knowing this from experience, I felt it best to intervene.
“Don’t worry about it, Lily,” I said quickly, stepping into her line of vision and smiling warmly up at her. “Really, everything’s fine.” I could feel Albus’ eyes on my back, but I did my best to ignore them. “Now, are you going to show me to your room, which is filled with posters of various extraordinary boys, am I right?” I added, and I could just see Lily’s face lighting up. She was rather boy crazy, as everyone knew, and she was always bragging about the posters throughout her room. And, even better, just the thought of boys made her mood even more optimistic, and that was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t even have to look at Albus’ face to know he was rolling his eyes at his only sister.
“Is Lily having a temper tantrum again?” came a different, male voice that I could hardly recognize; I remembered the face, though, when I turned and saw the handsome, sharp-featured face of Scorpius Malfoy. Don’t start panicking because two Potters and a Malfoy were in the same room and not clawing at each other’s throats; in fact, Albus and Scorpius were best friends, and were even comparable to brothers. The two Slytherins stood next to each other, and I couldn’t help but notice how they seemed to fit so well together; they seemed to relate more to each other than Albus did to James, from what I remember.
“Hardly,” said Lily, and the two males smirked at the exact same time. Spooky, very spooky. “Malfoy, you know my best friend in the entire world, Ruby Carmichael, right? Ruby, this is the scum of the Earth, and an unfortunate guest, Scorpius Malfoy. But you two have met before.”
Yes, of course we had. He had tutored me for a couple of months in my fifth year—he was in his sixth—about Transfiguration; the class was, I swear, my biggest weakness. I was one of the best Potions and Charms students in my class, but, when it came to Transfiguration, I had the hardest time. I honestly wish that Professor McGonagall was back in her teacher position, since she was surely a better teacher than Professor Grady, who was somewhat shaky with his lesson plans. Remembering how Scorpius had seriously helped me, I smiled up at him and nodded. He returned the nod.
“Well, this has been fun,” Lily continued with her sarcastic tongue, “but I must show my guest to her room. Come on, Ruby.” She grabbed my arm and practically dragged me out of the sitting room. If only I had remembered the sleeping dog that magically appeared at my feet, forcing me to trip over him. I nearly tumbled to the carpeted floor, my face about to meet the soft material, until a strong hand stopped me cold. My eyes glanced up into the cool green eyes of Albus, and I swear my face turned the color of Lily’s gorgeous hair.
“You don’t stay on your feet very often, do you?” said Albus with a wry smile, helping me up as Lily watched the two of us with a curious expression upon her face.
I gave him a weak smile and replied, “One of my flaws, I’m afraid,” and winced instantly. That made me even sound more intelligent. Fortunately, Albus simply smiled down at me and let go of my arm.
Before I could make a bigger fool of myself, Lily stepped in between us and said “Merlin, Ruby, you really are a klutz, aren’t you?” as we walked out of the sitting room, her hand clasping my trunk. “Honestly, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were just flirting with my brother right there.” She wiggled her eyebrows at me, and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at her silly face as we ascended a set of well-kept stairs, and came to the long corridor of the second floor. This house, I soon realized, was more like a mansion.
“Come on, Lily,” I said, teasingly shoving her soulder. “I’m not a boy-crazy twit like you.” She mock gasped at me, and I laughed again. “Can you even try to be surprised? You’ve snogged more boys than I’ve even glanced at twice.” Unfortunately, this was very true; I was never one to date. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a couple of boyfriends, but nothing overly special or long lasting. The relationships simply ended in us being friends, or the boy wanting more of me that I wasn’t prepared to giving just yet.
“Oh, piss off,” she retorted, and we stopped in front of a dark maple wood door that was around a corner that we had just taken. “Welcome to your brand new bedroom, my dear,” she said in a dreamy voice, one that differed so greatly from her previous tone. Before I could even begin to worry about her drastic mood changes, my eyes fell on the wonderful room before me. It was double the size of my room back at my grandmother’s house—which, I had thought, was rather spacious—and, from what I could see, the walk-in closet was more than big enough to hold my clothing. The walls were colored a deep shade of red, and the ceiling was a pure white; I could still smell the fresh, addicting smell of paint, and the carpets looked like they had never once had even bare feet standing upon them. A double bed adorned with red and gold sheets and a quilt looked so comforting, while I also noticed the bookcase, stacked with my absolute favorites, and the desk. The Potters, clearly, had gone all out for my room. “So…what do you think?” Lily asked, breaking me out of my thoughts and reminding me that I was not alone.
I sighed, and glanced back in her face. “It’s amazing,” I said simply. “Completely, utterly amazing.”
“Good,” said Lily, trying to act nonchalant; I knew her far too well to understand that she had been secretly holding her breath, hoping I would be comfortable with the new room. “Albus’ room is closest to yours—lucky you,” she added sarcastically, “but I’m only a couple doors down.” I nodded my head, and sat down on the bed, feeling my back almost ache with how comfy the bed truly felt. Lily sat down beside me. “I’m so happy you’re here, Ruby,” she continued seriously. “I really miss you over the holidays, and I think it would be best, you know, if you stayed in a place that didn’t remind you of…what happened.”
I smiled sadly, and nodded, squeezing her hand. That was why I loved Lily the most—she was slightly loud and obnoxious, but she had one of the biggest hearts, and would do anything for you. As long as you didn’t screw her or her family over, Lily would give you the shirt off of her back without any questions. She had been my biggest help after my second year—when everything happened—and I owed her my life for it all. And yet Lily didn’t care; she was special, that girl, and I only hoped she would find someone who saw that. Or even see her oldest best friend—one who knew her since she had been in diapers—saw all of this, and even more. “Thank you, Lily,” I finally said, looking into her dark brown eyes. “For everything.”
“Don’t worry about it,” she replied. And suddenly the sentimental moment between us was over.
We stayed in my room, sitting and talking about just about anything; we giggled and gossiped and it was just like we were back at Hogwarts. Lily was currently gushing about an “extraordinary” boy she had met in Diagon Alley, whose blue eyes were “like the stormy oceans”—her words, not mine. She babbled on for hours, it seemed, as if she needed to fill me in on every perfect detail about him.
Before we knew it, Mrs. Potter was knocking on the—my—door, reminding us that dinner was almost ready. This would be the first time I would meet Harry Potter, and I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous. Everyone at school always talked about how legendary he was, and how, if it wasn’t for him, the world would be a completely different place. Lily, however, didn’t see any of this when she spoke about her father; she was apparently close with him, although he, of course, was rather overprotective of her, as his youngest and his only daughter. Obviously, that ran in the family.
So, as we descended the staircase into the dining room, I was a little nervous when I shook hands with Mr. Potter. He looked exactly like an older version of Albus, to the messy hair, the tall form, and the emerald green eyes; his voice was kind and welcoming, and he seemed to match perfectly with his wife. We all sat down at the dining room table—Lily, Albus, Scorpius, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, and myself—and ate the wonderful food; I honestly couldn’t help but admire the relationship between the family. It seemed Scorpius had been coming to the Potters household for a long time, and had grown to become an extension to the family. It was surprising, I could imagine, seeing as how Mr. Potter had been vicious rivals with Draco Malfoy, Scorpius’ father, but there was no scent of that whenever Mr. Potter spoke with the young blonde.
“So, Ruby, how have you managed to be friends so long with Lily? We all know she’s a bit of a handful,” said Mr. Potter, smiling affectionately at his daughter, and she rolled her eyes at him in return.
I felt, oddly enough, two pairs of emerald eyes on me, and I made sure to look into the face of the pair who had directed their question at me. “Well, to be honest, I’ve had a lot of firewhiskey,” I replied, smiling brightly at Lily as the rest of the table laughed. She scowled at me, and kicked my leg. Hard.
Yes, this family was so close-knit that I couldn’t help but be envious of them all; normally, it was just my grandmother and I, eating dinner with some small talk. She had never fully gotten over my father’s death, and I know it was still hard for her to live with a continuous reminder of him. Here, though, I could be myself, and not constantly walk on egg shells. So, as I took a sip of my butterbeer, I couldn’t help but grin at the playful banter between Albus, Scorpius, and Lily, and enjoy the moment to the fullest.
So, what do you all think? I promise, there’ll be much more Albus in the next chapter. Don’t forget to review!
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