Over a month had passed since James and Laura had started going out. Amy was happy to see that she was his still best friend and (luckily), not much had changed between them. If anything, James was more confident, a better friend to her than before. She, meanwhile, had tried to convince herself that she didn’t like him as more than a friend. This had proved slightly difficult but she’d managed to settle into a happy rhythm with her life. Things weren’t quite so good for Ali and Macey. The last month, things had just become more and more awkward between them. It was painful to watch, especially for Amy who knew it would easily be solved if one of them was just brave enough to open their mouth and tell the other how they really felt. She had tried to talk to Macey, repeatedly, but the poor girl just would not get it into her head that she was doing more harm than good. Ali himself was completely in denial (still) and nothing James said would convince him otherwise. Amy was getting so frustrated with the whole thing. Macey told her that it was because she couldn’t go out with James and as a result she was determined to set up her and Ali. This was probably true but in her mind, it didn’t mean they were any less perfect for each other.
The first Hogsmeade trip of the new year was on the 16th October and during the week leading up to it, Macey was in the middle of an uncharacteristic spell of panic. Amy was more than happy not to go, especially in the knowledge that James was taking Laura. This didn’t particularly bother her, after all they were best friends, not glued together, but given the choice between going alone, going with Ali and Macey who would probably squabble the whole time and hanging back at the castle and catching up on homework and sleep, the latter option seemed best. She could always go with a guy but no guys had shown any real interest in her and there was no point asking one just for the sake of it.
Amy looked up, aware she had been daydreaming. They were sitting in Defence Against the Dark Arts, a subject she was rapidly regretting taking. Not because it was a bad lesson, it was amazing, but because of James. All he did was sit next to her with clenched fists, planning how best to use the spells Professor Lupin was teaching them to hurt him. To say he hated Lupin was an understatement. The red hot fury that emitted from him was obvious, so obvious it almost burned Amy physically.
“I hate him,” James murmured. “He should never have been allowed near this school.”
“I know James,” Amy replied gently. “You tell me that at least twice a lesson.”
“Yeah well it’s still as true as the first time I said it,” James snapped.
Amy sighed. They’d had this conversation a million times before and nothing was going to make this one any different.
“If Dumbledore’s not going to do something about him, we’re going to have to…” James muttered.
Amy groaned. Here he goes again.
“And what are we going to do exactly James?” she replied generically.
“Prove to everyone that he’s a werewolf,” James hissed. Amy blinked. This was nothing she hadn’t heard before.
“And how do we do that?” Amy asked, knowing what the answer was going to be.
“Search his room for proof,” James hissed in reply.
Amy raised her eyebrows. This was new. Clearly James had been thinking about this. She was certain that wasn’t a good thing.
“You are of course, kidding me, right?”
“Why not? We could find some proof of who he is, then no-one will want to be taught by him.”
“James,” Amy started. “We’ll talk about this later, alright? I just want to get on with this spell.”
James grunted a reply and turned back to his textbook.
“Right then!” Professor Lupin called out to the class. “Who can tell me about non-verbal spells?”
Immediately, two hands shot up into the air. Amy scowled at the pair. Penelope Clearwater was a Ravenclaw and the most arrogant, annoying girl Amy had ever met. She was incredibly smart but showed off about it and her head was so far up her arse Amy was surprised she could still answer every single fucking question that any teacher could ask. No wonder she had been made Head-girl, much to Amy’s chagrin. Amy wasn’t stupid and was good enough to be named Gryffindor prefect, but even she had to admit Clearwater was good. The other hand in the air was Clearwater’s equally obnoxious boyfriend: Percy Weasley. Amy hadn’t had much experience with the Weasleys, but if they anything like Percy, she could see why they were a dying breed as far as magic was concerned. Percy was the most infuriating person ever and, having spent the last two years working with him as Prefects, Amy hated him almost as much as she hated Clearwater. She was happy to know the feeling was mutual; Clearwater despised Amy. The two were constantly in battle over everything and were pretty much deadlocked in most things. Clearwater did have a boyfriend but in Amy’s mind she’d rather have no boyfriend than Percy.
Still, at least they’re happy together.
There was that irritating voice in her head again. She and James were happy… just not as happy as she wanted. Focusing back on the lesson, Amy lazily stuck up her hand.
“Amy,” Lupin gestured to her, causing Clearwater to huff.
“Well non-verbal spells don’t require the wizard to open their mouths which not only makes it easier for them to cast spells when incapacitated but also gives them an advantage in a duel because they don’t know what spell you’re going to cast,” Amy said, grinning at the look of fury emitted from the boffins.
“Ten points to Gryffindor,” Lupin smiled. “I know you should’ve done this sort of thing last year but well, your teacher wasn’t exactly great.”
“You can say that again,” James murmured.
“Anyway, pair up and start practicing non-verbal spells. Twenty points to anyone who can manage it by the end of the lesson, which will be a feat in itself. It requires immense concentration and to make sure no-one cheats…”
At that point, Amy found herself unable to speak. She had to admire Lupin. He was a great teacher, better than any other she’d had. Not that she’d ever let James know that. They spent the rest of the lesson attempting non-verbal spells. It was hard work and proved almost impossible, and definitely beyond most of the class. Only Amy, Clearwater, James and Percy had managed it by the end of the lesson, delighting Lupin. With Gryffindor winning 60 points and her outshining the boffins, Amy was in a good mood. Some of her mood dissipated, however, when a girl came barreling into James, almost knocking him off his feet. She was crying heavily, startling him.
“What’s wrong Laura?” James asked, hugging her tightly.
“Nothing,” she replied through her sobs, which were starting to subside. “We…were…practicing a…crying charm…and I got…hit pretty hard.”
“Oh, thank goodness for that,” James sighed with relief. “Don’t worry me like that.”
Laura Tamserian was a beautiful girl. She was tall and slim, with curves in all the right places. She had a large chest and good legs as well, with eyes the colour of sweet honey. Her hair was a dark red, almost brown or black and cut short into a bob that relaxed just below her chin. She was smart too, with 10 OWLs to her name and she was kind. Beyond that she was fun and care-free. In Amy’s mind there wasn’t a lot wrong with her, which was infuriating because it was just another reason why James should go out with her instead of Amy. The truth was that in the last month she and James had become close and Amy couldn’t help but wonder how she was able to keep her friendship with James so good.
By this point the charm had basically worn off and James swatted her in the arm playfully. She pulled him into a light kiss. Amy coughed slightly and as they broke apart, Laura wiped her eyes and grinned at Amy.
“Hey Amy, how are you?” she asked, turning to her.
“Fine thanks,” Amy replied in the fake voice she always put on with Laura. It wasn’t because she didn’t like Laura, they got along well enough and probably classed each other as friends. But every time she saw them together, it still hurt slightly, like an old wound that refused to stay shut. “You?”
“Yeah, I’m not too bad. Are you looking forward to the Hogsmeade weekend?”
“Not really, got nobody to go with so I’ll probably just chill here and catch up on sleep.”
“Oh,” Laura was taken-aback. “You should go with James; I’ll go with mates instead.”
“No, it’s fine, you two have fun. I don’t mind,” Amy insisted.
“Ok, if you’re sure,” Laura replied anxiously. “I’ll see you later babe.”
She planted another kiss on James’ lips and he hugged her before she headed off. James turned to Amy grinning slightly apologetically as they walked off towards their next lesson.
The Hogsmeade weekend couldn’t come quickly enough for James. He’d been going out with Laura for over a month now and for the most part, he hadn’t even thought about Amy as anything other than a friend. Laura was a great girl and everything he could ever have asked for in a girlfriend. He supposed that if he couldn’t have the girl he wanted the most he was lucky enough to get someone who was almost as good. And Laura was amazing. He liked her a lot and he sensed the feeling was mutual. Maybe he didn’t love her just yet but he knew that sooner or later his feelings for her would get to a point where he felt that way.
They met up early on Saturday morning. It was their first proper date outside of Hogwarts and James was excited. Laura was wearing navy short shorts, a light blue t-shirt and a black cardigan. Her hair was curly today and her cheeks were a pale pink as she raced down the steps. She hugged him and brushed herself down, swearing as she did so.
“Hey, everything okay, you look flustered?” James asked, putting an arm around her to try and calm her down.
“Yeah I’m fine. I just didn’t have enough time to get ready this morning, I look a mess,” she replied, sighing heavily. James pulled her in tighter.
“You look amazing, don’t worry,” he replied.
“My hair is a frizz ball, I’m wearing no makeup, my clothes are plain and to be perfectly honest I’m surprised I had the energy to get downstairs, I’m shattered.”
James cut her off at this moment with a powerful kiss. She smiled and kissed him back. He pulled her towards the door and she grinned as she allowed him to lead her.
“Your hair looks good curly you should do it like that more often, I prefer a girl with less makeup anyway it makes you look more natural, your clothes are absolutely fine and as for the energy thing…” James peeled off and grabbed her, hoisting her into his arms and carrying her out the door as she squealed in his arms. “I can carry you, all the way to Hogsmeade!” James finished, not struggling to hold on to Laura despite the fact she was hitting his arm teasingly.
“James, stop it, people are looking at us like we’re mad!” Laura squealed, struggling lazily against his firm grip.
“We are mad,” James replied, before silencing her with a kiss.
True to his word, James carried Laura all the way to Hogsmeade. She gave up trying to resist pretty soon and relaxed, enjoying his increasing strain as he moved. By the time they’d reached the Three Broomsticks, he was exhausted and lowered her down so he could catch his breath.
“What, tired already?” she teased, pushing him gently as they entered the Three Broomsticks.
“No, you’re just heavy,” James replied, winking at her as she punched him in the arm.
“I am not and you know it, you just need bigger muscles skinny arse,” she retorted, pulling him down into his seat.
“Hey, it’s not my fault my mum was tiny,” James retorted as he relaxed in his chair.
“You never talk about your mum much,” Laura pointed out, snuggling up alongside him and ordering two butterbeers as the barmaid passed.
“No I don’t,” James agreed. “She died when I was tiny.”
“I’m sorry,” Laura replied, shocked yet intensely caring in her reaction. “What happened?”
“I don’t know yet. But I’m going to find out,” James said, his voice suddenly hard and laced with anger.
Laura rubbed his arm and laid her head on his shoulder. At that moment, the butterbeers arrived and James took a sip, which made him feel better. He faced Laura, who laughed at the foam around his mouth and wiped it off with her hand. He stared intensely into her eyes for a few short seconds and then they kissed. They had kissed many times before now but this was different. The second their lips met, James felt an explosion of passion and life. She worked her tongue around his mouth, gently at first but then more and more fiercely. All he knew was her lips and his lips and he fought every urge in his body to rip off her shirt there and then. She grabbed him and they practically dived into the gents, still locked in their passionate war of attrition. James moved his hands, his left caressing her neck as his right became entangled in her hair. She moaned softly as he leant in and passed his lips across her neck. He moved his lips downwards, starting at her nape, until they met her low cut top. She hauled it off and he continued to kiss down towards her bra, his left hand still gently teasing her neck with his right twisting and knotting it in her scarlet locks. James stopped as his lips met her bra. He grinned as she stepped into him and planted her lips back against his, continuing the kiss. She was halfway through taking off his shirt when someone hammered on the door.
“Hurry the fuck up! I need a shit!” the boy yelled.
“Looks like this is going to have to wait,” James whispered, allowing her to fix his shirt as he turned to grab her top. She pulled it back over her head and nodded. She then allowed James to place a spell on her so she could slip out through the wall without the kid noticing she was there as James left the toilet.
Meanwhile, across Hogsmeade, Amy had decided to come after all, if only so she could grab some sweets from Honeydukes and grab a drink at the Three Broomsticks. There was no sign of James and Laura which was a relief but even as she headed down towards the Shrieking Shack, she caught sight of a couple hiding amongst the trees. Her jaw dropped. It was Macey and Ali. And they were kissing…
A/N: Thanks for reading guys, please leave a review :) Tell me what you think so far. James/Laura, Amy, Macey and Ali, the whole lot. Who's your favourite character, what do you want to happen? What will happen? Come on, let me know. Constructive critcism the lot :P HP