James was summoning up the courage to apologise to Ali before Christmas. It was the final Hogsmeade weekend of the term, just before the Christmas holidays and James didn’t want to go away for two weeks with the pair on bad terms. He was with Amy, whom he had persuaded to come with him. The pair were still on amazingly good terms despite everything. Laura was with some of her mates, who she wanted to spend more time with. Macey was with Ali, naturally and they had an annoying tag-along: David Summersby.
“Summersby, will you please FUCK off!” James groaned, exasperated. Despite the fact they were relaxing in the Three Broomsticks, their chairs next to each other and Amy snoozing with her head on James’ shoulders, Summersby found it necessary to pull up a chair and irritate him by trying to flirt with her.
“What’s wrong with a little flirting Black?” he replied. “Surely you can’t be that overprotective and jealous?”
“I’m not overprotective and I’m definitely not jealous!” James seethed. “But it would be nice to have one day alone with my best friend without her obsessive stalker.”
“David,” Amy said gently at this point. “You know I love flirting with you but right now I just want to spend some time with James. He’s my best mate and I’d appreciate it if you two could actually get along.”
Summersby shot her one last smile before nodding and departing the Broomsticks. James shot her a funny look.
“Why didn’t you ask him to go earlier?” he cried.
“Because it was too funny to watch him wind you up,” Amy replied casually, readjusting her position so her hair was spreading over James’ neck. He felt the butterflies in his stomach prickle at the contact. He gave her a slight punch in the arm for the comment then drank more of his butterbeer. She sighed and he glanced down at her.
“What’s got you so happy all of a sudden?” he chuckled.
“I dunno James,” she replied happily. “Everything just seems good, you know. We’re both looking good for NEWTs, you’ve got Laura, Macey and Ali are happy together and David’s got his eyes on me. Plus, there’s the head-girl thing.”
James smiled. Clearwater had stepped down as head-girl and Amy had been the obvious second choice. Admittedly this meant he would see less of her when she took over the position properly after Christmas but he didn’t mind if it meant she was happy. Even as he smiled down at her and looked for a reply, he was interrupted by a sight out of the corner of his eye. Macey and Ali had entered the pub. Showtime. Amy had also noticed because she looked up at him expectantly.
“Go get him Jamesie!” she whispered encouragingly.
James nodded and allowed her to lift her head so he could slip out the chair and head over to where his friends were sitting. Ali acknowledged his presence with pursed lips and a slight nod. Macey stayed out of it.
“Can we talk buddy?” James asked, filling as much apology into his tone as he could. Ali smiled.
“Course mate, I was starting to worry you wouldn’t say anything.”
Ali and James left the Three Broomsticks, leaving the girls to do their thing. They fought against the bitter wind and snow to reach the carriages back to Hogwarts, having already finished their Christmas shopping.
“I’m sorry Ali. Every word you said was true and I knew it, I just couldn’t face the idea that I was such a bastard,” James admitted, settling down opposite Ali.
“No, you had every right to be pissed off with me,” Ali replied. “I was out of line saying those things, regardless of if they were true or not. Who am I to judge you? You’re supposed to be my best friend and I was out of order.”
“If only all friendships were as good as ours eh?” James replied grinning. “A few sentences and we’re from loggerheads to lovers.”
“Lovers is a bit gay mate,” Ali replied wistfully. “But yeah basically. You’ve been like a brother to me these last seven years.”
“Yeah, a brother. A brother in all but blood. Congrats on things with Macey by the way!” James replied grinning.
“Yeah thanks,” Ali found himself flushing slightly. “She’s really amazing, you were right about going out with her. How’re things with Laura?”
“Really amazing,” James’ face lit up. “She’s just perfect you know? Everything I could want in a girl.”
“But she’s not Amy?” Ali finished, cursing himself for his tactlessness when he saw James’ face fall slightly.
“You can’t always get everything mate. Me and Amy were never meant to be, Laura’s the next best thing.”
“Okay James, if you say so…” Ali replied skeptically.
Snow blanketed Hogwarts as the Express roared away from the station. Amy and James shared a compartment and were lying on opposite sofas, snoozing. Summersby, Lucy, Macey and Ali were all staying at school over Christmas so there was no-one to disturb them. Or so they thought. The noise of the door opening made Amy look up and she scowled as she saw a curly haired girl standing there.
“What do you want Clearwater?” Amy spat, her voice as venomous as she could make it.
“I want to know what you hope to achieve by becoming head girl?” Clearwater sneered. “Do you hope to steal Percy from me or maybe Dumbledore’s respect? Well nothing you do can persuade me you’re nothing other than a pathetic little shit!”
“If you came here to insult me Clearwater then get a move on, I’m trying to sleep.”
“I came to let you know that this isn’t over. You may have won this battle but the war is not over, it’s never over!” Clearwater warned, before storming out and slamming the door.
“What the hell was that about?” Amy asked James, who just shrugged in a puzzled manner.
Jake Hunt was a happy man. He had the best wife in the world, two amazing daughters, a house he rarely needed to leave and an almost infinite amount of money that his dad had left him. Sending his eldest daughter off to Hogwarts had been a big decision but one he didn’t regret. His younger daughter Lucy was unhappy she wasn’t allowed to go too but she was in the year below Harry Potter and the year before he’d had another run in with Voldemort. It had taken all of Amy’s persuasive skills to keep her at the school. That and James Black. The son of Amelia Kingston. Jake could still see his best friend in her son and knew that James was the perfect friend for Amy. It was almost fate. Hayley had also agreed she should stay on to do her NEWTs so Amy had been allowed to stay. Jake was looking forward to seeing his eldest daughter again after almost three months. She arrived back on the Hogwarts Express, James in tow and then they apparated with Jake back to their house. The Hunt’s home was in the middle of nowhere and was two stories, with four bedrooms. Originally, Jake hadn’t planned for it to be that big but after Lucy’s birth he extended it with magic to be on the safe side. James hadn’t been in Amy’s room in a while and after he said hi to her mum and dumped his stuff in the spare room he often stayed in, he followed her up to it.
“You redecorated,” he remarked, grinning as he took it in. The walls were a deep purple, as were the bed covers. Clothes were either in the huge wardrobe or lying calmly on her bed and there weren’t many photos around. There were three on her bedside table. One of her family when she was smaller, one of her, James, Macey and Ali from last year and one of just her and James from Halloween of 5th year. James grinned as his counterpart waved, his arm around her shoulder. He was dressed as scarecrow, his face molded by magic to look like a bag of straw. Amy had gone for the more traditional vampire, her face pale white and smeared with purple makeup, with big teeth and blood.
“It’s been a while. The last time you were in here, I was brunette,” Amy pointed out, grabbing a hairbrush and focusing on her mirror. James sat on her bed.
“You remember this Halloween?” he asked, showing her the picture.
“Of course, that was the best night of my life!” Amy replied, sitting down beside him.
“Really?” James sounded surprised.
“Of course! We dressed up, got drunk, danced until the early hours and then fell asleep on your bed, what could be better than that?” she replied, smiling. Her eyes were piercing through him and he couldn’t look away.
“I dunno, I just figured you’d have better memories than that!” James replied.
“Why have you got any better?” she teased. James shrugged and racked his brains. The truth was, he hadn’t. Even everything he’d done with Laura paled in comparison to that night.
“Point taken,” he answered eventually, laying back. His head collided with her covers and he grinned, even as she plucked one of her shirts from underneath him and dropped it on his face. Amy pulled him up and they were interrupted by a knock at the door. Amy flicked it open with her wand and Lucy Hunt stepped in, a huge grin on her face.
“James fucking Black. It’s been a while!” she grinned. She strolled over and plopped herself down beside him, kissing his cheek and winking at her sister. “Is he still mine when you decide you’ve had enough of him?” she asked jokingly.
“Of course sis. I’m already sick of him, feel free to do whatever you want with him,” Amy retorted.
“Oh thanks guys, I feel so privileged,” James snorted. It was no secret that thirteen year old Lucy had a crush on him, which she used to constantly tease her sister. Lucy was quite tall for her age, which almost matched her up to her short sister. Also unlike her sister, she sported her parent’s dark hair, which she had cut short just below her shoulders and she had eyes the deepest brown, inherited from her dad rather than her mum. Whilst her sister was almost definitely her mother’s daughter, she took massively after her dad.
“Shut up you,” Lucy pretended to snap. “You’re the only company I’ve had in three months so I would feel privileged.”
“Liar,” Amy snorted. “You’ve been sneaking out with that muggle from the nearest house haven’t you?”
Lucy scowled, which she was certainly able to do despite her pretty face. “Alright smart-arse. I don’t have to sneak out, but dad would give me a lecture about being careful and not going too quickly and besides, he still thinks my idea of a dream guy is this loser.”
“When did this become a James-hating session?” James butted in, hurt.
“Quiet,” Amy snapped. “Is daddy’s little girl afraid of daddy knowing she’s all grown up?”
“Duh, I know you are!” Lucy grinned. Amy shrugged, also smiling. James stood and turned to the two very different and yet so alike sisters.
“Right well I’m going to help your mum with dinner before one of you decides throwing me out the window is beneficiary to your conversation,” he said, sidling out to their laughter.
Hayley glanced up as James entered the room. She shot him a golden smile and he smiled back wearily.
“So how’s Hogwarts?” she asked casually. “Keeping my daughter out of trouble?”
“Naturally,” James replied. “She doesn’t need any help on that front. Macey and Ali are finally going out. That’s the main reason they’re still there, enjoying themselves without their best friends to tease them.”
“That sounds a lot like something me and Jake would do,” Hayley chucked. “It’s good to see that those two have finally told each other how they feel about each other. What about you? Amy mentioned you’ve got a girlfriend?”
“Yeah, Laura,” James blushed. “She’s incredible and I’m really thankful for Amy setting it up.”
Hayley frowned slightly and tried to cover up. James didn’t miss it and shot her a quizzical look.
“It’s nothing. Just that Amy’s never been one for matchmaking. Besides, the way you two act around each other, I’m surprised you aren’t going out with each other.”
James almost choked. “You must be joking. She’s my best mate.”
“Yes well, having a best friend like her makes you a lucky guy,” Hayley replied, smiling to herself at James’ obliviousness.
Christmas Day came soon enough. There was a flurry of activity at about 7am, as teenagers and adults alike ripped open presents. After presents, came an early breakfast before James and Amy headed out into the countryside to enjoy the snow. James had bought Amy a necklace for Christmas and she’d bought him a male grooming set. Their presents for Hogwarts had been sent off with their owls an hour previously and they were hoping that the others would mail them shortly. By about lunchtime, they were exhausted and traipsed back to the house for Christmas dinner. About halfway through the meal, there was a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it,” Amy groaned and clambered down from the table, only to find herself being sent flying as she opened the door. Penelope Clearwater stepped in as Amy pulled herself to her feet.
“Admit it!” Clearwater screeched.
“That you sabotaged everything I love because you hate me!” she snapped.
“What are you talking about Clearwater?” Amy scowled.
“First you got your little friend to blackmail me into quitting as head girl and then you got Percy to consider breaking up with me to preserve his status as head boy!” Clearwater screamed.
“What the fuck are you on about?” Amy growled.
“Your friend Macey told me if I didn’t quit as head girl she’d tell Dumbledore about me and Percy shagging when we were supposed to be doing patrols!” Clearwater snarled.
“I knew nothing about that!” Amy snapped indignantly. “You can keep your stupid head girlship. I don’t want it if that’s how I earned it. And as for Percy, if he’s only going out with you to “preserve his reputation” then he doesn’t sound like a good boyfriend at all!”
Hayley, Lucy and James were arriving to investigate just as Clearwater fired the first curse. Amy dodged and fired back, the two girls using their extensive dueling skills to the full as red and black streaks flew everywhere. James grabbed Lucy and pulled her out of the way of the fight as a curse narrowly missed her head. He practically dragged her behind a sofa and pulled out his wand as he prepared to intervene. Clearwater made the first solid contact, slamming a stunning spell into Amy’s chest. Amy staggered back, as Clearwater smashed her face with her fist and flicked her in the air with a curse. At this point, James disarmed Clearwater as Lucy rugby-tackled her to the ground. Amy scrambled to her feet and as Lucy was shoved off Clearwater, struck her with an immobilizing jinx. She then levitated Clearwater up and out the door, dropping her in the largest pile of muddy slush she could find. Clearwater screamed as she pulled herself up and then charged back towards the house. Lucy, Amy and James all fired at once. Clearwater was blasted backwards by the force of the three spells, her legs turning into one giant slug’s body, her arms turning into insects arms and her face blotched with boils. Amy giggled repeatedly with laughter as Clearwater shrieked once more before running away, crying heavily. Jake and Hayley came crashing into the hall, wands raised.
“What happened?” Jake gasped.
“Nothing we couldn’t handle,” Amy replied, shrugging and rubbing her shoulder.
Get out and stay out bitch!!
For once the voice in her head agreed with her.
A/N: Wow, hard to believe we're already over halfway through this story :/ Time flies when you're having fun. Please review guys, I'd love to know what you're thinking of the story :) HP