Chapter 4 : Chapter Four
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“Fifth years, settle down, please,” Slughorn said over the mindless chit chat that was going on amongst the students. “Fifth years!” The class fell silent and turned around to face the front of the classroom. “Now that I’ve got you all settled, we can begin the lesson.” For the following twenty minutes, Slughorn droned on and on about how important the O.W.L exams were.
By the time he was finished talking, most of the students were fighting off sleep, including Jessica. She had leaned into Albus halfway during Slughorn’s talk and now her head was resting on his shoulder, her eyes drooping heavily with sleep. She sighed heavily and pulled her sleeves down over her hands to stop the sudden violent shivering that overtook her.
Albus glanced down, doing a double take when he noticed she was wearing his Slytherin hoody. “Are you okay?” he whispered, taking in the fact she was trembling with the cold. “My hoody not working?” He frowned when he didn’t get a response out of her. “Hey, are you asleep?”
“Mister Potter, repeat what I just said,” Slughorn piped up.
“Explain how your conversation with Miss Foster is more important than this lesson?”
“Sorry Sir, but I don’t think Jess is feeling very well.”
At the boy’s words, Lucy whirled around in her seat and gazed over at her best friend with worry. Jessica had been looking incredibly peaky that morning at breakfast but now she looked as if she was about to keel over. Her face was deathly pale and by the look of her expression, the constant shivering was causing her great pain.
“Take her to the hospital wing, Mister Potter.”
Albus gathered up his things and shoved them into his bag before moving on to Jessica’s essentials. He held out his hand which she took without question.
She slid off her stool and followed him out of the classroom, keeping the hoody wrapped around tightly around herself. She tripped on her own footing a few times as she walked down the corridor and leaned into Albus' side in an effort to keep upright. “I don’t want to go to the hospital wing,” she said, stopping in her tracks. “I’m fine, really.”
“Don’t even try to get out of this one; you’re going to the hospital wing,” Albus retorted, grabbing her hand and pulling her down the hallway. “Do you think it was something you ate at breakfast?”
“I didn’t eat anything, Albus!” Jessica shouted, yanking her hand out of his grip and shooting him a fierce glare. “Please stop pretending like you care about me because you clearly don’t.”
“I’m taking you to the wing, aren’t I?”
“Oh wow, that’s so nice of you,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Do you want to know how many other people have taken me to the hospital wing? I don’t need that stupid nurse. I don’t need anyone! I’m perfectly fine.”
“Jess...you look like Death.”
At Albus’ words, Jessica’s bottom lip began trembling and tears sprang to her eyes. “I look like Death?” she whispered, holding a hand to her mouth and lowering her eyes to the ground. “But I....”
“But you what?” Albus said, lifting his eyebrows in confusion. “I know we don’t exactly see eye to eye but please. Talk to me, Jess!”
“I don’t mean to look like Death,” Jessica grumbled, slipping her bag off Albus’ shoulder and pulling it up onto her own. “I guess I’m just hungry.”
“Why didn’t you eat anything for breakfast?”
“I lost track of time.” She gazed up at Albus innocently and gave him a small smile. “I’ll eat two meals at lunch if it’ll make you happy.”
Albus chuckled quietly and nodded. “Sounds good.”
“Did you and Jess get jiggy in the hospital wing?” Scorpius asked, later that day after classes.
“What the hell? Get jiggy? Honestly Scor, this is the twenty-first century!”
“So...you got jiggy then?”
“No!” Albus laughed, shoving the boy in the shoulder. “Why the fuck would you even think that?”
“I expected you to come back to Potions but you didn’t. You didn’t even show up for Care of Magical Creatures and that’s your favourite class. She at least gave you a little....” He grinned and raised his eyebrows in a suggestive manner.
“Jesus, Scor. Is that all you think about?”
“No,” the blonde-haired boy snorted. “I think about...okay, yeah, it’s all I think about. Problem?”
“Keep your filthy thoughts to yourself, yeah? And no, we didn’t do anything! We don’t even like each other that way.”
“Are you saying if you did, you would have gotten jiggy in the hospital wing?”
“Yeah, we would have gotten jiggy in the hospital wing,” Albus said with a roll of his eyes. “People who talk non-stop about sex aren’t getting any, you do know that right?”
“Hey, I never claimed to be getting laid in the first place. I merely enjoy the subject,” Scorpius laughed, swinging his arm around Albus’ shoulder and giving him a wink.
“If you’re gonna be giving me winks, you might as well kiss me.”
“Really?” he said, his eyes widening with hope.
“Get lost!” Albus laughed, ducking out from under Scorpius’ arm and hurrying ahead to the Slytherin common room. He gave the password to the entrance and stepped inside.
“You know, I really wanna get laid now,” Scorpius announced as he flopped down onto the black leather couch next to Albus.
“Don’t look at me. I’m not helping to de-virgin you,” the dark-haired boy laughed.
“Do you think Louis would help? He must be missing Benjamin something awful. I should go comfort him!”
“Stay right where you are, you little bollocks,” Albus said, grabbing the back of his friend’s robes before he could get away. “I highly doubt Louis would hug you, let alone shag you.”
“I never said anything about hugging,” Scorpius said, falling back down onto the couch.
“Forget about Louis, Scor! He doesn’t want you. End of.” Albus drew out a long breath and tipped his head back against the couch. “Isn’t there some bloke from Durmstrang you can hook up with over the holidays?”
“I don’t see you trying to get any.”
“I don’t want any, that’s why,” Albus shot back.
“Not even once?” Scorpius offered, holding up a finger and tilting his head in an innocent fashion. “If you asked Jess now, you’d be back here and in your dormitory within ten minutes.”
“Mate, seriously, you need to be quiet before I punch you in the face.”
“You’re sexually frustrated. I understand, Al. Why don’t you pop off to the dormitory for a bit?”
Albus slowly got to his feet and shot Scorpius a stony glare. “I’m going for a walk.” Without another word, he turned on his heel and marched out of the common room, grumbling quietly under his breath.
“Al, I didn’t mean it!” Scorpius called after him. “Come on, I was just having a laugh.”
Ignoring his friend, Albus stepped into the hallway and leaned back against the wall with a roll of his eyes. That’s all he thinks about. He’s like my brother. Sex, sex, sex, food, sex, sex, sleep...and food.
“How’s it going, Potter?”
Albus straightened up to see fellow fifth year Slytherin, Vanessa, heading towards him. “Oh, you know the usual. Stressful homework, annoying teachers and horny best mates.”
“I hate those,” Vanessa laughed, nodding in agreement. “Let me guess; Scorpius?”
“How did you guess?”
Vanessa swept her long, dark hair over her shoulder and shrugged. “What else does Scorpius have to talk about? What are you doing just hanging out here anyway?”
“Being friends with Scorpius can be frustrating,” Albus said, kicking at the floor. “I just wanted some time alone.”
“I was just coming by to grab my bag. I need to get some studying done in the library,” the girl said, jabbing her thumb over her shoulder to indicate the library. “Do you want to come with me?”
“Sure; why not?”
“I wish I had my iPod with me,” Albus mumbled under his breath after twenty minutes of studying. “Studying is useless without it.”
“What’s an iPod?” Vanessa said in a hushed whisper. “Does it help you with your homework?”
Albus laughed quietly and set his book down. “It helps me to study anyway. It plays music. You...you don’t know what an iPod is?”
Vanessa shot him a clueless look and shook her head. “Is it a Muggle thing?”
“Yeah but – yeah, it’s a Muggle thing.”
“So it’s like a wireless then?” she asked, looking at her homework and scribbling down a few notes onto some parchment.
“Yeah, something like that. Only...better.”
Both of them jumped when a heavy load of books landed on the table next to Albus. The boy looked up to see James standing next to him.
“Wow, James,” Albus chuckled. “You’re actually in a library. I’m surprised you didn’t burst into flames when you stepped in here.”
“It’s a library, Al, not a bloody church.” James dropped onto the bench next to his brother and gave Vanessa a small smile. “Hey Vanessa.”
“Potter,” the girl muttered, going back to her work almost instantly.
“It’s nice to see you too. Where’s Malfoy?” James asked, turning back to Albus with a raised eyebrow.
“In the common room; thinking of ways to get Louis into bed.”
James snorted loudly and pulled his Charms book towards him. “What’s so great about Louis anyway?”
“Give it a rest, James,” Albus growled, grabbing his book and whacking James across the back of the head with it. “Besides the fact he’s one of the only openly gay students at Hogwarts, he’s a lot nicer than you.”
“Have you come here just so you could annoy Albus?” Vanessa snapped, glaring up at the older boy with fierce loathing.
“The chick’s got guts,” James rudely pointed out.
“Excuse me? Chick?” She turned to Albus and huffed loudly. “If he doesn’t leave, I most certainly will.”
“You don’t have very good timing, do you? To put it simply; James, fuck off, will you?” Albus said quietly so as not to annoy the librarian. “You’re doing my head in as well.”
James raised both eyebrows and laughed. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“Do you want me to use a door to break your nose again?”
“Get out of my sight then. I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” Albus muttered, cutting his eyes away from his brother. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw James leave out of the corner of his eye. “I don’t mean to be so harsh but sometimes you’ve got to be quite firm with James,” he said, turning to Vanessa.
“Yeah, he reminds me of my big brother too,” she stated. “You don’t get anywhere with him by being too nice.”
Albus ran a hand over the back of his head and nodded. He resumed with his studying but the guilt churned uncomfortably in his stomach for telling off his brother. He eventually gathered up his books and shoved them back into his bag. “Sorry to cut the study session short but I really have to go.” Before Vanessa could say a word, Albus tore out of the library and hurried through the corridors in search of his brother.
“Have you seen James?” Albus asked the same question over and over again before a sixth year finally student told him he saw James heading towards the clock tower. The dark-haired boy hurried up the steps and glanced around the area, unable to find James anymore. He was just about to give up when a flicker of movement caught his eye.
“What the hell are you doing with that?” he growled, hurrying over to the edge of the tower and grabbing in mid-air. He gripped the Invisibility Cloak tightly in his fist and huffed indignantly. “How did you get your hands on this?”
“I snuck into your dormitory and stole it. What’s it to you?” James said, letting his legs dangle over the edge.
Albus shivered from being up so high but took a seat next to his brother. “I’m sorry about what I said but you are being a bit of a prick more than usual lately.”
“If this is about Louis being gay, I don’t wanna hear it. Yeah, I’m probably being an insensitive asshole but I’m entitled to my own opinion! If he wants me to talk to him again, he knows what to do,” James said in an assertive voice.
“You really can’t see that he’s so much happier since he came out?”
“Like I give two shits about happiness.”
Albus let out a scream of frustration and gave James a shove that nearly sent him over the edge. “I really wouldn’t have given two shits if you went over either!” he shouted before jumping to his feet and making his way back to the common room.
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