Chapter 1 : Just Albus
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Chapter One – Just Albus
France; you are dead to me.
Goodbye, Auror apprenticeship.
Hello, life messer-upper.
Albus Potter here. It’s six thirty in the morning and I’m not due up for another four hours at least. I can’t sleep; way too excited. Me, James, Louis and Dominique are getting our asses out of England for the summer and we’re going to France. I think a trip to Bordeaux is well-deserved after all the hard work Louis and I put into our N.E.W.T examinations. I guess we have Teddy and Victoire to thank; they organized the whole thing.
So, here I am, lying in bed; staring up at the ceiling with nothing better to do. I couldn’t help but yawn at the thought of waiting until ten to leave for Tinworth. A loud banging on my bedroom door interrupted me from my thoughts. “It’s not even seven yet,” I whined, rolling over and pressing my face into the pillow.
Right off, I knew it was James. He barged into my room without knocking and leapt onto my bed. If he doesn’t get off my back in ten seconds, I’m going to hurt him. Badly. So badly, in fact, he won’t be able to sit for a year.
“You’re awake? Great; let’s go get some breakfast,” James said happily.
I really don’t want to have to kill my brother.
“Al? ...are you dead?”
Fuck the countdown. James, prepare to be slaughtered! I jumped up with a shout and pushed him onto the floor, laughing hysterically when I saw him lying spread-eagled on the carpet. Or...pushed, whatever works. “Never underestimate my power,” I said proudly, hanging over the edge of the mattress and giving James a playful punch. “Why are you up so early?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” James groaned as he clambered to his feet and took a seat on the bed next to me. “Couldn’t sleep.”
Mine and James’ relationship really changed over the years. When we were little, we were so close. Now that we’re older, I actually think we’ve gotten closer, instead of the other way round. I don’t see how people think we’re the same either. He’s good-looking, popular and confident. I’m...Albus. Just Albus; a nerd who used to get bullied up until third year.
At least my hair lies flat, unlike James’ and dads’. Contrary to belief, I don’t wear glasses. I never have and I never will. My eyesight is perfect. My mum and dad tell me that I’m just as good-looking as James but they’re my parents! They’re supposed to say that. While he’s out having the time of his life and acting like a normal nineteen-year old should, I stay indoors and read books until I fall asleep.
My love life? It’s nonexistent. I’ve only been kissed twice in my life. I had my first kiss when I was in fourth year with a Ravenclaw girl whose name I can’t even remember. My second was under the mistletoe in sixth year with a dorky kid named Linda.
She stalked me for the rest of that year.
I shuddered at the memory before telling James to leave so I could try getting back to sleep. Surprisingly, he left the room without a word and even bothered to shut the door after him. I shifted on the bed and lay back down, burrowing myself underneath the warmth of the blanket and, within ten minutes, I was fast asleep.
I woke up to the sound of my mum’s voice, shouting at James to get a move on. He still hadn’t packed properly and just last night, he was whining that he couldn’t find the wallet where he kept his spending money. I buried myself deeper underneath the bed covers, trying to block out my mother’s shouts. It wasn’t long before she began knocking on my bedroom door, telling me to get my arse out of bed if I wanted to go to France today.
“I’m up,” I groaned in response, throwing my legs over the side of the bed and stretching my arms. I ran a hand through my hair and stood up, eager to have a shower before heading to Shell Cottage. I pulled a t-shirt on over my head, a Weird Sisters one that I had received from Teddy a few months back. I stepped out onto the landing and leaned over the banisters.
“Mum!” I cried in a loud voice. “Will you throw some bacon on the pan for me while I take a shower?”
“Sure thing, Al,” she called up to me. I waited a few more seconds before the sound of sizzling reached my ears and I could take a shower in peace, knowing full well that my breakfast was cooking. I turned on the taps for the shower and ran the water over my fingers, testing the temperature until it was warm enough. I tugged my clothes off and dropped them onto the tiled floor before stepping into the shower and gasping at the heat of the water.
When I got out, my skin was bright red and surprisingly sore to touch. I was half-expecting my skin to start blistering by the time I was dressed and took a seat at the kitchen table. I fell onto the chair with a grimace and closed my eyes with exhaustion. “Shouldn’t have gone to bed so late,” I muttered under my breath.
“I told you I’d make something to help you sleep but no,” Harry drawled in a low voice. “You wouldn’t hear it.”
“You know I don’t like taking stuff like that,” I responded, frowning over at my dad as I ripped a slice of bacon apart with my fingers. I stuffed a small piece into my mouth and hummed loudly with delight. You have not lived until you’ve tried some of my mum’s cooking. She was a Quidditch player; where the hell did she learn to – oh yeah, Nana Molly.
Lily smiled over at me from across the table and took a sip of her orange juice. “I don’t see why I can’t go to Bordeaux too,” she said loudly as soon as James entered the kitchen, his hair still soaking wet from his shower. “I’m pretty sure the French would rather have me in their country.”
I smirked at Lily’s lame attempt at starting a fight and shook my head in dismay. “We’ll go next year, Lils,” I said, although I had no plans on going anywhere with her. She’s quite gullible but I could tell by the look on my dad’s face that I’d paid for my lie later.
“I heard from Teddy last night,” Harry spoke up, breaking the silence. “He and Vic are going to join you in France at the end of the month.”
I stopped, mid-chew, and raised an eyebrow at my dad. “Why?”
“He figured you’d all want to have a few weeks to yourself,” he replied, lowering his eyes to his plate.
James got up out of his seat and popped another two slices of bread into the toaster. “Okay, dad,” he said with a shrug. “Now tell us the real reason.”
“Louis thought he’d be spending the summer away from Victoire,” Ginny sighed. “So, naturally, he didn’t waste his breath in asking Teddy to keep her in England for a bit longer.”
I choked on the mouthful of juice I had just swallowed and laughed at Louis’ bold nature. “But he doesn’t mind Domi coming along?”
“Dominique isn’t a clone of Phlegm –”
“Mum,” James groaned in a disapproving manner. “Dominique is cool anyways. She doesn’t give a shit what Louis does.”
“James!” Harry snapped, turning around and giving his eldest son a stern look.
“Whatever; I’m going upstairs. Al, you finished?”
I scooted my chair back and brought my plate over to the sink before trudging up the stairs after my brother. I frowned when I saw him walking into my room instead of his own. “Alright, Potter, what are up to?”
“Your name is Potter too, you twit,” James laughed as he opened my wardrobe doors and began digging around in the huge pile of clothing on the closet floor. “Where is it?”
“The Invisibility Cloak.”
“Well, it’s not in there, that’s for sure,” I said, walking over to my bed and falling to my knees. I reached underneath the wooden bed frame and pulled out the recently abandoned Hogwarts trunk bearing my initials. Pulling the locks free, I opened the case and retrieved the piece of silvery fabric I had cherished for so many years. “What do you need it for?”
“Take it to France with you,” James said vaguely.
“Why?” I questioned with a loud whine. “I don’t need it.” I held the cloak out to him and shrugged. “You take it.”
James grabbed it out of my hand and grinned. “Nice one.”