gorgeous chapter image of James and Gwen from dumbledear! @ tda!
For the past few days James had been distant and I felt like I should’ve been happy about it, with the way he was acting before, but instead I felt empty spaces; empty spaces at meal times when he didn’t sit across from me, empty spaces when we didn’t talk during classes, and empty spaces on the couch in the common room where we usually did homework together.
It sounded a lot like that old cliché, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone,’ but James wasn’t gone in the physical sense; He was still there: in the Great Hall, the classrooms, the common room. He just…well it seemed like he was ignoring me. When I asked Dom what was going on she merely shrugged and I definitely wasn’t going to ask Albus or Lily, James’ younger siblings, because I knew that they would berate him. So, on Thursday, after three days of uncomfortable silence, in Potions, I finally broke.
“What’s going on with you?!” I suddenly asked, in the middle of class. James looked up from his cauldron and smiled, but then put on a look of confusion; it seemed forced.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Wood,” he shrugged, stirring his potion lazily.
“Yes, you do,” I insisted, crossing my arms over my chest. One side of James’ mouth pulled up into a smile.
“I honestly don’t,” He added, “Please, enlighten me.”
Bugger, I thought, He’s going to make me say it and I will sound like a whiny bint. I sighed.
“We haven’t talked in days!” I exclaimed, “Are you avoiding me?”
My outburst seemed to please him and his composure seemed to relax from the stiffened look it had all week.
“I’m sorry, Wood,” He smirked, “Did ya miss me?”
I knew he was milking it, but before I could stop myself I murmured a quick yes under my breath and turned a brilliant shade of pink. James looked surprised at first, his hand stilling, before smiling genuinely; dimple flashing. My heart started racing at an uncomfortable speed.
“Well then,” he put his ladle on the desktop and rubbed his hands together, “We’ll have to fix that, won’t we?”
“How so?” I managed to squeak, sounding alarmingly like Flitwick.
“I could help you with your essay on electricity,” he suggested and it sounded like a good idea to me; James knew more about Muggle-related things than I did. I nodded, “How about the library, after dinner and around eight?”
“Sounds good to me,” I smiled and it was comfortable again. Not the weird tension of Monday and not the uncomfortable silence of the past few days.
“Good,” James said, stirring his potion again. I noticed that his Draught of Living Death was perfectly clear while mine had a sickly green tinge to it. James leaned over, his arm brushing against mine, and added, smiling, “Maybe I could help you with Potions, too?”
“That’s probably a good idea,” I admitted blushing all over again when I realized how close he was. He smells like autumn, I thought. I looked to my left, at James, who was still fairly close with a calculating look on his face, “What?”
His eyes darted to me and smiling softly he said, “Nothing. I just realized what my third Amortentia smell was: Lilacs.”
“Oh,” I nodded, trying to seem noncommittal when I could only think of the lilac shampoo I had back in the dorm.
“What did you smell?” he asked innocently, drawing back and tapping his fingers on the desk.
“Um… well, chocolate,” I began; James laughed, muttering something that sounded like of course, “fresh linens, and autumn.”
James looked confused and I blushed again. Control yourself, woman! I yelled in my head.
“What does autumn smell like?” he questioned, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Well, like Halloween night, you know?” James raised an eyebrow, “Crisp and chilly and sweet. Like pumpkin pie and Honeydukes candy. Like nothing bad can happen despite the fact you’re out in the dark on a night known for haunted houses and horror movies.”
James chuckled and nudged my shoulder with his, “That is such a strange and completely Allison Wood thing to say.”
“Shut up,” I murmured, looking back at my potion.
I’m not going to overanalyze this, I’m not going to overanalyze this, I repeated over and over again in my head, but of course, it didn’t stop me, What does this mean? Am I attracted to James?!
I looked over at him, staring at the desk, his potion finished long ago. I took in his features; his hazel eyes, the dimple on his right cheek, the way his long, slim fingers continued to drum against the desk. He was definitely attractive, I couldn’t deny that, but this is James Potter we’re talking about, notoriously-single-and-so-out-of-my-league-that-I-shouldn’t-even-bother-myself-with-such-thoughts James Potter. I was being ridiculous, but before I could completely stress out over the situation, the bell rang.
“So, I’ll see you in the library?” I looked up to see James, his bag already over his shoulder.
“Yeah, see you then,” he smiled and nodded as I capped off my potion to give to Slughorn.
“Dom told me about your little plan,” I looked up to see a girl with glassy, blue eyes, snow-white skin, and dirty-blonde hair that was a wavy mess sit across from me in the Great Hall.
“How much did she tell you?” I questioned, buttering a piece of bread, before sticking it into my mouth whole. The girl laughed out loud; it was a strange, yet infectious, cackle.
“Enough to know that you’re just as bizarre as I had originally thought,” she shrugged, cutting into her chicken.
“Ouch, Gwen,” I winced, “you wound me!”
“Do you really think it’s going to work then?” She queried, chewing the food in her mouth. I shrugged.
“I don’t know,” I admitted, “It seems to be. Like, today in Potions she complained about how we haven’t spoken. Does that count?”
She raised her eyebrows and swallowed before answering.
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings here, mate, but even I would’ve said something if you avoided me for a few days and would also have been incredibly pissed at you, may I add. Allison may be quiet and modest, but I’ve seen her mad before, most of the time at you, and nothing is stopping me from thinking that you just merely annoyed her with this stunt. And honestly James, let’s think about this, you’re taking love advice from your crazy, potentially asexual cousin,” she rambled, taking sips of her pumpkin juice at intervals.
“You know I can hear you,” Dom, who was sitting next to Frank a few seats down, turned to us, and squinted her eyes at Gwen. Anxiously, I looked for Allison, hoping she hadn’t heard as well. I saw her chatting happily to one of her dorm mates, completely oblivious to our conversation.
“Yet, you’re not denying my accusation, are you m’dear?” Gwen asked, smiling. Dom shrugged and turned back to her conversation with Frank, who now seemed a tad glum, poking at his meal with a fork, “What happened after she complained about your lack of attention towards her?”
“Well, she basically admitted that she missed me, so we agreed to work on our Muggle Studies essay in the library, tonight, after dinner,” I explain, chewing the inside of my cheek.
“Brilliant! Now, please, act like a normal human being. Don’t rile her up and be a good friend—wait, didn’t you finish that essay yesterday?” she asked, her eyebrows rose. I made a non-committal head movement and blushed, “Aw, James Potter, sometimes you’re just too adorable.”
She reached across the table and pinched my cheek like my Nana Weasley always did.
“Bugger off, Creevey,” I mumbled as Gwen laughed and turned to speak to Freddie about Herbology, or something equally boring.
If I had to point out one girl in Hogwarts who I would consider to be my best friend, I would say Guenevere Creevey. We became friends back in Charms class, in our third year. She made fun of my reading glasses, so I made fun of her pale, ghost-like appearance. She retaliated by throwing her book at me. We’ve been friends ever since.
I used to get teased by my parents about our friendship, they were always cracking jokes about us being in love, or some other rubbish, but in truth, I am the only person who knew that Guenevere Aelwen Creevey had always fancied the pants off of Freddie Weasley. Well, actually, in fourth year she briefly started stalking Allison’s brother, seventh year Hufflepuff Greer Wood. That is until he announced that he and Calix Procopio, the Head Boy, were officially dating. The stalking ended soon after that.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and I quickly whipped around and found myself face-to-face with Allison, I smiled widely before I could stop myself.
“Wotcher Wood,” I greeted her, ruffling my hair a bit so I had something to do with my hands.
“Hey James,” she smiled softly, “I’m about to head up to my dorm to get my stuff, want to meet me at the library entrance in fifteen minutes?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said quickly, “of course. See you then.”
She briefly waved at me, then at Gwen, before exiting the Great Hall. When I turned back around I saw the smirk on Gwen’s face and blushed. I mumbled some sort of incomprehensible threat, at which she and Freddie just laughed at.
I need new friends.
. . . . . . . .
It was 8:07 when Allison finally made it to the library, her bag over her shoulder, red-faced, and panting heavily, as if she had ran all the way there.
“I’m sorry— that— I’m late,” she said in between breaths, “I got a letter— from Greer and it took me at least— ten minutes to get it off the— bloody evil owl.”
“It’s all right, Wood,” I grinned at her colored cheeks and fly away hair, as we sat down at a table in a corner of the library, “How is Greer by the way? I haven’t seen him and Calix since June, at the Weasley’s picnic.”
“He’s doing brilliantly actually. His twentieth birthday is coming up, so, of course, he was nagging me about his present. He’s still working at Flourish and Blott’s and Calix is still working on his paintings. They’ve moved in together, did you know? I’m really happy for them,” she smiled as her eyes adapted this far-off look to them, undoubtedly thinking of her brother. She obviously missed him.
“I’m happy for them, too,” I told her, and I was. I know everyone is thinking that we’re all ‘Huzzah! Gay Rights! Acceptance! Equality!’ and, in truth, most of us were, except for one person in particular, the person who’s approval Greer sought out most: his father, Oliver Wood. I’m not saying he disowned his son or anything, there was just a lot of tension between them for the past three years, and I knew it was taking a toll on the family, especially Allison and her brother, “Did he say about me?”
I’m not going to lie, I am definitely one of Greer Wood’s favourite friends of Allie’s, and he always asked her about me, plus, he was one of the people, besides my dad, who I most looked up to. He was the quidditch captain of the Hufflepuffs in his fifth, sixth, and seventh year, and has taught me everything I know. Okay, and maybe I sucked up to him a bit to win Allie’s favor, but he really was a great guy. We got on really well at social gatherings where he would ask me about the team and we would devise strategies together.
Allie blushed when I asked her that question before answering, “He wanted me to ask you if you were going to try out that tactic you devised together over the summer and that you should owl him soon, because he knows a way to improve it.”
“Excellent and I most definitely will, since you and Travers appear to be lagging behind lately,” I teased her.
“Excuse me,” she crossed her arms, “I do believe Travers and I happen to have outstanding chasing abilities, while yours are merely sub par.”
“You know you’re saying this to the team captain, right?” I smirked when she scowled, ignoring my comment as she starting emptying her things from her bag.
“So, where do we begin?” I asked, gesturing towards my blank piece of parchment, before noticing that he didn’t have any supplies with him, except for a few textbooks, “Where are your things? Your quill? Parchment?”
“Oh, I finished this essay yesterday,” he admitted as color seeped into his pale cheeks, making him all the more attractive. Damn him, I thought, “but I can still help you… if you want.”
“Definitely,” I said before thinking, and flushing as well, “I really need help.”
He reached for a book on the top of the pile besides him and opened it on the table between us.
“So, I suppose we’ll start with Benjamin Franklin,” he said, pointing to a picture of a corpulent, balding man, wearing spectacles, and standing in front of an American flag. I could tell the book was Muggle since the picture was not moving.
James started explaining to me the life and endeavors of Benjamin Franklin, including an incident with lightening and a kite. Soon, he started talking about two men named Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, but I was soon lost and just robotically wrote down everything he was saying without truly understanding it.
It was mostly because I was caught up with James, and how he looked when he was talking, and gesturing wildly about this subject that he obviously loved; how he ran his hands repeatedly through his messy, brown hair and the way he had to keep pushing his reading glasses further up on his nose when they continued to slip from his face.
James always had a great interest in Muggles, much like his grandfather, and his eyes shone when he talked about this ‘brilliant accomplishment’ they had come up with. He rambled on about televisions and radios and told a short, funny anecdote about his Grandpa Weasley and a broom shed filled with toasters and I just remember listening and laughing and just feeling comfortable and anxious-free, for what seemed like for the first time in ages.
It was then when I had this overwhelming, unbelievable, and completely and totally unacceptable epiphany.
I fancied James Sirius Potter.
First, I would like to apologize for this ridiculously long note and I am so sorry that this has taken so long! Again, it is too short for my liking and I finished it at 3:30 AM, so much of it will be grammatically incorrect and probably just plain horrid, but at least I finished it! So, what do you guys think is going to happen? What do you want to happen? :)
The chapter title is a song by the brilliant band Razorlight.
p.s. Thank you so much for the reviews and thank you Belle_Beau, BettyMaeStrange, dinasayah, expectopatronumHP, GriffinClawTherin_VIcky, Inthenextlife, jesstierney, casbaththefriendlywitch, heart4siriusblack, janna_loves_prongs, louise_loves_hp, m_vicky, nevertrustsheep (I like your name), pensiveprincess, RavenclawFTW, sftballchik210, stormkengen, Toor, unicorn, pinkpanda21, RiotOnAParchment, sparrowsong, Sushii, and truepotter fan for favouriting! (WHEW!) Please review! xx