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Chapter 1 : Martha
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James was currently in mourning of a severed relationship, he was sat on the steps of Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley, wallowing in his thoughts. Beside him was his very bemused and slightly annoyed cousin Fred Weasley. He’d seen James like this too many times not to know what was bothering him, or at least assume to know what was bothering him.
Fred had gone down to the shop after his wife, who had just come back from a long night shift at St Mungos, had informed him that James was outside Quality Quidditch Supplies in one of 'those' moods. Fred lived above the joke shop which had been passed down the family.
“Well,” Fred said, sounding bored already, “what is it?”
“You have no idea, Fred,” James moped, drawing white, chalk like, spirals on the steps with his wand.
“You’re over-reacting, mate,” Fred said, barely listening and eager to get back to bed. Running the joke shop was quite an energy drainer, especially during the school holidays.
“Everyone has that guy or girl they know will be perfect for them,” James said moping, “and I’ve lost her.”
“Wait,” Fred said, taken aback and rubbing his eyes to try and waken himself up a bit more, “there’s actually someone involved here? I assumed it was about quidditch. What’s her name?”
“Martha,” James said, sniffing slightly.
Fred sighed and rolled his eyes once more, muttering some choice words under his breath involving broomsticks and what he would use one for right then if he’d had one. Namely hitting James with one to knock some sense into him.
“You have got to be kidding me,” he said, looking at his cousin with complete and utter confusion. Well, confusion mixed with stress and annoyance.
“She was the one, Fred. How am I supposed to replace her.”
“Easy,” Fred said, “you buy a new broom. Martha was sixteen years old and falling to bits. It’s about time you got a new one. Oh, and stop giving your broomsticks names. It’s creepy.”
“Martha wasn’t just a broomstick, Fred, she was the broom I rode when I was feeling down or when I was at home and needed to think.”
“So how’d you break her?” Fred asked, entertaining his cousin’s strange attachment to anything quidditch related. He had names for all his broomsticks.
“Thundery weather got the best of her.”
“So you’re outside Quality Quidditch Supplies because?”
“I want to know if they have any more Machs in stock. Not that any of them would be the same as Martha.”
Mach was the nickname most people used for the Cleansweep Mach Elevens, one of the best brooms Cleansweep had managed to create, still not a match for the Nimbuses' or the Firebolts' successors but it was a great first broomstick, especially for a nine year old Potter who didn’t want to wait any longer to start flying properly.
“James, if you’re wanting another Mach, I suggest you go to a museum or a rubbish heap or even some ancient ruins. They’re not going to have any.”
“They might, you never know!” James said, finally looking up from his knees at his cousin to see he was still wearing pajamas and slippers and he was looking very worn out.
“I do know. I know that you’re a plonker and you need to learn to let things go. Now, if that’s you sane again. I’m going back to my lovely wife before the pair of us have to get up again. Want some advice? Go to a pub, find yourself a nice girl and stop thinking about your broomstick for ten minutes. It's weird.”
“No,” James said, pouting like a child. “I’m going to sit here until the store opens and I’m getting another Martha.”
“No you’re not,” Fred said, shaking his head, “you’re getting a mental illness. I give up.” He waved his hand in the air and stood up, tottering over to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
James was alone with his thoughts once more. He couldn’t help but feel upset that his first broomstick had finally broken. It took most kids a year to break their first broomstick but he’d taken such good care of Martha from the day he’d got her.
He sat there for a few more hours, finding something to do wasn’t a problem. He simply replayed last season’s quidditch matches in his head, finding ways to make new game plans to win the Magpies the championship next year. They’d been so close this year but Puddlemere had just beaten them to it. In fact, he got so caught up in his thoughts, he’d forgotten where he was in the first place.
“Excuse me? Excuse me, sir?” A voice said from above him, taking him out of his reverie.
“Huh, what, who?” He said foolishly, still partially locked up in his mind. He looked up to see a young woman looking down at him.
“Hi,” she said smiling at him, “You wouldn’t mind would you? It’s just I have to get the shop opened by seven or my boss will have my guts for sure.”
“Yeah, sure, no problem. I was just waiting for it to open actually,” James said, quickly standing up and shuffling out of the way.
“Really? How long you been waiting for?” She looked worried, like she was late for work, which she was.
“A few hours,” James said, wishing he hadn’t now that he’d noticed the girl was very pretty indeed.
“Hours?” She asked in disbelief? “Wow, you must be desperate for something, huh?” She said, fumbling around in her robe pocket for her keys.
“Yeah, you could say that. You don’t happen to know if you have any Cleansweep Mach Elevens in stock, do you?”
“You’re after a Mach? Wow, I don’t think we’ve sold one of those in years,” she said, opening the store up. “I can have a look in the back for you. We have all sorts of classic brooms back there that people don’t appreciate anymore, they're pretty cheap now too.”
Classic brooms. Not old, rickety useless brooms. Classic brooms. This was James’ type of girl. He followed her into the store eagerly.
“Just wait here a second,” she said as she went behind the counter and through to the back.
James looked around the store, still standing on the spot completely transfixed by every word she now said.
For all he knew he’d fallen asleep on the pavement and cracked his head on a step.
Embarrassingly enough, it wouldn’t have been the first time, James had broken quite a few brooms in his day.
“It’s you’re lucky day Mr...” She said, closing the door the store room.
“Potter,” he said, looking at her again, completely ignoring the broomstick he’d waited hours for. “James,” he added quickly, noticing her eyebrows rise at the mention of his name.
“I can’t believe I didn’t recognise you,” she said, smiling broadly at him, “I loved the Puddlemere match!”
“Ah, but we didn’t win that one,” he said, smiling.
“I know, but I’m a massive Puddlemere fan,” she winked, “it was still some pretty fantastic flying on your team’s part though. Very impressive.”
“Well, thanks, I suppose that lets you off the hook for being a Puddlemere supporter.”
“Thanks,” she chuckled, handing him the broomstick.
“That’s only twenty five galleons,” she said, still holding one hand on the broom, “it’s a great broomstick.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s one of my favourites,” he said, handing her the gold. “Thanks for this...” he said, looking for a name tag that wasn’t there. “I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.”
“It’s Martha,” she said, with a smile, “and it’s not a problem.”
“Martha," James repeated to himself, "nice name."
A/N: The text in bold is a quote from the TV show How I Met Your Mother. Hope you liked the story :)
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