Chapter 11 : Of control and retribution
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The first stage of the plan was to get their hands on the equipment. Toni, although she wanted nothing to do with it, ended up going to Hogsmeade with Fred to go to Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, which was owned by Fred’s dad. Although he was in Diagon Alley, his right-hand man Charlie (who had had to return from Hungary after an accident left him barely able to walk) was happy to serve his nephew. Toni, meanwhile, was stocking up on sweets from Honeydukes cellar before the pair headed back up the passageway, protected by the invisibility cloak.
Meanwhile, James had been scouting out his opposition, in an attempt to work out the best plan of attack. Hayley called it stalking, James called it being meticulous. Nicky joined him from time to time, if only to shake the suspicions of Fred that she wasn’t “one of them” but also to resist the temptation of Josh, who was also finding it difficult to resist his hormones.
Hayley personally knew her role was inevitable. James needed something to distract him from the impending destruction of his life and pranks were the perfect way for him to vent his frustrations. At Albus, at Molly, at Kassie. At life. And he wouldn’t do it without her by his side. Whilst he and Fred were the genius behind it, she always ended up playing a role in their games. Whilst she was never normally caught, she’d sometimes have to intercept letters to her parents before they reached their destination. James wasn’t normally a fan of attacking owls but in those cases he made exceptions.
And so, sure enough, Hayley found herself sitting under the invisibility cloak beside James, although it was a bit of a squeeze to fit them both under. He’d brought Hayley along because out of all of them, she was most likely to nail the question that would be asked in order for them to get in. When, according to the Map, the coast was clear, she stepped out from under the cloak and knocked, causing the beak of the eagle on the door to open.
“What is man’s greatest virtue?” it asked.
“Reasoning,” Hayley replied after a split-second of thought. James smiled to himself at the brilliance of his best friend. She jumped back under the cloak as they slipped into the common room unnoticed. It was a free period, so that ruled out bumping into anyone up to fifth year. The majority of sixth year Ravenclaws, Hayley thought would be in Arithmacy, a subject neither of them had fancied taking and who knew where the seventh years were. A couple of girls were in the 7th year dorm, which was where they needed to go once they had charmed the exit, but James reckoned if they encountered them, he could charm them. With his words, not his wand. Hayley rolled her eyes at this.
“How are you even going to get up there?” she asked, crossing her arms.
“Well, there’s more than one reason I brought you on this task Undies,” James smirked.
“I…fucking…hate…you…Potter!” Hayley wheezed as she stumbled up the stairs, James sitting comfortably on her back.
“Hurry up Hayley, you’re slowing down!” James teased as his best friend staggered under his weight.
“It’s not my fault you’re so heavy!” she snapped.
“It’s not my fault you’re so weak!” James countered. “We’re here anyway. Set me down on the doorstep, the last thing I want to do is slip down.”
“Yeah, we couldn’t have that could we?” Hayley snarled, dumping him unceremoniously just outside the door to the dorm and pulling the cloak over her. “Just distract them whilst I plant the trap.
“Will do,” James grinned, winking at her before pushing open the door and heading into the room. The two girls were sat on the end of their beds, chatting animatedly and squealed when he entered, both of them dressed in blue rimmed robes. One of them was tall and blonde, her curly hair falling around her shoulder and her eyes shimmering like the sea. The other had red hair and hazel eyes, and was slightly smaller and less pretty than her friend.
“James Potter!” they both squealed.
“What are you doing here?” one said.
“How did you get up the staircase?” asked the other.
“Well ladies,” James smiled, standing between them, kneeling and putting his arm around them and causing them both to blush. “I was bored, free lesson and all that, so decided I’d keep a couple of young females such as yourselves company. Unless that’s a problem?”
“NO!” they both yelled, before catching themselves and blushing furiously.
“Good,” James grinned, leaning in so his head was millimetres away from theirs. “Now see I have a policy of only kissing one girl a day, otherwise I’d be described as some sort of player. So which of you will it be girls?”
The two girls looked at each in shock for a moment. Then the blonde girl snatched up her wand and stunned her friend, who toppled off the back of her bed, screaming for an instant before she hit the floor.
“Feisty and blonde?” James grinned. “I like it.”
The blonde moved in closer and her lips met James’. James kissed back, not giving it his all but enough to satisfy the hungry blonde as her tongue danced with his. After a few moments, Hayley cleared her throat, having removed the cloak and stood by the door.
“Can we go now James?” she snapped, glaring at him.
“Ah, that’ll be my best friend,” James said to the girl. “Bit obsessive,” he whispered. “Wants me for herself. I’d better be off.”
The girl protested briefly but James was already by the door, blowing her a goodbye kiss as Hayley threw him down the stairs angrily. He was still laughing as he hit the bottom, Hayley following him shortly behind.
“Was that really necessary?” she asked exasperatedly.
“Which bit?” James grinned. “Snogging her or pretending you want me?”
“Both,” Hayley replied shortly.
“Well snogging her was probably necessary. And saying you wanted me was fucking hilarious. You should’ve seen the look on your face. Anyway, why did you interrupt? I had it all under control.”
“Oh I’m sorry honey,” Hayley said in a sickly sweet voice. “Next time you want to shove your tongue down a random girl’s throat whilst I’m trying to do YOUR dirty work, I’ll leave you to it.”
“That’s the spirit Hayls,” James teased, as she rolled her eyes.
Breaking into the Slytherin dorm was a simpler task for James and Fred. They simply waited under the cloak then followed a couple of Slytherin first years into the room. Luckily, there was no-one in Scorpius’ dorm room, so it was a simple task to do what needed to be done and then get out again before they were noticed. And as for Albus’ dorm, well that proved a piece of cake. Especially seeing as they didn’t even need to use the cloak, as their dorm was only one floor away from Albus’ room. As far as James was concerned, the only tricky part was finding out which bed was his. Molly had clearly labelled hers with her trunk and the fact her bed was emblazoned with silver to show she was head girl and Malfoy had a photo of him and his mother by his but Al’s bed was almost the same as the others. In the end, Fred opened all their trunks, and had James identify his hand-me-down clothes.
Heading back up to his room, James yawned as he opened the door. He then swore loudly as he saw Nicky and Josh kissing passionately on Josh’s bed. Josh was halfway through pulling his shirt off as James entered and James yelled, turning back to see where Fred was. Fred was about two steps down and James turned back.
“Levicorpus!” he cried, levitating Nicky as Josh pulled back on his shirt in double-quick time.
“What’s going on?” Fred yawned, throwing himself on his bed. “James let the poor kid down.”
“Sorry Mark,” James laughed through the awkwardness, letting Nicky down with a flick of his wand and she thumped on the bed. “He and Josh were wrestling and it looked like he was pounding Josh, so I thought I’d step in before they tore each other apart.”
“Why are you such a girl sometimes James?” Fred snorted, flicking through a Quidditch magazine. “Let the idiots fight, nobody’s going to get hurt.”
“Yeah, well I’m going to see where the girls are,” James said. “Care to join me guys?”
“Yeah sure,” Josh smiled, as James shot Nicky a look indicating she had no choice.
“Send Toni up would you?” Fred said absent-mindedly, not taking his eyes off the magazine.
James practically dragged the pair downstairs furiously, stopping only when they reached the common room, where Hayley and Toni were sat giggling.
“And then, bless him, he kissed me goodnight,” Toni was saying. “As if everything he’d done was in some way romantic!”
“Oh God,” Hayley replied. “One time, Darren kissed me on the cheek at the end of the evening, and then twisted his head so we were full on snogging. I was just stood there, wondering when he’d thought up that genius idea. If he wants to get with me, he should just dive in, not be subtle about it!”
“Yes, it’s all a tragedy,” James interrupted. “I need a word Hayls. Toni, Fred’s upstairs in our dorm, he wants to see you.”
“There we are,” Toni laughed. “The lazy sod no doubt wants a shag and thinks that sending James is in some way romantic, as if James is a carrier pigeon. I’ll see you later Hayley.”
“Yeah, bye Toni,” Hayley chuckled. “What’s up James?”
“Not here,” Josh hissed. “People will hear.”
“He’s right,” James sighed. Room of Requirement, let’s go.”
“They what?” Hayley practically exploded. “What the hell were you two thinking? I’ll tell you what you were thinking, you weren’t thinking! What if Fred had walked in instead of James?”
“You don’t get it, do you Nicky!” James snapped. “We can cut your hair, we can mould your face, we can make you look like a boy, but if you throw it all away by snogging Josh, then what happens? People find out. And you know what happens then? You die!”
His words were harsh, but they hit home, as Nicky broke into sobs on Josh’s shoulder. Hayley and James exchanged a look then softened up. Hayley sat beside Nicky and rubbed her shoulder soothingly, as James paced the room impatiently.
“I’m sorry guys,” Josh said quietly. “It’s my fault. We were sat on our beds and I told her to come and sit with me so we could share some Bertie Botts Beans and then I kissed her. It was beyond stupid, I never should have done it, but I just lost control.”
“You lost control?” James cried. “Well if losing control kills the girl you love Josh, then on your head be it!”
“On my head?” Josh yelled. “You two fucking idiots are the ones who made the Vow in the first place. It’s entirely your fucking fault, don’t go blaming me!”
“Just stop it, both of you!” Nicky wailed. “This isn’t helping. What happened that night was a huge mistake, we all were stupid. But now I have to live with it every day. Not you three, me. So just stop passing around the blame and accept that I’m stuck as Mark.”
Josh and James looked at each other then back at Nicky, who was still fighting against her tears.
“We’ll get you through this,” Hayley whispered to her. “All of us.”
It had been a week since James and Fred had begun to plan their prank. Now, as James sat back with a triumphant grin on his face at dinner, it was time to kick off. Albus sat down a little way across from James, who pointed his wand at his brother and muttered a spell under his breath. Fred did likewise, only aiming for Molly and Hayley, reluctant though she was, copied with Scorpius.
It was Albus who noticed it first. The stink. He smelled his own armpits and wretched at the smell. People began to move away from him and across the room, Scorpius and Molly were giving off odours of their own, moving people away from them. James nodded lightly to the others, who then muttered the second spell, which was different for each one. Albus found himself turning green, his skin, hair and robes all moulding and turning a horrible, sickly shade. He moaned in pain and then threw up, his sick also the same shade of green. James grinned to himself and looked around, seeing Scorpius slowly start to grow bigger, his limbs, body and head all inflating slightly so he looked like he’d been eating too much cake. As Scorpius tried to move, he lost his balance and fell, waddling towards the door. Then, a piercing scream filled the room and James turned to look at Molly. Their eyes met for a moment and James smiled triumphantly, allowing her to recognise his victory as all the hair on her head fell to the ground around her, her long red locks evaporating in mid-air in front of her eyes. She screamed again then ran from the room, an eruption of laughter following her. James’ eyes met Hayley’s and she allowed herself a smile. Toni, sat to his left, was roaring with laughter.
“A couple of stinking potions in their beds, and then some handy dandy body affecting charms, both wand-activated but placed in advance of course,” James whispered to her. “Oh and you two, use another spell in case McGonagall tries to pin this on us.”
“She’s coming!” Fred hissed.
“I don’t suppose you lot had anything to do with this would you?” McGonagall asked, smoke practically rising from her ears.
“Course not Minnie,” Fred replied innocently, whilst James shot her his most dazzling smile.
“I don’t believe you,” McGonagall replied stiffly.
“Prove it was us then,” James said, still smiling. “I’ve got a Quidditch game in just over a week, I would never waste my teams time with petty pranks that frankly, aren’t in our league. Now, if you excuse me, I’d like to go and check on my brother.”
McGonagall’s eyes narrowed but she said nothing as James left the room, triumphant.
When James got to the hospital wing, all three of them were sat on beds, looking unhappy. None of them stank but whilst Scorpius was back to being thin, Albus was still puking though his normal colour and Molly was sat with a thick blue paste on her bald head.
“How are you little brother?” James asked without a hint of menace. “Someone sure got you good.”
“According to Pomfrey, I’ll stop throwing up in about an hour,” he rasped. “Which is more than can be said for Molly. She’s got to wear that stupid paste to help her hair grow back. It should take a couple of days, so until then, she’s stuffed. And she can’t even wear a hat or anything as it messes with the stuff. Scorp’s fine. And before you say anything else James, I know you did it, but I know you could’ve done worse, so I won’t kick up a fuss. I know you don’t approve of me and Scorp and I’m sorry about that, but there’s no need to be an arse.”
James felt a pang of regret but the overwhelming feeling was glee at Molly’s predicament. He patted his brother’s shoulder then went to loom over the sobbing Ravenclaw.
“At least your head matches your house,” James crowed victoriously.
“Fuck off Potter, just fuck off,” Molly hissed. “I was so close to kissing Alan Masters but now it’s all ruined. Look at me, I’m hideous.”
“Next time you break my ribs, I want at the least an apology,” James said calmly but with more than just a hint of menace.
“Your life is over Potter,” Molly snarled. “I will get you back for this. I swear it.”
“Oh blah blah blah do your worst Molls,” James snorted, before turning on his heels and strolling out, pausing only to wink at Scorpius when he shot James a filthy glare.
A/N: It can get hard to stop these Author Notes becoming repetitive, please read and review, what do you think, i like this chapter, read my other stories etc etc. So in this chapter, we see another side to James and I hope you all enjoyed it. I'd love to say there was a point to this A/N but I got nothing. I'll try to update as soon as possible, and for those of you who are interested, I've been able to finish 19 chapter as of when I sent this chapter off, and I hope that I can get a few more done soon. Enjoy :)
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