Chapter 5 : Fact Number Five:
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It isn't just that Albus dislikes the rain. He's afraid of it. Terrified, infact. But that's not the point, the point is that this secret also relates to one of my secret's; that's why it's important.
"Albus," I say, standing on my tip-toes so that I can watch as the familiar furry Russian hat bobs along through the crowd of students. "Albus!" I raise my voice slightly, hoping he hears me. "Albus! Alby! Al! Albus! ALBUS!" I watch as his head turns to the side as if hearing something but he still continues to walk away from me. I growl low in my throat causing several first years to stare at me and I ignore them as I start to move between bodies in order to reach him.
"Albus!" I call again, only to be ignored. "Bloody hell, Potter, i'm going to kill you when I finally catch up to you," I mutter under my breath as I accidently elbow someone in the ribs in my haste to reach him. Refusing to acknowledge the muffled complaints as I pass by, I grimace in pain as some clumsy oaf trods on my foot, causing me to partake in a strange limping hop for a few steps before the burning ache receeds and I can return to my normal pace.
Aggravated now, I storm through the rest of the crowds until I once again have Albus' stupid head in sight. I glare at his messy raven hair sticking out from the bottom of his hat and imagine burning a hole into the back of his skull using just my eyes. Deciding enough was enough, I finally stop moving and hold my hands to my mouth in an imitation of a microphone, "ALBUS-SEVERUS-FREAKING-POTTER, STOP RIGHT NOW!"
Clearly having heard me, Albus jumps around in shock and quickly scans the crowd until his eyes land on me. He frowns. I know how I must look. Dark strands of hair falling around my face after falling out of my pony-tail, face flushed from running and yelling and my robes smuged with dirt after a time consuming fiasco during herbology. I scowl back at him and have to resist the urge to strut up to him and jab him in the side with my wand for making me put so much effort into chasing him.
Neither of us moves.
He blinks, breaking eye contact.
I scan my eyes over him, finally taking in his casual attire. Free period? I guess it must be for him. I, on the other hand, am almost late for a detention.
A detention that is completely his fault. My scowl deepens at the thought, pulling my eyebrows together in a way that I know shields my eyes from the sun and so makes them appear darker. Angrier. Dangerous. Yes, I'm dangerous right now. And angry. Beware, Potter.
Finally deciding to make a move, Albus begins to walk towards me, nervously watching my reaction as he does so. He knows that it's his fault, I can tell he does.
"Hello, Aves," he smiles sheepishly at me.
I don't return the smile. "Jerk," I greet him.
His smile faulters. "C'mon Aves, I know that you're angry but it was an accident. Honest!"
"So you just took my homework without even asking and then just forgot to put it back?!"
Albus doesn't reply. His eyes drop to the floor, probably inspecting my shoes. I know that they're covered in mud and dirt. I don't care.
"I have a detention now because of you! And I have to rewrite my essay, making it 6 pages instead of 4. There's only so much that a person can write about when it comes to the Befuddlement Draught in the first place! How am I going to write a whole 2 more pages?!"
"I'm sorry, I just-"
"You just what, Potter?" I snap, staring at him as he bites the inside of his cheek. I want to yell at him to stop it.
He stops biting it. "I took it out to see what you had written about and I just.. I well, forgot to put it back."
I stare at him.
He lifts his eyes to search mine.
I make sure I don't conceal the fury that i'm sure he see's in my eyes.
He flinches back when he recognises the emotion and apologises again.
Changing my mind about yelling at him, I turn around and storm off quickly. Albus might dislike confrontation but he hates being ignored. He doesn't know how to handle it. I smile at that knowledge. Stupid bestfriend, stupid essay, stupid Potions Professor. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Walking towards the moving staircases, I notice Queenie making her way towards me and I inwardly groan. So not in the mood.
"Evie-Aves! I thought you had a detention?" Queenie asks me as she walks beside me.
I plaster a fake smile on my face and try to be polite. "I do, but i'm not turning up dressed like this," I motion at my dirty robes.
"Ah," Queenie smiles and links her arm with mine, enthusiastically skipping along beside me. "You'll never guess who just asked me out."
"Mark?" I ask, idly naming names, "Simon? Thomas? Kade?"
"No, no, no and no," she grins, gripping my arm tighter as we make our way up the stairs.
I resist pulling my arm out of her grasp.
"Marcus? Richard? Caleb? Paul?"
"Who in Merlin's name is Paul?" she asks, puzzled. "There isn't a Paul that goes to Hogwarts."
I sigh. "Sure there is, it's a common name. Besides, it's not like you know every single person that goes to Hogwarts."
Queenie humphs. "Fine, there is no-one important that goes to Hogwarts called Paul."
"Everyone's important," I mumble, distracted by the staircase as it begins to move, "Dammit, i'm going to be late at this rate."
"Some more than others..." she rants, causing me to tune out the rest of what she is saying as I try to figure out the fastest way to the dormitory.
I could wait for the stairs to move again. Or I could walk down that pathway and take the secret passageway. I think there are another set of stairs or something if I turn the other way. Will that make me late? I could always just go straight to the detention...
"...I mean, there's the popular people. Like us," Queenie motions between us, "and then there's Victoire and her followers, Albus, Scorpius, probably Rose..."
It could be hours before these stairs move again though, so that's not an option right now. Also, I can't be postive that there actually is another set of stairs because I haven't been that way since First year when I got lost.
"...Although, I think Kat has lost some status due to the fact that she's just abandoned us. Really, she has. Have you noticed? Because I most definately have. She's been hanging 'round with Victoire. Victoire doesn't like her though, I heard her talking about it the other day. Kat's just another follower now..."
No, I can't risk getting lost. If i'm late then i'll probably end up with an extra 3 pages and then what will I write about? Nonsense, that's what. It would be impossible to write 9 pages on the Befuddlement Draught. It's going to be enough of a struggle attempting to write 6 pages. That's another plan gone. What am I left with?
We're at the top of the stairs now and Queenie begins to drag me along the pathway towards the secret passageway. Looks like my decision has been made for me.
"...Anyway," Queenie continues, "you didn't guess correctly."
I blink for a minute, lost in what she just said. What were we talking about?
Pulling back the curtain to reveal the secret passageway, I step through it with Queenie still clinging to my side.
"Victoire," the name escapes me before I can stop myself.
"What? No! It's a guy."
"No," I shake my head and point towards Victoire who is slowly walking towards us.
Finally looking up, Queenie notices her too and i'm sure my own face mirrors the annoyance that has now spread over her features.
Victoire smirks as she passes us, "Isn't that a sight, I'm sure Kathrine will be devastated to know that she's already been replaced."
I glare at her, "don't be a bitch, Victoire. Kat left us."
Victoire laughs in a way that makes my stomach churn. "And isn't that a relief? At least one of you had the sense to see that you'd be better off being friends with me."
"Friends?" I repeat, almost spitting the word. "You don't even know the meaning of the word."
"Why would I want to? Friends make people weak. I don't have a weakness," she flips her long blonde hair over her shoulder and walks away.
I stare after her and suddenly a name forms in my mind. "Lysander," I call out to her.
She turns around faster than I would have expected. "What?" she all but hisses at me.
"You do have a weakness," I repeat, more confident now, "and it's in the form of Lysander Scamander."
Queenie had obviously not been paying much attention as she replies from beside me, "No, it was his twin. Lorcan asked me out! Can you believe it?"
Victoire storms off, refusing to respond to my assumption. That was confirmation enough. Everyone has a weakness - even the evil bitch herself.
Lysander Scamander though, who would've thought?
It's just gone midnight. I know only because the clock above the fireplace has recently chimed.
I've been sitting in the same spot on the floor by the fire for hours now. My hand aches and my writing has turned sloppy, even my mind feels as if there's a small layer of fog covering my thoughts. I push my mind to work harder, to get this essay finished before I collapse from exaustion.
Thunder booms from outside, shaking the window with it's force. The sky is angry tonight, as if it's reflecting my emotions from the day. If this is what anger is like, I wonder momentarily, perhaps that is why it can be so scary?
Rain splatters the glass and slides off, followed by even more. It's like they're trying to escape the anger, trying to find solitude inside. Sorry, no can do. The wind is howling, it would blow out the fire and then i'd be cold.
A creak. My eyes silently search the room for the noise. I hear it again. Standing, I grab my wand from off the floor and prepare myself.
Creak, creak, shuffle. Lightning streaks the sky, thunder breaks. The noise echoes throughout the room. Rain falls faster. A whimper. Another creak.
I am prepared.
A foot appears and I lower my wand slightly, watching.
Albus walks into the common room looking worried as he bites his bottom lip. I stare openly at him.
"What the hell?"
He jumps, obviously not having noticed me yet, and his eyes dart around the room until they land on me. He relaxes. The rain gets louder, thunder booms. He tenses.
"Hi," he says quietly, staring at the window and then quickly glancing away. He seems unsettled.
"What are you doing down here?" I ask.
He regains some of his composure. "I could ask you the same question."
I frown at him. "I'm writing my essay."
"I couldn't sleep."
I nod, the only sign that i've heard him, and sit down on the sofa. He walks towards me slowly and sits down beside me. I remain silent, staring at the fire.
"I really am sorry, you know," Albus says eventually.
I sigh, too tired to argue. "I know."
"Am I forgiven?" he asks hopefully.
"Sure," I reply, "you are my bestfriend after all."
He smiles at me. I return it.
The rain increases it's pace. The clattering noise sounds eerie when accompanied by the wind. Albus clutches my wrist tightly, taking me by surprise. I glance up at him, he's chewing on his bottom lip again. His eyes focused on nothing as they jump from one thing in the room to another. I doubt he knows that he's even holding on to me. I place my hand over his. That startles him and he jumps in his seat.
"What's up?" I ask, concerned.
He shakes his head so I ask again.
"I'm afraid of the rain," he admits weakly, avoiding my eyes.
I blink at him. How can you be afraid of the rain? Thunder and lightning, sure. They can be scary. But rain? Seriously?
"I know that it's silly but the rain just scares me," he elaborates, "it's cold and wet and always changes direction. Sometimes it even hurts! And it makes all those noises on the window like they're trying to attack me," he pauses and then lowers his voice, "you think i'm being stupid."
Thunder claps, the rain speeds up. I watch him tense.
"No," I say and realise that I mean it, "I don't think you're stupid."
"I said being stupid, not that I am stupid."
"But you are stupid," I tease.
"Ha ha, very funny."
I grin at him and lean into him. He's still stiff with fear; is terror a better word for it? Probably.
Without thinking, I turn my face so that my lips are inches from his and so that i'm staring directly into his eyes. There are small flecks of silver that I never noticed before. His lips part slightly in surprise and I gently press my lips to his before swiftly pulling back. He stares at me, eyes wide. I sit back further away from him.
I don't know why I did that. Why did I do that? Oh Merlin! Why did I do that?
Quickly and silently, I grab my almost-completed essay, my quill, ink and wand. Albus begins to say something but before I can hear him tell me how stupid that was, I'm rushing off up the stairs and away from him.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
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