There is a scene coming up in the next few chapters involving a conversation about how Camry and Al met for the first time. I ended up writing the whole thing out, and I’ve posted it as a one-shot for anyone who is interested.
Jen and I walked into the common room together, but I wasn’t paying attention to her. I was looking around, trying to spot Al. I sighed a little when I didn’t see him. I wasn’t surprised, really, it was after midnight on a school night. The Common Room was pretty much deserted. The only people in there—other than Jen and myself—were Vanessa and Axel, and they certainly didn’t look like they wanted company, if you get my drift.
I looked back over at Jen, and we shared a giggle as we continued over to the girls’ stairs. I couldn’t say I wasn’t disappointed that Al wasn’t just magically right where I was so I could grab him and kiss him, but I wasn’t going to let that shake me.
I walked into the girls’ dorms and cringed when I saw the lights were all out. I felt Jen’s hands grip onto my shoulders. I bit back a giggle as Jen started slowly guiding me through the dark room to my bed. She only stopped when my knees tapped against my bed. I reached up and gave one of her hands a squeeze in thanks. The last thing either of us wanted was me tripping and waking Emily up!
I didn’t want to risk making any noise by getting my night clothes out of my trunk. Even the sound of Jen taking off her shoes made me pause, just to make sure Emily wasn’t woken up. I remember in first year, Annily accidentally woke Emily up when she got up in the middle of the night to pee. That was The-Tuesday-That-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned. We all learned very quickly that making noise after Emily goes to sleep is a very, very bad idea.
Ultimately I decided I’d just slip out of my shoes and outerwear, and skirt as quietly as I could and pretend my school shirt was a night dress. I crawled into bed as slowly as I’m sure is humanly possible. The grin that spread across my face as I finally made it into the sheets almost hurt my face. I rolled over onto my stomach and reached my arm up under my pillow and curled into a tight ball.
I couldn’t wait for morning. I was going to go straight up to Al and tell him everything; and then we were going to spend all weekend together, just the two of us. I felt a giddiness bubbling up in my chest that I hadn’t felt in a very, very long time.
Despite being so excited, I managed to fall asleep very quickly. My alarm was going off before I even knew I was asleep. For the first time in all of my years at Hogwarts I got up the very moment I realised it was my alarm sounding and not Emily’s; who’s alarm is the exact same as mine.
I’d jumped out of bed and all but ran into the washrooms. I hadn’t showered the night before out of fear of waking Emily and I certainly wasn’t going to look anything other than my absolute best that day! I wanted to knock Al off his feet and leave him breathless. I was practically vibrating with excitement. I couldn’t wait to see him.
I couldn’t have towelled off any faster. I put on my makeup very carefully, and then rushed out of the washroom only to find the other girls were only just starting to get out of bed at all. I frowned, but rushed over to Vanessa.
“You need to dry my hair!”
“Erm... what?” Vanessa yawned as she reached for her glasses.
“My hair is damp. It needs to be dry.” I rolled my eyes. Obviously!
“So dry it yourself?” Vanessa threw her blankets off of her and sat up.
I frowned. “Last time I tried that I caught my hair on fire! Please, Vee, it’d mean the whole world to me. I’ll be your best friend!”
“Why can’t you just put your hair up like you always do?”
Jen laughed her bell like laugh from her trunk on the opposite side of the room. “Because today is the day she’s going to confess her feelings of love and devotion to a certain Potter boy.”
Vanessa’s eyes widened as she looked from Jen to me and saw that I wasn’t denying it. She reached to her bedside table and waved her wand over me and suddenly my hair was completely dry. I jumped up and gave Vanessa a huge hug.
“It’s about time!” I looked over to see Annily running her hands fussily through her short hair.
I scoffed. “It is not! This is completely new!”
Annily, Vanessa, Jen, and Emily all snorted in perfect unison. It was both impressive and unattractive.
I crossed my arms over my chest and pouted. “You know, guys, that was really very unattractive.”
They did it again, mostly to indicate their lack of caring I think.
“Cam, we’ve all seen this coming.” Emily shrugged as she buttoned up her blouse.
I shook my head. “Lies.” I walked over to put the books I’d need for my morning classes into my book bag.
“It’s true.” Vanessa smiled at me. “We’ve been trying to come up with ways to get you to admit it.”
“You have not!” I stopped to stare at them all.
“We’re not very original. All we came up with was locking you both in a broom cupboard. Or the Prefect’s bathroom.” Annily nodded, seemingly giving up on getting her hair to lie flat on her head.
I laughed. “Wouldn’t that have been a sight.”
Vanessa smirked. “I was really pushing for the bathroom. I was thinking maybe there would be a sexy bath involved.”
I shook my head and pulled my book bag around my shoulder. “Well, girls, wish me luck!”
I heard four voices calling “Luck!” after me as I walked out the door and made my way down the stairs. I looked around to see if Al was in the common room. He wasn’t. Without really thinking, I walked up the stairs to the boys’ dorms and knocked on the sixth year door.
I felt a little nervous when it was Don that answered the door. I had the feeling that he didn’t like me very much.
The glare I received only reinforced my feeling. “Yes?” He snapped.
“Is Al still here?” I figured Gryffindor bravery was the only reason my voice was steady. Don was positively terrifying. I knew he would never actually hurt a girl, but that didn’t stop me from remembering the punch he’d given the wall not far from my face not all that long ago.
“No.” Don went to shut the door in my face, but Ashton appeared and held it open. It looked like he was leaving.
“He went down to breakfast a few minutes ago.” He said with a friendly smile and walked past me.
Don turned his glare onto the back of Ashton’s head for a moment before turning back to me. We just sort of looked at each other for a bit before Don silently shut the door in my face. Seriously, what was this boy’s problem?
I shook my head and decided to go down to breakfast. When I walked into the Great Hall, the first thing I did was look for the messy dark hair, bright green eyes, and infectious smile of one Albus Potter. When I spotted him near the end of the table I felt my heart skip a beat. It was incredible. It was like I was seeing him for the first time.
He was laughing with Ashton who’d said something just as he was sitting down; he must have just arrived, which made sense as he’d only left a minute before me. His plate was piled high with toast and sausage made into sandwiches of some sort. He talked with his hands a lot.
I didn’t want to just watch him, though, I wanted to be with him completely. I walked over and sat down quietly next to him. He looked over and grinned at me. “Hey!”
“Hey!” I smiled. I couldn’t not smile today.
“Your hair’s down.” Al motioned at me.
“Yeah.” I nodded, fiddling with it a bit. “I thought I’d try something a little different.”
Al nodded. “It looks nice, but it looks nice up too.”
I blushed. “Thanks.”
“You guys should get a room or something, some people are trying to eat.” I blushed and looked over to see an extremely amused Ashton Davies.
“Shut up!” Al threw a bun across the table at Ashton’s face. Al was blushing too.
I decided the best option was to ask to talk to him alone. I grabbed some toast and ate it as quickly as I could.
“Erm, you okay?” Al looked concerned.
I nodded as I finished off the last of it. “Yeah, I just wanted to talk to you alone before classes start?”
I looked at Al, hoping against all hope that he would agree. He did. He nodded. “Sure.” He reached down at his feet and picked up his bag. I sighed happily and grabbed my own bag from my feet.
We walked out of the Great Hall and down a little ways into the small room that we’d waited in to be sorted in first year.
I stopped and turned to face Al. I took a deep breath. Wow, I was nervous. Were my hands shaking? I looked down. Yes. Yes, they were.
“Is everything alright?” Al asked, reaching out and touching my arm. It tingled a bit, it was lovely. I wanted him to leave his hand there forever.
I nodded. “Yeah, I’m just nervous is all.”
“Well-“ I’d started, but was interrupted by Professor Longbottom sticking his head in the door.
“Hello there.” He gave us a friendly smile.
“Hey Ne—Professor Longbottom!” All grinned back.
“Hi.” I smiled politely. I was ripping mad.
“Just thought I’d let you two know classes are starting soon.”
“Thanks Professor.” I nodded. “We’re leaving.”
He nodded and left the room. I sighed. “Al, can we talk later?” I wanted more time than this to tell him. I fully intended for there to be some sort of physical affection expressed, and I certainly didn’t want to have to do it in only five minutes!
Al shrugged. “Of course!”
I smiled at him as we left the room and parted ways. Once he was out of sight I frowned. It was fine. I’d talk to him at lunch. It was going to be pure torture to spend all of Charms with him and not just shout for him to just kiss me already, but I’d just have to suffer through it. I didn’t want to tell him in front of other people; it was personal.
I walked out of the castle and immediately wished I hadn’t. It was flipping freezing out! I wrapped my arms around myself and began walking as quickly as I could toward the heated green house six, which was where class was that day.
I was only about halfway there when I felt two scrawny arms wrap around me. I turned to see Annily. She pressed her face into my shoulder and I could feel her teeth chattering.
“We need to huddle for warmth!” She shouted into my ear.
“Ow, I’m right here!” I laughed, wrapping my arms around her, burying my hands in an open pocket in her book bag. “You don’t need to yell.”
“Since when is the weather here like the weather in Antarctica?” Annily demanded as we continued toward the green house with a speed that we shouldn’t have been capable of in our current embrace. I blamed it on Fred.
“Since the muggles screwed it all up for us!” We were so close to the doors. Five steps, three steps, yes! I pushed open the door and burst through it, still in Annily’s arms.
“We’re alive!” She shouted, throwing herself onto the work table that we normally worked at. She earned a few amused glances and giggles, as well as one or two glares from a couple of Slytherins.
I grinned at her and sat down, thrilled to be out of the cold. “It really is far too cold outside.”
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Annily jumped up and pulled a chair over quickly. “Al!”
I smiled at her. “I almost had it out, but we were interrupted.”
Annily frowned. “Boo!”
I giggled. “Yeah, but I’ll talk to him at lunch.”
Professor Longbottom chose that moment to start class and Annily and I settled in to take notes. Or rather, I took notes while Annily drew funny little comics in her Herbology text. Time felt like it was going slower than normal; fate just wasn’t on my side that day. I kept glancing at my watch, getting more and more impatient when every time it turned out to have been only minutes after the last.
When I finally felt like Herbology would never end, it finally did. Professor Longbottom dismissed us with a grin. I almost felt excited until I realized I had Charms next. I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to sit next to Al for over an hour and not blurt out what I was dying to tell him. I considered skipping entirely, but I knew just as well as anyone that skipping Charms was begging to fail it; at least, it was for me.
“You look like you’re about to pee yourself.” Annily giggled, wrapping her arms around me, while I did the same as we walked out into the freezing weather.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to go all through Charms today, Annie.” I whimpered, rather pathetically as the cold air hit my face with a staggering force.
Annily buried her face into my neck. “You’ll do fine! It’ll be lunch and you’ll be snogging Al before you know it!”
I smiled. I could always count on Annily to simplify the problem into becoming not a problem at all. “You’re right. Mmm, I can’t wait!”
With a bark of laughter that really tickled my neck, Annily nodded. “I’m always right!”
I shook my head. “How could I have forgotten?”
That was the last time we spoke before we got back to the castle, and once we were inside we only said our goodbyes. I felt like a giant bundle of nerves as I walked up the stairs towards the Charms room. All I could think about were Al’s bright green eyes, and how there was no way I could look into them again without grabbing and kissing him.
I walked slower than normal as I walked into the class. I was both relieved and disappointed when I didn’t see Al already sitting in his normal seat next to mine. I took a deep breath and sat down. I reached up to pull the elastic out of my hair and then felt really dumb for doing so, as I didn’t have one in that day. Instead I wrapped a small amount around my finger and began to twirl it around. An old habit from before I started wearing it up all of the time.
Class was almost set to being when Al finally stormed into the room and slammed his things down on his desk, next to me. He was frowning, and very clearly angry. He yanked his chair out, and all but threw himself into it.
I hesitated a moment before reaching out to touch his arm. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” Al said tersely.
“Oh. Okay.” I turned toward the front of the class confused, and a little hurt that Al wouldn’t talk to me.
I heard a long, laboured sigh from next to me. “Sorry, Cam.” I turned to look at Al. “Just had a bit of a fight with Don. Nothing to do with you.”
I smiled weakly and nodded. “Anything I can do?”
“Nah, it’s fine.”
We both turned to the front of the class, where Professor Flitwick was announcing a pop quiz. Well, I guess I was overreacting a bit when I was panicking about not being able to control myself. Al’s bad mood and the pop quiz were enough to ruin anybody’s desire to confess feelings of affection. It didn’t stop me from noticing how Al seemed to smell like heaven, and that he was actually left handed.
With the quiz to occupy me, the class passed by much quicker than Herbology had; before I knew it Flitwick was collecting the quizzes and Al was shoving his quill and ink back into his bag and storming out of the room. With a laboured sigh I packed up my quill and made my way out of the room at a much more reasonable pace.
The rest of the day seemed to go by in a blur, with my enthusiasm seriously lessened. Jen had prodded me with questions about Al, that I had answered patiently. Apparently her love life was terrifying, but mine was thrilling. I supposed even with her fears and insecurities, she was still a girl.
I’d been a little excited at lunch again, thinking I was surely going to tell him then, but when I walked into the Great Hall I noticed he was fighting with Don again. They were sitting at the edge of the Gryffindor table fighting heatedly while Ashton purposely, and forcefully, kept all of the curious onlookers from getting close enough to hear them.
This again put a damper on my mood and I’d sulked all the way through lunch. I’d sat in my regular seat in Defence Against the Dark Arts, and was pleasantly surprised when Al sat down next to me. I was, however, not so pleased when I realized it was only because he was refusing to sit with Don. This also meant that Vanessa was displaced from her regular seat, but she wasn’t too put out by it; she just took Al’s normal seat and gave me a really obvious thumbs up that made me very embarrassed.
By the end of dinner, I’d almost given up hope that I was going to have the chance to tell him at all that day. It wasn’t until I walked into the common room and saw him sitting by himself, reading, that I decided that there might never be a perfect time to tell him. Was I supposed to just wait until that beautiful moment from stories? Those didn’t happen in real life, and I’d be a moron for letting it stop me; I’d just end up losing more time with him.
There he was, by himself, seeming to be in an alright mood. It was the best chance I was likely to get, and I had to tell him. I wanted nothing more than to know what it felt like to be held by him. Without a glance around the room, I strode purposefully over to him. I knew if I looked around and saw a lot of people then I would lose my nerve. I didn’t want that. I was going to sit down and I was going to talk to him. Looking back, though, it probably would have been a good idea to glance around.
I sat down next to him, so close that we were touching. He looked up, irritated, until he saw it was me, and suddenly he smiled. “Hey, Cam.”
I grinned. “Hi. How are you doing?” I figured I should make sure he wasn’t upset first. He was, after all, my friend first and foremost.
Al ran his hand through his hair. “Alright. Don and I are just having a difference of opinion at the moment. We’ll get past it.”
I nodded. “Real friends always do.”
“I’m sorry about earlier. You know, in Charms and then in Defence Against the Dark Arts. It wasn’t fair to act like that to you. You didn’t do anything.”
I shrugged. “I get it. Sometimes a person takes it out on others. They don’t mean to, they just can’t help it.”
“I’m still sorry.”
“I forgive you.”
Al nudged me with his shoulder. “Thanks.”
I nudged back. “I doubt there is anything you could do where I wouldn’t forgive you in the end.”
Al gave me another of those deep, searching, looks that he tended to give me, and for the first time I understood what it meant. For the first time I could feel I was giving him the same look back. It was a moment where he was realizing why he liked me so much, and for the first time I was having the same moment for him. I felt warm; from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes it was like an inferno, but a pleasant one... That doesn’t make any sense.
This was it. This was the moment. It was now or never. I started to lean into him, when suddenly there was a triumphant shout from across the room. I turned to see James rushing over to us. I had never been so unbelievable annoyed to see him in my life.
“It’s happened! It’s finally happened!” James shouted, pointing at Al.
“What’s happened?” Al was so adorable when he was confused.
Wait. I felt the cold sensation of dread in the pit of my stomach.
Jen must have realized what I did at the same time, because that’s when she rushed over to us. “James!”
“Jen, we’re going out!” James turned triumphantly toward Jen and reached for her in what looked like an attempt at a hug.
“James not now!” Jen shushed him and pushed his arms away.
I couldn’t bring myself to move or talk. Al and I had never talked about this. Al stood up and I saw his face. He still looked confused. That’s when a thought occurred to me. Had James talked to Al about this? Surely he had, right? Al had to know what was happening, didn’t he?
“What’s going on?” Al asked.
“You’re not blushing! That means I won the bet!” James hugged Al tightly.
The second the words were out of Al’s mouth all three of us froze, James still with his arms around Al.
Al pushed James off of him. “What bet?”
“Well, see, erm...” James looked at me for help.
Al suddenly turned to me. “What’s going on here, Cam?”
I stood up. “Al, it’s nothing, okay? It doesn’t mean anything at all!”
Al looked really angry now. “What doesn’t mean anything?”
“Jen and I sort of had this deal, see...” James started rubbing the back of his neck, no longer looking very happy.
Al just kept looking at me. I think he realized what was happening. “Is that why you started talking to me?” He asked very quietly. “Because of a bet?”
I swallowed. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like someone was smothering me.
“IS IT?” Al shouted louder than I’d ever heard before.
I choked. “Yes.”
James stepped up. “Al, it isn’t like that at all! Camry was furious at me, she even punched me!”
Al glanced at James and shoved him.
Jen screamed. “James!” She rushed in between them as Al went to do it again. “Al, stop it!”
Al glared at her. “I can’t believe you. Any of you.” He looked around at all of us.
He turned started for the exit. I couldn’t breathe. I had to stop him. I reached out and grabbed his arm. “Al, wait!”
He ripped his arm roughly out of mine and turned an angry, broken glare on me. “I should have known you’d never want to be my friend just for the sake of it.”
I pulled back like I’d been burned. I felt like I had; the inferno wasn’t so pleasant anymore. Al turned and rushed out of the common room. I hesitated a moment before running after him.
“Al!” I shouted as I caught up to him. “Please listen to me! I thought he’d told you about it! I thought you knew!” I was getting frantic. A cold panic was spreading throughout my body. This couldn’t really be happening.
Al stopped and turned on me so quickly that I almost ran into him. He grabbed onto my shoulders and pushed me back into the wall and stared at me with a look so broken that I felt broken too. My throat was tightening, my eyes were stinging, and my lip was quivering. Seeing Al like this was the worst feeling I’d ever had. The fact that I’d put it there hurt even more.
“Was any of it real?” He asked, his voice cracking.
“Yes!” I sobbed. “Yes, all of it!”
Al shook his head, his lip wavering just a little. “I don’t believe you.”
“You have to! Al, please, I’ve never said anything to you that I didn’t mean!” I reached up and gripped him hands. “Please, Al, I’ve never lied to you. Not ever!”
Al pulled back, out of my grip and releasing me from the wall. “Don’t bother, Cam.” He started walking away.
I sobbed. “Al!”
He stopped and turned toward me with a new fury. “You knew!” He shouted. “You knew how I felt about you and you did it anyway! And for what? A bloody bet!”
I couldn’t say anything. That was true.
He took a deep breath and looked at me with enough bitterness to cause me physical pain. “Don was right about you.” With that he shook his head and walked away.
“Al!” I went to rush after him again. I couldn’t let this be it. I couldn’t.
“Stop it!” He shouted at me. “Camry, just stop.” Without even a final look at me Al walked away.
I fell down onto my knees and began sobbing uncontrollably. I couldn’t believe this had happened. The day had started with such promise, and now the boy of my dreams was devastated and it was all my fault. I don’t know how long I stayed there. Five minutes, five hours, it didn’t really matter. All that mattered was that I’d broken Al’s heart, and in doing so I’d broken my own.