Chapter 15 : Jester
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“Share,” Dom practically begged. He spewed chewed toast from his full mouth as he spoke. “It’s not nice to keep secrets.”
I swallowed another mouthful of tea. “It’s none of your business.”
“But I want to know!”
“I’m going to ignore your whining,” I said aloofly. “Dominic, it’s nothing to do with you.”
Jack’s laughed made me want to smile. He sat across from me, cutting his toast in to four triangular slices and eating them in small bites. He winked before taking another bite from the crust. I don’t know how much he knew about what happened last week, but it was very rare that he wasn’t by my side.
Neither Scorpius nor Al had left me alone for longer than a minute or two during the day if they could help it. Worried that I would make another attempt at arson, they stuck by me at all times. Ally asked about the book, talking once again about how we could replace the burnt sword, make another over Christmas. It was nice.
Unfortunately, Dominic’s prodding didn’t die down. Tom stopped asking after seeing the expression on Al’s face when he asked the first time what had happened. But Dom didn’t stop. Jack got up the next morning and noticed that something was different but he didn’t press the matter.
I sat in the Great Hall, at the Hufflepuff table with Perry by my side. He hadn’t spoken since that day, but still winked as I sat down. He was the only one at this table who didn’t try to steal my tea.
Tom smacked his brother across the face and pointed his finger towards him. “Don’t wink at my woman.”
“It wasn’t sexual!” Jack replied in a shocked manner, rubbing his cheek better after making a girly yelp of surprise. “It was supportive!”
I turned to Tom with a miffed expression. “There was no need to smack him.”
“There is every reason to slap Jack, love.” Tom replied. “He needs to be reminded of his place every now and again.”
“What, of the best seeker in the school and the one who brought Hufflepuff to victory in the match against Slytherin?” Jack asked. “Oh yes, please do remind me of that. Please remind me of that every day!”
Perry shook his head to my right but I saw the feint line of a smile twitching at his lips.
“Go on.” I pushed. I prodded him in his side when he didn’t look at me. “Smile, Perry.”
“He won’t smile,” Dom interrupted, inhaling another mouthful of toast. “He won’t react, will you lad? The day Perry James talks will be the day the world ends.”
Jack scoffed. “Perry isn’t mute, Dominic,” he defended. “He does speak, don’t you Perry.” Jack waited for a reaction, but Perry merely glared with raised eyebrows. “Well anyway, he does. He just doesn’t talk to you.”
“Who doesn’t want to talk to me?” Dominic asked. “I’m a very fetching young lad.”
“Very,” Jack agreed. “But you’re not approachable. Perry feels like he doesn’t want to talk to you, you’re fetching yes, but you can be a mean person.”
“Oi, spokes-man for Perry,” I interrupted, pointing at Jack with my spoon. “He’s sitting right here.”
“You’re just feeling awkward because he talks to you,” Jack rounded. “If he didn’t speak to you then you would be on their side.”
Dom stared with open mouthed jealousy while Tom simply looked intrigued.
“That’s bull!” Dom settled for. “What is more appealing about Ranny to you then me? I’m much nicer than Baker!”
Jack laughed as I narrowed my eyes and jutted out my bottom lip. He caught my cheek. “You look adorable when you do that.”
“She always looks adorable,” Tom said quietly.
His roommate sighed. “Tom, mate, we’ve spoken about this. You can’t be a creep at the dinner table. Make your move in private.”
Tom didn’t blush as I would have, but merely shrugged. I wasn’t going to be the one to point out that he already had, and I refused his advances. Tom is lovely; he would make a lovely Prince, but just not mine. I held out my hopes for a certain hero, one who doesn’t seem to be looking twice at me in the manner I want him to.
“Besides,” Dom resumed, ignoring the look of slight irritation that took over Perry’s features. “If you talk to Ranny, can you please get out of her what happened last week?”
“Dom!” Tom exclaimed, throwing his toast back down on to his plate. “Let it go! It’s obvious none of them want to talk about it!”
“Are you not curious?”
“Of course I am,” Tom replied desperately. “I would love to know everything, I would love to be able to ask her what happened without her getting sad, I would love to ask her how why Albus is treating her like a Princess again suddenly, I would love to ask why she returned with the tips of her fingers burnt and bleeding. But I’m not bloody going to am I?”
Jack sniffed. “I think, in a weird way, you kinda just did.”
I didn’t take my gaze off of my tea mug as I swirled the hot liquid around in the cup. I didn’t want to look any of them in the eye. But I didn’t need to look up to notice their stares. It was Perry’s that hit me first; he looked directly at my fingers. They were covered up under my sleeves, as they have been for the past week. But he seemed to stare right through them.
The burns had faded quickly, but little scars were left, one that I had covered up with colourful plasters until they were officially gone. But still, I didn’t like the tattered sight.
Perry’s hand rested on my knee, a supportive hand that reminded me of my father’s grasp. When in times of trouble, he would hold on to my knee and tell me nice things. But Perry didn’t speak.
“I’m not telling,” I said quietly.
I wished that Dom would stop, but he wouldn’t be him if he did. “Come on, not even a little bit. You don’t have to say the big bit, just the smaller thing that happened before. I mean, Albus came running in to the Common Room at, like, midnight, and started blurting out shit to an already-pissed-of-Malfoy who shouted back like it was his life goal – and I think that he’s shagging one of Albus’ cousins’. Then they went out of the Common Room and weren’t seen until morning. Not one of the three of you got out of bed the next day.”
“That’s enough Dom,” Tom reasoned. “We don’t need to re-live this.”
“Not even for a minute or two?” Dom asked.
“It’s been over a minute since you started asking,” I said. “It’s been almost a week. You’re like a bloody Jester. Please just stop.”
Dominic ran his hands through his dark hair and looked up. “Scorpius said that Albus was a traitor, and ‘How could you do this to her?’ What did he sa-“
“She asked you to stop.” Perry interrupted from my right, his voice cut over my head and bit towards Dom.
It shut him up instantly. I had heard Perry speak before; I knew his voice was deep and intriguing. But I hadn’t heard the harsh tone it could adapt to.
But Dom doesn’t hear undertones. “He spoke!”
“You’ve so just missed the point,” Jack muttered.
I leant over the barrier of the Astronomy Tower, breathing in the cold air deeply and clutching my telescope tightly in my grip. My green jumper was draped loosely from my shoulders, the wind kissing my soft skin of my shoulders.
Kicking up my leg I leant over the barrier a little further. The thick rail was enough to hold a bear, let alone a small girl of my size. I looked over to the forest, holding the telescope to my right eye and turning the focus.
As I found the right setting, a flock of birds sped from the top of the trees in the direction that I was looking, escaping the howl of a creature bigger than them. They were Peter, flying from the forest and straight towards the Jolly Roger – for adventure.
“Ranny!” A voice called, pinning me to the balcony rail. “I believe the sky is upwards.”
I elbowed Albus as he stole my telescope, looking up to the sky and holding it well out of my reach above his head.
“It’s such a beautiful night,” he resumed, holding me at an arm’s length. “There aren’t too many stars though, more … fog.”
Laughing I ran forward and jumped on to his side. “Give me back my telescope.”
He pushed me away a little. “What telescope, I don’t what of what implement you are speaking of.”
“It’s little and golden!” I recalled. “And it’s being held about an inch out of my arm’s reach!”
“Well that’s unfair,” he replied, still looking out over the balcony. “You’ll have to find someone tall to get it for you.”
I wondered how he would take it if I tickled him in the gut, knowing that was his sensitive spot. He doesn’t take that form of affection too well. Instead he waited for another moment before laying down my telescope down on to the small brown table inside.
His playful expression turned suddenly serious, no trace of a smile played upon his lips. “Tom spoke to me earlier,” he said. “I’m sorry about Dom.”
“It’s okay.” I brushed off lightly. “I just don’t want people to think that I’ve lost it.”
Albus laughed. “You lost it years ago, Ran, as did I.”
He gestured inside, out of the old. As usual, I followed him. His black laced boots were undone, his jeans roughly tucked in to them. He folded his arms, the sip undone on his jacket. He stood in the middle of the room after shutting the doors; the domed ceiling shone the moon light through the glass.
I looked up and hugged my arms to my chest. It took only a moment or two of me staring at the lights, before Albus wrapped his arms around me, his hands meeting mine on my chest.
“You know,” I began. “They say that the first laughter of a baby breaks in to one thousand pieces. If one of those pieces floats to Neverland, then it becomes a fairy.”
He didn’t say a word, but I could feel his grin as he watched the sky too. “I remember that.”
“I didn’t know if you would,” I admitted.
“I also remember that if a child is lost in Kingston Gardens and isn’t claimed after seven days-“
“-they become a lost boy,” I finished. “I always wanted to be a lost boy.”
Albus lifted me off of the ground for a moment and listened to be laugh. “You would have made a wonderful lost boy.”
“Because of my keen sense of adventure?” I asked
“No,” he dismissed. “Because of your masculine tendencies.”
With a gasp, I span around and whacked him in the chest. I was about to defend myself and remind him of my femininity and womanly wiles, but the words stopped before I could say them. His fingers brushed against my cheek as I stood still. His touch was as light as bee wings against my skin.
He didn’t move away as I bit down on to the inside of my cheek. His warm chest seemed to burn under my cold hands as I placed my palms on to his stomach. Through his shirt, I could feel him tense.
I lifted one of my hands towards his collarbone. He sighed. “Do you ever think about…this?”
“This?” I echoed faintly. “Standing in the Astronomy Tower?”
He snorted, attractively, I may add. His eyes bore through me, but it didn’t make me shiver as it used to. He brought a smile to my face, he always did.
“No, you numpty,” he breathed. “This-“
Our lips met in a moment. His hands went from fabric to skin, travelling up my back, under the fabric of my shirt with a warm touch. My hand slid up his chest and towards his hair. His lips kissed mine, the slightest touch tickling against my skin.
Until this moment, I had no idea what I had been missing. Every scenario I had imagined hadn’t compared to this. I had thought of it all, the way the heat would expand through my body and tease me from the inside out. The passion would be unknown to me.
I would fall deeper and deeper in to his hold until there was nothing left to me. I would be his, and only his. We would smile as we kissed and explore one another as if we had all the time in the world. His hands would tangle in my hair and get stuck in the knots, but he wouldn’t care, because finally I was his.
He would grasp me roughly by the shoulders as I tried to leave from worry and nerves, he would tell me it’s all okay, that I’m the only thing he’s ever wanted. I imagined the way I would pull away, the way our lips would be swollen and our minds transfixed.
But that didn’t happen. None of it did.
I took a sharp breath and grinned as his lips caressed mine. He pulled me closer to him and wore a grin that matched mine. I kissed him once more, taking his bottom lip between mine. And I laughed.
He snorted and realised that the grin I wore was a smirk. The smile he wore wasn’t much different either. He licked his lips and pulled his hands out from under the fabric.
Running my hand through my hair I giggled quietly. “No.”
“That didn’t work,”Albus announced with a feint pink gracing his cheeks. “Not that you weren’t-“
“No, no,” I dismissed. “You were … lovely, too.”
“Let’s just not do it … again,” He agreed.
I nodded. “Ever.”
Ally grabbed my telescope from the table, still a smirk upon his face. “I always thought that the first time I kissed you it would be perfect.”
To hear that only ten minutes ago, it would have made my heart soar. But now, it seemed to only make me smile. “Me too. But in case you’ve forgotten Mr Potter, that wasn’t the first time you kissed me.”
He laughed. “First year,” he recalled. “That was a good day.” His gaze dropped to the floor and he shook his head. “I’ve always thought of you differently,” he said. “I’ve never thought of you in the way that Scorpius does – you’ve always meant more to me.”
“Well, I guess you don’t know until you try,” he summarised.
I chewed on my gum lining my cheek. “What an anti-climax.”
“What exactly were you expecting, Miss Baker?”
My cheeks flushed a shade of red. “Let’s just go to bed.”
“Who’s?” he asked, with a waggle to his eyebrow.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised, holding the door open for me. “But I am going to be making this as awkward as possible for a while.”
I scrunched up my nose. “How long is ‘a while’?”
“Until I get bored.” He admitted with a shrug. “I’m thinking … Scorpius is thinking of going to Hogsmeade to meet his mother and father in that new pub – The Red Beard or something, the posh one – me and you could stay at school, you know, think about our children, staring a family.”
“Why am I friends with you?”
He smirked. “Because I am a great kisser.”
“Says who?” I questioned. “If you’re relying on the telling’s of Nina and her cronies’ then-“
“Ranny,” he interrupted. “Please don’t ruin this, tell me the truth – don’t lie to me.”
I simply sighed and headed down the first flight of stairs from the Astronomy Tower. “I would never lie to you, Robin Hood.”
“Good Marion.” He replied. “As my future wife and mother to my children I would expect you to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as stated in our vows.”
“This is going to be a long night,” I settled for. I grinned and bit down on to my bottom lip, Albus knew I was teasing. He was in fact a lovely boy, and his reputation precedes him. But still the fact that he referred to me as Marion made me feel at one with the world again.
We ran back to the Slytherin Common Room and sat with the lads. Scorpius watched the two of us through weary eyes, his knowledge of the two of us was too much to know that nothing had happened, but he didn’t ask, nor press any matter raised.
Albus joked about children; he proposed on our way up the stairs and pushed me down on to the ‘marital bed’. All the while he hid from the glares of Tom and the questioning gaze of Scorpius and Dom.
For the first time in almost two months, I stayed in the Slytherin Dormitory. I curled up in a ball in the other end of Albus’ bed, his socked foot kicking me in the back of the head every time he rolled over. It was the perfect amount of romantic.
AN; there it was! The next chapter, and possibly the one that many of you have been waiting for ... in different ways! I hope that you enjoyed it!
I have honestly been sat here for ages, trying to think of the perfect thing to say in this AN, but still I’m unsure how to phrase it in a manner that doesn’t give anything away. All I am going to say is this; please don’t change your ships! Keep the ones that you like :) because honestly, anything could happen from here.
I’ve supported the same pairing since the beginning and couldn’t change it when it came down to it. There are 22 chapters in this story, including the epilogue, and the answer to the final pairing will always be the same. I hope that you enjoy the rest!
Don’t forget to leave a review; usual rules apply. But also keep them 12+ please - so no swearing! XD
That’s all. Thank you for reading!
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He did, eh?