I sighed as I sat on my couch in my flat with a bottle of butterbeer and a whole file of papers spread out in front of me.
You know, it’s times like these that I wish I didn’t just go through a series of random hookups and one-night stands with hot girls and instead found someone with some modicum of intelligence to actually date. Then maybe I wouldn’t have to sulk around like a prat while Al, Ali, Rose and Scorpius go do couple things and I sit at my flat and work.
Then again, the whole ‘dating’ field hasn’t really been my thing, ever since The Aisha Fiasco.
I took a swig of butterbeer and wished it were stronger.
(But I’m never drinking again, especially after a horrific incident that I’ll never speak of no matter how many times you threaten me.)
Tomorrow, at exactly eight o’clock, I was going to head over to Mungo’s with Al. Why? Because Aisha and another one of St. Mungo’s lawyers – though this one is just a lawyer and not a genius like Aisha – is coming with us for our first investigation.
Medical facilities have a really complicated way to go about doing these kinds of things. Patient files, medicinal procedures, potions departments, a whole lot of confidential shit…the process is mind-numbingly tedious, to say the least.
Not to mention that it takes bloody forever to look through the entire history of the hospital. You know, if someone uncovers one little mistake, they can sue for a hell of a lot of money?
Important shit, here.
Memo to self: make sure brain is fully functional to avoid appearing like a blithering fool. Requirements: don’t look at Aisha’s eyes. Or her face. Or her hair. Or her butt.
…well, maybe her butt.
“Okay, that’s it. You’ve been brooding for not even a day and I’m already annoyed.”
My head snapped up, my eyes open in horrified disbelief as I stared at Rose. She was in her ‘I’m pregnant so come at me, bitch’ stance, with her hands on her hips, and her stomach jutting out in front like some sort of weird war weaponry. Scorpius, Al and Alison gave me sheepish smiles from behind her.
“How the hell did you get into my flat?” I asked blankly. How the hell did I not notice her waddling around was the real question, though.
Merlin, I must be losing my mind.
“I made myself a spare key,” Rose said nonchalantly, sidling over and plopping herself down on my couch. She sighed contentedly and rubbed her stomach, “can’t wait to get the little bugger out of here.”
She…made herself a spare key. Of course she did. I pressed my fingers against my temples.
“Weren’t you out doing something?” I asked tiredly.
No one even bothered to make protests. Ali sat down next to me and gave me a gentle pat on the back. “Al told me about seeing Aisha.”
I laughed hollowly. “Yeah, that definitely made my week.”
“She’ll come around.”
Al actually had the gall to laugh out loud at this. “Are you kidding? He practically ripped her heart into little pieces and threw them back at her face!”
“It wasn’t like that,” Scorpius said sharply.
At least I have Scorpius on my side. Yay for the dude who cowers behind his wife every time Uncle Ron walks past.
Real manly there, Scorp.
“Seriously, though,” I said, looking up at them, “why are you here?”
“I told you,” Rose said, still rubbing her tummy. She smiled really big at me, “It gets boring without you there.”
“No, really,” she insisted. “your jaded cynicism and the countlessly awkward situations you constantly land yourself in, not to mention your clever wit and the arsenal of ever-ready retorts in your brain make you a very entertaining person to be around.”
Literally, we stared at her for a full three minutes.
She makes my personality sound like a bleeding book review.
“Rosie,” Scorpius said lightly, “did I ever mention how hot you are when you act like you just swallowed a dictionary?”
Al yelped and covered his ears with his hands.
“That’s cute, Scorpius,” Rose retorted, “but right now I’m lugging this around,” she pointed at her stomach, “and you’re not getting within three feet of me at least four years from now.”
“We’ll see,” was his self-assured response.
“Let’s not, yeah?” I suggested. “In fact, you should sleep on separate beds from now on, and not maintain any body contact other than the occasional holding of hands.”
“Good idea!” Rose agreed wholeheartedly.
Scorpius’ glare promised retribution.
“So, what are you going to do about the whole Aisha situation?” he asked, a smirk settling over his face.
I sighed. “Truthfully? I…might have…thought that she looked bloody beautiful. Outcome won’t be good, but…I’m going to get her to forgive me. And maybe become friends. I can’t stand feeling guilty for the rest of my life.”
Ali coughed from next to me, too nice to shoot me down.
Al, however, had no such qualms.
“Really?” he said brightly, “Because last time you opened your mouth in her general direction, you said, and I quote, ‘Ah-gahh.”
“You did, mate,” Scorpius confirmed.
“I can’t sit around and do nothing,” I practically snarled. “Somehow, in a sick, twisted kind of way, this is my second chance. I fucked it up the first time, and now I finally have the chance to fix it. I’m taking it, guys, no matter what. This entire bet’s been messing with me for years, I need fucking closure.”
“She hates you, Louis,” Rose said gently, “whatever you did to her…I would never forgive someone for it.”
I inhaled sharply through my nose and pinched the bridge of it. “I know she hates me,” I said tiredly, “but seeing her today…shit, it really fucked me up. I always thought she was kind of cool, you know, even if I never felt that way about her. But now I just…I just want her to forgive me. I’m stuck on that.”
Rose burst into tears. “That’s…so sweet!”
Oh, bloody hell.
By the next morning, I’d changed my suit about eight times in a fit of girlish insanity. I really don’t know what I was thinking; everything looks the same on a dude since all we wear are pants and a shirt.
I’m going crazy. Seriously.
Finally, I decided on a light blue shirt and navy blue trousers that matched my skinny tie, which hung in a loosely tied knot around my neck in a half-arsed attempt at looking casual and effortless.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I’ve never been this unsure about myself in front of girls – if anything, I’ve had to be anything but. They all just come to me. So when confronted with this one girl who’s trying to push me away…I’m completely lost.
“Done preening?” Al asked, coming up behind me, doing up his own tie. I rolled my eyes at him and messed with my hair some more.
“You’re welcome for letting you sleep over,” I muttered.
He shrugged. “I would have stayed even if you said no.”
And that, my friends, is why you should never become best friends with your cousin. Because in a situation like that, suddenly everything you own becomes, by default, his property as well.
“I can’t stare at myself anymore,” I finally said, dropping my hands and letting my hair do whatever the hell it wanted, “let’s just go.”
“You look sexy,” Al told me, and my mind flashed to my first ever date with Aisha. I couldn’t help but grin a little. At least Al’s never going to change. He won’t come waltzing back into my life five years later looking like he’d been picked off an airbrushed magazine.
(Even if he did though, I would be totally cool with it. Because that’s what bromance means. It’s all very manly.)
“Ready to leave when you are, Albie,” I said, picking up my coat and stepping out the door.
“OI! I told you not to call me that! Only Nana’s allowed!”
One thing I love so much about this whole ‘successful lawyers’ deal is…well, the money. It helps that I come from the most famous family in Wizarding History and already had tons of that to begin with (no matter how many times I complained about being broke in school). So we tend to get some pretty banging stuff.
Exhibit A: The ride.
Our company car is win.
For one, it’s a Porsche. The interior has been magically enhanced to resemble a stretched limo, minus the tacky lights and all of that other uselessly fancy shit. Basically, it’s kind of like a little office-place on wheels.
“St. Mungo’s, sir,” our driver said, glancing at us in the rearview mirror. Al gave me a hefty pat on the shoulder, and I took a deep breath before getting out of the car…and crashing right into Aisha.
Whoever’s idea of a sick joke this is needs to go rot in hell.
She let out a yelp as I stumbled into her, the coffee she was clutching in her hand tumbling to the ground and promptly spilling all over the pavement. I grabbed her waist with both hands so she wouldn’t fall over.
Unfortunately for me, she wasn’t in any danger of falling over.
So I basically just ended up looking like a prat.
Her eyes flashed at me and I quickly let go.
“Sorry,” I said stupidly.
She took a steadying breath, her eyes fixated on a point somewhere above my left shoulder. I repressed the urge to turn around and look. “It’s fine,” she said shortly.
A couple of more seconds passed while I checked her out again.
Today was another skirt day, grey and pinstriped, with a dark purple shirt that had cute little ruffles on the front. I kind of wanted to touch them, so I put my hands in my pockets before they got any ideas on me.
I could see her collarbones – I never realized how delicate they look. Must. Repress. Urge. To. Touch. Soft. Skin – in the triangle of skin that she shirt opened up to reveal. She had a necklace on. It kind of looked like a purple tear.
Her hair was pulled up. A huge part of me wanted to pull out whatever was holding it in place and feel her hair tumbling down all over my fingers, but it looked so damn amazing all I could do was stare at the way the curls fell out of the bun and the curve of her neck. A couple of rebellious strands – her hair’ll never be fully tamed – fell around her face. She was wearing a set of purple-tear earrings that dangled around every time she moved her head. It was oddly mesmerizing.
“Are we set to go, or are you planning on standing around and staring for the rest of the day?” Aisha snapped waspishly. I blinked, pulling out of my daze. Bloody hell, I never paid attention to her like this before. What’s wrong with me?!
She was glaring in a way that reminded me so much of the feisty girl I met at school. I grinned at her. “I missed you,” I said truthfully.
She scoffed and stepped around me, some dopey-looking prat hurrying after her into my goddamn car. He turned around to give me The Back Off look.
Great. Of course. He’s after her. Bloody fucking wonderful. This all so convenient; I might just want to burst into song and dance.
Also, no one gives me The Back Off look! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Clenching my teeth, I climbed in after them.
“Good morning!” Al said as I slid in next to him on one side of the table. Aisha and Mr. Fuckface had already situated themselves cozily onto the other side. I narrowed my eyes at Mr. Fuckface. He didn’t look too intimidated.
Note to self: despite hours of time you spend at gym, your face is simply not scary. Stop trying.
I decided to ignore Mr. Fuckface and instead directed my attention towards Aisha, who was staring resolutely out of the window, with a couple of files resting under her hand on the table. I desperately wanted to do something – anything, really – to strike up some sort of conversation with her, get her to talk to me and laugh with me and forgive me. For starters.
My eyes landed on the coffeepot.
“Coffee?” I offered hopefully, looking at her.
She just looked at me, wary and gauging. Finally, she let out a short nod.
I swallowed and poured the coffee into a mug. Okay, mate, time to pull out the mental files from five years ago. How does Aisha take her coffee?
My hand moved towards the sugar. Two spoons. A dab of milk. Exactly two shakes of cinnamon, and stir eight times clockwise to get the perfect foam.
Yeah, I’m creepy. JUDGE ME, HO.
Aisha’s eyebrows had pulled up at the middle; she’d been watching me make coffee this entire time. “That’s weird, I take my coffee the exact same –”
I slid the mug towards her.
“You’re the only person I know who likes cinnamon in their coffee,” I said, smiling and hoping she wouldn’t think I’m a stalker.
“How’d you know?” she asked quietly.
She looked at me for an electrifying three seconds while my heart pounded in my head, and then turned around to stare out the window again.
I sat back in my seat, defeated, confused, and wondering when anyone had ever made my heart pound in my head purely because I was so nervous.
“So, er…you two know each other?” Mr. Fuckface asked suddenly.
I have him a scathing look. “Yeah. We dated at Hogwarts.”
Okay, okay, I know. It was stupid of me to say, I’m an idiot, I need to be hexed so I never speak again…
Go ahead and judge. I don’t give a fuck.
He looked surprised. “You never told me, Aisha.”
She was glaring at me, shooting blue fire from her eyes. “I didn’t think it was important enough to mention,” she said through clenched teeth.
I winced. Ouch.
Mr. Fuckface looked pleased, le petit merde.
“I’m Aiden Campbell, by the way,” he said, offering a hand. Al shook it, since he’s such a fucking polite little fuck.
“Louis Weasley,” I intoned. I also shook it. Turns out I’m also a fucking polite little fuck. Joy to the fucking world.
He then took that same hand – the one I fucking shook not three seconds ago – and slung it around Aisha’s shoulders in a way that clearly said ‘mine’.
I took a deep breath and looked down at my clenched hand, willing it to unclench. Having it clenched means that I’m already one step closer to punching Mr. Fuckface – you know, he doesn’t even deserve the title. He’s now just going to be referred to as The Fucker – and I have a feeling that Aisha might not like it too much.
Call me crazy, but I sense she really doesn’t like me right now.
Genius, right here.
I looked at Aisha. She was staring at my hand, the one that was curled so tightly into a fist that my knuckles turned yellow. With some difficulty – and a couple of moments when all I thought about were puppies, because, for some reason, they manage to calm me down. Must be because they’re bloody adorable and even though I pretend to be manly, I secretly eat that shit up – I slowly unfurled my hand. I had nail marks on my palm.
Another Note to self: anger management classes might be helpful.
Aisha’s eyes snapped up to mine after a couple of seconds of looking at those crescent marks. I stared back, kind of shocked.
Al coughed and nudged me with this elbow. Irritated, I looked at him.
“You’ve been staring at each other for the past five minutes, mate, it’s getting uncomfortable to watch,” he said in a low voice, “besides, we have to work with this Campbell bloke for a while, so stop pissing him off.”
I glanced at The Fucker. His face was red.
Louis: 1. The Fucker: 0
I smirked a little. “Good.”
There was a short silence while Al stared at me like I was crazy. Then his face shifted into an expression that promised me a hefty pep-talk later on.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re idiotic to the point of masochism?” Al asked in a normal tone.
I glanced at Aisha. She was fighting back a little grin as she continued staring out the window. My lips curved up in response to it.
“I only get that way about things that are worth it,” I said, still looking at her.
Light pink tinged her cheeks, and I sat back with a satisfied smirk.
Merlin, I missed this girl.
I TOOK FOREVER AND I'M SO SORRY. i have a billion excuses, but more than anything i'm just sorry for being an awful person. forgive meee <3
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