Chapter 3 : A Plan of Epic Brilliance
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But this is going to be a long story, so don’t worry, much more will XD
I got a lot of mixed reviews for the pairings of the story, but it seems like most of you want Al/Lya (and I kinda do too). I’m still kinda up in the air about Scorose though, so I guess we’ll see! I know this chapter has Scor/Lya in it, but more Lya/Al will come, never you fear XD thank you for all the support guys, and remember that reviews are always appreciated!
The next morning, and Lya woke up with a brain buzzing with confusion.
The events of the night prior came rushing back to her, along with a flood of emotions including, frustration, annoyance, and anger. All at once she felt herself beginning to develop a killer headache, and groaned as the girls in her dorm began to grow increasingly noisy. It wasn’t like getting any more sleep was an option, even though it was a Sunday and she figured she should be allowed to sleep as long as she liked. In the Gryffindor girl’s dorm room, it was practically impossible to sleep in, and even after seven years she still hadn’t quite come to terms with that fact.
Lya didn’t even bother to look in the mirror. She was well aware of what she looked like -- complete and total rubbish. The night before she had had what she could easily classify as the worst sleep of her life, filled to the brim with nightmares involving Albus murdering Izzy and Scorpius telling her she had failed as a human being. It was mental, she knew, and yet the visions kept coming, and each time they disturbed her more and more.
It also hadn’t helped that the glares all the girls were giving her were enough to make her shiver. She knew what they all thought, that she was the pathetically jealous best friend who wanted to ruin the queen bee’s happiness, and Lya had the unfortunate feeling that it wasn’t just the Gryffindor girls who believed this. Probably the only house that would actually be happy was Slytherin, because if the hottest guy in their house was single, that meant that the snakes could be all over him in public once more. He was free game again, and for that they would probably make Lya their god.
“I need help,” she groaned, resting her head against her bedpost, ignoring the glares that were burning into her back. She had to get out of there, ASAP, so she didn’t bother with makeup or any of that useless paint that the rest of the girls were slathering on their faces. She simply tied her hair in a knot atop her head and pulled on some sloppy muggle lounge clothes she had got from home before sprinting down to the Great Hall and preparing for the madness that was awaiting her.
Dear Merlin, she prayed, just for good measure, Please don’t let anyone throw a pumpkin pasty at my face.
Might as well hope for the best, right?
The Great Hall was abuzz with chatter when she entered, filled to the brim with boys since sixty percent of the school’s female population was still in their dorm rooms trying to make themselves beautiful. As Lya walked towards the Gryffindor table she couldn’t help but feel the increase in volume. She searched desperately for Scorpius’ eyes, knowing that Lya was still in the common room, but when she saw him shake his head at her her stomach dropped.
Then he pointed over at the Slytherin table, and at once her eyes fell on Albus.
He was reading a book, sitting in an area practically isolated from the rest of his house. She saw the way the girls were all looking at him, trying desperately to catch his attention, but he just sat there like an island. Lya had always thought it curious how he never really seemed to associate with the members of his house, but this was even more so than usual, and when she turned her eyes back to Scorpius she knew exactly what he wanted.
So, trainers squeaking against the cold stone floor, she made her way over to where Albus Severus Potter sat at the Slytherin table, and tried to pretend like the entire situation was completely normal.
“‘Lo, Albus,” she said, standing over him awkwardly and ignoring the fascinated stares she was recieving from the majority of the Hogwart’s population. “Mind if I join you? Izzy’s not at breakfast and me and Scor had a bit of a row, so...” Lya chewed her lip nervously as he turned his attention away from his book, flashing her that brilliant smile that sent so many girl’s hearts fluttering.
“Of course,” he said, sounding happy enough, while motioning to the bench next to him. “I don’t really know why you’d want to sit at the Slytherin table of all places, but I’m not going to complain. Having some intelligent conversation at a meal would be refreshing -- I don’t understand a damn thing the girls in my house talk about.”
Well, she could relate to that. The majority of the Slytherin girls were extraordinarily shallow, save for the rare few, and judging from the snippets of their conversations that she had overheard, the only things they talked about were boys, sex, and looks. Certainly not proper breakfast talk for a bloke to enjoy.
So, she smiled shyly and dropped down into the seat next to him, only hesitating a moment before digging into the food in front of her with vigor. In Lya’s not-so-unbiased opinion, Hogwarts breakfasts were the best food you could ever find anywhere, and she was nearly positive that anyone who disagreed were absolutely mental. She could feel Al’s amused gaze on her while she ate, but she paid it no mind. Izzy hardly ate anything, and when she did she ate like a perfect lady, so his stare didn’t really surprise her. In any case, it wasn’t like it was the first time she had experienced it.
Pausing for a moment, she remembered why she had sat there in a first place and turned to him with a friendly smile. Time to get this show on the road. “So! How’re you doing, then? Still the same as last night?” She prayed to Merlin he had had some sort of late-night epiphany, because if not her job would be a lot harder.
But despite all her desperate inner please, he simply shook her head, and gave her that confident smile he used to wear all the time, pre-Izzy. “Nah, still the same. I feel good, Lya.” He looked good, too, glowing like her mom had when she was pregnant with her little sister, and even though that was such a bizarre comparison it even felt weird to think, it was the truest one she could come up with. “I feel like me again. You know five girls have already asked me out? Sure, I said no to all of them, and one of them was a first year, but still. It’s awesome.”
Oh, for the love of Godric, you’ve got to be kidding me.
But the terrifying part was that he wasn’t kidding at all, she could just tell, and before she could interrupt him to ask him if he had completely lost his mind, he was talking once more. “What’d ya get in a row with Scor about?”
Of course he would ask, she should have known that right off the bat. Scor and Al were best friends, so he’d want to know what they fought about -- which would be fine, if they had actually had a fight. Lya was horrible at lying on the spot, something which everyone was perfectly well aware of, and the longer she sat in complete silence, the more the look on Albus’ face turned from friendly concern to suspicion. Twirling with a piece of her hair, she did the first thing she could think of doing, the only thing that made sense at the time.
She forced herself to cry.
It wasn’t as if she was bawling her eyes out in the middle of the Great Hall. No, there were just a couple innocent tears, enough to make Albus feel bad and drop the subject. Hopefully. And to Lya’s relief he didn’t say anything else, just gave her a sympathetic smile and placed his arm around her shoulders in an uncomfortable guy-like attempt to comfort her.
Sniffling, she dried her eyes and gave him a small smile, inwardly celebrating her own brilliance. “Sorry, it’s just...hard.” Albus looked so painfully uncomfortable that it almost made her feel bad, but if it was the only way for her to get off of the conversation about her own love life and on to the much-more prevalent one about his own, then so be it. After all, even if her relationship was a disaster of a sham, at least she still had one. Right?
They chatted for a while about useless things, things like NEWTS and careers and their favorite subjects. Lya would be lying if she said it was a boring conversation -- it was quite fascinating, really, to learn things about Albus that she had never known before, like the fact that he had always wanted to work as a Healer, but he absolutely detested potions, and that he had done miserably on his transfiguration OWL. Yes, it was all interesting, but the only thing that she was able to think about was that he was never going to get back together with Izzy unless she acted, soon.
“So this Friday is the last day before winter break, you know,” she said, mentally cursing herself for having such an obvious lack of social graces. He was staring at her expectantly, though, obviously wondering where the hell this conversation was going. “And it’s a Hogsmeade day, so I was just wondering if maybe you wanna grab lunch together at the Three Broomsticks?”
Oh, Merlin. That hadn’t been her plan at all. Honestly, she didn’t even know what her plan was supposed to be, but asking Al to lunch hardly seemed likely to be part of it. Grimacing, she waited for him to ask her if she were mad, because while her and Albus were friends, they certainly weren’t “going out” friends. But instead he smiled, and looked honestly pleased, albeit confused.
“That’d be nice, Lya.” And right at that moment, the door to the Great Hall opened, and in walked Izzy Longbottom in all her beautiful, blond glory. All of a sudden an idea sprung into her head, an idea so brilliant she thought it might possibly be the greatest idea anyone had ever had in the history of ideas.
She hardly even noticed when Al stood up and left, saying something about having to go to play a game of Quidditch with the blokes, now that it had stopped snowing. She hardly was able to manage a wave back at Izzy from across the hall. And she certainly didn’t notice the way Scorpius was staring at her, so intent it usually would have given her the shivers.
No, she had a brilliant idea, and watched Albus leave through the giant doors of the Great Hall, she had never felt so damn genius.
“Lya,” Izzy said when she approached the Gryffindor table moments later, a warm smile on her face. “You look like shit.”
She knew that her friend was teasing her, but she also knew it was the truth. It didn’t help that, next to Izzy, she looked like an absolute trainwreck. As always, her friend’s hair was braided so intricately it looked like it must have taken hours, but since Lya was one of the few people who knew about her best friend’s book of hair charms, she was positive it only took her seconds. She looked lovely, and it was enough to make Lya want to dump the jug of pumpkin juice over her head out of spite.
But then she smiled again, so sweet an innocent, and all jealousy-driven thoughts were banished from her mind at once.
Sighing, she sat down next to her friend and tightened the knot of hair on top of her head, ignoring the glares that Rose Weasley was shooting her way. Honestly, some people just didn’t know when to mind their own business. “Long night,” she said by way of explanation for her frazzled appearance, smiling ruefully.
She knew she didn’t have much time -- with Hogsmeade day coming up so swiftly, and with Izzy’s new single status, Lya was positive her schedule would fill up in seconds. If she wanted her plan to work perfectly, she had to make sure that she had her friend exactly where she wanted her. So, with a happy smile, she cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow.
“You know, we haven’t had girl time in ages.” That, at least, was true. Ever since Izzy had started dating Al, everything had been about doing stuff as a couple, so that Lya never got some real alone time with her best friend.
She knew Izzy knew this too, because when she brought it up the girl’s eyes flashed. “I know, right? We’ve missed out on so much, it’s just awful. I mean, last time we went to Hogsmeade I spent the whole time in Madame Puddifoot’s with Albus...oh!” Izzy sat up a little straighter, eyes wide and excited. “Why don’t we do lunch, this Friday? At the Three Broomsticks! It’ll be just like old times.”
There was no way the whole thing could have turned out any better. Grinning, covered Izzy’s hand with her own and gave it a quick squeeze, heart fluttering with self-satisfaction. “That sounds perfect, Iz.”
Lya stood in the empty fourth floor corridor, tapping her feet impatiently with every waiting moment. Now that she had the perfect plan to bring Al and Izzy back together, she couldn’t wait to tell Scor, and to see the look on his face when he realized just how damn brilliant his girl was. There was no way he’d want to keep their relationship a secret anymore, not when his girlfriend was the smartest bitch in the business.
She had sent him the note ages ago, asking him to meet her in the corridor at four, and now that it was four thirty she was beginning to get worries. What on earth was he doing? There was no way his quidditch match with the boys could have lasted that long, not in the freezing weather. Besides, Scorpius was never late, especially when he knew something was important. And this was certainly important, no doubt about that.
Sighing, she slid down the wall until she was spread out on the floor, positive that she looked ridiculous and not caring in the least. She had closed her eyes and was practically asleep when she heard the familiar footsteps coming from down the corridor, and even though her heart beat just that much faster when she felt his presence, she didn’t bother to open her eyes.
“You’re late,” she said simply, and she could hear him chuckle quietly.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured, sitting down next to her and resting his face in her hair. Lya smiled -- she couldn’t help it, really -- and sat up a little straighter, finally opening her eyes to look at him.
“I asked Albus to go for lunch with me at the Three Broomsticks this Friday,” she said, a mischievous smile on her face. “And then Izzy asked me to go for lunch with her at The Three Broomsticks this Friday too. Isn’t that quite the predicament?” While Scor looked a little confused at first, when the meaning of her words finally began to dawn on him he smirked, looking every bit the mischievous little boy that he had been when she first met him on the Hogwarts Express all those years ago.
“You,” he said, lips brushing against her forehead. “Are bloody brilliant, Lya Swyft.”
And there, sitting on the dirty, cold stone floor of an empty fourth floor corridor in the arms of a boy who wouldn’t even hold her hand in public, was the first time that Lya had felt happy in a long, long time.