Chapter 13 : The Madness of the Stalkerish Tendency's of James
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It was late November and Albus had been tutoring me for a few weeks now. We had gotten over the awkwardness of the kiss and had managed to return to the stage of friendship we were at before the kiss. Only now that I knew that the kiss had meant something, I was trying to figure out my feelings for him and what his feelings for me were.
I still had no idea how I felt about him or how he felt about me.
I would say that's making progress.
"Yes," Albus said, moving some papers around.
"But you won't be dead," I said. "You just won't have a soul." Albus nodded and I looked at him confused. "But you can still walk around and live your life without a soul?"
"No, it's much worse than that," he said, lifting some papers up.
"What are you looking for?" I asked him.
"I have this page of notes on Dementor's that I think will help you a lot," Al said.
"Al, the test is tomorrow," I said. "There's absolutely no way that I can pass this. I barely know anything!" I put my head in my hands. "I may as well go get a job as a waitress since that's all I'm going to be able to do anyway because I'm going to fail Sixth Year Defense."
"You aren't going to fail," Albus said. He pulled my hands away from my face. "Addie, look at me." I turned to look at him and, as always, was struck by how good he looked. Ever since this year started, he has gotten more and more attractive. "You know this stuff, I know you do. You just need to calm down and believe in yourself. I know you can pass this test."
"How do you know that?" I asked him. "Are you going to bribe Teddy into giving me a good grade?"
"I don't need to do that," he said, smirking. "You know all this. You're smart and you just need to believe in yourself. Just relax when you're taking the test."
"And how do you suggest I do that?"
"Close your eyes and take a deep breath," Albus said. I did. "Alright, what form does the Patronus take?"
"It depends on the person and whether the Patronus is strong enough to take a form," I said, my eyes still closed. "An incorporeal Patronus will just be a burst of vapor and is much easier to produce than a corporeal Patronus. A corporeal Patronus will take form of an animal and can change." I remembered the story Teddy told us about how his mum's Patronus changed into a werewolf when she fell in love with his dad. "It also depends on a person's personality and will sometimes match their Animagus form."
"And how does one cast a Patronus charm?" Albus asked, his low voice sending my heart into overdrive.
"With a happy memory," I said. "The happier the memory, the stronger the Patronus will be. That is essentially how one will get either a corporeal or incorporeal Patronus. If the memory is a strong, happy memory, then a corporeal will appear. If the memory isn't strong enough, then you will produce an incorporeal. An incorporeal Patronus might work against one Dementor but it won't protect you against a lot of them."
I waited for the next question with my eyes closed. When I got impatient, I opened my eyes to see Al's face, staring at me.
Was he that close to me before?
"What?" I asked him.
"Nothing," he said, smiling. "You just know this stuff so well." He grabbed my hand and squeezed it. "You're going to do great on the test."
I smiled and looked down at my hand in his.
It looked nice.
And it felt right.
I looked back up at Albus and saw him looking down at our hands too. A piece of hair fell in his face and I used my free hand to brush it away. He looked up at me when I touched him and his green eyes pierced mine. I brushed his hair back and let my hand fall onto his knee.
It would be so easy to kiss him.
I would just have to lean forward and push my lips on his...
"Addie," he said. I love the way he says my name.
"Yeah?" I asked him, leaning forward the smallest amount.
"You have a boyfriend," he said. Instantly, I stopped leaning forward.
"Right," I said, shutting my eyes. "Right."
I pulled my hand back and went back to work.
"It's okay that you want to kiss me," Albus said, giving me his jerk smirk. "I know that I'm unbelievable attractive."
"No you're not," I said. "And I didn't want to kiss you."
"Sure," Albus said, his smirk coming off his face and getting suddenly serious. "But if you didn't have a boyfriend, I would definitely kiss you back."
I bit back my smile at this, trying to think of anything but kissing Albus. I looked around the library to find ideas.
"Ryan!" I said, waving at him to come over to the table.
"Hey Addie, Albus," Ryan said, sitting down. "What are you guys doing here?"
"I'm tutoring Addie," Albus said.
"I'll bet you are," Ryan said, with a pointed look to me. He was the only one I told about the kiss and loved making me feel awkward because of it. "What are you guys studying?"
"Dementors," I said. "And the Patronus charm."
Ryan nodded. "Have you started to try casting the spell?"
Albus shook his head. "Teddy wants us to understand everything before we try casting it."
"Makes sense," Ryan said. He smirked at me. "So any idea of what your memories will be of? It can be anything...a party, hanging out with friends, Halloween, a first kiss, anything."
I glared at him and snuck a peek at Albus. He was looking at Ryan with wide eyes.
"I remember what my memory was," Ryan said, smirking more and more at me. I hate him. Why couldn't he have been one of the super overprotective cousins? Why did he have to make fun of me and make me feel awkward? "It was my first kiss with this girl I liked since I was 11. It was really nice. We were out by the lake at night and it was just a good memory. You know?"
I'm going to kill him.
I tried kicking him under the table but ended up hitting the chair leg and stubbing my toe.
That fucking hurt too.
"Well, Ryan," I said, as Albus turned to look at me with accusatory eyes. "It was nice talking to you. You should go now. Bye."
Ryan laughed and picked up his bag. "Have fun you two," he said with a wink.
There was a moment of silence at the table as we watched him walk away, the awkwardness setting in.
"So, Dementors," I said, awkwardly trying to change the subject. "Man, they sound...depressing."
I'm not making this more awkward at all.
Really, I should be given an award.
"I can't believe you told him!" Albus said.
"I didn't mean to!" I said. "It accidently slipped out!"
"How?" Albus said. "How does something accidently slip out?"
"Well I was talking to him about Halloween and I just said it," I said. "Like I said, it slipped out."
"Yeah, sounds like your tongue," Albus said. "Who else have you told?"
"No one!" I said. "I haven't told anyone except for Ryan and he won't tell anyone!"
"I don't care if he tells anyone," he said. "I just would have liked to know that you told someone."
"Come on, you probably told Scorpius," I said.
"Actually, I didn't," he said. "I didn't tell anyone."
"Well aren't you just...just...special!" I said, mentally beating myself up for not coming up with a better response.
Albus smirked at me. "No I'm pretty sure that's you," he said quietly.
He just called me special.
I looked at him. "Good special or bad special?"
"Good," he said, even more quietly. "There's not really a bad quality about you."
Merlin, it is taking all my will power not to jump on his lap and kiss him until I was pulled away.
He thinks I'm special.
He doesn't think I have any bad qualities.
"Did you forget all the bad qualities that you said I had for the past six years?" I asked him, quietly and slowly.
"I told you, I was an idiot for the past six years," he said. "I would go back and change it all if I could."
"Why?" I asked him. "Why do you want to go back and change everything?"
Albus seemed to be debating something in his head. He ran a hand through his hair.
"Just tell me," I said, quietly. His eyes met mine. "Why do you want to change the past so much?"
"Because then maybe you wouldn't be dating Caleb," he said. "And maybe we wouldn't have to pretend that that kiss never happened."
I tried working that out in my head. He wanted us to know that the kiss happened. He didn't want me dating Caleb. The kiss meant something.
...I got nothing.
"Hey Al and Ads!" James said, sitting down at the table. "Well don't you two look so cute sitting here, studying, having eye sex."
"She has a boyfriend, James," Albus said. "We weren't having eye sex."
"Whatever you say Al," James said. "Whatever you say."
"What are you doing in the library?" I asked James, changing the topic. "I didn't even know where you knew where it was."
I'm not kidding. I've never seen James in the library or talking about the library or reading a library book.
I actually don't think I've ever seen him reading a book.
"Well," James said. "I'm here because she's here." He pointed across the room and I saw Annalise sitting at a table, studying with a few other Slytherins.
"James," I said. "Stalking her isn't going to make her fall in love with you."
"I'm not stalking her!" James said, watching her. "I'm trying to figure out if she has some other boy that she likes."
"And if she does what will you do?" Albus asked.
"Beat him up and/or bribe him to stay away from her," James said, like it wasn't a big deal.
"And how do you plan on finding out if she has a crush on another boy?" I asked, bewildered by James' creepy levels.
"Well, I just observe her from a far for a little while and see if any boy makes a move," he said. His eyes suddenly got wide and he stood up. "Whoa, why is Nott talking to her? What's going on there?"
He started walking in that direction but Freddy and Dom appeared out of nowhere. Freddy guided him back to his seat.
"You need to calm down," Freddy said. "Look, Nott is back to talking to his girlfriend. He doesn't want Annalise."
"Good," James said. "He better stay away from my girl."
"She's not technically your girl," Dom said, sitting on the table. "Considering she says no every time you ask her out."
"That's besides the point Dominique," James said. "She wants me. Deep down."
"Very, very deep down," Dom muttered, only to receive a glare from James. She looked over at Albus and I and smiled. "Hey guys. Sorry about James' stalkerish tendency’s interrupting your study date. Glad to see you came around, Addie."
Albus and I both started stammering objections about how this wasn't a date.
"Oh, no he's just tutoring me-"
"She's failing Defense and needed help-"
"Teddy is making him do this-"
"We have a test tomorrow-"
"On Dementors, always a happy topic-"
"And we're doing a last minute review session-"
"Really it means nothing-"
"Nothing at all."
Al and I both smiled at her, acting like kids who had gotten caught eating cookies when we shouldn't be.
Dom just smirked and shook her head. "Already finishing each other's sentences. How cute."
What does that mean?!?
Damn her and her Ravenclaw brain.
"Okay, so we're going to get James out of here," Freddy said to us. "Sorry he disrupted you."
"It's fine," I said. "James' stalkerish tendencies were a good excuse for a study break."
"Alright," Freddy said. "Come on, James, we have to go now."
"Why?" James asked. "Annalise isn't leaving yet."
"Yes, but if you stalk her," Freddy said. "She'll probably hate you more than she already does."
James was about to argue more, but Dom was fed up.
"James, get your ass up, I'm hungry," she said. She pulled him out of his chair and dragged him from the library.
She literally dragged him from the library. He was acting like a little kid.
"I love your family," I said, smiling as they left.
Albus shrugged. "They're okay. They get annoying sometimes."
"Yeah but you still have them," I said. "They're still there to annoy you and piss you off. You guys argue and there's so many of you that holidays are always exciting." I looked down at my paper. "I would love to have that."
"You have Scorpius and Ryan though," he said, looking at me.
"It's not the same," I said. "I barely see Ryan because he's always studying and in a different house. And with Scorpius, it's just him. He has his family too, Draco and Astoria and while they treat me like their own daughter, it's different. It's not the same." I looked up at him. "You not only have a crazy amount of cousins who annoy the shit out of you, but you also have your mom, your dad and your siblings. And to you, they may be a burden or make you want to kill them but you still have them. In the end they'll be there for you." I shook my head. "I can't believe you don't see how lucky you are."
Albus was quiet for a minute, thinking over what I said. "I'm sorry," he eventually said.
"Because I was complaining about them," Albus said, nodding toward the door. "I sometimes forget that not everyone has that, especially you. It wasn't fair of me to be complaining about it when it's all you want."
"It's not your fault," I said. "It's not like you made my parents leave, right?" I tried to laugh, making light of our deep conversation.
Albus eyed me for a second and then asked, "How did you know what your boggart was going to be?"
I should've known this question was coming. I had managed to avoid the topic of our Halloween adventure all month but I knew that it was only a matter of time before the question would come up.
"Do you remember two years ago when your house had a boggart in the attic?" I asked him. He nodded. "I wanted to see it. I had only ever seen one in Defense during Third Year and I didn't get the chance to try my spell on it. So I went in there, telling James and Scorpius to wait outside the door and bust in if they had to. Only I put a chair in front of the door so they couldn't come running in and ruin my chance to be near a boggart."
"Why did you want to be near a boggart?" Albus asked me. "Did you want to know what your worst fear was?"
"In a way, yes," I said. "I didn't know what my worst fear was, but I thought it was spiders. I figured I could take it on fine, since it would just be a spider. But I was wrong. I went into the attic and at first nothing happened. And then...my mum appeared. And she started saying similar stuff to what she said on Halloween. Just like Halloween, I was frozen in place and didn't hear Scorp and James banging on the door. They eventually got in, but at that point I was sobbing and in the fetal position on the ground. They had your dad come in and get rid of the boggart for good."
Albus nodded. "I remember that day. Not that part, but I remember dad talking to Mum about how he got rid of the boggart for good. He said it caused too much trouble and that no one should have their fears right under their nose. He said it was dangerous for us kids." He looked up at me. "I remember seeing you crying and was about to make fun of you but then James told me off, warning me not to do anything to upset you even more. I never put two and two together before."
"James yelled at you?" I asked Albus. "I figured it would be Scorpius."
"No, it was James," Albus said. "James is really protective of you. I always assumed there was something going on with you two but he assured me there wasn't after I told him-" Albus stopped talking suddenly, looking down at his papers awkwardly.
"After you told him what?" I asked Albus, confused.
"Nothing," Albus said. "Don't worry about it, Addie. It was in Forth Year, so you don't need to worry about it."
I was about to interrogate him more when he said, "And don't try interrogating me, because I'll just tickle you." He looked up at me, giving me his jerk smirk that was so attractive. "And we both know how well that ended last time."
I blushed and looked away. I was trying to conceal my smile from him. "Shut up."
Al smiled and looked down at his paper. "You're going to do great on this test," he said, changing the topic.
"You really think so?"
Al nodded. "Yeah."
I smiled and looked down at my paper, trying to stop another blush from coming onto my face.
"ROSE HAVE YOU SEEN MY PJ SHIRT?" I yelled across the dorm that night.
"YOU MEAN SCORP'S OLD SHIRT?" She yelled back from her bed.
"YEAH. THE ONE WITH THE HIPPOGRIFF ON IT."
"HAVEN'T SEEN IT SINCE YOU WORE IT A MONTH AGO."
"ALICE HAVE YOU SEEN SCORP'S OLD SHIRT THAT IS NOW MY PJ SHIRT WITH THE HIPPOGRIFF ON IT?"
"NOPE," Alice yelled through the closed bathroom door.
"Well shit," I said. "Where the hell could it be?"
I started looking through my wardrobe, but gave up when I couldn't find it in two seconds.
I'm not patient.
There's a reason I'm not a Hufflepuff.
"Ad, why don't you just wear a different shirt?" Rose asked, from her bed.
"Because they're all dirty," I said, pointing to the pile of Scorpius' old shirts that was on the ground.
Rose sighed and got out of her bed. "Fine," she said, walking over to her dresser.
Wait was Scorpius' old shirt in there?
Why would it be in there?
Does she have a shrine dedicated to Scorpius?
That's just creepy and hopefully not true.
I looked over at Rose, who was digging in her drawers.
There appeared to be no shrine there.
"Here," she said, tossing a shirt at me. "Wear this. It's a boy's shirt, so you'll be able to sleep in it, since you refuse to sleep in anything else."
Yes, I can only sleep in boy's old shirts.
It's not weird.
They're fucking comfortable.
"Whose shirt is it?" I asked, putting my arms through the holes. It was big on me, but not too big as some of Scorp's or Lou's shirts were. It was really comfortable and I didn't really ever want to take it off.
"It's Al's," Rose said, getting back into bed.
I froze. "This is Al's shirt?"
"Yeah," Rose said. "You didn't notice that it's one of his old Quidditch shirts? It has his name and number on the back."
I went over to a mirror and saw that Al's name and favorite number, 24, on the back.
Well. This is strange.
I'm wearing Al's shirt.
And I like it.
Is that bad?
"I think I'll go see if I can steal one of Scorp's shirts," I said, walking toward the door.
Rose shook her head and mumbled something.
I'm not sure if I heard it correctly but it sounded like something very, very unlikely to ever happen.
"It's not like you won't be wearing his shirts when the two of you are married."
Rose is clearly crazy.
I walked through the Common Room and up to the boy’s dorms, ignoring the looks that I got (I'm assuming that they're from wearing Al's shirt, but you know I am such a fine piece of ass that they could all be staring at me for that too.)
I walked in without even knocking, figuring that Scorpius would be in his room at 10:30 at night.
The only person in the dorm was Louis. Who I have avoided ever since the whole Alice issue. He was lying on his bed, reading a book and looking absolutely miserable.
I decided to ignore his presence.
I walked over to Scorp's bed and went to his dresser, getting out a shirt to wear. Of course, he didn't have any clean shirts either.
And there was no way I was wearing one of his dirty shirts.
"Nice shirt," Louis said from behind me.
I turned to face him. "Where's Scorp?"
"Prefect duty," he said.
"Oh," I said. "I forgot."
"Is that why you're wearing Al's shirt?" Louis asked, putting his book down.
"No," I said. I looked around the room and saw Al was gone too. "Where's Al?"
"I don't know," Louis said. "Shouldn't you be keeping tabs on your boyfriend?"
"He's not my boyfriend, nor will he ever be," I said.
"Wearing his shirt makes people think otherwise, Ads," Louis said. "People may think that you're cheating on Caleb."
"Well you would know all about cheating wouldn't you?" I asked him, my anger rising. I never realized how upset with him I actually was. He looked down in shame. "How could you do that to her? She's not some random slag, she's your friend! And you fooled everyone into thinking you actually had feelings for her!"
"I did have feelings for her!" he yelled. "I do have feelings for her. Even though she hasn't spoken to me in weeks, I still am crazy about her. She's all I think about and I don't know what to do because she wants nothing to do with me. Every time a guy flirts with her or makes her laugh, or, hell, even talks to her, it makes me want to beat the shit of them because she's mine. She's my girl, she's the first girl that I could actually see myself having a relationship with and being happy." He looked down at his bed. "I've never felt this way about a girl."
I could tell he meant it. He meant every single word and wanted nothing more than to be with Alice.
"Then why did you cheat on her?" I asked him quietly, sitting on his bed. "I can tell that you really like her and yet you cheated on her. It doesn't make sense."
"I know it doesn't," Louis said. "But I got scared. That's no excuse but everything she was making me feel scared me. I have never wanted one girl so much and not just for a hook up. I wanted to be her boyfriend and hold her hands at all times and make her laugh and kiss her whenever I wanted to. I wanted to be that dumb idiot who has a girlfriend. And that scared me. I thought that hooking up with another girl would make it better but it didn't. If anything it made it worse because while I was kissing her, I could only think of Alice and how much better it was to kiss her." Louis ran a hand through his hair. "I sound like a fucking poof."
"Have you ever thought of telling her all that?" I asked him. "It might not make everything okay but Alice would probably forgive you. And who knows what could come of that."
Louis nodded. "I guess. I just don't want her to reject me."
"How do you know she'll reject you?" I said. "And even if she does at least you will have known that you told her everything and tried your best to get her back. You need to fight for her. That's really all anyone wants."
Louis smiled at me. "Thanks Addie."
"No problem," I said smiling back. "I've missed you, Lou. And I know Alice has too."
"I really screwed up didn't I?" He asked, almost like a little kid.
"Yeah," I said. "But you can fix it."
We sat in silence for a while and I played with the end of Al's shirt.
And that's when it occurred to me.
I had Louis back as a friend.
And friends give each other advice right?
Yes. So I will ask his advice, since I need a boy’s point of view.
"So since I helped you, could you help me?" I asked him.
"Sure," Louis said.
"Okay, so I have this...friend," I said, casually. "And this friend kind of kissed this boy that she thought hated her. And that she thought hated him. But then they kissed. At first she thought it was a drunken kiss but then the guy said that he didn't drink at all last night. And it gets even more confusing because this girl has a boyfriend and sometimes is kissing her boyfriend and thinks 'This isn't as good as kissing that other boy'. And she also gets butterflies around him. And he seems to flirt with her. A lot. Even though in the past he seemed to have hated her. So...what does that mean?"
Louis had a blank stare on his face, but then suddenly broke out into a huge smirk. "Well...it sounds like you have quite the problem there."
"It's not my problem," I said quickly and Louis raised his eyebrows at me.
"Right," he said. "So...you and Albus kissed, and Albus said that he didn't drink anything. And sometimes you think of him when you're kissing Caleb and you get butterflies around Al." Lou's smirk got bigger. "Addie you're so dumb sometimes."
"Hey! I am not!" I said. "How am I dumb?"
"You deny your feelings very well," Louis said. "At least Al-"
"At least I what?" Al said, walking in the door. Louis looked at me and started laughing. Albus looked at me and asked, "Is he okay?"
"No," I said. "No he's not."
I got off the bed and headed toward the door when Al's voice stopped me.
"Is that my shirt?"
I turned around and knew I was turning bright red. "Um, yeah," I said, playing with the bottom of it. "I needed a shirt and Rose just gave me this one. You can have it back if you want."
Please don't want it back. It's really warm and nice and comfy.
"No," Al said, looking at me in his shirt with a strange look on his face, only to smile. "It looks good on you. Keep it."
I smiled. "Thanks."
"No problem," Al said, smiling back at me.
My hormones are going insane.
"So much skinny love," Louis sang.
I rolled my eyes and looked back at Albus. "I'm going to head back to my dorm."
"I'm going to head down to the Common Room and see if Scorpius is back yet," Albus said, joining me at the door.
"Have fun," Louis said. "Be safe. Use protection."
Al shut the door on Louis, who was singing, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?"
"He's such a moron," he said.
"Yeah, he is," I said back, heading down the stairs. We were almost at the Common Room when I tripped.
Only to be caught by Albus, who grabbed me around the waist before my ass could hit the ground.
Unfortunately, I had screamed and therefore the entire Common Room decided to look at us.
"Nothing to see here," I said. "Return as you were."
Everyone looked away, but they broke out into whispers.
And that's when I realized that this looked really bad.
I was coming out of the boy’s dorms with Albus while wearing his shirt, while he held my waist.
Al let go of my waist. "You better get to bed so that you're well rested for the test tomorrow."
"Yes sir," I said, walking across the Common Room.
"You'll do great," Albus said, when we reached the stares.
"Thanks for all the tutoring," I said, turning around on the top step to face him. On the step, I was only an inch or two shorter than him.
"No problem," Albus said. "If we need to do a study session at breakfast, let me know."
"Okay," I said. "Thank you." I reached forward and wrapped my arms around his neck, hugging him.
"You can pass this test," Al whispered in my ear, holding my waist close to him. "I know you will. I believe in you."
I smiled and pulled away. "Night, Al."
"Night Addie," he said, and I turned around and walked up to my dorm.
I had the same smile on my face when I woke up the next morning.
A/N: WOOO NEW CHAPTER! There was lots and lots of Al/Ad fluff in there, which is quite adorable if I do say so myself. And no Caleb, which many of you will probably be happy about, but he makes a come back in the next chapter. *Hint hint stuff happens. Intense stuff. Fun stuff. You all will enjoy it, trust me*
Speaking of Caleb, I've noticed that most of the reviews about him were negative. He's not THAT bad is he? He isn't supposed to be hated...he's a good guy. He's just not right for Addie. Opinions of Caleb?
I will try and update soon, however life is taking over. But cheer should be over soon, which will mean that I will have lots more time to write :D
In the mean time you can always read my other stories Perfect and Off Limits *shameless self promotion*
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