Author's Note: Again, JKR owns all canon stuff. Everything else (Cassie, Logan, etc.) belongs to me. Thanks for reading! R&R and favorite! :D
: Andrew Garfield (he's pretty :])
I don't own any of these actors' photos!
Chapter 2: Slipping from my Fingers
May 14, 2009
“OI! Pia!” James raced up the staircase, nearly slipping on the marble steps. There was a smile on his face, as always, but he seemed extra excited. There was a bounce in his step, almost as if he were skipping up the stairs. His glasses kept slipping down his nose, but he didn’t mind. His dark hair was windblown, as if he had just been outside, riding around on his broomstick. I knew otherwise—he had just “fixed” his hair to look “presentable” when he saw me. “Fixing hair” to James was just running his fingers through it; he considered this “presentable,” though his mother and I did not. (My reasoning was that it made all the girls drool over him; he really did look hot that way. Guess I’m a jealous bitch.) But despite our protests, he kept sporting this look. His father said he looked like his late grandfather. To him, it was pretty much his father telling him to disobey his mother and girlfriend.
“Well, good morning to you, too,” my best friend, Liesel Abell, laughed. “I’ll turn around now. Snog as much as you please.”
“I will,” James said, grabbing my wrist as he hopped up and over the last two steps. The force of the jump and his weight knocked me over. I slipped off the landing, and the stairs began to change. I shrieked as I felt my balance failing. “Fuck!” James yelled. He tugged on my arm, and we both tumbled onto the floor, me on top of him. I grinned down at him, and he smirked. “Well, how’s that for an eighteenth birthday?” he laughed. “And it’s not even noon!”
Giggling, I roll off him and stand. I hold out a hand to him and help him up. “I should at least give my saviour a kiss,” I say, raising my eyebrows.
“Oh, Merlin, snog already!” Liesel exclaimed. “Get it over with!” She abruptly turned on her heel so that her back was to us.
James kissed me full of the lips. Every time we kissed felt like the first. I always felt dizzy and a little high. In that moment, I had an epiphany: I was in love with James Potter.
“Hey, Cassie. Cass.” Logan waves his hand in front of my face. I blink and look up at him. He grins. “Okay,” he laughs, “thought I lost you there for a sec. You had this weird, blank expression on your face.”
Yeah, I was thinking about my ex-boyfriend.
The guilt settles in my stomach and makes me feel sick. “I’m fine,” I lie. “I just...zoned out for a sec.”
And thought about how much I love my ex-boyfriend.
Wait, no, NO! Shit!
Loved. Loved my ex-boyfriend. As in the past. Yep.
The guilt becomes heavier, weighing me down. If I don’t stop thinking about it, I might just throw up all over Logan’s new shoes. And they’re really nice Eccos. Well, they should be since they cost him nearly £100. I calm down. Yes, this is what I need. Muggle thinking.
He holds up our tickets. “That line was like an eternity,” he laughs. “Finally, we’ve got these. Let’s head inside.”
We walk through the platforms to get to our train. My heart stops every time I notice a magical family walking around the station; I'm surprised I haven't died yet of this stupid guilt—or worse: be spotted.
These families are characterized by many things. What sticks out the most, though, are the animals on the children's carts. Owls in their cages squawk, drawing attention to the family. Toads croak deeply, and cats mew loudly. Another characteristic is the family's discomfort. I saw one mother yielding a wand, then, realizing where she was, quickly stuffing it inside her robes. Which brings me to my final characteristic: clothes. Though the children know how to dress, a few of the pureblooded parents are a bit confused. I have had first-hand experience with this. I recognize the confused look on parents' faces when people stare oddly at their extravagant robes and strange colour choices. You would think after all these years, these purebloods would learn, but some of them are quite stubborn, like my mother.
"Mummy, you look silly," I told my mother as we walked casually through King's Cross so many years ago.
She frowned and shook her head. "Nonsense!" she proclaimed, tossing her dark brown hair over her shoulder. "I know how to dress like a Muggle, mind you. My generation was taught to assimilate!"
"They must not have taught you very well," my younger brother, Jason, muttered.
"You do well to be respectful, boy," Dad scolded.
Jason rolled his eyes. "Dad, why don't you tell Mum how to dress? You're good at 'assimilating.'"
"Because it's my job," he replied. Dad worked high up in the Ministry. He was sort of like an ambassador for the wizarding world. This job was created after You-Know-Who’s downfall so that the Muggle world leaders could be informed in case of an emergency. So because of this experience, he was sporting dark wash jeans, a plain olive t-shirt, a brown leather jacket, and chestnut-coloured leather shoes. "Mum looks perfectly all right," he continued, a twist to his smile. He wasn't telling the truth, and everyone but Mum knew it.
Perhaps it was because she had insisted on wearing these sparkly dark blue robes she had just bought from Madam Maulkin. ("It's just like what those Muggle celebrities wear! And, besides, I paid for it!") Dad eventually gave in; there was no fighting my mother. They were the ultimate Ying-and-Yang couple—she was talkative and stubborn; he was quiet and flexible. She was kind to all; he was sarcastic, with a bit of dark humor in him. She meddled; he went along with his business.
"Mummy doesn't look 'all right,'" Jason said. "You're embarrassing! Look at how everyone stares."
"No, they're staring at Orion," she replied. Orion, Jason’s owl, squawked in protest. "See! He's just too vocal! Like someone else I know..." She winked at him.
Jason rolled his eyes, like any twelve year old would.
We had finally reached the barrier. Jason backed up a little. He frowned at the wall and ran his fingers through his brown hair. His chocolate-coloured eyes flickered to me for a second before he ran full speed at the platform barrier and disappeared into it.
"What is she wearing?" Logan asks, nodding to a girl with long blonde hair flowing down her back. She sports an assortment of necklaces and bracelets. She has on orange slacks, a rainbow-coloured jacket over a long, flowy scarlet top, and Converses with a cherry design on them. Two boys, both with fair hair and bright blue eyes, follow her through the station. She tucks her hair behind one ear, and I notice a radish dangling from her lobe.
I nearly shriek out in surprise. Instead, a small squeak emits from my lips. I bite on my lower lip to calm down. It's Luna Scamander, one of my mother's best friends from school. Shit, shit, shit.
I compose myself. I dyed my hair lighter, I'm wearing different clothes, and I'm concealed by the Muggles around me. She won't recognize or see me.
"That's like hipster to the nth degree," Logan laughs.
Aunt Luna has always been a little off, so I laugh along. But I feel guilty. Again. Ugh, damn you conscience!
"Cassie!" I turn and see Al waving to me from platform nine. His parents are nowhere in sight, but he's got his cart, and he's poised to run at the barrier. Hedwig, his snowy owl, beats his wings against his cage.
"Why does your friend had a bird?" Logan asks. "And he seems to be traveling alone."
"Boarding school," I say quickly. "He goes to a special boarding school...where they study birds...I guess?"
He snorts a little and raises an eyebrow. "Really? That's...interesting. Where?"
"In the mountains somewhere, hidden far away," I say, trying not to laugh.
"Well, that's perfect for a boarding school...about birds, I guess," he replies.
I smile and take his hand. "C'mon. Let's catch our train to the airport."
"I'm hungry," Logan complains as we stand in line for security.
"I think there's a McDonald's here," I suggest. I smirk. "I know how much you Americans like your fast food."
He frowns. "That is a terrible stereotype!" he accuses. He then laughs. "But one hundred percent true."
"Next," the officer says, waving us over. We walk to him and hold out our boarding passes. "IDs, too," he says. "There are signs everywhere to tell you what you need." He frowns disgustedly at us.
"Sorry," Logan says, eyebrows raised. You've got to be kidding me,
his face says. We're not stupid
. He fishes out his wallet and hands over his ID.
The officer looks at me, but I don't budge. He rolls his eyes and sighs. "You too, Miss. ID, please."
"Um, right," I say. I slowly reach into my purse and dig through my things, trying to find my wallet. I fake having a hard time; the officer groans. "Sorry," I say, my palms and face sweating. Logan's looking at me strangely, and my cheeks burn.
See, the thing is, I faked my age to Logan. I'm twenty-one, but I said I was twenty-five. This makes my new life seem more believable. When we first met, to him, I would've been twenty-two, fresh out of university, like him. In actuality, I was eighteen, fresh out of Hogwarts, unlike him. If I claimed to be eighteen, it wouldn't make sense. Why was I not in University? Why did I have a well-paying full-time job? (At that time, I was working for the Ministry, under my father.) Why was I so prepared for the world? So I lied. But that doesn't mean I lied to the officials who made my ID. According to my ID, I was born May 14, 1991, not 1987.
I hand over my ID with a shaky, sweaty hand. The officer swipes it away from me and checks it three times. He then hands back our documents and says, "Have a good flight."
"Thank you," Logan says stiffly, putting his ID and boarding pass back where they belong.
We walk into the security screening area, and, luckily, it's not too busy. Most people must be coming home, I suppose, because their children have to start school soon. Logan and I take off our shoes and jackets, throwing them into bins. We put our bags on the conveyor belt and watch them disappear into the scanner. I pat myself down to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
My hand reaches the small of my back to find my wand. Oh, shit.
"What's wrong, babe?" Logan asks as he is told to walk through the scanner. He steps through and collects our things at the end.
My wand is wood. It won't get picked up, I bet. Shit, why did I bring it? Why do I still have it? I mean, I use it when I'm alone so I can do things I'm too lazy to do myself. Magic will be the end of me.
“Nothing,” I say. “Nothing’s wrong.”
“Please step through the metal detector,” the officer at Logan’s end orders gruffly.
detector? I let out a sigh of relief. Thank Merlin! I wipe off the sweat that has been forming on my nose and strut through the detector, head held high.
It starts beeping, the sound ringing annoyingly in my ears. Logan looks at me with wide eyes as a DFT officer drags me over to an area fenced-off with plastic walls.