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Human Nature by Flavia
Chapter 8 : Fact of Nature #8: Two people in love can be exceptionally boring
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 9


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“Havin’ a hard time keepin’ out of trouble, are yeh?” Hagrid beamed at me as I approached his hut on Saturday evening.  It was twilight and the whole of Hogwarts had a slightly eerie feel to it.  Not that it bothered me, I was with Hagrid so I knew I’d be fine.

“This time it was definitely a necessity and not just for my own amusement,” I protested as Fang bounded over to greet me.  Though I did enjoy it a little bit, I added to myself.

“Well it was very noble of yeh,” Hagrid said, the slight tinge of sarcasm in his voice not lost on me.

“So what’s our job for tonight?” I asked, suddenly feeling a bit nervous about the knowing look Hagrid was giving me.

“We’re jus’ goin’ in ter the forest ter collect some fairies,” He replied, scooping up a large bag that was sitting on the steps of his hut.  “Need ‘em fer one of the Christmas Trees yeh see.”

“Right, fairies,” I nodded.  This really was turning out to be the easiest detention I had ever served, although it terms of enjoyment it would have to take second place behind that brilliant evening I got to spend with Lucy in the dungeons.  “So how do we hunt fairies?”

“Well once yeh’ve found ‘em it’s really quite simple,” Hagrid shrugged.  “I jus’ tell ‘em that they’re needed for decoration and they’re fallin’ over themselves ter volunteer.”

“Really?”  I laughed.  “Why’s that?”

“Very vain creatures they are,” Hagrid laughed.  “They just like ter be looked at.”

We made our way into the forest, following a path that looked vaguely familiar to me, although the darkness always cast the forest in a slightly different light.  We walked along for about ten minutes, chatting happily, until Hagrid stopped me and told me to be quiet.  I followed him silently, trying to work out what it was he was looking for; he kept stopping and looking at the leaves of various trees, turning them over gently and inspecting them before moving on.  This went on for another ten minutes or so, and just when I was getting bored and about to ask Hagrid what he was looking for, he waved me over to look at the leaf he was holding, a broad smile visible underneath his massive tangle of a beard.  I walked over to discover the leaves held a mass of tiny eggs, all brightly coloured.  Further inspection of a few surrounding leaves yielded the same results.  Hagrid stepped away from the tree slightly and put his bag down on the ground, opening it and pulling out several large glass jars.  He took the lid off one and handed both lid and jar to me; I noticed that tiny air holes had been punched into the lid.

“Jus’ follow my lead,” Hagrid whispered, but before I could ask him what he meant, he looked around and spoke in an overly loud voice. “Well I was hopin’ we could find summat beautiful in the fores’ ter use as decorations fer those Christmas trees,” He boomed.  I looked at him curiously but he simply continued.  “Yeh, we need summat really pretty!”  I continued to stare at Hagrid with my eyebrows raised until he began waving his hand at me in a circular motion, indicating I should say something.

“Oh yeah,” I stammered.  “We want something really beautiful that everyone will look at.”  Hagrid made a thumbs up sign and spoke again.

“I wonder if there’s anythin’ that beautiful here in the fores’ we could use?”

I opened my mouth to say something else, but before I could, I noticed a faint glowing from the trees nearby.  As I watched, several little glowing lights appeared, slowly moving closer to us.  Before long, I realised that the floating lights were actually tiny people with large insect-like wings, and they shimmered all over: Fairies.

“Why hello there,” Hagrid said gently to the fairies.  “You certainly are beautiful, wouldn’t you agree Albus?”

“Oh definitely,” I replied.  “Quite possibly the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.” Well not quite the most beautiful but these fairies don’t need to know about Lucy, do they?

As we watched, the fairies flittered closer to us, eventually following Hagrid’s instructions to hop into the jars if they would like to be used as decorations.  They seemed slightly hesitant at first, but as we continued to pour on the compliments, they became so excited they were practically falling over themselves to climb in the jars; and once a few had joined us, suddenly all the others wanted to as well, no doubt deciding they wanted the attention too.

After about twenty minutes of coaxing, we had a dozen or so jars full of glittering fairies, which we carefully loaded back into Hagrid’s bag. 

“I’ll jus’ make sure ter compliment them every day,” Hagrid chuckled as he slung the sack back over his shoulder.  “Now, how about a cup of tea?”

Lucy had seemed quite concerned about my punishment, but I assured her and the others that it hadn’t felt like a detention at all.  I thought it was quite odd until Rose came up with a theory about Sprout thinking I’d done something noble.  I supposed she could be right, since I was sure Sprouty had winked at me that day in her office and she’d given me a ridiculously easy punishment. 

The next Hogsmeade visit for the year approached and once again the boys began pestering me about asking Lucy out.

“Well she’s not going to go with McMillan,” Will commented one night.  “So you’ve got better chance this time.”

“But I think she’s still cut up about it all,” I argued.  Lucy had seemed a lot happier since I’d stunned McMillan in the corridor near the North Tower, but occasionally I caught her staring off into space, a slightly sad or confused expression on her face; I had a sneaking suspicion she wasn’t quite over him just yet.  “She’ll probably think I’m really insensitive if I ask her out.”

“I bet she’d say yes though,” Louis offered.  “I mean you hexed that Hufflepuff git for her, she’d probably be happy to repay the favour.”

“I don’t want her to go out with me out of a sense of obligation!” I exclaimed.  “You’re an idiot.  And what did I tell you about not giving me anymore of your stupid advice?”

“I hate to say it, but I think Louis is right,” Justin piped up from where he was reading a book on his bed.  “Whatever her reasons, I’m pretty sure if you asked her she’d say yes.  Maybe you should just give it a go.”

“How about you just give it a go?”  I snapped back, feeling guilty that I was taking my frustrations out on my friends.  “You ask Purnell out and I’ll consider asking Lucy out.”

“Fine, I was thinking about asking Gwen to Hogsmeade anyway,” Justin shrugged.  I rolled my eyes, doubting he would ever work up the nerve.



Saturday morning, I found myself grumpier than ever as I watched Justin get ready for his date.  I didn’t really begrudge him having a date, after all he’d actually had the guts to ask Gwen out, but I knew I was jealous that he had the girl of his dreams when mine seemed so elusive.

“Cheer up mate, it’s not all that bad,” Louis said as I stomped around the dormitory, looking for a clean pair of socks.  I glowered at him darkly but he simply chuckled.

“Look, we can still have a good time today,” He continued as Justin headed into the bathroom to brush his teeth.  Louis lowered his voice.  “The girls will probably be keeping a close eye on Justin and Purnell today, so we just do the same thing.  I’m sure they’d be happy to have us join them.”

I had to admit, it was a pretty good idea.  Lucy and I had discussed Justin and Gwen a couple of times and I got the impression that the girls were very enthusiastic about the new couple.  How hard would it be to say I was just spying on my mate? 

“This doesn’t mean you’re allowed to start giving me advice again,” I warned Louis, pointing a finger at him warningly, though I did feel my mood lighten significantly after that.

Louis was right about the girls following Justin and Gwen around, as we left the castle, we spotted them following the couple, keeping a small distance as they headed towards the village.

“You girls wouldn’t happen to be spying would you?” Louis said, sneaking up on the girls from behind.  

“Yes, we’ve been following them all the way since the castle.” Rose laughed, she was walking next to Lucy but there was a bit of a gap between them, I could easily slip in between them.

Come on Al, be brave.  Just act casual and cool and she’ll totally buy it.

Summoning courage from somewhere deep, I stepped between the two girls.  “Anything good happen yet?” On a sudden whim, I threw my arms over both their shoulders, a shiver running through me as I felt Lucy’s arm beneath my hand.  This wonderful moment only lasted a second though, because she seemed to buckle under the sudden assault of my arm, tripped and tumbled into the snow.  Her scream startled me and sent panic coursing through my veins, but almost immediately she rolled on to her back, giggling hysterically, and I knew she couldn’t be hurt too badly.

“Such a klutz,” Jane laughed, rolling her eyes.  Louis seemed to think this was the perfect moment to show off his impersonation skills and began stumbling around in the snow, comically pretending to fall over.

“Bloody hell Bell, way to give someone a heart attack!” I tried to hide the worry in my voice as I held a hand out to Lucy, wondering if she’d let me help her this time.

“You know me, can’t quite get the hang of gravity,” She smiled, reaching up almost instantly to take my hand.  I pulled her to her feet, though maybe a little too enthusiastically, because she tripped again slightly as she straightened up.  I reached out my free hand to steady her, watching her carefully to make sure she was as unharmed as she was acting.

“You alright?” I said seriously, looking her directly in the eye.  It was a bad idea, the little flecks of gold there seemed to trap me, and I found myself staring into her eyes, unable to look away.  It was obviously creepy because she suddenly pulled away from me, dancing through the snow with a giggle about how she was fine. 

I had to give Justin credit, he was exhibiting incredible self-control on his date – he hadn’t even tried to hold Gwen’s hand.  If I was even fortunate to go on a date with Lucy I probably wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off her.  Yes you would, because you would treat her better than McMillan, I reminded myself.  The whole spying plan became rather boring and soon, we were all bored to tears with what Justin and Gwen were doing…or rather not doing! 

“These two are like watching paint dry,” I grinned at Lucy after ten minutes of watching them look at the Scrivenshaft’s window display.  “I mean it’s just quills and ink, how interesting can it be?”

“You’re such a boy,” Lucy laughed quietly, shaking her head mockingly at me.

“Well that’s a nice change, you usually call me a girl,” I teased, giving her what I hoped was a flirtatious smile. 

“That’s because you act like a girl,” Lucy smiled back briefly, but quickly focussed on Justin and Gwen again.  For a moment I thought she was blushing, but as the cool winter air tickled my own cheeks I realised it was probably just the cold making her look a little pinker than usual.

“Well I’m over this, who’s up for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes?” Louis interrupted.

“It’s so crowded in there,” Rose complained as she looked at the joke shop down the street.  “And it’s usually really loud.  I want to go to Honeydukes.”  A quick decision was made that saw we boys head into the joke shop while the girls took off to buy sweets.  I didn’t want to leave Lucy but I figured that if I followed her around all day she would realise how creepy I was.

“Boys!  How are we this fine day?” Uncle George called out to us as we entered the shop.  He was dangling from the ceiling from some kind of rope rigging, three boxes balanced under one arm. 

“Not too bad Uncle George,” I called up.  “What are you doing?”

“Just getting some more trick wands,” He explained, nodding towards the top of the impossibly high shelves where stacks of plan brown boxes housed extra stock.  As we watched, Uncle George used his spare hand to tap his wand on the rope, and immediately he began to descend…probably a little faster than was safe.  He landed with a thud in the middle of a group of startled looking second years who were trying on joke hats.  A boy sporting a marvellous pair of donkey ears stumbled backwards and let out a squeal as he fell into a display of muggle card tricks.

“Sorry there,” Uncle George exclaimed, helping the boy to his feet and fixing the display with a quick flourish of his wand.  He passed the boxes to a passing witch in magenta robes bearing the WWW logo before turning to beam at us.  “So what have you lot been up to?  I notice one missing body, Justin sick is he?”

“No,” Louis gave a snort of laugher.  “He’s on a date!”

“Well, well, good for him then,” Uncle George laughed.  “Though I would have expected the three of you to be following him around, giving him hell all day.”

“We tried, but they were really boring,” Will shrugged. 

“Yeah, even the girls thought they were boring,” I added.

“Oh, so we were spying with some ladies were we?   Nice plan, just the sort of brilliant idea I would have come up with when I was at school.  So where are these girls now?” Uncle George glanced around the crowd of students.

“Honeyduke’s,” Louis replied.  “Rose said it was too noisy and crowded in here.”

“Just like her mother that one,” Uncle George said wisely.  “Although I vaguely remember the great Hermione Granger once saying our products used rather impressive magic.  It was the nicest thing she ever said to me considering she spent most of her time at school trying to tell me off, and that was before she was a prefect!”  We all laughed at that, poor Auntie Hermione was always getting teased, although she did take it good naturedly, Uncle Ron was the one who would get annoyed at the teasing and shout at his brothers or sometimes Mum.

“Hey you lot, I thought you were spying on Justin today,” Fred appeared from a nearby aisle and invited himself into the conversation.  We quickly filled him in on the whole ‘they were boring so we came here’ story.

“Well I was thinking about heading over to The Three Broomsticks for lunch soon, you guys want to come?”  He asked.  We nodded in assent and started to say our goodbye’s the Uncle George.  “Hey Dad, I think I’ve left my wallet back up at the castle, do you think you could lend me some money?” Fred said slyly, giving his dad a far too innocent smile.

Accio Fred’s Wallet,” Uncle George said lazily in response, pointing his wand at his son.  Fred’s wallet flew out of his pocket and into Uncle George’s waiting hand.  “Left your wallet back in the castle did you?” He said, eyebrows raised.

“I said I thought I’d left it there.  Turns out I was wrong!”  Fred shrugged his shoulders as Uncle George gave the wallet back with a chuckle and waved us out of the shop.  “Have you seen James around?” Fred asked me as we crossed the street.  “I would have expected him to be out on a date with some good looking seventh year, but I haven’t spotted him yet.”

“No, school girls are a bit ‘beyond him’, he’s all mature and grown up now, didn’t you know?” I said, quoting my brother, who had been spending a lot of his time lately with his head inside a book. 

“Oh, is that what it is?  I wondered why I’d hardly seen him outside of Quidditch training.” Fred shrugged.  “Oh well, if he’s not dating anymore then that’s more lovely ladies for us, right boys?” I smiled at him, although in my head I made a mental note that cousin or not, if Fred tried to make Lucy one of his ‘Ladies’, I would personally turn him into a slug.

The pub was already starting to get crowded, but we found a table easily enough.  Fred managed to locate a couple of menus and I began looking over the list of dishes, not really sure what I felt like eating. 

“Oh dear,” Will said, and I looked up curiously.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Um, ok, Al don’t do anything stupid ok, but McMillan’s over there,” He said, pointing to the corner behind Louis.  The stupid git was sitting with Lydia March, a Ravenclaw sixth year, who developed fame (or maybe infamy) amongst the male populous of Hogwarts when she was in fourth year and certain parts of her body began developing rather quickly…well you know in the way that girl’s bodies develop!  She gets asked out a lot, although most of those guys are usually not dating her for her Ravenclaw brain!

I was seething as I watched McMillan brush a hair off of Lydia’s face while he laughed at something she said.  I wondered briefly if he’d tried that with Lucy when they were on their date.  I couldn’t believe that after everything that had happened, he could just take some other girl out and flirt so obviously like that with her.  I mean, I understand that the guy’s only human and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed Lydia and even considered asking her out, but McMillan was being completely insensitive; what if Lucy saw them together? 

“Al?  Ease up mate, you’re going to break a piece of the table off!” Will interrupted my thoughts and I looked down to discover I was gripping the edge of the table with a vice-like grasp.  Louis and Fred, who were busy laughing about something on the menu, hadn’t noticed the conversation between Will and myself, or my reaction to McMillan.  I slowly let go of the table, flexing my fingers to relax them.  I nodded to Will to indicate I was ok and I wasn’t about to go running across the room to hex McMillan, though I sorely wanted to.

“Sorry git, look what a pretty girl does to your mental state,” Fred said suddenly, making me jump.

“What?” I said, had he been listening all along?  But when I looked at my cousin, he was waving his hand in front of Louis, who was staring across the room, completely unaware.

“He’s spotted Hawthorn,” Fred snickered, nodding in the direction that Louis was staring.  I glanced over my shoulder to see Rose, Jane and Lucy standing in the doorway of the pub.  Rose spotted us and waved before leading the girls through the crowd of patrons to our table.  Fred managed to shove his elbow into Louis’ ribs and startle him out of his creepy staring routine before anyone else noticed.

There’s another boy in our family who does the creepy, stalker stare at pretty girls.  I must ask Dad if it’s hereditary.

“Hello you lot,” Rose smiled at us.  “You all get hungry too?”

“Famished, we were about to order before you so rudely interrupted!” Fred teased.

“Oh shut up Freddie, no one cares what you think,” Rose retorted, leaving Fred with a grumpy look on his face.  “Now budge up so we can join you, it’s getting a bit mad in here!”

We all looked around for unclaimed chairs, Louis practically falling off on his to grab one for Jane.  I spotted a spare chair at the next table and quickly went to retrieve it.

“Here Lucy, you have my chair, I’ll find another one,” Fred was saying as I returned and I felt like kicking my stupid cousin.  

I was going to find her a chair!  Then she’d be all happy and smiley and look at me with those big brown eyes and…

And what Al?  Fall in love with you because you got her a chair in the pub?  Get a grip!

I realised that there was probably something dangerous about the fact that I was having an argument with myself, so I quickly offered the spare chair to Rose.

“Thanks Al,” She smiled at me.  “Luce, move around will you and I can fit in here.”

To my utter delight, Lucy pushed her chair further around the table until it was right beside the next chair: mine.  I sat down and smiled at her, grateful that the crowded pub had put us in this brilliant situation.  When Fred returned with a chair, there wasn’t much room left and Louis didn’t look willing to move from where he had pushed his chair up next to Jane’s.  Will shuffled around a bit so Fred could fit in next to him, but that meant I had to shuffle around to allow for Will, pushing me closer to Lucy.  Our legs were touching ever so slightly now, and Lucy smiled at me and blushed, before turning her eyes to the menu.

“Should we get some drinks?” Louis suggested. 

“I’ll come and help you,” Will said, and we all gave our drink orders to the boys.  I stared at the table for a second, trying to think of something funny or clever to say.  I’d just decided to ask about Honeydukes (not my best ice-breaker I’ll admit, but I was nervous!) and was looking up at Lucy when I stopped dead in my tracks.  She was facing straight ahead so I had a beautiful look at the profile of her face, but I knew almost immediately that something was wrong.  Lucy’s eyes were unblinking as they trained on something across the room, her lips turned downwards into a slight frown.  I realised in an instant that she’d spotted McMillan, and felt my hand grip the table once more.  I wanted to do or say something comforting, but all I could think about was hexing his stupid, smug head off as we watched him not-so-subtly put his arm around Lydia’s shoulder.

Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who had noticed what was going on.  Rose made a noise of disgust and rolled her eyes at the pair. 

“Can’t half tell he’s got a one track mind, can you?  And he had the nerve to call you all those nasty names!  What a hypocrite!”  She said.  It seemed to work, Lucy looked at Rose and smiled, rolling her eyes as well.

“Well best of luck to her,” She grinned, though I noticed that her eyes seemed to hold a twinge of hurt.

“Alright you lot, pay up!” Louis broke into the conversation as he and Will returned with several glasses of butterbeer.  We all pulled out our money and pushed it to the middle of the table. 

“Ooh, and look who just came in!” Rose cried and six heads swivelled towards the door, where Justin and Gwen had appeared.  Justin helped Gwen remove her cloak before looking around for a table.  They didn’t even notice us all gawking at them as Justin led Gwen to a small table across the room.  When they sat down, my view was obscured by a large plant, but Rose and Jane could both see them.

“They’re sitting really close together!” Jane hissed.

“He’s tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear!” Rose added, and all the girls made soft ‘awww’ noises.  Fred pretended to gag as the girls continued to make comments about the date’s progress.

“They finally get interesting and I can’t see it!” I said to Lucy, ducking my head towards her conspiratorially. 

“Don’t worry, I can’t either,” She said.  “They could be dancing on top of the table and we wouldn’t know.”

“I live with Justin, believe me, if he were dancing on the table I wouldn’t want to know!” I said and the most wonderful thing happened: Lucy giggled.  An honest to goodness, genuine, that-was-really-funny, giggle.  I couldn’t stop the huge grin that spread across my face at the sound of her laughter, and my stomach flipped over nervously as her eyes sparkled.

Oh man, I have it bad if one giggle has this effect on me.

Rose and Jane continued their running report of Justin and Gwen while we all ordered our food and didn’t stop until our meals were delivered and the girls had to stop talking to eat.

“They’re getting pretty boring anyway,” Jane said at one point.  “They’re just talking.”

Being crowded around the table became even more noticeable once our meals arrived and we needed to reach our plates and glasses more frequently.  I was very much enjoying the constant feel of Lucy’s knee pressed against mine and the way her arm would brush against mine when she reached for another chip.  I definitely did not intentionally touch her forearm with my own several times just because I liked the sensation.  Definitely not…because that would be creepy.

“They seem to be enjoying themselves,” Rose said at one point, glancing over her shoulder to where Justin and Gwen were apparently still sitting. 

“Well he made a good decision by not taking her to Madam Puddifoot’s, that put him ahead right there” I said, to which some of the others murmured their agreement. 

“Have I told you guys about the time James dared me to go and have lunch at Puddifoot’s on my own?” Fred asked.  I’d heard the story but most of the others hadn’t, so Fred launched into the tale of his delightful meal at the sickeningly floral café. 

I was happy to be next to Lucy but I wished I could talk to her more without interrupting Fred’s story.  The second I said a word to her, even if I was quiet, the others would hear me and all turn to look.  The story was a good one, and the way Fred told it was amusing, but it was the fifth time I’d heard it and I soon found myself getting bored.  My mind wandered to other things like the way Lucy’s hair fell over her shoulder, the ends twisting into a loose, natural waves and the way her leg felt pressed against mine. Even though both of our legs were clad in the thick denim of our jeans, I could feel the heat radiating from our limbs and for a while I began to get lost in my own fantasies, imagining we were the ones on a date, and there would be nothing wrong with me resting my hand on her knee.

Right creepy man, stop it right there! I scolded myself, and I balled my hands up into fists on my own knees for good measure.  I tapped my shoe against the leg of my chair nervously, suddenly all too aware of Lucy’s proximity, the scent of her shampoo, the light that reflected off her hair, the curve of her neck…

Right, getting really creepy now!

I was beginning to realise just how much of a curse being a fifteen year old boy could be, and I swung my foot a little wider, until suddenly it met something else as it kicked away from my chair.  Lucy’s foot!  I tapped my foot against Lucy’s again, just gently to see if she would react badly, or even notice it.  When there was no reaction, I hit my foot against hers a little harder, and this time her foot moved away from mine.  Just as I felt the disappointment rise up, I suddenly felt Lucy’s foot move back, tapping against mine three times.  I tapped her again and noticed the faintest hint of a smile flutter across her lips.  Encouraged by her reaction, I continued the game of footsies for a while, but forced myself to stop eventually, deciding to quit while I was ahead. 

I was trying my hardest to ignore McMillan and Lydia in the corner, though my eyes kept flicking to Lucy to see if she was bothered by their presence.  For the most part, she seemed to be ignoring them too, although at one point I looked up and she was staring straight at the couple, her mouth a thin line.  I looked quickly to McMillan, and realised he was looking back at Lucy, a stupid smirk on his face.  As we watched, he turned and whispered something to Lydia, something that, judging by her reaction, was not at all appropriate.  It was also obviously designed to upset Lucy, to make her feel like she was just a disposable thing, and it made me mad.

“Smarmy git, I’ve got half a mind to go and hex him.” I muttered, just loud enough so that Lucy could hear me.  I wanted her to know that his stupid behaviour was not going unnoticed. She definitely heard, because suddenly, her hand was on mine, patting it gently.

“Ease up sunshine,” She said, smiling at me.  I stared at her, rendered speechless not only by the way she smiled, but also by her touch.  Her hand was so soft and I was overcome with the urge to grab it and never let go.  Obviously Lucy felt this intensity because she quickly pulled her hand away, looking a little embarrassed.  “I appreciate the help but don’t go picking any fights on my account, I can look after myself.”  She said.

Of course you can, I wanted to say.  Because that was fast becoming the theme of my relationship with Lucy, she didn’t want me to rescue her, even when I could see her suffering.  She was strong, and brave and a Gryffindor and she wasn’t about to be some helpless damsel in distress.

And it only made me like her more.



AN: Ok, I'm super tired and just stupidly deleted this as I was trying to post it so I shall try again! :)  And due to my tiredness I've been to lazy to do a last minute proof read, so I apologise if there are more errors than usua.  Feel free to get a red pen and cross them out...actually, don't do that - it'll ruin your computer screen!  See, what did I tell you?  Tired!

I hoped you ejoyed the chapter though, please leave me a review and tell me what you think :)

Thanks as always to you, my lovely readers!

And of course, here's your little treat, chapter 9 and many people's favourite scene from Animal Magnetism...

“Why are you running away from Filch?” Lucy asked through her deep breaths.  “I know he’s a pain but we weren’t doing anything wrong.”

“It’s not what I’m doing now, it’s what I did earlier today,” I started, and when Lucy still looked confused, I realised it was best to tell her the truth. “I stole one of Hagrid’s Nifflers and locked it up in Filch’s office with a few pieces of leprechaun gold.  I thought it would just be funny but it actually tore his office apart.” 

The look that Lucy gave me was one that I imagine you would give a small child when they’d done something naughty.  She let out a small groan of frustration and her expression clearly said, Albus Potter, you are an idiot.  There was a slight twitching at the corners of her mouth though and I wondered if somewhere, deep down, she was amused by my actions.

“Where on earth did you get leprechaun gold?” She asked, obviously deciding it was the easiest question to start with.

“It’s a long story,” I replied, not able to stop myself giving her a little smile which she returned.

“Come along Mrs. Norris, just down this way,” Filch’s voice broke through our private moment and once again I panicked.  Lucy and I looked at each other, her expression mirroring my own, and then we took off at a run.  We were just skidding around a corner when I saw a small doorway to my right: a cupboard.  I stopped suddenly, yanking Lucy to a halt with me. 

“Quick, in here!” I hissed, pulling open the door and dragging Lucy in with me. 

To say the cupboard was smaller than I had been anticipating would be an understatement of epic proportions.  I’m not exactly sure why Hogwarts would even have a broom closet that small, I mean surely with all the magical people around this place they could have managed something a little bigger.  The one good thing about the tiny-ness of the cupboard however was the fact that I was now standing closer to Lucy than I had ever been before.  It was dark in our little hiding spot so I could only just make out the shape of her face and body, her brown eyes still sparkling in the dim light.

 
 


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