Chapter 18 : The One with More James' Point of View
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and for my love for teddy lupin, for being the five hundreth review of this story.
The rest of October passed, as did half of November, and the cold air fizzled out into never ending drizzle and hailstorms – oh, and temperatures to rival the Arctic. And James stayed true to his word – though he seemed to relax a little a few days after the incident, he wouldn’t spend any time with me alone – or any time alone with any of us, for that matter.
Connor and James even seemed a little funny with each other, leading me to believe that Connor had ranted as much at James as he had at me, when he found out that our little ‘agreement’ had reached a bump in the road.
I mean, I knew that said ‘bump’ was completely my fault, I knew that – but that didn’t make it any less of a pain in the arse.
I’d fucked things up good and proper, in true Summer Lancaster style.
And Connor seemed to feel that screaming his tonsils out at me for an hour and a half was the way to fix things. And then, after ranting for so long that I considered pitching myself out the window, he just left the room with an ominous ‘fix it, Summer’.
If I could, I would.
The only plan I can possibly come up with is running up to the twat, grabbing him by the collar and forcing him into a broom closet.
But I don’t think that would really help the situation very much, considering James is working his arse off to try and rebuild the wall between friends and maybe-a-bit-more that we had started to knock down.
He didn’t trust me, I knew that too. And in all honesty, I hadn’t done anything in a long time that showed I actually deserved his trust.
And if he was telling the truth when he said he was considering asking me out on a date – why is my stomach clenching? It shouldn’t be clenching. Bloody stomach – then he was... he was getting over Natalie. With me. He was ready for something more – even if he was stupid enough to want that something more with me.
And then I’d gone and messed him up and James was probably never going to want to be in a relationship ever again.
He’s going to die an old man that shags all the old ladies staying with him in the old folk’s home, with no kids and his insane abundance of money going to some Save the Bowtruckle shitty charity. And it will be all my fault.
Still, at least I’ll know that my shittiness as a person has helped the next few generations of bowtruckles.
Which is always good, you know.
If you like animals, and all that shit. Which I don’t. Not really big on the whole animal front.
Albus and Natalie went public the day after that – though why the bint still wanted to be with him is beyond me. She must be as big a twit as I always thought she was – and were greeted with general astonishment and many hushed rumours from the rest of the school.
Particularly the Potter/Weasley Empire, whose spidey-senses seemed to be tingling as they sensed something a little off with the whole situation.
Many people actually got it bang on the nose – that there had been something going on with Albus and Natalie whilst she was still with James, but with no one confirming the rumour, it was left down to hear-say and bathroom gossip.
Seriously. The amount of times I have been trying to go to the loo in between lessons and have had to listen to the Potter boy’s fangirlies squealing about the new couple is making me sick.
It’s been a sodding month. Get over it, bints.
If I could just dig an enormous hole and toss the lot of them into it, then I would. But I have a feeling that some pest-lover would start claiming that bints have a right to live too.
Which they don’t.
But regardless, I would end up in prison and that really wouldn’t float my boat. James probably wouldn’t want to be with someone that was in prison for killing off the girls that have his posters pinned to their walls.
Shortly after Twit One and Twit Two became known to the world, Jack and Rose took the highroad to Splitsville.
I asked Jack the Pr – no, not Jack the Prat, just Jack – what happened, and he just said that whilst he enjoyed the company of Rose greatly, it was more like being in a very exclusive friendship than in a relationship. And then he had a laugh attack because I got confused and asked if that was just his Sexy-Suave-Man way of saying that she wouldn’t shag him.
For anyone interested, no, she didn’t shag him, but that wasn’t what he meant. He called me ‘vulgar’ for making that assumption.
I think that means I need to stop hanging out with teenage lads.
After finding out Rose was now back on the dating market, Scorpius – after nearly wetting himself in shock – ordered one hundred roses (you know, because she’s called Rose. Yeah, I didn’t get it at first either) to be sent to her room and laid out in crystal vases.
Cost him a fortune, and probably would have made everything finger-licking dandy – had the idiot not ordered them to be sent effing anonymously.
Rosie now spends her days wandering around with homemade rose perfume on and a moony smile on her face as she tries to figure out who was willing to break the bloody bank for her.
Scorpius was too busy ‘admiring from afar’ (his words, not mine) to try and approach her and explain that he sent them as a way of an apology. No. Of course not. Because why take the logical option?
Those two are getting on my last nerve.
But with a big Hogsmeade weekend coming up, I’m hoping that Scorpius is going to get off the Oblivious Thestral and just bloody ask the chick if she wants to go and snog him in The Three Broomsticks, and possibly be graced the privilege of a hand-hold on the way back up to the castle.
My cousin is a git. Shut it, prick at the computer there who just said that he learned it from me. I’m a lovely person. I’ll get James to smash your bloody head in if you keep muttering things like that.
Oh wait, not James. I’ll get Fred to do it – if you offer to buy him a packet of strawberry bootlaces then the bloke is putty in your hands. He’d even do your history of magic homework for you, but not many people want to hand in an essay scrawled in child script (most likely in red crayon) on a torn piece of parchment stained with peanut butter and teriyaki sauce.
Speaking of Fred and all the wonderful weirdness that surrounds him, I think he has a thing for Penny, you know.
I don’t know, but I’ve just started picking up on this vibe lately. They’re always sitting really close together, and they’re both smiling like the saps they aren’t, and they keep shooting these little lip-bite half smirks at one another.
And then, the other day – Fred offered her a bite of his Tuna-Mayo-Cheeseslaw-Tomato-Peanut-Cabbage-Bacon sandwich.
She declined, of course, like any person with normal taste buds would have, but the offer still stood. Fred Weasley was offering to share his favourite food with someone. And then when Dom asked for a bite, wanting to try the concoction for once and figure out what all of Fred’s hype was about, he snatched it away from her like she was poisonous and she had just threatened to rip off his manhood and feed it to a gorilla.
Apparently it was a Penny only kind of offer.
Not that any of the rest of us had any interest whatsoever in putting that shit near our gobs.
Connor and Dom, I hear you ask. Still going strong. Still sickeningly loved up, though they’ve thankfully just come out of the stage of calling each other ‘pookie’ and ‘sweets’ and ‘baby’ – I think it might have been James tipping pumpkin juice over Con and me pouring my tomato soup onto Dom that really got the message across.
That kind of cuteness is not appropriate for the dinner table.
They finally did the deed and just shagged, and I was greeted to a charming blow by blow description of exactly what happened and exactly how Connor did between the sheets – I even got a lovely out-of-ten rating. Scarred for life doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Dom spent three and a half hours telling me about how it really made her feel special and their relationship feel strong that they lost their V-cards to each other.
Yeah, yeah, gorgeously cute. Now go and gush to Penny, she’s the friend that wants to hear about that kind of shit. It makes me want to claw my own eardrums out.
Not that I’m dramatic, or anything.
You want dramatic, you go to Jamesie boy. I mean, can you get any more dramatic than practically renouncing your relationship with someone just because you walked in on them snogging someone else. Yeah, I was in the wrong – and please don’t ask me to admit that again, because it was painful enough that time – but James complete blew it out of proportion.
At the time I thought it would last a week, tops – it’s been a ruddy month and he’s showing no signs of just shoving me up against a wall and snogging my brains out like he used to.
That’s actually quite a depressing thought, when you think on it.
But no. After walking in one someone who was not your girlfriend (henceforth he cannot accuse me of cheating on him or some shit like that) snogging someone else, shout a little, maybe throw something, get in a hump and strop off.
Don’t scream half the school down, beat the living shit out of your own brother, disfigure the castle by ripping things off the wall and decide to never again snog someone who bloody liked snogging you. And then stay in a strop for longer than it takes Fred to go through ten girls.
“What are you thinking so hard about?” Jack asked, dropping down next to me on the bench and wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “I thought I’d warned you about that – thinking can be bad for people like you. You could hurt yourself.”
I elbowed him in the ribs but chuckled slightly anyway.
“Nothing. Just how far everyone has come in the last month.” I muttered, snuggling my nose into his chest and breathing in his overpriced cologne and shower gel scent.
Much better than the stink of those berks (cough, Flint, cough) that think smelling like a ‘man’ – in other words, stinking of sweat and the wrong end of a sewer – means that you’re more masculine.
I would much rather sniff Jack. In a none creepy way.
“Are you talking about the fact that Dominique and Connor can now sit in the same room without blowing kisses and drawing love hearts in the air to one another?” Jack laughed, his blonde hair tipping off his face as he did so. “Or the fact that Rose and I are no longer an item? Or perhaps, even dear Fred and Penny, who seem to be growing very fond of one another.”
“All of it, really.” I shrugged, secretly a little pleased that someone agreed with me. With Penny spending most of her time studying or with Fred, and Dom spending pretty much all of her time with Connor, I didn’t have anyone to talk about this with any more.
I used to talk to – well, at – James. Most of the time he would just stare at my chest and zone out, but at least he pretended to listen.
“Or are you talking about the fact that you and James Potter used to be as close as anything and now won’t sit next to each other, blush if you catch each other’s eye and don’t spend any time alone?”
My head snapped up so fast that the crown of my skull thwacked Jack on the bottom of the jaw.
“Merlin, sorry.” I squeaked, grabbing the roots of my hair as though his would somehow manage to stop the pain. It didn’t, by the way. “And I have no idea what you’re talking about – James and I are the same way we always were.”
My stomach flipped uncomfortably as I wondered how many other people had noticed the splinters between James and I. Surely not that many. I mean, Jack was just close to me and knew me well, that was all. He was perceptive.
We should be alright, because none of our friends have noticed anything out of the ordinary.
That’s because they’re too busy with their blokes to pay any attention to what’s going on with you anymore. Who are you kidding, Summer, it’s as obvious as fuck that something is very wrong with James and yourself – and yet neither of your two best friends have noticed. You’re just not as important to them anymore, face it.
Breathing hard out of my nose, I wrapped both of my arms around Jack’s middle and closed my eyes.
“I’m not thick, love. Did something happen between the pair of you?” He asked hesitantly, and I cracked my eyes open enough to see him biting his lip. Bloody hell, he looks hot when he does that. “Did you... break up?”
Once again, the top of my skull clanked Jack’s teeth together as I jumped so violently that I almost flopped off the bench.
Because I am just that cool and coordinated.
“Of course we didn’t fucking well break up!” I half yelled, my eyes now completely open and staring at Jack in part horror, part shock. “In order to break up then we would have had to have been dating; James and I have never been a couple.”
“You sure?” He asked suspiciously, taking a chunk of my black hair between his fingers and starting to weave it into a loose plait.
“I’m sure.” I said honestly, leaning my head back onto his chest and eating a couple of chips from Jack’s plate, occasionally holding my hand above my head to give him some. Jack let the braid go as soon as it was done, and brushed through my hair with his fingers until it was smooth again.
I sighed contentedly as he tightened the arm around my shoulder and placed a kiss on the top of my head, his free hand gently running up and down my thigh atop my skirt.
“Summer,” he whispered, and as I looked up he leaned down, “will you do me a favour?” I nodded slowly, and he lifted his hand off my leg to lightly run his fingertips along my cheekbone. “Will you kiss me?” Smiling in spite of myself, I leaned up and closed my eyes, pressing my lips lightly against Jack’s as his hands slid down and crossed behind my back.
Yeah, I know – I’m a bitch.
And to be quite frank, I don’t give one.
As told by James Potter
“But Connorrrrrrrrrr,” I whined, trying to attract my best mate’s attention away from gawking at my stupid cousin, “Summer and Jack the Prat are probably going to be there and I do not want to see them.” I shot him a pointed look, but he quite clearly didn’t care.
“What did I tell you, James?” Connor sighed, clearly not up for having this conversation again.
We’ve had it every night for the last nine days – since Summer made that bloody announcement at Dinner and everyone looked fucking thrilled – and Connor’s answer is always the same.
“You told us that you weren’t going to let us mess up our friendship if you agreed to keep quiet about this shit between us,” I muttered resentfully, pouting so much that a passing third year swooned into her friend and caused an amusing display of human dominoes down the corridor.
“And so that means?” He asked absently, glancing up and down the corridor for any sign of Dom.
The man is obsessed. He might as well just stick her to his side with a permanent sticking charm, and then he won’t have to crane his neck looking for her.
He’s going to end up looking like a giraffe one day. I won’t even feel sorry for him when he does.
“That means that Summer and I are going to have to sit at the table together at breakfast and dinner like we used to.” I sighed, crossing my arms over my chest and pouting like a three year old. I have cousins that do that.
I could practically hear Summer’s reaction to my face, tucking some black hair behind her ear and rolling those big blue eyes at me – big blue ugly eyes, her eyes aren’t nice or anything – and jabbing me in the ribs with her elbow.
“Since when did you become a little kid that broke its Lego house by sitting its own fat backside down on top of it?” She smirked. I speedily unfolded my arms and forced my lips up into a smile.
She glanced down the corridor quickly, checking for anyone that could see us, and then threw her arms around my neck, kissing my smiling lips with enough force to beach a whale. I picked her up and she kicked her legs around my waist, I pressed her up against the wall, she started to tug off my shirt, I kissed all the way along her collarbone and then up to her neck...
Glancing down, I saw that my arms were still folded and Connor was still paying next to no attention to me, and was instead waving at the blonde bint running down the corridor to us – well, to him. I might as well not bloody exist to my own family anymore.
Even Fred, the bloke I could rely on for anything, even if he would do it wrong, was spending all his time and energy on his lady love.
Bloody Penny and her uncanny ability to somehow tame the biggest player in Gryffindor.
The one time I could actually use someone – after Summer goes and messes with my head so much that I can’t make bloody sense of anything anymore – and they’re all off being stupid and selfish and paying attention to people that aren’t me.
Not that I’m selfish and whiney, or anything.
“Hi,” Dom breathed, finally sputtering to a stop and sliding her hand into Connor’s a disgustingly sickly smile on her face. Please tell me I was never like that with She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (hint: her name rhymes with Patalie), because I might just have to off myself with shame.
“Hello,” Connor smiled back, and I mimed chucking up into a nearby suit of armour.
The suit of armour flipped me off (honestly, where do they learn these things?) and Connor kicked me in the shin. He never used to be so violent. He’s getting that from hanging out with my cousin too much, that’s what’s going on.
I need to stop the two of them seeing so much of each other. At least until I find someone else to spend all my time with.
“You look beautiful today.” Connor murmured, and I mentally started drafting what I could say to people when I went around and asked for a new best friend. I’m supposed to have sodding five of them, to avoid this kind of situation.
But no – two of them are dating, two of them are so wrapped up in each other they barely even look up anymore, and I’ve barely spoken to the other one in a month.
I’ve actually said about twelve words to her in the past nine days.
I mean, we were getting better – we’d talk over dinner and it wouldn’t be quite as awkward, and then the little slag had to do what she normally did and stuffed the lot of it up – the little amount of progress we had managed to make.
Nine days ago she announced she was Jack the Tosser Prat’s girlfriend.
As in, the thing that she claimed she would never be for me because she didn’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend.
And the most fucking annoying part of the whole fucking thing is that she doesn’t even notice what she’s doing to me – and if she does, she sure as hell doesn’t care. You would have thought, out of common bloody courtesy that she would have at least kept this new 'relationship' quiet for a bit – but no.
At first I thought it was just Kyle Davies Round Two – a ploy to make me angry and jealous, some kind of plan to try and force me into forgetting everything that has happened. And then I thought that she just needed someone to replace me, so Goldstein was just something to hang off her arm and something to snog in classrooms, but not ever associate with her almost non-existent emotions.
But she seems... happy with him.
She smiles and laughs and acts all friendly, stuff she never did before. And he wraps his arm around her waist and plays with her hair and kisses her on the cheek and drapes his jumper around her shoulders if it’s a little bit chilly – it makes me fucking sick.
I want to throttle the little prick. The arsehole should learn to keep his hands off my –
No. He should learn to stop scarring all the poor pupils in this school with his disgusting inability to keep his hands off one of my acquaintances.
I mean, I suppose I could beat him up under the pretence of being the bloke that split up with my baby cousin – ignoring the fact it was a mutual decision and Rose is actually happy that me moved on with Summer. She told Dom that she reckoned he fancied my Summer while he was dating her.
It has taken every ounce of control in my body to sit opposite him at dinner for the past nine nights (I’m bloody counting) and not stab him with my fish knife.
I mean – she’s fucking smiling.
Smiling. I can count on the fingers of one hand that Summer has actually, genuinely smiled in the time that I’ve known her.
She normally just prefers to sit there and look all haughty and bored (and fucking gorg- never mind) and act like everything that everyone else is doing is below her amazing level of wonderfulness.
Maybe when she removes the stick out of her arse and learns how to treat somebody well, then I’ll actually consider trying to patch things up. If they even can be patched up.
This whole Goldstein shit seems to have stuck the axe in for good.
“Oi! Mate?” Connor asked, finally detaching his eyes from Dom and jabbing me in the ribs with his elbow. I glanced up distractedly and ran a hand through my hair, and he just stared at me suspiciously (and in all honesty, a little sadly) as though he knew exactly what – or who – I was thinking about.
“Dom, love, I just need to talk to James. I’ll meet you in the great hall, yeah?” He leaned down and kissed her gently. I looked away. “Save me a seat.” He kissed the tip of her nose and she blushed, before stumbling through the great hall doors.
The two of them are disgusting.
Did my pumpkin juice no do anything to convince those two that they need to calm it down in public?
“Talk to her.” Were the first words out of his mouth; no illusions, no beating around the bush – just the same words he had said to me who knows how many times.
“You’re miserable without her.”
“Well, she was a good snog.”
“That’s not it and you know it.”
“What do you suggest it is then, Connor? Since you know it all?”
“I suggest that it’s because you’re in love with her.”
My jaw slacked in disbelief and a derisive laugh slipped past my lips. And before I knew it, my back was leaning against the wall for support as I clutched my stomach and damn near cried with laughter, as Connor stood calmly by my side.
“You’re insane.” I gasped after a while.
“Well, what else do you think it is?” Connor asked simply. “You haven’t touched another girl since you called things off with her, so don’t tell me you miss the snogging – you could have that with anyone.”
“You’re insane.” I repeated dumbly. “I am not in love with Summer.”
“You miss her.”
“She was my best friend! Of course I bloody miss her!”
“You’re not going to admit it, are you?”
“No! Because I’m not in love with her!”
“What do you think about Jack?”
“The little prick is an arse should just go and die, why?”
“W- Wh- I am not jealous! James Potter does not get jealous!”
“You got jealous enough when she snogged Kyle Davies in that store.”
“W- Well she was trying to make me jealous!”
“And she succeeded.”
“You know what? Just shut up, Connor. Just fucking shut up. I didn’t ask for your advice or your psycho analysis, and I don’t want it. I’m not in love with her, and you can’t tell me I am. Just because Summer finally forced you to ask Dom out and you’re happy does not make you the master of all things relationship, okay? Summer and I are done.”
And with that, I turned away and stormed to the lake.
That’s the reason all this rubbish started, anyway.
Makes sense that it should be my location of choice for all my Dramatic Misunderstood Emo Staring into the distance.
“Will you pass the potatoes, James?” It asked me. Oh yeah, I haven’t told you yet – the thing that is claiming to be Summer’s boyfriend is now going to be referred to as ‘it’. I think that exudes the right level of hostility. You agree, right?
I shot it the dirtiest look I could muster and then forced one of Summer’s plastic smiles onto my face, grabbed the bowl of potatoes and shoved them into its hands with force intended to break its fingers.
I heard them all click, but it barely winced. It just continued to stare me down, and then forced an identical fake smile on its face.
“Thank you, James.” It said formally, before shooting a quick glance at Summer, who was poking at her sausage with the prongs of her fork.
And then it all fell into place – it couldn’t stand me. And it was putting on a ‘friendly face’ in front of Summer because it wanted her to think that it go along with all of her best friends – clearly it doesn’t know what things are scewed between us.
I wonder why it hates me?
Oh wait – I don’t give a flying monkey.
People think enough crap about me, being the son of Harry Potter. I’m not bothered about one more ‘person’ thinking one more thing.
“Penny – I want a word with you. Get up.” A voice dragged me out of my mental tirade as it sliced across the chatter of the table and dropped down on us. Summer’s head shot up and her eyes widened, and I noticed Goldstein slide its hand into hers on the tabletop.
She shot a worried glance at me and then slid their intertwined hands off the desk and onto the bench between them, out of my line of sight. I watched her glance nervously at me out of the corner of my eye.
My stomach fell when I realised she had done with that one simple gesture – she had erased one of my comforting reasons. If she was trying to hide her affections to Goldstein from me, then she wasn’t in this to make me jealous – she wasn’t.
“Penny – up. Now.” Kane Owen’s voice brought me back to the present moment. He was towering over our table, his deep grey eyes trained on Penny’s paling face and the hand that Fred had resting on her knee. I saw the ball in Fred’s throat bob as he swallowed, but he didn’t move his hand.
“I – I’m okay eating here.” Penny stammered, her eyes winced slightly shut as though she expected his hand to just swing out unexpectedly.
“Well, I’m not okay with you eating there. Get up and come with me.” Penny was practically vibrating by this point, and my hand clutched my wand in my pocket, reading to hex the life out of him if he tried to get any closer to Penny.
He screwed around with her for long enough. Not anymore.
Penny swallowed and stared at Fred for a moment, then lifted her eyes to Kane and attempted to stare him down. The fact she was shaking like a leaf kind of made it less convincing.
“N-no.” Kane’s jaw dropped open. So did mine. So did Summer’s. So did Dom’s. Goldstein was glancing at Summer every now and again, but carried on eating its roast potatoes. How can it eat at a time like this? Oh yeah, it’s never been through anything with us so it doesn’t know anything about this.
Nice bloke, Summer.
Kane reacted so fast that I barely had time to pull my own wand out of my pocket, and Fred only just managed to launch himself out of his seat and into Kane’s stomach. Kane’s wand had been whipped out and directed right at Penny’s face, but within seconds it was nearly a metre away from his oddly positioned arm.
“Fred.” I whispered gruffly, trying to pull my cousin off the bloke. Blood was everywhere. I hoped Penny was okay. “Fred, he’s out cold. Leave it.”
“I’m gonna kill him – I’M GONNA KILL HIM!” Fred screamed, and Penny quickly clambered off the bench and grabbed him by the hand, tugging him back down onto the bench with her. “I’m gonna disfigure the bloke so bad that his own mother isn’t gonna be able to recog-”
Fred cut off as Penny leaned up and pecked him on the lips.
It lasted less than half a second, was as light as a feather and involved absolutely no groping or feeling or tongues (and where is the fun in that, really?) but Fred looked floored.
And Kane Owen was literally floored, lying unconscious on the floor behind Fred’s rigid form.
“Thank you.” Penny whispered, but still Fred didn’t move. I could practically hear Summer’s brainwaves from where I was sitting, chanting ‘awkward turtle’ in that strange way of hers. I don’t think Fred was breathing.
And then slowly – painfully slowly – he raised a hand and brushed the tips of his fingers along her cheekbone.
“Go to Hogsmeade with me on Saturday.” He whispered, and my stomach jolted when I realised that it was a Hogsmeade weekend in less than two days. Penny’s mouth dropped open.
“Fred, I don’t know – I mean, I don’t think I’m over Kane and it wouldn’t be fair to you –”
“Do you fancy me?” Wow, Fred. Don’t beat around the bush; just tell us how you really feel. Penny’s mouth fell open again, but Fred didn’t look even slightly abashed. He just stared her down, his eyes wide and earnest.
He’s never looked like that before.
“Well, I – I don’t – I wouldn’t... yes.” Fred’s face broke into a grin.
“Then go to Hogsmeade with me on Saturday.”
“Okay.” Penny laughed nervously and Dom grinned, high fiving Connor under the table. Goldstein continued to stuff his face. Summer stared at them with her eyebrow cocked and her fingers drumming on the tabletop. I stared around my friends like a creeper. Whoops.
And that was that. Simple and easy. Why isn’t it like that for me?
Oh yeah, because my girl was a bint.
“Oh snap, I’ve gotta go.” Fred said suddenly, kissing Penny on the cheek and jumping off the bench, slinging a suspicious looking backpack over his shoulder and heading towards the door. “I promised the owls I’d come and sing to them at six, and I don’t want to be late.”
"Did he just say 'oh snap'?" Dom asked slowly, glancing around at us desperately, waiting for one of us to tell her that she had indeed heard wrong. Nobody said a word.
Bloody hell. Penny, you got yourself into this. You have been warned.
As told by Summer Lancaster
“You were great, Pen,” I smiled, “standing up to him and all that. I’m proud of you.” I gave her a rough, one armed hug and glanced down at mine and Jack’s hands, which were locked and swinging between us.
It’s so odd that it doesn’t bother me, that it doesn’t make me want to run into a corner and scream about relationships being shit.
“Thanks.” Penny grinned, tucking a dark curl behind her ear. “I can’t believe I’m going on a date with Fred, though. I mean, do you think it’s too soon? Do you think I need to wait another month, or do you think –”
“Don’t be a twit.” I cut in. “You like Fred, and Fred is quite clearly head over heels for you, so just go on the bleeding date and get that moony look off your face.” Penny blushed. “And hey, if it doesn’t work out, you can come and be a lonely owl lady with me.”
Jack coughed from next to me, dropping my hand and wrapping his arm around my waist instead. Placing a kiss on my check and flicking the end of my nose, he murmured –
“Doesn’t being with me kind of mean that you’re not going to be a lonely owl lady?” I blushed slightly and glanced up into his (hot...) face. Penny smiled from next to me, and for some reason I found myself thinking about what his reaction would be if he was here.
Wait, why am I thinking about him?
Never mind. Ignore me.
“We’ll see, Goldstein.” I smirked. “Depends how long I let you stick around for.” Jack grinned and leaned down to kiss me. Our lips had only just brushed when a voice called down the corridor, and I cursed as I pulled away.
“Summer Lancaster! Get over here; I need you for a second.” Connor beckoned me over, his blonde hair flopping around his face, and looking a little excited.
Jack looked a little bit put out (okay, you have to admit that pout is adorable) but I ignored him, and suspiciously made my way down the corridor to where Connor was tapping his foot, leaning against the wall like he was holding the castle up.
“What?” I asked suspiciously.
“Come with me.” He said flatly, before seizing my arm and tugging me into the nearest classroom.
I whipped around as he shoved me, tripped over a stupidly placed desk and fell backwards, my hair flying into my mouth and my back making a terrifying crunching sound against the concrete. Connor’s eyes widened and I heard a muttered curse from behind me.
I opened my eyes in time to see James standing over me, his fingers curled around the tops of my arms and his brow furrowed slightly in worry.
Our lips were only inches apart. I closed my eyes again.
But James clearly had different ideas, because a second later I had been hauled to my feet and shoved onto the desk behind me, and James had retreated a good three metres away and was dragging his hand through his hair.
“What is she doing here?” James asked quietly. Connor cocked an eyebrow at the pair of us. “You told me that we were going to spend some time together and play Wizard’s Chess. She's hopeless at Chess, so what is she doing here?”
I am not hopeless at Chess. Just because I can’t see the fun in sitting down for three hours and having two bits of porcelain pound the tar out of each other doesn’t mean I am hopeless at it.
“The two of you are pissing me off.” Connor said flatly, locking the door with the tip of his wand and turning back to face us. I rolled my eyes.
“What the hell are you on about?” I snapped, though I had a rough inkling where this was going.
“Look, I know that a load of crap has happened between you because you’re both immoral, stubborn idiots, but I told you a long time ago that I wasn’t going to let you screw up your friendship.” I rolled my eyes again and James perched himself on the edge of the teacher’s desk, the sun setting in the window behind his head.
Damn, those cheekbones.
“So what are you saying?” I sighed, folding my arms and kicking one of my legs over the other in irritation.
“It’s Hogsmeade on Saturday.” Connor said simply, and James caught my eye quickly to shoot me a confused glance. You know, for a smart guy, Connor really can be dim sometimes.
“What about it?” I asked finally, since James’ vocal cords seemed to have fused together.
“Well, the three of us usually go together, right?” Connor said, leaning against the door with an arrogant smirk on his face – so irritating that it was almost worthy of the James Potter Smirk Award. “Well, I am attending Hogsmeade with my lovely girlfriend this Saturday, obviously,” he paused to smile goofily and I mimed throwing up onto my knees, “so the two of you are going to be going together.”
“I’m going with Jack – our first proper date.” I said quickly, my tone unwilling, and the pale flush on my cheeks was not helped when the chalk that James was rolling between his fingers snapped clean in half.
“No, you’re not.” Connor said flatly.
“Yes, I am. I can’t just cancel on him now, he’s my –” I cut off suddenly and stared at a fraying thread on the bottom of my skirt.
“He’s your what, Summer?” James asked coolly, and in annoyance at his tone I looked up and stared him dead in the eye. He glared back, his fingers still clutching the two halves of chalk.
“He’s my boyfriend.” I murmured, and James’ eyes flashed with something that looked like an odd mixture of revulsion and a small amount of satisfaction, as though he knew he had forced me to admit something that I hadn’t wanted to.
“Well, you’re going to have to cancel on him, and you’re going to have to go to Hogsmeade with James.” Connor shrugged, not looking in the slightest bit bothered that he could be ruining my relationship.
“And what’s going to make me?” I said coldly, sliding off the desk and stepping towards Connor.
His eyes widened slightly and he shuffled back a little, but continued to stare me down.
“Or I’m telling everyone that you spent a year swapping saliva with Jimmy here and kept it a secret from everyone, before snogging his brother in a corridor and having a screaming match so stupid and enormous that the two of you haven’t spoken properly in a month.”
My mouth dropped open.
Was Connor, the traditional definition of ‘nice’, actually standing there and blackmailing James and I into going on a – for a lack of a better word – date?
Why can’t he just let us stop speaking in peace?
I’m happy with Jack, I really am – he’s nice to me. He cares. He is just – he is just a really nice guy. And I need a really nice guy – I don’t need someone like James. So why can’t Connor just let us all move on in peace?
We’re of age; we can make our own decisions.
“Don’t be a prick, Connor.” James snapped from the corner, and irritation rumbled in my stomach.
“I’m not being a prick – I’m being a good friend. You’ll thank me for this one day.”
“No, I won’t.” I snapped.
“Me neither.” James agreed.
We both glanced at each other in shock when we realised that we had actually agreed on something for the first time in – well, actually, we haven’t agreed with each other in an extremely long time.
“Meet each other in the common room at eleven on Saturday, or I swear to Merlin I will announce to everyone what went on between to you – and ‘everyone’ includes dear Dom.” A little of the colour drained out of my face and settled in my neck.
Without another moment’s hesitation he had whipped around on his heel and stalked from the room, and another clicking noise told us that he had relocked the door from the other side.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?” James asked in confusion, quickly crossing the room and pounding on the door with the palm of his hand.
“Oh yeah, and the two of you have to talk. This door isn’t going to unlock for another half an hour.” Connor called back, and I bit down on my tongue to prevent myself from whipping my wand out, cursing down the door and hexing the little shit into oblivion.
I could hear some whistling fading off into the background as Connor strolled away.
James slammed his arse down onto a nearby desk and crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes glaring at the door as though he wanted to set it on fire with the power of his eyes alone (needless to say, it didn’t work) and his teeth pinching down on his bottom lip.
He’s going to leave a mark if he’s not careful.
After nine minutes of complete silence, I glanced up and decided to swallow a little bit of my pride.
He said nothing.
“Oi, you. Do me a favour and actually pay a little attention to me, will you?” James’ head snapped up in anger and I stared into his fiery brown eyes, trying to ignore the fury. The bloke is far too dramatic for his own good.
“What do you want? To gush to me about how good Goldstein is in the sack? Tell me, does he have any secret tattoos that the world has never before been able to see?” James sneered, leaning his head down on his hands and staring at me was a faux interested expression on his face. I flushed slightly.
“Don’t be insane, we haven’t even been dating for a bloody fortnight.” I snapped, and the corners of James’ mouth twitched slightly before they fell back into a flat pink line.
“Why are you dating him?” James asked suddenly, and I stopped.
A heavy pause filled the air as I mulled over what I was going to say – whether I was going to be tactful and polite or whether I was going to act like myself and give the spiteful and snarky answer that was desperate to roll of my tongue.
Spiteful and snarky it is.
“Because he treats me well – and he acts like he cares.” I said loudly, and James’ eyes filled with something that looked a little more like hurt than anything else.
“You’re a right little bitch, do you know that?” He snapped, and the corners of my lips twitched upwards into a victorious smirk.
We both lapsed back into silence after that, and it stayed that way for another nineteen minutes, until we were both staring at the clock on the wall, waiting for it to tell us that it had been half an hour and we were allowed to leave.
“You’re only doing this because you want someone to snog, aren’t you?” James said suddenly, and I jumped slightly in the newly broken silence.
“No.” I said calmly, and James rolled his eyes.
Then suddenly he was briskly walking forwards, his fringe blowing backwards off his face and his brown eyes staring right through me, his muscles clenched under his school shirt and his hands curled into tight fists by his sides. He stopped when he was only centimetres in front of me, before leaning his face down until his lips were only an inch away from mine.
If I just move forwards ever so slightly, I will be able to kiss him really gently...
“Then why are you doing this, Summer? Why are you dating a guy that you barely know, being his girlfriend – something that you are notorious for hating – and acting all... happy and smiley and other disgusting rubbish? Are you doing this to get back at me for not dating you?”
I opened my mouth – and then closed it again.
I floundered for a moment, annoyed that James would think so little of me, to use someone as lovely as Jack like that, but no excuses came to mind.
"It's not really any of your business, James." I said calmly, trying to calm the fluttering in my stomach.
"I think it's my business." James said coldly.
I opened my mouth a few more times, before an escape plan quickly filled my head. I would have to run, and it might not work (not to mention Dom would kill me) but it was better than having to talk about myself.
“I – I – Connor and Dom had sex the other week!” I shrieked, before leaping off the desk, shoving him backwards into a chair and pounding off down the corridor, hunting down the dark blonde bastard that had locked me in the classroom in the first place.
Well, I also have to tell my boyfriend that I’m spending Hogsmeade alone with James instead of with him.
I am screwed.
disclaimer: none of this belongs to me, and i own nothing you recognise.
this chapter is also dedicated to two groups of people ~ the fred/penny shippers, and those who predicted that connor was going to meddle in getting james and summer back on track.
from the reviews of the last chapter, i noticed a lot of people seemed to be firmly on james' side or firmly on summer's side ~ so what are you? Team Summer or Team James? or, for the hell of it, Team Freddie?
ellie :) xx
next stop: james+summer, albus+natalie, fred+penny, connor+dom and jack are in hogsmeade.
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