Chapter 17 : Questioning the Code
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Luke Wood's POV:
My original intention of using the day to study for my Defense quiz had quickly evaporated as lay on my bed, the notes sitting beside me. I was thinking about lots of things but the quiet snores of my dorm mates made me focus on one thought. The thing about friendship, I realized, was that you can never truly pinpoint the exact moment and reason you became mates with someone.
Sure you may have common interests, like Quidditch or Gobstones, but hobbies really only mattered so much. Between Louis, Daemon, Fred, James and I, we really don’t have that much in common, besides Quidditch.
Louis is kind, quiet and often takes himself too seriously, Fred is loud to the point of obnoxious and has never taken anything seriously.
James constantly feels the need to impress, whether it be through school or a prank and Daemon in all his surliness could care less what people think of him.
But for some reason they’re my best mates.
I can remember the day that we all met, James and I had had some interaction when we were much younger due to our fathers being school friends, but our meetings had always been so brief that nothing had ever developed before I met him, Fred, Louis and Daemon on the train.
My parents had decided that the best possible time for them to tell me they were getting a divorce was minutes before I boarded the Hogwarts Express, already shitting myself because I was so bloody nervous about going away, the news obviously didn’t go over well.
Due to my Dad’s hectic Quidditch schedule we had travelled around quite a bit and I never really had the chance to make any friends, that plus my inherent shyness and lack of siblings I was going into Hogwarts rather lonely.
So much to my surprise, and theirs, upon finding a crying eleven year old boy in the compartment, Louis, Fred and James joined me.
James was the evident leader, chastising Fred for making fun of my tears and prodding Louis to join in on the conversation of the Canon’s dismal chances at the cup.
Daemon stumbled into our compartment soon after, and though at this point his english was rough and he was the shortest eleven year old I had seen in my life, somehow, for reasons I’ll never be able to comprehend, we all clicked.
James had regaled us of stories of the original Marauders, even going as far as taking out a snitch his father had bought him and telling us that his grandfather always played with one even though he was a chaser too. What had started as a hero tribute had changed quickly into a habit.
At eleven years old; taking over the Marauder mantle and attempting to match the antics of these individuals who had turned more into mythical figures then actual people, this seemed like the possibly best, most epic plan of them all.
That’s when James, with a look of great importance and bravado made Damon and I swear that we would never reveal to anyone what he told us next.
The enigma and brilliance of the original Marauders increased tenfold when he showed us the map and the invisibility cloak. Louis had been apprehensive and Fred indifferent; but the reveal of those two secrets sealed whatever had been growing in the train compartment.
After debating for much of the train ride, none of us were up to actually becoming a werewolf so it was decided we would skip that step and all become Animagi. Then upon realizing quite how difficult the whole process was and how much time it would take away from Quidditch we put that goal away for another day.
So by the time we got off the train and entered the Great Hall, we were the Marauders and for the first time ever in my life I had real mates.
Because James needed mates who were friends with him not because he was the son of Harry Potter but because he was the most loyal, insane and genuine bloke I’d ever met. Because Louis needed friends who admired his intellect and hard work but who were able to get him to loosen up once and while. Because Fred needed friends who would put up with his frequent bouts of unkindness and still want him around anyways. Because Daemon needed the friends that were patient enough to spend lunch helping him improve his English without complaint and to help him out of his often surly moods.
Because I needed friends who have seen me cry before they even knew me and still wanted to hang out with me. (Not that I’ve cried since, of course.)
So seven years later, possibly the group of blokes most unlike each other made up the Marauders, and I had the mates that I had only ever wished for. Though I did prefer them to be slightly less hungover...
“I think I’m dying.” Came a haggard voice beside me jarring me out of my reminiscing.
“No, you’re not.”
Fred rolled over on his bed and groaned, giving me the best dirty look he could muster in his current condition.“Oi, how the fuck would you know Wood? You’re no healer.”
“It doesn’t take a healer to figure out that you’re just wickedly hungover. Probably shouldn’t have had those last three shots of fire-whiskey mate.” I offered. To be fair it was easy enough for me to be unsympathetic as I, unlike my two best friends, had only two drinks last night.
“I’m dying. And you won’t be invited to the funeral if you keep being sassy.”
The threat was effectually ruined as Fred dry heaved, moaned, and then pulled his pillow over his eyes. It was now eleven and both James and Fred had yet to move from their respective beds.
“And Louis’s little trick didn’t help either. Pretty much just ushered me closer to kicking the bucket, and the last thing I would have seen before I entered the beyond is James’s ugly mug.”
“That’s rude. I’m actually quite fit.” Came James voice, mildly offended, and I let out a laugh. Fred chucked his pillow at his cousin, causing James to miss the snitch he was playing with.
He had to sit up quickly in order to catch it and in turn turned a nasty shade of green.
“Bugger, I’m going to be sick again.” Jumping from his bed he ran to the attached bathroom covering his mouth.
Fred watched all of this with vague interest before speaking again, “At least he made it the loo, Samuels took so long in the bloody shower I had to puke in my trunk.”
“That’s disgusting.” I eyed his trunk warily, “Have you cleaned it up?”
He groaned again and fell back on his pillow, “Not yet.”
“Yep.” He remarked unconcerned.
“Where is Samuels?” I asked Fred, Tyler Samuels was our fourth roommate, prefect for our year, staunch upholder of the rules and overall a bit pompous, he had stayed close with his twin brother who was in Hufflepuff.
Needless to say, he and Fred rarely saw eye-to-eye; the things they deemed important and acceptable were very different. I rolled my eyes at his indifference, and picked up the Keeper’s manual on my bedside table.
Louis was probably off doing Head Boy duties and I knew he would stay far enough away from James and Fred for the day to wait until they found his prank funny and not irritating. Daemon, I was sure, we would not see until classes; the bloke didn’t take losing well.
James made his way slowly to his bed and gingerly lowered himself on it, “Bloody hell, at least last night was worth it. What a brilliant party. Tons of fire-whiskey, Davies knocked out and I got Violet and Andrea to snog in front of me.”
“You and Violet shag again?” Fred asked, suddenly looking interested despite his haggard state; James cleared his throat uncomfortably.
“Come on now, you don’t have to be a prude. Spill the dirty details.” He goaded, grinning cheekily.
James was becoming more and more edgy and a definite blush was now crossing his cheeks as he cleared his throat again, “Er-no we didn’t. I was way to sloshed to think about that.”
I gave him a curious look from where I was lying on my bed and he avoided my gaze. Fred chortled, “Ah well, there’s always next time.”
“Right.” James muttered, “What about you? Snog anyone Freddie?”
“Prouse,” He shrugged indifferently, and then sat up slowly, his expression thoughtful, “But what I still can’t understand is why Lily took the blame for me last night. Not that I’m ungrateful or anything.”
“Me neither to be honest. She got two weeks worth of detention for that. I mean I can’t even see her taking one detention for me, let alone fourteen. And I’m her brother.” James answered.
Shifting in my bed guiltily I attempted to ignore them and return to my book. It wouldn’t take long for them to piece together that she had heard it from me. Which could bring up even more awkward questions.
Fred looking slightly pensive, though it was ruined by his messy hair and dark circles underneath his eyes, “Unless, somehow she knows that if I get another major detention I’m not allowed to work at the store. I’ll have to live with George and Angelina till I die.”
“Nah, I’ll let you live with me when I’m a professional Quidditch player, don’t worry Freddie.” James offered and Fred offered him a mock salute in thanks.
We were all quiet for a while and I was hoping the conversation surrounding the mystery of Lily’s actions was over until James spoke again. “How on earth would she know though? Roxanne doesn’t even know.”
“Unless someone told her?” Wondered Fred out loud, then it looked like something dawned on him as he turned quickly in my direction and I looked guiltily over my book.
“Luke, you fucking prat! You told her, didn’t you?” He accused and James sat up as well to get a better look at me.
Setting down my book I raised my hands in the air as a sign of surrender, “I’m sorry! Lily asked me why you hadn’t murdered Davies yet, so I told her! It just kind of slipped out. And you’re lucky she knew too or else you really would have been suspended. To be honest you should be thanking me.”
He gave me a dark look, but returned to lying down, “Yeah whatever. You’re lucky I’m to hungover to punch you or something.”
“Yeah, yeah Weasley.” I waved off his threat.
“It’s weird that you and Lily are mates now.” James commented offhandedly as he also lay back down.
“It’s not that weird.” I retorted defensively, feeling the familiar feeling of guilt rise in my throat.
James gave me a strange look, “I mean, you knew her growing up but you were always in France visiting your mum every summer, so it’s not like you were around.”
“Yeah well, I tutor her now and we are on the same Quidditch team, we were bound to be friendly at least.” Merlin, I needed to get out of this room. It was easy to put the fact that I was betraying James and breaking the code to the back of my mind when I was with Lily. But even having our friendship questioned was making me anxious.
“I guess, it’s still strange you two are so chummy. Lily’s my little sister, I still see her as the annoying brat that wouldn’t shut up. Not much has changed though, she’s still a bloody pest.” He said thoughtfully.
“Yeah I guess.” I answered, not quite sure what to say.
“It was pretty brilliant of Lily to take the blame for you Fred, so you didn’t get suspended. Obviously I’m rubbing off on her. Thank Merlin she’s not turning out like Albus.” James commented, his voice bringing me back to the conversation.
“Yeah, I’ll have to thank her or something. Maybe I’ll stop taking the mickey out her for a week, that’s pretty nice of me.”
I rolled my eyes at both of them, “You still shouldn’t have punched Davies though, he’ll get back at you somehow and Longbottom is going to be watching you like a hawk now. He knows it was really you.”
“Stop acting like Louis, Wood. Davies deserved it, he’s a berk. I should have hit him harder.”
“You knocked him out.”
“Wish I broke his nose or something.”
“I think you’re overreacting a tad.”
“No I’m not! I should have hexed him.” Fred got up off his bed, the dramatic effect ruined by his slow movements and wincing, “None of you get it, she’s my little sister!”
“Oi I have Lily!” James argued.
Fred rolled his eyes darkly, “I think we both know Roxanne and Lily are in completely different leagues when it comes to boys.”
“What’s that mean?” I asked, unable to keep my mouth shut.
“It means Lily dates boys like Eric Creevey and Roxanne fancies blokes like Ashton Davies.” Fred’s last words came out in a hiss.
“Plus Lily ended things with Creevey so I have nothing to worry about for a while” James said with a satisfied air, he lent back on his elbows and surveyed Fred’s angry face, “Roxanne isn’t stupid and she’s a tough girl, she’ll be fine Freddie.”
“Davies deserves worse than a punch.”
“To be fair, now everyone outside of the party thinks he was hit and knocked out by a bird who only reaches his shoulder.” I commented, laughing, thinking of Lily actually hitting him outside the portrait hole.
“It’s a start.” A grin started to crack through Fred’s morose expression, “It’s a start.”
“Just don’t get sent to Azkaban, Fred. Ashton Davies is not worth prison.” James said.
“I just won’t get caught.” He grinned and pulled his bed hangings closed, either to sleep or begin to plan his vendetta against the offending Ravenclaw, I had no idea.
James got up from my bed, “Want to go to lunch?”
“Didn’t you just throw up?” I asked him.
“Yeah, but now I’m absolutely famished. Let’s go, Wood.” He grinned and I got up from my bed.
“Let me shave first, it’s itching like mad.” I said, James’s exasperated voice followed me into the connecting room.
“You’re such a bird, its just lunch,” James complained, and then added with the air of concluding a convincing argument, “I haven’t shaved yet.”
“That’s because you have nothing to shave. I think Albus had a more respectable beard than you. Hell, even Noel managed to beat you.”
I had to dodge a trainer as I made my way laughing into the bathroom too shave off my Quidditch facial hair.
As we made our way out of the portrait hole, we ran into Violet on her way in. She offered us both a friendly smile and a wave as she continued to make her way up to the dormitories with Andrea Adams. What was peculiar about this whole encounter was James’ reaction, his whole face was covered in a blush and he was looking down at the floor. We exited through the Fat Lady and as we stepped out into the hallway I heard him release a relieved breath.
“What the hell was that all about?” I asked James, confused.
“You and Violet. Is it really that awkward between you two? I saw you chatting with her last night and everything seemed fine.”
“Yeah, no it’s not awkward.” He was still looking at the floor.
“Then why are you blushing?”
“You’re redder than Louis was when we found his book of poetry last year.” I laughed at how flustered James was becoming, if anything he was a terrible liar.
“You’ve shagged girls, yeah?”
I stopped walking, and looked at him completely bewildered. The blush had now spread from his cheeks to his neck.
“Okay, where is this going?”
“Bollocks, never mind.”
“How many? Just two right?”
“Yeah, Natalie and the muggle girl, Avery, from this summer. You knew that though.” I answered, looking around uncomfortably, this really was not a conversation I wanted to be having in the corridor.
“Right.” James turned on his heel and continued to walk.
“No-Wait, what? Stop James. Where the hell is this going?”
“I didn’t sleep with Violet.” He said this very quickly and it took me a minute to understand what he was mumbling.
“So your still a-”
“Yeah.” James ran an anxious hand through his hair.
“So you lied about-”
“I don’t know. Because Fred was all for it, and all you guys have...you know. Even Louis! Who you would think should be celibate with all the books he reads.”
He threw his hands up dramatically in the air, “I ran into Daemon in the hallway right after I was in the broom closet with Violet and he just assumed. And it sounded better than telling him we had actually snogged for a couple minutes then spent the rest of the time talking about this muggle chap she’s in love with from back home but he’s got a girlfriend. And mate, let me tell you that is a extremely messy situation. Violet said-”
James continued to speak extremely quickly, his entire face and neck were now a vicious shade of red. I had never seen him so uncomfortable in his entire life. I couldn’t help but let out a loud laugh.
“This bloke is from Surrey- It’s not funny Wood! I’m a liar and a virgin!” He yelled interrupting my laughter.
“I’m sorry, it’s not that. Who cares if you’re still a virgin? I sure as hell don’t. Plus, I mean it’s probably better you guys didn’t shag. Hopefully you’ll find someone it’s you know...meaningful with.” I trailed off awkwardly.
“Fuck, you sound like a bird.” James rubbed his hands over his face and groaned. “Actually, worse, you sound like Lily.”
“What the hell does that mean?” I asked, somewhat offended.
“She said the exact same thing to me.”
“You told Lily?”
“She was harping on me about it, calling me a man whore and saying I disappointed her. And bizarre as it is, being at least somewhat of a good role model for her is actually important to me.”
“You’re a good older brother, James.” And I’m a terrible friend.
“This is the most mortified, I’ve ever been in my life.”
“Worse then that time in potions class, fourth year?”
I slung a friendly arm around his shoulders, “Buck up Potter. It’s not that bad. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Not even Fred. Or Louis. Or Damon.” He demanded.
“Not a soul, don’t worry.”
“Thanks.” The blush was beginning to diminish.
“Why did you tell me?”
“Besides the fact that you were ragging on me?”
James shrugged, “You’re my best mate.”
Unlike me, James was one of those blokes who wore his heart on his sleeve. Maybe growing up in a family that showed their affection often and in many different ways had made him like this, but I appreciated his answer.
“More than Fred?” I asked jokingly.
“Well, yeah. He’s family, I’m stuck with him. And we’re close and all. But he’s kind of, well, kind of a-”
“A prick?” I filled in for him.
“That’s the one.”
“Well you’re my best mate too.” I said as we finally continued on our way down to lunch.
James grinned, “I know.”
My response was cut off from a voice behind us. “Well isn’t that just adorable. Always knew you and your friends were a bunch of fags.”
We turned to find Ashton Davies coming up behind us, a leer covering his face and a dark bruise reaching from his cheekbone to his chin.
James turned to me with a smirk and pulled out his wand from his clock pocket, “You know, Fred may not be able too retaliate...”
“But we can.” I returned the smirk, and mimicked my friend’s actions.
Ashton’s smarmy face quickly changed from an expression of smugness to one of fear. “Bugger.”
We finally made it to the Great Hall, and my best mate made a bee line to where his sister, Roxanne and Louis were sitting. Lily was laughing loudly at something Roxanne had just said and Louis was blushing.
He sat himself down next to Louis and I sat next to him across from Lily and Roxanne. Lily looked up and smiled at me. I was still feeling horrendously guilty and I avoided looking at her.
James said his hellos and then grabbed the pitcher of pumpkin juice and poured us both a glass.
"What do you two look so smug about?" Roxanne asked.
"Got detention." James answered simply.
Louis sighed, "For what this time?"
"Hexed Davies." I explained as James’ bit into a sandwich.
Roxanne rolled her eyes and looked vaguely uncomfortable, "Seriously? Come on now. I've let it go and so should you lot."
James shrugged, "He called us poufs. Something had to be done, plus you should see the tentacles growing on his face. They’e purple."
His cousin allowed a small smile at this, but continued on, "Oi, but why didn't someone before all this tell me about Fred and his stupid possible suspension?" The dark haired girl scolded us, both James and I avoided her stern look.
"Lily!" James accused, scrambling to put the blame on someone else, "You weren't even supposed to know."
His sister was unapologetic, "I told her this morning, it was about time someone did anyway."
Lily looked at me again, a questioning look in her eyes. She and everyone at the table seemed to be waiting for me to speak.
I faltered a bit before managing to get something out, "So two weeks detention hey?"
"Yeah bloody hell, Fred owes me."She said, Roxanne and James nodded in agreement.
"Me too, I'm the one who has to supervise all of them. To prove that despite my presence at the party last night I can actually be a responsible Head Boy." Louis complained morosely.
"Oh, right by the way Louis I'm going to murder you." James declared casually as he grabbed a piece of chicken and some soup.
"What's wrong now?" Lily asked, sending me a curious glance. I ignored it and focused my attention on Louis as he explained.
“I used a sticking charm to glue James and Fred's heads together, face to face while they were passed out. You should have seen them stumbling around using hungover teamwork trying to find their wands. Shows them for dying my eyebrows pink."
Lily and Roxanne broke into laughter, and James tried to scowl but he laughed too. "It would have been brilliant if it wasn't me, I almost threw up all over Fred's face."
"He would have deserved it." Roxanne quipped and I had to agree with her.
We were interrupted by Albus as he sat down in a huff, giving me an unnecessarily dirty look before speaking, "I hate women."
Both Roxanne and Lily looked offended.
Al continued, "Rebecca Price came up and asked me about the Hogsmeade trip before the hols."
"Good for you bro, she's fit." James said approvingly.
Albus stabbed a carrot moodily and interrupted him, "-To ask me if Scorpius is single."
Lily and Roxanne started to giggle and Al's scowl only deepened.
"I mean I'm use to girls asking about you-” He motioned to James and continued on, ignoring his brother’s surprised expression, “But bloody fucking hell this is getting ridiculous.”
"What? Who? You've never told me about any girls!" James was indignant.
"Your head is big enough." Al said, the table’s occupants nodded in agreement and James rolled his eyes begrudgingly. "But now my mate too? Girls never ask about Shane."
"That's cause Shane is a toad." Commented Roxanne loftily.
“As interesting as this conversation is, I’m going to go to my dorm and finish this book.” Louis rose from his place and lifted up the book in question.
James leaned over and grabbed it from him, flipping to the last page and scanning it, “Ricardo dies.”
Louis snatched it back from him and whacked him over the head with it, “You’re a tosser, Potter.”
James simply chortled, looking pleased with himself as Louis walked out of the hall who passed Scorpius on his way in. Albus motioned him over, and the blonde Slytherin came over hesitantly. He sat down next to Lily and she offered him a shy smile.
What's she doing smiling at him?
“Good match yesterday Malfoy. You did well for your first game.” I offered attempting to remain civil and James nodded in agreement.
"Thank you, same to you. Alright everyone?" Scorpius asked politely.
We nodded but James spoke up, "Albus isn't. Seems he's busy setting up dates for you."
One of Scorpius’s light eyebrows lifted infinitesimally, "What's that mean?"
"Rebecca Price was asking about you." Mumbled Albus, obviously still a bit offended.
Scorpius shrugged and otherwise he seemed unfazed by the news.
"You going to ask her out then?" James prodded, enjoying trying to make the Slytherin uncomfortable.
"That's the third girl this week that's come up to me." Albus confessed begrudgingly and Roxanne offered him a comforting pat on the arm.
"Sorry mate." Said Scorpius apologetically.
"What is it about you?"
"Well obviously he's unfairly attractive." Roxanne put in boldly, not looking the least bit embarrassed and Lily giggled.
"Plus he's got that whole mysterious thing going on." Added Lily, she either lacked the confidence or boldness that her cousin had and she blushed furiously as if she was surprised by her own words.
For the first time all lunch I really looked at her, she ducked her head letting her hair fall in front of her face. A childish habit I had come to realize she did when she was embarrassed. Which I realized, happened incredibly often. I didn’t mind when I was the cause of her blush; hell I relished in it, often doing it on purpose but Malfoy on the other hand...
"I'm mysterious!" Both Potter brothers spoke up, looking offended and disgruntled that Lily had admitted that Scorpius was attractive.
"Are you kidding Al? You constantly complain about everything. And everyone has to know about it.” Chided Lily.
Roxanne rested her elbows on the table and pointed at James, "And you told our entire common room you shagged Violet Finnigan." He blushed and let the subject drop.
Rose came over to our table pulling her boyfriend behind her, what was his name? Claude? Chris?
“Oh come on Clar, it’s just my family.” Rose grinned as she sat beside Al, yanking the Hufflepuff down with her. He in turn scowled and muttered something unintelligible, avoiding eye contact with all of us.
What a lovely bloke. Seems like a real winner.
“So what are we talking about?” Asked Rose cheerfully, after she greeted each of us in turn.
An inexplicable smirk crossed Roxanne’s face. "Why girls might find Scorpius attractive."
"Well that's rather obvious, isn’t it? You're good-looking, intelligent, you play quidditch and you’re rather enigmatic." Rose answered nonchalantly as she poured herself some tea.
Much to the surprise of everyone, except perhaps Roxanne, Scorpius turned a bright shade of red. Clar cleared his throat annoyed and Lily let out an awkward giggle.
"What?" Asked Rose, confused and somewhat embarrassed by everyone’s stares.
“Nothing Rose, ignore them. I’m finished lunch, Roxanne, want to go do our Defense essay?” Lily asked her cousin, quickly interrupting.
“Not particularly, but I’ll come with you.” The girls rose, and Lily glanced quickly at me again seeming unsure.
Looking up at her I immediately felt bad for being cold. She was chewing her lip nervously and obvious confusion covered her features.
I made a decision. “Lily, we still have an hour to finish up from this week from tutoring. Want to meet me in the library around three?”
The smile that she gave me made it worth all the guilt I was feeling, she nodded then her and Roxanne made their way out of the hall.
“Rose, I think I’m going to go sit with my friends.” Clar stated stiffly and rose from the table. James and Albus made a face at him.
Rose looked surprised, “Why?”
Clar glanced at the rest of us before lowering his voice and speaking to his girlfriend tersely, “Because I’d rather not sit here and listen to you fawn over Malfoy.”
Scorpius regarded the Hufflepuff cooly, Rose sent him an apologetic look as she rose as well.
“Clar, don’t be difficult. You know that’s not what I meant. Clar...” She called pleadingly after him as he gave Scorpius one last dirty look for turning on his heel and walking over to his own table.
“Scorpius I’m so sorry, he’s a little touchy sometimes. Really it’s nothing to do with you-” She seemed at a loss for words, gave him one last apologetic look and made her way hurriedly after her boyfriend.
“Pretty sure it’s everything to do with you, mate.” Al remarked casually, and his friend shrugged.
James had watched this interaction with a slightly bewildered expression, “Wait, so does Clar think you fancy Rose or something Malfoy?”
“Seems so.” He replied evenly, and took a sip of his tea.
Al looked slightly uncomfortable and I hastened to change the subject suspecting my best mate was heading into awkward territory.
We spent the rest of the lunch hour discussing Quidditch and both Slytherin and Gryffindor’s chances at the cup.
A few late owls drifted in at the end of the lunch hour, Albus received a letter from Mrs. Potter and James wasted no time in making fun of him.
“Writing to mummy are we, Albie?”
“Stuff it Jamsie, as if you don’t write home every other night.”
“Don’t be jealous that I’m mum’s favourite.”
“James, you are the epitome of a mamma’s boy.”
“Now I wouldn’t go that far.”
“There’s a fish that carries its babies in its mouth and even it looks at your relationship with mum and is like mate that’s too much.”
I was distracted from their bickering when a letter dropped onto my plate nearly offsetting my juice. Rescuing the parchment from the near flood I recognized the familiar scrawl of my dad.. Ignoring the two Potter brothers who were now wrestling over Al’s letter I opened the wax seal with my butter knife.
How is first term going? I’m sorry I haven’t written earlier, with the resignation of Peter Muir the whole team is in an uproar. Luckily my name has remained out of the press this time so we won’t have any bloody reporters trampling on those small white flowers your mum planted again. With Muir quitting the team, the assistant coach position is up for grabs again but any sane person is hesitant to take it. I swear the damn position is cursed, first Rochester getting in that freak broom accident, then Timmons’s arrest for Manticore Hash possession we are lucky to even have a team. Speaking of, all the players got tested for drugs and all of them came back clean except for our our reserve beater so now I have to find another one in time for the match against the Tornadoes. Were there any scouts at your first game? I ran into Harry and he said Gryffindor won 190 - 30. That’s a decent keep stat for you but if you want to get into the pros you’ll have to work on it. Is your left side still weak? We never got a chance to work on that this summer, you being in France for the most of it. Maybe ask your captain (it’s James Potter right?) to put in some drills in the next couple practices to get you improving. Other than insane days at work I haven’t been doing much. Your grandmum tried to set me up on a blind date with one of her Gobstone lady’s daughter; but both you and I know that would never happen. In between watching tapes of a possible new reserve beater (maybe even a new beater, Edmund Mcnabb, he’s young but built like a hippogriff) and working at the pitch; I finally got around to painting the kitchen that yellow colour your mum wanted so badly; and it clashes with everything just like I said it would but well if she liked it...have you spoken with her lately?
Good look in your upcoming matches,
"Christ." I swore as I finished the letter; the Quidditch talk was to be expected, annoying but expected; everything else on the other hand...
James took a break from taunting Al to look at me with concern, “Alright Luke?”
"Just my dad."
Albus and Scorpius took this as their cue to make their leave, and excused themselves to the library. James looked at me expectantly as soon as they were out of hearing distance.
"He's still talking as if my mum is going to come home. The flowers, the paint..."
I passed the letter to James and he read over it quickly. "Well in better news looks like the Cannons will do better this year against Puddlemere United."
"You're an idiot."
"Wanna go for a fly?"
“Good we can work on your left side. Your dad is right, it’s shite.”
“My left side is fine Potter and you know it.”
“True. But your right side...”
James laughed dodging my hand as I attempted to swat him and took off running towards the pitch.
We flew for hours playing with the quaffle before either of us even considered the time.
"Weren't you supposed to meet Lily at three?" James asked me as he wiped sweat off his forehead.
"Yeah, I don't envy you mate, a pissed off Lily is a scary sight. Very Ginny Potter like." James shuddered and shook his head. “You’re dead Luke.”
What James didn't (couldn’t) understand was that it was so much worse then simply forgetting about tutoring. By the time I managed to shower, change and get the map from James to find Lily I was extremely, extremely late.
Her dot was located in the Owlery and without any hesitation I ran there, nearly running into two third year Ravenclaws as I tore up the tower stairs.
When I finally reached the door to the Owlery I was breathing hard and already breaking out into a sweat. My mood was not improved when I found Lily with her red hair tied back and chatting with Malfoy occasionally laughing at whatever the Slytherin said.
What. The. Hell.
"Lily." I announced myself, interrupting whatever Scorpius was going to say next.
"Oh. Its you." She turned on her heel, pulled a letter out of her bag and called down the owl her and her brothers shared. With a quick pat on the head the owl was off out the window and lily was still turned away from me. Scorpius looked rather uncomfortable, glancing between Lily and I before announcing his departure. Lily turned slightly to give him a bright smile in farewell. As he walked by me he gave a brief nod of his head in greeting and continued on his way down the stairs.
"You two looked chummy." The words slipped out of my mouth, and I immediately berated myself.
Her eyebrows shot up and I should have realized I was in dangerous territory, but I was jealous. Yes I could acknowledge that, seeing her with the apparently "unfairly attractive and mysterious Scorpius Malfoy" made my blood boil.
"If I realized I’d be interrupting something I would have taken longer to get here.” Damn it, I really couldn’t shut myself up.
"As if-" She shook her head angrily,"As if you come in here accusing me of flirting with someone else when you are nearly two hours late and had been pretty much ignoring me before that!"
I made to interrupt but her eyes flashed angrily and I realized her rant was not yet over.
"If you weren't so bloody thick you'd realize that Scorpius fancies that pants off my cousin since pretty much the dawn of time. And-"
"AND if you weren't so bloody thick you'd realize I fancy you, you daft idiot."
There was a beat of silence following her rant, she standing with her hands on her hips and looking very stern I couldn’t help the smile that crossed my lips.
"I'm sorry I'm late, I got caught up flying with James."
"So you accept my apology?"
She debated this for half a second, "Yes."
"Should we kiss on it? "
"No, I'm still cross with you." I saw her smile though before she turned to sit on the window ledge and I grinned, knowing I was no longer in trouble.
"Look at it this way, it was our first fight."
"Don't try to get out of this by being charming."
"So you think I'm charming."
"You have your moments." Lily allowed, still attempting at hiding her grin.
"So you fancy me eh?"
She rolled her eyes, "This is not one of those moments."
I laughed and moved to join her on the windowsill. "So what do you want to do with our study period, considering we finished our tutoring on Monday."
"Where is everyone?" Lily asked, I understood everyone to be her family.
"Hmm let me see, I solemnly swear I'm up to no good." I said as I pulled out the map from my pocket.
"I still can't believe James told you guys about the map."
"Love we're the marauders."
She scoffed, "Right."
"Fred is in the kitchens with Roxanne, James is in my dormitory, Rose and Clar are still in the Great Hall, Louis and Damon are in the library, Albus is in the Slytherin common room with Scorpius, Hugo is in the Charms corridor...” I scanned the map once more trying to see if I forgot anyone, “Merlin your family is too big."
"So looks like we're staying here then."
She looked at me expectantly as I spoke to wipe the map clean, she held out a hand and I begrudgingly handed over the map.
"Oh don't pout. You look foolish."
I exaggerated the pout that had already been forming on my lips. Lily laughed and leaned over pressing a light kiss to my mouth before sitting back on the ledge, a slight blush already gracing her cheeks.
Her nose scrunched at my patronizing tone and before she could respond I grabbed her hand and laced my fingers through hers earning a smile. Somehow without any real direction Lily and I had fallen into an easy companionship.
"Who were you writing? Your mum?" I asked as she absentmindedly rubbed her thumb over the back of my hand.
"Nah, I wrote her yesterday. Teddy sent me another owl complaining how I hadn't yet responded to his first and demanded a timely response."
The woman honestly had too many family members, but at the mention of her god-brother it reminded me of a breakfast not too long ago,“Does, er- Teddy know about us?”
“Well, he knows about his engagement party but nothing other than that. I thought the less people who knew the better.” She blushed again and I squeezed her hand in reassurance.
“Yes, you’re probably right.” I trailed off thoughtfully, and it seemed the girl across from me was also immersed in her own thoughts. She was far too pretty for her own good and I couldn’t help but feel smug that she fancied me of all people.
Did it take one chance (drunk) run-in to finally realize how attractive someone was? I had know Lily Potter since she was the scrawny annoying nine year old that followed her siblings everywhere; I had seen her sorting, I had helped hex Caleb Flint when James found out he was bullying her, I watched her tryout for the Quidditch team even though her own brother had fiercely prohibited it, only to find out she was so talented she had to be on the team.
She had always been around, but it took finding her in the cellar for me to express any interest in her whatsoever.
I was very drunk, James had expressed the necessity that the five of us get pissed at my flat before we went to his god-brother’s engagement party. Louis had nursed his fire-whiskey, stating that both his mother and sister would skin him alive if he showed up sloshed, Fred was well on his way to a wicked hangover while Damon and James were both laughing far too hard at some lame joke the latter had said.
Attempting to act sober in front of someone’s parents was hard enough, and though I had been around pretty often and found James’ parents to be incredibly down-to-earth and friendly it was still rather nerve wracking that I was trashed in front of Harry and Ginny Potter.
Luckily neither had seemed cross, all of us were of age and compared to the state the majority of James’ Uncles were in, we had nothing to worry about. What I liked best about my friends’ family was how casual they were about everything. The announcement of Teddy and Victoire’s engagement could have been turned into a giant ministry event but instead they had to chosen to have it at the Potters with only family and friends.
“Mate, my mum has a secret stash of tequila in the cellar behind the potatoes, I’ll distract her and you go get it?” James whispered to me with Damon and Fred nodding their encouragement. Due to my inebriation and desire to only increase it, I tottered off into their kitchen and down the wooden steps to the basement.
What I didn’t expect to find was James’ little sister sitting on a crate of potatoes already holding said bottle of tequila with the cap off and taking generous swigs of the amber liquid.
Lily looked surprised, she half heartily hid the bottle behind her slim frame as I took in her slightly messy auburn hair and glassy eyes.
“Drinking alone Potter?”
Letting out a laugh which turned into a hiccup, she held the bottle out to me, “Not anymore.”
I grinned and grabbed the bottle from her, taking a sip and barely cringing as the alcohol hit the back of my throat. Still giggling she scooted over on the crate to make room for me and I joined her taking one more sip before handing it back.
She held the neck of the bottle loosely but I couldn’t bring myself to worry about that, not with premium tequila and a gorgeous bird sitting next to me.
“This is the first time I have ever been drunk Wood. Did you know that?” Lily drawled handing the bottle back to me and wiping a hand over her mouth.
I took it still watching her, the Potters were a good-looking family there was no doubt about that, but I had no idea when Little L grew up. With flushed cheeks, full lips and long auburn hair; Lily for the first time in her life was more than James’ little sister.
“I didn’t.” I said rather delayed but she seemed to be past that conversation as she continued to mumble on.
“Roxanne was supposed to meet me down here to help me finish this tequila but I seem to have lost her.”
“Well you have me now.” I assured her, the tequila was making me feel warm and lazy.
“I do, don’t I?” She mused, “You look good in this lighting Luke.”
I glanced up at the dim light fixture above us, it did set a nice glow upon the stone walls of the cellar and my new drinking parter. “So do you, Lily.”
She laughed, though there was nothing remotely amusing about my comment, my hand seemed to act on its own accord playing with the ends of her hair. How did I never notice how soft Lily’s hair was?
“I’ve never been drunk in my cellar with a boy before either.” Lily told me while grabbing the bottle back, “You’re drunk right Wood?”
She stood up importantly, as if having to announce something, before she stumbled placing a hand on my thigh to keep herself steady before righting herself again. She smelled like tequila and strawberries.
I couldn’t help but subtly glance over her as she stood there, swaying with the bottle of tequila. She was around average height for a bird, probably just shy of the cut off, slim and strong from Quidditch and something I had always failed to notice... she had curves that never seemed to be there before. I could finally understand why her brothers were so worried about other males this school year.
“Stop looking at me like that.” She snapped, bringing my eyes from her long legs to her face, I couldn’t help but grin at her stern expression.
“Sorry.” I apologized.
No I wasn’t.
“You made me forget what I was going to say.” She pouted prettily and returned to her place next to me; her white dress rode up slightly causing her bare tanned thigh to be pressed against mine.
I laughed at her petulant expression and she turned to tell me off, causing her face to be inches from mine.
“Oh.” She breathed, surprised at out closeness. Her lips were so close to mine all I would have to do is move forward half an inch and we would be kissing.
If I wasn’t so intoxicated I would have been able to count the freckles that decorated her nose, her eyes were half lidded either from alcohol or expectation and her lips were slightly parted.
The alcohol spurred me into action, one hand closed around the neck of the tequila bottle taking it from her and gently placing it on the ground, the other wound into her long hair and I pulled her that half inch closer to me and placed my lips on hers.
She tasted like tequila, and I figured I must have as well. Going from discovering that Lily Potter was incredibly fit to furiously snogging her in the cellar in under an hour was all very overwhelming but brilliantly so, she was warm and eager against me curling her own fingers around my collar.
I thought I heard the door open at some point but I was so distracted by the girl in my lap that a chimera probably could have run though the cellar and I wouldn’t have noticed.
Christ I was burning up, everywhere her hands touched my skin seemed to be on fire and soon I was reaching for the zip of her dress and her hands were under my shirt, I felt like I was going to die if our clothes remained on for much longer.
As she shifted on my lap her foot nudged the half empty tequila bottle and it knocked over causing us to pull apart for a moment. That was all I needed to take in the albeit gorgeous, but very drunk girl sitting on my lap. All I needed to realize that she was fifteen, and as intoxicated as I was, I was taking advantage of her.
She was fifteen and she was my best mates little sister.
“What are you thinking about?
Her question brought me out of reminiscing and I looked up at her, “You.”
She smiled shyly, “Good things I hope?”
“First time we ever snogged. So yes, very good.”
“Can’t say I remember much of it.”
“Well, that’s just hurtful.”
She laughed, “I remember tequila and snogging, but not much else.”
“I could always refresh your memory?”
Lily let out a snort but a definite blush covered her cheeks now and she ducked her head, grinning I placed my hand on her chin causing her too look up at me. Moving my hand from her chin to her neck I pulled her closer to me and kissed her, immensely enjoying her immediate response.
Five minutes later, an alarm from Lily’s wrist watch interrupted us and I looked at her questionably. Sighing she stood up while fixing her hair, “I have my detention now.”
“Do you have to go? I barely got to see you.”
“Yes I do, it’s detention not a party. And you would have gotten to spend more time with me if you weren’t late.” She chastised and I rolled my eyes.
“I can come meet you after? Tell everyone that because I was late we didn’t finish the material?”
“Sure, I’ll be in the astronomy tower, apparently Peeves painted all the eye pieces of the telescopes black again.”
“You’d think he would be more creative by now.”
“Seems it’s a classic.”
“I’m going to have to come up with more reasons to see you, if I’m tutoring you in transfiguration everyday people will get suspicious, no one is that hopeless in the subject.”
She grinned, “Well come to think of it I’m doing terribly in Potions.”
I lifted my eyebrow intrigued, and reached out pulling her by her belt loops so she stood in between my legs, “Is that right?”
Resting her arms on my shoulders Lily attempted a mock thoughtful expression, “Yes and downright terrible in Charms.”
“That’s a shame.” I tugged once more on her belt loops, pulling her snugly against me.
“Basically failing Defense.”
“Luckily I’m doing excellently.”
“And my Divination grades could do with some work.”
“Now Divination is where I draw the line, I’m patient but I’m no saint.”
“Well thank Merlin for that.” Lily leaned forward and kissed me before grabbing her bag from her feet.
“See you in two hours.”
I watched her leave feeling decidedly happier than I did at lunch, which reminded me...I scrounged around in my bag for a bit of spare parchment and scribbled off a letter to my dad. Calling down a school owl I sent it off and turned to make my way out of the Owlery.
As I passed the Charm corridor a deep voice called behind me.
“Mr. Wood, you must be deaf I called you nearly five times.” Professor Aldridge explained and I hastened to apologize.
“Sorry Professor. I’ve got a lot of my mind.”
His grey eyebrows rose up nearly into his hairline, “Evidently.”
What the hell did that mean?
“Do you mind just stepping into this classroom with me for a moment?” He asked, motioning into the empty Charms classroom and I followed him in.
After closing the door he turned around to speak with me, “Now I know you and Miss. Potter finished this week’s tutoring session on Monday but I just want to make it clear that your tutoring time should not be used for...other activities.”
Was he implying what I thought he was? “Sorry?”
“The allotted Transfiguration time should not be used for a cover for your and Miss. Potter’s relationship.” He offered me a friendly smirk, hit me on the shoulder lightly and swept out of the classroom.
Hope you all enjoyed it! Thank you so so so much for everyone's reviews and favouriting, you are all so unbelievably wonderful I am so humbled and thrilled by the response. Let me know what you thought!!
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