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Human Nature by Flavia
Chapter 9 : Fact of Nature #9: Stupid is as stupid does
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 9


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Sometimes I think I’m pretty cool.  I mean I’m not quite as popular as James or Fred but you know I’m kinda smart and supposedly good looking, I play Quidditch and have some awesome friends; in the grand scheme of things I’m really not doing too badly.  And then I’ll go and do something like this and I realise that I am the biggest moron on the face of the earth.

Make that the biggest moron in the universe! I decided as I bolted down a corridor, around a corner and up a flight of stairs.  My legs were burning but I needed to get myself away from the scene of the crime, fast!  I noticed a group of people making their way down to the Great Hall for dinner and slipped into the crowd, hoping nobody noticed that I looked like I’d been running.

Perhaps I should backtrack and explain today’s earlier events that have led to my sudden need to escape.   

You see I went down to visit Hagrid after Herbology this morning.  It was lunch time so I thought I pop in for a quick chat.

“Alrigh’ there Al?” He beamed at me as I plonked down in one of his giant chairs. 

“Can’t complain,” I replied.  It was then that I noticed the four gold coins sitting on the table top.  They were slightly bigger than galleons and had some sort of funny design on them.  They seemed shinier than usual coins as well.  “Hagrid, what are these?” I asked, picking one up to inspect it.

“Oh, that’s jest some leprechaun gold left over from my lessons with the fourth years.  We’re doing Nifflers,” He explained.  I briefly remembered a lesson from the year before, with Nifflers digging around in the vegetable patch for shiny things.  “Yeh can have it if yeh like, it’s only goin’ ter disappear in about four or five hours.”

“Cool, thanks,” I smiled as I pocketed the coins.  I’d figured I would give them to the boys as a prank or something, maybe I could ask Louis to watch my money and pretend to get angry when he couldn’t find it. 

Hagrid poured us some tea and we chatted for a while before he said he needed to go into the forest to visit Grawp, his giant half brother.  I had every intention of heading back up to the castle for something to eat after I watched Hagrid and Fang disappear into the trees, but a large wooden crate around the side of the hut caught my attention.  For some reason – maybe it was all the study sessions with Lucy –  I found my curiosity sparked and I quickly made my way over to have a look at what was inside the box. 

Nifflers.  As soon as I saw them, a plan formed in my head, and at the time it seemed like a brilliant plan.  Nifflers like shiny stuff so if I put one somewhere with the leprechaun gold, it would go crazy trying to find it.  It would be an awesome prank, maybe I could hide the gold in James’s bed, he’d been moping around a bit lately, maybe it would help him liven up a bit.

No, not James…Filch.

I had never liked Argus Filch, the school caretaker.  He was mean spirited and grumpy and always seemed to take such delight when he caught me out of bed after hours.  I could slip the Niffler and the gold into his office while everyone was downstairs having lunch, then I would sneak back up later to see his reaction.  I swear, at the time it seemed like such a brilliant plan; of course if I’d been paying attention in Care of Magical Creatures last year, I would have remembered that locking a niffler up in a confined space with gold was going to cause a lot more problems than I wanted to deal with.

Acting swiftly, I scooped up one of the Nifflers and slipped it into the back compartment of my bag, which was usually empty anyway.  I pocketed the leprechaun gold and took off towards the castle, sneaking past the doors of the Great hall where I could hear most of the school body chattering away.  I knew the way to Filch’s office, having been dragged there several times before, and found that a quick unlocking charm was all that was needed to get inside.  I slipped the four coins into various hiding spots around the room and then placed the Niffler on the floor, right in the centre of the office.  Stifling a laugh, I quickly slipped back into the hallway, locking the door behind me before running down to the kitchens to grab some leftovers.

All afternoon I was beside myself with anticipation, waiting to see what would happen when Filch went back to his office.  I was so excited and after lessons finished, I dropped my bag off in the dormitory and snuck back down to Filch’s office.  I hid behind a suit of armour that stands on this big stone plinth just down the corridor from his office, not far from the corner to another hallway.  I’d only been hiding there for five minutes when I heard him shuffling and wheezing his way down the corridor. 

Now I had expected him to shout, to scream to get angry when he opened the door and saw the mess and the Niffler.  What I didn’t expect was silence…bone chilling silence.  In hindsight, I should have run as soon as that silence fell on the hallway, but stupidly I waited for the explosion.  When it came, I thought the windows were going to smash and the roof was going to cave in.  The noise that Filch made was halfway between the growl of an angry troll and the shrieking of a banshee, and as soon as I heard it, I knew something was wrong. 

Once again, I should have taken this as a hint to run, to get out of there and save myself; but of course curiosity kicked in and I began tiptoeing towards the open office door.  What I saw when I peered around the corner was enough to make my heart stop.  I had thought the Niffler would eat a few papers, knock over a couple of boxes and maybe poop in the corner.  However, what it had actually done was pretty much destroy every single item in the tiny office.  Papers, boxes, furniture, picture frames, everything!  My mouth dropped open in surprise – how had one little Niffler managed to do so much damage?  Filch was standing in the middle of the room with his back to the door, his head in his hands.  Mrs. Norris was pacing around his feet and suddenly, she looked up and saw me.  She arched her back and hissed at me, causing Filch’s head to jerk upwards. 

Run! Sweet Merlin, run run run!

Finally my brain worked out what I should have done quite some time ago, and before Filch turned around I stepped away from the open doorway and took off down the corridor.  I could hear Filch shuffling his way out of the office, calling out.

“Who’s there, come back you ungrateful brat!  When I catch you, there won’t be anyone to save you!” 

I glanced over my shoulder as I reached the corner and darted around it.  Filch hadn’t reached the doorway yet, so he hadn’t seen me, but I needed to get as far away as I could.  Plus, Mrs. Norris had seen me and I wasn’t entirely convinced that she wasn’t telepathic.

So this is how I ended up racing through the corridors of Hogwarts, cursing myself for being an idiot and hiding in a crowd of what appeared to be sixth year Ravenclaws.  I stuck close to the edge of their group, trying not to look to suspicious, until I reached the Great Hall, and then I strolled casually along the Gryffindor table until I found my friends, who were sitting with the fifth year girls.

“Where did you rush off to this afternoon?” Louis asked, raising an eyebrow at me.

“Nowhere,” I replied, trying to keep my voice calm and casual.  “I just had to go and take care of something.”  The boys all looked at me with expressions that clearly did not accept such a stupid excuse, but I ignored them and turned to face Lucy, who was sitting across the table from me.  “We still on for studying tonight?” I asked her.

“Yep,” She smiled at me, although she did look a little distracted.  “We can head to the library straight after dinner if you like, we might get more done that way.”

“Sounds good to me,” I smiled back.  Sounds perfect actually, then I can avoid the boys and their questions.

Once we’d finished the meal (A choice of Steak and Kidney Pie or Lamb Chops), Lucy and I headed up to the dormitories to get our books before making our way back down to the library. 

“I think Hogwarts needs to invest in some lifts,” Lucy exclaimed when we finally sank back down into our regular spot by the window.

“It’s a bit insane isn’t it?” I agreed.  “Maybe they’re hoping that by tiring us out with all this stair climbing, we won’t get into so much trouble.”

“Well it doesn’t stop most people around here!” Lucy laughed, before opening her books and getting down to work.  It was an average evening for us in the Library, although my thoughts were confirmed that Lucy was definitely more distracted than usual.  Several times I’d look up from what I was reading or writing to find her staring out the window or just off in to space, her chin in her hand and her quill poised motionless above her parchment.

I began wondering if everything was ok, and I officially began to worry when I asked her the same question three times and she didn’t respond.

“Lucy?  Anyone home?” I waved my hand in front of her eyes.  It worked, she jumped as though startled.

“I wasn’t going to say anything!” She gasped.  Huh?  What was that about?

“You alright?” I asked, “You’ve been off with the fairies a fair bit lately.”

“I’m ok,” She yawned, rubbing her eyes in a truly adorable fashion.

“Yeah, it’s probably about time that the two of us went to bed anyway,” I said.

“Sorry, what?” Lucy looked stunned as I realised my stupidity; Awkward Albus strikes again!

 

I only have this problem around Lucy you know, usually I’m quite an eloquent speaker.

 

“Oh, no I meant…you know, go back to Gryffindor tower and go to sleep.  In our own beds.  In our own dormitories.  Separately.”  I stammered.  Smooth Al…real smooth.

 

Lucy blushed a bit as we packed up our books and I was pretty sure I had a distinctly red face as well.  I decided a change of topic was in order for the walk back up to Gryffindor Tower, something safe.

 

“So are you going home for Christmas?” I asked.

 

“Sure am, what about you?” Lucy replied; she seemed relieved at the normalcy of our new discussion.

 

“Yep, Weasley Christmases can be a bit crazy but they’re always a lot of fun,” I smiled.  “Grandma Weasley is an amazing cook and all of the cousins usually go out for a game of Qudditch while we’re waiting to eat.  Sometimes the adults even join in, there’s a few Quidditch players in our family.”

“I’ll bet,” Lucy grinned. 

“So are you doing anything special over the break?” I continued, reminding myself that I could have a normal conversation with Lucy most of the time.

“Yeah, you know how I told you Alice was moving out?  Well I’m going to spend a couple days with her at her flat in Diagon Alley after Christmas, it should be fun.”  Lucy’s face lit up and I realised this was something she was really excited about.

“That sounds awesome,” I grinned.  “No parents, no alarm clock, nobody telling you what to eat for breakfast!”

“Yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun.  It seems like whenever I go to Diagon Alley these days it’s a trip to the bank or to buy school robes or books.  I just want to wander around and look at shops, eat ice cream and…” Lucy’s voice drifted away as we heard an all too familiar sound not too far away.  I touched her arm lightly as we reached the top of a flight of stairs and cocked my head to listen properly.

There was no mistaking that shuffling walk or the ragged breathing.

“Nasty little brats Mrs. Norris.  If I had my way I’d be stringing them up in the dungeons by their toenails!”   Filch’s voice echoed through the nearby hallways, and dread spread through me.

“Merlin’s pants, it’s Filch!” I whispered.  Oh no, he’s worked out it’s me and he’s coming to find me!  I am in so much trouble!

“But it’s not curfew yet, we’re allowed to be out,” Lucy said.  She looked confused, she didn’t understand my panic and there was no time to explain it, not when Filch could appear around that corner at any second.  Without giving it too much thought, I seized Lucy’s hand and ran back down the way we’d come, trying to find a different route back up to the common room.  Once we’d travelled through a few corridors, I stopped, allowing us to catch our breath for a moment.  Lucy didn’t pull away from the grasp I had on her hand and I was enjoying the sensation far too much to be the one to let go.

“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.

It only took a few seconds before my imagination went into overdrive, thinking about what we could do in such a confined space, how easy it would be to kiss her in this private little sanctuary.  We were both standing with our backs against the stone walls, but there was less than a foot between us and it wouldn’t be difficult to just lean forward and…

“Albus?” Lucy’s voice shook me from my fantasy.

“What?” I replied, realising I’d already started leaning in towards her.  Did she feel the spark too?  Was she going to ask me to kiss her?  Merlin’s beard, it was finally going to happen, wasn’t it?

“I’m standing in a bucket.”

Huh?

“What?”

 

“My foot, it’s caught in a bucket and there’s something wet in there,”

It took me a second to realise Lucy wasn’t feeling romantic at all – I’d dragged her in here only to get her foot stuck in a sodding bucket.

“Oh, wow, I’m sorry.  Here, let me help you,” I gasped, trying to reach forward and help her.  The problem was, I couldn’t reach down very far, and when I grasped her leg, it was just above the knee, the start of a very soft, very warm, very attractive thigh.

Holy Hippogriffs, I’m touching her thigh!

I managed to fight the fog of arousal that was threatening to envelop me and pulled on Lucy’s leg, although it yielded no results.  Well it yielded one result: it made Lucy giggle.

“Don’t!  That tickles,” She laughed as I tried to yank her leg out of the bucket again.  Normally I love the sound of her laughter, but the volume level was making me panic, so I abandoned the ‘pull-the-leg-out-of-the-bucket’ plan  and threw my hand across Lucy’s mouth, frantically shushing her. 

I’m not really sure how it happened, because the movements were all so quick and natural, but within a matter of seconds, Lucy’s hands had reached up to my shoulders, gripping me tightly for support as she balanced on one leg.  My free hand snaked around her waist to hold her straight, my other hand still across her mouth and our bodies pressed extremely close to each other.  If I’d thought touching her leg was stimulating, it was nothing to how I was feeling now.  My breathing became shallow as I stared into her brown eyes, my heart thumping wildly and my face growing hot.

Bloody Hell, if this is how she makes me feel when we’re just friends, imagine what it would be like if she was my girlfriend and she actually let me –

Suddenly, the door was yanked open and Lucy squinted as light fell across her face.  Filch was standing there, staring at us in surprise for a moment before that nasty sneer made an appearance. 

“Oh ho Mrs. Norris, what have we here?  Two naughty little Gryffindor’s caught canoodling in my broom cupboard.”  He looked positively gleeful as he reached in to yank me out into the corridor.  Lucy managed to free her leg with some difficulty and followed me out, water dripping from her shoe onto the stone floor.  “Right, I’m taking the two of you to see your head of house.  Fraternising in broom cupboards is not acceptable.  Oh you are going to be in for a world of trouble,” Filch continued to gloat as we marched slowly in the direction of Professor Longbottom’s office.

As we walked, I found myself trying to decide which I was more upset about: The fact that nothing had happened in the broom cupboard, or the look of pure mortification on Lucy’s face at Filch’s accusation.  Is the thought of snogging me in a broom closet that repulsive? I wondered.  Though I supposed that maybe she was more upset about being caught, after all, the situation was pretty embarrassing, no matter how you felt about the other person.

The sudden appearance of Peeves did not help the state of affairs.  Filch has absolutely no control over him so the stupid poltergeist simply followed us down the hallway, cackling and making loud smooch noises, shouting out rude comments and catcalls. Lucy groaned and rubbed her hand over her face in embarrassment; disappointment mingled with guilt to form a tight ball in the pit of my stomach.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, knowing it wasn’t nearly enough to make up for what I was putting her through.  Lucy didn’t look at me or acknowledge my apology, How am I ever going to get her to fall for me now? I thought despondently.

“No talking!” Filch barked as we pulled to a halt outside Neville’s office.  He knocked quickly on the door, Peeves still floating above our heads and mocking us.  Fortunately the first thing Neville did was threaten to call the Bloody Baron, which tends to work on Peeves (if he knows you can actually get your hands on the Bloody Baron) so that one little problem was solved.  The next thing he did, and this is something I really, truly appreciate about Neville, was to get rid of Filch.  Filch always has this sour look on his face when teachers send him away, like he was hoping they’d hand you over to him for a torture session, but Neville is always quick to make it known that Filch’s job is done and he needs to leave.

Unfortunately, it meant that I suddenly found myself sitting in a chair, facing Neville, with Lucy next to me, having to explain why Filch had found us in a broom closet.  I remembered the look of pure humiliation of Lucy’s face and decided that I needed to put that little fire out first.

“Professor, Filch got it all wrong, you have to believe me – ” I started, but Neville interrupted me.

“That’s Mr. Filch thank you,” He said, though he did look a little amused I think.

“Sorry,” I said quickly, “But he still got it wrong.”

“So he didn’t find the two of you in a cupboard?” Neville raised an eyebrow at me and gave me a look that was clearly challenging me to lie to him.  Neville is one of my parent’s oldest friends and trying to lie to him would be like trying to lie to Mum or Dad…well maybe more like Dad, I can occasionally get away with a white lie around Dad; not mum though, she can smell a lie from a hundred miles away.

“Well…ok, yes he did find us in the cupboard,” I conceded, but I was annoyed, he wasn’t letting me explain properly.

“But you weren’t touching each other?” Was I imagining things or did Neville seem to be enjoying this?

“Well…” I looked at Lucy out of the corner of my eye as I remembered how close we had been in that cupboard.  I felt my cheeks grow hot as I remembered how it had felt to have my arm around her, our faces an inch apart, the way my body had reacted to her of its own accord…  “Well it was a small cupboard you see Sir,” I mumbled…this was sounding worse by the second and I didn’t doubt that poor Lucy was dying of embarrassment right now.

“I’m sorry, then what exactly did Mr. Filch get wrong?” Ok, I am not imagining things…Neville is bloody loving this!  He’s having a grand old time making me squirm!  But this wasn’t just about me, I had to think about Lucy’s reputation too, so I pressed on.

“We weren’t…well you know…what he thinks we were doing,” I said, knowing I wouldn’t get the actual word ‘snogging’ out without dying of mortification. 

“And what exactly were you doing in a broom cupboard then Mr. Potter?” And then I realised what I had to do.  All I had to do was tell Neville the truth about why I’d run away from Filch and Lucy would be saved.  It did mean I was going to have to face the consequences though, and judging from the state of Filch’s office, I wasn’t going to get off lightly.

“We were hiding,” I said sadly. 

“Hiding?  What on earth from?” Neville sounded a little surprised.  Did he really think Lucy and I had been snogging?  I took a deep breath, ready to confess everything.

“It was my idea,” Lucy’s voice made me jump, I’d almost forgotten she was in the room.  Neville and I both looked at her in surprise. “We heard Mr. Filch coming so I suggested we hide in the cupboard and jump out to scare him.  I thought it would be a funny joke.”  Lucy’s inability to tell a decent lie shone through rather impressively in that moment.  If I didn’t know better, I would have thought she actually wanted Neville to know she was being dishonest.  What I didn’t understand though, was why on earth she’d done it.  Why would she be trying to take a bullet for me after I’d humiliated her?  Well I knew one thing for sure, I wasn’t getting her in any deeper, this was my mess and it was my fault she was involved; she wasn’t about to take the punishment for me.

“That’s not true Sir,” I said quickly, and Neville’s head shot back to me.  “Earlier today I stole a Niffler from Hagrid and locked it inside Filch’s office with some leprechaun gold,” To his credit, Neville didn’t reprimand me again for referring to the caretaker only by his surname.  “It kind of caused a lot more damage than I’d expected and I was trying to keep away from him because I didn’t want to get caught.  We were on our way back to the common room from the library when we heard Filch and I panicked, and I dragged Lucy into that cupboard with me to hide.  So you see, Lucy is completely innocent Sir.  It’s all my fault and I’ll accept whatever punishment you see fit to give me, but please don’t punish Lucy.”  Neville had listened silently while I’d been telling my story, his eyes watching me curiously.  Lucy however, kept her head down the whole time, her eyes focussed on her lap.

“Well, I must say I’m disappointed in you Albus,” Neville began his lecture with the worst possible sentence you want to hear from an adult you actually like and respect.  “Not so much in the sense that you played a silly prank like that – and it was very silly, that Niffler could have done some serious damage or been severely harmed – but because you seem to be leading poor Miss Bell here down the proverbial garden path.”  My heart sunk when he said that, I really was being selfish wasn’t I?  While I’d been holding on to Lucy, imagining my lips on hers, our bodies tangled together in passion, she’d been standing with one foot in a bucket, probably panicking that she’d end up with another detention.  I really hadn’t given her a choice before I’d shoved in that cupboard, had I? “It is one thing to make bad choices for yourself, but to drag another student into it is really quite unfair.”  Neville continued, almost as though he could read my thoughts.

“No,” Once again, Lucy seemed determined to direct the conversation her own way.  “It’s not his fault.  I didn’t have to get in that cupboard, I didn’t have to hide from Filch with him.  That was my choice, and Albus isn’t dragging me in to anything!”  I couldn’t help but stare at Lucy, who had glanced up from her knees to look intently at Neville.  I was dumbstruck, why did she seem so determined to take the blame for this?

“That’s very honourable of you to say so Miss Bell, but nonetheless I want to see much less of the two of you in my office from now on – is that understood?” Neville looked at both of us this time.

“Yes Professor,” I mumbled, and I heard Lucy’s voice give the same sentiment. 

“Well I’m going to give you both a detention for going into one of the service cupboards, which you both knew,” He looked pointedly at me because I’d opened my mouth to protest Lucy’s punishment, “was against the school rules.  And Albus, you will receive a second punishment for the Niffler incident and I have no doubt it will be along the lines of helping Mr. Filch to clean up the mess in his office.”  My heart sunk a little bit; that was certainly not going to be an enjoyable detention.  “Now, it is after hours, so I think the two of you need to get upstairs straight away.”  With a nod from our Head of House, we were dismissed and began the awkwardly quiet journey to the common room.  I wanted to say something, to apologise for my actions, to redeem myself in Lucy’s eyes, but I couldn’t focus on the right words.  It was Lucy who eventually broke the silence.

“I’m sorry, I seem to be getting you into a lot of trouble these days.” She said quietly.  I looked at her as we continued to walk, the confusion evident on my face.

“You are odd,” I said, hoping she realised it wasn’t meant as an insult.  “I get in trouble all the time and it’s definitely not your fault.”  When had she ever gotten me in trouble?  I quickly scanned my memories but came up with nothing.

“What about the thing with Michael?” She argued.  Michael? That git? But that doesn’t count!

“Well ok, maybe you were involved with that one, but he had it coming anyway.” I explained.  How could she possibly think that was her fault?  Neville was right, I was a bad influence on her, especially if she thought that my detentions were her fault.  I inhaled deeply and forced myself to voice a rather painful thought.  “Seriously, I’m the one who should feel bad.  It’s like Professor Longbottom said, I seem to be getting you in to an awful lot of trouble these days.  Maybe I’m not such a great friend to you.”  I held my breath as I waited for her response, my brain screaming, Please don’t agree with me, please!

“I think I can handle myself,” Lucy laughed as though my comment wasn’t even worth a second thought and I let out my breath slowly.  “Plus, how would you ever get through Care of Magical Creatures without me?”  She grinned mischievously at me, the humiliation and drama of the recent events melting away as our usual air of friendly banter returned.

“Ah, you have me there; you have been my lifesaver Bell,” I was so relieved that our friendship hadn’t been ruined that I didn’t even think about the fact that I was wrapping my arm around her shoulders until she gave me a startled look.  It had been such a natural movement, something I’d done a thousand times with Rose or Lily, but where they would grin at me and wrap an arm around my waist in return, Lucy’s body went rigid, her muscles tensing at the contact.

Albus Severus Potter, this is the third stupid thing you’ve done today; are you trying to set a record?

I dropped my arm immediately, letting it fall to my side as I fought to hide my disappointment.  “And anyway, you need me – after that terrible lie I can clearly see that you need my guidance; the Trelawney thing must have been just a once-off.”  I kept my voice light, hoping she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable that I’d mis-read our friendship.  I’d figured we were in that relaxed, joke-around sort of place, but the way she’d reacted when I’d touched her – it just didn’t seem right.  Unless…unless she suspected my feelings and she was worried I would mis-interpret her actions if she’d let me put my arm around her.  Maybe it had been Lucy’s subtle way of telling me I didn’t have a chance.

How depressing.

“Tinsel,” Lucy said, and I realised we were standing in front of the portrait of the fat lady.  She had this obsession with making up seasonal passwords and since the Christmas decorations had gone up she’d been right into it.  The portrait swung open obediently and we climbed through, only to be bombarded with questions from several Gryffindors, all wanting to know what had happened to us.  Rose was leading the pack and ran at us with such enthusiasm that Lucy stumbled backwards.  Acting instinctively, I put my hand on her back to steady her, I’d become rather familiar with her lack of balance and tendency to fall down.

“Peeves was zooming up and down corridors saying Filch found you two snogging in a broom cupboard!”  Rose announced and my heart sunk as Lucy’s shoulders dropped a little bit.  I realised my hand was still on her back and, remembering the way she’d reacted when I put my arm around her, I quickly withdrew it.  A small groan escaped my lips as I realised this would only further add to Lucy’s embarrassment.

The crowd seemed quite determined to get the gossip and whilst some of them, like Rose, were merely curious, others such as Mary Temple were eyeing Lucy suspiciously, as though she’d done something awful.  I was dumbfounded, why do they not get that this was all my fault?

Thankfully, Lucy had her wits about her, and actually distracted everyone by telling them the truth.  I will not lie, it was rather impressive; and after a few laughs and ‘oh aren’t we just so silly?’ moments, the crowd seemed to buy it, well all except Rose, who was giving me a rather knowing glare as everyone else dispersed.  Lucy wasn’t about to save me either, she simply gave me a smile, bid her goodnights and disappeared up the stairs to the girl’s dormitory.

“Well I think I might head up too,” I said, smiling briefly at Rose.

“Hold it,” She said firmly, sounding frighteningly like Auntie Hermione.  “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Rosie,” I said lightly.  “Nothing’s going on.”

Rose narrowed her eyes suspiciously at me.  “Something is most definitely going on,” She said.  “And whilst you might not tell me tonight, you will tell me Albus Potter, because you always do.”

“Goodnight Rosie,” I sing-songed a little too brightly before taking off to the safety of the dormitories.  But Rose was right, I did always tell her what was going on, and now that she knew something was up it was only a matter of time before I cracked.




AN: So...what did we think?  I know that a lot of people loved the broom cupoard scene from Animal Magnetism so I hope this version did it justice.  Al's teenage boy side is really starting to come out now I think, which I'm excited about.  In my head he was always this person of contrasts: he's extremely girlish and sensitive yet at the same time he is completely hormonal and consumed by those things which consume teenage boys!  Or the way that he is a sweet little puppy dog most of the time but he has this hidden temper that causes him to want to hex or punch certain people (like McMillan).  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it, please write a review letting me know your thoughts, I wouldn't greatly appreciate it. 

And don't worry, I haven't forgotten your preview!

Next time on Human Nature...

I watched the players carefully, my focus going toward the new Hufflepuff seeker, a third year girl named Amanda Jones.  She was a small girl with a long blonde plait and she balanced easily on her broom as the balls were released and she began her circuit around the pitch.  She seemed very much at home in the air and I found myself quite determined to watch her – she might well turn out to be a threat.

“I’ve lost track, who do we want to win?” Lucy asked suddenly, leaning towards me slightly.  I naturally ducked my head towards her as I responded.

“Well it would be good if Hufflepuff could win, because that would even out the points nicely,” I began, but at that moment a slight breeze blew past us, brushing a tendril of Lucy’s hair to flutter against my cheek.  A positively delicious smell that seemed to be sort of woodsy yet mixed with a sweet berry scent teased my nostrils, distracting me and causing me to forget what I’d been saying.   It took me a few seconds to regain my senses as the wind died down again, although the memory of that scent lingered. “Uh…but the best outcome would be if they won with less than three hundred points, because then Gryffindor would still be in the lead, well just behind Slytherin anyway since they’ve already played two matches.” I managed to finish explaining.

“Hufflepuff for less than three hundred it is then,” Lucy smiled at me before turning her eyes back to the pitch.
 


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