Chapter 2 : Al Learns Love Sucks And Jen's Betrayal
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thanks for the amazing chapter image goes to cierra@tda!
for the record, the people in this banner are Scorpius Malfoy, Maggie Thomas, and Albus Potter (:
Finally! James had scheduled Quidditch trials. I glanced around the common room for any sign of James or Freddie, or even Al, (who was allowed to hang out in the Gryffindor common room when there wasn’t a Gryffindor/Slytherin Quidditch match on), but they didn’t seem to any Potters, nor Weasleys, there. Which was odd, really, because they were everywhere. Except Hufflepuff. They hadn’t taken over that House, yet, anyway. I grinned to myself, slipping out of the portrait hole, lugging my rucksack along with me. It was a short journey up to the Owlery, and I was glad that nobody I knew had seen me. James was going to kill me for what I was about to do.
I held out my arm, and a beautiful barn owl perched on it. I stroked his feathers, smiling. “Hey, Apollo. I’ve got a letter for you to deliver.” Apollo nipped my fingers affectionately, his big eyes staring up at me trustingly. I grinned, carefully slipping off my rucksack and digging in it for the letter I’d already prepared. Apollo held out his leg patiently, and I tied it on. “This is for Ginny Potter, okay? In Godric’s Hollow.”
Apollo clicked his beak, which I think is a good sign, and he flew out of the Owlery window. I grinned nervously; James was going to kill me when he found out that I wrote to his mother on Lily’s behalf. But this is my last year, too, and I am not going to let Gryffindor lose to Al and that Malfoy git anymore, and Lily is our best chance. I may not be too good on a broom, but I do know my Quidditch. I have to, being best mates with James Potter. I’ve been to more professional Quidditch matches (along with all of the Hogwarts ones; James was convinced that the ones that he played in were practically professional) than the normal human being should be forced to watch. Lily Potter has definitely inherited her mother and father’s skills on a broom, and if James would quit being a stupid older brother (I know all about those; I have four) then he would see it, too.
I watched Apollo fly off until I couldn’t see him anymore, and I picked up my bag, slinging it over my shoulder and smiling at the school owls before leaving the Owlery. I loved owls, but there were too many mice and rats in there. I hurried down the stairs, and my trainer slipped on one of the wet steps, and I screamed, knowing I was about to fall down the whole staircase.
Until I fell into something hard and sturdy. Arms encircled my waist, and warm breath hit my neck. I heard a chuckle, and I scrambled to my own feet, looking at my savior/captor.
“Hey, Jenna,” said Gabriel Vega, his lips twitching. He smiled breathtakingly. “Have a nice fall?” He joked, his chocolate-y eyes twinkling.
“Not exactly,” I muttered, trying to scowl but failing. Gabriel Vega, a seventh year Ravenclaw, was one of the hottest and most charming guys in all of Hogwarts. It was almost impossible to be anything but happy when he was near you. So far, I had managed to elude that particular experience. Until today. Until today, I had thought all of those girls idiotic and stupid; no guy could elicit those feelings just by being there. But I was wrong. “Um, thanks for not letting me die, Vega.”
“It’s Gabe,” Gabriel corrected, smiling. “And no problem. Have a nice day, Jenna.” He made sure I was steady on my feet, then started up the stairs toward the Owlery. I was dumbstruck. Glancing over his shoulder, Gabriel called teasingly, “Watch out for that step. I won’t be there to save you this time.” Despite the teasing tone, his warning felt sincere, and I blushed with gratitude and embarrassment. Carefully avoiding the wet step, I walked on eggshells until I reached the portrait of the Fat Lady.
“Password?” She said, bored, looking me over without any real interest.
“Dumbledore’s Army,” I said in an equally bored voice. The Fat Lady and I did not have good relationship. Since third year, she ignored me, and I ignored her, unless I needed to get through the portrait hole.
“Jen! Where the ruddy hell have you been?” yelled Albus Potter, grinning like a madman. “Me and Scorp have been waiting for you.” He perched himself on the arm of the chair that Malfoy sat in, still grinning at me. None of the Gryffindors seemed to think anything was wrong with having two Slytherins in our common room, so I followed suit, not making any comment about Malfoy’s presence.
“What do you want with me, Al?” I said warily, frowning. Albus was an evil mastermind, which I think is what got him into Slytherin in the first place (why couldn’t he have just gotten into bloody Ravenclaw?), but I digress. Anyway, he’s always got plans and plots, and he tried to use us as cronies. Bit like Draco Malfoy with his two idiots, Crabbe and Goyle back in Harry Potter’s day. But Al doesn’t have any nitwits to use as lab rats, because unfortunately, Malfoy’s a bit too smart to get in too deep in Al’s plans. Not that he isn’t brilliant; it’s just sometimes things tend to… well, explode.
Al Potter + potions ingredients – professorial supervision x the Marauder’s Map = disaster.
“Nothing, nothing,” Al said jovially; a little too jovially. “Just wanted to see one of my mates.”
“Whatever your scam is this week, Potter, I want none of it,” I said, with a reluctant smirk. “Last time I got involved, I had to get half of my hair regrown and my skin was gold for a week.”
“You looked wonderfully!” Al exclaimed.
“I looked like a bloody sarcophagus!”
“No yelling in the common room!” Rose Weasley interjected, hands on her hips, looking freakishly like her grandmother, Molly. She looked at us, then scowled. “How come whenever there’s a fracas, it’s always you guys?”
“Hey!” Al yelled, frowning. At Rose’s murderous glare, he lowered his voice. “It’s not always me! Blame James, Freddie, and Jen; I’m hardly ever here! I’m a Slytherin, for Merlin’s sake!”
“And we all know what a bloody shame that is,” James said jokingly, grinning at his younger brother, cousin, Malfoy, and me. His hair looked extra-ruffled, and I’d guessed he’d just gotten done flying. “What’s going on?” He ruffled Rose’s bushy red hair, grinning at her scowl and ducking her flying fist. “Uh, uh, uh! No violence in the common room, didn’t she tell us that once, Jen?”
I grinned. “Yes, she did.” James smirked at Rose, who grumbled under her breath. I laughed; I loved Rose to death, but she was a stickler for the rules and it got old fast.
“So what are we all doing here? Partying without James?” James’s eyes lit up and he grinned. “Planning my surprise party?”
I rolled my eyes, ruffling his already mussed hair. “Deflate your ego, bud. Al was trying to trick me into doing one of experiments again. Besides, you know nobody can plan a party as well as you and Fred. Plus, even if we tried, we couldn’t keep a secret from you.” James grinned proudly, and I added with a smirk, “Because you’re too bloody annoying.”
James scowled at me, flicking my nose lightly, and Al, the Malfoy git, and Rose laughed. “I’m not annoying,” James said stubbornly, but quickly he grinned, relenting. “Okay, maybe I am. But so what? You lot love it.”
“No, we love you,” Rose corrected, trying not to grin. “I’m pretty sure we could all go without all of your ‘I’m-James-Potter-and-I’m-bloody-amazing’ annoyingness.”
“I second that,” Al put in quickly, grinning at his older brother.
Scorpius followed suit. “Couldn’t agree more, Albus.”
Just because git-face agreed, I took James’s hand, smirking. “I like his annoyingness.”
“No you don’t,” Rose said with a knowing air. “You just won’t agree with Malfoy.”
“I have a first name, you know,” Git-face interrupted rudely.
“Shove off, Malfoy,” Rose and I said simultaneously, then looked at each other and grinned. We high-fived, and Malfoy jumped out of his chair, stalking off to the other side of the common room. Al frowned at us.
“You two could be a little nicer, you know,” he said softly, looking at his friend with something like compassion. I sighed, and Rose looked a little guilty, too. Albus’s expression turned righteous, and he smirked at us. “Now apologize to Scorpius, won’t you, guys?”
Rose and I sighed. “Oi, Mal- I mean, Scorpius!” Rose called. “Come back over here, will you?” At Scorpius’s scowl, she added exasperatedly, “Please?” After a few minutes, he acquiesced and sat back down in the chair by Albus, looking up at us expectantly.
“We’re sorry, Scorpius,” I muttered.
“We’ll be nicer from now on,” Rose said, and I knew it was mostly for Albus’s sake. For some odd reason, Malfoy was Al’s best friend, and Rose loved Al, so I knew she meant what she said. But me… Oh, what the heck. I’d try, too, if Rose was going to do it. Follow the crowd, Jenna, good going.
“Merlin, are you two gay or something?” James exclaimed, big brown eyes wide. Rose and I looked at him sharply, and he realized his mistake. “Not that I have anything wrong with that,” he added quickly.
Al rolled his eyes. Obviously, he expected this sort of thing from his sort-of a Neanderthal. “Shut up, you,” he said gruffly, but his gaze on his brother was affectionate, as if he’d missed James’s thoughtless remarks. I then realized that, really, they didn’t get to be just brothers much at Hogwarts. James was one of the figureheads for Gryffindor, emblazoning what it meant to be one of us, and Albus was a Slytherin. Suddenly, I had an epiphany. Maybe that’s why Albus was so peculiar about how we treated Malfoy. He knew what it was like to be the hated one. Well, a Potter in Slytherin, with all of the old Death Eaters’ kids in there, what would you expect? His dad put theirs in Azkaban. I felt a surge of big-sisterish affection for Al, feeling an urge to ruffle his locks and kiss his cheek fondly, but I held it in. Al would be seething, and James would wonder (aloud, no doubt) who had put me under the Imperius Curse.
I settled for a happy grin and a friendly one-armed squeeze. Al looked at me oddly, but shrugged. “So, other than the fact that Jen’s obviously gone crazy,” James started, giving me a weird look, “what else is new here?”
“Fundraiser for the Guatemalan Witches’ Association for Orphans,” Rose said, thrusting forward a crumpled piece of parchment that someone had probably pulled off of the notice board and had tossed on the floor. Of course, Rose would be the one who would pick it up and read it. Reading and cleaning, some of Rose’s favorite things. Al snatched it, smoothing it out and reading through it with mild interest.
“It’s mostly for babies and children not yet old enough for schooling- well, not magical schooling, anyway,” Al amended, pursing his lips slightly. “I think I’ll send this to Dad; he’s always looking for charities to give to.”
“Dad’s always on about how he doesn’t want anyone to have his childhood,” James murmured to me, shrugging and rolling his eyes. “He gives to almost everything; he’s the person who made it possible for the Wolfsbane potion to be distributed to all werewolves, free of charge. He does it anonymously.” That made sense. Harry Potter was one of the richest people in Britain, but nobody knew how he spent his money. He was known as a money grubber in gossip magazines, because, besides presents for his wife, children, relatives, etc. and home expenses, there was no trace of money spending from him. Anonymity seemed to suit Harry Potter fine; he was one of the most modest rich people I’ve ever met. Not that I’ve met many rich people, mind you.
“Well that’s boring,” Scorpius said mildly, trying out his newfound acceptance into the group. Besides the scathing look James gave him (What can I say; James didn’t promise to be nice to him), everyone looked at him expectantly. He grinned, two unexpected dimples flashing in his cheeks. “I think we should have a proper sendoff for the end of the first month of school.”
I surveyed the Room of Requirement, grinning. “The little whelps did alright for short notice,” James said approvingly, grinning at the room full of people and the fully stocked bar (Al, Scorpius, and Rose, who, despite her rule-obeying ways, was surprisingly good at filching alcohol from Hogsmeade- leaving payment, of course- had taken a trip down the one-eyed witch’s hump for a liquor run), along with a good supply of food from the kitchens. Those little elves were surprisingly helpful when asked; they’d offered to bring us a roast, if we’d wait a few minutes.
“Hey, there’s Morgan!” James shouted, the only way to be heard over the music blaring from Andie Thomas’s Wireless, pointing to a tall blonde girl who was flirting with Darrin Biggs near the end of the drinks table. “I’m going to go see if she’d like to dance.”
“You realize she’s with Biggs, right?”
James smirked. “Not for long, Jen. How you underestimate me.” He sauntered off, and I almost laughed out loud when he walked up to the pair and began talking, slowly pushing Darrin out of the way. Ten minutes later, Darrin was alone, looking confused as James led Morgan Goode onto the dance floor. James had made a new record.
“I didn’t realize you attended these kinds of parties,” said a familiar voice, and I whipped around, surprised to see Gabriel Vega standing there, holding a plastic cup in his hand, smiling amusedly.
“All the time,” I said smoothly, grinning in spite of myself. “My best mates are the ones who usually plan them all. I’m usually out there somewhere, dancing.” I nodded to the packed dance floor, where James and his stolen date had been swallowed.
“Like to dance, do you?” Gabe questioned, his tone sincere. He took a sip from his cup and wrinkled his nose, making a face. “God-awful, this stuff. Do you know who made it? The punch, I mean- the Firewhiskey is excellent. This on the other hand…” He shrugged, using his wand to Vanish the offending drink and refilling his cup with the aforementioned Firewhiskey.
“A bit, yeah,” I admitted, feeling a little awkward after the glow of talking to Gabriel Vega had worn off. I wonder if this was what people felt like talking to Al, James, and Lily. I took a drink of my punch and choked it down, making a face; Gabe was right; this stuff was awful.
Gabriel took the drink out of my hand smoothly, tossing his now-empty cup into a waste bin with mine. “Want to have a go then?”
“At what?” I said, distracted, glancing around for James.
“Dancing?” Gabriel laughed, holding out his hand, using his other one to muss his hair cutely. I looked from his hand to his face, my brows pulling together for a moment before I grinned.
“Sure, why not,” I exclaimed, grabbing an half-full bottle of Firewhiskey and downing it. I took Gabe’s hand and started to pull him onto the dance floor, my body already moving to the beat of the song. Time to start enjoying the party!
“Successful night, I’d say,” I said mildly, glancing at Scorpius’s blond head behind me. I heard him chuckle, and I imagined him rolling his eyes.
“Of course it is,” he said dismissively, smirking. “Party planning; it’s child’s play. Who can resist a good party on a Friday night with free food and plenty of drinks? Even if it’s short notice, it’s just the building blocks of our operation.”
Now, hold up- despite what everyone thinks, Scorpius is the real mastermind of our whole friendship. I’m just more confident around other people; Scorp chokes up because of everything his family has done to society in general. Me, I’m just the kid who was getting beaten to a pulp in the Slytherin common room on my first night as a first year- that is, until Scorpius stepped in. Despite him only being a first year, too, he still had enough pull with the family name Malfoy to get them to quit. Though that protection has only lasted me when he is around, so I escape to the Gryffindor common room as often as not, though I don’t tell them why I do it. James, my brother, would go insane. He would kick ass first, ask questions later. It’s not that I don’t trust him- it’s just the way that he’s wired. He wouldn’t understand that him beating the shit out of all the Slytherins that torment me would only make it worse. Even Scorpius’s influence is limited, especially if it’s two Potters that they’re dealing with.
Oh, Salazar. What was I saying? Oh, yes. Scorpius. Right. Well, Scorpius had great aspirations, and he knew I could help him reach them. He saved me for that reason, mostly for the Potter name’s influence in the magical world, but since then, we’ve become friends. He wants to strike it rich and bring respect and influence back to the Malfoy name – not to just the sons and grandsons of Death Eaters, but to the whole magical community in general, and even some Muggles, if it helps his ideals. Scorpius isn’t picky about the whole blood status thing, he’s just very cunning. Besides that, he’s a Gryffindor, all the way. Sometimes I think the hat mis-Sorted him…
“Oi! Potter!” Maggie Thomas shouted, grinning like a she-devil. She nodded to Scorpius, and her grin was still wide. That’s what I loved about Maggie; she didn’t give a damn. “Malfoy! How’s it hanging?”
Scorpius rolled his eyes, grinning. “Very well, Mags. How’ve you been?”
Maggie stuck out her tongue, wrinkling her nose. “Enough with the formalities. We aren’t adults, and this isn’t one of those fancy soirees your parents dragged you to when you were a kid. I am sixteen years old, and I’m half-baked. Talk to me like a person, Malfoy, and not a businessman.” She grinned, slinging an arm around his shoulders and landing a smacking kiss to his cheek. “Take that to the grave, Scorp, baby.” She cackled madly, releasing a dazed Scorpius and grabbing my hand. “Come on, Al – we’re going to dance!” Another thing I liked about Mags; she didn’t give choices, nor did she think about anything that she did. She just did it.
“Righto, Mags,” I replied, though I don’t think she heard me- she was too busy pushing through the crowd of people on the dance floor, pulling me along with her the whole way. Once we reached the middle (it seemed like the middle; we were squashed from every angle, so that’s what I assume), she wrapped her arms around my neck and started dancing, her short black dress riding up her thighs with all of the movement. I couldn’t help but glance down, and Mags saw it. She smirked, dancing in the most provocative way she could think of, and I pulled her closer. There was only one girl for me, and that was Margaret Grainne Thomas. She knew it, and she used it, but there was no hope for me; I’d already fallen. The only bad thing: Mags didn’t love anyone, and she used me for her own purposes, ‘repaying’ me with some of the most incredible sex I’ve ever had. Hi, I’m Albus Potter, and my best friend and the only girl I’ll ever love both use me just to suit their own purposes, but I love them both anyway. Did I mention I’m also a sucker? Well, Mum and Dad will be happy; James and Lily turned out alright. Two out of three isn’t bad, not bad at all.
so, what did you think? :) please review, i love to hear what you think!
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