Chapter 16 : In which Amelie falls in love with a Potter
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Klause McLaggen: the devil masquerading as a saint – with beautiful hair.
‘Hey!’ Potter barks at us. ‘Stop getting close with her Albus. She’s a viper. And get over there and break Rose and Malfoy up. They’re getting too cosy.’
Albus shrugs and finishes off his drink before leaving our table. We watch as he awkwardly joins their conversation urging them along.
‘Alright.’ Potter says as the trio stands and makes for the door. ‘We’re going with them back up to the castle. No buts.’
He snatches up his jacket and his cousins grumble, leaving half-finished drinks behind. We make our way out into the cold and head towards the carriages. Rose gives Potter a dirty look as he forces himself into their ride. With eight of us in there, it’s a tight fit and once again I find myself sitting in Louis’ lap. I wonder what Dominique would think.
The ride is hot, cramped and awkward.
Rose and Scorpius are the first ones out and the Wotter crew all fight to follow them. After a couple of shoves and hexes, they stumble out together. The pair is already making their way towards the school, completely oblivious to the angry teenaged boys behind them. Potter, outraged, reaches for the fresh snow at his feet, packing it into a ball. I realize too late his plan.
Rose’s expression becomes stony as she watches the ice slip beneath Scorpius’s collar.
‘You idiot,’ I hiss, finger itching to throttle him. ‘Can’t you just leave them alone?’
Potter turns on me. ‘Shut it, Perry.’ He looks back a Rose in time to receive a face full of snow.
His anger fuels his battle cry as he lunges forwards, fingers scraping the ground as he tries to form another snowball to protect himself with. His male cousins join in quickly. I do as well, though more reluctantly. But then I realize how much fun this is.
More than one of my snowballs hits Potter in the back of the head. And it’s not an accident.
When he realizes this he turns on me, forgetting his anger with Rose and Malfoy. His fingers reach for my neck, obviously fed up with me. Smartly, I run.
‘Perry!’ He snarls, chasing after me. He lunges and catches me around the knees, sending both of us flying into the deep snow. I scramble away as best as I can, throwing snow at him as I go. He kneels and quickly forms snowballs, launching them at me, hitting me every time.
Bloody chaser skills.
He stops after a minute to look at me, perhaps thinking that I’m crying.
I’d rather be crying.
‘Are you laughing?’ He asks, bewildered. I can just barely nod my head I’m laughing so much. ‘Why? We’re having a serious snowball fight here, Perry.’ But then he cracks a smile.
I throw my arms back in the snow, no longer worried about being killed by this maniac. I move them back and forth, forming a snow angel.
‘You really drive me crazy sometimes, Perry.’ He says, throwing his last snowball into the snow next to me and sitting back on his heels.
‘Well, trust me, you’re no hoot to be around either.’ I reply, watching him warily. He’s being nice. Potter usually isn’t nice to me.
‘You ruin everything. Here I am, just trying to sabotage my cousin’s relationship – and you waltz in and make things a bazillion times harder. You always do that. In school, on the pitch… everywhere.’ He removes his gloves and wrings them out.
‘Why are you trying to sabotage them? Malfoy is a nice guy.’
‘Because this is about quidditch, Perry.’ He rolls his eyes exasperatedly. ‘He’s using her to get into your team. He’s going to steal her heart and your plans, then crush them both. That’s what guys do.’
‘Not everything is about quidditch, Potter.’ He’s getting me all riled up again. ‘Albus assures me that–’
‘Albus doesn’t speak badly of anyone – much less his best mate.’ Potter glares at me. ‘Look, I hate you more than anyone, but Scorpius Malfoy is second in line. Rose is my cousin and I don’t want him messing with her.’
‘And what if they really like each other?’ I bite back, sitting up to look him in the eye. ‘Normal people do that, you know. They don’t just play around with someone’s feelings and then dump them on the sidelines.’
‘Do I sense some animosity?’ He sneers, leaning close. ‘I can’t imagine I’ve played with your feelings, Perry. You know that I like the giant squid more than I like you.’
‘I’m not talking about me!’ I snarl. ‘Or anyone! Just don’t go around wrecking anyone’s relationships because you’ve never had one!’
And then we both snap, lunging at each other. I have a head start and I knock him backwards.
‘You are such a prat Potter.’ I declare, rubbing his face in the freezing snow. He roars something unintelligible in reply. ‘Prat, prat, pratty–’
I whoop as he throws me off of him and turns back on me.
‘I am going to rip your tongue clean out of your mouth, Perry.’ He seethes.
I turn tail and run. I can hear him dashing through the snow behind me; feel the heat of his glare on the back of my neck. I don’t want to look back.
His cousins are just reaching the school when I run past them, taking hold of Louis’s shoulders and placing him in front of me as a human shield. He spots Potter coming up the steps and tries to escape, but I’ve got a good hold on him.
‘Perry!’ Potter cries, marching close enough for Louis and I to feel him breathing on us. Louis is shaking like a leaf.
‘What?’ I ask, popping my head over my shield’s shoulder to look at him.
‘Say you’re sorry.’ He demands, planting his hands on his hips and looking down his nose at me. This instantly rekindles my desire to rub his face in some snow.
Louis interrupts me. ‘She’s sorry!’ He whimpers. ‘For my sake, she’s sorry!’
There is dead silence.
‘Is this true Perry?’ Potter raises an eyebrow. Louis nods feverishly.
‘I guess so.’ I mumble after a moment.
‘Humm.’ Potter goes. ‘Humm.’ And then he turns on his heel and enters the Great Hall.
Louis lets out a sigh of relief and I clap him upside the head. He yelps.
‘What was that for?’
‘Man up Weasley.’ Is all I say before following Potter over to the Gryffindor table. He chooses a spot in the center of a group of fifth year girls, whose immediate reaction is to all sit right in his lap. One girl pours him some pumpkin juice, winking flirtatiously, and another slips under his arm as he reaches for some pork chops.
I look to the ceiling to avoid being sick.
‘It’s disgusting, isn’t it?’ Someone asks from my left. I turn to see a girl of fiery red hair sitting there, sipping from her own goblet. I nod in agreement, after looking around to be sure that she’s talking to me. I could have sworn that she wasn’t there when I sat down.
‘They all think that they have a chance with him, and chance at being that girl, the one who changes the bad boy with the famous father into a loving husband. They’re two years younger than him, for Merlin’s sake! Hardly women yet.’ She continues. I snort, she can hardly be a fourth year, she’s tiny. ‘What?'
‘Oh – I just –’ She catches me laughing. ‘I mean, aren’t you a little young to be a scorned lover of the boy wonder?
The girl grins. ‘I’m no lover, I’m his sister. Lily Potter. Nice to finally meet you, Amelie Perry.’ She extends a hand to shake and I accept it. ‘Don’t look so stunned – you’re a hot topic around our dinner table. My mum thinks it’s funny how James jumps at the sound of your name and she’s always encouraging Albus to bring you up.’
‘It’s true.’ Hugo Weasley says, slipping into the seat across from me, sparing a smile for his cousin. He was usually a quiet fellow and I’m surprised to hear him speak. ‘Aunt Ginny always asks how Ravenclaw is doing when she writes. James burns all of his letters after reading them and he never replies.’
I blush. I had no idea that Potter felt so strongly about me.
‘So,’ Lily smiles at me, switching topics. ‘How was your day?’
‘Simply smashing.’ I reply sarcastically. ‘We followed Rose and Malfoy around.’
‘And? Any developments?’ The other girl leans in eagerly. ‘Did he try to kiss her?’
‘Um, no, not that I know of.’
‘Hmm,’ She sighs, disappointed. ‘I’ve got money on them. I bet before New Years, Albus bet Easter. But I’m going to win, right?’
I look around, wary. She’s cutting her steak rather viciously. ‘Can’t say for sure.’
She pops a piece of meat in her mouth. ‘We’ll see. Oi!’ She cries suddenly, standing and brandishing her wand. ‘Get your ruddy paws off my brother!’
The girl at the receiving end of Lily’s wand shrinks back in fear, sliding quickly off of Potter and pushing away from the bench. Her friends jump up to join her and they all scurry off. Potter watches them go, smirk growing as one of them swings her hips for him and looks back.
She gets a hex in the arse, courtesy of Lily Potter.
‘I was handling myself just fine.’ Potter informs his sister bitterly.
‘I’m just trying to avoid a teen pregnancy scandal.’ She says, smiling sweetly.
Potter splutters. ‘I’m not going to get anyone pregnant.’ He hisses, leaning across me to talk to his sister. ‘I’m just having a laugh, lay off. Besides, you’re too young to know about that kind of thing.'
She raises a brow at him. ‘With you as my brother? You’ve been teaching me since I popped out.’
Potter sits back with a huff, then glances at his watch. ‘Just over an hour left. Back to the common room?’
‘B-but I didn’t eat yet!’ I whine, quickly shoveling peas onto my plate. I hastily spoon some into my mouth, chewing with vigor, before remembering that I don’t like peas.
‘Oh,’ Potter cackles, developing a crazed look. ‘Trust me, there’ll be plenty for you to eat back in the common room.’
I look over at Lily, mouth filled with peas, and raise an eyebrow. I’m more than just a little scared. The younger girl simply dabs at her lips with a napkin and passes me a roll before standing to join her brother.
‘What? I want to see what he’s up to too.’ She shrugs innocently and receives a noogie.
‘That’s my girl.’ Potter says. ‘Now get up Perry.’
I follow them reluctantly. After climbing a few flights of stairs Potter insists on covering my face with his cloak, that way I can’t find my way back to their dorms. The whole way there all I can think of is Potter walking me off the end of a moving staircase. I stay close.
He smells nice.
Finally Lily tells me to step up (thanks Potter for letting me trip) and the cloak is torn from my head to reveal the Gryffindor common room. There are people here and there, lounging on red velvet sofas and plushy armchairs. There is a roaring fire in an extravagant fireplace and a couple of first years are playing chess just a little too close.
Potter shoos them away and takes over an armchair, throwing himself into it and letting his long legs drape over the armrests.
‘Freddie,’ He snaps his fingers. ‘Fetch the beans.’
Lily takes my hand and pulls me down on the sofa beside her. ‘Merlin, my brother is such a prat.’
‘Aha, not so fast Perry.’ Potter pats the large seat of his chair. ‘There’s room enough for two.’
When I slowly slide my bum onto the space next to him he loops his arm around my shoulder. I shudder.
Fred Wealsey returns with a jam jar filled to the brim with jelly beans.
‘I thought I’d make it up to you, Perry, for not going to Honeydukes. I’m going to share with you my private stash of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Beans.’ He grins, popping the lid off the jar and reaching in. He selects one that’s green in colour and wags it in front of my face.
I take it, glancing warily at his family, who are gathering at a surprising rate. In less than a second they’ve multiplied.
As the jelly bean slips past my lips I know it’s a bad idea. Biting into it, the taste assures me that I was right. Soon enough there’s a little green bean sailing into the fire and I’m left gagging and choking and scourgifying my mouth.
‘So what was it really?’ Potter sits up excitedly, hitting me on the back to remedy my cough. ‘Troll bogey? Toe jam?’
‘Broccoli?’ Hugo asks, earning a glare from Potter as the younger boy interrupts. ‘What? Broccoli is disgusting.’
‘Merlin’s saggy – bloody hell – Potter –’ I splutter. ‘That was the foulest thing I’ve ever tasted.’
I move to stand but Potter slips his arm around my waist, holding me tight. ‘Ah, not so fast Perry. I’ve got a whole jar where that came from. Chocolate pudding?’
After about a handful of beans and a rapid increase in audience (it seems that the whole of Gryffindor has turned up to watch) I realize something. Something that is going to drive Potter crazy.
‘Mmm,’ I say as the sweet passes down my throat. ‘Truffles.’
‘What?’ Potter leaps up, clutching his jar close. ‘No! That can’t be! That was supposed to be owl pellets!’
‘I’m afraid not, love.’ I smirk as he rakes his fingers through the beans. A few people laugh.
‘Try this one.’ Potter shoves a red bean at me. ‘Chili pepper.’
It slips down my throat easily. Just like swallowing a pill. ‘Strawberry.’
‘Lemon.’ I grin. ‘Honestly, James, it seems as if your game has fallen apart.’
He continues to force-feed me jelly beans, his grimace growing with each one. I give it to him sometimes, just so long as he doesn’t catch on – otherwise my trick is no good. As the clock on the mantle counts down to less than five minutes until the end of my day, I’m grinning from ear to ear.
I allow him one more, to end the night in a way that will keep him at bay – for a few days at least. He grins triumphantly and raises his arms to his cheering house.
‘I’ve had a wonderful time, Perry. We simply must do this again.’ He turns towards me.
Suddenly the cheers turn to shrieks, and students begin a mad dash for the door.
Someone calls out over the ruckus: ‘Dungbomb!’
Potter gives me a rough shove, sending me flying to the floor, making to run off with the crowd. I stick out a foot at just the right moment and he tumbles down next to me. There is a short moment of wrestling where we fight to be the first one standing, but just at the cloud of putrid fumes is overtaking us, a small hand slips into my own and pulls me up, towards the door.
There are students fleeing in every direction and my companion leads me down a secret hall to a corridor of fresh air. We gasp loudly, filling our lungs.
The younger girl grins at me. ‘Did you see James? All sprawled out on the floor? He’s going to be smelling dung for the next two weeks.’
‘Thanks Lily.’ I say. ‘What say you come back to my dorm tonight, escape the smell?’
‘I’d love it.’ She replies, taking my hand and letting me lead her in the direction of the Ravenclaw. ‘In exchange, perhaps, you will accept some tidbits of information pertaining to my darling brother James?
I’m beginning to realize that an alliance with the Potters will be very profitable.
In fact, I’m finding myself quite in love with one of them.
A/n: So, here's the chapter that I meant to post the day after the last one was validated. Since the last chapter a lot has happened in my life. I've traveled a fair bit, though not far from home; school has ended, which puts an enormous amount of pressure on me for my last year; my job has become full-time, I could never call it work, though some days it bore me; and I had a botched sugery on my knee. I'm still recuperating from the last and finally got around to finishing this chapter, as well as started several other drabbles and stories, which I may or may not end up posting.
Anyways, now that things are slowing down a little I hope to be posting more often (there shouldn't be anymore two month waits on chapters) and perhaps my other stories will make an appearance on the site.
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