The next morning, Yvonne came down to breakfast and was surprised to find Libby and Nora absent from their usual spots at the Gryffindor table. She decided just to wait for them and began to pour herself some cereal. She'd never been a great fan of the full English breakfast. Her mother was vegetarian and sausages and bacon had always been a secret treat from her father. Somehow, it had been hardwired into her brain to think of a fried breakfast as something for a special occasion.
She was just getting tucked into her cold breakfast when two bodies dropped down onto the bench opposite her. Yvonne looked up to see Nora, Libby and two towers of newspapers and magazines.
"What's this?" she asked incredulously and Nora grinned.
"This, petal, is today's issue of every wizarding publication that is delivered to Hogwarts," she said with sly smile.
"Probably today's issue of nearly every wizarding publication in the country," Libby opined, as she sorted the magazines into genres.
"Except from like Gnomehunter Weekly and that other one about potting sheds," Nora said thoughtfully and Yvonne raised her eyebrows at her. She gave an embarrassed smile, "My granddad likes gardening."
Yvonne nodded and looked back at Libby. "So are you expecting us to look through all of these and see if I'm in them? All of them?" she asked sceptically and Libby nodded distractedly.
"Look, I've separated them into categories: Woman's interest and teen, highbrow and broadsheets, and miscellany," Libby explained. "I think it's quite easy to guess what we'll be getting from each of them and you'll probably be on the front of most. Right Nora you take teen, Yvonne you take miscellany and I'll take broadsheets, okay?"
The girls took their assigned piles and began to peruse them. Yvonne took the first publication – Which Broomstick? – and was thankful to find only a small paragraph near the back about Albus's near death experience and even less about her. She squinted at the small picture and was relieved to find that it was one of her back as she did chest compressions. Okay, not too bad.
"Oh, oh listen to this!" Nora squeaked. Yvonne looked at the glossy edition of TeenWitch that her friend was reading and gawked at the image on the cover. A bedraggled girl with soaking wet clothes and hair as she walked away from the scene. It was her, of course. She was even more appalled to spot the superimposed photo of her torso – with her boobs in full view.
Nora continued. "They've dedicated the whole issue to you!" she squealed. "Ok, 'Three Tips to Bagging a Potter: One, become a heroine. Both Potter boys' love interests are in Gryffindor where bravery is key. Maybe you could even save his life.' Psssh! Right. 'Two, get active. The Potter's are keen sportsmen both playing for Hogwarts teams and they love girls who can run and swim.' This is absolute rubbish. 'Three, enter a wet t-shirt contest.' Now that is just bad taste!"
Yvonne groaned into her cereal and attempted to prise the magazine from Nora's grasp but she refuse to give it up claiming there was "a full spread on page 19 and a mini-biography on page 24."
Sensing her friend's discomfort, Libby tried to bring some civility to the table with the Daily Prophet. "They've just given the bare facts – no speculation. Oh, get this, 'Miss Brockley's act of heroism has not gone unnoticed by the Potter family. Harry Potter has said that he is "..incredibly grateful for the selfless way in which she acted," and that the family will be "forever in Miss Brockley's debt." That's amazing, Yvonne. Harry bloody Potter knows who you are and is in your debt! It's unbelievable."
"Yeah and it's also horrible," Yvonne pointed out as Nora squealed and showed her a very unflattering photograph of her giving Albus mouth to mouth.
"It says in here that you two have been secretly dating for weeks," Nora grinned and Yvonne dived to grab the magazine, screeching. Her friend laughed.
"Unconfirmed source, obviously. There's also some stuff in there about how you used to be a bikini model?" she queried, sounding sceptical. Yvonne huffed.
"They weren't bikinis. I was eight for Christ's sake. It was for a surf wear catalogue," she snapped before putting her head in her hands. "This is hell. This is actual hell."
Libby reached across the table and patted her arm gently. "It'll all be over soon. You're a flash in the pan that's all. Think about poor Albus. He's in the papers 24/7. After this blows over you'll go back to just being Yvonne but he'll always be Harry Potter's son," Libby reasoned and Yvonne could detect the very well concealed bitterness in her voice. Libby hated the press and Yvonne was proud of how well she was handling this.
She shot her friend a breezy smile and straightened up, telling her that she was right. They continued to flick through the magazines and newspapers, pausing occasionally to discuss some of the outrageous rumours and unflattering photographs.
"So are you going to go and talk to him then?" Nora asked through a mouthful of toast. Yvonne nodded, finishing off her orange juice. "When?"
"Now, actually. I've got a free period so I may as well," Yvonne explained, standing up and wiping her mouth on a napkin. She was about to leave when a though suddenly struck her. "I should probably bring something. Neither of you have like a box of chocolates or something kicking about do you?" she asked and Nora jumped explaining that her gran had sent her a box of Turkish Delights as a thank you present.
"They should be in my trunk somewhere. They aren't too old. Perfectly acceptable 'I-saved-your-life-but-here's-a-present' present."
With that, Yvonne left making her way through the castle and up the many staircases to the Gryffindor common room. She had only reached the third floor when someone called her name. She turned to find Johnny Carey, Thomas Haggerty and another boy Liam Jones (stuck at about 6¾ because he had not grown an inch since they were in first year).
Suppressing an eye roll, Yvonne smiled at them and waited for them to catch her up. She didn't particularly want to talk to them and she did have places to go but she didn't want to be rude.
Thomas grinned at her and flicked that terribly swishy hair. He pulled something from his pocket and spoke. "You'll never guess what we found," he grinned, flapping the piece of folded paper in her face. She forced a smile and pulled gently on the tip of her tie.
"It's probably a lovely photo of me, isn't it?" she sighed, edging discreetly back towards the next flight of stairs. For some reason, Thomas seemed surprised that she had guessed correctly but Liam (having a lower height but a higher IQ) stepped in, taking the paper form his friend and unfolding it.
"Not exactly. It's more a lovely photo of part of you," he explained, a sly smile spreading onto his face. Yvonne cringed as the glossy ripped paper was unfolded and there was that full page spread Nora had been talking about. Yvonne watched agape as her photographed self turned her head towards the camera, flipping her wet hair in the process. The see through shirt and spotty bra, of course, did not exactly go unnoticed but she was appalled to see herself acting so...seductively? The boys were laughing at her expression and she looked away from the photo.
"You saw it in real life anyway. Why do you even need this?" she reasoned, trying her best not to sound whiny. Johnny grinned.
"You mean 'them' not 'it'," he teased. "And besides, in real life you weren't doing this." He thrust the photo back into her face again and she batted it away, scowling. Thomas leaned forward and patted her cheek.
"Chin up, Brockley. They are really nice tits."
The three of them left, laughing their heads off and Yvonne groaned. That catchphrase was going to follow her around forever and she knew it. Forget being 'the girl who saved Albus Potter', she was going to be 'the girl with nice tits'. Fantastic.
After fifteen minutes rummaging around Nora's trunk for that box of Turkish Delights, Yvonne eventually began making her way to the hospital wing. By now everyone was in class so she didn't need to be on guard for screaming fan-girls or sexually charged sixth years. It was now, as she strolled leisurely towards the hospital wing, that she appreciated how hard it must be for Rory to put up with apes like that as roommates. It was probably the reason, she mused, why he befriended her instead.
She reached the hospital wing at half past nine and quietly tip toed her way inside. For some reason, she'd always like it here. It was light and airy and seemed like a lovely place to get better. Rarely had she been given that privilege. She barely even got a cold at Christmas.
Yvonne spotted Albus sitting up in bed, reading and crunching on toast. She made her way over and stood by his side. When he didn't look up, she spoke.
It may not have been the most intelligent word ever to pass her lips but it got his attention. He looked up, surprised, and on recognising her, smiled widely.
"Hi. You're Yvonne, right?" he asked, gesturing for her to sit down. She confirmed that she was indeed Yvonne and took a seat.
"How are you feeling?" she asked, giving him a quick once over. He shrugged, rolling his blue eyes.
"Fine, yeah. I do have a bruise though," he added almost proudly. He lifted the hem of his t-shirt to reveal an expanse of perfectly sculpted muscle. Yvonne had to admit that this may have distracted her for a second before she noticed the purple-blue patch on his chest. She winced.
"I thought I'd broken a rib," she said nervously. "Sorry about that." He grinned.
"I'm absolutely fine but they aren't letting me out of bed," he said exasperatedly, placing his book on the bedside table. She laughed softly.
"Of course! I mean, you only almost died. It's quite unjust," she teased. He smiled at her but didn't laugh. His head tilted to the side when his eyes fell on the box of Turkish Delights.
"You brought presents?" he enquired and she passed him the box. He opened them and smirked slightly. "Oh, half a present."
"What?" Yvonne asked peering at the box and finding that Nora had managed to eat half of them already. That was the last time she ever borrowed anything off of her then. "Oh, uh, sorry about that." Albus shrugged again. He obviously wasn't much of a talker.
"It is quite a trek from the Gryffindor Common Room to here," he levelled and she squealed in indignation.
"It wasn't me!" He nodded slowly and they fell into a slightly awkward silence. Then suddenly he spoke.
"Thank you." Yvonne raised her eyebrows.
"It was a pretty crappy present. You don't need to thank me," she chuckled and he shook his head.
"Oh I know. I was actually talking about the whole saving my life thing," Albus explained quietly and she felt a heat rush to her cheeks.
"Don't mention it," she shrugged and looked away from his steady gaze.
"I mean it. Thank you so much. I mean, Merlin knows what could have happened if you hadn't...you know."
Now it was her turn to nod silently as she flicked some dust from her skirt.
"Look, whatever you want ok? I'll do it. Anything to pay you back."
That got her attention.
"What?" she gasped. "Don't be stupid! You don't need to pay me back!" Albus was looking at her as if she was mad and she shook her head adamantly. "Honestly, don't feel you need to repay me because seriously you don't."
"Of course I do! You saved my life. I owe you! Anything, anything you want," he said sincerely, leaning towards her. She smiled.
"You don't owe me anything," Yvonne told him and he sighed and shook his head.
"I'm going to pay you back," he said smirking. Dare she say that it was a very good look on him? "You can't stop me. I owe you my life, Yvonne Brockley, and I am going to repay you. 'Kay?"
She smiled at him shrugging. "Don't let people hear you saying that," she said light heartedly. "It'll be all over the papers by tomorrow." She laughed lightly but slowed to a halt when Albus didn't join in.
He immediately looked away with an inaudible mutter. The moment, if there had ever been one, was most definitely gone.
"You should probably go. You don't want to be late for class," he muttered and she nodded, stunned into silence by his sudden change. They parted without another word. No sooner had she left the hospital wing than the bell rang and pupils began to stream out of their classrooms.
Yvonne managed to ignore most of the stares that were sent her way but sadly it seemed that "Hey Brockley! Nice tits!" had become the catchphrase of the majority of Hogwarts' male population. She was about halfway to potions when she was stopped yet again in the corridors.
She was a small girl with a black hair cut into a poker straight bob. Yvonne recognised her immediately as Eliose Kipley. This girl had quite a reputation for ruthlessness and bitchiness. She was a fifth year Ravenclaw and as far as Yvonne knew had no close friends but she wanted to talk so Yvonne would talk.
"Hi Eloise. How are you?" she greeted trying to subtly continue walking. Eloise smiled.
"I'm fantastic thank you. In fact, Yvonne you are just the person I wanted to talk to," She said slyly and Yvonne forced a smile. She really had to get to potions. She nodded politely and enquired further.
"Well, as you know I work for Hogwarts Weekly but frankly I'm just not satisfied with the way Rose Weasley runs things. She's too focused on what staff want to hear rather than the students. In fact, after a quick survey I calculated that students actually out number teachers twenty-two to one. Can you believe it?"
"Mmm. That is fascinating, Eloise but I actually need to get to-"Yvonne began, shifting uncomfortably as the corridors gradually cleared. She was so distracted by the urge to get to class that she barely even registered what Eloise said next.
"Oh it'll only take a minute! Anyway, as I was saying, students aren't interested in wizard chess championships or the best place to buy exploding snap cards. They want drama. They want gossip. They want scandal. And that is why I am proposing a new venture. A gossip magazine that tells people everything they need to know about their fellow students. What do you think?"
Yvonne found Eloise looking at her expectantly and snapped out of her nervous daze. "Yes. That sounds fantastic but I really should get going. Bye!" with that, she sprinted off down the corridor towards the dungeons.
She reached her class just as everyone had settled down and slipped into her seat between Nora and Scorpius Malfoy. He gave her a quick smile in greeting before turning his attention to the teacher. Nora on the other hand was desperate for information.
"So," she whispered excitedly. "How did it go with Mr Potter?" Yvonne shrugged getting out her books.
"It was fine. Got a bit awkward towards the end though. He's got this stupid idea in his head about repaying me," she scoffed slightly at her last comment and Nora gasped.
"Repaying you? Oh my god, Yvonne, that is so obviously a euphemism for sex!" she shrieked in a whisper. Yvonne snorted her face reddening.
"Don't be stupid. He just wants to do something nice for me because I saved his life," she reasoned. Nora smirked.
"Sex is nice," she whispered with a wink. Scorpius leaned over the table to join the conversation.
"What are you two on about?" he asked, smiling and Nora grinned. Despite Yvonne's whines and quiet protests, her friend allowed Scorpius into the conversation.
"Sure 'I want to repay you' is boy lingo for 'I want to have sex with you'," she asked and Scorpius pulled a face.
"Not that I know of," he chuckled before turning away.
I hope you enjoyed that. I wasn't expecting to be able to update but here you go! Reviews are love and thank you so much for your support so far! X