Chapter 7 : Winter Break Part I
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Well, tutoring is going better. Although Sadhya still had only an Acceptable in Herbology, she's at least beginning to understand the concepts in the review books. We're still working on this year's Herbology topics, but even Professor Sprout admits that Sadhya has "a lot of potential, and will probably go on to pass with a N.E.W.T. as long as she still keeps up her studying!" I myself still have faith in her, and have no doubt in my mind that she'll get an Outstanding. She calls us "friends," and I just nod my head in agreement; a part of me is still trying to hold back, even though I know that in the end resistance will be futile.
Scorpius and I have grown closer as well. On the nights that Albus and literally the rest of our dorm have Quidditch practice, we just... talk. Neither of us are big fans of Quidditch; we can watch it fine, and sometimes understand what's going on, but we both have no desire to play it. Although our conversations are mostly about my feelings for Albus (Scorpius is okay with that), sometimes we talk about him. Scorpius doesn't like relationships; the two that he had both ended in disaster. He says that he loses his feelings for the girl after a few weeks, and he doesn't want to hurt anyone else's feelings. Although, he says, he found out that he has feelings for someone, but he was afraid of what would happen if he told them. I didn't want to inquire any further, and I think he was happy about that.
And then there's Albus. Lately I've realized that he's been more affectionate. Like, not only just towards Sadhya, but also towards Scorpius and I. Al has always been a "physical" type of guy, we used to (and still do) wrestle all the time, but now it's something more. It's not like it's creepy though, when we (Scorp and I) asked him about it, he said that he's just "really happy to have such bangin' friends, and life seems to be working out for once." I'm certainly okay with it, especially when he does stuff like bury his head in that spot between my shoulder and my neck and make a Hippogriff noise. Yeah, I don't mind it at all. Sure, I laugh and push him away with a grin on my face, but I still have to take a cold shower afterwards. Albus was borderline-irresistible before, but now... I don't know how much longer I can take it. I just hope this doesn't end in disaster, that's all.
"So, what are you all doing for Break?" Sadhya asks after putting her luggage on the rack in our compartment.
"I'm not doing anything, I'm just gonna try to survive Christmas, eh Al?" Freddy jokes.
Albus laughs and rolls his eyes. "We'll be fine, Freddy. You're just about as dramatic as Lys over here!"
I pull a quick face. "I resent that! Anyway, I'm not doing anything much either, Sadhya. I'm looking forward to coming over to Al's house after I open presents, though." I look at him. "I just hope he isn't being as much of a git then as he is now."
He kicks my leg. "Oi! Don't listen to him Sadhya, he's gone bonkers!"
I give Sadhya a grin and then turn to Scorpius. "What are you doing for Christmas, Scorp?"
"Well," Scorpius drones in an aristocratic accent, "I shall be spending Christmas at our chateau in Aquitaine. I'll open my presents after taking a bath in a vat of champagne and donning my finest robes."
"That bad, huh?" Al grins and rolls his eyes.
He sighs. "It's just... I just want to stay home for Christmas one of these days. I don't know why we always have to take all these fancy trips every year."
Sadhya sticks out her lip as she sits down next to Albus. "Poor baby! My family and I are going to Bainbridge to meet up with Aunt Pavarti for Christmas."
"I guess we'll see you guys after Break, then." And with that, the Hogwarts express started to venture back to King's Cross.
My parents had been a little hesitant to let me go over to The Burrow so soon on Christmas. As a result, I arrived on the doorstep to The Burrow at four o'clock instead of two. Christmas at the Scamander-Lovegood had been pretty good. Christmas is the only day when Lorcan is bearable; it's also the only time when you'd hear him say "thank you" and, if the gift was exceptional, give a hug. I had gotten Hogwarts: A History 2nd Edition, Spectrespecs, So, You Want To Be a Healer?, and this mask that could make me have any face I want. It's really neat, but I don't remember what it's called. Nevertheless, I have it on now.
I knock on the wooden door three times, and soon it opens to reveal a stout, grey-haired woman; Mrs. Weasley.
She gives me a quizzical look. "Who the hell are you?"
"Ah Molly" I say, taking off the mask, "always the charmer."
Her face suddenly lights up in recognition. "Lysander, is that you?"
I grin. "In the flesh!"
She lets me in and then smacks me in the back of the head. "That was a cheeky joke you played on me. I'll make sure Georgie get's you back for me."
I enter the parlor to the chorus of "Lysander!" In the parlor are Mr. Weasley, Harry and Ginny, Al, Freddy, Rose and Lily, Teddy and Victoire (up from France), George and Angelina, Hugo, Molly, Ron and Hermione, and James. I greet them all and hand a gift to Arthur. He quickly opens it, and to his delight, he finds a stack of old Muggle newspapers. Even after twenty-five years, he still has a fascination with Muggle things. I look over at Lily and Rose and smile to see both of their faces turn the same color as Rose's hair. I'm about to sit down when I feel something hit my side, and I find myself on the floor. Albus is on top of me, and it takes all my willpower to not let my blood rush from my head as I wrestle him off of me. I missed him.
"Boys, boys!" Mrs. Weasley yells, "not in the parlor! If something breaks, you two will be the main course!"
I roll him off me and quickly head over to Harry and Ginny. I go to shake Harry's hand as he pulls me into a hug, laughing.
After he finally lets go, I take Ginny's hand and kiss it. "Ginny, darling, you don't look a day over twenty-five. I don't know why you settled for this oaf, you could have done so much better!"
Harry grins and pulls Ginny away from me. "Watch it, I still want to have a wife by the end of the night!"
I laugh as I sit down on the loveseat next to Al. Acknowledging my presence, he puts an arm around me as I try not to blush. Why did he have to be so damn cute! It took everything I had not to snog him right there on the spot. Yeah, I could get used to something like this.
"Urgh, I'm going to explode!" Albus says as he lays down on his bed beside me.
I had known that one should always come to the Weasley house with an empty stomach, but I still feel like a Puffapod. There was roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, and- urgh, it hurts to think about food.
I had always liked Al's room. Well, technically it's not his room, but it's the room that he uses whenever he stays over at The Burrow. I heard that it used to be Ron's room. The room is right under the attic, where apparently, a ghoul used to live. The room wasn't very big, but was still able to contain two beds (probably twin-sized) and an armoire. The was a window that overlooked the orchard; a very beautiful place where Bill and Fleur got married. They weren't able to make it up for Christmas; Fleur's mother had come down with a bad case of spattergroit, and they had gone down to France to aid her.
Al shifted a little and his hand was touching mine. I swear that sparks were shooting off where our hands were touching; that would explain why it became so hot in the room. I have to tell him. I need to tell him, just not now. Soon, though. I roll over on my side to see that Al's looking at me with a goofy grin.
I give him a funny look. "What the hell's wrong with you?"
He ignores me, sits up, and goes to the armoire. "I got you a present."
Oh shit, I forgot about the presents. Luckily, I had his in my pocket. I took it out and made it bigger, now no longer able to fit in the palm of my hand. Albus walked back over to me carrying a box that was almost the same size as mine.
"Here," he says, handing me the box, "you open yours first."
I take it, but set it aside. "Oh no, you're opening this one first!"
Al made a face at me, but opened it. "Oh! It's a... kazoo?"
I grinned. "It's not just a kazoo, you dolt! Here, imagine an animal, and then blow into it."
Reluctantly, Al blew into it, but it made no sound, and Al wasn't there anymore, either. In his place is a dog; a corgi, I think.
I laugh, pick him up, and pet him in my lap. "Merlin, Al! You're adorable!"
I didn't feel bad about saying it either, since he was a dog (his bark was adorable too). I stood up, setting him on his bed as I picked up the kazoo.
"Now," I start, " to turn back into a human, all you have to do is press this button, so make sure you don't turn into an insect or something like that, or else you're screwed." I push the button and he's human again. "Isn't it cool? It's like being an Animagus without having to register and all the hard work. I'm not sure if it's legal, but it's bloody fun!"
Al seems to be at a loss for words. "Wow... that's... thanks!"
He walked over to me and gave me a bone-crushing hug. My face was definitely red now; Albus was almost as good of a hugger as I was. I need to tell him. I'll tell him after I open his gift for me. I tear off the green wrapping paper to find a regular cardboard box. After giving him a look, I open to box to find... yet another box. I open this one to find just an average looking piece of paper. I unfolded it to find a message inscribed on it.
Happy Christmas! Yeah, I know that this is a shitty present, but it's the best I could do, you gotta deal with it! I bet you made me open your present first, didn't you? I bet it was so much better than this one too, wasn't it? Yeah, I know. You're pretty much an open book, Lys, sorry! Anyway, back to the "present." Here it is!
I want to thank you for this year, Lysander. It really meant a lot to me.
At first, I thought you were getting a little distant, and I feared that our friendship might fail. I now realize I was daft to think that. Granted, there was time at the beginning of the school year when you caught Sadhya and I in the broom closet together? Remember that? I'm sure it's etched into your mind. Sorry! And then there was that time when you relocated my shoulder. That was the same day, wasn't it? You're going to make an amazing Healer one day, I swear on my life.
You said something then, when we were laying on your bed, that kind of scared me, though. You said that you wanted to work right after you left Hogwarts. Lys, I don't want you to do that. Not only will you hurt your family (who really do love you!), but you'd be hurting your friends too, which means me. You'd hurt me. Lysander, you should wait a little bit after heading out; don't make such a rash decision. Hey, a lot of things can change in a year! Who knows, you might want to be an Auror, like me, by the end of Year Seven!
I also want to thank you for finally accepting Sadhya. From the first day back, hell even when we were on the Express, I could tell you didn't like her very much. I think I know the reason why, now.-
(at this I turn it over; how I didn't notice the writing on the back before is beyond me)
-I think you thought that she would grow to come between us, and in the end, she might. Who knows? The thing is, I want her to come between us as much as you do. I like her, but I love you. You're kind, and sweet, and a bloody genius! I think of you as more of a brother than James could ever be. I know that you'll always be there for me (although you might complain about it at first). The time when you won't be there for me is the time when I don't want to live anymore. Merlin, that's such a Shakespeare thing to say, but it's true!
Lysander Scamander, I will always be there for you. Always. Don't you ever forget it.
You're my best friend.
-Al, 22/12, 4:00 PM
I set the paper down on the bed with my shaky hands and look over at Albus, who looks as close to tears as I probably am. "Al..."
A single moment passed, and then we were both in each other's arms, bawling like a couple of babies. Merlin, I loved him. And he loved me, just not in the same way, and... I didn't care. I just wanted to stay here, forever. The letter was the best Christmas gift I could ask for.
I don't know how long we stayed there, just hugging each other; the tears never stopping. We must've looked like idiots, but I didn't care. I had to tell him now. I had a feeling he'd understand, and he had a right to know.
"Al... I have to tell you something." I say shakily, I was always an ugly crier.
"Go right ahead." Al, on the other hand looked too cute for his own good.
"Albus I'm... I'm... it's kind of hard to admit."
"Lys, whatever it is, I'll understand."
There was a knock on the door. "Lysander, your mother's here."
I groaned and wiped the tears off my face with a sleeve from my new Weasley Sweater. "To hell with it, I guess I'll have to tell you some other time."
Albus smiled. "I guess so. Just... tell me, okay. Whenever you feel ready, I don't care when, just make sure to tell me." I nodded. "Peachy, I'll walk you down."
We walked down the four flights of stairs to see Mum in the kitchen. Everyone else had left except Harry and Ginny; Molly and Arthur were with them too. They all had a somber look on their face; this can't be good.
I gave Mum a quizzical look. "Who died?"
Mum gave a small smile. "No one died, dear."
Mrs. Weasley handed me a mug. "I made you some tea."
"Thanks." I smiled at her.
"Lysander, dear," Mother started, "I was going to wait until you got home to tell you, but I've already put it off for so long."
I took a sip. "What's up."
"Your father and I are getting a divorce."
And that's when the world stopped turning and my mug shattered on the floor.
"You're upset." It was a statement.
I rolled my eyes. "Actually no, I feel fine-of course I'm fucking upset!"
Everybody in the room jumped when I swore. I looked at them, but they all looked away.
"And... you told them, too?" I yelled.
"Of course I did! They have a right to know as well!" Her voice cracked.
My vision clouded as she reached out for me. "Don't fucking touch me, just go away!"
And with that, I ran up the four flights back to Albus's room; the tears flowing freely.
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