Chapter 2 : Of Chasing and Albus Potter
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“You’re screwed, Rose.” I said.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Rose grumbled. “Honestly, May, I don’t have to hate the guy forever. I’m not one of those girls who are obsessed over their reputation.”
“That’s not what I meant, but I can add that to the list of reasons to why you’re screwed.” I muttered.
“What did you mean, then?” Rose asked, challenging me with an icy stare. I shrugged. I didn’t like to get on Rose’s bad side so early in the morning, but the list included heartbreak, possible disownment, and a crashing reputation.
“Besides, May, you’re one to talk. What will Logan think if you all of the sudden start dating the star Chaser of the Gryffindor team, huh?” Rose asked, going back to her breakfast.
“I’m not dating him.” I said. “I don’t even like James.” But I was turning red. Damn cheeks.
“Rose, do us all a favor and shut up.” Albus was standing behind Rose, his face screwed up and his fingers stuffed in his ears. My already blushing cheeks flamed up more. Great. Now Albus, James’s very own brother, knew.
“Albus! What do you want?” Rose asked, going from her two-year-old-on-drugs voice to her ‘I’m-a-professional-business-woman-listen-to-me-goddammit’ voice in two seconds flat.
“Dominique wants to talk to you.” Albus reported. “Don’t ask me why. I asked, and she said it was ‘girl business’, and then she freaked out at me because I was looking at her weird.” He rolled his eyes.
They were green. Very green.
“Anyway, she said come quickly, so you should hurry, or else she’ll blame me, and she seems extraordinarily bitchy today.” Albus continued.
Rose sighed and left the hall. I wondered what Dominique could want from Rose. Judging by her stories, Dominique didn’t like Rose very much.
As soon as she left, Albus grinned at me. “So,” He said. “You have your eyes on my brother.”
“Wha—no.” I said, dropping my gaze to my breakfast.
I glanced up again, and Albus was smirking. “If you say so. It’s not a crime, really. I’d just think you were exceptionally stupid. Although, who knows? It’s happened countless times before.”
“Oh, you know,” Albus sighed. “Girl falls in love with James, James goes on a pity date with her, girl gets hurt, girl cries, James doesn’t care, girl gets hurt even more, James tries to forget about her. It’s an endless circle, really.”
“I would not just be the pity date.” I said, glaring at Albus.
Albus shrugged. “If you say so.” Then he took a sip of my pumpkin juice and walked away.
I glanced disgustedly at the juice. I wasn’t drinking it now. I got up and ran after Albus.
“I’ll prove it to you.” I said, grabbing Albus’s arm. “I’ll prove to you that I’m not just the pity date. In fact, I’ll bet you that I won’t be.” Merlin, what am I getting myself into?
“Fine,” Albus shrugged indifferently. “I’ll bet you fifty galleons that you are. Just don’t come crying when you get hurt.”
My jaw dropped. “How do you just throw fifty-freaking-galleons around? That’s a lot of money!” I said.
“Forty-five.” Albus said. “Do you accept?”
“Then it’s done. If you aren’t the pity date, I’ll give you forty galleons. If you are, you give me forty galleons. End of conversation.”
I growled as he walked away. The younger Potter brother was infuriating.
Then the blood drained out of my face. What had I gotten myself into? I just willingly agreed to try to seduce James Potter. My Quidditch team would be furious! They will be furious! Rose will kill me.
I’m going to die before I can win this bet.
“Yes, May?” He asked, not looking up from his essay.
“Say, hypothetically—and I mean hypothetically, mind you—that you were able to create your dream girl—er—what, ah, qualities, would that dream girl have?”
I cringed as the words left my mouth. They were so dirty. If, you know, you put them in the right context.
Yeah, now you know what I mean.
Nick looked up from his essay with a small smile on his face. “May,” He said in a teasing tone. “Are you trying to attract a boy?”
“Nick,” I said, irritated. “Are you attracted to the male species?”
He laughed. “Who’s the guy, May? Please don’t tell me it’s Carlos. I might have to kill myself.”
“It’s not Carlos.” I assured him. “It’s—ah—it’s James Potter.”
Nick’s eyes widened. “Ooh, gossip!” He said, leaning forward. “When did this happen?”
I eyed him. “Are you sure you’re not gay?”
Nick rolled his eyes. “No. But seriously, May. Why James Potter?”
“It was a bet!” I said. “Albus Potter dared me to go on a date with his older brother and not be the pity date—oh, fine, it happened after that day in the library where I was bored—the one when you offered to snog me in that broom closet.”
Nick smiled at the memory. “Ah.”
“So?” I prodded. “Answer my question!”
“The hypothetical one?” Nick asked, smirking. I nodded. “Well, since it’s James—and you need to go on a date with him and he needs to remember you—”
“Sure.” I said.
“Well, I really only have one piece of advice for you that will make you stand out.” Nick said. “Make him chase you.”
Rose didn’t even look up from her book. “I still can’t believe you accepted that bet.”
“I know!” I wailed, temporarily distracted. “I don’t have forty five galleons!”
“Then tell him,” Rose said. “Al isn’t the type of person to make someone pay up forty five galleons if they don’t have the money. He’ll just come up with something else you can give him.”
“That makes me sound like a stripper.” I deadpanned.
Rose shrugged. “I’d tell him. Personally. But you don’t have to listen to me.”
I groaned. Of course I had to listen to Rose. Everybody listens to Rose.
“Hey, Albus—Albus! My Merlin, are you deaf or something?”
I reached around a seventh year and caught Albus’s sleeve. He turned around. “What do you want, May? Did James reject you?”
I glared at him. “No. It’s about the bet.”
“The forty five galleon bet?” Albus asked innocently.
“What other bet do we have?” I snapped. “Watch it!” I added to a passing fourth year that knocked me closer to Albus. “I can’t give you forty five galleons. I don’t have that kind of money.” I said.
“Oh,” He said, looking guilty. “Sorry, if I’d’ve known I wouldn’t have bet—”
I brushed away his apology. “There was no way you could have known. But you need to figure out something that I can give you instead.”
Albus thought for a second, and then said, “If you’re James’s pity date, then you owe me a date with you.” He said. Then, with a brief grin, he disappeared into the crowd.
I stood in the middle of the hallway, my jaw hanging.
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