CHAPTER EIGHT - FLASHBACKS AND RUSSIAN HOTEL WORRIES
The Gryffindor Quidditch Team.
Four sixth years, three fifth years, and one mentally deranged Captain.
i.e. James Sirius Potter.
I glanced around the team, clocking the intense glares they were currently throwing at him. This was partly because every other sixth year on the team had wanted that Captain spot this year, and he had claimed it, and partly because he had just informed us that we were to run fifty laps before we even get in the air this training session.
Mostly the laps bit.
“Mate,” Fred started, clapping his hand on James’ shoulder. “I know you’re my cousin and my best friend and all, but unless you want six people with pitchforks, fire and the mantra ‘Kill the James!’ running through their minds outside your dorm window tonight, you’re going to want to retract that order about a ridiculous number of laps.”
James’ eyebrows knitted. “This is exactly the number of laps that Jenson always gave you, what’s wrong with doing it now?”
“James, we’ve been out of training all summer.” Rose said. “Sure, we’ve played a bit, but for fun. There’s no way we’re as fit as we were before summer. We need to ease in to doing fifty laps every training session.”
“I don’t give a flying fuck!” James exploded. “You will do fifty laps each right now or I find a new team!”
We all knew there was no way he would be able to find a full team as close-knit, talented and functional as the one he currently had standing before him, but we all dropped our brooms on the ground anyway and set off. Gina made sure to pop her gum obnoxiously in her face before setting off at a leisurely jog.
Georgina Jordon was the type of girl who could be so so so nice and was an amazing player, but she was fucking terrifying. I am so glad she wasn’t made Captain this year, she would have had us all cowering in the corners with nothing but a Quaffle to protect us from her fire-breathing tendencies. She had cropped dark brown hair and beautiful dark eyes. I am a straight female and even I’ll admit, Gina was absolutely stunning. But she never seemed to have a boyfriend, because she was the kind of person who picks up a totally smoking guy at a party, make out with him and throw him away. But no-one was ever hurt. She had that kind of power. Every single one of the guys would go crawling back to her the instant she snapped her fingers. She was just that kind of person. A goddess.
Of course, I’m not saying we didn’t like her. She just had power over us. Over everyone. She could be perfectly nice one second and then someone will say something stupid and she will just snap, and give you that ice-cold stare that terrifies the living daylights out of anyone.
She used a similar sort of glare at any guy who tried to get with her and she didn’t want to, that kind of stare that could cool off a moose at mating time.
Thirty-six laps later, we had carted Fred off to the hospital wing after a rather scary asthma attack, and James had begrudgingly dismissed us all for dinner, assuring us that we would be repeating this exercise until we could get through it without one of us dying.
Oh the joys of being on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team.
“What the hell was that?” James’ breath made little puffs of cloud in the air as he huffed beneath my body weight.
“I have no idea.” I used my hands to push myself upright, so I was just sitting on his stomach rather than lying on top of him. “Is it normal for there to be lightning in the middle of winter?”
“Not really, no.” James huffed. “Would you mind getting off my stomach? I’m having some trouble with the whole breathing thing.”
“Sorry!” I squeaked and scrambled off him, of course getting a face full of snow in the process. James sucked in a slow breath of air and sat up.
“You’re heavy for a scrawny little thing.” He said, massaging his stomach as he got to his feet.
“All those years of Quidditch training mean I’m mostly muscle.” I grinned as I accepted his hand to help me up and dusted off my dress.
“Go eat a pie.” He picked his jacket up from where it had fallen in the snow. “And go-”
But I never found out what I was supposed to go and do, because that was the exact moment Albus appeared out of nowhere, right next to us.
“There you are! I have been looking all over for you.” He grabbed my wrist and started dragging me back towards the doors. “It’s going to look suspicious if we don’t spend some time together.”
I looked back at James and shot him a sad smile. He waved slightly and mouthed something I didn’t understand.
“What do you mean you’re staying in a hotel? That just won’t do! How rude of you, Albus!”
“What? How is this my doing?”
“You can stay with us, dear. We have room at our house.”
“No, that’s really okay-”
“Don’t be silly, you’re staying with us and not some grotty hotel!”
“But my friends are all going back to the-”
“I don’t care, you’re coming with us.”
“All my things are at the hotel, I’d better just stay th-”
“You can borrow some things from us.”
“That’s really not necess-”
“Fucking hell Asiya you are staying with us or I will cut you.”
Well, I could see I wasn’t going to get anywhere in my appeal to Ginny. Looks like I’m staying at the Potter’s tonight. I sighed at her back as she swooped away, somehow looking just as elegant now as she did at the start of the night. Normally when I have been drinking for four hours straight, I end up looking frazzled, with my hair all over the place and make-up running, and waking up in a motel in Russia wearing nothing but bubble wrap and with a very unconscious Lysander, a very hung-over Rose and a very concerned Russian hotel manager.
But Ginny was still gliding around, having had more cocktails than I cared to count, hair intact, make-up immaculate, and with both pink flip-flops still firmly on her feet. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a party and left with both shoes. I have an issue with tequila, so sue me.
I also have issues with gin, any form of cocktail and straight vodka.
I HAVE ALCOHOL ISSUES KAY DON’T JUDGE ME.
STOP JUDGING ME, I CAN FEEL YOU JUDGING ME. STOP IT.
I CAN JUST FEEL ALL THE JUDGEMENT COMING FROM YOU. YOU’RE MAKING FUN OF ME BECAUSE I DON’T DEAL TOO WELL WITH ALCOHOL AND I OFTEN GET MYSELF INTO WEIRD SITUATIONS BECAUSE OF IT. DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT; THE GOLF BUGGY INCIDENT WAS NOT MY FAULT. THAT WAS LYSANDER ALL THE WAY. STOP JUDGING ME.
COOL IT SKANK YOU DO NOT KNOW ME.
I closed my eyes and sighed deeply. Maybe, just maybe, if I wish hard enough, I will open my eyes and find that I’m still cannonballing down the street, late for work as usual; about to bump into James Potter and this whole ordeal will have never happened.
Wish wish wish wish wish.
I opened my left eye slowly, hoping desperately to see the hustle and bustle of Princes Street.
Instead, what I saw was Albus Severus Potter giving me a very flat look. I opened my other eye and gave him Death Glare #37 (I have 53 Death Glares), which is my ‘this is your entire fault’ Death Glare. I am proud of my 53 Death Glares; I spent my years at Hogwarts perfecting them, specifically for people like him. As of late, he was the main victim of most of them.
“Don’t look at me as if this is my fault.” Albus growled, shoving his hands in his pockets. I raised an eyebrow and folded my arms.
“This is your fault.”
THIS IS NOT WHAT I ENVISAGED WHEN I APPLIED FOR A JOB TAT WAS ADVERTISED AS “LIGHT CLERICAL WORK”.
This is not “light clerical work”. No. This? This is insane.
I am in waaaaay out of my depth here.
“Please, for the love of Merlin, tell me you have a way out of this.” I hissed to Albus as we stood next to each other facing our bed. Our BED. SINGULAR.
ONE bed, between both of us. Ginny insisted that given our age, and the fact we have been “dating for two months”, we could sleep in Al’s bedroom together. Me and Albus. Albus and I. The two of us sleeping in the same bedroom, NAY, the same bed could only end in trauma of the emotional kind. Maybe some physical, depending on how bad I kick his arse for getting us into this ridonkulous situation.
“You wanna sleep on the floor?”
“You’re supposed to be the gentleman and offer me the bed, you know.”
“Well you’re the one who works for me so I win.”
“You got us into this mess in the first place.”
“Toss a coin?”
“Go for it.”
“Heads or tails?”
“Tails, you lose.”
“Sucks to be you!”
I scowled as Al stretched himself obnoxiously across the bed. “So much for being a gentleman.”
He smirked. “Oh, sweetie, I never said I was one.”
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