I own absolutely nothing you recognize. The title of this fic, The Lucky One
, comes from a song of the same name by the band Au Revoir Simone. (But I'll be honest, I had the band Slow Club's remix of the song in mind when I titled this story.)
Also, a quick bit of housekeeping before we begin the show:
: magical version of the Macbook; Wizbook
: exactly what you think it is;
: a wordplay on the indie music blog, Pitchfork }
Cheeks tinged with pink from the frost-bitten March wind, Albus Potter sidled into the Accio Café, the well-hidden haunt of hipster wizards and coffee shop of which he was a frequent patron, dewy droplets from the foggy London mist clinging to damp tufts of his jet black hair. Unwinding his old Gryffindor scarf and giving it a shake, he eyed the blackboard that colourfully featured the drink menu, pressing his lips together in deep thought. (Deep thought for him, mind, considering the sort of things that typically ran through his mind. Broomstick scientist, he was not
Normally, he would've ordered his usual spiced chai latte straightaway. But today was going to be different.
Today was the start of something new.
Today, he was leaving behind boring, old, predictable Albus
in favour of the new, spontaneous, cool Al
So, he ordered a Mochahontas.
In retrospect, it had seemed fairly manly and rugged at the time ― a hot beverage alluding to equal parts mocha and Native American culture; alright, so the Native American culture was made a shade less manly by the fact that it hinted to a Muggle film about a Disney princess, but whatever, nuance
― but by the time the barista had slipped a sleeve on the drink and handed it to him over the counter, he was feeling rather emasculated by the decorative feather in the froth.
Honestly, couldn't she have used her wand to stencil in a grizzly bear or chimaera or something?
Not to mention, she hadn't paid him any attention until now, as he forked over a handful of Sickles from the pocket of his trousers and tried to appear like less of a fruit cake. Albus had hoped he would've made it out of the shop without so much as a curious glance in his direction ― the scruffy-looking bloke at the till had barely fluttered an eyelash, but then, Albus didn't often receive attention from other males, which was blessedly a relief ― but deep down, he knew it had been too good to last.
Now, the unnaturally blonde barista was blinking up at him dumbfoundedly with doe eyes, struggling to place the lid on a pumpkin spice latte as she goggled at Albus. "Oh my Godric...you're...you're Albus Potter
, aren't you?"
Hiding a grimace, he seriously considered answering her with a cheerful "No, sorry, can't say I'm him, poor blighter. But whatever, I get that a lot!" However, despite his aversion to his associated celebrity ― flustered teenage witches always seemed to forget that his father
was the one who saved the bloody wizarding world, not he ― and vague irritation at being famous for merely being pushed out of his mother's uterus, Albus had been brought up with impeccable manners, thank you very much, and would rather have hexed himself in the foot than be unnecessarily impolite, especially to a crazy, coffee-making bird with enough kohl around her eyes as to deepen her resemblance to a raccoon.
"Wotcher," he replied with a weak smile, waving half-heartedly with his free hand. "What's your name?"
The barista nearly died. "It's Becky, oh my Godric
, I can't really believe you're here, did I really
just serve you a Mochahontas, but Witch Weekly
honestly doesn't do you enough justice, I thought you were an absolute dish
before, they've started using high-resolution photos now, but I swear to Godric, I didn't expect you to be this
gorgey in person, let alone ever meet you, know what I mean?" She seemed to say all of this very fast and in one rather long, prattling breath-slash-run-on-sentence; yet an instant later, her eyes widened like chocolate saucers ― or burnt pancakes, or other things that are brown and round ― as she realised she had indeed blurted all of this to Albus in a spectacular display of word vomit.
," Becky blathered on, paying no mind to the other waiting customers, "I think I might just die of embarrassment, I can't believe I actually just said that out loud, I do that quite a bit, my sister calls me 'Chatty McChatterson' all the time, she says it's the reason my flat's filled with cats and Indian takeaway boxes and no males, but who knows, really!"
This time, Albus couldn't conceal his wince. "It's fine, honestly, no worries. Truly." He began to inch away with both his Mochahontas and dignity intact, but Becky reeled him back to the till with eight little words:
He always hated this part. Being asked for his signature ― his bloody signature
, of all things; forget asking after a bit of stimulating conversation or even a blimmin' date
, in lieu of ink scrawled across the nearest used napkin lying about ― made him feel like the ultimate twat waffle leeching off his father's noble, if unwarranted, fame. It wasn't as though he was so much of a toss that he couldn't be arsed to write down his flipping name on a scrap of parchment; it was more of the fact that he had hardly done anything notable in his life at this point, and he simply didn't enjoy the feeling of tossicity that accompanied it.
The mere idea of autographs made him feel like a complete and utter prick.
In fact, Albus had even begun his own douchebag jar for every time he had to endure something like this, and it had to be said, the jar was nearly brimming to the top with bronze Knuts back in the flat he shared with his best mate, Scorpius Malfoy. Ironically enough, he had been intending to empty its contents on his next outing and purchase a full meal at Accio Café on a lark, but reconsidering the location currently seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea.
"Here you are," mumbled Albus, shoving his autographed coffee sleeve across the counter to Becky. He barely needed it, seeing as his Mochahontas was no longer piping hot, he'd been standing there for so bloody long. Feeling the collective glares and inquisitive stares of the other indie magical folk who had been impatiently queuing to obtain their drinks, Albus inched away from the counter faster than a dragon at a salad bar. "Have a nice day."
came Becky's shrill reply, but Albus had already turned his back and shuffled across the shop, his head down and gaze trained on the hardwood floor. It looked as though he'd finally need one of his Uncle George's artificial Metamorphmagus hats for the next time he visited. After a few seconds of assessing the vacant tables by windows in the café, he finally alighted at a small table tucked into a corner, appreciatively eyeing the artfully strewn fairy lights and empty picture frames decorating the walls and window panes.
Taking a sip of his slightly-less-manly-than-before Mochahontas ― which turned out to be glorious
after a quick reheating charm ― Albus withdrew his magically modified Magbook from its case and flipped it open, its screen immediately lighting up. (Thanks to some bloke named Nathaniel Bennett, who happened to invent some sort of converter for raw, magical energy that worked in the same manner as Muggle electricity, using the internet and all of its meme-laden wonders was now awfully convenient.) A few clicks and Wizbook notifications later ― Fred had just requested to be given family status from Albus, whilst James had tagged him in a status about his "first visit to the Burrow in weeks since Quidditch season started, was immediately told to de-gnome the garden... #firstworldproblems" ― and Albus was typing up his latest assignment for work.
As today happened to be Friday, he was granted permission by his office ― which was run by creative, fashionable women and well-dressed, cultured men like himself ― to work from home, as was customary for every Friday, and where best to post his latest blog entry than from East End's hippest coffee shop?
Yes, that's correct. Albus Potter, son of the Boy Who Lived and the woman unanimously voted Fittest Holyhead Harpy Ever, blogged
Not only did he just
blog, but he blogged regularly for Witchfork
, the wizarding world's largest, freshest, coolest
website for the latest news on all things indie. (Naturally, such a website was made possible for only magical folk to access; the Muggles would surely chuck a wobbly if they ever discovered just
how ahead of the indie times witches and wizards were. If they ever discovered witches and wizards at all.)
Not to mention, he certainly dressed the part without ever consciously thinking about it. He hadn't been able to get away with much creativity in his uniform at Hogwarts ― red shoelaces and form-fitting trouser legs tucked into brown ankle boots were as far as he'd taken it ― but once he became free of his school ensemble, he leapt at the chance to express himself through fashion (among other outlets).
Granted, it had taken weeks to find a style that said Albus Severus Potter
, but once he had settled into things, his eclectic style had taken flight. Even now, as he sat at his table and sipped at his Mochahontas, he remained blissfully unaware that the indiest of passersby peered at him through their nonprescription, hipster glasses and raised their soy McBowl lattes in admiration at his effortlessly cool Fair Isle jumper, layered over a denim button-down, slim-fitted navy trousers, and mahogany boots. Even at this moment, he couldn't possibly know that, as they silently looked him up and down with feigned disinterest, they were mentally awarding him points of street cred for the grey woollen jacket slung over the back of his chair, as well as for the red woolly hat perched happily atop his dark hair.
Ironically, the black-framed glasses that rested comfortably on his nose were for corrective purposes, as he had inherited the same, hideous abomination he called "vision" from his near-sighted father.
But not a soul in Café Accio knew that.
Here they were, these self-proclaimed hipsters, collectively thinking, Ermahgerd, what style, I can't even
, and he would never know, nor would he ever care.
In short, Albus Potter was a class-A hipster without even realising he was one.
It had all started when he graduated from Hogwarts. Or rather, just prior to graduation, when he had submitted a bold letter to the editor of Witchfork
addressing the lack of younger writers for the site and a need for bloggers who had fresh perspectives on the indie wizarding culture. Needless to say, Beatrix Barkwith, the editor-in-chief of Witchfork
, was so impressed with Albus's writing style and passion for his generation, she offered him his own regular column on the spot.
"What's life really
like for Albus Potter, free spirit, living in the city?" Beatrix had asked thoughtfully, waggling her eyebrows and waving around mystical jazz hands when she and Albus had met up for tea to discuss the post. "Show us what things are truly
like for the next generation after Hogwarts."
(Beatrix tended to frequently over-emphasise her adjectives, almost as though she were consciously italicising them.)
"Will I have to use my real name, though?" he had queried anxiously after a moment's pause, once the thought had occurred to him. True to his determined Gryffindor spirit, he wanted people to read his blog because of what he had to say
, not because of who he was
"No, no, not at all
, Al ― d'you mind if I call you Al?" After he had given her a noncommittal shrug, she continued, leaning forward as she crossed her legs in her chair. "On the contrary
, I think it'll give your column a bit
of an edge with the people if you go by a pseudonym, don't you think?"
Albus had bitten his lip, lifting his shoulders in yet another shrug. "I suppose. It's just, er...I'm not really all that comfortable with, you know, putting my name out there ― "
Beatrix had held up a be-ringed hand, grinning at him. "Say no more, I completely
understand. There's nothing
wrong with wanting to ensure your readers are following your blog because of the things you say, rather than because of your name." Offering him another encouraging smile, she had simply patted his hand on the table and resumed sipping her tea. "Nothing
at all wrong with it."
And that was that.
A couple of letter exchanges and Owlscript coding sessions later, Albus had his very own, bespoke blog ― magic•alchem•istry
(he loved the idea of slipping his name in with so many wizarding terms at once) ― and the rest was browser history.
Well, browser history that needed to be shared with others like that of a boy with established street cred who had been caught watching Celestina Warbeck music videos when he ought to have been growing ironic facial hair or writing haikus or something.
Anyway, Albus had gotten his own cubicle for the weekdays, just like every other poor, buggering fool in the occupational wizarding world ― they couldn't all
have 114-by-75-yard Quidditch pitches like James, or dueling arenas like his father and the Auror department ― and had since been writing about virtually everything but the kitchen sink. Occasionally he blogged about his (nonexistent) love life ― he'd been pining after the same girl since school, after all, and she was mentioned often enough in these posts (under a pseudonym, of course) that she had earned herself her own tag ― but for the most part, he kept his musings to music, books, ideas, and the adventures and mishaps of a 20-year-old single bloke living in East London with his best mate (who also happened to have his own blog for the same site thanks to a recommendation from Albus).
To Albus's immense surprise, his blog was an instant success, despite his insistence at remaining anonymous, and people ― men and women alike, but chiefly women ― had subscribed to it like elderly people took out memberships to Bowling Bi-Monthly
. In fact, he had developed an almost religious following, particularly within the teenage and twentysomething, urban-dwelling demographic, which Beatrix Barkwith herself considered quite a feat, especially for a fresh Hogwarts grad who chose to remain incognito. Furthermore, followers of his blog shared a tidy bit of his posts on their own Wizbook pages, which caused his column to rapidly gain the exposure Witchfork
All in all, it was a pretty ace gig.
He did catch himself wondering from time to time, though, if she
ever read it. All those posts he'd written about her ― anonymously, of course ― and he wondered if she'd ever seen any of them, if she'd ever noticed or picked up on subtle hints and figured out it was she he was banging on about.
Albus realised, obviously, that it was a smidgen
creepy that he wrote about his infatuation for all the wizarding world to see, but when said wizarding world posted supportive comments like "Hang in there, things'll sort themselves out eventually!" or "Best of luck, mate, she'd be daft not to give you a chance!", it made him feel like less of a lurker. For all they knew, he was some silly hipster with a schoolboy crush on a girl named Blossom ― he chose the pseudonym because her real name was very floral ― but on some level, he knew his readers enjoyed the posts and thoughts he shared with them enough to cheer him on, which heartened him greatly.
Ever since his fourth year at Hogwarts, Albus Potter had fancied the socks off of one Violet Summers. Witty, charming, and fetching as a picture, Violet was a fellow Gryffindor, Chaser on the Quidditch team, and in the same year as he, and he knew from the moment she became more than just a lovely face who could handle a Quaffle like nobody's business, he was a goner.
Oh, yes, he knew, alright. He realised he fancied her the very first moment he saw her forgo ketchup in favour of mustard with her chips at lunch one day, after she had disarmed and jinxed him twice in Defence, then engaged him in a heated debate on the notorious cheating streak of the Tutshill Tornadoes. ("Cho Chang may have been a Ravenclaw, but she's still above letting her team hoodwink their way to the World Cup," she had said matter-of-factly.)
Perhaps it was this glimpse he caught of her determined spirit, whimsy, boldness, and conviction in her beliefs ― even if they were
in favour of the dodgiest team in the league ― that prompted the realisation. Maybe if she hadn't hit him the period before with her choicest Bat-Bogey Hex, he would've kept viewing her as just
Violet Summers, his cousin Rose's pretty friend.
Then again, admitted Albus, so deeply ensnared in the throes of unrequited like was he, he probably would've realised sooner or later. It was really just a matter of when
she decided to hex him.
But try as he might, he couldn't move on ― he'd been stuck on the girl for five bloody years
, for Fawkes' sake ― nor could he forget the way his pathetic little heart raced whenever he saw her or even heard the measliest scrap of information about her from Rose. (The two botanically-named girls still kept in touch post-Hogwarts, much to Albus' slight jealousy.)
Moreover, Rose Weasley knew all
about her favourite cousin's immense crush, teasing him mercilessly for it when she found out and gamely observing the whole affair as one often amusedly spectates a sport. It should be noted, though, that Rose was the best of cousins (and friends), and despite calling Al's infatuation with Violet things like "precious" and "darling," she did her best to meddle in subtle ways.
Not that locking Albus and Violet in a broom cupboard for two hours back in sixth year was exactly
subtle, per se. She had meant well ― truly, she had ― but poor Albus had been too flustered to make any sort of noble advances toward the girl of his dreams, and Violet ― well, nobody really knew
how she felt about the whole thing, as she had merely been oblivious, friendly, and charmante
That was the thing with Violet Summers. One could never really tell where she stood with her feelings about blokes, so poker-faced was she. Rose had always prodded her with gently probing questions ― "So, Vi, you going to the next Hogsmeade with anyone?" and the like ― but, whether knowingly or not, Violet had consistently kept her cards to herself. (At least it was a known fact that Violet was definitely
interested in the opposite sex, which Albus considered a plus, given that it elevated his chances.)
The wise thing would've been for Albus to have gotten over her, but as the Sorting Hat never once considered placing him in Ravenclaw, this option seemed to bypass what little capacity he kept for logic at the time. (As far as Violet was concerned, at the very least.) So Albus continued to fancy her from afar, and even though his crush deepened as he got to know her better ― but never enough that they became close mates ― he never did a thing about it.
All in all, attempting to finally get over Violet was starting to seem like a grand idea, although he knew it would be no tiptoe through the tulips.
But today, along with reinventing himself, Albus was
going to give her up. He was
, hang it all.
Not that she was ever his to begin with; but the thought of spending what seemed to be the rest of his adult life hoping they'd somehow run into each other and simultaneously realise their potential as soulmates was beginning to take its toll. He hadn't had a string of dates in years
― nothing ever progressed past the first date, since the girls he met for coffee clearly weren
't Violet, which put something of a damper on things ― and hadn't really bothered to look for anyone else, stuck as he was on his Hogwarts crush.
And he was meant to be happy, wasn't he? Even if it wasn't with the girl of his dreams, he was meant to truly enjoy life.
And that train of thought alone was enough for him to get the Quaffle rolling and start taking steps to begin living his life to the fullest, with no regrets.
Greetings, East Enders!
I hope you're all having a mega day and enjoying this fine (albeit, rather nippy) Friday morning as I am, while I currently sip an adventurous new drink of my choice in one of London's choicest cafés. As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently decided to turn over a new leaf and be a bit more spontaneous, which includes (but is not limited to) branching out from my typical routines, being more outgoing, and ― as you may have guessed from many of my dropped hints ― finally moving on from Blossom.
Footling as it was, Albus found himself imagining the looks on some of the faces of his female readers, who would almost certainly flood his post with indignant comments about never giving up and true love being worth pursuing, even if it meant many nights in with his cat and a tin of biscuits.
Not that he had a cat, but at this point, he figured he ought to have one.
Yes, dear readers, I think it's high time I attempt to get over her, as a great deal of you have suggested. Honestly, it's been a couple of years since I've seen her, and I suppose I'm finally starting see that "us" will never happen. To tell the truth, I'm not really sure what she's been up to since Hogwarts. I could always ask my cousin (the one who dates Zodiac on here; check out his almost-as-ace-as-mine blog while you're at it!) about her, as they happened to be pretty good mates in school, but let's be honest, I'm a total ponce when it comes to all things Blossom. So there's that.
For now, I think I'll just do my best to move on and call it a day with my feelings for her, and hopefully in the meantime, I'll finally be able to fancy another really great girl. Simple enough, right?
In other news, I've included both a fantastic playlist of tunes and a family recipe for cherry tomato gazpacho, as well as a recipe I've done for chocolate and chili tart crème fraîche and lime, all of which will hopefully put you in the mood for spring.
(When Albus originally thought of pseudonyms he might use, the name "Emerald" popped into his mind immediately, as his eyes were a startling shade of green, but since he felt this was too obvious, he decided on a name that reflected the boldness of his House. And favourite color.)
He had just posted his entry and was taking another sip of his steaming Mochahontas when the door to Café Accio swung open, its bell tinkling somewhere from within the depths of the shop. In the habit of looking up and shivering whenever a cool breeze danced through the momentarily open door, Albus glanced toward the café's entrance and nearly sloshed Mochahontas all down his front.
She was back.
Her chestnut hair piled into a messy bun on top of her floral garland-ensconced head, Violet Summers hurried through the café, a pretty smile curving her lips and a rosy tint to her cheeks. Slipping discreetly behind the till, she unwound her warmest red scarf and quickly tied a black apron around her waist, her secret grin still in place as she greeted Becky the barista warmly.
Several things seemed to happen at once, all at which Albus was the centre.
For one thing, his heart appeared to have stopped and restarted so quickly, he felt as though it would burst from his chest like a Chocolate Frog from its wrapper and leap madly about the shop.
Secondly, his mind began whirring at full tilt, attempting to piece together what little he knew of post-Hogwarts Violet. He'd learnt from his dad, Uncle Ron, and Rose that she had been training in the Auror program, but as she was now clearly
working as a barista at Café Accio, was she supporting herself through training with a second job?
Thirdly, he had thought she was exceptionally lovely during school ― hell, he'd thought her the prettiest girl in Hogwarts ― but now he realised how dull that memory of her had been in comparison to how incredibly beautiful she had now become. Nature was obviously
in love with her.
And fourthly, he felt like a right lurker, perhaps the lurkiest of them all, goggling at her with his chin propped on his hand. But as he had never quite plucked up the courage to tell Violet how he felt, he found he was rather content in his shameless lurking. (For now.)
As quickly as he could manage ― well, as quickly as anyone could manage after ogling another person for an inordinate amount of time ― he pulled up his webpage again (and his jaw, for that matter, as it was lying somewhere on the floor) and opened another post, typing furiously.
My lovely, charming, beautiful, spectacular readers,
Scratch that last post of mine. Blossom has been sighted.
More updates to come once my heart's ceased rocketing around my ribcage like a roll of 36 exposure 35mm film in a canister.
Right, so, the last thing I need is to begin yet another story right now. But this came to me on a whim, particularly after reading a totally precious Merlin fic, In Love with My Radio
by lunchee (sooo cute! Go read it right meow), and I had to write it down. Luckily, I have the rest of this crackfic planned out ― it'll only be a few chapters long ― so updates won't be scarce. I've been dying for an excuse to write a hipster Albus, and here it is. Also, I owe all cool things to peppersweet
, as she's made hipster HPFF such a wonderful possibility here with her incredible fic, Welcome to Blunderland
. (Read! Now!) Whew. Anyroad, I'd love to know what you think! Comments are always muchly appreciated. ♥
And lastly, so much love to TimeSeer, who is pretty much the sweetest reviewer ever. Your comments are so kind, and I just wanted to thank you. :D
- emma (: