Chapter 1 : Stadium Arcadium
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He walked in, trying to look cool, while wearing sunglasses indoors. That should have been the first warning.
I was just standing next to the jukebox, nonchalantly tipping my head to the music.
“Sup.” He said to me.
I tipped my cowboy hat in reply. Just kidding, I wasn’t wearing a cowboy hat. That would be embarrassing.
“So why are you wearing a cowboy hat?” he asked me.
“I’m not wearing a cowboy hat.”
He looked at me – or more rather, my head. “Umm, okay then.” He walked away.
I went and started up a game of skee-ball. Being at the arcade is boring when you’re by yourself.
Apparently he thought this too, and so he walked up to me again.
“I bet I could beat you at air hockey.” He said.
Yeah, that’s how you start a conversation.
“Is that a challenge?” I asked.
“It is if you want it to be.”
“I wasn’t aware we were on a sitcom.” I said, coolly.
He didn’t answer, but pulled out his phone, and walked towards the air hockey table.
Well I followed him. What was I supposed to do? My mom’s picking me up in three hours.
I faced him at the other end of the table. He was texting somebody. I took this as an opportunity to scrutinize him.
He lives in my neighborhood, but he doesn’t go to my school. So I’ve seen him around town, but I don’t know what his name is.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
He looked up, interested. “Potter. James Potter.” He took off his sunglasses for effect. At least, that’s what I assume he did it for. Or maybe he realized that he looked like a jerk, with them on.
“Well I’m Clemence. Clemence Howell. Oh wait, the last name is supposed to go first.”
“I’m going to go get some coins for this.” He indicated to the air hockey table, and made way towards the register counter.
All I noticed was that he left his cell phone, (and sunglasses) on the edge of the board. I should probably mention that I have a degree in slinking, and snooping around in places I probably shouldn’t. Yes, I am that Clemence. The Detective Clemence – fighting for justice and biscuits since 2017.
I’m my school’s official detective sergeant pepper’s lonely hearts club band – just kidding.
So as soon as his back was turned, I crept to his side of the table and grabbed his phone. The person he was texting was someone named Albus. And the last message was ‘quick- ask dad what a sitcom is!’.
Is he for real?
Not bothering to ponder over it while still holding the phone, (something our generation can’t quite fathom. I mean, seriously. Snoops get caught because while their holding the device, or being in the required room, they just sit there and think about what secret they uncovered. Umm, GET OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!)I placed it back and stood on my side again.
He came back and shot a smile at me while he pushed a coin into the required slot. The lights lit up at the top of the board, and he looked pretty excited.
“Don’t get out much?” I asked him.
His grin turned into don’t-mess-with-me look.
“Wow you’re really good at this.”
“And you suck. Do you even know what you’re playing?” I ask, my curiosity filled to the brim of my curiosity jar.
I stand by that metaphor.
“Godric, I was just trying to be nice.” He said, looking alarmed as soon as the words left his mouth.
Godric? Not being able to play air hockey? Not knowing what a sitcom is?
“James.” I begin, trying to be polite. “Are you Amish?”
He looked at me.
I looked right back at him.
And we both erupted into fits of laughter.
I don’t know why, it wasn’t that funny. But he looked like he was expecting something else, and so burst out giggling. And I really don’t know, but something about watching a sixteen year old boy giggle just tickles your funny bone.
After that rather awkward-and-yet-I-don’t-seem-to-be-able-to-stop laughter, we got back to the game.
“So I’m not Amish.” He said after a while.
“Well obviously not, there’s a zipper on your pants.” I noticed only later.
“Why were you looking at my pants?”
“I-“ I got flustered. This is not a question I’m usually posed with. “Just play.” I quoted him.
“How are you so good at playing pool?” Potter, James Potter asked. “I thought it was mainly a 25 year old drunk playing with his highschool drop out friends sport?”
I laughed. “Do you want me to teach you? Considering that that’s your future…” I trailed off, suggestively.
“Hey! That’s offensive to pool players!” Wait, who said that?
James and I turned around to look at the random person speaking to us.
For starters, he had a ponytail. Circular shades, on his eyes, tinted purple. Oh, and he was wearing one of those frilly leather waist-coat things.
And he had a beer bottle in his hand.
“Excuse me, sir?” I wasn’t aware that James knew how to be polite. “But I believe that drinking alcoholic beverages in an area that is meant for minors is prohibited.”
I glanced at him. What was he doing?
“Is that so?” The afro-circus man put his hands on his hips. Out of nowhere two other similarly dressed men came and stood behind him.
“It is indeed.” James stood his ground.
By now I had moved to back to watch this country showdown.
You could almost hear the Western Cowboy Showdown music.
A couple of punches, a calling for security, and a free meal later, I thought about this new interesting specimen named Potter. James Potter.
“Why did you randomly do that?” I finally asked, as James put down the free ice pack the apologetic manager had managed to procure for us.
He shrugged. “Bored.”
I don’t understand men. “So you decided to pick a fight with a weirdo – what was he doing in here anyway? I thought this place was for kids?”
“Oohhh, funny.” James said, sarcastically.
Potter, James Potter is actually pretty funny. He has an immensely large, and obnoxious but lovely and hilarious family.
I mentioned this to him, and he was like, “Well obviously. I’m cooler than you.”
“Cooler than me?” I repeated. “You think you’re cooler than me?”
He pulled his sunglasses (that somehow during this debacle he had put on again)down his nose, as if to check me out.
“Yeah.” He said.
“Yeah, I think I’m cooler than you.”
“Excuse me lad, I am a detective. I have a sonic screwdriver. You may have some weird stick, stuck in your boot, I mean, seriously? You're like that girl from that show. But NO. SONIC SCREWDRIVER. OKAY. I WIN.”
I was banging my fist for effect too.
He smirked at me.
“Well, my ‘weird stick’ is a lot better than your sonic screw thing.” He folded his arms across his chest.
“Screwdriver. And what can your stick do other than be used as a Frisbee for dogs?”
He looked tempted to say something, but just frowned, “When’s your mum picking you up, again?” he said, grumpily.
“Why?” I laughed. “Can’t wait to get rid of me?”
“Oh no!” he raised his hands to his forehead in a dramatic manner. “This demon can read my mind!”
"Did you just call me a muggle?" I demanded, watching as his face turn pale, as he slid the phone he was talking into behind his back.
"Is that some kind of little kid cuss-word or something?" I crossed my arms. "Because I have a little brother. And so if I'm a 'muggle’,” I huffed. "Then you're a ploopy!"
He scrutinized me, with an odd look on his face.
"Yeah, I said it."
He took one more look at me and turned back to the phone he was originally speaking to, "Tell mum I'll be home in a bit, Albus."
I looked at him impatiently.
“What?” he asked.
“You’re really annoying, do you know that?” he said.
“I’ve been informed a couple of times.”
James rolled his eyes. “Why were you eavesdropping on me, anyway Clemence? I thought you were in the bathroom?” he said, worried.
“Eavesdropping’s kinda my thing now.” I shrugged.
He rolled his eyes once more.
“Don’t you do anything other regular sixteen year old girls would do?” James asked, exasperated. He said the word regular like it was a bad thing.
I scratched my chin. “Like what?”
“Well, I don’t know.” I didn’t expect him too. Considering the fact that he’s not a teenage girl himself. Although, I am beginning to wonder…
“Like, most girls I know would have hit on me, at least once.”
“It’s true.” He shrugged. “I’m irresistible.”
“Maybe to moths, but I’m not so sure about humans.”
“Ha ha.” He laughed sarcastically.
“But seriously.” He got back to the topic. “Have you ever had a boyfriend?”
“Are you saying that to be a normal teenage girl you have to have dated someone?” I couldn’t believe my ears.
“So no, then.” He concluded. “No, you haven’t ever had a boyfriend.”
“I'm not sure if this counts, but i had one, a long time ago.” I confessed.
James looked impressed. Oh come on, I’m not that ugly looking. Jeez.
“Who?” he demanded to know.
“Oh well, just this guy, you probably won’t know him. His name’s Freddie. Freddie Weasley.” I said, shyly. I remember Freddie all right. He was in town for the summer and was working at the community center. He asked me out, and we were in love – or at least as much as a thirteen year old can love another thirteen year old.
I looked back up to James’s face.
To say that he looked shocked would be an understatement.
He held up a finger, went up to the counter, got a glass of water, sat back down, took a sip, and spat it out like a spit-take.
“Is the thought of me having a boyfriend really that horrifying?”
“No, not that. It’s just…”
“Fred is my cousin.”
He seemed eager to change the subject.
“Oh look your mum’s arrived, isn’t that her car?” He diverted my attention outside the window where a car had indeed pulled up.
He walked me to the exit.
“Well that was an enjoyable three hours. Thank you.” I smiled at him. “You should give me your email address. Maybe we can meet up again?” I asked.
“Oh.” He looked fluster and was feeling around his person as if he could procure one out of mid air.
I sensed his discomfort. “Or maybe not, then.”
“No, I just actually don’t have an email address.” He confessed.
I find that hard to believe.
“Haha, right. Sure you’re not Amish?” I teased.
I made way to leave, but then turned around to shake his hand. Well, I just made a friend –ish. I don’t exactly do this a lot.
He didn’t take my hand, but awkwardly patted me fondly on the head, like one might do to a lamb.
I smiled one last time, and opened the door, and headed out towards the car.
My mum rolled down the window. “Who was that boy you were just talking to?” She asked.
I turned around to introduce James to my mother, but he was nowhere to be found.
A/N : First :
sergeant pepper’s lonely hearts club band is an album that belongs to the Beatles.
Afro Circus belongs to the movie, Madagascar 3.
Sonic Screwdrivers belong to BBC’s Doctor Who.
and ofcourse, Harry Potter belongs to JKRowling - but that was obvious.
YAY new story! I had this in my head yesterday, and now its done, hooray! applause! biscuits for everyone! leave a review ♥ :)