Chapter 10 : Lesson 10
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We just finished practice and everyone was in a fantastic mood. Practice had been flawless tonight. Everyone was in an impressive shape and I was sure that with our skills and the right motivation, we could easily beat Hufflepuff in our first game this season.
“I’M A HELICOPTER, A WIZARD HELICOPTER!!! I FLY SO HIGH, IN MUGGLE SKIES, SO NO ONE SEES THE LOBSTER!!!” Fred chanted and continued to race after me while rotating his smelly Quidditch Jersey over his head.
“Give it up, Fredster, you can’t rhyme to save your life.” I yelled over my shoulder and heard Fred laughing.
“I’M A FREDKING LOBSTER, A PUFFY MUFFY LOBSTER!!! IT’S RED AND HOT, WITH POLKA DOTS, AND RAPPING LIKE A GANGSTER!!!” His voice cracked and he choked on some air in the process of trying not to burst out laughing at his own stupidity again.
“You sound like a dying cat, Frederick.” I pointed out and Freddy laughed.
“Oh but I’m your dying cat, so it’s not that bad, is it?” He winked cheesily and I had to grin.
“Sure, Fred, whatever makes you sleep at night, buddy.” I patted his head and he slung his arm around my shoulder in return.
“I AM A GHETTO GANGSTER, A-” Fred’s song died out abruptly as I clamped my hand over his mouth.
“Enough, Freddykins.” I told him. “The world has heard enough of your singing skills tonight.”
“I suppose you’re right.” He regretfully admitted.
“I always am.” I said with a smug grin.
“Of course you are.”
I turned around. That was not Freddy who said that.
“J!” I said brightly. “We thought you were already in the Great Hall with the others.”
“Actually, we were supposed to meet McGonnagal in her office 15 minutes ago. Heads stuff, did you forget?” James said with a frown while alternating his gaze between Freddy and I, whereupon he rather glared than glanced at the boy next to me.
My stomach dropped. Of course. How could I forget? We even talked about during practice. I hit my forehead. “Shit, sorry, I totally forgot!”
“I noticed that.” James said grimmly.
“I’m really sorry, J.” And I meant it. I couldn’t believe that meeting slipped my mind. I was head girl, I should be the most responsible girl in school! And here I was, being forgetful and unreliable! I looked at the ground and bit my lip.
“It’s okay, A.” He forced a smile. “I told her you didn’t feel well so you weren’t able to come.”
I looked in his eyes, a greatful look upon my features.
“So, I’d recommend you to act a bit sick during dinner.” He pointed out before falling into a reverie that caused him to start grinning. And I new what it meant.
“Or raid the kitchens instead?” I asked, trying to pull off my best puppy dog eyes.
“Exactly.” He chirped and I skipped towards him entwining our arms.
“Will you survive dinner without your two most favourite people in the world?” I asked Freddy, who nodded eagerly and swaggered to the Great Hall not before throwing me a wink.
What was that supposed to mean?
“Ugh!” I exclaimed completely exhausted while plopping down on James’ lap after taking arelaxing bubble bath. Tonight really had worn me out and I was glad to just spend the rest of the evening in my oversized sweater and sweatpants.
James groaned under my weight and I laughed at his pained expression. It had become a tradition for the both of us to pass the evenings on our favorite red plush couch in front of the fireplace in our Head Dorm. Most of the time we would just tell each other random things, laugh about the stupid people that we call our friends or just sit in each others arms enjoying the company of the other. Sometimes, though, the topics of our nightly talks would get more serious; revolving around the problems in my family or other things that were on our minds. Thoughts about NEWTs, about the future, what we were scared of.
To be honest, James was the best thing I could ever ask for. I don’t really know what I have done to deserve a friend like him, but what I know is that I don’t really know what I would do without him. He was my better half.
Without any warning I flung my arms around James’ neck and buried my face in his chest, inhaling his musky scent and earning a low chuckle from him.
Wait. Something was wrong here.
I sniffed again. There was something missing. He didn’t smell right. I opened my eyes and stared at his chest.
Oh. Well, that explains a lot.
In all the years I have known James, he always smelled the same. Okay, he started smelling a lot manlier when he began using after shave, but the essence still lingered. I don’t exactly know what it is, what James smells like; I think it’s a lot of things combined, like honey, summerrain, white lilies, fallen leaves and a scent I can’t really place. But with my eyes open I can definitely say that the note of James’ favorite white lily washing powder was missing.
And so was his flannel shirt.
Where was his flannel shirt?
I eyed him suspiciously and he seemed to understand where my weird expression came from. “I am hot, okay?” He said apologetically, his hands tight on my hips. When did they get there?
“Sure, you are hot, Jamesie. The hottest guy in existence.” I snickered and threw my head back. It was obvious that he meant he was feeling hot and not hot in a sense of sexy, but oh well, it was too much fun to get him flustered.
“Is that so?” What? Cocky James instead of a blushing one? When did that happen?
“Sure you are.” I rolled my eyes and he laughed.
“I miss you, Autumn.” James suddenly spilled.
I quirked an eyebrow. “But you’ve got me right here, silly.” I tightened my grip on his neck to emphasize it.
“Yes. No. I mean-” He broke off in search for the right words. “It just feels like this year is different, you know? Like we are different.” I blinked at him. “This was supposed to be our year, A-”
“But-” He cut me off.
“It was supposed to be you and me, Autumn. And now I feel like it’s only you and Freddy, while I’m standing on the sidelines.” He broke our eye contact and looked down.
Oh my. That meant that- “You are jealous of Fredster and I?”
“What? NO! I’m not jealous-” He spluttered and his cheeks went rosy.
“Aww, Jamesie!” I cuddled him. “There’s no need for you to be jealous of us. This is still our year, silly boy.”
James lifted his head and a small light lit up in his sad eyes. I can’t stand James’ sad eyes. He looks like a lost puppy and that just awards me with the urge to heal all his wounds. It’s like an instinct.
“I’m not replacing you with him, if that’s what you fear.” I tousled his mop of hair and elicited a small tug on the corners of his mouth. “Why would I want to replace my idiot when he’s the best thing that could happen to me.”
James smile brightened up our common room and I felt chills going down my arms. “You mean the world to me, love.”
Sighing I rested my head in the crook of his neck and summoned our fluffy fleece blanked from my room, before covering us both with it.
“I love you, James, you know that, right?” Absendmindedly my finger traced crooked patterns on his chest.
“I know.” He answered, kissing my hair before positioning his head on mine. “I love you, too, A.”
I smiled contentedly and felt my body grow weaker by the second. The day had been exhausting and I dearly needed to stock up on some rest.
“A?” I heard James’ voice through a layer of fog.
“Mhm?” I managed.
“Oh.. nevermind.” He mumbled
Don't ever let Freddy's singing get out of control.