Chapter 1 : The break up
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Albus Potter is content.
Is it somewhat sad that’s the word that accurately describes his life? Well, it depends on how you approach the subject. He could, of course, be happy, enthusiastic and positively overjoyed. On the other hand, he could also do a lot worse. So...
Albus Potter is content.
He has a nice job. All right, it should be noted that it’s far better than just nice. He’s the world’s most trusted Astronomy expert and this year’s winner of the Magic Quill, after all. He actually loves his job. In fact, Astronomy was his favourite subject at Hogwarts. He excelled in such a measure that Professor Sinistra was left speechless in numerous occasions observing his school work. She was the one who recommended pursuing a career in that field. Albus was not exactly interested in being a Hogwarts teacher. He was aware that students had no interest in paying attention to what he was saying ever since the Pluto incident. Well, at least if he was talking about planets and such boring crap, as his fellow class mate Agatha Wright so nicely put. So, he studied by himself. Until he discovered a new solar system. It was then named Alpo, tediously taking four letters from his first name and surname. That was the moment at which his work life became a lot busier. The wizarding community wanted him to continue doing his job and so... he simply did. Sometime along the way, this year to be more precise, he published a novel inspired by his experiences with Astronomy. It was such a beloved book that it received, just about two months ago, the Magic Quill, the highest recognition for literature in England.
In short, Albus Potter is highly accomplished in his work life.
His family life is admirable, as well. His monstrously big extended family is loud, extravagant and mostly red headed. But even if given the choice, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He especially wouldn’t want to trade his best friend Molly.
Molly Weasley specializes in Charms and has been teaching at Hogwarts for a year, unlike her best mate. The two years difference between the cousins is not an obstacle at all. Rather, it was always fun having insight on different generations of people they befriended, beside each other. Albus tends to visit her quite often. They usually end up in Hogsmeade, drinking tea or butterbear.
Guess, in the end, you can say there is only one field of his life Albus Potter is not happy about. The one that makes him just content about his life as a whole. The dreadful thing called his love life.
No, he isn’t single. Or desperately in love with the girl of his dreams who doesn’t seem to notice. Nothing of that sort. It’s more about not having guts to end a relationship he doesn’t feel like being in any more.
Yes, Albus Potter is a coward.
And that is exactly what his best friend Molly has been telling him for weeks now.
„You have to break up with Nyssa already.“
„Hello, Molly. It’s nice to see you, too.“ Albus smiles as his cousin kisses him lightly on the cheek.
Molly is in her black coat this time around, which assures Albus that she is not in the best mood. She tends to dress the way she feels, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. It is nice having a heads up like that, Albus thinks. He isn’t always the best interpreter of people. And one Molly Weasley in particular.
She searches through her pocket only to pull out a box of cigarettes, to what Albus feels the need to roll his eyes.
„Out of all muggle products I’m familiar with, some of them being extremely brilliant, you choose that?“
Molly ignores him for the moment being to instead fidget while lighting the cigarette. But as soon as she takes in one smoke, she relaxes and sits back into her chair.
„You’re avoiding the topic, Al. So very far from smoothly, may I add.“
Molly Weasley is rather tiny and, physically, can pass for a teenager. If it only wasn’t for her sarcastic, dirty-mouthed and mature nature, that is. She is rather wise for her age, like she lived it all through already. She makes Albus question the theory of multiple lives. It isn’t common for someone her age to hold such knowledge, he thinks. And when could she have gotten it in the first place? Between her job and Al’s constant visits, she hardly has free time nowadays.
„You really want to argue with me?“ Molly gives him one of those are you serious, you bloody git looks.
Al sighs. „No.“
„Then?“ Molly exhales and the smoke dances slowly around her freckled face.
She looks somewhat scary, Albus thinks, as on so many occasions. Strangely, it’s one of the things that make him adore her.
„Why do I have to break up with her? I mean... she loves me.“ Al shrugs.
Molly frowns visibly and her warm dark eyes turn stern in an istant.
„All right, I know.“ Albus agrees, with the clear meaning of her stare in his mind. „I don’t feel the same way about her. But, listen-“
„Fuck, Al. Bloody fuck. Do you want me to tell you the story, again?“
The said story is about Molly’s second boyfriend, Pax. Pax was a bastard, in Molly’s own venomous words. A downright idiot who screwed her up. He stayed with her for years, not having the courage to break up. But instead having the idea that cheating on her in the meantime was not that bad.
So, yeah... a twat.
„No, I know it by heart at this point. But come on, Molly. I’m not gonna cheat on Nyssa. I’m not that kind of guy.“
„That’s what they all say.“ Molly inhales once again, enjoying her cigarette and, in turn, not enjoying Albus’ company.
He’s aware. She’s giving him the stink eye, after all. It’s hard to miss.
„You seriously think I would do that?“ Al pleads her.
Molly examines his face and reaches out to take his hand. It’s a rare moment. Molly is not really a touchy person.
„I think you believe you wouldn’t. But, Al, we all do bad things at some point. And this situation you’re in is most convenient for an action of that sort.“
She then lets go of his palm only to settle back in her earlier position.
Albus knows she’s right. No matter how immature he is sometimes, he knows. It’s just that... love is his weak point. Always has been. Like a foreign language he only gets to understand on scarce occasions. Having James as a brother made him believe it wasn’t a bad thing. After all, they were „young, foolish and having fun“. But now, it is getting to a point where he has to face the truth. He is turning 24 any month now and has no clue what he’s doing what so ever. James doesn’t either. But... he’s James.
Albus nods. „It’s just that I’ve always thought Nyssa would be it, you know. I mean, I’m not that romantic, but the idea of that one person who can hold your attention and affection your whole life... it’s too appealing to pass it up and, yeah... kind of sweet, too.“
Molly cracks a small grin, putting her cigarette to a rest. „Don’t you lie, Albus Potter. You’ve always been a hopeless romantic.“
„Remember Tina?“ Molly winks, taking a sip of her butterbear, which makes Al realize nobody took his order yet.
„Oh, Merlin. I completely forgot about that.“ And he secretly wishes she didn’t have to remind him. „That was beyond ridiculous.“
He then looks around for the waiter, not in the mood to relive the Tina phase again. The first time was enough. Or rather, too much. The place is almost empty, save for the one couple in the corner. He doesn’t remember seeing them when walking in, though.
„Yeah.“ Molly laughs, finding Al’s love life amusing. „It was ridiculous.“
And why wouldn’t she? It’s hilarious. He is the first one to admit.
„Remember when you thought up that spell just so you could-“
That’s where Al’s mind stops processing Molly’s words. Instead, it’s focus is on the couple in the back and a very laborious idea of who the girl might be. The girl who is now kissing the boy passionately and too vividly. The girl with golden hair falling lightly on her back. The girl with the specific jumper Al is almost certain he gave her for their five years anniversary. He remembers because he had to ask Rose to go with him, since Molly hates shopping. Well, she hates almost everything, but that’s beside the point. And Rose made his day unbearable to the point where he had to choose something on his own in the end. And he remembers pulling out this blue sweater which, Rose had to agree, was kind of cute. And fluffy.
„Oh, I see. Should I speak your language in order to be acknowledged? Earth to Alpo’s tracer. Hello.“
Al quickly looks back to his cousin. He doesn’t even blink when he spurts. „Nyssa is cheating on me.“
He says it almost too calmly.
„Er, what?“ Is all Molly manages to say in the situation, which is quite ridiculous to begin with.
„See that couple behind us?“
Molly stands up loudly, to which Albus hisses for her to be more careful.
„That’s not her... I think.“ Molly offers weakly after taking a long squint-eyed gaze at the pair.
„Come on, it’s that darn sweater. She loves it. Wears it all the time. Don’t you recognize it?“
„Sorry, Al. You’re aware I only know of two types of clothes-for the upper and lower body. I’m like clothes-blind.“
Al rolls his eyes but he can’t help but agree. His fucking clothes ignorant cousin. He wishes Rose is here, instead.
On second thought, maybe not.
’Cause he is about to do something stupid. And Rose is too judgmental. Well, Molly is, too. But he likes Molly better somehow, in spite of everything. It is a strange occurrence, indeed.
But back to his urge to make a very apish move. It’s not that Al’s not aware what he’s doing. On the contrary. He actually has no desire to act rational at the moment. That’s the whole point in carrying on with the absurd action.
And here it goes.
„Nyssa!“ He shouts.
Molly looks at him in horror. Well, that’s the most emotion painted face he has seen on her this whole year. And it was the Pax year. So... yeah. Speaks volumes.
The couple instantly stops kissing. And the blond girl turns around slowly. Albus expects his heart to stay aloof. But instead, for some reason, it sinks. Quite a bit, actually. ’Cause... There she is, the girl he once thought would follow him on his weird travels which had the sole purpose to learn about Astronomy from the most unusual people, the one who was supposed to watch nerdy wizard television with him, supposed to tell him he looks dashing in that hideous favourite suit of his and bake disgusting star cookies with him.
And in an instant... it’s all gone. Shattered like an illusion which he for months now believed their relationship truly was.
But all of a sudden, it hurts. And that’s what makes it veritable.
Albus Potter realizes that he indeed still, even if just a little, loves his girlfriend of five years.
„Oh, Merlin.“ Nyssa mouths. „Al... I-I-“
Nyssa turns around to look at the boy she was kissing moments ago. He shrugs, unaffected. So she nervously makes her way to Al and Molly’s table.
„You can’t be serious, Albus Potter.“ Molly shakes her head, not quite believing that she’s stuck in the middle of this bizarre scene.
„Shh.“ Al hushes her.
Nyssa nears them and stands opposite Albus in all of her discomfort.
And, wow. She’s beautiful. How is it that Al hasn’t noticed? Well, he has. He dated her for five years, in the end. But somehow, in this last year, he has forgotten. Her pale skin, her light baby blues, her long silky hair... All the goddess like features that lured him in, in the first place.
„Hey, Molly.“ She whispers.
„Hi.“ Molly returns flatly.
„Look, Al.“ Nyssa then turns back to him.
She smells so nice, too, Merlin!
„I’m sorry you had to find out like this. Well, no, I’m actually sorry I did it in the first place. Before breaking it of with you, I mean.“ She adds. „I’ve been nervous and angsty for months now. I knew I should break up. But then, since I guess there didn’t seem to be a real reason, I went back into my shell of denial. We were ok, I loved you... or so I thought. Until I met Dax. I know it’s wrong, it’s terrible of me that I didn’t say anything. I just... you were my first love and it seemed so hard. And I’m a jerk. I’m sorry.“
Nyssa presses her body to Al’s and he wraps his arms around her.
He wants to say so much, tell her that he was the jerk, he neglected her, ignored her, let her go before she even had the desire to leave. And, yes, she made a mistake. But he just can’t be that mad since... he just discovered that she means a lot to him, after all.
It’s all on the tip of his tongue. Right there.
„Ok?!“ Molly shouts at him when they wind up on the street, not minding the people watching them with interest.
It is not an unusual occurrence since they are a duo of a Weasley and a Potter. They got used to it, though. Years ago.
„That is all you had to say to her?!“
„Would you have liked it if I said that I think I still love her?“
Molly stares at him blankly before shaking her head in frustration. „Oh, Merlin. Truly, all post break up people are the same.“
„Why do you-“
„The story, Al. The story.“ Molly reminds him.
Oh, right. In the conclusion of the story, Molly tried to move on. Well, she actually tried to make Pax jealous, but she doesn’t like for it to be worded that way. When Pax saw her, he followed her for weeks, telling her he was sorry and that he still loved her. Fortunately, Molly didn’t cave. She did, however, transfigure her favourite pillow into a random snowflake toy. She sleeps with it now.
„Urgh, I hate you.“ Al whines.
And Molly smiles. She adores hitting a nerve. Or more of them at once. Now that is a delightful event.
„I should apparate home. It’s getting late.“ Al sighs.
„Just... don’t do anything stupid.“ Molly warns him.
„What? Like make a snowman toy?“
Molly gasps. Not only is he teasing her, but he doesn’t have his facts straight, which infuriates her even more. Of course, she’s not aware that her cousin is mistaken by choice.
Albus Potter likes hitting nerves, too. Especially if they are in the possession of one Molly Weasley.
He leans in and kisses her fast on her rosy cheek, cold because of the stern December air. And disappears with a loud popping sound.
Molly shakes her head and smiles.
And makes her way slowly back to the castle.
Albus Potter appears near his building, in front of the small grocery store to pick up some bread. He feels like eating and a lot. Sometimes Molly would say he acts like a girl on PMS. Again. He couldn’t disagree. Molly Weasley knows him better than he does, sometimes (She’d argue that it’s all the time, of course.).
Once in his apartment, he feels a strange sting of loneliness. Nyssa isn’t here anymore. She will stay with her friend Sally for a few days, to give him some space. Then, she’ll come back one more time to collect her belongings.
It’s unusual how all her things here make him remember. And they never did that before. Remember all the good times. All the laughs. Al realizes he’s pressing the bad somewhere to the back of his mind, choosing to not see it at this point.
Albus Potter is ridiculous.
He knows. People have told him that much. On numerous occasions, actually. If it wasn’t for his excellence in the field of Astronomy, he feared people would laugh at him all the time. They laugh either way. But sometimes they stop just for enough time to praise him, too. So, yes. It’s nice being brilliant at something.
Albus continues walking around the flat with no idea what to do with himself. After looking at all their shared photographs and pretending like they were always blissfully in love and oh, Merlin, why did I ever want to break up?... Albus is left with no ideas. His mind is glaringly blank. Until his gaze falls slowly on that one piece of muggle equipment his granddad Arthur gave him for his seventeenth birthday. A radio. Like a really advanced, cool looking radio. It isn’t actually called a radio, to be exact, but it can serve that purpose, along with many others.
For some reason, Albus feels like it’s an all right thing to do. Listen to it. He doesn’t own a wi-radio, himself. Never was that much into those shows. Even though he loves music. But the Wizarding Wireless Network is more about cheese these days than music, anyway. Literally. They suddenly have a strange fascination with food. And talking about it for hours with the most flagrant enthusiasm. Not to say that Albus doesn’t like food. Far from it. But eating is more of his thing. Rather then listening about origins, numerous types, tips for breeding and what not. It makes him hungry and unable to concentrate on the shows, in the first place!
Al nears the device and engages in the little instruction book.
Two hours later, he finally manages to turn it on. What? It is so much more complicated than a magical radio! With the later, all is managed by flicks of one’s wand.
Going through various of stations, he settles on the one that has a nice enough song on. A slow, suiting song. That speaks about being in love. Then having your heart broken.
Dear Merlin, so this is how it feels like to relate to the sappy songs Lily likes to listen to! It’s... interesting, he guesses.
„It’s as if it cuts right through your heart, isn’t it?“
Albus would agree. It’s just that the voice has completely hypnotized him and he’s unable to utter a word. He’s having trouble thinking, as it is.
„Someone once told me that love isn’t all they make it out to be. And since I was told this at a very vulnerable point in my life, I tended to agree. But then good days would come along as well and I didn’t want to believe that. I wanted and still want to trust it’s even more. ’Cause... isn’t that the reason why we keep pushing forward?“
„It is.“ Al says, nodding his head in agreement.
And realizes he may be going just a little bit mad. But he doesn’t care. The voice is so lovely, he can barely function anyway.
„Here you are, then. This next song is one of my favourites. Oh, but don’t you go and try to analyze it. I just like the tune.“ He can hear the smile in her voice.
And it’s glorious.
The song is called Yesterday.
Albus ends up almost crying, which he hasn’t done in... well, never. He likes to make a big fuss out of everything. But, in the end, he knows it’s not that bad. He doesn’t have the right to complain. Like noted before, he could be doing a lot worse.
But then again...
He could be doing a lot better, too.
And in that moment of insanity, he reckons, maybe this radio girl is the key to that a lot better.
Well, why not? He needs someone who can listen to him without all the judging. Molly is great, but she has so much painful history from which it’s hard to detach oneself and be truly objective. And it’s so similar to his now, too. No matter how much he’s fond of the girl, Molly is in fact a bitter person. Rose, on the other hand... she just pretends to listen nowadays. Yes, the radio girl appears to like talking a lot. But maybe, since it’s her job, she gets tired of it ouside of her work. Maybe she’d like to listen to someone in turn.
In Albus Potter’s head, that strange evening, everything makes perfect sense. This girl will listen to him pour his heart out while he tries to get over Nyssa. It’s fate!
Ok, not fate. But something like that. Sure, why not? He only needs to find this girl.
But how do you find a muggle who doesn’t seem to take a liking in introducing herself? She did end the show with-that was it for tonight. Sleep blissfuly, London. Stereo girl is out.
That can’t be her real name. Not that people haven’t had a habit of changing their names into awkward phrases and words lately, but (Especially Ilike Tits. Well, ok. He actually understands and approves that one.)... it just seems unlikely.
Plus, Albus is kind of weird around muggles. The one time he met one, when Roxy dated Ian, it ended up in them breaking up because of him. Understandably, Roxy hates him with all her heart to these days. But, beside that, his family adores him. He thinks.
So... what to do?
And that’s when it hits him. Of course. Who’s the other muggle geek in his family that can for sure help him solve this mystery?
Albus Potter is about to ask Lucy Weasley for help.
Blissfuly so. He has no idea what he’s getting himself into.
Molly Weasley, on the contrary, would know. But, of course, she’s dealing with raging teenagers at the moment. And, frankly, between the two options, it’s safe to assume she’d like to stay ignorant of her cousin’s stupid ideas.
And for now, she can.
A/N: Would love to hear what you think. :)
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