Chapter 9 : ix.
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Aiden and I hadn’t spoken since the night he found me near the Greenhouse. That was exactly 7 days ago. Considering he had avoided my stares throughout those days and the fact that he kept walking the opposite direction whenever he saw me, I’d definitely say he’s avoiding me.
“Nope,” Aiden says nonchalantly and little edgily. He continues magically sticking flyers to every pole in sight and won’t give me even one glance. I could be invisible for all I know.
Today was a Hogsmeade trip and, being the total loner I am, I had come alone.
It wasn’t entirely my fault though, Rose had come with Matt and they were staying out of the public eye, doing Merlin knows what. They weren’t exactly popular with the student body right now.
That whole relationship had turned messy. That night, when Rose came back to the dorm, she explained the whole ordeal to me. I basically tuned out all the details but when I asked the question of ‘why hadn’t you told me you broke up with Scorpius?’ she turned red and wouldn’t say anything.
This was when I practically blew up in her face at the realisation that she hadn’t told Scorpius about her relationship with Matt. Which, for those of you who don’t understand, means that she cheated on Scorpius with my brother?
I’m never going to get over that.
She eventually agreed to break it off with Scorpius the next day. Although I wasn’t there, I could tell from Rose’s face that there had been a lot of screaming, tears and name calling.
I did the best I could to comfort her, but I kinda felt like she brought it on herself. Not that I’d tell her this.
Scorpius is currently MIA after the whole scene but I can tell he must be heartbroken; he thought so highly of Rose and was obviously in love with her.
However, I had thought Rose was in love with him too, so my opinion probably isn’t valid.
“Right,” I say sarcastically at his obvious attempt to avoid the question. I match Aiden’s pace and stuff my hands into my jean pockets. “What are you doing anyway?” I ask casually as he reaches his fifth pole and hides it behind a million papers.
He probably killed a trillion trees in the process of this.
“Our family cat went missing.” He explains without looking at me, “My sister wants me to hand out flyers.” He practically forces one into the hand of some grumpy old wizard, his greying beard could have given Dumbledore’s a run for its money.
“Wait,” I say completely lost as I pull on his arm to slow him down, “You have a cat?” I take a flyer from his hand and sure enough there’s a photo of a ginger cat. Actually it just looks like a ball of fur to me but I’ll take his word for it. The word LOST is clearly printed in the middle along with a phone number for Amy Clarke, “You have a sister?” I squeak.
He gives a short chuckle and points to the paper in my hand, “Amy Clarke,” He says with a cheeky grin.
I make a face at him.
“I never knew that,” I say honestly as we start walking again, glad to know he isn’t trying to ignore me anymore.
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me, Bella.” There’s something behind those words that makes me curious.
Excitement rushes through me and I can’t help but smile, “Then tell me!” I really did want to learn more about Aiden. I mean, a second ago I had thought he was an only child!
He looks away from me and becomes incredibly interested in the dirt at his feet, “I really have to get these flyers out,” He mumbles nervously and runs a hand through his hair.
“Fine, meet me later.” I wasn’t letting him get out of this. “We’ll talk, get to know each other.”
“We already know each other.” He pointed out, looking back up at me. He suddenly looked very tired.
I gave him an annoyed look, “We’ll get to know each other better.” I compromised.
“But we aren’t ‘dating’ anymore, people might get the wrong idea.” He was irritated. I could tell by the way his eyebrows furrowed together and the side of his lips twitched.
“A guy and a girl can be friends and have a friendly chat, can’t they! Who cares what people think!”
I step infront of him before he can add another flyer to a vacant pole. He gives me exasperated look but I stand my ground, waiting for him to see how awesome this idea was.
He doesn’t seem too excited though, “Yeah, okay. I’ll meet you at The Three Broomsticks at 12?”
Atleast he had complied.
“Okay. Sounds great.” I give a small smile, confused at his disinterest.
A bid goodbye to Aiden and wish him luck to handing all the flyers out. They kept restocking everytime he handing the last one out. His sister had said he must hand them all out.
I would have helped him but I actually did have my own shopping to do..
I head toward Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop. I was in some serious need of knew quills since I could never be bothered to get some when I came here. I always ended up running out and borrowing Rose’s spare ones, which she got incredibly pissed about.
Scrivenshaft’s wasn’t my first choice for quills. I preferred going to Zonko’s Joke Shop and buying sugar quills, but Rose had insisted I get a ‘proper’ set of quills. She took after her mum in that way.
I don’t even really take much notice as to what type of Quills I was buying, all I know is that they are going to be incredibly boring compared to sugar quills.
“You probably shouldn’t get those. The teachers go nuts if you use different coloured ink in class.” A voice says nearby and it takes me a while to realise they are talking to me.
“Oh, hey Albus. What are you doing here?”
“Um, buying some quills.” He says like it obvious. And it should have been, we are in a Quill Shop.
“Right. Yeah.” I say absentmindedly as I place my rainbow Quills back on the shelf and switch for some black inked ones.
I make my way towards the counter, ready to pay.
“Are you doing anything later?” Albus asks suddenly, appearing beside me. I thought he had left.
I had sounded completely boring and uninteresting just before, why would he stick around to talk to me?
“Um, well, I was planning on meeting up with a friend, but er...” I falter a little as his face falls, “I’m sure I can get out of it. Did you have something planned?”
Shit, did I sound too eager?
I felt incredibly guilt for cancelling on Aiden, I really had wanted to learn more about him, but I’m sure he’d understand. He should be proud I’m actually having a stable conversation with Albus! Let alone organising to hang out!
“Well, I really wanted to go to the Shrieking Shack, but no one wanted to go with me... so I was wondering –“
“I’d love to!” I say hastily, cutting him off. “I mean, you know, that’s if you want to...” Duh, he just said he wanted to.
Well, this is awkward.
Albus laughs off my interruption good naturedly, “Sounds great.”
Some middle age women took that fine moment to rudely tell us ‘young romantics’ to leave. I hadn’t realised, but we were holding up the cue for the counter. I grabbed my quills, quickly payed the bored looking shopkeeper and left.
Albus and I had planned to meet at 12:30, so I had to quickly find Aiden before heading off to meet Albus.
I spotted Aiden in the window of The Three Broomsticks. He was ten minutes early.
Aiden looked up as the bell on the door sounded and I enter the pub. “Hey Bella!”
“Hey Aiden! You’re never going to guess what just happened?” I exclaim, making my way towards him.
“Albus just asked me out! Well actually not really, but he wants to meet at the Shrieking Shack and we actually had a conversation and everything!” I gush out in a rush.
“Oh. Er, that’s great?”
“Isn’t it!” I was practically melting in excitement, “But I have to go soon, cause we are meeting at 12:30 and –“
“You’re meeting him now?” His brow furrowed
I frown, “I thought you’d understand. I mean, you are basically the reason I can talk to him now. Without you, none of this could have happened!”
For some odd reason, he didn’t hold my same excitement.
“Why aren’t you happy for me? I thought this was our plan all along? Get me to be able to talk to Albus?”
“It was- is Bella, it’s just...” He runs a hand through his hair, “You know what? It doesn’t even matter.” His voice is rough and harsh. It practically cuts like knife. For some reason, I felt tears spring to my eyes at his words, “Go find Albus” He stands up, “I’ll see you around.”
With that he leaves the pub, slamming the door quite loudly behind him.
Most people who hadn’t been paying attention to our fight jump in fright, the other half of people who had witnessed my little tiff with Aiden stare at me suspiciously. It takes all my self control not to flip them all off. After a deep breath, I too, exit the pub.
My initial thought is to find Aiden and find out what the hell his problem is today. He seemed perfectly fine this morning and now he is acting like an arrogant pig. It was confusing. He was confusing.
“Oh hey,” A very familiar voice said from beside me. My heart squeezed.
“Hello Albus,” I say as I turn around. His black hair is ruffling in the light breeze and his eyes are sparkling. He is so unbelievably cute.
“I was just heading towards the Shrieking Shack now.” He motions towards the way he had been heading. The opposite way as to which I had been walking. He seems to have noticed this. He looks embarrassed and runs a hand through his hair, messing it up even more. “Which you were not going to.” He nods like he understands what is happening.
I open my mouth to speak and explain that I was only looking for Aiden, but he cuts me off. “Look, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed anything. But if you didn’t want to come, you should have just said so, not stand me up.”
He was too cute for his own good.
“Albus!” I exclaim before he starts a new sentence. “I wasn’t going to stand you up. I was just looking for...” I suddenly didn’t think it was best that I was looking for my ‘ex boyfriend.’ “You know what, never mind. Let’s go.”
He smiled the most dazzling smile I have ever seen and grabbed my hand. If someone had told me two months ago I would be walking hand in hand through Hogsmeade with Albus Potter, I would have told them they were crazy and then probably laughed in their face.
There were so many eyes on us I could practically feel them burrowing into my body.
I did try to ignore the snide looks from the girls we passed, but it was harder than I thought. I suddenly felt self conscious walking beside Al.
He gave me a funny look as I started to slow from my train of thought. “Are you okay?”
I force a smile, “Sure! I’m absolutely fine!” I say a bit too brightly.
His lips twitch, fighting a smile. Damn, I have loved to see those dazzling teeth again. “Are –“ He breaks off from his speech and stares over my head as the patronising girls start giggling again.
He seems to understand my sudden lack of enthusiasm.
He squeezes my hand. “You don’t have to worry about those idiots, you know.” He leans in and gives me a quick hug. I can’t breathe anymore. “You’re much more beautiful.” He whispers in my ear.
My head spins and I swear I’m about to pass out when he pulls away, acting like nothing had even happened. He clasps my hand again and continues walking.
To my left I hear a loud bang, like someone just tipped over a garbage can. From my peripheral vision I can see Albus glance over his shoulder, but I pay no attention, I’m too caught up in my world of happiness and no one was going to ruin it.
“Come on Bella, it’s not even high!”
I stuff my hands into my pockets and ignore the cold seeping into my shoes, “There is no freaking way I am getting up there.”
We were at the Shrieking Shack by now, Albus being the adorable person he was had planned a nice picnic for the two of us. (How he had done this in the short amount of time he had was beyond me). However, the excitement had died down when he told me it was on the roof. The fucking roof.
Do you know how old the Shrieking Shack is?
I didn’t really feel like falling through a roof today and breaking me legs.
“Please Bella, I promise you it won’t fall. I would never put your life in danger.” He said sincerely and my heart squeezed.
I doubt that this was really life threatening, but his words had made me feel safer then I ever had in my life.
I groaned loudly, “Fine, but if I fall, my blood is on your hands.” I begin to climb the makeshift ladder that connected the ground to the roof.
“I would catch you, I swear.” He grinned and grabbed my hands to pull me the last metre onto the roof.
“Mmmhmmm.” I mutter sarcastically, but my hearts not really in it, I’m suddenly captivated by the stunning view before me.
I sit down on the ugly picnic blanket he had laid out for us and idly accepted the pretzel he stuffed in my hand.
“It’s so beautiful!” I whisper, shaking my head slightly, the scenery surely couldn’t be real.
Albus leans in slowly, I can feel his warm breathe on my neck, “Yeah, you are.”
I scoff, “That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard!” But I can’t help but feel flattered. He thought I was beautiful?
He looked ashamed at his cheesiness, but doesn’t lean away. I can see the freckles dominating his nose. “It’s the truth.” He says matter of factly.
My heart was beating so fast, I could hear it in my ears. I was practically having an anxiety attack.
Dear Merlin, help me!
He strokes my cheek, sending chills down my spine, “I like you.” He whispers.
I think my eyes just bulged out of my head. “Yeah...” I said vaguely. Nothing was making sense anymore. “I like you too...”
“No,” He leaned in closer, if that was even possible, and whispered against my cheek. “I like you a lot.”
I gasp slightly as the hand that stroked my cheek, gently catches my chin and guides my face so it is level with his. He hesitates only a brief moment, making sure this is what I want, then suddenly his lips are on mine. His hands are gentle and cup my face. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him closer; the giddy feeling spreads throughout me as he smiles against my lips.
I felt more alive than I ever had in my entire life; and there was nothing that was going to ruin my happiness right now.
Author Note: This chapter was really rushed, especially the ending, and I do apologise for that.
But please let me know what you think, about Bella and Albus kissing or poor Aiden (I really do feel sorry for him!), or anything in general!
Thanks for reading!
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by Leigh Kelley