I woke up thrashing violently in bed from that awful dream. I had had a record of almost two months going without the dream up until that night. Spilling my guts to Albus earlier that day must have brought it to the front of my mind again. I wiped the sweat from my face and tightened my hands into fists to make them stop shaking.
After a few minutes, I pulled myself out of bed and put on a jumper to fight the winter weather.
It was Marcus this time. I woke up just after he pulled the trigger. I began shaking again as soon as I thought about it.
The stairs down to the common room were cold on my bare feet and I shivered the whole way down. The common room was gloriously empty when I reached the bottom so I grabbed my usual spot on the couch in front of the fire and opened my Charms book. I was going to get a head start on my essay due next week.
A few minutes later, a small house elf popped into existence close enough to me and suddenly enough to make me jump.
“Oh, Margo is sorry, miss! Margo did not know anyone was here!” She chirped in her high-pitched voice.
“It’s no big deal, Margo.” I replied honestly. Margo was the head house-elf for Gryffindor tower so she was popping in and out at all times of day and night. We had become friends over the years. She used to try to convince me to go back to bed, but stopped after third year since I never took her advice.
Margo beamed at me and asked, “Would miss like some hot chocolate for her studying?”
“That would be wonderful!”
“I want some, too.” A deep voice said from behind me.
“Of course! Margo will get hot chocolate for Albus Potter and Miss Jamie!” Margo squeaked and disappeared with a snap.
“What are you doing down here?” I questioned as he took a seat next to me on the couch.
“I don’t really know.” He rubbed his eyes sleepily and leaned his head back against the seat. “Daniel woke me and said I should go downstairs. I decided not to question it.”
I nodded slowly. “Daniel’s a weird guy.”
“Yes, he is. But he’s usually right. And it seems that he was right tonight, as well.” He lifted his head and looked directly at me. “So, what’s up?”
Just then Margo reappeared in front of us with a tray of hot chocolate and some delicious looking chocolate chip cookies.
She set it down on the coffee table and we just had time to say thank you before she was gone again. That little elf was always on the move.
Albus’ expectant look settled on me once again when he had a cookie and hot chocolate in his hands. I folded my arms around myself protectively and had to remind myself that I had already told him everything. There was no point in keeping it from him.
“I just had that dream again. That was it.” I mumbled and wouldn’t meet his eyes.
He put down the cookie and hot chocolate, and turned to face me straight on. “The one about your mom?”
“Yes, well, no. It was Marcus this time. Don’t worry about it; it happens all the time.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” He said, pulling me into a hug. “Of course I’m going to worry about it. I find it very easy to worry about you, actually.”
I tucked my head into the crook of his neck, reveling in how warm he was compared to the cold, winter air the seeped through the stone walls around us.
“Whenever you have this dream,” he said as he pulled back to look me in the eyes, holding me at arm’s length, “I want you to come get me, okay? I don’t care what time it is or anything like that. I’ll stay up with you.”
I knew him well enough at this point to know that there was no point in arguing with him so I just nodded.
“Whatever you say, Albie.”
He scowled as he always did at the nickname, but shifted and adjusted my position so I was leaning against his chest.
We sat and talked for a while longer and he played with my hair. He spent about thirty minutes trying to figure out how to braid it. He was so focused that it was impossible to keep the conversation going, but he gave up eventually. I told him it didn’t work on my hair because it was too short and promised I would teach him on Rose’s hair some other time.
He refused to let me work on my charms essay which was incredibly frustrating. I always used this time to work on school, but he would have none of it.
I didn’t really mind. I pretended like I did just to give him a hard time, but I would pick spending time with him over homework any day.
Next thing I knew, light was shining through the windows and there was something heavy hanging over my side and something hard against my back. I shifted slightly and opened my eyes to see Daniel standing over me.
“Just wanted to let you know that it’s 7 am and people will be getting up for breakfast soon. So, unless you want everyone to find you two sleeping together, you better get back to the dorm rooms.” Then he walked back towards the staircase. Just before he reached it, he turned back and said, “Good luck waking him up. He’s a very heavy sleeper.”
He smiled widely at me and bounded up to his dorm.
I had yet to figure out what on earth he was talking about, but it soon became very clear when I looked down to the heavy thing now resting against my stomach. It was Albus’ arm. Meaning that the mouth-breathing I heard in my ear was coming from Albus. I began to panic. What if someone came downstairs and found us? They talked about the two of us enough already. I couldn’t deal with more.
I tried to shift away from him and get up, but his arm just tightened around my waist. I sighed and began nudging him, calling his name, hitting his chest to wake him up, but he didn’t respond at all. After about 15 minutes of this, I began to rethink my strategy. I didn’t have any ice water available to throw in his face and I could make too much noise or people would come downstairs. Looking up at his face, I got an idea. Slowly, I lifted myself up so that we were face to face lying on the couch. I just watched him sleep for a moment, his calm face giving me confidence and making me feel unsure at the same time. I talked myself into it and out of it several times. Maybe I was crazy to think this would work, but I was convinced it was my only option.
Hesitantly, I closed my eyes, leaned forward and pressed my lips to his. He was asleep, so of course there was no response. I felt very foolish at this point, and was about to pull away when I felt pressure being returned against my lips. His arm tightened even more around my waist.
So, naturally, I panicked and pulled away quickly.
When I opened my eyes, he was smiled lazily at me and just said, “Good morning.”
I forced my way out of his arms and stood, feeling myself turn bright red. I couldn’t remember ever being this embarrassed. “Good morning.” I stuttered out, “Thanks for staying with me last night. I think that’s the first time I have ever fallen back asleep after having that dream.”
“It was no problem.” He stretched and sat up, still grinning. “I’m glad we both got some sleep.”
After a minute of awkward silence on my part, and smirking on his part, I said, “We better get upstairs. It’s almost time for breakfast.”
He just said, “Yeah, good idea.” And didn’t move.
So, I nodded and began walking towards the girl’s staircase, desperate to get out of this situation.
“Jamie,” He called out suddenly.
I turned slowly to face him again and met his eyes defiantly. There was something undefinable burning in his eyes and a sly smile had settled onto his face.
“Do that again.” He said.
I knew what he meant immediately and considered storming up the stairs and never talking to him again, but the way he said it stopped me from leaving. It wasn’t a request, or even a demand. It was a challenge, a dare. He didn’t think I would. He expected me to walk away.
But I am a Gryffindor, after all.
I marched up to him and used my hand on his neck to pull his head down to me. He responded immediately to my kiss, adding his own pressure and wrapping one arm around my waist. My hand seemed to bury itself in his messy hair of its own accord.
I broke off the kiss after feeling the triumphant smile on his lips and ran for the stairs without a second glance at him.
“See you at breakfast!” He yelled after me.