Chapter 1 : Cheering Up Rachel
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I’m running to charms and praying that Professor Flitwick won’t give me detention for being so late. My roommates tried, and failed, to wake me up this morning. As I throw myself down another flight of stairs, I crash, hard, into a fellow student and we both tumble to the ground from the force of the impact.
I swear underneath my breath and look over at the heap of a boy laying on the floor next to me. The student in question, a boy a year older than me, groans heavily from his spot.
Oh no, oh heavens no. I crashed into James Sirius Potter. His father is the biggest wizard to come along since the founding four. I close my eyes, forgetting about charms class, and think of all the different ways that my parents would lecture me about this.
My mother would say something along the lines of, “Honey. . .maybe if you lost weight, the momentum of flying down the stairs wouldn’t have been so overwhelming.”
“You’ve got to learn your place, sweetheart, if you want to be successful in life,” My father would chasten.
I stare at the high ceiling and will it to engulf me.
“You don’t have a concussion, right?” James stands over me, smirking at my surprised face.
“I just ran into you, why are you talking to me?” I wonder out loud. Maybe I’m hallucinating?
He laughs and helps me off the ground. “Why would I bump and run?” he teases me.
I stare at him and the pit of my stomach falls. Raven hair, permanently messy with the ends sticking up in different places, his eyes are a deep brown, and his forehead and cheeks are creased with laughing lines. Potter is hot.
I can just guess what my mother would say, “No, no, no, Rachel. You can not stare at the son of a hero like a piece of meat. He’s way out of your league.”
I shake my head and hold my hand out to him, “I’m Rachel Bleut.”
He laughs, but shakes my hand. “I know. Well, I’m late for Transfiguration. Are you sure you’re okay?”
He knows. He knows? He knows?!
“Uh yeah, don’t worry about it. I’m solid like a rock.”
He smiles. “Good. Well, I’ll see ya around.”
I watch him as he climbs the stairs we fell down. There’s no way I’d pay attention in charms if I attempted to go now, so I walk out onto the grounds.
The midday sun light is hitting the tree tops of the forest giving everything a golden glow. I stroll to the lake and let my mind wander as I stare down into its murky contents.
That was...strange. I'm not entirely sure what my parents would say after that encounter. I'm sure they'd be just as surprised as I was.
My mother is a perfectionist and a wedding planner, and my father works in the paper filing section in the Ministry. He looks over paperwork and files it away. They were both Hufflepuffs when they went to school. Imagine their surprise and slight disappointment when they found out that I was sorted into the Gryffindor house.
I drop down and sit, legs pressed up against my chest, and head laying on my knees. I close my eyes and let my mind drift to happier things as I hum under my breath.
“As head boy, I might have to give you detention for skipping class, Rachel.” A voice pulls me from my tranquil thoughts and I look up. James Potter?
He collapses next to me on the ground and picks up rocks to throw into the lake.
“What are you doing here?” I ask him.
“Skipping class.” He laughs, throwing a particularly large rock into the waters.
I stare at him, trying to figure him out. He looks back and winks.
“How do you feel about Transfigurations?” he asks me.
I shrug, “I’m not very good at it, but I’m sure its useful.”
He nods his head, "I agree." and throws his last rock far into the lake, “What were you humming?”
I blush, I didn’t think he heard it, “Oh just a tune my aunt would sing to me when I was little and upset.”
“You’re upset?” he continues to question.
“Well, I suppose so. I’ve been having a bad day,” I attempt explain.
James falls silent for a moment before jumping up from the ground and looking at me expectantly.
“What?” I ask him.
He folds his arms across his chest. “Get up,” he commands.
I roll my eyes and push myself from the ground.
He beams at me. “Awesome, I’m going to cheer you up.”
“You’re not serious.”
“Oh, but I am. Come on.” He grabs my hand and walks to the edge of the forest, pulling me along with him.
“Okay, first, we’re going to climb this tree,” he announces when we reach his destination.
I look up at the tree, it’s huge, thick, and the bark does not look soft.
“That, James, is a death trap,” I conclude and turn to walk away, but he swiftly blocks my path with his arm.
“Hey, respect the elderly. Larry is much older than you.” He points at the tree and pouts.
I can’t help but smile and watch as he climbs “Larry”.
“Oi! If you don’t start climbing this tree, I will come down there and tickle you to death," he threatens from a branch.
I sigh and, tentatively, grab onto a branch and pull myself up to James’ level.
He beams at me and I smile, shyly back at him.
“I’m not going to lie, I was sort of hoping to tickle you, but I’m glad you are participating in my ‘Make Rachel Have a Good Day’ plan.”
I punch him playfully, “Shut it. I’m trying to enjoy the view.”
Considering that we were only about mid-way up the tree, there wasn’t a view, but I stared out onto the grounds in awe of our height, nonetheless.
James descends the tree and I frown at him, “Where are you going?”
He looks up, “There is more to my plan than climbing a tree, weirdo.”
I’m the weirdo? I sigh and look out to the grounds one last time before climbing down to meet the real weirdo.
“Ready?” he asks when I touch ground.
“Ready for wha-” He cuts me off by picking me up and throwing me over his shoulder.
“Oof! James,” I weeze out. His shoulder blade is cutting off my air supply.
He scampers past the lake and greenhouse, stopping at a little garden off the side of the castle.
He drops me, “Okay! Which one of these is your favorite?” He points to a large group of flowers.
I rub my leg that I fell on and scowl at him.
“What?” he asks innocently.
“You threw me on the ground!”
“You were wiggling the whole way here, it was annoying.”
“YOU FREAKING THREW ME OVER YOUR SHOULDER!”
He shakes his head and turns to the flowers, observing each one carefully.
“I don’t get the point of flowers,” he says after a few minutes.
I give up on my pouting and crawl over to him, “What about them?”
“Well, why do girls like them so much?” he asks, plucking a tiger lily from a bush.
I ponder this, he does have a point. “I don’t know. I think they’re very pretty.”
“Do you like this one?” He, all but, crushes the poor flower into my face.
“It’s okay,” I allow pushing it back and offering a small smile.
He frowns and studies a bushel of roses. I decide to help him, “I like tulips.”
He looks at me in surprise, “Okay!” he yells like a five year old and skips off to get me a tulip.
I idly wonder what Flitwick is teaching in class while I’m out here babysitting James. When James returns he hands me a beautiful red tulip and I stare at it, tears threatening to form in my eyes. Luckily, James is too impatient to move on to his next step to let me cry over a silly flower.
He bends down and picks me up in a single motion, holding me bridal style.
“Seriously? I can walk, you know,” I moan as he begins to jog to the next destination.
He laughs, “Okay, fair enough.” He sets me down, nicely this time, on the ground and grabs my hand to pull.
I prefer running and holding hands with James over Charms anyday.
We get to the quidditch pitch and James let’s go of my hand, to my chagrin, and runs to the broom storage hut.
“Cleansweep or comet?” he calls from inside it.
Is there really a difference? “Either works,” I call back and look around.
Charms is either already over, or finishing because the sun is up in a early afternoon position in the sky. James stumbles out of the broom storage building and walks over to me with two brooms in his hands. As he hands one to me, our hands touch.
We make eye contact a split second before James’ mischievous smirk sneaks onto his face. He pulls his hand away and runs away yelling, “TAG! YOU’RE IT!” and kicks off the ground on his broom.
What just happened? I ask myself as I kick off the ground to chase after him. He’s a really good flier. This isn't a fair game.
After fifteen minutes, I finally almost get close enough to touch him, but he flies off, giggling like a maniac. This isn’t working, I need a new approach. I tilt my broom upwards and fly straight up for a while before stopping and looking below me.
James didn’t see where I went and now he’s trying to search for me as if I were the golden snitch in one of his matches. I grin wicked as I dive for the unsuspecting seeker. He looks up, but it’s too late for him to fly away. I crash right into him and send us both plunging for the ground.
I don’t know how, but James pulls us out of the dive with his broom and my own falls out from underneath me. There’s an awkward silence as I hug onto his back with all of my life. Then, he laughs, well, more like snorts,“Rachel, that was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do on a broomstick!” he says between snorts.
I smile into his back at the semi-compliment.
“Onto our next adventure!” he yells and flies us from the quidditch pitch to one of the towers emerging from the castle.
We somehow slip through a window and tumble into the empty Astronomy classroom. James studies the room before pulling me to the chalkboard.
“We’re going to play tic-tac-toe now,” he announces. His enthusiasm not wavering one bit.
If it wasn’t obvious to me before, now I realize that he’s just making it up as we go.
He draws a grid and places a large “x” through the center box before throwing the chalk at me and crashing into an empty desk.
I put an ‘o” in the top left corner and turn back to hand him the chalk.
He’s lounging on the desk with his eyes closed. I wonder if he’s asleep? if he is, he has talented sleeping skills.
Instead of disturbing what could be an asleep James, I decide to doodle on the chalkboard. After a half hour or so, James comes up behind me and puts his head on my shoulder.
“What’s that supposed to be?” he asks, his breath tickling my ear.
“It’s you riding your broom,” I huff. I thought it was obvious.
He laughs into my ear, sending shivers down my spine.
“What’s that coming out of my head?”
I grin to myself. “That’s your hair, James.”
He scoffs. “That’s not hair. It looks like an animal attacking my head.”
I laugh. “Then it’s an exact replica.”
He turns me to face him, he’s smiling very happily.
“I got you to laugh!”
I raise my eyebrow in confusion. “So?”
His smile widens. “You never laugh at my jokes.”
“I do too,” I protest, trying to think back even before this afternoon when I laughed at one of his many jokes. I can’t think of a time, which is strange, James makes everyone laugh.
“Oh, I don’t,” I change my response and look into his twinkling brown eyes, “I’m sorry. I think you’re hilarious.”
He shrugs and continues to smile. “It’s been my goal since my second year to get you to laugh.”
“What? That’s too silly to believe.”
“I told you a joke the second week of your first year here, but you didn’t laugh. It disturbed me because I was under the impression that I was the most humorous being to ever step foot into the castle. I resented you for not laughing,” he pauses, “But I kind of noticed that you don’t laugh in general, even with your friends. So, I made it a goal to get you to laugh. I’ve been trying for five years,” he explains, grabbing my waist and pulling me closer.
“You have been trying to get me to laugh for five years?” I stutter out as he plays with my hair.
“Yeah, you have a really pretty laugh.” His eyes smoulder as he stares at my lips.
“You’re a lunatic,” I conclude, trying to keep myself freaking out about how close his face is to my own.
He laughs and leans in. “Yes I am,” he whispers against my lips.
Just an update to this older story of mine. It's basically the same...er right, so...yeah...If you want, leave a review! Nothing spectacular will happen if you do. I'll probably just respond. It's not all that exciting really.
Hope you enjoyed it! Have a wonderful day/afternoon/night.