Chapter 19 : Tea at Hagridís
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Chapter 19: Tea at Hagrid’s
“I see that you and Sirius are still not talking…” Fred grumbled to me after History of Magic on Friday.
During the days after I ‘overheard’ Neville and Sirius, I had a hard time cornering Sirius. He always seemed to disappear right in the nick of time and was never in the dorms. He’s not there when I go to sleep or there when I wake up. It’s like he’s not sleeping at all. On the rare occasion that I would track him down with the Marauder’s Map I would find a black dog instead, hastily retreating toward the Forbidden Forest.
Admitting I’m wrong was harder than I thought it would be. Sirius was getting too good at ignoring me and I was bad at tracking him down apparently. I could always talk to him as a dog and pretend I don’t know it’s him, but that would just be silly and I would feel rather ridiculous. So, I was currently running out of ideas.
“Well, I’ll have to talk to him tomorrow for Slughorn’s party…” I grumbled as I walked down the stairs with Fred, on our way to the Great Hall for dinner. We ducked under the tapestry, leading us back to the stairs. “I’ll just corner him by the punchbowl and force him to be my friend again…”
“That’s the spirit, and it actually shouldn’t be too hard considering, I’m sure he’s planning to get kicked out of Slughorn’s party early like we are.” Fred suddenly looked longingly ahead at the Prefect that just popped up in front of us on the staircase.
I saw the look in his eyes and put my hand on his shoulder.
“Don’t!” I warned him, knowing exactly what he was thinking.
“Come on, it’s a quick way to get out of Slughorn’s party…detention sound a lot more ideal than some pompous prick’s party.” Fred said, still eyeing the Prefect like a lion watching its prey. “Just one little push down the stairs…” He trailed off reaching his hands and arms forward, inches away from the Prefect’s back.
“I’m not having any part of this.” I said moving ahead of the Prefect so I wouldn’t get blamed as well.
I heard Fred groan, but follow me reluctantly leaving the Prefect alone.
“So have you talked to Al, yet?” Fred asked.
“And you haven’t talked to Sirius…” Fred frowned.
“Ten points to Gryffindor, for Fred Weasley’s obvious statements.” I glared at him.
“Come on, it can go something like this, ‘So I’ve been a prick and I wanted to say I’m sorry.’” Fred said in a whiny irritating voice that I guess was supposed to be me. “Next thing you know, you and Sirius are best mates again and you and Al are off teasing one another. Problem solved.”
Fred clapped his hands together like it was as simple as that.
I laughed at the idea. “If only it were that simple. Getting to talk to them is the hard part…”
Fred glanced ahead of us and grinned. “Well, now is your chance…”
I followed his gaze and saw my brother being towed off by the blond Slytherin, I had seen him previously with and Rose. He was looking at me and our eyes meet, but as soon as they did he took off, running toward the door leading outside. The blond boy and Rose hurried after him.
“ALBUS!” I yelled without thinking. Just seeing my brother brought so many feelings to the surface. I missed him…and Fred was right, this was my chance.
Albus halted at the door, but the blond boy pushed him through, sending me a glare and sticking out his tongue as he did so. My eyes widened at the immature boy, as he vanished after Albus. I could already tell I didn’t like him and I don’t think this was just because he was in Slytherin. No, we were going to have problems even after I finally get to talk to Al, I could already tell from the few times I’ve actually interacted with him.
“Sorry, James!” Rose reached the door now too, giving me an apologetic look. “Al left his bag in Herbology and we have to go get it. See you later!”
I nodded to her as she left, realizing that she was clearly lying for her favorite cousin. While Al and I might have a brother bond and her and Hugo are certainly close; Albus and Rose seemed closer and Albus was probably the only person Rose would lie for – even if she was bad at it.
“Well, that could have gone better.” Fred had to stop himself from laughing, he was gripping the wall for support.
I nudged him in the side, slightly depressed by this horrid turnout. “Come on.”
I would get another chance to talk to Al tomorrow, at Hagrid’s. Hopefully, Al was still going and wasn’t going to blow it off.
We headed down to the Great Hall and I groaned when I saw a group of people surrounding Sirius – actually, they weren’t surrounding him, but instead surrounding someone sitting by Sirius, who – quite frankly – I rather not deal with, my dear cousin Dominique.
Fred however, liked Dominique for some reason and quickly shoved his way next to her and Amelia.
When Sirius saw Fred and I, he suddenly got up and left the table, mumbling goodbyes to Dom and Amelia as he did so. I looked at his plate that disappeared off the table after he left and noticed his plate was still full. I frowned. I guess avoiding me was more important than eating. I suddenly worried about Sirius and if he was actually eating properly. I sat next to Fred whom was already talking to Amelia and Dom.
Amelia still seemed to not like me. I don’t quite understand why, but I’m fairly certain that Dom isn’t helping. Amelia and Dom seemed to be better friends than I could have possibly guessed. This seemed good for Dom, who appeared to be quite lovely and friendly to all of her classmates and a perfect student. It’s like her attitude did a one eighty, but I was now concerned she was going to crack and start killing people any moment – reverting back to her normal self.
When I just sat down next to Fred I heard Dom giggle and a shiver ran down my spine.
“I just love your hair Dom!” Said a first year girl across the table.
I glanced around at all the students around her and quickly realized that not all of them were even Gryffindor students, and some of them were a bit older. I now looked down the table and saw Victoire with her two normal friends. I wondered if this was what happened with her as well, when she first started school.
It was widely know that Dominique was Victoire’s younger sister and Victoire was fair too popular for her own good. Could everyone just be nice to Dominique in hopes of getting on Victoire’s good side? Or was this all Dominique? Dominique was, well, very attractive for her age. Even I could see that. While this is mostly due to her Veela blood, she also knows how to manipulate people to do what she wants. Something Lily has sadly learned from her older cousin.
I wonder if Dominique’s current kindness was just so she would be a school favorite, like her sister. She obviously saw the perks in it, otherwise she wouldn’t be trying this hard.
Or there was a second option. Maybe she was actually nice. This seemed less likely, but Amelia seemed to like her and Dominique was rather rough around the edges and blunt with Amelia when they first met.
I shrugged it off. It wasn’t my concern.
“You look just as beautiful as your sister.” I heard Eric Davison remark from across the table to Dominique. He smiled at her and she smiled back. Her eyes however, flashed. She clearly didn’t care for being compared to her sister. She turned back to Amelia and seemed to recover quickly.
I took this opportunity to glare at Davison from across the table, after a moment I caught his eye and he sent me a questioning look. “She’s four years younger than you Davison…”
Davison jumped back looking at me. “Why do you care James?”
“She’s my cousin.” I continued to glare at him.
Davison seemed to understand and returned back to his plate. His eyes flashing up to Dom every so often. Did he really not connect those dots until now?
I turned to Fred when I noticed he was talking to Dominique and offering her something.
“Fred, I’m not eating a Coffee Toffee.” Dom told Fred firmly. “Sirius told me he still can’t sleep.”
What? Sirius couldn’t sleep? Well that explains why he’s never in the dorm…
“Well, isn’t that something…is he still twitching?” Fred was in now in analyzing mode. He had a calculating look on his face. “I’ll have to ask him about it tonight.” He turned to me and glared. “Won’t I?”
Meaning that if I don’t solve this problem with Sirius soon, Fred would.
I sighed. It wasn’t that easy to just approach Sirius. I came to the resolution after I heard his spill on why he was so angry with me. If I just popped up directly after that – he might catch on that I overheard him. I wasn’t ready to have that conversation with him. I wasn’t ready to confront him about how he was really Sirius Black and I don’t think he was ready to admit it yet, either.
I continued to pile food on my plate when Claire Madison and Dany sat across from me.
“James, tryouts are tomorrow afternoon. If you are not there – I’ll either kick you off the team or find you and drag your butt to the Quidditch field.” Madison informed me all in one breath and then shrugged after a look from Dany. “Depending on my mood.”
“Don’t worry, Claire! James and I will be there.” Fred winked at her. He then turned to me excitedly. “Now we have an excuse not to go to ole Sluggy’s party!”
“Yes, I see your name is on the sheet. I’ve posted a signup sheet in the Common. It says the date and time – but thus far we only have a few signed up.” She sighed. I hope we can get two decent Beaters out of this…”
And like that, with the help of Fred and Claire, a light went off in my head.
“Claire! Let me see the list!” She reluctantly handed it to me with a suspicious look as she did so. I quickly scanned over the list and smiled. “Dany do you have a quill?”
Dany nodded, handing me a quill and ink from her bag. I dabbed the tip in the ink bottle and added a name on the list, then handed the list back to Claire. She looked at the list and raised an eyebrow, but didn’t say anything.
“See you tomorrow, then?”
I nodded, grinning to myself as I gave Dany back her quill and ink.
“Who did you add?” Fred asked as Dany and Claire left us with Dom and Amelia.
I grinned bigger. “You’ll see.”
Sending Fred a wink I nudged my blond cousin in the side – provoking a glare from her and even Amelia.
“So how was your first week, dearest cousin?” I asked her, grinning.
She smiled back, my grin fell into a frown and I was dreading whatever was coming next. “It was fine, James. Amy and I have wonderful classmates.”
I raised an eyebrow at her. Was this really Dom?
“Yeah…I bet you do…” I raised an eyebrow at her. “So, what’s this about Sirius not sleeping.”
“What’s wrong?” Dom asked me sweetly. “Are you two not talking?”
When my face fell, Dom smirked. Now there was the Dom I knew and loved…well, more like put up with…
I smirked back after a moment; it was easier to talk to this Dom. “Tell me what he said.”
“Well, he said that he hasn’t slept since before school.” Dom shrugged. “He blames the Coffee Toffee, but I would say having a prat of a best friend like you isn’t helping either.”
“Well, I’ve been trying to talk to him…” I defended. If Dom thought I was being a prat then it must be true. From what I gathered Dom doesn’t take sides in a fight. She just states facts and watches the fighting unfold. If she went out of her way to state that I’m a part of the reason why Sirius isn’t sleeping, then I suppose that I really was in the wrong here. Not that I really doubted that before. It just confirms it a bit more.
Dom seemed to understand my train of thought and changed the subject to another problem I currently have. “Al’s doing great, by the way.”
I jumped a bit. I forgot that Dom would probably have some classes with him.
“Is that the boy who Slughorn nearly wet his pants over?” Amelia chimed in. I didn’t realize she had been listening the whole time.
“How have his classes been?” I asked nonchalantly, like I was indifferent to the matter, even though I was really curious.
“James, I’m not going to be your information source!” Dom snapped at me, glaring. Most of her friends, besides Amelia were not looking. “If you want to know how Sirius and Albus are, then talk to them.”
Dom turned back to Amelia and began talking again.
I rolled my eyes and turned to Fred who was stuffing his face with all the food he could grab. Dom was right, it was about time that I forced myself to admit I was wrong. Hopefully, they would listen.
I got to Hagrid’s hut early the next day. I saw that Albus was already heading toward the grounds before me on the Marauder’s Map and I decided to get there early, so we could talk. Knowing Al, he left early to either leave before I got there or help Hagrid make tea. Probably the latter. After all, Albus wasn’t avoiding me…okay, maybe he was…
I arrived rather quick after I spotted Albus on the Map. Timidly knocking on the door I was greeted by Hagrid. Disappointment flooded over my face when Hagrid informed me Albus wasn’t there yet.
I knew that he couldn’t be hiding with the Invisibility Cloak or avoiding me with the Map – because I currently had both of those in my position.
“I ‘spect Al’s on ‘is way as we speak.” Hagrid informed me. I nodded. “Not ter worry.” I worried. “That was quite a show Al and yeh put on durin’ the sortin’. Who’d o’ thought tha’ Al would be in Slytherin?” I nodded looking out the window.
I jumped up when I saw a cloak heading down the path from the castle and our way. When the door swung open I was right there to greet Albus. However, I was deeply frustrated when wavy ginger hair popped into Hagrid’s house instead of black hair.
“Rose!” Hagrid exclaimed happily as he set the table.
“Hello Hagrid.” Rose smiled. “Umm, James?”
I was right next to her. “Where’s Al? He’s still coming right?”
She took in my expression and nodded. “He told me he’d be here early.”
“He’s not! I thought he would be too. But he’s not!” I glanced out the window.
Rose grinned. “Worried he’s avoiding you now?”
“I wasn’t avoiding him.” I told her glaring.
“I never said you were.” Rose smiled and looked out the window. “Let’s wait outside for him. Hagrid! We’ll be outside waiting for Al!”
Hagrid nodded and Rose grabbed my arm hauling me out the door.
When she shut the door she wore a triumphant look on her face and this made me glare even more.
“What?” I asked irritated and worried.
“Nothing…” She smiled an almost cocky smile. It didn’t suit Rose to be cocky. That was my thing and possible Dom’s. Rose was an angel compared to the rest of the family.
“How has Al been?” I asked casually, as I looked up to the castle.
“He’s fine I suppose. His new friend doesn’t like you very much.” Rose watched my face carefully.
“The blond boy?” I asked. Good, I didn’t care for him either so, it somewhat pleases me knowing the feeling was mutual, but I would have to admit he sticks up for Al alright…more than I’ve been doing as of late.
“Yes, his name is Scorpius.”
“Wait!” I turned to her quickly. “Scorpius Malfoy?”
“Don’t look at me like that, he’s a nice boy.” Rose’s eyes narrowed.
“You do realize his father use to call your mother a…a you know what…” I told her in anguish. I can’t believe Al became friends with a Malfoy…I’m starting to believe that Al was getting back at me for all those years I’ve been teasing him.
Wouldn’t that be perfect? Al gets here and tells me asked the sorting hat to put him in Slytherin just to spite me. Malfoy as his best friend was just the cherry on top of this horrible metaphorical cake. I shook my head. I can’t be this negative if I’m going to apologize to Al.
“Yes – I’ve heard the stories plenty of times, but he isn’t his father. You can’t judge the sons and daughters of someone before you get to know them. You and Al probably know that better than most.” Rose gave me an all-knowing look, like she could read my mind at that exact moment and all the contradictions I was making in my head. “Just make your peace with Albus and I’m sure you and Scorpius will also become friends in the future.”
I doubt that. I would tolerate him though for Al…but I’ll also have my eye on him. I could hear Sirius’s disapproving voice in my head already.
“Will he be coming too?” I wondered.
“No, Al is under the impression that you two wouldn’t get along and he wants to talk to you.” Rose told me.
Al would be right.
“Speaking of that brother of mine, where is he?” I now had my eyes darting back and forth between the Quidditch Pitch and castle.
I felt like a worried mother. I watched him on the Map just an hour ago. He couldn’t have possibly gotten lost, could he?
Just as I was about to excuse myself inconspicuously behind Hagrid’s hut – to sneak a peek at the Map – I heard a crunch behind me.
I turned around so fast that I nearly fell. My wand was out and I was on the edge of hexing whatever was behind us.
Albus froze with his hands up. “James?”
“Al!” Rose said in an excited voice. “There you are! Why are you – James!”
Before Rose could say anything else I had my arms wrapped around my brother. I felt him freeze and I squeezed him tighter.
“Are you alright Al?” I asked quietly to him. I could hear Rose scoffing behind me.
“Yeah…I’m fine…Umm, James?” Albus said in a worried voice.
“Hush little brother and let me speak.” I shushed him. I squeezed him even tighter. “I’ve been a prat and a fool. I don’t care that you are in Slytherin. It…it was just a bit unexpected is all…Slytherin is lucky to have you.” I pulled back to look at Al’s face. I noticed there were some black marks on it, but I continued on anyways. “You’re my brother and nothing is going to change that.”
Al smiled at me, his green eyes twinkled. “Thanks James!”
I finally let Al go and stepped back.
“Good, good, now that we got that out of the way let’s have some tea and scones – Al?” I stopped mid-sentence.
“Yes James?” Al turned reaching for the door to Hagrid’s hut and I got my first good look at him.
“What the bloody hell happened to you?”
Al looked down at his robe and current state – spinning as he did so, like it was a surprise to him, as well. Al’s robes were torn and had gaping holes in them. His pants were cut by his knee and he had burn marks on his clothes. Not to mention the ash on his face that I already noted.
“Umm…I fell on my way here…” Al lied.
My eyes narrowed.
Rose, who had remained silent during our awkward hugging moment, finally spoke up. “Did you fall into a fire?” She questioned.
“No, I just fell!” Al said defensively.
“Albus Severus Potter!” He jumped as I said his full name. I tried to copy our mother’s tone when she was angry with us. It didn’t appear to work as well as I had hoped.
“I’m fine James, honest. Just fell and a little spell mishap. It’s embarrassing so I’d rather not talk about it…” Al said more convincingly this time. Rose appeared to buy it and opened the door leading us into Hagrid’s hut. But I’ve seen Al lie before. Plus there was no way I beat him here, just because he fell and shot a spell at himself or something. Before I followed them into Hagrid’s hut I looked toward the direction Albus came from. There was nothing that way…except the Forbidden Forest.
When I walked back up to the Gryffindor dorms and pulled the door open I still heard the muffled breathing coming from Sirius’s bed. Fred was already up and causing mayhem in the kitchens and our other dorm mates seemed more productive than all of us.
I sighed. Time to get this over with…
I felt slightly bad, as I opened up Sirius’s trunk and pulled out his broom, some casual clothes and stole Fred’s extra Beater Bat. I sighed to myself when I slid the curtains to Sirius’s bed open; this appeared to be the first sleep he has gotten since coming back to school. After a small inner debate about whether I should wake him up, I decided that it was the only way and threw the items I had just collected on him, all at once.
Sirius jumped up and cussed as he fell off the bed, barely managing to grab his wand from his bedside table as he went down. He jumped up and looked around pointing his wand at his bed, then me. When his eyes fell on me they widened.
I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow at him.
“It’s time to get up, sleepyhead.” I said with no humor in my tone. Sirius still had his wand on me.
“Thank you James, but I’m very sick and I won’t be joining you and Fred when you go to Sluggy’s party tonight…” Sirius said darkly, looking perfectly well – except maybe a little tired.
“Well, that’s too bad because I have a better excuse for you.” I grinned.
Sirius didn’t return the grin, but he did drop his wand a little.
“Oh really, I wasn’t aware we were talking now. Have you stopped being a prat to your brother?” Sirius asked doubtfully.
“Yes.” I said watching, for his reaction.
His head snapped to me. “What?”
“I realized I was in the wrong. Al will always be my brother, no matter what house he is in.” I shrugged. “I apologized to him just this morning. I actually resolved to do so the second day you started ignoring me, but I knew you wouldn’t talk to me if I hadn’t talked to Al first.” I looked Sirius in the eye now. “I’m truly sorry Sirius…I was the world’s biggest prat…”
Sirius smiled and put his wand back on the table next to his bed. “Apology accepted.”
“Great, because we have bigger fish to fry.” I clapped my hands together. “First, Al is up to something…”
Sirius rolled his eyes at me. “If this is a speech about how Slytherins are up to no good, this isn’t a very good apology.” Sirius groaned and finally took a good look at the things on his bed. “Why is all of this out?”
“In a minute, Sirius!” I waved his question away like it wasn’t important. “You see Al lied to me…”
“Why is that a big surprise? You just apologized to him for being an ass.” Sirius held up the shirt I picked out for him. “Does this say ‘I love James Potter?’”
“Yeah, I charmed it when I was still mad at you…and I apologized for being a prat, not an ass.” I corrected him. “But Al always tells me things…even when we are fighting…”
Sirius frowned at the shirt. “This was my favorite shirt James…”
“So nothing has change really, now it even better than before – put it on. We are required at the Quiddtich Pitch in two hours.” I skipped over to my trunk now and pulled out my broom, deciding to fill him in on my brother’s movements later.
“Why am I going to the Quidditch Pitch?” Sirius frowned at me.
“You are trying out for Beater.” I informed him.
“No, I’m not!” Sirius’ frown deepened.
“It’s that or go to Slughorn’s party.” I told him. Comprehension dawned on Sirius’s face. I grinned at him. “Which do you prefer?”
Sirius smiled. “Well, looks like I’m trying out for the Gryffindor team.”
I smiled back; it was so simple and easy to fall back into being friends with Sirius. “Don’t let me down.”
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