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Chapter 5 : Chapter Five
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"You know," said a girl with impeccably straight, black hair and fine-pressed robes as she sat directly between Albus and Chris at breakfast on Saturday morning, "this entire week went by and we didn't have a single class together. I wonder why that is?" Albus didn't know this girl who crossed her legs and batted her eyelashes at him, but he'd seen her lurking around him all week.
"Dunno," Chris interrupted, halting the conversation the girl was trying to have with Albus in between bites of his waffle. "Maybe it's because he's a third year and you're a first year? Just a thought."
The girl glared at him and then fixed her hair as if something was wrong with it. She uncrossed her legs and stood, swatting at her robes as if she collected dust on them while sitting.
"I suppose I'll talk to you another time. See you later, Albus," she said. With that she turned and walked toward the giant doors of the Great Hall and left.
There was a moment's pause before Albus finally decided to ask, "Chris, who was that?"
"That was Chloe Arndale. She's a first year, and if you ask me she's a bit mental." Chris smirked and added a mountain of strawberries and syrup on a fresh batch of waffles.
"She was pretty, though." Albus noted, not making a grab for the new display of bacon.
"Yeah, for a stalker." Chriss scoffed. Or, at least, that was what Albus thought Chris said with his mouth full of steaming food.
"What do you mean?"
Chris went to explain again but Albus raised a finger, waiting for his friend to finish his current mouthful before he spoke again.
"She's been hanging around you all week! She creeps me out, Al. Lets just be glad we don't have to have her in any of our classes."
Chloe's porcelain face was in Albus' thoughts along with her sweet smile. He didn't see anything stalker-like about the girl.
"Maybe we're just at the same places at the same time?" He suggested. He stood up from the Slytherin table and began walking, not waiting for his friend. As he predicted, Chris grudgingly left his food and caught up with him.
"Not likely, Al. I think she goes out of her way just to be around you." The doors swung open to let them through and they continued straight on until the doors to the courtyard swung open as well. "Just you wait, she'll be waiting for us down in the common room."
Albus chuckled and looked at his friend with an ammused expression.
"Really? Because I see two things wrong with that, Chris. One, I'm sure she has more to do on her first weekend at Hogwarts than hang around in the common room. Two, last I checked, there is no us with her. Seems to me like she could live the rest of her life without regret if she never saw you again."
"Thanks, mate." Chris said sarcastically and turned just before the bridge. When Albus didn't follow, Chris stopped and asked, "Where are you going? Dungeons are this way."
"I have better things to do on my first weekend back than hang about in the common room." Albus chided. "I'm going to visit Hagrid. Tell him hi for my mum and dad and all."
"Al, you had him in class three times this week! You could've said hi any one of those times he was trying to sick one of his creatures on us."
"He wasn't sicking them on us." Albus defended. Most of the students thought like Chris did. They thought Hagrid wasn't fit to teach, but if he was able to last this long, he was credible enough to Albus. "And those were classes. This is a personal visit. You're welcome to come if you'd like." He offered, knowing the answer.
"No way!" Chris exclaimed. "Lesson time is enough danger for me. I'm not going to willingly walk to my death. Let's just say that I hope that Care of Magical Creatures Department comes soon. It's about time that giant oaf is properly fired."
Most of their entire first year consisted of Chris talking about Hagrid this way. A lot of those talks involved loud fighting and minimal hexes. Albus couldn't remember what solved most of those fights, but he didn't want to start one today. Especially since every one of those fights resulted in a detention and he didn't want that one week into term.
"Whatever," was all he said as he waved Chriss off and made his way across the bridge before he could be angered further by anything else he had to say. He took a deep breath and put that aside.
It was clear and wonderful outside according to Albus, who was wearing his normal Muggle clothing. A few students were hanging around practicing spells, and second years were working on levitating pebbles and succeeding in blowing them up. Albus recognised a few of them and waved as he strolled to Hagrid's, trying to calm down. It wasn't until he heard a very familiar voice calling his name did he stop and groan.
Mia Dangers was sprinting to catch up with him. She was a fourth year with brown wavy hair and blue eyes. As she ran for him Albus noticed she lost some weight in her face. He couldn't help but think that would make Chris happy, seeing as how he developed a crush over her some time in their second year. She wasn't exactly Albus' type, but he had a feeling she had the wrong idea about him.
"Hey, Mia," he answered sullenly once she caught up with him. "You got taller!" He pointed out in an attempt to sound happy to see her. Mia came from a very, very tall family.
"Don't remind me." She groaned. "It makes wearing heels absolutely pointless. I swear that I must have some giant blood in me!" She joked and he smirked at the thought of his previous conversation.
"Right," he said and began walking again as she followed. "Well, I'm just heading to Hagrid's..."
"'Oh hey, Mia! How's it going, Mia? How was your summer, Mia?' Hey, Albus! My summer was great! I went to America for a month and saw New York. It was great! I missed you, too. What did you do this summer? Wow, Al, sallow much?" She teased and ruffled his hair. That was exactly why she wasn't his type. Albus could hardly stand her, let alone start brewing her love potions.
"Nothing really." He answered honestly. "My brother Teddy had a wedding before term. That was fun."
"Wow, you Potters are such a bore. Is Teddy really your brother?" She asked.
"Godbrother," Albus answered through gritted teeth.
Mia was waving at some boys playing Exploding Snap by a large stone. They looked like a group of seventh years with a lot of free time on their hands. One of them noticed Mia and waved her over.
"I've got to run!" She said and then ran off in an instant. Albus could really care less on what she did and he sighed with relief as she left his side. He made his way through the stone circle and he heard another low, familiar voice.
"Why don't you come over here and I'll help you practice, first year."
The voice was false and Albus knew it was disguising a nice front that it never used before. He then watched as Jackson Winters pulled the girl he was talking to under his arm. The girl was the one from breakfast. Even though Chris reminded him of her name earlier, and her face hadn't left his mind, Albus couldn't recall it at the moment.
Albus stopped walking as soon as he was on the other side of the rock they were hidden behind and Albus hid to hear what they were talking about.
"Chloe," That's her name! "thank you for meeting me here." Jackson's false act from before was gone now, and he was speaking in a low, whispering voice. Albus hardly heard him and was about to use a sound enhancing charm, but Chloe didn't seem to realise the sense of privacy.
"Well, meeting in the Slytherin common room would have been too much of a hassle," she blurted, over slightly annoyed.
Jackson was caught off guard for a moment before he spoke again. "We don't need the whole school to know about our business."
"Right. So why don't we just stand here where the entire school is? I really don't think this is going to help." Chloe said harshly. Albus would have laughed at the first year's snarky remark but felt deep down in the pit of his stomach that this conversation was actually going somewhere.
"Listen," Jackson barked, done with whispering, "you didn't have to come if you didn't want to."
"You mean I had a choice?" She asked in mock surprise. "I wasn't aware a threat on my life wasn't important enough. I'll keep it in mind next time though."
Albus dared to switch rocks and see the quarrelling duo. Chloe was trying to walk away but Jackson grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her back. Apparently he didn't really mean what he said before.
"That threat only sticks if you leave now!" He spat.
"Listen," Chloe said hastily and her attitude suddenly changed, "I've got homework I should be getting done now. The next time I catch you smuggling in love potions, don't threaten my life and I'll be more willing to ablige. I won't tell, and now I've got to go!" With that, she pulled her arm from his grip and stormed off for the dungeons. Jackson stood there stupidly for a moment before realising he had been ditched and made his way down the hill.
Albus, who was still confused by Chloe's sudden change of mind (and it seemed as though Jackson was, too), left his hiding place and followed him quietly so he wouldn't gain suspicion. He was glad the conversation had nothing to do with what he thought it would, but he was sure that Jackson wouldn't appreciate his eavesdropping on any conversation he had. Though he seriously doubted the conversation was really about love potions.
Finally he saw the targeted hut and bolted past Jackson to get to the hut. He took a moment to catch his breath before he knocked on the door and danced with anticipation until Hagrid came to allow him in. Albus didn't notice Jackson caught sight of him entering the hut, however. He slammed the door shut and smiled as though he hadn't been up to mischief and said, "Hey, Hagrid!" before he found an empty seat nearby and sat down.
"Well 'ello yerself, Albus!" Hagrid beamed and picked the small boy up in his arms for a greeting hug. Just before Albus passed out from lack of air, he put him back down in the chair and, he too, ruffled his hair. "So, 'ow yeh been?"
Not believing how stupid someone like Jackson Winters could be, Chloe made her way down the dungeon staircase and shouted out, "Fortune is fame!" before the bricks in front of her collapsed and allowed her passage. She was sure that if it was possible for steam to blow through one's ears, hers would be steaming. The common room was practically empty with the exception of a fifth year helping a second year with an essay. She ran upstairs to the girls' dormitory to grab her bag and books. Her excuse to get away from Jackson wasn't a lie; she really did have homework. The urgency of it came suddenly due to Albus Potter eavesdropping on their conversation.
What provoked Jackson to meet her at the stone circle was beyond her. She knew exactly what the meeting was for because she wasn't stupid like him. The day was clear and beautiful. No one would be in the common room and yet he decided to have a meeting outside. Chloe stomped down the spiral staircase and threw her bag onto a small standing table nearby.
"What a surprise," a man in the portrait above commented as he sighed and strolled out of his portrait. She grunted and pulled out parchment, ink, and a quill. She had an essay for Charms over a wand's core and how it could help in charm work.
The most simplistic moron I've ever met! Chloe started insulting Jackson in her head as she wrote down the beginning of her essay. Was he wanting someone to hear? Not that we couldn't use Potter, but what about everyone else? And to threaten me no less! I've known what this plan was for ages, and he threatens me? The nerve!
The ink splotched on the parchment. She cursed and pulled out her wand as she remembered a spell to suck all of the ink in her wand and produce it back into the tiny vial.
If I can do a spell like that as a first year, I'm sure as hell not so ignorant I can't understand what Jackson and his gang are up to. She smirked and dared to have a go with her quill again. Not like they've necessarily kept things quiet about it. I'm going to have to do something about that. Idiots! Can't even run things right!
She must have been mumbling strange noises while she wrote because the two students working before she came in were now staring at her. The fifth year cleared his throat and gave her a concerned look. She grimaced and shrugged them off, getting back to her essay and scrawling away.
When they hear about this Jackson is sur—
"What are you working on there, dove?"
Chloe nearly jumped out of her seat. Just as before, there was spilt ink all over the essay. Only this time it was the entire vial she had spilt. She looked up and cringed.
"You are the last person that I want to see right now, Winters!"
"Oh, come on now," he said smugly as he sat on the table and watched her clean up the spilt mess. "It wasn't all that bad. If you ask me, Potter bought it."
Chloe, who was hunched over her parchment in hopes to ignore his presence, looked up with annoyance.
"What are you talking about?"
"You don't think I'm that much of an idiot, do you?"
"You know what I meant!" He snapped, losing his cool for a moment. Chloe smirked and then continued with her writing. "Either way, Potter bought our little act."
"What act?" She asked and her writing slowed down as she waited. "What are you on about, Winters?"
He placed a hand over her parchment and forced her to look up. When she did she saw that he was smiling and the fire was illuminating his face so he looked slightly deranged.
"We had Albus on the back of that rock the entire time, didn't we?"
"You noticed and you didn't do anything? You idiot!" She scolded, now standing and looking directly into his eyes.
"Shhhh!" The fifth year interrupted, this time rudely since she had ignored him earlier. She shot them a nasty glare and he nudged at the second year to relocate elsewhere.
Jackson began to laugh and positioned himself more comfortably on the table.
"Now now. No need for last names, Chloe. We're all friends in this little organisation and you are the best of those friends. I'm sure that a little thing such as a first name shouldn't be that hard to say?"
Se waited for a moment and when he didn't say anything else, Chloe rolled her eyes and said, "Fine. Jackson, tell me what the hell you are talking about. Now."
"That's a good dove." He winked and stroked her hair with one hand.
"Urgh! Don't touch me!" She grimaced and pulled back, running her fingers through her hair as quickly as possible.
He chuckled once more and raised his hands in surrender before crossing them and continuing his story.
"Either way, I called you out there in hopes of Potter maybe showing up. If he came, all the better, If not, we would have done what we are doing right now. He came and heard, you ended it when you noticed him, which was good since we were getting a little further than I thought we would, and he ran to that giant oaf. With a little luck, we should have him spying on us more often."
Chloe looked at him as if she couldn't believe her eyes. In many ways she couldn't. However, she kept reminding herself that he was in charge of several things for a reason.
"So you went off on chance and your stupidity?" She asked at last when she could find the words.
"Chance, maybe, but I wouldn't exactly say stupidity."
"The plan is to tell Albus eventually anyway! Why get his suspicions rising in rumours when we can just tell him and do something about it if he tells!" She fumed, knocking a book off the desk without care. His smirk was wiped off of his face almost immediately. "And the next time you want to make some high and mighty plan that might work, let me know about it so I can tell you just how stupid you really are!"
"You're doing a fine enough job at that already." He mumbled, losing all prior self confidence. If she wasn’t so angry at him, she might have laughed in his face for that comment, but she wasn't cooled down enough yet. She let out a cry of aggravation and turned from him, running up the staircase once again to the girls' dormitory, leaving all of her things behind.
To Rose, the library was the only place one could study. That may be a habit that she picked up from her mother, but she knew for sure the Gryffindor common room was too full with fifth years on up who were doing their own studying. No one, of course, was in the library. As far as she could see at least.
Madam Pince nodded her head as a welcome gesture when Rose walked in with an armful of books. Rose smiled with her own welcome and found her usual seat toward the back of the library so she would have her own lamp and table. When she arrived she spread the books out evenly and opened each to the pages she would need to start on. She had both History of Magic and Transfiguration homework and she could only assume she would be in there for the next few hours.
She was just beginning to get the rest of her things out when a voice she didn't recognise at first spooked her.
"Perfect way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning, isn't it?" Scorpius Malfoy mocked her while looking over her shoulder. "Why do you have so much homework anyway?"
"Scorpius? What are you doing here?" Rose asked, disregarding his questions. Her face was flushed and she wasn't sure if she should be angry at him for scaring her or pleased. Scorpius had been making her feel that way recently and she wasn't sure if it was good or not. He seemed to have enjoyed her surprise and sat down next to her with a simple grin on his pale face.
"Nothing much. I just decided to get some homework done. You know, History of Magic and... Transfiguration?" He was looking over to see what books she brought. The butterflies in her stomach appeared just as they always did when he made her feel good like this. "Besides, if I get it out of the way now then I have plenty of time to hang around with you tomorrow." It was a moment before Rose understood what he said. Her face was as bright as her red, wild hair that she didn't bother to tame before coming to the library.
"Are you asking me out on a date, Scorpius?" She tried to joke, feeling like a young school girl for having to ask. Well, a younger school girl. He arched his eyebrows and leaned in closer to her.
"What do you say, Miss Rose?" He asked with a handsome smile planted on his face.
Rose didn't know what to say. She didn't know if she could say anything. Her grin felt as though it were stretched from ear-to-ear and goosebumps rose on her pale, freckled arms as soon as Scorpius reached out to run a hand through her hair. In his doing so it made her immediately aware of her hair and she pulled back to frantically brush at it with her fingers.
Then he suddenly stood up, still hunched over so his face was even with hers, and then he leaned in and give her a kiss. She was stunned and wasn't sure on what to do. She forgot about her hair once again when he got closer and her body froze and her lips automatically puckered as her eyes closed. He was moving slowly, but Rose couldn't tell if time itself had stopped or not. Everything was going too fast. Too fast to be true, in fact.
When Scorpius was just close enough Rose could feel his hot breath on her lips, he opened his eyes and frowned. He then pulled back and sat back in his chair.
“I don't believe it!” He exclaimed, pounding a fist onto the table. "I just don't believe it! Rose, why didn't you tell me?"
Rose, who was confused and wasn't sure what was going on, found herself searching for words. “I—well, I didn't—you know that I—Wait, what?”
Scorpius groaned and then put his head in his hands. His pale blonde hair stook up at odd ends for doing so. He wasn't looking at her.
"They told me at the end of last year and I didn't believe them. I told them, 'No way! Rose and I are just friends. Of course she doesn't like me!' And now here it is, obvious to the world and you never told me!" Scorpius was rambling on without stopping and Rose wasn't sure what to do. It was true that Scorpius and Rose's relationship had progressed over the last two years, causing them to become best friends and for her to perhaps have more feelings for Scorpios than he did for her.
In their first year they could hardly stand one another and Rose lived with her father's words playing in her head: "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains." In fact, those words not only led to every test, but to everything in life that year. In their second year, however, they gained a little shred of sense and started talking to one another. In other words, they were forced to be partners in their Herbology lessons. Professor Longbottom never heard the end of that from her father either.
"What are you talking about?" Rose finally found the words to say.
Scorpius hardly looked up at her before he resigned his head again and shook it in his hands.
"It's just that I was so sure you didn't like me."
"Of course I like you, Scorpius. You're one of my best friends!" Rose argued, still confused about what he was going on about.
"Not like that, Rose. I meant that I didn't think you liked me that way!"
There was silence when she realised what he meant.
"Oh." She uttered and then slumped into her chair. Finally, he looked up at her, his face completely sour.
"Listen, I'm sorry, Rose but I had to—"
"Is that the way you made sure?" Rose said suddenly. Her eyes were shut as she was trying to hold back tears.
Scorpius realised this and made to wipe away any tears that would stray from her eyes and down her cheek. She sensed the movement and stood up and away from him behind her chair. "Is that the way you made sure?" She repeated. "By toying with my emotions and making it some sort of game so you could make sure?"
"I was going to ask you but I thought it'd be too weird. I figured that if I pretended to have feelings for you like you do for me, then I would know for sure."
"Pretended?" Rose snapped, finding it hard to breathe. The word was simple. It was almost as if she didn't know what the word meant at first.
“Yeah.” Scorpius said slowly. He stood to give her a hug but she pulled back again. "I didn't think you'd react this way, Rosie. I'm sorry."
"Just leave me alone!" Rose demanded and then turned to pick up the things she had just unpacked.
"Where are you going?" He asked desperately.
"Far away from you, Malfoy!" She hissed and then turned around the corner.
"Oh, come on! There is no need for that!" He shouted after her. Rose stopped in her tracks and wiped a tear that had fallen from her eye.
She turned around and peeked her head around the corner before she said, "And just so you know, I do like you. Thanks for asking!" Then stomped off to the seventh floor. Just past the library doors she passed her cousin James and the Prefect girl he was best friends with. They tried to greet her but she was too busy sobbing now and ran past them.
If there was one thing about girls Addie understood, it was boy trouble. Addie never tried to get herself mixed in with other girls' troubles, but lately she was able to find it easy to relate with them.
"What do you suppose was up with her?" James asked her.
"Who knows," she shrugged, deciding not to get into that sort of topic with him.
Madam Pince came strolling from behind a shelf and didn't look too friendly.
"Make sure you stay quiet!" She snapped before charging off to some other shelves to replace the books students misplaced.
James led her to the shelf the angry librarian just came from and to their surprise they saw Scorpius Malfoy packing his things. He too was very angry and shoving books into his bag. If Madam Pince came back right now, Addie knew she would suspend him from ever walking into the library again for the mistreatment of her books.
"Malfoy?" James asked, his fists clenched. When Addie noticed the motion she wished to take hold of one of those fists so she could calm him down. It took all of her inner strength just to restrain herself from doing so.
Scorpius glared up at them and sneered at the sight of James.
"What do you want, Potter? Come to jinx me for that cousin of yours?"
"That explains Rose's crying," Addie whispered to James, standing on the very tips of her toes just so he could hear her. To the best of Addie's knowledge, Rose and Scorpius actually tried to make a friendship work, despite their parent's wishes. She thought they were doing a really good job at it, too, but today said otherwise.
"As much as I'd love to jinx you just for the heck of it, that's not why I came here. I'm here to study. As for Rose, what did you do to her?" James asked curtly. She'd seen him serious before, but the hate he had for Scorpius was growing stronger by the second. James took after his dad in a lot of things, but forgiving the Malfoy family was not one of them.
"Look, the way things are with our parents, we can't be friends. You and I both know that. Blimey, even she knows it! She's just too stubborn to admit it!" Scorpius exploded, dropping his bag to the ground and gesturing to where they entered and Rose exited. Just then, the bag full of books he dropped onto the floor started to hover from the ground and the books tumbled out of it. The bag, however, continued to float out of the library.
James, who looked about ready to kill, was held back as Addie grabbed hold of his arm and directed her gaze to Scorpius.
"You best get out of here before Madam Pince realises one of her spells has taken effect and traces it to you." Addie’s blue eyes bore into his grey ones until he took her hint and huffed past them. James fidgeted under her grip, but she didn't let go.
They made their way to the table and he threw his bag onto it. Addie set hers in the chair next to where she would be sitting and glanced up at him.
"Careful, or else your bag will do the same thing." She mused and tried her best to force her smile upon him.
"I don't have any books in there." He barked and then shoved himself into his seat.
Addie, who was not one accustomed to quiet, started pulling her own books out and then started up a conversation.
"I can't believe it's fifth year. Can you believe how much homework they're piling on us for O.W.L.'s?" James wasn't into conversation at the moment. He didn't pull anything out of his bag or get up to get any books. "Something on your mind?" Addie asked, and then she gave up, plopping her elbow onto the table and resting her head on her hand.
His fists were clenched again.
"It's just what he said." He boomed.
"Shh!" Addie warned, perking up and looking around for Madam Pince before she let him continue.
"Sorry," He rolled his eyes and continued. "Rose and him can't be friends because of their parents? I like their friendship as much as my Uncle Ron does, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go around and end perfectly good friendships because of it."
Addie thought about previous conversations they have had about Scorpius and Rose and she bit her lip before she spoke. She was almost hesitant.
"In some ways this is what you sort of wanted, isn't it?" He looked at her, his face hard at first, but then he took one look at her innocent but full of joy blue eyes, and he calmed down at once. His face relaxed and his fists became flattened palms on the surface of the table.
"Yeah," he admitted, "but you saw Rose! She wasn't crying, she was sobbing! However he let her down about it, he didn't let her down lightly."
"Well, to look at his side, she's always been hard to deal with—not that I'm on his side!" She said quickly as James arched an eyebrow at her. He grinned and laughed a little. Feeling the tension breezing past them, she laughed too. "You've said it yourself. Maybe she just didn't want to take it the light way."
"That'll be Rose for you." James admitted and then stood to reach for a book he found on the shelf before him.
Addie started writing something about human Animagi when James sat down next to her again and said, "It is weird, huh?"
"Sorry, what?" She asked, looking up from the three words she had written down.
"One week into term and they're working us as if we were stepping out into the big Wizarding world by ourselves tomorrow!" He laughed and slid her ink cartridge over to the middle so they could share. He shared a look with her that also told her he would need to borrow a quill as well.
"Honestly," she chided, "what is even in that bag you brought?"
"Oh, the usual. The Marauder's Map, my pointed hat, just in case they actually ever make us wear those things again, and a tub of my mum's delicious brownies to share." He winked. Addie beamed and grabbed the bag herself, reaching right over him and his work to get it.
"You should have told me before!" She demanded while she was pulling the Muggle Tupperware container from the brown bag.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" He responded, laughing even more as he pushed her away. She knew all too well if they didn't quiet down soon Madam Pince would come over and confiscate the brownies. Food wasn't allowed in there, but his mum made the best brownies ever! She would know, because he had shared them with her many times before. "Who said you could have any?" He teased, pulling the tub away from her.
Addie made a pouting face and placed her hands underneath her chin as if she were a puppy and began to make whimpering noises.
"You know? That's not very productive. You're never going to get your homework done in time if you keep this up!" Said James and he stuffed a brownie into his mouth and closed his eyes as he entered the chocolatey heaven his mum discovered some time ago.
"James Sirius Potter! As Prefect, I am confiscating those brownies from you!" Addie reached over and took the tub from him and stuffed one into her own mouth.
"Five points from Gryffindor for thievery!" He objected.
"Five points for Gryffindor for having a mother that's brilliant in the kitchen!" She quipped quickly.
"You know," James chuckled, "you just made a woman's sexist joke?"
Addie's eyes went wide and the brownie she was about to take a chunk out of was frozen inches away from her mouth.
"James, how could you say such a thing!" She said, and then she threw the soft, moist brownie in his face.
One day the two would learn to put a silencing charm near them whenever they entered the library. Then maybe they wouldn't be kicked out for having a very messy, but very delicious food fight by an infuriated Madam Pince.
The dynamic duo were still laughing in the hall once they finished cleaning one another up with flicks of their wands.
"Did you see her face?" James asked and he mimicked Madam Pince from when she was wagging a finger at them as if they were a household pet.
"No, ‘cause I wasn't right there or anything." Addie pointed out as she rolled her eyes and shouldered her bag. "I really needed those books, too." She sighed, the laughter still leaving traces in her voice. "S'pose I'll have to check them out again next week when the essays are already due."
"I'd say sorry if you hadn't started it." James said as he nudged her shoulder with his elbow and looked down at her.
Once they made their way back to the common room, and Rose was nowhere in sight to blubber about the events from downstairs, they relaxed in front of the fireplace. They were completely neglecting the fact they were even trying to study for their O.W.L.'s only an hour ago. When Addie suggested it, James just shrugged it off.
"Eh," he said, "I don't need it to become a Herbologist, do I?"
"What?" She was surprised. James had never said what he planned on doing outside of school before, but a Herbologist was not what she had expected. "Well, perhaps an O in Herbology would help, but what do I know?"
"Oh, hush up." He pushed her and then placed his hand behind his head and relaxed with his feet up. "What do you want to be anyway? Journalist? Auror? High Inquisitor?"
Addie laughed at all of his ridiculous guesses and shook her head. "No. I want to be a Healer."
"Really?" He asked in complete shock. She nodded her head and propped her feet next to him and leaned against the armrest. "Huh, never would have thought. Maybe you should be studying for those O.W.L.'s now then."
"Nah. It's not like I'm going to be stepping out to St. Mungo's tomorrow or anything." She teased.
"Hey, guys!" Will fumbled in from the portrait and stood behind the red, tattered sofa. "Miss out on anything fun?"
James and Addie shared a look and then looked back to their other best friend.
"Just studying." Addie said, and then made room for him to sit in between them.
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