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Trying not to love you by Elenia
Chapter 21 : Chapter twenty-one - Too Early to Tell
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 25


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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything else you might recognize





 

Chapter twenty-one – Too early to tell



 

”This was a bad idea,” I muttered, watching the scarlet ball fly through the air before covering my face with my hands.



I had known that. I had been perfectly aware what this would be like. Yet here I was, practically volunteering to torture myself. What was wrong with me?

“What? No it wasn’t,” I heard Freddy protest somewhere on my right, probably not even bothering to tear his gaze from the field to look at me. “This is amazing!”

If my eyes had been open, I would’ve rolled them at him. Trust him to disagree. Nothing about Quidditch would ever seem like a bad idea to him. Bloody crazy enthusiast.

So instead of my patented eye-roll, I shot him the finger, just because my perfect plan was backfiring. He wasn’t supposed to be so chipper. This was his punishment for lying to me; he wasn’t supposed to like it so much.

Because if Fred Weasley ever hated anything, it was early wakeup calls. He was most definitely not a morning person; it was practically impossible to drag him out of his bed before ten o’clock and manage to keep him in a conscious state. And since it was only half seven at the moment, he was supposed to be suffering now. But instead he was jumping up and down like a madman whenever my teammates flew by.

I guess I had underestimated his love for the sport, big time.

It was the morning practise of Pride of Portree and the guys were playing a scrimmage against our reserve team. It was also James’s first practice with the team now that his ban had ended. That’s why I was there, torturing myself, only because he had looked so pathetic when he asked if I could come for moral support.

Not that he needed it. As I finally got bored sulking for the moment and turned my attention back to the field, I watched him make a risky dive to grab the Quaffle and dash towards the goal area. He was in his element, enjoying every moment of it. The huge grin seemed to be permanent on his face, showing everyone exactly how much he loved it.

I let out a frustrated sigh and tried to be happy for him, but it was hard when all I wanted to do was join them. Especially now, when that time was so close.

“Oh, cheer up,” Freddy told me, keeping his eyes on the field. “You’ll get to play too in no time. What did the Healer say, next week?”

“On Monday,” I admitted.

“See, that’s like a blink away. Two days and you’ll be up there, flying with them.”

Two incredibly long and frustrating days, I wanted to tell him. And trust me, watching other people fly did not make the time go by any faster.

“But it’s not like I get to join the team immediately,” I pointed out instead. “That’s going to be a long process.”

“Oh nonsense, I’m sure you’ll be back there in record time.”

“Or I might never be able to join them again,” I added, just wanting to be difficult.

“Really?” Freddy turned to look at me curiously, giving me his full attention for the first time in the past hour and a half. “That could happen?”

I shrugged. “It’s always a possibility when they have to completely grow new bones. There have been some famous Quidditch players who’ve had to retire because they couldn’t fly anymore.”

“But could that happen to you?”

I pondered it for a moment before shaking my head. “No, I don’t think so. My legs have healed pretty fast and coped well with all the exercises. I think they’ll heal back to what they used to be eventually and I can play again.”
 

That was my honest opinion. But what bothered me was how long that would take. Neither one of my legs was as strong as they’d been before the accident and I was worried I might not heal fast enough to return to the field before this season was over.



I would just have to work that much harder to make sure that I made it back.

But I did have to admit: more than playing Quidditch, I missed the flying itself. So when Monday eventually came, I would be in a much better mood again. Even the following week’s press meetings couldn’t put me down.

I turned my attention back to the field and tried to follow the game. Our main team was doing a lot better now that James was there again. He was dominating the game, having the Quaffle tucked under his arm for almost the entire time. I could see him shouting orders to his team, getting them to perform better, just like a true captain should. They were more organized than I had seen them in weeks, even better than before my accident. I guess James had also realized how important the sport was to him during everything that had happened.

“Show-off,” I muttered amusedly as he flew past us, winking while he performed a loop-de-loop and then shot towards the goalposts again.

“He is quite big-headed, isn’t he? I can’t believe I’m related to him,” Freddy commented next to me.

This time I did roll my eyes. “Says the guy who used to hit on girls, telling them how amazing he was in bed.”

“Hey, it worked! That’s how I got Jen to go out with me!”

“No, I believe that’s how you got her to laugh at your face. Then, because you really liked her laughter, you started to stalk her at bars and she eventually pitied you so much that she gave you a chance. I can’t even begin to imagine what you managed to do to actually charm her!”

Freddy looked stunned. “She told you that? She promised she wouldn’t!”

“No, she told me whatever crappy-arse story it was that you had begged her to tell everyone about the first time you met. That’s when I laughed at her face, telling her how that could never in a million years be possible. And that’s when she told me the real story.”

“I hate you,” he muttered to me, crossing his arms.

“I know you do,” I replied with a chuckle and patted his arm.

“I’m sure your first meeting with Joshua was purely epic then? All sparks and fireworks?”

“Oh I wouldn’t say that. He saw me punch a wall and curse it to the deepest levels of hell. I’m quite sure he’s brain-damaged for finding me interesting after that display. I’m guessing it has got something to do with his occupation, apparently you have to be crazy to attract a Healer’s attention.”

“Well lucky for you you’re as cracked as they come. He won’t get bored anytime soon.”

Yes, I did smack him for that.

“But seriously,” he continued on the subject after complaining about my violent behaviour and nursing his arm for a moment. “How are things going with him?”

“Great. Haven’t really seen him since last Sunday, if you don’t count him dragging his arse home from St. Mungo’s only to collapse on his bed and wake up five hours later to go back to work. I think I’ve heard him mutter ten words altogether during the whole week. But we’re going out to dinner with Vic and Teddy later tonight – if he can stay awake.”

“Oh, how come he has –” his sentence was interrupted as James made a sensational goal and we both cheered.

“Why he’s working so much?” I continued for him a moment later. “He’s doing double shifts to help out at the hospital. Tonight’s his first free evening.”

“That must suck.”

“Yeah, but it’s only temporary. And he’s doing it so he can have a week off after next one. Then I’ll have him all to myself for seven days.”

“Sounds promising. Do you have something planned for then?”

“I think he has. He told me to keep the week open and not to make any big plans. But I don’t know what it might be, he wouldn’t tell me.” I frowned a little at that.

Freddy laughed. “He doesn’t know you well enough then if he tries to keep secrets from you.”

“Apparently not,” I chuckled.

It was true, I wasn’t really a big fan of surprises, especially if they had something to do with me. But I was humouring him with this one. Joshua seemed to want to surprise me and I didn’t want to ruin it by complaining and prying.

“You love him?” Freddy asked then, shocking me completely.

I just stared at him for a moment, not knowing what to say to that. “Now what kind of a question is that?” I eventually asked just to buy myself some time to organize my thoughts.

He shrugged like it was no big deal. “A simple one, do you love him?”

I frowned at him. Now why would he want to know that? Freddy wasn’t the type of person to ask such questions. I don’t think I had ever had a serious discussion with him about relationships. This whole thing had James written all over it and I wondered if he had made Freddy talk to me about it.

Of course he had. Stupid, overprotective git. He meddled too much for his own good.

But I couldn’t deny that the question made me think about my feelings toward Joshua. I did like him, a lot. More than I had ever liked anyone else – if you didn’t count one certain person who was currently dangling upside down from his broom, cheering, after making another epic goal. But was it love? No, I didn’t think it was – yet. However it was definitely heading in the right direction.

“Too early to tell,” I simply told Freddy.

“Interesting,” he responded.

“Isn’t it?” I replied, smirking. “You can tell that to James too. And tell him to stop interfering, everything is perfectly fine with Joshua and he’s treating me well.”

“What – pfft – I was just curious…” he tried, but I wasn’t buying it.

“Don’t bother.”

Freddy crossed his arms, sulking that I had called his bluff. I just chuckled and concentrated on the game while waiting for him to continue.

“He’s just looking out for you, as am I,” he said eventually, staring towards the flying players as well, too embarrassed to look at me. “And apparently you’ve forbidden him to bug Joshua directly about it…” He shrugged.

“Oh I know,” I replied with a nod. “But it’s completely unnecessary; I don’t know how many times I need to say it to you.”

“Well, looking at the guys you have dated, I would say it’s necessary – OUCH!”

Yep, that’s right, a nice little left hook right there.

“Seriously, why am I friends with you?” he muttered to himself, rubbing his arm and leaning further away from me. “You suck.”

“Oh shush now,” I smiled to him.

He made a face at me, but eventually grinned too.

“You think he even realises how stupid he looks when he smiles like that all the time?” Freddy asked a moment later, nodding towards James who was still beaming like a nutcase.

“I can’t really blame him. That’s probably how I’ll look in two days.”



“I can’t understand that. I’m crazy about Quidditch, but that,” he said, pointing in James’s direction. “That looks like he’s gone through some serious head trauma.”

“That’s the difference between you and us. To you it’s just a sport that you’re obsessed about, but to us flying is like a lifeline. One can’t really be happy without it.”

My other best friend laughed. “You guys are mental. You should never be allowed to reproduce!”

The smile faded from my expression a little bit. “Please don’t say that out loud in front of him, at least for a while.”

That seemed to sober Freddy up. “How is he coping with it?”

“Oh, better. We’ve talked about it a lot, and he seems to be quite okay about it. But I can tell he’s still sad.”

“You’re a miracle worker, you know that right? I couldn’t get him to utter one word about it, not even when he was completely pissed.”

I shook my head. “He was just being stubborn. I’m sure you could’ve made him talk too.”

“I tried! I really tried! I didn’t think it was that wise for him to just get smashed and refuse to talk about it, so I did everything I could. But none of that worked. All I could do was watch him drink and reminisce about all the fun stuff we’ve done in the past to keep him cheerful. Because believe me, a broody, drunken James is something you don’t want to witness.”

I chuckled. “Oh please, he’s not that bad.”

“I beg to differ! After all, I just spent a week watching him!”

I didn’t have time to say anything else about that as a whistle suddenly sounded on the field, announcing the game was over. We both turned to see Andrew Lee, our seeker, holding his hand high up in the air with a victorious grin plastered on his face. He had caught the Snitch. My teammates and the reserves were all flying around, congratulating each other for a good game.

Two more days, I told myself once more. Two incredibly long days. I wasn’t sure if I could make it.

My eyes found James again, and I watched him high-five Matt Lynch and then shake hands with the reserve team captain. He did a few more victory loops in the air with the rest of the team before directing his broom towards the skybox Freddy and I were in.

“Was that amazing or what?” he said, still panting slightly from the thrill of the game as he landed on the stand. “Merlin, I had missed playing!”

“A brilliant game,” Freddy congratulated him.

I just frowned.

“Did you see me up there? I was on fire!” he stated happily, collapsing on the seat next to me and wrapping his arm over my shoulders.

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you were amazing. Can we go now?”

“Oh come on,” he said, releasing me from his embrace. “What’s gotten your knickers in a twist?”

“She misses flying,” Freddy answered for me. “I’ve had to listen her complaining about it the whole time. Remind me never to lie to her again, because it definitely isn’t worth this!”

He was grinning, but I made it disappear by showing him my fist.

James laughed. “Have you been violent to him again?”

“He deserved it,” I muttered.

“He usually does. But don’t worry, love, you’ll get to fly soon and then it’ll all be better, I promise,” he said with a warm smile. “Two more days.”

Seriously, if someone repeated that one more time, I think I was going to have to strangle them.

“Not fast enough for you?” James asked, guessing my murderous thoughts.

“I just don’t understand what can happen in two days to make a difference. Why can’t I try it now?” I complained, cracking my knuckles in frustration.

“Oh, poor baby,” James chuckled and squeezed me closer to him. “I’m sure that has nothing to do with it, they just needed to make a schedule because the Healers need to supervise it and shit like that.”

“There are Healers here now, why can’t they supervise me?”

“See, I told you she was being difficult,” Freddy commented, then moved down a seat after I gave him a nasty glare.

“Let’s just leave. I’ll feel better when I get off this pitch,” I said with an upset sigh, resting my head on James’s shoulder and staring longingly into the clear, blue sky.

But I didn’t get to do that for long as James suddenly jumped up from the seat. “Okay then,” he said, holding out his hand for me. “Let’s go.”

I took it and let him pull me up, but instead of leading me towards the staircase, he took his broom and held it in front of me. “Hop on.”

“Don’t tease me,” I said with a sullen expression.

“I’m not!” he answered, his eyes twinkling with excitement like he had just had the cleverest idea ever.

I stared into his hazel eyes enquiringly, trying to pry the answer out of them. “Do explain,” I told him eventually.

He broke into a grin. “I’ll take you flying!”

A small groan escaped my lips. “I think that falls under ‘no flying before Monday’.”

“Are you sure?” he asked. “Did they specifically tell you not to let anyone else fly the broom either, or did they only tell you that you couldn’t fly it?”

“You know what they said, you were there,” I replied, referring to my meeting with the Healer this week.

“I know, and I remember him telling you to train your legs hard this week, so they’d have as much strength as possible. That was the reason why they haven’t allowed you to fly before, because you need the strength to control the broom.”

“Well – yeah…” I started, furrowing. “But that doesn’t mean –”

“Tell me, how much strength do you need to have in your legs to sit on the back of my broom and let me steer?”

“Well, not much,” I admitted.

After all, there were people who were paralyzed from the waist down who had been able to experience flying that way. All they needed was their hands, to hold onto the person flying the broom.

“Then what are you waiting for?” he asked, throwing his leg over the broom and patting the spot behind him. “You said you wanted to fly and here I am, offering you a way. Don’t tell me you’re afraid. Are you a Gryffie or what?”

I stared at him for a moment longer, feeling the last bits of my hesitation vanish into thin air. He was right. No one had said that I couldn’t sit on the back of the broom, they had only been talking about me flying it.

“Oh for Merlin’s sake, Gwen, you think I’m going to allow you to fall?” James questioned, but before he even managed to finish that sentence, I was already sitting behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist.

“That’s my girl,” he mused. “Now hold on tight.”

I was hallway through my witty comeback when he suddenly kicked off the ground without any warning. I swallowed the rest of my sentence and tightened my grip around his waist, muttering “git” in his ear. James just chuckled as a response and I was glad, because even if he had said something, I probably wouldn’t have heard him. My whole concentration had already turned to the magnificent feeling that always filled me when airborne. I closed my eyes and let the sensation amplify.

My personal heaven right there.

I knew I had been complaining a lot that day and that it might give someone a clue about how much I had missed flying, but that guess could never be accurate enough, nor could I ever explain the feeling properly. It was one of those things you just had to experience yourself.

My open hair fluttered everywhere around me and the cool wind brushed my cheeks while James guided his broom around, circling between the goal hoops and then speeding the broom to its maximum velocity to reach the other end of the pitch. I wanted to let go of him, to spread my arms, but I knew that might be a tad too reckless, even for James. He would take me down immediately.

“Why didn’t you think about this earlier? I could’ve been flying for days!” I questioned.

“Well sorry,” he said amusedly, stretching the syllables if the latter word. I could practically hear him roll his eyes.

“Thank you,” I whispered back, squeezing him as hard as I could, trying to show him how happy this had made me.

James laughed and I felt him wrap his other hand on top of mine. “Pleasure’s all mine.”

I could tell he was going to say something else, but he didn’t get the chance as we suddenly heard a tremendous roar from down below.

“MILLER!!!! GET YOUR ARSE DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT!!!!”

“Busted,” James chuckled as I opened my eyes, glancing down where a tiny, but very angry looking figure was pacing in circles, staring up towards us. “You think we could escape him somehow?”

“He would hunt us down,” I pointed out to him.

“I don’t know about that. I’m quite fast after all.”

“Even with me on the back of your broom?”

“Oh please, what do you weight? A pound? I doubt that would make a difference.”

“Well, either way, I think we should obey him this time. I mean, you just got your ban lifted, we don’t want him to extend it.”

“IF I DON’T SEE YOU DOWN HERE IN THE NEXT FIVE SECONDS, MILLER, I’M BANNING YOU FROM THE NEXT TWO GAMES!!!!”

James laughed. “Do you think he realises how pointless his threat is since you can’t even play yet?” he asked, but steered the broom towards the ground nevertheless.

He landed in a safe distance from Coach McCormack, to allow us to jump off of the broom before he reached us. The tall man strode towards us, his whole face blotched red from all the anger he was trying to supress.

“WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!” he shouted as he marched forwards, pointing his finger towards me. “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FLY YET!!!”

“Well, technically I wasn’t. James was doing all the work, I just sat there on the back of his broom.”

Coach opened his mouth to protest, but nothing came out at first. He had to close it and recollect his thoughts for a moment before the rant continued. That satisfied me enormously.

“THAT’S NOT THE POINT! YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO FLY AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD DO! KEEP YOUR FEET FIRMLY ON THE GROUND AND NOT EVEN BREATHE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF A HEALER!!”

The tirade continued on and on for minutes, and I learned at least three different swearwords I had never even heard before. I kept biting my cheek, forcing myself not to chortle as his face turned redder and redder by every passing moment.

I was in such a good mood, thanks to the flying, that nothing could’ve taken it away from me. I’d missed it so much. Hell, I’d even missed Coach’s rants, so I let him go on and on to make his message clear. I wasn’t supposed to even glance toward a broom before Monday or he would make sure I was banned for the rest of the season. And apparently for the rest of my life too if it was up to him. I knew he didn’t mean any of that, that he was only worried that something might have gone wrong, but I agreed nevertheless, just because I would actually be quite sad if he popped an important vessel because of me.

I hugged him when he was done to which Coach only replied by staring at me suspiciously, muttering something about head damage.

“And you,” he said eventually, after finishing with me and turning to look at James. “Where’s your official statement about the whole pregnancy scam? You were supposed to deliver it by Thursday.”

“It’s not done yet.”

“Next Wednesday, that’s your last deadline. You’ll be covering Miller in the press conference and announcing the whole thing.”

“What? No! We agreed that I would only write it and that you’d send it to the newspapers!”

“Well then you should’ve delivered it to me on time! This is your punishment for taking Miller up there,” he said, pointing towards the sky. “And also, you’ll be joining her in Hogwarts next Saturday.”

“That’s fine, but I’m not doing the thing on Wednesday,” James protested.

“Fine, then you’re not playing on Thursday.”

“I – but – Urgh!” James groaned loudly, submitting to Coach’s will.

“Good. Now leave. I don’t want to see you back here before Monday noon, Miller. Potter, I will see you 4 AM sharp. You have a lot to catch up on.”

And with that, he marched away from us towards the locker rooms and his office.

“Stupid git,” James muttered after him, but forgot all about that for a moment as I surprised him, jumping around his neck.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I whispered in his ear a million times, my arms and legs wrapped around him as I squeezed him with all my power.

James chuckled. “Okay now, monkey girl,” he said, patting my back. “Seriously, Gwen, you need to let go. I need oxygen to – you know – stay alive.”

I laughed, planting a huge kiss on his cheek before letting go. He had no idea how much I had needed that little spin over the field and how happy he had made me.

James stared at me, looking a bit baffled as he rubbed the spot on his cheek where my lips had touched him. “Wow, if I knew it would make you this happy, I would’ve done it days ago.”

“You should’ve! It was the most amazing thing, you can’t even believe how much I’ve missed flying! Urgh, can we go again?”

“You’d risk Coach catching us?”

“I don’t care.”

“That’s because you got off easy! My punishment was awful enough for the both of us, no need to make it worse any time soon.”

“Hmph, spoilsport,” I muttered, unable to resist the smile as I punched his arm playfully.

Freddy was waiting for us by the front gates with a knowing smile on his face. “Was it worth it?”

I rolled my eyes at him. “Did you hear Coach?”

The grin on his face only widened. “I think they heard him all the way in London.”

“I’ve missed him going at me. That was so cool to hear it again.”

“I think I broke Gwenny,” James said to Fred, shaking his head. “She’s acting all weird. You know she actually hugged Coach after his rant.”

“I’m just so happy right now,” I said with a content sigh. “I don’t think there’s anything that’s better than flying.”

Freddy and James both glanced at each other before replying in unison: “Sex. Definitely sex.”

Boys.

After that we exited the pitch, apparating back to London. Freddy returned to his own flat, probably to catch some sleep – he refused to admit it – and James and I went back to his so he could take a shower and change his clothes.

“So, what do you want to do today? I was thinking we could head to the Duelling Range soon, and then maybe catch a movie?” James said after stepping out from his bathroom, wrapped in a large, white towel.

“Oh, I can’t today,” I said, only meeting his gaze and able to resist peaking at his gorgeous abs. Vast improvement right there! “Dinner with Joshua, Vic and Teddy, remember?”

“Right, I forgot,” he replied with a nod, turning his gaze away. “Tomorrow then?”

“Sure,” I agreed, knowing that I wouldn’t have anything better to do anyways. “You’re still welcome to join us today,” I pointed out after a moment of silence.

“To crash on your double date? I don’t think so.”

“Oh come on, it’s not like that. Teddy’s never seen Joshua before and Vic wanted them to meet, that’s all. It’s not really a date.”

He shrugged. “Still, I think I’ll check on Al. I haven’t seen him since – well, you know.”

He escaped to his bedroom to stop me from saying anything else. I let out a sigh and returned to my book, unable to concentrate on it. I knew what that whole thing had been about. It had already been a week, after all – two if you also counted the one he spent at Freddy’s – since his new decision about calming down. He was nervous that he’d break and head to a bar, so he wanted company. It was a Saturday after all.
 

*




We ended up heading to the Range anyway. It was already the fifth time since I had gotten my permission from my Healer. But it was great exercise for my leg since I was able to practise sudden moves. And I also wanted to help James keep his mind occupied. I figured I still had plenty of time before Joshua got off from work.

A few hours later we were back at my apartment and I examined the contents of my food cupboard, trying to find something light to eat before the dinner.

“What would you like? I think I have enough ingredients for a chicken salad, but that’s about it,” I told James. He was leaning against the kitchen counter, flicking through the new issue of Quidditch Weekly that had arrived that morning.

He turned another page without bothering to glance up. “That’s perfectly fine.”

“Salad it is then,” I agreed, grabbing the materials from the closet and laying them on the table.

“I never understood why you don’t use magic for that. Nana makes it look so easy when she does it,” James said some time later and I glanced up to see him inspecting my chopping process.

I rolled my eyes. “Unlike me, your Nana is a kitchen goddess. I don’t have her skills.”

He chuckled at me, shaking his head to imply that he didn’t believe a word I said before stepping closer to watch me work.

“Do you need help?” he questioned.

“Help eating or help preparing?” I asked after slapping his hand away when he tried to steal a piece of tomato.

“Both.” He grinned, this time managing to grab one and pop it in his mouth. “Seriously, you want my help. Let’s keep in mind who won an award back in Hogwarts for the most perfectly chopped roots.”

“Fine,” I said, stepping aside. This was the one thing I trusted him with in the kitchen.

He took my place, grabbing the knife from the table and starting to chop the vegetables. I rolled my eyes at him, watching for a moment as he slowly cut them into perfect little pieces before stepping in front of the stove to fry some chicken.

“So, are you excited about seeing Joshua tonight? You haven’t seen him that much during the past week,” he asked casually after a moment, dropping some pineapples into the bowl.

I turned to look at him, smirking. I had been waiting for a question like that the whole day. “Freddy already did your bidding, questioning me about him.”

“What – pfft – I haven’t talked to him –” he started, in a very similar way to Freddy’s explanation.

“Don’t bother,” I told him. “He already confessed it. You’re concerned, only want what’s best for me, blah-blah-blah.”

“Nice to know you value our opinion so much,” he muttered, then fell silent for a moment before continuing. “What did you tell him?”

“That everything is perfectly fine with Joshua and that it was too early to tell if I was in love with him or not,” I replied truthfully.

That seemed to spark his interest. “Is it? You’ve been together for what, a month already?”

“Something like that,” I admitted.

But it’s not like we had spent all that time together. There had been days when we hadn’t seen each other at all.

“I once had a girlfriend who told me she loved me after one day.”

I laughed. “Who?”

James shook his head amusedly. “I can’t remember her name. The brunette I dated for a few weeks maybe two years ago?”

Even I couldn’t figure out who he was talking about with that vague explanation.

“I don’t think anyone has ever said it to me actually,” I continued after a while, setting the plates on the table and turning to see James dropping the last ingredients into the salad bowl. “A few ‘I think I’m falling for you’-s but I think that’s it.”

“Well, then they’ve all been quite stupid,” he replied, picking up the bowl and bringing it to the table too. “And you’re a horrible liar, because I’ve said it to you plenty of times.”

I had to roll my eyes at his stupid smirk. “That doesn’t count.”

“It should! I’m the most important person who could say it to you,” he said, pulling me into a hug.

“True,” I mused against his chest, ignoring the little voice in my head that reminded me of how accurate that actually was.

“You know,” James started, leaning his chin on the top of my head. “I’ve never said it to anyone else.”

“Never?” I asked curiously.

“Nope, never. I’m not going to say it if I don’t mean it.”

I couldn’t stop the little, subtle smile that made its way to my lips. How could I, after something like that? “What do you say to girls then, when they say it to you?”

I could feel him shrugging. “’Thanks’ or ‘That’s cool’.”

I burst into laughter. “A girl tells you she loves you and you say ‘thanks’? That’s just cruel, James!”

He chuckled too. “Maybe. But I still think it’s better than lying. And besides, they should know better than to say it so soon.”

“Anyway, I don’t think I’m ever going to fall in love with any of those girls,” James continued after a moment. “No, I think I’m just going to have to steal you from Joshua eventually so we can get married and have a million kids who will all play Quidditch.”

“What?” I said, snapping my head from his chest in surprise.

James stared back, his hazel eyes twinkling as he examined my stunned expression.

“I’m just kidding,” he then said, rolling his eyes at me and brushing my hair behind my ears. “I just wanted to see if that would make you blush.”

“Oi!” was my protest as I smacked his arm.

Bloody git.

James howled with laughter and I sulked, sitting down at the table and grabbing the salad bowl to occupy myself with something. I refused to talk to him for a whole fifteen minutes whilst he begged for my forgiveness – not very sincerely as he kept sniggering the whole time.

Seriously, why was I friends with him?

After three o’clock I finally kicked James out so I could get ready before Joshua got out from work. I put on my best jeans and the black shirt that had caused me trouble last week. I had eventually found it under my sofa where I should’ve thought to look for it in the first place. Joshua and I had this habit of losing our clothing under various pieces of furniture…

An hour later I hurried down the stairs to meet Joshua. I still felt the tingle in the bottom of my stomach when I touched the handle and the door opened easily. Inside I found my gorgeous boyfriend standing in the living room, still dressed in his Healer robes, flipping through his mail.

“Hi,” he greeted me with a happy, but extremely tired smile. “How was your day?”

“Great,” I replied, wondering whether I should mention the flying or not. I decided to go with it. “I flew today.”

“What?” he lifted his head from the letters in his hand to stare at me. “Wasn’t it scheduled for Monday?”

I nodded and he let out a sigh. “That’s not really wise, you know, going against the Healer’s orders. Something could’ve happened,” he scolded me.

“Don’t worry, it was just on the back of James’s broom. He did all the steering and actual flying.”

“Oh,” he said, his furrow easing up. “That’s okay then. It shouldn’t be forbidden unless Smith specifically told you so?”

“No, he hasn’t. So you’re saying that I could do it again?”

“Well, maybe it’s better to check with Smith. He’s your Healer after all. But I don’t see anything stopping it, your leg has healed better than expected,” he told me, and then let out a big yawn.

“You’re tired,” I exclaimed, running my hand down his arm. “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to. We can just stay in and order some takeout…”

“No, I’m fine. I promised, didn’t I? We can’t cancel only an hour before. And besides, I really want to meet them,” he smiled, brushing my hair behind my ear.

“But…” I tried to protest, but he shushed me.

“No buts. I’ll be fine. I’ll just grab an Invigoration Draught, it’s not a problem.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” he smiled and gave me a quick kiss on my forehead. “Now scram, I need to make myself presentable.”

“Like you aren’t already,” I told him, rolling my eyes.

He just chuckled before disappearing into the bathroom and I made my way towards the sofa, to busy myself with a newspaper while I waited for him to get ready.

Maybe I had been wrong earlier, because surely this warm feeling in the bottom of my stomach was something more? I think I was starting to really fall for him.
 





 

A/N: Tada! It didn't take me four months to update this time! Are you all surprised?



I'll love you all forever if you take a little time and let me know what you thought about this chapter ^^

Once again huge thanks to CambAngst for being my super awesome beta and correcting my horrendous spelling d: seriousy, I can never repay you (x

~E


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