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The Potter Problem by rey
Chapter 12 : The Green-Eyed Monster
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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Disclaimer: HP-not mine, duh.

A/N: As a thank you for your support and because I finally have more time on my hands, here's a new chapter already! I hope you enjoy it. I quite like it myself. I hope that doesn't make me sound too cocky. :D

 




The Green-Eyed Monster

 

 

 

The thirteenth of October, 2028, Today

 

Mrs Potter and I are on our way to a match that will surely be exciting. After winning against their former opponents,  Tutshill Tornados and Ballycastle Bats are set to compete against each other. This provides us with yet another opportunity to visit the village of Tutshill, which I embrace, seeing how I’ve taken a liking to the said city.

The game in itself proves to be the most dramatic one I’ve witnessed yet. Plus, James is falling into a Quidditch ensued trance right next to me. He caught word of our trip this morning and insisted on being a special companion of ours. Needless to say, he’s only making our work harder.

 

Well, at least the weather is remotely nice.

 

„Thomas is racing for the Bats’ Keeper, Sophie Ashbee! He swings and... and... oh, bad luck for the Tornados! The Quaffle is blocked. But, a fantastic move on Ashbee’s side! She’s keeping the score even!“ The commentator tries very hard not to sound biassed, although it sometimes slips through that he’s quite the Tornado fan.

„The score has been even for twenty minutes now! I can’t take this!“ James munches on Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. I try to warn him that it’s not a very good idea, considering the fact that he can bite into a disgusting one at any moment.

But the warning doesn’t come soon enough.

„Urgh! Vomit! Vomit!“ James spits the candy out, his forehead creasing in horror.

I can’t help but giggle at his frowning features.

„Jillian, the game.“ Mrs Potter warns me not to let James distract me and I turn around, blushing in slight embarrassment.

I need to stay focused. Why does James have to be so loud and how does Mrs Ginny keep ignoring him so effortlessly? Probably because she has years of practise.

„Killian Wright is heading for the hoops! He’s in full speed aaaand... He scores! It’s 120 for the Bats against the 110 points of Tornados!“

„This can literally take a whole day, can it?“ I mutter, suddenly realizing that neither of the Seekers is nowhere near finding the Snitch.

„I hope so!“ James beams.

While I do love a good Quidditch match, what’s enough is enough.

As if hearing my thoughts, Tarah Attri starts soaring into the sky at a dangerous speed. Tornados’ Seeker Zackary Bolton takes note and goes after her into the clouds. They’re up so high that the white nebula mess hides them away from the viewers completely. Suddenly, Zackary is flying down, the small golden object escaping him just slightly. He extends his arm even more and, finally, his fingers clasp around the fluttering ball. But then, he loses control over his broom and falls flatly onto the ground.

The crowd instantly goes wild. The commentator announces the win and everyone runs to the field to see if the Ballycastle’s Seeker is all right.

Thankfully, Bolton picks his head up with a groan. „I think I just broke my... everything.“

The crowd laughs and someone helps him stand up on his legs, the Snitch still shining in his palm. With a bit of a limp, Zackary hoists it into the air and that’s when I snap a picture of the thrilling moment.

 

 

 

„That was unbelievably intense!“ I exclaim later on, while we’re eating in a small dinner of a rather retro style.

„You haven’t experienced an i of intense!“ James protests.

„Oh, really?“ I shoot him a cocky smile.

„Yes, really. Try being a part of something like that instead of just observing.“

My smile falters a little.

„James, don’t be rude.“ His mother scolds him.

„I’m not rude, just honest.“

The woman sighs, clearly irritated. But we proceed to eat and then later on walk through the village in relative peace. Until Mrs Ginny walks into a restaurant to use the loo and James and I are left alone, that is.

„It still hurts, doesn’t it?“

He turns to the sound of my voice, a knowing look on his face. „I don’t think it’ll ever stop.“

„Then why do you insist on coming to the matches?“ I wonder.

„Because... even though it pains me, the love I have for Quidditch is stronger than the regret over not being able to play it myself.“ He puts his hands in his pockets, swinging lightly on his heels.

I grin a little to myself. „Albus is not the only peculiar one in your family, I see.“

„No. But he’s still the weirder one.“ James smirks.

„Well, I like that about him.“ I cross my arms, as if to stand in Al’s defence.

„You don’t say.“ He raises his eyebrows and I realize that, after who knows how much time, James is being sarcastic.

I didn’t even know he had it in him, to be frank.

 „But that’s not all you like about him, is it?“ He throws me one poignant look before his mother returns and we resume to walking.

I try to catch him alone again so that I can protest against his claim that I fancy his brother, but the opportunity never comes around.

We return to London in half an hour, exhausted. Mrs Potter leaves early, taking James with her and now I’m sitting in my office, alone once again. Lately, being alone hasn’t resulted in good things for me. I’ve been overcome by a muffin-eating rage, I’ve gone to my psychologist at five in the morning and I’ve laid on the roof, surrounded by magazines with articles about Albus Potter. Of course, every craziness is somehow linked to him. Not that I wasn’t insane already, but, is it just me, or does Al bring out the most loony side of myself? It’s clear that I’ve got a problem. The Potter Problem, to be exact.

As I dwell on this, I don’t even notice that my tea, brought to me by a young new intern, is of a deep crimson color. But when I do notice, which is of course too late, all I can think of is how this is all Albus’ fault.

 

 

 

It’s not too long before I’m at St. Mungo’s and faced with Al’s laughing eyes.

„I can’t believe this is happening again.“ I moan.

He tries real hard not to chuckle. As a result his voice sounds broken and high pitched. „Well, there is this theory that the universe is going in circles...“

I frown. „Cut the crap and give me that awful potion.“

He hands me the cup, grinning. I, on the other hand, drink it with a shudder.

Ugh, why does medicine have to be so disgusting? Why can’t it taste like Ash’s muffins? Then I wouldn’t mind getting an allergic reaction every day.

Plus, you’d be treated by Al.

Shut up, brain!

I hand him the cup back, a sore smile loosely attached to my lips.

„Are we still going to that concert?“ I ask, remembering the said issue all of a sudden.

Namely, Keyon has given the four of us, Al, Ash, Emma and myself, tickets to a Dragon Puffs concert. A little surprising, Ash has been the one that’s the most excited to go among us.

„I’ve actually been meaning to ask you something on that topic.“ Al sits slowly by my side, the sheets beneath him rumpling slightly.

„What?“

„Can you ask Keyon to get another ticket for me?“ He smiles at me, all earnest.

„Sure.“ I shrug, but then wince. „Unless it’s for Louis. He’s been practically stalking me ever since the underwear incident.“

Albus chuckles and the sound makes me giddy, as well. „No. It’s for Sienna Phan, my colleague and... well, potential date. She will be if you... you know, get me the ticket.“

My heart stops beating for a moment and a deep breath is stuck inside my throat. I soon release it, but don’t feel any less like I’m choking.

„Oh... ok.“ I utter, my voice barely over a whisper.

„Thank you!“ Albus embraces me and I... Don’t want him to ever let me go.

Stop it, you crazy brain, you!

„It’s going to be so much fun! Sienna is lovely, you’ll see. Works at Emma’s hospital so we’re not even breaking any rules.“ He laughs.

Yeah, you are, the rule of friendship that requires best friends not to date presumably hot Healer girls. Not even if they’re as brilliant as Emma turned out to be.

Ok, this is ridiculous. I have to get a grip here and face the truth. Why am I jealous every time another girl wants to come near Albus? Well, not counting Mary and Sage, because... to be honest, deep down I knew beforehand that wouldn’t work out. Is that right there the cause? I’m afraid this time it might actually work?

„Now, off you go! I’ll come around to get the ticket after work and then we’ll meet at the concert Saturday night.“

„But...“ I mope. „That means we won’t see each other for five days.“

„Oh Merlin, how will we ever survive?“ Albus mocks me in a rather sarcastic tone.

Even though I usually enjoy it so much, now it’s just making me slightly angry. I even swat his palm away, when he tries to pinch my cheek teasingly.

I watch him return to brewing potions then, his precise movements, his straight posture, that thick black hair surely getting in his green eyes... Why is it that I’m just now noticing how bloody gorgeous he is? I mean, in a purely aesthetic way. Friends can find other friends fit, there’s no harm in that, right?

I get ready and near him to give him a brief kiss on the cheek. But even that action leaves me slightly breathless, unlike so many times before.

Albus, completely oblivious, smiles and nods at me. „See you around.“

My heart breaks just a little. „Yeah, see you around.“

Because that is just a gentle way of saying-hey, I’m about to seduce a girl into being my girlfriend and I won’t have time for you anymore, sorry.

Damn it, why did he have to decide to move on so fast?!

Ok, I’m not being fair. He’s been pining after the same girl for the better half of his life. It’s time.

Still... why does it have to be with Sienna Phan of all people? Not that I even know who she is, but she sounds dreadful, anyway.

...Yup, I’m officially mental.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

Saturday is coming around too slowly without seeing Al, so I’m realizing just how much my life has been enriched by his presence.

And it appears I can’t do anything without remembering an anecdote or two of ours. Like, say, I would eat and my kitchen disaster at his flat would immediately spring to mind. By kitchen disaster I mean the last time I was there and managed to somehow burn a cloth, even though it was magically set to be fire resistant. I told Al that he probably didn’t charm it well, while he argued that I was just a freak of nature who could wreck even things that seem completely uncompromizing. Or I’d be off to bed and I’d remember that one time I fell asleep on his couch while we watched WiTV. I woke up in the morning with a sweet note and a rich breakfast on a plate next to me. In moments like those, I wondered if we did appear a bit too couply to bystanders.

In order to not get caught up (too much) in the mess that are my thoughts, I’ve taken it upon myself to hang out with Key, Ash and Emma in the meantime. Emma is usually always so busy that I have to meet her briefly and mostly at her hospital (Wow, she owns a hospital. That will never stop being impressive.). So, basically, she still hasn’t met the first two. I, on the other hand, have indeed met Sienna Phan. Well, not formally. I’ve seen her from afar. And, damn it, she’s quite felicitous with her pale skin, straight black hair and dark eyes, the ones Albus has admitted to liking the most. I’d say she’s of mixed roots, appearing slightly Eurasian. Her surname points to that being a fact, as well. In short, she thoroughly looks the part of a dream girl.

„Did you miss him?“

„Sorry?“ Emma picks her head up from some papers she’s signing, a confused expression on her dark features.

„When you were away. Did you miss Al?“ I ask her again, but my look is wandering around, stopping on the girl from across Emma’s office-Phan, to be exact.

She’s currently writing something, as well. A letter to her parents maybe. They live in Ireland. The things you learn from stalking people are fascinating.

„Well, yes. At the beginning, I did.“ I look over to Emma, who’s watching me gaze at the girl from across the hall.

„What happened later on?“

She shrugs. „Time, I guess. Separation. It all contributed to my independence. I didn’t stop caring. I just stopped... hinging on him.“

I quirk my head to the side slightly. „I’m currently having an issue with that. With... detachment. And how to deal with it.“

Emma smiles with a very significant look directed at me. „Sometimes that isn’t possible.“

„But you managed to surpass it.“ I insist.

„It’s because I had no other choice.“

„Well, I don’t have either.“

She smirks at me playfully. „Are you sure?“

Before I can answer, who should peek into the office but Sienna Phan. My insides immediately respond by twisting in an unpleasant manner. You know, like when you really want to slap someone but don’t because you’re not sure if (s)he is secretly a karate savvy. That kind of unpleasant.

„Hey, boss.“ The girl chirps happily. „Just want to say goodbye. I’m done for today.“

„Sienna, come in for a second, please. I’d like you to meet someone.“ Emma urges her to step inside instead.

I glare at her, but Emma effortlessly ignores me.

„This is Tatum Jillian Kenward. I call her TaKen, because I’m awesome. But for everyone else, it’s Jill.“

I roll my eyes at her, as I accept Sienna’s palm. Her squeeze is gentle and soft, so unlike her boss’. I smile to myself as I recall the first time Emma shook my hand. I thought it would fall of from the strength of her handshake. What a difference a little time can make. At the beginning I feared Emma, but now... well, that same envious feeling is directed at Phan.

„Sienna Phan. Nice to meet you.“ The girl smiles warmly.

Merlin, she’s so proper and so... so... annoyingly perfect!

„We’ll all be going to the concert together. Isn’t that great?!“ Emma clasps her hands in a little over accentuated joy.

I narrow my eyes at her, but she just smirks.

„Oh, that’s right. You’re Albus’ best friend.“ Sienna continues to smile at me sweetly.

I turn to Emma, slightly surprised, because... isn’t she his best friend? Besides, they’ve known each other for years. Al and I? Not even for a month and a half. Emma nods her head at me, eyebrows raised prominently. As if to point out that she’s right, on what account exactly-I’m not quite sure.

„I guess... I am.“ I answer awkwardly.

„He talks about you all the time.“ The Healer grins. „I look forward to us spending more time together.“

„Yes, that will be splendid.“ I conclude grimly, but, thankfully, Sienna is much like James in that sarcasm mostly goes unnoticed by her.

„Well... I’ll be off now.“ I utter awkwardly and basically run away, without giving Sienna the chance to engage further into the conversation.

Not before giving Emma an I hate you look, though. She responds with the brightest grin possible. Maybe Rose is right-I shouldn’t fraternize with the enemy, because clearly Emma secretly detests me.

Ok, who am I joking? I’m too lovable to be detested by anyone.

Yup, think happy thoughts, Jill, happy thoughts! Even if they’re forced.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

The day of the concert has finally arrived and I have the jitters. For no apparent reason. Because I’m just weird.

No, ok, I can’t convince myself that there’s no reason. Deep down, I’m quite aware of it. I’m a Slytherin, after all, I ought to be smart... to a degree. But that doesn’t mean I’m about to say it out loud.

Unlike Ash, who’s been mumbling loudly for the past two hours.

„Will you calm down, it’s only a concert?“ I try to concentrate on my hair, experimenting with different spells to accomplish the same effect Willow and Ash did so many times before.

I have to do it by myself, because, as is evident from the current situation, my room mate is not in her right mind and cannot be of any assistance.

„Cam down? CALM DOWN?!“ She shrieks at me. „You expect me to calm down?!“

„Er... well, maybe.“ I say meekly, not so sure anymore.

„You don’t understand, Jill. I’m going to die. I really am.“ She slumps down onto the couch and grabs one of her muffins, stuffing it in her mouth.

Hm, she must be really distressed, since Ash rarely eats her own sweets. She doesn’t think they’re good enough, which is absurd, I can attest.

I crouch down next to her face, observing her nervous eyes. „I’m missing something here, aren’t I?“

She turns shyly to me, her bright look settling down on my dark one.

„He’s going to be their pre-group. He and his band.“

„Who?“ I ask in confusion.

Ash bites her lip so desperately, that it’s clear she can’t utter a single word more that she has already. But it’s not necessary, because I finally get it.

„The only good guy you ever fancied? Felix Chadwick? He’s a musician, too?“

She nods, finally getting her voice back. „I told you he went of into the world. He was actually trying to find success abroad first, since he loves to travel. And now that he has, he’s returned to Britain to seek affirmation here, in his homeland.“

That’s why you’ve been as excited as I’ve ever seen you these past few days.“

„Oh come on, I’ve been excited before.“ She argues.

„You’re on a verge of turning into a robot, so no.“ I smirk.

Taking advantage of her position right next to me, Ash slaps me across the face.

„Hey!“

But mere seconds after, she hugs me tightly. „I can’t screw this up. Please, don’t let me screw this up.“

I press my palm to her silky hair and smile. „You won’t.“

She smiles back, clearly grateful for the support. With her stern facade, I sometimes forget how fragile Ash is, behind it all.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

The hustle hits me from all directions. People are screaming, pushing, laughing. It’s somewhat scary. But the scenery is lovely, I have to admit. Namely, the concert is taking place outside, in a spacious meadow, surrounded by tall shifty willows, caressing the ground gently. The grass is soft while it tickles my bare feet (Well, it is an unusually hot October night.), its color an intense green shade. It reminds me of one particular emerald pair... that’s getting lost in those dark eyes of Phan’s beneath the starry sky. He’s clearly entranced by her, squeezing her hand, making her laugh, that satisfied smile gracing his lips, glasses always slipping down his nose slightly.

He looks... so happy. I just wish I could be, too. If nothing, but to show my support.

Emma surprises me, though, because she doesn’t pay much attention to the pair, but is instead smitten by the whole event.

„I’ve never been mixed with the crowd at a concert before.“ She grins, practically jumping in her spot between a bare-chested guy and a forty-something fit Latina lady.

„Let me guess, you always got the VIP treatment.“ I smirk.

„I can’t help it that I’m rich.“ She uses her trademark sentence again, earning a general eye roll from the whole gang.

„You can at least tone it down.“ Ash remarks off hand, standing up on her toes to catch sight of the stage. „Why are we so far off, anyway?“

„I’m a little scared of the crowd.“ Sienna dares to confess, to what Ash just sighs.

If I had noted such a thing, she would’ve ripped my head off! But I digress.

„Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.“ Al presses his forehead onto her temple, to what she smiles and turns to catch a quick kiss from his lips.

As on cue, an unpleasant feeling starts to burn in my stomach.

Ok, Jill, calm down.

You think it’s that simple?

Um, yeah, I do!

Think again!

I frown as the pair continues to snog as if they’ll never see each other again.

You wouldn’t protest against that now, would you?

Shut up, brain! I’m trying to think!

Um, hello, you can’t do that without me. Duh.

Well, whatever... Just let me be a good friend and tone it down with the jealousy, will you?!

Do you hear yourself, Jillian? You can’t be a good friend if you’re jealous. Actually, you can’t be a friend at all.

I sneak a quick glance at the pair, but mainly Al’s blissful face, the moonlight reflected in his light eyes behind those large glasses. And that jet black hair, falling over his forehead, so out of order, so...

„It’s about to start!“ Ash nudges me in the ribs and I turn to the stage quickly, hoping no one has noticed that I’ve been daydreaming about my friend who’s out on a date with another girl.

Please, do tell me if it’s possible to be more together than I am right now.

Snort.

The lights in front get dimmer and suddenly dozens of floating screens appear above and around us-all showing the stage and every movement on it. The crowd cheers and a loud sound erupts. Fireworks dance in the sky changing their shapes and spelling out one sentence-Enjoy The Music! In the darkness in front, four people emerge and Ash instantly grabs my hand.

„Which one?“

„The guitar player.“ She almost whispers.

My eyes land on a tall, lean figure, carrying the said instrument in his hands. Clad in skinny jeans and a black shirt, he follows the guy who’s the singer of the band and two girls, their bass and drum players. As he’s too far off, I look to my right, catching his appearance far clearer in the floating screen. He has dark skin, black curly hair cut short to his head and unusual eyes that seem to constantly change their shade, from green to golden.

„He’s gorgeous.“ I note.

„Hands off.“ She smirks at me and I laugh, nodding my head in obedience.

The singer puts his wand to his neck and greets us with his loud, melodic voice. „Hello, darlings! Are we going to have some fun tonight or.. are we going to have an absolute blast?!“

The crowd cheers in response.

„That didn’t even make sense.“ I say, to what Albus chuckles.

I turn to him, amused and slightly proud that I succeeded to catch his attention, even though he’s on a date with another girl.

„Shut up, Miss I don’t believe in Unicorns.“ Ash retorts.

„Well, I do still have to see one in flesh.“ I cross my arms, not ready to be made fun of.

„As much as I love hearing you fight, I think we came here to listen to music.“ Emma supplies.

„Or, in Ash’s case, to ogle the guitar player.“

My roomy immediately points her wand at me, which causes my voice to... well, disappear. I try to speak up again, but the only thing that comes out is the gusty air.

„It’ll wear off by the time the concert ends.“

I glare at her irefully. Ash just smiles and turns to the stage cheerfully.

„For what it’s worth, I miss your voice already.“ Albus says behind me.

I veer to him and give him a grateful look, to what he responds with a warm smile.

Merlin, he has to stop being so... lovable! And snoggable. I mean, I can’t help but notice how much Phan seems to enjoy his plump lips. She makes it look like it’s the best thing in the world! I do wonder if...

The music suddenly starts, cutting my train of thoughts, and the crowd goes even wilder. On several occasions I get hit by the people jumping next to me. At one point, a guy even collapses on top of me. His dark eyes survey my whole body before he jumps to his feet. His figure comes into full view then and I seem to be rather willing to forgive him for knocking me down.

„I’m sorry, love. I think my mates slipped something in my butterbeer earlier.“

My stomach can’t help but leap in triumph over his use of the word love, even though he’s clearly waisted. Hey, the guy’s insanely attractive. Forget Louis Weasley, this one’s the poster man for perfection.

„Is he bothering you?“ Suddenly, I feel Al’s protective arm on my shoulder and observe his light eyes turn far darker.

„Is he your boyfriend, love?“ The guy asks me, a fairly disappointed look on his sharp features.

I try to say no, but then remember, highly angered, that I’ve completely lost my voice, property of one Ash Goldwyn.

„Yes.“

I turn to Albus, startled by his confident affirmation.

„Is it true?“ The guy slurs in my direction. „Because I say... you’re awfully cute.“

Suddenly, Al reaches over and gives me a full blown kiss, to what all of our friends stare in confusion. Not to mention Sienna.

Albus then stops just to give the guy a vicious glare. „You were saying?“

The young man puts his hands up in a surrender fashion and marshes off, tripping over his own feet in the process.

Al waits for him to disappear completely before leaning down to observe me with care. „Are you ok?“

I nod, completely frozen and, even if I was able to, I’m certain I could not produce any words.

„I know we said no physical acts are allowed between us, but that’s the first thing that popped into my mind in order to get him to leave.“ He looks at me all earnest. „I hope you don’t mind it that much.“

Not at all, I want to say, but since I can’t, I just shake my head, still completely dazed.

Al smiles at me and then goes straight back to Sienna, mumbling something in her ear, probably explanations as to why he has done what he has just done. To defend my honour, he’ll probably say. Not-to finally kiss the girl I truly fancy. That’s something I can only imagine to myself.

Ending yet another one of my daydreams, Emma suddenly pulls me to the side, slightly away from Albus, Sienna and Ash, a worried expression on her face.

„Ok, I’ve been teasing you about Albus lately, because I found it cute. But now I see that I was wrong. You don’t just find him fit... You’re in love with him, aren’t you?“

I shake my head, but I conclude that my look must’ve given my away, because Emma doesn’t appear to believe me.

 „Look, Jill, I have come to like you, in spite of myself. Because, believe me, I wanted to hate you.“

I frown at her. So Rose was right all along.

„Don’t... listen to me, please, don’t do that. Don’t fall for him first. Albus is the type of guy who likes a challenge. I mean, why else would he persist on being in love with Alice for so long? I see that he cares for you, probably more than for anyone else in his life, me included, even if it pains me to admit it... It’s true. But if you show him that you like him more than just a mate before he does... If you two start a romantic relationship on your insistence... It’ll fall apart. Trust me. I know.“

My heart suddenly sinks, remembering the headlines in the newspapers upon Emma’s return. I cast a questioning look at her and she seems to read it quite well.

„Yes, we were an item for awhile.“ She nods slowly, biting her lip. „But it couldn’t work because I pushed him into making a step he wasn’t ready for. If... if you want to have him fall for you... just... wait. Or you’ll destroy everything.“

She gives me a long, meaningful look before storming off back to Ash. I am left standing there, in the middle of the crowd, unable to move. And thinking...

 

 

 

What the bloody hell have I gotten myself into?

Not only do I appear to be developing a feeling of the love sort, but it’s happening with a Potter! Need I remind you of my turbulent past with them? No, because I’ve done that enough already. But since I’ve come to terms with the fact that what I was feeling for James wasn’t truly love, I’ll let you know what happens when it actually is.

 

 

 

The twenty second of November, 2027

 

I was leaning onto a railing, letting the snow fall down on my frizzy hair lazily. It was rather cold, but it was as if I couldn’t feel the winter grabbing at me, pulling me into its icy embrace. And I was quite aware of the reason.

I couldn’t feel anything.

Anything but the glaring void inside of me, that is.

„Hey.“

I turned around to see Ava, my cigarette addicted colleague, joining me at the terrace.

I nodded my head and even that felt like a too much of an effort. I was so tired. So, so tired...

„Maybe it’s better like this.“ Ava muttered into the cold wind, avoiding my hollow gaze.

I’d been told that it’s hard to look at-it’s that dark and devoid of hope.

„Maybe.“ I finally managed to retort, albeit with difficulty, which led my voice to break.

Ava finally picked up the courage to gaze at me. All she saw was a shell of the ambitious girl I once was. The girl that claimed she’d work with Ginny Weasley and follow all of the most exciting Quidditch matches in flesh and not just by reading about it in the Daily Prophet. Because, the girl promised she’d become the most esteemed writer of the Prophet stuff one day.

And now... that girl was barely able to grip at the railing in front of her.

Ava surprised me when she suddenly squeezed one of my hands and smiled, well... sort of, anyway. She wasn’t one for pleasant behaviour or chats.

„Soon, all of this will be behind you. You won’t even remember Aidan in a couple of months, because... you’ll be out of here. In Daily Prophet, getting that interview with Oliver Wood you so desire.“ She stopped only to smirk a little, as if it still amused her how much I wanted to speak with that man. „I’ve always seen it inside you, the potential for greatness. I guess that’s why I’ve mostly been awful toward you. I envy your talent.“

I was honestly taken aback. Ava and I had always been the worst journalistic pair and I never figured why our boss insisted on sending us together with Marc for each and every story out there. So, to hear her speak like this, it was truly shocking.

But I guessed she wasn’t blind to my pain, either, and decided she should give me a break. Everyone else seemed to, anyway. Because, they knew... they could see how much it ached me.

Aidan and I... it was a complicated story of denial, misunderstanding and hurt. Denial-because we never admitted to being a couple, even if everyone could see us holding hands and stealing kisses at work. Misunderstanding, because I thought he had an official girlfriend he was hiding from me, when his cousin came to visit, all tall and blond and perfect. I got insanely jealous as a result and, third, hurt-because I felt as though he had betrayed me. But... we never agreed that we were together... so, did I have the right to behave so? Aidan thought I didn’t. He didn’t wrong me, essentially, but he never felt so intensely as I did in our odd... arrangement. So he felt that I needed space to get over the whole mess and did a quite honourable thing.

He left.

Which brings me to today. Because, today I got promoted and our boss threw a small celebration party in my honour and... in spite of myself, I sent Aidan an invitation.

As evident, he firmly refused to come.

I guess I got what I deserved, what with everything I made Keyon go through two years prior. Aidan left me the same way I left Key. And the circle was complete.

 

The knowledge that I could finally move on didn’t prevent me from going slightly crazy afterwards, case in point-dying my hair lime green, sporting a Mohawk at some point, having a one night stand with a girl (Don’t ask... ever.), waking up in Berlin one morning with no recollection of how I got there and, eventually, going into an interview at the Daily Prophet. I only list the last item as crazy because, if I was my usual self, it probably would have taken me several more years before doing such a thing.

 

 

 

Basically, in love... I go bonkers. More so than usually.

 

 

 

So, you see why now? Why I can’t be trusted with love?

This nonsense needs to end and it needs to end now!

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

After the concert is over and Emma, Al and Sienna have gone their ways, Ash and I set out to see Keyon backstage. He has promised to arrange a meeting of sorts, for my friend and Felix Chadwick. Apparently, Key and Felix go a long way back, so he isn’t likely to refuse the offer.

Is this what Ash meant by never knowing how associating with a rock star can benefit you? That little minx! I bet that she immediately seized her opportunity the moment I led Keyon into our apartment for the first time.

He lets us in his room, a small space but luxuriously arranged. I instantly take a look at the mirror, which seems to answer back at you in colorful insults.

„What...“

„Oh, aren’t you a know-it-all? Can you, please, shut the bloody hell up and leave me to enjoy myself in piece.“ The mirror scoffs at me.

I turn to Keyon in horror. He laughs at my bemused face.

„I got it as a gift from an ex girlfriend. In the letter that came with the gift, she said she finally found a way to express her feelings toward me after our break up.“

Ash giggles in the corner, but that could be from her nerves, as well.

„Why would you keep it, then?“ I wonder.

„As a constant reminder for me to be a better person.“ He admits, shrugging. „Plus, it’s hilarious.“

I observe him intently. As a reminder to be a better person... It’s such a positive take on something horrible from his past. I guess I have to look at him the same way-not as a reminder of how bad a person I was, but as a solace to be better in the future.

„Well, I don’t want to sound rude, but... when is Felix coming over?“ Ash utters, twisting her dark lock with force.

Keyon smiles at her and, after his eyes drift to the entrance briefly, he nods his head toward it. It takes Ash a few seconds before she veers to spot the tall, dark man standing at the door. I glance at him, as well, noting that he appears even more handsome so close up. Ash stands up and I can literally see her knees trembling. She takes a few steps towards the door, unsure. The whole time, Felix doesn’t move or even flinch. It’s only when Ash gets so close to be able to put a hand on his cheek, that he closes his eyes and melts into her touch.

„I’m sorry.“ He whispers.

„No, I am.“ Ash chokes through tears.

And before another word is uttered, the two fall into each other’s arms.

„I think we should go now.“ Keyon pulls me by the sleeve.

I nod and follow him out.

When we’re far enough and by ourselves, I can’t help but wonder. „How is it so easy for them?“

„Well, I’m not completely in on the whole story, but according to Felix, it wasn’t exactly easy.“ Key shrugs.

I sigh, nodding. „I guess you’re right. They do have a long history. But, I mean, how did they get over it? How did they come to this point of just... letting everything go and... leaping into it?“

„I’m not an expert on love...“ Keyon smiles at me to what I roll my eyes. „But I’d say that... sometimes... every silly obstacle stops to matter, because you realize that life is, indeed, too short.“

„Great, so I have to wait for his grandfather to die or something.“ I mutter to myself.

„What?“ Key frowns.

„Nothing!“ I perk up and pat his back cheerfully. „Thanks for doing this for Ash! As they say-how can I ever repay you?“

„Well, as a matter of fact...“ Keyon smirks and an unpleasant feeling creeps up on me.

I have a suspicion I won’t like this.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

Well, it turns out it’s the opposite. Because, get this-Keyon has seen Emma briefly in the passing before she left for her flat and... he seems to find her hauntingly beautiful. And who am I to stand in the way of a possible romance?

Ok, truthfully, I’m just hoping Emma returns his sentiments so that I don’t have to worry over her gloomy presence in Al’s life in a romantic sense ever again.

Wow, I’m feeling those Slytherin genes over-coming me again.

Finally!

This love nonsense has made me weak. And I can’t allow it! From now on, I will listen to my mind, even if it is a slightly weird place. It’s better than listening to my flimsy heart, anyway. Because I ought not, I repeat, NOT let Albus Potter ruin my life, even though I can’t deny that he has taken over it completely.

So... if I can’t get him out of my head, I’ll get him into my bed (Well, ok, it’s probably going be his bed, because I have a room mate and that would just be awfully awkward.) and, consequently, out of my system. I don’t care that he has Phan now (I refuse to label her as his girlfriend. That would just be absurd.).

I’m a God damn Slytherin and it’s bloody time I behave like one! 

 





A/N: Dun, dun! Tatum is in her Slytherin mode again. Expect hilarity in the following chapters as a result. :D

 
 


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