Chapter 14 : House-elves, friendly chats and Prefect rounds
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hey guys! here I am with another chapter! I know, I know, you lot love me for the quick updates ;) you should know that I love you too, for the amazing reviews you're leaving me! *kisses* anyways, I hope you like this one...as always, r&r
p.s. I've started working on the next chapter already!
It’s so quiet and still out here.
Especially at night.
Not that I’m complaining, though.
Merlin knows I need a break from the planning, scheming and helping Cooper declare his undying love to my best friend.
Can I just say this is a highly uncomfortable situation for me?
I definitely didn’t want to sign up for this.
I still don’t understand how I became so wrapped up in the whole shebang, to be perfectly honest.
The only good thing about this is I get to spend more time with Layla. Needless to say, we’re the ones doing the planning and scheming, while James and Fred keep Ian ‘occupied’. I don’t even want to know what they do.
I can’t help but smile as I reminisce about all the times we met up and discussed how to get those two together. Honestly, she’s way more into it than I am. She thinks they’re gonna be perfect for each other, and I don’t disagree, but she gets really excited when she keeps talking about this, it’s nice to see her that way.
Not that I ‘see’ her in any way, I’m not a stalker or something.
It’s been two weeks since Ian told us about his ‘situation’ and so far, we have done absolutely nothing about it. The general idea, (mine and Layla’s) is that we should wait for some sort of signal from Dana before we proceed with our further planning. So when we actually do meet up to discuss those two, we have nothing much to talk about. We just end up talking random nonsense and let me tell you, that part just makes my day. We have even set up a specific time, i.e. our nightly Prefect rounds, to talk about this. That way we’re not interrupted or overheard, see. And we get to do that while we’re busting people for breaking rules.
It’s so much fun.
I have gotten to know her quite well during those ‘meetings’. Like, how she always keeps her wand up her sleeve rather than in her robes. Like how she blows her bangs out of her eyes when she’s doing some work. Like how her dimples pop up when she’s pursing her lips at people who got caught. Like how she bangs shut a specific suit of armour every day, just out of habit. Like how she smells distinctively of the peach-flavoured soap from our Prefect’s bathroom. Like how her dark hair ripples in waves down her back, gleaming softly. Like how her eyes dazzle like gems in the torchlight. Like how her lips are a baby pink and look soft and inviting.
Yeah, so I’ve noticed quite a bit about her.
And no, I’m not being creepy.
There was a bit of awkwardness in the air the first few times. I mean, we’ve never been alone together, except for Christmas day at my place, and I tried to kiss her but didn’t because I have stupid cousin(s). We never bought that up, and slowly the uncomfortable feeling passed away. She eased more into our routine, seemed comfortable with it. There were a few moments when I caught her looking at me when she thought I wasn’t aware, in a weird way- not a bad-weird, but good-weird way. Like she was, maybe, I don’t know, glancing at me from the corner of her eyes, checking me out? These moments never lasted more than a few seconds anyway, and she always looked away immediately leaving me to think maybe I imagined it all, and the moment just died.
The more comfortable she got with being around me, the more she opened up to me about herself. Before I knew it, she had put me at ease too, so I ended up revealing information about myself, sometimes even things I’ve not divulged before. She was just a warm, caring and trustworthy person. She didn’t judge me, and she liked me for who I am, not because of who my family members were.
She was a true friend, one of the very few I actually have.
And it scared me, how close we were becoming.
I mean, if I, Albus Severus Potter, is capable of noticing things and reaching conclusions, then she would have definitely done the same about me.
She would have done better, given how she is more perceptive than I am on my best day.
And dude, that seriously scares the shit out of me.
I know I’m sounding girly here, but it’s true.
I sigh to myself as I’m wandering the corridors quite alone, tonight. It’s just me and my thoughts, and you might have already guessed, I tend to brood a bit and generally confuse myself. If you didn’t get that, then I politely suggest you and your lonely brain cell can go stick yourselves where the sun don’t shine normally.
See, I’m quite a nice guy, with good manners and stuff.
Mum would be so proud of her little boy right now.
I decide to take a detour to the kitchens. Not that surprising really, considering it’s me. Besides, the House-Elves love me. And I made a promise to Aunt Hermione that I would check on them frequently. So, if you look at it, you can actually see that the reason I sneak out so often during the night to the kitchens is for Aunt Hermione’s sake not mine. And here you thought I was self-absorbed.
I tickled the pear, and as I stood there waiting for the kitchen door to open, I suddenly thought back to the last time I was here alone in the middle of the night, which is when I met Layla for the first time, officially. Was it really just a few months ago? It seems like I’ve known her for ages.
I made my way into the kitchens, to a very small chair near the fireplace, where there was a small fire going on. The House-Elves rushed and gathered around me, bowing and curtsying. I grinned at the lot of them, they knew me quite well. Like I said before, I like to check on them for Aunt Hermione’s sake.
“Master Potter, so good to see you after a long time” bowed a very old elf.
“You too, Darby. How have you been?” I asked, smiling at him.
“Well, Master” he grins at me, showing his very white teeth.
“We bought Master’s favourite snacks” squeaked another elf at my elbow.
“Thanks Daisy” I grinned at her taking the tray laden with cakes and chocolates and desserts from her “You’re amazing”
“Oh Master Potter, you is always flattering us” she blushed, and rushed off to put some milk to boil.
I really love this place.
I keep chatting up with the elves while I’m munching on my food, and they keep filling me on their vacations and how they’re better off now that Aunt Hermione has passed the law giving them a few basic rights. I grinned at that, knowing nothing would please Aunt Hermione more to know how much it means to these little guys what she’s done for them.
“Here you go, Master Potter” said another elf, thrusting a glass of warm milk in my hand, “This helps you sleep. Master is looking very tired, and Abby wonders if Master is getting enough sleep?” she asks me, her head cocked to one side and her blue eyes large.
“Don’t worry about it Abby” I said, taking the glass from her “I’m sleeping well-enough. Just a few things to sort out”
“Well, I hope Master sorts it out soon. Abby wishes she does not have to worry about Master, when he is being so kind to us, as was his parents and his Aunt and Uncle” she says gravely, and a few other house-elves who have gathered nod solemnly to that.
“Thanks you guys” I said, touched that they held so much affection for me.
“Here you go Master Potter” squeaked a tiny elf, carrying a very heavy bag, “For when you are hungry” he said, gazing up at me with big brown eyes full of adoration.
I took the bag from him and squatted down to his level, looking him in the eye and said, “Hi there. Good to see you. Are you new around here?”
The elf seemed to be in awe and replied, “Yes, Master. Chatter joined at Hogwarts few days ago, after Chatter’s Mother died” he said his ears drooping.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Chatter” I said, giving him a small pat “Do you like it at Hogwarts?”
“Oh, yes Master!” he said, his sudden grin lighting up his face, “Hogwarts is so much better than Chatter’s old home. Chatter’s old Masters didn’t want him to get paid, see. But Chatter wanted payment. Chatter heard all about Mistress Hermione, and all that she had to say. Chatter wanted his rights” he said defiantly, his eyes hardening, “But Chatter’s old Master’s refused payment, and denied him his rights. So Chatter packed his bags, said goodbye, and reached Hogwarts. Chatter has been happy ever since” he finished, grinning toothily at me.
I smiled at him and gave him a pat. But inside, I couldn’t help feeling angry that a few of the wizards were still fixated and stubborn that house-elves must be treated like slaves. It disgusted me, that after so much of changes and laws Aunt Hermione struggled to have passed, these old wankers still believed in the olden ways. No matter how much the law says that house-elves need not be bound to their families anymore, need not be freed by clothes, can speak their minds without having to hurt themselves, must have the basic payment of at least three galleons a week, must have the basic medical facilities and a vacation once every three months, some people are just too stubborn to acknowledge the fact that these creatures are intelligent in their own way and must be treated with respect.
Pathetic old bastards.
“Listen, Chatter” I said to him, “Feel free to come up and visit me whenever you want to, yeah? Just make sure I’m not in the middle of a class or Quidditch practice or detention or something. And definitely not while I’m in the loo” I add as an afterthought.
“Thank you so much Master” he squeaked, his brown eyes full of tears. “I would never embarrass Master by visiting him while Master is in the loo” he vowed.
Then he proceeded to hug me so tightly I was pretty sure my ribs would break.
Must. Need. Air.
“Alright, I’d better be off then” I said, when I could finally breathe, “Thanks a lot for everything, and you guys take care of yourselves” I waved, as I made my way out.
The house-elves had gathered around the door, all waving goodbye with cries of “You too, Master Potter” and “Please visit us more often” and “I will visit, Master Potter”. The last was from Chatter, obviously.
I couldn’t help but smile as I made my way back to the dormitory. My hands were laden with food, which I’m sure will disappear by next morning, and the house-elves had promised to send packages to both Aunt Hermione’s house as well as my parent’s place. Uncle Ron would be ecstatic at the food package.
Elves were such kind creatures with unwavering faith and loyalty. A visit to them always left me in better spirits.
And as always, food helps.
“Hey Al” Dana came up to me and put an arm around me.
“Hey” I smiled at her, and put my arm around her shoulders.
“Choo’ doing?” she asked, grinning at me.
“Well, it would seem that I am about to embark on this great adventure called ‘Prefect Rounds’...” I trailed off, smirking at her.
“Shut up” she said, playfully shoving me as I laughed at her.
“What’s up, love?” I asked her, putting my arm around her once more.
“Nothing much” she shrugged, “It just seems like a long time since we actually spoke”
Her voice was casual, but that statement just sent a stab of guilt through my heart. The reason why I wasn’t able to spend much time with Dana was because I was ‘helping’ Ian.
Or so I say.
“Oi Potter” a voice rang out, and I suddenly found myself whacked on the head.
“Ow!” I complained, “What was that for?”
“Well, just a greeting, darling cuz” said Rose, sitting on my other side, grinning at me.
I rolled my eyes, “Hi to you too Rose”
“God, you’re sparse these days” she said, whacking me again.
What is this, abuse Al Potter day?
“I get it that you missed me Rose, but seriously you shouldn’t shower me with so much love” I deadpanned.
Both Dana and Rose burst out laughing at my expression, and I couldn’t help chuckling as well.
What? I am funny.
Don’t give me that weird look.
Like you haven’t laughed at your own jokes before.
“Seriously, Al” Rose said, wiping her tears “I did miss you”
“Wow” I said, “Dana would you check out the window to see if there are any silver-winged piglets flying around?”
“Arse” said Rose, playfully punching me.
Again, what’s with the abuse?
“I missed you too, Rosie” I said, giving her a proper smile and hug. She hugged me back, giving a little squeeze.
Damn, I love that cousin of mine.
Tell her that and I’ll murder you.
No, I’m perfectly serious.
And I’ll do such a thorough job that they’ll never be able to guess the cause of death.
I’m that good.
That’s right. You just got told, bitch.
“Aw” said Dana, joining in the hug as well.
When all the hugging was done, (we hug way too much if you ask me) we just sat back and chatted up a bit, because we finally got the time to catch up.
Rose was going steady with Scorpius, and I was quite surprised to see that had turned out really well. I mean, Scor’s a nice bloke and all, but you’ve got to give the dude some credit for holding up on his own with so many of Rose’s cousins around, scrutinizing every move. I’ve done it myself, if I were being completely honest. I wonder how he would react when he finally meets Uncle Ron. I wonder how Uncle Ron would react when he knew about Scor and Rose, and how steady they are. That ought to make one hell of an interesting conversation.
Dana went out with this guy from Hufflepuff, but it was just one date, and it didn’t work out. I didn’t know what to make of this news. I mean, do I tell Ian? Or should I wait? Is she interested in him? Or does she want to ‘play the field’ or whatever?
WHY DO YOU PUT ME IN SUCH AWKWARD SITUATIONS, MERLIN?
I am seriously having a word with that guy.
You just hope I don’t get up there soon, Merlin.
That’s right. Be afraid of me.
But seriously- dude, I had no clue what to do with this new information. I wish Layla were here, she would know what to do. Well, I suppose it’s a good thing I’m meeting her in a few for our Prefect rounds.
She doesn’t seem to be too bothered about it, though. Dana, I mean. I saw no signs or symptoms of her being heart-broken or lonely or anything. Just casual, cool and funny. The usual Dana.
I guess I’m a horrible friend and a terrible person for wanting Dana to be sad so I could set her up with Ian.
What sort of a person wishes for something like that to happen to their best friend?
A truly evil one, that’s who.
I bet I was pure evil in my last birth, which is why Karma hates me so much.
“Oh my God!” exclaimed Rose, “Is that the time? I promised I’d meet Scor fifteen minutes ago!” she wailed, glancing at the clock “Shit”
“I’d better go” she rushed out of the portrait hole, with barely so much as a “Bye guys, see you later”
Yeah, you can see how much my cousin loves and cares about me.
“I’d better go as well” said Dana, “I got work to do, and you have to make rounds in another fifteen minutes” she reminded me.
Yeah, like I needed any reminding.
That’s all I look forward to these days, love.
Which is kind of pathetic, when you think about it.
...Meh, who cares? I get to meet with Layla.
Purely official business, of course. I have no other intentions.
What? Don’t look at me like that, I’m quite the gentleman.
You can take that all-knowing smirk off your face now.
I’m still a bit early, when I finally arrive at the classroom we use for meetings. Actual official Prefect meetings, not the other sort of meetings.
The whole lot of Prefects are there, along with the Head Boy and Girl, who are just giving the usual tosh about rules and the punishments and stuff. I just look around, and I’m disappointed to find no hint of Layla. She usually is the first person here, and I’m the one who’s late. I just hope she’s alright.
You know, in the purely friendly, non-other-intentional way.
After we are assigned our duties for the night, we are dismissed. I look at the pamphlet to see that Layla and I are once again assigned to bust the people who sneak out for a couple of snogs in the night.
Not that I’m against kissing or breaking rules, if anything I applaud their efforts to relax their hormones. I just happen to think it’s extremely embarrassing to be caught while you’re busy getting it on in some dark shady corner of the castle, half-naked and thoroughly pissed off at being interrupted. Apparently it kills the mood. I love it, ‘cause it’s a hilarious situation to be in (for the catcher, not the catchee) and I love watching people squirm and generally wish to die of humiliation.
Yes, I’m sadistic.
Get used to it.
Like I said, I was pure evil in my previous birth.
*followed by clap of thunder*
(This is going to be my cue from now on)
I wandered around the castle, hoping to run into Layla on the way, when I heard a small noise coming from the concealed tapestry in the fourth-floor corridor, behind the statue of Barney the Awesome, leading up to the Charms corridor.
Ha! Some couple was in there getting it on!
Time to bust some humiliated arse!
*clap of thunder*
I silently made my way toward the tapestry, and I heard voices. Jesus, these people weren’t even bothering to do this silently. This just proves that they don’t have an iota of brain tissue between their ears.
Hoping and praying that it wasn’t James or any of my family members, (it has happened a lot. Trust me when I say I’ve found them in all sorts of positions and situations I never wanted to ever witness in my life. Gross!) I pulled apart the tapestry and pointed my wand at them.
It was dark, and I could just see silhouettes of two people. The girl was pushed against the wall and the guy had her trapped between his two arms, which were resting on the wall. He was kissing her and she had her hands on his chest. Christ, these people didn’t even realize I was there. Pathetic.
“Lumos” I muttered, and suddenly the corridor was swathed in my wand-light and the couple broke apart to see who it was.
The guy I could easily identify. He was tall, stocky, with shoulders the size of boulders, and short buzz of dark blonde hair, in Gryffindor robes. His robes were in a disarray and he seemed extremely put off by my intrusion. Yeah, Donald McLaggen was not happy with me.
As for the girl, I wish I couldn’t identify her. Tall, with a slender frame, her dark hair cascading down in a tousled manner, her lips a bit swollen, and her clear sea-green eyes staring at me in shock and embarrassment. Her robes were a bit crushed by the weight of McLaggen, and her Prefect badge gleamed in the light. Her bright yellow Hufflepuff robes.
I continued to stare at her, as she continued to stare at me.
I don’t know for how long I stood there, feeling the anger, shock, jealousy and hurt course through my body like poison. I couldn’t seem to unfreeze my body, to make it move. To either hex the shit out of McLaggen, or to walk away from what I had just witnessed.
Finally, after Merlin knows how long, I shot a disgusted look at the pair of them, and turned and walked away, pulling the tapestry close behind me.
I assure you, I did not want to be the person on romance-busting duty tonight.
For the first time ever, I regretted being a Prefect, and for the first time in recent times, I regretted Prefect rounds.
Because, if it were not for this, I wouldn’t have to know who hooked up with whom.
If it were not for this, I wouldn’t have known who cheated on whom with whom.
If it were not for this, I wouldn’t have known who all sneaked off to make out and shag in the middle of the night.
Because, if it were not for this, I wouldn’t have walked in on McLaggen making out with Layla.
And right now in this scenario, all I want to say is...
TAN. TAN. TAAAAANN.
sorry, I just had to provide the dramatic music..
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