Chapter 9 : Problem Number Nine
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Aimee Hendricks showing up in my office was one of them.
Now that I think of it, this blonde supermodel arriving in my office, her expression as cool as a cucumber, looking as though she had arrived at some high class fashion show where everybody was to treat her like royalty, was something that was to be expected or at least it had to be one of the possible scenarios that I should have thought of.
I had been paying attention to Nathan this whole time, thinking he would be the only one to help me figure out our latest bad boy’s problem. Turns out that I had forgotten the third counter part of their trio.
Shame on me.
Aimee stood there, leaning against the wall, her wavy blonde hair put up into a high ponytail, her clear tanned arms folded across her chest tightly and the heel of her right leg was put against her left ankle, making her already long legs look even longer. A slight smirk had been formed across her face, which was so well disguised that some people would just claim her smirk as a beautiful pout. The only thing missing were a pair of ridiculously large sunglasses that should have been resting on the tip of her nose to complete the entire look.
No wonder Albus had gone for her. She was every boy’s dream.
For some odd reason, my hands were twitching to slap that annoying smirk off her face and yell all sorts of profanities at her. I strongly resisted by shoving my hands into my skirt’s side pocket, tightly clutching the fabric inside.
“Aimee,” I said once again, as civilly as possible, “You want to talk about Albus Potter?”
Aimee let out a tinkering laugh, “I don’t know why you’re so surprised.”
“I just didn’t expect to see you here.” I managed, restraining my hands in my pocket.
“Well, I do a lot of unexpected things.” She gave me another dazzling smile. “Anyway, I guess I should get to the point huh?” She let out a small breathless laugh.
I’m not sure what was really going on here. Why was Aimee here? Why was she smiling? Why was she laughing?
What the hell was she doing?
Let’s just say my confusion level was at the maximum point there was.
I just nodded my head. “So, what did you need to talk about?”
Aimee strutted across the room, seating herself down in front of me, “I’m here to help.” She said, clearly, her tone firm.
“Help?” I echoed, my brain even more muddled now. What could Aimee possibly wanted to help with? Her persona was completely different from Nathan.
Nathan was cocky, smirked more than he had to but yet he had the humble aura around him which made me genuinely believe that he if he offered help, it would be unadulterated.
Aimee, on the other hand, with her smirk camouflaged to look like an adorable little pout and her tone threw me completely off the idea that she had really come lend a hand.
“Yes,” She said, her thousand watt smile never sliding off her face. Merlin, didn’t her cheek muscles ever hurt? “I think you could use some help where Albus Potter is concerned.” Her expression said everything.
I felt a pinch of fear and my stomach jolted. Aimee knew. I’m not sure how, but she did. She knew that I was helping out Albus with his issues.
I decided to play dumb. “I don’t see how you can help.” I sat down on one of the tables in front of her, trying to make my face look as unflappable as possible. “We don’t talk tha-“
“Don’t try to fool me.” She cut me off, “I know you’re seeing Albus Potter.”
How. How did she know? We had been as subtle about as we could. We met at obscure times. I had made sure that nobody was in the corridor when we were having our sessions. Hell, I had even placed the muffilito charms on the door.
“How did you know?” I asked, looking at her expression circumspectly.
“You weren’t as careful as you thought you were.” She paused, twirling her beach blonde hair around her fingers, “Well, at least Al wasn’t.”
“I’ve been his best friend and girlfriend,” she said, sniffing slightly, looking as though I had insulted her by asking such a question. “I know what his routine is.”
“So you know he’s seeing me. You know he has problems. Great.” Everything had been established but I still didn’t know why she was here. “So, why exactly are you here since you know everything?” I inspected her closely, “I really don’t think you’re here to rub in that in my face. So question is, why are you here?”
“Your skills are worthy of a Slytherin’s.” She commented, “But like I said before, I’m here to help.” There was a moment of silence, until she finally said, “I don’t think you should waste your time trying to help him.”
“Excuse me?” I was feeling completely and utterly shocked. Right now, given all the information I had, it was getting extremely hard to believe that she had been his best friend and girlfriend.
‘You sound surprised.” Aimee said lightly. “But it’s the truth. Trust me, take my advice and you’ll be better off. Helping him is no use.”
I was having a hard time processing this but somehow I managed, “What exactly do you mean by that?”
“You see,” Aimee’s voice sounded ridiculously patient, as though she as telling a first year how to navigate through the castle, “He’s too freaking messed up. I mean, merlin, its been forever, deal with your problems already.”
At this moment I was surprised that my mouth hadn’t permanently settled into an ‘O’ formation given all that Aimee had to say. “What problems are you talking about?” I asked, quickly.
“Does that really matter?” She waved her hand, “Point is, he’s too jumbled up inside to think anything straight. You’re better off leaving him to deal with his problems. I mean, issue after issue, it gets too much for anybody.”
It was really taking all my strength and will not to punch her in the face. “It’s my job to help people, Aimee.” I stated coldly, my body itching to get away from her as soon as I could, “So, excuse me if I don’t find your advice so useful.”
“Help people?” Aimee scoffed, her beautiful face looking more evil than ever, “You solve petty problems that any homeless man on the street could deal with. Don’t value yourself too much here.”
My cheeks flushed and my blood bubbled ferociously inside my throbbing veins, the muscles in my hand tight from not being able bitch slap her at this very moment.
How fucking dare she.
I dealt with a whole lot more than petty problems. Granted, some of them were sort of stupid, but if someone couldn’t help themselves, then my advice counted as help. It counted as doing something.
It’s fucking better than sitting and filing your nails all day. I’m pretty sure that’s what Aimee did all day since her nails resembled the claws of a wild cat.
Instead of punching her, the hand in my pocket tried to dig deeper into the fabric and I said sweetly, “Well, helping Albus will be my first case then.” Her mouth transformed into a thin line, “I’ll invite you to the award ceremony that I’ll be hosting when that happens, bitch.” And before she could retort, I walked out of the classroom, feeling an odd sense of satisfaction.
* * *
I stormed into the dormitory, banging the wooden open, causing it to hit against the cupboard that stood just a few feet away from it, making a large ‘thump!’ noise.
Rose looked up, “Well, you look angry.”
“Really?” I responded sardonically, “What gave you that idea?” I flopped down on my bed, stuffing my head into the mattress. I knew if I was up, I would end up screaming.
“What’s up?” Kenny asked finally, looking up from her old tattered ‘Quidditch through the Ages’ which was resting between her toned legs, “You’ve never been this pissed off before.”
I looked up and growled, “Aimee fucking Hendricks is what happened.”
Rose looked surprised, “Aimee? Al’s Aimee? Slytherin Aimee?”
“Yes, yes,” I said, impatiently, getting up to my knees, “Her.”
“Never liked her,” Kenny muttered.
“Why?” Rose looked more and more surprised by the second, “She seemed pretty okay when I met her.”
“I don’t know,” Kenny said, “There’s just this thing about her that I don’t like.”
“I hear you.” I said, and Rose looked even more taken aback than before.
“Can somebody please tell me what happened?” She demanded, looking at Kenny and me. Kenny shut the book, looking interested, but shrugged.
I recounted the whole incident and Rose’s expression became more astounded by the minute (as it had been for the last fifteen minutes), while Kenny looked grimmer.
“I knew she was more than your neighbourhood girl,” Kenny muttered.
“Wow,” Rose whispered, “Aimee actually said that?”
“I shit you not.”
“But-“Rose spluttered, “She’s so nice!” She brushed her red curls out of her face, “She and Al dated for about a year! And they were best friends before that! How could he not have known that she was like this?”
“I don’t know!” I cried. My brain was hurting. This whole thing was a complete mess. Aimee was supposedly nice but here she’d been a complete bitch. If she was Albus’s girlfriend and best friend, then why say something like this about him? She definitely had to have some motive or the other.
“Do you want me to help figure out what’s wrong?” Rose offered kindly, “I can speak to her.”
I doubt that would help at all. “We’re not third years anymore, Rose. It won’t help. Aimee is up to something that is what I know for sure.”
“Do you know what happened between the both of them?” Kenny asked, peering at Rose curiously through her chocolate brown orbs, “Like how did they break up or why or something”
“Nope,” Rose shook her head, “I don’t know anything.” She got up and came over to Kenny’s bed, sitting down cross-legged on her Quaffle comforter, where the hearing range between the three of us would be closer, “All I know, is that Al was extremely upset just a few days after summer began. So I’m guessing that’s when the whole break up happened.”
“Must have been pretty darn messy,” Kenny commented, thoughtfully.
“Well it could be true considering all the things she said to Rocky.” Rose said, a hint of anger entering into her voice, “and what the hell did she mean problems? Al didn’t have any issues before this summer!”
I didn’t make a remark at this statement because I wasn’t so sure that it was true. The way Aimee had said it, it was almost in a passing. She didn’t stop to think twice before she said that, it just came out in the heat of the moment. But I decided not to pass judgement too quickly. After all, this might all be a trick from her side.
“I don’t know what the hell she wanted or where I stand right now,” I said, ruefully, my head hurting from exhaustion after thinking about the whole situation. “I just hope I can figure out soon.”
“And bitch slap her?” Kenny asked, grinning.
She knew me so well.
“And that.” I grinned back.
“Can I help?” Rose asked, hopefully.
“By all means.”
We looked at each other for a moment and burst out laughing. Aimee Hendricks had certainly become a common enemy to all of us, especially for Rose and me.
I was about to say something when Nell walked in, her black heels clanking against the wooden floor, her hair a mess and her face stained with tears and eyeliner. Her eyes were puffy and her green pupils were surrounded by red, looking as though she had specially decorated it that way for Christmas.
“Nell,” I got up, feeling alarmed, “What the hell happened?”
Nell gave us one look before flinging herself into my arms, and sobbing. “Louis and I broke up.”
“What?” I said, uncomprehendingly, “How?”
“I don’t know!” Nell said, her voice muffled, “We just had some stupid fight and it all escalated so fast and now we’re broken up!”
“Wait,” Kenny said, looking slightly puzzled, “When did you guys get together?”
Nell looked up from my shoulder and glared viciously at Kenny, her green eyes flashing, “Does that matter?”
Rose hurriedly came to Kenny’s rescue, “What she means it,” she said, kindly, “Is that you can classify this as a break up really because you weren’t together.” Oh God, two of the most tactless people talking isn’t a good thing right now. Nell scowled.
“Nell, honey,” I took her over to her bed, making her sit, where she continued to sob loudly, hiding her face in her white fluffy pillow, staining it with the remains of her mascara and eyeliner, creating black splotches all over the beautiful white cover, which now resembled a spotted cat.
“How about you use this?” Rose said, handing her a Kleenex and stroking her curly blonde hair.
“Thanks,” Nell blew her nose into the Kleenex loudly, making the three of us flinch.
There were a few minutes of silence where we let Nell sob into the pillow until Kenny said, “So, when are you going to make up with him?”
“No!” Nell cried, shrilly, “It’s all his fault and I’m never going to talk to him again!” She punched the pillow, “I HATE HIM!”
“Don’t you think you’re being a little dramatic?” Rose asked, timidly. I groaned silently.
“I’m being dramatic?” Nell yelled and Rose cringed, “How about your stupid cousin!”
Rose immediately went on defensive mode, “Don’t put this one on him!” she said, hotly, “It might even be your fault!”
Before Nell could retort, Kenny stepped in. “OI! STOP IT.” She roared, looking murderously at both of them.
Nell and Rose looked slightly ashamed.
“Sorry,” Nell muttered, resentfully, if I might add.
“Yeah, me too.” Rose mumbled.
“Good,” Kenny looked satisfied, “Now Nell, stop being a baby and figure your shit out.” I looked at Kenny impressively.
“Nice job, Kenz.” I grinned at her.
“I’m not figuring anything out.” Nell stated stubbornly, “It’s all done. We had a fight and that’s the end of it.”
“But-“I began, but I was cut off.
“No buts.” Nell said, her tone firm, though her voice wavered slightly, “It’s done. Now you guys go for dinner and leave me in peace.” With a slight huff, Nell stalked off to the bathroom and slammed the door shut behind her.
The three of us looked at each other.
“Should we…?” Rose said, unsurely.
“No,” I decided, “Let’s give her some space.”
Kenny nodded her head vigorously. “Its okay, Rose. She’ll come to her senses when we bring her back some bacon.”
“Bacon?” I asked, wrinkling my nose slightly. “Why bacon?” Kenny sighed agitatedly as though I had asked her an absolutely ridiculous question.
“Because bacon solves everything.”
* * *
Dinner was an awkward affair.
After I left my dorm, all that pent up anger which was momentarily forgotten thanks to Nell’s little drama returned with full force. At this current moment I am currently stabbing my lettuce with my shiny pointed silver fork, thinking its Aimee’s annoyingly pretty face.
It’s quite relaxing actually.
Louis didn’t bother touching his dinner. Instead his head was in his arms, murmuring ‘Nell’ repeatedly as though he was a stuck tape recorder.
Scorpius was too busy not to stare at Rose and every time Rose caught his eye, his neck would turn red and he would start shoving inhuman amount of food down his throat.
Kenny was too busy being upset because there was no bacon at the table. She kept shooting the nearby house elves dirty looks every time they came close to her.
Rose and Jake were looking at us unsure of what to do until Jake burst.
“WILL ALL OF YOU STOP BEING TO FUCKING SAD/ANGRY/DEPRESSED?” He hollered at us.
All of us blinked in surprise, sans Rose who was trying not to laugh.
“Well you’re in a bad mood,” Scorpius commented, mildly. This angered Jake even more.
“I am in bad mood?” Jake’s nostrils flared, “What the hell is wrong with you Scorpius? For the past few days you’ve acting pretty damn weird.”
Scorpius coloured. “No I haven’t.”
“I’m not even going to argue with you on this one because we all know whose right here,” Jake threw his hands up in the air flamboyantly. “And you!” He poked Louis on his side who got up with a yelp, “Stop moping around!”
‘Nell and I broke up!” He cried, “Do you expect me to salsa dance across the hallway and serenade McGonagall after this sad little shing ding?”
“Wow Louis,” Kenny smirked, “Now we know what you think about besides Nell.”
“Oh, shut it.” Louis muttered, his ears turning red.
Jake wasn’t a least bit impressed. “Stop dreaming of McGonagall and sulking!” He snapped, “If you really want to solve things with Nell, go apologise to her!”
“Me?” Louis looked outraged, “It wasn’t even my fault!”
“What did you guys fight about?” Rose asked, curiously.
“Well, I was telling her about my first grade crush and how I met her this summer and how’d she had changed! And then Nell thought that I still had feelings for her.” Louis sighed, “And then we got into an argument about how it wasn’t true and I may have called her a possessive psycho…” Louis trailed off and Kenny smacked her head.
“That was a bad move.” She shook her head, giving him a grave look.
“Well can you blame me?” Louis said, defensively.
“Well,” I admitted, “What she did wasn’t right,” Louis opened his mouth to say something but I continued quickly, “but what you did wasn’t right either.”
“I suppose not,” Louis sulked.
“Great!” Jake said, “You realised your mistake, Rocky is being the mother hen so she’s not angry anymore, Kenny - get fucking over it and Scorpius, get yourself together and stop being a love struck idiot.”
Scorpius choked. “Am not.” He mumbled.
“Anyway,” Jake ignored Scorpius and continued, “Stop sulking because you’re ruining my vibe here.”
“What vibe? You’re as dead as the dementors.” Kenny said, grinning.
Jake flipped her off.
And we’re back to normal.
“Hey Rocky?” Rose asked softly, after a couple of minutes.
“When you invited Al for dinner yesterday…” Rose said, nervously, “Was it just for one night or was it an extended invitation?”
I blinked at her. “I’m not really sure,” I said, slowly, “But you’re more than welcome to invite him again if you want.”
“You don’t mind right?” Rose said.
Instead of replying, I got up swiftly, and walked towards the Slytherin table where Albus Potter was currently dining with a random book propped up against his china plate. His mouth was currently stretched into a thin firm line with his green eyes moving back and forth.
“Hey,” I said.
He looked up, surprised. “What are you doing here?” He asked, slowly.
“You know,” I said conversationally, “When I invited you for dinner yesterday. It was an open invitation for all nights.”
“Oh.” Albus seemed to be lost in thought. “But I’m reading a book today.”
I shot him a look, “Yes, because apparently I’m blind.” Albus cracked a small smile, “Does that really matter? You can read it some other time.” I bent down and took a quick look at the books cover, “Really? It’s your potions textbook.”
“Well excuse me if I like to stay ahead in class,” Albus said, defensively.
I rolled my eyes. “You’re coming with us to eat, so get up your arse and let’s go. I’m starved.” Albus gaped at me.
“I will n-“Albus began and I cut him off. “Great so you’re coming.” I smiled brightly at him. I turned around and started walking off hoping he would follow me.
Really, half the things I do – I just end up winging it.
Never do I really have a plan and I have a feeling that one day that’s going to kick me in the butt.
Oh well. We’ll cross that bridge when he get there.
“You are the most annoying person I’ve ever meant.” Albus said, catching up to me effortlessly.
“You don’t mean that.”
“How do you know?” He challenged.
I looked him straight into his green eyes. “Instinct.”
His eyes were really quite pretty.
“You have wonderful eyes.” I said, without thinking and then blushed. How wonderful.
Albus looked taken aback. “Thanks. I suppose.”
We walked in awkward silence after that. What, like absolutely, what the bloody hell had been going through my head when I said that? He must have thought I was some bloody stalker of some sort.
We reached our part of the great long Gryffindor table. Rose gave me a grateful smile.
“Thanks,” She whispered, when I took her place next to her.
Everybody was as welcoming as they were yesterday. Even more actually. But Albus didn’t talk. Again.
It was kind of frustrating, until Jake brought up the topic of Quidditch a half hour later.
“Its Luke Ryan who has the most amount of goals in sixty seconds!”
“No!” Kenny argued, “Its Jenna Carter!”
“She has my last name so it has to be her!” I piped in, enthusiastically.
I was ignored.
“No.” Jake purposely used his ‘explaining to a toddler voice’ which he always used to piss Kenny off. “Last year, he scored 12 goals in a minute against the Wasps.”
Kenny’s nostrils flared, “My babe Jenna, scored 12 against the Tornados, three months ago.”
“No she didn’t!” Jake snapped. “Luke Ryan set the record!”
“Don’t shit me, you little fucker.” Kenny snarled. She does tend to get a little creative with her language at times.
“Actually,” Albus intervened quietly, “Tristan Cowan set the record of sixteen, about four days ago.” Kenny and Jake looked appalled.
“When did that happen?” Jake cried.
“Four days ago.” Albus seemed slightly amused, “Don’t you all read the newspapers?”
Everybody sans Rose and Scorpius shook their heads.
Okay, yes, I don’t read the newspaper. But most of them are so dry. You know what I mean? I rather watch news on the telly.
“Well.” Albus looked awkward again, “That’s what happened.”
“Damn,” Kenny shook her head, “Just when I thought I was winning the argument.”
“Which match was it?” Jake questioned, eagerly.
They continued with their conversation with Albus, who looked slightly nervous but did keep up with the discussion going on. He would quieten down every now and then but someone or the other would always pull him back into the conversation.
I allowed myself a self-satisfied smirk.
Progress had been made.
Thanks for reading my ridicuously long authors note! Do leave a review on your way out! it would make my day <3
PS - i have a new james/oc short story written out and im a bit nervous about posting it! let me know if you guys are intersted! :))
Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes belongs to Arthur Conan Doyle not me!
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