Chapter 8 : The One Where James Is Up All Night
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Time seemed to go quickly at Hogwarts and before I knew it October had arrived. September had been extremely eventful, more eventful than I could ever have imagined that it would be.
It seemed that everyone else was as amazed as I was about the turn of events this year. I didn’t much like being the centre of attention to some people. Their stares and talking was coming to my attention more and more as the days passed. I hoped that that would pass as the days had, but so far people were still interested in talking about me and James.
Not that there was anything to talk about, it was just James talking to me, but apparently it was big news in the school. I even caught Rebecca Anderson, a sixth year Gryffindor glaring at me a few times. She had never even looked at me before, so I wasn’t sure if this was an improvement or not.
Couldn’t they all see that it was James who was talking to me more, not the other way around? That was mainly because I was too shy to even attempt a conversation with James.
I decided to try and not let it affect me; what could I do to even stop it? Maybe if I ignored it, they would all find someone and something else to talk about?
I looked around Muggle Studies, waiting for my fellow students and the teacher to arrive to start the lesson. I had arrived about ten minutes early for the lesson though, so I knew it would be a while until anyone else turned up. I contented myself by looking around the classroom and taking in all the posters and pictures that lined the walls. Pictures of various Muggle celebrities, Muggle films, Muggle bands, even pictures of Muggle shops.
My eyes fell on another part of the wall, it was covered in the posters that my class had made the year before. It was really fun as we had to come up with a poster of a product we had to make up that Muggles could use to try and make their lives a bit better. The catch was that it couldn’t be anything magical and something that Muggles would actually want to use.
It was by far the hardest thing I had to think of. I came up with an idea for some sort of Umbrella that could attach to Bicycles, as Muggles were unable to use magic to protect themselves from the rain, and we all know how much we English love to moan about the rain.
Mine was the best one in the class according to the teacher, and was actually one of the only ones that Muggles could use. Most of the other students' ideas needed magic to be of use.
I remember that James had come up with an idea for a Wheelbarrow with wings, mainly because it would make his life easier at his nan's house when he was helping her out in the garden. I remembered it being one of the funniest things that I had heard in a while. I gave a small chuckle to myself before I could think about how crazy that must have made me seem.
Thankfully, no one had arrived when I gave a glance around the classroom. I slouched in my chair and looked up at the ceiling. Losing myself in my thoughts until I heard the shuffling of people that entered the classroom. Sitting up straight I kept my eyes out for James, as my classmates filed into the room. He strolled in last; shuffling slowly as though walking was causing a lot of effort he couldn’t be bothered with.
I watched as he neared me, waiting for him to take his now usual seat next to me. It did make me enjoy coming to this lesson a lot more and I was looking forward to it almost daily.
James slouched down and let out a relieved groan as he kicked his bag under the table and stretched his legs out as he stuffed his hands into his robe pockets.
“Hey,” he said with a yawn.
“Are you alright?” I asked him, looking at him and seeing that his eyes had dark circles under them and his eyes looked red and bloodshot.
He shook his head. “I am so tired,” he wailed. “Today is dragging so much. Do I look as crap as I feel? Because I am feeling really crap today,” James said, turning to face me. I let my eyes take in his appearance, trying to ignore the fact that I was giddy with excitement about the fact that he was sitting next to me. In fact he was so close his leg was touching mine.
I hoped that he couldn’t hear how hard my heart was beating.
“You do look a bit crap,” I admitted before I could stop myself. He just looked at me.
“That has got to be the meanest thing you’ve ever said to me,” he said seriously, before he let out a loud laugh which was interrupted by an even bigger yawn.
“Oh, man! I need this day to hurry up so I can sleep,” James moaned, running his hands over his tired eyes.
“So, why are you so tired?” I asked curiously, my eyes still taking in his face; I enjoyed having him so near. I took a deep breath and realised that he smelt like coconuts; it must be his shampoo, it smelt delicious.
“I was up all night,” he told me simply.
“What made you stay up all night?” I asked him.
He turned to look at me again and I got a whiff of the coconut shampoo filling my nose again; I really did love the smell of coconut. “I can’t tell you that.”
“Oh,” I said, feeling slightly deflated; maybe he didn’t want to say because he was with someone?
“It’s nothing bad or dirty,” James said quickly, shaking his head quickly as he thought of what conclusion I would have jumped to at his words. “It’s just... some people wouldn’t understand, or they’d laugh at me.”
“You can tell me,” I said, my interest in this spiking. I really wanted to know what had kept him up all night and something that he would consider embarrassing to other people. My mind couldn’t come up with any explanations other than doing homework all night? But why would that be embarrassing? And why wouldn’t he tell me if it was only homework. That must mean that it was something else entirely.
I couldn’t pry anymore into it. The teacher asked for our attention so that he could give out some more information about our latest assignments to us. He handed out a few worksheets for us all to follow and help to guide us in our plans and ideas.
“You’ll laugh at me, I think I’ll keep it a secret.” James said to me, a crooked smile crossing his face.
I began working straight away. Pulling out the piece of parchment that James and I had written our ideas on beforehand so that I could write it all down neatly. I turned to look at James to ask him if he had any more ideas about what to do for our assignment. But noticed that he had his eyes closed and he seemed to be breathing heavily as though asleep.
I gave a smile as I looked at him for a moment, before I realised that I was staring at James whilst he was sleeping. I quickly glanced around me to see if anyone had noticed my creepiness, but thankfully no one had.
I let out a breath louder than normal as I tried to think of what to do whilst James was sleeping. I didn’t have the heart to wake him up when he looked so peaceful, and I knew that he needed the sleep; he really looked like shit today.
I leant on my elbow on the desk and rested my head on my hand, trying to think of something to do. I leant my arm across the desk so that the quill in my right hand was hovering over James’s parchment. I doodled a picture of a flower quickly, slightly worried that he would wake up and tell me off for writing on his parchment. But when I glanced at him, I saw that he was still sleeping. His mouth was slightly open and he had his chin resting on his chest, still slouched in the chair. The teacher didn’t seem to notice that James was asleep in his class, or if he did then he didn’t seem to care.
I went back to doodling on James’s parchment, this time adding a tree and a little house.
I turned to look at James when it felt like his eyes were on me. Sure enough once I turn around I noticed that he was watching me with a smirk on his face. I ducked my head in embarrassment and moved my arm away from him, dropping my quill.
“Sorry, I was bored,” I told him honestly, fully ready to tell him that I will replace his parchment if he wanted me too. But he surprised me by picking the quill up, and began to make a doodle himself of a sun, before passing me the quill and giving me a tired smile.
This is what James and I ended up spent most of our lesson doing. By the time the bell rang, we had managed to fill up the entire sheet of parchment with the drawings. I must admit I did love this lesson a lot and I really enjoyed having fun with James.
I would have kept the piece of parchment, but as I was getting my stuff ready I noticed that James had pocketed it. I felt my heart sink a little as I wanted to keep it so I could remember that this moment actually happened. I hoped that he didn’t throw it away, but I knew that he more than likely would have.
I gathered my bag and left the classroom slowly, James following me out. I turned to face him as we left the room and felt embarrassed and shy again all of a sudden. “I’ll catch you later then,” I said to him before turning around and beginning to walk towards the Great Hall for lunch.
I heard footsteps behind me and James fell into step beside me. I turned to look at him; this was unusual, I thought that he would have gone off to find his friends.
“Can I walk with you down to the hall?” James asked me, pulling his school backpack onto his shoulder before putting his hands in his robe pockets.
“You can, but only if you tell me what kept you up all night?” I joked to him. I realised that I was flirting and I felt horrified at myself; what if he told me to get stuffed? Or laughed at my attempts of flirting with him?
“No can do, I’m afraid; my nightly rituals will be kept a secret.”
I raised my eyebrows at him, at his words and bit my lip to stop a smile crossing his face. “I bet your nightly rituals will be information the students of Hogwarts would be highly interested in.”
James rolled his eyes, “It was nothing like that, I can assure you. There was no one with me. I was entirely alone.” He faltered slightly as he realised what he had just said and how it could be misconstrued. I let myself laugh loudly, causing a few people to look in our directions whilst we were walking down the corridor. “That really came out wrong; there was nothing sexual about my night. I just happened to stay up all night, though, and no, I still won’t tell you what I was doing. I’m worried that you’ll think that I'm a loser.”
“I hope that you know how intrigued I am about it all now.” I wondered if I should try and get a sad look on my face so that he would feel guilty and want to tell me, but I was worried that it wouldn’t work.
“Well, I’ve already told you too much, I won’t be telling you anymore about it,” James told me as we continued walking, this time down the moving staircases.
“I promise I won’t laugh at you,” I tried again,. James smirked but shook his head.
“You won’t get it out of me,” James warned me jokingly.
We walked to the Great Hall and I stopped as I saw my roommate was walking towards me. She was mid wave before she realised that I had been walking with James. A knowing smile crossed her face and I felt the urge to run away from the situation before James realised that I had feelings for him. Thankfully, James took that moment to make his leave.
“Well, it’s been fun as always, Abigail, but if I don’t find William then he won’t let me hear the end of it.” He walked away from me and entered the hall, just as Isabella made her way over to me.
“Please tell me that you just walked down from your lesson with James,” she almost shrieked at me.
“Er...” I began, “James asked if he could walk down here with me from Muggle studies, that’s all. He was going in the same direction and it just made sense,” I told her with a shrug, not wanting to read too much into it like she was. There was no way that I was going to get my hopes up over something that could basically, and more than likely, turn out to be nothing.
“This is great, Abigail. He asked you, didn’t he?”
“To walk with me? Yeah, he did,” I said slowly, wondering why this was so important.
“Maybe he wanted to use the time to ask you if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with him?” she said in delight.
“I really don’t think he was going to ask me to Hogsmeade. Besides, I’ll be going with Michelle, so there’ll be no point,” I told her as we finally started walking into the Great Hall so that we could take a seat at the Hufflepuff table. It took all my will power to not look up and find where James was sat. I was glad to admit that I did have some will power.
“If he did ask you, you could always just ditch Michelle halfway through the day and spend time with James," she told me quietly as we both helped ourselves to the sandwiches on the table.
“He’s not going to ask me, though,” I told her almost sadly. But there was nothing that indicated that he would ask me to Hogsmeade. Why would he? He had his own friends to go with and I had Michelle and now Isabella. “Besides, Michelle wouldn’t like it if I ditched her.”
“There is that; she does like to get her own way a lot.” Isabella said, slightly darkly,
I bit my lip and decided not to respond to her, “You can always join us if you want?”
“That would be nice,” Isabella said happily, breaking out of the slight darkness.
I was just wondering how I was going to tell Michelle that our day would be spent with Isabella walking around with us. She shouldn’t mind too much, after all we were all friends and roommates, and Michelle didn’t own Hogsmeade.
It’ll be fun to have someone else with us and have someone who could bring different things to our conversations. I couldn’t wait until the trip in a few days.
A/N: This was originally going to be the next chapter, but the one that I was going to upload, would fit better in the one after this... so yeah. :P
Thank you all so much for reading and leaving reviews, you all really make my whole life and I love you all, especially my beta Sam! Thank you!!
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