Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
December 31st, 2022
On the morning Bellamy Hess and Scorpius Malfoy appeared on the cover of the Daily Prophet, I was sitting across from James in the kitchen table.
“Are you done with the paper, dad?”
Bellamy had been on holiday in France and promised to owl us regularly. But James and I both knew Bell and knew not to hold our breath.
“Ah, yes. Here.”
The paper rustled as it turned hands, and none of us paid any mind. James read the paper for the sports section.
“What’s the front page, James?” Asked Rose conversationally.
There wasn’t any answer, but this wasn’t irregular behavior between cousins. Rose was always peering over James’s shoulder, asking to be in on the loop. James always ignored her.
But Rose made a little choking noise in the back of her throat, and I felt a swift kick at my shins. I glared up at her, but she was wearing a panicked expression, eyeing the paper meaningfully.
“What?” I bit off.
She served me a stern expression, one that, for Rose, meant to be discrete.
I shifted my attention to James. His eyes bored into the front page the same way he looks at Lorcan Scamander, who broke his sister’s heart in second year.
“James, what’s on the front page?” I asked him.
“James-” I repeated, but he was already rising from the table, his chair making a scraping noise across the tiles.
The paper, which he’d slammed on the table in his haste to storm out of the room, caught my attention with its repeating image. A girl, whose hair had shielded her face, was snogging the tall and well-dressed frame of Scorpius Malfoy.
I flicked my attention between Rose and Al, who were both leaning in to get a better look at the paper. Then to his parents, who were still watching the exit with bewildered expressions.
Al cleared his throat, capturing their attention in his modest way. “That’s Bellamy, dad.”
December 24th, 2022
Rose and Lily wrenched me away from the Potters the second I arrived by floo.
“Wotcher, Mr. Potter; Mrs. Potter-”
“Hannah, come.” Rose ordered, latching onto my peacoat-covered wrist.
“Oi! I’m not a dog, Rose. You can’t just order me places-” I snapped, while still giving the Potters an affable grin.
“Sorry, mum and dad,” Lily explained apologetically, her palms flat on my back as she steered me up the staircase. “It’s urgent.”
Mr. Potter’s eyebrow flicked up in curiosity, but Mrs. Potter only shook her head. She’d been a girl once, too.
Once we were up in Lily’s room, Rose shoved me onto the bed as Lily locked the door. I looked them both up and down. They were both wearing red sweaters with their first initial embroidered on them, courtesy of their grandma Molly, but while Lily wore hers with a pair of leggings, Rose wore hers with a skirt.
“Has James told you?” Rose demanded.
“Has James told me what? About the extra practices? No, Frank told me that one –”
“No,” Rose hissed, waving me off excitedly. “About-”
“About tonight,” Lily cut in.
Rose shot her a look. Lily stuck her tongue out.
“James hasn’t told me anything about tonight.” I informed them, looking at both of them oddly.
“James has bought a ring.” Lily squealed.
I quirked a brow. “A ring?”
“Of the engagement sort-” Rose supplied quickly, her eyes flitting to the door as the knob jiggled. “Go away.”
The doorknob stopped jiggling. I tried to wrap my head around this news. Then, “I know what you’re telling her, Rose. And it’s my story to tell. Let me in.”
Rose rolled her eyes at Lily, who made a nod of agreement on her way to reluctantly unlock the door.
“Well, James! What a pleasant surprise.” Lily swung the door open grandly, feigning surprise.
And there he was, standing in the doorway wearing a brilliant crimson-colored jumper with a big, golden J on it. His hands were stuffed in his khaki trousers the way they always were, the stubble on his chin prominent and rugged.
It was certainly a moment if it was anything. Because there I was, sitting on Lily’s duvet with my palms tucked under my legs, hair done in plaits, casting him a misty doe-eyed expression.
His hands in pockets; mine under my legs. Both of us foregoing the words we should have said years ago.
“Lily.” He greeted evenly, stepping inside. To me, he said, “Hanner.”
“A ring?” I blurted.
His eyes cut over to Lily and Rose in an irritated fashion. They both avoided his gaze.
“Er, yes.” He replied, hands still in trousers as he rocked on the balls of his heels, looking at me with an air of apprehension. “It’s for Bellamy. Tonight.”
I let this implication sink in. My head refused to wrap itself around it.
“He’s proposing!” Rose and Lily squealed, in tandem.
I was out of breath and still running. The pitch, dimly light in the darkness, was just ahead.
What I was about to do was wrong. Backstabbing one of my oldest and dearest friends, but it had to be done – or at least confirmed. He couldn’t be that naïve.
“James!” I bellowed, seeing him in the form of a speck high above me.
Instantly, he narrowed his eyes on me, waved and started back to the ground.
“Hanner!” He replied brightly. His feet were skimming the ground. He hoisted himself off the broom, starting closer toward me. Sweat had permeated his mother’s old Harpies jersey and his hair was damp. “Come for extra practice?”
I shook my head fiercely. “Bellamy, she said-” I put a finger up, bending over to catch my breath and kneading my kidney at the same time.
James eyed me reproachfully and I knew what he was thinking: an out-of-shape chaser? Ought to fix that.
I swallowed, this time fixing my eyes steady in his. “Did you ask her?”
His eyes flicked to the ground and he gripped onto his broom protectively. “Yes.”
It was almost inaudible.
I placed my hands on my hips, much like the way Rose would have.
His voice came out, meek and unlike him. “I like her.”
“Well, I do too. But not like that.”
“Well, I do.” He protested. “Like her like that.”
“She’s going to break your heart.” My voice broke with this statement.
He shook his head. “She’s kind.”
“She’s a Slytherin.”
He arched a surprised brow at me.
Throwing her under the knight bus, I was.
“We get on well.”
“She’s a good snog.” I amended crossly.
Another pause. He shifted his footing. Then, “Hannah?”
Hesitation. I crossed my arms defiantly. “What?”
“It’s just Hogsmeade. We’re not getting married or anything.” He laughed, like I was being ludicrous.
I glared at him. Then, slowly, I laughed too. Because he was right. It was just Hogsmeade.
August 25, 2021
“Mum, Dad,” James called for his parents. He was wearing smart dress robes and Bellamy on his shoulder. “I want you to meet Bellamy, my girlfriend.”
Mrs. Potter beamed at Bellamy, and I felt a twinge of envy in the pit of my stomach as Bellamy smiled politely back.
“Oh, Bellamy, we’ve heard so much about you. You’re just lovely!”
Bellamy blushed. “Thank you, Mrs. Potter. And you’re lovely, yourself.”
Mr. Potter cleared his throat, discretely giving his son a nod of approval before turning to Bellamy. “It’s nice to finally put a face to the name, Bellamy.”
Rose squealed beside me at the refreshments table. “Aunt Gin and Uncle Harry like her!”
Lily nodded excitedly, turning to me expectantly. I was supposed to agree.
I nodded at them, hoping that was enough, and took another sip of my punch. I was trying to be happy for them. I’d been trying to be happy for them. I love both of them equally, but it seemed that I was the only one who understood how wrong they were for each other.
Bellamy had fun. And it always involved late nights, firewhisky and boys. James also had fun. But it involved quidditch, his best mate Frank, and sweaty jerseys.
Bellamy hated quidditch and sweat of any sort. She preferred a tall, boring and pratty bloke – one that wore expensive suits and wristwatches.
James was generally straight edge: not one for getting pissed, but enjoyed the occasional beer at a party with his mates, not to hook up with birds. And he often expressed his distaste for the sort that liked random hook-ups.
He was a gentleman, James. A gentleman in quidditch gear. And Bellamy, while preferring a well-dressed man, did not fall for gentleman.
She fell for blokes like Scorpius. And I was forever sworn to keep her secret.