Chapter 2 : Chapter Two
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Stunning CI by SeverusLove @ TDA!
I wasn't supposed to be working today, but Jane had gone home ill so I was chosen to cover the last few hours of her shift. It bothered me as it meant I'd have to spend a few hours away from Gabriella, when I didn't want to as I was planning on taking her to the park today. But on the upside it meant more money.
I called my sister Becky before hand to see if she could babysit and now the two of us were on the way to Diagon Alley. I've always loved the faces Gabriella pulls when we entered the street via the brick wall behind The Leaky Cauldron. Becky's shop 'Fortecue's Home Made Treats' is where Florean Fortescue's Ice-cream parlour used to be, all those years ago.
Florean was our uncle, as he was mum's older brother, but he died before were born, back in the war. Becky still sells ice-cream now as well as home made cupcakes, mum works there too sometimes. The bell rang as we entered and Gabriella ran up to the counter.
"Auntie Becky!" she called as she went under the gap of the counter and went off into the back. Before I could tell her not too she was gone, but Becky who was tucking her blonde hair in a hair net, came back with her.
"You be good for auntie Becky, 'kay," I told her, giving her a kiss.
"We're going to make cup cakes for mummy aren't we," my sister informed me as Gabriella nodded.
"Love you, Gabs."
"Love you, mummy." As I left the shop smiling to the two old ladies who were sat at one of the tables I heard her say, "Pink cake!"
I laughed as the door closed behind me. Turning on the spot, my stomach churning slightly as I thought of my destination.
Mo was on the desk with me but she had sent me on on errand, secretly I think it was because she knew I wanted to phone Becky to check on Gabs. After calling three times I gave up and started to make my way back to the ward. I was about to push the door open when my phone buzzed alerting me I had a text. It was no surprise I wasn't paying attention as I went to push the door and walk through when it was opened before me and I nearly went flying.
"S-sorry," I panicked as I found myself in the arms of a tall person.
"It's fine, are you okay?" he asked.
I looked up and had to blink twice, my phone nearly slipped out of my hand and I was pretty sure I was doing such a good impression of Gabriella's pet fish 'Finn'.
"Y-you again?" I mumbled under my breath.
He let out a sigh as if realising something. "Hey, your the girl from yesterday. I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Can I get you that coffee then?"
I was slightly lost for words because not only has James Potter bumped into me twice in two days but he asked me for coffee, twice as well. If this was fifteen or sixteen year old me I'd dissolve into giggles. Lucky I didn't.
After composing myself I finally found the words. "I'm sorry, I'm working right now." I sent him an apologetic smile as he held the door open for me, allowing me to walk through.
"You're Molly's friend right? I remember seeing you around The Burrow," he informed me, "C-laire?" He hesitated waiting for me to reply.
He clicked his fingers. "That's it, I knew it was something beginning with C," he told me, smirking as he did so.
I sent another apologetic smile before saying, "I'm really sorry I have to go."
I thought that was going to be it, that I would never see him again. I stopped half way down the corridor to check my text message off Becky which stated that Gabby was fine. By the time I got onto the ward I got the feeling someone was following me, sure enough when a hand held the door open I knew it was him again.
I chose to ignore this and went to take my seat back behind the desk but before I could sit down Mo handed me some files to go back. Whilst I was putting them back I could hear Mo talking to someone and she was using my name, which couldn't be a good sign.
Standing on the other side of the desk was James, his hand running through his messy black hair, which looked like it could do with a good comb.
"I'm sure you could spare this beautiful young lady for a little while couldn't you," he was saying to Mo as he leaned slightly on the desk. "I just want to apologise with coffee but she won't let me you see."
Mo was looking pretty gob smacked, whether it was because James was stood in front of her or that she was shocked that guys actually had an interest in me as ever since Ryan I haven't so much as looked at a guy or even been with one.
Mo smiled her very best smile as him. "Of course you may borrow her, she finishes her shift at one fifteen."
"Thank you very much Maureen," he commented. "Your hair looks very nice, it suits you. See you later, Cassie." James winked at me before strolling off through the doors to the ward.
I had been stood there the whole time, not saying a world, what the hell was going on? Mo looked super pleased that he had complemented her hair as she had only gotten it done last night and whilst she didn't think it suited her after all she was happy to be proven wrong.
Turning to me she told me off, "Sit down, Cass, and stop gawking you'll scare the patients."
"W-what?" I stammered as I did in fact sit down, Mo can be a scary when she wants to be.
Sighing she explained, "Cassie, how long since a guy asked you out, even for coffee?"
"Umm," I hesitated. "Sixth year at Hogwarts?" I guessed since I wasn't the type to have to take on a date back then, I just got with guys for fun. We never did the dates, just one nights.
"Exactly, take life by the horns, when life throws something good at you take it. And plus you could do with some fun in your life. Being a single mum isn't very easy."
I nodded, Mo was always full of wisdom. Just one of the many things I love about her and why we became friends. "I supposed your right," I mused.
"I'm always right," she laughed.
Our conversation was cut short as Mrs Kemp came waddling over, clutching her huge stomach. Bracing herself against the desk she stopped for a minute before speaking, "My husband rang earlier, he's just parking the car."
"Of course." I smiled brightly. "Room five is all yours, this way," I said as I stood up, still in a bit of a daze from James. "Mo, can you let Mr Kemp know which room his wife's in please when he comes. This way."
Mo nodded in response and I let Mrs Kemp lean on me as together we waddled to room five.
Sure enough James was waiting outside the ward doors at one fifteen on the dot. I was feeling so nervous even though I'm not sure why. It was just coffee with my best friends cousin who I used to have a huge crush on. There was no ulterior motive, was there?
"Cassie!" he exclaimed having seen me.
I tucked a stray bit of my hair behind my ear and smiled. "James," I greeted as I slung my bag over my shoulder.
"Sure," I replied brightly. "You know where the coffee shop is right."
He gave me a dazzling smile in reply. This seemed absolutely crazy, James Potter. The James Potter had asked me for coffee. Did he know about my crush on him back when we were at school? Was this just to say sorry for knocking into me? Or was it something else?
A million different possibilities were running through my head as we walked in silence. Once we were at the coffee shop, he held the door open like a gentleman and let me go in first.
"Caramel frappé, please."
James gave his order, "A large lemonade." And I looked at him, he had asked me for coffee yet he got lemonade? "What?" he said looking quizzical at me. "I don't like hot drinks, okay."
I laughed as I pulled my purse out of my bag but James tapped it.
"Nope, I'm paying. Go find us a table."
"No buts, find us a table. Preferably one with a view."
Despite my protests he sent me away and I found one of the booths near the window, overlooking London just like he asked for. It didn't take long for him to come over.
"Thanks," I said as he handed me my coffee and I added sugar, stirring it as he sat down.
"How've you been?" he asked. "Molly's been raving about you ever since she saw you yesterday."
"Really?" I questioned wondering whether or not she had mentioned anything about Gabby. Not that it mattered of course, this was just coffee. I think.
James shrugged. "She's missed you since you just upped and left, what five years ago?"
I sipped my coffee before replying. "I had my reasons, that and a pain in the arse of a boyfriend," I muttered the last bit to myself which got me a strange look off James. We got talking about random stuff like how I ended up here and I might have bent the truth a little leaving out about me being pregnant.
"I've always loved Quidditch," James explained as he played with the straw in his drink. "It just seemed like the obvious thing for me to do since I wasn't that good at any other subjects. We've only just started training again, getting ready for the season. I can get you tickets if you'd like?"
I smiled wondering how he knew I liked the sport. "Really?" he nodded, "The Tutshill Tornadoes have definitely being doing a lot better with your new team." I stated.
He laughed. "Pretty and a Quidditch fan, could this get any better."
I froze at his comment 'pretty'. Was he actually sat here with me or someone else?
"Yeah I have my dad and brother to thank for that."
James was started saying something to me but I couldn't hear it. As if today could not get any worse, Ryan walked into the coffee shop. His eyes finding me straight away. Just brilliant.
Having sensed I wasn't paying attention, James looked over to where I was and saw Ryan who was making a beeline for us.
"Cassie," Ryan said curtly when he came to a stop, looking from myself to James. "The women on the desk told me you were here."
I was biting my lip so hard that I drew blood, to stop myself from answering him I took a big sip of my coffee, scalding the roof of my mouth slightly. Having seen this James pushed his lemonade to me and I drank some, grateful of the coldness.
"Who's this?" James asked, clearly getting the feeling that me and Ryan knew one another.
"James this is Ryan. Ryan this i-" I said introducing them but he cut me off.
"I know who he is," Ryan scoffed. "Potter, I'm surprised you don't go anywhere with body guards. What happened to the little group of fangirls you acquired?"
I stared at Ryan opened mouthed. "You can't talk to him like that!" I said outraged.
James didn't seem fazed by it, a smile playing on his lips. "McLaggen," he said at last. "How's that big head of yours? I'm surprised you made it in here on your own."
I had no words. "Wh-w? What?"
"Oh yeah, Cassie, did I not mention we already know one another," James told me. "From school, we were in the same House, same dorm."
I groaned as I put my head in my hands. How brilliant, they know each other. Fantastic, great!
"That's nice," I said hoping they would notice the sarcasm. "Ryan, what was it you wanted?"
"I wanted to say sorry for the other day that's all and I was wondering if I could see G-"
"It's fine," I said, stopping him from saying Gabby's name. Standing up I pulled him over to the over side of the coffee shop. "Listen here, you can't just pick and choose. I meant what I said," I hissed at him. "Get a job, be a decent dad or leave. Simple as. Goodbye."
I turned my back on him and went back to James. "Sorry about that," I apologised.
James shrugged. "You two got history between you?" He stated, it sound like a question.
"Something like that," Ryan drawled.
My patience was wearing thin by now and I was annoyed. "Oh sod off, Ryan." James was still eyeing Ryan suspiciously as he didn't move. "I'm sorry, James. But I have to go." I explained as he made a sad face. "I'll make it up to you I swear. Coffee, although maybe not. Just drinks sometime?"
James ran a hand through his messy black hair with one hand, pulling something out of his pocket with the other. "Sure thing, Cass, this was fun. You have a phone right?" he questioned showing me his mobile." I nodded and he tossed it to me, scaring the absolute crap out of me in case I dropped it, I typed in my number and handed it back.
Within a minute my phone was ringing and James was smirking. "Now you have my number."
I felt awful as I had to haul Ryan out of there but I was sure that from what they had said they hadn't exactly been friends at Hogwarts. I whacked him with my bag once James was out of sight.
"You complete arse, Ryan. Why did come here?"
"I went to the flat," he explained. "You weren't there so I came here, you always seem to work, I'm surprised Gabby knows who you are."
"Oh please!" I exclaimed as I pulled him off to the side, trying to do my best to stop people from looking at us. "Me? I'm not the one who swans into her life when it suits you, I don't get bored and suddenly remember I have a daughter. I'm the one who has been there for her, I was the one who put up with the sleepless nights when she had colic. It was me who was there when she took her first steps or spoke for the first time. Who was there when she first started nursery and school? Me! It was all me, Ryan!"
Ryan sighed as he shoved his hands in his jean pockets. "I wasn't ready for a kid!"
"You were twenty Ryan! An adult if I'm mistaken."
Ryan tried to protest, "I didn't have a job, we were only just able to pay the bills and you were barely fit to be a mother."
That stung and he knew it. I reached out and slapped him, hard around the face. So I wasn't a very good person in my sixth and seventh years at Hogwarts, so I slept around a lot. I had limited knowledge on kids and pregnancy but I sure as hell turned it around, unlike him.
"Excuses!" I exclaimed before flouncing off, leaving him behind clutching his cheek, as I apparated on the spot.
A/N Ahhh another chapter down! Thoughts on James and Cassie so far? What about Ryan, did he just have bad timing or was it intentional?
Reviews are much appreciated!
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