Chapter 6 : Chapter Six
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Chapter Image by the Brilliant Clara Oswald @ TDA
I’m different. A disappointment to some. But hopefully significant to the people who matter. We all greet challenges, survive days that sometimes completely change our world, have thoughts that create perspective, and appreciate the people who make the difference. The people who make it all worth it.
I take my role as a brother seriously. James and Lil, never treated me any different. I was always and will hopefully remain to be their brother Al – dorky, quidditch obsessed, trouble maker, poisonous chef and the guy who owns a pink pygmy puff. They always have my back.
As the middle Potter child – the one who resembles dad the most. I feel the pressure. They both understand, and are very familiar with the responsibility and stress of our parent’s shadows. It’s hard. But can sometimes still be a lot of fun. We have the fame, the fortune, the family and the friends. We look after each other – ward of the opportunists. Which brings us to a broom closet on the 2nd floor.
“What exactly are your intentions?” James interrogates leaning intimidatingly over the table.
“F-Friendship?” the poor guy stutters.
“Did you hear him hesitate – I’m not sure about this one” Scorpius exaggerates from James’ left.
“I don’t like the look in his eyes” I join in. I’m standing behind them amused.
Flash. “We have your photograph – if you try anything and I mean anything…” Chase begins menacingly from James’ right.
The door swings open with a slam. Yeah we probably shouldn’t have left her with the map.
“You’ll. Do. What?” A petite, but extremely frightening redhead, with blazing hazel eyes inquired from the door. She is definitely Ginny Potter’s daughter.
“Well…” Chase tries and looks to us for support. Yeah – sorry buddy, you’re on your own.
“Cower like little school girls” Lily finished for him. And that’s exactly what we did and decided to abstain from commenting that Lily basically insulted her own gender and that she is in fact a little school girl. We aren’t that stupid. Well there was the toad, the entrance hall and Professsor Addington, but that was well Fred, but I think it was James' idea, and Scorp was the one holding the treacle tart, Chase was spreading the mud and it might of been my spell… ahem. Well...We were kids then. Yes 2 weeks can really age a person. Anyway. Moving on.
“Lil we were…” James begins.
“Only having fun? Looking out for me? I’ve heard it all before. This has to stop. We’re only potion partners for merlins sake. What is wrong with you lot?” Lily interrupted stepping forward into the room. The four of us were on one side of a raggedy table and the poor Hufflepuff alone on the other side. This was an interrogation. It’s very serious. I think we need to stop watching Rosie’s muggle crime Television shows.
“Potion partners – that’s how it starts” James repeats disbelievingly.
“We’re your brothers” Scorpius tries feebly. Lily shuts them both up with a glare. Merlin she is intimidating. It’s scary sometimes how much she resembles mum.
“Yes, and I can easily take you all on. So back off. Come on Jeffery” Lily grabs his arm and she exists as menacingly as she entered.
“Well I think that went well” James reflected grinning.
“Me too – I think he knew we meant business” Chase agreed.
“Kind of feel sorry for him though – Potion partners with Lily Potter – I think he’ll be lucky to survive the class” I predict.
They all nod knowingly. Potions was unfortunately not Lil’s best subject. What she lacks in skills she definitely makes up for in effort. I think the present count is – 43 exploded cauldrons. 37 Unexplained side effects (Hair removal, green skin, burned skin, hairy skin – it only gets worse). 32 Potion specific detentions. 21 Different potion partners. 16 tutors and 11 Commendable awards for effort. The poor boy doesn’t know what he is in for.
“Lunch?” Scorpius suggests.
“Sounds good” Chase agrees.
“Brotherly Duty is hungry work” James admits.
I grin and we make our way to the Great Hall.
Family isn’t bonded by blood. But crafted and forged with acceptance, trust, kindness, hardships, laughs and smiles.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sunday isn’t really the most exciting day of the week. I like the exhilaration of Saturdays – Quidditch matches, practice, first day of no classes, sleeping in – the breakfast is also better (Rosie goes nuts) but then Sunday rolls around and it’s just a day to get through till Monday – commonly used for last minute assignments. It’s stressful, boring and dull.
James went off to find Fred (Apparently he was serving detention – normally he joins in on our interrogations). Which left Chase, Scorpius and I. Rosie was keeping a low profile after the events of yesterday. Scorpius’ confrontation avoidance was something to be admired. Alas everything must end.
“So Scorp heard you got Rose 2 weeks’ worth of detention” I comment directly. He was quietly eating opposite me, Chase grinned beside me. Scorpius looked up resigned.
“Is this the part where you yell at me?” he responds defeated.
“Do you deserve it?” I shoot back.
“It’s complicated” he replies evasively.
“Always is with you too”
He smirks. “If she wasn’t such a goody goody, troublemaking princess I’m sure we would get along fine”
“You’re perfect just the way you are and in no way start or antagonize these confrontations?”
“I’m glad you can see the truth” He smiles. Ignoring my sarcastic tone. “Anyway. As much as I enjoying hearing how perfect I am. The princess is calling – in dire need of sustenance”
“What does she want this time? More chocolate?” I inquired knowingly.
“I can’t believe you snuck all the way to Honeydukes for her fudge” Chase added with an amused smile.
“The girl and her fudge it’s like a lifeline, she cannot survive without it” Scorpius reasoned.
“Yes. I’m afraid we have all witnessed a chocolate depraved Rose. It was not pretty” I acknowledged with a shudder. That was a bad day. A very bad day.
“But didn’t you also have to turn around and run back because you forgot her liquorice Wands?” Chase inquired – looking even more amused.
“She threatened me and apparently I owe her for an eternity because now she cannot leave Gryffindor Tower without fear of retribution” He explained exhausted. Rose really is a slave driver.
“Mate – Rose hates Liquorice” I informed him. However he didn’t look surprised. I should have known. Scorpius knows her nearly better than anyone. Not that he would admit it, or would she believe it.
“I know. Which is why I just transfigured two quills into Liquorice Wands. I knew she wouldn’t eat them” He replied sounded quite pleased with himself.
I knew better though. “She worked it out didn’t she?” when it’s Scorpius and Rose, it’s their lack of faith in each other that’s their undoing.
“I’d rather not discuss it” He responded. And he picked up the plate and left.
I smile. Some things never change.
“So – I was thinking” Chase begins. We were still in the great hall, enjoying a lazy Sunday.
“Thinking? Really?” I interrupt. My eyes twinkling.
“I know it’s a shock” Chase agrees with a laugh.
“It must be important”
“It is. Well the person I was thinking about is”
“Interesting. Anyone I know?”
“Oh everyone knows him”
“He sounds like a lot of trouble”
“Why bother then?”
“Oh. Well you know? Writes my transfiguration assignments for me and you know he's not bad to look at”
I burst out laughing. “I’m not sure I like this side of you”
“No?” He leans in.
“I thought I knew you better than that” I respond.
“I better educate you then” He grins. He grabs my hand and pulls me from the table and we exit the hall.
“You’re a terrible influence” I comment as we swiftly walk through the corridor.
Chase pulls me into the nearest broom cupboard.
“I know. Love me anyway?” He backs me against the wall.
“Like I have a choice” I grin.
And his lips are on mine.
Maybe Sundays aren’t so bad.
“So my dad wrote me the other day?”
“Really?” I reply shocked.
We were lying in my bed. Clothes discarded. We made it back here after our broom closet rendezvous.
“What did he say?” I question after Chase fell silent.
“That he wants to talk” He responds.
I snort. “Really? Now? He's suddenly accepting?”
“He never said anything about that”
“Yes. I think he has already exhausted that topic” I comment repulsed.
“Albus” Chase warned.
“What – I don’t like this”
“It’s nothing to do with you”
“Oh right” I sit up and begin dressing. “Sorry for caring about you”
“Look I didn’t mean it like that”
He grabbed my hand. I was standing, fully dressed now.
“I just don’t want to see you hurt” I admit. I sit beside him and interlace our fingers.
“I know. And I love you for it”
“But you’re still going to meet him?”
“Maybe he just needed time to process it?”
“2 years?” I respond disbelievingly. Chase looks dejected. I sigh “Maybe your right, I hope to Merlin your right” I concede.
“Me too” Chase agrees.
“Come on – get dressed and let’s go somewhere else” I suggest. I hate fighting with Chase. But I also know what his dad is like. It’s a no win situation.
Chase obliges. We exit the dorm and Gryffindor Tower. We walk until we end up at the Pitch.
“How did you know I wanted to come here?” I question.
“You know why” He responds.
“I’m just that predictable huh?”
We borrowed some brooms from the shed.
“Yes. You should really do something about that”
“Something like this?”
I grab his shoulder, turn his cheek and kiss him. He's shocked, but quickly joins in.
We break apart. “Definitely something like that” He grins and leans in to deepen the kiss.
I pull away. Jump on my broom and fly off. Leaving him shocked on the ground.
“Damn you Albus Severus Potter” I hear him yell through the wind.
“Yeah. But you love me anyway right?” I yell back grinning. Using his own words against him.
He jumps on his broom and flies straight for me.
Chase isn’t on the quidditch team but he is a hell of a player and quite inventive with strategies (It’s in his blood). We fly around, having fun – testing a few new tactics for the rest of the afternoon. Fortunately his dad forgotten. Well for now anyway.
Maybe he has changed and does deserve forgiveness. I’d like to think everyone can change – maybe he's finally found some motivation.
Monday passed with little excitement – well I guess that depends on your definition of excitement. Lily stole the pitch for practice – something I will get her back for. Rose is still ducking Symons and her cronies. Scorpius - I can’t decide if he is agitating or protecting Rose (Probably a little of both), as he is still delivering her food, and then they argue like crazy. James and Fred turned the Hufflepuff first year’s hair yellow. Professor Addington smiled. Cary Holmes laughed. Drew Collins scowled. And Nox received yet another Hogsmeade invite. Chase has been quiet and I feel avoiding me. And I’m enjoying a lonely dinner, without a complicated boyfriend and friends, whilst ignoring the brewing war of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. Mondays really are lovely aren’t they?
“So I know you’re mad at me – but you looked pathetic over here on your own so I thought you might want some company – very kind of me right?” The kind and arrogant voice of Lily Potter settled opposite me.
I looked up. She began piling food on her plate. “Well and you have potatoes – Rodney ate all of ours the prat” She amended and began shovelling food in her mouth – resembling Rosie and Uncle Ron. Not that I would ever tell her that – I already made that mistake once with Dominque.
“Ah.” I responded – I’m very articulate like that.
“Yes. So has my presence/brilliance voiced you speechless or are you abstaining from conversation? If it’s the first – I’m flattered, and the shock should wear off in a few minutes. If it’s the second – you really need to stop believing everything James says” She finished grinning.
Unfortunately I smiled too. “You know that was once – and I still believe that bird was a disguised Sniget”
“Yes. But do you still think you need to make the weirdest and most embarrassing bird calls for it to trust you and reveal its true self” She asked disbelievingly.
“I thought you were here to make me feel happier not stupid” I responded grudgingly.
“Al I’m your sister it’s my constant job – and let me tell you, you have done some very stupid things” She admitted with devilish wink.
“I just cherish moments like these” I say.
“As you should – now where was I? Oh yes what about the time James told you chocolate would make you taller – I swear you ate nothing else for months. Or shaving your hair off would make you fly faster or my favourite wearing a hideous set of beads would cure your need for glasses?” She cracked up.
And I couldn’t help but laugh and reminisce along with her. I was gullible and James did get me a few times. But Lily and I got him back too (With the occasional hint from mom, or dad). And right now I don’t feel as lonely or as worried about Chase. Lily Potter - Pitch stealing, rival quidditch captain, little sister, Potion inept, frightening redhead and Monday night dinner friend. Maybe I can forgive her for the Pitch steal this morning – well after we trounce them in a few weeks.
What? Priorities People.
I’d like to think I’m a rational and logical person. I’m not whimsical – I plan and organise for possible outcomes (Rosie and I are alike that way). I try not to read too much into anything and I trust people. Which is why I’m currently skipping class and stalking my boyfriend – but rationally and logically of course.
He excused himself from breakfast with a weak excuse of a headache and he was going to the hospital wing for a potion, which somehow prevented his attendance from Defence that morning.
So me being the caring and loving boyfriend I am – decided to investigate and ascertain his whereabouts and current status. We hadn’t been on the greatest of terms lately – on Sunday night he received another letter from his absentee father, but decided against informing me about it, due to my previous reaction that day. But of course I found out anyway and we had another argument and Monday he would hardly talk to me. Well I didn’t make much effort either. I’m mad at him too. I think.
Anyway I arrived at the Hospital Wing to find a flustered Madam Pomfrey who insisted she hadn’t seen Chase that day and nearly threw me out the door, when I kept harassing her. Some first years had tried to counteract the yellow hair and nearly burnt their fingers off. James and Fred would be so proud. Idiots.
I left even more confused and a little worried, so I decided to check the dormitory – though the break in between morning classes was about to end and Gryffindor tower was up seven flights of stairs. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this was more than a grumpy mood and rebellion. We had our presentation after lunch and I can’t keep Scorp and Rose under control by myself. I wish he would just talk to me. I know his dad is a complicated topic, but I love him. Ugh. Now I sound like a little school girl.
I greeted an empty dorm, with a telling note on my nightstand. With nervous hands I unfolded it and recognised the handwriting instantly.
I’m in Hogsmeade and I’m fine. I know you're probably freaking out and are probably pissed at me. But I didn’t know how to tell you. I’m meeting my dad. I know you don’t agree that he's sincere and wants to explain his absence. But I just need the truth. I want to understand. I’m sorry. And I don’t want to fight. I love you.
I grabbed the cloak, map and was trudging down the Hogsmeade tunnel before I realised what I was even doing. It was all reflex. As much as I hate his father and what he did, I don’t want him to face this alone. I want to be there. Even if I’m proven wrong. I would gladly be proven wrong.
So here I am in a corner booth watching Chase wait nervously for his father to arrive. He better arrive. I was gripping the table so tight in nerves, I hardly noticed when a Butterbeer materialized in front of me. I was about to look around for the perpetrator when the condensation on the glass caught my eye and the words hidden.
Chase is a whiz at charms. And he knows me all too well I think. Of course he knew I would come.
I look up to smile at him – but the door jingles open.
Here we go.
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