Chapter 23 : Chapter Twenty Three
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Below is Chapter 23. Please Read, Review and Enjoy.
There’s nothing quite like, the object of your detestation, standing two feet in front of you, after what feels like years of aggravating absence, awaiting your reaction, but all you can do is stand there completely impassive, completely terrified of removing the mask, he forced you to adorn.
He hasn’t changed of course. Still just as smug, arrogant and heartbreakingly handsome. Not that any of that draws my attention. But the giggly girl band over to the left, are making his uglier shades more prominent, and I’ll take any justifications for the inner hatred I’m burrowing.
“Good to have you back mate” Al decides to fill the silence, and the distance with a bromancey hug. It doesn’t help. Malfoy is fixated on making me feel uncomfortable enough to speak. His stare will not break me. Unlike the last 46 days.
What did he except… I’d run into his arms all shrilly and pacified because his sacred and godly presence is thankfully back in my life. Doesn’t sound even in the realm of Rose Weasley.
Because unlike Al and the rest of them, I can see through the lonely boy charade, he didn’t miss me. He didn’t think of me at all. Scorpius Malfoy is standing in front of me. But the boy who kissed me in the library all those nights ago, is gone.
So I decided to say nothing and just bow out, of our battle I didn’t want anything to do with in the first place. Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley don’t belong together, even the concept of friends is so foreign there isn’t even a language complex enough to translate. He didn’t say goodbye, refused to in fact. He didn’t wait around, ran away instead. He didn’t write, even though I knew he could. He just left, and I’m not waiting around for him to come back.
And from the dishevelled state the broom closet on the third floor left Joanna Henry, I’d say he isn’t waiting for me either.
“Rosie? I thought you said you were headed to the homewares section?” An amused, familiar and slightly frustrated voice pulls me from my slumber.
Oh Merlin. He found me. Considering he is an Auror, the result isn’t that unexpected. I just wish the time he spent dawdling around looking for me, I wasn’t wasting those precious moments thinking about that particular moment in history, but more significant things, like those Mollini Open toe lace up ankle boots, with the laser cut detailing and back zip on a 5 Inch heel. Hubba Hubba, those are something to drool about.
“5 more minutes” I blearily reply, whilst hiding underneath the pillow.
The bed dips beside me.
Guess he has decided to join me. The bed is surprisingly comfortable. Except for the Keep off sign, that keeps digging into my back.
“We need to regroup anyway” Dad sighs. Here it comes. “Our strategy is not effective, the ground we’ve covered hasn’t provided us with the advantage we needed, your focus is not where it needs to be, our supplies have speedily diminished, and I think I’m ready to admit defeat” he finishes, whilst rustling a packet, I’m guessing of Liquorice Wands. Stress eaters, us Weasleys.
“So, ready to hand the reigns over to the real experts then?” I muffle in slightly smug amusement. He removes the pillow in reply, my head lands with a thump.
I sigh and sit up. “First I’m going to need some sort of down payment” I grin.
He rolls his eyes in expectance, then hands me a bag, big enough for a shoe box, my heart starts racing.
“Oh goody” I grin and dig in, like an eight year old on Christmas morning, or dad at Christmas lunch.
Once the gorgeous new addition to my shoe collection is laced to my feet and the red slipper thrice click is done, I turn to dad with a quizzical expression.
“Once we passed the shop about seven times. I started to catch on” He laughs, whilst standing up. I follow suit, and narrow my eyes. “Okay… Hugo called the shop, had them on hold and all I had to do was walk up to the counter and purchase. Your brother thought it might improve my chances” He reveals begrudgingly. Some things never change, of course. And now I owe Hugs one, he always manages to organise us all like a chess board, the controlling and power hungry sod. Or maybe he just cares, unlikely.
“Sounds about right, thanks dad” I smile, the horrid memory falling once again to the background.
Gotta love family. “Come on, let’s go find Mum the most expensive dress I can find” I grab dads arm and pull him along, he goes to argue, “And then some shoes and handbags to match” I add warningly. Silently he follows behind diligently. Got to watch out for us Weasley Women, we will not be trifled with.
Shopping is not for the faint hearted. And shopping with Rose Weasley, well… you’ve been warned.
I knew there would be strings attached. Hugo is nothing but not resourceful.
Apparently after surviving the horrors of Dad’s perceptions of pretty and the perfect gift. I now have to help Hugo with his own Christmas shopping, which will consist mostly of WWW products, which isn’t the problem. I mean who doesn’t love a good old firework in a potato bit, or a voice changing potion in the Eggnog, and a hair changing spray in G-ma’s hair. It’s all fun. The problem lies with the entourage and the meeting place. Hug’s decided, or more likely Lily demanded - not that I’m letting him off that easily - that Hugs was slacking with practice and eating one too many chocolate puddings for her liking, although how she manages to keep tabs on that particular part of the daily inhabitants of Hugo Weasley, I kinda want to know, the kid keeps skimming from my stash, unless I’m sleep eating again, both plausible theories. Anyway his currently holding place, at Potter Manor, with the whole gang waiting for me to arrive so we can go shopping. YAY!
Yep. And now I’m standing outside, cowering in my new shoes, freezing to death in my black dress -with a coat that’s only fleece, is the word printed on the tag - whilst trying to tame my wild hair. Yes I decided to add in some effort. Not for him, never for him, for the shoes. Although, they aren’t actually helping me take that last step and press the doorbell. Normally I wouldn’t bother with such pleasantries, but for some reason, I’m being a complete idiot. Of course I’ve been keeping tabs with Al, with Chase’s absence, and James, Jord, and Lil, because they’re exciting people, but I’ve swiftly avoided Malfoy since the Hunt, apart from a moment when I delivered the trees afterwards and when I ran off and got drunk with Al on Saturday night. Of course there’s such bigger things to worry about, I mean I don’t even want to think about the hell Chase is going through, although if he could find the time to return an owl, longer than All Good. See you soon. Watch out for AL. Chase - that would be great.
So after summoning all my Gryffindor courage, I decided to do the sensible thing. The Rose Weasley thing and…. Sneak around the back.
Merlin, I’m lame. Oh well, future Rose can deal with that.
Anyway he might not even be home. Probably off gallivanting with Al. Hug’s message only included Lily, James, Jordan and Lucy. Yes. I’m sure I’m in the all clear.
But like most things, the odds are forever far from my favour, except at a shoe sale at Souls and Leather, then I’m seriously in my element.
Before I even reach the corner, the front door swings open, and out he stumbles - all hunky like he walked out of a photo shoot for Winter Walmers - whilst also yelling on the phone. Such manners. “Just wait there, AL, do not order another drink, just wait, AL, AL” The phone clicks shut. “Bloody hell” He trudges toward me, obviously still in the dark about my presence, well the bush is helping slightly.
Well that is until I make myself known. Awkwardness be damned. I have a promise to live up too.
“Alright, so what’s the plan?” I fall into step beside him. If Al’s in trouble, I’m there. He’s heading for the outside fireplace. Uncle Harry and Dad believe it adds another measure of security. I just think it’s bloody inconvenient. Not that being savaged by a pack of Fireplace trackers would be considered opportune for my life.
He doesn’t even look up. “Eavesdropping again are we?”
“Best form of communication” I quip back.
He just shakes his head, well accustomed to my lovely quirks. “Well I’m going to get AL, you go deal with them” he gestures to the quite rowdy group inside.
“Seriously? You wouldn’t last two minutes without me” I pull my coat a little tighter, I think my warming charm has worn off. Well and there’s only so much the charm can hold off, when trudging with an open toe heel through snow. Not my brightest idea.
“Funny, I remember saving both your sorry arses on Saturday night” He scoffs, with his sensible shoes, covered legs and warm feet. Men.
Yeah I kind of blocked that part out. And I think I’ll continue too.
“What can I say, we live to make your life miserable” I grin.
“I gracefully accept your appreciation of my gallant efforts” He laughs back and steps into the fireplace. I roll my eyes.
“Have you even got a plan?” I try again.
“Yes” he replies back resolute. Absent Albus has unfortunately been a recurring character of late, with outstanding performances in debauchery and teenage drunkenness. Mr Adams, being quite an influential and rich figure in the community, employs many efforts to achieve his privacy, so we have no idea, where Chase actually is. His father apparated them extremely quickly, evidently didn’t want the reunion to have an audience. Which more than likely meant, it wasn’t going to be inviting. But it’s now Monday, and we would all appreciate a little more context than all good, but we just have to trust that he knows what his doing, I guess.
I scuff my toe on a rock. We usually go about the whole rescue thing as a duo. I’m the navigator, he’s the manipulator. The kid can honestly talk his way into any club and out of any ticket. It’s actually quite impressive.
“So I guess you don’t need me then” I mumble.
“Rose…” He strains.
“What?” I growl pettily.
“You spent 20 minutes waiting outside the door” He replies with a small smirk. I knew he must have known I was there, I do like to make an entrance. Or at least maybe more than the nothing that just happened.
“I was avoiding you” I return with a glare. I’m not afraid of the truth. I’m more pissed off at myself for being stupid about him in the first place.
“How’d that work out for you?”
“Charming” I narrow my eyes.
“Like usual” He winks.
“Just… be careful.” I mumble exasperated.
He smiles, grabs a handful of Floo powder, and says “Where would the fun be in that?” and then the flames eat him up, and he disappears to Diagon Alley, purposely chosen so I wouldn’t be able to follow.
Damn him. I begin to retreat back to the house, when a series of applause stops me.
Hugo - “Well I think that went well” Swell.
Lucy - “Apart from the 20 minute delay” Preparation is key.
James - “The hiding in the bushes” I was being one with nature.
Lily - “His lack of manners” I wholeheartedly agree.
“And the Floo powder dust storm” Jordan splutters. I’m more worried about my blue toes.
I turn to face my unforgiving audience and take a bow.
The Adams Penthouse had never looked so foreign. Of course Hanard had moved from a geographical point of view, but the actual inside is an exact replica. Wonder what a psychologist would say about that…. My room is now housed in 3 boxes… mostly all photographs, articles, some odd clothes, my old quidditch gear, I suppose I should at least appreciate that he decided they were important enough to keep… although I’d wager Pip may have cast a protection charm. I flip the first one open and the memories swirl…
January 5th 2020
By Editor and Co-Founder Harriet Skeeter
Read it here first!
Teal blue Gucci six inches have just walked in my closet. But apparently Albus Potter has just walked out of his, into the arms of the very questionable and equally shocking Chase Adams. Lasting? Unlikely. Crime of opportunity? Absolutely. Tantalizing Gossip? Crickey! We have a live one. It's no secret Al Potter has turned heads since the beginning. Although which heads he turned back for, well we can understand the desirable temptations of Chase Adams. Good looking? Survey results permitting. Rumors fly of course. Adams - Son of a Quidditch hero, and highly decorated Auror, and the kid couldn't even find a place on the Quidditch team. Shame and disappointment. Sometimes apples do fall far from the tree. A bad seed indeed. However luck did befall the kid with some kind of twisted fate, manipulation being what it is and the recurring delicious chiseled, taut and wet features of Albus Potter being what he'd see, the kid aimed high. But like all love stories there's the prince and the porper. Although neither being short a fund, there's always a star and the rest is just background noise. But latching onto Hogwarts most wanted, behind the mysteriously snoggable Scorpius Malfoy of course, causes close friends and family to worry. "I always thought he was weird... Staring at our Albie with such a hungry look, it was positively disturbing, I'm worried it's some kind of spell" A close friend confided. I guess Albie didn't count on the tensions of close quarters or the unparalleled persistence of fanboys. Albie claimed our hearts early, with his Quidditch prowess and friendly face, never too busy for a corridor catch up. Adams was always more concerned with his reflection and trail of groupies. What fulfills his Ego is lost on many, maybe his handbag with the body of the gloriously gifted Roz Weasley? Of course it’s never been more than friendship between the two… well… nevertheless she’s been upgraded.
Harnard Adams definitely isn't impressed with his son’s lack of developments. In a recent interview, young daughter Piper was all he could grin about. Being only ten, she's yet to hit Hogwarts, but the girl is taking over London, with her genetically blessed good looks, cute wizpics and 1 million Wiztagram followers. The next Lily Potter in the making. Of course the Mother has been conspicuously absent in the latest society pages since summer, sources confirm she’s found new friendships - stiff and on the rocks. Family divide perhaps? Or mental breakdown? And looks to be Chase isn't far behind, or the root of all the troubles in the first place. One hell of a resolution for the New Year.
As much as we would like to falsify the rumors, the loud and very public snog, late last night in the entrance hall, speaks for itself. But is there more to the story than a night between the sheets? Holiday Hook-up? Hallway Hopefuls? Or is this just another mark against the already questionable leadership of Hogwarts? Or just Gryffindor in general? Is this the latest feature photo for the school brochure for perspective parents? Love in thy dormitory... Sounds like some sort of sultry Romance novel. After all enemies turned lovers is just about as clichéd as you can get. Is this the true love story Hogwarts wants to be defined by... Or is it just about two boys who have everything, but one believes he doesn't have to do anything to keep it... Except catch the eye of the most wanted boy in England... Maybe just maybe, if you kiss the right toad, he might just turn you into a prince...
The entrance hall at Hogwarts has often been the stage for many controversial snogs; campaigning for acceptance or equal opportunists, propaganda for political agendas, defamation for broken friendships, once upon a times and happy ever after’s. The hallowed hall has seen it all… Well so we thought… Both on their way back from Quidditch practice, it was a sweaty affair, glistening eyes, heaving chests and bulging biceps. Many have questioned why Adams even attends practice when he is so set against competing, even though it has been confirmed, he has the skill, just lacks the ambition. But alas the Poser is just like all the other giggling gals in the stands, he is just there to drool. Of course the heart stopping moment was all for us, well perhaps more for the WASPS (Watchers of Al Severus Potter Squad) the moment did indeed radiate - he is mine, ladies AND gentleman, back off. Of course to those less observant than I, were stunned into awe at the proclamation. Not one but two of the Hogwarts Hot list, have apparently found love within each other. Scam? Probably. And with Scorpius Malfoy falling off the side of the earth, pickings are slim. But Alas all hope has not been lost… some guys have deemed themselves ACE hopefuls, and have taken to sneakily following the couple around for hopes of a wink or a flirty smile. For now though, Albie seems to only have eyes for one, whether that's self-inflicted or under duress, time will only tell. And from the lack of passion last night, I'm thinking the phase will wear off quickly. After all what kind of resolution is Chase Adams? Sure he’s a dishy piece for a long night in, but to take home to the great Harry and Ginny Potter – well that’s just too mythical for even the wizarding world to fathom.
Any information is desired, photos appreciated.
Albie, we've got your back.
Happy New Year Hogwarts – Keep an eye on your closet, you never know who or what may walk out!
“This is your idea or romance Potter? I’ve just made myself the talking point of the entirety of Wizarding England and you provide me with a rickety, old, splinter infested, clearly sinkable, complete fire hazard - raft of candles?” I gesture to the quite dangerous and terrifying scene before me.
“Back to last names are we?” Al sighs, without looking up, busing himself with casting warming charms. Although I hardly notice, I’m too defeated. After not a wink of sleep, as waking up to the day, I’ve feared for so many years, sleep did not visit me. Of course Al and I told our parents over Christmas, exposing yourself to the people who love you the most, it wasn’t very jolly or festive, well at least for me. My dad is still living under the illusion that I’m under the Imperius curse or been slipped a love potion, although I think he has finally resided to stop bullying my teachers to separate Al and myself, Headmistress Mcgonagall’s still got it. My Mother hasn’t stopped crying, although I’m not sure that really has anything to do with me. Pip was proud, but also scared of the oncoming tsunami of media coverage. The Wotter Clan were supportive, of course. Mostly everyone knew among them anyway. Despite what Skeeter believed, I had friends, I was nice to people, caring, and so here I thought it wouldn’t be that earth shattering, here at Hogwarts – boy was I stupid…
“They’d love that! I can read the headlines already ‘Adams rejoices with his Pot-ter of Gold’” I scathingly gesture. Al read it first of course, James found him. I was busy being stupid and just going on with my day, like usual. It didn’t hit me until the disgusted looks and cold shoulders took Centre stage at lunch in the Great Hall. Rose was right beside me, oblivious like myself. First time I read it, I befriended unaffected and disinterested. I had an audience and Rose was hexing whoever even looked at us. Second time, I was alone… enough said. Third time, was the not so quiet whispers that shadowed me all the way here, to find Al smiling, I found Angry. We haven’t had a chance to talk yet, being in classes all day and at lunch I was hauled up anywhere he wasn’t, I needed to get myself together. I’ve never been so fed up. Of course it’s not Al’s fault, although to an extent, if he wasn’t so damn charming. I mean I knew it would be bad… I just didn’t anticipate, well this!
“I don’t know, I feel the objection letters about ownership and possession within relationships would just be a complete overhaul, it wouldn’t be worth it, and Skeeter hates when her readers start thinking” Al continues, whilst loading the beverages, which balance unsteadily on the creaking wood and best ignored unknown noises of the black lake.
“Well… What do you want me to do? Ignore it, sweep it under the rug, suppress it deep down inside until one day I just explode?” I huff.
“Sounds a bit messy and Rose has that germ thing. She’d never be able to visit. Plus it would start to smell after a while and then we’d have to go rug shopping and wouldn’t that be tiresome? I hate to shop” Al frowns pleadingly.
“Albus! I know you’re just doing that stupid and bloody irritatingly calming thing that you do, because you don’t know what else to say… But you can’t just hide it and pretend it doesn’t exist!” I fire back, growing more and more irritated. Hogwarts still adores him, I’m the one, who is apparently resorting to unforgivable curses for a damn date!
“I’m not. I used it for our fish and chips” He gestures (With complete and genuine seriousness) to the steaming parcel, wrapped in our very own and very first Ace front page special of The Hogwarts Hogwash.
My breath catches, eyes widen, fist uncurls, jaw slacks, heartbeat slows and shoulders relax. Greasy Fish and Salty chips. Of course it wasn’t vengeance. It didn’t stop the whispers. It was only one copy out of the millions flittering around the hallways and Common rooms. It wasn’t going to stop Witch Weekly reblogging, the prophet researching, My Mothers drunken state, Pips cyber trolls or my Father’s continuous hate face of the shame of a disappointing and uncharacteristic son. Or the anger at myself for being upset about something I knew was coming... I mean we did stage that kiss, and of course Hogwarts would have an opinion about it and me, although you can never really be prepared for being slogged, no matter how many times you tell yourself, that you’re bulletproof. But somehow, (Must have been the thinning air, and freezing cold numbing my nervous system, unlikely the guy standing opposite me) it all just didn’t matter anymore. I’d missed the bigger picture. I was free. I was here, exactly where I wanted to be. With Al. The guy who finds retribution with an oily, soggy and fishy newspaper. He just gets me. This was the moment for me. Of course I wanted to get Mum help and Pip could very well handle herself, but I would try, and that gnawing pit in the depths of my chest, where a frightened voice was mumbling about there ever being any truth in it, (What kind of resolution was Chase Adams? What was Chase Adams ever going to be worth to Al Potter?) I buried. Everything else is just background noise.
Al smiles at my silence (probably thinking I wasn’t listening or was preparing myself to yell thunder) completely unaware of my epiphany and re-lights a few of the weaker candles. I’d truly be lost without this idiot in my life.
“All ready. You ready?” He gestures for me to follow him on board. Obviously noticed the lack of steam bellowing out my ears.
I stand my ground, but with a light hearted smile on my face. “Definitely not” and he knows it’s not because of that bint Harriet Skeeter.
Al sighs frustrated “Really? You don’t remember?” He motions to the Romantic scene he himself, just put together, while I watched and yelled at him. Such a healthy relationship.
I laugh, a real laugh, it felt good “Of course I remember, which is why I’m vetoing” I cross my arms in a finalized way.
“Come on that was ages ago. It was an accident.” He justifies pleadingly and unashamedly.
“An accident? You didn’t even know my name” I terse at the memory.
“Really? You think you, of all people, escaped my notice. Maybe I’m better at this whole romance thing than you think” he winks deviously.
And then he did something completely foolish, insane and unreasonable. He kissed me. It’s been 3 months. And I still can’t steady the fireworks.
Albus Severus Potter has game.
Still Chase POV
So I’ve been among the Hogwarts General Pop, for 15 minutes, and already my once extremely blossoming excitement for starting school, has faded into ashes. First off, the hype of the Hogwarts express, kind of underwhelming after the Sea Skipping Rail dad took us on last year to America. The platform was like a mosh pit at a Weird Sisters Concert. Eleven year olds are as boisterous as pixies, myself excluded of course. I’ve been trodden on, elbowed, punched, hair pulled, shoved and that’s all before I boarded. Nimbus, my pet Owl, has made 3 cage breakouts, of course accomplices have been witnessed, but not identified…. Brown Hair, Puddlemere united hat and the most horrendous laugh I can’t even begin to describe.
So this is Hogwarts… Is there normally paparazzi to capture the terror of back to school chaos? Dad was quick to puff out his chest and flex his muscles, in case he featured in any background shots. Because of course everyone is looking at Harnard Adams, professional Quidditch player turned team manager. Mum was of course absent, Auror business takes priority. We’re not that close, really. So I don’t much mind, although neither are dad and I. Pip was at my Grandparents in France for the summer, dad thought it might help give her a bit of culture. Whatever that means.
My send-off was as expected I guess. Some last minute tips and improvements for my quidditch tryouts, apparently I’m going to make the team in my first year. Psh. Dreams big, Harnard does. Never mind that no first year ever makes the team. Of course dad would argue the exception… and he hadn’t even played before, where I have the world’s best dadanger and coach. I would have argued that Harry Potter also took on a giant at eleven, a basilisk at twelve, a werewolf and tamed a hippogriff at thirteen, a dragon at fourteen, the ministry at fifteen… and I mean that’s aside from the whole Voldermort and saving the world stuff. So clearly you have to be kind of something extraordinary, and extraordinary I’m definitely not. I can’t even stand up to my dad, I just nod along and grin when appropriate. I’m no Gryffindor. I’m Chase Adams, and that’s it.
I find a compartment and take a breath… It’s not that I don’t know anyone… there’s a few guys I’ve met through dads look-how-many-trophies-I-have-parties, but I just don’t think I’m quite ready to face them yet. Peace and quiet that’s what I need. Soon the train jolts forward and the familiarity of my childhood home transforms into uncharted landscapes. I’m not alone of course, there seems to be more students than ever this year… so finding an empty compartment seemed a complete waste of time. Thankfully they left after a while, second years I think, Hufflepuffs, from what I could tell. Probably where I’ll end up or maybe Ravenclaw. Although the riddle password, sounds like it could grow terribly tiresome. I don’t really belong anywhere really, I guess I was hoping Hogwarts would kind of help with that.
I wonder if-
Well that’s slightly unnerving…
Is it normal for compartments to make random noises? Maybe it was the tracks? Hazing ritual? Or maybe in consequence to my earlier judgement, the train is now tracking me and my compartment is about to blow up? Yeah. Probably. Sounds about right.
It’s getting louder…
It’s getting closer….
A trunk lands on my foot. Brilliant. I notice the letters ASP etched on the lid. Thanks mate. It’s still rattling slightly… best steer clear I think.
I turn and survey the damage… The rack in the corner is in a crumbled mess amongst the luggage. Of course I had to choose the dodgy carriage… today wasn’t going wonderfully enough. But at least my trunk isn’t among them, there wasn’t room, it’s in a carriage at the back of the train. The weight must have been too much for the spell, that or someone’s hording a giant in there or something. Which wouldn’t be the first time. Everyone has extendable charms on the trunks now days, but sometimes you can’t beat physics.
Should I just make a dash for it? Or you know find my inner Hufflepuff and commit my loyalty to a compartment that’s just ruining my life…
“That ought to teach him” A voice rejoices from behind me… ASP trunk…
Okay now I’m sure trunks have never talked before…. Right? Even by Hogwarts standards… well at least mine never has… I brace myself and turn around to come face to face with a redheaded grinning trunk dweller…
This feels like one of those fantastic beasts and where to find them moments… although she doesn’t look beastly… just …wild. Maybe I’ll go down in history as the guy who discovered the trunk people… Alert the media! And I thought I’d never amount to anything…
“Um…” Such eloquence.
“Give us a hand will you” Although she doesn’t seem to mind. She sounds British and my dashing hopes further plummet once she shoves her wand in my face, maybe one can deduce she might be a witch… Although what she was doing in a trunk, I’m not sure. Each to their own I guess.
“Thanks” She smiles and slams the lid back on. “Merlin it was wafty in there… I think I should be knighted for my persistence” She collapses on the seat, completely unfazed by the broken rack and trunks in the corner… SHM is etched on one of them; which has a fair chunk broken off the side… Oh well… ignorance is bliss I suppose.
I just nod in agreeance. Still completely unsure about this latest development… She looks friendly enough.
“Although we can’t place blame entirely on the idiot, I would have been out sooner if those gigglers would’ve hurried up and left” She sighs.
“Gigglers…?” I finally find my voice.
“Oh. Not fans of yours then?” She quirks her eyebrow interestedly.
“I’m Chase Adams, a first year, I don’t have any fans” I confirm. Don’t want rumors to spread.
Her eyes brighten considerably. “Me too” She grabs my hand in excitement. Her scarf hits me in the face, its then I notice her attire, Gryffindor everything…. Lion beanie, top, tights, shoes, sunglasses, she’s like a walking advertisement, even has the red hair.
“Cool” I reply. This girl has rendered me speechless. Although I don’t normally have that much to say, not that there’s normally people around to listen…
“Isn’t it? I’ve been waiting for years. Especially last year, when Fred, Dom and James started, would not stop bragging. Although I’m ashamed to admit, but I’m sure my little brother will be hearing some slight bragging from me too” She giggles with enthusiasm.
I ponder what to say next… not that I think I will entertain her for long. She seems far too bright and excited to be seated here with me. Although she did arrive by trunk… But that’s pretty extraordinary in itself.
“So did you get locked in? Or is there a new boarding ritual I don’t know about?” I venture curious.
“Oh no. I was just taking revenge” She lifts off her shoe and sand falls out.
“On Hufflepuff?” I question in reply to her earlier point.
“Merlin No. I was just waiting for them to leave.” She amends.
“But, I was still here?”
“Yes, but we’re soul mates, you can be trusted”
“How do you know that?” I replied incredulously.
“Berry Fudge” She states like that answers everything. I reach into my coat and pull out the packet of the aforementioned candy with confusion… How did she know?
“Cheers” and she shoves a piece in her mouth.
“I’m not friendless, I’m just currently friend-less” We’ve now been acquainted for 15 minutes, the berry fudge is long gone, and she’s began rummaging around other trunks for sweets, although she claims this ASP is family… I still don’t know her name.
“Glad we cleared that up” she laughs.
“It’s complicated” I sigh. Right now, I’m just me. With them, the entourage I gravitated with in Hanards World, I’m macho, arrogant, chauvinistic Chase. And I was kind of hoping at Hogwarts I could kind of leave him behind, or at least hide him deep in my trunk.
“Imaginary?” Rose suggests, completely serious and excited.
“No.” I grin. There’s just something about this Gryffindor fanatic that makes me immediately trust her, even though she’s a trunk dweller. Whatever that is.
“Are you saying there’s something wrong with Imaginary Friends?” she reaches for a pumpkin pasty.
“No…” I quickly confirm.
“How do you know, I’m not imaginary? I did just emerge from a trunk you know…” She suggest with a smirk.
“I was more leaning towards crazy…” I chuckle.
“Oh! Well that’s alright then. I’m Rose. Your new imaginary friend” She extends her hand for me to shake… I study it cautiously.
“But you’re not imaginary” I shake her hand, one to double check that my assumptions were correct, as after the morning I’ve had, she very well could be imaginary, this is Hogwarts after all.
“Oh. Chase… We’re going to have such fun this year” She winks and abruptly stands and disappears through the compartment door, ghost style.
After the respite of befriending Rose, the day proceeded to get extremely worse.
The disturbing and disruptive guy from the platform has made a reappearance. Although I still haven’t seen his face, just that stupid hat and that hideous cackle. I decided to treat Rose and Myself to an ice-cream, I quickly adapted to her unique nutritional requirements. Pretty much, don’t let the girl go hungry. Anyway, there I was, completely minding my own business, finally next to be served, after waiting for 23 minutes and 18 seconds, and the insufferable git, rough housing with his mates on the opposite side, full on knocks into the trolley, knocking the ice creams I’d just bought into my chest, my coins splatter to the ground, creating a free for all and my foot becoming an anchor place for the damn trolley.
Of course I got most of the coins back, changed my shirt, the trolley lady gave me two free chocolate frogs, my foot still throbbed (the luck of a trunk and trolley landing on it within the same day), but I understand accidents happen. But the kid didn’t even say sorry! Just leapt up, threw the Trolley lady an apologetic grin and continued on. He may not have seen me… But seriously I’m not invisible!
Rose was quick to hazard a revenge plan, but since we didn’t actually know his name, we put it to bed for the moment and just enjoyed our complimentary chocolate frogs. That’s real friendship for you.
The real aggravating moment didn’t appear until we arrived at Hogsmeade station. Rose had disappeared again, although not through a door (She taught me the spell) just amongst the throngs of the impatient crowd. I reveled in having a moment to myself, to prepare. New school. New me. Hogwarts is going to be brilliant. It has to be. Even with this Puddlemere hat wearing troublemaker.
I was most looking forward to the boat ride across the Black Lake, Mum had said there’s nothing quite as magical as when you first see it.
But you see… My luck being what it is, the day being what it’s been, and this unidentified enemy being who he is… I didn’t make the boats. I didn’t get to sail into the new me, be awed at the castle lights, or make new friends. I didn’t even make the carriages and I nearly missed my own sorting… and you know why? The Puddlemere hat wearing troublemaker finally has a face… a name… ASP – ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER!
Somehow Potter and his cronies managed to cover a train compartment, (the one with my trunk inside) in Garbols Everlasting Gum. Of course no students were in there, apparently it was a demonstration gone wrong. And my trunk, was just collateral damage. I didn’t even get the time to appreciate that I was somehow placed in Gryffindor, Rose pulled me down beside her. Of course she was never worried, claimed she knew before we even met. Something about the soul mates thing again. I was just seething. My knuckles were white, my heart beating rapidly and my words, short. And there he was bathing in the gloriousness of being Harry Potter’s son, a Gryffindor too, like he is Merlin’s greatest gift to the world. Completely unware of the turmoil he has caused me. Idiot.
It made me think of Hanard, all those moments he boasts about his life as a world class chaser, and now he’s a big shot in a suit. He lived in the shadow of Charles Weasley during Hogwarts, doesn’t like to talk about it, although he thinks the jokes on him, because how could Dragons compare to a swelling bank balance? Crazy talk apparently.
Dads view on Harry Potter is uncharacteristically biased….Yes you saved the world... Hip Hip Hooray, let’s all dance around and make him a crown out of our teeth. It was 19 years ago… a memory. The past. And Hanard Adams is the present and if he can manage it, the future. Current events are so much more tantalizing apparently.
As much as I vowed it didn’t bother me, that dad didn’t get to me. I still found myself drawn to the trophy room, grasping the golden cup, Dads team won all those years ago.
“The next expectation awaiting approval” A voice sighs behind me. I startle and nearly drop it, luckily I am my father’s son, so it didn’t shatter.
I turn and my eyes immediately harden… Seriously is this guy stalking me or something? Of course I can’t help but give him the once over. Maybe I was expecting a pedestal, a halo, or gold medal. But contrary to Witch Weekly’s Students of 2017 exposé… he’s just a normal eleven year old. Of course that didn’t make me give in, there’d been far too many mishaps today that I could stand. My foot still throbbed, there’s still some gum in my hair and Nimbus is traumatized. I will not fall under the Albus Severus Potter spell.
“Oh I’m Albus, but everyone just calls me Al” He steps forward joyfully, with his hand outstretched. Apparently he thought my silence was confusion and Admiration. Idiot.
I glare at it disgustedly.
He falters slightly… “Um. You’re Chase Adams right?” Potter tries again, still with that stupidly friendly smile.
“I’m not going to ask for your autograph” I icily confirm.
“Bit egotistical don’t you think?” I step forward. He steps back. Good he’s learning.
“Revelling in the fame for something your father did” I state completely calm. Where is this confidence originating from?
“I’ve only just met you” Potter frowns, I thought I recognised a little hurt flash in his eyes, but it was quickly masked with indifference.
“Oh yes, of course! Wouldn’t expect the great Albus Potter to remember all the little people around here” I yell angrily.
His expressions turns to defensive, like he’s thinking… Who the hell is this guy?
“Little People?” He questions.
“Yes” I cross my arms in finality.
“Look I’m sorry if I’ve offended you somehow” Potter begins.
“Offended?” I scoffed. “Last thing on my mind”
“Clearly” He mutters. With a small smile on his face. Apparently my antics were hilarious.
My face floods with humour reminiscing of our first actual meeting. Which of course I later discovered, was all Rose’s doing. She found Al and told him there was someone he needed to apologise to in the Trophy room. And I did feel faint satisfaction when the dungbomb exploded when he opened his trunk that night, Rose Weasley, trunk dweller at her finest. Of course I never could have predicted, being woken up at 5am that next morning, being led down to the lake, and watching the sun rise over the water as we glided across it. Of course this generous and thoughtful gesture didn’t immediately quell my cautions of Albus Potter, but it did make me look back. He always made me look back. But of course, because this is Albus Potter, the boat somehow capsized and we ended up swimming to shore, and I vowed to never get in a boat with him again.
“I’ve been meaning to send them to you” Hanard breaks me from my thoughts. His voice, hard and deep like I remember. I grip the dreaded news article and photo of my first sunrise at Hogwarts with apprehension. Al had autographed the photo that night, thought it was clever, I didn’t speak to him for a week after that. But of course he wore me down.
I don’t know why I’m here really… I haven’t seen or heard from my dad since that dreaded night in summer before Fourth year. He looks old. No longer the boastful and arrogant wannabe I grew up with, but an old man, who has an empty life and a trophy shelf to show for it. His expression isn’t kind or reassuring. I’m not here for an apology. Hanard Adams doesn’t apologise. He doesn’t accept me. He doesn’t care. I’m sure it’s just about those stupid articles and he doesn’t want any more bad press.
“Ahem… Of course I didn’t really know where to send them?” He concedes apprehensively.
“And here I thought you knew everything” I scoff uninterested. I’m beyond his wrath. We aren’t family. I don’t understand why I thought I needed him. He means nothing to me.
“Son…” He begins stern.
I break into laughter… “Son? Seriously?”
He used to be such a giant, a force I was afraid of. Now his like an old quaffle, it’s not a relic, it’s just battered and worn, so it sits forgotten at the bottom of the trunk.
“Are you… Are you and that boy done?” Hanard speaks so quietly, I nearly missed it.
My eyes widen in relief. Ah. The truth reveals itself. My posture doesn’t stiffen, my hands don’t curl into fists. I’m calm. This is what I expected. It isn’t a surprise.
I open my mouth to speak... but find I don’t know the answer. Of course he’d be entirely too gleeful, that I’d been dropped, or an insolent bastard if we were still together. And then I caught sight of the box. Al. The photo, the article, the camera he’d gave me, the memories I’d lived with him, the laughs, smiles and detentions I’d shared because of him. So in the end, I only had the truth.
Frightening as it is, young as we are, it’s the reality. “I don’t think I’ll ever be done with him” I admit, completely defeated.
And somehow a lightness began to swirl in my chest. Maybe it was closure, maybe it was elation of finally being honest with myself and with Hanard. I didn’t need him anymore. I didn’t care what he was going to say. It didn’t matter. Witch Weekly didn’t matter. It’s not forgiveness. It’s just resignation. Sometimes apologies are just meaningless words. We aren’t pretending here. We are who we are.
But as self-assured as I can be, I did still find myself watching for his response. Unfortunately you can never really give up on hope; it just presents itself without even a thought. His face sort of just relaxed, in a lonely and exhausted sort of way. Maybe he finally understood. Maybe he didn’t. It doesn’t really matter anymore.
He collapses on the seat beside him. “That’s exactly what he said”
“What?” I step forward uneasily.
“The Potter boy. He came to see me” The words just slip from his lips, like a passing quidditch remark.
Never underestimate Albus Severus Potter.
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