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Chapter 21 : The One Where James Convinces Me To Break The Rules
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“Can you believe that they are letting us loose with these Muggle torture devices?” I said to James, who was looking down at the hammer in his hand and looking back down at the wood on his desk. My throat croaked as I spoke, my cold still in full effect and had been for a few days.
I had a screwdriver in my hands and was unsure what to do with it; the only thing I had worked out so far was the it was called a screwdriver. We were currently in Muggle Studies; at the moment our lessons were focused on Muggle past times and hobbies, this time focusing on woodwork and how some Muggles spend their time making things, otherwise known as ‘D.I.Y’. The teacher was talking to us about how we were going to be spending the next few lessons, making something ourselves out of some wood. He had sheets of paper that we could choose from to make our items.
“I really can’t, especially with us lousy lot. We can barely be trusted with books, I always manage to give myself a paper cut,” James stated, hitting the wood with his hammer, seemingly for something to do.
“Yeah, you and others around you,” I stated, remembering the time that he accidentally gave me a paper cut handing me a book. Paper cuts hurt a lot more than you think that they would. I gave a cough as my dry throat was feeling scratchy; it didn’t do much to it, and I tried to ignore it, wishing that I had brought a drink with me to the lesson.
“I’m not sure if I want to be around you when we’re using all of these sharp objects to make these Muggle things. You might end up having to visit the hospital wing,” I stated, looking at the sheet of paper that I had gotten from the teacher. I had told him that I wanted to attempt to make some bookends to go on my shelf so he handed me the sheet of paper that I was to follow to make them. James had a sheet of paper in his hands to make some sort of a box; we had talked about how we would be in competition with each other to see who could finish their one first and whose would look the most like the object they were meant to be making. I was hoping that I would win so that I could rub it in James’s face that I was better than him. I didn’t want James to think that he was better than me, because I knew for a fact that he would rub it in my face.
I put down my screwdriver and picked up a saw. I had already measured out the amount of wood that I would need and had placed the wood on the end of the desk and proceeded to try and saw the wood just like the teacher had shown us all early on in the lesson. I was having no luck at all with it, I managed to get my saw stuck in the wood and was unable to move it without a lot of force and effort. I stopped moving and turned to look at James, who was having the same problem as I was.
“I tell you what,” James said, tugging on the saw and managing to get it to move through the wood. “I don’t envy the Muggles one bit, with having to chop and saw wood by hand; it would be so much more easier with magic and a wand. You could just wave it around and have the wood cut itself, speaking of which you could just wave your wand around and have the box or book ends make themselves, it would save a lot of time and arm ache.” James shook his head as he continued to saw. He managed to get into some sort of routine with the way he moved his arm and he was beginning to cut through the wood some more. I was jealous myself; I looked back down at the wood and put my saw to it, trying again to cut the wood by copying James.
“It would be easier, but sadly unlike us the Muggles don’t have magic to their disposal, so they have to use things and items like this,” I said before coughing again, using the sleeve of my robe to cover my mouth. I winced as I swallowed and gave sniff of my bunged up nose.
“How are you feeling?” James asked me, “I can tell that you’ve still got your cute ‘almost lost your voice’ thing going on.”
I rolled my eyes, “I don’t find it cute at all, if anything it’s more annoying. My throat hurts a lot and I can’t stop shivering from being cold and then getting too hot. It is like I can't win. I have literally got on about three layers of clothes and I am still cold. Not only do I have on my robes and shirt, I also have a t shirt on underneath it, then under my tights I have on a pair of leggings and well as two pairs of socks,” I told him, amazed that I was able to move any of my limbs with so many layers on them. I can’t believe that I still felt slightly cold, I was sure that I would end up over heating.
“It’s got to be the fact that it’s so cold outside and that this castle is severely lacking in keeping the heat in it, it’s probably one of the downfalls of having a school that’s in a medieval castle. It manages to keep the cold in more than anything else.”
“Which isn’t good for someone who has a cold like I do. I must admit that I’m glad that I’m not Slytherin, just because I can imagine that the dungeons would be freezing in the winter. It makes me glad that I’m in Hufflepuff, we’re right near the kitchens so I guess we have the heat from that. We also have those amazing patchwork quilts that keep a lot of the heat in them.”
“It’s not as great in the Gryffindors boys dormitory. The bad thing about being in a tower is the fact that we are always hit with the wind, so when it’s a very cold wind, like now, it has a tendency to make the dormitory cold. I’m thankful that we have the heater boiler thing in the middle of the room, otherwise we would be frozen,” James told me.
“There is that.” I stopped to cough again, before going back to my saw and cutting the wood again. I was about three quarters of the way through cutting it to the size that I needed, I noticed that James was cutting the second piece of wood that he would need for his box. “Ugh, I’m feeling proper shit right about now.”
“Why have you not gone to the hospital wing again?” James asked me in concern. I gave a shrug as I finished cutting the first piece of wood. It fell to the floor with a thud and I began to cut the other piece of wood that I had measured out before. I had drawn all the pieces of the wood that I would need to cut so I did not have to do it all bit by bit and waste more time on it. I began to saw again before I answered his question that he asked me a lot recently.
“I don’t want to have to go to the hospital wing for every little thing that is wrong with me,” I told him honestl., “There is no need for me to run to the Healer because I have a cold, my own body will handle it.”
“It is doing a superb job so far I must admit,” James said sarcastically to me as he picked up his wood and made sure that all of his cut bits were the right length that he needed.
“I’ve gotten through colds and flus before, I can get through this one,” I told him, finding it a bit easier to cut this piece of wood. It was like I had gotten into the swing of things; it was just hard sometimes to cut the wood, as though I were going against the grain as I moved the saw. It might explain why it was more difficult to move the saw one way then the other.
“Do you not want to get something that can make you not lose your voice?” James asked. “As much as I love the fact that it is making you sound so cute and sexy, I must admit that I am worried that you will lose it completely and I won’t have anyone that I can talk to in class.”
“I’m glad that I’m not the only one suffering from this cold,” I told him honestly. I was the one with the cold and he had moaned more about it than I had. Surely it should have been the other way around?
“I may very well suffer further, especially if you give your cold to me. It shall be worse for me as well, as I am a man and it is scientifically proven that men have worse colds than anyone else.”
“How many species are you counting in this?” I asked with a laugh.
“Just the men and women at the moment, but seriously if I catch this I shall be whiney, loud, obnoxious, clingy and just a general annoyance to be around,” James told me, shaking his head as he pointed at me for emphasis.
“So much like any other day I spend in your company,” I told him, cheekily poking my tongue out at him.
“I am going to let that slide as you are so ill, but it’s true. Let us hope that I don’t catch your disease. The world may surely end.”
“That’s a bit over dramatic don’t you think?” I asked him. “The world does not revolve around you.”
“I couldn’t really tell what it was that you were saying right there at the end, as your voice kind of disappeared, so I am going to assume that you said that the world did revolve around me, and your words are true of course. The world does in fact revolve around me. I have it on good authority as I have been told this many a time. I may be leaving out the fact that they may have said that it does not revolve around me, but still.”
“Your selective hearing has got to be a good thing for you,” I told him with a small laugh, amazed that he could just talk and talk and think and think about something for so long. He was worse than a woman when it came to talking; James was the kind of guy to just keep talking if he was in an awkward or silent situation. It was great because most of the time I had no idea what it was that I wanted to actually say. So the fact that he was the one to fill those silences was a good thing.
“It really is, it makes me hear what I want to hear.”
“How are you both getting on with your projects?” Professor Hargreaves asked us as he came over to check on our progress. I nodded as I finished sawing the piece of wood and started on my next bit.
“It’s going good, I just need to finish cutting the pieces out, then I can start with those nail things.” I told him, trying not to cough again, but my throat was really tickling. I would not have minded if it was not for the fact that every time that I did cough it would feel like I was ripping the inside of my throat apart. Maybe I should try and stop talking? That might work for me. But I knew that I would not be able to do that until I went back to my dormitory later on after lessons. I was not sure if I would make it to dinner that night, I was feeling pretty exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep, or just be in my bed wrapped up in the covers and not having to be outside in the cold. Not to mention that I didn’t exactly have much of an appetite at the moment, I really wasn’t winning with this cold. I could not wait for it to get out of my system, or to at least tone down a bit. The whole breathing at night thing would be a real bonus if that one went first.
“Good, good, Abigail,” Professor Hargreaves said with a smile. “That is good progress.” He turned to look at James.
“And how is it all going for you, James?” he asked him, looking down at the pieces that James had managed to cut out. I was amazed that he had managed to cut the wood so fast, I was a bit suspicious that he had used magic, although I might be behind because I am just that slow today. I did not know at all.
“It’s going good, sir,” James said with a nod and a smile at the professor. “I bet this is going to be the best box that you have ever seen in the history of boxes.”
“I bet that it will be, James. Have you given any thought as to how you are going to decorate it? Or what you are going to use it for?” The teacher enquired. James looked as though he was in deep thought as he took a minute to come up with an answer. He looked around him before leaning closer to the teacher.
“I am going to keep my secrets in it,” he whispered to him before giving just the one nod of the head as though asking the teacher if he understood. The teacher smirked before nodding back.
“You best make that a much bigger box, James.”
“No,” I stated before I could stop myself, “The bigger box will be for his ego.”
The teacher smiled and shook his head before walking away from us both. James had turned to me with a look of shock on his face as he gave a loud gasp.
“Abigail Higgs, you are down right evil today. This cold is making you delirious.”
“I blame you,” I told him.
“And here I was, going to show you my cloak later.”
I looked up in surprise at his words; he was going to let me see the invisibility cloak? He saw the look on my face.
“Oh, it’s all changed now the cloak is involved.” He laughed, shaking his head and lining up some of the wood.
“You’re really going to show it to me?” I asked him. Did he trust me enough around it? What if I accidentally ripped it, or tripped over it, or god forbid lost it?
“I was going to suggest meeting up after dinner,” James told me, eyes still focused on the pieces of wood in front of him. “Unless, of course, you’re busy.”
I shook my head, before realising that he probably didn’t see me doing it. “No, I have no plans,” I told him, coughing slightly before continuing. “I was only going to do some reading and ignore that essay I’m meant to be writing for Potions.”
“Ah, I should probably do that as well. Ignore it and not do it. Who wants to write three feet on Golpalott’s third law?” James asked me, scoffing and leaning down slightly to make sure his wood was perfectly aligned. “Shall I come and meet you outside the Hufflepuff entrance about seven?”
A smile spread across my face as he glanced up at me. “Sure, seven sounds good.”
“Hey, have you seen the notices that have gone up on the board?” Isabella asked me at quarter to seven that night, as I began fastening the laces on my shoes. I looked up at her and shook my head, glancing over at Michelle, who was writing something down in her notebook that I knew contained her ideas for Quidditch plays that she would force poor Lucenn to listen to, in great detail.
“I haven’t, what are they?” I asked her, as Isabella settled herself on the edge of my bed and stroked Snowball, who was watching me as though I was the most fascinating thing; he was probably after some treats. The bad thing was that I didn’t have any, because he found the stash and ate them all, so he was trying to guilt me into somehow getting him more. It wasn’t working yet, but he knew that I would eventually wear down and give in to his demands.
“Our apparition lessons will be beginning soon,” Isabella told me happily, bouncing slightly in excitement, “I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting to get my license for ages now.”
“I can do the lessons, but I won’t be able to take the test until August, because that’s when I’ll be turning seventeen,” I told her sadly. I would love to be able to take my test with everyone else, but I was one of the youngest in the year so was forced to wait. I wasn’t too sad about this, it would give me more time to practice, and give me more of a chance of passing first time, unlike Darryl; it took him three attempts and almost his entire left hand to pass the test.
“Oh, I forgot that you were one of the young ones,” Isabella told me, wrapping an arm around me and hugs me to her. I saw Michelle glance up at us quickly before looking away, giving a slight shake of her head.
I laughed as I held onto Isabella’s arms. Snowball moved closer to us and pushed his head onto us in an attempt to get strokes. He succeeded when Isabella let go of me to pick him up and put him on her lap. I went back to trying to get ready for meeting James. Michelle stood up from her bed and walked out of the room without another word to us both and I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty. I had no idea what was wrong with her and I knew that I should go and find out.
“I wonder what – “ I began, but Isabella interrupted me.
“Don’t worry about the spoilsport, whose main goal is to apparently ruin everyone else who’s having a good time,” Isabella stated and I knew that I should come to Michelle’s defence, but I also knew that Isabella was right. So instead I said nothing, choosing instead to look down at my clothes and wondering if I looked alright. I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard but also wanted to look nice.
“You look fine,” Isabella told me as though reading my thoughts. She was still stroking Snowball, who was loving the attention. “Are you nervous?”
“We’re only hanging out, it’s nothing special.”
“Hmm.” Isabella said, clearly not believing me and I felt my cheeks reddening. It wasn’t a date or anything, we were just hanging out with each other. It was just that he was going to be showing me his invisibility cloak, not that I would tell anyone that’s what we were doing. It wasn’t my secret to share, and I didn’t want James to think that I was untrustworthy by telling anyone.
“You better get going,” Isabella told me, looking down at her watch and smiling up at me. “Curfew will be soon, so don’t get caught sneaking back into the common room.”
“Thanks.” I told her, grabbing for my wand and putting it into my pocket before leaving the room with a goodbye at her. I walked through the room, sidestepping Horatio Demarcus who nearly walked into me as he shoved Louis Weasley so hard he almost fell over the back of the sofa, but both boys were laughing so I didn’t want to tell either of them off. I made my way outside the common room; no one paid me any attention as everyone was focusing on each other. I didn’t even see Michelle in the common room, and stood in the deserted hallway.
I wondered what time James would be showing up; he told me to meet him here and all I could do was wait awkwardly for him to show up. I hoped it would be soon; I kept getting the feeling that I was being watched fall over me and it was making me uneasy.
Hands grabbed my sides and I let out a loud shriek of horror, which broke in my throat, jumping away from the hands and whirling around as my hands flew to my mouth. My heart felt like it was in my throat, beating madly as I tried to calm my breathing and see who or what had just grabbed me and shocked me. I heard laughter before James materialised out of thin air, his eyes glinting with amusement as I moved forward and hit him in the arm.
“You jerk. You scared me!” I cried before I could stop myself, still trying to get my heart to stop thumping wildly against my chest.
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t resist,” James told me, pulling the cloak off of him fully and pulling off his backpack so that he could stuff it inside. I looked him over, noticing how nice he looked in his oversized blue jumper, the same colour of his eyes. His hair was sticking out messily and he pushed one of his hands through it after throwing the backpack over his shoulder. He ran his fingers through his hair a few times, making it more ruffled than before and smiled sheepishly at me. “Shall we go for a walk? I want to go somewhere a bit more private, then I can show you.”
I nodded and we both fell in step beside each other as we walked along the corridor and into the large hall that the staircase started in. I let James walk in front of me and lead the way as we walked passed the few students who were still within their curfew. After the first two flights of stairs, we were able to fall back into step with each other because less people were around to force us apart and we began talking again.
“Did you see the notices for the Apparition lessons?” James asked me, turning to face me as we walked up another flight of stairs. It moved as we walked, taking us to another corridor, and James and I walked slowly down it.
“Yeah. Are you going to do them?” I asked him, stuffing my hands into my pockets, not sure what else to do with them.
“Yeah. I’m excited. It took Teddy two times to pass, so I’m hoping to get first time so I can rub it in his face,” James informed me and I smiled; that was exactly the same with me and my older brother.
“Darryl took a while, too. I want to pass first time, so I’m better than him. If I fail like him, he won’t let me forget it,” I replied, which was true. Even though Darryl had failed, he wouldn’t let me forget that I was just like him and drive me nuts with it.
“We better make sure we get a lot of practice in then,” James told me. “Although we can help each other.”
“Yeah,” I agreed as we continued walking, further into the school and towards some disused classrooms and corridors. “I can’t take the test until after my birthday, though.”
“Me too. It’s one of the downfalls of being born on the twenty ninth of August. If I was born just a few days later I would have been in the year below and may never have known you,” James admitted. “I’m glad that I wasn’t, though.”
“The same with me,” I told him in agreement. I hated to think how it would be if James was in the year below me.
I was just wondering how far we would walk when James came to a halt and looked around. I stopped as I did the same, noticing nothing but quietness and emptiness.
“Here seems like a good enough spot,” James told me, pulling the bag off of his back and placing it on the floor beside the wall. He squatted down next to it and began pulling out the cloak again before standing back upright and holding it across his arms, looking at me expectantly. I took a hesitant step forward, holding my hand out slightly, but being too scared to touch it. It was priceless and I didn’t want to do anything to destroy it. I glanced up at James, who gave me an encouraging nod and I looked back at the cloak and placed my hand across it.
It felt smooth like silk and slightly cool to the touch, almost like water. “This is beautiful,” I told him honestly.
“Do you want to wear it?” he asked me and I was definitely shocked as well as very excited. I was going to be invisible.
“I would love to,” I admitted to him and he held it out further to me. I took it gently and held it out in front of me, glancing at James again before wrapping it around myself and disappearing completely from view.
“This is so awesome,” I told him, the urge to get up to all sorts of mischief was running through my veins, making me feel like I was capable of doing anything. I could hide places and no one could find me, I could spy on people, I could move things and no one would know it was me. I moved quietly around and looked at James, who was still staring at where he thought I was still standing. I could run away and he wouldn’t be able to find me.
James let out a laugh and looked around as though he would be able to see me. “Where are you?”
I stayed quiet, hand going over my mouth as I moved around James again, standing closer as I moved around him and watched his eyes and head dart around to pinpoint exactly where I was.
“Being silent isn’t going to help you. I’ll be able to find you no matter where you are, so there’s no point in you even thinking about leaving with my cloak,” James laughed.
“Oh yeah, and how’s that?” I asked him, intrigued and without thinking. That gave my position away to James, who lunged forwards and grabbed for me, wrapping his arms around me tightly and holding me to him so that I couldn’t escape.
I gave a laugh as James kept hold of me in one arm whilst taking the cloak off of me with his other; the material slid over my face and messed my hair up and he looked down at me. I couldn’t help but laugh and neither could James, but he just seemed to be laughing at the state of my hair, which I couldn’t sort out as he was trapping my arms. I felt James’s hand in my hair and he pushed it gently out of my face so that I was able to see, before he rested the hand on the side of my face.
“If you had taken my cloak I would have been in so much trouble with my dad, who would have come after you as well. So, really I’m saving you from being hunted down by an Auror and the saviour of the Wizarding World.”
“My hero.” I giggled before I could stop myself, attempting to push James off of me and he relented, dropping his hand from my face and his arm from around me and taking a step back from me as he took the cloak from around me and wrapped it around his own shoulders so that he was just a floating head. “That looks really freaky,” I told him as I ran my fingers through my hair and attempted to flatten it.
“I wonder how many first years I could freak out?” James mused.
“I think you’d scare anyone like that, no matter what age. I’m not sure many people would expect a floating head to randomly appear coming towards them,” I admitted, moving to lean against the cold wall of the castle and glancing out at the darkness.
“That is true,” James stated, pulling the cloak off of himself and folding it back up in his arms, before leaning next to me, resting one of his feet on the wall behind him.
“It must be so tempting to cause a lot of trouble with that thing,” I said, nodding down at the cloak and James nodded.
“Yeah, it takes a lot to not sneak around and spy on people, or go places I’m not meant to.”
“It’ll be fun to see what people get up to when you’re not there, or see where they go when they say that they’re going somewhere else.” This was a common worry I had about Michelle, ever since we had come back from the holidays she seemed slightly strained with me, a bit distant and going back to the way she had been about mine and James’ friendship. Part of me had been thinking that she was disappearing off somewhere, but I had no clue where and I knew that she would never answer my questions, or tell me that I was being silly.
I still had a gut feeling, though, that was telling me that I was right.
“Actually, I do have a way of finding that out,” James told me, taking a seat on the floor and grabbing his backpack again, pulling it onto his lap. I slid down the wall to sit next to him, a bit closer then I was aiming for when I fell slightly, but James didn’t seem to mind and I was trying my luck by not moving. I stared into his backpack; it seemed full of things and I was intrigued. Why did James need so much stuff?
He pulled out a pile of tatty looking parchment and I wondered just what he was up to, and whether or not he was going to make a start on his homework, and why on earth this would help find things out. He pulled out his wand and tapped the piece of parchment, muttering something under his breath that I didn’t catch and writing appeared on the front of the page in elegant handwriting. I watched as the ink moved and formed the image of a map - not just any map, a map of Hogwarts.
“Is that – “I began in awe, looking down at the parchment, leaning closer to James to get a good look. He chuckeld slightly.
“Uh-huh,” he stated. My eyes focused as he began to unfold and fold the parchment as though trying to find something. When he got to what he was looking for, he held it up for me to see.
“Is that us?” I asked, looking at the two dots, all alone in the corridor, both of them labelled as me and James. I looked up at the ceiling as though there was someone looking down at us both and James gave a chuckle.
“I have no idea how it works,” James told me, equally in awe at the amazingness that was the map in front of us. It was the work of genius. “But it was made by my Grandfather and his friends, it tells you where everyone is in the school.”
“You can find anyone on here?” I asked him, looking up at him and he nodded at me, handing it to me and I took it gently, shuffling on the spot as I looked down at the map. I folded the parchment and scanned over where I knew the Hufflepuff common room would be. I looked at the girls dormitory and saw that Michelle, Sian and Isabella were all in there. I scanned across a bit more of the map before I realised that practically everyone was either in the common rooms or the dormitories as the corridors and classrooms were all empty, save for a few random dots here and there, probably the prefects doing their rounds.
“What’s the time?” I asked looking up at James, who was looking at the map over my shoulder. I hadn’t realised just how close I was to James until that moment; I was practically leaning on him, one arm resting over his leg, which was leaning against mine, whilst I was practically hugging him.
I moved away slightly as James looked down at his watch and I tore my eyes away from the parchment to wait for his response, I saw him wince slightly. “It’s way past curfew,” he informed me.
I hadn’t even realised that much time had already passed, it seemed like only minutes had gone by.
“We should probably get back,” I told him reluctantly. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to leave.
“Or, we could just stay here,” James said to me, resting his head back against the wall but turning to look at me. “I don’t have an early class tomorrow, and we have the map and cloak to help hide us.”
I deliberated for a moment; I had never broken the rules that much, I had never snuck out or stayed up all night in the company of a boy. I didn’t want people to talk about it and make up rumours.
“I’m a prefect,” I stated as if that was the answer. He just shrugged at me.
“Yeah, you say that, but I’ve never seen you go to meetings or doing patrols,” he told me honestly.
“Have you been following me on the map?” I asked him, wondering how he knew that.
“Not just that,” he stated, not denying that he had been stalking me by using his map. I should probably have a word with him about that. “But you never talk about it, and you just never seem to be at one.”
“The Seventh Year Hufflepuff prefects have taken over most of the rounds, so we’re not really needed to do it. It’s a bit rare when we are required to do it,” I admitted to him, which was true; we were never asked to do it, which I knew I was lucky for.
That just meant that next year I would be required to do the rounds and actually do my duties as a prefect.
“Fair enough,” James said. He glanced down at the map and muttered something under his breath. I turned to him in question to see that he was beginning to grab the cloak and had thrown it over us, putting an arm around me and pulling me to him to ensure that we were both covered completely as was the bag.
I turned to look at him, the question on my lips of who it was, but he held a finger to them to stop me from speaking. The fact that he did this was enough to shock me into silence, then I heard Peeves talking to himself as he came down the corridor and I knew why James had silenced me. He dropped his finger from my lips slowly and I took a breath. I didn’t even realise that I had held it as I stared at James, unable to drag myself away from looking over his face. James was watching Peeves carefully, seeming unaware of my state and I tried to pull myself together as I turned my head slowly to watch the poltergeist float slowly over us, trying to breathe as quietly as I could. After what seemed an age, he disappeared from view and James looked down at the map to check the coast was clear before pulling the cloak off of our heads, but not off of our legs.
“That was close,” he told me, “Maybe we should be heading back. I can always hide us under the cloak.”
But I didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay with James here.
“If you wanted to stay we could,” I began and James turned to smile at me as he nodded slowly.
“Good, because I brought supplies,” James told me, pulling his backpack closer to himself and opening it. I leant closer to him so that I could get a good look in the bag, my hand resting itself on his bent knee, but he didn’t seem to care.
“Wow, you are quite prepared.” I laughed as I saw quite a few comic books, bags of what appeared to be sweets, bottles of some fizzy pop and a couple bags of crisps.
“I was hoping that you would agree to stay out all night,” James told me with a shrug. “So I wanted to be prepared, so that we wouldn’t have to go back.”
“We might get caught,” I told him, glancing up at him. He seemed to have been watching me.
“Not if we keep an eye on the map; we can also just hide under the cloak the whole time if you want?”
“I’m not sure we’ll both fit under there,” I told him quietly; we had to do quite a bit of squeezing to fit under the cloak when we were hiding from Peeves.
“Sure we will,” James told me brightly, gesturing for me to shuffle forward, which I did, although I was slightly confused as to why. James moved over so that he was sat behind me and he wrapped his arms around me to pull me backwards so that my back was against his chest. “See, we’ll both fit now.”
My cheeks were heating up, I could feel them practically burning as I tried to hide the excitement and nervousness that was threatening to burst out of me. James’ arms were wrapped loosely around me now and he brought his knees up so that I could lean my arms on them.
“Er –” he stammered. “If you don’t mind sitting like this? I should have asked you first instead of assuming.”
“It’s fine,” I told him quietly, hoping that I could blame the sound of my nervous voice on the cold I still had. “Aren’t you worried about catching my cold?”
“It’s inevitable that I would have anyway. Might as well speed the process along,” James told me with a laugh. I relaxed slightly at the beautiful sound of it, letting myself lean against him as he reached into his bag and pulled out one of the comics.
“Shall we read the comic you sent me?” James asked and I could only nod, relishing in the warmth that was going through me at being in James’ arms. This was going to be the best night in a very long time.
A/N: Once again, thank you to my amazing Beta Sam! *squishes*
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and for reading and reviewing. I would love to know what you all think of this chapter! :D
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