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Chapter 35 : The One Where James Apparates
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I would love to know what you think of this chapter.
James was holding my hand under the table, thumb gently caressing the back of my hand and making me feel calm. I had been on edge since what happened the day before with Rebecca, and although my wrist didn’t’ hurt as much, I still had it in the bandage. My head had begun to bruise, and Isabella had spent the morning putting foundation over the bruise as gently as she could so that it wouldn’t be obvious what had happened, as Michelle watched from where she was getting ready. I could tell that she wanted to ask, but I didn’t want to talk about it with her, she had lost that right when she had done what she did.
Isabella had come back late, a look of anger on her face as she entered the dormitory, and I waited nervously to find out what she had done to Rebecca. I didn’t want her to get into trouble, or for Rebecca to be hurt, no matter what she had done to me.
“Detention every night for the week,” Isabella had informed me, eyes skimming over my head, which I tried to cover with my hair. “I wasn’t able to do more than yell at her because she had her little followers around.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” I told her, feeling bad that this was happening and that it had all escalated out of control. “What if you get suspended? What if she targets you?”
“No, she needs to realise that she can’t go around bullying people without any kind of consequences to her actions. I don’t care who she thinks that she is, she needs to realise that she can’t treat people like this, that we will stand up to her if she keeps this up.”
I had bitten my lip, and Isabella had just given me another look before hugging me and then going over to her bed so that she could get ready to go to sleep.
I hadn’t had much sleep, between the throbbing of my head and wrist once the pain relief had worn off, and the worry about what I was going to face in the morning keeping me up. Rebecca was quite popular, she had many friends, and I was worried about what I was going to be facing.
“Are you alright?” James whispered next to me. I turned to look at him, realising that I had been staring at the sheet of paper in front of me instead of talking to him. I nodded slowly, giving his hand a squeeze and sitting up straight.
“Have you come up with an idea yet?” I asked James, not liking the worry that had flitted across his features as he looked at me. He didn’t say anything for a few moments, eyes still boring into mine, as though willing me to open up and tell him what was on my mind.
“The only hobby that keeps springing to mind is knitting,” James told me and I laughed at his idea. “I know that the only reason it does is because William wants me to knit him a blanket.”
I nodded and reached up a hand to brush my hair away from my face, wincing as my finger rubbed against the graze on my forehead.
“Abi-“ James began again, he sounded really concerned about me, and I felt my eyes prickle. I wasn’t going to cry about this again.
“I’m fine, James,” I told him, turning to give him a quick kiss on the cheek before letting go of his hand and picking up my quill so that I could begin planning my own hobby to write about.
I knew he didn’t believe me.
“Are you going to go with knitting?” I asked him, realising that he had gone silent and worrying that it was because of me. I didn’t want him to be angry with me. I knew that I was probably being irrational, but I couldn’t help myself, it was still ingrained in me since my friendship with Michelle.
“Of course, I’m going to make William the best blanket in the world. I may need my cousin Molly to teach me though,” he told me, leaning his elbows on the desk that we shared, pressing his arm against mine before pressing a small kiss to my hair. I felt relief that he wasn’t angry with me.
“Do you think she will?” I asked.
“Of course she will, she loves me I’m her favourite cousin,” James grinned, nudging me with his shoulder lightly. “I’m everyone’s favourite cousin.”
I couldn’t help but smile as I watched William get his sister into a headlock and try to rub the top of her head with his knuckles. Sophie gave a loud laugh and shriek as she tried to shove him off her, pushing him away and punching him as hard as she could in the arm. William laughed loudly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her to him in a hug, Sophie seemed to be on guard though, and quickly jabbed him in the stomach. William doubled over before standing up straight again and pushing his foot behind her knee and causing her leg to buckle. Sophie grabbed William’s arm as she fell and dragged him down to the floor with her.
“Sutton, Bird, behave,” Professor Longbottom called across the room as the two siblings both got up from the floor and began shoving each other. “Don’t make me separate you both.”
William tried to look innocent as Sophie stopped shoving William. She turned to stick her tongue out at William as she put her blonde hair up into a bun, William swore at her and earned another reprimanding from Professor Longbottom.
“I thought they hated each other?” Isabella stated to me as I looked away from William and Sophie. I gave a shrug at her words, I had no idea what was going on with those two, one day they hated each other, the next they were fine.
“They’re talking at the moment,” James told us, appearing in the empty space next to me without a sound. I couldn’t help the excited grin that took over my face at seeing him. “Sophie brought him some chocolate frogs and he instantly forgave her. That boy would do anything for a chocolate frog.”
“Isabella should bear that in mind,” Sian joked, earning an elbow in the side from Isabella, and a hiss to stop talking.
James was watching them curiously, before turning to face me and holding out a hand for me to take. When I did, he pulled me closer to him and wrapped an arm around me.
“What are you doing after dinner tonight?” James whispered to me as we waited for the instructor to finish speaking to Professor Longbottom.
“Probably some homework,” I tell him, wondering if he had a plan for us both.
“Is any of it due tomorrow?” he asked.
I shook my head, and a mischievous look crossed James’ face.
“What are you up to?” I was intrigued by why he was so happy about this fact.
“Nothing,” James shook his head, the grin still on his face. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he had a plan for us.
“Quiet down everyone, and we’ll get started on our second lesson.” I turned to look at the instructor as the hall went silent; a few lingering murmurs here and there as people finished the end of their sentences. “Is everyone standing in front of a hoop? Excellent, does everyone remember the three D’s?”
We set to work, and I tried focusing on appearing in the hoop. It was still quite a struggle, and I wondered if I would ever be able to perform the necessary magic to do it. Surely if my brother Darryl could do it, I could.
A loud crack from right next to me caused me to jump, and I whirled around to find the source of the noise.
“Oh my god,” James exclaimed loudly. He was hunched over in the hoop and staring down at the floor with an excited look marring his very pale face. I stared wide-eyed, wondering what had happened. Was that crack I heard because he had broken something?
“Did he just apparate?” I heard Isabella ask from behind me as I reached out for James, who was still hunched over.
“I feel like I’m going to be sick,” James groaned, hands on his legs, as he stayed bent over. Professor Longbottom and the Apparition teacher rushed over to him, as the rest of the class began talking in excited whispers.
“James? Do you need to sit down?” Professor Longbottom asked, as the apparition teacher held out a bottle of water for James to sip from. Worry flooded through me, and I felt Isabella take hold of my hand to try to comfort me because I couldn’t go to him. James shook his head as he took a sip of the water inside the bottle and stood up slowly, his face was beginning to get its colour back.
“I think I just apparated,” he stated, putting the bottle down on the floor outside of the hoop and took a step outside of it. Professor Longbottom and the instructor waited near him, in case they were needed again. “That sickness was horrible, I felt like I was getting sucked through a very small tube and my body was contorting to fit.”
He done it. I couldn’t believe it! Well, I could, he was clever enough to get it this quickly.
“Did you want to attempt again?” The instructor seemed quite excited as I watched James nod and prepare himself outside of the hoop. The silence in the hall was heavy, as everyone seemed to see if James could do it again, it was a lot of pressure and I let go of Isabella’s hand to cross my fingers that he would do it again.
He spun on the spot and a loud crack filled the room as he disappeared, before reappearing in the hoop. He stayed standing, although he stumbled a little and had to right himself. The hall erupted in cheers and claps, and James looked quite proud of himself, although pale again. I was so proud of him. James turned to me, pulling me into a hug, and whirling me around as he cheered loudly. I laughed as he put me down and jumped happily on the spot.
“Congratulations, Mr. Potter,” the instructor called as people around us patted James on the back in celebration. “Our first successful apparition.”
James managed to do it another once before the end of the lesson, the rest of the time he was trying to help me. Sadly, I didn’t seem to be getting the hang of it myself, and no one else seemed to either. I didn’t mind though, I was still basking in the joy that James had apparated.
“Meet me after dinner,” he told me as we all filed out of the room and William grabbed for James to hug him. I nodded and he gave me a wink before William pulled him away to talk with Ethan. Isabella and Sian were waiting for me to go with them to go to our dormitory to hang around before dinner in an hour’s time.
I looked up from the cobblestone floor that I was scuffing my shoe against, curiously looking around the corridor that I was meant to meet James in search of the person who said my name. The voice didn’t sound that familiar, but I was sure that I had heard it before.
James’ younger brother Albus was walking towards me, a stoic look on his face as he neared and I couldn’t help but feel anxious over what he wanted. We hadn’t had much - if any - conversation between each other so I had no clue what he wanted from me now.
“Are you seeing James soon?” he asked me. He didn’t seem too bothered that I hadn’t given him a greeting, he was just standing in front of me with an expressionless look on his face. He was only just taller than I was, and I took in the shagginess of his dark hair, and the brightness of his green eyes that matched his Slytherin tie. Albus and James looked a lot alike, but Albus seemed to resemble their father more, whereas James looked more like their mother.
“Y- Yeah, I’m just meeting him no-“ I began, only stuttering on my words slightly as I spoke. Albus cut over me before I could finish the sentence.
“Good, can you tell him that he’s a fucking idiot,” Albus told me. His eyes seemed to dance with darkness before he walked away. “He knows why.”
I turned to watch him walk away, staring at him with a frown as I tried to work out what had just gone on, and why I was telling James that he was an idiot. Had James done something to annoy him?
“I – “ I didn’t manage to say anything else as he turned a corner, hands shoved into the pockets of his robes.
It wasn’t long before I was joined by James.
“You alright?” he asked me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders.
“I just saw Albus, he wanted me to tell you that you’re an idiot,” I told him honestly, turning my head to look at him and away from where Albus had walked.
James gave a frown, looking up in the direction of the way that he assumed that Albus had gone.
“I don’t think those were the words he used, he normally puts a few swear words in there,” James told me as we began walking down the corridor.
“He did, I just chose to omit them.” I wasn’t comfortable swearing at James, even if it was a message.
James rolled his eyes. “My delightful brother.”
“He said you know why he called you an idiot, what did you do?”
“Who even knows?” James stated with a shake of his head, “I probably told mum or dad something that he didn’t want getting out. Or he’s just blaming me for something that he thinks I’ve done. With Albus it could be a number of things.”
“He didn’t seem too happy.”
“He never is, he’s just a massive ball of pent up emotion our little Albus,” James stated, guiding me up the stairs. I wondered where we were going and what he had planned, especially because he had a backpack with him.
“Are we having another date night?” I asked him curiously, hoping that we were, I had so much fun last time, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like now that we were dating each other.
“How did you guess?” James asked, and I realised that he was taking me to the corridor that we had our last one in.
“The backpack was a big hint,” I told him happily.
“Oh, bugger,” James said as we got to the beginning of the corridor and saw that Peeves was hovering near a statue. We stopped walking, and James pulled me quietly back around the corner before Peeves could notice that we were there. “Of all the corridors...”
“What are we going to do?” I asked James quietly, if Peeves saw us he wouldn’t let us go without some sort of prank.
“The cloak,” James told me happily, reaching for his backpack and pulling it off his back so that he could get the cloak out of it. “Ah, that might be why Albus told you to call me an idiot, I told him that he couldn’t have the cloak tonight because I was going to use it.”
“What did he want it for?” I asked him as James handed me the cloak and put his bag back on. He unfolded it and covered us both with it, he turned me around so that my back was pressed against his chest and walked slowly with his arms wrapped around me. We stayed quiet as we walked carefully around Peeves, who seemed too interested in the statue to notice us – I hoped that he wasn’t going to destroy it and have teachers come running up here.
Once we were a safe distance away from Peeves, James pulled the cloak from us and bundled it under his arm as we continued along the corridor. Curfews were beginning to start and students were heading back to their dormitories, so our corridor was deserted.
“He wanted to prank someone, but that can wait until tomorrow,” James told me happily, looking around before taking his bag off and placing it on the floor. We both sat on the floor, the coldness of the stone going through my clothes as I sat next to James. I shivered and James noticed instantly.
“It is a bit cold, isn’t it?” he stated, “Surprising considering it’s nearly May, you thought it would get a bit warmer.”
“Don’t forget it’s the night, and we’re in Scotland and a large castle,” I told him, trying not to shiver.
“Did you want to find an empty classroom?” James suggested, head resting against the wall behind where we sat as his eyes met my own. I nodded and he packed his map away and the cloak, before standing up and holding a hand out for me to take so that he could help me stand.
“And what are you two doing here?” A voice interrupted us before we could move from our spot to find an empty classroom.
“Bugger,” James hissed as we both turned to look at Professor Longbottom who was staring at us with his arms folded across his chest, and his eyebrows raised at us.
“You do know that your curfew is in ten minutes, don’t you?” he asked us.
“Is it?” James tried to sound innocent, but I knew that Professor Longbottom wasn’t falling for it, James must have known as well.
“Come on, we’ll all walk back together,” Professor Longbottom stated, and we all began a slow walk down the corridor, Peeves had disappeared from by the statue as we passed it.
It was the first time that I had ever been walked back to my common room by a teacher – who insisted on walking me all the way back to my common room and leaving James to head off himself to the Gryffindor tower once we got to the stairs. It was a little awkward as I tried to think of what to say, but nothing was coming to mind, so I was walking in silence.
“Make sure you don’t stay out past curfew again, Miss Higgs. Otherwise I’ll be writing to your parents like I will be James’,” Professor Longbottom warned me as he walked away from the barrels that would grant me entrance to the common room. I nodded at his retreating back; I wondered if Professor Longbottom was joking about writing to James’ parents? I knew that they were old friends and hoped that he was joking, I didn’t want James to get into trouble for being out passed curfew.
James appeared out of nowhere as soon as Professor Longbottom left, and I had a feeling that he might have been using his invisibility cloak to follow us down here.
“Is he really going to write to your parents?” I asked as James wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a kiss.
“Probably, dad will have a field day when he finds out,” James told me, but he didn’t seem too concerned. “Want to sneak away again?”
We had already been caught once before, and I didn’t want to be caught again. I yawned before I could give an answer, and James took that as answer enough. He chuckled, pressing a kiss to my forehead, careful to avoid where my graze was.
“Go to bed, I’ll see you tomorrow,” he told me. I nodded and tiptoed so that I could kiss him on the lips.
“Goodnight, Potter Boy,” I said, and James grinned as he pulled away from me.
“I like that,” James told me, hugging me tightly again like he didn’t want to let me go. “It makes me sound like a superhero.”
“You are to me,” I told him honestly. “See you in Potions, Potter Boy.”
James gave me another kiss before pulling the cloak on properly and disappearing from view, and I turned to tap the barrels to let me into the Hufflepuff common room. Maybe I would have some time to get some of that homework out of the way before I went to bed.
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