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Chapter 40 : The One With The Return of Harry
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“Have you made my blanket yet?” William asked as soon as James joined the two of us on the field. Isabella was gone when I woke up this morning, and I found William strolling around looking bored outside the Great Hall. Well, I say I found him, but he was the one to run up to me and begged me to go onto the field with him because James was at Quidditch practice. We had been on the field ever since just talking with each other, and eating the sweets, that William always seemed to have on him.
“No, be patient, I’m working on it,” James told him, before lying back on the grass and throwing an arm over his face. He was still wearing his Quidditch uniform from his practice, and I knew that he wouldn’t change anytime soon because the match was this afternoon. I didn’t understand why he had practice this morning; I figured that their captain would want them well rested.
“Right now?” William seemed hopeful.
“No, not right now. I’ve just finished my practice.”
“I feel like I’m never going to get this blanket,” William seemed to trail off at the end; giving a short laugh, when I turned to him he was looking in a different direction. I jumped when I spun my head around and saw Harry Potter stood above me, seeming to appear out of thin air. He winked at me before moving over to James and nudging him in the side with his foot. James groaned before moving his arm and peering up at his dad, a frown settling on his face.
“Why am I not surprised that you’re here?”
“Did I miss the match?” Harry asked ignoring James’ question as he nudged James in the side again with his foot.
“No, it’s not till tonight,” James stated as he got up from the floor and stretched his arms above his head. He was taller than his dad by about a head, but that didn’t seem to faze Harry as he poked James in the chest, a serious look crossing his face.
“You’re lucky that you weren’t banned from the next match for punching that kid,” Harry stated in a low tone, and I nervously wrung my hands together, eyes looking around to see if anyone was watching us. Quite a few people were.
“He deserved it,” James stated simply with a shrug, “he was being a jerk.”
“What did I tell you about violence?”
“Don’t get caught,” James suggested with a sly grin at his dad, who didn’t seem impressed by the answer.
“You’re lucky that Neville was around to stop you before you done any real damage,” Harry reprimanded James. “I’m not paying for those classes if you’re going to use them to have fights with your classmates and almost get kicked out of school.”
“It wasn’t his fault, Harry,” William piped up as he came to stand next to James in solidarity. I stood up as well, but stayed a bit to the side. I wasn’t sure what I could say to defend James in this situation; I didn’t want to make things worse. “It was a good punch though.”
“You’re lucky your mother hasn’t come down here. She was livid when we got the letter about you.”
“Dad, he deserved it. I wasn’t going to have him bad mouthing Abigail,”
Harry glanced at me, before looking back at James and clapping him on the shoulder. He opened his mouth to say something, but was distracted by James’ cousin Roxanne walked over to us reading a magazine. Harry reached a hand out as Roxanne came over to us, and put it around her shoulders to pull her in for a hug.
“What are you doing here, Uncle Harry?” Roxanne asked as she wrapped her arms around Harry. She was still in her Quidditch uniform too. Harry didn’t answer her question, instead staring down at her hand.
“What have you got there?” Harry asked, nodding down at the magazine that Roxanne was holding. She moved it quickly behind her as she moved away from him and gave a shrug. She was trying her best to look disinterested, even I knew that was a mistake, and I barely knew Harry.
He darted quickly towards her, feigning going to her right so that she moved and he snatched at the magazine with his left hand. Roxanne tried to take it back but Harry moved out of the way and let his eyes scan over the front page. From what I could see of it, it was a teenage girl’s magazine that I used to get once upon a time, with a group of people I didn’t know plastered on the front page.
“Give it back, Uncle Harry,” Roxanne cried, jumping up and trying to pull Harry’s arms down in an attempt to reach for the magazine. It was to no avail. James seemed amused next to me, and I knew that he was just thankful that his dad was focusing on someone else and not embarrassing us.
“Oh no, what’s so amazing about this magazine? What are you hiding?” Harry opened the magazine and turned away from Roxanne, who was trying to jump up his back in a bid to get it back. I wonder how long this was going to go on for until someone got hurt.
“Please, Uncle Harry. Just leave it alone, it’s just a magazine,” Roxanne tried to tell him and I heard Harry scoff as he stopped in the middle page, before giving a loud triumphant laugh.
“Oh, I see why you were guarding this with your life, there’s a poster of that Wasps Beater Jason Turner in here.”
James’ face seemed to light up at his father’s words as he turned to look at Roxanne.
“I thought you didn’t have a crush on Jason,” James cooed at his cousin, she jumped down from Harry’s back and walked over to James, punching him in the arm as hard as she could. It sounded painful, but I knew that James deserved it a little.
“I don’t,” Roxanne screamed her cheeks were red from embarrassment as she kicked at James and stormed away from us, shoving Harry out of the way as she run off.
Harry turned to grin at me as he held the magazine out; I reached for it tentatively remembering how awkward the last meeting with him was. I couldn’t believe that I had seen James’ dad twice so far.
“You know, if I didn’t know any better I would think that you were stalking me on purpose,” James said coming to stand next to me. I was thankful that he done so, because I was worried about what Harry would say to me next in an attempt to embarrass us. “You can’t just stroll into Hogwarts whenever you feel like it, dad. There are school rules.”
Harry scoffed at James’s words and shook his head as he waved his hand at a group of students who were looking at him curiously.
“I saved the world, you know,” Harry said turning back to face James with a smug look on his face, but attempting to act as innocent as he could. I honestly didn’t know why he was even trying to look innocent. “I think that entitles me to come to Hogwarts on the odd occasion.”
“I’m telling mum,” James threatened and Harry laughed aloud as he shook his head. “I’ll say that you’ve been following me.”
“Good one, James. If you must know, I’m here on official Auror business, very secret, very important. I just figured I would use that as an excuse to reprimand you for fighting.” Harry played with the sleeves of his robes, fingers undoing and redoing the cuff links of his shirt underneath as we waited for him to elaborate. It must be quite bad if he was here, he was the Head Auror after all.
“Are you going to tell us what’s going on?” James asked curiously.
“Are you an Auror?” Harry shot back, grinning mischievously at the look on James’ face when he didn’t reply. “Now if you don’t mind I have an important meeting with Neville. Oh, wait, there’s Albus – if you see Neville tell him I’ll be late.”
“Dad!” James called as Harry began walking across the field; the sound seemed to have alerted Albus who had been standing with Fred. A look of horror crossed Albus’ face before he began running as fast as he could back to the castle; Harry was hot on his heels as he sprinted after his son.
“Err – “ I began not knowing what the hell to say.
“I wish that I could say this was a first, but it’s really not.”
The mystery of Harry’s appearance was answered when Isabella came back from her Defence Against the Dark Arts class and informed me that Harry was giving a speech in it. I knew that he had come a few times to give talks, so it made sense that Harry was there for that. I was glad that he was here for an actual reason and not because he wanted to embarrass us, although from what Isabella told me, James was called to Professor Longbottom’s office later that day. I was unsure as to why, but I assumed it had something to do with his dad.
“Is that Harry Potter at the teachers table?” Sian asked and I whirled my head around to face the top table. I hadn’t bothered to glance at it once I had come into the room and now that I did, I could see Harry sitting next to Neville. “I thought he would just be here for the talk?”
“I can’t believe that he made me and James believe that he was here on official Auror business, when it was actually just to give a talk.”
“Albus doesn’t look too happy about Harry being here,” Sian stated, nodding her head in the direction of the doors. I turned around and saw Albus beginning to head towards the Slytherin table with a look of thunder on his face.
We weren’t the only ones to notice that Harry had joined us for dinner, the sounds of the students excited whispering to each other filling the hall. Glancing at Harry again, I saw that he was trying to get James’ attention, but to no avail as James seemed to be avoiding his eye. I hoped that Harry wasn’t going to do anything to draw attention to us, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.
“Oh shit, Harry Potter is coming over here,” Isabella hissed and I looked up so quickly my neck cricked. I hissed as I rubbed my hand across the skin on the back of my neck and stared in horror at Harry who had taken the free seat next to me. I was aware of the hall going quiet as he sat down, but I wasn’t sure if that was because I could hear my own blood beating in my ears as panic began to fill me.
“Don’t look so worried, Abigail,” Harry said calmly, reaching for a plate of chocolate cake and cutting two slices of it, passing one to me. “I just want to talk to you without James interrupting.”
I nodded slowly, eyes glancing across the hall to find James, but only seeing the faces of the other students staring back at me. I quickly looked back down at the cake in front of me.
“I shouldn’t have chocolate cake, Gin has banned me,” Harry admitted as I dug my fork into the dessert, trying to gather up the nerve to talk back to him. I was so nervous that I could feel my hands shaking.
“I ... Did you sort out your official Auror business?” I asked Harry tentatively.
“Oh, yeah, I was only really up here because James punched that boy and Nev had to tell me. Gin was busy and I was in the area –“
“Were you in Hogsmeade?”
“No, back home.”
I knew that his home was nowhere near Hogwarts, but didn’t say anything. Harry both confused me and scared me a little.
“I would have gone home sooner but Nev convinced me to give a talk in a few classes,” Harry told me. There was a scoff from near us, and I glanced in the direction of where it came from, James’ cousin Louis was shaking his head and smirking as though he didn’t believe Harry.
“So, Mr. Potter,” Isabella stated, leaning on the table and resting her cheek on her hand as she regarded him. “Have any embarrassing stories about James that you want to share?”
I raised my eyebrows at her daring and she gave a shrug at my reaction.
“I have so many.” Harry sounded genuinely happy as he brought another forkful of cake up to his mouth. I glanced around the hall again and, although, the chatter of the students surrounding us had risen again I knew that many people were listening in. I still couldn’t see James and wondered if he was still even in the Great Hall?
“Did you know that James used to run around naked when he was younger,” Harry said louder than before and I felt embarrassed on behalf of James for having stories being shared about him. There was a bit of laughter from those around us, one louder than the rest of them and all attention went back to us. “Refused to put his clothes on, Gin and I thought that he was going to get a career in stripping.”
“Oh my god, this is hilarious,” Isabella laughed, the entire table seemed enthralled by the conversation.
“Tell them about the police incident with William,” Louis suggested to Harry, whose eyes lit up.
I wanted to know all about them, but I wanted James to be the one to tell me, or have Harry tell me when we weren’t surrounded by people we went to school with. Harry seemed to have noticed my reserved look because he shook his head at Louis’ suggestion.
“I’ll save that story for another time,” Harry stated, reaching for another slice of chocolate cake. I was still eating mine slowly. “Just like all of my other stories about him. He was a weird kid growing up –“
Another loud laugh caused Harry to turn in his seat to face the Slytherin table behind us, I turned my head curiously to see that Albus was sat behind us. He must have been the one laughing so loudly when Harry was spilling tales about James.
“I don’t know why you’re laughing so hard. I have a lot more stories about you,” Harry threatened and Albus instantly stopped laughing to shot his father a dark glare. It was quite a scary look, but Harry seemed unfazed by it. “You better make sure that you eat all of your vegetables or I’ll be telling them all about your alter ego.”
Harry turned to face me as I looked at him in confusion, wondering what he meant.
“Albus used to play dress up with Lily when he was younger,” Harry whispered into my ear, leaning closer to me so that no one else could hear. I sniggered without meaning to as Harry leant away and continued eating his second helping of cake.
“Darryl used to do that too,” I admitted quietly to Harry, pushing the cake around my plate with the fork.
“Who’s Darryl?” Harry asked me curiously, although there was a slight edge to his tone that I couldn’t quite place.
“My brother,” I told him slowly.
“Oh. Tell me more about your family,” Harry said, turning to face me and giving me all of his attention. It was unnerving how it felt like he was looking into my soul.
“What are you doing?” James appeared at our table before I could say anything else, William sat down beside Isabella, nudging her over with an elbow to the side.
“I’m getting to know Abi,” Harry said trying to sound innocent as James reached for my hand and tugged it gently. I stood up and tried to ignore the feeling of everyone’s eyes on me.
“Come on, let’s go before dad can embarrass me any further,” James said to me before looking back at his dad. “I thought that you were here to talk with Uncle Neville.”
“I was and we talked. Official Auror business.”
“You can’t use that excuse to just turn up here and interrogate my girlfriend,”
“Well, if you brought her over in Easter when I asked you to I wouldn’t have had to come up here – on official Auror business. I just wanted to get to know the infamous Abigail.”
James didn’t say anything else, walking away from the table and heading towards the entrance as I trailed after him, waving at Harry as we left. Harry waved back as he stood up.
“Your mother wants you to write to her,” his voice echoed around the hall and James waved a hand above his head to show that he heard. We managed to make it to the doors before Harry’s voice sounded again. “Use protection!”
I wanted the ground to swallow me up so that I could disappear and have this never happen. I could never look my classmates or teachers in the eye again.
I could feel the eyes of everyone on me, and it was making me feel uncomfortable. Isabella was smirking next to William and I knew that they were getting joy out of seeing me squirm.
“I’m surprised that Harry isn’t trying to sit with us,” Isabella stated as I slouched in my seat and tried to make myself as small as possible.
“I think that Professor Longbottom has made sure he’s sat with him,” I said, nodding in the direction of where Harry was sat with the staff members.
“I’m so glad that I don’t have a dad as embarrassing as Harry,” Sian stated softly as we waited for the last of the spectators to take their seats. “I’m not sure how James has handled this.”
“He’s been through a lot worse,” William said as my eyes trailed over the grounds. The entire school seemed to come out for the last match of the year, the stands a mix of Ravenclaw and Gryffindor colours. I was following Quidditch a bit more than I had been before when I was friends with Michelle, but I still didn’t understand the points system at all. I was just excited to see James on the pitch.
“This is why Aunt Ginny doesn’t let him out on his own, he can’t be trusted,” William told us. “She must have turned her back and he snuck out.”
“I can’t believe he’s in charge of the Aurors,” Isabella stated. “I bet he’s the best boss. I’m tempted to become an Auror just so I can hang around with him all day.”
“I would suggest dating one of his children, but you should probably just date me instead,” William said coolly. His statement made me turn around to look at them, and my eye caught Sian’s as the Isabella and William stared at each other.
“You’re an idiot,” Isabella said with a laugh, before a fond smile crossed her lips and she slapped William on the thigh. I noticed that her hand stayed resting on it, and he had his arm around the back of her seat, hand resting lightly on her shoulders.
I still couldn’t believe that those two were still denying anything was going on between them. This must have been what it felt like to everyone when me and James were dancing around each other and not admitting to our feelings out loud. It was a little frustrating to watch.
“Stop watching me and focus on the game, Sutton,” Isabella warned as the commentator announced the two teams and they flew onto the pitch. I couldn’t help but be distracted by them both instead of the game, feeling my eyes being drawn back to them whenever I wasn’t watching James on the pitch. I wasn’t sure if they noticed half the time the way that they sat with each other, both leaning on the other, lingering touches and whispering in each other’s ears. I would have to make it my mission to get those two together before the end of the next year, I knew that James would help me with it.
Gryffindor lost to Ravenclaw sadly, but James didn’t seem too beat up by it, congratulating the other team on the field whilst Ravenclaw house seemed to erupt around us. I still had no clue whether this meant that Ravenclaw had won the cup or not, but Isabella seemed to be rubbing it in William’s face that Gryffindor had lost so I could only assume that Gryffindor hadn’t won it.
A/N: Who noticed a little connection with Beat It? :P
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