Gorgeous chapter image done by niika @ TDA (:
The next week flew by with not much happening. The same events happened every day; breakfast, a few lessons, lunch, a few more lessons, dinner, homework, and then bed. Charlee's secret rondez vous with Scorpius had completely evaporated, and whenever they found themselves to be alone in the same corridor, both turned around and headed back the way they had come from. Charlee had turned into practically the living dead. She refused to hang around with her friends, and avoided all confrontation with any of them, including Albus. She hadn't been able to look Albus in the eye since their first day back; she didn't want to admit that Scorpius was right. She didn't want to admit that he was right about anything, even though, secretly, she knew it was true.
By the weekend, many people had stopped trying to make conversation with her; they had agreed that it was useless. But Albus wasn't going to give up.
Late Friday evening, Charlee was sat in the corner in one of the puffy armchairs, reading a book called Quidditch Through The Ages, which Albus had leant her last year. She then heard the Fat Lady portrait creak open, and she looked up. As she looked up and spotted Albus coming through the portrait hole, she hastily shoved a bookmark into the middle of the pages, and closed the book, starting to get up. Albus rolled his eyes, and pushed her back into the chair, before pulling up a stool, and sitting down.
“Hi.” he said, eyeing her up and down.
“Erm...hi.” Charlee replied, feeling extremely uncomfortable under his gaze.
“You're avoiding me.” it wasn't a question. It was a statement.
“No, it's not that...I...I just have stuff going on.”
“Stuff? What 'stuff'?” he asked, in a very unconvinced tone.
“Just...stuff! Stuff I don't want to talk about!” Charlee grabbed her book, and got up, and started making her way towards the girls dormitory staircase. Albus was much faster than her though. He caught her arm, and pulled her onto the sofa.
“I understand if you don't want to talk about this 'stuff' with me, but there is no need to ignore me. You're my best friend Charlee – and it is starting to get incredibly boring talking to myself throughout History of Magic.” he glanced at her, a slight grin on his face. Charlee grinned back, and they hugged each other tightly.
“I'm sorry.” she mumbled into his shoulder. Albus chuckled.
“It's fine – I know I am crap company sometimes.” Charlee sighed, and shook her head, pulling back slightly so that she could look at him.
Now or never...
“That 'stuff' I was talking about?” she glanced at Albus, and he nodded, signalling her to continue. “Well, you see...every night since...last March – accept in the summer holidays – I've been sneaking out at night to see....to see...um...I've been sneaking out at night to see-”
“You're secret boyfriend that you haven't been telling me about?” Albus finished for her. Charlee was shocked.
“How do you know about him?!” she blurted out, before she could stop herself.
“It helps having a cousin in the same dorm as you...” Albus said, and Charlee growled. Rose.
Rose Weasley was Albus' cousin. She had brilliant red hair and dark brown eyes, and was the smartest person in their year. She was also in the Gryffindor house, and was in the same year as Charlee and Albus.
“And speaking of the devil...” murmured Albus, as none other than Rose Weasley appeared at the bottom of the girls dormitory staircase.
“I heard my name?” she asked, as she wandered over to them, and sat herself down on Charlee's other side.
“I was just telling Charlee of that little birdie in her dorm, who has been telling me of her late night wanderings-”
“Oh yes!” Rose turned to Charlee, a grin on her face. “Who have you been meeting?”
“It was a boy.” Albus said. “She reacted when I said 'boyfriend'-”
“Well, that was kinda of obvious.” pointed out Rose. Charlee laughed, and Rose grinned, while Albus blushed slightly.
“Look, I'd really love to stay and find out who Charlee's secret admirer is-” she winked at Charlee “- but I kinda of have to be somewhere.”
“Look who's doing some late night wandering of her own.” Albus said, and it was Rose's turn to blush. She stood up, and straightened her robes, and ran a hand through her hair.
“Do I look okay?” she asked, turning to Charlee. Charlee was slightly taken aback – Rose had never, in the six years of knowing her, ever asked whether she looked nice or not; she was one of those girls who didn't care what people thought of her.
“You...you look fine.” Charlee mumbled, still slightly shocked. Rose grinned, and practically skipped out of the portrait hole. Charlee turned to look at Albus; her expression was mirrored on his face.
“Who was that, and what have they done to Rosie?”
The next day, in the middle of Potions, Scorpius Malfoy pushed open the door to the damp dungeon room, and entered, walking straight over to his desk, and getting out his cauldron and ingredients. Professor Slughorn glanced up at him, as the rest of the class, including Charlee, turned to watch him unpack his bag.
After a few minutes silence, Professor Slughorn spoke up.
“Mr Malfoy – would you care to tell me why you are half an hour later for my lesson?” he enquired. Scorpius looked up, and his gaze swept the room. His grey eyes fixed on Charlee for a minute, a slow smirk spreading along his lips. He then looked at Slughorn.
“Not really Professor.” he answered, earning himself some laughs from the Slytherin's in the room. Most of the Gryffindor's rolled their eyes, and were about to get back to their work, when the door burst open for a second time, and a rather messy looking Rose entered the room, hurrying over to her desk behind Albus and Charlee's, and started unpacking her belongings.
There came a slightly irritated sigh from behind the desk at the front. This was surprising – Professor Slughorn rarely got irritated. He was incredibly thick-skinned; even if a 1st year came up to him and told him he was a stupid, great, big, fat, clumsy idiot, he'd just smile, and simply agree with them.
“Miss Weasley?” he asked. Rose turned to look at him.
“May I ask where you were too?” A panicked look struck Rose's face. Her eyes scanned the classroom, and at last stopped at Scorpius. His eyes widened slightly, but he quickly hid it, and looked away.
Charlee narrowed her eyes suspiciously. She could remember the times where she had appeared late in class because of being with Scorpius.
She quickly dismissed those thoughts. She didn't want to think about her 'past with Scorpius'. He was behind her now.
Slughorn cleared his throat at the front of the class. “This is a verbal warning, Miss Weasley – please don't be late for my class again.” Rose nodded, and sat herself down, and the usual chatter that echoed around the room started again.
As soon as the attention was off them, Charlee and Albus turned around to look at Rose. Her breathing was heavy, as if she had been running, and she looked slightly flustered – but there was an unmistakable grin on her face.
“Where have you been?” hissed Albus, a hint of annoyance poisoning his tone. Rose chose to ignore him.
“Oh it was wonderful!” she exclaimed, but quietly, so that only Charlee and Albus could hear her. “We were up in the Owlery all night long! We were looking out of the window, and he was telling me about the different names of the constellations, and pointed out some particularly bright stars to me. He picked one, and he said that it was now called Rose.” the blush rose in her cheeks, but she carried on. “Then we huddled under a blanket all night, with his arms wrapped around me, and my arms around him...it was just bliss-”
“Who was this boy anyway?” Albus asked, the annoyance rising in his tone. Charlee covered her mouth with one hand, trying to suppress a laugh; it was hilarious when Albus got over protective and annoyed.
“Does it really matter, Al?” Rose asked, a dreamy look spreading across her face, and a faraway look appearing on her eyes.
“Yes, it does actually-”
“Albus – just leave it. Let the girl have a bit of time to herself.” Charlee said softly, placing a hand over Albus', and giving it a gentle squeeze. She knew it must have been hard for him; him and Rose had grown up together.
Albus nodded, and squeezed Charlee's hand back, before they both dropped their hands, and carried on working, a strange, and slightly uncomfortable silence settling between them.
Suddenly, there was two knocks on the door. Slughorn put down his quill, and gave an annoyed sigh.
“More interruptions.” he murmured, before raising his voice slightly. “Come in!”
Charlee heard the door open, and footsteps approaching, and walking past her desk. She decided not to look up; she would never finish this potion in time. And if she didn't, McGonagall would probably be down her neck about her grades – she had barely passed her Potions O.W.L.'s like she had with Transfiguration.
Slughorn cleared his throat once more.
“Would Rose Weasley, Albus Potter, and Charlee Moore please pack up their belongings, and follow Mr Wood out to the Quidditch pitch?”
All three heads sprang up at once. Quidditch.
Half an hour later, the three where standing on the Quidditch pitch, dressed in robes of mainly red, and gold, with their broomsticks leaning against their shoulder pads. The Gryffindor Quidditch Team was made up of seven players:
Jacob Wood was the Keeper, and the team Captain. His father, Oliver Wood, had been a former Gryffindor, and had made the Puddlemere United squad. Jacob was in his seventh year at Hogwarts, and he had dark brown hair, and was quite a burly person – despite his appearance, he was full of energy, and always ready to help anyone out.
Emily Wonders was one of the three team Chasers. She was in her seventh year too, and was vice Captain. She had silvery blonde hair, and was quite pale, for her mother was part Veela, making her part Veela too. McGonagall at first had not wanted her on the team, because she was sure that she would distract her team. McGonagall had been wrong though – the team were so used to her, that they barely noticed that she was a Veela; the other teams, however, were less fortunate.
Rebecca Lewis was another Chaser. She was in her fifth year, and had deep purple hair, which she dyed constantly. She was a great fan of muggle equipment, and often brought lots of new muggle items up to the common room for everyone to see after each holiday.
Jack Thomas was one of the Beaters. He was a fourth year, and had a bigger build than Jacob – he was one of those people that looked like, if you dared cross their path in the corridor, he would beat you to a pulp. But, really, Jack was completely the opposite. He liked to bake cakes, and he looked after his grandmother over the holidays, while his mum and dad went away.
Rose was the last Chaser, and Albus was the Seeker. Charlee was the other Beater.
The team quietly gathered in a semi-circle, with Jacob standing at the front, looking extremely important and pleased with himself.
“Alright team – Professor McGonagall informed me this morning that our first match is against Slytherin-” this news was greeted with a chorus of moans. Slytherin always found out a way to cheat – their latest tactic had been to chuck bludgers at the Chasers, then at the Beaters, then at the Keeper, and then to crowd around the Seeker, and ambush him. Luckily, it hadn't worked very well, apart from against the Ravenclaws – their whole team had been in the hospital wing for about two whole weeks afterwards, their injuries were so bad.
“But I have a new game plan!” he said, a grin breaking on his face. This, too, was greeted by louder groans. He rolled his eyes.
“You lot are a bunch of miserable sods sometimes.” it was the teams' turn to grin. He chuckled, and walked over to the trunk that contained the four Quidditch balls, and stood next to it. The team crowed around him.
“The tactic is simple – Jack-” he looked over at him. “- your job is to guard all the Chasers. The Slytherin's seem to have changed their tactic, and they won't be going for the Chasers much any more. Now Charlee-” he turned to look at Charlee. “You are to guard Albus.”
“But what about you?” Charlee asked, frowning. “What if a bludger gets you? Then the Slytherin's will have three open goals. It won't matter who catches the snitch.”
“I know, I know. But if we catch the snitch quick enough, just this time, then we will win the match pretty quickly.” Jacob pointed out. Charlee nodded, but still felt like this wouldn't work. If they knew that their Keeper would be unguarded, naturally, they'd go for him.
“Now – you three.” he looked at Rose, Rebecca and Emily. “You need to score as many goals as possible - distract the Slytherin's from Albus.” the three girls nodded. He then turned to Albus.
“Keep your eyes peeled for the snitch – Malfoy has an incredibly fast broom, and is quick witted. If you see him dive, don't dive unless you see him following a golden ball.”
“I'm not stupid.” Albus said, his eyebrows raised, a look of insult on his face.
“I know but...” Jacob sighed. “It's my last year, and I really
want to win the Quidditch Cup. It's Callum Flint's last year too, and he wants to win nearly as badly as I do.” the atmosphere suddenly changed. They needed to win the cup this year. For Jacob.
Since the team was silent, Jacob spoke once again.
“Well – let's get up in the air.” the silence was broken with loud whistles, and cheers, and Charlee mounted her broom, before kicking off from the floor.
As soon as she was in the air, all her worries flew away. All she cared about was the fresh air blowing through her loose hair, and the cheers and shouts of her fellow team mates. When she was in the air, she was home.
Jack soared into the air after her, and flew next to her.
“Alright Charlee?” he said, grinning. Charlee grinned back.
“I am now.” she said, and he smiled.
“I'm glad to hear it.” Charlee smiled back, and flew down to the other end of the pitch. Her and Jack always kept their distance while playing Quidditch, so that they could protect their own team, as well as batting bludgers at the opposing team.
Down below, Jacob had released both bludgers, the snitch, and now threw up the quaffle.
Rebecca caught the large ball, and started racing towards the abandoned goalposts. Jacob mounted his broom, and reached the posts just in time to whack away the quaffle. Rebecca scowled, and Jacob laughed, winking at her.
“Better luck next time Beckie.” Rebecca blushed, and flew off to the others.
Charlee raised an eyebrow, and looked at Jack. Jack was grinning at her. He wriggled his eyebrows.
“Oooooh, Beeeeeckie!” they both chorused, and the whole team burst out laughing, apart from Jacob and 'Beckie' who were both sat on their brooms, looking embarrassed.
The team practised for another hour. After half an hour, though, Rose told everyone that she needed to finish off an important Potions essay due in for the next day, so the team had been left with only two chasers, so they'd decided to play a quick game of Three-A-Side; Albus, Charlee and Emily, against Jacob, Jack and Rebecca.
After the short game – which Charlee's team won by four goals, despite the other team having the Keeper on their side - they all headed up to the common room, hot and sweaty, but laughing, and nudging each other. Quidditch was hard work, but it was always worth it.
As they were passing past an empty classroom, Charlee stopped walking, and pressed her ear against the door. Moans, and hushed whispers could be heard from within.
Charlee frowned, and looked ahead of her. The team had walked around the corner, and were out of sight.
Slowly, she pushed down on the handle, and gently eased the door open, wincing as it gave a soft creak. She poked her head in, and gasped. Clothes were lying in a scattered line on the floor, trailing up towards a desk. Ontop of the desk, two people, a male with platinum blonde hair, and a female with dark red hair, were in the middle of...
The male closed his eyes and let out a groan, the female following close in suit.
“I love you, Scorpius.” Rose whispered.
“Love you too.” Scorpius murmured back, as their lips met. Charlee's eyes were filling with tears, as she pressed a hand to her mouthing, hoping that she hadn't made a noise.
“But...what about that other girl you told me about?” Rose asked, straightening up, and looking at him.
“She's ancient history.” He murmured, glancing at the door, and locking eyes with Charlee, his mouth forming a smirk. Charlee let out a sob, and darted from the room, flying up the stairs, and not stopping till she reached the common room. She stuttered out the password, ignoring the Fat Lady's questions, and rushed inside, running past Albus, who shot up at the sight of her crying, and she ran all the way up to her dorm. She threw open the door, and flung herself onto her bed, her sobs coming faster and louder.
A second later, Albus burst into the room.
“Charlee?” he asked tentatively. Albus had never been good at cheering people up. He crossed the room awkwardly, and Charlee felt the mattress go down a bit, as he sat down next to her. “Are you okay?”
Charlee looked up at him, with an irritated look on her face.
“Do I look okay?” she asked, raising an eyebrow, trying to stifle her sobs.
“Umm...I guess that was, uh, a bad question, hey?” he grinned sheepishly, and Charlee had to laugh. Albus smiled slightly, as Charlee slid up into a sitting position, running a hand over her eyes, and letting out a tired sigh.
“Hey – wait a sec...” Albus mumbled, as he fumbled around in his Quidditch pockets. After a while, he pulled out a crumpled, but unused tissue, and handed it to Charlee. She smiled at him, and wiped her eyes with it, before crumbling it back up in her hand, and looking down. Albus sighed, and tilted her chin back up to look at him.
“What's the matter?” he asked.
“Nothing.” Charlee said. She couldn't tell him about Scorpius – he'd kill Rose if he found out...then kill her...
“That didn't look like nothing.” he said, and Charlee smiled slightly, before sighing.
“You really want to know?” she asked. He nodded. She frowned, and looked back down at the crumpled up tissue.
“There was this guy-”
“The midnight wandering guy?”
“Yeah. Him. And when we were, um, walking back from Quidditch, I...I heard a noise, and walked into the room and h-he was there with an-another g-girl. And they were t-talking ab-b-bout me. And h-he said he d-didn't care about m-me any more.” after saying this, Charlee broke into a fresh set of tears. Albus frowned, and reached over to pat her back awkwardly.
“I feel so useless Albus.” she whispered, her bottom lip wobbling slightly. It felt as if her whole world had been turned upside down.
“Don't say that – Charlee, you are never going to be useless-”
“But I feel like it!” she said, gazing up at him. Albus shook his head, and gently cupped her face in his hands.
“You might feel like it right now. But I'm telling you – you are not useless at all.”
“That's easy for you to say – you just haven't had some guy that you loved serenade another girl-”
“No, I haven't – I'm straight.” he grinned at her, and Charlee had to smile slightly.
“See – that's better.” he smiled back at her, as he thumbs stroked her cheeks softly. “Anyway – you'll soon find another guy, who's better than him.”
“But no guy I know likes me like that...”
“Are you sure?” he asked, before he leant his head down, and softly kissed her lips.
A/N: Hey! I hope you enjoyed this chapter, even though it was probably the most boring out of the...well, the two xD
But yes – Albus kissed Charlee! But what will happen to the pair in the next chapter? O_0 All is to be discovered...
:L Sorry, my appalling Professor Trelawney impression is over – please rate and review, it really makes my day :D