Chapter 2 : Need That Picture of You
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Ron flushed, embarrassed and clearly feeling awkward. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of if it’s true.”
James sighed angrily, “How many times do I have to tell you that it’s not true before you all decide believe me? It’s. Not. True.”
Lily snickered. “That’s not what Witch Weekly says.”
James narrowed his eyes in his sister’s direction, though she couldn’t see because of the sunglasses. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” Harry spoke quickly.
“Show me.” Lily happily obliged to her brother’s demand. She took the magazine from her bag and handed it to him. On the cover was him and Oliver; it started with them bumping into each other, to James taking Oliver’s arm. He had to admit; they were extremely close to one another. If it had been two different people, James would have thought the same thing. He paled at the thought.
His and Oliver’s close proximity unnerved him; how had he not realised at the time how compromising their position would look?
He roughly handed Lily back her magazine. “It doesn’t mean anything,” he denied. “It’s not true. Why did none of you tell me about it?” He was confused by the way Lily was still smirking.
“We were worried about your reaction, sweetie,” Hermione answered honestly, looking a little guilty. “You’re not exactly taking this well.”
James looked around the platform; every so often someone would look his way and laugh or a guy would wink. Whether or not they were joking, he couldn’t tell. He sincerely hoped they were. He turned back to his aunt. “Would you?”
“Seen the magazine yet, James?” Scorpius asked, smirking, as he walked past them. “It really makes you think, doesn’t it?”
For once, James had nothing to say. Malfoy was right; it was making people think. Not that he’d admit that. Instead, he pushed his sunglasses up, said good bye and left his family on the platform to get on the train. He made his way to an empty compartment at the back of the train. He locked it, sank back into the couch and sighed. Finally alone, he pulled down his hood and took off the sunglasses. He wasn’t exactly sure why he wore them; people still knew it was him. His dad had made a comment about him trying to be invisible. James had replied that he wouldn’t need them to act invisible if his father had given him the cloak like he had asked.
It felt like forever for the train to leave, but instead of feeling the usual signs of impatience, James was glad. The longer it felt like, the further away the rumor seemed; as if it was a dream he couldn’t quite remember. He closed his eyes, enjoying the first bit of peace and quiet he had since this started. But it didn’t last long.
The click of a camera startled James and he sat up quickly. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw it was just Oliver; someone who understood exactly what he was going through right now. “For a second, I thought a reporter had gotten onto the train,” he smiled a little. “New camera?”
“Yeah,” Oliver nodded. “How did you know?”
James shrugged, “You’re always carrying a camera with you. This one is different to the one you had during sixth year.”
“Right,” Oliver replied, not knowing whether to be pleased that James actually noticed something about him or dejected because of why. Though he wouldn’t tell him that. James didn’t notice his conflict of emotions. “So…” Oliver started. He wanted to say something about the situation they were in, but the thought of seeing James angry because of it made Oliver hesitate; he didn't want to be near an angry James Potter.
James raised an eyebrow. “So…?”
“Have you seen the article?” he rushed and James had to ask him to repeat slowly.
“I only saw the cover,” he answered honestly. “But if Witch Weekly has a cover, I’m not surprised they wrote something, too.”
“Witch Weekly?” Oliver asked, confused. “I was talking about The Daily Prophet.”
James shook his head slowly. “They wrote something aswell?” Was that why his family were looking so guilty? They hid that from him as well? He knew now why Lily was still smirking. Why didn’t she tell him? “Do you have it?”
“No,” he said. “Sarah does, though. You can read it at the feast if you really want to or when you’re in the common room. It basically just talks about us being ‘secret lovers in a forbidden romance’, asking if I’m only with you because you’re a Potter, did your parents even know you were gay. It’s nothing really. They’re very interested to know who I am and your father's reaction, not so much you.”
"You're a new story and they like that, but we're not important to them really. Dad won't give them what they want, though," he said, sounding more like a broken record. Oliver felt he was beginning to understand a little bit more about why James' reaction to the press hadn't effected him as much as his family or the mention of school had. He didn't care about the press. James pushed his head back against the couch, his eyes shut tight, and groaned. “This is why I don’t do good deeds. I still get in trouble.”
Oliver rolled his eyes, but couldn’t help the slightly hurt look on his face. He was glad James couldn’t see him. “I wouldn’t exactly call this trouble. Inconvenient maybe, but not trouble.”
James scoffed, not moving. “I can’t believe that I’m not even surprised that Lily would do this to me. I would never do something like this.”
Oliver couldn’t help himself; he laughed. “I beg to differ.”
Now, James sat up. “What are you talking about?”
“January, third year, I started Hogwarts and I didn’t know anybody. So I kept to myself,” Oliver started. “After a few days, people were asking why I was so quiet and instead of anyone asking me, you told them it was because I was half and half and didn’t want people to know!”
James turned red and gulped. “I am so sorry; I completely forgot I did that. I think I blocked it out along with them memory of you screaming at me and punching me in the face… Which is now coming back.” He narrowed his eyes at Oliver. “You know, I don’t think I deserved all that.”
“You told people I half boy and half girl!”
James held out his hands in surrender, “Okay, maybe I did.”
They stared at each other with serious expressions for only five seconds before Oliver started laughing, followed by James. “Well, well.” They looked up at the door. “Look at this, guys, it’s Hogwarts’ favourite new couple.” Scorpius moved to the side to allow Rose and Albus to see.
“Maybe it is true,” Albus mused. “I couldn’t truly believe it until now.”
“Wow, I keep forgetting that you three are best friends,” Oliver exclaimed in mock excitement. “And it’s only ever the three of you. Are you trying to be the next Golden Trio? Let me guess, Malfoy,” he laughed. “You and Rose are the next Ron and Hermione. It’s too bad you don’t have a sister for Albus, but you do have a cousin.”
He winked at Albus then turned to James. “Oh, wait. That can’t happen. A Malfoy doesn’t fit into that equation; it would never work!”
Scorpius lost his smile and sneered before walking away. Albus couldn’t help but smirk; he never expected that from Oliver. “Harsh, Ford.”
“Maybe I spend way too much time with your brother,” Oliver answered, looking a little guilty. “I’ll apologise to him later, it’s just getting annoying that’s all.”
Albus shrugged, “Don’t worry about it. Scor’s a big boy, he’ll get over it.”
“Still…” They both nodded and Albus left.
“How do you spend way too much time with me?” James asked. “We hardly spoke to each other till now.”
“We still hung out as a group,” he told him. “Just because we didn’t talk, doesn’t mean I wasn’t there.”
They sat in silence for a while and James couldn’t help but wonder how comfortable it was, how comfortable he was with Oliver. Why weren't we friends from the beginning?
The first years had been sorted and the start of year feast had begun. Noise filled the hall; laughter, shouting, eating, drinking. James felt good to be back. He looked around the hall one more time before turning back to his plate. Across from him was Oliver, who was sitting next to Sarah Walsh, his best friend since he had started in third year. She had been the one to stick up for him when he first came to school and James had spread the rumor. It was her who told Oliver to talk to him. James heard that they were so close because they were both Muggleborn, but he suspected it was something more than that, or, at least, besides that.
“So, Oliver,” he said, deciding to act on his thought of him actually becoming his friend by getting to know him. “Why do you always carry a camera with you?”
Oliver took the camera from his pocket and took a picture of him, “Because I want to be a photographer. One day I’ll be the one taking pictures of you, getting all the juicy gossip. Unfortunately, that way I won’t get as big a part in your life as I am now.” He winked at him and Sarah starting laughing.
Maybe I don’t want to be his friend after all, he thought. But James could tell he was only joking. “Shame,” he answered instead, playing along. He balanced his elbow on the table and cupped his chin in his hand. “I’ve been seeing you in a whole new light since I saw that picture in Witch Weekly this morning; the way we were, the feel of your hand in mine. The thought of being with you is so…” he sighed.
Everyone around them turned to Oliver wanting to know what he’d do next. He watched James as he felt his cheeks go hotter and could see that James was trying not to laugh. He wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. Oliver took another picture before James had a chance to move. “It will forever be known that James Sirius Potter tried to seduce me today.” The other housemates starting laughing again. James groaned, disappointed he didn’t get the reaction he had been hoping for. “Don’t mess with me, Potter, you know what will happen.” He put his hand into a fist and wiped it on his robes, pretending he was polishing it.
James scoffed, “That was so lame. How old are you?”
Oliver stood up, “About the same age as you. No one says lame anymore.” He rolled his eyes dramatically and started to leave, Sarah following. "And before you get the wrong idea, no, I don't actually plan on being the one taking your picure when you go on to play Quidditch professionally, like you think you will. I want to be a professional photographer."
“Did you see?” Sarah shouted when they were alone in the Gryffindor common room. “James was watching you leave.”
“'So'? What do you mean ‘so'?” she asked. “James Potter doesn’t watch anyone leave! This rumor could be so good for you two. You’ll finally get your guy!”
Oliver stopped her from saying any more. “James is not my guy. He’s not even gay.”
A/N: Edited. For now. Let me know what you think? :)
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