Chapter 3 : So this is what the early morning looks like...
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lovely chapter image by Magic_Phoenix ~ what a lovely looking fellow. yum.
“GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FU-UN, OH GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUUUUUN!” I warbled, shaking the shampoo out of my hair as I stood under the piping hot water of the shower. Honestly, this may be the highlight of my entire week, this shower.
Nothing like a good ol’ shower at the end of a long day with cheesy music blasting across the apartment, blocking out the noise from the bloody bunnies upstairs.
Mmm... almond and honey scented shampoo. Lovely.
With a deep sigh, I twisted the squeaking knob of the shower and let the water drip to a stop, standing in the cold bathroom and letting the icy air bite against my goose-pimpled skin. I grabbed the old towel from the towel rail and dried myself off, dabbing my feet dry on the bathmat.
I gave the radiator a hopeful kick on the way into the living room – well, the cupboard sized thing that dad managed to squeeze a small couch into – but nothing happened.
My wet hair clung to my back in straggles as I headed into the kitchen, which was just off the living room, hunting for something to eat. I pulled open the first cupboard, which was empty bar a bag of brown rice (ooh, yum. Nothing like rice before bed, you know) and closed it with a frown.
Next stop was the fridge. Half a bottle of milk, a carton of orange juice, a lettuce, a pack of pork pies, a pot of salsa and a ready-made fruit salad in a plastic container. Ew. Checking the only cupboard left in the kitchen, I found a half finished box of cereal and a granola bar.
I need to go the store. Can’t be bothered.
Pouring the cereal into a bowl (and chucking the now empty box into the overflowing bin) I poured the majority of the milk bottle on top of it. Pulling a spoon out of the sink and wiping it clean on my towel; I headed back over to the couch.
My arse had just made contact with the cushions when there was a violent hammering on the door.
Bloody shit. Hissing out a couple of expletives and running to the bedroom to pull on my dressing gown over my towel, I headed back over to the door. The impatient so-and-so on the other side had started hammering again.
I would have peered through the peephole to check who it was, but my building wasn’t fancy-arse to have something like a peephole. Molly has a peephole. In her stupid, fancy, peephole-filled building.
I yanked it open and glared at the person on the other side of the door. I resisted the urge to start pummelling my head against the doorframe.
“Turn that shit down, will you?” The man barked. I never did learn his name – all I know is that he lives next door to me, has a suspicious number of scantily clad women head over to his apartment every night and stares at my arse whenever I’m in the ‘lobby’ getting my mail.
The lobby is really just a tiny room with the door to the building on one side and the mailboxes for every apartment on the other.
“Sorry, I didn’t realise it was so loud. It’s not like you ever play music that I can hear, is it?” I snapped, pulling my robe tighter around me and trying to pull the wet hair off my neck. Mr Muscles rolled his eyes and went to walk away.
“Just turn the shit off, yeah?” He slurred, before lolloping off down the corridor and slamming his door shut. The brass number 12 on his door swung from side to side ominously.
“AIMEE BROOKLYN WOODS, OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR THIS INSTANT.” I shot up in bed and spat the hair out of my mouth groggily.
“What the fuck is going on?” I groaned, wincing as my feet hit the cold floorboards. I really need to get carpet for this place. Eh, what the fuck am I talking about? I can’t afford something like carpet. If I could, you can believe me when I say I wouldn’t be living here.
“AIMEE, I’M SERIOUS. OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR OR I WILL FUCKING RAM IT DOWN!” What twat is yelling at this hour of the morning? I glanced the alarm clock on the bedside table.
8:30. Urgh. If the sun is only just up, then I shouldn’t be.
“AIMEE – YOU HAVE FIVE SECONDS.” Shit. I can’t afford to have the door repaired. So I guess it’s get up or eat all my meals with mum and dad and Brent for the next month. My little brother doesn’t seem to understand that I outgrew having pea flicking wars when I turned ten.
I yanked the covers off my legs and swiftly crossed the room, trying to take as few steps as possible to prevent getting frostbite of the foot area. I though summer was supposed to be fucking warm.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I shrieked to whoever was on the other side of the door. Surely they’ve woken up half the fucking building by this point. Oh shit, I’m going to get egged tonight, aren’t I?
I pulled open the door, and my jaw fell slightly slack. Mark was standing on the other side, a newspaper clutched in one hand and a magazine clutched in the other, his expression completely livid, his eyes blazing.
“I knew it!” He yelled. I pulled him into the apartment quickly and slammed the door shut behind him. “I knew you were going to meet a bloke yesterday – I don’t know how, but I knew it!” I cocked an eyebrow.
Has waking up early for Jack every morning finally pushing him over the edge?
“What the flipping fuck are you talking about?” I asked tiredly, pulling my hair into a bun with an elastic from the coffee table (fifteen pounds from a charity shop last year, and it’s still standing – take that fancy bitches who fork out a fortune for furniture) and glaring at my so called brother.
“Would you care,” He stared, in a voice brimming with forced calm, “to explain this.”
He threw the magazine and paper at me, before parking his arse on my couch and staring out the window moodily. Well, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
“Where’s Jack?” I asked, without even glancing at whatever he had shoved at me. Mark glanced over at me for a second, a smirk playing slightly on the corner of his lips. He shrugged, flicking his curly brown hair off his forehead.
“At home, why? I figured he’d be alright for a bit while I came over here.” My jaw fell open as Mark shrugged again, turning his attention back to staring out the window.
“Mark! For the love of god, tell me you are not serious! You cannot leave a three year old child in a flat on his own, god knows what kind of trouble he could get into – sometimes I swear you don’t even think, you complete fucking twat –” I cut off when Mark doubled over in hysterics.
“Fucking hell, Aimes, do you really think I’m that shit of a dad? He’s with the parents. Bloody hell.” Chuckling under his breath, he headed off to the kitchen to rummage for food. Yeah, eat all my food – you’re the one with the job, you tosser.
“Is this all you have?! Bloody hell Aimes, no wonder you’re looking skinny lately.” I rolled my eyes and dropped down on the end of the couch, sighing.
There was a dull clunk of a bowl, and then silence. And then Mark marched back into the room, brushing a few more of his curls off his forehead. His eyes were back to being angry, and his arms were tightened across his chest.
Well, someone’s bipolar.
“I forgot, I’m pissed as fuck at you. Read those fucking articles now, and then explain yourself.” I’d only ever seen Mark this angry once before, and that was after he found me in the Gryffindor sixth year boy’s dorms the morning after some party.
I’ve never seen anyone yell so loud. Or go such a bright shade of purple. Or beat one bloke so hard. He was in the hospital for a week afterwards.
I remember James Potter coming in and physically restraining Mark – they were quite good friends in Hogwarts, being on the same Quidditch team and all. They both took the same view – I was the innocent little Hufflepuff that needed protecting.
Load of shit, of course. I can take care of myself just fine – and it’s not like Mark is Mr Responsible, anyway.
I flopped the newspaper down onto the couch and perched myself on the arm, pulling open the issue of Witch Weekly – why does Mark even have that? – and flipping to the dog-eared page.
JAMES POTTER’S NEW SWEETHEART
Whilst on a jog through Central Park yesterday, James Potter was snapped spending time with a new girl – a girl that has never been seen before. With James Potter never being private about his personal life, suspicions have been raised here at the Witch Weekly office.
Does James Potter have a new girlfriend that nobody knows about?
I rolled my eyes and glanced up at my brother. “So James Potter has a new girlfriend, why are you telling me?” I asked, and Mark just scowled at me.
“Like you don’t know. Just keep reading.” He snarled back, before glaring back out of the window as though the glass itself had offended him.
I did as I was told, and glanced down at the large picture under the first two paragraphs. I recognised the James in the picture – it was the same James that I had crashed into yesterday. Same baggy grey jogging pants and thin white muscle shirt, same headphones around his neck and same smirk plastered on his face. His hand was curled around the arm of the girl opposite him.
But it was the girl that made the bottom of my stomach drop into my colon. I recognised the long, curly black hair and the large canvas bag on the floor next to her foot. Because the girl was me.
After interviewing Bethany Noel, the ex-girlfriend of James Potter, who attended Hogwarts at the same time as him, she confirmed the mystery girl to be Aimee Woods, the younger sister of Mark Woods – who was on the Gryffindor Quidditch team whilst Mr Potter himself was Captain.
Miss Woods, 20, is currently unemployed, as she was recently made redundant from her job as a receptionist in St Mungos. The pair were seen together in the park, holding each other and laughing. Why James Potter has decided to keep this relationship private is unknown, but we all wonder how long it could possibly last if he isn’t even willing to tell the press.
Harry Potter, 44, declined a statement on whether or not he approves of his son’s new girlfriend, and James Potter is yet to be asked to confirm this sudden relationship.
The whole mystery has the wizarding world on edge – surely this situation will become clear soon.
What the fuck? It always amazes me how some of these reporters – oh Rita Skeeter, what a surprise – can take something as simple as crashing into a bloke in the park and turn it into something like this. What a load of utter bullshit.
“So?” Mark asked, and I looked up. He was glaring at me with his eyebrow raised. “Would you like to tell me why you told me you didn’t have a boyfriend? I even asked you yesterday, for fuck’s sake! And James Potter, of all people! Jesus Aimee, how could you think you were going to keep something like this from me?! I’m so fucking pissed right now, to find out about this through the paper,”
“MARK, WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!?” I yelled, dragging my hand through the tatty hair that had fallen out of the bun and was flopping forward into my eyes. Mark, for once in his fucking life, actually did as he was told.
I dropped onto the couch next to him and scanned the article in the Daily Prophet – it was pretty much the same thing, just an extended version of what they could possibly assume from a picture of James Potter touching my arm.
I dropped my head onto my knees. There were a few tense moments of silence, until Mark broke it, and it shattered like glass between us.
“So, are you going to explain yourself?” He asked tightly. I ran my hands through my hair again and glanced up at him. I felt angry – annoyed. How could he possibly believe something as stupid as me dating James Potter, just because some crummy magazine said so?
I was his sister, for Pete’s sake. How could he read something in a paper – when it was quite obvious that it was all uncertainty and speculation – and make a snap judgement based off of it? It wasn’t fair – it was far from it.
“I’m not dating James Potter, you tosser. I would have thought that much was obvious.” I snapped, and Mark’s eyes widened slightly. “I ran into him – literally – in the park yesterday, and he helped me up. Then he continued on his merry fucking way – we’re not dating. I would have told you if we were.”
Mark blinked at me for a moment, his eyes narrowed in suspicion as he tried to read my face for any signs of dishonesty. It always bugged Mark that I was a good liar – half of my ex boyfriends would be six feet under if I wasn’t.
“Oh. I’m sorry.”
My head snapped up in shock. Mark never apologised to people – he was far too cocky for that.
“Then you’re forgiven, I suppose. But ever wake me up at this time of the morning again and I will rip your fucking balls off.”
Our charming conversation was interrupted by an owl tapping at the window. It was a handsome owl, its glossy black feathers sleek down its back and its black eyes scanning the room. It looked expensive, nothing like the owl that Brent, Mark and I shared.
Francois, for all of you who were wondering – Brent named him. He thought it was unique.
I pushed open the window as wide as it would go – which wasn’t very far. The bird was large, and had to squeeze through the five inch gap. Our building owner seems to think that we like being treated like prisoners – next there will be fucking bars across the glass.
I grabbed the parchment off the bird’s leg, ignoring the pointed look that Mark was sending me as he attempted to find out who it was from without asking.
Amy Woods, the envelope read.
Immediately something angry bubbled in the pit of my stomach. It was something so simple – the misspelling of my name. There wasn’t that big a difference between Aimee and Amy; they sounded exactly the same. But it was what the incorrect spelling indicated that made the irritation eat away at the pit of my stomach.
I glared at the paper for a moment before tearing the top off the envelope and pulling out the letter.
Irritation bubbled in the pit of my stomach again, and I had to force myself to glance down at the rest of the letter. I noticed a lot of crossings out and ink splodges, as though the letter had been difficult to word.
Hi. It’s James Potter – Molly’s cousin. Oh wait, you know that. Yeah, so I think you may have read the article in the paper this morning. I’d be surprised if you hadn’t, but just in case, I’ll give you a brief summary. The press were in the park yesterday when you ran into me and took pictures without us knowing – they’ve now assumed that we are dating.
I need to talk to you about this – seriously, it’s important. Just do me a favour and don’t talk to any press or anything about it, and don’t deny it to people – not anyone that could talk to the press, anyway. If you can, could you tell them that we’re –
There was a particularly large scribble here, so much so that the deep ebony ink had seeped through the parchment and left a mark on the other side.
In fact, it doesn’t matter. Just don’t talk to people about it full stop. I need to meet you in private to talk about it – meet me in the Leaky Cauldron at two this afternoon, and wear sunglasses or something – keep yourself on the down low. And look nice. Yeah. Look nice. Nice clothes and whatnot, just in case there are any press there.
Yeah. So, thanks. I know this seems vague, but I’ll explain it all later. Thanks a bunch,
James S. Potter.
“So who is it from then?” Mark barked, and I snapped out of my surprised state to glance up and stare at him. What the bloody hell is going on?
James Potter wants to meet me this afternoon so he can talk to me about the complete shit that the magazines are writing about me, and is asking me not to tell the press that what they wrote is a complete load of bullshit and they need to go die in a hole and live their pathetic lives away from the rest of us.
Not that I would say something like that. Well, not unless they said something to me first.
Pfft. What do you mean, I have a short temper? I have a very long temper. It’s like the fucking golden gate bridge, my temper. I just don’t like irritating people very much. Or rude people. Or idiots. Or condescending jerks. Or patronising twats. Or people who think they know better than me. Or... well basically, I’m not a people person.
“Are you listening to me? Who is it from?” Mark asked, and without another moment’s hesitation he stood up and whipped the letter out of my hand.
“James Potter!? James buggering Potter! What the fuck does it even say?” That was right around the point that I leapt onto the couch, bounced off the cushions and up onto my big brother’s back. I grabbed the letter and stuffed it down the front of my top, ignoring Mark as he gagged.
“You have to go. I’m going back to bed and then I have to get ready.”
“Get ready? For who?” Mark asked as I started to shove him towards the door, ignoring his offended glares and the way he was stumbling over his own feet.
I gulped slightly and shoved Mark through the doorway, throwing him his magazine and paper that had been left sitting on the coffee table.
“James Potter.” And before he had a chance to say anything else, I slammed the door shut in his face. What the fuck is going on here?
disclaimer: i own nothing that you recognise. that all belongs to the person that owns it. the song lyrics especially do not belong to me, and are from the song Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. it all belongs to her - all of it. yeps.
hey look! fast update this time ~ go me! i also have the next chapter written, which is the biggest of all of them so far. im kind of excited to see your reactions to that one - but we're on this one. so ill just shut up now. so what did you think about this one?
ellie :) xx
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