Chapter 11 : Roxanne, Ravenclaws, and Revealing the Room of Requirement
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It was 7:00pm. It was. Well now fifteen seconds past. Thirty seconds.
Breathe Harriet, breathe. I really did get obsessive about punctuality at the worst times. I stared at the tapestry, urging my brain to focus on something other than the seconds ticking by, and the possibility that a certain person wouldn’t show. He will show. Why wouldn’t he show? He organised this!, a comforting, calm voice said in my head.
Then why isn’t he here?!, screamed another voice in my head twenty four seconds later. That voice was anxious, and pretty much meant “fetch the healers”. I closed my eyes, standing straight and tall, listening to myself breathe in and breathe out. I calmed down slowly. It was working.
That was until something grabbed my shoulders from behind. I shrieked and whirled around, pulling my wand from my robes and holding it in front of me. “Who’s there?” I asked, warily, scanning the corridor frantically left and right.
I heard a disembodied chuckle. I shook my head slightly. I couldn’t have heard a disembodied chuckle. But there it was again! This was seriously weird.
“Merlin’s pants, who’s there?!” I squeaked, now borderline panic mode. I could feel my palms sweating and my grip slipping on my wand. No Gryffindor qualities here.
“Woah, easy there Hattie. It’s only me.” Albus said, pulling a thin and silvery cloak off his body and materialising out of thin air. He appraised me, standing there, still gripping my wand shakily and eyes now the size of dinner plates. Then he laughed loudly; apparently I looked amusing.
“You nearly gave me heart attack!” I exclaimed, finally relaxing and stuffing my wand back into my robes.
“I know!” Albus laughed again.
“Sorry. But it was worth it.”
“Yeah I suppose.” I replied, smirking. “What’s the point in having an invisibility cloak if you’re not going to use it, right?” I raised one eyebrow and looked pointedly at the silvery bundle in his arms.
Albus looked down at the cloak too, then realised what I meant.
“Oh yeah that, yeah. Right. You weren’t meant to know about that, but now I guess the Kneazle’s out of the bag! And I had to sneak out anyway...Which brings me to the point of this little rendezvous I suppose.” And with that he begin to pace, this way and that, with a look of deepest concentration.
“Wait a second.”
And then a door appeared in the wall opposite the tapestry. It just...appeared.
I blinked stupidly at it for a few seconds, saying nothing. “I really don’t know how much more of these sudden appearances I can take, you know,” I finally muttered, looking at Albus, who had been watching my reaction with a bemused expression.
“Just go in.” He said, smiling eagerly. I shot him a glance, then looked back at the door, then looked back at him. “Look at your man, now back at me. I’m a magical door.” No Hattie, now is not the time for adapting Old Snidget perfume commercials.
“Go on,” he urged, giving me a gentle prod and pushing me towards the door. Curiosity burning, I went inside.
My brain couldn’t take it in at first. I wandered in a daze, spinning around, trying to look at everything at once. I heard Albus slowly shadowing my footsteps, chuckling at my uncontrollable gasps, and probably my awestruck face. It was a huge room; far bigger than it could have possibly looked from the outside. The walls were painted a deep, royal purple, and adorned with mahogany shelving on three sides of the room – crammed with predominantly with books, but also a substantial portion of Honeydukes’ supplies. In the far left hand corner of the room was what appeared to be a kind of study nook, with a mahogany table and chairs for two, and stacks of parchment and a feathery array of quills. Opposite that, in the right hand corner, was a large rectangular marble bath, set into the floor, and with more taps than I could count. It had ‘relaxation’ written all over it. And finally, in the centre of the far wall was beautiful marble fireplace, in front of which was a squashy sofa of purple velvet, an elegant Persian rug which complemented the mahogany floorboards, and a coffee table. I made my way towards the fireplace, the warmth of the flickering fire drawing me in.
Then I noticed the objects stacked on the coffee table. Two matching copies of Hermione Weasley’s latest literary work “House elves: Choice or Chores?”, which were what I had intended to get the Scamanders for Christmas. A Muggle digital camera, which Roxanne had requested for Christmas for unknown and potentially pranktastic purposes. Two tickets to see Les Miserables in the West End, one for each of my parents. An assortment of DVDs which I’d chosen to suit the tastes of all my other relatives (it was useful that they all liked movies). Multicoloured sneakoscopes for Ivy and Rachel, because I’d thought they’d then be able to know when Roxy’s dormitory pranks were imminent. A large encyclopaedia of Muggle science for Rose, since I knew she was fascinated about life without magic. And a small black box...which I was fairly sure contained the present I’d just decided to give Albus...ten seconds ago.
The room had everything I could have possibly needed right at that moment. Everything I required...Required!
“Al, this is the Room of Requirement! The one used for evacuations during the Second Wizarding War!” I waffled excitedly.
“Trust you to be excited by history of magic at a time like this,” Albus sniggered from behind me.
I blushed, turning around to face him. “It’s amazing though!” I gushed, “Not even the history, just everything! I mean it has everything!”
“I thought you’d like it.”
“But...why are we here? I mean, I love it, but there must have been another reason for coming here than just helping me find my Christmas presents.”
“Well...” He started, stepping forward and closing space between us. “I wanted to show you that I do care about you, and that for me, the other night wasn’t just one off, even though I may have been a bit of a prick at the time because of McGonagall. And even though I’ve been a prick to you before.” He paused, frowning. “Anyway, I want to give this a real go – whether we stay secret or go public. I’m giving that choice to you by the way. I’ll stick by you whichever.“
I stood for a moment in stunned silence, lips slightly apart, my eyes gazing into his. It was a fairly impressive little speech.
“That is...if you want to be my girlfriend?” He asked, seeming to eventually realise he hadn’t actually asked me, and doubt flickering across his face.
I laughed at his wonderfully fearful expression. “Oh course I do, you idiot.” I replied, throwing my arms around his neck, still laughing at his need to ask. I felt his body shake as he chuckled into my hair, the beautiful sound making me even happier. Any happier, and I think I would have burst.
“That’s good, otherwise this could’ve have been pretty awkward,” he whispered, causing me to giggle quietly. And then we just stood, holding each other, warm and content in front of the crackling fireplace, in a complete world of our own.
“We’ll keep it secret just for now though, yeah?” I murmured in his ear after a while. I wasn’t quite ready for people to know I was dating Harry Potter’s youngest son...I didn’t want to deal with their reactions just yet.
Albus pulled gently out of my embrace, a mischievous smile now upon his face.
“I can work with that.” he said softly, before leaning in to give me deep kiss.
A/N: So there it is! A short little chapter despite my horrendous workload! Productive procrastination ;)
I really hope you enjoyed :) If you pick up typos, let me know. I don't have a beta and sometimes I read over these things so often my eyes just don't pick them up. A previous chapter had the word clothes insead of cloths....awkward because Albus and Hattie both abandoned them on the floor...
Also let me know if you think there's anything I could've done better; would be greatly appreciated! I'm finding writing about anything romantic much more challenging that I ever thought it would be, so a few words to tell me if I'm doing it remotely right would be fabulous!
Next chapter: Rose is back, oo er.
Chapter after (due to a change of heart): Roxy's back, and getting her prank on!
Thanks again for reading beautiful people - 3500 reads is a lot for me (!!!) - over and out :)
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