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Rush by daylight

Format: Novel
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 49,438
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Humor, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Albus, Hugo, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, Scorpius, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing, Rose/Scorpius, James/OC, Lily/OC, OC/OC

First Published: 10/14/2014
Last Chapter: 03/05/2018
Last Updated: 03/05/2018

Summary:





"We fight crime now, Josie. We'll be wearing catsuits. Ergo, the two of you need to sort out your sexual tension before you jump each other's spandex-clad bones."

Josie Deetrin's universe of daydreams comes crashing into reality in a cracking cacophony of mysteries, madmen (also women, if you count Dom - which Josie absolutely does), and magnificent displays of shameless adolescence.

Josie's story will continue on HPfanfictalk ~


Chapter 3: tumble











TUMBLE

















My fingers can’t leave the little scar alone, as if by touch I can knead out the truth of it.


My gaze is vacant, my vision crowded with shades of grey, the wet sand vanishing into the heavy fog, the ocean rumbling and rolling and toiling, an inky grey brew. The breeze is an icy finger that chills my dew-damp bones, and I just can’t stop playing with the raised circle on my skin. It’s smooth and warm and perfectly round. Adrenaline is bubbling up from my core to coat my lungs and accentuate my pounding heart. I can hear it in my ears, feel my skittering pulse in my fingertips. My legs are tingling, and as there is nothing tangible to fight, my body is ready to take off in a panicked, fluttering flight.


I drag in lungfuls of the cool, moist air. My mind is playing through the night on fast forward, going through the evening’s events once, then again, then once more in reverse.


Did Charlie Kline try to hurt me? Did he hurt me? Have I been cursed?


I am suddenly seized by a fierce, primal desire to find my mother and have her tell me everything is okay. It doesn’t occur to me in this moment that she is thousands of miles away on her dreaded business trip (the one she moaned and groaned about, the one they had to schedule the week I left for school, the one that they didn’t even need her for, not really, and did I think she could get away with pretending to be ill?), for I am nearly aching with the need for her to take a look at my neck and shake her head filled with motherly knowledge, and coo and fuss my fears away. Oh, that? That’s nothing, Josie. That happens to everyone at this age.


The ocean breeze has me shivering, so I slowly turn to go back inside.


My hand trembles as I reach for the door handle, and I hold the chilled brass knob in my grasp for a shivery moment before turning it. I lean against the door and let my weight quietly push it open. I hover in the doorway on my tiptoes, teetering on the precipice of these next few minutes.


I’ll have to tell her. I’ll have to quietly tiptoe to Dom’s bed and shake her awake. I’ll have to watch her annoyance shift into concern as she takes in my expression - the fear and the surprise and the paranoia taking turns morphing my face - and she’ll ask what’s wrong and I’ll ask her could you take a look at something, and I’m sure it’s nothing but could you check? I’ll turn around and lift my hair with shaky hands and wait, wait while she stares at a little circle on the back of my neck. She won’t know what it is, or why it’s there, and I’ll have to explain Charlie Kline to her. And the thought of trying to sum up Charlie Kline in a neat little box that can be easily opened and examined makes me feel nauseous.


I’m worried she’ll tell me it’s nothing, and I’m worried she’ll tell me it’s something.


I wish my mum were here.


“It’s cold Jose, shut the door,” Dom mumbles from underneath her blankets.


I step into the room and shut the door behind me. I lean against it for a moment with the knob still in my hand. Her room is as light and comfortable as the rest of Shell Cottage. Pale wood floors, cream walls with white trim around the large windows. The furniture is upholstered in pastel blues, creams, and light grey. Shell Cottage is a continuation of the sand and sea themselves, and it calms my fraught nerves.


How could anything be wrong or, or sinister with so much light pouring through the windows, when the happy, airy color scheme makes any dark thoughts about a classmate seem silly and impossible? It’s like waking from a bad dream to find that it’s morning, and everyone knows that monsters can’t be hiding under you bed in the light of day. I am exhausted, and hungover, and nervous for the new school year. If I showed Dom the little circle, she’d probably laugh and say nice zit, Jose, you should have it framed before falling back asleep. Maybe I burned my neck when I was curling my hair. The nice, neat, normal answers are endless.


I take a deep breath before pushing off and softly padding across the floor to her bedroom door, gently easing it open. I can hear the shower running in the bathroom down the hall, so I quickly walk over to Victoire’s old room - recently converted into their mum’s office - and slip inside. I skirt around the treadmill and shimmy past the too-large-but-totally-gorgeous desk to get to the attached powder room. I flip on the light and pause for a moment, before gripping the edge of the sink and staring at my reflection in the porcelain-trimmed mirror.


The monsters-can’t-get-you-in-the-day theory hasn’t stopped my forehead from furrowing, or released the tightness from around my eyes. Aching tendrils of the inevitable hangover headache are coiling inside my skull to squeeze my brain in consistent, dully painful pulses. My eyes don’t display my panic like I thought they would, the mix of grey in my irises swirling over the blue to cover it like a fog. I just look stressed, the sleepless night wearing on the delicate skin beneath my eyes, tinging it a murky purple. My gaze lingers on my lips, studying the frown pulling down at its corners, and suddenly I can’t help but remember Al’s soft, insistent lips against mine, his teeth dragging against my lower lip, that groan in the back of his throat and my responding gasp, lips parting as my hips pressed into his -


My grip tightens around the edge of the sink.


A knock on the door, “Josie, you in here? Louis’ spending a literal lifetime primping and won’t get out of the bathroom.”


“Just a sec,” my voice is shaky, and it’s not from fear.


I hear her move away from the door and then a loud shit! as she stubs her toe on the too-large-but-totally-gorgeous desk.


I give myself one last, determined stare in the mirror, “No one wants to hurt me.”


I might try to hurt you if you don’t wash your face, dear,” the mirror replies in a cool, calm voice, “No one likes clogged pores.”


“Sod off,” I mutter, but turn on the tap to rinse my face anyway.

 

 

 








 

 


"Louis, I swear to god if you hit me with that thing one more time ­- ow, what did I just fucking say?"


"Dominique, could you please not swear right now? It'd be lovely if we could at least pretend like our family isn’t completely abnormal.­”


"Oh, I'm sorry Victoire, I didn't realize we were going for normal, what with that fetching shade of puke you're wearing.”


"It's sage, and it's fucking on­-trend in the muggle world, alright?"


"Oooh, topical. You're so in the know Vic, so cultured, a bona fide lexicon on hipness."


“Okay, rude? What’s wrong with you? And why is Josie drooling into her tea?"


I jerk my head up, my eyes blinking open at the mention of my name. The bustling, overcrowded cafe inside King's Cross station is bright with morning sunlight, and so loud that the noise has become one mass of sound crashing into my eardrums, swirling and churning inside my aching head. Our tiny, rickety table teeters as a swinging briefcase jostles its spindly legs, and suddenly there's more tea outside my cup than in it.


Dom glares at the businessman's back as she mops up the tea with a wad of napkins, "Asshole."


Victoire leans back in her chair, her eyes narrowed at the side of Dom's face, "Seriously. What's up with you two? Josie, you look like you'd rather be dead than here.” She frowns for a moment, “Al’s party a little too exciting last night?”


I nod and Dom elbows me in the side, “We’re fine, we just didn't sleep well because someone snores like a foghorn -­”


Louis stops crunching a newspaper into a ball to throw at Dom's head to glare at her, "Oi, I don't snore."


Dom levels him with her gaze, "How would you know? You're asleep. So listen to your big sister when she says that your room sounds like an active train station as soon as your head hits that pillow."


Louis rolls his eyes and chucks the paper ball at her, “Whatever,” and he gets up to get a refill on his tea.


Victoire closes her eyes for a moment as she shakes her head, fingers massaging her temples, "I can't believe mum and dad had to work. I have so much to do today.”


We’ve arrived an hour early for the train, and we’re all running on very little sleep. I take a moment to study Victoire, and it takes a trained eye to notice that her hair is slightly less shiny than usual, and the area under her eyes is a faint, hardly detectable shade of violet. For Vic, this must mean things are really taking a toll.


“Everything okay, Vic?” I ask.


She sighs, drumming her nails on the table, “Oh, it’s fine, really. It’s just-” She pauses before her face suddenly gets very animated, “okay, my boss is such an ass, a total misogynist who never accepts my drafts on the first round even though they’re impeccable, trust me, and I’m working sixteen hours a day in a field that, now, I’m not even sure I want to be a part of.” She sighs again and shakes her head, “Working in fashion was supposed to be about creating and admiring truly great works of art, but it’s just -” she rubs at her eyes, “consumerism and advertising and sell sell sell.”


Dom rolls her eyes, “I could have told you that. You’re the only one who thought high fashion was about ‘pushing the envelope’ and ‘inspiring future artists’ or whatever.”


Vic narrows her eyes, “And I have a completely unsupportive sister who becomes certifiably cruel when she’s hungover.”


Dom doesn’t even blink, “What a tough life you have, Vic. Tell me, are you aware of the fact that there are actual wars going on in the world? And famine? The Kardashian plague?”


Victoire scoffs and I can tell by the neutral look on her face that this is an argument they’ve had before, “Oh, like you’re going to go and save the world when you graduate? No, you’re going to do something that serves your best interests, just like everyone else. I’m just the only one who’s willing to burst your little ‘golden child hero’ complex.” She stares at her sister’s frown, before frowning herself, “I don’t like saying this to you, Dom, I’m not trying to crush your dreams or whatever. I’m only trying to convince you that saving the world is a very poor-paying job, and a person like you will never get accustomed to the demands of that lifestyle.”


Dom looks as if Vic’s words have had zero effect on her as props up her hand in her chin with a smirk, appraising her slightly ruffled sister, “Classic disenfranchised Slytherin, thinking your cynicism and ‘outsider opinions’ mean you actually know anything about anyone.”


Classic Ravenclaw, thinking she can use big words to beef up her poorly-planned, ill-advised arguments against her fabulous and far more talented big sister.”


“‘Big’ being the operative word.”


“What’s that supposed to mean?”


“Nothing. Just, well, maybe the stress of your job and you being so comfortable with Teddy has caused you to, y’know -”


“To what, exactly?” Vic seethed.


Don’t, Dom,” I cut in, head pounding from all the pettiness, “just stop, alright?”


Dom sighs, “Fine,” she squirms as I look at her and she sighs, “Vic, you’re not fat. You look just as stupidly great as you always do, okay?”


Vic rolls her eyes but smiles, “Yeah, well, I’m sorry your hangover sucks so much. I get the same way. Teddy leaves for the day whenever I’m hungover.”


Dom smirks good-naturedly, “True love.”


The sisters grin at each other, and I shake my head. I’ll never understand siblings.


“Hey,” Louis says on his way back over to us, and nods his head in the direction of the large clock hanging from the ceiling, “It’s twenty till. Might as well go and get good seats.”


We stand up and gather our things, pushing our heavy trunks and precariously perched owl cages on carts towards Platform 9 3/4. I fall a little behind the group as I stop to check on my eagle-owl, Keats.


“Hello, Keats,” I murmur, and he gives me a distinctly disgruntled look. He’s never liked the journey to Hogwarts.


“Keep up,” Victoire calls back to me, and I hurry to push my cart through the crowd after them. Louis is pretending to use the barrier as support to tie his shoe, while Dom and Victoire gaze disinterestedly at the harassed looking Muggles bustling around them. No one spares them a single glance.


“Ready then?” Vic asks as I join them in leaning casually against the barrier between platforms 9 and 10, “Let’s go.” And we gently lean our way through the barrier.


Platform 9 3/4 is bursting, and we push our way through the crowd of sniffling parents and red-faced kids, screeching owls and hissing cats. The platform is just as loud as the crowded cafe, but the energy here is so uplifting and excited that the sounds seem to sweep me up rather than crash against me. The air seems to literally hum with magic - like an orchestra warming up, discordant notes bouncing playfully off one another - and my heart leaps with excitement, my limbs tingling and my lips stretching to accommodate an unwitting grin.


As I skirt around a mother trying desperately to wipe off a bit of dirt from her son’s face, I can feel the tension uncoiling from my shoulders, the innocent promises of Hogwarts reminding me how very safe I am. The scarlet steam engine of the Hogwarts Express is gleaming and full of its own promises, and I can’t wait to curl up on one of the crushed velvet seats and lean my head against the window pane, watching London disappear as I’m steadfastly pulled towards my favorite place in the world. I already feel a bit ripped in two as I think of London disappearing around a corner, leaving half of me behind in this bubbling metropolis.


“Josie,” Dom tugs on my arm, “We’re going to say hullo to my aunts and uncles,” She shoots me a sly smirk, “Want to come or save us a seat?”


I pretend to think about it, “And say, ‘Oh, hello Mrs. Potter, what a fine son you have!’” Dom laughs and I shake my head with a smile, “No thanks. I’ll save us a spot and then I’ll see you after the prefects meeting.”


Dom nods and is off to join the large clump of people standing at the far end of the platform.


Handing my trunk and Keats to one of the porters, I board the train with a giddy smile on my lips. I peak into compartment after compartment as I walk down the train, and each happy and excited face I pass seems to fill me almost to bursting with a joyful, buoyant feeling.


“Josie! Over here!” I look ahead and see Rose waving me over from a compartment several doors in front of me. I grin and run over, catching her in a hug that sends us crashing into the compartment doorframe, laughing all the while.


“It’s almost like they didn’t see each other eight hours ago,” Davis drawls to Scorpius from their seats by the window, and his girlfriend Eloise swats him playfully.


I grin at them both as I let go of Rose, “Shut it, you. I haven’t seen you in nearly twelve hours!”


Davis smiles back in spite of himself, the first-day-back-excitement infecting him too, “Cheers, Josie. Here, have a seat. We have loads to tell you about what we got up to last night.”


Rose shakes her head, “She can’t Dave, we’ve got the prefects meeting, remember?” She pushes her hair back nervously, “Josie, where’s your prefect badge? You haven’t forgotten it, have you?”


I roll my eyes, “No dear, it’s in my pocket, see?” I pull it out and pin it to my Ravenclaw sweater, “No need to fret, it’s all going to go fine.” Movement out the window that looks out on the platform catches my eye, and my stomach drops when I think I see a tall, broad-shouldered boy with dark hair pass by on the platform.


“If you’re looking for Jude, don’t bother,” Davis says carefully, his eyes watching my expression, “he’s not sitting with us today.”


I blink at him, “What? Why?” Davis merely shrugs and Eloise won’t meet my gaze. Scorpius runs a distracted hand through his hair.


Rose tuts, “We don’t have time for this. Interrogate them later, alright? I need your support in keeping the younger prefects in line. What if they won’t listen to me?” She worries quietly as we make our way to the prefect’s compartment.


I laugh a little, “Rose, darling, you’re quite possibly the most intimidating girl in our year. Give them a few biscuits in the meeting and then look at them with your signature disapproving stare - yeah, that’s the one. See? It’s even giving me the collywobbles right now.”


“Oh, shut up,” She mutters, but she’s smiling a little when she pushes open the door to the prefect’s compartment.


We’re not the first to arrive, and I follow her up to the front of the room in case she has more nervous energy to dispel before she starts the meeting. Rose smiles at the new Head Boy, Henry Renner, and he gives her the same queasy grin right back.


“Oh, cheer up you two,” I say in the kind of conspiratorial way you only can when you’ve been working together for this long, “You’re going to do brilliantly. Remember, everyone but the new fifth years voted you in! And all the teachers signed off on it. We’ll all listen to you, honest.”


Henry gives me a grateful smile, “Thanks, Deetrin, but it’s not you we’re worried about though, is it? The Slytherins have never really listened to the Heads, and the student body’s bigger than ever, what if there aren’t enough of us to keep them in line? Christ, I think I’m going to faint -”


“Henry,” I grit my teeth against the pounding in my head and grip him lightly by the shoulders, “You need to chill out. We all know you, we all like you, okay? We can do this. Just have confidence and don’t worry about it too much, alright?”


He and Rose nod and say together, “Right.”


I give them a thumbs up because I’m not certain what else to do and wander over to the food table, taking a biscuit but not having the energy to eat it. I sit down in a seat near the window, and lean my head against the window pane. More people are filing in, and my eyes unconsciously look over every time someone new enters the room. I say hello or smile to most everyone who comes in, and I’m listening to Denise Laineman go on about her holiday in Greece when I see him come in over her shoulder.


He smiles at the people nearest to him who say hello, and his eyes flit over the faces of everyone gathered until they land on me, and he stops where he is. I hold his gaze and watch as, slowly, his eyelids droop a little and his lips curl up at the corner to form that crooked smile, the one that makes me want to be in on his joke. I smile a slow smile back, and his eyes crinkle at the corners. I can’t concentrate on Denise at all, I feel like I’m throbbing, like my pulse is reverberating around the small compartment. I bite my lip to keep from grinning and he swallows, and I want to laugh a giddy laugh. Then someone claps Al on the shoulder and it breaks our stare as he turns to say hello. That single, intense moment - that lasted only a few seconds but seemed to stretch and yawn luxuriously - felt like every excited, thrumming moment I’ve felt since I got onto the platform condensed into one heady, intoxicating gaze.


I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect him. The urge to laugh hasn’t gone away.


“Okay, everyone,” Rose calls, and the noise settles down as prefects find a seat. Moments later the train lurches into motion, and I watch as the platform gets farther and farther away, until we round a corner and it disappears.


See you later, London.


I don’t pay very close attention to Rose and Henry as they explain to the new prefects what the job entails. Instead, my eyes keep landing on the back of a certain boy’s head. I like the way his hair kind of curls at the nape of his neck and around his ears. I like the forest green sweater he’s wearing today. I especially like the way the sweater fits across his broad shoulders.


“So, now that the Fifth Years have been paired, Henry and I will move on to the Sixth and Seventh Year prefects.” Rose steps back to let Henry have a go at lecturing, and she looks around the room until she spots me, and I give her an encouraging grin. She makes a ‘I’m just glad it’s over’ face and I nod sympathetically.


“Alright, so Rose and I figured that it’d be hell and just overall pretty confusing if we messed with the prefect pairings that Molly Weasley set up last year,” Henry pauses and clears his throat before adding with a wry smile, “and last night the former Head Girl informed me that if I ‘mess with her perfectly calibrated and well-analyzed prefect partnering’s that maximize efficiency and produce sufficient bonding’ she’ll have my head. And she scares me, so,” everyone laughs and Henry’s tense shoulders seem to relax a bit as he carries on, “So thanks for making it possible for her to threaten me at your party, mate,” He directs at Al, who just shrugs good-naturedly with that crooked smile, and people laugh again.


Henry looks down at his notes, “So the only prefects without partners would be my old partner, Eric, and Rose’s partner Josie, and you’ll be partners if you’re alright with that.”


People turn to look at me and Eric so I just nod and smile, trying not to notice Al’s smirk out of the corner of my eye.


“Josie, Eric, wave and say hello,” Henry directs, so I look around until I see Eric Gallahan on the other side of the room and we share an over-exaggerated, sarcastic wave that makes us both grin.


“Brilliant, now that’s settled, let’s talk about who will be patrolling where. Rose, d’you mind?”


Rose steps forward to talk rounds and I tune out a bit again. I’ll either be patrolling my old route or his. I hope we get mine - Eric and Henry patrolled the Entrance Hall floor and the grounds by the greenhouses, which would be pretty to walk through but hell during the winter months. As I’m considering this and absently looking at the back of Al’s head, I can see Eric’s eyes looking over at me. We’ve barely ever spoken, and I’m sure he’s wondering, like I am, if these patrols will be dreadfully boring together or at least a little amusing. I unconsciously meet his gaze, and we share a small smile. I’m just wondering how much longer the meeting will last when the back of my neck suddenly aches with a stabbing persistence, like I’ve just been stung.


Air hisses through my teeth, my hand flying to the back of my neck. The little circle stings sharply and painfully, and my fingers knead at the scar, my mouth curled up in an unpleasant grimace. As it grows warm beneath my touch, the stinging subsides into prickling tingles.


Denise leans over, hand on my shoulder, “Josie? You alright?”


My fingers keep rubbing at the little circle even though all traces of pain are gone. “I’m fine, yeah. Sorry,” I give her a sheepish smile and she smiles back before returning her attention to Rose. What was that? I’ll have to tell someone.


My stomach lurches anxiously.


The meeting ends a few minutes later, and there’s a great shuffling and a lot of chatter as all the prefects attempt to leave the room en masse. I linger at the back of the crowd and watch as Al make his way over to me, a smile tugging at his lips.


My eyes follow his movements as he steps up next to me, my shoulder briefly brushing against his arm, and I can’t help my smile when he says, his eyes alight with amusement as he looks down at me, “Hi.”


My heart rate picks up as I look up at him,“Hi.”


He runs a hand absently against the stubble on his jawline as he sighs dramatically, “So we didn’t get partnered for prefect rounds.”


We shuffle forward a little as the mass of prefects shoves its way through the door and down the hall, and I shake my head sadly, “It’s a great shame.”


“A real tragedy,” Al nods in a would-be serious way, and the giddiness is bubbling up inside me again.


“Should we protest?”


Al places one of his large hands on the middle of back so we don’t get separated, as if it's a totally ordinary thing for him to do, “I’ll lead the revolt. I’ll turn over the food table if you’ll throw around some chairs.”


I look at him mock-aghast - my eyes unconsciously assessing his dark eyelashes and the light freckles on the bridge of his nose - my mood feeling lighter than it has all morning, “You can’t upend the food table! Think of all the perfectly good snacks, just gone to waste because you weren’t allowed to follow me into dark corners of the castle.”


The smile at the corners of his lips is reaching a real grin as he leans in close to me, “You’re right, I hadn’t thought about all the biscuit casualties.”


My grin is surely matching his in size and in brightness when I spot Rose waving for my attention from the back of the crowd. Al follows my gaze, and quickly tucks a lock of my hair behind my ear - something he seems rather fond of doing - and lets his hand fall to trail his thumb lightly down my jawline.


“Later, gator,” He says with his crooked smirk.


I quirk my head to the side to appraise him, and hardly notice the annoyed prefects jostling around our stationary forms, “In awhile, crocodile.”


He gives me one last crinkle-eyed smile before he turns and is carried away by the current of impatient prefects. My heart is skittering in my chest as I turn against the tide to get back to Rose, the feel of Al’s touch on my jaw tattooed on my skin. I bite my lip to keep from grinning too big as I make it back to the prefect’s compartment. I can’t stop the smile even as Rose frets about the success of the meeting, or while I help her tidy up the snack table and stack the chairs against the wall. There’s just no getting around it.


Flirting with Al Potter is such a rush.

 






 










Hello! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it! Please review with any comments, questions, or concerns you may have! How do you feel about the way Josie's handling the little circle? Do you like the delacour-weasleys? And Al! Always, always tell me how you feel about Al :)

Nora xx


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