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Muggle Studies by RogueSlytherin

Format: Novella
Chapters: 16
Word Count: 40,301
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Mild violence, Scenes of a sexual nature

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Albus, James (II), Rose, Scorpius, OC
Pairings: OC/OC

First Published: 12/11/2018
Last Chapter: 05/30/2019
Last Updated: 05/24/2020

Summary:

Gorgeous banner made by Aurevoir

 

James wanted a summer away from the expectations of the wizarding world, but falling for a muggle wasn't supposed to be part of the syllabus. 



Chapter 3: Chapter 3

 

 

My eyes rejected the little light that made it through the thick curtains. It made finding my clothes all the more difficult. I rounded up all but my shirt and decided it was good enough for a first attempt. My ears were ringing when I sat back on the bed so I pressed my hands against them on either side.

 

“Sleeping beauty awakens.”

 

Why was she screaming? I squinted towards the noise, but could only make out blurry figures. One of them was moving towards me. It made a sound again so I took my hands away from my ears and was able to hear, “I made coffee.”

 

One of the blurry forms offered me a mug, which I accepted. The shapes started to turn into actual figures and I was finally able to take in my surroundings. Not that it mattered, I still had no idea where I was. I took a sip as the ringing in my ears lessened slightly.

 

“Cheers,” I whispered before taking another sip.

 

I looked around the room again trying to find anything to work off of when my eyes finally rested on the brown haired woman taking a seat across from me on her dresser. Well, actually she was sitting on a pile of clothes, but they were sitting on her dresser. The rest of the room was further evidence of a disaster zone - it’s a wonder we’d found the bed in our state. There were boxes and suitcases stacked about the room with clothes and shoes strewn over different piles of books. I was never getting my shirt back.

 

“There’s probably scones in the kitchen. Could make eggs if you’re peckish, but they usually make me see the whole night in reverse if you know what I mean...”

 

She spoke too fast for me to follow, but the situation was awkward enough without me asking her to repeat herself. I just gave a non-committal shake of the head with a shoulder shrug. She pulled both legs up to sit cross-legged on the dresser before flipping all her hair to one shoulder. Then she sipped her coffee and stared at the floor. After a minute of this I started to wish for her ramblings. She didn’t seem to mind the silence at all, but for me it was only growing more awkward by the sip. I couldn’t take it anymore,

 

“Look, about last night-“

 

She interrupted my thought; taking off like a rocket once more, “Yeh, I don’t really have boundaries once Vodka gets involved. If I’m being completely honest I don’t remember anything past falling off my barstool.”

 

“Thank Merlin”

 

I exhaled before realizing I’d said anything out loud. She, however, didn’t miss a beat.

 

“What’s that now?”

 

“Nothing,” I corrected myself quickly, “I just meant I don’t remember much either. But I mean we don’t really know that anything happened right?”

 

Her shrug seemed to agree with me. She motioned her free hand between the two of us.

 

“So I guess there’s no reason this should be awkward”

 

“Guess not” I agreed verbally while fervently disagreeing internally.

 

I’d never been in this situation before. One-night-stands sure, but I couldn’t even muster up this woman’s name. I wasn’t getting the impression that this was a new experience for her. Then again, maybe she just had a much higher tolerance for awkward encounters than I did since she was content to sit in silence yet again. I, for one, had suffered enough.

 

“So there’s food then?”

 

I practically ran to the door. Anything to get out of the most uncomfortable conversation of my life.

 

“Yes, but –“

 

I heard her shout at me as I rounded the corner. I turned my head to hear the rest, nearly running over the petite woman headed for the front door.

 

“Oh, wow, so sorry. I was just-“

 

I stumbled over my words rather than her, taking her by the shoulders to try and gain stability. Then, once I had a look at her I lost my words completely.

 

“What the hell are you doing in my flat, Potter?”

 

Gemma was never at a loss for words. I did a quick glance around the flat and realized she was right. I’d been in her home plenty of times, but to my credit it usually wasn’t the ground zero of cardboard boxes and half-packed luggage.

 

Footsteps rounded the corner behind me before I could formulate an answer.

 

“Morning, Gemma. All right? This is Jack-”

 

“James.” I corrected with a wince.

 

“James. This is James.” The brunette pulled her hair up into a haphazard bun, then tried to casually lean on the back of one of the chairs. She knew she wasn’t pulling it off and laughed at herself.

 

Her smile was so honest that I smiled back without a second thought. Then I caught her eyes look down at my bare chest and we were back to the awkward place we’d started. At least this time there was a third party to cut the tension.

 

“Actually Logan, James is one of Freddie’s mates. We’ve met a time or two.”

 

Logan. Her name was Logan. I’d have to thank Gemma for that later on. I scratched at the back of my neck in a nervous habit before starting again,

 

“Right...well I should be off...work and all that…” I rambled, knowing full well I was currently unemployed.

 

I started towards the door trying to hide my blushing cheeks from one of my closest friends only to hear them both laughing as I passed.

 

“Uh...James…”

 

Logan’s voice turned me back around to reveal her holding out my shirt and jacket along with a cheeky grin. Fan-bloody-tastic.


I was one foot into my own flat and Freddie descended the stairs cackling with each step.

 

“How has she possibly told you already? It’s those damn pocket phones isn’t it? I hate those things.”

 

His laughter just continued as the wind shut the door behind me.

 

“Since when does Gemma even have a flatmate?”

 

He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and walked me to the kitchen.

 

“She doesn’t, not really. Logan usually only stays a couple weeks at a time.”

 

He took the kettle off the range and poured me a cup.

 

“Freshly brewed hangover cure just for you.” He promised pushing it to me. “So then…spin me a tale, Potter. Last I saw you were lost in the crowd with a blonde, how is it you woke up in Logan’s bed?”

 

“Don’t you have a job to get to?”

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be finding a job?”

 

I exhaled loudly so he could hear my annoyance, pushing the teabag in my cup back under the amber liquid every time it tried to come up for air. I decided talking about last night was less frustrating than discussing my employment status.

 

“Honestly, I’m not even sure. I went outside for some air, she was upset…I was upset…we drank…a lot…”

 

“Well, Gemma’s chuffed. Logan’s been moping about for days now. And we all know about your melancholy mood swings. Good night out will’ve done you both some good.”

 

He swung his ministry robe over his shoulder and gave me a pat on the shoulder.

 

“And you can breathe easy, Potter. Logan’s work takes her all over; she’s not going to be hanging about the flat every time we pop over. In fact, I think she’s due in China at the end of the week. Your one-night-stand still stands.”

 

I was happy to have given Freddie something to laugh at as he trudged on to the ministry. I never understood how someone as spirited as Freddie could work in an office day in and day out. I’d only ever made it through a month in any ministry job I tried – after the third one I was turned off it completely.

 

I think the summer I helped my uncles run his joke shop in Hogsmede was the one job that could have stuck. Then he insisted I learn the business side of things, but I was rubbish with numbers. Apparently I was rubbish at a lot of things.

 

I left my cup on the table and decided to go to the garage to clear my head. Freddie had gotten a motorbike in his seventh year and I was obsessed the moment I saw it. My mum was always strictly against the idea. ‘Being 20 stories off the ground isn’t dangerous enough for you?’ Even so, when I turned 18, she and my dad gave me my first bike. It had belonged to my namesake. They had it stripped of its magical charms so I couldn’t get into the mischief my namesakes had used it for, but they had to know it was only a matter of time before I figured out how to cast them myself.  

 

As it turns out, I never did enchant it. Instead I took to simply fixing it. For some reason it was one of the best ways to clear my head. There was little of the Muggle world I understood, but my bike was one of them. I liked being able to take it apart and put it back together. To pinpoint which piece needed replaced; to ensure that something of the past could live on.

 

I restored one or two others from scraps over the years just as a hobby. It was the one thing I was good at, but it had no value to the world I lived in.  

 

The tip of my wand started to glow and dim, an alarm I’d set to remind me when I needed to be off. I had agreed to help Gemma with something at her work this afternoon. There was some sort of event being held and she needed heavy lifting – it’s hard to say no to people who know you don’t have anything else to do.

 

“Hello there. Can you let Gemma Pak know James Potter is here for her?” I asked the woman at the front desk who smiled politely before tapping at the buttons on her phone.

 

Gemma’s job had her all over town. Every month she was stationed at a different gallery or museum. This month it was The British Museum, just passed King’s Cross.

 

“Of course you have a motorbike.”

 

I heard a familiar voice, but couldn’t place it. That is until I turned to see Logan standing behind the front desk with her arms crossed in front of her. I looked down at my helmet, which must have been what she was referring to.

 

“Logan. Hey. Hi ya. How are you?” I promise I’m usually much smoother than this.

 

“I’ll take him over, Amelia.”

 

Logan smiled and again I found myself returning it without thought. She brushed her bangs behind her ear before nodding at the direction I needed to follow her in. The feather was still peeking out from her chestnut waves every other step she took.

 

“Gemma mentioned you might be ‘round today…”

 

“Is that all Gemma mentioned about me?”

 

“She didn’t mention the motorbike.”

 

I didn’t understand what her hang-up was with my bike, but at least whatever Gemma said didn’t seem to be held against me. Suddenly Logan stopped dead in her tracks and turned to me.

 

“Could we maybe start over? Pretend that we didn’t meet on a curb with mascara running down my face before getting sloppy drunk and falling into bed?”

 

I laughed at her candor, “I mean I wouldn’t call it sloppy-“

 

“I fell off a barstool and thought your name was Jack. Sloppy is the only thing to call it,” we both laughed knowing she was right.

 

“Finally! You’re late Jamey. I need you in the Egyptian galleries.” Gemma wrapped an arm around my shoulder and started ushering me towards one of the staircases, “say goodbye to Logan, she leaves for China on Friday.”

 

“Actually…I turned down that assignment,” Gemma stopped forcing me towards the stairs as Logan shrugged casually, “seems I’ll be in London over the summer this year.” The two women shared an expression I didn’t understand. Gemma seemed almost proud of her friend.

 

“In that case, maybe we could get a coffee sometime. Give us both a chance to make a better first impression.”

 

See? Smooth. A smile tugged at the corners of Logan’s mouth and she nodded.

 

“Great. That’s great. You two are adorable…can we go?”

 

Gemma rushed and Logan took the not-so-subtle hint. Finally, when Logan had gone out of view, Gemma smacked the back of my head with her clipboard.

 

“What was that for? I’m barely late!”

 

“What do you think you’re doing? ‘get a cuppa sometime’” I’m fairly offended by the impression of me she attempted here, “What? You’re going to date her now?”

 

I shrugged before rubbing the spot on the back of my head that she’d assaulted.

 

“I may do...Is that such an absurd concept? I thought you liked the two of us together…”

 

“I liked that you two got together- in the past tense. One night to let your freak flags fly, but you can’t keep seeing her James. You do realize she’s a muggle?”

 

Again, I shrugged. “What does that matter? She’s your flatmate…”

 

“That well may be, but I straddle these worlds every day. I understand them both. You failed Muggle studies.”

 

“First off, I failed because I didn’t attend – you can thank your beau for that. And second, what’s it even matter? I’m not twelve years old. I won’t be waving my wand about – I know the rules.”

 

“It’s not a rule James. It’s the law – do you understand the complexities of what you’re suggesting?”

 

The International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy meant that wizards were not allowed to expose magic unnecessarily. Exceptions could be made for defense or close relations like muggle-born children. The ministry wasn’t locking people away in Azkaban for letting it slip in a lover’s quarrel, but there were consequences.

 

“It’s coffee Gemma. I’m not asking her to marry me.”

 

I held my hands out as if to say, ‘I mean no harm,’ with a soft laugh. I really hadn’t meant anything by the invitation. Logan was beautiful. She was easy to talk to, seeing as she did most of the talking. Clearly she was a good enough person for Gemma to be so protective of her. What was the harm in wanting to get to know her a little better?



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