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Muggle Studies by RogueSlytherin

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

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


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 7: Chapter 7

“And you just left?!”


Freddie was baffled that I’d run out on a potential hook-up, but he was missing the vital information of vegetables exploding. Luckily, Logan laughed it off without much of an explanation needed. Maybe there was a place for me on the Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee and I’ve missed my calling all this time. At any rate, it wasn’t a detail I could share with my friend in the Department of Magical Accidents.


“So what’s this thing between the two of you then? Are you together?”


“It was just a snog...we aren’t...I don’t...besides...” I was busy rummaging through my closet, so all he saw was my shoulders shrugging along with my non-committal mumbling.


Finally, I found the textbook I needed under my old Hogwarts robes and emerged out from the winter coats. I let out a deep sigh before falling backwards onto my bed. I hugged the book close to my chest as if I could absorb some sort of knowledge just through its touch.


“Besides what?” Freddie prodded from the doorway - unmoved by my dramatic display.


“I’m finally understanding your girlfriend’s argument.” I huffed, sitting back up again. I was already more than annoyed with the scab on my lip - I’d of given almost anything to be able to rid myself of it, but that would certainly look suspicious. “I don’t understand half her muggle references, she has passionate opinions about things I’ve never heard of-”


“And you’ve fallen for her all the same...”


“I can assure you my feet are firmly planted on the ground.” I waved off his comment as nonsense rising to stand. I passed by him on my way to the living room.  


I wasn’t falling for Logan. I was attracted to her is all. And yeah, maybe I got a pit in my stomach sometimes when I saw the flecks of green in her otherwise hazel eyes, but that wasn’t anything more than narcissism.


I liked that she talked to me rather than about me. I liked that I had to tell her my brother’s name and why my sister’s boyfriend wasn’t good enough for her. I liked that she didn’t take the piss about me not having a career plan or a history of long relationships.


I had been stuck in a fog of other people’s perceptions for so long that I could barely see my own hand in front of me; then Logan came along and cleared away the noise.


“She’s not like anyone I’ve met before…she’s bold you know?”


“Rose is bold.” He challenged, “Eleanor wasn’t afraid to speak her mind either.”


“Rose is angry.” I corrected, “And Eleanor...Elle spoke her mind because she thought people wanted to hear her...Logan...she doesn’t care if anyone’s listening. She isn’t trying to prove anything or be anyone except herself.”


“I’m confused are you still arguing with me or have I convinced you?”


I sunk into my couch and propped my feet on the coffee table.


“So maybe I have a few strings attached. What does it matter? Like I already said, nothing could come of it...a relationship could never work with me lying to her weeks at a time.”

Freddie sat on the table in front of me so I couldn’t avoid his stare,


“About where you went to school? Who your father is? It’s all pumpkin Juice, Jamey. You have to hide magic from her, you don’t have a choice in that - but that doesn’t mean you have to hide the rest of you.”


He pushed my feet off the coffee table, forcing me to straighten my posture.


“It shouldn’t be easy to keep things from people you care about- it’s good that upsets you. Make up for it by being honest in what you can. Tell her what scares you, what gets you up in the morning, what sets you cross. Lies are what come out when we’re trying to hide. So quit hiding.”


I’d never stop being impressed by Freddie. He shrugged his shoulders as if his advice was not only simple, but something I should have already known. How he was able to be so cheeky and so inspiring was a mystery.


“You know Gemma’s firmly against this relationship? You’re going to get into another row if she hears you’re encouraging this.”


Freddie’s smile turned downward, “Gemma can’t watch the two of you together without seeing her parents. All she sees is the damage that could come.”


Gemma’s dad ran out on her mum before she was born. Gemma was raised by her muggle mum without a whisper of magic ever spoken. She only admitted her foreknowledge of wizards when Gemma got her Hogwarts letter.


“What makes you think we’re any different?”


“Because it was just a snog and you’re already worried that Logan could get hurt.”


The weight of that truth started to sink in when a thud came from the fireplace with a flash of green. Albus emerged and dusted the soot from his shoulders. He took a seat in the armchair opposite us and tapped his fingers on the fabric uncomfortably.


“Am I interrupting? You two planning a coup or something?”


He was clever enough to read the tension in the room.


“Just passing along some wisdom to our Jamey here is all” Freddie spun around on the table to face my brother, “Why? Are you in need of a coup? Can we wear disguises?”


Albus ignored Freddie’s joke and instead asked the question he’d come to ask, “You two are coming to Rose’s do next month, yeah? You can’t leave me to fend for myself at that thing.”


“What- No Sophia?” I asked setting my runes book onto the coffee table before propping my feet on top of it now that Freddie’s attention had been pulled away from me.


Albus shrugged, “She’s not the one. No point in dragging out the inevitable.”


His confidence was so unnerving.


“You got an exam in the morning or what?”


Had it been me changing the subject, I’m sure Freddie would have assumed it was a deflection. Albus, however, was just that annoyingly stable. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that he had fully accepted the end of his relationship and was perfectly happy being single again.


“I need it for work,” I looked down at the book and shifted my weight uncomfortably. “Is that all you came ‘round for? To see if we’d be at the party?”


“Just thought I’d check in on my muggle brother is all.”


The image of the exploding peas replayed in my mind at his use of the word ‘muggle’, but I quickly shook it away. If anyone would have been alerted about misuse of magic in front of a muggle it’d be Freddie - not a junior Auror.


“So you’re prepping for work, that’s a positive sign.” He nodded along to his own encouragement. It reminded me of when we’d sit outside of the Headmaster’s office waiting to be disciplined. That’s when I realized the real reason he’d popped over.


“You’re spying for dad aren’t ya? Checking to see if Freddie’s cracked and given me back my wand?”


“I’m on your side in this whole thing, mate…”

He offered, confirming my suspicions. I rolled my eyes and slumped back into my chair.


“You can tell Mr. Potter that our Jamey’s been a marvelous muggle these past weeks...Had to seeing as he’s snogging one.”


I winced instinctively. Dating a muggle was not going to help my cause. Why were these two determined to ruin me?


“James is dating a muggle then? That only figures doesn’t it...”


I was taken back by Albus’ non-reaction. Then I was offended by it.


“What’s that supposed to mean?”


“It’s like a cycle with you, James. Relationship, muggles, rebound, relationship, muggles...” Albus’ expression still couldn’t be less interested in the conversation as he picked up the book and started flipping through it.


I’m certain he hadn’t meant to be insulting. In Albus’ mind he was just stating an observed fact. But to me he was putting a stamp of approval on the exact fears that had run through my mind only moments before - and for whatever reason I now rejected them all. I didn’t want Albus to be right.


“I’ve somewhere to be.”


I grabbed my keys and was out the door before I could hear whatever remarks my mates decided to make.

The museum was closed on Sundays, but being a respected member of the workforce now I was bestowed a key and an alarm code. I slumped into my pathetic chair and stared at the ceiling. These past weeks, being away from wizards, away from magic - and for what?


Who was I really trying to prove a point to? My own family didn’t take me seriously - how was any of this changing their minds? The thought of my father’s hand outstretched for my wand sent a shiver of anger through me that sent the photos and my notes flying into the air. I slammed my fists onto the desk in a fury and they twisted about before gently float back to the floor.


“What’s all this about then?”


I whipped around to the voice. Alarm was my first instinct, but her playful smirk was so calming.


“What are you doing here?” I asked, realizing only then how dry my throat felt.


“If anyone’s giving an explanation it’s the one throwing papers about.”

Polaroids were still making their way to the ground around us as she took a step into my makeshift office. I looked around at the mess and realized how similar it was to our last encounter and alarm started to creep back in.


“Has our viking chief gotten you cross or is there someone else to thank for the near papercuts?”


She was already down on her knees, picking up my notes and pictures. She hadn’t thought twice of the scene before her, then again I suppose when you don’t know magic exists there’s no reason to think something magical has happened.


I joined her on the floor, shoving the piles of notebook paper into a folder to try and create some semblance of organization. Suddenly she stopped collecting and sat back on her feet.


“What’s wrong Jamey?”


The corners of my mouth tugged into a smirk at hearing her call me ‘Jamey,’ but then I realized it was moments like this that had me riled up in the first place and they fell back into place.


“Just some family stuff is all.”


I sat back against the leg of the table with a heavy sigh. She simply nodded in response and I thought we’d leave the conversation there. But then she just kept staring at me.




“Is that what you’re running from then? All this time I thought it might’ve been from a girl...or maybe you were just running in circles...”


“Who says I’m running at all?” I asked with a bit of a nervous laugh. Her question seemed out of nowhere and yet it drilled right through me.


She stood with the folder and held a hand out to help me off the floor.


“Some people run, some people hide.” She shrugged before I gave her my hand and she pulled me onto my feet.


I heard Freddie’s voice echo ‘stop hiding,’ but it was battling the other thing he’d said about damage. So instead of answering, I deflected.


“Hiding, yeah? Is that what you’re doing here then? Instead of off on some exciting adventure?” I sat my stack of papers back on the table and she did the same.


“Who’s to say adventure can’t find me in London?” she asked and my shoulders tensed up. She had witnessed two magical explosions in the passed two days - is that what she meant?


She brushed her bangs behind her ear with a half-smile that put me back at ease - she was just poking fun at me. “Besides,” she continued, “I didn’t really have a choice in where I spent my summer…”


My shoulders tensed again after realizing I’d made my comments based solely on assumption.


“Sorry, I just meant...I thought...” I was trying to make up for sticking my foot in my mouth, but per usual, was just shoving it further in.


She sat on my desk, her feet dangling just above the floor.


“S’alright. My fault. I made some...errors...last I was in the field...been relegated to a desk as penance.”


I scratched an itch on the back of my neck before leaning against the desk next to her.


“Sorry, I can be a right arse sometimes. Gemma had said-”


“My ex is on the dig I was pulled off of. Gemma thought going meant I’d slip into some bad habits, she was so proud that I’d chosen to take time for myself...I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the truth. I guess I didn’t want to disappoint her, ya know?”


I hadn’t realized how close our hands were until my awkward fidgeting bumped my pinky into hers. She bumped me back like we were playing the smallest game of tag.


“Funny thing is,” she continued with her eyes watching our fingers intertwine and retreat, “now I think she sees us together and is disappointed in me anyways.”


“Us together, huh? ”


Her face seemed to light up even though she bit her lip to hold back a smile.


“Gemma thinks I have a type.”


“Is that right? And what does our Gemma think you fancy then?”


I caught her eyes lingering on my lips and absentmindedly ran my tongue over the freshly healed skin from yesterday's cut. I knew I was only proving Albus right flirting the way I was, but then her eyes flitted up to meet mine.


“Rebels without a cause…”


You know that feeling I mentioned a while ago? That sensation in the pit of your stomach when you look at someone important? I felt it again in that moment - so much so that it nearly stole my breathe. And it wasn’t because she was beautiful - even though she was. Or because she didn’t know me beyond Jamey Potter like I’d tried to convince myself earlier that day.


It was because I knew exactly why she’d kept her secret from Gemma. It was the same reason I handed my wand to my dad. In that glance I got to see a glimpse of the truly beautiful mess Logan was and I wanted her all the more for it.


So I stood there. Both feet planted firmly on the ground. Yet completely unbalanced. That must be why Freddie called it falling.