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Fa├žade by abbynormalluvsluna

Format: Novella
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 4,524
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, OC
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius, Other Pairing

First Published: 08/07/2012
Last Chapter: 08/14/2012
Last Updated: 08/14/2012

Summary:
 Al/Nadia... once he figures out that love is bigger than a reputation. Banner by magicmuggle@TDA






 My name is Al Potter and I am an excellent legilimens. It proves useful most of the time. Except I need it to be a secret, and I might have just exposed it. To Nadia Springer. She doesn’t know I’ve been spending so much time in her head, but she’s got a pretty dangerous hunch. I'm also in love with her. No big deal.


Chapter 1: Observe
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A/N:Just so you know: thoughts are in italics




 

My dad first taught me legilimency when I was thirteen. It was supposed to be just for fun. He would try to invade my mind then I would try to look into his. He didn’t think I would be able to get past him, but I did. The very first time. He was knocked to the ground with the force of my mind-assault as I was drowned in his heavy memories. I pulled out quickly, with surprising control for a third year. He looked at me warily.

“You have potential, son,” he shook his head. “But a great power such as legilimency comes with great responsibility,” he said, then paused and said, “Spiderman reference!” He laughed and fist-pumped. I cocked my head, confused.

“Nevermind,” he looked disappointed, “but you have to be very careful with legilimancy. It has a bad reputation.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Voldemort was an excellent legilimens and used his powers to manipulate people. I know that legilimancy can be used to help you, though. I’ll teach you to control it.”


He taught me the limits of my power. I have to be careful not to go too far into people’s minds or they will know that something is amiss. Eventually, they will begin to suspect me. I hover in their subconscious, watching vague thoughts and general feelings. I know I could see much more, but I have to keep under control. Sometimes I poke a little too far into their true thoughts or I spend too long on the edge of their thoughts and I see myself begin to appear in their minds more often. When I get too attached, they do as well. Only one person has ever found out I was in their head before I told them I was. This is her story, or rather, our story, as our lives must now be forever intertwined. Warning: as made obvious by the previous sentence, I can be an overly dramatic cheese-ball. Don’t worry, though. I am still very manly (Don’t listen to what Scorpius says. He’s a dirty little Slytherin anyway).


Hogwarts has changed a lot since my Dad’s time. When they reconstructed the school after the war, they expanded it, knowing from a prophecy by Professor Trelawney that the wizarding population was about have a huge baby boom. They were right (I guess maybe Trelawney isn’t a complete fraud). Just fifteen years after the war, Great Britain’s magical population more than tripled, as did the number of students attending Hogwarts. This required a total change in the way the school was run. The headmistress, Professor McGonagall, hired more staff, rearranged the dormitories and changed the way classes were assigned for first- through fourth-years. No longer could all the boys or girls in the same house and the same year share a room, instead we shared a hallway with six rooms. It was likely that one wouldn’t get to know everyone in their year. It was possible, even in all seven years, that someone would never have a class with their best friend.

That is why I didn’t meet Nadia until my fifth year. We had the same History of Magic and Charms OWL classes.

I carefully observed the thoughts and mannerisms of my classmates as James had taught me. As a Potter, he told me, we had to handle ourselves differently. We were expected to be the best at everything: Quidditch, studies, pranks, but most of all, we had to be popular. Mind, we were already popular just because of our name, but we had to act the part. Turns out, popularity takes a lot of work.

I probed the minds slowly trickling into the classroom and immediately found those with the greatest ambition, those with confidence, those who were shy, the nerdy types. Some minds were familiar to me. I had already met almost half the class. I stopped short. What is she? I poked a little further into her thoughts, trying to figure her out. She looked up, sensing subconsciously that I was reading her.

She scanned me over as I pretended to unpack my quill and parchment. I risked the edges of her mind again and my eyes went wide at her thoughts. She was people reading, but not in the same way I was. She was doing it naturally. By noticing people in every way non-magically possible. But she was looking for interesting people, not those who had the potential for popularity. Her eyes passed from me as she judged me with a question mark for personality (she hadn’t observed me doing or saying enough yet) and an exclamation mark for looks which I smiled to myself at. See, I’m a beast like that. She judged no one else in the class about looks; she was just not that interested in romance. She sat down next to a girl who had been conversing with the boy sitting at the desk in front of her and introduced herself. Nadia Springer.

I shook myself and pulled out of her head. If I spent too long in there it could be dangerous. I waved as one of my closest friends, Scorpius Malfoy, walked in. I motioned for him to sit next to me. Scorpius is one of the only people outside of my family that I’ve told about my little mind reading gift. Hey Al, he thought at me.

I stood up and we man hugged. Ouch, he thought as I slapped his back hard. I laughed and he took the seat next to mine.

“So, what you got planned for the next hour?” This was History of Magic, the most boring subject known to wizardkind. Scratch that, it’s the most boring subject known to mankind. And as the brains of our little friendship, I usually thought of how we would get through the lecture without dying of the monotony.

“First day, man, I gotta peep wat.” Peep wat was our code for my special ability. It stands for people watching, if you didn’t get that. He groaned at the prospect of entertaining himself for the next hour and cursed legilimancy in his head. I shoved him.

“You can’t deny it’s useful,” I whispered.

Then I led my mind straight to Nadia again. I know. I’m an idiot. I was just so damn curious. She was like a whole different species from any other teenager I had ever... invaded the mind of. Hehe.


“Potter. Potter! POTTER!” a shout from History of Magic teacher, Professor Wheatley woke me from my daydream. I looked over at her. Even though I was sitting down, I didn’t have to look up at her. Other than old Professor Flitwick, dear Wheatley was the shortest member of Hogwarts staff.

“Yes, Professor?” I said, sweetly. Her face was puckered in annoyance.

“I asked you your name, as it is the first day of class and some people might not know you.”

“Really? Do you seriously think there’s someone in here that doesn’t know who Al Potter is?” I waved my hand at the class then pointed to myself. “Plus, you seem to have announced my name for me already.” Scorpius snickered. Wheatley stomped away, thinking daggers at me. Nadia pursed her lips and added a negative to my personality grade. Damn my instinct to make snarky comments.

My unhealthy obsession with Nadia continued throughout the year. What can I say? I’m attracted to mysteries. And Nadia was definitely a mystery. I’d never encountered anyone who’s mind worked like hers did. She was creative and artistic, but looked at her art as a way show her deep thoughts and feelings. She analyzed things deeply in a strange manner, taking in details in an organized, mathematical way, but also expressing them with beautiful, flowing thoughts that reminded me of great literature. She read expressions, body language, and personality with eerie accuracy and speed. I was probably the only person at Hogwarts who knew people’s nature, values, strengths and weaknesses better than she did. And I am a complete creeper for knowing this much about a person I rarely talk to. But that is my nature and you must love me for it anyway.

I studied her social life, disappointed but not surprised that she chose to spend time with the less popular, but smarter crowd. She chose her friends only once she knew them very well and had read them thoroughly. She talked to them based both on their needs and her own, always searching for seeds of emotions to figure out how best to react when spoken to. She was intellectual and mature, but had a silly, fun personality that showed through when she felt truly free.

I could never be good friends with someone like that. My whole game with popularity would be lost. Even so, I found myself yearning to talk to her at every opportunity. But I couldn’t exactly do that because:
1. I would have a very hard time not looking creepy because I know so much about her that she hasn’t actually told me, or anyone for that matter, and
2. She was not the kind of girl someone of my (imaginary, hypothetical, but scarily important) social status could talk to other than on a very shallow level.

Truthfully, I had a really hard time keeping up my image. I didn’t feel I had a choice in the matter. James and Lily fit in naturally with the popular crowd and never felt out of place in the spotlight. I was drawn against popular culture to people who showed their true selves. It was amazing how many of the people I pretended to be friends with hid within themselves and projected who they wanted to be. But honestly, that was exactly what I was doing, too. So I shouldn’t complain. Only Scorpius and my cousin Rose knew the real me. Life sucks. Then you die.

 




The summer after my fifth year, James pulled me aside after a family dinner.

“You have to get a girl,” he said. “Fifth year and you still haven’t had a girlfriend is a bit much for a Potter. Sixth year and still no girl is unacceptable. By this time last year I had already been with seven of the hottest girls at Hogwarts. You need to get to work on that.”

I knew argument was pointless so I simply nodded. James continued.

“It can’t just be any girl either. She has to be hot and popular and...” James put one hand on my shoulder and extended his other arm while staring away from me into the distance. He is such a drama queen. I tuned out and watched his dramatic antics instead. Honestly, I knew better than he did who would be best for my reputation. And that person was certainly not Nadia.

I began classes that year focusing on finding the right girl. That is, the girl who would launch me from sexy available celebrity to hottest new story at Hogwarts and in the media. She was almost too easy to find. Scarlett was already in the circle of people I knew. She was Seeker on her house team, so we would have something to talk about even if we had nothing else in common (I was the Gryffindor Keeper). She was ambitious and cunning deep down and hid a rocky family life under her façade of popularity. She wasn’t the hottest girl in school but she was more popular than some of my other options because of the way she held herself. And she was still pretty hot anyway. She had fairly boring brown hair, but her face was what was really interesting. She had clear, olive skin with huge, wide-set, hazel eyes fringed by long lashes and a brilliantly white smile with deep dimples. She was average height and boasted an athletic, hourglass shape.

When I asked her out, James was pleased.

I had only one class with Nadia that year-- History of Magic with Wheatley again. One day, Wheatley went all philosophical and metacognitive on us and forced us into a muggle ethics activity. Apparently it had something to do with the Third Goblin War of the 15th century but I wasn’t paying enough attention to notice.

Professor Wheatley split us into several groups of five or six, and gave us a situation. As luck would have it, I was in Nadia’s group and Scorpius was way across the room with a bunch of Hufflepuffs.

We had to have a diplomatic discussion trying to decide which three of us would be thrown off a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean if there wasn’t enough food to go around. The catch? No magic, no self-sacrifice. I thought the “no self-sacrifice” rule was unrealistic because, if this situation actually occurred, self-sacrifice would be an option. But I got why it was there; It prevented people from “sacrificing” themselves just to get the stupid activity over with. Apparently Nadia was thinking exactly what I was, except she was frustrated that she couldn’t sacrifice herself because she would if the situation were real. She’s not afraid of death. Damn, the girl surprises me every day.

As we got to the discussion, it quickly became obvious that not one group member was going to hypothetically give up their life without a fight. We began arguing over anything that would logically keep us “alive” if the question was purely intellectual. We ended up in a dead-end dispute on whether the three girls or the three guys would survive. The guys and I were going every man for himself, but the obstinate females insisted on banding together on every issue so that us guys had to back each other up to keep from being figuratively killed. Eventually, we settled on the deciding issue. One of the girls had three younger siblings and a single mother who needed her for supporting the family. One of the guys had knocked up his girlfriend and was planning on keeping the baby. They were safe on the boat because someone else needed them so much. Two were taken care of, but we couldn’t decide who the third person to stay on the boat would be. By this time all but one other group had finished and were watching us intently. The rest of us four had pretty normal lives with not much responsibility on our shoulders. I watched with fascination as an idea crept into Nadia’s thoughts. She had a trip to an orphanage in India planned for the summer and knew the kids there would guarantee her the last spot in our imaginary boat. She cringed at the idea of bringing it up, ever modest, but put it on the table with an air of victory, ever competitive. She still blushed in embarrassment for winning. The game was decided. I “died.”

I was impressed with Nadia, to say the least. She was strong when necessary, but always hesitant when she knew there was a sore spot. She let no one into her secrets without knowing them thoroughly first, but I already knew that. What I discovered that day was that the girl was good. I don’t know how else to describe it. She was selfless, caring, and just good. Then I had an epiphany. The moment shines through in my mind like the sun breaking through a fog bank.

My realization of Nadia’s deep inner beauty showed me how beautiful she was in every way. Every feature was unique, artistic, perfectly imperfect. Her eyes were a bright, icy grey with navy blue rings sneaking tendrils of color towards her pupil. Her golden blond hair had a million natural highlights that sparkle in sunlight, but was constantly unruly and frizzy. Her lips were not full but not thin, not bright red, but a deep fleshy pink.

The way she held herself-- against the flow of youth culture-- prevented everyone else from seeing her the way I did. Very few people noticed her because she was bent on not being noticed, not silent but quiet with everyone but her friends. I also saw, as each year progressed, as her classmates got to know her, people began to realize, just like I was, how good she was and sometimes even how beautiful she was. No one was ever brave enough to show they knew the real Nadia, and thus she never realized anybody did know her. Then every new year, she would have to start over again, going back to having only her closest group of friends.

I realized I was falling into oblivion when I had to spend three straight months without her. You see, I can only see people’s thoughts if I know where they are. And as I had barely spoken to her the entire year, I didn’t exactly know where Nadia was going for the summer. I knew she would be in India, but that’s not specific enough. She never thought about it explicitly, that I noticed (a.k.a. when I was spying on her) and I couldn’t reach farther into her thoughts to find it because that would expose me for the mind-stalker I am.

 




I spent most of that agonizing summer with Scarlett and my family, attempting to live with the completely normal brains I had to spend my time with. It’s not that my gigantic family was completely devoid of interesting thought, It’s just that they weren’t as interesting as, you know, Nadia. Plus I knew them inside and out so they were predictable. Sometimes snogging Scarlett would help me get Nadia off my mind, but that was only momentary relief. Scarlett was a good snog but I didn’t like her much. She wasn’t my biggest fan either. I was glad to know we were both in it for our reputation and not much else. Really great relationship we had.

Rose knew something was up with me.


“You’ve been acting weird.” She came up to me as I was packing my trunk to head back for our last year.

“It’s our seventh year Rose!”

“Nope, it’s definitely something else.” I glared at her in frustration for a while while she stared right back, hands planted firmly on her hips.

“Damn.” I threw my hands up in the air in exasperation. “Why do you have to be so bloody perceptive, Rose. I’m the mind-reader for Merlin’s sake!”

“Spill.” I sighed and sat back on my bed.

“It’s a really long story.” She sat down on my bed with finality and looked at me expectantly. I mussed up my hair nervously. “I--well--I, err.”

“Spit it out Al.”

“I’m having a one-sided mind-love affair with a girl that’s not Scarlett.”

“Excuse me?” She looked at me like I just announced my desire to lay in a pot of gold with 100 Nifflers. I sighed.

“I’m in love, Rose. Not with my girlfriend.”

“That’s not good,” I rolled my eyes. Duh. “I still don’t get the whole one-sided mind-love affair part though,” she said, frowning. I ran a hand through my hair again.

“I sort of spend all of my time watching her thoughts.”

“That is sort of really creepy.”

“Yeah, pretty much everything about legilimancy is creepy.” I flopped back onto my bed and stared hopelessly up at the ceiling.

“Do you even like Scarlett.” Rose’s tone was biting.

“No, not really. She’s hot and stuff but really shallow and frustratingly stupid sometimes. I don’t know why I put up with it.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Yes I do.”

“No you don’t.”

“I have to keep up with my name.”

“No, you don’t. I don’t.”

“But you’re not the child of Harry Potter!”

“Actually, I am the child of two members of the Golden Trio.”

“Agh! You don’t get it Rose. There’s a lot of pressure on me.”

“Actually, I think I do get it, but I’m gonna be mature and drop it.” Her glare suddenly turned into a bright smile. “So who is it?”

“Nadia Springer,” I mumbled.

“Oh,” she squeaked--Rose actually just squeaked, “that’s great. You couldn’t have picked someone better. She rooms with Maya, yeah? ”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“She’s so good to Maya. Poor girl needed a friend like Nadia.”

“I know, she’s perfect, but I can never have her. She’s a nobody.” I flipped over and buried my face in my pillow. “Please don’t remind me.”

“You’ll learn sometime.” What’s that supposed to mean? Rose patted the back of my head and walked towards the door.

“Oh, and you’ll need to tell Scorp when we get on the train. Unless you want him to find out some other way cough--I’ll tell him--cough.” I groaned. That was definitely a threat.

Rose skipped down the corridor of the Hogwarts Express as I trailed behind, carrying both our trunks. She popped into an empty compartment and I dragged the trunks in after her and shoved them into the luggage racks. I collapsed onto the seat across from my dear cousin. She had already pulled out the latest edition of the Quibbler (we got it for free every month from aunt Luna) and was frowning as she read. The cover advertised the lucky properties of Kneazle dandruff when mixed with Nargle poop. Nargles didn’t even exist.

I stuck my head out the compartment window and struck up a conversation with my brother James about his recent initiation into the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes empire along with our cousin Fred.

Scorpius barged into our compartment and Rose shrieked at him in greeting. I started and violently knocked my head on the window.

“Merlin, Rose. Indoor voice, please!” I rubbed the back of my head where I had hit it. Rose squeaking/shrieking twice in a period of less than 24 hours? Her brain needed a serious examination. So I examined it. I did not like what I found. I gave her a flabbergasted look. She stared back at me, glaring. If you ever mention what you heard in there, I will rip you limb from limb. I raised my eyebrows. This was serious business. She was checking out my best mate. I checked in on the other end of the duo and found my dear Scorpius basking in her attention. Wait. AKKKK. I was kind of in shock. Before this train ride Rose only put up with Scorpius because he was my best friend and Scorpius was constantly peeved by Rose’s subtle dislike. I shook myself out of my surprise just in time for Rose to grin at me. That was a very mischievous grin.

“You have something very important to tell Scorp, right, Al. I think now is the time.”

“Oh, yeah, about that...” I trailed off and found my hand in my hair again. It happens a lot.

“What’s up with you Al? Crush on my cousin or something?” He clearly knew how uncomfortable I was with the new friendliness between he and Rose and exploited it. Both Rose and I reddened at the allusion to the awkward encounter moments before. This is the life of a legilimens. Your friends know they have no secrets and they grow comfortable with it.

“I do have a crush, but not on Alex,” Alex was his fifth-year cousin. “The whole same nickname thing would be really awkward.” He waved his hand at me, thoughts egging me to get to the point.

“It’s also not Scarlett,” Rose butted in. I glared.

“My story Rose. You said you wouldn’t tell him.” Rose zipped her lips, locked them and threw the key out the open window. Scorpius was impatient.

“I have a serious mind-stalker problem with Nadia Springer. And I, uhhh, think I might go as far as to say that, err, I’minlovewithher.” Scorp choked on his own saliva; it was quite a feat, really. Rose slapped him on the back.

“Mate, that’s seriously creepy.”

“That’s what I said,” Rose added.

“Are you going to break it off with Scarlett? I know you don’t really like her.” I frowned. Was I that obvious?

“Naw, I want to try and get over Nadia. If possible.” It was Scorp and Rose’s turn to frown at me.

“You should go for her, Al. Love is serious stuff.”

“That’s what I said, too!”

“Well, great minds think alike, you know.” He smiled at her charmingly. No! Stop the blatant flirting in front of me.

“SUBJECT CHANGE!” I squeezed my eyes shut.

“Fine, Al, but don’t consider the matter dropped. Like, Scorp said, this is serious business.” Scorpius nodded with her solemnly. STOP AGREEING ALREADY.

It took the whole train ride to convince myself that getting over Nadia was the right thing. But in the end, I knew it was better for the both of us. I couldn’t risk the popularity I had built up over the years. She obviously didn’t want the attention that would come with being in a relationship with a Potter, and she might not even like me at all.


Thankfully, I didn’t have any classes with Nadia that year, so it was fairly easy to avoid her. I went into the year resolved to keep myself completely out of her head. I tried. I really did. But I had already been starved of her thoughts for an entire summer. I could hardly resist when I knew exactly where she was, or when I saw her in the hall. So I let myself check up on her once a day. I saw her in the hall anyway on my way from potions to charms, so I would explore her mind as we passed each other. Those moments would get me through the day.

I drank her in, probably invading her thoughts more than I should have every time. I became even more addicted to her presence now that it was restricted. And I loved her more all the time.

Because she hated shallow relationships. Because she loved her muggle music. Because she took study breaks to sing her lungs out. Because she got up every morning to swim in the lake. Because she cared for her best friend Maya more than anyone else including herself. Because she lost herself in literature. Because she spoke fluent spanish and peppered it into her everyday conversation. Because she stumbled over her words but always kept going anyway. Because she rebuked herself for judging others. Because she only brushed her hair once a week. Because she was every shade of imperfection that fit together to create something too beautiful for words.

I tried to describe how I see her to Rose once, but it just didn’t work. You need another layer of complexity. Music might do it--or dance, or drawing, when paired with words. Then maybe I could express everything Nadia had become to me. 




 

A/N: Hey, look another new novella. Hehe... I'm at a road block with Anna so I started this. I really like it though. Which is why you should tell me what you think. Everything will start for them now that it's seventh year. Review please! I love them.


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