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Disclaimer: I'm not J.K. Rowling. If I was, Albus Potter's name would so be Elvendork. 






Chapter Two: Some of Us Really Can’t Turn Down a Dare

“Aw, bad luck, mate, you got sourpuss Warrington,” Tad said with what he must’ve thought was a consoling pat on the back. However, I didn’t need to be consoled. I was too busy enjoying Warrington’s reaction at the news. She seemed . . . disappointed.

If my ego was more tender I would’ve been insulted by her obvious irritation, she seemed to be near-hysterics, actually. I watched her with a smile, I was congratulating myself for getting her so upset without even trying. This competition was turning out to be a blast, and it hadn’t even really started yet.

After what seemed like ages, she looked up at me. I grinned at her. She glared back at me in what I assumed she thought was a menacing glare. Only, it wasn’t menacing, it was funny. I grinned wider and mouthed “Hello, partner,” at her.

She didn’t get it. I enunciated this time. “HELL-OH, PART-NER.” After two more times, she got it, and she sure looked livid. I got up, hoping to go over there and say my greeting in person.

“Eh, Jimmy old pal, unless you have a death wish, don’t go over there,” Bryan told me, looking concerned for my sanity. I rolled my eyes.

“Her bark’s worse than her bite. I bet you Warrington couldn’t hurt a fly,” I assured him.
“James, think about it. Her name has the word ‘war’ in it. And she looks like she’s about to hex you into oblivion. And you can’t hex a girl,” Bryan persisted, the poor deluded soul.

“Relax Bryan, I won’t have to hex her. And, she’s not going to hex me,” I said confidently. “Deep down inside, she’s madly in love with me.”

All four of my year-mates rolled their eyes at once.

“James, you think every girl is madly in love with you deep down inside,” Adam informed me. I nodded knowingly.

“That’s because they all are,” I replied, before turning and making my way over to the Slytherin table. I ignored the dirty looks several fourth year Slytherin boys sent at me and sidled up to Warrington. She was now glaring at me, standing, with her hand clenched in a fist around her wand. She was left-handed.

“What. Do. You. Want. Potter,” she said through clenched teeth. I smirked. She was pretty cute when she was bloodthirsty. Her blue-green eyes were shiny with anger and some hair was coming out of her bun.

“I just wanted to . . .” Shoot. What did I want? I really had just come over to irritate her, but that sounded slightly lame. “give you a chance to apologize for tripping me. I think since we’re definitely going to win this competition, we need to start out on the right foot.”

For a minute, Warrington seemed to be choking. Her face was bright red and she looked like she was having a hard time getting any words out, or deciding what to say at all.

“Problem?” I asked her innocently.

“Yes there is a bloody problem!” she exclaimed. I shook my head in mock dismay.

“Tsk, tsk, such language isn’t necessary,” I scolded her. Her eyes narrowed and her face got even redder.

“The problem is, you can’t go five minutes without trying to irritate me, and that means we’ll lose,” she managed to get out. “And I’m not sorry I tripped you. You need to learn to watch where you’re going.” I smirked. I had known it was her.

“I can so go five minutes without trying to irritate you,” I countered. I plopped down onto the bench next to one of her friends. The dark-haired girl I sat next to gave me a look of disgust and slid over into Warrington’s vacant seat. Warrington was looking at me like I had just sprouted horns. “Starting . . .” I glanced at my watch, “now!”

She sat beside me, looking confused. “What on earth are you doing?” she asked, trying to sound like she didn’t really care, and failing.

“Not irritating you for five minutes,” I answered pleasantly. Her eyes immediately narrowed with suspicion. I was slightly aware that the Slytherin girls around me, her friends, had completely stopped talking and were staring at as both.

“Yeah, right,” she said sarcastically. I just mimed zipping my lips shut, then folded my hands on the table innocently. “Well it doesn’t count if you don’t talk to me.”

“Well that’s a last minute rule but I suppose it’s fair,” I said (very agreeably). “So Maria, how’s life treating you?”

She gave me a look that clearly said she thought I was mental, before answering, “Fine.”

“Really? That’s brilliant, really brilliant,” I said with a smile. She frowned at me. A minute or two of silence passed, seeing as I had run out of things to say.

“Why don’t you ever smile?” I asked Warrington suddenly. Her frown deepened, but for some reason I thought she was suppressing a smile.

“I don’t have any teeth,” she answered. If I hadn’t known any better, I could’ve sworn she was teasing.

“I’m serious.” I really was.

“So am I.” But she wasn’t, I could tell. Her eyes were smiling, even if her mouth wasn’t. “I have no teeth.”

“If you had no teeth you couldn’t talk normally,” I pointed out. “So tell me what the real reason is.”

“I’ve got a reputation to uphold,” she answered with a careless shrug. This time I knew she was teasing. I rolled my eyes.

“Well that’s---“

“It’s been five minutes,” one of the girls interrupted before I had a chance to say exactly what I thought of her ‘reputation’. I would’ve smiled at my triumph over not irritating her, but I was irritated at being interrupted. “Bye, Potter.”

“Ha! I did it, I went five minutes without irritating you!” I exclaimed with fake enthusiasm. This time it was Warrington’s turn to roll her eyes.

“Congratulations. Now, good bye,” she replied shortly, returning to her breakfast. Since I had so obviously been dismissed, I got up and headed back to my table, but not before shooting a quick hex at her bag so it would fall apart as soon as she lifted it.

“Congrats on not being killed,” Bryan greeted me when I reached me table. I grinned and helped myself to some more bacon. “What’s your secret?”

“My amazing charm and wit,” I replied between mouthfuls. Will, who was sitting next to me, shook his head. I stopped shoveling food to give him a questioning look on why he doubted my charm.

“Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy,” he began, assuming the stance of someone full of worldly wisdom.

“Don’t call me Jimmy,” I interrupted. Will frowned and dropped the ‘wise’ act.

“Fine, then, be no fun. James, your charms, or lack thereof, almost always fail,” he said bluntly. I poked him with my fork for that true, but still mean, statement.

“No they don’t,” I argued, even though I knew he was right. Will was the charming one, or maybe Tad, but not me.

“Yes, they do.”

“No! They don’!”

“Oi! Stop it you two, or you’ll be at it ‘till lunch!” Adam cut in, speaking from years of experience as moderator in chief. Will ignored him.

“I dare you to make Warrington smile!” he exclaimed. I smiled. Let it be noted that James Sirius Potter never turns down a dare.

“Done. Is there a time limit?” I replied, while my friends all groaned.

“Wow, we made it ‘till breakfast of the first day before Will created one of his crazy dares, and James was stupid enough to agree,” Tad commented sarcastically. “That’s a new record. Last year the first dare was on the second day of term.” Of course, Will and I ignored him.

“Winter break. I really doubt you can get her to smile before then,” Will answered. I scoffed, confident in my ability to never back out of a dare. “And if you fail, well, you know the consequences.”

Of course I knew the consequences, they were always the same. “Yeah, yeah, give Filch a big ole hug, Mate, you really need to come up with better consequences.”

“Whatever. You’ll probably chicken out this time, or she’ll be too stubborn for you,” Will replied. Again, I scoffed.

“Too stubborn for James? Not possible,” Bryan put in. “He’s the most stubborn person in the world.”

Too true, Bryan, too true. 

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