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A/N: Thanks to those who reviewed the last chapter, you don’t know how much they meant to me, old readers and new ones, but this chapter is for you :)

“In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move.”
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Chapter 22: Of Red Lounges, Advice, Kittens and “Wands”

Where is he? Where is he? WHERE IS HE??

Four hours I’ve been waiting for him to traipse into this goddamn common room. FOUR HOURS!

My butt was numb from sitting on this stupid red lounge, my eyes hurt from staring and my wand was aimed at portrait hole door, watching and waiting for that git, James Potter to walk through.

I was going to blast him to high heaven.

Where is he?” I hissed at Buttons, breaking my stare, who’d given up vying for my attention about three hours ago. She looked at me thoughtfully before meowing, padding over to me. I sighed. There was once a time my hissing instilled fear into the hearts of many (okay, like five people, but still).

Those times were long gone it seemed, as Buttons rubbed her little kitty face against my leg. I sighed again, resigned, at picked her up, placing her on my lap. She purred, delighted at the improvement of events, and settled into her lap.

I’d left Marissa and Ella in the hallway, as they were hashing out the situation and, frankly, I was as socially capable as Moaning Myrtle in situations like that. From past experience I knew I was either going to say something incredibly stupid or stand there looking awkward, and either way Ella would end up hating me because she would think I didn’t like the truth.

Which was not true. I mean, I don’t like it, I would rather she not be a werewolf, but how could I say it without coming across as an insensitive bitch?

Then again, “I’m sorry for your experience” just didn’t quite seem good enough.

Which is why I had been looking for James Potter. He’d been though it and he’d probably be more than happy to help me deal with it.

Suddenly voices where outside and the portrait door swung open, revealing a cheering looking James Potter. Anger bubbled up inside me as I whipped out my wand, causing Buttons to give me a filthy look and lightly leap of, plodding up to my dorm.

Sodding bastard, scaring away my cat.

“...and I’ll see you later! Hey Lils,” he ginned as he spotted me, using the stupid nickname he’d taken to calling me for the last couple of days since I’d agreed to his stupid date.

However, his eyes then focused on the wand in my hand and he gave me a questioning look.

I smirked and his eyes widened.

“Confringo!” I yelled, aiming for his head.

“OH SHI-” He dived out of the way, too fast for my liking. The end of his sentence was drowned out as the spell soared harmless over his head, colliding with the wall in a loud explosion of rock and dust.

I smiled. Yeah, it probably wasn’t going to help my cause, but it always fun to see Potter turn as white as a sheet.

“What the hell was that for?” James asked angrily, picking himself off the floor and dusting himself down.

I glared, my smile fading. “For making me wait four bloody hours! I sent you four owls, you prat, why didn't you use your thick head to realize it was important?”

He had the decency to blush at that, running a hand through his thick, glossy, sexy, oh my God, I want to...FOCUS!

“...didn’t know,” James was mumbling, looking guilty. I steeled myself and tried to act nonchalant, and probably failed.

“Whatever,” I grunted, “I need to talk to you.”

James looked at me warily, eyeing the wand in my hand like a smoking gun. For some reason, this amused me greatly, and I let out a little giggle -

WHAT??

GIGGLING?!

Oh my God, how did it come to this? I laughed around James, sure, but never I giggled.

I hate love.

“Oh, come off it,” I snarled, trying to shake off the simpleton inside me who wanted to jump James. “I’m not going to hex you. I was just...disappointed that you didn't come right away.”

James looked ecstatic when I said ‘disappointed’ and it was all I could do not to curse the stupid grin off his charming face. I looked down at the floor, a heavy blush rushing to my cheeks.

Throwing himself on the lounge, extremely close to me might I add, James settled in beside me, placing his arms around my shoulders. I sighed.

“James, remove your hand before I jinx you into high heaven -” But before I could finish, quick hands plucked my wand out of my fingers. I gaped him. “M-my wand-!”

He smiled at me and pulled me closer. “You were saying?”

I growled and bared my teeth at him. A flicker of fear skittered across his face, but he laughed loudly and pulled me even closer, so much so I was practically on his lap. “What do you think you are, Evans, a dog?”

See what I meant? Even James Potter doesn’t fear me know!

There was a time when that growl would have sent him running!

I shook my head. Oh, how the mighty have fallen...

I didn’t even dignify his last comment with a response and, after a few minutes of wiggling and grunting, I realized trying to escape from Potter’s death-grip was futile.

And was probably only going to make it even more awkward.

If that “wand”, as he put it, sticking into my leg was anything to go by.

“So anyway, Red, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

Resigned to my fate, I slumped onto his shoulder and sighed. “It’s Ella. You were right, she was b-bitten over the summer.” Tears sprung into my eyes at the thought and the pain in her eyes as she recited her story.

James’ eyes darkened and began to rub my arms comfortingly. Thank God the common room was empty, everyone enjoying their time off before dinner.

Otherwise there would be a lot of explaining to do...

“Was it Remus?” James asked, pain lacing his voice.

“I-I don’t know... I don’t think so, I’m pretty sure she would have said. But then again, I doubt he would have known what he was doing during his transformation and she wouldn’t have been able to recognize him.”

James frowned. “So...,” he said, a paused. He started again. “So why are you telling me?”

I sighed. I was doing a lot of sighing these days.

“It’s just... I-I don’t know what to do,” I said, my face slowly turning red.. I can’t believe I thought this was a good idea. “I mean, I want her to know I’m there for her.” The words were coming out rushed. “... But I’ve never been good with situations like this, and I knew you’d been though it with Remus so thought I’d ask you what you did.” By the end of that line, my face was bright red and my words had become so mushed up that I thought he would have trouble deciphering it.

If the floor suddenly decided to swallow me up, it probably wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

James cracked a smile, reveling in my discomfort. “Just act natural, Red. Make little jokes about it, play it down but don’t be patronizing. Sirius and I call it Lupin’s ‘furry little problem’.”

Wow. That was actually good advice.

“But turning tearing up every time you mention it, probably isn’t going to help anyone.”

Of course he had to ruin it. He was James Potter, what did I expect?

I snarled. Then a thought came to me.

“Don’t you have something to do?” I spat, folding my arms. James looked at me, confused. “Quidditch?” Confusion. Twat. “You are the captain, right?”

Confusion. “So?”

Ugh. Idiot.

So? Well, when are tryouts? Now that Peter’s off to Durmstrang, you’ll be needing a keeper right?”

James laughed, loudly. “Don’t tell me you’re trying out, Red!”

Prat.

I scowled and whacked him upside the head. “Of course not, you dunce. Ella wanted to try out last year, and I’m going to make sure she goes through with it.”

James pondered. “That’s a good idea. I’ll think about it and let you know.”

I smiled, for once, genuine and settled my head back down on his shoulder. “Thanks James. For everything.”

A comfortable silence stretched between us, though my position on his lap was far from comfortable. I thought he would have let me go by now and I bit my lip to keep myself from wriggling, lest his “wand” dig further into my thigh.

“Uh, James?”

“Mmm?”

“Can you let me go?”

Tightening his grip around me, he buried his face into my hair. “Never.”

I yawned sleepily, suddenly too tired to move. I buried my head in James neck and closed my eyes.

What? It had been a long day.

A/N: I know my writing style is a bit different from previous chapters, but I like it, I think it flows a bit better than it did. Thank you for reading :)

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