Another early chap because I'm ahead! Isn't Albus a cutie?
Though the fort didn’t go out the window like Avery threatened, it came down in one fell swoop of a wand and I had to do damage control on my Ravenclaw notes that fell toward the fire. One salamander grabbed onto a paper and the page on hair size went up in flames. Stupid lizards were worthless. The team would never believe a lizard burned up my homework. Well, notes.
“Oh well,” Fred said loudly, stretching so a few blankets fell off him, “at least that means we don’t have to answer the question of how to have Quidditch practice from inside the fort.”
I frowned. The masterpiece was strewn about the floor with blankets hung loosely over furniture and Avery breathing heavily beside it. She put her wand back beside her and smiled.
“There. There, now I think I’m going to head to sleep.” She helped Bink with a few quilts. “Any plans for the weekend, Captain?”
“It’s Halloween,” I said slowly. “So we’re going to do something exciting. Tomorrow I’m thinking we head into Hogsmeade after classes and do some scoping out for costumes.”
I shrugged. “The team, naturally. Yes, even Meta,” I added to her disgruntled expression. “Then we can do practice later at night and for the next few days after. Sound good?”
“Unfortunately,” Avery muttered, her mind probably still on Meta’s annoying gob. As long as she didn’t have gum I could deal with her.
I watched Avery retreat up the spiral staircase and then turned back to the boys. “Looks like we have to go back to the old stompin’ grounds.”
“Are you even tired?” Bink asked, tossing some of the blankets in the closet and charming some others to fold. “I’m not tired. Let’s do something to Edwards.”
“Like what? I already fed his ties to Victoria,” I said.
“Like write on him or something.”
Fred raised a brow and shut the remaining blankets back in the closet. “I’m just going to unorganized his organization. Then sleep.”
I grabbed my broom kit and headed up the stairs after them. At least in my dormitory there was less of chance of being surprise-seduced.
The room was mostly the way we left it except the curtains were torn in a few places. Longbottom probably decided we didn’t need fancy perfect curtains since we were growing boys and the ripped curtains gave us character. Emerson’s snoring was the same and I took my pajamas out of my trunk as Fred opened the Head Boy’s.
“Hungry?” I said, crouching down beside Victoria’s cage. She made a humming noise so I gave her a bunch more food. “That’s a good Puff. Don’t let Freddie hurt your feelings. He’s a tool. Seriously. He’d be a wrench. Night, Tory!” I flopped up onto my bed and both Fred and Bink gave me a yeah, you’re not masculine at all expression.
“There,” said Fred, slamming the trunk shut. Emerson moved a bit but snored on. “All desegregated, the ruddy racist.” He jumped onto his own bed and within seconds of his head hitting the pillow I heard distinct Weasley snores that his sister Roxanne inherited as well.
“How are ya, Bink?” I asked into the quiet room.
“I’ve been better.” Bink closed his hangings on Emerson’s side and stared at me for a minute.
“Because of the fort?” I blew out a candle.
“Yeah. Yeah, the fort.”
I’m glad to hear from you since you’re doing so well. I’m hoping for a win against Ravenclaw too, but I’m not sure I needed the three page analysis on Kay Davies. I’ve only met her once and she seemed like a lovely girl. If Fred likes her you should probably trust him, huh? If not, just concentrate on your studies as well. You conveniently forgot to mention in your letter about how you were doing in your classes, which I can only assume means you’re not doing as well as Albus and Lily. Am I wrong?
Are you going to write your father at letter at all this term? He’s gotten plenty of letters from Al and a few from Lily, but none from you. I know the two of you fought the day before you left, but I think if you talked to him about it things will be fine. Don’t worry, I know you’ll always be a Momma’s boy, but the pair of you used to be so close. Just try, okay?
Next letter, a little more about your classes and a little less about the way Kay Davies kicks off on grass versus cement.
She was crafty, that mum of mine. Of course she wasn’t wrong. My grades were passing, that was all that counted. Sure, before this year they were all really good and I used to gloat to Rose because she thought she was so smart, but this year I had more important things on my mind, like the grades of various ladies that had nothing to do with academics. It wasn’t my fault. I blamed hormones. Yes, that was it. My package had nothing to do with it and pleaded not guilty.
As for the letter to Dad, well, I could do that. I would just put it off for a little longer and then tackle it at a later date. Good plan. Sure, Avery would tell me to get it over with right now but I didn’t want to. Our argument was still fresh in my mind and by golley if he wasn’t writing to me I wasn’t writing to him either.
He started it anyway.
“Ready for this, Captain?” said Wesley, sliding down beside me. He stuffed some toast into his face. “I’ve been saving up for a good costume to impress the ladies.”
“The ladies, Jordan? Who might those be?”
He cocked his head to the side. “No one on the team, don’t worry about the sacred code.” He said it in a joking manner but I breathed a little easier.
“Well, I’m ready if you are, Wes,” I replied, finishing off my breakfast as the other two Chasers joined me, followed closely by Avery and Paloma. Meta was down the table being anti-social. I could still hardly believe she was in my year.
“Anyone have any ideas for costumes yet?” Paloma asked in a sweet tone. Al glanced down from a few seats away. “I don’t know what I want, but I’ve always been the same thing and I want to go as something different.”
“What are you usually?” asked Wesley.
Ah, a nice innocent costume. Long, flowing dress with her hair up and a tiara. I could get no horrible mental images from that. The other boys continued eating and I finished up my juice.
“A regular princess? Did that cost a lot?” asked Avery.
Paloma smiled and blushed a bit. “No, the slutty princess with the stockings and frilly top. It was a cute outfit but I’m a bit too tall for it now.”
Enter: horrible perverted mental images.
I had to look down. Paloma, get off my sodding team! Get off it. It wasn’t even like I’d pursue her if she wasn’t on the team, I’d just get to see less of her being that she was only a fifth year and I was not interested in fifth years. Right? Yes. No. Yeah, probably.
“Sounds like today is going to be quite the day,” whispered Bink cheerfully.
“Oh, go bonk the giant squid,” I snapped in return. Then part of me wondered how long giant squids were supposed to live because Dad talked about it and Uncle Ron talked about it and I bet if I asked Grandma and Grandpa Weasley they’d talk about it too. It should be given the title of Immortal Giant Squid the Great or something fantastic like that.
“I’m thinking maybe something along the lines of a Muggle school girl,” Paloma went on. “You know, the ones with the plaid skirts and the white shirts all tied up? I think that would look just dashing.”
I choked and stood up. “We’ve got to go now.”
“I’m not finished,” Fred said with a mouth full of food.
“James is,” Bink added and I slapped him in the back of the head before grabbing Avery by the arm and hoisting her toward the door.
“By all means, don’t let up,” she said, “my arm is still attached.”
“Sorry,” I breathed. “I had to get out of there. I don’t even fancy her, you know.”
“Fancy who?” She pulled open the door and looked back to make sure the rest of the team was on their way.
“You know who!”
“Voldemort?” Avery covered her mouth.
“No, Paloma. Bleeding Paloma!” I tried to whisper it but it came out louder than expected and I sighed. “I don’t. Al fancies her and I don’t and she fancies me and she’s determined to make me think dirty thoughts about her. I won’t do it, I swear.”
“You’re already doing it.”
“Merlin, I know! Make it stop. Please, Avery, make it stop!” I tugged at the sleeve of her cloak.
She swatted away my hand. “Stop being so dramatic. If you don’t fancy her then don’t think about her like that. It’s getting a bit annoying watching you drool over her anyway.”
“Drool? I don’t drool.”
“You drool.” She smiled sweetly and paused to wait for the rest of the team. “What’s taking you so long?” she asked Bink, who was mid-bite on some to-go toast.
“Had to practically drag Meta away from her breakfast,” he answered with a shrug. “It was Fred who did it. I think Meta got him with her death-grip claws.”
“Wish it was legal to use those on the other team,” Avery said and we kept walking.
“So do we have permission to be in Hogsmeade on a Thursday?” Wesley looked a bit twitchy—leave it to him to be the worried one out of the pack.
“Nope,” I said lightly. “I’m the Quidditch Captain, Wes, we have permission.”
“For some reason that isn’t all that convincing.”
Fred glanced back. “James is class A at getting out of anything. We’re fine.”
“Then how do we still have Meta on our team?” he said quietly.
I high-fived him.
There was only one costume shop in town and there were plenty of people in there. I spotted a few from Hogwarts as I led my team through the doors. “All right, let’s do this!”
“What are the Halloween plans?” asked Bink. “Are there any shin-digs to do or are we providing said shin-diggery?”
“We’re coming to Hogsmeade since it’s a weekend,” I replied. “There will be plenty of hoppin’ party spots here I’m sure.” I turned toward the male section and began my scan through with the boys. Some of them were just too regular—the authority figures and the masculine gladiators and the couples’ outfits.
“What should I be?” asked Bink playfully, scoping out the referee costume. “I couldn’t do this—blokes would rush up to me asking why I called that penalty on the Magpies or sommat.”
“Why did you?” I asked and he punched me.
“Oy, what’d’you think about this Doctor getup? Sure, the Healers don’t wear this garbage but I hear it’s popular with the Muggle ladies.” Bink held it up.
“But we’ll be here; in Hogsmeade,” I said curiously.
Paloma walked up behind us and put a hand on Bink’s shoulder. “You better get that.”
“Why? Did I break it so I have to buy it?” He looked for a tear of some sort and I rolled my eyes.
“No, because you’ll get so many women with that.” She smiled a bit. “That’s what you want, isn’t it? I know that’s usually the point of Halloween for women.”
“So this will get me girls, eh?” Bink puffed out his chest and glanced over to where the girls were shopping. Paloma laughed and rejoined them. “I don’t think I’ll get it.”
“Bleeding why not?” Fred choked. “Wesley here is probably getting more action than you!”
“Are you getting action, Wesley?”
“Should I be?” Wesley choked, clearly unsure of what the right answer was in the situation.
“Not before Binkie, that’s for sure,” Fred said loudly. “Christ, he’s a Quidditch player. And a seventh year—the only person that ups him is James here and we all know about his bleak outlook on sexuality.”
“It’s not bleak!” I retorted.
“Then just fuck Nia and get it over with!” Bink said, laughing. The girls looked over and Avery looked nearly scandalized.
“Shut it,” I muttered and went back to the costumes. This was a disaster. Not only were there no costumes, but I was actually considering spending more time with Nia. Okay, she wasn’t that bad, but she was sort of crazy. Mum wouldn’t approve of crazy—not that Nia was the type of girl to bring home over the holidays. There were only a few girls I knew that were okay to bring back to the Potter clan over holidays and most of them I was already related to. The other one was lecturing Paloma on not being too forward in pursuit of a relationship.
Was Avery trying to torture me? It was probably because of the fort, crazy woman.
“You’d never wear that,” Bink said, folding his arms from the corner of the store where Fred stood a few feet from him and Wes was giggling nearby.
“Sure I would!” Fred said.
“You wouldn’t,” Bink tried. “In fact, I’d bet you at least a Galleon you wouldn’t wear it. You’re a chicken and Kay would shit kittens.”
I wandered over, skipping half the selection, and nearly choked when I saw what Fred held in his left hand. It was a 50’s outfit, complete with obnoxious poodle skirt and blond wig. It was for a woman and I was immediately puzzled.
“If you’re going to bet money I’m going to wear it.” Fred smiled viciously.
“Oh, I’m betting money,” Bink said. “You in, Potter?”
I made a face. “No go, sorry, lads. I know what Freddie is capable of and being a poodle girl is one of those things.” I clapped Wes on the shoulder and continued my search.
There was nothing I liked. I hated the Indian rubbish and didn’t like any of the Muggle Astronaut getup since we all knew it was magic that got the blokes into space. I toyed with the idea of going as a professor, but Longbottom would probably mistake me for the Muggle Studies professor and ask me about Tactnia.
That was really the only plant I remembered.
Prison inmate, Prom King, none of these were me. None of these embodied: James Potter Quidditch Captain. Bollocks on Halloween. What was the deal with the Prom King anyway?
Fred sauntered over with a huge grin and a bag at his side. “I did it. I bought it. I’m going to wear it this weekend.”
“Blimey, be prepared for everyone to tear the mickey out of you.”
“I have a girl so I don’t need to get them like sucker Bink here—did you get that Doctor rubbish, Bink? You’d better!”
Bink flicked him off from the other side of the shop.
“Seriously, that bloke has problems.” Fred lowered his voice. “You’d think he’d be all over the ladies considering we have Mary Mary Quite Good Gradsie in our year and, well, Avery too but you’d hex the balls off him if he tried that—but Elizabeth! Nia! Then those sixth years no one cares about but everyone wants to bone—cept Rosey, I know. He’s not hooking up with any of them. He won’t even let me introduce him to some Ravenclaws.”
I made a face. “Maybe he’s gay and fancies Edwards.”
“Maybe,” he said nonchalantly. “At least I got a costume.”
“Okay, I bleeding bought it!” shouted Bink, throwing a fake wart nose in our direction. “You can stop talking about me now! Wes, are you ready to go?”
Wesley nodded, holding a bag in his hand.
“This is a team outing,” I said sternly. “Who said you could leave?”
“Can we leave?” Fred asked. “I have a date with Kay.”
“No contaminating my pitch,” I barked. “Take Meta with you—she’s hovering too much.” I groaned, watching them leave and soon I was alone in the shop with Avery and Paloma and a bunch of other people I didn’t care too much about.
Paloma kept to herself, scanning the rows of costumes and taking handfuls back to the fitting rooms. Avery, however, did no such thing. She skipped right over to me and followed me like a kneazle.
“Did you find something?” I asked, annoyed.
“I did.” She waved a plastic bag in my face.
“Well, what is it?”
“Not telling.” Avery grinned childishly.
“Because you’ll make me take it back.”
I gaped at her. “What is it? Are you going as a whore?”
“I’m not going as Nia, James.”
“Low blow, Flynn. Low blow.” I grabbed a cow costume and examined the udders. “This is hopeless. I can’t find anything. I’m just going to go naked. No, I can’t, I won’t come out of there a virgin.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Avery cocked a brow.
“It’ll be with multiple women, that’s what wrong with it.”
“Who knew James Potter was filled with so much chivalry?” Avery smiled playfully and handed me a chicken costume. Yes, I found the irony in it. “Must you also know the woman’s name beforehand?”
“I’d like to think so.” I chucked the chicken back at her and moved to the next row. “I think I’m a pretty nice bloke. I wouldn’t do any wrong. I’d like to date a girl before doing the sex stuff. Unless I’m really drunk—then who knows?”
She nearly coughed. “James, why don’t you date more?”
The question was out of the blue, but I wasn’t surprised. “Why don’t you date more?” I countered.
“Because you hex everyone that asks me out.”
“I do not!”
Avery snorted. “Right. I’ve seen you at it. You’re not sneaky at all. In fact, at one point we were having a conversation and you hexed them. You’ve got good aim, I’ll give you that.”
“All that practice,” I said. The pilot costume looked cheap. “Why are you so popular anyway?”
“Apparently the boys think I’m worth thinking about.”
“Worth fantasizing about more like!” I snapped. “They just want you for one reason and that’s rubbish. You’re too good for them.”
“Who is good enough for me?”
“That’s fortunate,” she muttered and put cat ears on my head.
I meowed and continued looking. “Do you think I should date more?”
She nodded heavily. “You need to. At least if you date the boys can’t pick on you as much. I think we both should.”
“Is that a hint for my hexing?”
“It actually is.” Avery placed her head loosely on my shoulder and took the sailor outfit from my hand and put it back on the shelf. “I think we should both date more. Then we’ll have loads more to talk about instead of gossip.”
I looked offended.
“We’ll still talk about gossip—geez, James, like we’d stop gossiping.” She laughed and threw a costume at me from the end of the row. “There it is.”
I glanced down and knew exactly what she meant. Professional Quidditch Player—Tutshill Tornadoes.
Paloma wouldn’t show me what was in her bag either and I had a sneaking suspicion it was because of Avery. We stopped for a quick drink at The Three Broomsticks since we were skipping classes anyway, and made our way back to Hogwarts with our purchases.
“What do they have going on in Hogsmeade on Halloween?” Paloma asked gently. She linked her arm with mine (while Avery looked on—did she want me to break the bleeding Code?) and squeezed a bit. “I’ve never been to the village on that holiday—I went for Easter last year and found a bunch of eggs out by the Shrieking Shack, but never for Halloween.”
“I got a flyer with a bunch of things going on,” I said, keeping my voice averted to Paloma but my eyes on that stupid gloating Avery. “There are parties and music and all sorts of random oddities. I’m sure you won’t be bored.”
“Well, you’ll be there so of course I won’t be bored.” Paloma giggled.
I knew she really fancied me, but what was with the timing? I told her about the Code. She had to respect that. Respect! That was another rule! I was knee deep in failure. Still, though, her hand felt nice on my arm muscle. I also made no attempt to move it.
“I’m pretty excited to see if Fred will wear that ridiculous dress or not,” I said offhandedly, desperate for a subject change.
“If there’s money in it you know he will,” Avery said, swinging her bag as we made our way up sweeping hills. She swung her bag at her sides again and kept her gaze focused on me.
There were prickles on the back of my neck and I knew it was cold.
“I can’t wait to see what everyone goes as,” cheered Paloma. She continued on for several minutes about seeing Wes in something silly and Meta eventually chewing off her own face, but my attention strayed to Avery. She smiled slyly at me, grinning in that way that told me she was up to something. I hated when she was up to something. She probably just wanted me to break the Code so we could get rid of the bugger once and for all.
Let me tell you, I wouldn’t date Paloma if you paid me several thousand Galleons. There was the Code to consider! It would end bad. Besides, Al fancied her and I didn’t mess with the fanciness of family. That was why I didn’t go after Kay Davies. I knew she’d just use me for my abnormal good looks.
We finally made our way back to the castle and Avery pulled open the door, letting me go through with Paloma still attached to my arm.
“I’m so excited for this weekend,” she said breathlessly, giving my muscle a little squeeze. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t flex it a bit. “You’ll seriously love my costume. Avery helped me with it a bit. It’s lovely—maybe I can get Bink to actually stare at a girl for more than a second. I don’t see how he picks on you so much, James, you get all the attention and he doesn’t get any of the girls.”
“He’s a weird bloke,” I said halfheartedly.
“A weird, crazy bloke.” Paloma ran a hand up my arm and giggled a bit. She was too beautiful for her own good.
I heard a noise off to my left toward the Great Hall and a few people came out from dinner, one of which was my dearest younger brother Albus with a mouthful of something he sent flying to the floor in front of him. Rosey was next to him, looking scandalized in her traditional Weasley fashion, and she put a hand on his shoulder.
“James.” Albus tried to do an acknowledgement nod but all he managed was a half-choke and a speedy getaway toward the marble staircase.
“Where are you off to?” I tried to distance myself from Paloma but she didn’t let go. I tugged a bit.
“Upstairs, where else?”
“This—you know it’s not.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Al shrugged in a narcissistic way. What a git he was. He knew exactly what I was talking about.
“Yes, you do. And it’s not. So don’t give me that rubbish look.”
“I’ll give you whatever look I want.” He turned and marched up the spiral staircase.
“Stop being a prat!” I shouted after him. Avery put a hand on my shoulder. “Take your sodding jealousy somewhere else—maybe you should get some Quidditch talent while you’re at it! Eh? Yeah!”
Al disappeared behind the corner and I sighed. It was no use. It wasn’t even my fault.
Paloma looked on in confusion. “Your brother is really interesting,” she said, watching the spot where he disappeared. “I wish I saw him more often—the two of you don’t spend much time together, do you?”
“Not so much,” I muttered, walking into the Great Hall.
It was crowded and all the talking distracted me. Paloma let go of my arm to go find a few of her fifth year friends I didn’t know and Avery made a face at me. “You encouraged this,” I said roughly.
“I did not!” she hissed. “I just let it go without intervening. Don’t blame me, James. You’re the one basking in it.”
Bollocks. I knew she was right. She had a certain way of calling me out even when I was my most arrogant.
“Oy, Potter, did you enjoy the bedtime story?”
I turned to see Clint Lawson’s lovely and troll-like face peering at me from the Slytherin table. He had a group of like-minded Slytherins around him, all laughing stupidly and Scorpius Malfoy was practically hanging off every word. One of them was pretending to fly.
Oh. Well, that made sense.
“Let me guess,” I said loudly. “Doxies, huh?”
Clint roared with laughter. “You’re a quick one, Potter.”
“I’m glad you fessed up,” I said loosely, pausing with Avery. “I wanted to say thanks. I needed a vacation from that place. It starts to smell like Head Boy if you don’t air it out for a while.”
“What a smartass he is,” said Malfoy. “You had Doxies in your room. You’re not the one with the advantage.”
“You’re right,” I replied coolly. “It’s clearly you.” I placed my hand on the small of Avery’s back and together we made our way to the Gryffindor table where I spotted Emerson simply waiting to hear the insider information about Clint Lawson and his illegal Doxy farm.
A/N: I was bored tonight so therefore: new chapter! I hope you enjoyed it. I'm very excited to continue on because I have such fun plans for Halloween. I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter image of poor Al and I bet everyone is so sad about the lack of dear Nia in this chap. She should just be the star, you know?
Favorite quotes and all that? Things you want to see happen? People you want to kick off the grounds and into the Giant Squid's tenticles?
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