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Author's Note: Sorry this one took a while - hope everyone enjoys it!

When I entered the Common Room, I was greeted by the smell of parchment, freshly cut grass, and the starchy smell of new robes. I loved that mix of scents; it always reminded me of the Common Room, for obvious reasons, and made me feel like I was at home. Ah, well, enough sappy talk.

It was Saturday, which meant that one week from today I would be holding the Gryffindor Quidditch trials in order to put together some semblance of a team. I was frantically excited for the event because, of course, I was Captain. Which meant I was in charge. And there is nothing I love more than being in charge. Except for maybe snogging.

Like I said before, I was bound and determined to make something of my House’s Quidditch team this year. We were literally the laughing-stock of the school. And I can’t stand being the laughing-stock of anyone. So this year, I told myself, we would be different. I was in charge and I was going to make a change. That’s why these trials were so important – I had to perfectly equip myself to show the rest of the school that Gryffindor would no longer be their laughing-stock!

Pulling the sign-up sheet from my pocket, I strolled nonchalantly to the bulletin board by the bookcase and stuck the paper on it. Making a cup around my mouth with my hands, I called out, “Witches and wizards, step right up! I have just posted the sign-up sheet for Quidditch trials – please write your name on it in order to try out.” The words were hardly out of my mouth before a swarm of girls descended.

“Oh, Jamesie, you look simply ravishing in that tie,” simpered one girl, whose name was Angela. Angela was the unofficial head of the James Potter fan club.

“I know,” I replied sourly.

“Did you have that sweater made for you?” another random girl asked. “It looks like it was.”

“No, it actually wasn’t. I just look this great in everything I put on.”

The two of them actually giggled behind their hands before rushing into the fray before the bulletin board. Merlin, I had no idea so many people would want to try out! The funny thing about it was that there were no boys around the board at all. The only blokes who wanted to try out it seemed, were pushed to the edges of the crowd by hordes of enthusiastic fan girls.

Watching the spectacle for only a second more, I disentangled myself from a few incredibly eager fan girls and strolled nonchalantly past everyone to my favorite seat by the fireplace. As it was still early September, the hearth wasn’t blazing with lit logs; it was simply a cold, gray cave of cement. Perfect to use as a launch spot for Dungbombs, actually. As a prank began to shift and take form in the dark recesses of my mind, I heard a voice from somewhere far, far away.

“James! James! Merlin, what is wrong with you?”

Irritably snapping out of my daze, I turned to face the criminal who had interrupted my pranking daydream. Standing before my chair, hands stuffed into his pockets, was my little baby brother, Albus.

“You were thinking about some sort of new prank, weren’t you?” he asked me rhetorically, raising a dark eyebrow.

“Yup. I was. Now will you leave me in peace?”

His mouth twisted into a smile. “In a minute. First, I have a question.”

“Does it have anything to do with our classes,” I requested.


“Fine then, what is it?”

“Have you done anything yet about Malfoy?”

Suddenly, as if a flashbulb had exploded in my head, I remembered. That no-good, dung-for-brains Malfoy! I hadn’t torn him to pieces yet! “No!” I exclaimed vigorously, drawing stares from all around the room.

“You haven’t? Must have something else on your mind then,” Al surmised. But, like the lovely little brother he is, he didn’t inquire further as to what that something else was. “Anyways, since you haven’t massacred the poor bloke yet, can I ask another question?”

“Only if I can ask you one first?”


“Have you made up with Rosie yet?”

The joking look disappeared from Al’s eyes. “No.” His normally bright voice was hard with anger.

“Hmm, why not?”

“That’s two questions. My turn.” I could tell from his tone that it was more about changing the subject than sticking to the rules.

Sighing, I gave him a nod. “Fine.”

“Can I help you get back at Malfoy?”

My jaw dropped open. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

“Al, I – I don’t know what to say! This is a big day, mate!” I gave my little brother a hearty pat on the back, but he shrugged me off.

“Whatever, James. I just want to help.”

“Sure, sure, of course you can! I’ll think of something tonight and get back to you.” I grinned eagerly at the prospect of planning Malfoy’s untimely death. As Al stood to leave, I opened my mouth to ask again why he and Rose hadn’t made up, but then thought better of it and watched him stroll away, pondering on it curiously. I guess I’ll just have to figure that one out myself, I figured. Shouldn’t be any trouble at all…

That night, I lay in my four-poster bed, staring up at the ceiling and thinking. Just thinking. It wasn’t often I did this. Usually, I just got an idea to do something and then, without any putting in any thought, I simply did it. But now, for some reason, I felt like I needed to think things out. Maybe I was growing up a little, or maybe Al was just rubbing off on me, but either way, I decided it was time to come out in the open, at least with myself.

I knew this because, as I tried to focus on my pranking plans, I found myself constantly distracted by the memory of her sparkling blue eyes. The way her bangs frizzed up just the tiniest bit when she was worked up. How charming she was when she called me a prick. Kat. The word flew through my head on gossamer wings and no matter how hard I tried to get her out, I couldn’t.

But I didn’t fancy her! No way! Kat hated me, and I only thought of her as a friend. If I fancied her that would go against everything I had ever sworn to my mates. I didn’t fancy her and that was final!

Argh, I was talking in circles, and to my ceiling no less! I must be loony. They’d have to cart me off to the loony-bin. And I’d rot there, swimming around in my head with Kat. Sitting up quickly in the semi-darkness, I gave my head a vicious shake.

“Ed,” I hissed. Stumbling out of my bed towards his, I tripped on something that lay on the floor and went flying across the room onto Eddie’s bed. Merlin! How many times have I told Alex not to leave his shit all over the floor? And now, because of his unidentified object, I’m lying on top of Ed…

As I grumbled under my breath, Eddie rolled over and cracked open an eye. “I didn’t know your gate swings that way, Junior!” he exclaimed, astounding me with his ability to make dirty jokes even in the wee hours of the morning.

“Shut up, Ed. I need to talk to you!”

“Alright, alright. Calm down.” He sat up and rubbed his eyes forcefully. “What is it?”

“I can’t fall asleep.”

He narrowed his eyes. “You can’t fall asleep? And so you needed to wake me up?”

“Well, it’s kinda more than just that. It’s… a lot of stuff.”

“So, you need to have a heart-to-heart?”

I groaned. “Don’t say it like that! Blokes don’t have ‘heart-to-hearts,’ they talk.”

“Fine, so you need to talk then. What’s wrong?” Clearly he wasn’t interested.

For a minute, I debated whether or not I wanted to tell him about all my pent-up problems. After all, how weird was it for a guy to talk about all his inner issues?! I knew Ed didn’t care about the – he would be there for me no matter what, as I would for him, and our other two mates would be for us. It just… didn’t seem right, you know? Something inside me didn’t want to tell him. But the knowledge that I could never focus on my pranking until I talked to someone forced me do it.

“Okay, so what would you say if I told you I fancied someone?” I ventured, rolling off of Ed and situating myself on the end of the bed.

“I would say ‘tell me something I don’t know.’ I mean, you are the one who goes around snogging girls for no reason at all.”

“That would be all of us, Ed,” I pointed out. “But that’s not even what I meant! I meant fancy, not snog. There is a difference.”

“Erm, well, I suppose I’d ask who it was.”

Heaving a sigh, I replied, “Oh.”

“Is that the problem?” he inquired, surprising me yet again with his ability to read my mind.

“Are you a Legili-”

“No, James, I am not a Legilimens. You ask me that all the time. As a matter of fact, you ask everyone that all of the time. We are not Legilimens!” he whisper-shouted.

“Well thank you for making that clear,” I grumped. “And yes, that’s the problem.”

“Oh no, she’s not in Slytherin, mate, is she?”


“Are you going to make me guess?”

“I wasn’t going to, but now that you suggest it, yes, I suppose I will make you guess. Only yes or no questions, please.” Ah, this would be fun, and it should take him a while…

“Is it Kat?”

My jaw dropped and I gave him a dumb-founded stare. “Erm.”

“Yes or no, Junior?”


Eddie sighed. “Mate, why are you worried about that?”

“How did you guess?” I shrieked, still outraged.

“Junior.” He shook his head. “I’ve known you since forever, you think I wouldn’t notice when you fancy a girl?”

“Well, fine. But isn’t it awful?”

“Not particularly, no. Kat’s a nice girl,” he commented nonchalantly, making my blood boil.

“Aside from the fact that she dragged you across the Great Hall, ratted you out to Minnie, and takes insane pleasure in following the rules,” I added. “She’s absolutely awful, Ed – she’s bossy, and loves rules and hates me! But, I can’t make myself hate her…” As I spoke, I cursed myself inwardly for opening up this way. It was weird, but somehow felt good getting it all off my chest.

“I think you may just need some sleep,” Eddie ventured, patting me kindly on the back.

“Yeah, that’s it,” I muttered. “Sleep’ll fix everything.” I slumped across the floor again, remembering not to trip on Alex’s stuff, and fell into my bed. “Thanks for listening, Ed.”

“Anytime, Junior.”

Morning came much too early and with too much cheer, forcing me to stumble out of bed and trip yet again on the nameless object between my bed and Eddie’s. And it turned out it hadn’t been Alex’s shit after all – it was a small box. A very mysterious looking small box. Although it wasn’t my mine, I was feeling a strong temptation to open it and see what was in it, but just then the bathroom door opened and Luke came out, half-wrapped in a towel.

“Morning, Jamesie. You look chipper.”

“Thanks,” I muttered in response, still curious about the box on the floor.

“We’ve got Potions first,” Luke continued, pulling a rumpled uniform shirt off the floor.

“Sounds lovely.”

“Lovely? What’s hit you this morning?”

Truth be told, the realization that I fancied Kat had hit me that morning. But I regretted telling Ed enough to not want to say anything to Luke, so I just shrugged. “Tired, I reckon.”

“Yeah. Hey, you and I need to figure out what we’re doing about Malfoy, okay?”

Ugh, add that to my list of things to fix! “’Kay. By the way, Al said he wants to help us! How weird is that?”

“Al? That is weird. Why do you think he’s gone troublemaker?” my mate asked.

“Don’t know. Maybe to impress someone,” Ed offered with a wink as he came in from the hallway with Alex behind him.

“Isn’t Al really mad at Rose about the whole thing with Malfoy? Maybe he wants to get back at her,” Alex suggested.

“That, my friend, is most likely the smartest comment you’ve made in your life! I’m sure that’s why,” I replied. It made perfect sense – Rose hadn’t told Al about Malfoy, now he’d help us take the Slytherin King down.

“That’s probably it, yeah,” Luke agreed. “Maybe we shouldn’t let him help so the two of them will make up.”

“Oh, please. It’s so much more fun this way!” I exclaimed, but deep down I knew Luke was right.

“At least talk to him about it. If worst comes to worst, we’ll just have to cook up a plan to get them to make up,” Eddie suggested. “Come on, we’d better get down to breakfast if we want any.”

We somehow managed to make it through double Potions with Professor Marigold – only the most boring teacher in the whole school – and were meandering along outside in the Transfiguration Courtyard. It was a free period for all of us 7th years and almost our whole year was out enjoying the lovely fall weather. As for me and my mates, the Black Lake was our spot of choice and, after harassing some Slytherins by the front gates, we wandered down to sit by the willow trees.

As we settled down in the long grass, I decided it was a good time to bring up the Lost and Found clothes sale. “Hey, guess what I forgot to tell you – Nott’s making me run a clothes sale next week.”

“A clothes sale? What clothes sale does Hogwarts have?” Luke asked, lazily tossing a Sickel in the air and catching it in his other hand.

“He’s making me host the sale to get rid of all the Lost and Found clothes,” I said, my voice particularly whiny.

“All by yourself?” Alex rolled around in the grass a bit before settling down on his back.

“Don’t rush me, I’m getting there. Get this – anyone who gets detention from him before the sale has to help me with it as their detention.” I put on my very best pleading face.

“Aw, Jamesie, are you asking us to-?”

“Yup, exactly. Come on, I know you all love getting in trouble!” I moaned. “Besides, would you really leave me to run the sale all alone?”

“Yeah, we actually would!” Luke leaned closer to me. “I’ve got better ways to spend my time, Jamesie.”

“Oh, so conspiratorial. You’re just begging us to ask you what better ways you have to spend your time,” Eddie said, taking a crunchy bite out of a red apple.

Luke raised his eyebrows. “Well, since you asked – it just so happens that I have secured a date with none other than Miss Gloria Flyaway.”

“The hot Hufflepuff!” Alex screeched.

“The very one. And so, you see, that I can’t very well be spending my time organizing a sale,”
Luke explained.

Semi-satisfied with his excuse, I turned to Alex, who gave me a half-guilty, half-disdainful look. “I think not, James. You know I’m dead scared of Nott – I don’t want to do anything to get him on my bad side.”

“That’s pretty lame, Alex,” I told him. “Couldn’t even bother to come up with a better excuse than that.”

He shrugged apologetically as he blew Drooble’s blue bubbles into the air.

I turned to Eddie with an expectant look. “Et tu, Brute?”

“Aw, you know I would, Junior, but I really can’t.”

“You really can’t? Now that’s even lamer than Alex’s excuse!”

“I’m serious. You know I just got in trouble yesterday; Minnie was positively seething at me! She even threatened to suspend me as a Prefect! If I put a single toe out of line before this whole food fight thing blows over, I’m done, mate. Finished! And you know my parents’ll kill me if that happens.”

I heaved a great sigh. “And I suppose you’ll just give up on DeAndra while your chance is best.”

“What?” Eddie asked, suddenly alert at the mention of his favorite topic.

“Listen to this, mate,” I told him. “Just yesterday, when I was walking upstairs to post the trial sheet, I overheard Schaffer and DeAndra arguing in the hallway! Really, I think she’s had it up to here with him and if you play your cards right, you may be the lucky guy who gets to pick her up after the fall.”

“Really?” Eddie’s dark eyes glazed over a bit. Suddenly, though, he shook his head vigorously. “No way, Junior, you can’t make me do it. I can’t risk it now, sorry.”

“Fine, abandon me to the horrors of Nott’s detention then, why don’t you,” I grumped.

“I bet Meygan would get in trouble for you,” Luke offered, poking my arm and winking playfully.

“Shut up, I don’t want to talk about that.” Luke was right - Meygan would be perfectly willing to help me with the sale. But she’d been getting pretty annoying lately, and it made me wish that there might be at least one girl who didn’t fawn all over me and could just like me for me.

“She has been all over you since school started, hasn’t she?” Alex commented.

“Yeah. Just one more fan girl to add to the list.” I ran a hand through my hair, messing it up just the slightest bit. “And you aren’t one to talk, Luke. Steff’s had a thing for you since forever.”

“Speak of the devil,” Luke muttered under his breath.

“Hey, boys,” Steff called as she and Meygan tramped across the field towards us.

“Good luck to both of you, then,” Eddie whispered, as the girls sat down.

“Enjoying your free period?” Steff asked, settling down in the conveniently open spot beside Luke.

“Yeah, it’s a relief after double Potions,” Alex replied.

“Marigold’s boring as a dead toad,” I added.

Meygan high, trilling laugh filled the air. “Oh, James, you are so funny!”

I took a deep breath and attempted to bite back all of the comments that popped into my head. Eddie gave just the slightest eye-roll at me, and jerked his head towards Meygan as if to say, “Wow, she’s got it bad for you, huh?”

“So, are you all going to Hogsmeade next weekend?” Steff asked, obviously trying to deflect attention from Meygan. Steff may have fancied Luke, but she at least she wasn’t so annoying about it.

“I’ve got Quidditch trials to run, actually,” I answered, feeling very important.

“The trip’s on Sunday, mate,” Alex informed me.

“You girls going?” I asked.

“Yeah, I think so. Maybe we could all go as a group,” Steff suggested. “That would be fun, just like the old days, huh?” She blew a strand of blond hair out of her eyes.

“Definitely, we should do that.” Eddie’s enthusiasm most likely stemmed from the fact that he couldn’t get DeAndra to go with him. If he couldn’t go with her, going with a group of friends was the next best thing.

“I’m in,” I said, wondering if Kat would be joining us.

“Me too,” Meygan added, the moment I finished.

“We going to Honeyduke’s while we’re there?” Alex asked.

“If you want,” Steff replied with a smile.

“I’ll come, too, then.” His eyes lit up at the prospect of his beloved sweets.

Steff turned to Luke, waiting to hear his verdict.

Before he answered, I realized that his had a date with Gloria Flyaway, the Hufflepuff hottie. He wasn’t coming on our group trip to Hogsmeade and I felt especially bad for Steff about this. How would Luke answer?

“Sorry, everyone, but I’ve got a date to Hogsmeade. Maybe I’ll come with you all next time.” Clearly he didn’t realize how indelicate his words were. I mean, yeah, I’m pretty much the king of being tactless, but he didn’t have to be so brusque about it. Obviously he didn’t understand how much Steff liked him. I made up my mind to talk to him about it later, when we were alone.

Steff’s blue eyes clouded with hurt for a moment but were bright and cheerful just a second later. “Oh, okay, Luke, don’t worry about it. You can come next time,” she said quietly.

I couldn’t restrain my curiosity any longer. “Is Kat coming with us?”

“Haven’t asked her yet, but I bet she’ll come if she hears we all are going.”

Not if she hears I’m going, I thought, but I didn’t say anything.

“We’ll have great time, then, I look forward to it,” Eddie commented, trying to relieve the stress Luke’s announcement had brought upon our gathering. No one spoke anymore and the crunching of his apple was the only noise that filled the air.

Suddenly, a yell broke through the heavy silence. “Hey, you six, everyone’s needed in the Great Hall!” It was Kat, coming towards us with her book bag slung over her shoulder, its heavy load making her look even smaller than usual.

“She’s taking this whole Prefect thing much too seriously,” Meygan complained, rolling her eyes.

“Aw, don’t be so hard on her. You know she loves it, and she’ll relax after a while,” Steff defended her friend.

None of us cared enough to take a side, and we watched as Kat joined our small circle. “Sorry to interrupt the free period but I’m supposed to get all the students to the Great Hall.”

“No problem,” Steff replied, reaching out a hand so Kat would help her up.

“What does Minnie want?” Eddie asked, drawing an annoyed glare from Kat.

“Minnie didn’t tell me what she wants, she only said she wants everyone in the Great Hall. And if you were doing what you were supposed to be doing, you’d be helping me, Bryant.”

“Alright then, we should probably go,” I offered, before everyone could get riled up. I grabbed my book bag and gave Alex a hand getting up. “Wouldn’t do to keep Minnie waiting, ay?”

Author's Note: Review with favorite quotes, please! I've happy to see how much you've all liked it so far =]

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