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Thanks, Radicallyali, for the ongoing aviators.

With the team in mind, the Gryffindors delayed the party by one night. Sure, it would be held the night before classes, but who paid attention during Monday classes anyway? Ravenclaws, that’s who. And Rosey. Probably Albus.

Bink and Freddie were both released from the hospital wing the following morning with Bones warning them about head injuries. Fred told her the Puffers did it and to warn them. She didn’t take it well and told them not to do any heavy lifting or too much celebrating.

Yeah, right.

After spending the night trying to get Falcon Cat to sit in one place for longer than ten minutes, I welcomed a party with the rest of the house. Avery had gone to bed early since she was exhausted and I couldn’t wait to see her. It was almost like I had little butterflies in my stomach.

But something much more manly than butterflies. Like big rocks or pterodactyls.

When I walked downstairs Sunday around ten it was already starting. Third years were setting up tables. A first year was finding Fred a comfortable chair. Paloma was dancing around to the music just set up.

This was going to be an epic evening.

In honor of the occasion, I disappeared back upstairs to feed Victoria and dig around in my trunk (which had been locked since Twitwards was found going through it). I grabbed my aviator sunglasses and put them on. It made the room really dark but I figured I looked pretty damn wicked.

“Really?” Albus was at the door, laughing his green-eyed face off at my glasses. At least I didn’t need them every day like he did. Doucher.

“Yes, really. They’re cool.”

“You look like an idiot.”

“I could be wearing a hippogriff suit and everyone would think it was the new thing because I won the game yesterday.” I shrugged at him and peeled off the sunglasses. Fun-ruiner. I put them in my pocket for later. “What’s up, baby brother?”

He winced at the name. “Should I ask her to dance?” He said this very fast and I almost laughed.

“Who?” I said, dangling it in front of him.

“Don’t be an ass, James. Do you think I should?”

“Course I do.” I ruffled his messy hair. “You probably should have done it ages ago, but better late than never, right?”

“How…like, how do I do it?”

“Easy,” I said, carefully adjusting my collar in the mirror. “You walk up to her. Then you ask her.”

“Easy for you!” he shouted. “Girls are easy to you. I don’t know how you do it. I just get nervous and my hands get all sweaty. There has never been a girl in the world you’ve been nervous around.”

“False, baby brother,” I said, thinking about Avery. “But anyway. You need to just be confident. Girls like that. If you’re confident, she’ll say yes. You need to get the hell out of the friend zone.”

Albus narrowed his eyes, but didn’t contradict me.

“Now get out before I sick Falcon Cat on you.” I smiled and grabbed for a tie. Ties were cool. Not as cool as aviators, but pretty damn close.

When I returned downstairs I saw Rose chatting with Freddie and Bink, Al twiddling his thumbs by the fireplace, Paloma and Wesley laughing with Lily about something, and Emerson being a tool by the window. Probably birdwatching. Meta was there, helping Henry set up the bar.

“James!” It was Elizabeth. Clearly she was remembering the ‘if it happens, it happens’ conversation and wanted to make sure it happened.

“Hey there,” I said, straightening my tie. “Enjoy the game yesterday?”

“You were so brilliant! If you don’t get picked up after that then I won’t graduate.”

“Thanks, Liz. I appreciate that. I really hope I do.”

“You’re so amazing at Quidditch, James.” Ah, now she was using her knowledge of Quidditch to one-up Nia. Smart girl.

“Thanks. I’ve worked pretty hard.” I was going to ask her a few more questions since my mates seemed to be busy with my cousin, but I got distracted.

Avery was walking down the spiral staircase. She was in jeans and a sweater with her hair crumpled down around her shoulders from wearing it up while wet the previous day. I knew it was from that because she had told me lots of times when her hair had done that before. I remembered.

I forced my jaw closed.

“Oy, Aves,” I said, trying my best to be conversational. “Excuse me, Lizzy. We have to chat later, okay?”

She smiled.

“Hey, get a good night sleep?” Avery asked, trying to hide the giant smile creeping up her cheeks.

“Not with Falcon Cat I didn’t. Bleeding cat slept on my face when it finally zonked out around three.”

She laughed. It was like her smile exploded. I loved it. “Maybe that gift was a mistake?”

“Never. I love Falcon Cat. I need to train her or something.” I wanted to squeeze her hand. To kiss her. To wrap my arms around her. Instead, I just kept smiling.

My insides felt like jelly.

“Let’s get this party started, shall we?”

“An all day Quidditch party?” I said, leading the way over to the refreshments. “I don’t think anyone is going to class tomorrow morning. Pfft, it’s Transfiguration, who even needs that class?”

“You’re going to land in remedial like Bink.”

“And it’ll be worth it.” I winked and grabbed for the liquor.







And it was. The music was shaking the walls by noon and Fred was reenacting his fall. Something I was sure Madam Bones wouldn’t approve of. Mixed with alcohol. Rose was in stitches laughing. What a good example she was setting as a Prefect.

Emerson, however, was setting a fabulous example for anyone who hated fun. He wasn’t drinking at this party (perhaps because of what happened at the last Quidditch party?) and was sulking from group to group encouraging the use of coaster spells. When he walked over to Bink, my blond Chaser dumped his drink over Freddie’s head.

“Fred needs a coaster!” he cried, crumpling in a fit of giggles.

As I expected he eventually got to talking with Avery. Who happened to be my girlfriend. And not just my friend. I observed closely, careful not to be too obvious, but then I reminded myself that I had hexed him for less only months ago. I inched closer.

“Thanks,” Avery said cheerfully. “I think that last save might have been one of my best. Bay was really on his game.”

“You’re really beautiful,” Emerson cut in, dropping the subject of Quidditch probably as quickly as it had come up.

“Thanks,” she said awkwardly, careful not to wrinkle her nose. “Look, Emerson, about our date.”

My ears perked up. I wished I had Extendables. Where was Al when I needed him?

“I’m really excited about it,” Emerson said. “I was thinking a fancy dinner in Hogsmeade. Steak probably. Then a stroll around the grounds. Heating charms provided.” He snickered at himself. I almost threw up in my mouth.

“I’m going to have to cancel,” Avery said.

I wanted to jump up and down but even this early I was a little unstable.

“What? Why?”

“I really don’t think it’s going to work out between us.” She tried to be empathetic. Avery was good at that. “You’re a really great guy and I think you’re going to make some girl really happy. I just don’t think it’s me. We don’t have enough in common.”

“So you’ve found someone with more in common?”

She raised a brow. “I haven’t found anyone, but I don’t think I should go on dates when I know it won’t work out.”

Emerson was clearly irritated, but did his best to hide the frustration. “I understand. Thanks anyway.” With that he turned and marched up the spiral staircase. At least he wouldn’t be nosing around my things anymore looking for ways to discredit me. Hell, he could find an axe in there and everyone would still love the winner of the game.

With a manly cocktail in his hand.

Me. Up there alone against a bulky yellow Keeper. Faking left. Going left.

By two it was time for the aviators. The room was stumbling. Well, I meant the people, but all the same. Fred, Bink, and I sang the Hogwarts song. Al was inching closer to Paloma. Wesley was swing-dancing with some fourth year. Lily was throwing back shots.

Wait, what?

I grabbed her shoulders. “What are you doing?” I said, jerking my head toward two empty shot glasses.

“Shut it, James,” she said, shoving me playfully.

“I’m cutting you off.”

“Seriously?” Lily laughed. “James, not only are they a quarter full, but you’re already slurring your words. I don’t think you’re in a fit state to cut anyone off.”

“Cept you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Go sit down before you fall down.”

“I resent that,” I said cheerfully. “Someone get my sister a drink!”

Wesley handed her one. Little git. I hexed him.

“Guess I had that coming since Italy,” he said.

I looked down and then hexed him again. “There. I feel better.” I made my way over to Rosey. “Hey, ginger. You dating anyone I can hex?”

“No one,” she said, glancing up with a somber expression.

I narrowed my eyes. “What about someone I can’t hex?”

Rose laughed. “Nope, sorry, James. I don’t think anyone is applying for the job.”

I put an arm around her. “Don’t worry. Someone will come along. And when they do, I’ll have my wand ready.”

“I can always count on you.” She laughed. “I bet Hugo would beat you there.”

“There is no way little brothers are worse than big brothers.”

“Big cousins?”

“Same damn thing with our family.” I laughed and grabbed a drink a third year handed me. “Tell Hugo it’s a race. I’m going to win. I’m a Quidditch star, of course. I always win.”

“You’re so arrogant.”

“All part of the charm, Rosey.” I winked and stood up. Well, I tried three times before I actually made it up, but I got there. The room was spinning and I spilled part of my drink on some girl. She laughed. I liked her.

I settled in a spot beside the dance floor and surveyed its occupants. Some people I didn’t know. A few people that tried out for the team but didn’t make it. Elizabeth twirling with another girl. I wondered where Nia had gotten to. Then I didn’t care.

Paloma was swaying on the side with a drink. It had a pink straw. How the hell was she one of the most hardcore Beaters I’d ever seen?

Albus was a meter behind her.

I nodded. More like a way to say, BLEEDING GO.

He took a few steps, visibly shaking. Was it really that hard? I mean, it was Paloma. She was pretty and a Quidditch girl, but she was a fifth year. Al was older and wiser and should have just been able to grab her and pull her onto the dance floor.

“Hey,” I heard him say. My hearing was fabulous while I was intoxicated. I think.

“Oh, hey, Al!” Paloma beamed. “Great party, huh?”

“Yeah, the best. Worthy cause of course.” Aw, Al, don’t use the word worthy when you’re going to ask a girl to dance. Makes you sound like a tosser.

“Sure, sure.”

Al fiddled with his thumbs. He was almost doing a potty dance. “Do you want to dance?” he asked suddenly.

Her face flashed back to him, stunned. “Uh. Yeah—yeah, I’d like that.” Drink in hand, Paloma led the way onto the dance floor and the two started to dance. It wasn’t the most graceful thing I’d ever seen, but they were having fun.

“Cut yourself off yet?” Lily appeared beside me with a sly smile. She had been drinking. More anyway. I’d seen her drunk once before over the summer when Mum threw a party for her ex-Quidditch team in the back garden. Loads of people were invited and us kids snuck a bottle into the basement and had a right good time giggling like idiots. Yeah, I was pretty awesome at seventeen.

Lily had been so intoxicated that night she passed out on the basement floor and we had to carry her up to her room without Mum noticing.

She was just about at that point.

“Ravenclaw calling the Puffer irrelevant,” I retorted.

“How about a dance, big brother?” she said, smiling. Lily always got smiley when she had a drink. It was horrible of me to let her at thirteen, but I couldn’t say I didn’t have a few when I was that age. And no one in Gryffindor Tower would let her get up to any trouble. The hangover tomorrow would teach her the real deal. I almost laughed to myself about having an internal thought process regarding Lily’s rare drinking.

I grabbed her hand and spun her onto the floor. The song died into a slower one so I twirled her and we danced for a few minutes in silence.

“Thanks, James,” she said, smiling again.

“For what? Knowing how to dance? Does that tosser Wesley not know how?”
She rolled her eyes. “For always being there for me.”

I kissed her forehead. “I’m your big brother. It’s part of the job description.”

“Well, thanks anyway.”

“Did you ever even kiss anyone, Lily?” I asked, pushing the aviators back onto the top of my head.

She giggled. I laughed. Her face was red with embarrassment.

“Of course I did. I’m thirteen,” she said, barely able to contain her laughter.

“Was it Wesley? Did you kiss Wesley?” I said, my wand ready to do some serious damage to that Beater of mine, head trauma or not.

She shook her head, still giggling. “Nope. Didn’t kiss Wesley.” More laughter. She was shaking, her face beet red. “Not to say I wouldn’t…”

“Who then?” I said and we stopped dancing. I got elbowed by a fourth year.

“Well, remember when we were kids? I liked your friend Dylan when we were growing up.”

“You snogged Dylan?” He was my friend from down the street when I was nine.

“No! But little sisters…what Mum says anyway is that little sisters tend to fancy their brother’s friends. It happened with her. Dad was Uncle Ron’s best mate.” Lily giggled.

“Okay, so did you fancy Al’s friends or something?”

“You know how I used to hang around you lot when we were growing up. I wanted to be part of your friends, I always did.” She shook her head just remembering it. I remembered kicking her out of my room too many times to count when my friends came around. “Well, I had some puppy crushes on some of them. Some were quite good-looking. Even Mum said so.”

“Sick,” I mumbled.

“Well, there was that one time after a party that I found Bink roaming around the corridors drunk and had to bring him back up here…and he was heavy so I couldn’t just lug him and every time I took out my wand he yelled and called it the Deathstick so I couldn’t just hover him.” Lily paused, red as ever. “So I told him I’d give him a snog if he came quietly. So I did. I always liked him so I just did it.”

I felt numb. Lily snogged Bink. My best mate. And my baby sister.

My wand was out before I knew what I was doing. I marched toward Bink, thinking of hexes and curses and stuff. None came to mind so I walked slower.

“James!” Lily called. “He had no idea it was me. He was completely gone. Like, way drunker than you were at Halloween. That drunk. You remember after I brought him back, he was a mess.”

“Do you think I care? He snogged you. Bloke is getting hexed.” I finally made it to him and Bink was lounging on the sofa with a drink, laughing at something Avery said. I pointed my wand directly at his nose.

“What is this? What’ve I done now? I swear I haven’t broken the damn Code again.”

“You snogged my sister!”

Bink’s mouth hung open. “What—when? Hold on, could you repeat that?”

“Vile bastard!” I cried. “I’ll make sure you never do that again!” I swayed on the spot but steadied myself.

“I’m not sure I’ve done it in the first place.” Bink looked around my wand to Lily. “When exactly did this happen?” He said it relatively calmly.

Wesley glanced up from a few seats down. “Oh, Lils, you’ve told him?”

My wand went to him. “You knew?”

“You’ve already hexed me twice tonight, mate, I’ve had enough.”

“Fair.” I pointed it back at Bink.

“James, cut it out.” Lily smacked me on the back of the head. “Sorry, Bink. We snogged a long time ago when I found you wandering around drunk.” She shrugged like it was nothing even though she’d been giggling like crazy only minutes before.

“How am I supposed to remember that?” he said.

I hexed him anyway.

Then Lily hexed me and I was face-first into the carpeting. Strangely comfortable.







“So where’s Abigail?” It was around six and I no longer knew where the portrait hole was, not to mention other important things like the bathroom and the fireplace. Fred was next to me, though. I knew he was there. He had soft hair.

“Didn’t invite her,” he said, starting a new drink. “She visited in the hospital wing after you lot left and we had a row about Quidditch.”

“I’m sorry? Quidditch?”

“Yeah, stupid, eh?”

“Beyond,” I said. “Was she cross you won or something?”

“Said I was putting myself in danger with the move I tried that got me injured.”

“Sounds like she’d never played before. That’s why the Claws lost their match against us. Not enough chances taken. Too safe.”

Fred shrugged. “I really don’t care. I just don’t like being told what to do.”

“Who does?” I said, thinking about my family.

“Nia,” Fred said and I snorted into my drink. “Oy, Al and Paloma are still out there.”

“Still?” I squinted but really couldn’t tell who was who. I took his word for it. “That’s chemistry.”

“If he doesn’t muck it up.”

“Leave it up to Al.” I laughed. “He has a track record of mucking things up. In fact, so do I. I hope Lily’s not next.”

“She’s too smart for that. Sneaking a snog from the bloke she liked while he was drunker than Hagrid at the Hog’s Head. Smart girl.”

“I still want to hex him again.”

“Ah, let it go. How was he supposed to know? Your sister isn’t exactly a troll, you know.”

“I’m going to start saying things like that about Roxanne.”

“I’ll punch you in the mouth.”

I laughed. My cousin Freddie was something else. I figured I’d let Bink off the hook. Maybe. If I felt like it. Perhaps. If he didn’t do anything else considering his snogging of my baby sister and the Code-breaking and the blond-ness. Not that the blond was bad. I just had to group something else in the list.

“Avery!” Fred shouted, pulling her down onto the sofa beside us. “Have I ever told you that you’re rather pretty?”

“Lay off,” I said.

“You can’t be everyone’s big brother, James,” Fred said with a smile. “Avery, will you help me? I need you to pretend to be interested in me so Abigail will just break up with me.”

“Why don’t you break up with her?” Avery said. She was tipsy, I could tell. But nothing near what I was. I didn’t even know what sofa I was on. There was something on my foot.

“Sounds messy,” said Fred.

“It might be.”

“I like the sex though. Ravenclaws are good about that.”

Oh. The thing on my foot was my shoe. Curious.

Avery laughed. “I see. Well, you’ll have to figure that one out on your own.”

“How come James has all the Gryffindors wrapped up? And he’s got you under wraps because you’re his best mate. Are there any I could borrow?”

“I think it’s because he’s Captain,” Avery said in a low voice. “He’s also rather handsome.”

“Aw, you have to say that, you’re his best mate!” Fred whined. “Abigail is making me miserable.”

She patted him on the head. “I know you’ll do what is right, Freddie-poo.”

“Yeah like fail out of Hogwarts so I don’t have to deal with her.”

“You’re not dramatic at all,” I said, shifting my shoe around. It felt really weird on my foot. Constricting.

I kicked it off. And then the other. Shoeless and free. Free like a wild dragon. That spit fire and all that shit.

“Potter, that cat of yours has to go!” It was Twitwards at my elbow with his pointy face and Head Boy badge. It was nearly blinding me.

I blinked. “Eh?”

“Your cat! Your cat has torn my hangings again!”

“So magic them fixed,” I said.

“I’ve done it a dozen times this week!” His fists were clenched. I wondered if I’d feel it if he punched me.

“Is it inconvenient?” I asked. “Trying to bring lucky number seven up there?”

“Lucky seven?” Fred said, looking over Avery and up to Emerson. “Who is it? I’m going to start guessing if you don’t tell me.”

“I’d give you detentions if you didn’t already have them,” Emerson spat.

“What’re you in for?” I asked Fred.

“Starting a rumor that Edwards wore a bra,” he said, giggling. “Want me to start another about lucky seven? We could say she’s a Puffer. And he wanted to hide her because of their dramatic loss today at the hands of James Sirius Potter.”

“I like that one. Their Chaser was a girl. She looked like a troll. Perfect for him, don’t you think?”

Fred laughed. “I’ll get on that in the morning.” He looked up at Emerson, who was fuming. “Would you prefer her approaching you in desperation to redeem herself since she lost, or did you want to be the one approaching her? It can go either way.”

He stormed off out the portrait hole. I only knew that because it slammed shut.

I giggled.

“You two are terrible to him,” Avery said.

“He wanted you to be lucky number seven,” I said in a disgusted voice. “He deserves it.”

“I like the idea of her approaching him,” Fred said, his eyes rolling back as he passed out on the sofa.







It was nearly two in the morning and Avery and I finally stole away from the party. We couldn’t go up to my room considering Bink was yelling in his sleep with Fred poking him with the end of a rum bottle and hers was occupied by Elizabeth. I wondered about Nia. It wasn’t like her to avoid my company for this long. Not that I was upset about it.

I was still swaying, but I could tell where the doors were, which was a start. We left with the Marauder’s Map in hand, careful to watch for annoying Gryffindor-hating Prefects (though Rosey was supposed to patrol the upper floors and it was clear she was doing her job). We hurried through a tapestry and upstairs to an empty classroom. This one was filled with tables pushed against the walls and several chalkboards standing at the front. I wanted to draw inappropriate pictures, but resisted.

“Here,” Avery said, waving her wand and I watched as pillows and blankets appeared on the floor. She locked the door.

I flopped down, face hitting a pillow as my head spun.

“How do you feel, trooper?” She giggled.

Bleeding woman. “I feel like I’ve had a great deal to drink.”

“It’s all in celebration,” she said, running a few fingers through my hair.

I sank further into the pillow. “So you think I shouldn’t kill Bink?”

“Give it a rest,” Avery said, but she was laughing all the same. “Poor Bink had no idea what was happening. Even tonight he was so confused. And you embarrassed Lily. She’s going to get you back for that, you know.”

“Already hexed me!”

“I don’t envy you.”

I grumbled. Maybe I called Lily out a little. Maybe. But still, it was my duty as big brother to hex whomever she was snogging. Even if they had no idea they were doing it.

“Here,” Avery handed me a bottle of water that didn’t belong to Puffers. “You need to sober up a bit before we have this conversation.”

“What? About Bink?” I raised a brow. “I’m quite sober.”

She snorted. “Drink the water, Casonova.” Avery straightened a few blankets and leaned back. “I just think we should talk about…this. You know. Us.”

I thought about us while drinking the water. Us. Avery and me. Two peas in a bleeding pod. Even though pea pods had a great deal more peas than two. Then I remembered my serious loss of control in the shower of the locker rooms. I barely recalled it, simply because it was all built on random emotion I didn’t know was there.

“It was Twitwards,” I mumbled.

“What do you mean?”

“When he asked you on that date. I couldn’t control myself. I just went crazy.” I nearly laughed. “Then when you said yes…”

“Hey, I didn’t really have any other offers.”

“I don’t blame you.” I made a face. “Yeah I do, that guy is the worst. But in all seriousness, I felt something I hadn’t before. Ah, now I sound like an idiot.”

“Keep talking.” Avery’s voice was simple, clear.

My throat was dry even though I was drinking water. I focused my eyes at a dark corner of the room. “I just lost it, thinking about you going on a date with him when I had you in my arms. Jealousy finally caught up with me.” I paused. “I wonder if it’s been jealousy all along and I just thought it was this silly protectiveness.” What if it was?

I thought back to the auction and the way I felt when Avery appeared in a dress and the blokes were practically ogling her. On her date with Emerson when I had to trail along in a disguise. In Italy with Twataso. Ah, that was the worst. I wanted to hex him into next week. Had it become full-fledged jealousy by then? Had I known, deep down, that I wanted her for myself and no other bloke could have her?

And that kiss.

“Did you fancy me?” I said suddenly, looking up. “When you kissed me in Italy. Holy shit, did you fancy me?”

“Yeah, of course I did. Or I wouldn’t have kissed you.” Her face was a bright pink and all I wanted to do was kiss her.

“I feel like an ass hole.”

“Don’t,” she said, pressing a finger to my shoulder. “It was on a whim. I guess before we left for Italy I sort of developed feelings and decided to just go for it.” She shrugged. “But after we came back even though it was awkward I sort of realized we were just great as friends, you know? And we were.”

I stared, thinking back to that balcony snog. The one I dwelled on for weeks.

“Then you kissed me at the grotto,” she said, eyes downcast. “I was nothing more than confused. I’d gone back to seeing you as a friend, but damn, James.”


“Kissing you was way better than I thought it was going to be—than I’ve ever experienced.” She laughed nervously. “So then I sort of started to get feelings for you again, but I knew you didn’t fancy me like that. So I thought I’d go on a date with Emerson, mostly to show the Gryffindor Tower I did actually date.”

“Surprise, surprise,” I said slowly. My limbs felt numb. “And then I flipped out.”

“I was in shock,” she said and my eyes trailed from her eyes down to her jaw bone and her neck. “In complete shock. I didn’t expect—and then when you said it I didn’t know what to do. You’re very spontaneous and I didn’t know if you really meant it but then when we were on our way back in—when you said you did.”

We were both silent.

“I really like you,” I whispered, not meeting her eyes. “I didn’t even know it until that morning. I guess an idiot could have seen it coming. And by that I mean Lily.”

“She knows?”

“She knows we were snogging,” I said. “Said she read it all over our faces. I guess me being a cheerful dunderhead didn’t help matters. It’s only a matter of time before she knows we’re dating.”

“Speaking of which.” Avery grabbed my water and took a sip. “What the hell are we going to tell everyone? This definitely breaks the Code. The snogging didn’t, but this does.”

I thought about waking Bink up in the dead of night with freezing cold water, hexing his hair gone and giving him that embarrassing t-shirt. Well, fuck.

I had broken the Code. Not to the extent of getting a detention or getting a little too hammered at a function. No, I’d broken it wide open. Just like Bink and Meta. And I was the captain, which made it worse. Any sensible person would break up for the well being of the team.

Her eyes were glittering and her lips were parted slightly.

I wasn’t giving up Avery.

I looked at her, hair falling down around her shoulders and her pretty green eyes against mine.

Nope. I wasn’t giving her up. Code be damned.

“I don’t think we can tell,” I mumbled.

“And do the same thing Bink did?” she asked. “Don’t you think he will call you a hypocrite?”

“What am I supposed to say? Oy, by the way, mates, I’m going to break the Code and date my best mate and you lot can’t do anything about it because what I say goes.” I made a face. “That will go over well.”

“Maybe we should see how it goes first,” she offered. “I mean, we’re not used to seeing each other like this. Maybe the next week or so could be like a test run, you know? Then we’ll sit the boys down and talk to them first and I’m sure they’ll understand.”

“They’ll be pissed, but I think they’ll understand. They’ve probably seen this coming. I hope.”

Avery was smiling again.

“Okay. Okay, good. Let’s just take a week and see how it goes and then we’ll make a choice. Promise me something, though.”

“Sure,” she said.

“If this goes sour,” I said slowly, “then we can go back to being best mates? I’m not sure what I’d do without you. After we got back from Italy was the worst.”

Avery hugged me and my body tensed up around her. “Okay, James. We can go back to being best mates if this doesn’t work.” Then she kissed me.

My whole stomach exploded with nerves and I wouldn’t have it any other way, my fingers twisting in to her hair.

“You’re amazing,” I said when we broke apart. I said it without thinking.

Ah, finally some beautiful Javery action. Complete with drunk James, aviators, and a pissed off Emerson. I hope you enjoyed this chapter...especially with who Lily ended up snogging. Surprised? haha.

I hope you all enjoyed this! I wanted to make sure it was delivered to you in time for your holiday of choice! 

Favorite quotes? Favorite "aw" moments? Most of all, what do you think is going to happen between them on this week-long trial run? 

NEXT  UP: An adoption, a date, a skip day, and shit hits the fan.

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