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“So what happened at the party?” April asked, nudging me halfway through the sermon and grinning. I nodded pointedly towards to the front of the church and towards Ben (the vicar) who was, today, talking about how being a Christian was like being a biscuit. It felt good to be out of the confines of the castle and at church (I couldn’t imagine how everyone else managed to survive without any chance of escape) but the novelty of April’s presence had worn off and she was becoming undeniably irritating. Especially when I did not want to talk about last night.

For starters, it reminded me of my slight hangover which seemed to be getting worse the longer I was awake. It had stated as a slight ache if I moved to fast and now felt as though I had a small knife lodged in the left part of my brain. I mean, it was fine – I’d had worse. It was just irritating.  

It wasn’t like I’d done anything relatively embarrassing, because I hadn’t. Not at all. The most exciting thing that had happened was that kiss on the cheek... but still, the idea of facing everyone who were no doubt talking about me extensively was not appealing. Because I was Autumn Pearce, the pretty much unknown half of the Ravenclaw Duo, and because I had spent the entire night in the company of James Potter. With his arm draped around me, or a hand wrapped round my waist, or talking to each other with our foreheads pressed together.

Plus, it was time to face up to it; I really did fancy James Potter.

How did this happen?!?

Just then there was a loud crunch as Ben got one of the younger teenagers to stamp on an entire packet of biscuits to demonstrate some point which I’d lost somewhere along the line (sometimes things happen to biscuits – sometimes it is peoples fault, sometimes it our fault, but the long and short of it is – we get broken. And God can fix us... or something like that). I shook my head of my thoughts and tried very hard to concentrate on the sermon.

It wasn’t like I didn’t enjoy the sermons, because I did, but today I just couldn’t bring myself to concentrate. I’d actually stopped singing during the worship and just stared at the front of the church in bewilderment.

“Oliver was drinking,” I said disapprovingly. He hadn’t made it this morning. I assumed he’d overslept. He did that quite a lot, these days...

“Oh well,” April said, “I was drinking at his age,” I rolled my eyes at that and glanced at Alex on the row in front. At least he seemed to be taking in the sermon, so it wasn’t going to waste. “What happened with James?” She demanded. This seemed to capture the attention of Jade, on my right, because then she leant over and raised a questioning eyebrow at me.

“James?”

“After the service,” I said pointedly, but just then Ben concluded yet another masterpiece of a sermon by offering us all biscuits. Excellent.

“So,” April demanded loudly, “Did he kiss you?” Everyone was just beginning to stand up, and a lot of the attention was being directed at us anyway – because how long had it been since April was here last? – and now all of the youth were gathering and listening with intrigue. They weren’t being nosy, per say, because we were all friends... but, still.

“On the cheek.”

“On the cheek?” April repeated.

“Maybe he’s gay,” Alex suggested with a grin.

“Maybe he’s just shy.” Jade suggested and then they were all providing me with steadily more outlandish reasons to explain the strange course my love live had taken (he has glandular fever, he had a shocking phobia of lips, he thought that kissing was against my religion before marriage).

Eventually everyone had approached April to say hello and ask her how she was enjoying travelling, everyone had invited me to yet another event that I wouldn’t be able to make, asked me how Oliver was doing and how my ‘boarding school’ was going. Then I’d been cornered by Ben who’d asked how my birthday was, thus spurring off a whole host of other questions from everyone who’d forgotten which carried on for about twenty minutes... then I was finally allowed to escape towards the exit.

April had sorted that out too. Confidently approaching Ben when we first started going to the church and informing him that we were magical. Considering she’d been eleven he hadn’t believed her until she turned his cup of tea into a dormouse (she was extraordinary at magic for eleven years old but hadn’t improved much since. Something I always teased her about). Thus he’d gotten in contact with the ministry, how I still don’t know, and had gotten our private floo network set up in one of the side rooms used for the Mothers union.

“April?” I asked, because she seemed to be heading towards the front door which completely threw me off. April paused and glanced at the floor for a moment.

“I... er,” April bit her lip and put her hands in her pocket awkwardly. “Don’t get mad,”

“What?” I asked sharply. My heart was beginning to thud stupidly in my chest. “You’re not..?”

“I haven’t seen them for two years.” April said tentatively.

“Fine,”

“Autumn, don’t be upset.”

“I’m not upset.” I was. That was a lie. In a church, no less. “I just thought you didn’t want anything to do with them. That’s what you said.”April had this expression on her face that made it clear she thought I was being very childish. I frowned. “I’ll see you back at Hogwarts. Unless you’re going to stay there now.” Sod. I was being childish. I shook myself out of it. “I don’t mind,” I said, dropping the hostility from my voice.

“I just... I need to talk to her.” April said slowly. I nodded, still finding it difficult to look at her. “She’s my Mum,” I nodded again. “You... you could come too?”

“I’ll see you back at Hogwarts.” I said dully, stepping forwards and into the mother’s union room. Ironic. The floo power was kept in an urn. I occasionally wondered how strange it would look to someone if they walked in when I had my hand in the urn, but it hadn’t happened yet. I tossed it in the fire, stepped into the flames, and the next moment – I was back in Clearwater’s office.

Instantly, that horrible fluttery nervous feeling returned to my chest. I blamed being at Hogwarts again. That annoying excitement and anxiousness that always follows the whole ‘could something happen?’ thing that I hated to so much. It was for this reason that I could never be like Dom, she seemed complete immune to that feeling, and for this reason that I generally did not date. Especially not at Hogwarts. And when I did it was simpler – there was no hidden relationship aspect, no tipsy embraces and no awkward moment when you practically ask to be kissed... only to be rejected.

I sighed, smiling at Clearwater before exiting her office. She was used to me exiting her office on Sunday mornings – the arrangement April had set up for us in our second year. She’d always been the one with enough confidence to make herself heard.

Dom would probably be in the Ravenclaw common room or somewhere obscure with Benson, but Hagrid had gone to the south of France this weekend (reasons unknown) and had asked me to feed and take care of various animals that needed taking care of. Then I’d do my homework . After that, I’d find James and talk to him. Maybe.

 




 

The Niffler pressed his snout against my fingers and seemed to be sniffing it; the wetness of his snout against my skin tickled slightly and I smiled at him fondly. He suddenly scrambled in the direction of my pocket, clawing at the material of my robes desperately. I slipped my hands out of my pocket and pulled out a single gold galleon. I threw it to the far end of the paddock and watched with amusement as he dove after the galleon in a rush.

“Hey,” A voice said and I looked up sharply. James was leaning on the newly erected fence watching me pay with the Niffler with a slight smile on his face. I smiled in return.

The Niffler dropped the galleon in my hand and I threw it again. James made to step over the fence.

“Wait,” I said, standing up to his level, then I slipped the gold watch of his wrist and pocketed it, “they like shiny things,” I explained looking downwards to find the Niffler excitedly running over my shoes and shoving its snout up the material of my trousers – the soft wetness tickled a lot now. I sat down again and let the Niffler run into my lap, his snout shaking with excitement.

I threw the galleon a third time and he ran off again like an over excited puppy.

“You got any money on you?” I asked. James pulled out several galleons out of his pocket. I dug a hole in the earth with my hands and shoved the galleon down into the earth, covering it up with a smile. I buried the others around the ground near by and watched as the Niffler, who had just realised what had happened, dove into the earth in a rush.

“Wow,” James said, sitting down next to me and watching in amazement as the Niffler retrieved all five coins within seconds.

“And he’s cute too,” I added with a grin. He returned to my lap again and I stroked him, tickling his tiny ears and smiling as his snout ran over my fingers again. He headed for my pocket, “no, no – you can’t have that, that watch belongs to James,”

This brought the Niffler’s attention to the new intruder to his temporary home and took an experimental sniff. James looked slightly uncomfortable. “Don’t worry, they’re really lovely, Nifflers.” I said, picking the Niffler up round the middle and placing him in James Potter’s hands with a smile. He sniffed him and appeared relatively satisfied. “What are you doing here, anyway?”

“Oh,” James said – his eyes still fixed on the Niffler, his gaze softening as it settled down in his hands and looked very much like it was about to fall asleep. “I was coming to find you. I tried looking after practice but...”

“Right little stalker,” I said, exploiting the Niffler’s little nap by digging a slightly deeper hole in the earth with my fingers and burying the coin once more.

“You weren’t in Hogwarts,” James said – I then remembered that James had that map... of course he’d been able to find me in an instant. I liked the fact that he tried to find me. My stomach turned over slightly nervously, “where were you?”

“Oh, church,” I said, James suddenly looked rather adorably confused, “yes, I’m a Christian but -”

“No,” James countered, “I was just wondering how you managed to actually go,”

“My sister made an arrangement with Professor Sprout in her first year, now I’m allowed to leave via Professor Clearwater’s fire every Sunday. They set up a floo network at my church, too.”

“Was it fun?” He asked, as I ran a finger down the Niffler’s spine and watched it sleepily shudder with pleasure.

“Well,” I began, “it was okay.”

“Good.” James said, slightly awkwardly. I was in a strange mood. I could quite despite what I was feeling: I defiantly wasn’t happy and I was pretty sure I wasn’t angry I was just... unsettled. “Where is April, anyway, considering she’s going back next week I thought you would have been with her?”

“She went to go visit our parents after church.” I answered stiffly.

“And you didn’t go too?”

“No.”

“Don’t your parents go to church with you?”

“Misconception number one: our parents are Christians at all, it’s just April, Oliver and me.”

“Oh,” James said again. The Niffler woke with a start and buried deep with the soil and dragged out the dirty galleons once more. They were returned to my hands. “Hey... is... Oliver should have told me he was supposed to be at church on a Sunday morning: we’ve had practice every Sunday for the past two months,”

“That make sense,” I said, picking up the Niffler and looking at him carefully – he was very very cute.

“Why didn’t he just say?”

“I guess he can be a little like me sometimes,”

“Did you call that thing a Niffler?” James asked, tentatively reaching out a hand and stroking him.

“Yeah, I forget you never did Care of Magical Creatures,”

“I thought there might be an excessive amount of birds involved,” I laughed at that, I couldn’t help it, and put the Niffler back on my lap: he crawled up my robes, desperately scrabbling to the top of my shoulder in a rush... He paused on my shoulder. “You’re good with animals,” James commented lightly – looking at me in a fond way which made me want to hug him. “You have any pets then?”

“Not allowed,” I said, catching the Niffler who had stepped a little too far over my shoulder and began slipping down my back.

“You have an owl though?”

“Sort of,” I returned, “She’s not allowed to stay at home in the Summer though – I have to leave her here at Hogwarts. She still comes to see me every other day but...”

“Seriously?” James asked, shaking his head, “Are your parents like-?”

“Why were you trying to find me, anyway?” I interrupted. The Niffler had now taken to running laps around the paddock excitedly.

“Transfiguration – you said you’d help me and I’ve got a rabbit that needs to be transfigured,”

“I always think that’s a bit a cruel,” I said sadly, “but sure – tonight? If you’re free? You’ll owe me a Defence tutoring session though,”

“Seven?” James said with a grin. I nodded and gave him his galleons and his watch back again. The Niffler jumped up excitedly and tried very hard to knock the shiny objects right out of James’s hands.

I pressed my hand against his snout and said, “No, no, playtimes over,” and picked up the Niffler round the stomach. His warm heavy weight in my hands made me smile and I placed him back in the enclosure Hagrid was using to house them for the time being. Four more Nifflers looked up at him jealously. I chucked my own galleon back amongst their midst and watched as a few more emerged, chasing after the gold. A skinny one found it first and carried it to the very edge of the cage... trying hard to return it to me. “So eager to please,” I laughed.

“A bit like you really,” James said with a grin. I frowned and felt that queasy nervousness flare up in my stomach again. I said nothing to his comment and shoved my hands in my pockets. “You’re not very good at taking compliments,” James said, stepping back out of the paddock again and leaning on the fence, “you should work on that,”

I laughed and rolled my eyes in his direction. “I need to wash my hands,”

“You’ve got the evasive thing down though,” James continued, following me as I headed for the tap just outside Hagrid’s cabin. I had dirt incrusted under my red painted nails and my hands looked like a fake tan accident.

“Thank you,” I said, washing away the dirt in the cold water.

“See, you’re getting better already,” James said and suddenly he was right behind me, so close that I wanted to shiver. Sure, James and I had spent the majority of last night acting very close and coupley, but now it was the morning – no doubt everyone was talking about things and I couldn’t help but want to hide away and never face the general public again. The peaceful easy feeling I’d felt in his presence had faded away a little, along with the effects of the alcohol.

I just hoped to Merlin that Dom didn’t find out about anything. I’d be dead in thirty seconds flat. I wanted to voice my concerns but knew that brining up Dom was not something James wanted me to do.

I turned around to face him, giving up on my nails – Dom would probably insist on a full manicure if she saw them in that state, anyway.

“Are you wearing a Weasley jumper?” James asked suddenly. I flushed and glanced down at the floor for a second. James reached out and felt the knitted material between his fingers. “You are – that’s a Weasley jumper.”

“It’s Dom’s,” I sighed in embarrassment, “She wouldn’t wear it and...well, I like it.” The jumper in question was a light blue that really would have suited Dom a lot more than it suited me: my colouring was all off for blue. Still, the fact that Molly Weasley had put in the effort to knit every single one of the extensive Wesley’s a jumper it seemed special to me somehow. Dom mostly threw them to the bottom of her suitcase and then refused to wear them thereafter...she might have worn them on Christmas Day, I wouldn’t know – because she went home for Christmas and I stayed, but after they were neglected and forgotten about.

Even I had to admit they weren’t the world’s most fashionable items. I’d taken to wearing it underneath my robes in winter, or to church on Sunday where no one cared what you were wearing (or at least, they weren’t supposed to) and given I’d just been planning to look on the Niffler’s after receiving Hagrid’s owl about the new lot... I hadn’t bothered to get changed.

“You’re wearing a Weasley jumper,” James said gleefully. His hand was still clutching the bottom of the material.

“I had to enlarge it,” I admitted, “I’m a little larger than Dom,”

“Taller, definitely,” James said, and then he seemed even closer again.

“Too tall,” I complained, my stomach exploding with that horrible giddy ‘I fancy James Potter feeling’ which seemed to have taken residence within me. There was no point denying it any longer: I, somehow, had started fancying him.

“Works for me,” James returned.

“I’m glad you’re taller,” I said and then we were so bleeding close that our noses were nearly touching. His hand dropped from the edge of my jumper and grinned again.

“See you at seven,” then he was walking back up the Castle. He turned round twice and grinned to me. I stared at him stupidly, feeling very much like I’d been hit by a baffling hex.

 






Fifteen minutes later I was lying on my bed staring in shock at my homework diary (my sisters had brought it me as some kind of mocking joke about Ravenclaws... but I’d actually found it really helpful and had ran my life by it since) and the numerous pieces of homework scribbled in my diary that I had completely forgotten about: five essays. Only Hagrid had been merciful enough not to set me one over the weekend, but that was mostly because he was going on some visit to France this week and I’d agreed to feed the various animals that couldn’t get food for themselves. I did have to complete some diagram labelling all the useful things Dragons could do: from all twelve uses of their blood to the fact that there hide could be used to make jackets.

It was true that this week had been ridiculously busy: since last weekend I’d managed to blow up James Potter’s bed, went on a date with him, turned seventeen, been reunited with my sister and turned into a big fat liar. I suppose it did make sense that I was now so drastically behind on my homework – I hadn’t even thought about it till I’d finished feeding (and playing) with the Nifflers, and then the Hippogriffs, a single Clabbert that was hiding underneath Hagrid’s bed (much to my surprise) and throwing a handful of Nettles for the Glumbumbles.

Then I’d trudged back up to the castle, pulled Dom’s jumper over my head and added it to the laundry pile – my gaze pausing on the material of the jumper for a long moment before I managed to drag my eyes away and stop thinking about James – then fell onto my bed and retrieved my homework diary. Now I was in a state of shock.

Apparently, I had till seven to write five essays, perfect four different spells and complete this ridiculous diagram before seven this evening. Why the hell had I agreed to help James Potter when there was not a chance in hell that was going to get this done?

Maybe... I could fit in one or more of the essays at lunch time tomorrow? Surely Hagrid would forgive my lack of homework given I’d personally ensure none of his pets died of starvation and what not? Professor Clearwater was my head of house... so maybe she’d be more forgiving? Or maybe she’d take my lack of homework as a personal insult.

It was nearly twelve and Dom was probably already waiting for me at lunch. I sighed irritably and decided that I’d have to skip it if I was going to have a chance of getting all this work done.

Dementors have an adverse effect on the human mind...

 




 

“Brought you some food,” Dom said, sitting down beside me in the Common Room and watching my hand fly across the parchment in a rush of words and ink. I really couldn’t care less about the use of dried Billywig strings in potions, let alone write an essay about it – I had gone off on a slight tangent and started talking about the origin of Billywig’s but I really didn’t care anymore.

I smiled at her appreciatively and took a large bite out of the apple she had provided. Dom really did have the capacity to be a very nice person when she set her mind to it.

“Are you nearly finished? I need your help,”

Or maybe not.

“What with?” I asked in frustration, “I’ve got another essay and a half... and then a diagram and, well, and then I’ve got to go to the library.”

“With pranking James,” Dom said, sitting down next to me and picking icing of the cupcake she’d brought me from dinner. “I need it to be something good,”

“Well, I really don’t see what that has to do with me,” I said distantly.

“Don’t you want to help me?” She demanded.

“Not really Dom,” I said snappily. I regretted the tone of my voice almost immediately. Dom was suddenly regarding me curiously.

“Are you hung over; is that what this is about?”

“A little,” I smiled sheepishly, “April brought me cocktails – I’m just stressed about getting all this work done,” I sighed, turning back to my parchment and scribbling another few lines about Billywigs that I was almost entirely sure did not make any sense.

 “I’ve barely seen you all week,” Dom complained, now picking up the cupcake and eating it without really realising it was food she’s brought up for me. I plucked the uneaten half out of her hands and finished it off with a slight mile.

“Sorry,” I said, “Just, with April back...”

“No, I understand,” Dom said distractedly, “I’ve been with Benson anyway and... well, it’s not your fault. Next Saturday why don’t we -”

“April wants to go out again,” I interrupted, suddenly feeling immensely guilty.  Why was it that I couldn’t seem to balance having James and Dom? Already Dom was being left on the sidelines and I’d already promised James I would help him this evening.

“Tomorrow night?” Dom suggested, “your nails are in dire need of re-painting – what have you been doing to them?”

“Other than writing four essays, you mean?” I asked, smiling now. “Tomorrow night. You can pick my nail colour.”

“Bonus,” Dom grinned, “dinner starts in twenty minutes, Autumn – and you’re not missing two meals in a day.”

“Fine,” I said, “I’ll just finish this now...” I muttered, continuing to scribble down extra notes for another twenty minutes before Dom nudged me again. I abandoned my homework mid essay and wondered why the hell I’d agreed to help James.

 




 

“You’re late,” I told James disapprovingly as he sat down opposite me in the library. “Fifteen minutes late,”

“Yes,” James said, “but I brought you a present.”

“You brought me a present.” I repeated, raising an eyebrow and finding myself smiling without really meaning too. About thirty seconds ago I had been very irritated and had been about two minutes away from walking out.

“Yes,” James said, “will that counter out my point deduction for being late?”

“Depends what the present is,”

James grinned cheerfully and pulled something lumpy out of his bag. In my previous experience I’d found that lumpy presents usually weren’t that exciting and I eyed it warily. I reached out for it, watching James carefully, and picked it up.

It was a jumper: lumpy, poorly knitted in places and a spectacular shade of pink. The same shade of pink as James’s hair had been after Dom’s (my) potion. A large ‘J’ had been knitted on the front messily in another shade of pink. James had given me a Weasley jumper. “Is this yours?” I asked, grinning as I ran my fingers over the wool.

“Yeah,” James said, mirroring my grin, “It wasn’t originally pink,” he added hastily, “Fred got to it. Still, I thought that my side of things should be represented too,”

“Your side of things?” I repeated with a slight smile. I dutifully pulled on the fuchsia jumper and found that bright pink didn’t suit me anymore than the pale blue one had: still, I couldn’t help but love it. Molly Weasley’s blatant love was oozing out of every stitch and wearing a Weasley jumper gave me the strong feeling of being part of something so loving. “What can the J stand for then?”

“James Potter was here,” James grinned. I looked down to the J across my chest and raised an eyebrow.

“Were you? Obviously I was drunker than I thought,” I said. James laughed. I found myself flushing slightly – was it possible that James genuinely thought I was funny? “Joke, maybe,” I suggested.

“A walking Joke?” James questioned. “Witty – I can see why you’re a Ravenclaw. Jewel?” James suggested, offering me a fake-charming grin which I rolled my eyes at.

“Jerk, after the person I got it from?”

“January, what we’ll call our first child,” I laughed at that.

“Shouldn’t we be doing Transfiguration?”

“Well, about that, err... I didn’t want you to think I was an idiot so I was practicing on the Rabbit earlier and...” James pulled out the rabbit from his bag and placed it on the table. It seemed to be stuck halfway between being a rabbit and being a footstall: his back was strangely flat and he’d somehow managed to produce white furry legs that held its body several inches of the ground. The poor rabbit looked very scared and was desperately trying to stand up on its elongated spindly legs. “Poor thing!” I exclaimed, trying hard not to laugh in his face.

“Help?” He suggested with an adorable expression across his features. And how could I refuse?

 




 

“So,” James said as we reached the Ravenclaw common room, reminding me very clearly of the events of last night. It was nearly curfew and somehow we’d been doing transfiguration for approximately two and a half hours. “I guess I owe you, Defence tomorrow night?” He suggested lightly.

“That sounds great,” I said honestly, turning round to face James with a smile. “Something simple though, it’s been a hell of a week,”

“Tell me about it,” James said with a slight eyebrow raise. “What with Quidditch...”

“You would think of Quidditch,” I interrupted, smiling. He grinned. I grinned. The whole encounter was like some huge grin-fest. I internally gave James an extra few points just because normally when I had this much homework I didn’t smile quite so much.

“A good week?” James asked (and did he just move closer? Or is that my imagination?). I think he did. I wondered whether it was because I was still wearing his ridiculous jumper – maybe there was some magnetism that pulled him towards Weasley jumpers?

The more I thought that through the more disturbing I realised the whole thing was.

“Definitely,” I smiled. Like a right silly fool. No doubt I’d have to charm the corner of my lips to stay downward at this rate, they’d get stuck in this permanent silly grin and I’d have to walk round sheepishly smiling for the whole world to see.

“Well, I’ll let you get to bed now,” James continued. He definitely moved closer this time. My stomach erupted like some misguided hurricane. I suddenly felt very hot and nervous. My brain kicked into the gear Dom had fondly christened ‘hysteria.’ “It’s later than I thought,”

“Well, you’re a tricky student,” I smiled, allowing him to inch ever closer. I had a sudden terrible thought: what if James was simply going to do what he’d done this morning? Stand so close to me that our chests were essentially passed together, our nose nearly touching – so close even that I could feel him breathing, and then disappear. What if, despite all the usual indications, James Potter was not going to kiss me? What if he never kissed me!? What would I do then?

Yes, it was unlikely that James was suffering from an inability to understand personal boundaries and simply stood this close to everyone he talked to... but it was impossible, was it?

Part of my brain was now telling me to step back – then at least when James turned around and disappeared leaving me standing in the corridor dazed and stupid-looking it wouldn’t look like I’d been expecting him to kiss me.  I’d be saving face and, if he really was going to kiss me – he’d just move forward again!

“I’d blame the teacher,” James grinned.

I wasn’t listening to what he was saying now and was instead working out how best to engineer this moment of stepping backwards without looking like I was stepping backwards. I took my right foot of the floor and intended to replace it almost immediately but...

Then James kissed me (at long bloody last!).

The shock of this, probably quite predictable, move sent me teetering off balance. I hastily tried to reunite my foot with the floor but instead caught the edge of my robes underfoot and fell over. James caught me round the waist before I hit the floor. I stared at him. He stared at me. No one was grinning now.

This was probably the most awkward moment of my life to date.

“Right,” James muttered after a long few moments of stony silence. He shoved his hands into the depths of his pocket. “Night then.”

Oh, sod.

Now James had got the wrong idea. Now James would think that I didn’t like him and it was quite obvious, to me at least, that I really really did. Moments like these were what made me shrink away from myself in embarrassment and convinced me that the right thing to do with my life was to attract the least amount of attention as possible.  That meant letting James believed that the highly awkward moment that had just transpired was due to him misinterpreting the fact that I fancied the pants off him: a nice sensible thing to do, all things Dom related considered.

And I didn’t want to.

 “Wait,” I said, the words blurting out of my mouth without me having time to think them over. My heart was thudding in my chest and yet again I was reunited with that sickly nervousness. James looked back up at me tensely. “Can... can we replay that scene?”

James grinned. Phew. Operation recovery: successful.  “Where from?”

“Erm... from, ‘A good week?’” I suggested.

“A good week?” James asked, stepping forward to how close he’d been before my ridiculous falling over my feet bonanza.

“It’s about to get better,” I said, letting him take hold of my hands and smiling.

“Well, I’ll let you get to bed. It’s late,”

“I blame the tricky student,” I said, taking my step forward so that we were chest-to-chest and both doing the grinning thing all over again. I didn't care anymore.

He grinned, his lips so close that they were almost touching mine and then, “I blame the student,” then, he kissed me properly.

And I didn’t fall over, which is always an unexpected bonus in these situations.

A/N - I feel like I haven't updated for awhile - so here's the next chapter! Lots of James/Autumn. Please review and tell me what you think :)
 

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