Search Home Read Write Forum Login Register
Disclaimer: Sadly, I own nothing you recognize. At least this plot is my own. Wheeeee!






Photobucket

Gorgeous chapter image by kaileena_sands at TDA






"Good morning, Mrs. Pond," says James Potter smoothly, appearing quite pleased with himself on our front doorstep, his tousled, dark hair appearing windswept as ever, though no broomstick is in sight.

Apparently, no one's told him that looking as though he's stuck his wand in an electrical socket isn't all that attractive.

Mum smiles warmly as she bustles past me to shake his hand. "James Potter! Of course I remember, nice to see you again, dear. How are your lovely parents?"

"They're quite well," Potter answers politely with a small smile. "They send you their best, as well as Mr. Pond. And Aurora." Potter's eyes meet mine for a moment as I stand there, utterly gob-smacked and slightly furious. 

"Potter," I say, through slightly gritted teeth, "what a pleasant surprise. What brings you here, all the way from Devon?"

He raises an eyebrow skeptically, clearly sensing my discomfort. "I just thought I'd pop by ― literally, I guess ― and congratulate you on making Head Girl." Grinning cheekily at me, he adds, somewhat lamely, "So, er, congratulations."

"Oh, how sweet of you, James!" Mum gushes. "Isn't that sweet of him, Rory?"

"Yeah, it sure is," I say sarcastically, stifling an eye roll, "but hang on ― did you Apparate here?"

Potter's grin becomes sheepish. "No, my birthday's not until the twenty-seventh of July."

"Then how did you get here?" I ask curiously. 

"I Apparated with ― "

"I HAND YOU HER BLOODY ADDRESS, AND YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST GO TRAIPSING THROUGHOUT CLAPHAM, I SWEAR, JAMES, THAT'S THE LAST TIME I LET YOU SIDE-ALONG ― "

"Dom," Potter and I finish with identical grins.

"If you ever leave me like that again," Dom snarls at Potter, tossing her strawberry-blonde hair over her shoulder as she storms her way through our front lawn, her eyes like ice chips, "I swear, I'll tell Uncle Harry that it was you who took his Firebolt from the trophy case without permission, and not Albus."

Potter at least has the proper decency to look abashed. "I've told you, Dad already suspects, and besides, I just wanted to congratulate ― "

"Morning, Rory," says Dom brightly, ignoring him as she turns to me. "Hello, Mrs. Pond."

"Hello again, Dominique," replies Mum dryly. "That was quite an entrance you made."

"Yes, well, my dear cousin just had to see darling Rory," says Dom, smirking, and Potter blushes. "We were meant to arrive together, but he obviously couldn't wait any longer once word got out at the Potters' that I'd be seeing her before our robe fittings."

Her sharp gaze passing between Potter and me with a look far too knowing for my comfort, Mum remarks, at length, "I see. Well, James, I'm delighted you're here, I had no idea you would be coming as well ― "

"Neither did I," mutters Dom, glaring at Potter, who stares pointedly at the grass.

" ― but since it's rather boiling out here," Mum continues amiably, "why don't we come inside and I'll make us all some nice, cold lemonade?"

There is a cacophony of "Excellent!", "Yes, please!", and "I love you," and, appearing quite bolstered at our hearty assent, Mum persists jovially, "And I've got some ginger biscuits in the oven as well!"

Potter, Dom, and I groan longingly in unison.

"We might as well celebrate," Mum prattles on, "now that we've got a Head Girl in the family!"

Dom swivels to me, her blue eyes widening. "Merlin, that's right!" Enveloping me in a brief hug, she says, beaming, "Congrats, Rory, I knew you'd get it."

"Thanks, Dom," I say sincerely, hugging her back. "I'm quite thrilled!"

Dom's smile becomes impish. "I'm sure James here is as well, aren't you, James?"

"Quite," Potter agrees, his hazel eyes sparkling as they lock with my emerald ones, as though we're meant to share some sort of beautiful moment and gaze into each other's souls. 

To be honest, the moment would really be beautiful if I could shove a broomstick up his arse.  

Like my mum says, we all have different ideas of beauty.

"I mean, of course you were a shoe-in for Head Girl," Dom says conversationally. "You're...well, you."

"Would a simple 'thanks' be appropriate?" I say uncertainly.

"But James, on the other hand," Dom goes on, her voice quaking with laughter, "well, nobody in her right mind would make him Head Boy." 

"Many thanks, Dom," says Potter sardonically.

I'm shaking my head frantically at her to stop speaking before my mother catches on, but I remain unnoticed.

"But then, here we are," Dom muses, gazing off toward Mrs. Next Door's runner beans. "Honestly, though, I can't see how it even happened."

Gesturing wildly with my hands, I'm making cutting motions across my throat, but Dom continues in astonishment now. 

Ah, well. When in crisis, start coughing uncomfortably like a tart in church.

Yet another thing my mum told me. She's full of all sorts of wonderful gems, that woman.

"Somehow ― probably after being Confunded, I'd reckon ― McGonagall thought it'd be a decent idea to make him Head ― Rory, are you alright?"

"Yes," I say acerbically, pulling the reins on my uncontrollable coughing fit. "Corking."

"Are you sure?" Potter asks, concerned, looking for all the world as though he'd love nothing more than to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre, or at least some sort of manoeuvre that involves copping a feel.

"Rory," Mum says dangerously, closing in on me, "is there something you'd like to tell me?"

"Erm...no?" I suggest, backing away from her and bumping right into Potter with a squeak. He steadies me with his arms, and I stiffen like a frightened rabbit, hurriedly stepping away from him. 

The disappointed look on his face is so priceless it's almost cute.

And by cute, I mean weird. Like, plucking-the-wings-off-of-butterflies weird. Not at all cute as in 'attractive in a pretty or endearing way'.

After all, that would be like comparing James Potter to a kitten. 

He's nowhere near as cute, and is only slightly less furry.

"I think, Mrs. Pond," Potter offers helpfully, evidently missing the point of my dramatic diversion moments ago, "Aurora just needs a glass of water."

"Oh, no," says Mum slowly, advancing toward me with a strangely frightening glint in her eye. "She's fine ― although she'll probably need that glass of water when I'm through with her."

Potter's brow furrows. "Er, why exactly is that, Mrs. Pond?"

"All the running I'll be doing," I explain nervously, taking a cautious step back.

"Running?" echoes Potter, his forehead creased in confusion.

"Running away," I amend, intending to do just that, but I am impeded by Dom's sudden, vice-like grip on my arm.

"Hang on."

"I'd really rather not, if you don't mind," I say with what is clearly a jaunty, winning smile, masking my trepidation with a stab at false cheerfulness. "Mum's going to have my skin for a cloak here in a moment...."

"Well, if you'd just tell me what you're hiding," sniffs Mum, crossing her arms with a pout.

"I'm not hiding anything," I reply automatically, the result of a knee-jerk reaction trained to withstand Mum's artful prying.

"Don't even kid yourself, Rory. Your nostrils are massive right now."

"Er, ladies," Potter begins perplexedly, "what's going on?"

Dom turns to me, her eyes widening in sudden comprehension. "You didn't tell her."

"Now, Dom," I reply hastily, attempting to prise her fingers from my arm, one by one, "let's not be rash ― "

"You didn't tell her?" she repeats incredulously.

"Tell me what?" Mum nearly yells, throwing her hands in the air. "This isn't Skins, Rory ― I'm your mother!"

Potter glances worriedly at each Dom, whispering, "Mrs. Pond isn't into cannibalism, is she?"

Cowering slightly, I allow the words to tumble from my lips with a whoosh of air. "James made Head Boy."

There is a lengthy beat of silence.

Literally, a haystack could tumble by with McGonagall riding astride it in a ten-gallon hat, and no one would utter a word. Then again, if that actually transpired, I highly doubt words would suffice in such a situation.

I wonder vaguely if I should offer to make tea.

"Oh, James, darling!" Mum finally cries, breaking the agonising silence and pulling him into a hug. "That's absolutely marvellous! Congratulations, dear, I bet you're just thrilled, and I'm sure you parents are well chuffed...."

"Thanks, Mrs. Pond," says Potter, rather dazedly. I try to catch his eye by way of apology, but he determinedly avoids my gaze. I suppose I can't blame him, really.

"Why didn't you tell her?" asks Dom quietly, softly enough that only I hear her.

I shrug unconvincingly. "I knew she'd act like this, didn't I?"

"Like what?" says Dom curiously.

"...and I'm sure you and Rory are going to be inseparable this year," Mum waffles on, shooting me a meaningful glance, "now that you're both Head Boy and Girl. Oh, I'm all a flutter! You two will be spending more time together, won't you?"

Translation: "You two will be providing me with grandchildren, won't you?"

Two spots of pink appear on Potter's cheeks. "That's the plan."

Dom and I exchange dark looks.

"Why did you owl me about it this morning?" I inquire, expecting my mother to hand Potter his own nightcap and house key any moment now.

"I just knew that it'd be a lot for you to take in," Dom says finally, grinning sheepishly. "You know, given how you feel about my cousin, and all."

I snort derisively. "Am I that obvious?"

"Almost as obvious as how he feels about you," retorts Dom, and we both dissolve into groans. 

Up until our third year at Hogwarts, Potter and I had gotten along rather famously, thanks to mine and Dom's friendship. At one point, I had even gladly called him by his first name, until he let his hormones ruin our quaint little friendship by asking me out on a regular basis. 

Initially, I was convinced it was a joke. It began with him telling me I looked pretty one day in the corridors, and this statement had set his friends laughing at both of us. From there, he progressed to boldly asking me out and teasing me in front of the whole school, and I became increasingly frustrated with him when we could no longer hold a civilised conversation without him acting like an insensitive, flirtatious prat. 

Needless to say, we reverted back to acquaintanceship after he kissed me in the Great Hall in our third year, to the raucous chants of the other boys egging him on. Since then, I've learned to tolerate him, but I've never quite forgiven him for ruining my first kiss in front of the entire school, the great prat.

"Want to know something, James?" asks Mum in an audible, conspiratorial whisper. 

"You know, Mum, I actually think he doesn't," I counter lightly, but she continues to ramble on without waiting for his reply.

"I always hoped you and Rory would get together, and now," she finishes excitedly, in that breathy, girlish voice she reserves for when Captain Jack appears on the television set in old reruns of Torchwood, though heaven knows he's getting on in years these days, "it seems like you two can finally get on!"

"Mum! Don't give him ideas!"

"Please, Mrs. Pond, don't get my hopes up," says Potter jokingly, but I notice he doesn't quite meet my mother's eyes. 

"Yes, please, Mrs. Pond," Dom parrots, "don't get his hopes up, otherwise, he won't stop harping on about it ― "

"Shut it, Dom," whinges Potter, elbowing her in the side.

Mum sighs heavily, surveying us with the sort of expression one associates with lost causes. "Can't say I didn't try. Well, dear, you're welcome over here any time, especially now that someone's told me you've made Head Boy" ― she glares forcefully at me ― "and I expect I'll be seeing more of you." 

Potter offers her a trademark charming smile. "Likewise, Mrs. Pond."

"Of course," Mum continues cheerfully, carefully watching my expression, "you and Rory can always pop round to that tea shop down the road and set up a date ― "

"Mother, please stop trying to get grandkids out of this, will you?"

"What?" she asks me tetchily. "You're Head Boy and Girl, aren't you going to need to get together and plan things?"

I roll my eyes. "Yes, but we'll be planning school things, not parenthood."

"Well, I should hope not!" cries Mum, appearing scandalised, but I can tell she's slightly disappointed.

"She's right, though, Aurora," Potter chimes in, his smile bordering on a triumphant smirk as he finally looks at me. "We're going to need to spend loads more time together, and what better time to start than now, eh?"

"Joy to the world," I deadpan, and his infuriating smirk only grows wider.

"Don't mind her," Mum says bracingly, patting Potter on the arm fondly. "She takes after me, I was just like her when I was her age." She lowers her voice. "She acts coy, but you can bet she'll warm up to you in no time, you know what they say about redheads ― "

"For heaven's sake, Mum!" 

"Well!" Dom clasps her hands together, surveying us all expectantly. "Now that's settled, how about some lemonade before we go?"

Mum instantly brightens and turns to Potter. "Help me in the kitchen, darling? You can slice the lemons if you like."

Potter grins, nodding at my mother. "I'd love to." He gives me one last, fleeting look ― I cross my eyes at him and stick out my tongue like the mature Head Girl I am ― and disappears into the house.

"Shall we follow?" I reluctantly ask Dom. "It's sweltering."

"Let's," she concurs, following me into the cool, air-conditioned reception room. "Besides, we've got to get you out of these," she says, tugging at my short shorts with a smirk, "and into some decent clothes, you tart." 

"Stuff it," I answer lazily, for even I can't work up the heart to mean it with Dom around.



*




"Ma cherie!" 

The three of us hardly flinch as Dominique's mum, Fleur Weasley, hurries ― no, glides ― over to us and embraces her daughter in a flurry of long, silvery hair and a light, pleasant floral perfume, murmuring in French. 

"Aurora, eet eez wonderful to see you again," Fleur greets me warmly, enveloping me in a hug and kissing both of my cheeks.

"Likewise, Mrs. Weasley," I reply, smiling, before allowing her to engulf Potter in a hug.

"Oh, non," she reprimands me over Potter's shoulder, shaking her flawless head, her lustrous hair swishing back and forth. "Non, non, non. 'Ow many times must I remind you, Aurora ― Mrs. Weasley eez my muzzer-in-law. Please call me Fleur," she adds kindly, after throwing a calculating look in Nana Weasley's direction, as though she, and not I, had committed the name faux-pas. "J'insiste." Patting my cheek dotingly, she gives me one last dazzling smile and floats away toward Victoire and the rest of the Weasley lot, who are deliberating over dress robes with all the panache of wizened O.W.L. examiners.

Truly, as much as I adore Dom's mother, hearing her say my name is rather painful, almost like having to listen to her choke on a tureen of bouillabaisse. 

"Rory!" I turn to see Rose Weasley, Dom's cousin, striding toward us, positively beaming. "It's great to see you!"

"Yes, eet eez just so woooonderful to see you again, Rory," adds Ginny Potter throatily, in a spot-on, if particularly phlegmy, impression of Fleur as she strolls casually up to us. "Seeemply magnifique! Can I offer you some baguette?"

Potter rolls his eyes and shoves his hands in his pockets, ever the poster boy for teen angst. "Come on, Mum, do you really have to do that when Aunt Fleur's just a few feet away?" 

Ginny snorts, tossing her glossy mane of red hair. "Oh, quit your whinging, James. You just don't want me to embarrass you in front of Rory." 

Potter scowls. "I honestly don't even know what you're on about ― "

"Seriously, James," replies Ginny frankly, crossing her arms, "all you ever talk about is Rory. You spend all your time chasing after her, it's no wonder you only got nine O.W.L.s last summer ― "

"Mum!" yelps Potter, his face glowing. "I do not ― I don't spend my time chasing after her!" he sputters. "James Sirius Potter does not chase after girls." He scoffs derisively. "Please."

Ginny sighs, tutting. "Well, sweetheart, I can't say I'm surprised. Your father and I always suspected that if it wasn't girls you were after ― "

"Ew, mum, that's not what I meant!" cries Potter, horrified. "I don't like boys!"

"Thank heavens," says Ginny lightly, grinning at Rose, Dom, and me. "We have enough of them in the house already."

Potter glares at the four of us. "Honestly, don't you lot have robes to try on?"

Smirking wickedly, Ginny reaches out quick as a flash to ruffle Potter's hair, and says sweetly, "We'll just be going now, won't we, girls? Cheers, James." As we head to the fitting rooms, Ginny winks at us and says slyly, "He may be nearly of age, but I'm his mum and I still get to take the mickey out of him whenever I please. See you soon, girls." With a swish of her brilliant red hair, she saunters over to an assistant eagerly waiting to drape her in robes and stick her with pins. 

"You know," Dom mentions casually, as we split up to be fitted for our bridesmaid robes, "I reckon that embarrassment will last James a tidy bit before he tries to ask you out again."

"Think so?" I remark curiously, hopping up onto a fitting stool and allowing a woman dressed in black to attack me with what appears to be a shapeless, light gold-coloured circus tent.

I see the silhouette of Dom's head nod from beneath her very own circus tent. "It's been, what, two hours? And no proposal yet from our charming friend."

I shrug, twitching slightly and letting out a small hiss of breath as an enchanted pin accidentally pricks me in the side. "Maybe he ― ouch! Would you quit that, please? ― maybe he's turning over a new leaf or something. Maybe," I end on a hopeful note, "he doesn't fancy me anymore!"

"Oi, Aurora!" Suddenly, Potter is at my side, owlishly blinking down at me as I perch on my stool, swallowed in gauzy fabric ― holy hippogriffs, he can't really be that tall, can he? The inscrutable expression on his face looks as though he's found out both his cat has died and he's made Head Boy, all on the same day. Then again, for all I know, that could very well be the case. Fate is cruel sometimes. "Could I, er, have a word? I need to ask you something."





Author's Note: Finally! I wanted to write more in this chapter, but I didn't want to make it overbearingly long, so I'm saving the start of the drama/action for the next chapter! Hopefully, you're still following this and haven't given up on me. If you are and haven't, please let me know what you thought in a review! Favorite quotes? Love Rory's mum? At the very least, I hope the dialogue cheered your day up. I always love hearing from you all. And thanks for reading!

- emma (:

Track This Story: Feed


Write a Review

out of 10

JOIN HARRY POTTER FANFICTION


Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.

Register Today!