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 I glared at Rose’s reflection in the floor-length mirror in the hotel room. I then glared at myself. The others had finally managed to wrestle me into my dress (I broke two vases, a shoe and Lysander’s nose in the process), and had convinced me (after an hour of bickering and death threats from both teams), much to my dismay, to allow the salon people to take care of my hair and make-up.


Of course, my dress was still as slutty and overpriced as it was before, showing much more cleavage than I would normally care to and the red standing out brightly against my dark skin. The jewels sparkled in the dim glow of the hotel’s light and the material fell neatly onto the floor. I had managed to magically do SOMETHING – I’m not entirely sure what, it was sort of in an angry haze – to the shoes to make them slightly smaller than they were before, so that I can actually walk in them this time without toppling any chairs/pillars/people.


My hair was pulled back and fell in gentle black curls to my shoulders, with an elegant red flowery pin stuck in it. My make-up was done smoothly. I didn’t normally bother with so much, seeing as I currently looked like some kind of whore. Shiraz thought otherwise (“No! You look amazingly fucking hot! I love it!”) And the others followed her lead. I didn’t like it. The copious amounts of eyeliner and mascara made my eyes look like flying fucking saucers and the bright red lipstick contrasted with my skin, making my lips even more prominent.


You see, this situation would be a whole lot worse if I didn’t look so goddamn… well, hot.


And Rose looked like a fairy fucking princess next to me. Seriously, she looked like something out of a children’s book. Just throw in more glitter, an annoying soprano singing voice and some dancing woodland creatures and she would be a walking, talking fairy tale.


They had somehow managed to find a dress that was a shade of pink which didn’t clash with her hair. I now have the utmost respect for whoever that was, she’s been complaining (but secretly revelling in the fact) for years about how pink doesn’t go with orange. It was pale and floor-length and very, very girly.


I.e. Rose Molly Jennifer Weasley’s worst nightmare.


Her hair had been allowed to tumble down to just below her shoulder blades, having been brushed and curled and crimped until it could literally withstand no more. Her skin had been scrubbed with Brianna Bubbleton’s Bootylicious Banana cream until it was pink and shiny, a glowing sheen. Her understated silvery make-up made her sparkle even more, and her pinkish lips were currently pulled up in a sneer at her own reflection. Trust me, love, I would rather look like a fairy princess than a drag queen.


In truth, we both looked fantastic.


And it was pissing us the fuck off.


“N’aww, you guys are adorable.” Shiraz grinned as she kicked open the door connecting the rooms. Yes. Kicked it open. She had that ability in her dress. She has the luxury of being able to kick things. Like Potter’s face. Do you think she would do that for me? Can I hire her to do that?


I opened my mouth, halfway to actually asking her whether she would be willing to kick Rose’s cousin in the face for money. I then thought about it, and closed my mouth again; resorting back to the similar scowls Rose and I were throwing at her.


Shiraz’s dress was short and black and cute and I was very very jealous of it. She had the freedom to move her legs around without tripping over her own hem and introducing her face to the floor, which so far I have done twice.


“Are you ready to go?” Remy pushed through the door behind Shiraz, her cropped hair all stylish and flicky, holding up the hem of her gorgeous green dress in her left hand. How come they both got to pick their own dresses? No fair. FOUL PLAY. FOUL DAMN PLAY. She looked stunning. Her dress was strapless, tight down to her waist, where it flourished out in green chiffon ruffles down to the floor. The colour somehow brought out her honey brown eyes and she seemed to sparkle when she smiled.


“Just Kenzie left.” I said. The boys were meeting us there, having gone to help with the set-up. Rose had managed to wangle invites for Shiraz, Lysander, Remy, Damien and Kenzie out of her parents, so I wasn’t alone in going while she talked to her insane cousins.


“Just coming!” She called from the depths of the bathroom. Then there was an almighty crash followed by a “Woops.”


“Are you okay?” Rose called through.


“Yeah, but I’m really sorry, your hand sanitizer and your Very Berry Cherry lipstick didn’t make it.” Came the meek voice.


Rose groaned. “My favourite. Just hurry up! The rest of us are ready to go!”


Kenzie finally tumbled out of the bathroom in a haze of blue. She had a navy silk dress on, with long sleeves and fell to her knees. It seemed to hide the bump pretty well; she looked stunningly thin as usual, but with slightly bigger boobs.


I glared at everyone. They all look so nice and pretty and here’s me, WHORE OF THE CENTURY, in a dress that I didn’t even get any say in. I muttered obscenities under my breath as we trooped out of the door. We were just locking the hotel room door behind us when Remy’s phone rang.


She glanced at the caller ID. “Shit.” She sighed.


“Who is it?” Rose asked as she put the room key in her bra.


“My sister.” Remy grumbled. Ah. This could prove to be a problem. Yeah, did I tell you that Chloe, Al’s girlfriend, is Remy’s sister? Huh. Must have slipped my mind. Oopsie. Chloe was the year above us at school, and so completely different from Remy that it was almost impossible to say that they were related in any way.


“Well, answer it!” Shiraz said. Remy shook her head.

“I don’t wanna. She’ll shout at me.” She pouted.


“Might as well get it over with.” Kenzie shrugged.


“PRETEND I’M NOT HERE!” I yelled. I really didn’t want anything to do with Chloe Finnegan right now. She might rip my hair out next time I see her. Remy took a steadying breath before pressing the green button.


“Hello?” she said tentatively. “No, I can’t, I’m in London.” We stared at her as she spoke to Chloe. “A party.” She glanced at Rose. “A Weasley thing.” I shook my head frantically. Chloe knew that there was a Weasley gathering, but she wasn’t aware that her sister was invited and she wasn’t. We heard vague screeching from the phone. Remy looked at me. “Yeah, she’s here.”


“No she’s not!” I said quickly. Remy held the phone out to me.


“Chloe wants to speak to you.”


“Asiya isn’t here!” I shouted at the phone. The last thing I want to do right now is speak to the girl who is actually going out with the boy I’m pretending to go out with. That could result in serious injury/death/psychological damage.




“Oh dear Lord, this place is fucking amazing.”  Kenzie said, gazing around the garden. We were at the Potter’s house. Well, I say house. I mean mansion. It was enormous. As in, fucking towers. Mr Potter sure made use of his money when he stopped waging war against Voldemort. (Oh, stop squealing, you ninnies, the bloke’s dead.) We walked briskly up the long driveway, wanting to loiter and stare at the house, but the cold chased us in faster than we would have liked.


The entrance hall was quite possibly bigger than my entire flat. We followed Rose through, gazing at the high ceilings and marble floors, to the gathering room.





I’ve decided. I want to live here.


Seriously, as soon as I get home I’m packing all of my stuff in my shitty apartment and moving into their basement. In fact, I bet their basement is like a luxury hotel, with fountains and massage tents and a pool.


The room wasn’t that massive I guess, but it had enough space to fit what seemed to be every single ginger known to man. The ceiling was high and arched and had a glittering chandelier twinkling from it. The floor was polished dark wood and the walls were cream, decorated with family pictures and wedding photos. There were large circular tables all around the room with white table clothes and about ten chairs around each one, leaving a large space in the middle, in which everyone was milling around. I recognised at least half the people in this room from various stages at Hogwarts, including Dominique (our age, Gryffindor, currently studying Care of Magical Creatures in Australia), Roxy (sixteen, Hufflepuff, much to her brother’s dismay), Molly (our age, Ravenclaw, currently studying Magical Law Enforcement at the ‘University of Magical Law’ in Glasgow) and Louis (fifteen, Gryffindor, making out with some random in the corner) and a few others dotted around.


“Oh, thank goodness you’re here. I thought you might not show.”


Al had suddenly appearing in front of me, looking severely flustered.


“I seriously considered it.” I countered, glaring at him as he, once again, stared at my chest. STOP CHECKING ME OUT. IT DISTURBS ME GREATLY.


“Yeah, well, too late now.” He said, grabbing my upper arm and dragging me away from my friends.


“BYE ASIYA!” Remy called after me.


“I HATE YOU ALL.” I called back good-naturedly.


“Right. You know who my parents are, right?” he mumbled under his breath as he towed me through the crowd.


I rolled my eyes. “Harry and Ginny Potter. How could I possibly not?” They were only two of the most famous witches and wizards to grace us with their existence. “Ultimate war heroes.”


Don’t ask them about the war.” Albus snapped. “Whatever you do. Seriously bad move. They get a bit touchy. Especially Mum.”


“Okay.” I said, making mental notes.


“Greet them as Mr and Mrs Potter. They’ll ask you to call them Ginny and Harry, but it’s a nice gesture.”


How have I known Rose for almost eight years and not have met these people? I managed to meet Nana Molly several times, but never the Potters.


“Smile lots. They like smilers.”


I feel like I should have a quill and parchment to take all this down.


“Just go with whatever I say, lying is hard enough without two people telling different stories. We met at Hogwarts, and I asked you out a little over two months ago. Our first date was to a Quidditch game, they’ll approve of that. If they hint at engagement, laugh it off.”


I nodded along, trying to take it all in at the hyper speed he was muttering it at.


“And, whatever you do, for the love of all things sane, please try to act like you’re a normal person.”


“Hey, I am norm-”


“Don’t lie.”


“I take offense to that.”


“I’m surprised you haven’t noticed that you’re not entirely mentally stable.”


“I’m not the one asking people to pretend to be their girlfriend of two months.”


“You are the one agreeing to do so, though.”


“Fuck you.”


“I know you want to, dearest, but I have a real girlfriend, remember?”


“I hate you.”


“Mum! Hi!”


My eyes snapped up from where I had been keeping an eye on my feet to make sure they didn’t get a life of their own and start splatting me on the ground again. Mr Pot-Albus was hugging an extremely pretty older woman with honey brown eyes and stunning red hair.


“Hey! No hugs!” the woman took a step back and hit Albus in the chest. Hard. “Why the hell haven’t you been to visit in forever?”


“Ouch, mum!” Albus rubbed his chest. Real manly, love. Real manly. I can just feel the testosterone from here. “It’s been busy in Edinburgh!”


Dude. Physical abuse of Albus. I like this woman a lot.


Mrs Potter was wearing a floor-length black dress with sequins and ruffles and sparkles and beads and awesomeness everywhere. Her hair was let down in messy curls to her shoulders and I could see a glimpse of what appeared to be pink flip flops under her dress. Apparently she didn’t give a flying fuck that there was a massive ball in the middle of her house and just dressed as she pleased.


“Woah.” She thrust her arms wide. “Look at all the fucks I do not give.”


Okay. Ginny Potter is… there is no other word for it… Epic.


“I’m sorry. I would have come up, you know that, but with Scorpius’ grandma being ill and all it’s hard to leave the office because he’s out so much.” Albus apologised and Mrs Potter smiled slightly.


“How is Narcissa?” she asked, taking Albus’ hand.


“Better.” He nodded. “Much better. She should be out of hospital in the next few days.”


“That’s great, Al.” She grinned and glanced past his shoulder, her eyes locking with mine. “And who,” she shoved Albus to one side. “Is this?”


Albus righted his balance quickly and stood beside me. “Mum, this is Asiya.”


“Rose’s friend!” Mrs Potter interrupted, her face lighting up. “I’ve heard so much about you, Asiya!” And she pulled me into a massive hug.


“It’s so nice to meet you, Mrs Potter.” I said over her shoulder.


“Please, call me Ginny.” She said, still hugging me tightly.


“Oh, so she gets a hug and I don’t!” Albus said childishly. I stared at him over his mum’s shoulder and he immediately regained composure.


Ginny let go of me and turned to her son. “Oh, my baby! Does ickle Albie need a huggie wuggie?” she outstretched her arms and spoke in the kind of voice you would associate with speaking to a very young child.


“Ma!” he groaned as she hugged him tightly around the neck.


I grinned. “Don’t deny it. You’re a mummy’s boy really, Albie.” I said, my voice shaking with laughter. He glared at me but hugged his mum back.


He eventually managed to extract himself from his mother’s clutches, and grabbed my hand. Ew. He’s sweaty. I tried to wriggle from his grasp but he held on tight, smiling at his mum.


“Mum, this is my girlfriend.” He said quickly, as if the idea repulsed him. You’re not the only one, sweetie. I feel slightly nauseous at the thought of your hand in mine right now.


Ginny stared at him. Then at me. Then him. Her gaze flicked between us for a good ten seconds or so.


“BAH!” we both jumped as she threw her arms out and let out a sort of shriek/squeal/grunt/scream thing and flung her arms around our necks. “THIS IS SO EXCITING! I AM SO EXCITED! ARE YOU EXCITED? I’M EXITED!”


You know who Ginny reminds me of?




But a way prettier, cooler, awesomer version. But me all the same. She’s a bit random, a bit ranty, a bit ‘non-existent Shut Up Filter’.


“Mum…” Albus groaned as she pretty much strangled him in her death-grip of our necks. “Oxygen would be a good thing right now. You know, we need it for respiration and all.”


“But this is just so exciting!” she pulled back very suddenly, a look of wonder in her eyes. “But what happened to Chloe? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that you guys are over but- OH!” she looked shocked. “I need to find Harry!”


And with that, she scurried away, hiking her dress up and revealing her pink flip-flops for the world to see.


“That was… Interesting.” I ventured as Al stared after her. Her looked at me, a slight smile on his face.


“Welcome to the family, Patil.”




“Get the fuck off me.”


Albus shifted so his arm was even further round my shoulders. “Just trying to act like your boyfriend.”


I rolled my eyes. “That is no excuse for your right hand to be so close to my boob.” I shrugged my shoulder so that his hand moved further upwards, away from my over-exposed cleavage.


“It was nowhere near your chest!”


“Lies.” I glanced around the table, making sure no-one was watching. Ginny was turned away from her husband (who was so polite when Ginny introduced us. I went totally psycho, I mean it’s not every day you get to meet the saviour of the wizarding world! I think I actually giggled. It was odd. I guess I have a weird crush sort of thing on him, which is weird because the man’s pushing forty-five.) and was talking to her daughter. Harry was attempting to have a conversation with Rose’s dad, but he was too busy stuffing his face with Yorkshire Puddings, while on his other side his wife was watching in disgust. Then were Rose and Hugo, arguing as usual. Then there was an empty seat left for James, next to me, and on the other side of Albus was some kid called Danny, Lily’s boyfriend, who was making feeble attempts to join in Lily’s conversation with her mother.


Tables like these were situated all around the room, filled with all of Nana and Papa Weasley’s children, their spouses, their children’s children, their children’s children’s spouses and partners, and even some of their children’s children’s children (in the case of Victoire, who was currently reading ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ to her bloated stomach.) Introductions to all of these people was some seriously scary shit, seeing as a lot of them knew me from school or having been brought home by Rose. The majority of the reactions consisted of:


1.       “Al and Asiya? Cute.”

2.       “Hahahahahahahahahaha oh you’re serious.”


And, my personal favourite, courtesy of a Miss Dominique, optimum of ladylikeness and subtlety:


3.       “Holyshitwhaaaaaat?!”


I turned to Al, speaking under my breath so people couldn’t hear us. Not that they would be able to anyway, it’s so goddamn noisy in here.


“Okay, we need to establish some serious boundaries.” He rolled his eyes, but I pressed on. “No snogging. No arse-touching. No shagging. Whatsoever.”


“Girlfriend. I have one. Remember?”


“I’m aware, but that doesn’t change anything.” He opened his mouth to protest, but I held up my hand to interrupt him. “I know what you’re like, Potter.” He closed his mouth again. Wise choice, my man. Wise choice.


“Ahh, Miss Patil. Fancy seeing you here.” A silky voice said in my ear. I turned just in time to see James Potter sliding into the seat next to me. “Now would you mind explaining to me what the fuck you are doing here?”


I gaped at him for a moment. Holy fucking shitting poo balls. Now, what do you do when the exceedingly hot Quidditch-playing amber-eyed older brother of your pretend boyfriend (who also happened to help you out for no apparent reason when you were knee-deep in shit) asks what you’re doing at his family reunion?


I considered my options.


Okay, never mind. I have no options. I just sat there, gaping like a fish.


“Nyuhhhh….” Yes. That is actually what came out of my mouth. I’m so fucking intelligent, I know. Bow down to me, bitches. Bow down to me and my almighty brain.


“What she means is,” Albus ventured, “that she is here with me.”


James raised his eyebrows. “With you or with with you?”


With with me.” Albus gritted his teeth and slid his arm yet further around my shoulders. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Just a little.


James’ eyebrows just about disappeared into his hair. He has very soft-looking hair. Sort of swooshy and looks very nice to touch. It’s Quidditch player hair. Hot.




Okay. I’m done with the psychotic ranting. For now, anyway.


“Girlfriend?” He asked, staring between me and Al.


I opened my mouth, saying “No” at the exact same time as Albus said “Yes”.



Well, this is awkward.





Okay, I'm not even going to try explaining to you poor people why this has taken so bloody long. In short, we lost internet connection in our entire dorm for over six weeks. It has sucked major balls. Don't even ask, it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I am so so sorry that this has taken so long, please don't come for my head on a stake! No mobs outside my dorm room window with flaming torches and pitchforks, please! I promise the next one will be much much faster!


Also, I hate this chapter. Again. It sort of sucks.


Review anyway? :D I know, I know, I'm a terrible person etc etc. But don't take that out on the writing!


Coffee xxx

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