CHAPTER FIVE ALBUS’ POV
Katarina Zabini had to be the most annoying person I had ever met. She was obviously a mixture of tipsy and hungover I suspected Lucy and Louis were to blame for that. Either that or she was just mentally challenged. To say she was all over me would be a bit of an understatement, and Lucy and Louis kept glancing over from their place at the Ravenclaw table and making kissy faces whilst laughing at the unfortunate situation I was in. Scorpius had been sat in her place about five minutes before, only he left to be with his precious girlfriend at the Gryffindor table. My precious cousin. Merlin knows how he kept up with her, Rose happened to be a right piece of work (albeit James was worse), even her own parents admitted so. Although Rose was intelligent and hard-working, taking after Aunt Hermione of course, she was also very intuitive and fun to be around when she wasn’t ripping anyone’s head off. She swore like there was no end when her fiery temper was set off – the scene with Laurel had been rather calm compared to some of the situations I’d seen her in before. She had a bit – okay a lot – of a temper, and she was immensely high maintenance as she was always stressing and was impossible to please, despite the fact she was incredibly sentimental and never really had a longing for material possessions.
I was perfectly happy to make conversation with the sixth years, had I not been forced to deal with an intoxicated Kat – most of the Slytherins in my year didn’t like me, Scorpius was the exception. I wasn’t quite sure why that was. Kasper, Kat’s brother, liked me and we hung out on occasion when Scorpius wasn’t present and I didn’t fancy talking to anyone related to me. Kasper got on with everyone – except his sister, he was a bitch to her – he was popular and currently dating Shae Blythe. Shae was a nice girl, quiet and cunning, hardly ever speaking unless spoken to first, but when she did open her mouth it was often something wise and meaningful that made us all question our places in society. She was one of those people who was always referred to using both her first and last names, you never called her just Shae, it was always Shae Blythe. She had a small round face with massive grey-blue eyes and whispy white-blonde hair. It was rumoured she was somehow related to the Malfoys, but that would have been ridiculous. She was tall and lean, shockingly perceptive. She could figure out anything and everything, she was clearly some sort of prodigy.
“Al, are you ignoring me?”
Yes. “No, Kat, it’s just-” I scrambled for words, but was saved by the strong voice of her brother. Kasper looked nothing like Katarina, he had a strong jawline and was very stocky and well built. He could crush a wand in his fist, or kill someone with a single blow. I doubted he could ever hurt even a Flobberworm if he tried.
“Kat, leave the lad alone. Get over yourself.” That was downbeat compared to the kinds of abuse he usually hurled at his irritating younger sibling. I shot him a thankful look as Kat turned back to her pumpkin pie and huffed dramatically. Louis and Lucy looked a mixture of shocked and disappointed as they turned back to a conversation they were having with the Casey kid.
My heart stopped momentarily, then picked up its pace at double speed as my gaze focused in on Giselle Macmillan seated at the Hufflepuff table as she threw her head back in laughter. Dammit I said to myself you’re supposed to forget about her, remember? The song of Giselle’s laugh chimed through the crisp air like a beautiful chorus of bells, catching my attention. She made forgetting about her so bloody difficult. Giselle was the definition of beauty, and I found myself gawking at her like a blithering idiot more often than I cared to admit. She was shortish, just about scraping around five foot four, which I appreciated since people were ridiculously tall these days, my own sister reaching five foot eight, which was only two inches shorter than me. Giselle was also slender, her perfect body curving slightly in just the right places. Her hair fell in soft golden blonde curls around her oval face and complimented her spectacular ocean blue eyes with such grace it made my heart hurt. Her whole demeanour was entirely effortless, she wore no make-up whatsoever and her cheeks always had a pink tint to them, not once had I ever seen her not smiling. She was just brilliant, unconfrontational and loyal. Her and I sat together in Charms – I struggled to get through a single lesson without embarrassing myself somehow, but I liked to think she considered me her friend. Friend. As in friendzoned. Forever. Sigh.
Maybe she liked me, she could like me. Other people liked me. Kat liked me (Louis had slipped me that obvious piece of information just before dinner), other girls had liked me such as Vanessa Levi, Heather Brentworth Halle Finnegan and Rose’s best friend Georgia Hoffman. The problem with those girls, though, was that they didn’t know me. Vanessa was a bit crazy, and I was pretty sure she only wanted me for the Potter name. Heather was…Heather. She was tomboyish and quite frankly rather boring. Halle was quirky and gave off a luminescent, happy light that annoyed me a little bit. However, the only one I actually knew reasonably well was Georgia Hoffman, she had different coloured and styled hair every week and it was hard to keep up with. She was just as much as a pain in the arse as Rose, except Rose was my family so I kind of had to love her. I was under no such obligation with Georgia.
It was possible that Giselle fancied me, she always acted friendly towards me, I knew she liked me as a person at least, and she knew me better than any girl who wasn’t my immediate family. You’ve been friendzoned, sucker. The creepy stalker-ish thing was, I could see it. When I looked into the future and saw myself happy – I saw myself with her. Her, a nice little cottage in the countryside with ivy growing up the walls and flowerbeds surrounding every area, it would be a place with hardly anyone for miles around so the kids could practice magic and play Quidditch unseen by Muggles. Kids!? Whoa, Al. Kids? Yes, kids. They’d be twin girls, not identical. One of them with Giselle’s radiant blonde curls and green eyes, and the other with untidy black hair and striking blue eyes. That would be perfect. Not to mention all the sex. I am a guy after all. Okay, Al you’re officially a crazy pervert.
I snapped out of it and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach as Maxwell Boot sat down next to her, throwing a possessive arm around her shoulders and smothering her in kisses. Oh yeah, I remembered she has a boyfriend. Well, that put a damper on my fantasy. I was overcome with a sudden dreadful pang of jealous as the ugly green monster reared its fat head inside of me.
“I hope you drown you rotten bitch!”
“I’ll kill you, you whore!”
Looked like Dom and Laurel were at each other’s throats again. I turned my stare away from Giselle’s beauty and the fun she was clearly having with her exquisite boyfriend – who, may I say, was far more brawn than brain – to glare at my cousin in disapproval of the death match she was having with Hogwarts’ resident slut.
“You nearly killed my cousin, fuckhead!”
“She deserved – ”
“WILL YOU TWO, FOR THE LOVE OF MERLIN, SHUT THE FUCK UP!?”
The Great Hall went dead silent. I ogled a bit, unable to comprehend what had just happened, I sent nervous and confused glances around, to see everyone else going the same. Kasper started clapping his hands together and shaking his head with a wide grin on his face. My mouth fell open. The scream of telling Dom and Laurel where to go had come from none other than the quiet Miss-Polite-and-Perfect Shae Blythe. She glanced around awkwardly, avoiding everyone’s shocked stares by focusing her eyes on the ice cream she hadn’t touched. Daisy and Sophie then burst into loud guffaws and the Hall broke back into conversation all of a sudden. I had a feeling everyone would appreciate Shae Blythe’s outburst, since both Laurel and Dom would be sulking to themselves for a good while from now on.
Most days drawing was my solace. Dumb, right? I had a bit of a talent, apparently. I discovered my so-called gift in this field when I was about seven, and entertaining Lily with a drawing competition. Of course, Lily had been disappointed that mine was loads better than hers, and went crying to Mum. Instead of reprimanding me for not letting my darling sister win, Mum spent the next few months skipping around the house (and wherever she went) boasting how her son was going to grow up to be a famous artist. I guess she’d thought I was useless before then. I’d thought my portrait of Albus Dumbledore was mediocre, but everyone else seemed to think it was an uncanny resemblance – especially considering it’d been drawn by a child.
Nowadays, I took my sketchpad and charcoal pencils practically everywhere I went. Right now I was sketching a semi profile of Giselle – erm, can you say stalker? – the way she looked when I met up with her in the summer, while curled up in my favourite arm chair in the Slytherin common room. It’d been a garden party at the Potter’s, so naturally I asked her to come. I was shocked she’d even turned up, she must have had nothing better to do. She looked stunning. She’d straightened her hair that day and matched it with a flowered hairband. I remembered the way she’d hugged me – probably only out of politeness – when she turned up at my doorstep, having to raise herself slightly on her tip toes to wrap her arms around my neck. She’d been so nervous to meet my family, and couldn’t stop stuttering when she conversed with Dad. Our father’s had been friendly acquaintances at school, but hadn’t seen each other since their Hogwarts days. I pictured Giselle in my mind – I prided myself on my photographic memory – her oversized denim jacket, the may necklaces she wore, the vintage sundress, all the way down to the soft kink in her straightened hair as its affects began to wear off.
Uncoloured, the sketch looked fine, but I liked to add a bit of light to my drawings. I was just adding in the ocean shimmer in Giselle’s sparkling eyes when I was suddenly scared shitless. My sheer manliness shocked me sometimes.
“Hey, Al!” a voice chimed as a blonde head appeared on my right side. I panicked for a second, thinking it was Giselle, but sighed when I remembered Giselle’s hair was curly, not wavy like Daisy’s. She was leaning over the back of the arm chair, one hand on its arm and the other on its back as she leaned close to see what I’d been drawing.
“What’s up?” a separate voice rang in the air as I was faced by a round face and brunette curls on my other side. Dammit, I was being attacked by both wings.
“Ooooooh,” Daisy teased, “whatcha drawin’ Allie?”
“Looks like the Macmillan girl to me, Daiz.” Sophie joined. Crap. I really should’ve seen this coming.
“Aw, little Albus Potter has a crush!” Daisy ruffled my hair and I snapped the sketchpad shut and grunted. Then they both started pinching and tickling me. Merlin, they treated me like I was a child they were being forced to babysit. I was pretty sure they viewed me as a younger brother. It wasn’t long before they had me pinned to the floor as they abused me. I couldn’t help but giggle – in a manly way, of course – along with her.
A bang halted the three of us as Scorpius came sprinting through the entrance to the common room looking rather ruffled. Still in his uniform, he clearly hadn’t returned to the dormitory since dinner. He looked a little unhinged, he was shaking uncontrollably as unshed tears of panic and stress fell out of his eyes. His hair was messy, covered in dew and a few blades of grass, I tried to ignore the bruise-like shape on his neck that I hoped to Merlin was not a love-bite given by my dearest cousin.
“She’s gone!” he screamed. “R-Rose is gone!”
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