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A/N: chaptooooor 6 guys! This one is interesting ;) I say that about each chapter... but it is, I promise! Stuff happens... a little bit of foreshadowing in it ;) I'm so good at these A/N's, I should just do these professionally. Note the sarcasm. So so sorry for it being a while since I last updated, I had some trouble with validating this chapter but hope it's fixed now!

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor do I own the extracts from the book, Pride or Prejudice, which belongs to Jane Austen and the publishers, T.Egerton and Whitehall. The extracts come from Chapter 12 and Chapter 30, if anyone's wondering.









another perfect chapter image by clowder@TDA!


“Woah! What’s got your knickers in a twist?” – Albus Potter





Thankfully James’ arm wasn’t slung over my neck when I woke up, he was nowhere near my body and in fact, he wasn’t even in the bed. I spread my arms out wide, glad that I could stretch out without falling off the bed. That was the first thing I was gonna buy when I buy my new apartment, a nice, big king-sized bed just for me. James’ side of the bed was still warm so I assumed that he’d only recently gotten out of it. A blush tinted my cheeks again as I thought back to last night and then I smirked, it was really a lot of fun torturing James. My head lolled to the side as I looked at the clock, which read 13:18 in the afternoon. Although I had wasted half of my day already, I felt really happy because I had had a very good night’s sleep and I hadn’t had one of those for a long, long time.


“Time to get myself some breakfast.” I said quietly to an empty room and made my way down to the kitchen, after putting my pyjama pants on obviously.


“Morning, have a nice sleep?” Ginny asked as she lounged in one of the stools. My arms stretched over my head, my neck and back cracked, and yawned.


“Mmhmm.” I smiled happily, making myself a quick bowl of cereal to eat. Ginny had fixated me with a very cunning smirk, looking down at my neck every so often and I wondered what had happened to it.


“Ah, so you’re up?” James sauntered in wearing nothing but a pair of light grey joggers that hung low on his waist, showing off the 'V' on his waistline.


“Yep.” I smiled, trying to hide the blush and receiving a kiss on the lips, to which he then proceeded to slowly kiss down my neck. Whilst his Mother was still in the room! He pulled away, looked down at my neck and smirked widely, amusement glinting in his eyes.


“Have a nice sleep?” I asked, just trying to make conversation. James was still stood behind me, arms around my waist and head rested on my shoulder so that his lips were pressed against it.


“After last night, yes.” He didn’t make any effort to hide his voice from his Mum, who blushed a little, coughed awkwardly and left the room, muttering about needing to do the washing.


“James! Your Mum was still in the room!” I scolded him, standing up to put the bowl in the sink. Unfortunately, James wasn’t done with his ‘fun’ and used his hips to pin me against the counter when I’d turned around.


“It’s funny seeing you blush whenever I say something provocative.” He chuckled.


“It makes me seem like a right slut, never mind the stuff Lily bought me and told your Mum about,” I rolled my eyes but then froze at what I had given away, “Shit, pretend like I didn’t say anything!” I rambled as James’ smirk widened like the Cheshire Cat.


“What sort of stuff is this?” he leaned forward sexily.


“Nothing… it’s nothing!” I stuttered.


“Is that why you couldn’t look at me when you got back from London with Lily?” he asked, “I might go and have a little peek now.” He winked before running out the kitchen. I stood there momentarily frozen until I started running after him, pouncing on him as he was about to pull the drawer open.


“This is a very compromising position.” James arched an eyebrow at me. James had landed on his back with my legs on either side of his waist so I was straddling him. His hands moved to my waist and kept me there even though I tried to stand up.


“James! Let me stand up!” I whined, blushing.


“No, I think I’m quite liking having a girl on top for a change.” He flirted and I rolled my eyes.


“You know, I could just as easily move my knee right now and I still don’t think your balls have recovered since the other night, have they?” I crossed my arms and glared at him until he relented.


“Fine! But I will find them sooner or later.” He smirked again. My back was placed firmly against the drawer so he couldn’t open it. James made to leave but quickly turned around and scooped me over his shoulder.


JAMES?! Put me down!” I shouted but it was in vain, he’d already opened it and fell silent.


“Oh, you are definitely wearing one of these tonight… I’ll make sure of it.” I could feel him chuckle a little.


“No, I am never, ever, ever wearing them. Ever.” I huffed, hitting him on the back to make him put me down. He did so, holding a matching purple lingerie set with suspenders.


“Maybe this one,” he stared at me as I blushed and shook my head violently, “It’s either you wear one of these or go to bed naked… either way, I win.” He grinned victoriously at my shocked expression before I recovered.


“I’ll just wear these again… in fact, I won’t go out today so I can stay in my pyjamas all day. Therefore you can’t force me into that.” I looked at it in disgust.


“Killjoy.” His face turned into a sour expression and he shoved it back in the drawer, closing it with a slam.


“I’m a killjoy? What about last night?” I crossed my arms angrily.


“That was payback for what you did to me.” He glared, pushing past me.


“You have to admit, it was funny… especially seeing the look on Courtney’s face when she realised that you weren’t paying her an ounce of attention.” I laughed.


“True… although I didn’t like the looks Alfonso was giving you, it was disturbing…” James’ eyebrows furrowed, “Make sure I’m there if you ever go out with him or Courtney, I don’t trust him.”


“Okay,” I shrugged just to appease him, “Anyway, if you don’t mind I’m going to have a bath now.” I pushed past into the adjoining room. The bathroom looked absolutely marvellous, with granite worktops with two sinks next to each other, a shower cubicle that was cut off from the rest of the room and a huge bathtub that was more like a hot-tub than a bathtub.


“Can I join you?” James crossed his arms in the doorway, covering up his abs a little and tensing his biceps ‘subconsciously’.


“No, go away!” I glared at him, pushing him out the door and locking it so he couldn’t get in.


“You know I am a wizard and I could use ‘alohamora’ on the door, right?” I heard James on the other side of the door.


“Don’t you dare!” I hissed back, holding my wand up to the door just in case.


“I said ‘I could’ not that I was going to…” he replied sarcastically, “But I could if I wanted to.”


“Ugh, don’t you have family to annoy?” I retorted.


“Actually yes I do, bye!” his footsteps faded down the corridor and I breathed out in relief. This morning had been strange indeed. Well it was afternoon but it counted as morning for me. I let the bath run for a few minutes, watching as all the bubbles foamed high before stripping my pyjamas, hiding them just in case, and climbing in. It was so warm and calming that I stayed there for a good 45 minutes, obviously washing my hair and body in that time, and got out, back into my pyjamas (I know, but I am not wearing that lingerie set!). I was utterly calm, that is, until I looked in the mirror as I was drying my hair with my wand.


“Oh… my… God! James! I’m going to kill him!” I hissed to myself, observing the small bruise-like marks, that are better known as hickeys or love-bites that trailed down my neck and onto my collarbone. Nothing I did with any make-up or random spells got rid of them and my anger just grew and grew, no wonder Ginny was staring at my neck. Marching out the bathroom, I slammed the door to make sure I meant business and stormed down the stairs almost bumping into Al.


“Woah! What’s got your knickers in a twist?” he asked, holding me at arms-length.


“Sorry Al, have you see James about?” I asked, trying to rein in my temper.


“Yeah, he should be on the beach I think, playing volleyball with Lily.” He released me as I stormed through the front door and down the stairs to the beach. However, my anger stopped momentarily as I watched James take a massive leap in the air, his arm stretching so that his muscles rippled all up his arm, and smacked the ball down hard against his opponents. A few girls were watching admirably and a little frisson of annoyance shivered down my spine so that the anger was back.


“James?!” I shouted, his face turned to see me with the same smirk he always wore.


“What is it, love?” he put his hands on my waist, making all the girls glare at me jealously.


“I am going to kill you right now… what the hell are these?” I hissed, narrowing my eyes and pulling my shirt down a little to reveal the marks.


“I believe they are hickeys.” He laughed.


“And why the hell do I have them on my neck?”


“Well, you see, just between me and you… I wanted to have a little fun by making you embarrassed in front of my parents and a tiny bit of payback,” he smirked wider, “But to everyone else, it’s sort of a mark of my territory.”


“I’m not a dog James.” I hit him on the arm as he chuckled into my neck, I was still annoyed at him but it kind of made sense a little. I hoped Lily and Ginny would get off my case now.


“At least I’m not pissing on you.” my anger disappeared as he said that and I started laughing, like really laughing, with James joining in a bit.


“Oh God, if you ever do that I will actually kill you!” I tried to threaten but it didn’t work as I was still smiling and laughing.


“Don’t worry, I’m not into that shit.” He looked down at me with a genuine smile. I decided to call it his Smile (with a capital ‘s’ and everything) because then I could distinguish which ones were which.


“Good,” I nodded my head as I realised I had marched onto the beach, with everyone there, in my pyjamas to have a go at him whilst he was in the middle of a game, “I’ll let you get back to your game.” I went to walk away but James kept hold of me.


“You could join in, if you want?” he asked.


“No, I might come and watch though.” I shrugged as he kissed me slightly and let me walk back into the villa. My drawer was open as I tried to decide which bikini I could wear, my green one was in the wash apparently, when Ginny walked in.


“Hey, Elle.” She greeted.


“Hello, how’re you?” I asked as she sat on the little chaise in the corner of the room.


“I’m good, you?” she replied. It unnerved me a little that she was just randomly sitting there and I continued to stare at my bikinis.


“Yeah, I’m good as well.” I answered awkwardly.


“What are you doing?”


“Erm… picking out a bikini to wear, I’m watching James play volleyball with Lily.”


“Oh right,” she paused, “Listen, not to make you cancel your plans or anything… you can say no, but would you mind if just the two of us were to go out to have lunch?”


“Oh, erm…” I couldn’t say no, could I? “Sure, let me get ready then.”


“Thanks, you didn’t have to agree.” She smiled at me, placing a hand on my back and leaving the room.


“Stupid Hufflepuff kindness.” I cursed myself, this was the reason I got into all this mess. Plus the fact James was paying for my Healer Programme if I did this. I shut the swimsuit drawer and picked up a bright orange maxi-skirt and a black tank top to wear with black sandals.


“You ready?” she asked when I had descended down the stairs, it had taken me longer because I had hidden my pyjamas so no-one could find them. She was wearing a short, black playsuit that had a few Aztec patterns in maroon, orange and white colours.


“I just need to tell James where I’m going.” I smiled and she agreed to wait for me in the kitchen. Again I made the descent onto the beach where James was still playing but this time, Lily had moved onto the other team. They had a little break to get some water and whatnot so I pulled James to the side.


“Don’t you look nice?” he complimented, “That’s a bit dressed up just for watching me play.” He chuckled.


“Thanks and shut up, your Mum’s taking me for lunch.” My nervous expression seemed to sober him up slightly.


“You’ll be fine. If you don’t know how to answer one question just move on, take a sip or a bite of something or pretend like you don’t wanna talk about it. You should be good.” He put his hands on either side of my face to reassure me.


“That’s so helpful James.” I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes.


“Don’t mention it.” He laughed again, pulling me in for a hug and going back to his game. I watched him for a few seconds then walked back into the kitchen where Ginny was waiting.


“He knows now.” I smiled at her shyly as we apparated to a secluded street. When I say secluded, I mean deserted, literally there was no-one around.


“There’s this lovely café that I used to go to with Harry when it was just me and him.” She explained, smiling at the thought and I suddenly found myself wishing I could find someone and have a relationship like Ginny and Harry.


“Do you not go there anymore?” I asked confused as she’d said ‘used to’.


“Occasionally, it depends whether the kids want to do something as a family, and usually they always do.” If someone else would have said it, it would have sounded really bitter but Ginny made it sound like that it was what she would prefer, having the whole family together.


“You must really care about family.” I said as more of a statement but she took it as a question.


“Oh, yes. I came from a family of nine; my Mum, Dad, Charlie, Bill, Percy, George, Fred, Ron and myself, all under one roof. It was kind of forced on me but I wouldn’t have it any other way, that’s why I wanted my kids to be close to their cousins and grandparents,” She explained, holding out an arm from me to link with so I did, “Plus, Harry’s parents died when he was very young so we don’t really have much family on his side and it helps him feel more included. That’s all I really want for him.” For the first time I got a glimpse of how much the Weasley’s and Potter’s actually really loved and cared for each other. It was yet another thing that separated me from his family.


“That’s lovely, Ginny, really.” I lightly squeezed her arm to show how happy I was for her but in the back of my mind, all I could think about was how messed up my family was.


“What about your family?” she held open the door for me and followed behind me. She went straight towards a certain table and I trailed behind just completely at a loss of what to say.


“My Mum, Kate, and Dad, Chris, an older sister called Charity and a younger sister, Norah.” I said as vaguely as possible.


“Did they all go to Hogwarts with you?” she beckoned over the waitress and ordered the house specialty, consulting me first.


“My Mum went to Hogwarts, she was in Hufflepuff. Charity’s 5 years older than me, was also in Hufflepuff but Norah, she was in Ravenclaw. Dad was a muggle policeman.” I said it like I was stating facts. I really hoped she wouldn’t probe any deeper.


“How did they meet then?” it was a question I could answer.


“Mum was in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and she worked with Dad on a serious case. They dated and stuff then Mum kind of gave up of her whole magical side when they got married, only telling Dad when Charity got her letter for Hogwarts,” I laughed at Mum recounting the tale to us, “Mum was always lovely, she kind of held us together. Making me come over for dinners every Sunday when I left Hogwarts and moved into my flat.”


“Your Mum sounds lovely.” She smiled and I gulped sadly, holding down the lump in my throat.


“She was.” I breathed quietly, averting my eyes to the table.


“Oh… I’m sorry, Elle.” She said like every other person says when they find out.


“It’s fine, it’s been four years.” I shrugged as nonchalantly as possible.


“Is that what your tattoo means?”


“Yeah, it has the date she, uh, you know, in the pocket watch.”


“That’s lovely. I would never get a tattoo, I’m too much of a wuss.” She laughed slightly and I joined in, showing her that I was grateful that she was steering the topic from my family.


“It was very painful. I decided to get it done the muggle way and because of that, it took 4 hours every day for 3 days.”


“Do you have any more tattoos?”


“Yeah I have another one just along the top of my ribs that has my two sisters’ names, so it’s near my heart.”


“Awww, you must love your sisters a lot.”


“I do, quite a lot. We were the closest anyone could get really.”


“Do you speak to them often?”


“Well, I live at Charity’s house now but I’m hopefully going to go shopping for an apartment or house with James soon. So I talk to her loads but Norah, not so much, it’s rather complicated.” I lied. Our food came and Ginny continued to question me but about Hogwarts.


“James tells me you weren’t on the Quidditch team back in Hogwarts?” How did he know that?


“No, I was terrible on a broom,” I laughed, “I remember my first flying lesson, it was absolute torture and it was so embarrassing.” I blushed a little.


“Did you do any extra-curricular stuff then?” I felt like I was being interviewed for a job.


“Erm… I joined the Muggle Music club because during the breaks, my Dad signed me up for piano lessons so I could still learn muggle things, you know?” I tried to recall the other things I did, “I did Advanced Potions, which was really fun. Uh, and Ancient Studies where we looked at ancient Egyptian spells. It was really interesting considering how nerdy it sounds.”


“It doesn’t sound nerdy,” she smiled and paused, “Don’t get me wrong, I liked Courtney, but I don’t think James actually really loved her.”


“What do you mean?” my eyebrows knitted together, “They were together for three years, weren’t they?”


“Yes, they were…” she paused, “But I could tell James wasn’t happy with her like he is with you,” cue the blush, “It wasn’t love, it was lust but James can’t see that. He thinks he was in love with her but he wasn’t.”


“Oh.” Was all I said.


“He’s much happier with you. Much happier than I’ve seen him in a long, long time.” She smiled ecstatically at me, finishing off her food.


“I don’t really know what to say…” I laughed nervously.


“You don’t have to say anything but I just want to say thank you,” she squeezed my hand thankfully, “So, any secrets you think I should know?” she arched her eyebrow at me and I blushed. I have so many secrets Ginny… but you don’t want to know them.


“Not that I can think of….” I lied, laughing nervously.


“That’s alright then. We can go back now, if you don’t have anything else to do whilst we’re here?” she asked, ordering the bill from the waiter.


“No, I don’t need to do anything else.” I smiled, standing up with her and apparating back to the house. We walked in silence and I immediately went back to the beach to see if James and Lily were still playing volleyball. Lily was but I couldn’t see James anywhere.


“Lily, where did James go?” I shouted to her as she made a good pass.


“He’s gone back into the villa, I think.” She replied loudly without looking at me because she was too distracted by the game. She had the Potter competitive streak that I had heard about in Hogwarts. It was the reason Gryffindor had won the House Cup so many times under James and Lily’s captaincy. Albus didn’t join the Slytherin Quidditch team.


“Okay, thanks!” I turned around and headed back where I had come from, noticing that most of the girls that had been admiring James earlier were gone. Harry was just coming down the stairs when I walked back in, “Have you seen James anywhere?”


“I’m in here!” a voice called from the door next to Lily’s room.


“Never mind.” I smiled at him and pushed open the door. James was sat on a couch, his legs crossed under him, reading a book.


“Hey, how’d it go?” he closed the book but not before he’d dog-eared the page.


“I didn’t know you read books.” I looked at him in surprise. He raised his eyebrows at me.


“Just because I’m absurdly handsome and brilliant at Quidditch doesn’t mean I can’t be smart.” He smirked smugly, pulling me down onto the couch next to him and I rolled my eyes.


“And so modest too.”


“Exactly!” he laughed, “So, you didn’t answer my question…?”


“Oh, she just told me about your family, asked about mine and what I did in Hogwarts.” I explained.


“I told her to go lightly on you.” he rolled his eyes affectionately.


“You knew she was going to do this?” I hit him on his stomach. His very toned stomach.


“Well, yes,” He looked sheepish, “But I didn’t want to tell you because you’d freak out and I didn’t want the answers to seem fake.”


“She talked about yours and Courtney’s relationship too,” I blushed at this, “And compared it to our ‘relationship’.” I air-quoted.


“Oh…” he mumbled before picking up his book again and reading in quiet. I studied his face, the concentration he was expressing as he read each word, his hazel eyes darting back and forth and I realised… I really didn’t know anything about James. What his favourite colour was, what his favourite song is, when his birthday was, who his first friend was, what subject did he like most at Hogwarts. It was weird that we’d been here for three days already and I hadn’t bothered to ask him any of these things. What if someone asked? How was I supposed to answer if I didn’t know?


“Are you done watching me read?” his voice snapped me out of my thoughts as I saw that he had caught me studying his face.


“Sorry, I was thinking… didn’t realise I was staring at you.” I lied, shrugging and standing up to go and do something else.


“You don’t have to leave…” I sat back down slowly, “Read with me.” He chucked a leather bound book at me, titled ‘Pride and Prejudice’.


“I didn’t know you liked these sort of books… aren’t they like really old?”


“Yes they are old, but they’re good.” He rolled his eyes but continued reading his book.


“Okay then.” I decided to give it a try.

 

‘To Mr Darcy it was welcome intelligence – Elizabeth had been at Netherfield long enough. She attracted him more than he liked – and Ms Bingley was uncivil to her, and more teasing than usual to himself.’

 

“It’s nearly dinner… do you want to eat in here or go to the dining room?” James pulled my gaze away from the enthralling relationship of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth.


“Let’s eat in the dining room.” I bookmarked my page, setting it back in the shelf and vowing to come back tomorrow and read it, we headed into the kitchen where Ginny was working at the stove.


“Do you want any help Mum?” James asked. I would have offered help but judging by the fact I can’t cook, yeaaaah… not a good idea.


“Thanks James, just chop those up for me and put them in a pan and it should be ready in a few minutes.” She pointed to some mushrooms on the chopping board whilst she slaved over a big pot on the stove.


“What are we having?” Lily asked, sliding in next to me at the big table.


“Chicken stir-fry.” Ginny replied with her back to us. James placed down the plates for everyone and we all tucked in. It was absolutely gorgeous!


“Thank you Ginny and James, this tastes amazing.” I thanked them followed by a chorus of appreciative murmurs from everyone else.


“It’s no problem.” Ginny smiled kindly at me. I felt a lot closer to her as a result of this afternoon so hopefully when this whole engagement thing was over, we could still chat occasionally. Just as everyone was finished eating, an owl swooped into the kitchen dropping a large, heavy-looking letter directly in front of me.


“Who’s it off?” James asked, his arm draped on the back of my chair as he leaned back casually.


“My sister.” I could recognise the messy scrawled writing anywhere.


“Aren’t you going to open it?” James asked again because I was just staring at it blankly.


“Yeah, later though. I want to finish reading that book.” I smiled up at him to see him lightly laugh at me.


“Oh Merlin, I’ve lost my fiancée to the library.” He joked.


“It’s your own fault James.” Harry looked at his son with a knowing smile.


“Haha, you’re so funny Dad.”


“I’m lost?” I stared between the two.


“Why don’t you buy a map?” Al teased so I stuck my tongue out at him, he reciprocated.


“Make sure you all get a good night’s sleep tonight, we have a busy day tomorrow.” Ginny ordered all of us.


“Why? What’re we doing?” I inquired.


“We’re going to a water park, it’s about half an hour’s travel from here. Don’t worry, we’ll be apparating.” She smiled at me reassuringly when my eyes widened at the prospect of getting into a car.


“Oh, okay.” I got up, excusing myself, and headed back into the library. Pride and Prejudice was exactly where I had left it so I opened it where I had bookmarked it. James came sauntering in, grabbed his book and sat down on the same couch we were sat on before. I sat with my back against his arm and bent my knees so I could lean the open book against my thighs. James’ arm, that I was leaning on, wrapped around my neck so that I could rest my chin on it as we both read in silence.

 

‘Elizabeth had scarcely time to disclaim all right to the compliment, before their approach was announced by the door-bell, and shortly afterwards the three gentlemen entered the room.’

 

“Go to bed, Elle. I can tell you’re stifling another yawn, I can feel it on my arm.” James said after the 7th time of trying to hide it. I was almost at the end of the book and I was determined to finish it before tomorrow.


“No, I need to finish it.” I yawned again.


“Do you want me to carry you to bed over my shoulder?” he threatened so I sighed exasperatedly, bookmarked my new position and put it back on the shelf.


“Fine but only because I don’t like to be manhandled.” I walked up the stairs with James and into the bedroom.


“Back in a minute.” I rushed into the bathroom, retrieving my hidden pyjamas from inside a fake flower pot, and getting changed. James’ face was a little disappointed when I came back in but he quickly hid it. He should know that I’d never wear those things ever.


“Night.” He said as he flipped off the light switch and climbed into the other side of the bed.


“Night,” I replied, rolling away so my back was facing him. I lay in the silence for who knows how long before the fact that I didn’t know James started to bug me, “James? You asleep?” I hissed to the dark room.


“I was.” I heard his muffled reply.


“Sorry, it doesn’t matter.”


He sighed, “No, what is it?” he turned his face to me because he was lying on his front.


“What’s your favourite colour?” I rolled onto my other side so I could see his face.


“What?”


“What’s your favourite colour?” I repeated.


“You really woke me up to ask me what my favourite colour was?” I could hear the sarcasm and disbelief oozing from his voice.


“Well, I just thought… back in the library, I don’t really know you,” I tried to justify it but it was coming out wrong, “Because what if someone asks and I can’t answer, it would be a bit suspicious,” I paused, realising how ridiculous it was, “It doesn’t matter.” I turned onto my back and closed my eyes, waiting for him to fall asleep. It was silent for a few minutes until he finally spoke,


“It’s blue.”


“What?” my eyes snapped open and turned to his face, still staring at me.


“My favourite colour. It’s blue.”


“Oh right… why?” his eyes were completely black in the darkness of the room, except when they moved slightly and I could see that they were still brown.


“I dunno… it just is.” He shrugged, “You?”


“It’s green… but not a disgusting green, like the kind of colour of moss in a forest.” I answered.


“Why?”


“The house I grew up in was near a park. It was a pretty grime-y one, the kind where mould, rust and moss grew on everything. I just really liked the colour of the moss and since then it’s been my favourite colour.” I rambled.


“That’s cool.”


“What was your favourite subject at Hogwarts?”


“Herbology.” My eyebrows shot up at this.


“Really? I would have thought it was Defence.”


“Everyone thinks that. I think it’s because my Dad was really good at it and defeated Voldemort and what have you, that they automatically think that I’m going to be a natural at it.” He explained.


“Oh right… that makes sense.”


“What was yours?”


“Potions.”


“Now see, that was my least favourite lesson.”


“Why? I think it was brilliant! Just the way you can create different things, it’s amazing.”


“I just never had the knack for it I guess, Dad didn’t either.”


“How did you know I wasn’t on the Quidditch team?” it had been bugging me since Ginny had asked.


“Well considering I played Quidditch, I took it upon myself to know who played for the opposing teams… and your name never came up,” he shrugged, “Granted I didn’t learn anyone else’s names, especially if I didn’t speak to them.”


“Yeah…” we lapsed into silence again, “James…?”


“I’ve not gone to sleep.” The bed vibrated from his quiet laugh.


“Oh, okay,” I paused, “Who was your first friend at Hogwarts? Besides family.”


“Joe Blacklidge. He was a really good mate of mine…” his jaws clenched hard and his hands were balled up into fists so I took this as the time to distract him.


“This is going to sound really sad but my first friend at Hogwarts was my sister, Charity. Even though she was in sixth year when I started, I still hung round with her,” I explained, feeling the need to talk to someone about this, “I didn’t have a lot of friends there. Sure I knew some people and said ‘hi’ occasionally but not enough to go round to theirs for sleepovers and stuff. My sisters were completely different, they made tons of friends straight away. I was always a little jealous of them at first but it got better after I met Molly,” I paused, “There was this one girl in my dorm though and she was vile. Her name was Valerie Parker and she always tried to out-do me with anything I ever did.”


“Hang on, you said ‘sisters’ I thought you only had one sister?” James propped himself up on his elbows to look down at me as I’d taken to staring at the ceiling.


I blushed, “Yeah, she’s called Norah. I just never thought it was important to tell you about her.”


“How old is she?”


“She’s 22.”


“How come you haven’t mentioned her before?”


My jaw clenched tightly, “I don’t speak to her anymore. In fact I haven’t for four years.”


“But she’s your sister.”


“It’s complicated.” I turned away from him again but he placed his hand on my arm, rolling me back to face him.


“Hey, you don’t have to explain to me if you don’t want to.” He smiled reassuringly at me.


“Thanks James.”

 

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