A/N: Another looooong chapter and I actually had fun writing this one and I thought it would be a good time for Elle to get close to another family member other than Ginny and Lily. Harry’s time will come my children… be patient! Side note: I have no idea whether Badgers can be found in the South of Spain but it fits the story so let’s pretend they are, okay? Okay.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter because it belongs to J.K. Rowling. And anything else you do recognise, does not belong to me.
another beautiful chapter image by clowder@TDA!
“I don’t know, maybe you moved too fast or something?” – Travis Glover
My eyes snapped open and I tried to look around the room but it was still quite dark. James was stirring beside me and that’s when I noticed that we had fallen asleep in the same position that we were in last night. My head was nestled in the crook of his neck with both his arms wrapped around me. I snuggled against him, trying to fall back asleep when he moved his arms. He was getting up. That was when I remembered that he had to go back to England today to practice for his Quidditch game tomorrow.
“Elle, I have to go now,” He whispered but I pretended I was still asleep, “Elle.”
“Mmm.” I mumbled, curling myself up slowly in the bed.
“I need to go. I’ll be back around dinner time, okay? Have fun with Al and you can tell me all about it when I get back.” He knelt on the bed and kissed my forehead, his lips lingering for just a few more seconds, before he brushed my hair away from my face and went off to get changed or whatever he did because I fell back asleep.
“Beep, beep, beep!” My alarm clock was going off loudly so I quickly smacked it on the top to get it to shut up. I’d probably be late to work and Michelle will kill me but I was tired and I could afford a lie-in for once.
“Ow! That really hurt Elle!” hmmm, that voice sounded incredibly like Albus Potter. What was he doing in my sister’s house? I’d never spoken to him before, “Get up so we can go already. I promised Travis and Valerie we’d pick them up at ten o’clock and it’s nearly nine.” What on Earth was he talking about? When did I meet Travis and the Devil’s Daughter? Then I remembered, quickly shooting up to a sitting position on the bed and seeing Al stood over me with an amused expression on his face. Shit, I completely forgot about me being ‘engaged’ to James and coming on holiday with his family.
“Shit.” I muttered under my breath and jumped out of bed.
“Good morning to you too.” He chuckled, leaving me to get dressed. I pulled out some denim shorts, a black tank top and some hiking boots that Lily must have slipped into my suitcase.
“What time are we picking them up again?” I asked Al when I quickly ran down into the kitchen, frantically brushing my hair into a high ponytail.
“In forty-five minutes so we’ll have breakfast and then go.” He said, busy making us some scrambled eggs and beans.
“Okay,” I nodded my head, “Do you want any toast?” I asked in the quietness that followed.
“Yeah, I’ll have two slices please,” he answered, distracted as the oil in the pan started spitting, “Ah shit!” he sucked on a little part of his pinkie that had been burned.
“At least I’m not the only one who isn’t a big fan of cooking.” I laughed as Al started colourfully insulting the pan and its contents under his breath.
“I better marry a good cook then,” He shrugged and we both laughed. He placed half on his plate and half on mine whilst I put two slices of slightly burnt toast on his and one on mine, “So… what happened last night?”
“What do you mean?”
“I heard someone knocking on my parent’s door last night, or should I say, early this morning. So, what happened? Did ickle James have a nightmare?” he stuck out his bottom lip teasingly which made me laugh. Talking to Al was so much easier than James, no offence to him, but Al had a way of phrasing his questions that made it seem like he wasn’t going to be that bothered if you told him or not. James was blunt and sceptical, I noticed. But then again, I’d been noticing a hell of a lot about him recently. Well, ever since I found out that he read books in the library two days ago.
“No, I just had to talk to your Mum about something.” I decided to tell him the stretched truth. It wouldn’t hurt right?
“What?” he questioned nonchalantly, eating his breakfast and occasionally shifting his position on his chair.
“Something that had been written about me in a magazine.” I shrugged.
“Listen,” he dropped his fork on his plate and looked at me straight in the eye, “Magazines spew out all kinds of shite just to try and sell copies.”
“Yeah, but the shite they were spewing about me was true.”
“So what? If it’s true there’s nothing you can do about it now, it’s already out there. Why be bothered about it?” he seemed to notice that he’d completely stumped me so he continued eating, “You best hurry up and get eating, we’re going in fifteen minutes. Bring a water bottle, some sunscreen and sunglasses just in case.”
“O-okay.” I was snapped out of my revelatory thought, picked up my fork and carried on eating the rest of my food. When I was done, I put the plate in the sink, waved my wand so it would clean itself and headed upstairs to put a bag together for today.
“Try and be quiet, everyone else is still asleep.” Al hissed as I walked up the stairs.
“I don’t walk around like an elephant.” I rolled my eyes at him and carried on up the stairs and into the bedroom. It felt, strangely, too big for me right now and I think that was because I knew James wasn’t here. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been in here by myself before but I always knew James was in the vicinity so he wasn’t too far away but I felt really uncomfortable because I was stuck with his family, who genuinely thought we were engaged and in-love, without him there to rescue me when situations got awkward. I walked into the smaller closet, picked up a small rucksack and stuffed everything that I’d probably need as well as some money just in case I wanted to buy anything. I still needed to buy Charity, Darrell, Ruari and Gabby some souvenirs seen as they hadn’t been abroad yet. They were planning to go to Paris for a week but Darrell couldn’t get any time off work and Charity didn’t work so it was hard to rustle up the money to pay for it. Once my bag was ready, I walked back downstairs to see Al waiting for me. Was I just incredibly slow or something? He had his hands stuck deep into his khaki ¾ length shorts and was wearing a plain white t-shirt and some hiking boots too.
“Right, we’re apparating inside of their hotel room and then we’ll all apparate to the site.” He said, knowing that I have a phobia of getting in cars obviously. I felt incredibly bad that he’d had to plan around my issues and I made myself promise to make it up to everyone. Somehow.
“Right okay, let’s go!” I held onto his forearm and felt the sensation of apparition before we landed gently into a very swanky hotel room. It wasn’t as nice as the bedroom myself and James were staying in but it was still posh all the same. You know how I know it’s posh? The duvet was tucked into the sides of the bed and there was a chocolate on each pillow.
“Travis! Hey man!” Al greeted the man stood by the window, apparently startled by the sudden sound even though Al told them we were going to be there at 10am.
“Hey Albus! Listen, Valerie couldn’t make it today. She said she had some stuff to take care of and she apologises but it’s really important.” Travis rambled, trying to hide his glee at this fact. Trouble in paradise? To be honest, I was still shocked that they were even going out, Travis knew how much I hated her in Hogwarts and often joined in my verbal bashing of her when she wasn’t around.
“That’s okay, we don’t mind if there’s just three of us.” Al shrugged, assessing the room with his green eyes.
“Are we going straight away or…?” I asked, trying to ignore the very obvious tension and awkwardness between myself and Travis.
“Yeah, if we’re all ready?” Al seemed completely oblivious to it and I wondered whether he knew that we actually knew each other. We both nodded and held onto either of Al’s arms and apparated to a beautiful scenic forest setting, “Had to apparate us in the forest so we don’t look suspicious, so the actual tour thing starts further down there and we’re going to have to walk. It’s not that far.” He explained. It was like what you expect a typical forest to look like, massive looming trees with leaves scattered all over the wet, muddy ground. Thick vines twisted themselves around each tree and along the floor so I had to be careful where I stepped just in case I tripped over one of them. Knowing my luck, I probably would.
“What do we do on this tour thing?” I asked, breaking the silence. It seemed none of us really wanted to talk today, which you know, was fine by me but I really didn’t like awkwardness.
“Whatever we want really. The guide takes us on a path for like an hour, then he lets us do whatever activities we fancy, then we have lunch and carry on doing whatever,” he explained, “There’s horse-riding, rock-climbing, abseiling, cliff-diving, nature trails, tree-climbing and other stuff.”
“That sounds awesome!” I jumped up and down happily, clapping my hands together whilst they both laughed at me.
“We’re here!” Al said when we’d reached a big group of muggles waiting around chatting to each other. Most of them were with young children/teenagers and there were the odd couples. Basically it was just young people everywhere.
“Is that everyone?” a tanned guy wearing a ranger’s outfit stood at the front of the group holding a clipboard and ticking off our names as Al announced our arrival, “Alright, hello everyone! My name’s Rick and I’ll be your guide today, we’ll start with a small tour in the forest,” He shouted so everyone could hear him, “Number one rule: don’t stray from the path please. Whilst we try to make it as safe as possible for tourists, there are wild animals in these forests that could severely injure or harm you so if you stay on the designated path then we won’t have to deal with any injuries. Let’s get started!” he clapped his hands once and strode off in the direction we had come from. I walked beside Al in silence with Travis on his other side, in silence.
“So, which activity do you lot want to do first?” Al asked us as Rick was going on about some really old tree that we would see the further we went in. There was only one left. Apparently.
“I dunno, maybe rock-climbing or abseiling.” I shrugged, glancing at Travis who was staring resolutely ahead of him.
“That sounds good, I’ll do whatever.” He answered. He finally looked at me and offered me a small smile so I returned it.
“We have to do horse-riding after lunch though! I’ve always wanted to ride a horse along a beach.” I gushed happily.
“Well, we’re not near a beach so a forest will have to do.” Al laughed at me and clapped me on the back gently when I pouted.
“Now, if you look to your left you’ll just about see a beautiful family of deer… with a new-born foal. We’ll have to be quiet though.” Rick’s voice lowered to a hush and everyone’s heads swivelled to the direction he was pointing. Sure enough, just behind some trees, was a beautiful, majestic buck and doe with a baby foal. A few people took some pictures on their big, snazzy cameras so I took out my phone and snapped a few pics so I could show James later.
“Hurry up, Elle! The group’s moving on without us.” Al ushered me onward from where I was watching the buck, doe and foal walk slowly away.
“They were so cute! I want one as a pet!” I squealed, looking back over my photos on my phone.
“Ask James and he’ll probably get you one.” He smirked, making me nudge him playfully.
“Shut it, Al.” I rolled my eyes.
“He probably would, you know. He’d get you anything, he even told me about the ring story.” He said.
“What ring story?” Travis butted in from his silence.
“When James and I went ring shopping, I picked out a small ring but he’d noticed me eyeing this ring,” I held it up on my ring finger, “And he surprised me by buying me this one, only showing me when he proposed.” I smiled at the memory, it was a stretched truth. The ring was slowly growing on me, the more time I did this, the more I liked the idea of being engaged to someone. Although I didn’t love James, I couldn’t wait until I met someone that I would eventually fall in love with and spend the rest of my life with. The thought made me beam widely and they must have thought that I was remembering it and they wolf-whistled, making me roll my eyes again. The tension and awkwardness between myself and Travis was slowly dying away as the tour went on.
“Al, could you take a picture of me by the tree please?” I asked when we’d finally reached the old tree that Rick had been harping on about. It really was beautiful. It had gorgeous pink and lilac blossoms hanging down from withered branches.
“Sure.” I handed him my phone, stood awkwardly and smiled when I heard the camera click.
“Thanks.” I smiled, taking it back and looking at the picture. I decided it was decent and left it, taking some more pictures of the whole surroundings.
“Everyone!” Rick called out for our attention, “We are closer to the activity centre, right in the middle of the forest, and you are welcome to do whatever activities that we have available. The café is just past the rock-climbing wall and is an open café with animals freely walking through so just be careful.” He smiled round at everyone and we moved on from the tree. After a few more minutes of walking, the path ahead opened up to a massive area probably the size of a large lake. To one side there was a huge rock-climbing wall, next to that was a sign pointing to another sector of a forest for the café and the abseiling. Next to that was a pen with about 15 different types of horses that led off onto a marked trail that I’m assuming we’d have to do down if we did horse-riding. Then there were marked trails, mazes and loads of other stuff that I was absolutely buzzing to just go and do.
“What first? It’s only 11:30am so we can do stuff until we all want to eat.” Al looked at his watch before looking between us.
“Rock-climbing!” we both said at the same time before taking off running towards the said activity. I let Travis go first, he got strapped in and started climbing. An operator said all three of us could go at the same time so myself and Al were harnessed and let free to climb. I left my phone with the operator and asked him to take a few photos of us climbing, I hoped he’d know how to take the photos and that they’d come out alright. After we had all reached the top of the wall, me being the first one, we climbed back down again and decided to try the maze next.
“Should we each split up and see who’ll make it to the middle first?” I looked between the two boys with a smirk, seeing them both return it with an equally smug smirk.
“Let’s go! 3… 2… 1… GO!” Al shouted and we all went three different ways. Little did they know, I had taken a sneaky picture of the map on my phone and was using that to help me navigate through the very confusing maze. I walked down 3 different dead-ends over the course of twenty minutes, which made me frustrated, until I finally reached the middle but Travis was already there with Al with smug looks on both of their faces.
“How?” I looked at them both incredulously.
“We used the map just like you.” Al laughed when I tried to look innocent.
“Cheaters!” I shouted with a smile on my face.
“So are you, so you can’t talk!”
“Shut up and let’s eat…” I rolled my eyes, “If we can get out of here.” I looked back to the two boys who just shrugged, got their phones out and used the map to navigate us back out again, this time it only took ten minutes. We walked back over to the rock-climbing wall and into the open café, Rick wasn’t kidding when he said ‘open’ café because it was literally a bunch of picnic tables with a bar running in a semi-circle shape. It had no roof, no walls, nothing it was completely open. There were a few butterflies, wasps, bees and other insects flying around but I couldn’t see many other wildlife animals.
“What do you two want? I’ll get it for you.” Al didn’t sit down on his seat beside me and hovered, waiting for our order.
“Could you just get me a ham sandwich or something? And maybe some lemonade or orange juice.” I answered.
“Yeah, I’ll just have the same. Cheers.” Travis twisted his neck awkwardly so he could watch Al walk to the bar, my eyes were studying his facial expression behind the sunglasses I had just put on.
“So…” I said, the awkwardness was back in full force.
“Listen, I just want to apologise for what I said yesterday… I didn’t mean to offend you.” he rambled apologetically.
“It’s okay, Travis, I know you didn’t.”
“No, you didn’t understand what I meant. Usually people left us Hufflepuff’s to ourselves, didn’t they?” I nodded my head in response, “Well, I thought it was weird how you’d know James but I forgot that it had been five years since you left so they was a possibility that you’d have met. It’s still weird not to think of everything from the perspective of a Hufflepuff student all the time.” He explained and it sort of made sense.
“I guess so but it’s fine, honestly, Travis. It’s nice to see you after all this time.” I smiled happily.
“You too,” He smiled, “You look really good too, engagement suits you.” I blushed at his compliment and Al returned with our food. Halfway eating, I saw a badger wander out towards us and I made Al go and get some grapes that I could feed to it.
“You’re not allowed Elle!” Al warned me but still brought some over. The badger was tentatively waddling to our table after spotting the grapes that Al had put in front of me.
“I’ll be fine, I’ll just hand it a few. It’s cute!” I squealed as it picked one grape out from between my fingers and nibbled on it.
“Just be careful, badgers can be vicious when they need to be.” He warned, watching me wearily as I continued to feed it grape after grape. It nibbled adorably on one before grabbing the next one and devouring that and I couldn’t help but want to pick it up and cuddle it. However, the badger must have suddenly thought I was a danger to it as it scratched along my lower arm and took off with my grapes stuffed into its mouth.
“Ow!” I shrieked, holding my now bleeding arm. The scratch was about eight centimetres long with some blood coming out and it was very sore, “That actually really hurt.” I hissed, grabbing a tissue that Travis had offered and slowly dabbing the blood away.
“We need to tell Rick, I’m sure he’ll have something to help.” Al stood up and wandered back past the rock-climbing wall before I could protest.
“Did I do anything wrong?” I looked at Travis nervously.
“I don’t know, maybe you moved too fast or something?” he suggested, helping me mop up a little.
“Hello, what seems to be the problem?” Rick’s voice came from behind me and as soon as I turned around and showed him the scratch, he knelt in front of me with his first aid kit and brought out some sort of salve, “Nothing a little cream can’t fix.” He smiled, opening the lid and applying a generous amount before wrapping a clean bandage round it.
“Thank you.” I smiled, observing my covered arm that had my battle scar underneath that I was strangely proud of and couldn’t wait to show off to James later.
“It’s no problem, just don’t go feeding the animals if anymore show up,” He chuckled a little before leaving, “Have fun with the rest of your day!” I blushed at his telling off and carried on eating, thankfully without being attacked by anymore animals. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I looked at it to see James calling me, I didn’t even give him my number?
“Hello!” I answered cheerily.
“Hey, you sound like you’re having fun.” His voice sounded really tired and worn-out. Probably because he had to wake up super early.
“Yeah, I just got attacked by a badger.” My voice was unusually happy for what I had just said and James was confused by it.
“And that’s good because?”
“I have a battle scar that I can tell my grandkids about!” I replied, still happy and smiled even wider when I heard him laugh on the other end.
“You’re too funny Elle,” he laughed again, “How’s the rest of the day going?”
“Really good actually, we’ve been rock-climbing and went in a maze and we’re going to go horse-riding after lunch but I want to go abseiling first. I wish you were here, it’s so much fun!” I said all in one breath.
“Haha, I can tell! I wish I was there as well.” He sighed tiredly.
“Why? What’s wrong? How’s training going?” I asked, calming down a little so I could comfort him if needed.
“If you could call it training, I’ve been sat on the side just watching everybody else for the majority of the day and can only actually get flying in another hour, my coach said,” He moaned. I could hear some deep voices mumbling in the background, “Yeah, I’ll be out in a minute! I’m talking to Elle!” and that was followed by a multitude of teasing.
“Awww, that doesn’t sound good. I hope it goes better for you and I’ll run a bath for you when you get back.” Al made a retching sound from beside me so I turned to him and smacked him on the arm.
“That would be graciously appreciated,” he replied, “Listen, I have to go back and practice now. I’ll see you later, bye.”
“See you, bye!” I answered before he hung up and I put my phone back in my backpack.
“What’s up?” Travis asked.
“His coach isn’t letting him fly at all and he’s supposed to be playing tomorrow.” I rolled my eyes, a little annoyed at his coach for James’ sake.
“That’s a bit shit.” He said and I scoffed in response.
“Right, I guess we’re going abseiling then?” Al cocked a brow at me after what I had said on the phone.
“Yeah, sorry… do you wanna do something else?” I asked, grabbing Al’s arm and looking at his watch which read 14:34.
“No, I’m fine with abseiling then horse-riding. We only have about 2 and a half hours left anyway and those two activities will take that time up anyway.” He shrugged, looking at Travis who agreed.
“Okay, let’s go!” I stood up, clearing away my rubbish and walking the little way to the where the abseiling equipment was. The operator harnessed us all up as we climbed to the top of a really tall tree, then one by one we all abseiled down until we reached the bottom. It was exhilarating and I wanted to do it again so Al and Travis waited at the bottom, taking pictures for me on my phone. Next we walked to the horse-riding pen and I picked quite a small horse because I was small myself, therefore I could climb on easily. The horse, it turned out, didn’t like me very much and tried to veer off or didn’t do as I instructed which just made me more frustrated. My dreams of riding a horse majestically on a beach were crushed at the fact that horses hate me. And I don’t know about you but horses were a major factor in that dream…
“Do animals just hate me?” I moaned when I’d climbed off. When I say climbed off, I meant tried to and ended up falling onto my butt because the horse decided it was going to step sideways as I got off.
“I guess so… can’t see why.” Al said sarcastically as I glared at the horse and called it a whore under my breath.
“Shut up Al, or else…” I trailed off. Damn it, I needed some good blackmail on him and he knew that because he raised his eyebrows and crossed his arms smugly, “I’ll find some dirt on you and use it against you… eventually.” I glared, sticking my tongue out as he laughed at me.
“Good luck with that.” He smirked, walking back to a secluded part of the forest and holding his arms out for us to apparate. We landed back in Travis’ room and said our goodbyes and then apparated back to the villa.
“I’m so hungry, I don’t feel like making pancakes though. Do you think you could help me make some spaghetti bolognese or something? James has obviously had a rough day and it’s the least I could do for being such a hassle for you today.” I looked at Al, who looked at kitchen as equally as terrified as me.
“I guess so, we’d just have to follow a cook-book very vigorously though. I don’t think Mum and Dad would particularly like it if we blew up a whole side of the villa when they got back,” He chuckled nervously, picking out a book and seeing if there were any easy recipes for spaghetti bolognese, “And you haven’t been hassle, it’s been fun to organise it all. It was a great day, especially your epic battle with that badger.”
“Oh, I know. That really was the highlight of my day,” We both laughed, going back to finding an easy recipe to use, “Oh I found one, this looks quite easy and we use our wands for the majority of it so we’ll be less likely to mess it up.” I pointed to it in the book I was perusing through.
“Okay, we have probably about an hour until Lily and James get back… we should probably start,” he stood up, placing the book on the counter and getting out any ingredients that we’d need, “We still need mince-meat and we haven’t got any of that or the sauce that they need to be cooked in.” He said, reading through the book.
“Okay, we could conjure them?”
“No, it won’t work. I’ll just nip to the shop down the road quickly and grab some, I’ll be back in a minute. Just read through the instructions whilst I’m away,” he said, quickly jogging out the door and disappearing. The instructions were easy to follow and I was glad that we chose this one because it meant that there was less time for me to mess up and, like Al said, blow up one whole side of the villa. Apparently, I needed a pan, wooden spoon, knife and some oil and it took me a while to find all these things because I was still quite new to this kitchen and I had no idea where everything was.
“Okay, I’m back. Let’s do this!” He pulled the mince-meat and sauce out of the bag, placing it on the counter and then throwing me an apron that read ‘Keep Calm and Kiss the Cook’ on it and putting on one himself, which read ‘While I have this apron on, I am the boss’ on his. I laughed at his sense of humour as we started cooking. It actually didn’t turn out as bad I’d first thought it would, I mean we did have to start over three times and throw away about a quarter of the mince-meat because I accidentally dropped the pan on the floor that had the mince-meat in it. It just depended on whether James and Lily would like it and just as we were scooping each portion onto four plates, the front door slammed shut and the loud voices of James and Lily entered. I’m guessing they went into their bedrooms to put down whatever stuff they had with them before I heard James’ footsteps coming down the stairs and Lily entering, sniffing loudly.
“Ooh, this smells lovely!” she smiled widely sitting down just as James came in.
“I thought we were having pancakes?” he looked down at his food in confusion.
“Well, Elle came up with the good idea of actually making proper dinner food because you’d both probably be tired by the time you got home.” Al answered before I could, making me blush.
“Yeah and Al helped!” I added when Lily and James’ eyes swivelled to me.
“Thank you, I actually am pretty beat.” James Smiled at me before digging into his food. I sat beside him and Al sat beside Lily and we all dug in, surprisingly, it was actually quite nice and I felt so proud of myself and made a mental note to tell Charity that I could cook something other than pancakes.
“That was lovely Elle and Al, thank you!” Lily said once she was finished, kissing Al on the cheek, hugging him and then hugging me, “You have to come and see what I bought today!” she said, dragging my hand.
“I’ll come see in a bit, need to clean up and run a bath for James.” I smiled at her, standing up, picking up everyone’s plates and putting them in the sink.
“Okay, see you in a bit then.” She gave me a knowing look and exited. James grabbed my arm, pulling me into his lap and burying his nose into my neck.
“You smell like the outdoors.” He breathed in a large sniff and hummed appreciatively.
I laughed, squirming a little, “You smell like sweat.” I got up and walked up the stairs, into the bathroom and set the water running for him. A few minutes later, he came in the room and pulled his shirt over his head and took my arm in his, examining the bandage.
“Let’s see the damage,” He peeled it off gently, revealing a large red, slightly swollen, scratch up my arm that had all but healed now, “Ouch, looks sore.” He twisted my arm to see it better, trailing a cold finger over it lightly making me shiver.
“You should see the other guy,” I joked, making him laugh, “I’ll leave you to have a bath.” I ruffled his hair and left the room, walking down to Lily’s room.
“Come in!” I heard her reply from the other side of the door and when I opened it, she had every piece of clothing laid out on her bed. It mainly consisted of shorts and dresses.
“I see you were busy today.” I said with an amused smile.
“Oh yeah, there were so many things I wanted to buy but I had to restrain myself.” She deadpanned.
“If this is you restraining yourself, I don’t want to see what you’re like when you don’t.” I laughed, sitting on a spinny chair and watching her hold up every piece of clothing that she had bought against her body and silently wishing I had enough money to just randomly go on a shopping spree whenever I wanted.
“Could I please have my fiancée back?” James’ head peered round Lily’s door and I smiled, said goodbye and left. James’ hair was still wet and he was in the middle of towel drying when I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms round his waist, with my front to his back.
“You smell nice now.” I murmured against his back, he smelt like musk and man. And it was a nice smell.
“And I didn’t before?” I could practically see the smirk on his face.
“Nope, you smelt like sweat, mud, rain and blood.” I found myself smiling back.
“That’s because I was playing a very rough sport, love. That’s usually what you end up smelling like.” He rolled his eyes as I let go and sat in the living room on the cushy sofa with my legs tucked under me. James sat next to me, stretching his legs out.
“How’re you feeling now?” I asked, taking in his closed eyes. One cracked open to stare at me, then a smile stretched over his face and he pounced on me, squishing me to the couch, “AHH!” I screamed, giggling at the same time.
“Quite relaxed actually.” he smiled, sitting back up when he was done practically forcing the air out of my lungs. When I could breathe properly again, I sat back up too.
“Do you want to see some pictures from today? I took loads!” I got my phone out of my pocket, lent against James arm which then automatically wrapped around my shoulder, and swiped through all the pictures of today. Al had even managed to take some pictures of when I was feeding the badger.
“Is that what did the scratch?” he asked when he swiped back to the picture.
“Yeah, the little shit,” I hissed and he laughed, “It was so cute though and then it just attacked me.” I pouted and he laughed again.
“Sorry but that’s funny.”
“It’s not,” I stuck my tongue out, “How was training after you called?” I looked up at him, locking the screen on my phone but not putting it away.
“It got better after. Coach actually let me play with the other chasers.” He smiled briefly but then it disappeared.
“Nothing, it’s just… I know we’re going to win, it’s a great team. Better than Chudley Canons but I don’t really like it and what you said yesterday really got to me,” his eyebrows screwed together in concentration, “I miss being on the Canons, they weren’t as good a team as Puddlemere but the guys on the team were friendlier and I felt comfier.”
“I shouldn’t have said anything James, it was your decision.” I felt incredibly guilty for making him change his mind all of a sudden, I mean this was his career we were talking about!
“No, you should have! It really helped me think,” he Smiled down at me, “I think after this season, I might speak to my manager and see if I can move back to the Canons,” he kissed my forehead, “Thank you.”
“But I didn’t do anything!” I protested, “If anything, I’m possibly ruining your career!” My guilt was really building now. I shouldn’t have said anything! Me and my stupid mouth!
“You’re not ruining it, you’re helping me make a better decision,” he pointed out, “You were right yesterday, if I really loved the job then money really shouldn’t matter… I should just love doing it.”
“If you say so… I still feel guilty.” I looked away from him to the television.
“Don’t feel guilty, you’re helping me.” He shrugged, putting his hand under my chin and forcing me to look at him. My cheeks blushed as he leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on my lips, it was just a tiny lip brush but I felt a small tingle and I wanted to deepen it but he pulled back before I could. This then led to me becoming just a tiny bit more than confused… why the hell was I feeling a tingle? I bet it was because I was in such a good mood, I was just happy about everything. Yeah, that’s what it was.
“Come on, let’s go to bed. I’m absolutely shattered and I know you probably are too.” I held out a hand for me to grab and I did, walking with him to our bedroom and getting into my pyjamas again. As I climbed in, I let out a loud yawn and snuggled myself up in the duvet whilst James chuckled fondly at me.
“What? I’m tired okay, all that walking and animals attacking me has really taken it out of me,” I yawned again, “But there was this one tree though, it was really pretty and it reminded me of a film I watched when I was younger where the tree talked to a young girl.” My eyes drifted closed tiredly. I didn’t know I was this tired until I was now in the really comfy bed.
“What?” James’ confused voice reached me and my eyes peeled open.
Facing him, I asked, “Have you never watched it?”
“What?” he repeated.
“OH MY GOD! How can you have never watched any of those films?!” I screeched and James eyes widened in fear.
“I just… I-I…” he stuttered but I interrupted him,
“Right, we need to have a childhood film marathon day! It’s settled!” I said seriously, planning it all out. I just need to get all my films from Charity but I could do that tomorrow when we go back to England for the day.
“Should I be worried?” he asked.
“Nope! They’re awesome films, trust me!” I reassured him, “I can’t believe you’ve never watched any of them.” My voice turned to a whisper in disbelief. James stayed quiet then he suddenly asked,
“So, any more questions?” changing the subject.
“Erm… tell me some more funny stories from when you were in Hogwarts.”
“Right, well, there was this one time that me and Freddy masked the entrance stairs as a slide. So it’d look like the stairs normally but as soon as someone walked down it, it would turn into a slide and they’d fall down it…”
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