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 The Great Hall was always nearly deserted when it wasn’t being used as a place to eat during meal times; everyone was either outside enjoying the day off from school subjects, or in the library trying to finish their homework. Not many people came into the Great Hall. It was when I loved sitting in it; you could be alone with your thoughts, or alone with a good book or comic, with no one to disturb you and an endless supply of drinks and biscuits.

Which is what I had with me now, a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows was sat in front of me with a nice plate of chocolate hobnobs and unfortunately doing the homework I didn’t finish last night.

Michelle was outside with her teammates talking about the match yesterday and preparing for their next match of the season, which wouldn’t take place until after the new year. Michelle had invited me out with them, but I wanted to stay inside. Even though it was sunny outside, the chilly wind made sure that the day was cold, especially now that it was the first day of December. I would rather be in here with my hot chocolate and biscuits, although if it snowed later like there were rumours of, I might actually venture outside for a while.

“I’ve been trying to find you all day,”

I looked up at the voice and saw James had taken a seat opposite me. My stomach clenched unpleasantly as I looked at him; he was stuffing what looked like a large amount of folded parchment into his pocket. I hadn’t been actively avoiding him today, but I was hoping a little that I wouldn’t have to deal with what I had found out yesterday about him and Rebecca for a while yet. He took off his coat and scarf before smiling at me; I noticed that his face was red as though he had been outside in the cold air.

“Oh, I’ve been in here for quite a while now, I wanted to catch up on some homework that I’ve been putting off for a while,” I told him, not sure how to tell him what I knew. Would he even want it brought up? Would he tell me to mind my own business and that it was nothing to do with me?

“I wanted to find you and show you the new comic book that Uncle Ron sent me in the mail this morning; apparently it’s a new up and coming writer and he thought that I might like it? I thought that we could look at it together,” he said, rooting around in his bag, which was placed on the bench next to him, and pulling out a comic book. He placed it next to my homework and I glanced down at it.

The front page was bright, vivid colours drawing my attention instantly. I was excited about getting to read it with him.

“It looks quite good,” I stated as I picked it up slowly, before opening up the first page. The smell of the parchment hit my nose and I smiled, closing my eyes in bliss as I took a sniff. I loved the smell of new comics and actual books; I could smell them all day.

“I love the new smell of comics too,” James told me with his own smile. I nodded along with him; there was just something about it that could cheer me up.

“In all honesty I’m glad that he sent me this today, I haven’t exactly been having the greatest of times,” James admitted to me as I handed back the comic and he placed it in front of him, so that he could begin reading it.

“Oh,” I asked, wondering why he wasn’t having the greatest of days if he had spent yesterday kissing Rebecca? “What’s happened?”

He gave a sigh as he ran a hand through his dark hair and scratched his head for a moment before he answered her.

“There’s this rumour going around the school, which I’m not too happy about. Apparently I’ve been kissing Rebecca Sweeney, which isn’t true, if anything she was the one to corner me and then try to kiss me and I gently pushed her away and told her I wasn’t interested. I don’t see her in that way and I wish that she would realise that.”

I tried to keep the smile off of my face at his words and tried to ignore the now happy somersaulting that my stomach was now doing. It was only a rumour, he didn’t kiss Rebecca. I felt elation going through me.

“Oh,” I stated again, not coming up with anything else to say. My brain was too filled with happy thoughts to even begin to form anything else.

“Yeah,” James replied. “So until those rumours go away, I wanted to cheer myself up. Hence the excitement of a new comic book.”

It was hard to keep the elation out of me. He didn’t see Rebecca in that way, I wouldn’t lose him to her taking him away from me. Maybe she would finally back off from me and move on?

“Are you going home at Christmas or staying in the castle?” James asked me. I looked up at him.

“I’m going home to see my family. My sister is coming down with my niece and my brother still lives at home, so it’ll be nice to see them all,” I said. I couldn’t wait to go home and see my family, especially my dad. “I haven’t seen them for a while now.”

“I wish I had that problem,” James told me with a laugh. I remembered in that moment that he had a lot of family members at this school. “I’ve got too many.”

“You really have, do you talk to all of them?”

“I don’t go out of my way to meet up with them, but if they’re around I’ll talk to them. Most of them are younger than me, so I always think that they don’t want me around. We have Louis, Lucy and Molly all in their fifth year. Rose, Albus and Fred in their fourth. Albus is just a moody git all the time so he likes to avoid me because I try and get him to open up about his feelings... who else is there? Lily is in her second year with Hugo; they’ve been avoiding me, probably too scared of my friends to come and talk to me.” I knew how they felt with James’s friends, “And Roxanne is in her third year, I think? Anyway, the rest that I would hang around with have all left now, so when I do go home I want to see those ones, not the boring bunch that are here already.”

“I don’t know how I would feel having that many family members around me,” I admitted, amazed that his family was so big.

James gave me a shrug, “I’m just used to it now; there are many arguments between us all and the fallouts are epic, but we all love each other and find a way to forgive each other. It’s what our families taught us. Like my Aunt Audrey says, ‘life is too short to hold grudges or stay mad at each other.’”

“That’s a great way to look at life,”

“Oh, we don’t listen to that advice at all, especially my Aunt Audrey. If anyone knows how to hold a grudge it’s Aunt Audrey. My family may forgive each other, but we never forget. Which isn’t good when others get involved in arguments, there’s always someone who remembers every tiny detail and ends up getting you into more trouble.”

“Your family sounds crazy, they all seem so normal here,” I admitted. In all the times that I had seen them they would always keep themselves to themselves, so the only fights I was aware of were with other people and not with each other.

“That’s because you don’t know them. Just wait until they’re in your life more, meddling in everything; you’ll wish that you had stayed away.”

I wondered if one day they would be in my life more? If my dreams ever did become a reality and James and I dated, would I be able to cope with his family? Of course this was entirely hypothetical.

“Enough about my family.” James said, waving a hand and dismissing the conversation. “Are you going to Hogsmeade just before we all go home for Christmas?” I nodded at him.

“Yeah, I need to get a few more Christmas presents, so Michelle is going to help me get some.”

“That’s good,” he said and I noticed that he seemed a bit disappointed. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and believe that it was because he wanted to go with me; he didn’t want to go with me. Whatever it was he seemed to have snapped out of it quickly. “I’m going to ask William if he wants to go around with me before he’s taken by someone else, or even worse someone else asks me to go with them, such as Rebecca.” He shuddered slightly at the idea of that and it made me happy that he was acting that way towards her. She didn’t deserve someone as amazing as James, especially not being as mean as she had been. "I need to get a few more gifts. I’m so glad that my cousins all pick a name from a hat and get that person a present instead of buying a gift for everyone, it’s bad enough on birthdays.”

“That sounds really expensive,” I admitted, I thought I had it bad getting gifts for my brother and sister, especially with my brother, who had a list longer than most of my essays of what he wanted for Christmas.

“Yeah, thankfully this year I’ve got Roxanne.” James told me, “She’s easy to buy for; I’ll get her a Quidditch Jumper for the Appleby Arrows.”

“Is that her favourite team?”

“No, it’s mine,” James admitted to me happily. “She wants to be a professional Quidditch player and I’m trying to convince her to play for them so that I can get free tickets.”

“You’re such a good cousin,” I stated sarcastically. It sounded exactly like something that Darryl would do to me.

“I know! I’m pretty awesome,” James told me, “Speaking of being awesome, did you want to borrow this?” James nodded down at the book.

“You’d lend me your new comic book?” I asked in shock. I would never let anyone borrow my comic book, especially a new one. Well, I would let James, but I knew that he would look after it and not fold over any pages. There was nothing worse than someone folding pages.

“Yeah, I trust you, probably more than anyone else with this. The whole Albus incident hasn’t scarred me entirely, although I can never forgive him for ruining that edition of ‘The Minister of Destruction’, especially now that it’s not in print anymore, bloody git my brother is.”

I knew in that instant what I would get James for Christmas. I knew that my father had a few editions of each comic book in his office at home, and he wouldn’t mind if I wanted to send one as a present, especially when I told him how big a fan James was of his work. I just wished that I had the guts to tell James who my father was, but I was still too terrified that he would only want to be with me to get to meet his idol.

“If you don’t mind, I’ll have a look at it after you’re done, although would you be alright with me lending it over the Christmas break?”

James grinned at me, “This just gives us an excuse to meet, for you to give me back the comic book.”

“I’d like that,” I told him with a smile. “To see you over the Christmas break to give back the comic book.”

An adorable look crossed James’ face and he looked really happy at the fact that I agreed, which warmed my heart.

“Did you want some of my hot chocolate?” I asked him, pushing my drink towards him. I had seen him eyeing up the whipped cream and marshmallows that were sitting on top of my cup.

“I thought you would never ask,” James said, taking hold of the cup and relishing in the warmth that filled his fingers, before taking a sip of the contents and licking at the cream that got around his mouth.

He looked up as he put the cup back down on the table and noticed the grin that was spreading across my face as I looked at him.

"What?” he asked me.

“You’ve got cream on your nose.”

James rubbed at his nose with his sleeve and shot me an embarrassed grin as I continued laughing at him. He dipped his finger in the cream before leaning across the table and putting some on my nose before I knew what he was doing.

“There, now you have, too,” he told me with a grin as I wiped the cream off my nose with my own sleeve.

“You’re a loser,” I told him.

“You love it,” he shot back, before looking back down at his comic, seeming happier then he did when he came in earlier. I was happier that’s for sure.

He had no idea how true his words actually were. I did love it.

A/N: YAY! James explained himself! :D Next update is in three days! Don't forget to leave a review, if you want to of course, I love reading them and knowing what you all think of the story!

Love you all!


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