There is no denying that I’ve woken up to a lot of interesting sights during my seven years at Hogwarts.
My frequent sleepovers on the boy’s side meant getting all sorts of things. Mitch, for instance, consistently had parades of girls sneaking out from his behind his bed hangings so I’ve seen more bare ass and poorly covered breasts than I’d like to admit. Silas, on the other hand, was rather well known for his sleep eating and walking and I found him once in the bathtub surrounded by dozens of Cauldron Cake wrappers and a half eaten bar of soap.
Those, however, could not beat the sight of an early morning, freshly showered James Potter. The sound of the door to the bathroom and the smell of citrus had caused my eyes to open and I nearly had an aneurysm when I saw him. A pair of black gym shorts hung loosely on his hips and his hair was even messier than usual after he had vigorously tried drying it with a towel. His chest was bare and dripping with water and it caused my mouth to go dry and my body to feel numb.
“Like what you see?” He asked in such a nonchalant way that I almost didn’t realize he was talking to me. My eyes had snapped from his painfully perfect abs back to his face where he had a pleased little smirk waiting for me.
I groaned at being caught in the act and buried my face into my pillow. “It is too damn early in the morning to pretend to not be attracted to you.” I said and he let out a laugh that somehow made me feel less embarrassed at getting caught staring at his wet, half naked body. “Why are you even awake right now?” The sun was barely even up and Monday morning breakfast was a typically very poor selection of pastries and oatmeal. There was absolutely no reason for being alive and functioning at this ungodly hour.
“Freddie’s snoring always keeps me awake so I’ve just gotten used to being up early.” He explained while he tugged on a shirt. “I’m surprised you didn’t hear him.” He paused to raise an eyebrow and a little smirk unfurled on his face as he glanced down at me. “Then again, I’m surprised that you’re allowing him to cuddle you right now.”
I had been so distracted by the scarcity of James’ clothing that I had forgotten that Fred was even in the room. I especially didn’t notice the fact that his face was nuzzled into the back of my neck and that a heavy arm was tucked around my middle. As if on cue, a large chainsaw like sounding snore erupted from his mouth and I shot up so fast that you’d think I had been electrocuted.
“I never pegged you as the little spoon.” James teased playfully and the grin on his face was positively blinding.
My face inexplicably went bright red and I despised myself for it. “Piss off!” I told him as I threw one of the enlarged, fluffy pillows at his head.
He managed to dodge it right before it slammed into his thoroughly amused face. “Hey, you’re the one that let him both snog and snuggle you in less than twenty four hours.”
I scowled at the truth in his words before glancing down at Fred’s still sleeping, somehow innocent looking body. I immediately softened. “Look at him though. All he needs is a collar and a leash and he could be mistaken for a cute little sleeping puppy.”
I started to reach down to give him a little scratch behind the ears but he let out another loud snore and I contemplated whacking him over the head instead. “Okay, I take that back.” I said with a grimace and snatched one of the blankets from him his grasp to stop myself from shivering. The Gryffindor Tower was a lot warmer than the Slytherin dorms but I was still cold in just a tank top.
James must’ve noticed because I suddenly had a thick black sweater being tossed into my hands. “Just don’t burn it if I do something to piss you off.” He joked and I stiffened slightly.
I wanted to laugh but it was then that the memories of the previous night all came flooding back. Getting drunk and being in the company of Fred and James had temporarily erased the words of my best mates from my mind but there was nothing stopping them from resurfacing now. My face fell instantly and James realized he said something wrong. “I’m sorry--” He started to say but I held up a hand to silence him as I finished tugging the sweater over my head.
I didn’t look him in the eye as I pulled myself up from the fort’s pillow bed. “I should probably head back now before the rest of the castle wakes up.” Cyrus’ voice calling me a slag was ringing in my ears. “Although, I suppose no one will be surprised to see me do the walk of shame back.”
“Are you going to be alright?” James asked in a certain tender way and it was enough for me to look up. His golden eyes were searching my face as if they were trying desperately to read me. I felt indescribably vulnerable under his gaze and glanced down at my feet just so I didn’t have to look at him.
“I’ll be fine.”
“You know what I mean, Jordan.”
I didn’t though. Not really. Was he asking if I was going to be able to make it through the day without using an Unforgivable on Cyrus and Mitch? Was he wondering if I was going to be able to play my part well and pretend like nothing ever happened? Or did he just want to know if I was going to be okay? If I was going to be able to recover from what my best mates said about me.
I didn’t have an answer to any of those questions so I just nodded again. “I’ll be fine.” I repeated, though I wasn’t exactly sure that I would be.
With the exception of my crippling fear of heights, I like to think that I’m not afraid of that many things. I wasn’t a huge fan of rodents and I am a firm believer that shit deep in the ocean should just stay there forever but other than those my only real and true fear was Hazel Scott.
When I got back to the Slytherin dorms, she was sitting on my bed with her legs crossed and her arms folded across her chest and I knew I was in for it. The thing was is that she wasn’t even angry. She was worried. If she was angry, her nostrils would be flared or she would’ve already stormed out of the room. But no, she looked anxious, as if she had been sitting there waiting for me for hours.
She jumped up as soon as she saw me walk through the doorway and tackled me with a hug that nearly knocked the wind out of me. It lasted all of half a second before she was shoving me off of her and scowling at me. “Where on earth have you been?” She hissed and started tapping her foot with her hands on her hips like a total mum. I honestly feared for her future children.
It wasn’t exactly unlike me to stay out at all hours of the night and not return until the next morning. Usually though, I was just crashing over at the boy’s dorms so Hazel didn’t have to worry. When I left to meet James and Fred in the kitchen last night I had asked her to cover for me but didn’t tell her where I was going or when I’d be back. It was no wonder that she probably thought I was dead in the Forbidden Forest somewhere.
I felt bad for making her worry but the hangover plus the overwhelming dread of having to face the boys shortly did not have me feeling very apologetic. “It doesn’t matter.” I said in a low voice, not wanting to wake our other roommates. Cassie would definitely have a whole hell of a lot to say if she saw me sneaking back in wearing a bloke’s sweater and I didn’t want Hazel to be even more pissed at me for blowing her up on the spot.
“Doesn’t matter?” Hazel repeated, looking thoroughly frustrated. “You reek of alcohol and we have class in two hours.”
“Which is why I’m going to go shower,” I said and tried to brush by her into the bathroom but she grabbed my arm to stop me.
“What’s going on with you?” She asked, her voice full of concern. “This is the second night in a row that you’ve disappeared and gotten piss drunk.”
I wanted to tell her everything. I wanted to skip class and have a girls only day with her and maybe Izzy and just start from the beginning. I wanted to tell her about Fred and how he was my annoying puppy that I began to care deeply for in a short amount of time. I wanted to tell her about James who I now knew that I could trust even though I still wasn’t sure where we stood. I wanted to tell her about how I flew and how he calmed me down and made me feel better. I wanted to tell her about our conversation that lasted for hours until we both fell asleep beneath the trees. I wanted to tell her about last night in the kitchens with Cyrus and Mitch. I wanted to tell her how James made me feel better again. I wanted to tell her everything. I couldn’t though and it killed me.
“I can’t handle the third degree right now. Just don’t worry about it, okay?” I said with enough bite in my voice to get her to lay off and I instantly felt guilty when the hurt flashed on her face. I tried my best to ignore it and pushed passed her to get to the bathroom. She let me go this time without a fight.
I cranked the water to as hot as it would go and sank to the floor of the shower as soon as I was in it. For the first time since last night, I let myself truly feel what they had said about me and it hurt. It hurt a lot.
I knew I should probably be more furious with Mitch than I was but it wasn’t his comments that got to me. Yes, the things he said were fucked up especially considering he’s one of my best mates but the things he said were nothing new. He teased me constantly about my sex life to my face. Mitch was an asshole on a daily basis so it was almost forgivable because I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.
Cyrus is what stung. He wasn’t exactly innocent when it came to the rest of the school. He wasn’t the type of bloke to assist a lost first year to his or her class and he could be arrogant at times about his good looks and wealth. It had always been different with me though. He had been there for me through some really awful times in my life. He had defended me on countless occasions from guys that for some reason thought they were entitled to get into my pants just because I allowed them to get me a drink. He came to me sobbing when his mum found his dad having an affair and I sat with him for hours, just so he didn’t have to be alone. He was my best mate but now it all felt like a lie and I didn’t know how to move forward.
I cried until the water in the shower had run cold and until I had Izzy banging on the bathroom door saying she needed to pee.
Hazel decided not to wait for me to head to breakfast and I found her sitting alone at the Slytherin table with her face buried in homework that was probably due in three months. I’m surprised she even glanced up at me when I sat down but when she did she frowned. “Are you seriously high right now? Your eyes are all bloodshot.”
Figuring it was easier to lie rather than tell her that I was having a break down in the shower, I nodded. “Thought it might get rid of the hangover.”
She pursed her lips together and returned to scribbling in her notes, this time with a little bit more force. Knowing that she was disappointed in me and had probably nothing left to say, I pulled out my Potions textbook and tried to force myself to study for our midterm later in the week.
I thought I had dodged a bullet, not having to see them until class, but the boys came in with fifteen minutes left of breakfast. The four of them looked disheveled, even Scorpius, as if they had just rolled out of bed. “What, no wake up call this morning?” Silas said gruffly, as he sat down across from me.
The rest of the boys followed in suit and to my dismay Cyrus picked the seat right next to me. My entire body went tense and I had a very strong urge to ‘accidentally’ knock my scalding hot tea onto his lap.
“You guys are more than capable of getting yourselves out of bed.” Hazel responded, not even lifting her head from her notes. I said nothing to them and refused to take my face from my book.
“But why set an alarm when we usually have one of you lovely ladies to wake us.” Mitch said with a cheesy grin and I rolled my eyes.
Hazel’s face flushed at him calling her lovely but she was still in an irritated mood so she wasn't going to break that easy. “Because you are an adult and it’s time you learned some responsibility.” She said in a sharp tone and I knew that was directed more at me than at them.
“Changing the subject from adult responsibility to a holiday all about recklessness and candy, what are we doing about Halloween?” Silas asked in an almost giddy way.
Halloween was his Christmas and he typically spent it gorging on candy during the day, getting wasted at night, and then passing out in a sugar/alcohol induced coma. If Halloween was his favorite day of the year then November 1st was his least favorite because normally it just involved a lot of vomit.
“Hufflepuff is throwing the party this year, right?” Mitch asked as shoved a bagel into his face.
“Yes, which means shit music but strong ass drinks so try not to end up pissed off your ass like the last time the Puffs threw down.” Scorpius said with a half smirk and Cyrus and Silas snorted. Hufflepuffs were shockingly fantastic bartenders and were notorious for pretty much just getting everyone totally shitfaced whenever they were in charge. For instance, at Hufflepuff’s end of term party last year, Mitch ended the night completely naked and face down on the beach of the Black Lake. Hagrid was the one lucky enough to find the sod and the poor guy started crying thinking he had just discovered a dead student.
“Regardless of how that night ended, I’m pretty sure I got laid thanks to the level of alcohol in the drinks so if anything I’m thanking the Hufflepuffs.” Mitch said with a shrug, not in the least bit sheepish. “At least their house is good for something.”
“They also always fuck us up every year in the costume contest which brings me back to the question of what are doing about Halloween?” Silas asked again but this time with a bit more persistence.
The annual costume contest was something Silas took very seriously. The boys always entered as a group and never failed to lose because Mitch, Cyrus, and Scorpius didn’t bother trying to help figure out a costume until about two days before Halloween.
“Can’t we just go as quidditch players again?” Cyrus said with a groan.
“No, dammit! That’s why we lose every year!” Silas whined. “We need to go all out this year and do something really creative.”
“I don’t want to burst your bubble but I heard the 7th year Hufflepuff group started planning out their costumes back in May.” Hazel said and Silas’ face fell.
“Who thinks of a damn Halloween costume in May?”
“People that actually want to win the contest and don’t procrastinate.” Hazel said fairly.
“What are you going as then if you’ve got it all figured out?” Silas asked with a nod of his head.
“Molly assigned me prefect rounds that night so it’s doubtful I’ll even be able to go.” Hazel didn’t seem all that disappointed about that fact though. After her last night out where she had her tongue shoved down someone’s throat, it didn’t shock me that she wanted to avoid another party at all cost.
“Well, no need to ask what Mose is going as.” Mitch started to say and I glanced up from my textbook to see the easy, teasing grin on his face that I instantly wanted to slap off. “Let me guess, slaggy cat? Slaggy zombie? Slaggy nurse?”
“Fuck off.” This was not an usual response from me but there was no humor in my tone. Scorpius noticed and raised an eyebrow but he was the only one that sense something was off.
“Slaggy cop was my personal favorite.” Cyrus said with a smirk and he threw a casual arm on my shoulder causing me to immediately stiffen. “We had a lot of fun with the handcuffs that night, didn’t we?” He said in a low voice, directed only to me but the only thing that I could focus on was the fact that him touching me made me feel physically sick.
I couldn’t help but shake him off roughly and he finally was able to somewhat put together that something was not right. “What’s wrong?” He asked and his hand returned but this time on the small of my back.
“Don’t touch me.” I snapped harshly, unable to help myself. It came out a lot louder than I had intended and the rest of the boys and Hazel were staring at me in shock.
“Mose, what’s wrong?” He asked again, this time softer, and his ice blue eyes were trying to meet mine but I knew if I looked at him I would either throw up or hex him to oblivion. I slammed my book shut and without another word, swung my leg over the bench in an attempt to get away from him as quickly as possible.
“Mose!” He called after me, causing a few heads in the Great Hall to turn curiously. I ignored him as best as I could as I finally made my way into the corridor.
“Jord! Jordan!” He yelled and I finally stopped and turned around. He caught up to me a couple of seconds later and he looked thoroughly confused and little out of breath. “What’s going on? Are you pissed at me or something?” He asked and I opened my mouth to say ‘yes, yes I’m pissed at you, you complete fuckhead’ but I quickly shut it. I couldn’t tell him what I was mad at him for without somehow explaining what I was doing hiding under James Potter’s invisibility cloak in the middle of the night.
“No.” I somehow managed to get out between gritted teeth. I sighed because he didn’t look remotely convinced. “I’m not. I’m just tired. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.” I invented quickly. “Sorry for taking it out on you.” The words tasted like poison coming out. I was apologizing to him when I wanted nothing more than to tell him off and give him a good punch in the throat.
“Don’t worry about it. Why don’t you head back up to your dorm? We’ll cover for you in classes if you want.”
I forced myself to nod. “Yeah, I think I will.”
He looked like he was going to give me a hug for a second but decided against it out of rightful fear before heading back into the Great Hall to finish his breakfast.
As soon as he left, James whipped the invisibility cloak off his head. I guess I wasn’t really surprised he followed me considering he was like me in that he couldn’t keep his nose out of anything. “You alright?”
The answer to that was an easy no. I was visibly shaking and I was clenching my teeth so hard I thought they might break just to avoid exploding on the spot.
“Duel me.” I said simply and it was clear by his surprised expression that that was not what he was expecting to hear.
“I need to get my frustration out somehow so either duel me or have angry sex in that broom closet.” I explained in rough voice as I took my wand from my bag.
He glanced in the direction of the broom closet and then eyed my wand warily. “Angry sex doesn’t sound half bad.”
“Potter, wand out.” I demanded, not giving him the option because no matter how good angry sex would be, I needed to get a few hexes out of my system.
“Okay, okay, fine.” He pulled his wand out from underneath his robe. “Are you ready or--” He started but I had already shot a jinx at him that he deflected a split second before it hit him. He tilted his neck to the side ever so slightly. “Well, alright then.”
After that it was hexes and curses just flying constantly. Majority of them were coming from me because as soon as he would deflect one, I would already be flinging another in his direction. Typically in Defense I had no competition. The Slytherins and Gryffindors weren’t even allowed to duel in class anymore because our professor didn’t want us to kill each other and usually my partner was down within fifteen seconds. Poor Silas had been hit with more bat bogey hexes over the years than I can even count.
I appreciated the fact that James didn’t hold back at all either. He was good. I knew he did well in Defense too but I had no idea how talented he was. I had blood dripping slightly from the side of my face where one of his curses just barely missed me and grazed my skin. It was the first time I had let anything get past one my shield charms in years and when it happened a smile overtook my face that was so big it almost hurt. I was having so much fun that the rest of the world kind of melted away for a couple of minutes.
I didn’t even realize the crowd we had attracted of people leaving breakfast until our wands went soaring out of our hands. “What’s going on here?” Professor Longbottom questioned, standing in the middle of everyone. Cyrus, Mitch, Scorpius, Silas, and Hazel were there and looked like they had been ready to intervene at any second. The guys were glaring maliciously at James and Cyrus being defensive over me made me want scream. All of the Wotters were present as well and looking confused especially Fred and Lily who knew that I was on good terms with James and didn’t understand why we would be dueling. I tugged slightly on my ear after making eye contact with Fred to let him know that everything was okay. “Explain yourselves.”
James began to open his mouth but I cut in before he could speak. I didn’t want him to even attempt to take the blame when it was my idea have an all out duel in the first place. “I’ll save you from trying to act like the noble Gryffindor, Potter.” I said dryly before turning to Longbottom. “I threw the first curse, Professor. I don’t think Potter would want to admit that he got hexed by a girl.” I said in the most patronizing voice possible.
“She clearly uses the term ‘girl’ very loosely.” He sneered back, playing his part well.
“Enough.” Longbottom said sharply. “Detention tonight for dueling in the corridors. Don’t let it happen again.” He made a very poor move by handing our wands back to us. I liked Longbottom well enough. I thought he kind of had a hot, nerd professor thing going for him so I actually paid attention in his class. I think that and the fact that James was practically his surrogate nephew is how we only got one night of detention. Had it been McGonagall we would be cleaning bed pans for two weeks. “Get to class everyone.”
The crowd quickly dispersed, all muttering and looking back with interest at James and me. The ones that stayed back were James’ cousins and siblings surrounding him and then my mates surrounding me. The second that Longbottom was out of earshot they started in on each other.
“What the fuck are you playing at, Potter?” Silas snarled, looking nothing short of furious.
“Do your ears not work properly, Greengrass?” Louis snapped back and then nodded his head in my direction. “She threw the first curse. James was merely defending himself from your psycho step sister.”
“She was probably provoked!” Hazel insisted heatedly as she glared daggers at Louis and my heart swelled at her defending me despite my attitude toward her this morning.
“What could I have possibly said to provoke her? Called her a slag maybe?” James tried in a pointed way that only Fred and I understood the real context behind. “C’mon, even I’m not that much of an ass.”
My mates weren’t buying that even though it was true. They immediately became convinced that he did just pass me in the corridor and offhandedly call me a slag.
“Fuck off, Potter.” Cyrus growled. “Just cause Mose isn’t slobbering all over you and your last name that gives you no right to be a piece of shit to her.”
I heard Molly whisper something that sounded a lot like ‘as if James would even stoop that low’ and I instantly felt like something you would find on the bottom of someone’s shoes. Lily must’ve heard it too because I saw her slam her foot down on Molly’s. Molly let out a little yelp of pain before rounding on her cousin who just pretended nothing happened. My appreciation for Lily soared once again.
James was paying them no mind though because he was looking at Cyrus with a smirk on his face as if he had been waiting for him to interject the entire time.
“Very defensive over your little girlfriend, Palmer.” James said in the most condescending way he could muster. He took a step forward so he was closer to Cyrus, who was positively seething. “Or ex-girlfriend, I guess, because you guys aren’t fucking anymore, right? What happened, huh? Did you cheat on her?” He cocked his head to the side ever so slightly and smirked again. “I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree then.”
Cyrus looked like he had just been slapped and his face went bright red. Bringing up his parent’s affair was a low blow but I knew James was purposefully trying to piss him off so he could pick a fight. I couldn’t hex the fuck out of Cyrus but James certainly could. I wanted him to, I really did, but when I saw Cyrus rip his wand out and James follow in suit I found myself inexplicably stepping between them. I disarmed them both and had their wands in my hand before they even realized what happened.
The corridor went silent when everyone’s heads turned to see me with the wands. James’ eyes were boring into me and I was visibly shaking again but really hoped no one noticed. I wordlessly handed James’ wand to Lily and Cyrus’ to Hazel, knowing neither of them would give it back if it meant a fight before stalking off down the corridor and away from them all.
I didn’t even know where I was going. I wasn’t walking in the direction of Slytherin dorms but I wasn’t walking anywhere near Charms either. All I knew was that I could hardly breathe and I forced my way outside as fast as I could. The autumn weather was finally starting to hit and the cold air helped me catch my breath. I had just a few seconds of solitude that helped me regain a small fraction of my composure before I heard my name being called.
Silas came bursting out the door and quickly spun to face me where I was gripping the wall of the castle. “What the hell was all that?”
“Nothing--” I tried to lie but he scoffed and cut me off before I could even finish.
“Bullshit.” He said gruffly before softening somewhat when he eyed the side of my face that was still bleeding slightly. He put a gentle hand on my shoulder and tilted his head so he could look me in the eye. “What’s going on with you?”
I couldn’t really respond to that because I didn’t have an answer. “Are you embarrassed of me?” I practically sputtered instead, finally asking the question that I had been trying to force from my mind the entire morning. Out of all the things the Cyrus and Mitch had said last night, the thought of Silas being humiliated by me had been gnawing at me the most.
His brows furrowed together in confusion and he probably thought I was a bit mad but I needed to know. “What are you on about?”
“Silas.” I said simply and he frowned when he realized how serious I was.
“Of course I’m not embarrassed of you.” He insisted with a sigh and a shake of his head. “Why would you even think that?”
“Why else would you get so defensive whenever someone calls me a slag or whore?”
He was looking at me as if I was crazy. “I get defensive because you shouldn’t have to be called names by people that don’t even know you properly.” He said, not realizing that two of the people that know me better than anyone else were saying those things just last night.
“But then why did you get so pissed that I was sleeping with Cyrus?” I questioned, unable to let it go. “Were you afraid I was living up to the reputation?
“No, absolutely not. I just--” He paused and pinched the bridge of his nose before he let out another sigh. “I just think you deserve more than a casual shag around Hogwarts whenever one of you wanted to get off, okay? You know I love Cyrus. He’s our best mate and I know he loves you--” I had to resist a snort at that. “But I think you should be with someone that loves you in the way that you deserve to be loved. Someone that wants to take you on an actual date and says lame cutesy shit to you.” He tugged at his tie a little and I could tell he was uncomfortable at getting mushy with me but he continued regardless.
“You were never going to get that with Cyrus or any of the assholes that you’ve hooked up with in the past. If I’m protective, it’s not because I’m embarrassed of you, Jordan. It’s because I want better for you.”
Everything that he said was exactly what I needed to hear and I was suddenly so overwhelmed with the love that I felt for my brother. I wordlessly tackled him in massive hug that I hope conveyed how much I appreciated him. He wrapped his arms around me and held me against him for a long time because I think he sensed that it’s what I really needed.
I pulled away eventually and Silas wiped a stray tear that had escaped from my face. “Are you going to be okay?”
I nodded. “I’m fine,” I said and, for the first time all day, it was truthful.
I’m sorry for being awful and taking so so long to finish this. I’m a terrible person and you should all feel free to hunt me down and throw things at me. But at least it’s finished now though, right?!
I’m sorry you guys didn’t get the satisfaction of Cyrus or Mitch getting their faces punched in but I hope you all still enjoyed the chapter regardless. I love reading all of your reviews and I’m super curious to know what everyone thinks. Favorite parts? What’d you think of the Wotters interacting with Jordan’s friends? The duel? Silas and Jordan’s interaction at the end? Let me know! Love you all forever xx
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