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Chapter 3

Rescue Me Any Night

 

The morning sun broke through the mountains around the castle bright and early on Sunday. Usually on a day like this very few students would be up to see this sight for another few hours but at this moment students were dragging themselves out of their beds to get showered and fed before the Wand care class coming specially to Hogwarts, presented by Mr. Ollivander himself.

Lily Potter was up and dressed with a smile on her face. It wasn’t that she really enjoyed school work or doing school related things on her weekend, it was just that Lily really liked the sunrise, that time in the morning when most other people were still sleeping and she had the common room all to herself. Gryffindor common room was much like her parents had always described it when she was 10 and waiting to get here and see it for herself. Four years on and Lily still loved everything about the common room; the rich red and gold colours, the comfy armchairs, the cosy fireplace, and not to mention the pictures of her parents and her aunt and uncle hanging on the walls. Apparently those additions were made after the great battle to celebrate the Gryffindors who had had a part in saving the Hogwarts they knew to this day. She also saw pictures of some of her parents other school friends hanging on the walls, people they always talked fondly about, some of which Lily remembered meeting, like Uncle Neville, not actually their uncle of course but they called him that because he felt like one for how often they’d see him.

Lily had been enjoying the quiet for some twenty minutes before it was disturbed by the likes of her cousins. Fred who was only one year beneath Lily was leading the way, running out from the boys dormitories and heading straight up the staircase for the girls, knowing full well what would happen. Before the screeching sound hit, Lily saw the blonde haired, perfect skinned form of little Louis, only a first year yet already following the habits of Fred Weasley.

“Aaaaaahhhhh” the screech wailed through the common room as the stairs on the staircase flattened out and turned it into a slide that brought the two boys skidding back down onto the rug.

“Did you have to Freddie?” She sighed, knowing full well that the whole common room would be stirring now and soon enough they would fill the common room with hustle and bustle, ruining the peace that she loved so much.

“Nope” he grinned cheekily.

“You’re worse than my brothers” she sighed.

“And I’m only a third year!” he added brightly, “imagine what I’ll be like when I’m a seventh year!”

“I’m glad I won’t be here” she muttered as James emerged from the boys dormitory staircase, followed by a boy that made Lily’s heart flutter every time she saw him. Daniel Vane. Perfect short, dark, wavy hair, chiselled jaw, warm hazel eyes and a smile that made all the bones in her legs disappear. She realised that he was a seventh year and she was only a fourth year but what difference did that make when you really think about it? Three years, so what.

He was giving a hearty chuckle to something her brother was saying as he descended the staircase. James voice at that moment jarred her out of her staring as it did not suit the angelic face in front of her.

“Little sis” he called. She hated when he called her that, it made her sound like a kid in front of Daniel. She was sure he did it on purpose.

“Morning James” she replied, holding herself straight and tall to make her appearance as grown up as she could, “Morning Daniel” she added trying not to show the shyness in her voice.

“Hey Lily” Daniel replied, causing Lily to smile at her name from his lips, “Aren’t you just thrilled about this wand class today?” he asked sarcastically. Lily however, eager to answer as quickly as possible didn’t think about her answer and gave an eager ‘Yes of course, it’s going to be great!’ before she realised the nerdiness that must be radiating from her at this moment.

Daniel chuckled in a friendly way at her comment.

“See you later, Little Potter” he said, shooting his warm smile in her direction. She simultaneously detested the use of her nickname ‘Little Potter’ and melted at the smile he’d given her that caused her body quite some confusion as to how she was supposed to be reacting. She was left waving briefly as the two boys headed out of the portrait hole together, chatting along the way.

“Are you so nice to her because she’s my sister?” James asked casually as they squeezed out the other side of the common room.

“I’m nice to all girls” he replied, “I have to be polite and courteous to all, I’m head boy remember” he pointed at the shiny badge on his clothes.

“I know, you just always seem to stop and say hi to her” he said.

“Yeah, well she’s a sweet kid” he said kindly.

“You know she’s got a crush on you right?” James added calmly

“Then how come you haven’t killed me already?” Daniel added slyly.

“Because I know you’re not going to do anything, therefore no threat, therefore I don’t have to kill you” he replied.
The two boys made their way down to the Great Hall laughing together as they merged with the students starting to mill their way into the Great Hall for some breakfast.

XXX

Albus felt a kicking in his back.
“Get up Al, we’ve got to go”
He sat up in his bed, his eyes blurry and his brain still half asleep.

“What’s going on?” he mumbled out to the pale blurry figure beside his bed.

“You overslept” Scorpious’s voice reached his ears, “We’re going to be late for the wand care class”

“Overslept” Albus mumbled miserably, “You can’t oversleep on a Sunday because it’s meant for sleeping in”

“Well hurry up and get your arse out of bed, we’ve already missed breakfast” Scorpious shoved him in the back again.

“But I was having such a good dream” Albus mumbled to himself but Scorpious caught it.

“I know you were” Scorpious scrunched his face as the memory of the sounds coming from Albus came back to him, “Now hurry up”

Albus dragged himself out of bed and pulled his uniform over his head, throwing his cloak around him and squeezing into his shoes after throwing his pre-made tie over his head.

“Done” Albus stated, yawning and heading towards the door.

“You’re not going to have a shower?” Scorpious asked

“Later” he replied, “You kept moaning at me to get up and now you’re complaining when I’m already out the door?”

“Fine, let’s just go” Scorpious replied, “You know, you are so much like your brother”

“What?”

“You are exactly like James” Scorpious said, passing him out the door and down to the common room, “he’s disgusting too”

“I’m not disgusting” Albus argued, “I’m just a real man”

“You just stink” Scorpious retorted, moving through the common room as Albus gave himself a brief sniff under the armpits and decided a quick charm to cover the smell was in order. He waved his wand to cast the charm as the pair of them exited the Ravenclaw tower and headed down the stairs to the Great Hall where most students were already packed in. There were a few stragglers like themselves but Professor McGonagall was at the doors hurrying everyone in so as to get started on time. They were some of the last few in, along with Jason and Dom who they noticed were short of breath as they arrived, Albus assumed they had run here after an early morning practice session, Jason was running a lot of them lately, he seemed to really want the team to be in perfect shape this year.

The doors closed on the Great Hall and the students seated themselves along the wooden benches now arranged as though for an assembly, facing the staff table, filled with the first years in the front to the seventh years in the back.
Standing up the front was a very elderly looking man that they were all very familiar with considering he was the best wand maker in the country. Mr. Ollivander ambled up to the front and centre of the Hall to address his audience.

“Good morning students of Hogwarts, I trust that you have all brought your wands with you this morning” he called in a feeble sort of voice. According to his mother Mr. Ollivander had been a very enchanting man with a voice that made you feel magical, however since he was tortured during the dark times he had become a lot weaker, so much weaker in fact that he had a helper with him to help him demonstrate.

“I would ask that you all hold out your wands for me” he asked with a response of several hundred shuffling cloaks from under which they produced their wands and held them up so the old man could see them. He looked around the hall nodding approvingly in some cases, tutting in others.

“Philip Clearwater, very nice… Joshua Abbot, beautifully polished… Lily Potter, a little wear and tear I see… Ian Finnigan, terrible tip on your wand… Scorpious Malfoy, wonderfully kept…” Scorpious gave a polite smile before receiving a shove from Albus who hated how much adults loved him.

“Alright put them away,” he called to the hall again who did as he asked, “My point in being here this morning is to help you keep your wands in better condition. Some of you are looking after them beautifully and some of you are definitely not. You should be treating this instrument as an extension of your body and take as much care of this wand as you would your own hand. Now, if you look to my left you will see I have brought with me an array of products that will help all of you with the appropriate care of your wand” he indicated to the table next to him where his young assistant picked up a tray of products and escorted them over to Mr. Ollivander who continued to explain what each of them would do.

But James Potter had stopped listening as soon as he saw the girl assisting Mr. Ollivander. It was the same girl he had crashed into at his Uncle’s shop; Porcelain white skin, long shiny hair and big brown eyes kept down onto the tray in front of her without really paying attention to any of the students in the hall. She was very pretty, he couldn’t deny it. He was confused as to why she was here with Mr. Ollivander because she certainly looked school aged and even if she wasns’t, James would have recognised her from being a few years above him for sure. She couldn’t be seven years older than him! Unless she perhaps went to a school other than Hogwarts but why would you if you could go to Hogwarts. Maybe she didn’t get in he thought to himself.

James had been staring at the girl for quite some time he realised as he was suddenly stirred out of his stupor by the hustle and bustle of students who now appeared to be moving to a long table set up on the far side of the hall.

James quickly snapped back to his senses as Jason looked round to him and gave him a quick nudge on the arm to get moving. Ollivander must have said something about collecting something from the table as the students were forming queues behind each other at the tables.

“What are we lining up for?” he whispered to Jason as they stood in line behind a tall Slytherin boy at middle of the long table.

“Seriously?” Jason replied, “he wasn’t even talking for more than 5 minutes and you still can’t listen? Ollivander brought a free sample of his products for us to try” he said nodding towards the small boxed packages stacked messily on the tables in front of the queues. “Pretty nice of him really, must have cost him a fortune to put all these samples together”

“Hey, let’s queue in this line” James whispered, grabbing Jason by the arm and dragging him two lines over towards the far end of the table where the porcelain girl was standing handing out the free samples.

“Why? That one was faster” he replied

“No, I think this one is going quicker” James countered, not taking his eyes off the girl.

“If anything that one is going faster” Jason said, pointing to the very last line which happened to be the line the girl was standing at the front of.

“Great, we’ll move to that one!” James replied eagerly, dragging Jason yet again who had finally put two and two together after watching James move without taking his eyes off of the girl at their line.

“Now I get it” he stated

“Get what?” James asked innocently.

“You’re ogling” he replied.

“I don’t ogle… I observe” he said with dignity in his voice.

“Well observe more subtly mate” he replied with a short smack around the head which made James look away for the first time since he’d noticed her there.

Finally the line shortened until they were standing at the front and the girl was handing James a small black parcel without looking at him.

“Hello” James said smiling broadly. The girl looked up and after a moment’s hesitation she returned a shy smile as she recognised his face.

“Hello” she replied.

“Nice to see you again” he continued after he realised she wasn’t going to say anything else, “At least I didn’t bump into you this time”

“Yes, thank you for that” she replied quietly, playing with the edge of the next black parcel that was clutched in her hands.

“You’re welcome” he replied, feeling strangely unable to think of things to say at this point. He wsasn’t often around girls who behaved shyly, usually they were quite talkative… or yelling at him.

“So, what b-” he started before he was cut off by a mouthy Ravenclaw kid from the year below him.

“Oi, Potter, can you take the awkwardness somewhere else, we’re waiting here!” James glared at him until Jason pushed him off to the side so the next person in the queue could get their sample.

Though Jason dragged him away, James came back a short while later once all of the students had collected their samples and head out for their planned Sunday activities. As he had hoped the girl was still there, packing up the leftover samples into a box whilst Mr. Ollivander spoke to Professor Longbottom by the staff table. James took the opportunity and snuck over to where she was packing.

“Hello again” he said quietly from behind her. She jumped and dropped the stack of black sample boxes in her hands before clutching at her chest.

“Oh, I’m sorry” James said, rushing to gather up the boxes he had made her drop.

“No, it’s fine” she said, dropping down to pick up the boxes as well, “It’s not your fault. I scare easily. I’m sorry”

“No, I shouldn’t have snuck up behind you. Here” he said handing her the stack of boxes, “I just didn’t really get the chance to speak to you earlier so I thought I’d come back and, you know, scare the living daylights out of you” he said and she laughed. It was a shy little laugh, like everything else about her, he noticed as she kept her eyes cast downward for most of their exchange.

“I’m James by the way” he said, “James Potter”

“Matilda” she replied, awkwardly shaking the hand he had offered to her.

“Nice to meet you Matilda. So, why are you packing this all up by hand, wouldn’t be easier to use a charm or something?” he asked, looking around at the stacks of boxes still left out.

“Oh I just like to pack it up like this,” she replied, barely looking up at him, “takes longer that way, so I don’t have to go back to the shop”

“Oh do you work at Ollivanders?” he asked wondering how old she could be for him not to know who she was.

“Sort of. Ollivander is my great Uncle” she replied.

“Oh cool, you must get to play around with some of the coolest wands then!” he replied excitedly.

“Oh no, I never really touch the wands” she replied, “Ollivander is very precious about who touches the wands”

“Oh that sucks. Hey... can I ask” James started, wondering whether you were allowed to ask girls this question, “How old are you?” she looked taken aback at his question, “It’s just that I didn’t think you could be much older than me but you’re obviously not at Hogwarts and I don’t recognise you from the years above me so I wondered if you were a lot older than me or perhaps just went to a different school?” James wondered whether he was being impolite when she looked down at the ground but she answered his question none-the-less.

“I just turned seventeen last week” she said quietly.

“Oh” he said a little dumbstruck, “but you don’t go to
Hogwarts” he said stupidly.

“No, I don’t“

“How come?” he pushed, wondering why this pretty girl had not been in his sights during his high school years.

“I go to a different school” she replied quietly, “I don’t think you’d know it”

“Which one is it?”

“It’s-”

“Matilda darling” Mr. Ollivander called over in a whispy voice, “Mr Longbottom and I are finished talking so we can take the boxes and get back to the shop now” Matilda gave a small shrug of the shoulders as a ‘sorry’ and she picked up the box full of samples, carried it over to Ollivander and followed him out of the hall with a brief ‘Thank you’ to Neville.

“Come on James, don’t you have something better to do on a Sunday?” Neville called as he walked closer to him, “You’re not trying to get your hands on some more samples are you? Although I don’t think I’d want to know what you were planning for them if you did”

“No, I was just talking to the girl that works at Ollivanders” he said, still looking off in her direction.

“Ah yes, his niece or great niece or something I think” Neville replied.

“Yeah, how come she doesn’t go here, she said she just turned seventeen, she should be in my year but she said she goes to some other school, do you know which one?” he asked, looking over to the Professor he still had trouble calling ‘Professor’ given how often they saw each other outside of school.

“Well I don’t know which one it is but it’ll be one of the ones down the way, the local comprehensive at a guess” he replied.

“Comprehensive?” he repeated, “You mean like a muggle school?”

“Well yes,” Neville replied, “She doesn’t possess any magic, poor thing”

“She’s a squib?!” James said loudly, forgetting the insult that word was to people.

“Now James” Neville looked reproachfully at him, “I don’t like you using words like that and I’m sure your parents would have something to say about it if they heard”

“Sorry Uncle Neville” he said quickly, “but she really doesn’t have magic?” he said shocked, “but she seems so nice and… normal”

“Well there’s nothing abnormal about not having any magical powers” Neville replied a little scathingly, “It’s not just weird, ugly, old men that can have no power… young, pretty, nice girls can be non-magical too” and with that, Neville gave him a stern look and departed out the entrance hall towards the castle grounds outside.

XXX

Scorpious ambled his way down the corridor to the library. After his fill of a delicious lunch in the great hall he left Albus who had decided to have a nap back in the Ravenclaw tower. Sunday afternoons were the perfect time to spend a session in the library as most students avoided it in order to pursue other interests that were predominantly non-academic. But that was the thing about Scorpious, his interests were largely academic. He wasn’t quite as overt about it as some people but he loved studying and learning things, he had a keen mind and loved to use it, what was wrong with that? But the Quidditch scene didn’t always appreciate that. Albus tolerated it of course with his snide remarks and letting him just get on with his reading but there was no one who really understood and enjoyed it with him. Thus he found himself arriving at the nearly empty library on a lazy Sunday afternoon with the thought in his mind that he would get some research going for the Ministry application. He needed to make some good headway on this and that meant burying his nose into some specific books that he would find in one of his favourite places in the castle. He moved past the front desk where Madame Pince was situated, an ancient looking woman who was half asleep at the front desk, and weaved through to his favourite table in the far left corner that was adjacent to the magical theory section of the library.

However his perfect little spot that was barely disturbed by others, was today being disturbed by another. A person he was very unenthused to see. Rose Weasley’s long red hair was falling over the pages of a thick book she was bent over to read, her eyes very close to the page, moving swiftly from side to side as she read. However those eyes jumped straight to him as he dropped his books and parchment on the table across from her.

As she looked up and recognised him, her eyes narrowed and annoyance flickered across her face.

“What do you want, Malfoy?” she asked scathingly.

“It’s a library Rose. You couldn’t hazard a guess at ‘a book’?” he replied sarcastically.

“Why are you doing it here?” she shot back, “it’s a big library, can’t you find an unoccupied table somewhere else?”

“It’s a library, I’m entitled to study where I like. If you have a problem with it, you are welcome to move someone else” he grinned in a sickeningly sweet manner.

“Just don’t disturb me” she snapped back, dropping her eyes back to her work. Scorpious rolled his eyes and merely moved on with his work, getting out blank parchment and quill along with the stack of parchments he had received with the application, one of which was the list of texts he need to make reference to within his application. He had already crossed one off the list so far, today he was going to get three new ones to borrow from the library after scanning them in his Sunday study session.

He moved over to the shelves behind him and began scanning the titles for the first book on his list: The history of theories and the theories in history by Humphrey Dinglebert. He found it almost at once on the middle shelf to his left, a thick, heavy book that was leather bound and looked ancient. The second book, Magical laws and restrictions on magical research and development by Arcticus Arsinian, was a little more difficult to find but when he spotted it in the bottom left corner, he found that it was obviously old from the layer of dust but evidently not read often due to the crisp unturned pages that showed it was rarely opened. The third book however, was the problem. He scoured the shelves for it, looking through each book individually in order to ensure he didn’t miss the title Magical Theory: A case study of those who studied other cases of breakthroughs in magical theory by Keldabeth Bagshot. After several minutes searching without success, he sighed in dejection and slumped into the chair opposite Rose, dropping the other two books onto the table next to his stacks of parchment, some of which already contained notes on his research from the first book on his list.
He pulled the first book to him, flipping to the index and searching it until he found the section he wanted then flipping the pages to that chapter and beginning to read.

There was several minutes of silence in which you could only hear the flipping of his pages or her scratching quill until Rose started moving books in the stack next to her looking for a specific one. When she evidently didn’t find it she stood up and moved over to the shelves and began foraging through the books there, carefully scanning the titles. With a frustrated huff a minute later, Rose slumped herself back into her chair across from Scorpious who had ignored her throughout her search for the books. That’s when Rose noticed the thick volume in Scorpious’ hands, reading the dim, peeling letters of the title.

“What are reading that book for?” she asked brusquely. Scorpious looked up at her, his eyebrows furrowed.

“What is it to you?” he replied

“I need that book Malfoy” she said.

“So do I” he said, “hence the fact that I’m holding it and reading”

“Yes but you see, I need it” she said in a said of forced calm, “it’s on my textbook list therefore I actually need it”

“There are no subjects at Hogwarts that require this book as a text” he answered, “Besides, I am currently using it therefore you are unable to. Just deal with it. There are books I’m looking for that I can’t use because someone evidently is, you just have to be patie-” he stopped talking as he noticed the bright gold letters on the book that sat closed in front of Rose: Keldabeth Bagshot

“You have it” he said suddenly, sitting up straighter.

“What?”

“You have the Bagshot text” he pointed to the book in front of her, “That’s the one I’m looking for” Rose laid her hands protectively over the book almost subconsciously.

“What do you want this one for?” she asked, a hint of surprise in her tone.

“I need it for a…” he hesitated, “I just need it alright” She eyed him suspiciously before picking up the book and holding it firmly in her hands.

“How about we do a swap” she suggested with the hint of a polite smile, “I need that book and you need this one. We could just swap”

“That’s not fair” he retorted, “I only just got this one, I’ve barely had time to read it”

“Yeah but you said you need this one too. Why not just read this first and then I’ll give you that one back when I’m finished” she pointed to the one in his hands.

“No” he replied stubbornly, “I want to read this one first. Can’t you just read a different book”

“No” she shot back, just as stubbornly as he did, “the only other book I need is Magical laws and restrictions on magical research and development but someone else has that one as well so-”

Scorpious was unable to stop his eyebrows shooting up slightly in surprise when he heard the title and Rose did not miss it. Though he tried to be covert about it, she also spotted his hand move slowly to sit over the title of the book lying just to his right.

“You have that one too!” she shot out, lunging towards it to try and take it but he was too quick and managed to snatch it out before she could get to it.

“What do you need that one for too?” she shot angrily at him.

“Well, what do you need it for?” he shot back. She sighed to calm herself and spoke carefully.

“Malfoy look, I have a very important application I am trying to complete and it requires me to study those books so-… what?” she had stopped when Scorpious’ mouth had dropped open.

“What application?” he asked.

“Why do you care?” she scoffed. But after a moment’s thought, she realised why he would care. It was obvious if you just put the scraps of evidence together: the books she wanted in his hand, the one he wanted in hers, the ministry logo on the top of one of his parchments papers…
“Oh no” she let out when the obvious hit her. He just sighed heavily as evidently he had realised as well. They both sat there in stunned silence. They were clearly both applying for the same position in the ministry placement… the one that only accepted one applicant. Rose glared at him with a determined expression.

“I’m not sure if you actively attempt to irritate me in every way possible or it’s just a fluke but the Ministry application?” she asked in frustration, “Why do you have to try and ruin this for me?”

“I’ll only ruin it for you by beating you” He replied with a small smile, “Are you admitting that I’m going to beat you?”

“No, I’m not” she replied adamantly, “because I have been studying about this application throughout the holidays and I have been doing non-stop research to create the perfect application. There is no way they’re gonna say no to me. So you may as well give up Malfoy” she gave a sweet smile that barely concealed her contempt for him.

“Well so can you because this here book is a required text” he said, closing the book in his hands and holding it tight to his chest, “and I think I might just hold onto it for a while”

“And what about this one?” She argued, holding the title he was missing from his list of books for today’s research, “You need this one too. Maybe I’ll hold onto this one for a while too”

“Fine, you do that” he replied cooly, “Five galleons says I can hold out longer than you beafore cracking” She glared at him a little longer, looking between the book in front of him and to his eyes, back and forth as though planning when to lunge for the book. He could see the frustration in her eyes growing and smiled more broadly knowing it would only infuriate her further.
She finally let out a growl of frustration and whipping her wand out with lightning speed, she pointed it at his eyes and cast a spell without uttering a word. In a flash of blinding light Scorpious saw black and nothing more. His hand scrabbled around in front of him but he could not see them, he could see nothing. She had blinded him.

“Enjoy your reading” she snapped nastily and with that he heard her stomping off in the direction of the exit. Scorpious cursed under his breath, hating that they were so adept at wordless spells these days, meaning he had absolutely no idea what sort of jinx she had placed on him, therefore having no idea of how to go about fixing it.
With the thought of continuing his research completely gone he fumbled around the table and collected up his things the best he could without being able to see and made his long, dark way back to Ravenclaw tower. Once he pushed through the doorway after giving the door it’s answer to the question: What is the most useful sense? (“common” he had replied) he stumbled over to the chairs towards the dormitory stairs, walking into the small table on the way and bruising his shins and climbed up them and into his dormitory. Evidently there was no one in the common room or else no one had made a sound at the stumbling, blind Scorpious. However when he reached his room he slammed the door open and called out to Albus. Albus evidently stirred from his sleep with a loud snort and mumbled ‘waz ‘appening?’

“Albus, you need to help me” he called, feeling his way over to the bed where Albus was.

“What do you mean?” he mumbled sleepily.

“Take a brief look and I’m sure you’ll see it straight away, I sure as hell can’t” Scorpious replied angrily.

“What?” Albus asked again, now sitting up in his bed as Scorpious finally found the end of it to perch on.

“I can’t see anything you idiot” he replied, “I need you to help me with the counter jinx”

“Who cursed you blind?” Scorpious heard Albus barely hiding the snigger in his voice.

“Your delightful cousin” he replied through gritted teeth. He didn’t need to elaborate which one because Albus would know from the way he spoke exactly who he was talking about.

“Well I don’t know anything about what the counter jinx would be. My first suggestion would’ve been Rose because she would know about stuff like this straight away” he said.

“Yeah she definitely would given that she did it!” Scorpious replied his anger flaring again, “Can you just help me over to my trunk and find my charms book so we can get the counter jinx?”

“So why did she jinx you?” Albus asked, getting up out of his bed and helping Scorpious over to the trunk at his bed.

“Because she’s a highly strung pain in the arse that can’t seem to control her emotions” he replied.

“Yeah but what did you do to her or say to her that set her off?” he asked beginning to rummage through Albus’s trunk.

“Nothing, we just… had a disagreement” he replied, not really knowing why he didn’t want to go into it with Albus. He had been quite closed about his application to the ministry and something about Rose being involved now irritated him. He didn’t want her involved in that important piece of his life, why did she have to barge in on it? Evidently she felt nervous about him being involved as well given that she felt to jinx him blind was the only way to beat him, he thought savagely.

“Great” Albus interrupted his thoughts, “well if we can expect more jinxes every time you guys have a disagreement then you better memorise this book in case you go blind again because I am not helping you every time – you guys disagree far too often. Here” he added, placing the book in Scorpious’ hand.

“What exactly do you expect me to do? I can’t read it you idiot” Scorpious snapped, hitting Albus over the head with surprising accuracy given that he couldn’t see him.

“You know, I would be nicer to people who you are asking to help you” Albus snapped back, grabbing the book back from him, “So what am I looking for?”

XXX

Rose stomped through the castle. She didn’t really know where she was going she was just keeping moving because she couldn’t go back to the library and couldn’t go on to the common room because Scorpious would’ve undoubtedly gone there. Pfft, stupid Scorpious! She thought to herself. Why? Why did he have to apply for the ministry internship too?! Why did it have to be him? She knew she could beat out anyone in the year but Scorpious… he was her top rival. She hated admitting it but it was always the way. The only person who could stay on par with her in every lesson. Except in herbology, she pipped him to the post everytime in that. Mind you… he had potions, she always seemed to finish just behind him in the quality of their potion making. And that irritated her no end because it was such an important part of being a well-rounded wizard or witch, which was a big part of this internship: strong knowledge in all areas of magical study. She was strong of course, but not the best. And she wanted to be the best. She had to, that’s how she was going to beat him for the internship.

When she became aware of her surroundings she realised she had walked her way out of the castle and into the grounds. She decided to make her way down to the lake where she knew it would be relaxing, if not a little chilly, to sit and think about her overreaction in jinxing Scorpious. She had initially been a little worried that he would go to McGonagall and she would be in trouble but she reminded herself that he had too much pride for that and he would undoubtedly tell no one if possible. Stupid boys and their stupid pride. Stupid Scorpious and his stupid brain. Well he wasn’t stupid, that was the problem. Stupid Scorpious and his stupid smart brain.

XXX

James was winding his way back along the cobbled street of Hogsmeade as the sun was beginning to sink a little lower in the sky, causing an orange flare all along the horizon of the old town. He didn’t often go places by himself, he generally preferred being with other people but he wanted to go in by himself today to find the girl, Matilda her name had been. He knew that he wasn’t supposed to be there once night falls but something about this girl intrigued him. He had never really met a squib before and he felt sad for the girl who couldn’t go to Hogwarts and enjoy the wizarding school the way he did just because she couldn’t do any magic. Everyone who lived in the magical world should get to enjoy Hogwarts, Hogwarts was great.

He turned a corner and saw the lights in Mr. Ollivanders shop alight, with figures moving around inside but a ‘closed’ sign on the door. He peered through the window and saw only Mr. Ollivander awkwardly shuffling around behind the desk. He couldn’t see her anywhere. He briefly considered going in and asking him where she was but realised that was a little… desperate. He hung around the entrance way for a while deliberating on what to do before realising that eventually someone would come out and see him there which would get him into trouble because it would get back to his mum and dad, everything always got back to his mum and dad because everyone in Hogsmeade seemed to know his mum and dad. Well of course, everyone in the wizarding world knew his mum and dad.

Eventually James decided it was getting too dark and hanging around the shop window was getting him nowhere. He began to trudge back up towards the castle, taking the smaller alleyways rather than the main road so that he was less likely to be seen. He could’ve taken the secret passageway to Honeydukes cellar but then he’d have to find his way out of the shop without his invisibility cloak. I should have brought it with me he thought to himself. As he turned into another alleyway alongside the entrance to Madame Puddifoots he saw a figure standing at the other end, moving in a creeping manner as though not wanting to be seen. Curiosity struck him, as it always did with James, and he crept quietly through the shadows of the alleyway towards the figure down the other end. It was a smaller frame, someone student aged by the looks of it, and James wondered if he wasn’t the only one out for a nighttime stroll from the castle. He decided to have a little fun with them.

He crept up behind the figure, he could tell it was a girl now that he got closer, a slender frame and long hair hanging down her back. He slunk a few more paces through the shadows and placed his hands heavily on the girls shoulders.

“What are you doing out of the castle?” he asked in a deep angry tone in the hopes that he would sound like one of the teachers. The girl whipped around with a shriek of fright and stumbled backwards clutching her heart. James noticed with a jolt of his stomach that it was the girl he had in fact been looking for. Matilda Ollivander was staring at him wide eyed and breathing heavily from shock. James recovering from a moment of shock himself, let out a laugh at the look on her face.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was you, I thought it was a Hogwarts student and just wanted to scare them for being out late” his smile faltered a little as he saw her face continue to look worried rather than break into a laugh with him, in fact she looked terrified, “I- I’m sorry” he softened his tone, “I didn’t mean to scare you that much, I was just joking around”

“No it’s Ok, I- I just…” she was talking in short scared sentences with her eyes still wide.

“What’s the matter?” James asked concerned.
“I just… I was walking home and I…” she looked around worriedly, “I think someone was following me, I- I thought I was being followed so I came down here and now I… I don’t know, I can’t see them but I’m… I’m a little scared” she looked into his eyes. They did indeed look terrified.

“You were being followed?” James repeated, looking around the alleyway for anyone else around. He moved past her towards the other entryway to the alley and checked left and right to see if there was anyone there. He couldn’t see anyone so he walked back over to Matilda.

“I can’t see anyone” he informed her but she was looking down at the floor now, unable apparently to look into his eyes, “Hey do you… do you want me to walk you back to your house?” he asked. She looked up at him with a hint of a smile that made James’ stomach do a backflip when she nodded at him.

The pair began to amble back towards the main cobbled street which was lit more brightly as the sun had sunk so low behind the horizon that the deep blue of night was beginning to creep across the sky. James was in no hurry to get to get her home as they ambled up the street chatting amiably along the way.

“So, how come you weren’t home tonight?” he asked.

“I just wanted to go for a walk” she replied quietly, “I like to walk to the gate at the end of the street and look up at the castle at dusk. It’s prettiest then” There was a sadness in her eyes he noticed. James was not always good at telling girls emotions, when they looked at him it was mostly anger and annoyance but he could see it in hers because he was actually looking at her eyes. They were a strangely intense hazel colour and they seemed to share her emotion easily with him. He felt a pang of sadness for her.

“I’m sorry” he said without really knowing he was saying it.

“For what?” she asked, her eyes turning to him to smile now, “for saving me from the invisible stalker?”

“For asking about your school and stuff” he said awkwardly.

“That’s alright, I’m interested in your school, I’m sure you’re allowed to ask about mine” she smiled hollowly.

“Yeah but…” he didn’t really know what to say, “I’m just sorry that… you know… you can’t go to…”

“Hogwarts” she finished for him, “It’s alright. It’s been seven years of watching others go in and out of that school, knowing that I can’t go. I’ve kind of come to terms with it now” she smiled lightly.

“Then why do you go and look at the castle? Doesn’t that make it worse?” he asked as they meandered towards Ollivanders which was looming ahead.

“Yes and no” she replied, “It’s like a happy pain. It’s such a nice place for so many people. Just because I can’t go there doesn’t mean it isn’t a wonderful place. Besides, every now and then I get to go in there with my Great Uncle and I get to see the inside of it” James saw her smile but he felt worse on the inside. He wanted to say something nice but couldn’t think of what to say. They walked in silence for a bit before Matilda spoke again.

“So you’re Harry Potters son right?” she asked.

“Yeah” he answered.

“What’s that like? Being the son of the famous Harry Potter?” she smiled.

“It’s alright” he shrugged his shoulders, “I mean it has it’s ups and downs. I can get away with a lot of stuff because no one wants to say no to the son of Harry Potter but it means that there’s a lot of pressure to do something amazing with my life because you know… my dad saved the wizarding world and all that. Got a fair bit to live up to” he finished trying to sound casual about the comment.

“Yeah that must be hard” she replied, “but still, at least you get to play with magic” James looked uncomfortably down at his shoes not knowing what to say in response to this comment. She smiled kindly at him.

“It’s ok” she said, putting a hand on his shoulder, “I’m just playing with you” He felt another swoop in his stomach as her hand slipped down off his shoulder and down his arm, finally coming away to point to her left at the door of Ollivander’s wand shop which they had now arrived at. She turned towards him, smiling again as he shuffled awkwardly in front of her. It felt strange for James to feel so nervous in front of her. He was usually pretty cool, calm and collected with the girls at Hogwarts but this girl made him feel unaccountably nervous. He looked up at her and couldn’t help but smile when he saw her smiling at him as she stood on the front step of the shop, her head level with his.

“Well, thank you very much for walking me back home” she smiled again and James’ stomach swooped with a pleasant sensation.

“Anytime” he replied, trying to look casual and not like his stomach was wriggling uncomfortably at being so close to her, with those intense hazel eyes.

“It’s a shame you guys don’t get more Hogsmeade weekends… then I could see you again sooner” she smiled again and James hurriedly replied.

“Well I have my own methods of getting here on any occasion. I can get here anytime if you want to me to walk you home again”

“Really? Well you know, I go for a walk every night so you’re welcome to come rescue me any night” she replied, taking the tiniest of steps towards the edge of the front step of Ollivanders, bringing her body a fraction closer to his. James gulped nervously.

“Well do you think you might need saving tomorrow night?” he asked, shifting his own body a little closer to hers so that he could actually see the flecks in the colours of her eyes.

“I might” she replied. James was very aware that her lips were close enough to him that he could lean forwards and kiss her quite easily. Something in his swooping stomach however would not let his body move, he couldn’t muster the courage to close that gap and put his lips on hers the way they were doing in the vision happening in his head at that very moment.

“Ok, well… I will be here tomorrow then” he replied, his mouth feeling dry.

“Good” she replied and with a swift movement, she had
leaned forwards and placed her lips on his left cheek. A soft kiss, but one that seemed to send a burning fire through his cheek all the way down to the fire in his stomach. She pulled away and his cheek continued to burn as he smiled uncontrollably in response to the shy smile she gave him.

“Goodnight James Potter” she said in a sweet voice before ducking quickly inside the shop and leaving James standing with a dumbstruck smile on his face as he turned and began to wander back towards the castle feeling decidedly happy that he had made the trip.

XXX

I sincerely hope you are enjoying the tale of the new generation as I see it and starting to love the characters as much as I love writing about them. Please leave me a comment to let me know what you are thinking about this story. Thanks.
Miss Magic*

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