A/N: Hey guys! Sorry for the long delay, I had a bit of an author’s block. I want to start posting in the next chapters, the name of a song that fits the chapter. You will see music plays a part in this story but mostly it is one of my other passions and I think it’s cool for people who like to read while listening to a song. Anyway, let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the artists in this story.
Saturday brings us a warm day and we decide to enjoy it by the lake. Days like this in themselves are magical, spending time with your friends and seeing the joy of all the students congregated at the grounds and having fun with no worries in sight. After breakfast, the girls and I run to get our bathing suits and the boys shed their shirts in favor of the hot rays of sun and the refreshing water.
Our afternoon runs quick by in the middle of all the laughter and conversations, and the boys ask a favor to the house-elves to bring us sandwiches and lemonade, so we don’t even have to go in for lunch. These magical moments at Hogwarts are certainly gonna be missed after graduation.
During the evening, everyone is pretty tired, so we just spend time laying around. It’s almost 20:00 when I remember my meeting with
Albus and get up quickly.
- What’s the matter? – asks Freddie from his position on the couch.
- Oh, I... – I search quickly for an excuse – I have to talk about my Potions essay with the professor.
I run upstairs, grab my backpack not to look suspicious and a coat, as
Albus had asked.
- Are you taking a coat? – calls
Anna, as I pass running. All my friends look at me strangely.
- Yeah. I mean... it’s the dungeons. A bit cold in there.
They choose to accept the weirdness of the situation and call byes as I walk through the portrait hole.
I look around and don’t see any sign of him, but he said we would meet here. Then I feel a touch at my shoulder and get mad at myself for being scared again, as Albus uncovers himself of the invisibility coat.
- Well, this is turning into a pattern. – he says, rather pleased with himself.
- It is, because you choose to keep scaring me. – I say irritated.
- So it seems. – he says unaffected, smile on his face.
- So, where are you taking me tonight for us to break our curfew? – I ask but I can’t act so irritated when he is looking at me like that. Something in his smile just makes you feel as if you wanna be in on his joke.
- Firstly, notice that I marked to meet you at 20:00, so there’s two hours till curfew. Second, the Astronomy Tower.
- Astronomy Tower?
- That’s where we are going.
As we arrive there, I can see a especially set up place where we are gonna work, with a basket of food and a blanket on the floor with some cushions.
- Wow! – I say – You seem to have put too much thought on this.
Even I surprise myself by that tease/flirt.
Albus seems happy though.
- I aim to please, darling.
- Well, your girlfriends must have an amazing time.
- Nah, I don’t put so much effort on my dates. Just in late working sessions.
I decide to end the conversation right there and take a seat, followed by him.
- So, - I cut to the point – where are the books for our work.
- Well, I thought we should try newer songs. And we talked about some muggle ones?
- Yeah, but still we have nowhere to look.
- I know – says Albus – but I have something that might help us.
And I take some time to understand what he just pulled out of his pocket. It seems like an IPod...Wait, it is an IPod! A white one with earbuds.
- Why did you bring an IPod to Hogwarts? – I ask – You know they don’t work around magic right?
- Not this one. – he says smiling – My uncle George found a way to tone down the electric waves around magic. Him and my uncle Ron are just doing the final adjustments to sell them in their store. Meanwhile they gave each of the cousins one for Christmas.
- You’re kidding! I’ve never seen James with his.
- Yeah, James isn’t too much into muggle music.
- And you are? – I ask surprised.
He gives me a big grin.
- I’m a huge fan.
- You’re kidding? It’s so hard to find a wizard with a taste in muggle music.
- Believe me, there are more than 400 tracks in here to prove it. – he says, indicating his IPod.
- That’s amazing! Since I found out about the wizarding world that’s one of the things I miss.
- You’re a muggleborn? – he frowns.
- Yeah, why? – I get defensive.
- Nothing, I just didn’t know. You’re not the only one that can’t find someone to discuss these songs with.
- So...tell me. What have you got?
- I’m pretty eclectic but I’m actually a sucker for a romantic song. Don’t laugh! – he adds as I’m struggling to keep a straight face.
- Sorry. It’s just hard to imagine the mysterious Albus Potter is a romantic at heart.
He looks at me a bit strangely for some seconds but then gets closer to show me his playlist.
- Right. I have some older ones, like The Beatles.
- Bee Gees!
- You kidding? They are great!
- Yeah! – he says, both of us talking through the other, too excited. – And I have these more current ones! Like I love Ed Sheeran. I’m getting a bit worried so much red hair in my family has rubbed off on me.
I laugh openly. Because in the excitement of finding someone with the same tastes as mine, this joke seems funnier than it should.
- Don’t worry. – I say. – It’s not the red hair. I’m a huge fan too.
He laughs and I can’t help but notice his breath smells like mint, we’re so close.
- What’s the next one? – I ask, hoping he didn’t notice my moment of weakness.
But after he clicks the “next” button, we both yell – Imagine Dragons! – and the hours pass by as we share the earbuds and start going through his list, all the time convinced we are actually “working”.
After some time and an extensive list of songs discarded we decided to stop. At that point, we are both lying down in the blanket, looking at the sky, the basket of food completely empty.
- Hummm? You can call me Al, by the way.
I don’t know why but that made me smile.
- Why are our meetings so secretive? – I ask. – I mean, it’s like you don’t want anyone to know we are working together. It’s just a school project!
- It’s not that! – He turns to look at me. – I mean, yes, I don’t want people to see us together. But it’s not because I’m ashamed of you or something...
He pauses a bit and I wait for him to continue.
- You know how people talk about me in the school, right?
- What do you mean? – I say, not wanting to admit that I’m probably amongst these people.
- Because of who my family is, there are always people scrutinizing what I’m doing. And just because I don’t like the spotlight too much and prefer to stay with my intimate friends, they seem to think I’m some kind of “mystery” or something. People talk about everything I do. And if I show up hanging out with you, they are just gonna start assuming things about us. I don’t want that, especially for you. It’s not fair that you start doing a project with me and suddenly you are my “new fling”.
He truly is right about that. The Hogwarts population had always their sight on the Potter and Weasley’s love lives, and they were constantly trying to find a new aspect of Albus’ life to talk about. Now they would use me as this new aspect. And I’m not a person who appreciates being the center of attention.
- Yeah, I guess you’re right.
- It’s working this way and we don’t have to worry about people whispering about us. I mean, don’t you agree?
- Sure, of course. Just hadn’t thought about that.
We stayed in silence for a minute and I remembered something I wanted to ask him:
- What were you and your friends doing by the Quidditch pitch during our practice, by the way?
- Ah...that. Sebastian and Thomas wanted to watch the opposition this year. So the rest of us went along.
- I knew it! – I whisper.
- What? – he asks.
- I mean, I knew it wasn’t your idea. You don’t even play Quidditch.
- I do, actually. Just not in school.
- Really? – I turn to him, curious.
- I quite like Quidditch. And I’m a pretty great seeker. – I roll my eyes at his arrogance. – But the attention it brings by being on the team doesn’t appeal to me.
- James loves the attention.
- Yeah. Well, James and I are very different. – He gets suddenly defensive.
- Hey, do you see that star over there? – I’m caught by surprise by the change of subject while Albus points at a shiny star – That’s Proxima Centauri.
- And that one is Sirius.
- I don’t take Astronomy so I have to say, I didn’t know that.
- I do. And I actually really like it. It’s just magical watching the stars, so far away... – He laughs – I promise you, I’m not usually that deep. It’s just this night.
- Really? So you are not one of these guys, like Jake, who do Astronomy just to impress their dates? – I joke. And immediately regret it. What kind of joke was that?
And why am I talking about dates again?
- No. – He laughs. – Just my work partners. Gotta seem smart, you know?
And he turns to look at me as he says it.
The light from the moon lights his eyes and accentuates his perfect contours, his hair looking even shinier. We kept looking longer than we should, blue eyes against green, as I decide to turn my eyes to the sky again.
That’s too much Albus Potter and dates for one night.
The next day I was quite tired at breakfast. I couldn’t sleep early the other night, too hyped about finding someone who shared the same tastes in music as me.
My friends, though, didn’t seem to think so.
- Wow, you look radiant today Em. – says Zoe.
- Yeah. – agreed Anna. – There’s something different about you.
- Stop, girls. I’m actually tired today. Took me a while to go to sleep last night.
- So, we all know what that is. – Jake decides to speak. – She has certainly been doing some snogging.
The boys all start to laugh, and, of course, tease me.
- True, my friend. – Fred goes on. – Sleeping late, a new glow...
- Who is the lucky guy? – asks James.
- I’m not even gonna dignify that with an answer. – I reply.
- Besides Emma would tell us right away who she was snogging. – says Zoe.
- True. – agrees Anna.
- Not us? – asks Fred, and he and James make their identical hurt faces.
- Ouch! That hurt. – says Jake. – We always tell you.
- You tell the entire school. – says Anna, in a deadpan.
After breakfast, our Sunday is spent basically just doing homework, trying to compensate for slacking off the entire week. We promise ourselves to not procrastinate next
time. Though even I doubt myself.
On Monday, History of Magic II brought me a surprise. We were supposed to answer a questionary in pairs. I was already looking for my friends when someone poked my shoulder. I turned around to see a boy with brown hair and honey colored eyes.
Matt Schyer is a Hufflepuff prefect that plays on the Quidditch team as the keeper. He is known for being really nice with everyone and quite cute. But I hadn’t actually spoken more than two words to him. That’s why I thought it so weird when he said:
- Do you wanna be my pair?
- I...Yeah! – I decided. – Let me just tell my friends.
I told them I already had a pair and Zoe and Anna gave me, not even a bit subtle by the way, looks about what they thought of my partner. Then I went to seat with Matt and we stayed in an awkward silence. I cleared my throat, feeling shy:
- So, do you wanna write?
- Whatever. You can do it too.
So I grabbed the quill and we started to answer the questions. Matt was very good at this class, you could tell, he knew all the answers and spoke with detail.
- You’re very good at this class. – I told him.
He flashed me a white smile and said:
- This is all so interesting for me. I’m a muggleborn, so it’s all really new to me.
- Me too! – I say and get embarrassed for my enthusiasm.
- Emma... – he changes the subject suddenly – I actually have a second intention for asking you to be my partner. I think you’re beautiful. And now I see that, besides that, you are so nice too. Would you mind if we had lunch together someday?
I was stunned. Never had a boy come to ask me on a date. Much less called me beautiful, except for my friends. Much less a handsome boy. After I composed myself I said.
- I’d love to!
And was in the clouds for the rest of class.
- So... you seemed pretty cosy with Matt Schyer before. – Anna corners me right after class.
- What did he want? – completes Zoe.
And I couldn’t keep the stupid smile out of my face so the girls erupted into giggling.
- You know, he just told me he thought I was beautiful and wants to have lunch with me. – I got out.
- You’re kidding!
My friends couldn’t hide their disbelief. I don’t know if I should feel insulted or not.
- What’s so amazing ladies? – James asks when he and the boys catch up with us.
- Emma has a date! – Zoe shouts.
- It’s not a date! We are just going to have lunch together. – I try to protest.
- Who is the idiot we have to punch? – asks Fred.
- You’re not gonna punch anybody! Matt Schyer is a great guy and I’m not a damsel who needs protection.
- If you say so. – speaks Jake.
- I do say so.
- Ok, we can talk about what a douche Schyer is later. We’ve got Magical Creatures now, guys. – says James. – And, don’t forget Emma, we’ve got Quidditch practice after class!
Much later, after a day of classes and a grueling practice by James, I was walking back to the castle just before darkening, all covered in mud and with a disheveled ponytail. My team, nicely left me to put away the materials after I got sorted to be the first to do that.
- Looking nice, Parker.
I groaned as I looked up and saw Albus Potter in all his glory with a crisp white shirt, sleeves pulled up, his tie already undone.
- Well, your crazy brother decided to run us out today.
- That didn’t sound right. – he smirks.
I roll my eyes.
- Not that it isn’t nice talking to you in public for a change but what do you want, Al? – I ask, tired and crazy to take a shower and go to bed.
- Well, there’s no one here so we aren’t exactly “in public”. But I was thinking that maybe we should stop a bit with our non public meetings while we go through the songs we have. So I wanted to give you this. –
He took his IPod out of his pocket. – You can listen to some of the songs, see if you find anything, then you give me back. This way we alternate and listen to all of them.
- Wow, are you serious? That’s amazing! I mean, my job is to listen to music? I think I can handle that.
- Yeah, but take good care of it. It’s normally not that easy to get that intimate to me. – he smiles.
Then he continued on his way outside, to do what, I have no idea.
- Hey, Al! – I called him back.
He looked at me.
- That didn’t sound right either. – I smirk.
What was it with Albus Potter bringing out that bold side of me?
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