Beginning of April
Rose and Albus decided to take the rare occurrence of a sunny day to take a walk down along the lake. Albus was anxious about the upcoming Ravenclaw and Slytherin game because it could decide if Slytherin or Gryffindor won the House Cup.
“How are you?” Rose asked.
Albus lifted one shoulder in a lazy shrug, “Things are tense. I’ve been trying to get answer from my dad, but he’s only sent me vague letters.”
Rose looked sideways at him, “You planning on cornering him at the Quidditch game?”
Albus grinned, “Yep. I don’t suppose your mum will be coming?”
Rose shook her head, “I doubt it, but my dad will probably be there.”
“Even better, Uncle Ron doesn’t care about rules and keeping secrets confidential.”
Under normal circumstances, Rose was sure that she could get her father to do anything she wished. Their relationship had been a source of annoyance for her mother throughout Rose’s childhood because Ron absolutely spoiled her. “I dunno, he’s being oddly uptight about all the attacks.”
“Do you think they’re worried about another war?”
Rose thought for a moment and then shook her head, “I don’t think it’s like that. There’s no dark wizard they’re following, it seems like petty attacks to remind people that they still exist.”
“How are you friends doing?”
“Sybil is freaked out, but Haley does a good job of distracting her with drama.”
Haley had moved of from Emma the Ravenclaw and into a phase of being “relationship-free.” It was fascinating to see her find other ways of distracting herself other than serial relationships. There was a part of Rose that was jealous of Haley’s ability to get along with everyone and have friendships and romances come so easily.
Rose was still trying to blunder her way back to being best friends with Al.
“How is Malfoy?”
Albus did a good job of pretending not to be surprised by Rose’s question. “He’s fine. He’s already started studying for finals, which is madness.”
“You haven’t?” Rose gasped. “They’re only two months away.”
Albus groaned, “This is why I don’t talk to your two about school.”
Rose stopped and looked out over the lake and the mountain ranges that rolled over the land. Hogwarts was the most beautiful place on earth and no one would convince Rose any differently. Although Persephone had tried to convince them that Fiji was better, if for no other reason than the weather.
“I feel old.” Rose said apropos nothing.
Rose rolled her eyes and glanced towards her cousin. He was also sixteen, but Rose thought he looked older. His face had the same thin structure of his father’s, with no leftover baby-face. Albus and James both had strong jaws and protruding brow bones that made them both handsome and mature.
“My cheeks are too round,” Rose commented.
Albus stared at her for a moment, “What’s up with you? Are you freaked out about the attacks? Or exams?”
“Can’t I just take a moment to ponder my existence?”
They walked for a while along the lake and moved into less dramatic chitchat.
“WHAT THE HELL?”
Albus stumbled at the shrieks coming from a group of students that were gathered not too far in the distance. Albus and Rose began running towards a group of students of all ages who were gathered in a circle around two figures who had their wands out and we engaged in an illicit duel.
As soon as Rose was close enough she saw Louis and Damon, a seventh year Gryffindor, throwing spells at each other. Rose gasped and immediately pulled her wand and cast a barrier spell between the two wizards.
Albus grabbed Louis and Damon stumbled back. The students that had gathered around began to scatter, some only going far enough to escape any loose spells, but close enough to eavesdrop.
“What are you doing?” Albus yelled and let out a gasp as Louis tried to break free.
Rose kept her wand trained on Damon, “If you even think about it…” Rose didn’t finish but dared him to try another hex with her eyes.
“You slept with my girlfriend!” Damon shouted, keeping his wand trained on Louis and Al.
“You’re crazy!” Louis yelled, surging forward and nearly knocking Al over. “I don’t even know your girlfriend!”
“Sayer saw you with Laura!”
All of Louis’s fight seemed to drain from his body and his face turned red. Rose let out a long sigh, knowing what was coming next.
Damon seemed to take that one word as confirmation, but as soon as he opened his mouth Rose flicked her wand, “Expelliarmus.”
“Hey!” Damon turned on Rose.
“I didn’t know she had a boyfriend!”
This only seemed to anger Damon, “You’re saying it’s my fault?”
Albus kept his grip, but Louis no longer looked defensive. “I’m saying it’s your girlfriend’s fault. I had no idea that she was seeing someone.”
Damon fumed and his chest puffed up, “Are you sure you didn’t just want to throw me off my game before the match?” Rose had forgotten that Damon was a chaser for Gryffindor and in two days' time, the final match of the season was taking place. James and Penny had both been driving her up a wall about it and they were both in a sour mood about the season ending.
Rose got the feeling that James had been driving them extra hard at practices because every time she saw James, Penny would pointedly look away and give him the cold shoulder.
Louis scoffed, “I don’t even play Quidditch.”
“Okay,” Rose breathed heavily, “let’s everyone take a step back. There’s obviously been a big mistake and I think we should all just walk away.” Rose watched Mack carefully and he finally relaxed his stance.
Albus slowly released Louis but looked ready to grab him at a moment’s notice.
Damon retreated back to the castle and Louis let out an annoyed breath. “What the hell was that?”
Rose shook her head in awe, “I think everyone is wound up really tight. With finals and N.E.W.T.’s, not to mention the pureblood maniacs, we’re all on edge.”
Albus coughed, “And you did shag his girlfriend.”
Louis glared at his cousin, “By accident! She came after me.”
“Because you’re so irresistible,” Rose rolled her eyes, but there was some truth to her sarcastic statement. Louis was only a small fraction of Veela, but it was enough to give him perfect looks and luring charm. His silver blonde hair always fell perfectly into place and Rose was jealous of his ability to maintain clear, glowing skin.
Rose, Louis, and Albus hung out by the lake for the rest of the day until dinner time came. They didn’t talk about the almost-duel that had taken place, but she had no doubt that James would come interrogate her later. He couldn’t risk Rose giving any of his players a detention before the Quidditch game.
It was lovely catching up with her cousins that she didn’t see often, since Al was in Slytherin and Louis was in Ravenclaw. She hoped that Louis and Damon’s fight would fly under the radar, so Louis wouldn’t get in trouble.
As it turned out, James was peeved with Damon for starting a fight, but the juicy gossip had also made its way to Professor Gibbs, the Defense Against the Darks Arts teacher.
On Monday’s DADA class, Gibbs announced that he would be holding an extracurricular dueling class two Sundays from then. Since this Saturday was the last game of the season, Gibbs had arranged to have a dueling lesson the following weekend. Rose was pretty sure that the teachers were attempting to find ways to keep kids out of trouble since there were no more Hogsmeade visits to distract them.
“In 13 days, on April 15th, you will have the opportunity to practice your dueling skills and use defensive and offensive spells in a controlled environment.” Gibbs spoke more about what they would be doing and students were hanging onto every word.
Most students were thrilled about the prospect of getting let off some steam, but Rose couldn’t help but wonder if the staff had also decided that they needed to be prepared considering the escalating tension in the magical world.
The dueling lesson wasn’t mandatory but on the way back to the common room after class Rose heard many students talking excitedly. Each year would be doing their own lesson, so the April 15th session was only for sixth year students. Rose was grateful she wouldn’t have to watch first years stumble through a duel and she could actually get to practice advanced hexes and charms.
“This is going to be great, I need to review defensive spell spells!” Hayley clapped her hands together and then fell back onto her messy bed.
“I can’t believe you didn’t take Defense.” Penny muttered as she changed out of school robes.
Hayley propped herself up on her forearms, “Technically I was asked not to continue.”
Rose smiled to herself. Hayley was gifted in Herbology and Potions, but had been rubbish in Defense, so Gibbs had told her that he couldn’t allow her to continue on at N.E.W.T. level in good consciousness.
Penny eyed Rose, “Promise you won’t take the opportunity to curse Scorpius.”
Annoyance flashed through Rose’s eyes, but Hayley spoke first. “Oh please, she’s totally over the whole Scorpius drama. Besides, he’s completely lost interest in their little feud now that he has a girlfriend.” Rose knew that Hayley was trying to be helpful, but her words only angered Rose.
It was like Scorpius had completely given up on challenging Rose and in turn Rose felt like she was slacking. Without Scorpius there to compete with, her motivation had dimmed slightly and she had even waited until the night before to write the recent Charms essay.
Rose leaned her forehead against one of the poster’s of her bed. Scorpius pushed her to do her best and it was frustrating that he didn’t seem to care which of them was at the top of their class. It was as though he had gotten sucked into his relationship so deeply, that edging Rose out for the number one slot was important anymore. Rose almost missed the ultra snarky Slytherin who had always forced her to work her butt off.
Penny must’ve caught sight of Rose’s scowl because she changed the topic, “Where are Persephone and Sybil?”
Hayley waved her hand in a dismissive way, “Had to stop at the library.”
They all went to sleep relatively early that night, despite being hyped up about the prospect of dueling. After staying up chatting about what the rest of the week would bring, Penny insisted that she needed to get at least eight hours of sleep leading up to the Quidditch match.
Rose drifted off thinking about how Penny was almost as bad of a Quidditch maniac as James. And about how sixth year was coming to a close even though it felt like it had only begun a few months ago. Scorpius was the last thing she thought of before falling asleep, but the thoughts barely registered with her consciousness.
“AND GRYFFINDOR SCORES AGAIN!” Sam Winter’s voice boomed through the Quidditch pitch.
Penny gripped her broom, on high alert. She knew that the Ravenclaw chasers would come at her fast and furious after Gryffindor had scored 30 points uncontested.
“FORTY TO TEN, GRYFFINDOR IN THE LEAD!”
Penny didn’t have time to focus on the roars of the crowds, right on cue, the Ravenclaw chasers were coming towards her, passing the Quaffle back and forth. They weaved around James and Hope, who were trying to steal the Quaffle. Penny relaxed her hands from her broom, ready to let go and extend her arms at any moment.
The thing about being a keeper is that you had to be prepared to be knocked off of your broom at any moment. Although, Penny supposed that would go for any Quidditch position. But she felt that Keepers and Seekers were especially at risk for taking a tumble.
Penny dove to the right hoop to block the Quaffle from going in and nearly did slide off of her broom, which was slick with rain. She passed the ball to James who did an amazing feign and dodge before passing it on.
“JACOBSON WITH THE SAVE FOR GRYFFINDOR!”
The Gryffindor and Hufflepuff student sections cheered.
Penny couldn’t see across the pitch thanks to the heavy sheets of rain.
“AND LEISER MAKES AN EXCELLENT SAVE FOR RAVENCLAW!” Winter announced.
Penny cursed as Ravenclaw and Slytherin cheered.
She tried to spot Lily, who was hopefully close to finding the snitch. The score was low, but the game had been going on for a while. Penny could never tell exactly how long Quidditch matches lasted because she got so caught up in playing. But this match had been going on for at least an hour, not long by Quidditch standards, but the rain was only getting heavier.
And April in Scotland was still chilly and the wind was harsh while hovering in the sky.
It was a long time before Lily even caught sight of the snitch. By that point, Penny could barely see any of her teammates and only saw
Ravenclaw’s chasers when they were practically on top of her.
“SEVENTY TO FIFTY, GRYFFINDOR!”
Penny was frustrated for letting more goals in. She flew back and forth across the goal hoops, trying to get a better vantage point so she could see what was happening on the rest of the pitch.
“AND IT LOOKS LIKE LILY POTTER HAS HER EYE ON THE SNITCH! SHE’S MAKING A DIVE WITH GIBBENS CLOSE ON HER TAIL!”
Penny gasped with excitement, but as soon as Winter made that announcement that Clara Summers, a Ravenclaw chaser, came flying out of the rain. Penny barely saw her coming and had to lurch her broom backwards in order to reach the Quaffle. The tips of her fingers barely brushed the Quaffle.
Her back hit the center goal post as she was leaning back to stop the Quaffle. The force of the hit knocked her off of her broom and fear rang through her.
She grabbed onto the goalpost just as Winter announced, “AN AMAZING SAVE FROM JACOBSON AND POTTER HAS CAUGHT THE SNITCH.” Penny let out an excited noise, but couldn't lose focus. Her fingers started to burn as she gripped the metal as tight as she could. “AND JACOBSON IS STILL HANGING ONTO GRYFFINDOR’S HOOP AFTER A NASTY COLLISION WITH THE GOAL POST! LOOKS LIKE HER TEAMMATES ARE ON THEIR WAY—OY, FOUL!”
Penny tried to call for her broom, but the wind had probably sent it flying. She wanted to see what Winter had cried foul over, but was preoccupied with trying not to fall to her death.
“A CHEAP SHOT AFTER THE SNITCH WAS CAUGHT—”
Winter’s voice was muffled and Penny was sure that McGonagall had pulled the microphone away from him. The wind picked up and for a moment Penny thought she was going to be blown out of the sky.
She was breathing hard and didn’t think she would be able to hold onto the slippery metal for much longer. Just as her fingers were about to lose their grasp, Freddie and Damon were hoisting her up.
“Are you okay?” Damon shouted over the rain and cheering students. Penny gripped his shoulders as Damon began to fly to the ground.
“I’m fine, who got fouled?”
“James.” Penny’s breath caught. Damon continued to shout over the cheers and rain, “Right after Lily caught the snitch, that idiot beater sent a bludger right at James… he was coming to get you.” As soon as they touched down on the ground, they ran to where Lily and Elijah (a Gryffindor Chaser) were helping James to the ground.
Both teams were arguing with Madam Hooch and one of the Ravenclaw beaters stood in a defensive pose. Penny wanted to march over and punch him when she saw James clutching his arm.
“What happened?” Penny shouted, trying to push through all the other players who had surrounded James. He didn’t seem to hear her though because Madam Pomfrey was shoving everyone out of the way so she could inspect him.
After looking at James, Pomfrey determined that James needed to go to the Hospital Wing because his shoulder was dislocated and his collarbone was probably broken.
“You as well, Ms. Jacobson.”
Penny blinked at Madam Pomfrey, “I’m fine.”
“You hit the goal post extremely hard, I need to make sure there’s no fractures.”
With a little argument, James and Penny were shuffled back to the castle and into beds at the Hospital Wing. Pomfrey kicked the rest of the Gryffindor team out, despite Freddie’s loud protests.
“They need emotional support,” He argued before Pomfrey slammed the door in his face.
Penny went over to sit with James. Pain was etched into the lines of his face, but he gave her a weak smile.
“You should be in bed!” Pomfrey snapped when she came out of her office.
Penny rolled her eyes, “I don’t feel anything.”
Pomfrey reached over and pressed into Penny’s mid back. Penny let out a sharp gasp as pain radiated out from when Promfrey touched. “Mmhm,” Pomfrey said sharply. “A bone bruise most likely, given the fact that you were able to walk up here. But the adrenaline kept you from feeling the pain.”
James laced his fingers through Penny’s, her eyes watery from the sudden sharpness.
“Mr. Potter, your shoulder is dislocated and your collarbone is fractured. You will definitely be here overnight.”
James let out a sigh, but must’ve been in agony because he didn’t argue.
Madam Pomfrey pulled out a pair of scissors and came at James.
“Whoa,” James jerked back and then let out a gasp. “You can’t cut my uniform.”
Penny squeezed James’s hand, “Let her, you’re in no condition to undress yourself.”
After a moment, James gave a curt nod and Madam Pomfrey began cutting the fabric around his injured shoulder. She put a salve on his bare skin and his face immediately relaxed. Penny hoped some of that was headed in her direction. The more time that passed since the game ended, the more the pain swelled.
Penny stared at James’s messed up shoulder, which was contorted and the bone was nearly poking out of the skin. Madam Pomfrey slowly moved her wand over James’s shoulder and then gave him something to drink.
As soon as the cup touched his lips, he recoiled and spewed out the liquid.
Penny jerked away in an attempt not to get sprayed.
“Mr. Potter!” Pomfrey gasped.
James coughed and glared at the cup, “That’s disgusting.”
“You need to drink it if you want to leave here tomorrow with your shoulder intact.”
Pomfrey then stomped off to her office and James looked down at his cup. Then he took a breath and chugged the entire drink. When he was finished he gagged and inhaled deeply. Penny put a hand on his back comfortingly.
“That bloody idiot.” James muttered, “He hit that bludger after Hooch blew the whistle. I wasn’t paying attention.”
“He’ll be reprimanded,” Penny said, although she doubted the consequences would be too harsh. Afterall, this had been the last match of the year so it’s not as though they could suspend him from the next match.
“That was a really amazing save,” James looked sideways at her. She swore she saw him look down at her lips.
“I didn’t know it was a save until I heard Winter announce it.”
James touched his shoulder, “What a way to end.” Penny studied his body, which was that of a seventeen year old who was constantly active. His stomach was flat and he had lean muscles chorded through his arms.
Madam Pomfrey came back a moment later with a potion for Penny and more of the salve. “Let’s get you back onto your own bed.” James looked away, but she didn’t miss the annoyed set of his mouth.
“I’m not tired.”
Pomfrey had clearly had enough of both of them and lost all pretense, “You need to remove your uniform so I can put this on your back.” She held up the bowl of goop. Penny blushed and stood up gingerly. “And you need to lie down,” Pomfrey said to James.
Once Penny was sitting on the bed next to James’s, Pomfrey drew a curtain around the space so that no one would see. She thought it was funny that the matron hadn’t cared if Penny saw James topless, but Pomfrey tried to protect Penny’s modesty.
Penny sat in her sport’s bra as Madam Pomfrey applied the ointment. She was acutely aware of the fact that James was sitting just on the other side of the curtain that surrounded her bed. Her back immediately felt better and the matron left to get her some fresh clothes since her Quidditch kit was completely soaked.
She changed and pulled back the curtain to see that James had also gotten dry clothes.
How was it possible to look so good in a simple red shirt and sweatpants?
“How’s your shoulder feeling?”
James looked up, startled out of whatever thoughts he had been having. “Better.” Madam Pomfrey had given him a sling, Penny assumed to limit the amount of movement. “How’s your back?”
Penny sat down next to him, “It’s kinda gone numb. But Pomfrey said there was a pretty bad bruise… it’ll heal overnight. There’s not a mirror in here so I can’t see the damage.”
James shifted and reached towards her and then hesitated. When she didn’t protest he lifted the back of her shirt so he could see the bruise. When she heard a sharp inhale she knew it must’ve looked bad.
“That bad, huh?” She asked jokingly.
He didn’t say anything, he just kept staring at her back.
A brush across her skin made Penny jump.
“Sorry,” James muttered, “did that hurt?” He pulled his hands away and let her shirt fall.
They looked at each other and Penny couldn’t help but think about how beautiful his eyes were. They were green and reminded her of the sea, not quite a kelly green, more of a jade green.
His lips pressed against hers and she melted into him. Penny wasn’t sure how they had even gotten so close, but now she wanted to be as close as possible. Her hands came up to cup James’s face and his good arm wrapped around her torso. This kiss wasn’t as fierce as their first, but it was every bit as passionate.
They slowly tasted and tested each other’s lips.
When they broke apart, Penny let out a shaky laugh. “You know, we’re probably missing a great party.” She could only imagine how Freddie was celebrating the last match of his career.
James gave her a crooked smile, “I bet we’re having more fun.”
Penny bit her lip and grinned.
“Besides they can hardly throw a party without their captain.”
Penny smirked and then molded her face into a serious expression, “I’m sure you’re right. Freddie had a great respect for your authority and would never throw a party without you.”
James frowned and then groaned, “We have to get out of here.”
“You’re not getting out of here tonight, but I might make the festivities.”
“Or you could stay here with me…” James smiled suggestively.
Penny wasn’t sure what to say. After months of dancing around each other and arguing, all she wanted to do was kiss him. At the same time, she couldn’t help but think of what everyone else would say. Afterall, a few weeks ago her sister had kissed him. And only recently had James let go of his obsession with Eliza.
Penny looked up at James, who was wearing a wary expression. “What?”
“You’re thinking. That never ends well for me.”
She groaned, “I feel silly.”
“Because you’ve spent four months treating me like crap and now you’re all over me?”
“No! Well, yes. But I haven’t treated you like crap.” Penny protested, but even she knew her words were false.
James gave her a doubtful look.
“I just feel weird about all of our history, with our friends and my sister and…”
James leaned in and kissed her again, more hungrily this time. When he pulled away, he leaned his forehead against hers. “Remember when you said that you didn’t want to mess up the Quidditch team?”
Penny nodded wordlessly, still caught up in the kiss.
He gave her a breathtaking grin, “Quidditch season is over.”
A/N: Hello all, hope you are keeping yourselves busy during quarantine.
I'm so happy with this chapter! Why do I always get so invested in side romances?? I cannot write a story without deep diving into a James/OC.
Let me know what you think of this chapter? Do you like Penny and James? How do you feel Rose and Scorpius are progressing?
Thanks for reading loves :) xoxo
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