I was one hundred and thirty five percent sure that the universe was against me. Not only did the Great Merlin like to laugh at my existence, but I was pretty sure I was only created purely for his entertainment. Because surly, being dead for over a hundred years could get a bit boring. So why not create something all our ancestors in the great heavens can laugh at? It was the only reason to explain why my life was a series of unfortunate events. Because let's face it, for someone who was quick on her feet, had a more than average condition and didn't have much trouble in social situations, I shouldn't be this unfortunate.
And yet, here I was; abandoned by my father before I was even born, accidentally turning my hair blue because I didn't follow the instructions in Witch Weekly on 'DIY Hair Dy Magic Style', losing my precious owl at age 14 in a gambling bet to a wizard much older and scary looking than me (if only my mom knew what really happened to Gonzo, she'd kill me), falling of my broom much too many times, holding my wand the opposite way while casting a spell and accidentally jinxing myself -luckily my friend Louis had taught me how to prevent from making that stupid mistake ever again-, and, probably the worst thing yet; stalked by the most annoying human being that has ever walked on this planet -and therefore hated by all the females at our school.
I truly, utterly and deeply hated the sod. Every single day he just had to turn the button that controlled my mood way down till the arrow showed 'angry'.
Like today, for example. It was a normal Thursday afternoon, classes had just finished and I was casually sitting in one of the oldest sofas in the common room, minding my own business reading a book whilst waiting for my friends to appear.
Until finally one of said friends did appear. Ornella Boon didn't waist a second to cheerfully inform me about the new popular page on WizzTeck.
Since we now lived in a society where children were born into a world where technology was almost a basic need like water and shelter, and since 1/3 of the students going to Hogwarts were Muggle born, our school had decided in the year 2020 to allow small things like phones and -most importantly- internet connection to enter our school.
But to be honest, only about 12% ever payed attention to this fairly new rule. We as magical beings had the privilege to live in a beautiful world that was a thousand times more interesting than the Muggle one, and where things like a phone were not needed.
But still, things like WizzTeck existed. Unfortunately.
Since I was very interested in Quidditch and it's fascinating history, I did not notice Nell until she plopped down next to me on the sofa, making me almost jump out of my skin. “Geez, stop doing that.”
“Do what?” Nell looked at me confused, her big smile never leaving her face. As always.
“Creeping up on me like that.”
“I wanna show you something.” She grinned and pushed a lock of her shoulder length brown hair behind her ear.
Geez, she was quick to the point. Not even bothering to ask how I was doing since we hadn't seen each other all day. "Good afternoon to you too, Nell, how was your day? Mine was fine thanks for asking."
She rolled her eyes at my sarcastic reply and poked me in the shoulder to show me that she was serious.
"What do you want to show me?” I sat up straight and put the signed picture of Eric Chauvin (world’s number one best Chaser) between the pages I was reading, closed the book and placing it next to me.
“This kid, Joe something, started a new page on WizzTeck.” She was going through her schoolbag looking for her phone. Ornella, also being a Muggle born like me, always had her phone on her. Not that she used it that often though. “It’s already extremely popular and it’s only been up for a few hours.”
“What’s it about?”
“Hogwarts’ Beautiful People.”
I stayed quiet for a second. My face was blank when I looked at my friend. Her green eyes didn't show any hint of humor. She was serious about this. “Are you kidding me? Tell me you’re kidding.”
She shook her head very seriously and shoved her phone under my nose, forcing me to look. “Everybody is talking about it. I thought you should see it before going to class tomorrow so you’d be prepared.”
“Thanks,” I pushed her phone back. I’ve never been interested in these kind of things. “but I actually couldn't care less about that.”
I mean, it’s not like I’d make it up there any time soon. Don't get me wrong -I was not insinuating that I was ugly, only for you to find out later that I was actually not. I did have my fair share of admirers, noting too extreme of course. The light brown hair that fell not too long down my back into waves and the blue eyes I inherited from my father were the two things I got most complimented on. I just wasn’t the type to parade around school desperately wanting to be noticed. I liked to live from day to day and didn’t really hang around the school hallways after class like most people did. I understood that if you had friends in a different house you'd be tempted to. But I just hadn't.
Thank god for Quidditch and my friends. Otherwise my life would’ve been pretty boring.
“But wait, you have to see who’s up here.” Her eyes widened in excitement. Of course Ornella would be the first of us to know about this. She was always so full of energy, being around different places all the time and always up for anything new. I admired her optimism and passion for so many things most of the time. But right now it was just straight up annoying.
“But I don’t want to-“
“No buts, scroll down.”
I groaned and took the phone out of her hands.
First there were the obvious; Dominique and Louis Weasley. The only people in whole Hogwarts who were part Veela. Couldn't say it was surprising to see them up here. To be honest, I’d never really been crazy about Louis’s looks. He was too… pretty. He had perfect blond hair, a perfect smile and the perfect pale skin. Not one piece of hair was falling out of its place. And what was even worse was that he didn't put any effort in his looks. I would be insecure the whole time dating him.
However, that was pretty much the only bad thing I could say about him. I’ve liked Louis since the first time Rose introduced me to her cousin. We clicked immediately. We were just so much alike, we liked the same movies and books, we shared our favorite Quidditch team and disliked the same people. Even our way of thinking was so much alike. Up to a point where it was scary sometimes. He was like my twin.
His sister Dominique was a seventh year, a year older than us. During school she was usually a stranger to me but when I visited Rose and Louis at the burrow for the holidays, she was a lot of fun.
After the Veela kids there was a cute strawberry blond Hufflepuf girl. Her eyes had the lightest color green and the freckles on her nose made her look a lot younger than 15. She had mixed comments, the first ten were al friendly and complementing but once one person –an inconsiderate bloke all the way from Beauxbatons- said a bad thing everybody else started doing the same. It disgusted me how social media worked sometimes.
There weren’t many pictures because the page was brand new, so I didn’t have to scroll too long before Potter’s face popped up.
He was smiling. Well not actually smiling, more like smirking. I never understood why guys thought it was attractive to smirk -a smile was so much more beautiful. A cheeky sparkle was visible in his hazel eyes, and just like that, I found myself getting irritated again. I knew he was good-looking, there was no denying that. His personality was just so disgustingly screwed up and just flat-out irritating that it overshadowed his good looks. Why was I literally the only person in this world who noticed that?
I clenched my teeth, “James Sirius Potter. 7th year Gryffindor, best Seeker since his father.” I read the description under his picture and ignored the comments beneath. 99.9% were probably from desperate teenage witches across the globe anyway.
“I know you don't like him, but he still deserves to be up there don’t you think?” Ornella quickly grabbed her phone out of my hand and put it back in her bag, afraid that I’d do something with it. like smack on the floor, or write a nasty comment with her account, which I considered for a second.
“Thanks for ruining my day, Nell. I hadn’t heard from him all day –which must be a record.” I grabbed the book from next to me and fell back in the sofa, cursing Potter to the realm of Hades for ruining my mood.
“Oh come on. You’re overreacting. James isn’t that bad.” Nell's cheeks turned red when she mentioned his name, and I had to do my best not to roll my eyes. I hated that she had a crush on the bloke. And a big one at that. But she’d been denying it since day one.
Of course it was one big mess. Nell was one of my best friends and James was the guy I hated the most in this world. And the fact that he was constantly hitting on me didn’t help at all.
I just hoped that one day she’d wake up and realize that the perfect guy for her had always been by her side.
Speaking of her perfect guy... I saw Louis walking in our direction with his wand ready in his hand. He smiled and before doing or saying anything else, he made a little daisy appear and gave it to Nell.
She looked up at him, and smiled to find her favorite flower in her hand, “You know, my room is filled with these thanks to you."
Our room. Yes. Thanks Louis.
Louis shrugged and scratched the back of his neck. “You looked a bit sad and I thought I’d sheer you up.”
If only he knew that the reason why she was sad was because of his cousin.
She looked at him for a second without saying anything, a weird tension slowly building up between the two as they stared in each other's eyes. I held my breath for a second, could this be the moment we've all been waiting fo-
Nell shrugged and thanked him for the flower, ripping her eyes away from his intense stare. I had to fight the urge to roll my eyes. This girl was the definition of ignorance. She was so unaware, for years, of the fact that Louis had a massive crush on her. She was too busy obsessing over Potter to see what was right in front of her.
I had been friends with Rose and Louis since first year and around third year I became friends with Ornella –or as we liked to call her, you probably already noticed; Nell. It was funny, really. Nell and I were the exact opposite, she was cheerful and a pure optimist, she liked to meet new people as I preferred to stay in my comfort zone. And she hated sports, I loved sports –I was a Chaser in our Quidditch team after all.
I wasn’t planning on keeping her in my bubble of friends for too long. But then Louis had to go and do the complete unexpected: fall for her cute and bubbly charm.
He actually threatened to hex me if I stopped hanging around with her, that's how desperate he was. Eventually I was glad I didn’t let go of Nell, though, she meant too much to me now.
Louis was a pathetic excuse for a charmer. You'd think with the looks god gave him, and the French genes that ran through his body, his flirting game would be on point.
Although, I did have another close friend who's game was the opposite of Louis'. So I guessed one girl-crazy best friend was enough. Damian, who seemed to have disappeared right now, was extremely smooth with the opposite sex. With looks not quite as good as Louis’ -but still pretty impressive- it was mind-boggling to see how many girls he managed to bed. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d find him recovering from a hangover behind some statue somewhere in this building right now. Party –was his middle name.
We officially became friends two years back, when I took place as Chaser number two in the Gryffindor team. And seeing as Damian was also a Chaser in our team, we bonded quickly. The only downside to hanging with Damian was that it meant I had to see Potter often. The two got along pretty well.
“So what’re you girls doing?” Louis pushed my legs away to make some room for himself on the sofa.
“Nell just showed me the newest popular page on WizzTeck. Congratulations you are officially labeled as one of Hogwarts’ beautiful people.” I jokingly patted him on the shoulder. I knew he hated it when people called him beautiful or pretty.
He rolled his eyes and leaned back against the sofa, “The things people obsess about.” He sighed. "This world is filled with disasters we could possibly cure if we cared but what do people do instead? Create some ridicules page to fuss over somebody's looks."
"Exactly what I was thinking my friend." I pinched his cheek -just for him to swat my hand away quickly- and couldn't help but wondered why Nell wouldn’t want to be with him. To me, he was like a brother, and our personalities were too much alike to ever work as more than friends, but Nell would be perfect for him. She was the right kind of crazy he needed to shake up his structured life a little bit. She was sitting on his other side, their shoulders touching, and I swear to Merlin they looked so good together. Almost as if someone took them right out of the couples section in a Muggle magazine. I felt for him, he was getting friend-zoned big time.
"Who’s this Joe kid anyway?” Louis asked, directing his question to his (let us hope) future love.
Nell shrugged from beside him. “He’s a year younger than us, a fifth year Hufflepuff. I guess he just wanted the attention.”
“You can say that again.” Rose jumped in a chair in front of the sofa, startling all of us.
Well there was the little devil. I hadn't seen her since transfiguration class, where she'd given me the silent treatment for accidentally turning her mother’s necklace she always wore into a yellow snake, and not being able to turn it back because I realized too late that we still hadn't covered the counter curse yet. She was pissed. And I didn't blame her. I shouldn’t have been showing of just because transfiguration happened to be my best class.
But I knew that she couldn't be mad at me for too long. "What've you been up to?" She asked with a nod of her head.
“Nothing, just reading this.” I showed here the book I was reading (Quidditch Throughout the Ages, what else?) and suddenly noticed what kind of bad shape it was in. I flinched when I remembered it was a Christmas present from Damian.
“That’s… nice.” She raised here eyebrow at the sight of the book. She knew that it was a present. Rose had always nagged at us to be careful with our stuff, told us that we should be grateful for what we had and threw some other wise lessons at our head we always shrugged off. I wasn’t surprised to see her disapproving look.
“James was looking for you.”
I felt Louis freeze beside me. He knew that being around me when James was mentioned was never a good idea.
Rose quickly gave me a once-over and started talking fast when she noticed I was starting to boil up. “He said something about Quidditch and a group meeting.” She picked at her nails, not wanting to meet my eyes, and waited until I had calmed down a little to continue. "And then he asked me to give you a message that I’d rather not pass.” Rose’s cheeks turned slightly pink, which gave me a pretty vivid idea of what the message might have been about.
Ew. He actually said such things to his own cousin? That boy had more problems than I thought.
I sat up straight in anger, “When is that ass-juggling thunderfuck of a dip-shit going to leave me the hell alone!”
When it came to James Sirius, I tended to swear. A lot.
“I hope you’re not talking about me.”
I clenched my teeth and baled my fists at my sides. Of course. Potter.
It came from behind us. Rose was looking up at him, an irritated expression on her face. “I would leave if I were you, this is not a good time.”
Of course he ignored her, “Martins, haven’t seen you all day.”
I didn’t turn around when I spoke, “Before you came, today was the best day of my life since I saw your nauseating face for the first time.”
“Auch... okay then.”
I raised both of my eyebrows in surprise. He sounded sincerely hurt. My words normally never got to him. Why now? Since curiosity killed the cat, I turned around to look at him.
Of course he was smiling. He tricked me in turning around. The absolute prick. “Sod off, Potter.” I spoke before he could open his mouth and make another move at me.
He went with a hand through his dark hair making it messier then it already was. “We’re having a Quidditch meeting.”
“Because I’m the captain and I say so.” He shrugged, letting his arms fall back at his sides.
I scoffed, ready to pull my hand up to flip him off but was stopped by Louis. He pulled my hand down and hid it behind the sofa. “Give the bloke a break.” He whispered.
“I will give your neck a break.” I hissed back.
To my complete horror, Louis freaking Weasly liked the way James treated me. In fact, he loved it. I asked him once why, but he only shrugged his shoulders and claimed that he ‘shipped’ us since day one. After asking what shipping meant, I almost broke his arm with a Quaffle. Talk about betrayal.
“Aaliyah, get up.”
“Fuck you Potter, it’s Ali.”
“You're charming as... Never." James raised a brow at me, "Get up and follow me or I'll throw your sweet ass over my shoulder and carry you there myself." He winked and turned around, leaving me speechless behind.
He winked at me. As if my use of the words ‘fuck you’ didn’t get through his tick skull at all.
“I’m not your little bitch, Potter!” I yelled after him as I saw him climb through the portrait hole.
He turned around, smirking, "Don’t worry, that’ll change in time."
Urgh! He was such an asshole.
“You should go.” Rose said, frowning at her git cousin in the distance.
“What if it’s a trick? We never have Quidditch meetings on Thursdays.”
Nell looked around, “I don’t see Damian anywhere, he’s on the team, maybe he’s there too.”
Following Potter into the darkness of the castle was probably the stupidest thing I could do right now. And not going would piss Potter off, which was always a win. But if it had indeed even the slightest thing to do with Quidditch, I couldn't not go.
Fine, fine. I'll go.
“If I get raped, killed and shopped into little pieces, feel free to feel guilty because it will be your fault.” I shot my friends the evil eye but they only rolled their eyes and turned away.
I got up huffing and followed Potter through the portrait hole. I swear to Merlin if he was playing a game on me I was going to hex his sorry ass to Australia. Living between the kangaroos, maybe that’ll teach him a lesson.
The portrait closed behind me and I was officially alone. It wasn't until I had taken two turns that I realized that I had no idea where I was going. Potter was nowhere in sight and I was completely lost. Where was he.
“Hello? Potter?” my voice was nothing more than a soft whisper through the corridors. Where could he be? Nobody could walk that fast.
Although, he was our captain and most captains were in perfect shape, James Sirius Potter being no exception.
“Potter this is not funny where in Merlin’s name are you!”
I decided to walk to the Quidditch boys locker room where we frequently had our pre-game discussions when I suddenly realized something.
Why couldn’t we have a meeting in the common room? We were the Gryffindor Quidditch team… meaning we were all from the same friggen house, so why the bloody frick no-
My thoughts got interrupted by a body that suddenly crashed into me from behind. Before I could even turn around, I felt the person wrap an arm around my waist. A pair of foreign lips reached my ear and whispered; "Gottcha".
Now, I already told you I was a sportsy kind of girl. However, what I hadn't told you yet was that I practiced Ninjustsu -a Muggle sport- for four years when I was younger. The first thing they taught you in Ninjustsu class was how to defend yourself, so as a reflex, I did as I was taught.
I pulled on the strangers hand from behind me, twisting it sidewise and releasing myself from his grasp, turning around, I jabbed him in the throat. Hard.
I didn’t realize it was Potter who I hit until James stumbled towards the wall, desperately grasping at his throat, gasping for air.
“Merlin's crap! James you bluttering idiot why did you sneak up on me like that!” I jumped forward right on time to catch him before he fell to the ground. For a tough guy he was surprisingly easy to take down -literally.
He was still gasping for air when I tried to help him stand, placing my hands underneath his arms to balance him. “I can’t… why did you...”
At this exact moment I wanted to slap myself in the face. How could I’ve been so stupid, of course Potter was going to sneak up on me! Yea, he was a first class dick-head, but jabbing someone in the throat could cause severe damages. His vocal chords could be all fucked up now, they could swell up and cause for his throat to constrict- leading to death. And even though I hated the guy with a passion; death I wished upon no one. James would not be allowed to enter heaven with the little to zero good deeds he did.
Oh my god. I could be the one who killed James Potter, son of Harry Potter. It was going to be all over the news… I was going to be all over the news.
I groaned, frustrated, “James, say something.”
He started coughing, and for a second there I thought I was going to see blood but then the coughing turned into laughter.
He was laughing. He might be dying but he was laughing.
“You punch like a girl.”
"What? You are practically dying in my arms and yet you tell me I punch like a girl you sexist piece of shit?" I let go of him when I realized he wasn't dying (ignoring the small part of me that was suddenly genuinely disappointed).
He balanced himself against the wall and massaged his throat. I saw him wince when he swallowed.
"I'm not dying but if I have to, I don't mind doing it in your arms." His voice sounded much more husky than it normally was. It was deep and rough, almost as if he'd just woken up. I hated how it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
How the frick did I managed to make him even sexier by punching him?
"Don't worry love. No need to look at me like I'm dying. You'll still get that ride of your life like I promised you." He winked.
How was it possible, that even when he was in pain, he tried to… to be seductive? How?
"You are unbelievable." I lowered my voice to a dangerous tone, James noticed this and made the smirk disappear into a thin line. "You lure me all the way out here just so you can annoy me again? What is your problem Potter? What part of 'leave me the heck alone' don't you understand? I don't like you, and I never will! Stop trying!" I punched him in the chest to put more emphasis on my words but only succeeded in hurting myself. He didn't even move an inch.
I figured slapping him in the face would be too much, so I just turned around, planning on heading back to the portrait before I could allow myself to throw more insults at his head.
I was ready to start my daily rant about James Potter to my friends in the common room but it didn’t take too long before I felt his hand wrap around my wrist. He pulled me a little too hard into his chest, causing for all the air to leave my lungs.
"For fucks sake Aaliyah Elizabeth Martins."
I looked up at him, eyes wide. He was too close. Much too close. This couldn’t be. I couldn’t let this happen.
James clenched his yaw and along with the dark gaze in his eyes, he looked like a completely different person. One I should be afraid of; serious and dangerous.
I was stunned and couldn't pull away from his grasp or gaze. The Ninjustsu stunt I pulled just a minute ago seemed like an impossible incident right now.
"Why are you doing this to me?" He whispered, yaw still clenched and voice rough like before.
"D-do what?" I replied with a pathetic excuse for a voice. Why did I sound so weak?
I looked at his face, at his eyes, which, after staring into my own, had shifted down to my lips. "Ali, I'm no Seer and I can't predict the future for shit. But one thing I know for sure."
I gulped, hard.
"Someday, you will be mine."
He leaned closer, and strangely enough I didn't have the urge nor the strength to back away. His bewildering smell of men's cologne made my legs go numb.
That was it! He'd charmed his cologne. That was the only way to explain why I let Potter's lips get so close to mine.
I would never kiss James Sirius Potter out of free will. Not even if he were the last man on earth and the whole universe counted on us to re-populate. I’d rather have our whole entire species...
I lost track of my thoughts when one of his hands traveled down on my body, eventually resting on my hip and pulling me closer. He rested his forehead against mine. Closing his eyes, he let out a small sigh, his breath tickling at the side of my face.
"I could kiss you right now." He moaned, almost sounding desperate, which for some reason, made my heart skip a beat.
I gulped again, staring at his lips that were only a centimeter awa-
"There you guys are! We've been waitin- what the..."
I blinked several times when James pulled his face away to look at the person who had just spoken.
Damian Patrick Andersons might have saved me from making the biggest mistake of my life.