Chatter surrounded us, filled our ears.
To my right, I could hear Pembroke laughing, and to my left I could hear the sound of Brighton drinking out of a straw.
Jo’s brother William was working here at the leaky cauldron so whenever any of us were nearby, we’d stop by and say hi.
He’s a nice guy. He’s Jo’s only brother — her only sibling. He’s twenty-three years old so it’s been a while since he graduated from Hogwarts.
William lives in Godric’s hallow with his fiancé Beatrice Corks. I’ve only met her once but she seem nice. Jo likes her — they’re pretty great friends which is good, seeing as they’ll be sister-in-laws.
“How about you, Ian?” William asked and looked at me while drying off a glass.
I raised my eyebrows in question.
“Did you make head girl?” He asked. I let out a breath and shook my head.
“I did not.” I said, folding my arms on the bar. “But that’s fine. It means I won’t be having more responsibilities than I can handle.”
I then smiled.
“Blanch on the other hand....”
“Oh, she made head girl?” William asked. “Well, tell her I said congratulations when you see her. It might be tough at times but it’s fun to have that kind of control over the other students.”
Pembroke let out a laugh and elbowed me in the side. I looked at him and we exchanged a glance before both chuckling.
“Maybe she can try and get Jo to stop smoking.” William said before putting away the glass, grabbing a new one to dry.
“Smo— huh?” Brighton pressed his lips together and Pembroke and I both looked down, trying to hide the awkward situation.
Pembroke ran a hand to his neck, rubbing his skin and I simply looked at my trousers.
“You don’t have to act so clueless.” William spoke. “Not only can I see that you’re lying, but I can also tell from these two obvious birds over there that I am in fact right.”
“Obvious?” I looked up. “We’re not being obvious.”
“We’re kinda being obvious.” Pembroke nodded before leaning over the bar, lowering his voice. “But in Jo’s defence, we all smoke.”
“How is that in Jo’s defence?” Brighton asked. “You just outed us all.”
“As if I didn’t already know. Remember when you all spend Christmas with our family last year and you were high as a kite? Yeah, you weren’t exactly being subtle. I don’t think my parents noticed, but I sure did.”
Is this where we run?
“In that case...” Brighton breathed. “I have some shopping to do.”
He got out of his chair, grabbed his backpack and hugged me, patted Pembroke’s back and flipped off William before leaving.
“That was fun.” I breathed. “Now... what’s the strongest drink you have?”
“Excuse me?” William laughed. “You may be of age but the drinking age in all of England, also the Wizarding world, is still eighteen.”
“Oh c’mon!” I groaned. “I turn eighteen in what— ten months?”
He simply hummed and shook his head while smiling, putting away the last glass after drying it.
“Oi! Bartender!” A middle aged man snapped his fingers at William, making me sigh.
“Now excuse me while I go take care of a very rude costumer.” William threw the towel over his shoulder and rubbed his hands together before pointing at me. “I’m not selling you any booze until your ID says eighteen.”
I don’t even have an ID.
William walled over to take an order from the costumer that had snapped his fingers at him and I then turned in the chair to face Pembroke.
“I still need to buy The Standard Book of Spells Grade Seven.” I said. “Do you want to join me or—”
“Yep.” He cut me off and got up, picking up his bag. I chuckled at his quick reaction, then followed his actions and followed him out after we both said goodbye to William.
“Do you think Blanch and Sky have had sex yet?” I asked as we walked down Diagon Alley, surrounded by loads and loads of people. “I mean... they’ve both constantly been talking about it to us individually last year and they’ve spent the summer together so...”
“I don’t know.” Pembroke laughed. “Is it that important for you?”
“Well, duh.” I nodded. “They’re our best friends and they’ve only been together for six months. They’re both ready, they’ve just been scared of admitting that to each other.”
Pembroke sighed into the open air and threw an arm around my neck, pulling me closer to him.
“How about you and Brighton?” He questioned. “Are you two still getting down and dirty? No string attached...”
“It’s sex... and sex is my favourite hobby.”
“Trust me, I know.” He laughed. “You have talked about nothing but sex since we were fourteen and learned the magic of masturbation and then when you lost your virginity to Brighton and you agreed to tell everyone else, you jumped around like a child Christmas morning.”
I chuckled at the memory and patted Pembroke’s chest.
“You should find yourself a boyfriend, Pemmy boy.” I said, making him scrunch up his nose at the nickname. “Or just a fuck-buddy. Then you can have all the sex you’d like.”
“And who says I need sex?” He asked. “I’m good being single, just like you. I don’t need friends-with-benefits either. It’s just me and my lonely fist.”
Pembroke and I entered ‘Flourish and Blotts’ and we were greeted by the owner.
“What can I for you two young souls?” She asked with a smile.
“Hi.” I greeted, repaying the smile. “I’m just in need of The Standard Book of Spells Grade Seven.”
“Ahh, starting your last year, I see.” Villanelle smiled and turned towards the big shelf of books. “How about your friend over there—”
She looked towards Pembroke who was waiting his turn.
“Oh, right... yeah.” Pembroke nodded. “That along with a few more things.”
Villanelle grabbed two books from the shelf, put one aside and handed the other to me.
“That’ll be one galleon.”
I held the book under my arm while digging into my bag for my small money bag made out of velvet.
I found a gold coin and placed it in her hand. She thanked me and put the coin in the register before turning to Pembroke to take his order.
“One book of Advanced Creature Care and one book of Muggle Space Exploration.” Pembroke said. “And then of course the spell book.”
Villanelle got the books for Pembroke and after he paid for them, he pushed them into his bag as we left the store.
“Do you need anything else?” I asked. “Before we go find Blanch.”
“Well I do need one of those pointed hats for the feast, y’know?” He looked at me. “I threw mine out by accident.”
“How do you throw out a hat by accident?”
Pembroke scoffed at me.
“How was I supposed to know it was in the pile of clothes that had gotten too small?”
I chuckled, intertwining my arm with his as we walked down the busy streets of Diagon Alley.
“Right.” I breathed. “Wait... I actually need to get some new ties. My sisters found mine and threw them in the fire.”
“They did— what?!” He shrieked and looked at me, laughing. “They’re five. Your five-year-old sisters threw your ties into the fire?”
“They’re a bunch of violent little shits.” I said. “Anyway, that means we need to stop by ‘Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions’, before we meet with Blanch.”
“Can’t we do this shit tomorrow. I’m—”
“We’re going to Hogwarts tomorrow, idiot.” I said. “We won’t have time to come do the school shopping.”
After he got his hat and I got my two set of ties, we set off towards the daily prophet’s main office.
Blanch was standing out front, looking at the newest newspaper through the boutique window.
“Hi bestie.” I grinned playfully as I threw an arm around her neck. She jumped a little but relaxed with a chuckle leaving her mouth when she looked at me.
“What’re you doing, Ian? You high again?”
“Nope.” I shook my head. “I wish I was but— anyway... where’s Sky?”
I looked around to see if he was near and I let go of Blanch so that her and Pembroke could say hello with a hug.
“He’s shopping for a new wand.” Blanch said. “He fell over his own feet and landed right on the one he has. He’s an idiot. Cute... but an idiot.”
I chuckled and wrapped my arm around hers.
“So... did you do that?”
She cocked an eyebrow at me and laughed at how I looked at her.
“Have sex?” She asked and nodded. “Yeah. It happened.”
I shrieked and threw my arms around her, hugging her tighter than ever.
“I love that so much!” I told her. “You’re such an adorable couple!”
“Bet you wish that was you and Mr Weasley.” Pembroke snickered and not even a second later, I hit him in the chest, hard enough for him to stumble back and land on his arse. “Oh shit...”
“Ow!” He exclaimed. “Ianthe what the fuck was that for?!”
Blanch was laughing loudly while I smiled awkwardly at Pembroke as he got back on his feet.
“That was an accident.” I told him. “But I’m not going to apologise because you deserved that.”
“Why? For calling you out?”
“You did not!”
“He’s kinda right, Ian.” Blanch told me. “We all see the way you look at the guy.”
I folded my arms over my chest while raising my eyebrow at her.
“Ooh, did you hear that Weasley made head boy?” She asked. “I heard it from Sky who heard it from Ben who heard it from Charlie who would obviously know because it’s his brother we’re talking about.”
“Yeah thanks... that, I know.” I rolled my eyes. “I don’t have a crush on Weasley.”
“No one mentioned a crush.” Pembroke commented. “We simply suggested you’d like to bone him. You brought up the crush.”
I turned to Blanch.
“We should go help Sky.”
“Help Sky?” She frowned. “Help him buy a wand? I’m sure he knows how to do that by himself.”
I’m just trying to get out of this situation.