Chapter One: Cures
Fact number one: I need coffee.
This is really bad. I'd addicted to this stuff, and if I don't get any coffee now, I'm going to lose it.
You don't want to see me lose it. My eye twitches. My mind goes blank. I can't feel my toes. I shout excessively, obnoxiously and angrily. I will knock anyoneand everyone down in my haste to get what I want. I'm Albus Potter; I always get what I want.
Except friends, I suppose. But who needs those?
Fact number two: I am a compulsive liar.
My only friend is Dylan Creevey. His father is Dennis Creevey, the younger brother of Colin Creevey, who died in the Final Battle. Dylan and I met when we were around seven years old, at some sort of reunion.
I guess you could say that was the biggest mistake of my life?
I was just sitting there at the party, looking around innocently. Okay, maybe my older brother James and my cousin, Fred Weasley, had ditched me again to plan some humungous prank of theirs (sure. Explode the pudding, guys) and I was pouting in a corner because of it.
Then I noticed there was someone pouting in another corner! And he looked about my height, so I decided he must be my age and therefore, we should be best friends. Unfortunately, at the age of seven and three-quarters, I couldn't distinguish the difference between a loser and a cool person.
I walked over there to the little blonde kid and sat beside him, arms crossed and seething. We ranted how stupid brothers were (he has an older brother as well) and before we knew it, his father was coming up to us and telling us we couldn't mope in a corner the whole time.
So we ate a lot of food; thus, the beginning of a… remarkable friendship.
Fact number three: The Creevey family is the reason I am such a loser.
See, after we ate all that food (it really was a tremendous amount), Dylan's father showed me his camera. I thought it was the most magnificent thing I've ever seen; it was professional, contained about a million settings and most of all, it was muggle.
I love muggle things. My grandfather got me hooked onto them, but not stupid things like all those batteries he was constantly collecting; I liked electronics. Even James and Fred had to admit they thought cell phones were, and I quote, "neat."
Mr. Creevey taught us all about cameras. Dylan and I found a good balance; he loved to record, whereas I was immediately attached to taking pictures. Over the years, he had taught me and Dylan everything there was to know about cameras, how to develop pictures, different angles and lighting, etcetera.
Mr. Creevey gave me my first camera when I was eleven, just before I left Hogwarts, and until then, I hadn't a clue that people didn't actually like having their pictures taken. I clambered on the train, snapping picture after picture excitedly, when I figured it out.
People were running away from me.
Those shouts of "Loser!" were directed towards me.
Bloody hell. I thought it was only my family who didn't like it!
Fact number four: I used to be utterly clueless.
I can justify this with the fact that when people called me a loser, I didn't catch on that if I had just stopped taking pictures at that time, people would've forgotten that I was the nerdy son of Harry Potter, running around with snot-nosed Dylan Creevey and couldn't get a girl for his life because of his camera.
The camera scares people away. And I couldn't catch on.
So there I was, this little first year dangling from a Quidditch Hoop (the Slytherins didn't like me all that much) and finally realizing what people had tried to tell me. It was a revelation, and I swear the clouds shaped words in the sky:
People aren't always photogenic.
My imagination was slightly wild, witty and sarcastic. Sue me.
It really was true, however. And once I realized this fact, I decided to stop taking pictures of people altogether. Unfortunately, no one was around to hear my world-changing declaration.
So I hung from that hoop for hours, clutching my camera and wishing I had thought to stuff my pockets with treacle tart, like I usually did.
(I would just like to point out that I don't do that anymore.)
(I really don't.)
(Maybe at bedtime.)
Anyway, I guess that's when I realized the sky exists. Well, not exists, per se, but I realized how blue it was. I realized how it stretched across, all the way around the pitch and the castle and the mountains and how it was just endless in whirls of blue and eventually orange, yellow, purple and pink.
Yeah, I was just hanging out for the longest time… then those Slytherins came back out and laughed at me…
Fact number five: I am obsessed with taking photos of landscape.
After that experience, I started taking photos of the scenery around the castle. I mean, have you seen this place? It's incredible. How could you just stand there and not admire it?
And once I started, I really couldn't stop. This helped me out a little; people weren't really calling me 'loser' in the hallways (except for my brother… gotta love him) anymore, and since Dennis can't use an electronic video camera in the school, we weren't hung from various objects that were hung from elevated heights.
I am proud to say that I haven't taken a picture of a person (without their permission, anyway) for five years. It didn't exactly make me popular, but I figured that people already knew I love to take an insane amount of photos, so why not continue?
My logic satisfies me quite nicely, thank you.
Just like my need for coffee: I want it, so I get it. Plain and simple.
So there I was, racing to the Great Hall like every morning and searching the room with a fast pulse, squinted eyes and heightened hearing when suddenly –
I saw her.
And I'm not talking about the only coffee machine in school (do coffee machines have genders?).
No, I saw this girl – and I swear: everything stopped moving when I saw her.
It was like this beacon of light had decided to spotlight on her frame (never mind the bewitched ceiling to imitate the sunny day), enhancing every feature of her body, her face. I think the angels were singing from the heavens (of course it wasn't the choir practicing!) that really did it.
She was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.
I couldn't stop staring. I was probably drooling, for Merlin's sake.
Of course, I could also smell bacon. But that's not the point.
I don't know how long I stood there, jaw dropped, body frozen, gasping at the sight of the glow on her cheeks as she sat at the Ravenclaw table, eating a muffin and reading a book. She just looked so beautiful. Especially in the sweats she was wearing.
Just as suddenly as I saw her, the gigantic doors slammed me from behind as some sixth-year, nauseatingly giggling girls stepped into the Great Hall. I toppled over and fell face-first as they seated themselves next to aforementioned girl.
Then, for the grand finale, I saw her laugh. It was the lightest, most infuriatingly entrancing laugh I've ever heard. I could probably spend days just listening to it, over and over.
It was then I realized I had a serious mental problem.
But Merlin, I think I had found my cure for coffee.