what am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you?
cause when a heart breaks, no, it don't break even
breakeven, the script
When she was eight, her parents bought her the Harry Potter books. They weren't around much to read them to her, so she had to read them herself.
At first, she thought she couldn't read them, because the letters seemed to be in some foreign language. Then, with a giggle, she realised that she was holding the book upside-down, and from the moment that she learned how to hold her book she was hooked.
The letters finally made sense, and they told her tales of a young boy, imprisoned in a closet underneath some stairs, and then one day got a visit from a giant and went to a magical school. She sometimes thought that it was a good thing that he was originally worse off than she was. If he was eventually sucked into a world of magic, maybe one day she would be, as well.
Her parents and friends- especially Jade West- told her that believing was pointless. That nowhere out there was a world of wizards and witches. But she didn't believe them, because there had to be. This boring world of Muggles could not be all that there was.
On her eleventh birthday, she stayed up late, hoping that the owls had just forgotten to deliver her letter. The letter had to be coming; it just had to.
But 12:00 AM rolled around and she realised just how pointless her dream had been. There was no wizarding world, there never had been. Jade had been right, once again.
She pulled her Hufflepuff scarf tighter around her neck and cried for a few hours, until her dad yelled at her to shut up.
Maybe he was right. Maybe there was no point in believing.
She almost forgot about her obsession for a few years, at least until Beck and Jade broke up and Jade went missing for a few days.
It was scary, really- the whole school was in a frenzy, especially Beck and Tori, who seemed to think that it was all their fault. But for three days, she was nowhere to be found.
Then they found her on the floor of the bathroom, looking sad and upset that she was back- quite strange, really- and she told them that they wouldn't believe where she'd been if she told them. It was all a bit suspicious, and Cat wasn't sure what to think, but she gave Jade a smile anyway and drug her off to see the rest of her friends.
After that, there was something off about Jade- she just wasn't quite the same anymore. Everything about her seemed forced, especially her scattered laughs and smiles, and Jade West normally never seemed to force anything. She'd always been a good actress.
Only around Cat did she seem to relax a bit, and Cat could not for the life of her figure out why.
There was another strange thing as well- she'd cut things off with Beck. Before, when she cut things off with Beck, she'd been heartbroken. Now, she was heartbroken as well, but she didn't seem to want Beck back at all. Cat had offered, but no, Jade had refused her.
It made her wonder. Maybe Jade had finally discovered the unicorn land of fairy princesses? No, surely Jade would have told her about that!
She tried to laugh it off, tried to pretend that Jade was the same old Jade she'd known forever, because Jade would definitely tell her if something was up. She tried to keep up her innocent front.
But it kept eating at her, that Jade was different now. Something had happened, and Jade certainly didn't seem willing to talk about it.
She was just left to wonder.
It was her birthday a month or so later. She was finally sixteen, the last of her friends to reach that milestone. She threw a party, of course, and despite having no help from her parents, managed to go all-out. But the best part of her party was the gifts.
Tori got her a makeup kit, Beck got her a unicorn (which she exclaimed over because it was simply marvelous), Robbie got her a cute heart necklace… the list went on and on. However, there was one present that stood out from the rest, and that was Jade's. It was just so unlike Jade- first, to even think of getting her a present, and second, to give her something as shallow as a mirror.
It was just a simple handheld mirror, complete with swirls and a metal frame. She wasn't sure what to think of it, but she plastered on a smile anyway and thanked Jade warmly. It wasn't often that she got people presents. She was pretty sure that all she'd gotten Beck when they were dating was a can of lemonade.
Jade just shot her a mysterious smile, causing her to look even creepier than usual.
The rest of the night, Cat tried to forget about the mirror. There hadn't been anything unusual about it when she'd looked into it before. All she'd seen staring back at her was her reflection, and that was completely normal. So she decided that she was just being paranoid.
She danced with Beck and Robbie and a few other boys, twirling, giggling, and attempting to just lose herself in the music. She'd always been a pretty decent dancer, and she could sense the boys' eyes on her as she danced. It made her feel good about herself, knowing that boys were watching her.
The night was over before she knew it, and everyone gave her hugs, wishing her a last 'happy birthday' before they took off. Cat carried all of her presents up to her room, feeling a bit sad that her parents had not even bothered to wish her a happy birthday. Was it really such a hard thing, to remember your own daughter's birthday?
Once she reached her room, something clattered down onto the floor. Confused, she reached down to find her hand falling upon smooth glass.
Slowly, she reached down and picked up the mirror that she'd received that day, a gift from Jade. The light seemed to reflect across it in odd ways.
Confused, she stared at her reflection in the mirror.
At first, it looked normal- her red velvet cupcake hair and big brown eyes stared back at her. But then her reflection started to blur and change before her eyes. Terrified, she tried to drop the mirror, but it was too late. She was sucked in before she could so much as protest.
At first, it was a bit like a joy ride, and Cat found herself squealing in delight. At least, until she was thrown onto the dirty ground.
Smiling still, she brushed the dirt off and looked around. "Am I in a magical unicorn land?" Happily, she skipped over to a boy that she didn't recognize, but she didn't actually care. Grabbing his shoulder, she squealed, "Excuse me, am I in another world?"
But as the boy turned around, her breath caught in her throat. Black hair, green eyes… "Are you Harry Potter?" she asked breathlessly.
"No," the boy replied in a clipped tone, not looking amused in the least. "I'm Albus Potter. Harry Potter is my father."
It hit her like a smack in the face. She'd somehow gotten herself to a world where Harry existed, where his kids lived and breathed and went to school at Hogwarts. It was something like a dream. She didn't know what to do but to inhale deeply, staring at him with wide brown eyes. "Oh. I- I'm sorry! I didn't mean-"
"It's fine, I get it all the time," he rolled his eyes, still looking sort of angry.
"Should I know you? Cause I don't right now."
"No, you shouldn't," she looked down, blushing. "I'm Cat Valentine. I mean… I don't live here. I come from…"
"Hollywood, California?" Albus inquired, before slapping his hand over his mouth. "I mean, never mind."
"Wait, what? How did you know that?" Cat asked, her face lighting up. "You know my hometown? That's so weird!" she felt herself babbling, and her face heated up a little bit. "I mean, sorry…"
"You're from Hollywood as well?" Albus stared at her, eyes wide. "I didn't know that… we had another girl from Hollywood here."
"Wait, what?" Cat stared at him, confused, trying to put it all together.
She thought for a moment. Albus had mentioned another girl from Hollywood. Jade had disappeared for a few days, and no one seemed to know where she had gone. Plus Jade's words: "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
She gasped, not actually caring if Albus thought she was insane- in truth, she probably was. Big brown eyes wide, she asked him softly, "By any chance, was her name Jade West?"
Albus frowned, as if he was trying to remember something, and then the corners of his mouth turned up into a smirk. "I think it was. Something like that... some rock name. Wait… you know her?"
Cat burst into laughter, as if it was the funniest thing she'd ever heard.
Alarmed, Albus stared at her, and when her laughter finally ceased, she spoke.
"She's one of my best friends, silly! We go to the same school; we have for ages! Of course I know her!"
"Well, how would I know that?" Albus asked, a bit of an annoyed expression making its way onto his face. "I don't know anything about you, and she was only here for a few weeks."
"A few weeks? And she didn't mention me?" Cat's eyes widened, and for a second, it looked as if she was going to cry.
Still looking confused, Albus said cautiously, "Well, she might have said something, I don't actually remember. Are you bipolar or something?"
Throwing her head back, Cat replied, "What do you mean you don't remember? And no, I'm not bipolar; why would you ask that?"
"Well, you switch moods rather quickly," Albus replied. "And I don't remember because I don't remember everything about everyone, you know. James might know; he was in love with her."
That sent another wave of confusion through her. She'd assumed that Jade was still in love with Beck, but was trying to get over it. But instead, Jade had gone and fallen in love with Harry Potter's oldest son James? She'd ditched Beck, just like that? Of course, Beck had kissed Tori, but still.
Head whirling with thoughts, she asked, "So, Jade was in love with your brother?"
"I never said he was my brother," Albus responded cautiously, looking entirely confused. "But yes. She was, very much so, at least as far as I could tell. It was really sickening, actually. Why?"
"Can I talk to your brother? Is he around?" Cat inquired, a bit of a sparkle in her eyes.
Tossing back his black hair, he stared at her before crossing his arms and nodding. "Uh, I suppose. He's just over there… I don't understand why you would want to-"
It was too late, though. Plastering a smile onto her face, Cat linked her arm through Albus'. His green eyes widened as she did so. Then, leaning over to his ear, she whispered, "Take me to your brother!"
Still looking alarmed, he nodded and pulled her off toward a small restaurant that she didn't recognize. With a sigh, he stepped out of the way and motioned to a small gathering of people. "Have fun, then."
Her eyes flashed as she registered that he was challenging her. Placing a smile upon her face, she ran up to the cluster of people. "Hey, guys! I'm Cat!"
They all exchanged glances, as if the girl that had approached them was mentally insane. Finally, the youngest of them, a redheaded girl, raised an eyebrow at her. "I'm Lily. No offense, but why are you talking to us?"
"Your other brother told me where to find you!" Cat chirped with a huge smile. "And I mean, he said you'd met my friend Jade before-"
"Hang on." From the back, a brunette boy stepped out, looking utterly bewildered. "Wait just a second. You know Jade?"
"Yes, she's my best friend!" Cat babbled, clapping her hands for extra emphasis. She honestly didn't care if they thought her insane. "You know, she came back and she was all weird and she broke up with her boyfriend! Then I came and found your brother, Albus, and he told me that she loved one of you. I'm assuming that's you?" She jabbed a finger at the boy in front. "It's so exciting to meet you, though! You better have treated Jade right!"
The boy stared at her for a second before he launched right in. "Who are you, and how do you know Jade and Albus? And how is Jade doing?" He bit down on his lip, as if even saying her name was painful.
"I'm Cat Valentine," Cat bubbled, grinning from person to person as she spoke. "I know Jade because we've gone to school together for ages and she thinks I'm innocent or whatever. And I know Albus because I talked to him five minutes ago! Jade's just great, even if she's really different than usual. She seems sort of happy, though. She'll be so glad to know I met you!"
"I'm sure she will," James said cautiously, crossing his arms slowly across his chest as he stared at her. "And all right, that's interesting. Why do you people feel the need to randomly come here? Not that I'm complaining, but…"
Albus finally approached them, looking curious as well. "How did you get here, anyway?"
"Jade gave me a mirror," Cat gushed. "It was my sixteenth birthday, and she gave me a mirror. At first, I thought it was weird, but then I looked into it and I ended up here. I don't really understand what happened…" she trailed off, shrugging a little bit.
"A mirror," all of them looked pointedly from person to person, as if they knew something that she didn't.
Finally, the dad spoke up with a grin. "Would you like to come home with us until you're ready to go back?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, but I'd love to," Cat squealed, grinning. "Wait. Let me guess. You, the dad, are Harry Potter, and your wife is Ginny Weasley but she's now Ginny Potter, and then the kids- James, Albus, and Lily!" Cat's face stretched into a satisfied smile. "I'm right, aren't I?"
Confused but not looking surprised, they just simply nodded. "Guess you're coming with us," Lily said solemnly.
Albus frowned a little bit. "Stay out of my room."
"I'm sure your room is beautiful," Cat told him. With anyone else, it might have been sarcastic, but coming from her, it was completely sincere. "How are we going to get there?"
"I suppose we can all Apparate this time?" James replied wryly, and they all seemed to chuckle.
Not understanding in the least, Cat chuckled along with them.
The house was wide and spacious, just as she'd imagined it. It was lovely in its own right, and she couldn't help but exclaim in delight as she walked in.
"This house is so pretty," she informed them, twirling around beneath the chandelier and feeling like a princess- Ariel, perhaps. She noted the mirth in all of their eyes but didn't comment on it.
"Feeling like a princess yet?" Albus teased, walking over to her.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked, her mouth falling open as she looked back up at the twinkling lights, feeling like a mess of red velvet hair and big brown eyes.
He just smirked at her, crossing his arms. "Mum, where's Cat going to stay?"
"Upstairs," Ginny called back. "Maybe with Lily, if she's all right with that."
"Mum!" Lily complained, crossing her freckled arms. "Why can't she stay with Albus? Jade stayed with me last time!"
Feeling a bit nervous, Cat giggled. "I don't take up too much room or snore, don't worry! My brother, though, he always snores, and once it drove us so crazy that we had to get a-"
Raising an eyebrow, Albus interrupted her. "She probably talks in her sleep as well, though."
James spit out whatever he was drinking as he snorted.
"Fine," Lily scrunched up her nose, not looking happy. "I suppose I'll let her stay with me, but just for a few nights. If we get another visitor, she's staying with Albus." Crossing her arms, Lily stomped up the stairs.
"Is she always this grumpy?" Cat wondered, a tiny smile making its way onto her features.
"This is hardly grumpy," Albus informed her with a smirk, patting her on the shoulder. "But don't worry. I suppose you'll get used to it in time."
Cat just laughed at that one.
By the time the day was over, she was exhausted and tumbled into the extra bed in Lily's room, exclaiming a bit over the pink wallpaper.
"Wow," Lily remarked. "You're definitely not Jade, are you? She told me she hated the pink."
"Jade likes black," Cat replied, sitting up and peering over at Lily. "I thought you didn't like me?"
"You're a bit strange, but I suppose I'll get used to it," Lily smirked over at her. "Besides, I have to threaten you first. You better treat my brother Albus right, you hear me?"
Confused, Cat just blinked a few times. "You think I like Albus?" she asked, her voice raising a few notches. "I don't even know him! We just met!"
"Oh, it makes sense," Lily smiled over at her. "You know, Jade came for James; you came for Albus. The two of you are basically made foreach other. Now all that's left is a guy for me."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Cat protested, but it was too late. The light switched off.
Cat had to wonder if she could actually ever fall for Albus. Actually, all things considered, Albus certainly wasn't the worst choice.
Sighing, she turned over, wondering how everything could've seemed so simple just a few hours ago but now, it was just so complicated. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to visualize fluffy unicorns jumping over rocks as her hands fisted in the covers.
She wondered if Albus believed in unicorns.
"Good morning, there," Albus greeted her as she skipped down to breakfast the next morning. "Someone's a bit excited, unless I'm wrong and you're merely acting like the rest of the people in your school."
"No, I'm genuinely excited," she promised, sitting down beside him. "I just love this, being in another world…"
Raising an eyebrow, he merely poured himself another cup of coffee. "I don't think I've found a thing yet that you don't love."
"I don't love getting hurt," Cat responded, biting her lip. "And I don't love spiders, because they're icky. And, um… black isn't all that nice."
"Do you love green and silver?" Albus questioned, sipping on his coffee.
Avoiding the question because she didn't understand what he was getting at, she asked him yet another question. "Why do you act so old?"
He nearly spit out his coffee. "What do you mean?"
"You act like you're forty instead of sixteen," she informed him, taking the cup out of his hands. "Honestly. You're always talking 'maturely' and drinking coffee and gosh, do you ever do anything fun, Albus?"
"Yes, I do things fun," Albus replied testily, fidgeting with his sleeve. "Look, can we not-"
"We're going to do something fun!" Cat burst out, grinning at him. "You need to loosen up!"
"What even?" was all Albus managed to get out.
Not caring that he thought her weird, she continued, "All right, we'll both get ready and you'll meet me down here in twenty minutes!"
He just stared after her, confused, as she ran up the stairs. Once she got there, she peered once again into the mirror, wondering if it would transport her back if she pressed her fingertips to it. Curiously, she pressed her fingers against the hard glass.
Biting her lip again, Cat brushed her hair quickly and threw on some clothes, quite excited that she was going to show the Ice King how to have fun. She danced back down to the kitchen, and was excited to see that Albus hadn't ditched her. "You're here!"
"I don't break my word, however many other things I do break," he told her in a low voice, crossing his arms across his chest. "What exactly do you suppose we do in order to have fun? What do you do to have fun?"
"Well, we're going outside for one," Cat replied cheerfully, unaffected by his dark tone. "It's sunny and bright out there, maybe it'll brighten your mood a bit!"
"All right," he replied, unaffected as well. "Mum, Cat and I are going out… outside."
"Have fun!" Ginny's voice drifted back to them.
He turned back to Cat. "Well, let's go then. Shall we?"
She nodded brightly, and without thinking about it, her hand snapped out to grab his. His skin was cold against hers, sending shivers up her spine. Staring at him with wide eyes, she told him, "Sorry about that."
Embarrassed, she ran out the door, basking in the bright sunlight that bathed the house. "Albus, see how sunny it is!"
"It's quite sunny," Albus responded. "What are we going to do with that?"
"Is there anything fun to do near here?" Cat wondered, glancing around. "If you ever explore, that is."
As she glanced over at him, she noticed him shift the slightest bit. "There's a movie theatre over in the next Muggle town… and, well, there's a roller skating rink. I mean, those are things you Muggles like, if I'm correct?"
"I'm no ordinary Muggle," she informed him with a giggle. "But I do like skating, and watching movies! Have you ever been roller skating?"
"Yes," he replied abruptly, not seeming to want to talk about it. It was as if he was hiding something, and she was sort of afraid to find out what it was. But, the frown still on his face, he continued, "We can still go if you'd like, though."
"I'd love to go skating," she gushed, linking an arm through his. "But you will skate with me, won't you?"
"Why not?" he sighed.
As she pulled him off, she started to think that maybe she was starting to melt the icy boy. In a strange sort of way, he reminded her of Jade, and she'd been able to make Jade befriend her as well. Maybe she could do the same with this boy?
They took the bus (much to Albus' displeasure) and got off a block or two away from the skating rink, so they had to walk the rest of the way there. The whole way there, Cat skipped and sang, as if she had not a care in the world.
Albus' hand made its way onto her arm. "Do you mind?"
"I'm happy," she protested, offering everyone around her a big, cheerful smile. "When you're happy, it's always a good thing to show it! You shouldn't keep your happiness to yourself!"
But by the time they made it to the skating rink, Albus just seemed even more irritated than usual. He just looked around the rink, scowl on his face that quickly softened into a frown. He looked far away, as if he was remembering something. Then, his head snapped back up to look at her. "Are you going to go skate, then?"
Nodding, she blinked at him. "And you're not?"
"I told you I am," he said, walking over to the counter. "Give me some skates."
They looked at him before turning to exchange glances, looking entirely confused. Albus frowned, turning to Cat. "Are they not going to give me any skates?"
Cat giggled before turning to the counter. "Size… 10, please," she told the man, "for him, and for me, how about a size 6?" She'd always been good at guessing people's measurements, and it relieved her when he slid on the skates to find they fit perfectly.
"Come on, now," she said, skating off. It took her a second to realize that Albus was not behind her. "Are you coming or what?"
Albus looked scared for a moment there, and she couldn't understand why. Wasn't he supposed to be this strong, sarcastic guy? But then he pushed off, shaking still as he did so. "I'm coming, duh."
Smiling a little, she skated off onto the rink, twirling around on one foot and doing everything she knew how to do. Her brother would always take her skating when she was younger, and she'd twirl with him, feeling a bit like a professional ice skater despite the fact that she was wearing roller skates. Most of the time, she would end up falling on her butt, but it amused her more than anything.
Entertained, she watched as Albus clambered onto the rink awkwardly. She skated smoothly over to him. "Need some help?" she wondered with a sweet smile.
Frowning, he extended a hand and let her help him down onto the rink. "I hate this."
"You seem like you hate everything," she said with a smile, twirling around once again. "Come on, you'll feel like a princess!"
Albus shot her a glare, and she found herself giggling again. "All right, sorry! I mean, you'll feel great."
He frowned and let her pull him off onto the rink. That day, she taught him how to skate (sort of).
"That was torture," Albus complained as they walked out of the rink. "I fell on my butt so many times that it's numb now."
"I'm sorry," Cat giggled, wiggling her toes in her flip-flops. "How about I make it up to you? I know something that everyone loves, no matter how grumpy they are!"
"I'm not grumpy," Albus protested, but his protests were cut off as she ducked into a shop, pulling him with her.
Since she wasn't from England, she had no idea if the shop was good or not. But it reminded her of home- it was large, spacious, and just had the feel of a country home. But the main thing that attracted her to it was the fact that they sold ice cream in there, one of her favorite foods.
"You like ice cream, don't you?" she asked. "Everyone likes ice cream!"
"I suppose," Albus told her cautiously, and with that half-confirmation, she jerked him up to the counter and ordered two chocolate cones.
He stared at her, quite amused. "What if I don't like chocolate?"
"Everyone likes chocolate, silly," she replied, handing him his cone and turning to pay the cashier.
"Hey, hold it, there," Albus said, his mouth stretched into a scowl. "I'm not letting you pay for that." Reaching into his pocket, he grabbed a few British coins out of his pocket and tossed them up onto the counter. "Will that do?"
"That's just fine," the man replied with shiny eyes, scooping up the coins.
It was then that Cat realized she only had American money, anyway, so she couldn't have paid the man in the first place. That made her all the more grateful for Albus.
"Thank you," she said happily, taking a lick out of her cone. The chocolate flavor dissolved on her tongue, making her feel even more delighted. It was possibly one of the best chocolate ice cream cones she'd ever had. With bright eyes, she looked over at Albus. "Do you like it?"
He took a lick as well, and his eyes scrunched together as if he was contemplating before his features brightened. "It's good, actually."
"You're kidding me," Cat laughed. "Albus Potter actually thinks that something is good."
"Oh, you might want to shut your mouth, there," he retorted. "Just because I like your ice cream doesn't mean I like you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked with a frown, but upon realizing that he was being completely sarcastic, she had to laugh. "Oh, nice one there."
"I try," he replied wryly, taking a lick out of his cone once again. And as he looked at her, she could've sworn she saw an ear-splitting grin make its way onto his face.
But as fast as it appeared there, it was gone.
They got home that night to find everyone sitting at the table, washed up for dinner, looking expectantly at them.
"Well?" Lily asked with a bit of a smirk, crossing her arms across her chest. "Did you have fun?"
James let out a snort, spraying milk all over his food, much to the disgust of everyone in the room. Finally, he sat up and said, "Snog any?"
"James Sirius!" Ginny reprimanded him, but even she sounded a bit curious.
"Course we did," Albus responded with a smirk, prompting Cat to frown at him.
"We didn't either!" she replied with a small laugh, throwing her arms up into the air. "I don't know why you all are so convinced that I'm going to fall for Albus or something!" With a toss of her red velvet hair, she ascended the stairs, sort of curious as to what their reactions would be.
Behind her, she heard someone (Lily) call, "Because then it'll be like a pattern! Jade came for James, you for Albus, and then someone for me! I need a hot guy!"
"You have Albert," James shushed her, but even he sounded sort of excited at this notion.
"You two are made for each other!" Lily called with a laugh, and she heard frantic shushing that was probably Albus attempting to shut Lily up- though she highly doubted that he would be able to.
Kicking her shoes off, she fell onto her temporary bed, thinking about things. What did they mean? Were the two of them actually perfect together? She'd had quite a bit of fun that day, she had to admit, but she didn't know if that meant that it would be the same if they were dating.
Exhausted from thought, she collapsed onto her bed, falling asleep within moments. Her sleep was dreamless that night.
After a sort of awkward breakfast, Cat wasn't exactly expecting a terrific day. She didn't know what to expect, but she didn't expect what happened.
She went to the garden after breakfast, sitting among the flowers and feeling perfectly at home. Glancing around, she tried to name each of the flowers from memory- rose, lily, petunia, daisy, forget-me-not. That was, until a voice interrupted her. It wasn't Albus', like she'd been expecting, it was much higher and a bit more taunting.
"Albus is looking for you," the voice sang, and she looked up to find Lily Potter, standing there with her hands on her thin hips.
"Albus is?" Cat asked, surprise coloring her tone. "I mean, uh, where is he?"
"He's down by the Quidditch pitch," Lily said with a big grin, as if the fact that Albus was looking for Cat excited her. "Oh, wait, forgot you don't know what that is. I mean, he's down by the big tree- see it? Well, yeah, have fun."
Confused, Cat got to her feet, tucking a flower behind her ear as she stood up to add a flash of color. She walked over to the tree that Lily had pointed out, wondering why Albus would want to see her. She'd figured that because they'd spent the whole day together the day before, he would be sick of her and avoid her for the whole day. Apparently, she hadn't figured him out the way she thought she had.
Approaching him slowly, she asked, "Albus? Lily said you were looking for me?"
"Lily actually did what I asked her to for once?" Albus replied, a note of surprise in his voice. "That's interesting."
"But why did you want me?" Cat displayed one of her signature smiles as she looked at him, still confused. "I mean… did you want me just to talk to or something? Cause that's always fun!"
"No," Albus told her with a smile. "I wanted to show you something. You showed me how Muggles have fun yesterday, now I get to show you how wizards have fun."
"All right," she replied, feeling a bit nervous- how did wizards have fun?
He whipped out a broom from behind his back, offering her a subtle smirk. "Have you ever been on a broom before?"
At first, she had to giggle- it was so stereotypical, witches and wizards flying on brooms. But she shook her head. "I've cleaned with brooms, though! You can ride on them?"
"You sure can," Albus responded, climbing onto the broom as if it was a horse. "More like you can fly on them. Get on behind me, then. Don't be scared."
Nervously, Cat clambered onto the broom behind him, sitting the way he had- as if it was a horse. "Are you sure this is safe? It looks a bit scary!"
"Course it is," Albus replied. "But you might want to hang on, love."
She didn't even have time to ponder what he meant by love before the broom took off into the air. Squealing, she wrapped her arms around his waist, holding on for dear life.
But then they were up in the air, many feet above the ground but still feeling quite safe. It was like a scene out of Aladdin, which Cat had watched thousands of times before, when she was younger. She'd always dreamed that one day she would be like Jasmine, that she would find her Aladdin and soar hundreds of feet above the ground with her prince. She'd also dreamed of coming to the world of Harry Potter and flying on a broom. This was something like a combination of both.
The wind flying through her hair, she let out a squeal, causing Albus to turn around and look at her. "Liking the way that wizards have fun, are you?"
"This is a lot of fun," she gushed, suddenly realizing how Albus' chest felt under her hands- hard and muscular, just like she had always thought that it would (not that she had imagined it or anything). Shaking her head to clear it of strange thoughts, she said, "I don't know how you stay out of the air."
"I love it," Albus admitted. "I'm actually the Seeker on our Quidditch team, I'm not sure if you know what that is-"
She almost laughed aloud at how stupid he imagined her to be. Even if she wasn't the smartest person in the world, she did know some things. "I know what Quidditch is! And just like your father, then?"
"Yeah, don't say it like that," Albus scowled, turning back around, and she was sure that she'd hit a nerve.
Softly, she responded, "I'm supposing that you don't want to be like your father, then?"
He sighed, turning a bit so that he could look at her before he seemed to realize that he could not steer if he could not see and turned back around. "No, it's not that. I know that my dad is a lovely person and everything; I've heard it a thousand times. It's just that I look just like him, I have all of his qualities, and I'm Seeker on the Quidditch team. I might as well be him, and thing is, I don't want to be him. I want to be Albus. I want to be my own person. And if I'm living in his shadow, I can't be," Albus finally halted to take a breath before continuing, "I suppose that's why I wanted to be sorted into Slytherin."
"You're a Slytherin?" Cat asked, not really surprised but wanting to sound as if she was.
"Yes, I am," he replied. "Is that such a shock?"
"Well, I'm a Hufflepuff," Cat told him, then surprised herself by saying, "It's better than having parents that are never around."
"But you're a Muggle," Albus replied, looking confused, "and your parents are never around? That sucks."
"Muggles can still figure out what houses they're going to be sorted into!" Cat exclaimed indignantly, keeping the teasing edge in her voice. "They're never around, they just don't care about me and my brother. One time, my brother got into jail- a lot of times, actually- and my parents didn't bother to even bail him out!"
"That really sucks," he told her, and she realized that it was probably the most sympathy Albus Potter had ever shown to anyone.
"I know," she sighed. "Sorry to dump all of this on you, it's just… I really miss having parents, you know? I miss someone caring for me and trying to help me and everything. But guess what? I'm happy without them!" She grinned, plastering a smile onto her face.
He turned around to look at her, but soon realized that it was impossible and slowly brought them to the ground. Once they landed, he turned to look at her. "You're not happy without them."
She realized how close he was and how, with one fluid motion, she could lean forward and press her lips to his. And she realized how very much she wanted to, because he was Albus and he was sort of gorgeous.
He started to lean forward as well, but once his lips were one inch away from hers, he pulled away, looking so shocked and confused that she wanted to say something, to reassure him that it was all going to be all right. But she didn't know what to say but to stare at him, wondering if it actually was going to be all right.
"Everything okay?" she asked in a voice too small for her usual personality.
"Yeah," Albus ran a hand through his hair, looking miffed. "Wait, no, not really. I can't do this, Cat, not again. I'm sorry…"
"What do you mean?" she demanded, and as he started to walk off, she seized his arm. "Albus, be serious for a minute, you're good at that. At least tell me what's wrong, please?"
"It's not you, honestly," Albus replied, staring at the ground before he looked up to meet her eyes. "My girlfriend and I, we just broke up a week or so ago, I don't remember. Anyway, it was a kind of messy breakup, I'm sure that she hates me now and… I don't know."
"What was she like?" Cat asked gently, something sparkling in her dark eyes. "Was she nice?"
"Of course she was nice," Albus retorted, crossing his arms. "Do you think I like mean girls?" He rolled his eyes, but then he softened a bit. "She was a Slytherin like me, but she was nicer than any I'd ever met. Her name was Ria, and um, she was a player, but I thought that she'd changed."
"She was?" Cat wondered with a grin.
"She still is," Albus scowled, crossing his arms. "She likes Muggle things, and she took me roller skating once… that was why I was a little less polite and a little more tense there. I mean, I miss her. I think."
"You're not over her yet," Cat replied with a hint of a smile. "That's fine, then! Take your time!"
"Hey, Cat," he said as he began to walk away. "I just want to let you know that… that…" his face contorted as if he was saying something hard. "I'm so- I'm sorry."
"It's fine," she said brightly, but as he walked away, she found herself wishing more than ever that his ex-girlfriend didn't exist.
That was when she realized that she was developing feelings for the wizard.
It was awkward, after that, as she expected that it would be. The awkwardness hung heavy in the air. Neither of them knew what to say to each other.
It lasted for a few days, actually; the inescapable awkwardness hung like a blanket over them. Sometimes, they would spot each other around the house and move on as if nothing had happened, and nothing ever did because of that.
Until one day, when a blanket of stars hung above a land filled with sparkles and dewy grass, and they were both tired of it- at least, Cat was, she wasn't sure about Albus. The flowers were blooming brighter than ever, and with the dark sky, it was sort of a beautiful scene.
She walked outside, releasing a sigh as the dark sky reminded her of Albus and their almost kiss. Sighing, she sunk into the dewy grass, staring up at the sky and wondering if it was possible to wish on these stars.
"I wish for a happy ending!" she whispered in a perky voice. "I don't care how."
The wind blew, tousling her hair, and she wondered if that was a sign that maybe everything would turn out right eventually. She wondered if maybe she should just give Albus a little time.
Smiling, she sat up, running her hand over the rows of flowers and debating whether to pick yet another one. The night was dark and the stars were bright. It was one of those nights that everything seemed as if it was going to work out.
Picking a few more flowers, she braided them between her fingers and wished with all the power in her small body to be happy at some point in her life.
Then she stood up, twirling in the moonlight, and pretended that she was at a dance. But the thing that disturbed her was the fact that when she tried to picture her prince's face, Albus' face stared back at her instead.
Confused and a bit hurt, she laid back down, still pondering life and love (and Slytherin princes).
That night, she fell asleep under the sparkling stars.
In the morning, she was shaken awake. "Cat! We've been looking for you for ages," Lily informed her, putting her hands on her hips. "It was weird, this morning, when I woke up and you weren't there. Then I come to find you in a field. A field? What is wrong with you?"
"I like fields?" Cat yelped, jumping to her feet and blinking as she took in the bright light. "I mean… why were you looking for me? It wasn't as if I just randomly decided to go back to California."
"Albus was worried," Lily smirked at her. "Look, Valentine, I don't know what you've got going on with my brother, but whatever it is, it's killing both of you. And even if I don't admit it, I love Albus. He's nice to me, he's not a total jerk, and he doesn't make a big deal about the fact that I'm in Slytherin, because he's a Slytherin as well. He doesn't deserve to have any more girls stomp on his heart. So you better treat him right, do you hear me?"
Cat just nodded, feeling a little bit terrified of the tiny redheaded girl. As she stared at her, she began to walk back toward the house. "I… I'll try not to hurt him. He's definitely a good guy…"
"Good, then, as long as you realize that, everything should work out," Lily told her, satisfied. "He's inside, by the way, and he's eating breakfast. I think he's pretty worried about you."
Nervously, Cat followed Lily back inside, biting down on her lip as she walked. As she walked in, her eyes immediately fell upon a mess of black hair and green eyes.
"Hey, there," she whispered, her voice barely even loud enough for her to hear it, which was very uncharacteristic of her.
"Hi," he responded, looking very unemotional as he stared at her. "You're alive."
"You thought I was dead?" she chuckled humorlessly. "No, unfortunately, I'm still here! Like that one time…"
"Look-" Albus began to say, but James cut him off.
"Whoa, the sexual tension in here is killing me!" James whistled, a grin spreading across his face. "Just go snog and leave us all in peace. There's some room outside or something."
Albus glared profusely at James, running a hand through his black hair. Then, with a frown, he stood up and stomped out of the room, leaving everyone to stare awkwardly at each other. Finally, Cat decided it was time for her to just take a stand and she followed him out of the room, red hair flying.
"Albus!" she called, peering around the house until she found him, leaning up against a wall as if he was some bad gang member from the movies. "I… what are you doing?"
"My brother's irritating," Albus replied, crossing his arms across his chest and looking so much like a gangster that it was uncanny. "I hope that you know that. Anyway, I think that the question is, what are you doing coming after me?"
"You know why!" Cat chirped innocently. "I think… I think… well. I mean. I think I might like you or something like that… I know it's only been a week or so, but this is magic and princes and stuff!"
"Princes and happily ever afters don't exist," Albus retorted, glaring at her with his piercing green eyes. "You're sixteen. You should know that by now."
"Don't you know that you have to make happily ever afters for yourself, silly?" she asked with a laugh, and just like that, she leaned up and pressed her lips to his.
His arms automatically wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer, and she put her arms around his neck, kissing him like she'd kissed all the guys for class- Beck and Robbie and André- but no, this was different. He was Albus and he was ice under her fiery touch, melting under her fingers. She thought that this was what a collision felt like.
Then he was pulling away from her, and she felt her body heat up once again. As she stared at him from under watery lashes, she asked him quietly, "Albus… what are you thinking?"
He frowned down at her, resting a hand absently on her shoulder. "I'm thinking of how very stupid and teenager-like we are being."
"What do you mean?" Cat bit down on her lip once again in the same spot, and she was starting to taste the small trickle of blood that trailed out, but she ignored it.
"I mean that this can never work, Cat, don't you see?" he tossed his hands up into the air, sounding exasperated. "Look, you're beautiful, sweet, and kind, basically everything I've ever wanted in a girl. But you're from a different universe, a different time, and I honestly don't want the same thing to happen to us that happened to James and Jade, the same thing that happened to Ria and I. We fell apart. It's that simple."
"Things are never that simple!" Cat replied, crossing her arms stubbornly across her chest and looking up at him with hurt eyes. "You see, you have to actually try to make things work, and I'm sure you're not used to giving any effort, but if you actually cared about me, you would actually put in some effort!" She stopped to breathe, her hand flying to her mouth- it was one of the meanest things she'd ever said, and to Albus!
He just chuckled, though, before moving closer to her. He ended up nearly a few inches away from her mouth before he spoke. "You know, you're right. Maybe I should start putting in a little more effort. I'm so used to being lazy and all."
She didn't get the chance to say anything back before he kissed her, again, flipping them so that she was the one pressed against the wall now.
She didn't even have the words to protest about any of this.
They fell asleep amongst the flowers once again, one of Albus' arms curled around her waist. At some point during the night, she'd snuggled herself into his side, her head resting on his chest. It was quite comfortable; she decided when she finally awoke, so she didn't move.
It was sort of like waking up after a drunken night, she supposed, because she had a feeling that Albus might freak and leave on her. But she decided to make the most of her time in this universe, and for her, that meant spending as much time with Albus Severus Potter as possible. So she snuggled closer into his side and went back to sleep.
She woke up once again to the sound of laughter mixed with cooing. Confused, she opened one eye to see James and Lily Potter.
Groaning, she closed her eye and tried to pretend as if she was not awake. She had a feeling that Albus was doing the same thing.
Finally, she sat up groggily, staring at both of them. "What are you doing? It's… early…" she rubbed her eyes.
"Actually, it's 11 AM," Lily replied in a superior tone. "I don't know how late you and Albus stayed up, but you should be able to get up now, shouldn't you?"
James snorted from behind her, and finally, Albus peered up at them (well, more like glared). "The heck, James and Lily? We didn't do this to you with Jade, James."
"Yes, you did," James raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, whatever," Albus groaned, slipping his fingers through Cat's as he stood up. "I don't care what either of you think, but yes, we're together. Go tell McGonagall or those loser friends of yours. See how much I care."
Lily whooped in delight and planted a sticky kiss on Albus' cheek before she skipped away, still hooting in delight.
He turned to Cat, groaning as he stretched out. "This is going to be an ordeal. Prepare yourself."
"I'm prepared," she protested.
"You're never fully prepared when it comes to my family," he retorted with an eye roll, squeezing her hand as he pulled her off toward the house. "You never know what they'll come up with this time."
Time seemed to fly by, filled with late nights spent stargazing (Albus knew more about stars than she'd ever dreamed of knowing), afternoons spent roller skating (or at least, trying to get Albus to try to roller skate again), and mornings spent learning to make pancakes with Ginny. It was like something out of a summer romance novel- perfect, but everyone knew that it was never going to last.
Though everyone was happy and cheerful, there was a hidden note of melancholy playing in the back of everyone's minds, and Cat knew it better than anyone. It thrived in the awkward silences and her nightmares. Everyone knew she would have to go back at some point. She didn't belong in this universe; she had her own universe and friends.
Was it rude, though, to say that she was starting to prefer this one?
One night, time stopped. She found the mirror, Jade's present to her, sitting on her bed, lost in the covers and sheets. Jumping back as if the mirror was blazing hot, she stared at it, knowing what had to be done.
"Everyone!" she yelled, her voice cracking a little bit. "I have to leave soon."
The whole family ran up to Lily's room, and once their eyes fell upon the mirror, they all seemed to nod in sync.
Then Lily cried, "You can't leave yet! I meant to throw you an official farewell party and all…"
"She still has a few hours left," Harry said, his eyes examining the mirror. "If you don't mind staying a bit longer, that is…"
"Of course I don't mind!" Cat replied hastily.
"Well, we have a lot of planning to do then!" Lily exclaimed, clapping her hands. "Let's get on it, people!"
But as Cat attempted to follow her and help plan, Lily held up a hand. "Nice try, but no. We're going to do something nice for your last night here and it's going to be a surprise. Go snog Al or something. Make some use of your time."
Cat felt her face flame up, but she nodded nonetheless, and once they were all gone, she leaned over and pressed her lips to Albus' once again.
This was certainly making use of what little time she had left, she thought. His ice left goosebumps trailing down her skin, and what could she say? She loved it.
Lily and Ginny spent a few hours doing her makeup, hair, and choosing a dress. Though she didn't often go to beauty salons or anything of the like, Cat loved it. She loved how very like a princess she felt, how she looked like Ariel off the little mermaid. She thanked both of them repeatedly for a few minutes as she twirled in the mirror.
"Don't even mention it," Lily grinned at her, flicking one of her red waves. "I owed Al a favor anyway, and I don't know for sure, but I'm fairly certain that this will count as a favor to him more than you."
"He won't be able to take his eyes off of you," Ginny said of her oldest son, laughing as well.
Cat chuckled nervously, twirling in the mirror once again and watching as the lace rose and fell. "You really think so?"
"Yes," Lily and Ginny told her at the same time, nudging each other, probably proud of their hard work.
"Thank you!" she squealed once again, but then the door opened and she forgot all about Lily and Ginny.
All she could see was Albus, looking dashing in a suit, and she thought he had to feel the same way.
"Albus," she whispered, tugging at his jacket. "You look lovely."
"You look gorgeous," he responded, and then he was kissing her, his hand tangled in her hair once again. From behind them, Ginny cleared her throat, causing them to jerk apart.
"Better," she said in a teasing tone. "Stay like that tonight."
As Lily and Ginny exited the room, Albus extended an arm to her. "Care to dance then, Caterina Valentine?"
Giggling, she took his arm. "I would love to!"
Then they were descending the staircase, and she felt like a princess, clutching her prince's arm in her own. As she reached the bottom, she turned to Albus, squeezing his hand that she held in her own. "This is lovely."
"I agree," he muttered, his eyes falling down to take in all of her. "You… you're sure that you have to go back?"
"I can't very well stay here," she laughed, as if the notion was absurd. She had Jade, Robbie, André, Beck, Tori… so many friends that were probably worried sick about her, though Jade probably knew where she was. Pulling herself closer to Albus, she murmured, "I wish."
"Mmm," he said, wrapping his hands around her neck. "I think I might possibly miss you."
"I think I might possibly love you," she responded, and the stars shone in her eyes as she stared at him. Despite the fact that all of it was quite possibly wrong, she knew her words were completely true.
Albus stared at her for a moment. "I think I might possibly love you, too. But don't tell anyone, as I don't do love… and this is just a setup for us to get our hearts broken, isn't it?"
Then she was crying and he was kissing her, kissing her like there was no tomorrow and she would be there for the rest of eternity, even though it was untrue in every way possible.
"I don't know what I'm going to do without you, Cat," he whispered into her hair, holding her close. "You make me a better person, did you know that? Once you're gone, I'll go back to being jerk Albus, the one with no soft side. The stupid Slytherin git."
"Not true," she responded, but she blinked at him. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do without you, though."
They stare at each other for a few moments, the ghosts of regret haunting their eyes, before he spun her once again.
As he spun her and she twirled, she realized how very much like a princess she was.
In that one night, almost all of Caterina Valentine's dreams came true.
He held her one last time. Her tears soaked into his shirt, staining it with tears, but she didn't actually care. "I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you as well," his fingers comb through her hair.
"I love you," she whispered. "Tell me you love me?"
"I love you," he replied, and the words hang in the air between them, just another reminder of how hard this would be.
Finally, she mustered up the strength to pull away from him, still staring up at him. "I… I should probably go now."
He kissed her one last time, then her fingers brushed the mirror and she was floating away, sucked into the mirror before she was deposited back into her bedroom. She took in all the color, her head wondering what was even going on.
Then there was a joyful yell. "She's back!"
Her head was buried in Robbie's chest then, but it didn't feel right like Albus' hugs did. After that, everyone dogpiled them- Tori and Beck and Jade and Trina and André. She was actually surprised that she still remembered who they all were.
"Where were you?" Tori asked, her face alight with happiness and confusion.
"Trust me," Cat exclaimed, remembering Jade's words, "You don't want to know."
Jade smiled mysteriously over at her, and once they all begin to trickle out, Jade leaned over to her. "Did you have fun?"
"James misses you," Cat informed her, and they shared a secretive smile.
The truth pulled her in like a volcano a few days later- she missed Albus, and she missed him a lot. What they had was love, or as close as teenagers could get to love.
Tears pouring down her cheeks, she tried to think of a way out. Desperately, she grabbed her mirror, hoping that by some twist of fate she would be jerked back into it and transported back to a world where magic overruled anything.
But nothing happened. Choking out another sob, she dropped the mirror back onto the ground, sobbing again as the sound of shattering glass indicated it had broken into tons of little shards that probably littered her floor. She fell to her knees, holding the tiny pieces of the mirror in her hands. As she slowly dried her tears, she peered into the piece of the mirror that she held in her hands.
She could have sworn that she saw a green eye staring back at her.
Things started to get better over time. One good thing was that she had always been a noteworthy actress, and she was able to pretend as if she was happy, the same bubbly girl she had been before the whole fiasco (or whatever you wanted to call it).
She dated Robbie for a period of time, but he wasn't Albus and he certainly wasn't a wizard or a prince of any standard. He grew sick of her constant comparisons and promptly dumped her.
But she moved on with life, because really, it had been established that there was no way that she could get back.
One day, though, she saw something carved into the stall door at school. In plain swirled cursive, it said, I love James Potter (the second).
The secret smile appeared back on her face, and she wrote under it, I love Albus Potter (the younger one).
If there was one positive thing that happened as a result of the fiasco, it would be that it rejuvenated her belief in the magical world of Harry Potter.
Maybe her heart was still broken, but one day it would repair itself, that she was certain of.
A/N: All right, so this is actually a really early birthday present (10 days early) for Dri/Drishti (Skandar-Loves-Redvines), who is lovely and a terrific writer and will be the same age as me for like a month and said that Albus/Cat would be epic because they're both nutcases, which is actually really true. I love you, Dri, and I'm sorry this is so bad, ahha. ;) Hope they were nutcasey enough for you. xD
And a heck of a lot of credit goes to my Crossover Triplets, Jenny (inescapable scars) and Pearl (PrincessPearl), to Pearl for giving me the idea even though it contradicts one of her crossover pairings or whatever and to Jenny for just being epic and writing us RosePeeta and coming up with the awesome emoticon of :4, which is copyrighted, for the record. Love you guys
Uh, well, I don't even know what this is, though? Most of it was written in one night, so :S But I SHIP IT. It's the second in my series of Victory-verse, HP/Victorious crossovers, the first being JamesJade, obviously. It was so sad to write but I adore the pairing now and everything.
I know that I got Cat all wrong, but give me some credit, kay?
And for the record, there's a lot of symbolism behind the title…