Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.


iii.

"And she's not part of the deal," Albus says with a laugh, just as Rose demands, "Do you only think about shagging?"

"Flower, do you honestly think so low of me?" I ask, turning to Rose, eyes widening so I'm a picture of innocence. Rose shoots me a look that would make lesser men pass out. I just chuckle.

"Why do I even put up with you?" Rose asks, rolling her eyes.

"Because I'm the best thing that's ever happened to you," I supply helpfully.

Albus gives a small laugh, slugging me in the arm. A shiver that isn't at all unpleasant runs though me. I ignore it. "I think that was a rhetorical question," he says, eyes dancing with amusement.

"Yeah, well, whatever," I say absently as I pick at my thumbnail. "Bus, I just thought of this, but are your parents okay with you possibly flat sharing with me? Because if they're not, I need to start planning my will, don't I?"

Rose breaks out into a serious of rather loud giggles. I give her a highly annoyed look. "Rose, stop it. My death is not at all funny."

Albus gives a slight snicker, drawing my attention back to him. He throws his hands up in a defenseless way. "I'm an adult. They honestly don't care who I hang out with."

I raise an eyebrow to show my displeasure. "Still, damn, that's not reassuring." Sighing, I rub the back of my neck.

Rose opens her mouth, probably to tell me to suck it up or something, just as Albus clears his throat. "Can we get a move on? People are kinda staring at us." When he mentions it, I spot a group of blokes eying us as they walk by.

I heave another sigh. There's something about Rose and Albus that causes me to sigh a lot, I've been noticing. "No, Bus. They're not staring at us. They're staring at me. They're thinking about my wonderful bum and how hot I am."

Albus gives me that look he gave me earlier, the one that says he doesn't understand why I'm so brilliant but he knows I am. I'm really beginning to like him.

I send him a grin before making a "come on" motion with my hand. "Come along, Ponds."

Albus sends me a blank look and Rose giggles. "Ponds?" he repeats, frowning.

I sigh. Really? "Doctor Who." I barely keep the duh from my voice. Barely.

"Oh, that's the TV show, right?"

"Yes," I say, rolling my eyes. "Best show ever."

"Hm," he says, looking thoughtful. "I've heard lots of good things about it. Maybe we can get together this weekend and watch some." He suddenly reddens. "If you don't mind, of course."

I grin. The red look is oddly endearing on him. I reach over to tussle his hair. His hair really is soft.

I should have said something witty, maybe a little sexual, but instead this is what I say,"Of course I don't mind. Should be fun."

As soon as the words come out of my mouth, I'm horrified. Godric. I'm totally going soft. What is this kid doing to me? And how?

I see Rose give me a strange glance but I ignore it. Rose is always giving me strange glances for some reason.

Giving me a smile in return, Albus nods at his flat. "You ready?"

I sniffle. "I was born ready."

Rose sighs. "And here's the beginning of his cliché and movie one liners."

"Ignore her," I say to Albus, waving a hand vaguely Rose's direction. "She's just jealous because my one liners are cooler than hers."

Rolling her eyes, Rose starts walking. Albus and I follow.

"I'm gonna have to share some tips with you, Albus," she says. "If this flat sharing thing works out, you'll need some help in keeping your sanity."

"Ignore her," I repeat. "I don't know what she's talking about."

Albus raises his eyebrows as he stuffs his hands into his pockets. He doesn't say anything, just letting his lips tilt slightly upwards instead.

Not a moment later, I realize we're standing in front of steps that lead up to the flat's front door. I study it for a moment, read the rusted 213B and promptly decide that the door could easily be kicked down and that it should be replaced.

"This door should be replaced," I announce with a frown. "I can't be sure unless I actually test it but I think it's probably really easy to kick in."

"Um, what?" Albus asks, mirroring my frown.

"This is an old door," I explain. "Between twenty and thirty years old, probably. It was obviously in poor condition when it was put up and it's even worse now." I rub my chin, still staring thoughtfully before looking at Albus. "To be honest, I'm surprised it's still standing, mate."

Albus blinks, shots me a puzzled look. "How do you know all that?"

I shrug, look back at the door. "Elementary, my dear Watson." Actually, I did a stint as a door maker a couple of years back.

Among other things, I add as an afterthought.

Nodding, Albus pulls a set of keys out and starts up the stairs. "Okay, yeah, I trust you. I'll talk to the landlady about it."

I smirk. "Excellent. You should feel safer already."

Albus finishes unlocking the door and pushes it open before stepping aside. Motioning to Rose and I, he says, "After you two."

I quickly go up the steps, trying to keep how I excited I am off my face. Don't want to appear like I'm too eager or anything, of course.

I offer Albus a flash of teeth before stepping through the door. I find myself in a hallway. There are a couple doors on each side of me. So far, so good.

"The first one on your left." Albus appears out of seemingly nowhere and it takes everything I have not to jump. Good thing I left my blades.

And really, that story is for a later date.

"I really need to talk to you about that," I grumble as I open the said door. I step inside and find myself in a hallway. I am instantly greeted with the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies. My mouth waters and my stomach gives a slight grumble. I realize I haven't eaten since about eight last night.

I take a glance around. To the left of me is a kitchen which I know I will have to explore more throughly later. On the table is the plate of cookies. I can barely take my eyes off them.

To the right is a frankly way to clean-looking living room. Neat freak, I decide. Rose is one too so I know the signs of this.

Hm.

I go over to the cookies and grab a couple before cramming them in my mouth.

Turning to Albus who is standing by the doorway, I say, "I'll take it."

Or I think I said that. Judging from the look Albus gives me, it might have come out like, "I's ehdkjs ifd."

"He said he'll take it," Rose says, rolling her eyes. "And manners anyone?"

I shrug, grab another cookie as I swallow. "What about them?"

Rose just rolls her eyes again.

I swear they're going to fall out of her head.

As I consider telling her this, Albus says, " Over there is the loo and down the hall is your bedroom. I have the one upstairs."

I grin. This is the best news. I hate heights a lot. "Fine with me, mate." Then as an afterthought, I add, "Was this originally a house?" As soon as I said it, I realize I've wondered this for a while.

Albus nods. "Mrs. Logan's late husband was very, very rich. When he died, he left everything to her. So she bought the house next door and combined it with this and well, here we all."

"Nice," I say, picking at my thumbnail as I give the rooms a once over again. "But seriously I like this place."

Albus grins. "So it's a go?"

"Of course," I say, taking a bite of my cookie. It's a really good cookie. "Where can I sign?"

Albus goes over to the kitchen table and picks up a couple papers and pen before handing them to me. "Just in case," he says.

Putting the rest of the cookie in my mouth, I scan over the papers. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I flip to the next page. Blah, blah, blah. Finding the line I need to write on, I scribble my name before handing it back to Albus.

"Did you read any of that?" he asks, rising his eyebrows as he glances at the papers.

"Yeah," I say, grabbing another two cookies. They're quite addicting. "I speed read. And my aunt's a lawyer. She'll bail me out of any trouble."

"Wouldn't be the first time," Rose mumbles.

I wave my hand at her. "Actually, yes. Aunt Daphne is amazing like that."

Albus smiles, looks up from the papers. "Well, then. Welcome to the flat."

I grin back at him as I take a bite of my latest cookie. "I think I'm going to enjoy living here."