James was drunk. Not completely drunk - just a little. He swirled the remainder of his fire whiskey in the bottle that had been full earlier that evening.
'You look pissed,' said a voice.
James squinted upwards in a way that made him look more drunk than he actually was. 'Albus?'
'No,' he said sarcastically. 'It's mum.'
'Shu' up,' James sighed.
'You know,' Albus said pulling the fire whiskey bottle out of James's hand. 'You shouldn't drink what people have provided if you don't like them.'
James shrugged. 'No one likes Lola, but they're still drinking her stuff.'
'You could at least make an effort,' Albus said. 'She is my girlfriend.'
'Yeah,' James muttered. 'Your girlfriend. Her birthday has nothing to do with me.'
Albus made a loser sign and turned away. Then James had an idea.
'Hey, Al, Al wait,' he said standing up to grab him.
'Louis quit the Quidditch team,' James said quickly.
'I know, from what I've heard he's done a lot more than that,' Al muttered. 'He's such a bloody drama queen. I mean, how hard can it be to be him? He's a freaking Veela.' Then his eyes widened. 'Hang on, what's him quitting the Quidditch team got to do with me?'
'I need a chaser. I mean, our match against Ravenclaw is in two weeks, so there's no way that we'll be able to get as strong a set of chasers as we had when Louis was still on the team because he, Scorpius and S-Samantha had been practicing for months but you're the next best thing right?'
Albus's face lit up. 'Yes! Yes, yes, yes! Thank you James. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Did Lily ever tell you you're the best brother ever apart from me? 'Cos I didn't and I feel like someone should have.'
James grinned uncomfortable. 'You know this is temporary right? Just till Louis gets his shit together?'
Albus waved him of. 'Whatever. Do you think Alice likes Quidditch players? Every girl does right? Alice is so going to be mine.'
Albus spun round. Lola was standing there in a short body con dress with a bow on it that said birthday girl. 'What did you just say?'
'Lola,' Albus scratched the back of his neck. 'Hi.'
'You're just using me to get to Alice Longbottom aren't you?' she yelled.
'I knew it. You bastard,' she screamed. 'No guy gets over a girl that fast.'
Her friends had gathered behind her and were shaking their heads at him. For a moment Lola looked absolutely furious and she reached for her wand but one of them (Albus thought it was Esmee) gently pushed her hand away and muttered 'He's not worth it Lola. He doesn't matter. You're worth ten of him. Don't let him ruin your birthday.'
Lola sucked in breath for a second looking at Albus with wild eyes and then she relaxed and smiled. 'She's right,' she said smugly. 'I am a strong, independent women whose worth ten thousand of you and I am strong enough to walk away, but one day you'll get what's coming for you.'
And with that she strode away looking smug and flanked by her friends.
Albus turned back to James. 'What just happened there?'
James shrugged thinking of Sam. 'Girls are weird.'
'What a loser,' Lily smirked and took a seat beside me as she watched Albus stare gormlessly at Lola. 'And he thinks that he's going to get Alice to like him that way.'
I shrugged. 'I don't really know what Alice likes and doesn't like.'
Lily frowned at me. 'You're a bit moody tonight aren't you?' She sighed. 'Everyone's been really down lately.'
'Mm,' I said gazing in James's direction.
'You, Alex, Louis, Freddie,' Lily said. 'Even James.'
'What?' I said looking at her sharply when I heard James's name.
Lily raised one of her eyebrows. 'I said James seems to be a bit out of it.'
I didn't notice the annoyance in her voice.
'Aha,' I looked away tying to be innocent. 'That's odd. I hadn't noticed.'
'Albus told me what he saw.'
'Oh.' I said awkwardly looking down at my lap remembering the kiss. 'Right.'
'I guess he just wasn't good enough then?' she said with a slight hint of venom in her voice.
'No,' I shook my head. 'No, that's not it at all.'
'Then what is it? Didn't want to ruin your friendship?' Lily hissed sarcastically.
I sighed. 'That isn't it either.'
'Well then what is it?' She demanded. 'Enough with all this mysterious crap. My brother, who quite frankly is made for you, kisses you and you reject him?'
'Piss of Lily,' I muttered.
'You know I'm really starting to dislike you,' she hissed. 'You know you're not going to get any better than him. What the hell is your problem?'
'What is my problem?' I turned to glare at her with anger in my eyes. 'My problem is that I don't want to end up like my parents. Ever. My dad's run of to America with a girl two years older than me and my mum's turned into some sort of sadistic bitch because of it, so excuse me if I don't really want a relationship.'
I stood up and walked over to the other side of the common room successfully avoiding the grinding guy on the dance floor.
But Lily had followed me.
'You know you're not your mum,' she said gently. 'And James is definitely not your dad. He's too immature to ever be able to seduce an eighteen year old when he's fifty.'
'You don't know that,' I muttered.
'Are you serious?' Lily laughed. 'James is having a hard enough time seducing you, though he'll manage. You must realise how ridiculous you're being.'
I did actually. Now she'd put it like that it did seem utterly ridiculous. It all dawned on me at once and my mouth dropped open at how stupid I'd been.
James was so not going to run off with a teenager thirty four years from now.
And I was a little bit in love with him.
'It's just,' I sighed. 'They say father like son, mother like daughter.'
'No, the phrase 'mother like daughter' doesn't exist,' Lily snapped. 'And your dad isn't James's father.'
I shut my mouth realising that my whole argument had just crumbled.
'I'm an idiot,' I turned to Lily and shook her to make sure she was listening. 'I'm an idiot and I'm going to be forever alone because of it.'
'Thank you,' she said rolling her eyes. 'All you need to do is go and tell him and then problem solved.'
'Right,' I said nodding vigorously. 'How do I tell him?'
She shrugged. 'I don't know, just tell him you want him to snog you.'
I nodded and nervously sidled over to James who was still talking to Albus.
'Al,' I said slowly. 'Could I talk to James for a second?'
They both turned to face me for a second and Al smirked at James. 'Sure,' he said standing up. 'He's all yours.'
He walked away smirking still.
James stared at me. 'Hey,' he said awkwardly.
'I've been thinking about it, and I've decided that it's actually alright if you want to snog me.'
James blinked. 'Pardon.'
'No,' I said quickly. 'That came out wrong. What I meant was I would be okay with it if you want to, like, go out with me to Hogsmead and stuff. Well actually we already do that but I mean as, um, like, more than friends, because I, err, kind of like you in a more than friendly way. Sort of like a boyfriend and girlfriend way but I guess they're still friends because there's friend on the end of boyfriend and girlfriend and that can't just be a coincidence can it? I mean, the English language can't be that strange can it?'
I cleared my throat trying to shut myself up.
James stayed silent for a moment. 'Are you drunk?'
'No,' I said laughing nervously. 'I'm just nervous and when I'm nervous I become socially awkward and start spouting crap. You should know that.'
'Hang on,' James said. 'Let me get this straight. You now want a relationship with me?'
'That would be good,' I said. 'I now realise that you are not my dad and I am not my mum which is really good because if you were my dad and I was my mum there would be something really freaky going on and we would have to go to St. Mungos to sought it out because I don't want to be a bitch for the rest of my life and I bet you don't want to be a perv.'
'Hang on,' James said. 'You didn't want to go out with me because you thought our relationship would end like your parents.'
'I…' This was embarrassing. 'Yeah that's pretty much it.'
'And you've gotten over that now?' He muttered getting closer.
I gulped. 'Totally.'
'So I can kiss you?'
And with that, he drew me closer to him. He was so close; I couldn't decide where to look. I wanted them to meet his eyes, but then there were his lips, which were inches from my own. And in a matter of seconds they were on mine and we were kissing.
I think I may have forgotten to close my eyes I was that shocked. I was kissing James! As in my best friend James. And I kind of liked it. Then I remembered that I had to breathe and I wondered how because James's mouth was glued to mine, (in a good way!) which meant I was going to die!
I pulled away coughing and James stared down at me.
'Through your nose,' I heard Lily yell from across the common room. 'Through your nose you weirdo.'
'I'm sorry!' I said to James. 'You made me forget that most humans breathe through their nose.
James was laughing. 'You are such a loser.'
And then I was laughing too. For the first time in ages we were laughing together.
At parties before Lola's I was always at the centre of things. At Lola's I was one of the losers who drifted round the sides avoiding everyone. It was too busy. There were too many people with their stabbing, accusing eyes. I felt like they were all staring at my wrists. Like they knew what was there. I pulled my sleeves down making sure that they covered the lines I had carved into my skin.
It was so… shameful. I was so ashamed that I had needed to do that so badly. So ashamed that I knew I would do it again. So ashamed of what had caused me to do it.
I'd come down to the party because I didn't want Dom to worry. This wasn't her problem. She didn't need to know. I didn't want her to know.
I made sure that she had seen me before I took the long way round the common room so I could avoid big crowds to get to the stairs up to the dorm rooms.
'Whoa,' came a yell as a guy crashed into me. I stumbled before regaining my balance.
'Sorry,' the guy grinned at me and flicked his fringe out of his eyes. 'Didn't see you there. Must be the black,' he said running his eyes over my clothes.
Flirting. I could tell because it's something I would have done. The sudden change of roles was a shock. I knew that a couple of weeks ago it would have been me who was doing the flirting with someone like this guy. After all he was attractive enough with his light brunette hair and green eyes.
It was strange what a sudden change in persona could do.
I shrugged. 'It's fine,' I said trying to push past.
'Hang on,' he said side stepping so I couldn't get past. 'Wait a second, are you Louis Weasley?'
I considered saying no but decided against it. 'Yeah,' I muttered. 'Yeah that's me.'
He smirked. 'I like what you did to your hair. It's quite attractive.'
'That wasn't the aim,' I muttered under my breath.
'I'm Tristan,' he said licking his lips. 'Seventh year.'
I stared at him. 'Okay.'
'Whoa,' Tristan mimed being wounded. 'Way to make a boy feel wanted.'
'What do you want?' I asked in a board voice.
Tristan smiled. 'How about you, Hogsmead, next Sunday. I know that's a whole week away but whatever.'
I looked down at the floor somewhat embarrassed. This was a new experience. I gulped. If he knew… well there was no way he would get involved with me.
'No thanks,' I muttered quietly. 'I don't think I'm really ready for that right now.'
Tristan looked disappointed but then he smiled sadly. 'I knew that the hair and eyeliner wasn't just your new style.'
'I could help.'
'No thanks,' I said pushing past him.
'Hey,' he tapped me on the shoulder lightly. 'Don't think I'm going to give up just because you're Louis Weasley. I don't know what you think of yourself right now but I'm going to find out and prove you wrong.
I stared at him for a second and then took a step back.
He smiled. 'See you round Louis Weasley.'
Authors Note: When I proof read this chapter I wasn't entirely convinced. I don't think that I've been able to properly convey the sudden change in Louis as well as I'd have liked and I don't think that the part with James and Sam was that convincing. Thoughts?
Also, thank you so much for the response you guys gave me for my other chapter. It made me really happy