Warnings: Mildly bad language, lots of shenanigans and the mention of irritating siblings. This story will be fifteen chapters long and is up and complete and up in its entirety on another website (HPFF). Putting it up here for the sake of back up, really... but that means that updates should be pretty swift (as I have no excuse otherwise).
The Sporadic Suffering and Tiresome Torments of Albus Potter
Chapter one: the one with the twins
I'd been half asleep; resting on my elbows and half drifting off as the Potions professor rambled on about something I genuinely couldn't give a hippogriff about.
The girls were all paying attention - even Jan beside me was sat upright scribbling notes down in purple writing - and the last time Jan took notes was almost definitely first year. So it was probably some girly potion that had caused me to switch off completely, because I highly doubted that it was Professor whatzit who was capturing their attention – he looked liked he'd swallowed a bludger with his rounded stomach and permanent look of pain. No, it was definitely the potion.
My eyes fluttered closed for a second.
Then it hit me.
"Owwh." I muttered indignantly, turning around to locate the source of the pain. Nothing but Scorpius Malfoy sat on the row behind me, mouth partly open and eyes impossibly blank as he stared in the vague direction of the front of the class. He definitely hadn't moved in the past twenty minutes and by the looks of it would never move again – he'd probably (hopefully) turn into a marble statue by the end of the period. Which would be a good thing. Because then Lily wouldn't be able to fancy him and even if she did continue to fancy the cold lump of stone (which I wouldn't put past her), he wouldn't exactly be able to do anything and my sister's honour would be safe.
I turned back to the front so it didn't look like I'd been ogling Malfoy. "Jan," I said, nudging her with my elbow and dragging my gaze up to her face. "What are we even doing?" I whined.
"Beauty potion." She replied without shifting her own gaze from the blackboard.
I groaned and closed my eyes. Definitely a girl potion. Definitely not interested (why did Jan give two shits about some crappy beauty potion anyway? It wasn't like she neededit).
It hit me on the back of the head again. I whirled around. Malfoy's head was lolling in the general downward direction, so it couldn't have been him. Rose, next to him (sly bastard), was too engrossed in scribbling down the notes so enthusiastically that she had ink on her nose, so it couldn't have been her.
Maybe my head was just producing random spurts of pain, induced by the astounding level of boredom I'd reached. Beauty potion? I ask you. If the stuff was any good the professor could have done with swallowing a few litres himself.
I rested my head on the desk and made a pathetic noise of complaint. I was so bored. So sobored.
"Potter," The voice of the professor rang out. I jerked my head up immediately and stared bleary-eyed that the professor, "stop throwing things around my classroom."
"I'm not." I muttered as confusion added to my boredom. Jan elbowed me and nodded to the back of the classroom.
"Sorry Professor." James said, keeping his head close to the desk and putting on a falsely high voice that I assumed was an impression of me. To be honest, I should have known. It always had somethingto do with James.
"I don't sound like that," I hissed to Jan. She bit her lip obviously attempting not to laugh. "I don't." I said defensively. Professor Whatzit turned back to the front and I stretched my neck to get a better view of James, giving him my best 'what-the-hell-are-you-doing' look.
He grinned his 'what-can-I-say?' grin before drawing back his arm and... Throwing something at my face. It hit me in the eye. James laughed silently. I blinked furiously as my eye stung like a bitch. Jan was shaking beside me, her lips slammed shut to stop herself laughing out loud. Wrench.
I turned my back on James and determinedly face the front. "Aren't you going to read them?" Jan asked, gesturing towards the tiny scrap of parchment that was folded in my hand... and three other pieces of paper that were on the floor; the source of the former mentioned pain. Each tiny scrap of paper shaped into a (really really sharp) arrow – obviously done by magic. Of course. Typical James. Even when throwing notes around he'd find some way to inflict pain. Bloody idiot.
"Given up with your notes then?" I questioned, bending down to pick up the other pieces of parchment grudgingly.
"Load of bullocks anyway." She said, placing down her quill and examining her bright orange finger nails. I grunted in response and unfolded the scraps of parchment.
Help me! The first read in James's familiar untidy handwriting. I frowned. This didn't bode well for me. Need your help, meet me at the usual spot after class.
PAY ATTENTION TO ME. I need your help.
I turned back around to glare at him. There was no way I was about to help him out, not after last time. I shook my head. He cocked his head to one side and tried out the famous Weasley eyes that worked on every female member of the family (bar Dom, she's freakishly immune – very inconvenient) but were rendered useless on anyone with the wrong set of chromosomes. He should have known better.
He blinked at me stupidly, as if that would help.
I shook my head again.
I rolled my eyes and turned back to the front.
"Oh go on Al," Jan hissed, having just finished reading the notes for herself, "he'll only bother you if you don't."
This was very true. Jan was usually right about these things. I sighed, considered this for a moment and then nodded.
James grinned, gave me a thumbs up, and then ducked between the desks in the direction of the dungeon door. I rolled my eyes. He could have just asked at lunch.
Of course James was beyond that and had to everything in style. Still, he managed to get to the door and open it without capturing the attention of Professor Watzit, although – obviously – he'd attracted everyone else's attention. Even Malfoy. Even the girls (minus Rose, who was used to this stuff happening and was apparently freakishly interested in beauty - don't tell Hugo, he'd have a field day) had stopped listening to the garbage about 'Beauty potions.'
He paused at the door, grinned wickedly and yelled "Why don't you drink that stuff, Professor? Or does it not work in extreme cases of ugliness" in the fake high voice before bolting out and disappearing.
The main thing that bothered me about this was the similarity between mine and my brother's thoughts - I did not want to be considered as 'similar' to him. Whatsoever.
"Potter!" Professor Watzit exclaimed, staring confusedly at the back where I suppose he thought I'd been. He located me soon enough though, as the only person in the class who was not chocking on their own badly contained laughed and amusement. "Think its funny do you, Potter? To make smart comments? Think it's funny."
The answer was a resounding no from me, but my views were not echoed by the other people in the classroom – who were practically dying and hyperventilating due to their high pitched and screechy laughter. I stared back at him expressionlessly.
"Thirty points form Gryffindor!" He declared. "And detention for a week! Silence or there willbe whole class detentions!" Then he turned back to the front and continued to draw a completely pointless diagram of what looked to be a giant pineapple adding a crushed pig into a caldron. It was probably a self portrait.
I turned to Jan in frustration.
"I don't even sound like that."
"What do you want?" I asked impatiently as I slumped onto one of the seats in the kitchens and glared at my supposed 'brother' who was sat across the table looking as classically idiotic as ever. I flat out refused to admit that I shared genes with that excuse of a human being.
"How many detentions?" James grinned, clicking his fingers to gain the attention of one of the house elves. Aunt Hermione would have a fit. As would Rose. Hugo would probably cheer him on.
"A weeks worth."
"Not too bad," James commented, "Two treacle tarts, if you please." He said in the direction of the house elf. "Now, speaking of two tarts... You know the Bones twins?"
"Yes..." I said slowly, feeling a sense of dread over where the conversation was heading.
"I'm dating one of them."
James prolonged his pause for long enough for me to know exactly what was coming next. "Not exactlysure."
"James!" I exclaimed. "You doknow they're family friends..."
"Everyone's a bloody family friend, I don't know if you realised this Al, but Dad didsave the Wizarding race... which means most people are friends to our family, otherwise they'd be dead or in prison. Or Scorpius Malfoy."
"Yes, but..." I stopped. There was nothing I could say to argue with that ridiculous logic. It was impossible to argue with James. It was healthier not to bother.
"Anyway, that'smy problem. I took one of them out last Saturday, not sure which one, we had a great date etc, etc..."
"So you want me to find out which one?" I asked, feeling exhausted already. It would almost be simple enough to do given I could just get Jan to ask around and listen in the girls toilets until it was mentioned – providing, of course, that Jan was willing.
"No," James said. "Because I'm pretty sure later in the week I made out with the wrongone."
I hit my head on the table and groaned. "Surely they communicated?"
"I told both of them not to tell anyone about it – girls love that secret relationship stuff." James grinned, ruffling up his messy hair – the same hair that I shared – and puffed up his shoulders a little more. Arrogant sod.
"Not when you're two timing them."
"Not intentionally!" James exclaimed. "I can't help if they look exactly the same -"
"They are identical twins." I interrupted. They did look pretty similar and Icould only just tell them apart when they were standing next to each other. Jan had pointed the difference out to me, and of course after that I couldn't help but notice it – Jessica Bones and smaller breasts than Becky Bones. I wasn't about to tell James though. He probably spent half his life staring at their chest anyway and I didn't need to give him an excuse to be even more of a prat.
"Which isn't my fault!"
"It's not their fault either."
"Which is why I'm going to sort this out causing everyone the leastamount of pain possible."
"Aren't you making medo the sorting out?"
"Well I can hardly do it, can I?" James exclaimed.
"What the hell are you on about?" I asked in frustration. This was just like James. Get himself into some mess or other and expect me to sort it out, even though he spent half of his life getting me into awkward situations and watching me squirm.
"If Istart the rumour it will be too obvious – they might work it out. Even if they are in Hufflepuff."
"I'm sorry, whatrumour?"
"The rumour that you're going to start for me."
"I can't start rumours!" I exclaimed. "I'll be too busy in detention, thanks to you."
"No, no, no – that's the beautyof it. You just need to be overheard telling Jan in detention."
"But Jan doesn't have a detention."
"She will when Professor Whatzit realised she copied her homework off you."
"She didn'tcopy her homework off me."
"No, but I duplicated your homework wrote her name at the top, broke into his office and took her real homework..." James grinned and looked so ruddy pleased with himself that I wanted to punch him. I wasn't going to, though, because then James would write home about this event, neglecting to mention the fact that the reason I'd punched him was due to some elaborate plan which put both me and my best friend into detention so we could start some stupid rumour. Why was I even surprised? The whole thing had James written all over it.
I also wasn't going to punch him because James was Quidditch captain and thus stronger than me. He would punch back harder. Probably breaking my glasses. I had to protect my pride. I settled for swearing at him and calling him something which he already knew and was proud of, so it had no effect despite my best intentions.
Oh, sod it.
"What's the rumour?" I asked wearily.
"That I'm secretly dating Patricia Flint."
"How the hell is thatgoing to help anything?"
"I'm glad you asked that," James grinned. "It means neither twin will want anything to do with me, without me having actually done anything – which means they can't get too mad or punch me or hex me -"
"– Because two Hufflepuff girls are far too scary for you to take on –"
"And they won't mention it to each other because they'll be embarrassed about me picking Flint over them which means... they won't hate each other and they'll just hate Flint."
"And as Flint is on the Slytherin Quidditch team she's fair game?" I questioned.
"And they probably hate her anyway, stupid bitch." James commented, eyes narrowing. Flint was a perfectly normal female specimen and there was nothing actually wrong with her... except she had quite a large nose and had beaten James's team in Quidditch this year. You weren't supposed to beat the Quidditch team captained by the son of the chosen one. It was bad taste (apparently - personally I thought James was being a tosser, but my opinion was considered irrelevant most of the time). "So, thanks for agreeing to help mate," James grinned clapping me on the shoulder just as the house elf appeared with two plates of treacle tart.
"Not staying?" I questioned.
"Nah," He said. "Quidditch. Anyway, thanks Al, I love you man. Best brother ever." He grinned wrapping his elbow round my neck and grinding his knuckles against my skull painfully. I pushed him off me and rolled my eyes.
"I love you too James," I muttered darkly. "But this is the last time I'm helping you out." But he'd already gone at that point; disappeared out the kitchens and left me with a double portion of Treacle tart – my favourite. Just enough persuasion for me to actually do it. "Next time you're on your own." I muttered.
On the bright side... Jan was going to kill him.
"Can't believe he dragged me into this," Jan muttered, leaning against the wall and furiously picking the orange varnish off her finger nails. They were beyond chipped now and clashing horribly with the blue ink she'd spilt all over her hands when I'd informed her of James's 'genius' plan. It was permanent and despite making me wait twenty minutes for her to attempt to wash them off in the girls toilets – during which I got many funny looks and several comments about being confused about my gender – the stuff was still clung to her skin. "Can't believe you let him."
I decided not to comment on the injustice of this for my own safety.
Then the door opened and we walked into the detention room glumly. I received a dark look from Professor Whatzit as I took my seat next to Jan. "It's all right for you," Jan hissed. "He's your brother – I'm not even related."
"Yeah," I quipped back, "and I have to put up with him allthe time." The rest of the poor unfortunate souls with detentions filed into the classroom, unlucky sods. I bloody hated detention; especially when I didn't deserve it.
"Lines," Professor Whatzit instructed. He pointed at me menacingly "You, write – I will not make insolent and inappropriate remarks during class."
"I don't think he can spell that," Jan muttered, very audibly. I sent her a look. She just smirked at me.
"20 inches of parchment, I will not copy homework." He snapped in her direction which wiped the smirk right off her lips. I smiled and began writing the pointless line, making a point of spelling every word including 'and' wrong just for my own twisted sense of satisfaction.
"Can't believe him," I muttered twenty minutes in – when my wrist was starting to ache. "Should be writing 'I will not be related to such an audacious prat' not this crap," I whispered in Jan's direction – just like we'd practiced.
Jan swore appreciatively in return and called James something her mother would not like. Everyone in the room was listening to us now. "He's secretly dating Flint as well you know," I said just loud enough for it to be audible. "Rose said she walked in on them half naked in a broom cupboard, still hasn't recovered – poor girl."
"Really?" Jan asked, a little louder this time. "See, I've always thought he was gay." She said, and I was reminded of all the reasons why Jan was my best friend, and why she was so amazing. "I thought he fancied Wood." She said casually. "Don't blame him though, he is fine." She added, making a point of turning around and winking at Wood, who was writing 'I will not bring my broom to history of Magic' on his own piece of parchment. He looked slightly disgusted by the idea of James fancying him, but perked up when he caught Jan's eye.
"Silence!" Whatzit yelled banging his fist on the table like the crazy tyrant he is. "Or I'll keep you here till midnight."
I was going to kill James Potter.
"Albie," James grinned, cutting through the middle of me and Jan and wrapping his arms around both of us.
"Piss off," I muttered, pushing his arm of my shoulder and rolling my eyes. I was in a bad mood. I didn't want to deal with James right now.
"Hey now," James said putting a hand to his heart in mock offence. "Be nice."
"I've been in detention all freaking week, and he kept me till midnight most days... and just because you don't do any work even though it's your OWL year, it doesn't mean that I'm going to slack off, which means I've been going to bed at three every freaking morning all because you can't tell the difference between a set of identical twins, which you were dating simultaneously!"
"Hey, that wouldn't have been a problem if I could tell them apart." James said. "And about that..."
"What?" I snapped, my fingers closing around my wand in my pocket and my other first clenching – longing to punch him in the face.
"I've been thinking about it, and I'm pretty sure it was the same twin. I was looking the other day and... I don't know if you've ever noticed but Becky has huge..." He gestured around the chest area. "I mean huge..."
"I think we got it." Jan snapped, rolling her eyes irritably. She had little patience for James, which was just another reason why she was my best friend and why I loved her.
"And I distinctly remember groping the girl and..." He paused for dramatic effect. "It was definitely Becky."
Jan called him something that her mother wouldn't like.
"So..." James said. "I reckon I'm just going to go talk to Becky, tell her that the Flint thing wasn't true –good work on that, by the way, worked a treat." I stared at him blankly. "Although... you don't by any reason no why Wood's been acting a bit strange around me, do you? Nice work by the way, Jan – heard you're going to Hogsmeade next Saturday."
Jan flushed. I clenched my fists a little more.
"Anyway, there Becky is now, bye Jan, bye Albie," James grinned walking away backwards. He pointed at himself, made a heart with his hands then pointed at the two of us, with the classic Weasley/Potter 'thank you so much I'm so thankful' face which naturally only worked on the women of the family. And potentially Jan.
"Your brother needs to man up," Jan commented lightly, linking her arm through mine. I watched as James fluffed up his hair and approached her. "And do you think we should tell him that that's Jessica Bones?"
"No," I decided. "Definitely not."