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I cannot wait for you,

“Just come down the stairs will you?”

She was standing at the top of the steps that led down to Pat’s basement, a frown on her lips as she wrung her hands together nervously. She stared at her feet as she spoke,

“What if they don’t like me?”

I wanted to laugh at her, because I would have liked to meet one person who could not like Avery Ryder. Even just looking at her, no one could deny that girl a thing. I eyed her petite form, the skinny jeans rolled up to capris on her tiny legs, the oversized v-neck that proudly displayed the Hogwarts crest hanging loosely off her small frame. Her hair was thrown up into a messy bun atop her head, a headband and her sunglasses helping to hold back the loose strands of blonde hair that were dying to fall into her clear face. Just looking at her brought a smile to my face.

“Of course they’ll like you, you're gorgeous. Now come on.”

Even from the bottom of the steps I could see the blush on her cheeks, a small smile dying to break out onto her face, but she held it in as she took a deep breath, finally taking the steps one at a time until she was standing right in front of me at the bottom. She looked up at me and behind the faux bravado she had just put on I could see the nervousness behind her eyes. I grabbed her hand in mine, squeezing it lightly before letting go and opening the door that separated us from the rest of my friends on the other side.

Everything was doing their own things, scattered in separate corners of the room. Pat was behind his drum set, tapping out senseless beats while Jared fiddled with his guitar and Garrett and Kennedy sat behind the bar making conversation, yet none of them failed to look up at us as we entered the room. Avery stood behind me, shielded by my tall frame even though she stood at 5’10”. I could practically feel the anxiety radiating from her body. I smiled and pulled her next to me, a strong grip on her hand and a wide smile on my face.

“Hey guys, this is-“

“Avery fucking Ryder? I thought you were joking when you said you guys were friends.”

I glared at Kennedy, trying to stop the redness that wanted so desperately to flood my cheeks while being acutely aware of the girl next to me and the small smile that had formed on her face. I stepped forward, pulling Avery with me toward the couch while still giving Kennedy a death stare.

“Excuse me Kennedy, I just thought one of us should up our standards around here, figured it was going to be me,” I joked, smirking at the frown that formed on his lips. The guys laughed, but I wasn’t as concerned about them as I was about the laugh that left Avery’s lips from beside me. I smiled down at her, happy to see some of her nerves had lessened as she smiled back up at me.

“But seriously dude, since when are you guys friends? I feel like two weeks ago you didn’t even know each other, and now it’s, “sorry guys, I’ll be late to practice ‘cause I’m with Avery,” and “oh, we had practice this morning? Guess I forgot since I was with Avery last night.”

Pat was right, we had been hanging out an awful lot lately, but I hadn’t thought I’d been neglecting my other friends that much. I wanted to feel bad, but so much of me was still too consumed in the idea of even being able to spend time with her, I didn’t want to have to give that up for anyone. And maybe it was selfish of me, but in that moment, I couldn’t have made myself care.

“I’m sorry for stealing him from you, but I can’t say I’ll be giving him back anytime soon either,” she said, a tiny laugh accompanying her statement. Forced laughs sounded throughout the room and a newfound tension found its way into the air around us. Garrett was the first to break it.

“So Avery, how have you been? I mean, ya know, considering…”

Avery tensed beside me, her head snapping in Garrett’s direction and a tight smile covering her mouth as she told him, “I’m fine, better than usual, actually.” A small part of me wondered if she was better because of me, if becoming friends had made her burden a little less hard to carry, but then I squashed that thought. Avery was a strong girl, she didn’t really need me, but for as long as she did, I would be there.

“So are you going to play some songs for me or what?”


We were seated around the basement, some irrelevant TV show playing as background noise as conversation circulated around us. It was as if playing our music had instantly eased the tension that had previously been in the room, which I was thankful for. Avery had liked it, so I had nothing to complain about.

I was sitting on the floor in front of her, Garrett and Kennedy had taken up the spots next to her on the couch and Jared had snagged the chair at the last second, so Pat and I were stuck with the hard carpeting that covered the floor. Avery was laughing at something Kennedy had said and I was amazed at how easily she could fit in here, like she belonged. It felt natural to sit among my guy friends and look up to see her radiant smile beaming across from me. Or to lock eyes with her while singing a song, the intensity of her gaze felt familiar, like she had watched me sing a million times over. A lot of things felt like that with Avery, like they had happened before or multiple times. Our friendship itself felt like it had been going on for years rather than a few weeks. It scared me how much I relied on her, how much my thoughts were consumed by her.

“You okay John?”

Her voice was tiny, but I looked up at the sound of it and smiled, nodding my head in response. She smiled back, turning her attention to Jared as he asked,

“So I take it you’re a big Harry Potter fan?”

“Huge,” she laughed, a larger smile finding a place on her lips as she nodded. “Harry Potter was my first love,” she sighed and everyone laughed except Pat.

“Well who was your second love then?” he asked her. It seemed like a personal question to be asked by someone you had just met, but Avery just blushed and shook her head, tiny pieces of hair flailing back and forth as her head moved.

“I haven’t had one yet,” she informed him. Pat only nodded, a weird little smirk on his face. I didn’t know what his intentions were and it made an uneasy feeling settle in the pit of my stomach.

“So if you went to Hogwarts, what house would you be sorted into?” I asked, trying to change the subject. She smirked at me.

“Slytherin, of course.”

“And why is that?” Pat was the first to ask. It sounded accusing, like he had known that was what she was going to say. I wasn’t even positive Pat had ever picked up a book in his life.

Avery didn’t take long to think of a response, her smirk lessening into a tiny smile, but then a small frown. My eyebrows furrowed into confusion as she said,

“Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.”
♠ ♠ ♠
It's been a while guys.... So if you read any of my other stories, you'll notice that I almost always incorporate Harry Potter into them. Maybe it's because I'm obsessed, haha. But in this chapter, it's actually kind of important. Foreshadowing and all....

But! Sorry for mistakes, please comment and subscribe :)