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Jack Rodgers

I can't escape this now, unless you show me how

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Jack Rodgers

It was still difficult getting used to being back in formal education. Never mind being held back and with a totally new year group. Jacky had been keeping mostly to himself. Sitting alone in classes, eating alone at the Hufflepuff table in the Great Hall, hiding from people in the evenings. It was embarrassing dropping back into a year of new people that he didn’t know. His old yearmates hadn't been the nicest group of people. After spending the first few years at Hogwarts tormented and being made fun of, he hadn’t been totally upset when he had been pulled out of school after last November’s attacks. It was when he was made go back, and even worse to a year younger than him, he was mortified and had cried uncontrollably. 

 

Jacky had assumed they were all going to be awful to him and make fun of him too.  Surprisingly, things had gone much better than he had originally thought. Although he had no real friends yet, everyone had been nice enough. 

 

Even better someone had actually volunteered to help him with his school work. Jacky hadn’t been the best at academia, and after being out of formal education for the guts of a year he had been finding it difficult to get back into it. After writing to his Mumma and telling her how nice Julian was being his Mum had quickly replied with a tonne of pressure to use it as a chance to make a friend. He hadn’t really thought about that, and now that was all he could think. 


The immense pressure was getting to him as he sat alone in one of the group study rooms of the library. Carefully he had laid out his coloured pens and slips of paper on the table. Sliding his rainbow strapped backpack onto his lap, he sat nervously now fiddling with the stack of braided bracelets on his arm, along with a scrunchie his little sister Holly had giving him for good luck.

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Julian Pritchard

The sudden appearance in his classes of a face he only vaguely recognised had been jarring for Julian in a way he found hard to explain to himself. For the past year, classes had been the only thing that had felt somewhat constant in his life. His classmates - for better or for worse - were the same classmates as always. He knew how to talk to them, and he knew what to expect from interacting with them (at least, he did now that his friendship with Arwa was back to normal). The only thing he knew about the Hufflepuff boy was his name. 

 

He hadn’t meant to deliberately avoid him the first few weeks, but he’d certainly made no attempt to approach him. He kept his distance, and watched him from time to time, anxiously trying to figure out what his thoughts on the previous year’s events might be. The moment where he’d piped up to help him catch up with his schoolwork, after noticing that he was visibly struggling with an Astronomy assignment during class had even surprised him, And he’d been regretting it ever since. 

 

The thought of spending a couple of hours with a stranger made his heart beat a little faster whenever he thought about it, so he’d mostly tried put it out of his mind until it was time. 

 

It took him several minutes to find the right study room, and had to brace himself for a moment before walking in, Dewey cradled in his arms. He’d picked the cat up as soon as he’d spotted it, as it gave him something to focus his attention on that wasn’t the twisting feeling in his stomach. 

 

“Hey. Jack.” He gave the boy a twitchy sort of smile. “So I thought we could start with this week’s Astronomy homework, and use that to see what you need to be caught up on? Er… unless there’s something else you’d like to work on.” Gingerly, he lay the cat on one of the chairs, and placed his bag on the table, focusing his gaze on the books as he waited for Jack’s response.

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Jack Rodgers

As the minutes ticked by, Jacky grew more anxious. He was never a patient person and this waiting was killing him. He didn't really know what to think of Julian. The other boy, never said much, all Jacky had surmised was that he was really really smart, or seemed so to Jacky. It was intimidating, especially by the way Jacky was supposed to be a year ahead of him. It was humiliating really, but he was quietly glad for the help. And the attempt at making a friend. 

 

Jacky hadn't been expecting the chance at two friends when Julian walked in with a cat. 

 

"KITTY!” He happily exclaimed as Julian plonked the cat down to the side. The Cat was of course not in fact a kitten, in reality it looked like a grumpy old fat cat that didn't seem very friendly, but the thought of it had very much re-ignited the childish glee in Jacky. Well, that was until he realised how dumb he sounded. Pushing his lips together he quickly silenced himself, trying to play it cool he cursed himself. "Um sorry. Hi.  It's just a nice cat." Looking down he then avoided Julian's gaze for the rest of the time it took him to get settled, cheeks a bright shade of pink. 

 

Once Julian had himself and his books in order on the desk and seemed to be sitting comfortably enough, Jacky took this as his cue to resume trying to be normal. Looking up to him once again he hoped the flush was gone out of his cheek. Jacky silently shook his head at first, not saying anything out of fear he might say the wrong thing again. Once more, he began fidgeting at the frayed bracelets out of nervousness. 

 

"Er, yeah that sounds good" Lifting his pen off the desk he then began to chew on it in a rather unpleasant way.  Almost inaudibly muttering an embarrassed little “Thank you”

 

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