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Wonderland by Jess the Enthusiast
Chapter 4: Death By Tickling
Awesome chapter image of our favorite stalker, Danny Greco by emmapotter @tda :D
A/N Hello everyone, before you read this, I'd like to thank a few people. First my best friend Miriam who really kicked my lazy ass into writing this chapter. If she hadn't given me a deadline, this chapter would proably still have only 200 words in it. And lastly, ramitaarora for reading it over and giving me character advice. Thank you :D
I own nothing you recognize.
My skin is on fire.
You know, in my seventeen years I had never been much of an athlete, hence this sudden display of physical excursion leaving me gasping for oxygen, hardly able to breathe. And on top of that, my heart felt like it was literally about to burst. (Is that not healthy?) Who would have thought that you could be thin and still be out of shape? Yeah, I sure as hell didn’t. That’s a paradox, damn it! Not. Cool. This is going to hurt for a week, at least. Boy oh boy, don’t I have something s-p-l-e-n-d-i-d to look forward to? (Seriously, look at me, I’m jumping for joy). But despite all of the pain I was enduring now and the soreness I’d be experiencing later, it was so worth it; I was having the time of my life. Why, you ask?
It was eleven-thirty at night and James Potter was chasing me up the stairs to my father’s flat.
Now, you’re probably wondering what I did in order to deserve such a pursuit. Well my lovelies, let’s rewind a little bit, shall we?
James and I had just returned from our outing at the street fair, his arm draped over my shoulders, the two of us laughing much too loudly for the hour. We were both completely hyped up on the sugar we had recently consumed, causing the previous shyness between us to completely dissolve.
We were basically playing twenty questions.
“Your favorite color.” I more of demanded rather than asked.
James rolled his eyes. “Oh, c’mon, you can do much better than that; that’s such a lame question.”
I sighed. I’m not very creative, okay? “Just answer it, Potter.”
“Alright, alright. My favorite color’s red. Gryffindor red.”
I was relatively surprised by his response. I don’t know why, but I sort of pinned him for more of a blue or green type of guy…
Wait a minute.
“Gryffindor?” My eyebrows knitted in confusion. “What’s that?”
And where have I heard of it before?
James’ face paled slightly as if he had revealed something he shouldn’t have and he ran his fingers through his already disheveled hair; a habit I noticed he does when he’s nervous. “Oh, uh, nothing. Just, uh, just an inside joke I have with my brother.”
Uh huh. Sure it is.
I let it slide though.
“Okay, you’re turn.”
“Uhhhh,” Recovering from his earlier slipup, James, rather adorably, scrunched up his face as he stood in deep concentration, contemplating what to ask me next. Just the sight of his expression made me laugh.
“Don’t hurt yourself,” I cautioned.
He stuck his tongue out at me.
“No, seriously, you’ve done a lot of thinking today and I don’t want you to in any way jeopardize your health.”
“Piss off.” He pretended to look angry at me but the slight curve of his lips gave him away. I laughed and he flicked my shoulder with his fingers in response. “Quit distracting me, I’m trying to think of something good.”
James’ face went back into its thinking position and I forced myself to look away so I wouldn’t laugh. I looked around for something to amuse my wandering mind as I waited but nothing really caught my eye. With nothing to preoccupy my toddler-like intellect, I soon became incredibly bored.
“Sometime today,” I said in a singsong voice when he still hadn’t come up with anything.
“What is this ‘patience’ in which you speak of?” Seriously, I don’t think I have a patient bone in my body.
“Look it up, you could really invest in some.”
He ignored my mocking tone which only made me want to talk more.
“C’mon, you’re taking too long! It’s making me antsy.”
“Well,” he said rather smugly. “Despite your constant interruptions, I’ve decided what I’m going to ask you.”
“About time.” I muttered.
Aw, fuck. There’s always a fucking “but.”
“You’ll just have to wait to find out what it is.”
WHAT? YOU CAN’T DO THAT!
“And why is that?” I cried theatrically, throwing my hands up in the air in exasperation.
James smirked at my obvious frustration. “Builds character.”
“Fuck that, I have loads of character.”
“Uh huh.” He didn’t sound like he believed me.
“But I do!” I insisted.
“Whatever you say, Spencer, I’m-”
“JUST TELL ME WHAT THE QUESTION IS!”
“-Sure you do,” he finished, just as playfully condescending as the beginning of the statement was. He raised an eyebrow at me and smirked, resulting in a glare from yours truly. My outburst seemed to not only prove his point but amuse him even further.
I folded my arms across my chest. “I swear you get pleasure from this sort of torture.”
He smirked mischievously and shrugged. “It’s the sadist in me.”
“And you know exactly how to wind me up, too.”
“Which makes it all the more fun.” He grinned, seeming pretty satisfied with himself for getting a reaction out of me.
Don’t ask him to tell you, I chanted. Even resist gazing at his boyish good looks if you can help it. Don’t ask him. It will only enlarge his big, fat, arrogant head. Don’t ask him. He’s trying to get a rise out of you and you’re making him happy by letting him. Don’t ask him. Be strong, Spencer, you can do it. Don’t ask him. Just believe in yourself and you will get through this. Don’t ask him. Change the subject; it could be about anything. Anything at all. Just as long as you, for the love of God, don’t ask him.
And you know what? For a moment I actually believed that I could do it; that I could resist asking. But the second I let my guard down, in that moment of weakness when I began contemplating a career as an athletic coach because clearly I was awesome at pep talks, it happened.
I swear my lips had moved on their own accord.
“TELL ME NOW OR DIE!”
He didn’t even bat an eyelash at my threat to his life. Was I really that unintimidating?
Instead of shitting his pants in pure terror like he should have been, he was the poster child for nonchalance and composure. Stupid prick. “Now, now,” he mocked-scolded me. "Patience Spencer, dear.”
He was enjoying this way too much.
I gritted my teeth. “James, would you just get on with it already; I’m dying here-”
“Are you ticklish?” he asked suddenly.
Cue deer-in-headlights look. My jaw dropped to the floor, my lips forming into a perfect ‘O’ shape. (Oh, well isn’t that just attractive?) Shit. Out of all the things he could have asked me, he chose that? Shit. Shitshitshitshitshit.
Anyone who knows me well could tell you that I’m ticklish to the point that it’s pathetic. Like really pathetic. Like, if I were a super hero (I personally consider myself one, but most say it’s debatable), tickling would be my weakness, like, my own personal kryptonite. Except it’s more like kryptonite on crack. I don’t do tickling, okay? It’s a well-known fact (and by well-known I mean between myself and Robyn…and Danny, I didn’t tell him but knowing him, he probably has it written down in some creepy-stalker-profile he has of me) that there are two potential ways that I am going to die: a. choking on peanut butter or b. being tickled to death.
And you know what? I’m not really itchin’ to die tonight. In fact, I’m not really getting the vibe that it’s my time to go because seventeen is too young to die I tell you! And yet here I am, about to be killed by a future Calvin Klein model! May I ask again why my life sucks so much? Seriously, at this point it’s a joke. A really bad one, in my opinion, but that’s just me being bias.
Don’t freak out, Spencer, I told myself. You have time to fix this. What ever you do, just act natural.
I tried to compose my face to its normal expression and crossed my fingers that he didn’t notice the panic that was briefly written all over it.
But judging by the evil glint in his eyes, I wouldn’t really count on it…
You know what, brain? I’m not appreciating this whole negative thing you’ve got going on. You’re really marshing my mellow. And I have to say, I’m a little hurt; I thought we were friends. I guess I was wrong. Well here’s some food for thought: maybe that’s just what his face looks like. Ever thought of that? Huh?!?
Didn’t think so.
“Ticklish? Me? No, not at all,” I said with a little difficulty. My voice sounded really high-pitched and borderline hysterical. I swallowed, trying to squash the lump that had formed there. I doubted that I sounded very convincing but maybe he would sense my panic and be a perfect gentleman by not acting upon his desire to bring me to an early grave.
Or maybe not.
Before I knew what was happening, his smirk had morphed into a full on beam and he was lunging towards me. I let out a shriek and booked it, my legs moving as fast as they could go up the millions of steps on the stairs, and just barely escaped from his fingers of doom. He darted after me and, being that he was clearly athletic and I was so clearly not, it didn’t take him long at all to catch up with me. I felt his arm snake around me and without really thinking it through, I bit down on his hand. He immediately let go of me as if I were on fire and I heard him yelp in pain. But I knew that he was okay (and not at all angry at me or freaked out) because he laughed and said “Oh, you’re so on.”
“You’re gonna have to catch me first,” I called behind me.
And suddenly, I wasn’t panicking over the thought of being tickled anymore; I was actually having fun. We were racing up the steps, tripping each other, and just barely evading the other’s grasp. I was smiling so widely that my face started to hurt.
Of course I was also in physical pain from all of the running, but at that moment of time, it didn’t really matter. Worrying about that was for another time.
When we made it to my floor, I darted in the direction of the flat entrance and almost made it without incident, when a pair of hands got a good hold on the fabric of my shirt, pulling me back. I shrieked and refused to accept defeat but James was much too strong for me as he pinned me to the wall. It suddenly became apparent that he could have caught me easily this whole time but had been letting me win simply because we were having fun. The thought of that made me smile. James was definitely someone who lived life to the fullest; I gathered that from the hours spent with him that day. And he wasn’t afraid of taking chances. It was almost as if nothing could scare him.
I really liked that about him; his sense of adventure.
We stared into each other’s eyes for a few seconds, completely consumed in the moment. James’ lips curved into a smile as he whispered the words “Gotcha.”
I gasped. I’m totally screwed.
Before I even had the chance to fight back, James’ fingers were traveling over my abdomen, completely knocking the breath out of me as he tickled me to pieces. I couldn’t breathe. My instinct was to laugh but he literally knocked the breath out of me. Instead, desperate gasps were escaping from my mouth. Shortly, my legs turned into jelly and collapsed beneath me. He followed me to the floor and continued to tickle me despite my cries of protest.
“Uncle!” I gasped in defeat. It had taken so much effort to form that single word.
“I’m not your Uncle,” he singsonged. Judging from his smirk, he knew exactly what I had meant; he just chose to ignore it.
A laugh escaped from my lips which caused him to grin even more if that were even possible. Clearly, he was enjoying this very much. And as much as I’d hate to admit it, so was I. Yes, as much as I abhor being tickled, I was actually enjoying myself. His long fingers were fast and gentle on my skin, leaving a brilliant sensation in the areas they touched.
And as soon as it began, it was over. Suddenly I could breathe properly again, which I should have been happy about, but my stomach was left cold without the company his hands. I found myself wishing he hadn’t stopped.
“I decided to spare you. You should be very happy; I could have gone on forever.”
“Lucky me,” I breathed, not entirely sure if I meant it. My eyes took in his disheveled hair and plump lips. They both looked so soft; I desperately wished I could press my lips to his and run my fingers through his hair just to find out what they felt like. But I’d never have the courage to do something as spontaneous as that, it was a fact I was well aware of.
“Hey, Spencer,” a voice called from down the hall. I groaned audibly (oops) and leaned my head against the wall. I knew that voice. “Is this guy bothering you?”
It took everything in me not to reply Nope, but you sure are.
He’s just trying to be nice, I told myself.
“No, Danny, he’s not. Thank you, though.” I forced myself to say to the ceiling.
I was hoping that this response would satisfy him and make him leave but of course the universe was against me yet again. What else is new?
I guess he wouldn’t be Danny Greco if he didn’t come closer.
Rolling my eyes, I looked over at James who appeared to be struggling to keep in laughter. Of course something like this would amuse him.
“What’s so funny?” I hissed quietly so Danny wouldn’t hear as he made his way over.
“This is Boob Guy, isn’t it? The one you mistook me for when you yelled at me this morning.” This caused him to laugh out loud.
I whacked him on the arm in hope to stifle him. “Shut up.” His laugh was rather contagious and I fought to keep my composure. “But to answer your question, yes that’s him. Now stop laughing before he hears y-”
I stopped when I realized that Danny was now standing in front of us, his arms crossed, and not pleased with what he saw. I looked up at him and saw that he was resentfully eyeing our close proximity and James’ hand resting on my knee. I don’t know why but for some reason I hadn’t noticed it there before. Now that I did, I couldn’t look away.
The sound of Danny’s voice saying my name brought my attention back to the real world and forced me to look at him. He didn’t return my gaze at first but was instead glaring at James’s hand on my knee. Then he finally turned to me. “Are you sure? Cuz I could take care of him if you want. That way we can be alone and I could find out for myself if you’re a real brunette.” He wagged his eyebrows at me suggestively.
I gaped at him in horror. “You’re disgusting.”
“Is this guy for real?” James asked me, hitching his thumb in Danny’s direction and not even bothering to lower his voice. He didn’t even wait for my response before addressing Danny. “That’s no way to talk to her.” His voice was more serious than I had ever heard it and the expression on his face was foreign to me; anger, disgust, irritation. I was grateful for him coming to my defense; I despised it whenever Danny made sexual innuendos about me. Especially now; I don’t know if James’ presence had anything to do with it but today Danny’s words were particularly inappropriate. It made me want to take three showers, soak my skin in acid for a solid fifteen minutes, disinfect myself with Lysol and then take another shower. That’s how grimy he made me feel.
Danny merely brushed off the comment and paid no mind to the death glares he was receiving from the raven-haired boy. “I’ll give you ten seconds to get your hand off of my girl and leave. I’ve got places to go, people to do; namely the lovely Ms. Lockwood.”
I clenched my fists. Who the hell does he think he is talking about me like that? I was filled with so much rage that I couldn’t even open my mouth to tell him that he could go fuck himself because I would never lay a hand on the likes of him ever.
James raised an eyebrow in Danny’s direction and stood up to his full height which towered over him by several inches. Danny gulped; I don’t think he expected James to be so much bigger than him.
“It would be in your best interest if you stopped talking,” James warned in a low voice, his teeth gritted. “I don’t know who you think you are but I suggest that you keep your thoughts to yourself. Cuz you are so close to setting me off right now and you don’t want that. Trust me.”
I knew that I shouldn’t but I secretly wished that Danny would say something stupid just so that I could watch James beat the shit out of him. That would be really satisfying to witness. And hot. Is that wrong of me?
Don’t answer that.
James’ expression softened when he looked at me and he extended his hand to help me up which I gladly took. Anything to get away from Danny; the fact that I’d be leaving with James: an added bonus. We were heading towards the direction of my father’s flat when we heard Danny’s voice call to us from behind.
“Mark my words Spencer. Someday, you’re gonna forget all of these toe-rags and you’ll realize what you’ve been missing out on for all these years,” Doubt it. “You won’t be able to take your hands off me. Won’t be long before we pop out a few kids…”
James looked fit for murder at this point but was suddenly distracted by what happened next. I don’t know if it was the running on a full stomach finally catching up with me or just the mere thought of procreating with Danny that made me suddenly feel nauseous. All I know is that before I could realize what was happening or even to attempt to stop it, I was doubled over, barfing up all of the contents of my stomach.
Onto James’ shoes.
Perfect. Just perfect.
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