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Chapter 10: (chelsea) I was not expecting that.
“What are you all smiley about?”
You see, lovely Frieda, that voice belongs to none other than - dun, dun, dun - the Sith Lord herself. You know, the one that has the ability to choke me with the Force or use that scary lightning stuff.
So, in other words, I’m referring to Rose Weasley.
(Not Emily. I know it’s easy to get them confused, but there is a clear difference. Emily is Darth Emily. Rose is Sith Lord Rose. See? Simple, really.)
Rose has got - well, how do I put this delicately? Rose has got one hell of a temper. She - er - I really hope she’s not reading my thoughts right now - oh, Merlin, what if she is? I’ve always been suspicious of how she found out that I’d stolen her Transfig homework to copy...
Anyway, back to Rose. If you’re listening, Rosie, I love you very much and you’re the bestest friend that a girl could ever hope for - eh. Screw it.
Rose is like a volcano. A volcano that is constantly spewing lava and fire and just all around nasty shit. Her temper rivals the colour of her hair in intensity. And if you’ve ever seen her hair - well, then you know that I’m not joking around here.
And she’s just always - I dunno - pissed off. It’s like the world just hates her with it’s whole, Earthy being - or, more accurately, she just hates it. She hates everything. The sunshine, the flowers, even the bunnies. How someone can hate bunnies is beyond me, but somehow, Rose does.
Nice friend I’ve got there, eh?
So when Sith Lord Rose demands to know what you’re all “smiley” about in her evil overlord voice, you naturally try to avoid telling her that it’s because you were just cuddling with her cousin in the common room. Not that I’m happy about that little event. Because I’m not. I’m just happy that the scheme is moving along.
Shut up, Frieda.
“Erm... nothing? I’m just a smiley person, Rose. What can I say? I enjoy life. The glass is half full and all that shit. What’s there not to smile about?”
Dear Godric, Chelsea. Shut up.
Rose cocks one eyebrow at me in suspicion and ninja rolls off her bed towards me. “Really, Chelsea? Is that what you are?”
As Rose approaches me slowly - menacingly, I might add - my gob moves up and down and up and down, but I can’t seem to get any words out. Great. I bet this doesn’t look suspicious at all. Nope, nothing to look at here, Rose. Just a fish out of water. Yup. That’s me.
My mouth goes flying shut with a snap as someone thunders up the stairs to the girls’ dorm, throws open our door, and parks her feet right in the middle of the floor, breathing heavily. It’s my roommate, Melody Donley, and close on her heels come our other two roomies, Carson Briggs and Maggie Anthony.
The five of us Gryffindor girls generally get along fairly well - nobody’s a real bitch, and none of us have ever talked shit about each other or anything. That’s not to say that we’re besties - nope, not even close - but I’d still consider all of us friends to some degree of the word. We gossip, as roommates do, and share secrets, and have a good time together. It’s quite nice, the group of girls we have.
I think, as a general rule, Rose and I tend to hang out with each other more than we do with the other three. Likewise, Melody, Carson, and Maggie spend more time together than they do with us. But still, no bad blood between us, which is quite refreshing compared to a lot of the other dorms around school.
Melody - Mel for short - is definitely the prettiest out of all of us. But surprisingly, she doesn’t date much. In fact, she’s only ever had one steady boyfriend - Rose’s cousin Louis. He’s our age and a Gryffindor as well, and for the longest time, Mel and Louis were completely inseparable. Couldn’t get one without the other. They split over the summer, though, and no one really knows why. I think Mel took it pretty hard, but she hasn’t really said anything about it.
And it’s Melody who is currently bending over, hands on her knees, as she huffs and puffs and quite nearly blows the dorm down with the extent of her ragged breathing. Really, it’s like the girl bloody sprinted up here or something. And let me tell you - Mel is not the athletic type. We leave all that impressive sporty shit to Carson.
Even Carson looks winded, though, as she flops down on her bed and stretches her limbs out all over the place. And Carson is simply not a person that gets winded easily. She’s a regular tomboy and plays Beater for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, so it’s not like she can’t handle a short sprint up the stairs.
Long story short - for Carson to be winded, something extremely exciting must have just happened.
But I’ve barely had time to process all this information when an explosion of sound goes off in the room, nearly knocking me off my feet with its magnitude.
“Is he a good kisser?”
“Are you dating?”
“Does he have abs?”
“What does he smell like?”
“Um...” Well, back to the gob gaping, fish-like Chelsea it is.
I wonder if I can grow gills? That would be pretty fucking awesome. I could be... Gill Girl!
My life is so full of win.
“What are you lot talking about?” Sith Lord Rose demands, placing one hand on her hip and turning her death gaze over to our three roommates.
“Chelsea,” Melody pants, shoving her blonde hair away from her face. “Chelsea was canoodling with your cousin in the common room.”
Canoodling? Who uses the word canoodling?
Canoodlers, that’s who.
“What?” Rose growls.
“Yeah,” Maggie says. She bobs her head up and down, brown ringlets spiralling everywhere. “Al and Chelsea. In the common room. On the couch. Although I don’t know that canoodling is exactly the way I’d describe it.”
Alert. Alert. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!
Rose looks like she’s genuinely about to explode. Like, legit explode. She's so red that I can see steam coming out of her ears. And her nose. And her eyes.
Yeah. That’s how mad she is.
Bitch has steam coming out of her eyes.
And without a word, Rose turns on her heel and marches down to the common room, where I vaguely hear her say (okay, clearly hear her scream), “AL!”
There’s the echo of some shouting downstairs, loud stomping noises, the exasperated shriek of a dying cat (a.k.a. Rose Weasley) and the sound of our room door getting thrown off its hinges again as the volcano returns to our presence.
Obviously there is only one solution to this problem. Dive under your covers and pray to every deity, supreme being, and Merlin that Rose has suddenly gone blind and cannot see the lump cowering under your duvet.
Because clearly that is the only rational way to handle this.
Someone (or something) plops down on the end of my bed, and I make a small whimpering noise beneath my duvet as it inches closer to my lump. Then the someone (or something) yanks back my covers, and I let out a tiny scream of terror.
Oi, don’t look at me like that. You would too if Sith Lord Rose was out for your blood. Yeah, not so brave now, are you, Frieda?
But instead of, you know, trying to claw my eyes out or eat me alive, Rose calmly says, “You forgot your shit downstairs, by the way.”
That went better than expected.
“Erm... thanks,” I say warily, eyeing her with caution. At any moment she could unleash her Sith Lord wrath on me. You can never be too careful about these things, you know.
But surprisingly, all is quiet on the dormitory front. Eerily quiet. The quiet you get right before the storm. So quiet you could hear a Pygmy Puff squeak.
“So,” Carson says, leap frogging from her bed onto mine, “you never answered our questions.”
And then the bomb explodes all over again.
“Are his lips soft?”
“Have you touched his hair?”
“Can you hook me up with your brother?”
Wait - what? What was that last one?
“Chelsea,” Rose hisses. “I said, you forgot your shit downstairs.”
“Oh - oh,” I say, then quite literally run for my life. Out of our room, down the stairs, into the common room - and then I skid to a halt in the middle of the floor, halfway between the girls’ staircase and the fireplace.
For you see, I am trapped. Trapped between Sith Lord Rose’s wrath of fury in the girls’ dormitory upstairs and the awkwardness of having to walk back over to the fireplace and gather up all my stuff, right in front of Al.
Because, for some reason, he finds it necessary to still be laying lazily on the couch, one leg dangling over the side, fingers locked behind his head.
Does he not have a life?
Like, seriously. He has nothing better to do than lay on that couch all night? Really?
Ah, well. My whole life is one awkward moment after the next, so I might as well just throw in one more. Besides, it can’t possibly be that bad, can it?
Of course, whenever they say that in the Muggle films, things always get much, much worse. So maybe I shouldn’t have thought that.
So it goes.
Like a ninja I super-sneak over to Al on tiptoes, hoping in vain that perhaps - maybe, if the Force is with me - he’s asleep. That’s generally what people do when they lie down on couches, you know. And as I approach him, it seems as if the Force is on my side. Al lies still on the couch, eyelids shut, breathing slow and deep.
Gill Girl: 1
I bend over the floor in front of the fireplace and very carefully (and silently) scoop up my belongings - which is a big stack of shit, let me tell you. I’m just about to sneak back up to my dorm when a subtle cough stops me in my tracks.
Well. So much for that.
Al peeks up at me through half-closed eyes from his spot on the couch, a slight smirk dancing across his face. “Can’t stay away, can you?”
“Shut it, Potter,” I grumble.
He pushes himself upright, swings his legs down to the floor, and leans his elbows forward onto his knees, gazing at me intently. After a good ten seconds of this, his eyes slowly tear away from me and trail over to the girls’ staircase and then sweep around the common room, apparently looking for something - or someone.
“Rose?” he inquires quietly.
“In our dorm.”
Then he breaks out into a grin and pats the spot beside him on the couch. “Take a seat.”
“Relax. She’s not coming back down here tonight.”
Al rolls his eyes and hops to his feet. “Come on,” he mutters, latching his fingers around my arm and dragging me off towards the portrait hole.
Woah. I think Al Potter is kidnapping me.
This is why you don’t talk to weird men who offer you candy.
Let this be a lesson, kiddos.
“Where are we - oof!”
I grunt with pain as I slam back into a wall. Al’s pushed me haphazardly behind a tapestry and into what appears to be a small secret passageway off the seventh floor corridor. Ouch. That fucking hurt. I mean, I don’t know about Al, but most of us happen to feel pain when we’re shoved into stone castle walls. We’re not all invulnerable, super-strong Quidditch players, you know.
“Sorry,” he mumbles. I rub my arm and glare at him, but he just stuffs his hands in his pockets nonchalantly and leans back against the evil stone wall.
“Albus Potter, you have three seconds to explain why you kidnapped me out of the common room, or I swear I’ll start screaming rape like a nutter -”
“We’re here because I didn’t want to make a scene, all right?”
Well. That’s not reassuring in the least. He’s not exactly helping to dispel the whole ‘rape’ idea, here.
I raise an eyebrow at him and cross my arms defiantly. “One, two, th-”
“Okay, listen,” he says abruptly, glancing at me nervously. “I want you to answer a very simple question. Do you like me?”
Do I like him? What are we, four?
“Yes or no.”
“Yes, I suppose you’re all right. When you’re not being an arse, I mean.”
“Good. Now a different question. Do you fancy me?”
Do I - do I bloody fancy him? What is with this bloke and awkward questions? How should I even answer that?
Oh, Godric, I need Rory here to tell me what to say. Am I supposed to fancy him by this point? Am I supposed to string it out longer?
“Yes or no,” Al says slowly, narrowing his eyes.
“Erm, well -”
“Yes or no.”
“Al, I don’t think that’s a fair -”
“Yes or no.”
“You’re not leaving this room until you answer yes or no, Chelsea,” he warns.
WHAT IF I DON’T SAY THE RIGHT ONE?
“Er - er -”
Merlin, Chelsea, just pick one of them. It can’t be that difficult.
“Yes or no.”
“Okay, yes,” I blurt out.
Why in the bloody hell did I say yes?
Al grins wickedly and I take a step backwards, unnerved by his sudden change of disposition. Unfortunately, the evil wall is taking every chance it has to thwart me, so my back bumps right up against the cold stones almost immediately.
Yeah. I’m trapped.
“You do, do you?” he asks, taking his hands out of his pockets and leaning his palms flat against the wall on either side of my head.
Oh, sweet Merlin.
You know, it’s really not fair for one bloke to be this attractive. I mean, not that I personally think he’s attractive, because he’s not - I was making an objective statement based on observed facts - shut up, Frieda -
Eyes. Eyes. Pretty eyes.
Green is such a nice colour, don’t you think?
Pretty eyes getting closer to mine.
Soft lips are nice.
Pretty eyes. Soft lips. Good kisser.
Merlin, he’s a good kisser.
That sneaky little ninja. He went and - he went and bloody started snogging me - well, just - urgh - soft lips - really soft lips -
“Al,” I mutter, pulling my head away from his. The back of my skull cracks into the evil wall - curse you, Hogwarts - and I shove him away from me with two palms to his chest.
“I already did,” he snaps back in irritation.
“You don’t have to get snarky with me, mister - mwhmph.”
My words and thoughts are lost as suddenly Al’s (soft) lips are back on mine - he’s a persistent little bugger - and his hands are wrapped around my waist, pulling me closer. My palms, held up initially in shock, land flat on his chest, but this time they don’t push him away.
Bloody hands. What are they good for, if not to push away attractive blokes who try to snog you? Grrrr. They’re about as useless as Frieda.
I swear my hands have a mind of their own - and no, I am not going to give a name to the separate brain that controls my hands. Frieda is enough trouble by herself, thank you very much.
But anyway, my stupid fucking hands are for some strange reason sliding slowly up his chest, running along the back of his neck, winding their fingers through his hair - holy fuck, his hair is just as soft as his lips -
HANDS. STOP. I COMMAND YOU.
But they’re not stoping, and for some reason my lips are disobeying me as well, as they keep bloody kissing him back. And no, it’s not because I actually want to kiss him. Clearly the dark side of the Force has taken over my muscle control -
Oh, fuck it.
I want to kiss him.
So I just... kiss him.
I mean, it’s a purely physical act, right?
SHUT THE FUCK UP, FRIEDA.
Fine. I will grudgingly admit that he’s not the most hideous creature I’ve ever seen. Far from it, in fact. And, you know, a girl has needs. So if he’s offering a snogging, then who am I to resist? It would just throw off the balance of nature.
And I really don’t want that on my karma record.
But there’s a little something niggling in the back of my brain, something that I can’t get rid of. It’s a thought.
What? Chelsea has a thought?
I just think that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. I feel like this is going to mess everything up somehow. It just feels as if this isn’t the right way to do things. I mean, the goal is for him to fall in love, not get a good snogging, right?
But Merlin, the soft lips...
All right, Chelsea. Come on. Use some willpower. Just think about what’s going to happen if you don’t stop kissing him. If you don’t stop, then the plan is going to fall to shit and then Emily will most likely stab/throttle/dismember you -
“I DON’T WANT TO DIE!”
What is wrong with me? Like, seriously. What the actual fuck is wrong with me?
Al steps away from me, eyes wide with confusion and quite possibly fear. And honestly? I don’t blame him. His hands slip slowly from my waist, and I follow suit, letting my fingers trail out of his hair and back to my side.
Oh, sure. Now they do what I tell them to. Gee, thanks.
“I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, Chelesa,” Al says slowly, “but most blokes are concerned when the girl they’re snogging randomly starts yelling that she doesn’t want to die.”
Dammit. I was really hoping he would overlook that...
Well, I can’t exactly tell him that Emily’s going to murder me, else he’d know about the plan, so -
“Rose!” I exclaim, quite pleased with myself. Phew. Now here’s an excuse that he’ll actually buy. “Rosie - I - well - she’s not exactly happy about the fact that I was canoodling with you in the common room earlier - and by not exactly happy I mean she was fucking mad as hell - and she’ll kill me if she finds out about -”
“First of all, I do not canoodle. I don’t cuddle, I don’t snuggle, and I definitely don’t canoodle. And if you ever use that phrase in context with me again, I’ll off you myself. Second, that’s why we’re in a secret passageway. Because it’s a secret. She’ll never find out -”
“Oh, no, no, no. I know what you’re doing and I’m not going to fall for that,” I snap.
Al blinks and stares at me blankly. “You know what I’m doing? Then please, tell me, because I don’t even know what I’m doing.”
“You, Albus, are trying to get me to be snog buddies with you. And it’s not going to happen.”
“Chelsea - that’s not -”
“Don’t even try and deny it -”
“You’re completely insane -”
“No more snogging for you -”
“Chelsea!” he practically shouts, cutting off my stream of protests. “Is it that hard to believe that I actually like you?”
“Ugh - I - okay - look, what do you want me to say?”
“I want you to say that we’re not going to do anything in secret. I want you to say that we’re not going to go sneaking around.”
Al lets out a huff of frustration and paces around the passageway for a bit, stomping and fuming and just generally making a racket. Yeah, this ‘secret’ passageway? It’s not going to be too much of a secret if he keeps up with all the noise.
But then he stops, apparently calmed down enough to properly think things through. “I can’t say that, and you know why. Rose would murder us both -”
“Then I guess this is goodbye.” I shrug and begin to make my way towards the exit, but I’m stopped by one of his hands grabbing mine and pulling me back.
“Look - I - I’m working on the Rose situation. Two weeks. That’s all I need. I have a plan, kind of.”
“Oh?” I ask, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Yeah. But after that...”
“After that, I’m still not going to be snog buddies with you,” I reply flatly. “It’s all or nothing with me. Relationship or zip.”
Al huffs again and his eyes turn cold as he stares at me, frustration evident. It almost looks as if he’s having some inner debate - or perhaps the light and dark side of the Force are battling within him, each fighting to claim his soul.
Oh. My. Godric.
Al’s turning into Anakin Skywalker.
That’s fucking hot.
But then Anakin - or Al, if you prefer - comes to a decision, and the conflict on his face clears. Whether the light or the dark side has won, I cannot tell you.
“Fine,” he says. “I understand. I have just one question for you.”
“Fire away, then,” I mutter.
“Chelsea Bush, will you be my girlfriend?”
I was not expecting that.
a/n: salutations, my fine readers! i have an announcement to make - august tenth is (or was, depending on when this is validated) my one year anniversary on hpff! hooorrraayyy! so consider this my anniversary present to all of you. i think it was a pretty momentous chapter to celebrate a pretty momentous occasion, wouldn’t you agree?
now onto the disclaimers. so let’s start with the usual - i do not own Sith Lords, Darth beings, the Force, or anakin skywalker. those are from star wars, as i’m sure you know by now. i also do not own the quote “danger, will robinson, danger!” that is from the television series lost in space, though i doubt anyone reading this will know what i’m talking about. anyhoo, i think that should do it.
p.s. all the previous chapters have been edited and updated with stunning chapter images courtesy of the wonderful loveatfirstview @ tda. you should definitely check them out, yo.
over and out.