Chapter 2 : Promise and Precision
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“Andy, Andy wake up.” Oh Merlin, who the hell was that? It couldn't be morning, could it? My eyes closed only ten minutes ago. Go awaaay. . .
I pulled what was left of my pillow over my head. Due to last night’s . . fixing . . . I had managed to mangle my poor feathered friend while be attacked by three of my so called 'mates'.
“Miranda. Up. Now.” Angelina’s voice was now hovering above me. All I could manage to do was grunt a pitiful reply before I was viscously yanked out of my comfortable, warm bed.
Oh, Bed, I miss you already.
Sadly, in the wee hours of the morn, I was greeted by the hard, wooden floor.
“Oww.” Mr. Floor wasn’t even carpeted, let alone covered in a rug. Damn you.
“Get your arse up, we have a mission and we will not let you bring us down!” Great, I was now witnessing an attack upon myself by Charlie’s Angels. Blinking, I tried to focus my vision- from the awkward angled position on the floor, I could tell that Katie was standing in front of the mirror, ready to bring Frankenstein to life. I reached up, hoping someone would help this poor damsel in distress off her butt and was kindly greeted with a firm pull by dear Alicia.
“Aw, Williams, don’t you ever wear pants?” Alicia grunted in dismay. Pants? Now fully awake - the fog leaving immediately - I realized I was only dressed in a long shirt. My poor pantaloons clearly forgotten after Katie’s little seamstress brigade.
“‘S not my fault Kats decided to hem every skirt I owned.” She gave me two seconds to save my trousers from being mangled into shorts - which one couldn't even wear in this fine October weather. This whole 'fashion-over-comfort' thing really went to her head.
“Only for your own good. Now get over here so we can do your hair and face.” Alicia oh-so gracefully pushed me down into the chair beside Katie, whose smirk only deepened my fear of Barbie dolls. You know, those perfect little Muggle dolls with long blonde hair, big boobs, perfect everything? That plastic-disaster only screamed ‘please rip my head off and fling my body parts at unsuspecting passer-bys’.
Ha! My childhood summarized in one sentence.
“Now, we’re going to try to play with your curls a bit, today. You know something simple yet inviting.”
Inviting? My hair was going to host a party? To what, lice? Jut what I needed, party guest who have more legs than me.
Katie tapped me on the head with her wand, scowling back at me in the mirror.
“No, to boys, stupid.”
“Did I say that out loud?”
“Obviously.” She tapped my head again and told me to close my eyes. Apparently she knew exactly what she was doing – she had just re-read June’s issue of Cosmo-Witch. She basically had a degree in cosmetology, already.
Her murmurs above me created a tingly sensation in my scalp. Uhheww: goose bumps.
“Er, Katie, are you sure you did the spell properly?” Angelina – the voice of reason, was now of worry. But Kats blew her off, scoffing at the idea.
“Yup! I think she’ll lurve it. Open your eyes, Andy.” I knew I really shouldn’t have listened; I should have kept my eyes closed forever. In fact, if it was even possible to permanently charm them shut . . . .
Because then I wouldn’t have woken the entire House - the entire castle - with my rather. . . distressed voice.
“KATIE FUCKING BELL ! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MY BLOODY HAIR?!”
“Oh, come on Williams, chill. You look perfect blonde.” She began to play with my hair, flipping it between her fingers. I clutched the arms of the chair for support, whether to keep myself from fainting or from grabbing my wand and killing the girl, I’m not quite sure.
She seemed completely oblivious to the distained glare I was giving her reflection.
“You flip my hair one more time, I will kill you.” Her hazel eyes met my own for a moment before her horrid smirking. Now, it wasn’t a smirk of triumph, or of worry, but one of a challenge. Her hand twittered above my head, ever moving closer and closer to my rutty, blonde mop.
“ Bell .” I felt my teeth gritting and myself soon yelping as she grabbed a chunk of my hair, giving it a large flip over my shoulder.
And then she ran.
It took me less than a second to grab my wand from the nearby nightstand and follow her.
But she was swift, flying down the stairs with that damned speed of hers.
“WILLIAMS! Your pants!” Alicia yelled after us. I was already halfway down the stairs, wand pointed directly at Bell ; I had her in my grasp before that blasted girl screamed down after us. I gave a quick glance at my attire; my shirt was an old shirt Frank had given me, its length almost down to my mid thigh.
My eyes met with Bell ’s again before she shifted her head upwards, pointing towards the Common Room. Her raised brows questioned, dared even, if I would do it. One swift glance down to my legs and I knew the answer.
“KATIE BELL YOU ARE GONNA DIE AFTER I PUT SOME PANTS ON!” I stormed back to the dorm. This was ridiculous. In any normal circumstances, I would have hexed her little bubbly ass. Damn her and my pants-less self. That’s okay, her time was coming.
I suddenly felt someone’s hand pressed firmly on my shoulder.
“You made the right choice. Come on, we’ll try to fix it before class.” Angie's own deep voice mocked me with her misguided kindness.
“Looks like we’re gonna have to skip if we want to save your hair.” She sighed and patted my shoulder again.
“No. It’s okay Angie. You and Ally go eat, ‘kay? I’ll be down in a bit.”
“You sure?” She wasn’t even pretending to somewhat care about this disaster on my head.
I sighed and nodded. The two were already dressed and down the stairs by the time I looked up again. I sure knew how to pick my friends.
Sighing again, I ran a hand through my newly colored hair. This is was stupid, and because of this, I barely had time to get dressed and head down to Charms before first bell. I buttoned my shirt and zipped up what was left of my skirt before throwing on some old sneakers and my robes. I pointed my wand to my hair and held it there for what seemed like twenty minutes – deciding whether to try anything and fix it, or having it catch on fire. And with my expertise in Charms, I already knew the answer.
I felt insignificant, and timid. This . . . this . . . blonde - ! - seemed to take away every sense of Gryffindor bravery I had flowing through my veins and bleach it.
I gave a fleeting look into the mirror one last time before entering the Common Room. I wanted to curl up into a ball and die when I saw the Fat Lady hold both hands over her mouth and murmur an apology before pitifully waving me a 'good day'. She was already whispering to the other portraits before I could even finish the first flight of stairs.
I made a mental note in my head if I wanted to at least begin to be unnoticed.
Rules of Those Who Want To Be Invisible:
1. Do not have a make-over with friends who know hair dying spells.
2. If looking at your feet when walking, be careful not to bulldoze First Years.
3. Do not make eye contact with first years after you run them over – it only causes them to stare at you and make you feel like a hippogriff in a pumpkin patch.
4. And as soon as you see a Weasley, run away as fast as you can.
I only invented the last one after Fred and George thought I was some cute little French girl. At least, I thought that's what they confused me as.
“Bonjour, Miss, and welcome to Hogwarts!” I couldn’t really tell if they were being contemptuous or if they really were a pair of idiots.
“Shut up Weasel. It’s me.” Both little rodents did a double take, gleaming down at me with their damned mischievous faces. Yeah, they were definitely pulling my wand with the little act.
“Why, Little Andy Williams, is that you? We didn’t recognize you with your new mop!”
“Yes! And if you two don’t get those bloody grins off your faces . . . .”
“They always did say blonde have more fun, eh Fred?” George put an arm around my shoulder, giving it a tight squeeze as his twin trotted along beside us. Humiliation took over when the students around us began to stare.
“Aw, she’s blushing!”
"I am not!"
“Don’t be so glum, Williams, I bet you’ll have a golden day. No one will notice your little halo.”
“Yeah, don’t split any ends about it.”
“Have I ever told you I hated you?”
“Not today, love!”
“I hate you.”
“You know, if you hurried off to Charms, good ol’ Professor could fix you up.”
“Sure! It’s Filius, Why wouldn’t he?”
“Oh my God! I take back what I said!” I raced down the hall and into the empty classroom. Normally, I would have second guessed anything that came out of their mouths, but it must've been this damned bleached hair that blocked my common sense
(Oh, how I wish to stop right there and leave you hanging, but alas, I cannot.)
“Wood.” Oh God, oh God, oh God. I thought I might’ve begun to hyperventilate and keel over at the exact moment.
Then my normal state of mind took over.
Wait. Those boys must’ve talked to Wood during breakfast. They must’ve known he was going be there. Damn them. I should have known they were being all too helpful.
“Miss Miranda? Is that you? You changed your, erm, hair.”
Wood was laughing, no, bellowing; in fact, he was bent over holding his stomach. I glared at him as I stalked over to Flitwick, trying my best to ignore the laughing oaf next to me. It was a bit difficult when he decided to point too. Once again I found myself blushing - flustered at the instant awkwardness I had created for myself.
“You see Professor, Katie Bell thought it would a grand idea to ‘fix’ my hair and she turned it blonde and ran away and now I can’t get rid of it and I think it might stay this color forever and-!”
“Miss Miranda, please, calm down. You’ll have to consult your friend, I’m sorry. I don’t know anything about hair-changing charms.” He stroked his beard as he looked up at me with a frown. “Now, if you’ll just take a seat by Mr. Wood, class will start in a few moments.”
How the hell does a midget professor of Charms not know how to change hair color?! This was ridiculous. AND to make it better I was stuck sitting next to Mr. Prude, himself for the entire class.
“Aw, don’t feel so bad, Williams. I’ve always had a thing for blondes.” He chuckled as he fingered a strand of my hair. Why did I suddenly feel myself blushing- again, damnit! - at such a repellent annotation? And said by Wood of all people! Obnoxious, pigheaded, Casanova.
I slapped his hand away and narrowed my eyes, pretending to become suddenly involved in the lesson in front of me. I fidgeted under his gaze. Gawd, could this get any more awkward? I already felt like an idiot with this blonde mane, and now this.
I’ll admit it, Wood was okay looking. It boosted my ego a little bit knowing that he was attempting to flirt with me when Icky Vicky was his current, er, shag-buddy/girlfriend. But this is Oliver Wood, guys.
The doofy kid who’s had it in for me since he first laid eyes on the realtor’s sold sign. At my twelfth birthday party, he jinxed my cake so when I blew out the candles, the cake exploded. Also, at the young, innocent age of thirteen, he thought it would be funny to place a Hurling Hex on my first boyfriend in third year. I can’t remember the poor kid’s name, sadly. I think we only got to hold hands until Wood attacked him on our way to Care of Magical Creatures. After that, I’ve never really had much luck with boys when it came to anything past friendship.
I sighed and flipped through my notes. Flitwick was lecturing on a hair growing charm. Does anyone smell the ironicalness of that situation? Of course he knew how to grow hair, but change its color? Merlin forbid.
“Aw, come on, Williams, don’t be such a prude.”
“Excuse me? You shouldn’t even be talking to me!”
“And why not? I’m your Captain, I can talk to you whenever I want.”
“Only on the pitch, Wood. So shut up.”
“Hm, only you could change your hair and still keep that bloody temper of yours.” What the hell did hair color have to do with temper? As far as I knew, and believe me, I knew, his brunette temper was far worse than my own.
From the corner of my eye, he tilted back in his chair, only resting on two legs.
Oh, why doesn’t he just stick a ‘kick me’ sign on his forehead?
As nonchalantly as I could, I stretched my leg under his chair and bopped it with my foot. The chair crumbled under the now unbalanced pressure and fell to the ground with a loud thud.
“AH!” Professor stopped his lesson and looked over that two of us.
“Oh! Oliver, are you alright?” I loomed over him, grinning as he met me with a glazed-over look on his face. Poor kid had the wind knocked out of him.
The small man shuffled over to us, a frown embedded on his face and a nervous crease on his eyebrows.
“It seems he finally tipped over,” He shook his head disapprovingly, “I’ve been telling him to stop leaning back on these chairs! They’re older than his father!”
I nodded my head in agreement, waiting for Wood to get up and at least acknowledge our presence – no avail.
“Miss Miranda, I think it best for you to escort him to the hospital wing.”
I looked down at them both in shock. Wood was now starting to sit up, moaned, and leaned backward again.
“You better hurry if you want Quidditch practice this afternoon, Miss Miranda.”
Damnit. Damnit, damnit, damnit. After I oh-so-cleverly befuddled the bloke, I have to play Superman too. I groaned as I bent down, pulling his arm up and over my shoulder.
“Ah-ugh!” Wood, must’ve weighed at least a ton. Jeez, of all the people the midget had to choose . . . does he not know the pain we short folks have to deal with?
Hey, wait a minute. Madam Pomfrey was bound to know a spell to change my hair color back. She was the school nurse! She had to deal with idiots cursing each other all the time! Oh, small, old, Professor! I take back what I said about being an idiot – only to an extent, you really should know how to change one’s hair color.
mean come on, he’s a professor, he’s bound to know more than Cosmo-Witch.
I half-dragged, half-pulled Wood past the snickering children and into the corridor. Even Steven Lacy had a good laugh at Wood’s predicament.
Ah ha, predicament . . . Steven Lacy . . .ah ha ha, Merlin, talk about witty.
Oh, fine, you. Shut up.
“Come on, Wood, you’re killing me. Knock it off, I know you can walk.”
He gave a whimpering cough and leaned into me more, almost causing the two of us fall over.
“I believe it was you who got us into this problem.” His ruff voice cracked at the word 'you'.
“I believe it was you who wouldn’t leave me alone.”
“I believe it was you who decided to change your appearance and therefore drawing my attention.”
“I didn’t do it on purpose!”
“So you accidentally, shaved off four inches of your skirt and accidentally dyed your hair a very vibrant shade of blonde?” I narrowed my eyes again and frowned. He noticed my skirt too? When did he have time? Guys did that?
“Yes. Yes I did.”
“That’s bullocks and you know it.” Yeah, yeah I did know it! And what of it?! Stupid boor. I stopped and shrugged him off.
He was now leaning against the wall, that dumb smirk on his face, the one that was telling me how wrong I was. And even though I knew it, his gloating did nothing to improve my mood.
I was already halfway down the hall when he called out.
“Williams, I think you bruised my back!”
I turned on a heel and stared him in the eyes. His somewhat good looking hazel eyes.
I didn’t really thinking that, did I?
No, must’ve been my pervy conscience.
“I can’t move!” I gave an overly dramatic sigh and walked back over to him, leaning against the wall.
“Does Ollie-Dearest need my help?”
Now he was glaring. Ooh, I was good.
"If you don't stop pissing off Williams, I will personally promise that your Quidditch practice will grow from three to five hours." His power of persuasion had me mystified.
“Let us go forth, Oliver, for I am always willing to lend a hand to those who need it!” I overenthusiastically heaved his arm over my shoulder once again and draped my other arm around his waist. He was walking this time, at least a little bit better than he was before. I squeezed my arm around his waist, causing him to wince.
“Could you not do that?” I looked ahead and nodded, not wanting him to see that damned blush. I had never been one to blush before, so why now? And why Wood? To tell you the truth, his ability to make me feel like a complete idiot was only starting to make me hate him even more than I normally did. I smirked to hide any embarrassment I had now shared with him.
“Pick up the pace Williams. You’re blooming slow for a Seeker.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“Maybe you need some extra practices.”
“Maybe you need a life.”
“I have one thank you. In fact I even have-.” My mouth was already open and booming. I had been holding in his girlfriend fiasco since yesterday and had yet to rip into him about it.
“Icky Vicky? Puh-lease. If she’s your definition of having a life, than please, spare me.”
“ Victoria is not icky, and before I was so rudely interrupted, I was going to say that I have a date for Hogsmeade.” Hogsmeade? Was that this weekend? As in tomorrow-this-weekend?
“Which consists of Icky Vicky.”
“No, Victoria said she wanted to hang out with her friends this time.” What was that? Did I sense a tinge of discomfort in that Scottish voice of his?
“Then who are you going with then? Lee? No! Marcus?”
“ Flint ?! Shut up! I’m not some nancy boy!” I rolled my eyes, jeez, talk about defensive. It was only a suggestion. I could tell he was about to go on some rant about the Slytherin Quidditch Captain. I quickly made a U-ie back into the purpose of the conversation.
“She’s – hey,” he suddenly took a huge whiff of something, “You’re hair smells really good. What shampoo do you use?”
Fa-reak! I ducked my head away from his own. The last thing I needed was for him to change my shampoo bottle with some sort of hair dissolving potion.
“Wood! Stop being the creepy kid who smells people’s hair.”
“Not people’s hair, just your hair, Williams.” Okay, what the hell was up with this kid and my hair? To make me feel even more embarrassed, I could practically hear the smug look on his face.
“Do you have A.D.D.? Just answer the damn question.” It was starting to grow awkward, really awkward.
“Wow, someone’s grumpy. Or jealous.” Oh, so now he’s Mister High-and-Mighty, eh?
“Me? Jealous? Of what?”
“The fact that you don’t have a date.”
“Oh yeah? I bet I could get any guy I wanted, thank you very much.”
“Really, now? Hm. Any guy?”
“Of course!” I should really learn not to fall Wood’s oh-so-barefaced plans to practically ruin my life and to keep my mouth shut.
Yeah, definitely keep my mouth shut.
“What about him?” He nodded his head in the direction near some chamber doors at the end of the next hallway. I sighed and glanced at the group of students whom seemed to be carelessly enjoying themselves through a game of Gobblestone. Most of them appeared to Ravenclaws, cheering on their own student against his smaller opponent – no more than a second year Gryffindor.
“The Ravenclaw? Because the other kid looks to be a second year and I think that’s illegal.” Wood rolled his eyes and nodded.
“Of course the Ravenclaw, stupid. That’s James Western, sixth year. And I want you to ask him out.”
“Why him?” I raised a brow in question but Wood’s face remained ever solemn – showing no sign of what he knew that I didn’t. He was hiding something, that Western kid had a problem or something, either that, or he already had a date and I was about to make an even bigger idiot out of myself than I already had today.
Western was good looking from what I could see. He taller than me no doubt, but not a beast. His dirty blonde hair was cut shaggily around the crown of his head, almost hiding his glittering green eyes. He was built, I could already tell; and robes flickered as he laughed with his friends and even the second year. In other words, he was, er, hot? Is that what you call it? Lord, how outdated am I?
“Alright. Fine.” Sure, whatever. He never said when I had to do it, but it seemed I could only fit this tiny little dare into my very tight schedule after our visit to the hospital wing and before lunch.
Oh, Andy, who knew you, could be so clever?
“Uh, Williams, love, you just walked right past him.”
“Oh, I know, silly Oliver. I’ll ask him after our visit to our dear nurse. We wouldn’t want you to cancel practice, would we? That’d be so unfair to the team and all . . .” I didn’t even bother to finish my sentence. He got the point. He was now stiffly walking next to me, no longer needing his crutch.
“What? The whole point was so I could witness it myself. I doubt you would even do it if I weren't present.” Operation Destroy Andy Williams: Failed – in fact, annihilated.
“You’re a berk, you know that?” I laughed a bit, letting my guard down, he couldn’t do anything to me now. He couldn’t be that much of joke? Could he? “You just want me mess up so you can have a good laugh. What a great Captain.”
“You don’t think I could still get a bit of enjoyment from this, huh?”
He turned and shouted to the group of boys, much to my horror.
“Oi! Western!” The boy turned around, a smile still plastered on his chiseled face.
“What’d you want, Wood? I’m a bit busy here . . .!”
“Williams wants to go to Hogsmeade with you!” Oh, Merlin. Oh, God. Buddha, pixies, Circe, Higher Authority! Whatever the hell – please make this idiot shut up now! Before my face turns any redder from embarrassment. Please! I beg you!!
“Williams? Andy Williams?” He’s now looking at me . . . we’re making eye contact . . . wait, he’s now eyeing my hair . . . shit.
“Is that her? Thought she was a redhead!” They’re still shouting at each other. I was actually standing right there, I mean, I’m not invisible –no matter how much I wished to be. His eyes . . . have moved. Where? Hm, lower . . . to my skirt? Maybe my chest?
Oh, where is a would-be assassin when you need one?
I tried to pull my robe tighter and hide what was left of me from his pervy eyes.
Are you serious? This wasn’t supposed to happen. I glanced back to Wood, his smirk had evolved into a grin. Okay, I guess it was supposed to happen.
Why is he smiling, then? He’s supposed to have it out for me. He’s supposed to screw up my life, as per usual. Why the sudden change of heart? It was a change of heart . . . right?
Nah . . .
Damn me and my stupid emotional/mental guard being down in a crisis!
My eyes narrowed as he continued our now silent walk through the hospital wing doors.
“What was that all about? Why are you still smiling? Wasn’t he supposed to turn me down and then I would humiliate myself? Because, that’s not what happened.”
“Oh, I know.”
“Miss Williams! Mr. Wood! What brings you here?”
“My back.” Madame Pomfrey ‘tsked’ at the two of us before leading us into a large room with beds.
“Yours will be the quickest, Miss Williams. Now, just hold still.” I squeezed my eyes tightly waiting for the tingling sensation that Katie had left me in. When nothing happened I opened my eyes. Her wand was still over my head. I began to run my fingers through my hair when she smacked my hand away.
“I haven’t done anything yet. Don’t touch it!”
“Ow! Ow!” She thwaped my head with her wand and walked over to Wood.
“Miss Williams! Come here, please!” I hopped off the bed after I examined my now normal hair. Ah, to be red never felt so good.
“Lift up Mr. Wood’s shirt so I can see what he’s got.” My gloating ceased at the idea of even doing that task. She couldn't be serious.
Her face reminded me of the scolding glare which my grandmother had given me many a time.
Rushing over - avoiding her gaze - I began the simple, humiliating task of stripping my Captain.
Okay, so maybe I wasn't stripping him, but it felt like I was.
And for that moment, I was glad I was behind him – he couldn’t see that annoying pink hue to my cheeks as I helped him take off his robes and pulled out his tucked-in shirt.
Even from his back, he was well tanned and muscled. From where I was standing I could even see his well toned abs. I scolded myself for looking, or at least, wanting to look. I pulled up his shirt over his head. I could see two long bruised – the shape of the chair – along his back. I gently touched one of them, barely brushing my fingers on his warm skin, causing him to visibly shiver . . . in disgust? My fingers instantly left the warmth in replace of Madame's wand.
“How’d you do that, dear?”
“He fell over in class.” I stated quickly. A little too quickly. I glanced at the nurse from the corner of my eye, she seemed to pay no heed, at least if she knew, she didn’t show it.
“You really should be careful, dear.” He nodded, not saying anything. This too was surprising.
What was up with him? He was being uber weird. At least, a lot more than usual. First he gets me a date, then he blows over the chance to rat me out.
Maybe he was finally tired of our constant bickering and starting to act mature? I inwardly sighed. I could only hope. It would make my life so much easier.
“Like what you see, Williams?”
Okay, I take that back. Only he could ruin any kind thought of himself in my own head in a matter of one sentence.
“You pig! I’m only helping-!”
“Done! You’ll be fine, Mr. Wood. Off to class, both of you.” Wood grabbed his robe, leaving his shirt un-tucked and tie loosened. Surely, if I didn’t despise him, I would admit to myself, and only myself, that he was very . . . good looking. But, sadly, I did despise him and would never let myself to admit it.
Right here, right now – I vowed to never admit he was decent – looking or other wise. If I were ever break this –though I would have to cursed and tortured by unknown measures – I would . . . well, I would have to do something drastic, wouldn’t I? Something that I would never do in a million, billion, zillion years.
I would quit Quidditch. Forever.
There; that ought to hold me over until I die. But it would never come to that. I wouldn’t let it.
Hey. . . I never did find out who Wood was taking to Hogsmeade. Ugh.
Wow, I never thought I would get that many reviews! And even to those of you who don't, thanks for reading!
Many of you think I am stealing the idea for this story from Mental's Match, and A Fountain Pen's own story, Settling The Score. Both are beautifully written stories that I fully recomend! I mean, seriously, please read them! You won't regret it. This story idea has been boiling in my head for sometime, I did start to write it after I read Match, and before I read Settling The Score. Many of you think the name is the same, though, I sort of stumbled upon it on IMBD.com. Andy Williams was a talkshow host and singer of the 1950's and 60's. He's still alive and singing today. I only changed Andy's name to Miranda, though Andy will remain her nickname. And I'm sorry if you feel my story isn't original, and if you insist, I will take it down.
Betaed: August 25, 2008 by the awesome Aya! Say thanks guys!
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