Chapter 3 : Birds In My Ears
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EDIT: Sorry for the confusion, but this chapter is in the point of view from our darling Oliver.
“You won’t see them together, so stop wasting your time.”
“Come off it, Oliver. Andy and James. You’ve been looking for them everywhere.” Alicia flipped her hair in that obnoxious, all-knowing manner she gets when she's right. If she was a bloke (or Williams - same thing) she'd get a good punck in the arm, that's what.
“Well, I figured she’d be grateful that someone wanted to go with her to Hogsmeade.” She rolled her eyes, slapping me lightly in the arm. A girl's version of the punch.
“Just want to see my work in action, that’s all.” I shrugged my shoulders, pretending not care. Wait; pretending? Nah, I didn't care. I would here about it later - in the showers, classes, lunch. Gossip spreads fast at dear ol' Hoggie-Warts, faster than the Nile through Egypt.
“She stood him up. Stop wasting your time.” She picked up a stray book from the dark wooden shelf. The moth-eaten pages flipped easily between her fingers; their musty smell tickled my nose. A wind of dust flew by my face when she slammed the book shut and placed it back on its resting place. Hushed giggles suddenly filled the air.
Alicia glanced past the next bookcase, judgmental brow raised. Great, now she was going to scold a couple kids for fooling around in a book store. There was nothing wrong with that, though they could've been a bit more discrete if they didn't want to get caught.
“We better get going; Katie would be pissed if she saw us ‘intruding’.” No 'this is a public place', or 'get a room'? Hm - has Spinnet turned down her authoritative burner? Not even for Bell? Normally she'd be quicker to scold her darling BFF. BFF? Girl-talk for 'bloody fucking fink'. Well, not really, that's just my interpretation.
“How’d you know it was her?”
“I didn’t, but I don’t think we want to take our chances.”
“Who is it this time?” She shrugged; an awkward silence ate away at us again. To tell you the truth, that’s how our friendship was, silence, though, not normally this uncomfortable. Oh, but she decided to put on her thinking cap and add another dose of awkward to this nonexistant conversation.
“Why did you set them up yesterday? You’re not close friends with either party as far as I know.” Bullseye! Play stupid - get time.
“Williams and Western?” She rolled her eyes and nodded, glancing through fogged store windows at book, clothes, and trinkets.
“Yes, them, who else did you pair off yesterday?” A dark brow raised questionably on her forehead. I couldn’t immediately answer her question, for, I didn’t know the right answer. At the time, it was just a gag - I didn't think Western would actually say yes to it.
At first, it had just been because of Williams' cocky attitude. Then I began to wonder why I had chosen Western out of that group of Ravenclaws. If I really wanted her to stick her foot in her mouth (or at least give her a little hell), I would have chosen the gruesome boy next to him.
But, Western wasn’t all he seemed to be; and the slight blush on her cheeks (at least I hope it was a blush, Merlin's knows what the hell could've caused it. Anger?) when I asked him across the hall seemed to prove to loss of memory of our overly-friendly neighbor. At least, I thought so.
Oh yes, you didn’t hear (read) wrongly. James Western is actually my next door neighbor, four houses down from the beloved House of Hepburn. That is, Miranda Williams’ house. And back when the Hepburns were still new in the development, Mrs. Western had thrown a tea party for them, inviting many other neighbors, including the Woods. Now, Mrs. Western’s parties were known to be quite boring to the average 11 year old, especially when James was your playmate. The boy was the biggest pansy I had ever met and had stayed that way for years; but he...I don’t know what to call it, evolved (?) the day Williams came over. (Roll eyes here). He was no longer the prissy, pratty boy I had known since the age of two, but the prissy, pratty, kissy boy who sneakily tried to face-rape the new girl.
She was oblivious to his hidden attacks, brushing him off at his every attempt to get close to her. But a wake up call was given when hide-and-go-seek suddenly gave young Western a huge advantage to his prey. And he attacked, holding back nothing.
“Alright, I’ll count back from fifty.”
“Close your eyes!”
That’s when he did it; his sloppy lips met hers mid-count, and her vengeful fist met his jaw mid-kiss. I remained still in the tree I hid in – not knowing whether to laugh or stand still ( and not losing my awesome hiding spot).
“You made me loose count! Stop being an idiot and go hide! Fricken' A! I don't need any stupid foriegn flu.”
That was that; she had thrown away any attempt he had to woo her into life’s trash bin of idiotic ideas.
“Uh, are you going to say anything? Its rude to leave a question unanswered.” Meaning: Hello Wood, Planet Earth needs you now.
“Yeah, they snogged when they were younger.”
“She only moved here when she was eleven; how young could they've been…?”
So I shortened the story, she got the jist of it. But the damn girl just had to prod.
“Wait…why did they snog?”
“Long story involving hide-and-go-seek and tea parties; maybe when we win the game I’ll tell you.”
“If we win. Have you seen the Hufflepuff beaters? They are actually pretty wicked this year. We’ll have to be careful.”
“If Williams does her job, we’ll be fine.”
Her eyes rolled again; the door to another store opened. I think she started to rant about my 'jackass-ness' towards the pratty Seeker, but all I got was: “I want to get another Cosmo-Witch; it’ll only take a few moments.”
I shrugged my shoulders, walking lightly to the Quidditch section of the convient store. Joscelind Wadcock flashed the cover of this month’s The Pitch. Automatically my hand reached for it, its continents questionably informational to the average Quidditch captain. So I guess that rules me out a bit, I being the more-than-average Quidditch captain, if I do say so myself. But hey, every bit helps - even average magazines.
“Its getting late, you know.” Alicia held the magazine protectively against her chest. A blonde model smiled and waved on the cover, blowing kisses ever few seconds to its reader. A hot blonde model. Swedish perhaps?
“Yeah, I suppose. Would you like to go back to the castle?”
“If you don’t mind; don’t we have practice tomorrow anyway?”
I sighed and replayed any lists in my mental calendar for the following day. Against my better judgment, I decided to change it to a latter day. Oh, I know - hell has frozen over.
“No, we’ll just have it Monday morning.”
“Ugh…” Isn't this supposed to be the part where she shows a bit of appriciation? Hel-lo! I just did the unthinkable and all I got was an 'ugh'? Eff that.
“If you really want it on Sunday…”
“No, I…I just hate morning practices; the pitch is always cold.”
The rest of our journey to the horseless carriages was silent, along with our ride to the castle…and our walk to the Common Room. Candles flickered dimly across the hall, spotlighting a sleeping Fat Lady. Her cherubic face was slightly pink – either from a long evening (drinking with Ceasar and partying like a fat-chick) or the artist thought it would be more lady-like. Alicia profoundly stated the password, Choobernufften. How we came up with that one, I’ll never know. The Common Room, like the hallway, was dimly lit by the fireplace and random candles placed sporadically on tables. It smelt like cranberries - the castle's welcoming for fall/winter. Super. I hate cranberries.
A group of girls sat around the fireplace, Queen Victoria stood eagerly in the middle of them, speaking rapidly about upcoming plans for the House.
“Oh good, Alicia, you’re here. That’s all of us. Now hurry up and sit down,” Our eyes met for a brief moment, “Oliver, please go up to the dorms. This is a girls-only meeting as I hope you can tell.” I frowned, but said nothing. Merlin knows she's only good for a shag anyways.
She brushed her blonde hair over her shoulder, her finger fiercely pointed to the stairs. A few of the sheep turned their heads my way, while some remained staring at Victoria, waiting for her to continue. Alicia shyly waved goodbye and sat down with the rest of the crowd. Curiosity did strike me though; how I wondered what-
“Oy, watch it, Wood!”
“I can’t see you.” The staircase was empty, I felt like an idiot talking to myself.
“I’m under the Cloak. Do you know why all the seventh year girls are gathered in the Common Room?”
“Wanna find out?” Even with his invisibility, I could tell by the sound of his voice that his brows had wiggled in the most Weasley manner. But before that, he had had me sold at ‘Oy, watch it’.
The two of us barely fit under the cloak. It was made to comfortably hide one grown man, not two teenaged wizards. It took us a few tries to get our steps in rhythm and our breathing quiet. And practicing to march on stairs is not fun. And even though the Cloak was light in material, it was dreadfully hot underneath it.
“…many of you know, I am Head of the Students Inter-School Activities for the House of Gryffindor.”
“And what the hell does that mean to us? Hurry up with this, we haven’t got all day, you know.”
“Shut up, Williams, or she’ll keep us here forever and lock us in the dungons.”
'With her Mum?"
"You mean that nasty dragon?"
"Shut up! Both of you!" Victoria’s eyes narrowed at Angelina and Williams before she continued.
“It means that I, along with the other Houses have decided to have a dance-off for the Halloween Ball.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“Oh, I am quite serious, now shut the bloody hell up, all of you and let me finish!” George and I held our breath as she began to parade around the herd. We hid near the bookcase, away from her wondering legs and swinging arms.
“The dance will consist of all seventh year girls and teams are divided by Houses. And since I believe none of you have a history in dancing, I will be choreographing the entire thing. I already have a few songs in mind and I would like to hear any ideas you have later….like tomorrow, or later than that. Any questions?”
“Yeah, do we have to do this?”
“What kind of question is that, Sanders?” Julia Sanders frowned meekly and sunk into the lounge chair even more.
“A bloody great one, Snickett. Not all of us have time to practice our Tango for another lame attempt at House competition. I don’t know about you, but my schedule consists of better things than painting my nails and worrying about my hair.”
“Well maybe you should start worrying; that mane of yours is about to attack any day now, Williams. But to answer your questions, yes. Participation from all seventh year girls is mandatory as said by Professor McGonagall, herself. Now, I think practices should-”
“And why are you teaching us to dance? I doubt the lessons James Western has been giving you haven’t helped any.”
“What are you talking about, Williams? Jealous because he stood you up today?”
"I'm talking about that Two-Tounge -"
“Williams got stood up?” George’s voice was a harsh whisper. I licked the gathering sweat off my lip. Talking seemed to make it hotter under this blasted thing (thank you CO 2 emissions), but I answered him anyway.
“Alicia said she stood him up.”
“Oh, scandalous, eh?”
“Sh! I can’t hear what they’re saying!”
“I think I have to sneeze.”
“Hold it! You’ll blow our cover!” I elbowed him in the rib, hoping to stop any attempt his body might have had to give away our hide-out.
Unfortunately, it only caused him to sneeze as loudly as humanly possible.
"AH-CHOO!!" I would have liked to say that it had gone unnoticed by the group, but we never dared to find out. George and I instantly bolted across the room, up the stairs and into our dorms before anyone could declare us peeping on their party.
“I must admit, that was interesting to say the least.”
“Not really. Do you know how their practices will effect Quidditch? I’ll have to tell Victoria that she can’t have-”
“Oh relax, Wood. Victoria’s head of it. That right there should tell you what a blow-off it is.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Even though I didn't like her as much as I was supposed to, I didn't take any shit from no one when it came to them talking about her.
“Oh. You’re still dating her? My bad. Thought you two were over that.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Never mind. Have you seen Fred? I thought he went to the kitchen, but he should be back by now.”
“Well, sorry. I didn’t know I would have to be feeding an army by myself.” Fred stumbled in the door, a small brown sack in his hand.
“Of course!” We circled around the sack, sitting on the creaky, wooden floor. I kicked away some old knickers and a slipper before comfortably grabbing any food from the bag.
When we thought we were finally settled, the door creaked opened, revealing my favorite person ever.
Come on, even you had to note the bloody sarcastic memorandum on my part.
“Please say you have some chocolate muffins.”
“Yuff. Ta’e omf.” Fred tossed Williams a muffin as she cleared away old Chocolate Frog wrappers and stale jellybeans.
“Nice job back there, you two. Saved us from any more lecturing on the art of dance.”
“No.” George frowned and continued with his pastry.
“Wha’d happ?” Did Fred ever learn to at least chew his food before spitting at everyone else?
Williams sighed and waved the matter off, “Nothing. Just keep your mouth closed. I already showered once today.” She wiped off any stray crumbs given to her by Fred.
“Is that more than your norm?”
“Like, duh, Wood. I just love the feeling of dirt on my body. Ooohh.” Her voice was high in pitch and sarcasticness, what a great combo. i think I could've mentally slapped myself for opening that door.
“No need to be sarcastic, Andy. Bad day?” George gently poked her in the stomach. “I heard about Western.”
“Yeah well, apparently,” She scoffed, “Red-hair is so…not blonde, as genially stated by Mr. Western himself.”
“Well that’s a poor reason to ditch a girl, what say you, Fred?”
“I must agree with you on that one, George.” This is the part of the talk when most, if not all, fellow conversationalists get lost in the hand motions and telekinesis these twins share.
“Do you know what they’re doing?”
“Not a clue,” I watched Williams pick at the rest of her muffin. “Did he really stand you because you weren’t blonde?”
“Yup. Looks like Jimmy-Kisser changed his preference.”
“I knew there was some reason you chose him, and knowing you it wouldn’t be a good one.” She smirked, taking another bite of her muffin.
“That’s not a nice thing to say to your Captain, is it?” I returned her lopsided grin with one of my own.
“Ooh! Speaking of Quidditch, you’re going to have to reschedule practice on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Icky Vicky had dance rehearsal in the Room of Requirement.”
“Excuse me!? Did you inform her that Quid-!”
“Quidditch is more important than some stupid dance that has to be performed in front of the entire school during the Halloween Ball?” She sighed, “Hell yes. And she said she’d have it taken care of. I mean, she is your girlfriend.” Did she just chuckle?
“So? She can’t bloody tell me how to manage my team. Victoria is going to have to change her days.”
“More power to ya.” Her hand gently touched my own for a brief moment and I began to wonder if she felt the shock I had felt too. It sounded so cliché, to actually think that. And now that I rethought that, really dumb too. Rewind. That thought never happened. Hell, I am Oliver sodding Wood, opposite of anything cliché and -
“Ow! Carpet shock!” Carpet…shock? My Seeker really was a complete idiot.
"The floor’s made out of – hey! Stupid, that’s my cookie!”
“I took it right out of your hand.” She smirked as she took a small bite of the baked chocolate chip delight.
“So, give it back; its not like you need to gain any more weight as it is.”
I think the look on Williams’s face would be described as disgusted, if not angry. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water, silently gasping for air in the sudden frosted atmosphere. Yeah, I definatly forgot to turn on my switch. You know, the one that tells you to think before you speak.
And then she did the unthinkable: hit me square in the forehead with the blasted thing.
One would think you’re Oliver Wood; you’ve been hit with quaffles and bludgers, and someone’s even thrown an inactive snitch at you, so, a cookie, like a feather, right?
I felt like I had just been hit with a rock. A chocolate, baked-with-love rock.
“You’re forehead’s red.”
Alright, I am really sorry this chapter isn't beta-d. I'm trying to edit it as fast as possible just to get this up. And I'm also sorry if I had a few of you confused in the first couple paragraphs. This chapter was in Oliver's P.O.V.; these chapters will randomly pop up when needed. This one was a filler chapter of course. I think I'm writing too quickly when it come to the 'plot'. And I also wanted you all to catch a glimpse of our dear Keeper's noggin. Hopefully you can spot some differences from Andy's way of thinking. I was hoping to make Oliver a bit more observant. Now, I will be editing this chapter again and again..I always seem to find more mistakes and ever after I hit the submit button.
So please review, even if you hated (I want to know how this Oliver chapter was, really!) and please tell me why you hated it. I would love you forever.
EDIT: This chapter has been revised as of 12/10/2007!
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