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Chapter 2 : "...'Alec'; as in 'smart aleck'"
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Chapter 2: “…‘Alec’; as in ‘smart aleck’”
I cocked an eyebrow. What the hell was he playing at?! “Well, you weren’t exactly whispering to spiders.” He looked shocked that I was speaking to him again but quickly covered it up with a smirk of amusement.
“And why would one feel the need to tell insects about a girl considerably nice to look at, such as yourself?” I blushed. Wow, does this guy know how to distract a girl. Flattery…good way to get off subject. Sure, I’ve used it on Professors, but in a way more blunt way.
“Okay, I’ll have to admit I was anticipating a denial, but kudos to you for proving me wrong. What are you doing here, anyway? Isn’t the Ravenclaw Tower on the other side of the castle?” I accused. He shrugged, slightly smiling.
“I was bored. What are you doing here, Ms. Gryffindor, whose name I have yet to discover?” It was awkward having a conversation with a person across an empty room.
“Same. You’ve forgotten, I don’t know your name either.” His smirk came back, along with a raised eyebrow.
“How do I know you won’t turn me in for being out after curfew?”
“Because then I’d get punished for being out, smart one. How else would I explain how I knew you were out?”
“Touché.” He cocked an eyebrow, again, probably reevaluating my wit. “So…are you going to tell me your name or not?” he asked, moving to lean forward on the next desk, consequently getting closer to me.
“I’m not risking it. I get enough detentions, as it is.” It was true; being a friend of the Marauders resulted in at least one detention a week. “It’s odd enough that I don’t recognize you at all. How could we not be any classes together? That’s impossible.” I felt myself begin to go into a rant, so I stopped myself before it got ugly.
“How would I know? I don’t have a copy of your schedule in my butt pocket,” he said, a bit defensively, I thought. I looked him up and down. He noticed and looked amused again. I sighed. Boy, was this guy cocky.
“Don’t flatter yourself. I was just trying to remember ever seeing you. It’s kind of hard to believe that you could be trapped in a place, ten months a year for a little more than six years, and not become familiar with every single face in your year. You are a seventh year, aren’t you?”
He chuckled at my ramble. “Yes.”
‘Okay, buddy, way to be specific,’ I thought. “And what is that directed to?”
“To both; I agree, and yes, I’m in seventh year. Why? You lookin’ for a study buddy?”
“How much studying would actually get done, with you staring at my chest every two seconds?”
“You know, it depends on what shirt you wear.” He looked me up and down once again, which made me look down to remind myself what I was wearing. I was wearing baggy blue plaid pajama pants, and a slightly big grey zip-up hoodie that I stole from one of my older brothers, zipped half-way up, with a white camisole under it. The hoodie’s right sleeve had slid down, exposing my shoulder, confirming my fears. I felt myself turn red and straightened it out and pulled the zipper up further. I took the flaps of my sweater in my hands and crossed my arms.
“Anyway, the point is that us never meeting is impractical.” His head was still inclined toward my chest, but his eyes looked up at my face when I spoke.
He sighed. “Why are you so hung up on that? So what? We’re meeting now, aren’t we?”
“You can hardly call this a meeting. We don’t even know each other’s first names, let alone last.”
“Names are getting over-rated, don’t you think?” he asked, smiling.
“Fine, have it your way. I’m going to give you a name anyway.”
He looked at me weirdly. “Oh, are you? And what name would that be?” he questioned challengingly, walking closer.
I moved to lean back on another desk, now facing 90 degrees away from him, and rested my elbow on my other arm, that was still across my chest, and tapped my chin. “I’m gonna call you ‘Alec’; as in ‘smart aleck.’”
He looked thoughtful and repeated the name. “Alec…I can live with that,” he decided with a shrug.
“Good…” I smiled, tantalizingly, “’cause my second choice was ‘Dick.’”
He furrowed his eyebrows, again reevaluating my wit. “Shall I give you a name, then?”
“No need. I’m gonna be a civilized person and tell you my real name.”
He laughed. “What happened to the whole rat-each-other-out caution?”
I shrugged. “I know you won’t. You don’t seem the tattle type.” He half-smirked and half-smiled at that. “My name’s Jenyse.”
“Nice to meet you.” When he said this, he had an expression different from the ones he had shown all night. He looked genuine, and wore a crooked smile. I had to admit; it was attractive.
“You too. Now I hate to cut this acquaintance short, but I better get back to my dormitory.” I said goodbye with a smile, grabbed the Cloak, and headed for the door.
“Hey, wait a second,” he stopped me. I turned back around. “How about I make you a deal?”
“What kind of deal would that be?”
“You think I’m being mysterious, don’t you?” I admitted that I did with a nod. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you one fact or characteristic about me a day. That's one clue, and one clue only.”
To say the least, I was intrigued. But there was something else, and I knew it. "Each day?" He nodded. “What’s the catch?” I demanded, eyeing him carefully.
“No catch,” he said in what looked like all honesty.
“Then why did you call it a deal?”
He shrugged. “What else would I call it?”
I shrugged back. He looked thoughtful again. Here comes the catch….I sighed. “Spit it out.”
“You know what? All of a sudden a catch sounds pretty nifty.”
Hah! He said ‘nifty!’ I get made fun of for saying nifty! “Speak now, or forever hold your peace,” I said. I was running out of patience.
“I will give you one fact a day, if…you tell no one about this whole…thing between us.”
“Thing? There’s no thing.”
“You know what I mean. Us meeting.”
“I’ve got my reasons.” I pondered about this. Again, it was an intriguing thought, but he was worrying me. Ah, well, what the hell?
“It’s a deal.” He grinned. “Well, I’ll see you around, Alec.”
“See you…Jenyse.” I smiled again, waved, and left for the common room, thinking.
Why wouldn’t he want me to tell anyone about us meeting? We go to the same school, for Merlin’s sake! But I would keep my end of the bargain. He interested me with his mysterious presence. Even though he was a smart aleck, something about him made me want to find out more about him.
The sunlight shone though the red curtains of my four-poster, waking me up. I deliberated going back to sleep, because I was so tired. I had gotten less sleep than usual, for I was thinking about Alec and his little game. I figured I’d be able to rid myself of my fatigue sooner or later, since it was the weekend, so I got up. I took a shower and dressed in warm muggle clothes. Since I would be going down with my hair still wet, I put it up in a messy bun. As I was leaving the bathroom, I almost bumped into Evans.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I apologized.
“It’s quite alright, Jenyse,” Evans replied. “How have you been? I haven’t really been able to talk to you lately, what with being a Head and homework and all.” She gave me an apologetic look.
Yeah…right…Head duties…hah! Excuses of the world! Unravel this mystery, grasshopper: why do I have loads of time to hang out with James, huh?! “Oh, don’t worry about it. I know you’re busy. I’ve been absolutely spiffing!” – I get made fun of, using that word too. – “How about you? Are you staying for Christmas?”
“Yes, I am, but I really wish I could go home and see my parents,” she said sadly.
“Then why don’t you? You’ve still got time to change your mind.”
“Well, honestly, I really don’t want to see my sister and her whale-of-a-boyfriend. She hates me for being a witch. She’s such a bitch,” she said, angrily.
My jaw dropped. “…Lily Evans!” She looked up at me, surprised at my tone of voice. “Did you just highly insult and curse at a person?! Let alone your sister?! I’m shocked!” I gasped and slapped my hand to my mouth dramatically.
She crossed her arms defiantly. “Oi, I curse! And she deserves it, anyway,” she defended.
“She’s probably just jealous. I mean, come on; you’ve got this awesome power, you’re smart as hell, and guys go for you.” I can’t believe I just said that. She turned red; flattered. Oh, geeze…
We were still blocking the bathroom door, and another girl needed to get through, so we moved to sit on our beds, which happened to be right next to each other.
“Guys do not go for me.”
“Pff…what do you think James is? A girl?” She looked away. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. You two are just becoming friends,” I said quickly.
“No, it’s fine! Anyway, you’re right. She probably is just jealous….Well, I’ve got to get changed. I’ll see you around!” She got up and headed towards the door.
Don’t do it, Jenyse. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it, and you know it! Don’t do it! “Hey, Lily! I don’t know if you’ve got plans already, but would you like to meet up at The Three Broomsticks on Saturday with me and a few friends?” Aw, shit. Way to go, Jenyse!
Evans thought this over for a second and replied, “Sure! Sounds great! Um, are James and them going to be there?”
Ooh! I mentally wiggled my eyebrows suggestively. ‘James and them.’ Not, ‘Remus and them,’ or simply, ‘the Marauders.’ Boy, is James going to get thrilled about this! “Sadly, no. But, Travis Decker is!” Although the disappointment was still there, her face lit up, a bit, suddenly interested.
“Travis Decker? Oh, I’ve always wanted to talk to him and be one of the few to get to know him, but I just never have the time! He’s so isolated all of the time. I feel horrible for him! You’re his friend, right? I idolize you for befriending him! I don’t know why, but I wish I could have just one conversation with him and get to know him.” Her eyes were glazed over, as she thought about how Head-Girl-ish this would make her.
“Well, now, here’s your chance! I’ll save the other seat next to him just for you.” What am I getting myself into?!
“Really?! Oh, then I’m definitely in! Thanks, Jenyse!” She waved and went to get changed.
I smacked my hand to my head and sighed. I went down into the Great Hall, bumping into people as I went. I wasn’t paying attention to what was in front of me and kept receiving weird and some concerned looks.
“Do I feel warm? I think I’m sick,” I said as I plopped down next to Sirius, and put my head in my hands. He felt my forehead with the back of his hand.
“You feel fine. Why?”
“Argh. I just invited Lily Evans to join Travis and I in Hogsmeade.”
“You what?!” James exclaimed. “I don’t want her hanging out with Decker!”
“Fine, I’ll tell her her father said so! She was actually thrilled that Travis was going to be there. I can’t believe this!”
“Thrilled? What do you mean, thrilled?”
“She wants to be ‘one of the few to get to know him,’” I imitated her voice. “She said she idolizes me for befriending him. Are you serious? Who the hell says ‘idolize?!’” I exclaimed, buttering a slice of toast angrily and taking a bite.
“Who says ‘nifty?’” challenged Sirius.
“Shut up. Anyway, good news for you, she wasn’t too happy you weren’t going.”
“Really?!” James perked up.
“Yeah. She also blushed when I accused her of thinking you were a girl.” Remus snorted into his drink.
“She thinks I’m a girl?”
“Long story,” I dismissed his question.
“When did you have this long and detailed talk with Evans, anyway?” asked Peter. “I thought you hated her.”
“Well, I don’t hate her. I just don’t find her enjoyable to hang out with. I was talking to her just before I left my dorm. She ambushed me with a bunch of dumb questions and excuses of why she never has time to talk to me. Not like I really care, or anything,” I grumbled.
“You two used to be best friends,” Remus said.
“Yeah, then she started hating you guys. I couldn’t stand it. You’ve heard the whole story. So, are you going to change your mind? For Lily?” I asked James, purposely using her first name.
“Don’t do it, Prongs. She’s just trying to get you to go so she can set you up with Decker,” Sirius warned. I hit him in the arm.
“But it’s Lily, Sirius!” he complained, torn between the two.
“Just let her go, just this once!”
“Fine. Sorry, Jenyse.”
I sighed. Stupid Sirius. “I should have figured,” I said as I returned to my breakfast.
I spent half of the day with the Marauders, discussing what we would do over break, and the rest of the day with Travis. Over the course of the day, I recruited good candidates who I thought Travis would get along with.
“So who’s coming, now?” Travis asked me as we sat in the library. I was looking up ‘advice on shy friends’ in multiple books, much to Travis’s dismay. I took out my list. Yes, I made a list.
“Well, there’s Corbin Stoker, Jordan Hayden, Shane Clark, Haylie Baker, Lena Margoulis…oh, and uh…Lily Evans,” I added, trying to seem nonchalant, and returning to the pages of Skittish Witch.
“Excuse me? Lily Evans? Are you kidding?! Jenyse, she’s gonna give me a History of Magic lecture while we’re there!” he whined, childishly. “And why are you reading that, anyway? I’m a guy, remember? I can prove it to you!”
“Oh, please do!” I joked, and received a reprimanding glare. “Hey, you’re the one that offered!” I held my hands up, noting my innocence. He rolled his eyes and held up the book with a questioning look.
“Ugh, yes, I know you’re a guy.” I snatched the book from his hands. “So what if it’s called Skittish Witch? It’s gonna be the same thing for a guy, isn’t it? Even if the suggestions in here are like, ‘have a sleepover and do each other’s hair and nails,’ doesn’t mean the situations are any different. All you have to do is replace that with, ‘grunt, leave the toilet seat up, and talk about girls inappropriately,’ right?” He glared.
“Evil woman,” he grumbled. “Well, I’m gonna go back to the common room. You coming?” He stood up and gathered up his school books. Yes! It distracted him from Evans coming. I was about to say yes, when my mind aimlessly went to Alec. I hadn’t seen him all day, and I hadn’t gotten my hint of the day.
“Um…no. I’m going to stay here a bit longer. I’ll see you up there?”
“Oh, okay. See you.” As he left, I gathered the books I was going to borrow. I went to the front desk and checked them out.
I began walking towards the direction of Gryffindor Tower, when I realized I didn’t know where to find him. I continued to walk around the castle aimlessly and hoped to bump into him. I peeked into every open and empty classroom. I finally found him in a fourth floor corridor. He was leaning against the wall, looking bored. When he caught sight of me, a look of relief washed over him. He pushed himself off of the wall and started walking towards me.
“Finally! Somebody to talk to!”
I cocked an eyebrow. “Don’t you have any other friends?”
“That’s kind of surprising. You’re such a cocky guy. No offense,” I added, just in case.
He chuckled. “None taken. So, what have you been up to?”
“Not much since last night. I’ve just been planning what I’m doing next Saturday on the Hogsmeade trip.”
It was then that he noticed the books I held. He creased his forehead. “Are those for me?”
I looked down to see what he was talking about, then laughed. “No, you wouldn’t need it. It’s for a friend.”
“And is this friend as pleasant of a view as you?” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
I almost died, right there. I was laughing so hard that I dropped all of the books, and they scattered all over the floor. I still hadn’t controlled myself when I crouched down to pick them all up. “Well, if you swing that way….” He suddenly had a terrified expression.
“It’s a guy?! Then why do you have all of these ‘advice on shy witches’ books?” He crouched down too and – I thought – hesitantly reached to pick up a book. When he took hold of it, he seemed stunned that it didn’t runaway, and then passed the book to me.
“Merlin, who cares?! It’s the same thing for guys, anyway!” He looked at me weirdly for freaking out. “Sorry. Anyway, yes, Travis is surely a male. He likes to keep to himself a lot. I’m one of his very few friends. I’m planning a get-together at the Three Broomsticks to get him to socialize more. Wanna join?” I really wanted him to say yes, but I kept my face void of any hope.
“Um, I think I’ll pass.”
I tried desperately to conceal my disappointment. “Oh, okay. Are you going to Hogsmeade at all?” I asked, trying not to look him in the eye, just yet.
“No. I’m just going to stay here. I’ve been to Hogsmeade a bunch of times, anyway.”
“Right. So…” I finally looked up, “what’s new with you?” We both stood up and began walking.
“Nothing really. Just bored. Not much to do around here, when you’re in seventh year.”
“Not very social either, are you? Are you sure you don’t want to borrow some of these books?”
He laughed. “No, thank you. I’m good.”
“So, uh, it’s a new day,” I hinted, eager to get a clue to who he was.
“I see,” he dodged, slyly.
“A new day equals a new clue, am I right? Or were you just playing with my mind?” I tapped my temple, notifying him of where my brain was…not that I needed to…I hoped.
“Haha. No, you’re right. A clue a day. That was the deal."
“And that clue would be…” I pushed, impatient.
He looked thoughtful. I supposed he was thinking of what about himself he would reveal to me today. I watched every expression that flashed through his face, and every movement of his hands, trying to learn his habits. Some might think it stalker-like, but I thought of it as extra facts about him.
“Okay, take any longer...” I said.
“Alright, alright. I’ve got one,” he decided. I raised my eyebrows in persistence. He turned back to me, from ahead of me, and mocked shock. “Oh, you want me to tell you?!” I rolled my eyes.
“Spit it out now, before I put the smack down on your arse.”
“Okay, okay!” He laughed and backed away from me. I thought I saw sincere fear in his eyes, but blamed it on my imagination. Then he suddenly got serious, smiling somewhat sadly. “Uh…I’m an orphan.”
A/N: Dun dun dunnn.... Haha. Yeah. You like? Please, please, please, PLEASE tell me what you think! I'm dying for some feedback, here, folks! I REALLY want to hear what you think! I honestly do! From your favorite parts to constructive criticism! Please! Anything! And thank you very much for reading! Now if you'll just complete the other "R" in "R&R", you will be awesome. THANKS!
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