Chapter 5 : One Less Sad Robot
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“…pregnant from oral sex alone. Sperm has to get into the vagina — and eventually up through the cervix into the uterus. But if a couple has vaginal sex while hooking up, the girl could get pregnant. And while getting pregnant isn’t a possibility with oral…”
“UGH!” I threw the magazine across the room. With my ‘much needed’ bed rest, I was stuck reading textbooks and Alicia’s vast variety of old Cosmo-Witches (along with a few BELLE magazines, talk about fashion overload). Who knew there were so many horny, young witches too idiotic to care for their own bodies?
I grumbled before snatching another magazine from the girl’s well kept stash. It was an older issue from April. The classic blonde model waved in a chic, vintage witch’s hat on the glossy cover. I flipped past the contents pages, looking for any sign of the idiot who owned this publication.
It was probably some old, hair-from-a-cauldron, cougar – ready to snatch up the young witches of our society and transform them into her deadly, confidence-killing soldiers. She probably even dated men half her age, covering herself with glamour incantations to hide her wrinkles and sags.
…Or it was some old man. Peter Blumen gave a brisk wave to the reader, even passing a wink with a business-like manner. Under his framed photo, in bold print, were the words: Peter Blumen; C.E.O. and President of Cosmo-Witch Publications and Industries. The fact that it was probably some pervy, eighty-ear-old sugar daddy of a man suddenly made the idea of reading this worse.
Background noise; the clock ticked feverishly, slowly, seconds by second and hour by hour. The Tower was basically empty; for it was a beautifully, cold day today. The rain had left our northern skies to be replaced with a light breeze blowing away all remnants of fall. It would be cold in class. The scrap fabric Katie called a skirt barely covered my thighs and with the itchy robes they made us wear it looked like high socks were my best bet.
I sighed, stretchy slightly across my bed, my back making a horrid cracking noise in the process, and jumped onto the floor. The previously thrown magazine had found its way under my feet. The glossy cover creating no friction between my feet and the floor as it slipped from under me. I had no time to save myself from the fall onto the hard, wooden floor, face-planting into another stack of forgotten magazines.
Wearily, I glanced at the mocking witch in the article: Dressing Up Those Frumpy Winter Clothes! Her brunette mop was casually dressed in a red knit cap, an open brown jacket covered its matching red undershirt. She was also wearing a darker brown skirt and a pair of tights which elongated her short legs. Her robes, in addition -
Thank you: Thomas Edison (silly Muggle inventor, never mind you) and horribly, ridiculous fashioniastas who invented tights! These longer spandex would solve all my problems when it came to chills in class. Angelina would have a pair. She wore them a lot with her weird, fluffy boots. Merlin, I didn’t even want to think about those stupid boots.
Sadly, on a day when the lake was defrosted a bit, and after being forced to wear them around the Common Room, I figured the squid would love a new pair of feet covers; I don’t think anyone really new, except maybe Wood. He saw me fling the pair from the window and land with a splash into the black lagoon. Apparently he had been snogging – studying? – with some Hufflepuff girl under the window…
Just my luck, eh? I rolled my eyes at the thought before rummaging through Angie’s drawers. Apparently her dresser was as organized as Alicia’s locker room sideboard. Her uniforms were mixed with Muggle clothing and socks while panties sat with…a new pair of fluffy boots? I scoffed and threw them aside.
“Looting? I thought you were better than that, Williams. Did you fall on your head too hard?” My muscles automatically stiffened at his voice. Due to security spells no boy was allowed in the girls’ dormitory, but Wood had managed that now, hadn’t he?
“Well, you sure as hell know not to put it past me, eh? How’d you get up here anyway?” I turned as his eyes shifted to the broom leaning against the door frame.
“Alicia wanted me to fetch you for lunch.”
“That sure was nice of you. Did she threaten you with goblin slime again?”
“No,” He sighed, taking my place on the goose-down feather comforter on the bed, “she said the squid would have a new broom to play with.”
“Oh, that’s just equally as traumatizing, no?” He glared as he shifted in my bed, picking up the latest issue of Cosmo-Witch, one I had yet to read. “Are these nylons?”
I help up a pair of what looked like high socks with panties. “Obviously, Williams,” His eyes rolled, he hadn’t even bothered to look up.
“Er, how do I put these on?”
“Like trousers, I suppose. I’ve never had to wear a pair.”
“And I guess you can’t see your shag-buddies put them back on in the broom closest either.”
“I don’t have shag-buddies, Williams. I would prefer if you stopped fantasizing about me.”
“I can’t help it if I’m just innocently walking to class and Victoria-” I snuck a peek in his direction, at the mere mention of her name he should have been up in arms, eagerly defensive and ready to attack.
But he wasn’t.
The magazine had fallen from his hands and in its place was a small piece of parchment, folded neatly into a paper-football triangle. Carefully, as if even the slightest breathe would tear it, he attempted to open it, pulling at the corners slowly as to not smudge any ink or break any sentences.
It was clearly a note passed along between my troublesome trio, probably from the day before. With stockings barely above my knees, I waddled across the wooden floor towards Wood, awkwardly. By the time I got there, the note was open and apparently illegible by the look on his face.
I pulled the nylons up a bit as I sat down, taking the note from his hands. He instantly loomed over my shoulder, still trying to read the parchment. I stiffened to hide a small shiver his breathe against my neck had caused.
“All caps is Angela’s, while the pretty cursive is Alicia’s, leaving the obnoxious, bubble font to be Kats’.” His chin now rested on my shoulder; his breathes began to deepen while his exhales shortened.
“Apparently they’re talking about the meeting I missed…She’s going to be so pissed…Maybe Alicia should tell her…Has she ever sung before?...I don’t think the shower counts, babe…What the hell are they talking about? …Oh-!”
Alicia’s letters began to squish together and shrink into an almost unreadable size. Which probably meant what she had to say was scandalous – or maybe she was about to tell who the sucker stuck with singing was. Wait, why would anyone be singing anything?
But before anything could be discovered, Wood snatched the note away from me, his eyes greedily eating in every word. The smirk of his grew wider into a Cheshire grin; panic filled as I gave a desperate shot to take it back.
My frugal attempt led him to quickly leap off my bed. My arms still reached out for him – the note – I meant, as he took another step backwards. I gave a low growl, shimmying the nylons up as best I could before attacking my prey.
The victim was ignorant of what was coming, the note now grasped tightly in his left hand, down at his side. The shift in his feet was a small attempt in case I would pull anything. It didn’t help him too much as I tackled him to the ground. It was less that a second before I was professionally pined.
Wood’s hazel eyes locked into my own - determination crashed with too much pride and eagerness. His knee jabbed in my thigh; the nylons still weren’t on properly, giving me a large handicap in this situation. His callused hand grasped my wrist tightly above my head; his other was planted on the floor next to my head, stabilizing himself. How close he was, was almost embarrassing – his familiar scent rushed through my nostrils, causing my cheeks to fever, while the heat of his breath against my face only worsened it.
Sweat, leather, and chocolate.
It had only been a second (felt like minutes), when my free hand fluttered under him, barely gracing his slightly risen shirt. A plan-bunny hopped innocently through my mind, sending electricity through my fingertips as they fluttered against Wood’s abdominals.
His eyes widened at first, before succumbing to a pile of giggles onto the floor beside me.
“Wil – Williams,” This time, I stood over him, this time I was the one smirking, and this time I was winning. I switch my hand for my foot, poking my covered toes into his stomach as I finally pulled up the nylons. They itched annoyingly against my thighs, causing unwanted friction. The note had been carelessly tossed aside, making it easy for my reach, along with my wand at its place on my nightstand.
“Accico shoes.” Wood’s giggling had begun to simmer, only giving me t-minus five seconds before he would grab my foot and pull me down.
With my worn-out shoes in hand, I stumbled to put them on and run across the bed.
Slightly stunned, Wood still regained his senses quicker than expected. My unlaced shoes slowed me down as I skipped stairs.
“Oi, Williams! That was bloody low!” Almost there, almost to the safe zone. All I had to do was make it out the Common Room door and –
He grabbed my wrist, causing me to fling backwards and fall into him, consequently landing us both on the hard floor. Wood took no time with offense (my defense was a bit frazzled). He was on top of me and this time I did nothing to hide the blush against my cheeks. The sound of his breathing – loud, rugged, and heavy, was nothing but a small echo compared to my heart beating wildly in my own ears. His hazel eyes were clouded with mischief; perhaps he was feeling a tad coy about the situation unfolding.
“Give it back.” His breathe caressed my face.
“Over my dead body.”
Our oxygen flow became simultaneous. The few seconds had not grown as awkward as one would have thought. For that moment, he wasn’t Oliver Wood anymore, he…he was someone completely and utterly different. But I supposed pretty couldn’t have a right term, as I’m sure most people would have disagreed with me when it came to adjectives describing Oliver Wood. Arrogant, selfish, stubborn, and idiotic were words frequently used in my vocabulary when he was the area under discussion.
But I had never been close enough to actually see his eyes sparkle, I mean, really sparkle. Or how the pores on the tip of his nose were slightly bigger than he ones on the rest of his face. I also never noticed how, if he remained focus, his face would go a set of repeated movements. His eyes would scan his subject, his brows would furrow slightly like a child thinking too hard, and then he would lick his bottom lip, beginning the process all over.
His hand tightened around my own, crinkling the note even more so than I already had. But the sound, no matter how small, had woken me into reality.
This is stupid. My Quidditch captain has tackled me to the ground and here I am having these dumb fantasies. He is the one who got me into this mess to begin with. And he’s the one who ruined my Hogsmeade trip by setting me up with that ignorant slut of a boy.
Oh, how I wanted to yell. “Wood, you do realize that you’re lying on top of me in the middle of Common Room where anyone could walk in and assume the worse?” But I didn’t. No matter how the words screamed in my mind, my mouth remained forcefully closed as to no fault of my own.
Dude, this is Oliver fucking Wood; stop acting like a big poon and snap out of it. He’s the one who thought it would be just awesome to have you run a million laps which eventually led to a bum noggin and a full day of bed rest. I kept repeating the situation in my head, hoping that maybe my body would understand the problem going on here.
It was a complete failure though. Bloody hormones got the best of me. Is how he made the rest of the female population feel? The extra drool salivating in the mouth, the clammy hands, and other sensations?
Note to self:
I mean, do you remember watching those old Count Dracula movies? The black and white ones preferably. Do you remember how the young, innocent, virgin girl would get stuck in a freak storm, along with having her car break down, and have to stay in Dracula’s castle? He was courteous, odd, but a gentleman nonetheless. The mysterious professor, or her boyfriend, or…well, the man also staying the castle would always be wary of the Count, never stating his suspicions to anyone other than himself by the fire. But at last, he would suddenly waken in the middle of the night, seeing a mysterious shadow wander the hall, towards the young virgin’s room.
He would enter, only to find the girl hypnotized by the Count, unable to think, move – get away from her attacker. I was the virgin and he was Count Woodula, ready for my sacrifice. And sadly, there was no savior for me.
My body twitched as his lips reached for the nape of my neck. Oh, this sucked. Out of all the people I am stuck with in this position….it couldn’t even be someone I at least liked.
What he did next would scar our relationship – if you could all it that, for the rest of our lives. He would chuckle at every glare I threw, smirk at every snarling comment, and punish at every sign of rebellion in practice.
The damned twit gave me a raspberry. A God-damned raspberry.
Believe me; I know what you are thinking, because I was thinking the same thing too.
What the fuck?
Multiply that by a million and two.
“What the hell, Wood? Stupid wanker – gettoff me!” No matter how much anger ran through my veins, no matter how annoyed or peeved I had felt in that moment, my body didn’t react directly in the way I had hoped. A small gaggle of giggles erupted from my stomach and past my tired lips; slowly falling into a idiotic, girlish sigh.
He, too, laughed.
Again: damn, teenaged hormones. Nothing but trouble.
This would have been nice, I supposed, if we had been friends, ex-lovers, current lovers… But we weren’t, we were small next-door-neighbors, both stubborn with a fierce love of competition and short-fused tempers. We fought like children, and sometimes, flirted like them too. We could talk when no one was around, like secret friends, both hiding from our true selves amongst seas of friends and peers. Our wish to always be right got in the way anything that could have grown into friendship.
My muscles began to relax, bones cracking against the wooden floor. But, it was silly, immature moments like these that sporadically appeared in our lives, causing minor confusion and embarrassment. I was losing myself against a bet that wasn’t even that. And it had only been a matter of a couple weeks.
His grip on me loosened and his body began to relax as well. His knee finally let go of my thigh and blood began to flow to my toes again. I winced as the tingling sensation roared down my leg.
I didn’t like it; I wanted to argue, I wanted to swear and spit. I wanted to pick fights and win them too. I didn’t want to care if I got dirt on my face or if my eyebrows were perfectly even.
“Then don’t. I don’t see why girls like you should care about any of those things.”
Our eyes met once again. The switchboard between my brain and mouth must’ve had a small power outage causing whatever I was thinking to be said out loud. Of course it chose the most inopportune times to do that.
Wait…What did he mean by ‘girls like me’?
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I struggled underneath him, causing his grip to retighten and his focus to regain on me.
“Well, its just that -.”
“It’s just that Wood was supposed to have you down in the dining hall fourteen minutes ago.”
Enter Angie, a.k.a. Medusa. Seriously, with a mane like that, it was surely easy to confuse her death glare with one that could turn you into stone. Red painted fingers placed neatly at her hips, a stance her mother would be proud of. As if this girl needed to add to her queen-bitch factor. I meant that in the most loving way possible.
“Yes, ma’m?” I squeaked, shifting my head to look at her from under Wood, who had yet to move his fat arse off. Probably didn’t want to have Angie see how red his face was. Idiot.
Like I was supposed to know color mattered when it came to tights? With my yellow, banana legs, I felt like a giant, walking caution sign.
As in Caution: I can’t dress myself.
Potions class was horribly embarrassing. Snape took away fifteen points for improper dress code.
“Because your hair didn’t draw attention to you already, Miss Williams?” As Big Bird so kindly put it, which is exactly what he would’ve looked like if he was stuck in these…these…things!
An unpleasantly skin-tight image flashed across my mind. Snape in a canary leotard, hairy, yellow, Snape-y.
I was currently escorting myself to the pitch. After finally reading the note, I refused to talk to either Katie, Alicia, or Angelina. During last night’s meeting someone offered the grand idea as to have an actual performer to dance to. So of course, clearly knowing my dilemma, my so-called friends volunteered me for the gig as to ‘help me out’.
Practice for the actual singing didn’t start till tomorrow. I also found out that Victoria was going to sing in the first round, leaving me with the second. Awesome. Because the life of Andy Williams couldn’t get any better. Oh, and in case you were wondering:
Back in Black.
Yes, the hit 80’s Muggle song by the band whose name belonged in the electronics department. Imagine me singing it. Also imagine playing water polo with the giant squid because I would rather do that. And if the plan blossomed, then I did in fact arrange to invite the squid to a nice one on eight-legged match. I had even written him a letter last class.
Dear Sir Squid, (after being in that nasty lake for years, Merlin knows he would have to have been knighted or something. Maybe I should ask Nick.)
According to my wizarding almanac, the weather will be perfect on October 30th through 31st for a fine polo tournament. Winner can have my broomstick as well as any social skills I may have required throughout the years. The winner can also have whatever pride I have left. And if you think this game may be one-sided, you are quite correct for I am sure due to your extra six appendages; your chance of completing the competition successfully is slightly higher than mine.
Andy Williams of Gryffindor
And if I wasn’t so preoccupied with spellchecking my letter, my banana legs might’ve not totally been considered utterly useless when it came to raised cracks in the floor due to a pestering Peeves who loved to trip mindless first years. I would have eaten it too, if it hadn’t been for a wondering boy and his reflexes of concentrated action!
“Careful!” The boy wrapped an arm around my shoulders, clutching me and my books in a single swoop. The first thing I noticed was his bumblebee necktie. Of course I couldn’t be saved by anyone who actually mean it. Everyone knew that Puffs were just a bunch a lame, nice kids who would rather serve at a soup kitchen than anything fun.
“Er, sorry. I should’ve been paying attention to –.” I stepped back out of his grasp and let out a small gasp. His was a familiar face, seen many times against the seas of Hufflepuffs that paraded the Great Hall. I never noticed him really, but up close and personal, he was a bit taller than me, at least a full head. His dirty blonde hair was ruffled and slightly untamable; his deep-chocolate eyes were just as impish. Just like a box of chocolates. His posture hinted to a comical persona.
It was an echo of the Wood moment earlier and I wanted to stab myself in the eyeball.
His arm hung loosely at his side while the other held the strap of his shoulder bag. He moved to lean against the wall, ankles neatly crossed, raising his pant leg a bit; showing black socks and scuffed shoes. No tattoos or rebellious gym sneakers. This knight in shining foil was a little less….spontaneous looking than I had ever imagined, but he would have to do for time being.
His fringe fell over his eyes, which he was constantly pushing aside. His lips were big, at least bigger than Wood’s. Not that I compare every boy I meet to Oliver Wood. Maybe I should start comparing with the Weasleys…
His eyes were like theirs, always giggling at nothing. It was cute and disturbing; you never knew what would exit their mouths and hopefully (or not), this boy was like that too.
I leaned against the wall beside him, watching students pass by on their way to everywhere.
“No, it’s okay. Andy Williams, right?” I nodded, still having no clue who my Clark Kent was. “Nice legs.”
This kid seriously had no idea who he was messing with. Today was already spiraling down the hole of suck and he was not going to make it any worse.
“Shut up. You have no right to make fun of me. You don’t even know me.”
“Sure do. Everyone does. You’re Andy Williams; seeker for Gryffindor. You have a slight temper, a nose for trouble, a broken filter, and you sit in front of me in Transfiguration.”
“A broken filter? What the hell is that supposed to mean?” This kid sat behind me? Since when?
“The filter between your brain and mouth isn’t always workin’.” He laughed, nudging my shoulder slightly. I’d show him broken filter. Bloody git just met me and he’s already getting friendly.
“I don’t think you’ve earned the right to say things like that. I don’t even know who you are.”
“Well, sorry for bein’ so rude, Miss. They call me Wayne. Jeff Wayne.” He raised a brow in practiced perfection. It would have gone a little better without the snappy finger weapons.
“You’re mocking James Bond? You can’t be serious. And finger guns?”
“Aw, come on. Other girls find it quiet sexy.” He ran his hand through his hair and winked.
I was glad I hadn’t ate much lunch.
“But I s’ppose your no’ like other girls, eh?” This time it was my turn to raise a brow. Once again I had been described as the lone germ against a field of female amebas. The zebra in a heard of horses. The hippogriff in the lion’s den. The – you get it. Sorry. “But I shouldn’t be judgin’. We’ve only just met.”
“Good save. I was about to punch that bloody smirk off your face.”
Again he laughed. “I could tell. You’re quite cute when you’re flustered.” The halls were diluting, the bell was about to ring and Wood was going to kill me for being late again. I was half expecting the secret agent to tap my nose or something; cute? You want cute? I’ll give you cute.
“Want a candy? Tastes like butterscotch, I think.” And it’ll give you green hair and warts on your ass. At least, I hoped it would. You never knew with an untested Wrapped Weasley Wonder. I kept a few for moments like this. Moments where guys thought they could cop a feel on little, feisty Williams.
Suck on that, Puffie.
No really, I want to see what happens.
He smiled as I placed the yellow wrapped mystery into his hand. He murmured about saving it for later or something and placed it in his pocket. Oh well, I’d probably hear about it anyway. Hope its something good.
“You’re weird. And listen, uh, thanks for saving me and all but I got to go.” And leave this awkward convo before either one of us says/does/hexes something we’ll later regret.
“Wouldya like to grab a butterbeer, or somethin’?” Was this kid seriously asking me out? How would we get a butterbeer? Escape to Hogsmeade? Like a Hufflepuff knew the secret passages around the castle. Huffies = goody-goodies when it came to anything worth a detention, and I mean anything actually worth getting caught by Mrs. Hairball and her crazy sleazebag of an owner.
And Wood. What would he say? He would probably get me landed in the hospital wing again and as much as I loved Madame Pomfrey. . . .having her become my best friend was not on my to do list. Though she did say to stay in bed, and if I was supposed to stay in bed, then I wouldn’t be going to practice anyway.
Alright, I can argue that one.
Will Wood buy it?
Not a chance.
I sighed, briefly contemplating the boy in front of me. I had given the Puff a sugar coated weapon of mass destruction. At least I hoped it was more dangerous than its presumed ability to choke small children. But let’s see if this kid had the bollocks to handle an actual skip and my ‘nose for trouble’. Let’s see if he’s deemed worthy.
“Do I have time to drop off my books?”
He nodded, suddenly grinning. “Meet me at the headless knight near the library in fifteen minutes.” He’s timing me? What if I’m there in sixteen minutes? The guy’s going to ditch me? I already had the Weasleys jinxing James’ food to when he tried to eat, it would begin to waltz and turn into pebbles. And people can’t eat pebbles. But if he tried, he would grow an extra tongue.
How do I know that? George made the pebbles look like jellybeans. Apparently James has a weakness for them, and Victoria Snickett.
I glanced at him from the corner of my eye; he winked again, the cherubic grin still plastered in his face.
“Fifteen minutes.” Jeff nodded again before waving me off. Was it worth it? The trouble I could get in, I mean. I’m skipping class with a boy I just met only because he asked me to. Like I wanted to be bothered by practice anyway, or anyone involved in it.
Jeff Wayne. Angelina would consider him…well, she wouldn’t. She likes guys who play sports. And swear. And are aggressive…Well, I take that back. That just summarizes her ex bf-ers. She has now moved on her fiery teammate: Fred Weasley. I still don’t know if he’s fully aware of that piece of life changing knowledge but it should be hitting him pretty soon.
Alicia would wonder if he was more than just a pretty face and probably was to delve into his brain on boring subjects; so boring I don’t even want to list them, kthnx. And if she deemed him worthy, she would probably take him to a party and snog him to death.
Katie on the other hand, would have taken one look at him, wiped the drool off her face and kiss him for lack of oxygen and then probably never talk to him again unless he was any good.
I’m sorry if you find my friends to be picky, bitchy, and kind of slutty.
But I basically love them to death, so…
I pulled on a dirty pair of jeans and grabbed a jacket. Since when did society decide that we had to change and wash our pants after every individual use? If it’s not dirty, I’m going to wear it. I then pulled on some old Chucks I had lying under the bed since yesterday. It was nice not to be questioned of my whereabouts or who I was leaving with. Maybe I should skip more often.
The Fat Lady frowned as I exited the Common Room, knowing full well about yesterday’s…incident. And I told her maybe she shouldn’t party with the Cowboy Wizard one floor up before she started giving out advice on what and whatnot to do.
“I’ll be back before dinner.” I felt a little bad for snapping at her, but for Merlin’s sake: mind your own fricken’ business.
“If people ask -”
“They won’t.” And that was that. “Ooophf!”
Aw damn. The Fat Lady laughed. “It’s what you get for misbehaving.”
“A trick stair? That’s low.” Damn thing just had my ankle. And I knew about that stupid stair too! It had shown up recently after the incident with the forever revolving door prank in the library. Some Ravenclaws got stuck and thought it would be funny to put a trick door on the Gryffindor staircase. We weren’t the ones who even put the charm on the door! And how did they know where our tower entrance was anyway?
Anyway, I had my ankle stuck in a vortex and the Fat Lady laughing at me, and if she wasn’t a painting I would’ve given her bat boogies until her face turned green.
I sighed and tried to pull myself up, it was only my ankle, it shouldn’t be that hard, right? Well, I was two inches away grabbing the handrail and getting
out of –
“Honey, try the other banister.” I frowned and turned around. The Fat Lady giggled even more as I reluctantly grabbed hold of the railing beside me.
“Didn’t think you were going to show. And you lost the tights? Bummer.” He gave a dramatic sigh, and crossed his arms in a scolding manner.
“I got stuck on the staircase.”
“I’m not even going to ask.”
Jeff changed his pants and shoes as well. His tie had loosened and his held his sweater over his shoulder.
“Ready to go?”
“Oh? What? Yeah, sorry. Follow me.” He quickly grabbed my hand and ran down the corridor. “We have to make it to the one-eyed witch before Filch makes his rounds on the third floor.”
He knew. Somehow this bloody Puff knew about the passage to Honeydukes.
Act stupid: “What do you mean?”
“Don’t play coy, I know you know about it.”
Mission: Act Stupid: Aborted.
“If those Weasley twins know about then you sure as hell do too. Come on.” I almost tripped as he dragged me up a flight of stairs. “I saw them use it once when I was meeting up with Co Chang, to, uh, study.”
So now he spies on people? Why the hell is he in Hufflepuff? Why haven’t I met him before?
“Where have you been all my life?”
He smirked and finally stopped running; the statue stood behind us, its one eye glaring gleefully in frozen excitement. “Sitting behind you in Transfiguration. This year at least.”
Jeff pulled out his wand from his back pocket before placing his sweater in the witch’s empty hand and tapping it twice.
“Dissendium." He quickly grabbed his sweater as the witch stretched and moved to the side of the hidden door. As usual, she waved goodbye when we opened the door to leave.
“Do you really sit behind me in Transfig?”
“Two – no, three seats behind you actually.”
“Oh. I never turn around much, sorry.”
“Now you’re th’ one bein’ weird. Since when does Andy Williams apologize?”
“Since she’s getting a free butterbeer from a guy she just met.”
“Aw, you make us sound like strangers. And who said its free?”
“Were you seriously asking me to skip Quidditch for you? Have you met Oliver Wood?” He laughed again.
“No. I was only askin’ you to have the chance of hangin’ out with someone as awesome as me.”
“You think you’re awesome?”
“Basically. I mean, did you already forget that I’m a secret agent?”
“Ouch, Andy. That was harsh.” The basement was filled with candy and the rich odor of freshly made fudge. If we stayed here any longer, my broom was bound to break beneath name for the game Saturday. Apparently Wood already had trouble lifting me. And who knew if I would be playing this game anyway? Wood was probably still pissed at me and if he stayed that way, the kid from the reserve team would be taking my place.
But if his desire to win was greater than his hatred, then my name was already placed on the golden roster. Right after the Weasleys. I think.
“Sneakin’ again, eh, Jeffery?” The elderly voice startled us both. My hand instantly reached for my pocket, ready to hex the woman in a moment’s notice.
Again? He came here often? Often enough for the Candy Lady to know his name. Her husband slightly resembled the man who lived in the Candy Cane Forest, for those of you who ever played the childhood Muggle game of CandyLand. He was always my least favorite character. Plumpy owned. How sweet would it be to look like a plum, live in a plum tree, and eat plums all day? Well, looking like a plum wouldn’t be that great (Angie said purple really wasn’t my color – whatever the hell that means. Apparently there are colors one should and should not avoid for their own good).
They were nice people, but Fred, George, and I were always wary enough to not get caught in their basement. Without being seen, there was a smaller chance of being ratted out to the closest Prefect, Teacher, or Headmaster. At least that is our take on the subject. Darling Jeff here apparently decided to make friends with those who could actually get him expelled.
“’Ello Mrs. Flume. Bakin’ chocolates? Looks like we came at the right time.” The petite, chubby woman smiled in the dim light of her wand; a warm pan of fudge in the other. Her grey, frazzled hair was pulled back in a loose bun on top of her head; winkles stenciled crow’s feet and laugh lines along her face. Her features showed an old, tired woman, too busy for her own good and possibly everyone else’s.
“If Albus found out that I knew ye two were here…” Was she licking her lips or twitching? And was one eye closed? Maybe those weren’t laugh lines after all.
“Don’t worry, Mrs. Flume, we won’t tell a soul.” He crossed his heart, reached for spare gumdrops on the shelf and handed them to me. What the hell was I supposed to do with a handful of gumdrops?
“You’d better not. Now get yer rumps outta my basement before I change my mind.” The old lady quickly summoned a broom to beat us to the main floor.
Three Broomsticks was just as crowded as the weekend, which led me to guess that wizards also believe ‘it’s five o’clock somewhere’. Jeff spotted an empty table near the back, further pointing in its general direction. I sighed before marching through the crowd; gumdrops still in hand, and plopped down on an old wooden chair. My hands had started to sweat as soon as we left the candy shoppe, so when releasing the gumdrops to their wooden-laminated landing pad, they stuck annoyingly to my five-fingered appendage. By the time Agent Wayne got back with the butterbeers, I had managed to concoct a small sugary pyramid of awesomeness (Egyptians would have envied it and be shunned by its sheer radiant, brilliance and be blinded for a million years).
“Why aren’t you just the skyscraper queen, eh?” I took the mug out of his hand, inhaling its sweetening scent.
“It’s a pyramid.”
“I knew that.”
“Of course, that’s why you’re the secret agent.” Jeff winked (was it just me or did he do that a lot?), taking in a long slosh of the golden liquid in his hands.
“So, Miss Williams, do you normally go out with strangers?” He began to push the colored candy past his lips and nearly destroy my entire castle. I frowned at him and received a loud slurp as a reply.
“Strangers hardly ask. But if they did, then maybe.”
“I do find that hard t’ believe, though your past experiences with the opposite sex have ne’er been disclosed to the public, it does lead one to wonder…to wonder if we are your type.” Caught by surprise, my body’s response was to instantly gasp at the accusation. Sadly a large gulp of butterbeer blocked the airway.
Causing me to violently choke to death and never having to deal with Wayne’s badly informed inquiry.
“Oh Merlin, are you okay? That was a dumb thing to say, I jus’-” I stopped listening to his babble as soon as my brain received needed air. Maybe I wasn’t dead yet, but he would be.
Please tell me he did not just ask what I think he did. Out of all the questions to ask me; of all the things to pop out of his mouth…Wasn’t I the one whose brain-to-mouth filter was out-of-order?
He was…cute, too. Blugh. I need a life.
“Are you asking if I’m a lesbian?”
“Since you put it that way, I guess not. But I mean, I didn’t want ya thinkin’ I’m weird because I’m flirting with you, you know, if you were – which you’re not!”
“I can see why girls would be attracted to your suave way with words.”
“Aw, come on, Andy. Don’t be like that. It’s just that I never hear of you going out with…well, anyone. And you’re gorgeous, so I just figured…you had no social life or you were, ya know.” And he took the chance, that’s ballsy, I guess.
“Is this the part where I admit to having no social life?”
“I meant with dating.”
“Of course. Sorry.”
A pregnant silence ate away at any attempt anyone of us had made to start conversation. I mean, the kid thought I was lezzy because I’ve been too busy with friends and Quidditch to take time out to date.
The other girls seemed to have time though. Where did all mine go?
“You know, I’ve been meanin’ to ask you out for a while,” This is what he considers a date? Pfft. “But you’re always with Wood, or the Weasleys, or just…surrounded. Getting you alone is a very hard task to achieve
“But,” he chuckled, “It seemed like the time had finally hit me, or fell into, I should say. And here we are havin’ a horrible time. I’m sorry, really -”
“No, I’m having a…pleasant time. Really. It’s healthy to just skip every now and then. Even Quidditch, though the last time didn’t prove as body-friendly as usual. Tripping over a stray quaffle and getting a concussion is kind of embarrassing.”
“That’s what happened? Really? Wow. Rumor was you were with the group of kids that were attacked by flying potatoes. Peeves found a sack in the kitchen again.”
I chuckled, “Again? The Bloody Baron was supposed to keep an eye on him.”
“He’s a poltergeist. The whole ‘becoming invisible’ thing must make it difficult.”
“I guess…Oi, before I forget, don’t eat the butterscotch I gave you earlier. It’s an untested Weasley confection.”
“No way! You bloody serious? I gave it to my mate in the Common Room. What’s gonna happen?”
“No idea, they haven’t tested it yet.”
“…and that’s why Finnegan has a fear of leprechauns.”
“Woah. I never would have guessed it to be that serious.”
“Me either, but give ‘im a bit o’ firewhiskey and he’ll tell anyone with a pair of ears.”
“What if they only have one ear?”
“Well, he’d probably babble that one off too.” He opened the door to the third floor corridor and checked for any signs of life.
“Everyone’s at dinner, I’m assumin’. Would you like me to walk you-?”
“Sure. That’d be nice.” I guess. This is normal, right? Do girls go on dates with guys they just met in the hallway?
Yeah, or else Katie would forever be lonely.
Haha, she’d probably hit me for saying that.
Well, if girls didn’t do that, they should try it sometime. He was nice and actually liked me (I thought). Even though he knew about my temper and my lack of dating history. And he was so…normal. He wasn’t cocky and he didn’t ditch me after asking.
James was such a douche bag.
Kids were still entering the Hall, dinner must’ve just started – meaning food was still on the table. I spotted the ginger heads before anyone else and saw an empty seat next to them. I sighed.
“I have every right to be.”
“I’m sure they jus’ wanted to surprise you.”
“Yeah, right. Surprise me with-”
I don’t like being cut short. It’s considered very rude to interrupt anyone when they are talking. Unless that person is being an idiot. Which I clearly was not. At least right at that moment. So Jeffery Wayne basically had to no right to do that.
Except he totally did.
He kissed me right there, at the hall entrance, where everyone could see. It was weird, my mind was ready to sock him, but my body didn’t move.
How embarrassing. Like I needed anymore negative attention from my fellow teammates. I knew that as soon as I sat down, they were going to go all Miami Vice on my ass.
He then placed a small scrap of paper into my left hand, all of which causing me to blush uncontrollably. “See you later, then.” He smiled and waved as we both walked our separate ways. Sheepishly, I returned the wave and made my way past the first and third years. The seat was still empty, meaning my name was still on it.
I could till feel the heat on my cheeks as I sat down, and their eyes on me as I grabbed a roll. I didn’t meet their eyes as I tore it into chewable pieces and poured myself a glass of juice.
“And what do you have to say for yourself?” Alicia was smirking, for voice played lightly past her lips.
I shoved a piece in my mouth, returning her impish smile, the note shoved, crumpled, in my pocket.
“You missed practice, Williams.” Alicia and mine’s gazes unlocked, only to have my own meet Woods.
“I got a note. No physical activity for the day.”
He snorted, and snapped back, voice steadily rising. “That’s not what I saw.”
My eyes narrowed, a frown unfolded upon my face.
“What you saw was none of your bloody business, Wood. And I suggest you leave it at that.”
“If you didn’t want people to know, then you shouldn’t’ve been snogging where everyone and their mother can see!”
“Shut the bloody hell up, Wood! I am not some…some…some floosy! If you wanted to talk to one, go find your precious Victoria. I’m sure she’s already in the broom closet.” He stood, leaning over the table toward me, only to have me echo his movements so we met eye to eye across the table. “Hope you don’t mind being second choice.” I quipped in his ear, the whisper barely audible in the boisterous dining hall.
His demeaner suddenly changed, though one couldn’t tell from his posture, or the way his brows moved closer together, or how his knuckles, gripping the wooden table, suddenly grew to a ghostly white.
The look in his eyes was the most obvious. At the moment, I would’ve thought his anger had turned to pure hatred towards me. The way his grey eyes smoldered, burning up any physical harm he might’ve done to me had I been anyone else.
Had I been a bloke.
And sadly, this is the one time I wished I was one.
Men argue with their fists. It’s won by the bruises and cuts, maybe the broken noses. They swear and kick and punch and argue, screaming their sides to win the race of who was best, who was right. Then it’s done, its over, they’re either friends or no longer speaking.
But girls are different. They’re sly and cunning, they get down and dirty when they’re pissed. Spreading rumors which can hurt more than any punch or kick. Friends will ay they can’t be true, acquaintances will question, while strangers will spread. And as it normally goes, there will always be more strangers than friends. Pretty soon those strangers will become friends with your own friends and delve deep into the their minds with those nasty lies until your own true friends believe them.
It was logic though, at least socially. The more who talk, the more who believe, the greater the number of deceptions soon grows mighty than the truth and friends leave. They no longer want to belong to someone who is dirty. But give them credit, though, do not completely hate them. At least they lasted that long.
Your reputation without friends to stand beside you will be a ruined mess. The chitchat will grow worse and the gossip more nasty. The nicknames will sprout too; behind your back at first, and then a brave soul will say it to your face, following another and another.
Girls know how to break you from the inside out. And if wanted badly, they will. They’re nasty, vile little creatures who hide behind a façade of glamour. Because it’s always the beautiful things that hurt you. Enter the rose and thorn cliché.
And what I said was ‘below the belt’. Completely spiteful, cruel, and above all: girly.
“I know Williams. That’s why I broke things off.” His whisper was quieter than mine; his voice didn’t match the look in his eyes. Like he too, hid behind a façade of some sorts, though this time his voice betrayed his controlling appearance.
I glanced away from him and at Lee, who was trying his hardest to not intervene with the two of us. The rest were listening intently; Katie held tight to Lee’ arm, waiting for the end of another tiring argument. But this wasn’t like all the other ones, sadly. Wood had the last word, and I was crushed.
Ugh, I can't believe Wood seriously got one up on me. For this. I should've said something earlier. Something during practice or in the locker room. Maybe in the library.
But I didn't.
“I…I think I’m going to bed. Wake me up when you all come up.” I still couldn’t look Wood in the eye when I walked away. I tried not to notice the frowns or the roaring of my stomach as I walked away from my House table.
I had done it, I had finally hurt Wood; actually hurt him. I had won; I was right and he was wrong.
So why didn’t I feel prideful or better about myself?
Why didn’t it feel great to rub Victoria in his face? All the taunts and ‘I-told-you-so’s which had piled up over the last month over another one of his girlfriends had finally tumbled into a big pile of rumble on top of me.
It had only been a few weeks and my life had grown more hectic with this Mission Genderize Andy Williams underway. Maybe it was time to abort.
Because let’s face it, and as previously noted: girls suck.
Hey guys! I finally repsonded to all my reviews! And I wanted to say I'm sorry for taking so long to do so! (3 months?!) I will try to keep up with it since its summer and I have more free time.
I am currently looking for a beta to go back and help me out on the previous chapters. Either e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your e-mail address in a review.
But I want to know one thing before I go, if you all even read this...
Because foreshadowing is awesome, I would like to know how you guys (girls) think Oliver and Andy would possibly end up if they do. If I feel like it. Or maybe they'll just grow up.
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