Chapter 6 : "...Are you PMS-ing, or something?"
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Chapter 6: “…Are you PMS-ing, or something?”
“Okay, now, open.” Alec opened his eyes, as I instructed, and stepped into the room with wide eyes. “You like?”
He looked around the room, turning in a small circle. His eyes landed on each detail of the room: the big, comfy couch; the fireplace; the small window; the pile of blankets; the coffee. At the last, he laughed and shook his head. “You and your coffee.” I shrugged and smiled at his reaction. He remembered! My addiction, I mean. That was…sort of …flattering. Silly, I know. “This is brilliant, Jenyse! How’d you find this place?” he asked, walking toward the fireplace.
I moved to sit on the arm of the couch. “My friends – well, the Marauders – showed it to me. It’s called the Room of Requirement. It can be whatever you want it to be. All you have to do is think it. For example, if I thought of decorating the room with clowns, it’d happen.” He glared at me with a tinge of fear in his hazel-green eyes, which made me laugh. “But I wouldn’t do that to you, Alec,” I said, sickeningly sweet. “Anyway, since you seem to like meeting in private, and all, I figured, what better place? At least, the days we don’t feel like walking.”
He grinned widely and came over to sit down. “You’re brilliant!” he repeated. I didn’t miss the change in noun.
I slid down the arm, onto the seat. I grabbed my mug – which was more of the size of a bowl – and inhaled the smell radiating off of its substance before I drank it. Over the rim, I saw him watching me. I raised an eyebrow and swallowed quickly. “What?”
And there’s that lopsided smile again. He really needs to stop doing that, for my well-being. “Nothing.” My eyes narrowed at him. “Just watching.”
“…Watching what?” I asked, nervously. I suddenly felt self-conscious.
“You,” he answered simply. “Of course not in a stalker-like ‘I’m watching you’ kind of way. Just…observing.”
“Observing…?” I looked at him incredulously, for a few seconds. He stared back. “Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’m really not that interesting.” I hid behind my mug, once again, taking another sip.
He chuckled as he laid his arm across the back of the couch and stretched his legs out. He was sitting somewhat diagonally, mostly facing me. “I beg to differ.” I found that unbelievable. “As it is, I find you very interesting. Some of the things you do are engaging. Like just now, with your coffee. You seem to inhale its scent first, then take a small sip at a time.”
“I like to savor it!” I said, defensively.
“That’s what I find so intriguing!” Hey! He used my adjective for him, on me. That’s not right…. “You know, most people who admit to an addiction take the substance like it’s their job! They run out so quickly. But you…you take it slow. You don’t rush it. You relish in its taste. Like you said – you savor it. It’s like each cup is your last cup.”
I stared at him for a moment as I registered what he was saying. I finally shrugged and replied, “It’s too good to just speed through.” He said nothing, but still, he smiled. “Aren’t you going to drink yours?” I gestured toward the other cup, still sitting on the coffee table in front of me.
“Nope. It’s all yours.” I supposed he thought he was being chivalrous. Hah. Right.
Three days. Three days! Three bloody days, since I’d seen Travis, on that fateful day at Hogsmeade. No – scratch that. Yes, I’d seen him…from a distance. With his new friends. I couldn’t believe it. It’s so not Travis! Ugh! It’s driving me insane! It’s Wednesday, and Hogsmeade was Saturday! I can’t even think about it anymore.
On a positive note, my meetings with Alec hadn’t stopped. Over the last three days, I’d learned: he secretly enjoys a “select few” of chick-flick movies (at which I snorted endlessly at); when he was younger, he was a comic book nerd (which I suspect he still is); and he has never kissed a girl. That I couldn’t believe. Him of all people! Even I, Jenyse Syl Baccari, the tomboy-ish girl who hangs with Marauders, have kissed a guy. Alright, so we were five, and curious, but STILL! Alec…never been kissed. Wow.
It was amazing how much more comfortable we had gotten with each other. Although, I still didn’t punch him playfully, and he wouldn’t sling his arm around my shoulders, like James, Sirius, or Remus did, but I didn’t really pay that attention. Our friendship was nice. Laid back. Simple. With random clues and secret meetings. Yeah, I’d consider that pretty simple.
You know who’s not simple? Travis bloody Decker. Deep breaths, Jenyse.
“Calm down, Jenyse, before you burst a capillary,” Alec soothed me. I’d decided to come clean and confess about Hogsmeade. It was just getting ridiculous! We were walking today – I couldn’t sit still as I ranted.
I groaned and threw my hands in the air. Alec had been trying to comfort me and calm me down for the past fifteen minutes. When I’d told him I’d lied when I’d said I enjoyed my time with Travis, his eyes had grown wide. And after that, not only was I feeling crappy about the whole Travis situation, but I was also feeling guilty about lying to Alec. His reaction frightened me. Now I’d probably never get a clue as to who he really was or what his deal was. “ARGH!” I was so frustrated with myself. What the hell was wrong with me?! “I mean, I still love him, and all, but he’s being such a prat.” I heard him stop, beside me, and looked back at him, questioningly.
“Oh, I…I thought I heard someone coming,” he explained, starting to walk again. He caught back up to me. “It’s alright, Jenyse. He’ll come around, sooner or later.”
“Alright, alright! Maybe he won’t,” he took it back. “Then, maybe you should just confront him. And tell him how much of an arse he’s being to you.” The way he stopped talking sounded as if he didn’t say all that he wanted to say.
But what he did say caught my attention. “Hmm…I suppose that’d be the appropriate, grown-up thing to do…” I trailed off, thinking of a good time to set my plan in motion. “Later,” I decided. Alec nodded, with his head turned down. “Anyway….Sorry. For annoyingly venting this whole time, I mean.”
He looked up, then, with a tiny smile. “No, it’s fine. I like hearing your voice.” I blushed. Was that a compliment?
“So, what’s new with you?”
“Nothing,” he said honestly.
“Got a clue for me today?”
“Course, Jenyse.” He rolled his eyes, really smiling, now. That’s better. I grinned back. “Tomorrow’s Christmas.” I frowned. That was no clue. I opened my mouth to voice that, but he cut me off. “I hate Christmas.”
I felt my eyes grow wide. “What?! Why?!” Christmas was my favorite time of year! No classes, family and friend gatherings, food, presents. What’s not to love?!
He shrugged. “Bad memories.”
“Oh.” I thought about that. Maybe it was when one of his parents died. Oh, no. I feel bad. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. Not that big of a deal.”
“Mm….” I didn’t know what else to say. “Hey, so, tomorrow’s Christmas. I’m really sorry. I don’t have anything to give you. I bought all my gifts weeks ago, and I didn’t have a chance to go buy something at Hogsmeade, on Saturday. So, so sorry.”
“It’s fine, Jenyse. You didn’t have to get me anything in the first place. I haven’t had the chance to get you anything, either, so I guess that makes us even.” He smiled. Yes…the crooked one.
“Oh! Okay. Well, to make up for it, we could spend a whole day together, one day,” I suggested, hopeful.
His eyes lit up. “Yeah! That’s a great idea. Done deal.”
The next morning, at breakfast, my eyes focused on my prey. Like a hawk, I swooped down and landed behind him. He was sitting with Corbin and Jordan. I tapped his shoulder, and he turned to face me. I looked at him with a sickeningly-sweet expression and hard eyes.
Travis swallowed his juice quickly, before exclaiming, “Oh! Hey, Jenyse!”
“Hey, Travis. Can I borrow you for a minute?” I grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the Great Hall. I stopped in the middle of a hallway that branched off of the Entrance Hall.
“Jenyse, what’s up with you?” he asked, flustered.
I turned on him. “What’s up with me?” I asked incredulously. “What’s up with you, Trav?! You’ve been ignoring me for four days! It’s ridiculous! Was I really that bad of a friend?” My eyes began to tear from anger.
Three things happened to his face, all at once: his jaw dropped, his eyes widened, and his whole face grew apologetic. He reached out for my arm, but I flinched away. “J-Jenyse. I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to –”
“Well, you did,” I cut him off, turning my head away and folding my arms across my chest.
“Jenyse….” He went to touch my arm again, but put his hand on the back of his neck, instead. “I’m so, so sorry. Please, believe me. I’ve just been overwhelmed. I’ve never had this many friends before. I didn’t know what I was doing, ignoring you like that.”
I shook my head. “You know, I love how you didn’t even answer my question.” I laughed without humor. His eyebrows creased in confusion. “Was I really that bad of a friend to you?”
His eyes bulged again. “No! Jenyse! Be serious! Do you really think I’d dump you for those guys?! You’re my best friend! Have been, since we met!”
I snorted. “Had me fooled.”
Before I could move away, Travis put his hands on my shoulders, holding me firmly. “Jenyse….Look at me!” I reluctantly turned my head to him. “Please. Listen to me. I am so sorry. What I did was rude and inexcusable. I’ll do anything to make it up to you. Name it, and you’ve got it.”
He was completely sincere. Not a trace of a lie in his eyes. My reluctance to grudges kicked in and I gave in. “How ‘bout a strip tease and a lap dance?” My lips curved into a slight smile.
He sighed in relief and visibly relaxed. He pulled me into his chest and wrapped his arms around me. “Deal. Thank you. I love you, Jenyse.” I felt him kiss the top of my head.
“Love you too, Travis.”
He suddenly chuckled. “Merry Christmas.”
I laughed and unraveled myself from his hold. “Merry Christmas. Did you get my present this morning?”
“Yes, I did. But I’m confused.” Yes! It worked!
Every Christmas/birthday, every year, I give my friends (and family) one gag present and one real present. It’s a tradition for me. Not once had I broken it since I started it in first year. The gag presents I give always have to do with inside jokes I have with the person.
“First, was it the clothes or the pink heart boxers the joke? I know you – you can do better than just clothes. Not that I’m complaining of your effort,” he added quickly. “I’m just suspicious. Anyway…second, I thought our days of playing dress-up were over.”
I let out a laugh. “Never will they be over, dear Travis. Unless you decide to blow me off again, that is,” I joked. A pained and apologetic look crossed his face, and I ruffled his hair, to assure him I was joking. “So, yeah. You caught me. They were both joke presents. Here’s your real one.”
I reached into the messenger bag I’d been wearing and pulled out a big book, with tons of pages. Etched into the front hard cover was: Travis and Jenyse: Memories of an Asexual Boy and a Motherly Girl. I handed the book to Travis. His eyes lit up and his lips stretched into a grin.
“It’s a scrapbook of all our memories. It’s got all our pictures together. And a bunch of you, that I took with my awesome photography skills.”
Travis flipped through the book quickly. He looked up at me for a moment, then engulfed me into his arms, whispering, “Thank you, Jenyse! I love it!”
“I’m glad! It took me forever.” I gave him one last squeeze, and then released him. “I have to go. I’m sorry. Gotta talk to the Marauders and read my family’s letters. See ya, Travis.” I swiftly kissed him on the cheek, then ran off to the boys’ dorm.
“Merry Christmas!” I yelled, as I burst into their room. I ran up to each of them, in turn, and hugged them.
I celebrated with them for an hour. I had given Peter a large wheel of cheese and a huge box full of his favorite candy, Zonko’s products, and pictures of us. To Sirius, I gave a pillow with a pillowcase that had the constellation Canis Major stitched into it (for the next time I stole his bed), and a helmet that magically keeps his “perfect” hair “perfect,” for the flying motorcycle he plans on buying when we get out of here. I gave Remus a muggle werewolf movie that we had watched and laughed at together at my house the past summer, and a few of his favorite records and books (including the newest edition of Hogwarts: A History - the only edition he didn’t have). And last, but not least, for James, I bought a king’s crown (and magically etched in “King James” on its band), and a complete chest of Quidditch balls (I snorted, non-stop when he exclaimed, “Thanks for the chest of balls, Jenyse!”) and gave him a vial of Lily’s perfume that I stole (for which he thanked me endlessly). They all seemed quite pleased with their gifts, which made me very happy.
I escaped the madness, and went to my room. I had already opened my presents, but hadn’t read the letters from my family. I picked the pile of envelopes up and sank down, onto my bed. The letters from my parents, my sister Jace, and my brother Jayden were all short and sweet. I was glad. Easy to reply to. I opened the last envelope from my oldest brother, Jarron. It was a bit longer than the rest of the letters. I wasn’t surprised. He was the sibling I hung out with the most. No wonder I’m so non-girly. Thank Merlin for Jarron! ‘Baby Neesy,’ it read. Price for being the youngest.
Hey! How’s it going? MERRY CHRISTMAS! Why didn’t you come home this year? We miss you! Oh. Right. It’s your “last year.” You dork. I see how it is. You value a building and your friends, more than me. What? Am I not cool enough? In the “hip” way? Yeah. That’s probably it, huh? I love you too, sis. I’d stick out my tongue playfully, and ruffle up your hair, but YOU’RE NOT HERE! Haha. Anyway…you missed it! Jayden slipped on the ice on the driveway, when he was helping mom with the groceries. He fell face flat. And chips and cookies flew everywhere! It was hilarious! Now, he swears his nose is crooked. And Jace has a new boyfriend. We can beat him up when you come home. He’s shorter than me. His name’s David. Boring, eh? Speaking of boyfriends – you don’t have one…do you? Oh, if you do?...Mm…That kid’s going down. Is it that Black kid? How about Lupin? Potter? You better warn them before you bring them home, if I’m here. I just might have to get one of those muggle chainsaws out. Haha. Just joking, Jenyse. I’m just being a big brother. Alright, well, I’ve gotta blaze. Alaina’s making me change Jaysen’s diaper. They say hi, by the way. Have a fun Christmas, and Happy New Year!
-Your favorite oldest brother, Jarron
P.S. Don’t worry. I’m taking care of your car.
A smile grew across my face as I finished reading the letter. I wish I was home. I miss them all. My little nieces and nephews won’t be all that little anymore, the next time I see them. I sighed, and got up. I’d write back later.
Thinking of Jarron’s plans of killing any boyfriend I’d have in the future, I thought of Alec. And, no, there is no meaning to that connection, thank you very much.
I found him in the corridor of the Room of Requirement. I made the door appear, and we both stepped in. My clue today was that he hates hospitals. But isn’t that a given? Who in their right mind would like a hospital, of all buildings? Maybe it’s a phobia, or something.
Alec seemed really distant today, for some reason. I didn’t know if it had anything to do with me or his bad memories. But when I asked if he wanted our full day together, tomorrow, he brightened up, the slightest bit. Hopefully he’d be over whatever was wrong with him today.
“That’s it.” I stopped in the middle of the hallway. We started our day together at 12:30 – after lunch – and it was now 4:00. He had not, as I wished, lost the mood he was in, yesterday. He hadn’t even given me a clue. “You have been quiet, unresponsive, and distant for the past three and a half hours. You were like this yesterday, too! I thought today was supposed to be fun! What is up with you?! I thought it was just a one day thing, yesterday. Are you PMS-ing or something?” I couldn’t take it anymore. What can I say? I burst.
Alec made a face at my last comment. “It’s nothing.”
“The hell it is.”
“Seriously. Just forget about it, Jenyse.”
“No! Tell me what’s wrong!”
He started walking again, as he snapped, “Nothing, Jenyse. Why don’t you just go off to your little Travis?”
Travis? What the hell?! “What the hell does Travis have to do with this?” I asked, jogging to catch up with him.
“Why don’t you tell me?”
I ran up, in front of him, blocking his way and making him stop. “What’s that supposed to mean?” I demanded.
He walked around me. “Forget it,” he grumbled.
I turned and caught up, again. “Fine. But if you keep it up, for another five minutes, I’m beating it out of you.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him smirk. That’s better. “Getting physical, are we?”
“Yeah. Your fault….You know, if you were an animal, you’d be an ass. ‘Cause you’re so stubborn sometimes.”
He chuckled as he shook his head in an “oh, Jenyse…” sort of way.
“So, what’d you do yesterday?” I asked, hesitantly.
His eyes darkened. “Absolutely nothing.” He smiled at me, but it didn’t touch his eyes.
I was so attuned to this answer that I didn’t even bother addressing it. I don’t know why I even bother asking. I just get the same answer everyday: “Absolutely nothing;” “Nothing really;” “Nothing.” I think he should start learning those phrases in different languages, just to make things interesting.
But today, I remembered, he had a different reaction. The same response, but a different reaction. His expression visibly darkened. What the hell was up with this guy?! Whatever. I’ll leave him alone. For now.
“So, what’d you tell everybody, when you ditched ‘em?”
I shrugged. “I just told them I was going to be cooped up in my room, writing letters back to my family. I said it’d take all day, and not to bother calling me. Hopefully they listen.”
“Clever. So, did you get anything good for Christmas?”
Ah. An easy topic. “Well, my parents gave me a new camera, Jace gave me a necklace and a couple records, Jayden gave me gas money and pitched in with Jarron – and his family – to get me a new broom. But I can’t get it until I go home, which blows. Though, I do love the one I have right now. I can’t wait to fly it!”
He laughed at my obvious excitement. I waited until he calmed. “Go on,” he said, with a smile still in place.
“From Peter I got my favorite Honeyduke’s chocolate and a stuffed animal rat.” I glanced at him and saw that he had an um-okay-whatever-moves-your-furniture look. I smiled, laughing to myself. “Remus gave me a really nice set of notebooks and quills for my random stories and stuffed animal wolf. I got a bracelet – slash – band and necklace that say: Are you ‘Sirius?!’” – I made air-quotes with my fingers – “on them and a stuffed animal dog, from Sirius. James gave me a signed Puddlemere United jersey and a…uh…stuffed animal stag.”
He stared at me incredulously, waiting for me to explain.
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “They’re their Patronus forms.” Alright, so, half the reason. So, sue me. “They said they gave them to me so I would remember them. Like I could ever forget them,” I scoffed. That was the truth!
Realization spread across Alec’s face. “Ahh,” he said. “So, what did Travis give you?” His head turned down to the ground.
“Oh. Right. Travis gave me a picture frame he made. On the border, he wrote a bunch of our favorite quotes, our own quotes, and our favorite lyrics.”
As I described it, I could see it clearly in my head. It was my favorite of all the crafty stuff he’d ever given me. Reading every single quote, I remembered the exact moment we had come across, or said, each. I loved it. I felt a sudden wave of relief and happiness that I had talked to him and that it was all good, between us.
“And the picture he put in it is of him and me by the lake.”
“Hm. That’s nice. Did he give you a stuffed animal, too?” he asked, full of sarcasm.
After letting out a short laugh, I said, “No. Though he did give me a ring.”
Alec’s head snapped up, and I stopped walking, shocked, when he did. If we were to be paid to look surprised, at that moment, we’d be richer than the Minister.
“Alec! What’s wrong?!” My concern for him showed when my voice cracked. I really did care for him. More than I consciously thought, it seemed. He was acting so oddly today, it scared me.
Alec swallowed, hard. “H-he what?”
“Who? Travis? He gave me a ring….Do you want to see it?” I asked slowly, completely confused.
“No! No…I….” He heaved a big sigh, and his eyes, which had been huge, turned to slits, in a second. “You can go, now.” He wouldn’t look up at my face.
“What?! No! This is our whole day together!” I protested…loudly.
“Well, you obviously don’t want to be around “mopey” me, so just go off and play with Travis,” he spat.
“What is wrong with you, and Travis?! You don’t even know him! OH! Oh, God, he didn’t talk to you, did he? I swear, I haven’t told anyone about us. Oh, Merlin!” I ranted. Oh, if Travis did…he’s six feet under, before you can say “dead.”
He rolled his eyes. The act made me really aggravated. “What? You don’t want your boyfriend knowing you’ve been hanging out with another guy?” He walked past me, and to the window near by. He leaned forward, propped up by his palms on the window sill, and his head hung down.
I couldn’t move, for the life of me. What did he just say?! No. He couldn’t have.
“Why are you so quiet, huh? Thought I didn’t know?” I couldn’t answer him. “I saw you two yesterday. Hugging. I suppose he forgave you?” I had never seen or heard him be so harsh. And the fact that the first time I saw him act this way, was directed toward me, hurt. A lot. Even if it was a complete and total misunderstanding.
Oh. My. God. He’s joking, right? He can’t possibly believe I’m with Travis. Oh no. The hug. The ring. Ugh! I’m an idiot! No. Alec’s the idiot! No. We both are idiots. “Alec!” His head snapped up, surprised from my tone. “I’m not dating Travis! Nor am I in any way ‘with’ or attracted to him!” No wonder he was being mopey. …He’s…he’s jealous! Wait…what was that one clue he gave me after I lied about having a good time with Travis in Hogsmeade? “I don’t get jealous very often.” Oh, Jenyse. You IDIOT!
He rushed over to me with wide eyes. “But…but the ring! The hug! Y-you said you loved him! He said he loved you!” Whoops.
“All the ring said was, ‘Jenyse and Travis: Best friends for eternity.’ And I love all of my friends. He’s like a brother to me.”
His smile could have brightened up the universe. He looked deeply into my eyes for a long moment. “Jenyse…do you trust me?” Dumb question. I nodded, mutely. He was getting really close. His scent radiated off of him. He smelled so heavenly; it distracted me for the shortest moment. His face was set in an intense and passionate emotion that made my heart feel as though it was about to fly all the way to Pluto, and back. It was beating so fast. His eyes held so much fervor and zeal. I could only hope that half of it was meant for me. His eyes stayed intently on mine. But I couldn’t hold them with my own. My eyes fluttered close. It only took him one second. The first touch I felt was his lips on mine. They were incredibly soft, and I melted into them. All too soon, he broke away, with the smile, and whispered, “Clue number fourteen? I like you,” then pulled me in for yet another kiss.
A/N: I have nothing to say, but PLEASE REVIEW AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF HOW I WROTE THAT. I'm nervous. Thanks, guys!
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