Author's Note: Well, this chapter is out only a day behind schedule, so I think I'm doing pretty good!! And let me tell you, it's a monster of a chapter. Seriously. It's the longest single chapter I have ever written. EVER. So you guys all better appreciate it!!! And without further ado, here it is!! Leave me a review when you're done!
If I were anyone else, my life would not be so screwed up. I wouldn’t be constantly harassed by the school’s biggest playboy, my friends would respect my right to dress the way I want, no one would require a relationship fairy, the world’s biggest prat would not constantly make bets involving me, and I would not actually have to think about not dating someone I really don’t fancy, or doing it just to make said prat lose said bets.
But no, I am me, so my life must constantly be in a state of turmoil. I guess the universe hates me, because I can’t think of another reason that my life would be so...chaotic. Really, I would be happiest if I could just live my life, unbothered by stupid idiots, with no relationships to oversee, no one to yell at, no one to fight with....
Hell. Who am I kidding? I like yelling, and I enjoy arguing with people. And I’ll even admit that I enjoy tormenting the brainless, because most of them deserve it.
But sometimes I wish that I wasn’t me, because life would be so much easier. Seriously. When I woke up at the ungodly hour of six in the morning today, I couldn’t get back to sleep. So, in an effort to distract myself, I proceeded to tear my trunk apart, looking for all sorts of different outfits to possibly torment Oliver with. I may not fancy him, but I do enjoy torturing him. It’s so easy. But after I’d gone through all of my clothes and a good deal of Alicia’s (that girl has “Classy Slag” written all over her when she wants to), I was mind-numbingly bored, again, and I had nothing to occupy myself with after choosing an outfit (neither slag-like nor torturous for Oliver, unfortunately), and I found myself asking just what it was he could possibly see in me. Granted, I know that he’s mostly just chasing me because I haven’t given in, but I think that he truly thinks he fancies me. And that’s what puzzled me.
I’m not normally in the least self-deprecating, but come on. I stared at myself in the full-length mirror Alicia had set up in our bathroom. And here’s what I saw: Girl, seventeen years old, average length brown hair, weirdly pale green eyes, freckled nose. Average height, mostly average weight; no matter what Oliver may think, I don’t need to lose any. Just because Cho Chang is an under-developed girl three years behind me doesn’t mean I’m fat. Actually, I’m probably too skinny, and if I dieted like Oliver apparently wanted me too, people would think I was anorexic.
Which brings me to another point: I’m pretty average all-around. Er....physically, I mean. And while many people would protest that blokes don’t still measure a girl by the size of her chest, I’d like to disagree. I mean, yeah, I guess I fill out my long-sleeved tee well enough, and sure, the green compliments my eyes. But really. I’m not stunning in any way, and I just don’t get it.
This was just further proof that Oliver Wood is completely nutters.
Of course, my lovely (ha! not so much) contemplation was interrupted by Katie and Riley stumbling into the bathroom around seven-thirty. Katie just grumbled at me, but Riley looked way too curious for my own good.
“Oh, Merlin.” she whispered suddenly, her pretty blue eyes wide in shock and....holy shit, was that delight? “GIRLS!” She scrambled out of that bathroom faster than anything I’ve ever seen, and for once, the person she physically attacked in order to wake her up wasn’t me. I was both amused and disturbed.
Angelina rolled over. “What time ‘zit?” She moaned sleepily. No one answered her. She rolled over again. Katie walked out of the loo, rubbing her eyes vigorously.
“What’s happened?” She couldn’t stifle a huge yawn. “Waddid I miss?”
I saw the wheels turning in Riley’s head. I nearly ran out of the room then and there. “Oh, nothing much.” She grinned slyly before screeching loud enough for the entire castle to hear. “Unless you want me to tell you how KENNA APPLEBY FANCIES THE PANTS OFF OF OLIVER WOOD.”
At that, both Alicia and Angelina jumped from their beds (I didn’t even know Al was awake) and started screeching too. Alicia said something about "...and she better fancy getting his pants off of him! I'd be worried if she didn't." I wanted to cry. They were all dancing around me in some weird ritualistic circle, and all I wanted to do was hide in a broom closet and never come out. Unfortunately, real life doesn’t allow you to escape from your psychotic friends when they are chanting “OLLIE AND KENNA, SITTING IN A TREE!” at the top of their lungs and just go hide in a closet more than twice a week. And I’m pretty sure I’ve hidden in said broom closets more than twice already.
I am so screwed.
“Bloody hell, I don’t fancy him!” My protests fell on deaf ears.
“Oh, don’t you lie to me, Kenna!” Riley’s eyes were dancing. “You’re wearing makeup. You never wear makeup. And you brushed your hair.”
Bloody hell, I didn’t even remember putting makeup on. “Can I just point out that dear Ollie might be just a wee bit suspicious if I show up for what is technically a date looking like a harpy escaped from her nest?” Yes, that was my brilliant response. My only defense is that even if I’ve been awake for over an hour, I am not normally awake enough at seven-thirty in the morning to argue effectively. “Besides, I always brush my hair.” I just normally didn’t take so much time doing so.
“Yeah, but you’re wearing your nice jeans. You never wear those unless you don’t want to look like just another Quidditch girl.” God damn you, Riley Summerby. This is what being best friends for seven years will do to you. When you want to remain in happy denial over something, that girl is always there to point out what you don’t want to notice.
“They were clean.” I corrected defensively. Honestly, I don’t even know where she comes up with this stuff. Just like I hadn’t realized I was wearing eyeliner and lip gloss, I hadn’t really paid attention when I pulled on the pants. I was more focused on the top. Because no matter what Angelina and Alicia said, I didn’t want Oliver to think I was coming onto him by wearing a slaggy top. Plus, it was cold, and slaggy tops were normally cut down to there, which was a lot of uncovered skin for the weather. And if I hadn’t wanted to dress like a slag when I actually fancied Wood, why would I start now??
Katie looked at me grumpily. “I don’t see why you don’t just give him a chance.” she snorted. “We all know you fancy him, and he’s completely gone nutters over you.” Oh, yeah. She must have still been peeved over the whole ‘Cedric Diggory likes a midget Ravenclaw slag over me’ thing.
“I’m not you, Kats.” I enunciated. “And Oliver isn’t Cedric. Why must I continually tell you guys this?? I don’t fancy Wood!”
Alicia stopped jumping on Angelina’s bed for just a moment. She and the other three all shared an amused look. Damn, why do they all keep doing that lately?? “It’s because we don’t bloody believe you, Kenna.” she announced.
I flopped onto my four-poster bed. “I’m not having this conversation again.” My voice was somewhat muffled, seeing as I was attempting to smother myself with a pillow.
“Then just listen.” Angelina ordered. “He fancies you.” I made a noise as if to interrupt, and she threw her pillow at me. “No. He doesn’t think he fancies you. He does. So stop arguing. I don’t know why he’s so obsessed with you, because I would have given up by now, but hell, it’s Wood. And he’s damn stubborn. If he just wanted to get up your skirt or make another conquest, he wouldn’t bother himself with consulting your feelings, he’d just pin you up against the nearest handy tapestry and have his way with you.”
I heard a deep, longing sigh from Katie and Riley and Alicia. At least, I think I did. “Oi, shut up you lot.” Angelina said peevishly. “I’m still lecturing. Now. Since Ollie hasn’t ravished you yet, he obviously respects your feelings.”
I sat up. “Are you serious??” I asked incredulously. “He walks all over my feelings!! If I want him to do something, like go away, he refuses. Every single time.”
“Oh, come off it.” Riley said with a grin. “He’s your friend. He knows that deep down, most of the time you don’t really want him to leave.”
I didn’t say anything to that because I still wasn’t comfortable with outright lying to my friends. Evading the truth was easy, but lying? Not so much.
“So, since he respects your feelings,” Alicia butted in, “it’s obvious that he isn’t just chasing you for the heck of it.” There were nods all around. “In fact,” Oh, Merlin, Alicia’s eyes brightened. She looked slightly maniacal. “...it’s obvious. He’s courting you.”
If I had been drinking anything, it would have come out of my nose. “He’s what?”
“Courting you.” Alicia said matter-of-factly. “Don’t act like you didn’t know.”
Angelina and Katie laughed. “Of course she didn’t know!” Katie smirked. I threw Angelina’s pillow at her. “She’s being oblivious again.”
I am notoblivious. Not at all. They’re the oblivious ones!!! Argh....
I stormed out of the dormitory without speaking to any of them again. Their crazed giggles followed me all the way to the Common Room. I ignored them. I’m getting really good at that, actually.
When I finally made my way to the Great Hall, I discovered that lingering over breakfast isn’t nearly as much fun when I’m not speaking to my friends. They all meandered down about thirty minutes after I did. Riley and Katie were dressed to the nines. Alicia and Angelina were wearing butt-ugly sweats. I must have raised an eyebrow or something, because Alicia muttered the words “We’re hoping the clothes convince Wood we’re not going today.” I didn’t respond. After all, it was a matter of principle.
Fred and George stumbled down, Lee Jordan in tow, not long after the girls did. Since they weren’t on my shit list, I spent the remainder of the meal ignoring my dorm mates and teasing the three boys. Lee, cheerful as ever, was hard to engage in conversation, because he kept shooting glances at Katie. Oh, brother. Not another one. The twins, however, were pretending to ignore Angelina and Alicia, and they were pretending right back.
I suppose this was because Oliver came down, mercifully without Paul in tow, less than five minutes after Fred, George, and Co. He was remarkably silent as he slid into the seat next to me, and for once, he looked like he wasn’t fully awake. The meal went downhill from there, as everyone started glaring at me. I guess they all expected me to bowl Wood over with a sudden flare-up or charm, or better yet, drag him to me and start sucking his face off. Seriously, the entire team suffers from huge delusions from time to time. And strangely, many of them seem to focus on me. When I didn’t show any inclination to either engage Oliver in conversation or sexually assault him, the temperature at the table went down by at least twenty degrees.
From the moment Oliver appeared, even the pretense of conversation between my friends stopped. I was pretty damn grateful when he suddenly stood up. “I’m going to go change.” he said between dark stares. “Meet me down here in fifteen?”
I guess he took my assent for granted, because he didn’t even wait for me to give a response before stalking off. I didn’t know why he was in such a pissy mood, but if he kept it up, I was going to have to find a convenient way to ditch him without getting mauled by those friends of mine.
True to his word, Oliver reappeared after fifteen minutes. His transformation was remarkable. When he’d come down to eat, he’d been surly and unapproachable, shovelling food in methodically. He’d looked a bit like an incredibly angry hobo, actually. He was dressed rather like Angelina and Alicia, in nasty sweats, his hair sticking up in strange spots as if he’d just woken up. But when he returned, he brought both a better attitude and a better outfit, to my utter confusion.
Actually, he was dressed rather like me. Although I had to admit, his dark-washed jeans and black button-up shirt looked way better on him than my outfit did on me. Sure, the green complimented my complexion and weird eyes, but Oliver’s shirt set off his hair, which he’d somehow managed to tame, his broad shoulders and torso, as well as those blasted eyes of his, better than anything I’d ever seen. Inexplicably, I found myself flushing as he made his way to my side. He gave his usual smirk, but we didn’t talk as we walked to the doors where Filch would lead us out to freedom. After all, it wasn’t as if after four years we didn’t know how to get there.
The awkwardness began to wear off as we slowly made our way down to the village.
“So...nice outfit.” Oh, God, he was really bad at this. Even I could have come up with a better statement than that.
I snorted. “Right. And McGonagall is going to announce tomorrow that N.E.W.T.s have been cancelled.”
“Hey, it could happen.” Oliver protested. I had to laugh at that. His eternal optimism was something of a joke within our ranks. Even when we were down one hundred points in a match (which had only happened once in the last six years), his glass was half-full. Sometimes it could be annoying, but mostly, it was just funny.
“Whatever you say, Ollie.” He laughed at that, though he elbowed me for the ‘Ollie’ comment. I decided that since he was mostly behaving, I wasn’t going to remind him of the rule that said ‘No touching unless Kenna is being attacked by a vampire, etc.’ If he could put aside his smarminess for one day, I could be less of a bitch. Or so I hoped.
“You know, I’ve waited seven years for you to do that.” He was grinning, and I found myself grinning back.
“Waited for me to do what?” I asked, hurrying my steps slightly. It was more than a bit chilly outside, and the sooner we got to Hogsmeade, the better.
“Admit that something I say has merit.” I stuck my tongue out at him. We continued on in companionable silence for a few more minutes. “So...I have a quick question.” he blurted out, looking as if he regretted saying anything.
“Go ahead. As long as it isn’t about the color of my knickers, I’ll probably answer.” I joked.
Oliver chortled. “No, thanks. If I needed to know, I wouldn’t waste time where you’re actually being pleasant to ask a question that the Weasleys could easily answer for me.” I bit my tongue at that, and he continued. “Okay...so...erm, I just wanted to know...what made you change your mind?” He shoved his hands in his pockets, a gesture I found somewhat endearing because it showed just how nervous he was. “About giving me a chance, I mean.” he hurried on. “The last you told me, I was just messing with you.”
I sighed. “Alicia and Angelina cornered me before Charms yesterday.” The admission was a difficult one to make, and I saw Oliver’s jaw beginning to clench. “They...erm, convinced me that you weren’t going to stop unless I caved, and there was a bunch of stuff in there about you being genuine and...uh, they caught me at a weak moment.” There was no way I was going to tell him that all four of my female friends, and hell, probably Fred and George, thought that he was actually courting me. That would just give him ideas, and I didn’t want this...date...to be ruined because of it. I was actually having a good time, and it was the first time that I had been completely easy around Oliver since the previous May. I was relishing the fact that I had one of my best mates back and he wasn’t overtly flirting with me, and that we weren’t screaming at each other. And I was going to do my best to ensure that this date remained a good time and nothing more. That, I was sure, was what would finally convince Oliver that we weren’t couple material, at least not together.
To my surprise, Oliver just shrugged. He didn’t really look offended or upset, only resigned. That was probably my least favorite side of Ollie; when his optimism fades, he just stands there and takes whatever is thrown at him like a rag doll. “Speaking of those two...where are my Chasers?” he asked randomly. “And the twins? I haven’t seen any of them since breakfast.”
“Angelina and Alicia aren’t coming.” I lied swiftly, hoping he would believe me. “They’re still a bit...miffed at you. Um, I think maybe Katie and Riley are hanging out together until lunch, and the twins are probably with Lee.” How could he believe me? That was the lamest story in the history of the world.
Again, he surprised me by dropping the subject completely. “’Kay.” he murmured equably. “So...where d’you want to head first?” We were just on the outskirts of the village, and all around us, excited couples were chattering happily and discussing their plans for the day.
“Erm...well, we could do Honeydukes, I suppose.” I suggested at random. “Or maybe check out the Quidditch supply store? Or Scrivenshaft’s, I need some new quills—“
“Okay, I get it.” Oliver interrupted, laughing again. “We could just wander about for a bit then. But yeah, Quidditch might be nice.”
After agreeing that that was a good idea, I set off with Oliver, happily chattering about the new broomstick that had just come out. I hadn’t caught a single glimpse of the high-tech, incredibly expensive Firebolt model yet, but Oliver had, and we were both willing to do just about anything to own one. Before I knew it, we were inside the shop, and Oliver was haggling a clerk over the price of the broom. I realized that it was futile; there was no way either of us could afford the Firebolt. Instead of haggling with him, I checked out the broom service kits and Quidditch memorabilia scattered throughout the store. After Oliver finally gave up with a rejected sigh and I’d paid for yet another set of Arrows’ robes, earning the “Aye, vain much, Appleby?” comment from Mr. Fascist, we left the shop and headed towards Honeydukes. I barely noticed when Oliver grabbed by arm to stop me, pointing out what looked to me like just another random person.
“Do you know who that is?” he hissed in my ear. I couldn’t help it; I shivered. But luckily, Oliver didn’t notice. “That’s Andrew Williamson.”
“Who the bloody hell is Andrew Williamson?” I asked with an eye-roll.
“He’s one of the biggest scouts for Puddlemere United.” Oh. Well. That explained Oliver’s sudden attack of psychotic-ness. Cue yet another roll of the eyes. I tugged on his sleeve and dragged him along after me. It was difficult, considering he’s about ten inches taller and eighty pounds heavier, but I managed.
“What’s your problem?” He muttered angrily.
“Come on, Wood.” I sighed. “He doesn’t look like he’s doing any scouting right now. Likely he’s just enjoying Hogsmeade. If you go up and interrogate him, you’re liable to freak him out, and he’s not going to look twice at you to give you a spot. Resist temptation, Oliver. Resist.” I told him earnestly. He grumbled a bit, but finally gave in. He swiped my hand from his sleeve and grasped it in his, giving it a quick squeeze.
“Thanks, love.” he said, suddenly cheerful again. I sputtered. He hadn’t let go of my hand.
“For the last time, I’m not your love, you dim-witted Scot.” I groaned. He just grinned at me again.
“Sorry love...er, I mean, Kenna.” he corrected himself. And he still didn’t let go.
Up until lunch, the day was mostly the same. We wandered around quite a bit, stopping to speak with a few mutual acquaintances. We both avoided Percy Weasley when he started waving from inside the Three Broomsticks. Nothing good could come from that encounter. On that, if nothing else, we were always going to agree.
Other than that, I guess we were just like all the other people wandering around. We stepped in almost all the shops, bought entirely too many sweets, tried to dare each other to enter the Shrieking Shack, and all those other lovely things teens do when they’re on a date with a friend.
The only time it really got awkward was when Aidan stopped us in front of Scrivenshaft’s. He was with a group of his friends, a bunch of Hufflepuffs that I knew vaguely from Herbology class. While I was perfectly happy to stay and chat with the boy, Oliver was not in such a good mood. From the moment Aidan walked up, he tensed.
“Hey, Kenna!” Aidan grinned at me. I gave a little wave, and he and his mates made their way over to us. “What’s up?”
“Nothing much.” I responded cheerfully. Even though I hadn’t ever been more than vaguely interested in Aidan as anything other than someone to get Oliver off my back, it definitely stroked my ego to see he wasn’t there with another girl. “Just hanging out. How’re you?”
“Great, great.” he mumbled, looking strangely at Wood. I couldn’t blame him. Oliver was glaring hotly, and he looked rather menacing, I suppose. I mean, yeah, Aidan was taller than me, but so is pretty much every guy. Oliver stood over him by a good four inches, and he was wearing his scary fascist face again. “Um, so, Wood, looks like your chasing finally paid off.”
“That’s right.” Oliver tugged me to him. “It did.” Oh, Merlin. Spare me the macho man fighting. All I wanted to do was go back to Honeydukes and buy some more sweets (I’d forgotten to get some for Smith, who might just kill me if I didn’t get him some Ice Mice), or better yet, head to the Three Broomsticks. It was almost time for lunch, and I was starving. Plus, I wanted to see if Riley was there with Brennan yet.
“Right.” Aidan cleared his throat awkwardly. “So, Kenna...any chance you could help me on that Defence essay?” Oliver mumbled something that sounded vaguely threatening. “Er...never mind. I’ll, uh, catch up with you later, Kenna. Wood.” After muttering another quick goodbye, Aidan dragged his friends in the opposite direction.
“What was that all about?” I turned to glare at Oliver.
“What was what about?” he asked as if he had no idea what I was talking about. Ha! That innocent act wouldn’t fool me.
“Stop acting all proprietary, Wood.” I said with a huge groan. “This was actually sort of nice until you decided to turn fascist again.” I started to walk off, but yet again, Oliver was violating the rules and touching me, only this time, he had a firm grasp on my wrist. “What?” I asked exasperatedly.
“I didn’t like the way he was looking at you, alright?” Oliver burst out. I was silent from shock for perhaps a minute too long. “If you’d let him, he would have tried to move in on you right then, because he obviously didn’t care that we’re on a date!”
I poked him, hard, on the arm. “First off, you’re over-exaggerating.” I told him. “Aidan’s a nice bloke, and he fancies me. Or did, until you went crazy and said none of us could date. And I’d like to know, why is it that the two of us can violate that rule, but I can’t do so with him?”
“Because I specifically said that the rules would be in place until you gave me a chance.” Oliver interrupted. I poked him again.
“Be that as it may...” I said with what I considered heroic patience. “It was kind of awful for me to have to turn around and say ‘Oh, sorry, my Captain’s an arse, I can’t go with you, even though I said I would.’ And like I said, he’s a nice bloke. He was just messing with you. Secondly, we’re here on one date. Just one. I still have the right to decide you’re a fascist arse at the end of the day and walk away. Agreeing to come to Hogsmeade is not the same as marriage, or an engagement. So get off your damn high horse so we can go back to having fun.”
He jerked his hand away and stalked off in the direction of the pub. When I tried to grab his arm, he shrugged me off. Damn. Normally, Ollie in a bad mood doesn’t bother me, but when it’s just the two of us with no buffer, I feel the insane urge to comfort him. “Look, Oliver.” I sighed. “I know you don’t mean to be a territorial arse.” He looked at me oddly. “And I happen to agree that Aidan was slightly out of line, trying to set up a date when we’re already out together. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stand back and let you maul him to pieces, okay?”
Oliver heaved a huge sigh of his own, but he slung an arm around my shoulders companionably. “Fine. I’m an arse. Can we go get lunch now?”
I grinned at him. “Yes. You are. Yes, we can. And yes, I would like you to move that arm, buddy boy.” When he didn’t immediately move to comply, I stepped slightly away from him. “No touching, remember?”
Oliver winked at me in a decidedly perverted manner. I didn’t know what I wanted to do more; laugh, or hit him in the face. “They all say that at first, Kenna. But we both know I’ll eventually win you over.” he laughed, but there was an oddly serious glint in his eye that I didn’t much care for.
“Um...right.” I offered noncommittally. It seemed the wisest course of action, not to mention the safest. “So...let’s go get lunch, then.”
And with no further interruptions, we made our way to the Three Broomsticks. Once inside, it was obvious that the place was still as popular as ever; we were knee-deep in other students, and the only reason we even found a table was because Oliver used his Scary Quidditch Captain face on a couple of third years. The moment those midgets realized that the great and powerful Oliver Wood had actually looked at them, they were more than happy to remove themselves.
“You want something?” he asked the moment we were seated. I was more than a little uncomfortable; the booth was plenty roomy, but he’d decided to slide in next to me instead of across like a normal person, and part of me was afraid he was going to try something underneath the table.
“Er...just a butterbeer, I guess.” I told him, feeling that odd flush come up over my face again. Oliver grinned at me, like he knew the reason for my blushing, and I wanted to hit him again.
He’s smarter than I give him credit for, though, because he wisely chose not to comment and instead went off to procure the drinks. The moment he was gone, I breathed a sigh of relief. When I caught sight of a short, dark-haired female frantically waving at me while towing a tall blonde boy in my general direction, my relief increased. Especially when Riley stopped in front of me, practically glowing from head to toe.
“Hey!” she said happily. “Are you here with Oliver?” I nodded. “Cool. Can we sit with the two of you?”
Before I could answer, Brennan looked at me sheepishly. “There aren’t any other open tables.” Even though he was implying that Wood and I would want to be alone together, I smiled warmly at him.
“You don’t even have to ask.” Riley grinned, and made to sit next to me, but I shook my head.
“Oliver’s sitting there.” I told her with real regret. She shrugged and slid in across from me. Brennan mumbled something about getting drinks and squeezed her hand before walking off.
“Wow.” I laughed. “I guess he’s okay with the whole arrangement then?”
“Isn’t it great?” Riley is a normally happy person, but she was more excited than I had ever seen her. It appeared that she and Brennan had finally reached an agreement of some sort, if that little hand thing was anything to go by. That was the first time I’d seen them actually touch each other, so it was a pretty momentous occasion. Before either one of us could start gossiping, Oliver came back.
His grin faltered slightly when he saw Riley there, and I wondered what his problem could possibly be. But all he said was “Hello, Riley. You here alone?” And then I figured out that he thought I’d snagged Riley from somewhere to protect me from him. I rolled my eyes.
“No, Brennan’s over there.” she gestured. It was almost comical how Oliver’s face brightened, but again, before I could comment, the subject was changed. By the time Madame Rosmerta came around to ask what we wanted to eat, all four of us were discussing our classes, Snape’s unending sadism, and the outcome of the first Quidditch match of the year. I got on surprisingly well with Brennan, who, once he got over his narrow focus and nerdy tendencies was actually quite entertaining. Plus, he got extra points for not sighing and glancing longingly at a rowdy group of Ravenclaws (I assumed they were his friends) when they muscled their way to a table half an hour after we did.
All in all, I was definitely having a better time with Oliver than I could have possibly expected. Except for the fact that he couldn’t seem to stop patting my shoulder and tugging on my hair and whatnot (thus violating all three no touching rules), he was behaving far better than I’d ever seen him do previously. I suppose he was making an effort at being charming. It was succeeding. For one day, it seemed he’d figured out how to be a human being instead of a fascist Quidditch captain. I still wasn’t willing to risk my emotions with him again, but he’d proved that at least he was capable of being entertaining again.
When we finally left the Three Broomsticks, we were laughing and joking and goofing around like normal teenagers. God, it felt good to be normal around him again. Oliver kept violating the no touching rule, and I let him. I just got caught up in having fun with him, and he wasn’t trying to seduce me any longer (well, not really), so it was okay.
For a while, that is.
It was just after one-thirty, and we’d already been pretty much everywhere in Hogsmeade except for Madame Puddifoot’s. If dealing with Oliver in Potions class, combined with Slytherins and Snape, is my seventh circle of hell, setting foot inside that illustrious establishment would probably be the eighth circle. On a good day.
And in case anyone has forgotten, hell is not fun.
Heading back up to the castle so early didn’t sound so fun, either. More fun than going into that bloody tea shop, but way less fun than say, tormenting Ollie’s girl toys. So Oliver and I made the joint executive decision to continue to wander around Hogsmeade until we either died or got bored, whichever happened first.
The way things were going, we would probably die first. I mean, who knew that wandering around the village rating every couple we saw on attractiveness, height, suitability, House, and randomness could be so much fun?
Okay, so I probably knew that, but that’s just because I have too much spare time on my hands.
Although, it is kind of surprising how easily amused the two of us were. I mean, normally, I’m lucky if I can do one thing (other than flying) for more than ten minutes at a time. So it’s pretty weird that I managed to walk all around Hogsmeade for over an hour in the company of one teenaged male without screaming “I’m bored!” or “Stop touching me, you pervert!” even once.
“Maybe this isn’t so bad.” I mused aloud. Oliver looked at me strangely. Oops. I need to remember that talking to myself is a bad thing, and that if I have to do so, all conversations should be carried out in my head. And never under any circumstances should I mutter things out loud when there has been a lack of conversation for more than a minute.
“Uh...right.” Oliver coughed, once more bringing me out of my reverie. He jammed his hands in his pockets, stopping right in the middle of the street for a moment. I stared at him, wondering what the hell he was thinking. And then I stared because his hair was an absolute mess, and somehow on him, that looked sexy. I would just look frightful.
And then I wanted to gouge my eyes out because they thought that Wood was sexy.
Sometimes, I wish I were a lesbian. But then I would have to deal with fancying girls, and I imagine it would be just as bad as fancying Oliv—
Except that I totally didn’t fancy him. Just because I appreciate the view doesn’t mean I want to take him home with me at night.
Oh, Merlin, that sounded wrong.
“So...Kenna.” He almost sounded...shy. I could have sworn I saw him bite his lip, but before my stupid head could register it, the faint puzzled expression was replaced by his usual smirk. “Um...what exactly are we doing here?” he asked.
“What do you mean, what’re we doing here?” I queried, completely exasperated. “You’re the one who stopped dead in the middle of the bloody street!!”
“That’s not what I meant.” Oliver huffed.
“Well, what did you mean then?”
“Never mind. It’s not important.” He shrugged the statement off. We started walking again, and I noticed a distinct chill in the air that hadn’t been there earlier. Okay, now I was starting to get bored. There are only so many times a girl can rate the same exact couples on the same exact things in such a small time period.
I guess Oliver was bored, too, because he suddenly tugged on my wrist and pulled me inside Zonko’s Joke Shop. I brightened immediately.
“Oi, great idea, Ollie.” I’m afraid that I gushed. “Now I’ll finally be able to get back at Fred and George for putting that frog spawn in my pumpkin juice!”
“Er, not to spoil your mood, but wasn’t that three years ago?” Oliver asked incredulously. “And why do you insist on calling me Ollie?” Oh, so he had noticed. A small part of me was very, very glad that I still had the ability to irk him so much.
“Yes, it was three years ago.” I sniffed as I rifled through shelves filled with every prank and gag imaginable. I was so busy trying to come up with an evil plan that I didn’t notice him shoving me into the very darkest corner of the shop until it was too late. Oh well. There was still some good stuff back there. “And since you asked...I call you that because it annoys you.”
“Gee, I never would have gathered.” Oliver responded sarcastically. I ignored him. I was trying to decide whether or not it would be appropriate to send frog spawn back to the Weasleys when that giant arse gave me the heart attack of a lifetime. “So tell me Kenna...how is it that you think that you can trick me into not noticing that the twins are fooling around with Angelina and Alicia, probably at this very moment?”
If I had been holding a drink, I would have dropped it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said nervously. I refused to look at him, but I could just tell that he was grinning at me.
“Sure you don’t.” he agreed equably, but I couldn’t help but feel he was going to torture me some more later.
I decided not to go with frog spawn. Or anything else, for that matter. Oliver’s little question had put me off my game, and I didn’t want to even think about any of my team mates. “Er...what do you say we head back to the castle?” I asked at random. “I’m uh, getting pretty worn out.”
“Sure.” There he went with the agreeing again. I should have known something was up, but like the fool that I am, I allowed myself to ignore the little voice inside me screaming “RUN AWAY!” at the top of its lungs. We exited the store together, and Oliver didn’t try to touch me again. I was very, very glad of that.
As we marched back up to the castle, Oliver fell into more random bits of conversation that made me increasingly uncomfortable. Especially when he said “You know...I never really thought my plan would work.” he told me conversationally.
“What plan?” I asked warily. There was another strange glint in those dark eyes of his, one that I didn’t trust for a moment.
“My plan to get you to go out with me.” he responded with such utter calm that I was forced to stare.
“I didn’t agree to go out with you.” I replied automatically. “I agreed to give you a chance to change my mind, which is entirely different.” Nothing else was said for a few minutes. But then I felt honor-bound to shoot out another of my snarky comments. “Besides, the only reason I agreed was because Angelina and Alicia—“ I cut myself off sharply. I’m sure I looked quite horror struck. Even more so when Wood finished the statement for me.
“Bullied you into it.” He ran a hand through that hair of his. I think my jaw dropped in shock. “Yeah, I know. They told you that you’d distract me so they wouldn’t get caught fooling around with the Weasley twins.”
“How the hell did you know that?” Oh, great, that was not the smartest response I could have come up with.
Oliver grinned. “Well, for one, the staring contest they were holding with the back of my head yesterday in Charms class tipped me off. Then there’s the fact that they were both wearing make-up this morning when they came down to eat, even though they were dressed in their rattiest clothes.” He began. “Then, of course, there’s the fact that you agreed to come to Hogsmeade with me.” He was still grinning. I stopped walking.
“You knew?” I glared. He nodded cheekily. Argh. If I didn’t get away from him, I was going to try and kill him again. That, or run off and try to kill my friends. So I did the only thing a girl can possibly do in such a situation. I tried to make a grand exit.
Tried being the operative word. I tried to stalk past him and leave him in my dust, but Oliver was too quick for me. He snagged my wrist in a vice grip that freaking Hercules couldn’t escape from. So then I tried to kick him in the bollocks.
He has some very good dance moves, I discovered. My foot didn’t reach anywhere near him.
And damn him, he was laughing at me. I think more than anything, that was what really made me angry.
“Let go of me.” I hissed through clenched teeth.
“Nope.” was the only reply I received as I was pulled up against a tree. There was bark digging into my back, I was being touched, and I was pissed off. Not a good combination.
“I hate you.” I told him.
“No you don’t.” He was laughing as he closed in on me.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I do.” I snapped. He stopped laughing and reached out to cup my face with his free hand. I don’t think I’d ever been as close to another person as he was to me in that moment. I mean, seriously, he was majorly invading my personal space. And I totally would have told him. Except I didn’t even get the chance.
Because before I could so much as blink an eyelid, his mouth crashed down roughly onto mine.
Author's Note: Muahahahaha. Yes. I did that on purpose. Just because I can. I hope this sort of explained Oliver's willingness to break his own rule. To all of you, I hope you enjoyed the chapter. And because I'm in a nice mood, I'll tell you now that I'm not going to skimp on the details in the next chapter. Haha. Well. Seriously, what did you guys think? I'd love to know!! Sorry this chapter wasn't as humorous as most, but hey, they can't all be laugh riots!! So. That little button at the bottom? Please click it and send in a comment or two! Thanks! =]
Write a Review Flavor of the Month: In Which Kenna and Oliver Go to Hogsmeade