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Chapter 18 : Of Things Getting Out of Control
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I bribed Flitwick into letting Eli Yanover to be my partner. I know it sounds bad but it had to be done. Pushing my luck I also ‘suggested’ by suggested I mean, went on my bloody knees and wept, that he give us a big project to do over the weekend.
I don’t know maybe it was the fact that Flitwick is a hidden romantic or the fact I must have looked pretty desperate (who asks for extra homework?) because he said yes and gave me an extra toffee for my ‘problems’.
God, I do have problems, don’t I?
From there I would ask Eli to come to the Three Broomsticks with me to work on our project where we would ‘accidentally’ meet up with Sirius and Kensington. We’d talk for a few minutes, have a seat and hopefully Eli will be so confused to what is going on, he’ll remain silent and sit there like a good ‘boyfriend’ while I will try to dodge any of Sirius’s and Kensington’s girlfriend-boyfriend questions. If I am successful in my mission I will have convinced Sirius enough that Eli is my boyfriend and therefore rub it in his mocking face.
Also the plus side is that I won’t have to ask Eli to pretend to be my boyfriend. So basically the plan is to trick him, which sounds and looks bad but all is fair in love and war, right?
Well it is! And it’s too late now because Eli is walking over here with a nervous smile on his face.
“Hey, Eli, long time no see, huh?” I say forcing fake enthusiasm. I am all too aware of Sirius’s scrutinizing gaze from across the class. Also I am fairly sure Flitwick is watching me too. Yeesh, talk about invasion of personal privacy.
“I saw you yesterday,” he says bluntly as he takes a seat next to me.
“Figure of speech,” I mumble and he looks over at me and gives me shy grin.
“I know,” he says shyly, “I was only kidding.”
I start back in surprise. Eli Yanover has a sense of humor? Whoa, who would have thought? I should laugh, to encourage him, that is.
“Haha,” I laugh.
He gives me a quizzical look and then shakes his head.
“So it’s a bummer we have to research nonverbal spells over the weekend, isn’t it?” I say filling the awkward silence. Man, this takes the cake, forcing an already awkward individual to talk with an equally awkward individual.
“Yeah,” he says nodding, “It’s sort of sudden isn’t it? I thought we weren’t supposed to be learning non-verbal spells until after Christmas and in D.A.D.A instead of Charms?”
“Yeah,” I say blushing, “weird.”
“Anyway, I was thinking we could work on it today during lunch,” he says.
“Er… I can’t today, a lot of homework and all,” I lie horrendously.
He shrugs and thinks.
“Well, I have Quidditch practice on Friday…” he begins
“You’re on the Ravenclaw team?!” I say astounded.
“Yes, actually since fourth year?” he says with a raised eyebrow, “a chaser?”
“Sorry,” I apologize, “I don’t really get into the games unless it’s against Gryffindor or something, my sister and brother force me to come. And everybody looks the same from such high altitudes.”
“Oh, that’s right, you’re John and Jaclyn’s younger sister,” he offers and smiles for me, “So I guess that leaves us Saturday and Sunday.”
“I have to meet some people on Saturday,” here I look at Sirius who glances at me and waves obnoxiously, “but if you want you can come with me so we can work on it at the Three Broomsticks.”
“Oh no,” he shakes his head, “I couldn’t possibly intrude.”
“No!” I cry hurriedly, “I insist.”
“No, it’s quite alright,” he says gallantly.
“No,” I grit through my teeth, “I insist.”
He looks sort of frightened by my sudden threatening attitude and backs away a little.
“W—Well, I suppose if you insist,” he stutters.
I immediately relax and smile warmly at him. I notice, however, he doesn’t relax until he bids me a hasty goodbye after class.
I think I took that a little bit too far.
I chew the inside of my lip as I think about my mission. Get Eli to come with me to the Three Broomsticks on Saturday? Check. Although I must remember to be less aggressive since he’s obviously very frightened of me. I sigh. Talking to boys is just so bloody hard.
I begin hastily packing up my things while thinking up the many scenarios where Sirius will realize that Eli is my boyfriend and become insanely jealous and dump Maria for me. A girl can dream right? I was in the middle of my day dream where Sirius was throwing a glass of butter beer into Eli’s face when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turn around.
“Hiya, Janelle,” Potter smiles charmingly.
“Potter?” I ask confused, “hello?”
“I was wondering,” he looks down at me with an easy smile, “if you’d like to sit with me during lunch today.”
“You?” I say skeptically, “Are you going to poison me?”
He laughs at this and musses his hair but doesn’t deny it, which actually frightens me.
“Not me exactly, more me, Pad—Sirius, Remus and Pete,” he says as he adjusts his glasses.
“Why?” I say bluntly as I close my satchel and sling it over my shoulder. “Did Sirius make you do this?”
“I noticed how you always eat alone,” he states not meanly, “And I remembered how you used to eat with Sirius when you guys were ‘dating’.” He winks at this and I push him playfully on his shoulder. “So I figured I’d come ask you.”
James’s eyes dance merrily behind his glasses daring me to say no.
“You know I’ll force you if you refuse,” he says confirming my thoughts.
“Alright,” I sigh and as he offers me his arm, I cringe.
“Nell, you’re going to have to take my arm,” he chuckles, “I know it’s not Sirius’s but..”
“Why would I want Sirius’s arm?” I say frantically, “He’s a bit taller than you so I suppose my arm goes a little bit higher but with you it’s much more natural so I don’t understand why I would prefer his arm. Why on earth would I prefer Sirius’s arm, I mean there’s nothing that would make it more comfortable than yours. He’s always cold anyway so it really ..” I continue muttering until strangely I find myself seated next to James in the great hall. “Oh, we’re here,” I say stupidly.
“You need to calm down,” he smirks and serves me a ladle of steaming mash potatoes.
“Thanks James,” I say feeling like a total child.
“You’re among friends, we take of friends,” he says kindly, which is really unexpected when it comes to him and his comment grudgingly makes my heart flow.
Before I can respond, however, Remus comes and sits himself across from James. They exchange knowing glances while looking at me. I glare at them suspiciously in return until James’s cracks a laugh and Remus offers me some bread rolls. I bet they’re really here to poison me.
As I take a nibble out of the roll that Remus gave him, you know it case it was poisoned, Sirius slides into the seat next to Remus with Maria holding tightly unto his hand. I immediately drop the offending roll and stare. Maria stares back perplexed while Sirius cries my name loudly.
“Er… hello,” I mutter, ready to upchuck the few bites of potatoes that I ate.
“Why are you sitting here?” Maria demands rudely. This makes me scoot closer to James who tenses immediately.
“I invited her to sit with us, Maria,” James says nonchalantly but I feel the slight tension in his muscles.
“You didn’t invite her, Siri?” pouts Kensington to Sirius who shakes his head. An immediate look of relief crosses her beautiful face until Sirius breaks out into a grin and says, “But I should have, shouldn’t I?”
This makes James laugh and Remus chuckle and by the time Peter comes to sit by me the whole table is chatting amiably while I try to avoid any eye contact with the she-devil. I mean the last thing I said to her was that I had what she wanted, which was Sirius at the time, and I told her to bugger off. Then, I didn’t even want Sirius but now… oh how the tables have turned. Also Kensington is very obviously rubbing it my face, which has caused me to lose my appetite.
“Nell, so I was thinking we should meet at the Three Broomsticks at one?” Sirius smirks which catalyses me to choke on my own spit.
“Er.. yeah great,” I say in between my spasms of coughing.
“As in a date?” Peter squeaks, which causes me to abandon my food and turn to glare at him.
Sirius shakes his head while eyeing me mysteriously.
“A double date,” he says nonchalantly. “Maria and I will be accompanying Janelle and Yanover.”
James sputters into his soup while Remus’s jaw has dropped about a mile. What is wrong with the pair of them?
“You’re going on a date with Yanover?” James exclaims.
“Yep,” Sirius answers for me from across the table, “He’s her boyfriend.”
He says boyfriend in a sickeningly sweet voice. A machete anyone? Anyone?
“I—I thought…” James stutters and then suddenly as if struck by a realization he smiles and congratulates me.
“Okay, this has been so awkward, thank you so much Sirius for that. James, thanks for inviting me to sit here but I think in between Sirius’s pompousness and well… whatever… I’m not hungry and I’m going to leave now so I’ll see you on Saturday.” And with that I huff away feeling incredibly ridiculous and increasingly angry.
The boys fell uncharacteristically silent after Janelle walked away. James was the first to break the silence.
“So Sirius,” James remarked casually, “I see you’ve got some competition.”
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, Prongs,” Sirius replied.
“What is he talking about Sirius,” cried Maria shrilly, “What competition? Mad Marriot’s? Do you like her or something? Sirius!”
I wake up to the sound of Morgan Thompson’s singing. I blearily rub my eyes and stretch, feeling absolutely satisfied in my cozy haven until I realize its Saturday and I am screwed.
It’s not Saturday it’s time to trick Eli Yanover day. Gods, why couldn’t I have kept my mouth shut? Why did I have to lie to Sirius? I shrink further into my sheets and whimper. This is karma kicking me in the butt isn’t it? Isn’t it? I grudgingly get out of bed and knock tentatively on the bathroom door.
“Just a minute,” Morgon hums and before I know it she throws open the door, her smile falters slightly when she realizes it is me. The usual reaction. I think they sort of resent me for being so weird but today I might as well try to be nice.
“Morning,” she says cheerily and I respond with a shy smile.
She’s obviously surprised by this so she begins to start a conversation with me.
“So are you going to Hogsmeade today?” She asks conversationally.
This is what you get for being nice, forced conversations that force you to hold in your pee.
“Yeah,” I reply, “I have a double date.”
“Oh, with Sirius?” She questions her eyes immediately becoming curious. I’m pretty sure they wonder how I managed to ‘snag’ Sirius. Past tense, obviously.
“Sort of,” I reply cryptically and realizing she wasn’t going to go without an explanation I tell her about the double date.
“Wait…,” she holds up her hand, “You broke up with Sirius and now you’re going on a double date with him with Eli Yanover?”
“Yes,” I mutter. I don’t think I need to tell her how I only pretended to date Sirius and that now, ironically, I completely fancied the pants off of him. Life is one cruel mofo.
“Oh my God, you poor thing, Kensington is a cow,” she says putting a comforting hand on my shoulder, “I guess that leaves me with no choice.”
“What choice?” I say wearily.
“We’re going to make sure Kensington feels like the cow she is compared to you,” she says and without further notice she drags me into the bathroom.
“I really don’t think this is necessary, I mean you hardly…” I bite my lip from saying anything that I would regret.
“I hardly know you?” Morgan smiles, “Well we’ve been roommates for five years now so I sort of do, besides I already noticed you used my shampoo.”
“About that,” I start.
“Don’t worry about it,” she laughs, “I have like five million.”
And with that I realized that Morgan Thompson wasn’t actually a school, prim and proper zombie but a really nice girl. But unfortunately she was adamant in letting her be in charge of my makeover so she plucked my eyebrows, which hurts like a bitch let me tell you, curled my lashes and laughed when I jumped away from it, and put some mascara on. It was in the clothes department that I refused to let her change me.
“I will not wear that!” I cry repulsed at the pink concoction she retrieved from the bowels of her closet. “I’ll look like a walking marshmallow.”
“Fine,” she huffs and walks over to my trunk and flips through all my clothes. She throws a pair of black jeans that I rarely wear unto my bed and grabs a white shirt, my dark blue sweater and a pair of socks. “Put these on,” she orders.
“Morgan, why are you doing this for me?” I ask as I struggle to fit into my skinny black jeans.
“Because, like I said, Kensington is a cow. She used to be my best mate, you know.” She says as she goes through her closet again. “What shoes size are you?”
“Seven. Really? I mean, I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah, my ex boyfriend cheated on me with her,” she remarks lightly, “Kind of a deal breaker, you know? And anyway she was always going on about herself.” She takes out a pair of ankle length boots and shoves them to me.
I put all this on while I contemplate the bitchiness that is the living and breathing cow that is Kensington. And then as I watch Morgan trying to find me more shoes to try, I realize this is what I’ve been missing. Gossiping with girls about bitchiness, makeovers and just talking.
I look in the mirror and am surprise to find that I actually look presentable for once in my life. The black skinny jeans accentuate my scrawniness, the dark blue sweater fits nicely with my style and the ankle length boots that Morgan made me try on, actually make me look a little taller.
“Hey Morgon,” I call, “I think this may work.”
She comes up from behind me and inspects me approvingly.
“I’m a genius,” she says and grabbing a scarf off the floor, she wraps it around my neck. She looks at my hair and ruffles it making my choppy bangs fly everywhere. “Perfect.”
I look at her. And she stares back, her smile faltering again. I tentatively wrap my arms around her and she flinches back startled, before giggling.
“God, you are the most awkward child ever,” she laughs and then flings her arm around me. “You’re welcome.”
By the time I arrive for breakfast I was still contemplating the strange occurrence with Morgan Thompson. I mean, whoa, hello this is socially inept Janelle Marriot we are talking about, whose only friend at one point was Sirius Black. And why the heck am I referring to myself in third person? But anyway back to that weird girly bonding moment. Hold on, hold on, drum roll please: it wasn’t awkward! Well except for the hug and afterwards where I mumbled something about not being a lesbian or something or other…
Alright it’s baby steps.
I look at the clock in the great hall, far too nervous to be hungry. Eli and I were supposed to meet at the Great Hall at eleven and it was 10h55. I rummage through my satchel to make sure I had books that would help us with our ‘project’ and extra parchment, aka, my props. I felt a tap on my shoulder and was greeted by the soft green eyes of Eli Yanover.
“Hey partner,” he smiles shyly.
My goodness he was just too cute.
“Janelle is almost ready,” I say distractedly until I realize that I’m still stuck in third person mode which accounts for me hitting my head with my hand. “I mean, I’m almost ready, and er… hello to you too.”
Only the first few seconds of interaction and I’ve already botched it up. How on earth am I going to hold up?
“So remind me why you’re shopping for baby hats?” Eli asks as he dubiously looks around the store filled with large yellow smiley faces and giggling baby wall paper.
“I have to buy a hat for a…” I pause, obviously I can’t say I’m going to buy a hat for Flitwick, that would be really idiotic of me, “a hat for my baby niece.”
“Oh,” he says still looking around, “that makes sense.”
“I occasionally have the tendency to do that,” I reply cheekily.
He chuckles and helps me find a suitable hat for the teacher I bribed to be partners with him so I could back up my lie about having him as a boyfriend to rub into the face of a boy I had absolutely no chance with. Whew. But it was turning out to be a fun Hogsmeade trip, I mean, Eli is actually quite unbearably sweet and once you get past the first awkward stages he’s actually quite a funny bloke. Plus, his ankles, I could freely stare at them all day. He caught me once and I had to lie about seeing a spider next to his shoe.
“How about this one?” he says holding up a hat with pink flowers on it.
“Mmm… too feminine,” I call back so he throws it back into the bin muttering something about my niece being a girl and that flowers were feminine, so what was the problem?
See? I told you he was funny.
“This one?” he jokes as he holds up a hat that has a wand on it with sparkles that shoot out of it every five seconds. I run over to him and squeal. Yes, squeal. A charmed hat for a charm teacher, how appropriate.
“It’s perfect,” I say and he grins embarrassed.
After I pay for the hat, Eli checks his watch and asks if I needed to meet up with people. I grab his wrist watch and am absolutely horrified to find that it is already 1h30.
“Shit,” I swear as I grab Eli and drag him toward the Three Broomsticks.
“We can start on our project inside,” I pant as I open the door. I am instantly enveloped in the warm and busy atmosphere of the pub.
“Oi! We’re over here!” Yells in all too familiar voice. Sirius Black, with his perfect teeth, flashes us a devilish smile and I gulp and clutch Eli’s wrist tighter.
“You’re meeting Sirius Black and Maria Kensington?” he asks incredulously. I know, I know, they’re beauty astounds me too.
“I sort of got forced into it,” I mutter and as we approach the immaculate couple, I give his wrist another squeeze.
“Took you long enough, Nell,” Sirius comments as Eli, being ever the gentleman pulls out my chair for me. “How are you, Yanover?” He flashes him a grin. Eli nods as he takes the chair next to me. Us vs. Them.
“This is Maria, my girlfriend,” he says as Maria politely inclines her head. I can tell by the pout on her lips and the pure evil glare directed at me that she does not want to be here.
“Sorry we’re late,” I apologize, “Eli and I were buying hats!”
“Ooh, for who?” Inquires Sirius curiously, leaning towards me.
“Whom,” Eli says. Sirius turns to stare at Eli, “For whom is grammatically correct.”
Maria laughs uproariously while Eli cowers at Sirius’s black gaze. Okay, this is not going well.
“My nephew,” I blurt, “The hat was for my nephew.”
Eli turns to look at me, “I thought it was for your niece.”
“I mean my niece,” I reply nodding shakily toward Eli.
“Who had a baby? John or Jaclyn?” Sirius raises an eyebrow skeptically.
Oh my nuggets, I totally forgot they knew John and Jaclyn. Be still my beating heart.
“What is this? Twenty questions, Black?!” I bark and Eli jumps at the tone of my voice.
“You know what, I’m going to get us some butterbeer alright, Janelle?” He says getting up hastily.
As soon as Eli is gone, Black leans back against his chair with his arms holding his head. He just keeps smirking at me like he knows something that I don’t.
“What?!” I growl, “Do I have something on my face?”
Sirius only smirks even more, if that is possible, and turns toward Maria who has her arms crossed over her chest. I look away and become entranced by the scorch marks on the table.
Only when Eli returns with the butterbeer does Sirius stop whispering to Maria whose face, I realize, has cheered up considerably.
“Nell,” Sirius says which forces me to look up from the table, “You look really pretty today.”
There is sincerity in his voice which makes me shiver with delight and I try not to blush. Too late I realize as I feel my face start to heat up. God damn, those grey eyes.
“Doesn’t she look pretty, Yanover?” Black says tearing his eyes away from mine. My eyes dart toward Eli’s and I find that he is blushing like crazy. “Oh, but I bet you already told her that since you guys are dating.”
Eli spurts out the butterbeer in his mouth unto Maria’s surprised face. Maria squeals with disgust and hastily grabs the napkins from the napkin dispenser to wipe at her face. I’d laugh but obviously I was in a pickle myself.
“Dating?” Eli splutters trying to wipe Maria’s face but she swats at his arm angrily. He looks from me to Sirius to Maria again apologizing. Again trying to wipe at her face.
“By dating he means study dating,” I choke out lamely, “You know because we’re partners and it looks like we’re on a date.”
“Oh no,” Sirius says jovially, not at all concerned with his makeup-less, angry girlfriend clinging to his arm, “I meant as in boyfriend-girlfriend dating, you know, like snogging dating? Have you snogged yet?”
“By snogging he means getting so close to our books that our lips are touching the paper,” I cover up quickly. Oh God, did I really just say that? Snogging our books?
“And have you held hands in public?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye.
“By holding hands in public he means holding the books. Together.By their spine. The book is a metaphor for hands,” I say loudly not even knowing if I was using the word metaphor correctly.
“So when did you start seeing each other as sexually attractive?” Sirius says over my voice.
“By sexually attractive he means, arousing in books, so the question is when did you start getting aroused by books.” I say even louder. “Sirius is just a sex maniac. A complete psycho.”
By this time our voices have become so loud that the people around us have begun to stare.
“Yanover what do you find most attractive about Janelle?” Sirius says raising his voice. Eli looks up from trying to wipe at Maria’s face. “She found your ankles to be the most attractive part of your body. You wouldn’t believe how much she went on and on about them,” he flops his head unto his hands. “A fetish of the ankles.”
“Well they were peeking out! What was I supposed to do? Look at his bum? Or the bulging bit in the middle or what?!” I say even more loudly than he does, which I don’t really consider a good thing considering what is coming out of my mouth, “At least that shows I’m not totally preoccupied with sexual stuff… even though I have looked around that…regional area… ”
“You mean his pe—“Sirius says but is thankfully, thank god for attention seeking Kensington, cut off by a loud piercing scream of frustration.
“Will you please STOP?!” Maria screeches. The pub goes silent and we turn our heads towards her, Eli in mid wiping mode.
“It’s obvious, Sirius, that Marriot tricked Yanover into coming here so she could make you jealous! They ARE NOT DATING! AND WILL YOU PLEASE STOP TRYING TO WIPE AT MY FACE?” She snatches the napkin from Eli’s quavering fingers and walks out of the pub swearing her face off.
Silence in the bar for a millisecond until everything goes back to normal. Okay well normal for a magical drinking pub that is.
“Well that went well,” Sirius replies loftily.
Sirius leans across the table towards me and breathes, “Admit it Janelle Ruth Marriot, Eli Yanover is not your boyfriend.”
A span of 25.6 seconds of silence until….
“Well no,” Eli says looking at me with wide eyes, “I have a boyfriend.”
Jumping dung bombs! Did I hear correctly? I look at him, totally floored.
“You’re gay?” I sputter.
“Completely,” he says blushing, “I thought everybody knew?”
I look at Sirius whose face looks like it’s about to explode with laughter, which it probably was but that’s beside the point. I am going to kill him with my bare hands and then rip his intestines out and hang his ghost with it. Then I’ll destroy him again.
“You knew this whole time didn’t you?” I say loudly. “You knew this whole time and decided hey, why don’t I torture Janelle today? Well you know what, Black, you’re a wanker.”
I stand up, grab my bags, slam the door open and leave.
Shit. I forgot to pay.
I come back into the pub, trying to look really angry and throw down a few sickles as forcefully as I can.
“Thanks Eli,” I mutter and give him a reassuring pat on the back. “It’s great how sure you are of your sexuality because right now I’m not sure I can stand the male species. Who knows maybe I’ll become a lesbian.”
This time I leave the pub without coming back. I blush furiously at the lengths I went to trick Sirius into thinking Eli was my boyfriend. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably never have a boyfriend in my whole life. I’ll be the crazy old spinster with a house full of cats that everybody says to stay away from. I wipe my eyes, which are surprisingly wet. Heaven forbid, I should cry over that freak.
I look down at the hat I bought for professor Flitwick. I wipe my eyes and decide that I’d better return it. It did cost me 2 galleons anyway, money I could be spending on chocolate and ice cream and oreos and chips and other things that will give me cellulite. Then that way I’d be a fat crazy old spinster with a house full of cats that everybody says to stay away from. I begin to make my way back to Glassman’s Toys for Tots when suddenly a huge black dog bounds to me seemingly out of nowhere. The dog yanks my bags from my hands and runs away with them.
I blink and when I look up from my empty hands I see the dog ahead of me, wagging its tail with my bags between his teeth.
“That’s two galleons, that is!” I shout and with a growl that surprises me I run after the stupid animal.
Okay, I realize after a few agonizing minutes of chasing the damned animal, I can’t run. I’d been running for approximately 5 minutes without ever being aware where I was running to. If this were a horror movie, which it is really close to being anyway, I’d be dead by now. I’m the stupid one that gets eaten by the giant black dog because she ran after it. I look at my surroundings for the first time and find myself in a little clearing next to the lake that is not familiar to me at all. See? Total horror movie scenery.
“What have I done to thee?” I cry out to the sky as I fall to my knees. My knees become soaked with water as I realize too late that I knelt into the lake.
“What haven’t you done is the question,” a voice answers.
Great, now I’m hearing voices in my head. Welcome schizophrenia. Welcome to my world. That or the axe murderer that is going to kill me and bury me in the ground with my foot sticking out. But when I look to the side, its worse. It’s the devastatingly handsome face of Sirius Black casually leaning against a tree with my bags in his hands.
The stupid devastatingly ass hole-ic piece of dragon shit.
I make to stand up and run and punch him in the face but I lose my balance and suddenly I’m falling forward into the freezing lake. I put my hands out to stop the impact but my head collides with a protruding rock instead and I fall dazed, head first into the cold water.
I’m oblivious to Sirius’s cry as my eyes start to close and all I can hear is the rush of the water around me.
A/N: I told you I'd update asap! :)
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