Chapter 60 : It's Tough to Keep a Level Head
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Had a body that was made for sin
. . .
Well, I'll tell ya somethin' brother
When you're dealin' with the Devil
It's tough to keep a level head
“Anna, do you realize that you’ve gotten over two months worth of detentions in less than twenty-four hours of being here?”
I don’t think she realized, because she was still sitting, smiling on the couch, and didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it.
She had gotten four weeks worth at breakfast. And another weeks worth for the flying wands when we walked into Twitchy’s class that morning. Then, Anna had deliberately shortened her skirt; it was uncomfortable for Anna, but tantalizing for me. (And a majority of the rest male population of Hogwarts, as well.)
Of course, this had made Twitchy even angrier, and Anna received another week of detentions. It wasn’t even ten o’clock in the morning and our new twitchy teacher had quite possibly set a record for most detentions given.
When we’d finally gotten a break from morning classes, and headed down to lunch, we saw the Marauders there. Remus was looking tired, and was off in a corner flirting with Dora. Peter was talking with a few Sixth years, and James and Sirius were chatting idly to Minnie.
At that point in the day, I believe that annoying Twitchy had become a game for Anna. “Watch this,” she’d said slyly.
“Sirius!” Anna’s voice (which had temporarily taken on the shrill tone of an annoying girl’s) echoed across the Great Hall, and I watched Twitchy’s head snap towards her buoyant, insolent student, sprinting down the aisle.
She jumped onto Sirius and wrapped her legs around him (as she usually did,) but genuienly surprised everyone (probably herself, too,) when she smacked him quickly on the lips, as well. Then she paused, deliberately looked at Twitchy, and began snog Sirius in a way that was highly inappropriate for anywhere outside a bedroom.
Ah, poor Anna has turned into a whore.
“Miss Xanthis! Inappropriate display of affection! Another week.”
Dumb and defiant, Anna flipped Twitchy off before whispering to Sirius, “I’ll explain later.”
Her remaining three weeks of detentions came during dinner, in which she’d blatantly and loudly offered Stephen, myself, and pretty much any boy over the age of sixteen sexual favours. (Only to annoy Twitchy, of course - Anna wasn’t that much of a creep.)
And, as a final straw, she’d chucked a handful of apple crisp across the table at Dora’s face, consequently starting a food fight.
And that is how Anna managed more than two months worth of detentions in one night.
“Yeah, I know,” she said, responding to my earlier questioning of her sanity.
“And do you also know that - as cool and fun as it seems now - you’re going to hate yourself for doing this a week from now, when you’re in detention every, single night.”
She nodded, “Oh, of course I know. But, for now, I’m just on one of those highs where you’re so excited because you won.”
Stephen, who was lounging on the floor below the couch that Anna was draped over, joined the conversation. “You only think you won; in actuality, you lost.”
“No, I don’t really think so.”
I glanced at my watch; eight o’clock. “Oh, really? Shouldn’t you be at detention right now?”
Anna scoffed. “She’s got another thing coming if she thinks I’m actually showing up.”
Stephen and I exchanged a glance before turning to her.
One minute later . . .
“No! No! No!” Anna kicked and screamed. “Put me down!”
Unfortunately, neither Stephen nor I had the strength of Sirius, and he was the only one that could still hold onto Anna when she kicked and thrashed - she was quite good at throwing a fit. Fortunately, there were two of us, which meant that we could easily pick her up, and carry her to her detention with Twitchy, in her office on the third floor. It was almost effortless.
After we’d gone down two or three flights of stairs, Anna had finally stopped resisting, and just ignored me and my partner-in-crime.
We arrived outside the DADA classroom. Me and Stephen dropped Anna unceremoniously to the ground. She looked up at the oak door. “You know, even though this is the exact same door from last year, it seems much, much more annoying this year.”
Brown. Sturdy. Tall . . . Nope, it seems exactly the same to me.
And while Anna looked upwards towards the classroom, I had to fight with myself not to look downwards. Where I was standing put me at the perfect angle to get a view down her shirt . . . It didn’t help that Anna had unbuttoned two or three of the top buttons over the course of the day to anger Twitchy, and that she’d never re-buttoned them.
I could see a little bit of her plain, satiny white bra poking out of the similarly colored button up shirt. But I was the essence of cool, and didn’t let it show.
I was barely paying attention as Stephen quietly argued with Anna, trying to get her to go inside and do her detention, before Twitchy had her for the entire year.
Must. Resist. Cleavage . . . Can’t. Too. Perfect.
“Wha?” I was quickly snapped out of my trance. I could tell by the look Stephen was giving me that he’d caught me staring at Anna . . . I’m sure he thought I was trying to imagine her without a shirt - what I hadn’t yet gotten around to telling him was that I didn’t need an imagination, just a memory.
“What are we going to do if Anna doesn’t go in?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Anna groaned. “I’m going in.”
She paused for a few moments before jumping up excitedly. “Oh! I know! I’ll run in my skivvies! That’ll drive Twitchy absolutely mad-”
“No!” I cried. My voice squeaked a bit . . . It was disturbingly uncool. I cleared my throat and pretended that my cry had only been a bout of squeaky-voice, and not reflecting my own take on the situation. “No,” I repeated, more calmly.
“And why not?” Anna stood with her hands on her hips.
I didn’t really feel like explaining it to her . . .
“Just go inside.” I spun her around, opened the door, and pushed Anna inside the classroom.
Stephen and I began to head back towards the common room, and no sooner had we, than Stephen began to accost me. “So, letting that imagination of yours run wild?”
An maniacal grin spread across my face. “Who said anything about an imagination?”
We’d walked a few more metres, with Stephen looking confusedly at me, before his eyes widened and he stopped short. “You mean you got to see. . .”
I nodded, smirking all the while. “Oh, yes.”
We started walking again. “Wait, how far did you guys get?”
It didn’t occur to either of this that our conversation very much resembled that of a particularly bubbly pair of teenage girls. I told him.
“Oh, shit! Dude! Nice!” He Stephen held up his hand and we high-fived.
We made the rest of the way up to the common room in contemplative silence. We decided to wait for Anna to finish her detention; she’d undoubtably want to whine, complain, and plan an evil, masochistic sort of revenge.
We sat in silence (as us guys tend to do) until Stephen said, out of the blue, “What about her and Sirius?”
I explained about their relationship too, leaving out the party that Anna had said about Sirius being superior, of course.
Talking about the ex-couple made me think about Anna’s little potion fiasco at the end of the previous year. I barely knew Stephen, but even through the short male-bonding time we had, I knew I could trust him . . . So I told him about Anna’s unbeknownst confession.
I was just finishing my tale when Anna stormed into the common room. She was covered in some mysterious green goop. I was surprised that she didn’t stay to complain. She just grumbled to herself on the way up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory . . . Only to come back down a minute later when she realized she was unloved and had no home.
She sat huffily in an armchair, didn’t speak to either of us, and fell asleep.
I looked at Stephen. “That was weird.”
“For her? Yes.”
We shrugged and retreated to our beds. The sometimes-daft, completely mad girl was not our problem.
But, we soon discovered that she was. Anna was surprisingly incompetent without the Marauders at her side.
Apparently, they were the ones who compelled her to do at least a little of her work.
Apparently, they were the ones who made sure she made it on time to her morning class, at least three out of the five days each week.
And, apparently, they were the ones who kept all her loose, mental threads from unraveling.
Because by the end of the week, Anna had gotten another weeks worth of detentions (combined from various professors) for not handing in her work. The few items she did complete mysteriously went missing somewhere between the desk in the common room, her messy bag, and the classroom.
And that was only four days worth of class.
So, Saturday morning, as Anna slumbered away in the common room (she still refused to join us in our dorm, no matter how much we pestered her,) Stephen and I devised a plan. There was no way we could deal with the lovable, near-child on our own - we needed back up.
And the only people we knew to call for backup would not make Anna happy. Not at all.
It was nearly ten o’clock when Anna grudgingly rolled off the couch; the common room was quickly filling up, and was no longer a legitimate place to sleep. The bedraggled girl trudged up to our dorm, to sleep for a few more hours.
But Stephen and I couldn’t keep her company - we had plans of our own.
And we put them into action quickly. As soon as Anna had snuggled up under the covers on Stephen’s bed, and fallen into a slumber, we left the dorm and headed down to the common room. We saw our targets immediately; two blond heads - one so light it was almost white, the other nearly a brown color.
“Bria! I haven’t talked to you in ages!” Stephen turned on the charm, just like that - he didn’t have anything on me, of course, (it’s hard to compete with my naturally casual, cool exterior) but he got the darker-haired Bria in a frazzle fairly quickly.
“Hey, Stephen, what’s going on?”
Ooo, so nonchalant; she’s good. But any practiced womanizer (i.e. - me) can tell she’s faking it.
“I was wondering if I could ask a favour of you . . .”
Godric, I cannot believe that I used to go after birds like that . . . How did I ever stand them?
“I can’t do that, silly. You’ll have to tell me what it is first . . . I can’t just go around agreeing to all the favors that boys ask of me.”
Yeah. She definitely was not thinking of the same type of favor that we were.
“I need you to invite Anna to stay in the dorm with you guys again.”
“Anastasia,” called the other, more blond girl - Connie - from the couch.
“Oh. Since when is she Anna?”
“I don’t know . . . That’s what I’ve always known her as,” Stephen replied. I concurred.
She shook her head. Her honey blonde ringlets flew around her heart-shaped face. “No, it doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t like her.”
Yeah, we know that, dumbarse. I thought back to the hilarious narrative Anna had told us about her hour in the girls’ dorm.
“Listen,” I interjected. Stephen may have been charming, but girls always seemed to fall at my feet - this girl would quite obviously be no different.
And I was so right. Her eyes slid in and out of focus as I addressed her, and she took a step backwards as if intimidating. And I was damn intimidating.
“She’s stubborn, slightly idiotic, and can barely do things for herself. She’s sleeping in the common room because she doesn’t want to come stay in our dorm, and there’s no way in hell she’ll ask you guys to take her back.
“So I need you to ask her for me. It wouldn’t be like you’re caving in,” I began to persuade her. Persuasion - it’s nothing more than an under-recognized form of art. “Think of it as a favour to me and Stephen,” I said. “We need your help. And you would be the bigger person for asking her.”
For a moment, I thought I had her convinced. Perhaps, I did; perhaps, it was a matter of how much she really hated Anna, and not because of pride.
As unfathomable as that was to me, maybe girls minds just worked differently.
“Yes.” Stephen and I shot our gaze to the couch, where Connie’s affirmative answer overrode Bria’s.
“What.” It wasn’t even a question; it was a menacing statement. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Bria spat.
Connie shook her head. “No, I am not kidding. It’s just as much her dormitory as it is ours, and she has a right to be in there.”
Girls looked prettier when they smiled. Very much so, and Bria was the perfect example. When she was smiling, she was a very pretty girl. When her face was passive, she wasn’t bad looking at all. But when she frowned in anger, her delicate, girly features contorted grotesquely, and she was nothing short of ugly.
“That doesn’t mean we have to ask her.” That was quite the malicious tone of voice.
“No, it’s doesn’t,” Connie reasoned calmly. “But these guys asked you a favour, and if you don’t intend to carry it out, then I will. Who knows, someday, we may need a favour in return.”
Now there is someone I could get along with.
I studied her features. They were like Bria’s in way that they were soft, rounded and small. Her face was much less dramatic compared to, say, Anna’s sharp, Mediterranean characteristics. Her bright blonde hair was neatly kept, and soft looking, and her make-up was subtle, unlike her friend, Bria’s.
Yeah, she’s pretty damn good-looking.
I walked up to her, and winked suavely. Winking was my thing. “Thanks. I’ll see you around.”
I nodded at her and Bria, and me and Stephen made our way over to the other side of the common room to scheme and obvserve.
It was about an hour later when Anna trudged down the steps in grey sweat pants and a white t-shirt. Her black hair (which had grown out some since James spontaneously cut it off last year) was still wet, curly, and thrown in a messy bun.
I decided to compare Anna to Connie, because that’s what us boys do - we compare girls that we think are hot.
I made a mental list.
. . . Which needed no explanation, whatsoever.
-Hazel eyes, thick lashes
My comparative list was cut short, though, when I saw Connie get up and approach Anna.
Connie's voice was noticeably soft, and refined, as well. "Anna," she called out.
Anna looked up, surprised. Connie beckoned for her to walk over to the couch; Bria was no where to be seen. "Yeah?"
It was quite obvious the there was no tension between Anna and Connie, wheras Bria created tremendous amounts of tension when she was even within a hundred metre radius of Anna.
"You need a place to stay. Come back to the dorm."
It was an eye-lock between the two girls.
I could practically hear their thoughts.
Anna's would be something along the lines of: Ooo, a real bed . . . But why the fuck would I want to go stay with them again.
Connie's would more likely be something like: My advice is to accept this. I'll ask, but I won't beg.
And, in an amazing event, their thoughts seemed to intermesh. Anna nodded shortly at her newly-made ally.
Connie nodded back, and they seperated. Tentative allies.
No longer homeless, Anna triapsed happily over to where Stephen and I watched our perfect plan unfold. "I have a home," she stated simply.
"Now, if only I could find all my stuff . . . "
Sometimes, it was tough to keep a level head, with that one.
A/N: Hey, all! I know this chapter is a little bit rough and probably riddled with mistakes, but I rushed it out, and skipped sending it to my lovely beta, because I’m leaving for Spring Break tomorrow, will be gone for over a week, and wanted to get one last chapter out to you guys before I left. Show me some love, so I’ll have a nice surprise when I get back. :D Anyways, you guys are awesome - chapter 60 . . . I honestly didn't ever thing I'd get this far. Alright, I've got to go . . . AP Chemistry to study for. Ta!
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