“You’re welcome!” Rory calls out cheerily to my back.
I find Dom first, lying gloomily on her bed, ignoring the personal questions that Nessa and Tracy keep bombarding her with. “Dom,” I snap, folding my arms like I meant business.
Which I so do.
She sits up, eyeing me warily as if I’m an out of control puppy that could bite at any minute.
“Come with me.” I order her and walk out of the room, leaving a gormless Nessa and Tracy in my wake. They’ve probably never heard my ‘shut-up, I’m-pissed’ voice. To be fair, I haven’t used it in a long time; it was mostly reserved for my idiotic brother.
Footsteps shuffling along behind me clarify that Dom is actually following me as I lead us to the Ravenclaw tower. We climb the spiral staircase and reach the big, oak door with an eagle head as a knocker. I look at Dom, confused, and she sighs and, putting her fingers around the knocker, she lifts it and drops it; making a loud knock.
“A young woman is extremely pretty, yet she is ugly in its widest term,” The eagle speaks in a loud voice, opening its bronze mouth. “How can this be?”
I know this.
My cousin thought she could outsmart me, in all her eight years of wiseness, last summer and kept throwing riddles my way at a family barbecue. I answered her with an ‘I’ll get back to you on that’ and ran inside to check the answers on the internet before reporting gleefully to her the correct answer, which made her stare at me dumb-founded. She followed me around the rest of the day, holding my food and getting me cold drinks while I lazed around on the grass, getting a sun tan.
“She was pretty ugly,” I say confidently in answer to the riddle, looking around smugly at Dom.
“That is incorrect. You may not enter.”
“Oh, well done, genius. Now we can’t get in.” Dom moans from behind me.
“Don’t tell me to shut up!”
“I’m too much of a pathetic slut to care though, aren’t I?” I snap, facing Dom.
“And I’m such an attention seeking whore I don’t think about anyone else,” Dom whispers, before bursting into tears and bolting down the corridor, her hair flying wildly behind her.
I mean, talk about hormonal.
“Dom! Dom, come back!” I call after her, but she ignores me, and I slide uselessly down the wall till I’m sitting on the floor.
“Mollie?” Hally’s climbing up the stairs, looking abashed.
“Hally, we need to sort this out.”
“No,” she answers quickly, rejecting my plea, her face hardening as she walks back the way she came, down the stairs.
I wait for a minute before descending the stairs, ignoring the second years who eye my tie warily, and I make my way outside, relishing in the cool air that clears my head. I stroll around by myself for a bit, shoving my cold hands in the pockets in some effort to warm them, letting the coldness of autumn keep me alert, and staring at the tall, browning fir trees that occasionally let a crisp leaf fall and the shimmering lake, before spying Katie talking to Megan, her little posse crowding around them in a circle. I hide behind a tree, pressing my body tightly to its bark and cast a simple charm that lets me eavesdrop on them.
“-ditched those losers in a way I’d be proud,” Megan says, earning cheers from around her. “You can hang around with us now, Katie.”
I don’t really know how I ended up making my way towards the group but my feet were obviously placing one foot in front of the other without me realising.
“Well, well, speak of the devil,” Megan sniggers once I reach her.
“Shut up,” I snap. What is it with me and ‘shut up’ today? You’d think someone could come up with a better comeback than telling someone to quieten down in a rude way.
God. “What the hell is your problem?” I demand in my pissy voice, folding my arms to hide my quivering hands.
“Excuse me?” She says; her tone dangerous.
“You turn one of my friends into one of your stupid, little lap dogs,” I growl and it just hits me how many people stand behind Megan, backing her up. Ten people? Fifteen? I’m so goddamn stupid. At the very least Katie has the nerve to look embarrassed.
“I think you need to be taught a lesson on respecting your uppers,” Megan spits, narrowing her eyes as she steps closer to me, threateningly. And seeing as that girl is a good few inches taller than me, I should be quaking in my boots. But I’m not, which I find peculiar. Must be the adrenalin pumping through my veins in this fight-or-flight situation. And, hell, I’m fighting. Rather stupidly, I may add. I mean, it’s common knowledge that animals which run are more likely to survive than those dumb arse zebras fighting a pack of lions.
“Uppers?!” I shriek. “What, so you’re my uppers because you’re a bigger bitch than me?!”
“And because I’m so much prettier,” Megan replies smugly, fluffing up her hair.
“Do you know how conceited you are!?” I know I should stop. Believe me, I wanted to, but I couldn’t. My mouth just kept blurting out these garbled insults to this girl who’s probably going to make my life hell after this.
“And do you know how pathetic you are?” She retaliated. “As if James, or Freddie for that matter, could be interested in someone as ugly and unpopular as you!”
“No!” I screech. “You know what, Megan? You and you’re whole view on life is stupid! You’re stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid!”
Christ on a bike, I’ve gone hysterical.
Why else would I been raving like a lunatic about how one of the dumbest girls in the school is stupid?
“Did you just call me stupid?” Megan glowers.
“I see you’re deaf as well! No wonder James is ignoring your sleazy attempts to make him interested in you!”
What, am I signing my own death warrant now? I still don’t stop. Even though I can totally see I’m pushing her buttons.
“People are only your ‘friend,’” I bring up my fingers and air quote ‘friends’. Oh, that’s really going to piss her clones off. “Because they’re afraid of you!”
Well, it’s not because of her bubbly personality. Way to go, Mollie. Way to go.
“You and you’re sad little gang, Megan,” I ramble shrilly. “You just annoy the hell out of everyone! You can’t just go around bullying people who are different from you! You make me SICK! Sick, I tell you!”
My mouth opens again to fling more insults at the people in front of me, who are staring at each other dumbfounded, but nothing comes out and I breathe out a sigh of relief; glad to see my voice box is obeying my head.
Unfortunately, my body didn’t get the message and my foot stamps down angrily on Megan’s own kitten heeled shoe, her painted toenails peeping through the top. That bit I stamp on. To be fair, it was one hell of stamp but I can’t sympathise with the howling girl who’s hopping up and down, the injured foot clutched in her hand. Truth be told, I thought the whole situation was quite funny.
And you know when everything kind of slows down for a bit and someone turns tail and runs away in slow motion as people are left to sink what just happened? Well, I should be doing that know but I won’t flipping move.
Actually, no, I did move a bit; I jumped about an inch in the air then froze.
And Megan’s gang are advancing towards me, shouting outraged protests for injuring their leader. Someone’s hand clasps around my lower arm and I tense it, ready to jerk it from their grip and maybe give them a good smack around the head on the way. I look up, my eyes squinting in the setting sun that’s bathing my surroundings in a faint orange glow.
“What’s going on, here?” He demands the people in front of me in a strict voice, which I find strangely sexy.
“Nothing,” someone mumbles and most of them have the good grace to look ashamed.
Ha. I beat them up and they feel bad.
“That bitch stamped on my foot!” Megan complains, fluttering her heavily mascara-ed eyelashes at him to make her look innocent. Stupid cow.
Freddie tightens his grip on my arm and I squeal quietly, but loud enough for him to hear me. Freddie relaxes a bit, giving me a soft look before dragging me away from Megan and co. into the safe recluse of the castle hall.
“You alright?” He asks, but not in that matey ‘hey there’ kind of way. He said it like he actually cared if I was alright or not.
“I’m fine; thanks to you,” I whisper, kind of shakily, alarmed to feel that my legs have gone all wobbly. “You totally saved my chops back there,” I smile grimly.
“Nah, you would’ve been fine even if I didn’t pop up,” Freddie chuckles as he lays a supporting arm around my shoulders. “I could see you contemplating your escape route.”
“I was going to smack you in the head and run for it when you grabbed my arm,” I smile. “Until I saw it was you.”
“I heard about your fight with Dom, Hally and Katie,” Freddie mumbles into my hair as his arm is around me, leading me through the corridors. Which makes it sort of awkward walking. We’re shuffling.
“Yeah, you and half the school,” I sigh heavily, much enjoying the feeling of his cheek resting upon the top of my head. “They think I’m a pathetic klutz.”
“You’re anything but a pathetic klutz, Mollie,” Freddie soothes. “Well, maybe you’re kind of a klutz.”
“That’s a start, I guess,” I grumble, attempting a smile. I fail pathetically, the corners of my mouth twitching upwards for a mili-second.
“That was the worst smile I’ve ever seen,” Freddie teases. “Show me those pearly whites.” I smile again, making sure to bare my teeth up at him. It’s probably more of a grimace. “Sexy.”
I elbow him playfully, making sure to roll my eyes, as we halt in front of the Fat Lady. I turn to him expectantly, waiting for him to speak the password, which I can never remember. Freddie looks back at me nervously, wringing his hands and scuffling his feet about.
“You don’t know it either?” I sigh, my eyes fixing on the sleeping portrait. “We’ll just have to wait for someone who does.”
I turn back to Freddie who was looking rather jittery as he steps closer towards me and I stare at him apprehensively, surprised that his ‘ice wouldn’t melt’ attitude has dropped.
“Er... Freddie?” I ask him, smiling kindly. He blinks rapidly before running a hand through his neat brown hair that looks browner tonight than I’d ever seen it. It looks super shiny, too; you can practically see the light reflected in it. I must ask him what conditioner he uses. My hair, on the other hand, always looks kind of dull, except when I use various different beauty charms on it.
So, if you were thinking these kinds of things, gazing thoughtfully at Freddie’s hair to try and figure out what he uses on it, you too would be surprised when he grabs your shoulders and scrutinises you for a reaction.
“Oh, stuff it,” he mumbles, his face leaning down to close the gap in between us.
That’s when he kisses me.
A/N: Ooh, anybody expecting that? :D