Chapter 6 : Ice
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A/N.2: Okay, well this chapter is finally beta'd, thanks to my lovely beta PenguinsWillReignSupreme. So, enjoy!
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Zero. You get the picture.
Chapter image by jetaway at TDA!
I opened the door very quietly, trying as hard as possible not to make any noise in case my dorm mates were all asleep.
To my relief, they weren’t. In fact, my dorm room was completely empty. I smiled to myself. Ah, peace and quiet.
Our dorm room, although kind of gloomy at times, was—when it came down to it—a pretty nice place to live. It was a wide, open space, with plenty of room and windows. Big windows, actually, with crystal panes and intricate wrought iron that wove in patterns in front of the glass. The kind of windows you would see in a church, or a gothic style building.
I sighed and slid the door shut behind me. I was so tired, I felt like my bones were made out of lead. All I wanted to do was just collapse on some soft piece of furniture and sleep.
I made my way through the room towards my bed, which was at the very back. Our dorm was already messy, even though we hadn’t even been back a full day.
Six mahogany four-poster beds were placed strategically around our room, complete with green duvets and silver sheets. I weaved my way through them, trying to avoid bumping into anything in my sleepy haze. The area was illuminated by a silver chandelier dripping with emerald crystals, and each girl had her own wardrobe, which was, of course, painted a rich green with ivory accents. Yeah, I know. Green chandelier, green bed...green wardrobe... I’m sensing there’s a pretty set color scheme to this room. I guess whoever designed it hadn’t been too creative...
I was assuming that my dorm mates were either in the bathroom or changing as they got ready for bed. I groaned inwardly at the thought. I was ready to spontaneously combust with exhaustion at the moment... My limbs were literally so tired they were numb. The last thing I wanted to do right now was get my jammies on.
The dark, wooden floor boards creaked under my feet as I walked over to my bed, pleased to see that my trunk was already underneath it. I flopped down on top of the mattress, sighing contentedly as I felt the duvet poof up around me. I rolled onto my stomach so my face was smothered into my cool, soft pillow. Five minutes passed where I just lay on my bed, breathing deeply and appreciating the heavenly comfort my mattress had to offer.
I startled, before turning around and looking up from my position on the bed to see Dom looming over me, an orange toothbrush in her mouth.
“What?” I asked, confused by her mumbling.
She took the toothbrush out of her mouth and grinned, revealing a mouthful of foaming toothpaste. I grimaced.
“Hey,” she said once more, clearer this time. “How were the First Years? And why are you all wet?”
“Peeves,” I said, cringing at the memory. Dom did not reply, and instead ambled back to the bathroom, presumably to spit out her toothpaste. She came back moments later dressed in a nightgown.
“Where is everyone else?” I asked, not really wanting to know.
I sighed. I should probably be in there too getting ready for bed and stuff but I couldn’t bring myself to get up. My body simply refused... it was too tired.
So I just lay there, in my wet school uniform, on top of possibly the comfiest bed in the universe. Dom, realizing that I wasn’t going to be speaking anytime soon and would therefore make for very boring company, sighed at my obviously pitiful condition and, with a flourish of gold-red hair, went flouncing back to the bathroom. I grinned to myself—finally!—and allowed my eyelids to flutter shut. For a blissful, happy moment, I felt myself start to slowly slip into sleep, deeper and deeper, like I was falling down a dark chasm. But not a bad chasm. A friendly one, filled with...good things, like rainbows and flowers and unicorns...
My thoughts drifted to the Prefect disaster, and then quickly to my dorm mates. As always, with every year, there was that kind of inevitable awkwardness of seeing my dorm mates after three months of summer. I mean, my dorm mates and I aren’t really that close...especially...well, certain people.
First off, there’s Evilyn—ahem, sorry, I meant Evelyn—Stanford, the most annoying little bint to step foot on this earth, not to mention the official President of the Sexy Chicks Against Bennett Club (SCAB). And yes, she did actually create this club in First Year. I remember four other people joined. They held meetings and everything.
Evelyn and I have a pretty simple relationship: she doesn’t like me, and I definitely do not like her. It’s almost like a balance, really. It’s what keeps us in order. And it hasn’t changed for five years.
I know what you’re probably thinking—yeah right, Agatha’s just being a jealous cow. Evelyn is probably a really sweet, nice person once you dig deep beneath her extremely malicious and coldhearted ‘Puppy Kicker’ exterior and get to know her. In fact, Evelyn was probably mistreated as a child and that’s why she has this profound psychological barrier that keeps her from trusting people and making friends. Right?
Wrong. Oh, so very wrong.
There is no psychological barrier. Evelyn is just a bitch. Sorry. Game over.
There’s just no way to excuse it... There’s no reason. It’s impossible to explain why she is the way she is. But, you know, I’ve speculated a bit, over the years...
I mean, it can’t be helped really. You just look at Evelyn and wonder, ‘What went wrong there?’ It’s a mystery. Unsolvable...Not to say that I haven’t come up with a few theories during the time I’ve known her...
1. There is some error in Evelyn’s genetic makeup that causes her to lack all the emotions or feelings a normal human being usually possesses.
2. She is actually a robot created by some Russian mad scientist named Ivan who is hell-bent on destroying the world. She is just currently masquerading as an innocent school girl, quietly biding her time, until finally one day she can reveal herself and unleash her hellish robot warfare (I’m thinking laser beams and flame throwers) onto the world.
3. Every night before Evelyn goes to bed, she peels off her amazingly realistic human mask to expose what she truly is—REPTAR! (This theory is similar to number 2—see above).
4. Evelyn is actually just really insecure inside, and even though she wants to make friends, she is just too scared of the rejection she might (cough INEVITABLY cough) receive. So instead, she pushes people away and uses her cruel and malicious bitchiness as a defense mechanism so that she can protect her crippling low self esteem.
To help Evelyn, I should just reach out to her and apologize, so we can make up, cry together over all the mistakes we’ve made in the past, and then proceed to have one-on-one heartfelt, four hour long conversations where, whilst French-braiding each other’s hair, we discuss our goals, our fears, and of course, our hopes and dreams for the future. Then we’ll go outside and dance in the rain and sing campfire songs. And don’t forget the quilt that we’ll make together (in which each stitch will be a representation of our beautiful and amazing friendship)!
5. Three words: Spawn. Of. Satan.
Yeah, okay, so now that I’ve given you a basic idea of what Evilyn is really like, let’s move on, shall we? Talking (or thinking) about her too much gives me heartburn.
Let’s see...who else is there? Oh yeah, there’s Marlene Simmons: Evilyn’s Own Personal Lackey and owner of an intellect rivaled only by garden tools. She’s as dumb as a pile of bricks. And that is seriously no exaggeration. Holding a conversation with Marlene is slightly less painful then eating nails.
There’s also Caroline Kinley, Evilyn’s best friend. I would pity Caroline— really, I would—except for the fact that she is such a bitch. Seriously, it rivals Evilyn, and that is saying something.
Aidan calls Caroline ‘Scare-o-line’ because he thinks she’s creepy. Which I kind of get, to be honest. There’s just something about her that’s really...frightening. And not in an ooh-monsters-under-the-bed way. More like a if-i’m-not-nice-to-you-you’re-going-to-rip-out-all-my-internal-organs-and-feed-them-to-the-Giant-Squid way.
Evilyn, Marlene, and Caroline all kind of intimidate their way into making friends (or followers, actually). Everyone is terrified of them. But it’s okay, really, because we all know that Evilyn and Caroline secretly hate each other even though they’re “BFFL”s, and the day will come when all that pent-up loathing will cause the two of them to get into a massive bitch fight and attempt to strangle each other...until one of them breaks a nail, or whatever.
Thank the heavens for Dominique. I mean, seriously, she’s like only sane one in this dorm...
Well, actually, now that I think about it... ‘sane’ might be stretching it a little.
I mean, it’s pretty safe to say that Dom has her weird moments...
But she’s still normal...ish... Right?
She’s just—er—a bit on the kooky side, that’s all.
...Well, maybe more than a bit.
Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. Dom might as well be an escapee from a mental institute. But I still love her.
When she’s not being obnoxious.
I startled as the door to the dormitory burst open, jarring me from my thoughts and daydreams, and in marched—speak of the devil (and yes, literally, the devil)—Evilyn Stanford, wearing a flowery nightgown and curlers in her hair. She marched right by my bed, her stupid ski-slope nose permanently turned up towards the ceiling, and made a little disapproving ‘hmpfff’ sound as she passed me.
I rolled my eyes.
“Hey, Evelyn!” I called out to her, voice filled with sugary sarcasm. “Oh, wow, it’s nice to see you, too! Yeah, I had a great summer holiday, thanks for asking, how about you?”
No reply from Reptar. She just gave me a snooty look and instead took out a can of air freshener from her tacky pink trunk, looked at me pointedly, and then began spraying the air around her.
“Hint taken,” I said, finally mustering up the strength to roll off my bed. “I’m going to go take a shower. Bye Evelyn! It was so nice catching up with you! We should totally do this more often.”
I knelt down, unlatched my trunk, and fished out my toiletries and a pair of pajamas.
Evilyn gave me a scathing look as she watched me, her beady eyes narrowing into her signature Death Glare. She remained silent though, (thankfully).
“What’s that, Evelyn?” I asked as I began walking out the dorm. I cupped my ear with my hand in an over-exaggerated fashion. “You missed me over the summer? Aw, that’s so sweet! I missed you too!”
And with that, I walked swiftly out of the room.
“Bitch.” I heard Evilyn mutter right before the door closed shut behind me.
She’s a charming one, that girl.
The next day, Dom and I rolled out of bed (with some difficulty) at around 7:30 to get breakfast. We walked to the Great Hall together, me constantly yawning (six in a row is the record), and Dominique rambling on and on about her PS (Professor Sexycheeks—a name I was secretly using to refer to Nott in my head).
“You know, I bet anything that Professor Nott’s an undercover secret agent...probably spying for the Russians or something. I mean, he’s so mysterious. And smoking. Smoking hot. Those eyes...They're just so filled with wisdom and knowledge. It's sooo sexy.”
I rolled my own sexy and wisdom-filled eyes at Dom’s incessant babbling. It takes a few minutes for her to wake up each morning, but after she does, Dom never stops talking. I, on the other hand, am not that chatty. I prefer some nice and peaceful silence during the AM, thank you very much.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting some anytime soon.
"Cheese and rice, Dom, will you just shut up about PS for a second? I mean, he's old enough to be your father!"
"PS? Who's PS?"
"Nice, I like it."
"So glad you approve."
“Yeah. Anyways, as I was saying...I’m really starting to see the appeal of older men, you know?” Dom blabbed on as we rounded the corner. “They’re just so mature... And they have experienc—OW, what was that for?“
I had slapped Dom over the shoulder (effectively cutting off her perverted fantasizing about PS) for, right in front of us, there was some sort of...traffic jam: a brigade of people blocking the entrance to the Great Hall. A pushing, shoving, shouting brigade of people.
“Er, what’s going on?” Dom asked, stunned, as she stood on her tiptoes to peer over the crowd and into the Great Hall. It was no use though; there were too many people. We couldn’t see a thing, only squirming, impatient, restless bodies.
My Prefect instincts kicking in (for once), I immediately charged forward and plunged myself into the mass of human bodies, Dom’s protests fading as I was swallowed by the crowd. Taking a deep breath, I pushed my way farther into the angry mob, jostling and sidestepping people along the way.
“Sorry, excuse me—“ I said as I passed Merriam “the Mobster” Turner, a particularly heavyset Ravenclaw girl who was known around the school for her violence and all-around scariness. “I need to get to the front—Excuse me, sorry...”
“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” Merriam replied, shoving me with her two hands. I stumbled back into someone from behind me, who grunted and pushed me away. I tripped and almost flew straight into Merriam again.
“Yes, sorry, sorry, er, I’m a Prefect, please don’t shove!” I said, desperately looking around for a way out (did I mention I’m claustrophobic? and that I just really, really hate crowds?)
“Oh, I see. You’re a Prefect, so you think you can cut, eh?” Merriam leered, her voice rising over the din of the mob. “You think that being a brown-nosing arse-kisser gets you special privileges, am I right?”
“No, no, it’s not that...I just need to see what’s going on—“
“MOVE IT! COMING THROUGH! GET IN THE WAY AND YOU WILL BE ANNIHILATED! OI, DON’T SHOVE, YOU LITTLE... OH YEAH? WELL, I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT I’M THE BEST FRIEND OF A PREFECT, AND SHE WILL DOCK POINTS FASTER THAN YOU CAN COUNT TO TWENTY! ” Dom suddenly burst into view, pushing and shoving her way through everyone like a madwoman with a mission. She finally reached me and I watched with astonishment as she, quite forcefully, I might add, shoved Merriam in the shoulder, who, in turn, grunted in a very manly way and fell to the floor (taking down two first years with her). The whole scene was very akin to Godzilla falling on top of Tokyo.
It seemed to take a few minutes for Merriam to realize that she had just been side-checked by a 110 pound, 5”4 Dominque Weasley, who was almost half her size.
Confusion, then surprise, briefly flitted across Merriam’s face.
Quickly followed by understanding.
...And then fury.
“ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Merriam roared from her position on the floor, face scrunched in rage. Her beefy hands reached out towards us, snatching at thin air.
Dom’s face paled considerably as she realized what she had just done. Merriam was never especially pleasant...but when she was angry with you...it was terrifying, and not to mention very, very painful.
“FLEE, AGATHA!” Dom screamed as she pushed past a couple of third years who were in the way. “FLEEEEEE FOR YOUR LIFE!”
Great idea, Dom. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Heart beating rapidly, I dashed after my best friend, squeaking in a very frightened and undignified manner.
Merriam growled as she finally lurched to a stand. Face maroon with anger, she thundered after Dom and I, pushing through everyone else in order to reach her prey (aka, us).
She swiped at me with her huge arms, nearly missing my shoulder by an inch, and I swear I almost wet msyelf. Shoving an unsuspecting bystander to the side, I desperately searched for an exit out of the crowd, trying to escape Merriam and her evil clutches.
Dom and I twisted and turned our way through the crowd, Merriam hot on our heels. It was Cat vs. Mice, Lion vs. Gazelles, Monster vs. Scooby-doo and Shaggy.
Dom suddenly made a sharp right, and, thinking fast, I followed suit. Luckily for us, the Killer Whale (aka Merriam) was unable to turn quickly enough, and crashed into a couple of second years.
Exhaling a ginormous breath of relief, I silently said a prayer of thanks to God. But I didn’t stop running. I needed out of this crowd.
Dom pushed past a couple of Hufflepuffs, turned a left, and I imitated her. Ahead of the two of us, in the far distance, I could see a tiny sliver of light, an exit, a way out...
My pace quickened. I ran through a cluster of Gryffindors, ignoring their surprised squawks of protest, and followed Dom’s conspicuous head of golden-red hair like a beacon, until finally—yes!—we broke free from the crowd.
And stopped short.
Because, right in front of us, was the Great Hall. Except...it wasn’t the Great Hall anymore. It was completely...different. Completely...transformed.
“What. The. Hell?” Dom asked, her face completely blank with shock.
The tables and the benches were gone. Instead, it was just an empty room, save for...a giant Christmas tree? I squinted in disbelief, but yes, it was true. A magnificent green fir, at least 20 meters tall, was standing proudly in the middle of the “Great Hall”, glittering and positively dripping with ornaments that flashed and gleamed in the light. I shook my head to myself. What the fudge brownies was a Christmas tree doing in the Great Hall...at the beginning of September?
I spotted holly and mistletoe strung from the ceilings and around the walls in complex and intricate patterns. A cheery Christmas carol was playing but the source of the music was hidden from view. Judging by the goose bumps on my arm, the temperature had been lowered by quite a few degrees. And...were those snowflakes falling from the ceiling?
Right next to me was a cluster of coat racks, laden with a colorful array of wool scarves, coats, earmuffs, mittens...and ice skates?! This was so...strange. I shook my head confusedly, trying to comprehend the situation.
And then I looked down.
My heart stopped beating. My breath caught in my throat. My jaw fell to the floor (metaphorically, of course).
Because, instead of the normal wooden floorboards of the Great Hall... there was ice. Glittering, blindingly-bright ice.
The Great Hall had been transformed into an ice rink.
My brain was whirling. I couldn’t grasp the situation, couldn’t understand. Why was this all happening? I stared at the glittering ice, my face resembling that of a perplexed fish. What the fudge sundae was going on?
“HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!” I whipped around to see none other than my own brother, Aidan Bennett, decked in full winter gear—wearing ice skates—hobbling through the crowd. Everyone, realizing who it was (“Ohmigod, it’s Aidan Bennett!!”) respectfully parted to let him through.
He passed by me, shooting Dom and I a charming grin, and, with the whole of Hogwarts watching, stepped on to the ice.
There was one shivering second of silence as Aidan just stood there, wobbling on his skates, the whole entirety of the Great Hall in front of him, holding its breath. And then...
“WOOHOO!” Aidan raised his hands—which were clad in bright red mittens—to the sky, and instantly, the crowd began cheering.
My jaw dropped lower to the ground—something I hadn’t thought possible.
“Aidan—ice—Great Hall—skating...” was all I could stutter as I watched my brother carve a perfect figure ‘8’ into the ice. This wasn’t happening...this was...I had gone... crazy...
I looked at Dom to see her reaction. Her mouth was formed into a comical ‘O’, her yellow-green eyes as wide as saucers.
“MERRY FLIPPIN’ X-MAS, MUCKER FUDGERS” But I was interrupted by the loud voice of Fred Weasley, who was currently charging through the crowd, going remarkably fast for someone who was wearing ice skates... Fred, was of course, followed by none other than Potter, who was smirking as he ambled along at a slower, more leisurely pace, his hands shoved into his pockets and his ice skates glittering on his feet.
And suddenly I understood.
(Q: Aidan/Fred/Potter + The Great Hall + An Incredibly Stupid Idea =
A: First Day of School Prank).
They had truly outdone themselves. McGonagall was going to pee herself.
“I can’t believe this...” Dom muttered—more to herself than anyone else—as Potter, Aidan, and Fred began to skate in circles around the ice rink. The crowd was cheering them on, shouting and clapping...the noise was deafening.
So this is what a heart attack feels like...
Suddenly, Potter held up his hand, effectively silencing everyone. He was smirking this insufferable smirk...a smirk that made me feel like he knew something I didn’t.
“Greetings, fellow Hogwartians! My friends Fred and Aidan, along with myself, of course, have decided that we want to have a little bit of harmless fun before the start of term—“
“And, well, what could possibly be more fun than Christmas, right?” Fred added jovially.
“So throw on a scarf, a hat, and a pair of ice skates and join us in the celebration of Baby Jesus’ birthday!” Aidan concluded. “Merry Early Christmas, everyone!”
They’ve gone insane! Mad, bonkers, senile, loco in the coco! Merry early Christmas? Baby Jesus? This was.... absurd! Unreal...I can’t even begin to make sense of this!
Dom, however, was already jumping onto the bandwagon, figuratively speaking. She had grabbed my hand and yanked me towards the coat racks, laughing uncontrollably now that her previous shock was gone.
“This is so cool!” She exclaimed as she yanked a scarf off the rack and threw it at me. It hit me in the face and fell to the floor. I was too astonished to pick it up.
Dom shoved a hat over her mass of strawberry blonde hair, still chattering away, and I briefly wondered how three measly coat racks were going to supply the entire school with winter apparel.
Gingerly, I picked another scarf off one of the pegs of the coat racks, and then almost gasped in surprise. For once I took the scarf off the rack, a pair of woolen mittens magically materialised in its place.
How had they managed to do that? The charm work to achieve a coat rack that would continue to conjure up so many articles of clothing... Well, it was unimaginably complicated, not to mention advanced. I blinked several times. It must have taken hours to get the spell right.
Almost in a daze, I wrapped the scarf around my neck. As amazing as the spell work was, the prank would have to be stopped. It was against the rules, for Merlin’s sake! Aidan, Fred and Potter couldn’t just go prancing around, turning rooms into ice rinks!... Next thing you know, we’re going to have a beach in our classrooms, or a waterfall in the Astronomy Tower.
Frowning determinably, I yanked a pair of ice skates off the coat rack, (watching with slight astonishment as a hat appeared in its place). Dom did the same, and together we laced up. I hadn’t been ice-skating since I was six, but I probably still remembered. I mean, it was like riding a bike, right? You never forget.
Wrong. Oh, so very wrong.
The minute Dom and I stepped onto the ice, I lost my balance. My ice skates slipped and slid on the icy surface in a mad fashion and, blindly, I grabbed at something to prevent myself from falling. This something, it turns out, just happened to be Dom’s robes.
“Dom, I’m going to—fa—fa—FALL!”
We fell onto the hard ice, landing in a very elegant heap of tangled limbs.
"OW! Aggy, you're on my arm! I need that for Quidditch, you know! Gerroff me!"
"Yeah, well it would be great if you could please remove your FOOT from my NOSTRIL first, Dom."
"Oh. Right. Sorry."
I rolled off of Dominique and on to my back, only to look up and see none other than James Potter standing right above us, the corners of his lips twitching.
“Still as graceful as ever, I see.”
“Shut up, Potter,” was my very lame reply.
Potter extended a hand, which I very calmly ignored, and I scrambled to a stand (with some difficulty). Dusting myself off, I tried my best not to flinch in pain. It was all very dignified, I must say.
Dom accepted Potter’s hand and he pulled her up. She smiled at him with gratitude.
"Heya, cus. How’s it going?” He grinned at her, patting his hand on her shoulder.
“This is amazing, James. I mean, really just fantastic. You three have really outdone yourselves,” Dom babbled, scanning her surroundings. Already at least fifty people were on the ice, skating around to the Christmas music and admiring the giant tree. “This is ...wow. Just, wow.”
“Thanks, Dom.” Potter grinned. “Glad you enjoy.”
She beamed at Potter and then turned to face me. “I’m going to go find Aidan and Fred. Wanna come, Aggy?"
On one hand, I wanted to. On the other, I wasn't exactly sure if I'd be able to skate another five feet without breaking all of the bones in my body.
Dominique saw my hesitation and smirked (honestly, she's just like Potter). "I understand." She hugged me, "Try not to kill each other."
Kill each other? What did she mean by—
Oh right. Potter.
And then Dom was skating away, her hair flowing behind her in golden-red ribbons. I grimaced. Of course she had to leave me with him.
There was an awkward silence, where neither Potter nor I spoke a word, and I suddenly started to wish that I had followed Dominique in her search of Fred and Aidan.
“So...” Potter was obviously enjoying my discomfort with being on the ice. He was eying my shaky legs and wobbling arms with amusement. “What do you think of everything, Bennett?”
My eyes narrowed and my lips twisted into an unfriendly scowl. Suddenly, all my words came tumbling out in an angry rant. “What do I think? What do I think? Well, here’s what I think... This is all foolish, idiotic, and completely and utterly reckless!” I said, listing off the words with my fingers. “You’re breaking the rules! You should be... ashamed of yourself! You’re a Prefect, for sweet Neptune’s sake!”
Potter shrugged. He looked like a child at that moment. His dark hair was peeking out of his winter hat, falling gently to his eyes. His cheeks were flushed from the cold. Snowflakes clung to his eyelashes.
For a brief moment, I felt a pang of jealousy flash through me. I envied the way Potter could be so carefree. I envied the excitement and happiness that danced in his eyes, the way he was positively beaming with accomplishment. I envied the way Potter could just march in to Hogwarts and start pulling pranks left and right. All of a sudden, I found myself wishing that I could be mischievous. That I could joke and fool around like that.
And then I remembered that I wasn’t five years old anymore.
Potter smirked, and it was obvious that he found my disdain amusing. “Oh, stop being such a killjoy, Bennett. Besides, there’s no rule stating that you can’t turn the Great Hall into a giant ice rink. We checked.”
Irritation seeped into my body, constricting my chest and clenching my fists. “I would think that such a thing would go without saying,“ I said, trying to keep my tone civil.
Potter’s smirk seemed to have been glued to his face with a permanent sticking charm. “Don’t deny you think it’s amazing.”
It was true. The spell work was astounding. The sight of it all—everyone skating, the glittering Christmas tree, the snow falling—was awe inspiring. Potter and the others had every right to proud of themselves.
Yet I couldn’t admit it. There was just something about Potter’s cocky smirk, the way his eyes were shining with smugness and self-satisfaction... I couldn’t do it.
“I think it’s incredibly stupid,” I said firmly.
Potter grinned mockingly. “Now, now, Bennett. Just because you can’t skate doesn’t mean you should start acting all bitter—“
“Wha—? Hey, I can skate!” I sputtered indignantly. My face was flushing, turning an embarrassing shade of red to match my hair.
Potter snorted. “Bennett, I know you. You hate anything you’re not good at. That’s why you hate Quidditch, why you hate Potions... And why you hate this.”
"What? That's...ridiculous! Completely ridiculous! I am quite good at Quidditch, I'll have you know! I just don't like to play, is all... And as for Potions... Well, I'm not good at Potions. But you know what? It's a stupid subject, anyways! And Slughorn is biased... He hates me for no reason! I mean, it's not my fault I accidentally set fire to his mustache. It was only one time... Okay. Two times. But that thing is a freaking fire hazard. It should not be allowed in the classroo—" I suddenly stopped mid-word, looking over to see Potter hunched over, shaking with surpressed laughter.
He just shook his head and straigtened, still chuckling. "You're just so predictable, Bennett."
I narrowed my eyes. "Don’t act like you know me, Potter,” I growled, my voice dangerously low. “Because you don’t.”
“Um, actually, I think I do.” Potter sing-songed as he expertly skated around me in taunting circles. “Tell me, Bennett. Does it bother you? That I can skate around you like this...while you’re completely helpless and incompetent? Does it make you mad that I’m better at you then something? Does it enrage you, that for once, the infallible Agatha Bennett is... incapable?”
“You’re despicable,” I hissed. “I’m leaving.” I began to hobble away, but unfortunately, Potter was right. I couldn’t skate for beans. My skates were wobbling dangerously underneath me. I felt myself lose balance, felt myself slowly start to slip...
And then warm hands were on my waist, steadying me. I stiffened.
“Careful there, Aggy,” Potter murmered, his lips dangerously close to my ear. “Wouldn’t want you falling, now would we?
“Don’t call me that. And I don’t need your help.” I said, but for some reason, I didn’t push him away.
I could see from my peripheral vision that Potter was smirking wickedly. “The trick is,” he said quietly. “To lean on one foot and push off with the other.”
He pulled away, leaving the place where he had held my waist feeling strangely cold, and skated in front of me, before twisting around so he was facing me and skating backwards.
“Lean on one foot, push with the other,” he said. I complied, and suddenly, I felt myself moving.
“That’s right. Hold out your hands to balance yourself.”
This was so strange. I was skating in the Great Hall, with Potter as my instructor.
I felt like Bambi, wobbling around on my skates, my legs too clumsy and gangly. A small smile flickered across Potter’s face.
“There you go. That wasn’t so hard, now was it?”
“You can thank me anytime, you know.”
“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?”
I whipped around, my eyes landing on the sight of Professor McGonagall practically flying through the doors of the Great Hall, her robes billowing out behind her in a mad fashion.
She didn’t even need to ask who did it. It was plainly obvious who the perpetrators were.
“POTTER! WEASLEY! BENNETT!”
Grinning, I turned back around to tell Potter that he was in for it, that he was done for.
But he had disappeared.
I sighed. Typical.
James Flippin' Potter: 3
A/N: You know what to do... (cough REVIEW cough!)
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