Chapter 15 : No Reasons for Restless Napkins
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Present for you, for my 21st birthday :)
I was nervous about posting with the downtime, but hopefully this works okay. Enjoy!
The rain let up early the next morning, something the twins were particularly excited about because that meant the pick-up game of Quidditch they planned could be held. Fred talked about it all through breakfast while the rest of us yawned in the living room and I could tell he was planning on being a team Captain. He could do what he wanted as long as I didn’t have to be a Keeper.
“How do you talk that fast this early?” Angelina whined, leaning over and putting her head against his lap. “Be quiet, I’m sleeping.”
He ruffled her hair. “Wake up, love. I’m going to pick you to be on my team.”
“We’ll flip a coin for first pick,” George said. “You can’t just pick your woman. That’s favoritism. You in, love?”
Katie smiled. “Of course. I love Quidditch; it’s been far too long.” She changed the channel and there was a creaking noise from behind us. “That’s the door. I wonder if Thelma picked up the bacon for tomorrow.” She stood up and peered around the corner toward the foyer. “Oh my—Mummy! You’re home early!”
The rest of us scrambled to our feet (Fred quickly tried to clean up the spilled crumbs from his toast) and rushed into the other room where Mrs. Bell put her umbrella in an iron stand and her coat into the closet. She was just as slender as Katie with the same long brown hair and pretty eyes. She threw her arms around her daughter.
“I thought I’d surprise you,” she said. “Hey girls—Fred, George, Lee. How are you all?”
“Tired,” admitted Alicia. “How was your trip to Appleby? The team getting any better?”
“Actually, yes, thank goodness. After we sacked the coach things got loads better so we are pretty sure we’ll at least make the playoffs with our first round draft pick.” Mrs. Bell smiled. “Have you had breakfast?”
“Yeah, Thelma brought us in the works.” Katie beamed, still attached to her mothers’ side.
Something tugged at my insides and I ignored it.
“Good to hear. What are the plans for the rest of the day then? Swimming? Cooking lessons? Television? Helping frail old Mrs. Bell clean out the attic?”
Katie snorted. “If you’re frail I won the World Cup,” she said with a laugh. “Actually they’re planning on playing some pickup Quidditch on the back lawn. I thought maybe you and I could look through some things.” She beamed.
“Of course, dear. I’m going to go change out of my travel clothes, though, I smell like tourist.” Mrs. Bell smiled and whisked herself up the giant staircase toward the master suite on the third floor.
“So you’re not playing?” George asked.
“Nah, now you lot will have even teams. I’m going to spend some time with Mum since she just got home and go over plans and whatnot.” Katie beamed. “But you’ll only be out there for a bit anyway. Then we can talk.”
George tried a smile. “Yeah. C’mon then, let’s go play some Quidditch!”
George ended up able to pick first and he picked Angelina (which sent Fred over the edge. “She’s the best and she’s mine,” he cried and Alicia punched him because she was convinced she was the best). So then Fred picked Alicia to spite him and I went to George and Lee went to Fred.
I couldn’t believe how much being back on a broom made me feel nauseous. It might have been because I wasn’t used to it, but it also could have been because the last time I was on a broom I fell off into a certain prat’s arms. That had nothing to do with it of course. Though I wobbled I was happy to report I did a lot better. George was the Keeper so Ang and I got to pass the Quaffle.
Alicia grabbed it from me a few times, though I punched her in the head the third time, and I even scored two goals past Fred. We played for so long I even broke a sweat.
“Don’t you even think about it!” Fred cried, saving one of Angelina’s goals. The pair of them were pinned against each other and I think they quite liked it.
“Oh, I’m thinking about it.” She stole the Quaffle from Lee and scored. Fred swore loudly.
“What’s the score now?” Alicia said, panting from her broom. “It has to be in the hundreds.”
“It’s two hundred sixty-five to two hundred eighty,” Lee said. “I’m so used to keeping score. That’s why I can’t play, I’m too busy counting. Oy, give that back!” Angelina stole the Quaffle from him again and passed it to me. I scored on a disgruntled Fred, which allowed me a cheer.
“Are you CRAZY?!”
I nearly fell off my broom. Katie stood down below us with her hands on her hips and her eyes fiery and un-Katie-like. I immediately looked to George (Alicia scored against him in this moment).
“Hi there, love. Want to join?” he asked cheerfully.
“George, you lot have been playing for hours. Now Mum had to leave to go to a meeting and we can’t discuss the stuff we need to and that is so inconsiderate of you.” Her hair was even sticking up a bit.
“Sorry, Kait, I didn’t realize your mum would leave again.”
“I told you to come back in a bit,” she said, obviously frustrated. “If I didn’t know better I’d think you just didn’t even care!” With that she turned on heel and stormed back toward the house.
“Love you, dear!” George called after her.
I floated toward the ground. “Just…just keep playing without me. I think it’s best if you don’t go back up there right away. I’m going to calm her down a bit. She’s…well, she’s on edge.” I placed my broom by a bench and started after her. “And George? Could you please start caring? She’s going to lose it if you don’t.”
He sighed and got hit in the head with the Quaffle from Lee.
“Katie!” I cried, rushing through the screen door and through the kitchen. I found her in the living room violently going through bridal magazines. “Hey, are you okay?”
“I don’t think I am.” She stopped on a page with a poufy princess dress.
“Just don’t think about it for now. Do you like that dress?”
Katie stretched her legs out on the floor and nodded. “I like the ones that make me feel like a huge bleeding princess, you know? Like this is my day and I’m special and everyone needs to know.”
I grinned. “I think it would look gorgeous on you. But wow.” She turned the page and I put my finger there. “This one is stunning.” It was a simple silky gown with no poof and form-fit to the figure. “Katie, that would look amazing on you.”
“I’ll have to try it, though less like a princess.” She managed a smile.
“He loves you, Katie,” I whispered. “He loves you a lot.”
“I know,” she replied. “I guess that’s the first step, isn’t it? Understanding what is important to the other person.”
“It goes both ways.” I raised a brow, but then bit my lip. That sounded oddly familiar.
Katie continued to flip through her magazine, commenting on a few of the dresses and how much she liked them. I pointed out invitation ideas and she told me about how she loved the script in a certain red one.
A little while later Angelina and Alicia joined us, dirty from rolling around in the grass apparently. “The boys are still outside. I think Lee said something about Ang so they decided to throw him in the pond, but who knows?” Alicia commented and grabbed a magazine. “These are all lovely.”
“Let’s stop thinking about weddings for a while,” Angelina said confidently and the rest of us smiled. It sounded like a good idea. She flipped on the television, passing my familiar soap opera and the weather for our part of the country. An in-depth behind the scenes spotlight on the Harpies was on, which obviously overjoyed me so I parked my rear in front of the television just as the boys returned to the living room.
George put an arm around Katie. She put her head on his shoulder.
It was so interesting watching the way an all-female team worked. The lockers were painted a wonderful pink color and the Seeker introduced her children.
“Aw,” I said, watching the credits. “We caught it at the end. I hate doing that with shows.” I leaned back onto my palms and Alicia nodded. I finally felt decent and Katie looked as if she was fine again.
“Next on the Quidditch Network,” the announcer said and the credits began to scroll fast. A pocket picture opened up to the side and my heart stopped. “Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with one of Quidditch Weekly’s most eligible rookies, Puddlemere Keeper Oliver Wood on Puddlmere Weekly.”
I stood up, threw one of Katie’s bridal magazines at the wall, and marched upstairs, slamming my door behind me.
I’m still feeling a lot better. I managed to play Quidditch today without thinking about Wood at all (okay, a little bit) but then I saw him on the Quidditch Network and I just lost it. Threw something against the wall and then went upstairs and ruined one of Katie’s poor pillows by chucking it at the bedpost. Feathers went everywhere.
I feel better though. I realize he’s a popular, handsome Quidditch star. I just have to get used to the fact that I might see him more than I want to (which is never actually). It’s night time now and I’ve been up here for ages. I think the girls are wondering whether or not I’ve offed myself in the bathroom. Katie is loving these wedding plans, I’m very excited for her. I’ll probably go down to the lounge and see if anyone is still awake.
Thanks again for listening, Roger.
The lounge was wasn’t empty when I arrived and I flopped down on my regular sofa, staring at Angelina, Alicia, and Katie. They glanced over.
“Hey there,” Ang said. “Done killing things and pretending they’re Oliver?”
“I actually wrote a letter to Roger,” I said cheerfully. “I’m just not used to seeing him is all. I had to—well, I didn’t want to think about him and Bridget.”
“I’ll bet my left hand he’s not with Bridget,” muttered Alicia. “The boy is arrogant, but he’s not stupid.”
“Don’t think about it, Jane,” Katie said carefully. She had a spread of wedding magazines all over the coffee table and a smile on her face. “George said he liked beige for the linens by the way. And he agreed on the pink with the punches of green.”
“Good to hear,” I replied, grabbing a blanket. “So what are we doing now?”
“Not much,” Ang said. “We’re just watching Katie talk about which dresses she lovesand which she hates and what invitations are simply too formal.” She put on a high-pitched voice at the end.
“I’m not that bad,” Katie said. “I’m just thinking out loud. Jane, what do you think about this one?”
I stared at a lacy dress with strange trim and a weird neckline. “It’s horrible.”
“Okay. Good. Just making sure you can be trusted with an opinion.” Katie beamed and continued through the magazine. “What about this one?”
“I’m feeling a bit more pressured now,” I said, glancing down at the poufy dress. It had big sleeves. “I hate it. Please don’t wear it.”
“And you passed the test,” she said.
I turned to the others. “Has she been doing this to you?”
“Seven times to me,” Alicia said darkly. “Woman should just pick one and stick with it.”
“I can’t pick!” whined Katie. “That’s why I need your help. I can’t chose between these dresses, they’re all so lovely.”
“How about you start to pick when you go to your first fitting?” I offered. “With your mum and George’s mum and your Maid of Honor.”
The room was quiet.
“Whoever that is at the time,” I added. “Katie, stop stressing so much. It’ll get done.”
“Eugh, you’re right. All right. The only thing I’m going to think about tomorrow to do with weddings is the napkin colors. That’s it. How’s that sound?”
“It sounds wonderful and refreshing,” Alicia muttered, closing her eyes. “I can’t look at another dress, seriously.”
“And look at it this way,” Ang offered. “If that’s the only thing you’re thinking about tomorrow you won’t overwhelm poor George.”
Katie grinned. “I’m so excited. So stupidly, ridiculously, excited. I love him so much, you know?” Her smile nearly stretched her entire face and Alicia threw something at her.
“Quit being so damn happy,” she mumbled. “I’m trying to sleep and your stupidly bright smile is keeping me awake.”
Katie threw it back. I liked ridiculously happy Katie. She did un-Katie-like things.
Mrs. Bell ate breakfast with us early the next morning in a lovely salmon colored dress. She poured tea all around on the gazebo and smiled cheerfully. I, however, yawned in unison with Alicia over bacon and sausages. It was far too early in the morning and the grass was still dewy as I made my way down there in sandals.
Fred could barely keep his eyes open and it reminded me of team meetings.
No, it didn’t.
“What a wonderful morning,” Katie said cheerfully, digging into her sausage. “I got a good amount of sleep too.”
“I’m glad you did,” Alicia muttered. “You snored so I didn’t get enough sleep.”
“Should have went back to your room like Ang and I did,” I replied.
“The sofa was too comfy,” Alicia replied sadly. Lee put his hand on hers.
“So what are the plans for today then? No more Quidditch?” Mrs. Bell asked delicately. “Or are we planning the wedding today?” She cast a small glance at Katie.
“Actually no,” she said and I could tell George breathed easier. “All I want to talk about today is napkin colors, but other than that I’m not sure. What do you lot want to do today?”
“I could use another swim,” said Fred. “It would wake me up I think.”
“That and you want to toss Ang in as well,” George said. “I’m pretty keen on that. After breakfast?”
“Good idea, mate.”
“Okay,” Katie said, cutting off anything that could have been said. She looked refreshed as she put a stack of books onto the breakfast table.
She opened the first one and I saw swatches of at least thirty different pinks. “These are all the choices for napkins. Well, the next four pages are the pinks. I like most of them. In the other books they have the greens I like. There is one in this book” she held up a large hardcover white book “that has a lovely sage green I quite fancy. Okay.” She cleared her throat and I glared wide eyed at those books. “George, you need to help me with this one. I quite like most these pinks. Wait, first do you think pink or green? We can really narrow it down then.”
George stared at the book. He was clearly exhausted and he made a face. “Erm, pink I think.”
“Why?” asked Katie.
“Because you asked me to pick,” he replied. Fred chuckled.
“Well, I’d like a reason. I would rather have green, that’s why I ask.”
“Then let’s do green.”
“George, I don’t want to make all the choices. If you have a better reason for having pink I’ll consider pink.” She tried to smile but was forcing it.
“I told you I don’t have a reason so let’s do green.”
Everyone’s eyes went from Katie to George and then back to Katie for the rebuttal. This was probably not the best breakfast conversation and those books were blocking my way to the jam.
“Fine,” she breathed in irritation and flipped the first book to the page with greens and then opened two other books to bookmarked pages with green. “Let’s just pick from the green. Which do you think?”
George stared hard. I did as well because I wanted the jam. “They all look the same.”
“Oh come on,” Katie said. “You know what the centerpieces look like.”
“Yeah. Those at least had different shapes. Can we have a patterned one?” He laughed, obviously amused with himself. Katie, however, frowned. “Apparently not. Well, I like this one here. Oh wait, is that the same as this one?” He pointed into the book. “It looks like it. No, this one has the same name except one letter is different. Blimey, why are there so many colors of green?”
“It’s easy, George. It just has to go with the décor.”
He narrowed his eyes. “It’s rubbish, that’s what it is. Just pick regular bleeding green already.”
“That’s not how this works, for your information!” Katie snapped.
Mrs. Bell bit her lip and poured Angelina more tea.
“How does it work, then? I close my eyes and point to a random shade of green and we order it and it costs thousands of bleeding sickles for one day? What rubbish.”
“Could you seriously care any less about what I love?” Katie yelled. “All you care about is your jokes and your Quidditch and your mates and not what I want.”
“Don’t say that, of course I care about what you want. I care so much to let you make what choices you want.”
“A marriage isn’t about me telling you what to do!” she said, standing up in frustration. “You just sit back and take the easy out. Here, why don’t I just do the whole fucking thing by myself?”
Mrs. Bell gasped. Hell, I even managed a gasp. Katie just dropped the F bomb. That was something I had never heard before. Other than in toe-stubbing context.
“Maybe this isn’t exactly the place,” said George, noticing what was going on around him. “We can talk about this inside if you want.”
“Oh, sod off. We’re talking about it right here. I’m so sick of you right now. You just do something when I get so bleeding mad you’re forced to do it so I don’t flip out on you. I want you to do it because you want to even if it’s just to see me happy, which you obviously don’t care about. I would like you to care about this enough to make a couple stupid choices. I want you to care because it’s what I love.”
“Katie, quit being ridiculous,” George said, his temper rising with the color in his face. “Quit making this all about you. I don’t do anything but what you want. I’m always on time and I’m always polite and respectful and I’ve toned down a horrible amount since I asked you to marry me. Even my mates think so, which has been a bit of a drag lately. The least you could do is cut me some slack because I’m trying, but no, this is all about Katie being the victim and not getting everything she wants!”
“Everything I want?” Katie cried. “I am so not like that.”
“Not like that? Give me a break, Kait. You hide it pretty well, though, I’ll give you that. You act less like a snob at school when you’re just as poor as the rest of us.”
“Me having money has nothing to do with this! You—you’re jealous, that’s what you are, even though it's not like I can help having money.” Katie’s hair was standing up strange again and her fists were balled at her sides. She no longer looked elegant and fresh in her pink dress.
“I’m jealous, am I? Jealous of your huge garden with all your flowers and your pond? Pfft. Get real, Katie. God, you’re a bigger snob than I thought you were. Always want things your way. You practically twisted my arm to get me to pick the centerpiece you wanted yesterday. That’s rubbish, Katie. I don’t care about the wedding stuff. It’s all the same to me. What now?”
She gaped at him. “Of course you don’t care, George. I’m not surprised. You go back and be your usual immature boyish self with your mates because I’m fucking done. I’m so done with you, George Weasley.”
We continued to stare.
“Nice communication right there, Kait. Drop the F bomb and expect people to take you seriously. You never take anyone else seriously.” George puffed out his chest to try and look more masculine.
“Oh, you’re a right piece of work!” She was screaming now. “George, I can’t stand you. You and your stupidity and your joke factory and your lack of care for anything!” That was when she pulled the one carat diamond off her finger and threw it across the gazebo, hitting George square in the chest. “I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last sod on earth. Hell, I’d marry Ellis first.” With that she grabbed a piece of toast (and the jam I wanted) and marched back into the house, slamming the kitchen door behind her.
We sat there for a minute, all of us in complete silence. George was still standing, holding the ring in his outstretched left hand.
“I should go,” he whispered after a few minutes, closing his hand and taking a drink of his tea.
“I think that would be a good idea,” Mrs. Bell said quietly, swirling the contents of her drink with a spoon.
“I’ll come back too,” Fred said, standing up and patting his twin on the back. He gave Angelina a quick kiss (while Lee and Alicia did the same thing) and the boys walked to the back of the garden to apparate back home.
Once they were gone I let out a long awaited sigh. “What the hell was that?”
A/N: Sorry for the large amount of arguing in my updated chapters lately, haha!
I decided that for my 21st birthday (today, the 4th of July) I would give you all a present! So happy Mistress-birthday and chapter 15! Even though it was a bit of a drag, haha. Also, I am on a mini-hiatus until the 12th of July when I get back from my NYC trip. I was contemplating whether or not to post because of the site, but I figired I'd give you all the present!
Also, I plan on responding to every review I get, which I always do, but I can't stand those slashes cropping up in responses so I am going to wait until I get back and respond to all of them, promise!
I can't wait to get back and read the reviews (thank you in advance). I promise Oliver will be back soon! So...favorite parts? Quotes? Kung-fu move to use on one of the characters?
Also, what would you have Oliver do if he just walked into Katie's house?
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