Chapter 6 : I Could Live Without the Mocking
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I Could Live Without the Mocking
There was a momentary silence. I looked around the room for a second, frowning slightly.
Pot—Albus snorted. “That was an anti-climax.” He said simply.
I frowned, looking down at myself. “Um...” I said slowly. “How do we know if it worked?”
Rose shrugged. “I guess we put on the music and see how it goes. If you know what you’re doing, then I guess you’re okay.”
I stared at her. “We have max thirty minutes to get this routine perfected, and we’re going to go about it in a trail and error survey?” I questioned.
Rose frowned. “Oi.” She said stonily. “I’m saving you’re butt, Katie. You do things my way.”
Ooh. I forgot what they say about those Red Head tempers. I swung my hand into a complying salute, not wanting to bear the brunt of all that magic brains. Whoever wants to duel Rose Weasley is definitely not sane.
She pointed at the space that Po—Albus and I had cleared.
I mentally swooned in the bask of that smirk. Naturally, it took my mind off other things and I nodded. Then I flinched realising what I was doing.
Suddenly, my mind was buzzing. I staggered from the force of all the old memories flying back into my head. I could recall every lesson I had ever taken, the students who danced with me. I could remember the holey pink cardigan that I had insisted on wearing every lesson, and my blue wrap skirt. I could even remember the blemishes on my instructor’s old and wrinkled face. I had named her large mole, Mr Hair, when I had attended the school.
My feet seemed to act of their own accord, my arms coming out, horizontal to the floor and I spun around for an interesting start. I tapped around the floor for a couple of minutes.
When I finally stopped, I looked up at Rose. “You did it.” I said energetically.
She was grinning fondly at my feet. “Looks like.” She said smiling. “Hopefully you learnt enough to pull of an impressive performance later.”
I nodded. Then I looked down at my sneakers. They wouldn’t do.
I hadn’t own tap dancing shoes since I was five. Where would I get good shoes?
As if Rose was reading my mind, she waved her wand at my feet. My heels rose, the heel at the back of the shoe extending. Slowly, the white sneaker transformed into a shiny black tap dancing shoe, and I smiled fondly down at them, tapping them experimentally.
I looked over at Albus, raising an eyebrow. “You have shoes?” I questioned with a slight frown.
He grinned at me, and walked over to his back pack, withdrawing some tap dancing shoes. “Like I said,” He explained. “It was required that I learn, and buy shoes.”
I grinned at him, looking at the female looking shoes.
“They’re pansy shoes.” I told him.
Albus looked affronted. “I beg your pardon?” He said indignantly.
I pointed down at his shoes. “Those shoes?” I explained. “They’re for pansies.”
Albus frowned. “You’re wearing them.”
I rolled my eyes. Honestly
“Yes.” I agreed, obviously. “But I’m a girl. They’re alright on girls, but on boys they make you look—” I trailed off, trying to find a word.
“Devilish?” He suggested. “Sexy? God Sent?”
“No!” I shouted, more so at myself than him. “Pansy-ish.”
Potter frowned at me. Rose cleared her throat, watching our banter with amusement. “No time to waste, guys.” She explained.
Albus and I automatically faced each other, with about three of his steps in between us. “You can start.” I told him bravely.
“Ladies first,” he replied with a to-die-for smirk.
I stepped forward, tapping my right heel into the floor. I tapped my toes down twice before hitting my heel down again. I then stepped forward on the same foot and did the same rhythm with my left foot. I then spun around, and pointed at Albus, cuing him.
I caught Rose’s eye. She was grinning widely.
Albus’s dance was much more intricate than mine. His heels tapped and his toes tapped, and he spun around a couple of times, making his part look much more impressive. I swatted his arm.
“What happened to letting me win?” I demanded frowning.
Albus smirked at me, and shrugged, pointing at me to cue me in.
Before I could do anything, however, Madame Reed came storming around the corner, demanding to know where the disgusting racket was coming.
Needless to say, we scarpered.
“This is good.” Rose told us as we three walked briskly out of the library, leaving a tutting Madame Reed behind. “It gives us a place to find in the Entrance Hall, before it gets too crowded.”
I swallowed nervously. Now that I knew I could do it, it was becoming more of a matter of whether or not I wanted to do it.
Everyone in the entire school would be watching me tap dance. Including Sabriel Malfoy, Indiana Stephens and their Plasticisers. Also, Eric would see me actually being friends with the Potter-slash-Weasley clan, and not be very impressed. And al the teachers would be there, to scold me for being stupid when I could have been studying.
And then there was the rest of the school that I had to worry about.
“Are you sure I have to do this?” I asked them both anxiously.
Rose looked at me sympathetically, but nodded all the same. “Unless you want to explain to Emily why you lied and made the whole thing up. And then you’d have to tell her about the engagement—”
“No.” I interrupted her there. “You’re right. The Code of Womanhood is more important than my dignity.”
Soon we had found a classroom that Rose and Albus had found. Albus had pulled out this quirky piece of parchment, and then decided that this room was the closest to the Entrance Hall. How the Paper helped him I will never know.
But I could hear the loud voices of the crowd assembled to watch. I stuck my head out a few times and frowned. There was a sea of black robes and multicoloured striped ties. In the back was Professor Creevey talking animatedly to Professor Macmillan.
They saw me with my head out the door, and Creevey smirked.
I struggled to hold in the spew that was threatening to spill. I slammed the door shut, and heard a few shouts of surprise, but I had already turned back to Albus and Rose.
“Rose.” Albus said loudly. “I think she’s hyperventilating.”
Rose looked up from the book that she was reading. Her eyes watched me as I walked across the classroom, breathing heavily, and then they rolled. ‘Calm down, Katie.” She told me. “Everything will be fine.”
I frowned. “Easy for you to say.” I muttered, “You don’t have fifteen and a half years of being a klutz on your record.”
Rose sighed, put her book down and walked over to me. And then she pulled me into a hug.
My eyes must have widened to their limits. Rose Weasley was HUGGING ME?
What is wrong with the world? It must have had a glitch that now makes me happy or something.
After getting over my initial shock, I returned her comforting hug, trying to not look as though I was completely shocked. Albus seemed to see right through me, and smirked at me. I ignored him, looking away and continued to hold Rose close to me.
When we finally pulled away, I was still just as shocked at her actions.
So shocked, in fact, that when she spun me around and smirked at Potter, I didn’t suspect a thing.
So shocked that I found myself being pushed through the classroom door and was suddenly in front of the entire student Body.
Oh. My. God.
I burst back through the doors, a hysterical grin on my face. I turned around and flung myself into Albus’s arms. “We did it!” I shouted.
I flung myself where?
I pushed myself away from Potter quickly, blushing furiously. He laughed and grabbed my arms, pulling me in for a hug.
Mother of Merlin.
I am hugging Albus Potter.
I grinned, trying to subtly inhale every single scent that surrounded Albus Potter. I could smell pumpkin juice in his breath, and his shirt smelt of faint mint.
Oh my god.
It was all I could do to not start hyperventilating.
I felt Rose’s dainty hands pushing me away from Albus and then I was engulfed in her hug. “You did so well.” She told me excitedly.
I hugged her back. She smelt like Lilies and new parchment.
Then a third pair of unfamiliar hands pushed me away and Scorpius Malfoy crushed me to his chest. “You’re a champion.” He told me. “A real champion.”
I pushed myself away from him, enough to ask him what he was on about.
“Getting up on stage with that loser,” He motioned to Potter, “took guts. You’re my hero.”
I frowned, and then giggled as Albus’s shoe collided with Scorpius’s head.
“Oh,” Scorpius added. “And I’m never going to call you Katie, or Dalton again.” He told me offhandedly
Was I in for one of Scorpius’s infamous nicknames?
I GET A NICKNAME!!
I get a nickname.
“Twinkle Toes.” He said finally. “Because that dance will remain in my mind forever.”
I was silent for a second.
Albus let out a bark of laughter.
I continued to stare at Scorpius Malfoy in horror.
Rose giggled quietly.
Fred Weasley sniggered.
“What?” I asked feebly.
Scorpius just smiled cheese-ily at me.
I stared back in horror.
“Why doesn’t Albus get a stupid nickname?” I demanded.
Scorpius snorted. “Albus’s name is stupid enough without my help.”
Hmm. Point taken.
Albus’s second shoe collided with the left side of Scorpius’s face. Scorpius caught it as if fell towards the ground and frowned, looking at the man’s tapping shoe.
“Dude.” He muttered. “You’re wearing pansy shoes.”
I clumsily lifted my goblet to cheers Rose on a show well done. I was sitting at her side, at the Gryffindor table, as Scorpius recounted a story about his father’s youth.
“And then, Moody sends this spell at Dad, and Dad’s a ferret.”
There was another round of uproarious laughter.
Hey— it was funny.
It was annoying though, how at ease everybody was to these abnormally beautiful people being here. They were laughing along with them as though it was natural.
Maybe their abnormal beauty matched my abnormal clumsiness at the Hufflepuff table. They were all amazingly used to that.
“And…” Albus was just as lost as Scorpius was, “Then Malfoy Senior climbs into Goyle’s pants.”
I shook my head. “No…” I laughed. “The caretaker?”
I whispered this in a horror filled voce, which the boys thought was hilarious.
I, on the other hand, was freaking out at the thought of any one going near Goyle’s pants.
“Yes!” Malfoy shouted.
Albus shook his head. “My Dad said it would have been the funniest thing he had ever seen; only he was freaking out about the tournament.”
I shook my head. “Not the Goyle I know,” I informed them grinning. “His waistline is forever,”
There was another round of laughter.
I don’t think we were all quite well.
Even Rose was partaking in the conversation as much as we were. Her glass and Mine rested in the middle of the air, suspended in a forgotten cheers. I noticed this and jerked my hand away suddenly. Rose’s hand slipped, but the spill of her pumpkin juice landed in the table and spilled onto my lap.
“Bollocks.” I muttered.
Rose’s shocked intake of breath made Weasley, who was sitting next to me, turn to see what was going on.
“Damn,” he muttered, taking in my drenched shirt. “That’s a spot of bad luck.”
My cheeks bright red I managed to reply, “Tends to happen to me a lot.”
Fred sighed, and grabbed a handful of napkins. “Here you go.” He muttered, handing them to me. I took them with a grateful smile.
“Thanks.” I muttered, trying to force the blood from my face.
“What do you mean?” Fred asked. “This happens to you a lot?”
I shrugged, dabbing at my shirt. Thank Merlin I hadn’t decided to wear my new white shirt. It would have been demolished in Pumpkin Juicy goodness.
“You know?” I explained. “I tend to be embarrassed about fifteen times hourly.”
I nodded seriously. “We counted.”
He smirked. “Right. And what sort of embarrassment does this entail?”
I shrugged. “I fall over things. Say things that I mean to stay in my head. Day dream myself into ignoring teachers which has dire consequences. And my parent’s come with their own ‘I must embarrass my daughter’ t-shirts.”
Fred patted me comfortingly on the shoulder. His eyes drifted over in the direction of all the other house tables.
“Does your friend get embarrassed too?” He asked quietly.
I frowned, my eyes shooting up. “Emily?” I asked. I squared my gaze on her, and she was glaring in our direction somewhat fiercely. Her face was red too.
“Jeesh.” I muttered, seeing her look. “I’m in trouble.”
Fred frowned. “Why?”
“She’s not embarrassed,” I explained. “She’s pissed.”
I shrugged. Whatever she was pissed at, it looked as though it was one of the people in my direction. It wasn’t me. She would have seen me looking.
But boy, she was upset about something.
And I wouldn’t want to be that something.
Fred sighed and look away from her. “I wouldn’t want to be whatever she’s angry at.” He told me.
I laughed. “You read my mind.”
I woke up, rubbing my eyes. For a millisecond I was satisfied with my life, when the events of last night came thundering back to me.
I rolled over and attempted to bury my head in my pillow.
But Emily was awake and it seemed like no such courtesy would be allowed.
“Up.” She ordered.
Ooh. That’s bad.
She has her, “I’m angry at Katie,” voice on.
I sat up straight and gave her my most innocent smile.
“Don’t smile at me.” She ordered.
I wiped my face clean of any snivelling and gulped. She was angry.
“Why Katie?” She demanded. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Oh heaven forbid.
She had found out about Professor Wood and Dominique Weasley.
“This thing is...” I stammered to explain. “I only just found out and I thought you’d be upset.”
She interrupted me. “I don’t want to hear it,” She told me sternly. “I just want to know why you didn’t tell me.”
“I thought you’d be… jealous…” I stammered trying to push possible ideas for my execution.
“Jealous?” She echoed. She laughed.
She’s gone hysterical.
God, I am so dead.
“I’m your best friend. I expect news like this— it was important to me, and it’s up to me to choose my reaction.”
So very, very dead.
“I would have told you something like that, so next time I expect the same courtesy.”
“Next time?” I frowned up at her from my bed. “Next time?”
She grinned. “Of course...” She gushed. “Next time something like this happens to you, you will tell me all about it.”
Nothing had happened to me?
“What are you talking about?” I asked with a frown.
I was genuinely confused now.
Even though, that’s not a new occurrence.
She leaned over and flicked me on the head. “Duh, you dunderhead. You and Albus potter are so chummy these days.”
That’s what she was talking about.
I scanned the conversation to find any hint of the engagement.
I was safe.
Then I heard what she said. “Hey.” I protested. “We’re not chummy.”
Lauren, who had until that point buried herself in her duvet, threw back her blackest and scoffed. “Oh, come on.” She told me. “You and Potter danced together last night, in front of the whole school.”
I shrugged. “Got a solid twenty quid from the deal.” I smirked, grabbing my wallet from my bed side table and waving it around the air.
Lauren shook her head, “Right.” She muttered sarcastically. “You had to be bribed to get up and make every girl in Hogwarts jealous, including McGonagall.”
Natalie groaned from under her bed covers. “Lauren.” She moaned. “That’s disgusting. She was an old lady when his Dad went to school.
Shirley was the next to withdraw herself from her blankets. “So?” she asked Natalie. “Albus Potter is a god. There is no woman who can ever be impervious to his charms, that isn’t related to him.”
“Potter and I,” I interrupted, cutting this weird conversation to an end. “Are barely even acquaintances. We are not chummy, as much as I may wish we were.”
Natalie rolled her eyes. “You’re deceiving yourself Katie.” She told me. “You’re only letting yourself down.”
Shirley, Lauren and Emily all snorted. “I dunno,” Emily muttered. “I’m feeling pretty let down.”
“Face facts Katie.” Shirley told me. “He saved you from Sabriel Malfoy. Then he defended you to Indiana Stephens. Then he danced with you in front of the whole school. And then he spent the rest of the night laughing and hanging with you and his friends. You’re really close to Rose. And Scorpius and Fred seem to like you too. You’ve been accepted into the world of cool.”
I shook my head.
“They only talk to me because Rose makes them. I’m the dumb tutor-ee, remember?”
I could hear their eyes rolling.
“Anyway,” I continue. “It’s before Ten o’clock, meaning that talk to Katie time is off. Make an appointment at a normal hour of the day.”
I then face planted into my pillow, and to my own shock, no one disturbed me.
Alright. Tap dancing sequence went off without a bang, considering I didn’t write it. I figured that it would have gone something along the lines of: ‘Tap-Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap,’ which wasn’t that fun to write. More Roommates appearances and some COOL GANG/Katie bonding.
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