Chapter 11 : Of Snog-Attacks and Honor.
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All proper young ladies avoid meddling in the relationships of other people, nor should she pass judgment; it is not her business.
“Okay, you’re really going to have to explain this one to me,” Fred says in one of those accidentally loud voices. We’re sitting at our usual spot at the Gryffindor table, James and I on one side and Fred and Lily across from us, and the boys are shoveling food in their mouths like we’ll be deprived of meals for a few months. Fred barely takes a second from devouring half of the food on his plate to say anything to me. “We understood the first snog-attack as well as we could, but the second? I think that’s pushing it, yeah?”
I narrow my eyes at Fred. I’ve just spent twenty minutes explaining the entire ordeal to the boys, and neither of them seem to believe that I’d had no control over Wood suddenly deciding to snog me again. Really, though, I didn’t have any control. Yes, I know, I’m a Beater. I’m supposed to be strong and capable, which I am. With my Beater’s bat in my hand, of course. Did I have my bat when Wood surprise-snogged me? No. If I had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
“It’s not my fault the bloke is obsessed with me.”
“I think you like snogging Wood,” Lily comments absently. She’s sitting with us this morning, and while James normally would tell her to sod off and find her own friends, I’m comforted by her existence, and they respect that enough to let her stay. The rest of the Weasley family is a little ways down the table, and they’re all giving me these pointed looks, like they know something. Which they do. “Merlin, I know I would.”
James claps his hands over his ears. “Bloody hell, you know you’re twelve years old, right?”
Lily shrugs her tiny shoulders. She’s thrown her robes on over her frumpy uniform, and her petite frame is swallowed by the synthetic black fabric. The only color amidst the sea of black is her head of fiery curls, but the way she’s taken over by her robes looks almost cute on her. I think everything can look cute when you’re twelve years old and super-tiny, though.
“My age doesn’t stop me from thinking that snogging Wood would be the best moment of my life,” she replies to her brother, who clutches tighter to his ears. Lily grins at him. I think she finds it funny when she causes her brother great pain by saying things like that. “I’m jealous, Dom. He’s fit.”
I roll my eyes. Yes, Holden Wood is fit. The entire world knows this. Apparently, including my twelve year old cousin. What is wrong with children nowadays? They’re all corrupted- oh, corrupted? Then, the blame is on mine and James’ shoulders. Whoops. “Okay, I take James’ side now- you’re twelve.”
“That doesn’t make me blind,” Lily says, standing up. She steps away from the table, turning away from us as she continues to speak. Well, there goes my comfort. How am I supposed to handle being the topic of everyone’s juiciest gossip if my only supporter that isn’t a bloke- even if she is only twelve and completely inexperienced- is walking away from me? “You’d do well to remember that even if Lorcan is being a prat, Wood is still infatuated with you. Just because you know what you’re ordering doesn’t mean you can’t look at the menu.”
How can someone so young act like this? Lily amazes me sometimes with the strange things that leave her mouth. She really, truly amazes me. And at the same time, permanently scars her brother.
“Now that that’s over with,” Fred begins after James finally peels his hands from his ears and begins to pick at his food again. “What’s going on, Miss Dom? Is this some way to get over Lorcan or something? ’Cause really, it seems a bit extreme.” James nods vigorously in agreement, his mouth full of a mixture of breakfast foods. Disgusting.
“He snogged me,” I remind both of the boys.
This didn’t seem to phase either of them. James continues eating, and Fred continues speaking. “Maybe you don’t like Lorcan as much as you thought you did. It seems that way. You’re not acting to terribly torn up about this, you know? Maybe you never really fancied him much in the first place. That’s a good thing, of course. You know, you’ve been obsessing over the bloke for most of your life- it’s unhealthy, you know? It’s good that you’re going to get over him and date Wood. Date any bloke, really. You’ve never really dated much, just obsessed over Scamander. It’s healthier to change things up every once in a while. Your mum will be pleased, too. She hates the Scamanders, and I bet she’d approve of Wood. He’s exactly the kind of bloke she’d want you to be with, yeah?”
I stare open-mouthed at my cousin. Generally, Fred’s pretty quiet- at least when compared to James and I. Whenever he has something to say, it’s usually very short and quick. Never in paragraph form, unless we’re planning a huge prank or something. Not to mention that Fred cannot stand Holden Wood. He thinks he’s a massive arsehole, and he’s always glowering at him during classes and Quidditch practice. If anyone is going to fully disapprove of me spending even one second of my time, even reluctantly, around Wood, it would be Fred Weasley.
James lifts his head away from his plate, cocking his head to the right. “Erm, mate…” he pauses, examining Fred closely. “Did you inhale pixie dust or something this morning?”
Fred rolls his eyes at James, and then leans across the table towards him, covering his mouth like he’s about to disclose some massive secret. I drum my fingers against the table, waiting for Fred to go ahead and say whatever it was. “It’s reverse psychology,” he informs James extremely audibly, and then looks cautiously back up at me to see if I’ve heard. Which I have. Of course.
“Oh, you big git!” I cry out, leaning across the table to thump him on the top of the head.
Fred sticks out his bottom lip, looking wounded. Blokes seem to make that same face whenever a girl comes and whacks them on the head. It’s not half as painful as a swift kick in the pants, which is practically a criminal offense to every single bloke in this world, but whenever you come up and deal a blow to some bloke’s skull, he always looks so distressed. Maybe it’s because a smack in the cranium brings back memories of when they once pissed their mums off and received such punishment, thus bringing out that pathetic, anguished face. I don’t see why it’s that big of a deal. It’s not like it hurts that badly when you get whacked in the head. It doesn’t, surely, even when I’m the one hitting you. I’m better with my wand than my hand, but I still manage to hit pretty hard. Fred is just being a pouf. Ugh. I cannot stand blokes sometimes.
James chuckles under his breath, pushing himself away from the table to stand up without even commenting on how stupid his prat of a cousin now looks. I look up at him, completely ignoring the still-pouting Fred like I always do. “Where’re you going, Jamesie?”
“Oh, you know,” he shrugs his shoulders, turning away from Fred and I so we won’t question him any farther. However, that never works on me. “Just… going.”
The pouter snorts, and James and I shoot him fleeting glances to check that he’s finished sulking. He is, and is now focusing thoroughly on James. “Just going?” he laughs out loud. “You’re going to see a girl.”
“No, I’m not, mate,” James tries to subtly give Fred a pointed please-shut-the-fuck-up-right-now look, but it’s way too obvious for me, and he knows it. The big liar. He should know better than to try and lie, especially when someone who’s related to him is around. It has nothing to do with Fred’s obviousness- James is just not a good liar. He’s just not. His family knows that all too well. When I raise one eyebrow after a few moments of silence between the three of us, James throws his arms up in the air. “Fred. Fuck!”
Aha, he’s been cracked. Who couldn’t have predicted that one?
“Who is it?” I ask.
“Nobody!” James immediately cries out. He sits back down next to me, as if that’s going to make me shut up. Yeah, right. Whoever the girl is, he obviously doesn’t want to tell me about her, and that makes me want to torture him for hours about it. Perfect way to distract me from the whole you-snogged-Holden-Wood-again conversation. “Nobody. It doesn’t matter.”
Fred coughs something unintelligible in my direction. When I don’t immediately react, he coughs again. And again. And again. Finally, he outright says whatever he’s so “subtly” trying to hint to me. “Honor!”
I slam both of my hands down on the table. “Jones!?”
James smiles sheepishly, and I groan.
Why does he have to pick my roommates when he finds a new girl? He’s already been with Delaney, Elizabeth, and Piper. Multiple times, especially with Delaney. And each time, they make my life a living hell. “Do you know what James’ plans for our date are this weekend? Has James said anything about me? How does James feel about me?” And not only is the girl my roommate, but she’s the textbook definition of evil. He always seems to pick the worst possible girl in the entire world. Oh, my bloody Merlin, why does he always do this? Does he have like a disease or something, or is he just a crappy-girl-magnet?
“You are such a bloody idiot, you know that?”
“Have you seen Jones?” James retorts, and then glances down the Gryffindor table to where a cluster of well-dressed girls sit, barely touching a bit of food on their plates while they primp their hair and glance at their faces in the goblets in front of them. Jones isn’t with them at the moment, but if she had been, she would make the relatively-pretty girls look like toads. Even I know that. Jones is annoyingly lovely, and she really is the prettiest in our year, even though she’s pure evil. “She’s the best-looking girl in our year, you know. Every bloke with an ounce of testosterone notices that.”
I grimace. Usually, hearing my cousins describe other girls and their looks doesn’t bother me, but every once in a while, I wish I heard other blokes- not my cousins, of course, as that’s plain disgusting- talk about how I am the best-looking girl in our year. However, I never, ever do. Maybe blokes don’t even look at me as a girl; I’m just the only female Beater on a Hogwarts Quidditch team, who lives in detention and plans the best pranks Hogwarts has seen in years. I guess that makes me unattractive, or at least unnoticeable, to any person “with an ounce of testosterone”. How depressing.
“Have you met Jones?” Fred rolls his eyes, and then gives me a sympathetic look. My quick change in emotion is apparent in my expression, I suppose. “The girl is a bloody nightmare. I wouldn’t spend a second with her unless I was forced.”
James winks. “And for that, mate, I am grateful. It leaves more of her for me.”
He stands up again, and before I can throw some cutting remark at him, he’s leaving the Great Hall to find Honor Jones, who is probably still asleep in our dormitory. She always wakes up from our aggravatingly loud roommates, goes back to sleep the minute after Piper and Elizabeth have left the dormitory, skips breakfast completely, takes two minutes to throw on something she pulls randomly from her armoire and brush her teeth, and then runs off to class without even running a brush through her perfect black hair.
I grimace a second time. “Does he try to be a complete git all the time, or does it just come natural to people like him?” I ask Fred somberly, glaring in the direction in which my cousin was rushing. “I swear to Merlin, it’s like he can’t pick a girl that’s actually likeable.”
Fred laughs at me. “Because then, he won’t be James.”
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