Chapter 21 : Can You Keep A Secret?
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Head resting on the table in front of me I fixed Indy with a withering stare.
Buttering her toast, humming to herself and generally trying her best to ignore me at whatever the costs, she looked anywhere but at me.
“You could at least acknowledge my scathing glance when I direct it at you, otherwise it is pointless and my anger is not fully appreciated.”
“I have seen it but if I acknowledge it I will be lectured. Seeing as how the sun is shining, no real damage is done and I have to be in charms in five minutes I think I would like to spare myself a lecture,” she said still refusing to look my way.
“Who said I wanted to lecture you, maybe I just wanted to send you angry glances.”
“Because you are who you are and unless is has escaped your notice many letters in ‘lecture’ also appear in ‘Eleanor’…..therefore one can aptly conclude that you and lecture are intrinsically joined and at some point in the near future I shall be subjected to said lecture. Finito.”
I stared at her.
“You’re attempts to apply logic to the study of lexis fails. My conclusion: you’re an idiot.”
“Actually I’m not; you just lectured me. Point proven.”
Sometimes it’s hard being friends with a genius….or an adept bullshitter. Because what shouldn’t make sense somehow ends up making sense until you get so confused you agree. Right now, when I wanted nothing more than to rant at her and scream that she’d gotten me into this mess and many other infuriated things, here I was startled by her comment and momentarily distracted.
“I hate you,” I said. It seemed like the best way to sum up my argument.
“And I love you too,” she blew me a kiss as she bit into her toast. Sadly the effect was more that she spat crumbs at me.
“Nice,” I wrinkled my nose. “Now are you going to tell me about what happened yesterday? Where were you all afternoon and what happened to Roger Davies?”
“Are you going to tell me what Wood did to put you in such a troll like mood with banshee tendencies?”
“I asked you first.”
“And I asked you second? Your point being?”
“Nothing happened with Wood,” I ground out, “and I’m not in a bad mood. Why would you assume that?”
“Pft,” Indy snorted, “because Wood and you have an emotional trigger on each other. You can map your encounters with each other by how you are acting. If things have gone well with each other, you’re both as chirpy as can be and when you’ve argued then I swear I’ve seen first years run for cover.”
“You are completely wrong!” I hissed, offended. “I am deeply insulted that you can create such a narrow minded opinion!”
“So what’s he done?” she ignored me.
And wasn’t that the problem.
Tossing and turning angrily all night, my mind refused to be diverted from the memory of thinking Wood was about to kiss me. What was worse was the fact for a split second I’d wanted the idiot to kiss me….and I couldn’t justifiably put it down to a moment of madness. Ill feeling kept swamping me and every time I remembered that embarrassing interlude the urge to throw up was overwhelming.
“Hmm mmm,” Indy nodded to herself annoyingly and went back to contemplating her toast.
“What does that noise mean?”
“You anger at ‘nothing’ implies quite differently. Therefore ‘nothing’ must equate ‘something’ and I do not believe you are telling me the real story.”
“Maybe I don’t want to tell you the real story,” I muttered.
“Then I am at liberty to keep quiet too,” she smiled widely.
“What happened to Roger Davies Indy?”
“I have no idea,” she sniffed. “I didn’t seem him all day. None of them seemed at all inclined to woo me as I had hoped, it was completely disappointing.”
“He’s not at the Ravenclaw table,” I glanced over curiously, where all his usual friends were whispering together and glancing about. “You don’t think something happened to him do you? You were meant to be watching him.”
“I got distracted.”
“That is none of your business right now and as you didn’t tell me what happened between you and Wood I believe I am fully entitled to keep my cards close to my chest as well,” she stood up and ignored my cross look. “Now I have to go to Charms, I will see you at lunch.”
“Indy what did you get up to yest-“
“Bye,” without waiting to reply she marched towards the doors and left.
Apparently even best friends have secrets.
By the end of the first lesson I decided that I really needed to move my bed as I had obviously gotten out of the wrong side that morning, actually every morning. Therefore to save myself from, well, myself I would have to go back to the dormitory as soon as possible and rearrange things. If that was even possible.
By the end of the second lesson, my dementia was getting worse. Stress levels were peaking, I was having a hard time knowing what class I was in and I could feel myself twitching from nerves. My best friend was keeping a secret from me, Roger Davies was still missing, I had taken part in an expulsive felony by school rules and last night things had happened with Wood of which I had no clue how to explain or understand.
To say I wanted to be sick would be an understatement.
“Are you ok?”
I stopped shredding my quill and looked vaguely in the direction of Sam who was sat next to me. We were in Defence against the Dark Arts and so far all Professors Lupin’s knowledgeable words about…..something…..had completely and utterly failed to penetrate my mind. Instead I had been staring out of the window and shredding my quill into feathery bits that now littered the desk around me.
“Um…I’m fine?” I asked myself, very unsure of the answer. It was quite evident that I was not fine, but it was always better to lie I had discovered. Well, ok it wasn’t….it was just easier to lie.
“So why have you been tearing your quill to pieces?” she pointed at the tatters. “Bad experience with a pigeon and now you’re picturing revenge?”
I shook my head and taking out my wand, vanished the remnants of my feather.
“What?!” That broke my silence. “No. No. Most definitely no.”
Well actually, a small voice in my head whispered slyly, that would explain a lot. That sort of thing did mess with your brain and would explain my current state of confusion…But urgh….no, just no.
“Fair enough,” Sam shrugged. “Can’t say I’d blame you though, hanging around with Wood all day would be enough to mess with your love vibes.”
Fancy Wood? Ha, not even if the world was ending would I wish to engage in that sort of thing with that boy. I could even feel my stomach jumping about at the mere thought of it…just urgh.
Though, that same annoying voice said, you weren’t saying that last night.
No brain, NO!
“I don’t fancy Wood and I can assure you that he doesn’t fancy me,” I said primly.
“Then why is Wood staring at you?”
I looked away from the window and glanced across the aisle to were said boy was fixing me with a confused expression. Raising an eyebrow at his demeanour, I shrugged as I turned to Sam.
“No idea,” I lied as I looked back at Wood who had simultaneously raised his eyebrows at me. What was the idiot doing? He seemed to have an obsession with staring contests in this lesson.
“What,” I mouthed at him, but received nothing but a scowl in return. Pft he was the one staring at me, acting like he wanted to get my attention and suddenly that was my fault. Guys complain they need books to understand girls but really we’re much more open and obvious than they are…
Well ok, some are.
Me, I’m a closed book – it’s much simpler that way.
“It seems to be becoming a habit this?” Sam pondered.
“Er….what’s a habit?”
“Me having to point out that Wood is staring at you and wanting your attention. It’s almost like a big bubble of frisson type stuff is surrounding you both….it is quite sickly,” she made a disgusted face. “Do you want me to move seats so you can be closer together?”
“Firstly,” I hissed, “there is no frissony type stuff going on, that’s just ridiculous. Secondly I can’t control where the idiot stares and thirdly he’s going out with my step sister and therefore there is a distinct barrier of hatred that exists between us.”
“Oh him and your step sister aren’t going to last much longer if he keeps looking at you like he has been doing.”
“They seem perfectly fine to me.”
“Then why does he only seem to have eyes for you?”
In all honesty….I had no idea.
Later on I was flagging more than someone who’d done a sponsored broomstick race. My head was fit to burst, I couldn’t understand what was going on and all I seemed capable of doing was ranting to myself and confusing myself even further. The day couldn’t get any worse – it would be defying the laws of nature for the day to go anymore wrong, especially after the apocalyptic mess that was yesterday.
“Ella,” a voice purred beside me. “How is your fine self this beautiful morning.”
Closing my eyes and taking in a deep, repulsed breath I tried to calm down the vomit that rose to the back of my throat. Of all the no good, horrendous pigs I had to find today it had to be him didn’t it?
“What do you want Billy? If you’re after an ego stroking the hideous deformity you call your girlfriend is probably about somewhere.”
“Now now, don’t get nasty. I was merely requesting the pleasure of your delightful company,” he sat down next to me and rested a perfectly manicured hand on my shoulder.
I shrugged it off and fixed him with a revolted stare.
“Toddle along to someone else, someone who may not find themselves breaking out into a rash and feeling the need to throw up their lunch in your presence. I know finding such a person is probably hard but you should try it anyway.”
“But ‘toddling off’ as you put it has little appeal right now, when your presence is so enjoyable. Plus I wouldn’t want to get in trouble with our estimable Potions Professor now would I? He assigned me this seat and I am ordered to obey by my code of conduct,” he smiled slyly.
Another reason to wish bodily harm on Snape.
“Fine just sit and there and admire yourself. Do not talk to me,” I opened up my Potions book and waited for Snape to appear.
“But your company is so delectable,” he rolled the word off his tongue like a caress.
“If you want delectable company, why not just go and talk to a jam tart. Your girlfriend fits half of that quota already.”
“You already used to girlfriend insult already.”
“Well I don’t understand why you are still here then,” I rolled my eyes. “Shove off Billy and go kiss your reflection.”
“Your wit is starting to lag a bit my sweet,” he leant towards me. “Am I starting to get to you? Is my sheer sexual prowess starting to tingle your tastebuds slightly?”
“Oh, but the big bad wolf is approaching to scare me aware I see,” Billy smirked. “I forgot you go everywhere with protection nowadays.”
The big bad what…?
Wood walked towards us, face expressionless as he took in the company he was about to endure for the next hour or so; a slimy posh boy and a clumsy socially awkward short girl. In all honesty I pitied him.
Well, I would have if I could manage to fit another emotion into the mess that I was feeling surrounding him. Plus there was also the fact after last night where he completely confused me he didn’t deserve pity; he deserved a wall of silence.
“Isn’t this going to be fun,” a slimy toned voice whispered next to me.
But who cares about walls of silence when he’s the lesser of two evils.
“He’s not my protector,” I snarled. “I can look after myself, he is no way a part of my life.”
“The lady doth protest too much…” Billy said lightly, before trailing off.
Wood set down his books on the desk and turned to us. He favoured me with that infuriating look from earlier – the one that I couldn’t figure out whatsoever. I swear they give lessons to boys so that they can learn secret looks…
“Ella,” he nodded at me, “McGuiness,” he nodded at Billy.
“Hello,” I said primly.
“How are you?”
“Fine,” I lied behind a big smile that shocked Wood. “Yourself?”
“Um….I’m ok,” apparently me smiling at him was such an anomaly that it was enough to make him wary. In fact, I guess it’s enough to make anyone wary.
But he didn’t need to look so scared – I wasn’t about to curse his manhood off or anything.
Well…ok the thought had occurred to me before, but I was unlikely to take such measures in a classroom full of witnesses so for the time being he was safe. Plus if I talked to him I didn’t have to talk to Billy and as Billy was most likely Voldemort’s love child with a Dementor then he wasn’t the most pleasant of fellows.
Luckily further conversation was hampered by the arrival of Snape in a swirl of black cape, slamming of doors and the silence that stifled us. I bet he spent his evenings planning his entrance, standing in front of a mirror and practicing how to swish his cape about just right as to instil fear into everyone he met. Maybe I needed a cape swish, I pondered, it might frighten off some of these people who constantly plagued me. Maybe if I-
“Miss Finster are you going to be paying attention today or attempting to impersonate a fish?” Snape’s icy tones cut across my thoughts.
Mouth puckered in thought, I had lost track of my surroundings. I felt my face start to heat up as everyone turned to stare at me and stifle giggles. I could feel Wood next to me trying to clear his throat and keep a straight face.
Bloody Snape. Git.
“Sorry sir,” I said cheerfully as I smacked kicked Wood – the satisfying yelp made my total humiliation so much better. “I was just trying to empathise with the plight of the fish – cut up so we can add its magical powers to our potions. What has it ever done to us? Surely it’s nice to just be able to swim around everywhere and not have to worry about things.”
Even as the words left my mouth I prayed that I can force them back in and not embarrass myself further today. I doubt even the most foolish person would bet in my favour.
“Well now Miss Finster has abandoned her amphibious tendencies for the day we shall proceed. Today you will be creating this potion,” he said quietly and indicated the board behind him with a sweep of his hand, on which ingredients and instructions magically appeared. “I want no talking and hopefully some of you may finally create a passable potion, though after seven years I don’t have much hope.” With that he turned on his heel and moved off to his desk at the front of the classroom, no doubt to glare at us all.
Someone should really slip him some happy potion or something…though maybe if he smiled, let alone laughed, the world would come to an end.
Pondering such a situation I gathered up my ingredients and attempted to think of other mind baffling and obscure situations to divert my attention. Beginning to slice my dandelion roots, I blocked out the presence of the two people next to me and attempted to concentrate at the task at hand. Though, knowing my luck, this would most likely end up with me slicing my fingers off instead.
Right, I thought reading the board, add sliced dandelion roots to your cauldron and stir counter clockwise 13 times.
Huffing out a breath, I began the strenuous task of stirring thirteen times a solution as thick as treacle, which threatened to pull far too many of my muscles.
“What was wrong with you earlier,” Wood hissed from next to me.
I jumped at the sound of his voice, it’s tone sending something running up and down my spine. Why did he find the need to make conversation with me now? Couldn’t we have gone back to the less confusing
Glancing at Snape and finding him occupied with solving a student’s issue of his potion having melted the desk, I thought it was safe to reply.
“There was nothing wrong with me earlier at all,” I snapped.
“Then why were you giving me a funny look?”
“Why were you staring at me?”
“Because,” he said under his breath, “you were shredding your feather as though it had done something to offend you. It was out of idle curiousity that my gaze strayed your way. Trust me I wasn’t the only one watching.”
Which sadly, was most likely true. Even though I was considered to be even further than the bottom of the social scale here (even behind those strange kids who though the wizarding world was a conspiracy and thoroughly distrusted magic) I was still a number one attraction on the weirdness scale. So maybe, unlike Sam had implied, he was only staring at me because he was intrigued by my weirdness.
Not because of anything to do with last night. Apparently he hadn’t been confused by what happened, unlike me, who was so baffled by what had happened that I could barely function. It didn’t fit into my little book of knowledge on human behaviour and I was a little stumped.
Okay…well I had an inkling but I was quite happy to feign ignorance right then because the inkling was not welcome and I wished it would inkle right off.
But Wood apparently didn’t notice anything different and was quite happy blaming me for everything that went wrong in his little world when quite obviously he was the one at fault as he’d messed up my world as usual.
Looking him full on in his annoyed eyes I felt a familiar tingle from last night. What that tingle was, well I wasn’t exactly certain and any theory I had was not a welcome one at all right then. Because really it couldn’t be what my treacherous mind was implying and it was quite simply just an allergic reaction to being in his presence. Some people are allergic to cats, me…I’m allergic to Oliver Wood.
Deciding it was perhaps better to focus on as little of him as possible so not to break out in a rash, I focussed on his ear.
“Ok, ok, I apologise for shredding my quill which caused you to stare at me in confusion which in turn resulted in me looking at you in confusion. It’s all my fault, blah de blah. Can I get on with my potion now?”
“Fine,” he grumbled.
“Fine,” I snapped back.
Grabbing my lacewings I positioned myself as far away from his annoyance as possible and began to separate them out. Honestly what was wrong with him? I didn’t do what he asked I got in trouble, I did what he wanted and I got in trouble. There was just no pleasing some people.
Maybe I just shouldn’t be allowed near people, maybe it was safer to go and live in a cave somewhere?
“How has your idiotic friend been since her love potion went wrong?”
Eyes widening in fright, I froze in the action of putting my lace wings into the cauldron.
Unable to move, let alone breathe, I was paralysed with sheer terror. Did he just say what I thought he’d said?
How on earth did he…?
What was he…?
Heart hammering against my chest, the need to hyperventilate becoming overwhelming I gulped in air. Shooting a nervous glance at Wood to see if he’s heard – he was busy frowning at his ingredients – I turned to face Billy and sent him an astounded look.
“What are you on about?”
“Don’t pretend you don’t know, you’re nervous demeanour completely gives you away. You were always a rubbish liar,” his voice sent shivers of disgust across my body.
“I honestly don’t know what you’re on about,” I lied through gritted teeth.
“You mean you don’t know why Flint, Diggory and Davies were acting like lovesick puppies yesterday?”
Damn he obviously knew far too much. How had he figured it out?
“I have absolutely know idea what you were on about and I don’t know why you would think I was involved. What are you on about?”
“You mean you have no idea about why I found Marcus Flint shut up in a broom cupboard, saw Cedric Diggory declare his love to my girlfriend or why Roger Davies ended up in the hospital wing after he declared his love to Clarrise Pentagon in front of her boyfriend and was hexed into oblivion? On top of that he doesn’t seem to have reacted well to a certain potion he took and he’s broken out in greet warts.”
Well at least I’d found out what happened to Davies. Maybe if she saw him covered in warts, Indy may not be as enamoured….
“And why would you think I am involved in this? It was obviously just very accidents that happened to these three boys.”
“It wasn’t very hard to figure out you know,” he sprinkled ground beetle into his solution. “Three guys your friend fancies all mysteriously acting crazy on the same day and accidentally declaring love to any girl in your dormitory. It’s pretty simple to trace the route of the problem if you apply some logic and time to thinking about it.”
“I didn’t realise you could think,” I muttered to myself. “You slimy git.”
“What was that?” Wood asked me, having heard my grumbling.
“Oh nothing,” I mumbled hastily, glancing over towards Billy and hoping our conversation hadn’t been overheard. “Just talking to myself.”
“I thought I heard you call someone a slimy git.”
“Yeah, I was talking about myself,” I lied wildly. “Insulting myself is great motivation. It makes me want to do better, you should try it!”
“Er….ok,” Wood raised an eyebrow, shook his head and turned back to his potion.
Letting out a sigh – honestly could I make more of a fool of myself in front of this boy? – I turned back towards Billy and found him smirking at me.
I reiterate – slimy git.
“Deary me, that was a smooth brushing over there,” he leered. “I wonder what would happen if dear old Wood found out? Or anyone for that matter?”
“Don’t you dare you-“
“Your potion should be almost halfway done by now,” Snape’s drawl called through the dungeon, causing me to break off. “Let it simmer for twenty minutes before proceeding and in the meantime clear away your mess.”
Huffing in annoyance I grabbed the stuff from my desk and proceeded over towards the stock cupboard.
Sadly gitface followed me.
“What do you want?” I snapped, throwing my ingredients back into the cupboard.
“To continue our lovely, heart warming discussion of course,” He smirked.
“Fine, so you know it all. Little point in me saying anymore – end of discussion!” I hissed and turned to walk back to my cauldron.
“Ah ah, now don’t be so hasty my dear,” he grabbed onto my arm and yanked me back. “You forget that now I know this lovely secret, I may find myself eager to share it with the world. I imagine some certain boys won’t be too happy if this gets out and what would the teachers say….well, it’s a pickle isn’t it?”
Closing my eyes I felt my heart sink. Of course he wouldn’t keep quiet about this. Honeslty Ella, I chided my optimistic side, he’s the lowest form of slime in the entire world – he’ll be relishing having this to hold over you. He’ll be savouring this….
“You won’t do anything-“
“Ah ah ah, don’t be so sure. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten what happened last time you decided to dabble with me.”
Forget? I was never going to forget that…..
“Fine,” I whispered sadly. “What will it take to keep this quiet?”
“I’ll let you know,” he leant down and whispered in my ear, his lecherous breath tickling my neck before he walked away.
Shivering in repulsion, I kept my eyes closed and wondered what my next step would be. He, after all, had no proof….but this was Billy McGuiness I was dealing with and he was slimier that a snake in these situations. He could turn any situation to his advantage and I knew that if I didn’t tread carefully things were going to go from bad to worse.
“Are you ok?” a voice said behind me.
Turning round I found myself confronted by a confused and annoyed looking Wood, scales and bottles in his hand as he attempted to clear up. His brow was furrowed, hair falling adorably into his face-
No Ella, NOT adorably. Remember we were meant to be annoyed with each other.
“What’s wrong? Was McGuiness harassing you?” he looked concerned.
“No, nothing wrong,” I sighed and forced a neutral look onto my face. “He was just talking about my sister.”
“Ahhh,” Wood nodded, but he leant in to study my face more. “Are you sure you’re alright? You look a bit ill.”
And that was about to buy me my sanity back…..
If I’m honest Madam Pomfrey’s greeting wasn’t what I’d quite hoped for as I stepped into the relative safety of the hospital wing.
“Oh lord,” she muttered, rolling her eyes. “Not you.”
Such a lovely, caring person she was.
“Yes it’s me,” I said falsely cheerful. “Your favourite student in the whole wide world.”
“I think you’re overestimating yourself,” she gave me a shrewd look and returned to writing on the paper in front of her.
“Do you treat all your patients like this?” I asked. “Or is it just me that gets this special treatment.”
“Miss Finster,” she didn’t spare me a glance, “most of my other students manage to make it a day without getting injured.”
“I’m not that bad,” I complained. Really, she was creating quite a scathing account of my injuries. Just because I happened to get hurt a little and walk into a few walls didn’t mean I was as bad as she was making out. The way she was painting it I was a constant walking injury that couldn’t move a millimetre without stubbing my toe.
And as we all know that’s not true….well, not most of the time anyway.
“I will credit you with the fact you have not yet delved into the realms of Mr Potter and his friends but you are not far off,” she looked at me disdainfully.
“So close and yet so far,” I sighed over dramatically. “I shall have to work harder to achieve my life’s mission of becoming a walking catastrophe.”
“As I said before,” she peered at me patronisingly over the tops of her glasses, “you’re not far off. You may want to choose another goal in life though.”
“Why? I’m doing so well at it…what’s the point in changing? Changing now when I’ve found my life calling would be quite pointless and far too time consuming. I mean-”
“Miss Finster,” she sighed deeply. “What do you want?”
“Oh,” I stopped mid ramble. “I can’t remember.”
“Well perhaps you can remember outside? I’m a busy person and have far more important things to do than listen to you. So if you don’t mind could you please leave,” she indicated the door.
Damn….I couldn’t leave yet. I had far too people on the hunt for me and right now this was the safest place.
“I’m ill,” I complained, rubbing my stomach for the whole sick appearance effect. The more I tried to look and act ill the more chance I might have of her believing me and not just sending me back to class.
Because I was really not going back to class right now.
Because that involved going back to my seat next to Wood…and right now that was not the best idea in the whole wide world.
“You’re fine,” she didn’t even look at me before throwing me this diagnosis. “All you are suffering from is the need to avoid class and unfortunately there is no cure for skive-itis.”
“The remedy is in the skiving I believe,” I broke off from rubbing my stomach.
“Most likely, but that doesn’t make the cure anymore legal. So what I prescribe is a cold bout of reality to set you back on track. Chop, chop – back to class.” She began to make shooing movements with her hands, intended to send me on my way.
“I don’t feel good,” I moaned, throwing myself onto one of the nearby beds and closing my eyes.
I heard Madam Pomfrey sigh and place her pencil on her desk.
“Miss Finster there always seems to be something wrong with you,” she sighed again. “Never have I met someone so plagued with illnesses and disasters before. The day I don’t see you in my hospital wing will be the day the day I know something is really wrong.”
“I’m not that bad,” I mumbled. “Just accident prone.”
“There is everyone else’s version of accident prone Miss Finster,” Madam Pomfrey commented, “and then there is yours. I doubt anyone else would refer to their run in with Dementors as a ‘little accident’ or the fact they participated in an a stunt that resulted in sending the school librarian to St Mungo’s for two weeks as something that can just be brushed under the carpet. You’re more harm to everyone else than you are to yourself.”
“I don’t know I’m pretty good at hurting myself in the process as well. Plus, can we please remember I don’t instigate these things – I get dragged into them kicking and screaming.”
“Yes, I have heard all this many times.”
“And yet you still don’t believe me,” I sighed.
She gave me a look.
“You do look quite peaky,” she peered closely at me. “There’s a definite tinge of pastiness in your face.”
Thanks, I thought glumly. When I’m not ill I still manage to look sickly. Says a lot about my wonderful, amazing good lucks does that; apparently I look as though I have the plague, or a minor disease. It’s nice to know, oddly comforting in fact.
Can you sense the sarcasm…?
“I keep getting a weird feeling in my tummy,” I mumbled pathetically, pouting for added effect.
“There,” I pointed to the area. “It feels all fluttery, like when you suddenly change height and you feel like you’ve left your stomach above you.” I was nothing if not specific.
“Any other symptoms?”
“Er…” I thought carefully. “I keep feeling all hot and red a lot of the time. Oh and I keep feeling a bit dizzy.” That was the annoying one, I thought moodily, suddenly going dizzy was not fun. Especially as the last time it happened Wood had just appeared and the first thing he had to do was stop me fainting on him.
I hate being the weak one.
“Light headedness, strange feelings in your stomach and uncontrollable blushing,” she stuck the thermometer in my mouth. “If I didn’t know you better Ella Finster I would be thinking you had boy troubles.”
“Mmmbboooy mugbgbles?” I mumbled furiously, my evident anger lessened somewhat by the presence of a thermometer hampering my speech.
“Don’t talk,” Madam Pomfrey scolded, wrapping me smartly on the head with her notebook.
“Mmggjjgfk,” I mumbled angrily again, sinking down on the bed with my arms crossed in a stance of fury.
Boy troubles? Pah, understatement of the year, but not in the way she was insinuating. Yes boys were constantly plaguing me, but not in the romantic sense.
No, I was being harassed, abused, taunted….ah any number of verbs indicating I was being bothered and tortured by boys.
But I wasn’t being romantically troubled by boys….or was I?
The trouble had all begun because of a love spell destined to unite people under the banner of love, so was it really that unbelievable that romance was causing all my problems? I hadn’t intended for there to be any romantic problems but like most things you don’t intend or anticipate they come up behind you and bite you on the behind when you least expect it.
But surely I couldn’t be having these problems?
Yet wait a minute, I thought as the cold trickle of dreaded comprehension began to sink in…..what if I was actually having boy troubles.
I did seem to be blushing a lot….and I was warming to Wood little by little. I mean, he had helped me a lot recently; he’d been there for me over Christmas, he’d helped me deflect Billy on numerous occasions and seemed to keep putting a smile on my face when he shouldn’t.
And let’s not even get started on that weird tingly feeling whenever I bump into him.
No…..let’s not get started on that.
“Your temperature appears fine,” Madam Pomfrey pronounced, removing the thermometer from my mouth but I wasn’t paying attention. I now had more pressing matters on my mind.
“Hypothetically speaking,” I spaced my words apart carefully so she would understand me. “If there was a boy – and I’m not saying there was – but if there was a boy who looked quite good in a Quidditch uniform who had really nice eyes….could he have something to do with my friend’s problem?”
It was always better to say friend in this situation I had heard. Less incriminating and utterly believable.
“Your friend?” she raised an eyebrow in a disbelieving way.
“Yes my….’friend,’” I tried to look as innocent as possible. “My friend has similar problems to me, but she’s recently stared seeing a lot more of a boy and I was wondering if her problems aren’t really an illness but something else that is linked to this boy?”
“You mean compared to your utterly and one hundred percent non related and perfectly real illness?” Madam Pomfrey commented in a dry tone.
“Exactly,” I smiled; glad she was finally getting the jist of it.
“Sounds to me as if you have what is commonly termed as ‘crush’ my dear,” Madam Pomfrey regarded me pityingly. “Sorry….I mean that your ‘friend’ has a crush.”
I tried to open my mouth to deny it but no words came out and instead I was sat there demonstrating my great fish impression.
“Now, just drink this,” Madam Pomfrey said smiling forced a digusting concoction into my mouth. “Just leave that in for a few minutes and you should feel better.”
But I already knew what was wrong.
Sitting there, blank expression on my face, yucky medicine burning my throat, I had one of those moments of dawning comprehension.
Oh lord…..had I begun….no I can’t think it….
Yuck…it made me feel nauseus to even think about it.
Had I, teenage spinster Ella Finster actually gone and done that absolutely hideous and disgusting thing of becoming attracted to a boy.
Had I….started to…yuck….like Wood?
To all my readers (or what’s left of you) I apologise. My only excuse is the fact I’ve been working and university is much harder to write around than high school. Plus I took a creative writing module and after heavy criticism for my writing I have been somewhat disheartened to write. But anyway, excuses are pointless.
It was hard to write this chapter as it’s been so long so I have quite forgotten what’s already happened. Apologies for any inconsistencies – I tried really hard to keep everything as consistent as possible, but I’m sorry if I missed something!
Please review, it’s absolutely amazing of you when you do! Any questions will always be answered.
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Beyond the Words
by Estelle Black