Chapter 33 : Tongue and Cheek
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I stormed down the corridor, fists clenched and hair pull back. I stopped at the Charms door and stared at the wall. Sunlight streamed in through the dusty windows and filled the corridor with morning light. The faint smell of parchment filled the air, crossed with the scent of my perfume.
I sighed and stood stock still. I ignored the questioning looks that I received from the paintings. I hadn’t lingered in that corridor yesterday, I had no reason to. I had seen what I thought I had. Let’s face it, the process is pretty repetitive. I couldn’t tell Scorpius; it would break his heart, let alone the hell that he would unleash upon Josh. The boy would go to sleep and never wake up again.
The consequence of this was my absent mind and smile. When it came to seeping last night I had to settle for lying with my eyes open until I could no longer bear it. I fell in to a usual deep sleep, but it wasn’t pleasant. I still have no idea how to react to this. Do I tell Scorp and deal with the bad things that he does or do I talk to Rose?
Rose. How could she do this? Rose Weasley is the red haired little sweetheart. She has never once done anything to hurt another. If a problem arose, she would deal with it through books and intelligence. It would have nothing to do with intentional pain. What is she doing?
I now, however, actually have a reason to keep a secret from my friends other than not wanting to deal with their reactions. They would be filled in eventually, but not by me. There would be no condescending snaps in my direction as I wouldn’t be the one to tell them. Rosie would. She would have to pluck up her Gryffindor courage and spit out the harsh deed that she has committed. I was clueless on how to deal with this, so I am doing the one think that I could think of.
This morning I was slightly irritable, I thought that the times of sadness were over, but apparently not. Neither Ellie nor Freddy had asked me of my blank demeanor, I could gather that they were purposely trying to avoid me. James, on the other hand was just his usual self. He kissed me lovingly and sent me smiles. He was James.
Dixie had taken the pushy route. She saw right through my grumpy behavior and questioned me on everything. She, unlike the others, was able to distinguish morning grouchiness from testy and petulant expressions. She spent breakfast eyeing me curiously.
I heard a little chuckle and quickly averted my gaze to the painting above me critically. “Professor?” I observed, staring at him frame rather than his gaze. His frilly white neck decoration thingy wrinkled as he leant forward.
He looked at me with a twisted gaze; it was strange to see oily features bearing such an ugly expression. “Charisma,” he said. “May I ask just what you’re doing?”
“Nothing,” I muttered. “What ever do you mean?”
He frowned suspiciously. “You’re storming down the corridor like the Slytherins used to. You’re wearing a harsh expression on your face.” He shook his head. “This isn’t you.”
I sighed and nodded appropriately. “I know, but I need to slowly kill a fifth year.”
“And after that?”
I folded my arms and forgot for a moment that I was cross. “I’ll smile again.”
He tensed slightly before gesturing to the door. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door. The fifth year Charms lesson was currently underway. The Gryffindor’s were in with the Ravenclaws. I opened the door at the sound of Flitwicks approving call.
The class was full; each desk has the two occupants working readily and hard. This was Flitwicks class, laughter and smiles were all around. It wasn’t until I opened the door that it stopped.
It was something that I had become accustomed to. When I come in to a room, I don’t receive the response that I have done for the past six years, now I greet silence or what I did in this case. There are still people that don’t care, some that don’t believe the rumors. Others on the other hand, are torturous.
“Miss Price?” He exclaimed, a big smile broke out over his features. “How can I help you?”
I grinned, Flitwick, despite being slightly incapable of being strict, was a lovely man. He has not once treated me differently. Although he knew of my curse, over the space of six years, it hasn’t affected him in the slightest. While other teachers may let me off with work around the time of the moon, Flitwick wouldn’t let up. He treated me equally. It was something that I admired.
A small ‘woof woof’ and a barking howl could be heard from the front of the classroom. I bit my lip and ignored it. This wasn’t the first time. Albus on the other hand, didn’t. A snarl grew on to his lips as he leant forward and punched his in the back of his little blonde head. Whether the fresh overlay silence that carried between the class was because of the blood pouring from the boys nose as his head smacked forward and he hit the desk, or because of the person that punched him, I didn’t know.
Yes, Albus was a Potter, but he wasn’t like James. While James was loud, Albus was quiet. He was sweet and loves books. James could brood for England, if something upset him, he could stay silent for weeks. Albus on the other hand would frown for an hour before smiling again. He never condoned violence.
Flitwick’s mouth hung open. “Please, Mr Potter. I would never have expected this from you.” The blonde kid was whining like a baby, screaming obscenities and death threats against Al. He was nonchalant; it was incredibly unlike Albus not to care less. “Never use muggle-violence in my lessons.”
“Alright,” Albus shrugged before picking up his wand and aiming it at the boy.
“Albus,” I smirked. He turned to me along with a lot of others. “At least wait until no one else is watching before you beat up the kid.” It seemed that not only Flitwick was startled by my response. Albus merely smirked while the blonde boy turned to me. “Woof woof,” I said smugly before turning back to Flitwick. “Professor McGonagall would like to see Josh Harding.”
It scared me a little how easily the lie was. Josh sunk lower in to his seat; his nose was practically level with the surface of the table. I suddenly found an enjoyment in the want to embarrass this boy until the end. I wanted to make him sink so low he hit the floor. Albus looked up in knowledge. He knows. He knows that I know.
I cocked my head to the side and landed his gaze on mine. “Harding. Are you going to keep our Headmistress waiting? Or are you going to keep sinking lower in to your seat?”
A chorus of ooh’s erupted as he stood up and grabbed his stuff. “Alright, babe.” He replied. “I’ll be right there.” I matched his innocent smile and apologized to Flitwick. On my way out I put my hand between Josh’s shoulder blades and pushed him out of the door. He tensed slightly. “So why does the broad want to see me?”
“She doesn’t.” He frowned and I cut in with a curt nod. “I do.”
He was a tinge more perceptive than I had wanted. “Oh really? If you wanted alone time baby, all you had to do was ask.”
I fought back a fierce glare and smiled instead. I decided to get straight to the point. “Rose.”
His jaw tensed. “What about her?”
“What are you playing at, being with her?”
“Do you really want to know that answer?” He asked, entirely amused. “I could draw you a diagram.”
I gave him an airy wave. “No need. I just wanted to remind you who her ‘boyfriend’ is.”
I leant against the corridor wall while he stood casually in the middle, pacing a little. The Professor in the painting had gone, I don’t know where. They have a tendency to switch at odd times. I fiddled with the charm on the strap of my shoulder bag, waiting for an answer.
“Malfoy.” He answered. Somewhere between my angered expressions, I frowned. I hadn’t expected him to be so upfront about it. I had expected a stage of complete denial. “I can take him, I’m not scared.”
“You sure about that?” I replied with a shrug. “He may not be his father, but he can be pretty damn scary.”
“Oh, and I bet that you’d know all about that wouldn’t you?” I merely rolled my eyes to his words. “I’m not afraid of Scorpius, and I’m not afraid of you.”
“Then you’re exceptionally stupid.” I announced abruptly. He shot me an odd look, furrowing his brows. “Scorpius loves Rose, don’t think that he won’t absolutely kill you just because she might request him not to. You’re threatening their relationship, remember that.”
“And if he doesn’t?”
After a moment, I simply shook my head. “Then I will.” He stood stock still. “Josh, I don’t like to hurt people and I care about Rose, but Scorpius means a hell of a lot more to me than pretty much anyone else in the world.” I swallowed. “If you hurt him, in any particular way, I will make you experience first hand why people are afraid of me.”
“There afraid of you, because of the rumors.”
I turned back to face him and squared him up. He was about my height. “And if you keep going the way that you are, you will have your own rumor to spread.”
He sighed. “You don’t scare me.”
“We’ll see about that.” I murmured. He stared right in to my eyes and I simply glared. “Josh, I was eleven when I was attacked. Since then I have had a wolf inside me. Little word of warning for you, it bites.”
I took that moment of silence to walk away; I threw my bag carelessly over my shoulder once more, repositioning it and took off down the Charms corridor. I had a free period; I think that I used it wisely.
My lips grew in to a smile as I walked in to the Great Hall, I was fully aware that my meeting with Josh had gotten neither of anywhere, but I couldn’t help but remember how he flinched as I walked away. I knew that people were afraid of me, to take the words of Scorpius ‘sometimes it’s best’. I finally understand his point.
The warming scent of lunch filled my senses and made my stomach rumble quietly. I smiled as I slipped in next to James, the seat across from the messy haired Drew. Freddy had stolen his hat; therefore his hair was left to look like a birds nest.
“’Lo Charisma.” He greeted easily as I sat down.
I smiled and quirked a brow, kissing James on the lips lightly. “Hello Andrew.”
“Somehow,” he muttered to Freddy, “I don’t think that greeting was entirely focused on me.”
I quirked a brow and smacked him lightly. James’s eyes flitted over the two of us questioningly and Drew winked. I sighed in a taken manner, overdoing the dramatics just a bit. “Drew, Drew, Drew.”
“Is leaving.” James snapped. He was wearing his glasses, they looked cute.
My eyebrows furrowed and I covered it up with a casual laugh. “Is somebody a little jealous?”
What was concern immediately lightened in to denial and humor. “Completely.”
“Aww,” I cooed as I took his hand in mine.
He leant in to kiss me before taking a bite of a chip and chewing obviously. “No romance at the table.” He ordered before pulling back and sitting up straight. I stayed still, in the casual position with a pouty frown on my face.
“You know,” Drew proposed. “If James doesn’t want to kiss you, I will be willing to nip round and fill in – or not.” He added by the assumed expression that appeared on James’s features. My guess would be a snarl assisted by animalistic tendencies.
I sat up and faced the correct way at the table, turning in the direction of my plate. It was supposed to be empty; instead it sat a hot cup of lemon tea with the bag still in it, just how James knew that I liked it. “For Christ sake,” he snapped leant in and gave me one little kiss. “Why do all the boys like you?”
“Yes James, because with her disgustingly ugly features and horrible tendency to be a bitch, who wouldn’t?” Dixie said rather accusingly as she took the seat next to Drew. She was oblivious to our shock; she was carrying text books.
James threw his hands up in to a surrender to her minor outburst before pointing a finger at my roommate. “Dix, love, you know that the text books are the ones with the information in them.”
“Words that are spelt with more than four letters,” Drew added.
She picked one up and smacked both the boys with it. They jumped back in surprise. “They also make good weapons when people insult my intelligence.” She sighed and opened it up to a page nearing the middle. It was Astronomy, figures. “So Chris, have you got over your little temper tantrum this morning?”
I widened my eyes and stopped nursing my tea. “Who’s Chris?”
“You,” she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the universe. “Well, we can’t exactly call you Wolfy anymore; we need something to replace it.”
“And you arrived at, ‘Chris’?” Drew questioned passing over her neglecting glare.
She nodded. “What, you don’t like it?”
“No, I do actually.” I admitted. “I just can’t believe that I didn’t think of it.”
James smiled and swallowed the last of his chip. “Chris, it fits.”
I reached over and picked up a nearing star chart, they looked so different to James’s. While his were empty, the odd doodle in the corner, Dixie’s were full with observations and facts. Despite her ‘oh-my-god-I-just-broke-a-nail’ type look and figure, she was a nature girl through and through. The stars fascinated her like nothing else in the world.
While James’s charts glared at him after months of neglect and ignorance, Dixie’s smiled with completion and neat handwriting, not a hole in the corner that she stabbed through with her quill. James looked at them longingly and she rolled her eyes.
“Meet me at the ‘Tower at ten, we’ll catch you up.” She muttered, opening up what appeared to be a copy of witch weekly. That’s more like it.
She turned straight to the back of the magazine and opened up the Horoscope pages. She snorted and began to scribble over ‘Sacred Sally’s predictions. Dixie, unlike the rest of the world, could look up in to the sky and tell what was going to happen after a lot of analyzing. The planets and stars fascinated her. When the next issue of Witch Weekly comes out, she spends her next free moment correcting the mistakes that ‘Sally’ makes.
She drew a big cross through Gemini. “Is this woman drunk?” She exclaimed. Putting on a mystic voice she mimicked, “As Saturn is in orbit, bla bla bla.” She slammed the magazine down in to her text book and snapped it shut. “Saturn moved out of orbit three weeks ago, Jupiter is blocking whatever hope we have of seeing it. It would be more likely to see old Professor Slughorn performing in a Weight watchers advert.”
“What was that Miss Pruitt?” Asked a passing Flitwick.
She airily waved a hand. “Nothing Professor.”
Dixie went back to her work, measuring the planet distance and accompanying it with the odd snort. Upon asking James if he should be doing the same thing, he replied with a shoulder shrug and the simple word ‘Probably’. I decided not to pressure it anymore and took a sip of my tea.
I wanted to question the positions of the table’s occupants. Usually, Drew would be sat next to me, James on my other side. Opposite us would be Dixie and Fred and Kyle and Ellie on their right. Today, Kyle and Elle were nowhere to be found. Drew and Dixie were next to each other and Freddy on Drew’s right. He didn’t seem to notice the awkwardness between them nor his position.
Dixie rolled her eyes and lounged back on to Drew’s arm. Freddy glanced suspiciously before returning to poking his food around his plate in silence. I sent him a small smile and he returned it. Why was he so blind to the fact that he and Dixie are meant to be together?
She laughed at another Horoscope before taking her quill back in to her hands and scratching it with force. Her ability to ignore the various wizards ogling at her astounded me. She simply brushed it off with ease and carried on with her Astronomy.
Fred glared at a drooling Hufflepuff before standing up and sitting down on the other side of Dixie. She smiled and stole one of James’s chips. “Hey Freddy.”
“Dix,” he acknowledged.
She managed a coy smile before turning to James and me in excitement. “Have you heard about Lewis?” She chimed.
I looked to James and he shrugged, pushing his glasses a little further up his nose. “Yeah, it’s quite funny really.”
“She’s not your problem anymore.” Drew muttered, taking a bite of a burger that was too big for his mouth. I laughed and he glared.
“So what’s she done now?” I asked.
Dixie’s face twisted in to a crumpled smirk. “She’s sha-“ Freddy elbowed her, a group of first years were sat next to us. “-bonking the Hufflepuff Captain.”
“Well that’s nice.”
Dixie glared half-heartedly, alternating her gaze between James and I. “Nice? That’s all that you have to say? She told me about your little meeting in the Common Room the other night, you know.”
“Hang on,” James said. The boys seemed interested now. “What meeting?”
A small smile pulled at my lips and I shrugged. Telling the others wasn’t something that I had achieved yet. There was no reason for them to know. “We just talked, like actually talked. We’ve sorted everything out.”
“And she forgave you for turning her in to ice.”
“Shockingly, Fredddy, she seems to have.”
James’s smile deepened and he put his arms around my shoulders. “I’m proud of you Charisma.”
“You should be,” I chimed. “Do you know how hard it was not to claw her bloody eyes out?!” Drew and Freddy laughed and Dixie simply shook her head.
“That’s our Chris,” she exclaimed smirked and she tugged on a curl in her hair. While her hair was pulled back in to a tight bun and pinned with a red bow, the odd curl was left to fall.
Freddy gave a little pull on it to and she laughed. He smiled. “What would you do if I went and got the scissors…?”
“I would absolutely murder you.” She admitted, smacking his hand away.
I was focused on listening to their conversation; Drew seemed to be as well. That was until James’s hand set on my thigh. I looked up to him and he smiled. I cuddled in to his side and he set a light kiss upon my head.
I pouted my lip and he kissed it. “You’d never cut my hair would you?”
“Not unless you really upset me.” He said with a wink. It was sad, but I couldn’t help but grin. I stole one of his chips and ate it before stirring my tea. “Why does everyone steal my chips?”
I shrugged. “Because they’re so yummy.”
“But there’s a bowl of them, right there,” he gestured to the full bowl in the middle of the table, right infront of us and I nodded. “Why can’t you lot take them?”
“Sorry,” I apologized, putting half-a-chip I had just helped myself to back on to his plate and taking one from the bowl.
“Well I don’t want that one back,” he complained. “It’s been in your mouth.” I looked up to see Dixie listening curiously. “But do you know what else has been in your mouth?” he questioned with a cheeky smirk.
“I don’t know if I want to know this,” Dixie said to Fred and he nodded accordingly.
“This,” James exclaimed and licking my cheek once with his tongue. The four of us groaned in disgust and I wiped my cheek with my sleeve. “Go to Hogsmeade with me?”
I glared at him with wide eyes and disbelief. “No.”
“Because you just licked me.” I whined. “And before you ask, no I did not enjoy it, Freddy do not laugh; this is not funny.”
He nodded and gasped for air. “Yes is bloody is.” Dixie smacked him around the head with one of her books and requested for him to shut up. She knew that it was no use, he was laughing. He was gone.
He was going to Hogsmeade with a fifth year Hufflepuff. Dixie was pissed. But she wasn’t going to let it show.
“Please,” James begged. “Please go to Hogsmeade with me.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well why are you asking me now? We have two weeks left.”
“Because,” he whined. “I want to go with the most beautiful girl in the room,” I blushed a little. “-and she said no so I had to ask you instead.”
AN: There is was - the penultimate chapter. The next is the last! I feel bad posting it. I don’t want this story to end! I will do all the teary-eyed thank you’s next time. I will save you an eye roll for this chapter. :D
What did you all make of this chapter? I hope that you all liked it. Dixie and Fred, how blind ‘eh. But that’s what the sequel is for. Okay, I will tell you now, a new character will be introduced next chapter. They are for the sequel, but does anyone want to take a guess as to who they might be, a cannon, an OC, their characteristics, personality? I adore them, the character is so fun to write.
The next chapter is simply called Epilogue. Here is a preview...
“Yeah, that’s because you couldn’t get anyone.” James exclaimed, drumming his fingers over the table top. “What is with that, by the way?”
Kyle huffed and sat back in the booth. “It’s not like Andrew Wood not to have a bird on his arm.”
“Shove off.” He snapped.
I hope to see you all next time! Thank you for reading. I hope that you have all enjoyed this chapter. :)
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