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Chapter 1 : Larry Rotter and The Sociable Pebble
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 40|
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Chapter image by .asperity @ TDA
A/N: Hi! Thanks for reading this story, I hope it amuses you. I should tell you now that the term Jesus Christ Bananas doesn't belong to me....no. It belongs to Stephen King who used it in his book Dreamcatcher (an awesome book if I say so myself). I also don't own HP.
Well now that that's over have fun reading!
I blame the heat. I honestly think that it was the heat that caused me to do what I did.
Even if it was September in London.
All right, maybe it wasn’t the heat, but the lack of heat that caused it.
Even though the library honestly has a great heating system.
All right, I guess your looks of disdain (and maybe amusement) are accurate. What happened next was my fault, not the weather’s.
But if you tell anyone I said that, I will…
I guess I better explain what the last eighty-six words and four commas were about before you throw this book out the window.
My name is Penelope Clearwater. Everyone that knows me just calls me Pen, not because Penelope is such a bad name but because it’s such a mouthful. If you have the irresistible desire to go formal, you can call me Fountain Pen, because I despise Penelope.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. I had a habit back then of selling my short stories to relatives for chewing gum because they were too cheap to give me actual money.
I’m officially finished with my first novel (!) right now and while a publisher decides to even consider it, I’m stuck working as a librarian at the public library whilst simultaneously working my way through my last year of uni, where I major in writing. I decided to go to uni because as good as Hogwarts was it didn’t have writing or English classes.
And honestly, I need all the help I can get.
In any case I saw his back first.
Audrey and I called him the Hunky Back Boy—we agreed that any guy with shoulders that broad and such muscular arms must have a cute face to match.
Yes, I am aware that that’s very embarrassing and childish of us! Moving on.
By the way, Audrey is my co-worker. She’s short and a little pudgy (probably due to the fact that besides working here she also works at a cupcake shop). She still has a few acne scars and her face is kind of squashed.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t the first to see his face, because I was sorting books in the back. Audrey was; she said he was hot, but she also thinks my ex-boyfriend is cute, so don’t blame me if I don’t exactly trust her judgment.
Speaking of my ex-boyfriend, you should probably know that he’s going to be in here quite a bit. Feel free to skip over the sections where he is talking – I fall asleep listening to him as well.
My ex and I were friends before we dated and then after years of maturely putting catfish in each other’s heaters (alright that was just me) we became friends again. We know almost everything about each other, so if one of us wants to annoy the other (which is almost constantly), we know exactly which buttons to push.
He’s very tall and skinny, his ears protrude out of his head like two satellite dishes and his has a ton of curly red hair, which is still greasy. Percy hit puberty later then most teenagers, and is still suffering from the greasy hair part of it.
By the way, I should warn you: if you’re looking for a serious, soul-searching novel, this isn’t it. Although if you haven’t guessed that for yourself yet, then you’re probably screwed… for life.
But you forget all about that when she smiles, because when she smiles she looks so pretty. Lucky for her she’s a pretty optimistic person.
“Hey, Penny,” said Percy. I tried to ignore him. I was trying to do the Tuesday crossword, and he has this unnerving habit of reading the paper upside down and then telling me all the answers. He’s like a walking encyclopedia that you want to hex.
Also, Hunky Back Boy was due in about ten minutes, so in all honesty, I didn’t want to listen to my ex rattle of the answer to thirty eight across (the answer, by the way, was Frodo), when I could be looking at Hunky Back Boy’s shoulder muscles.
“You got that wrong,” said Percy, who, knowing that I was ignoring him, was now trying to get my attention by being his normal self (a nudge). “The answer is-”
“Hey, Percy, how are you?” I asked before he could finish his sentence. I peeked over his shoulder to see if hunky back boy was there.
Thankfully, he wasn’t.
“I’m fine,” said Percy. He then leaned in closer, as if he was going to tell me something important. I inched back, I have no interest in the secrets of Cauldron butts. He gave me a look, and I gave him a look back.
He rolled his eyes. I reciprocated in the like.
We’re so mature, aren’t we?
He sighed in a “you’re-so-immature” manner, and I looked over his shoulder again. Nothing.
“You know Audrey, right?” He whispered.
No, Percy, I don’t know Audrey, after working together for about three years, having almost all the same classes together in Uni, and barfing on her top when the science teacher told us we were going to be dissecting frogs in Bio.
Why I took bio I still have no clue, it has nothing to do with my major.
“Yes, I know Audrey,” I answered dryly.
“Well, I think I have… well… certain types of feelings for her,” said Percy awkwardly.
Here’s another reason why my ex and I get along so well: we’re probably the two most awkward people on the planet.
He cleaned his glasses vigorously which he only does when he’s nervous.
“Like kissing?” I asked, sort of puzzled.
Percy, whose cheeks were turning redder and redder by the minute, swayed awkwardly on his heels.
From now on, I shall dub him Percy the Awkward Ginger.
He sighed. “Yes, Pen, as your adolescent mind would put it, ‘like kissing’.”
“Have fun,” I answered, looking back down at my crossword, which was probably feeling neglected.
“Can you give her a note?” asked Percy, he handed me a small folded up piece of paper.
“So I’ll just pass it to her in English, shall I?” I asked sarcastically.
Percy completely missed the sarcasm. I honestly don’t know how this man made it in the ministry. I mean, sure, he’s a genius, but he has no social skills.
Neither do I, actually. That is why I’m becoming a writer, because writers do not have to interact with the rest of the world.
“Look, Percy, that would be great if we were first years,” I said patiently.
It works for all ages, trust me, exclaimed Percy excitedly. Just take a look at the note.
And then blinked and looked again.
There was a very nice poem (which he probably copied, because Percy can’t rhyme to save his life) and then at the bottom was Percy’s name.
In his defense, it’s probably a lot better then what I could do. I would probably just walk up to the guy and instead of saying something cool like ‘hey’ I’d say ‘mananana.’ No, this has never happened – I’m being completely hypothetical.
“Fine, Percy,” I said, eager to end the conversation. I took the note and as I put it in my back pocket I saw him.
The Sex God.
Sex on Toast.
My wizard gods, those shoulder muscles.
I resisted the urge to stand up on my roller chair so I could see past Percy’s greasy head of hair. Mostly because the last time I did that I fell and hit my head against the marble desk. That was my third concussion.
Turn around you gorgeous thing, please. Show us the face. I’m begging you here.
Maybe this time I’ll talk to him.
Ok, that last sentence made me laugh. Sure, I’m a big mouth when it comes to Percy, but Percy’s not someone that I’m trying to impress. Far from it. If he decided to go to Alaska so he could invest in igloos made by penguin slave labor, I’d buy him a Firebolt. Audrey is sweet, but we’re both complete nerds so we have no need to hide our true colors from each other.
“Your pudding is two months past its expiration date,” I heard someone say behind me. I didn’t even bother turning around
“Are you eating it, Athena?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“It tastes fine to me, those health inspectors don’t know twat,” said my best friend and roommate, shrugging as she dragged a roller chair next to me. “Oh, eye candy! Is this him?”
“Yep,” I answered breathlessly.
“He’s a fine specimen,” said Athena. She was almost purring.
Athena looks like a super model. With her short dark hair and big brown eyes, she’s gorgeous. Sometimes I resent it. I’m seen as a guy’s girl – they’ll ask me to put in a good word with Athena, but they’d never think of asking me out.
But she’s pretty awesome, so I put up with the idiot boys. She also used to be somewhat of a rebel in Hogwarts – nothing too serious, but enough that she was feared.
I like to think of it as I was her anchor to normality (her parents are Greengrasses, after all), and in return she kept me from getting picked on at school.
Athena is interested in computers. She came over to my house once when she was fifteen and we played some of my brother’s blood and gore ones, I got bored, but she loved them.
She likes designing software and video games, and works in graphic design. It was no surprise that she got a scholarship to a university that specializes in graphic design from a software company who was very interested in her work. Apparently they saw her work in one of the contests she had entered.
“You should talk to him,” said Athena, interrupting my stalking session.
“Are you insane?” I asked. “Have you seen this man?”
“Yes and I also noticed his ring finger – there’s no ring,” Athena answered gleefully. “The man is free game.”
“If I talk to him I’ll do something stupid.”
“Like say manamana over and over again, and then mutter something in that sounded sort of like your name but in a foreign language?” Athena chuckled at the memory.
“That never happened.” I glared at her.
“Of course it didn’t,” said Athena, patting me on the shoulder comfortingly. “Now talk to him.”
“Athena, if I do that, he’ll never come here again and then I won’t be able to watch-”
“Stalk.” Interrupted Athena.
“Watch obsessively,” I finished, getting out of my seat and walking away. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a job to complete.”
“That is the lamest excuse I have ever heard since the time you told Madam Hooch you were allergic to wood so you could get out of flying lessons, ” Athena loudly whispered as she walked up to me. She then took her sleeve and used it to clean off her pudding mustache. ”I rest my case. You’re nuts.”
I went around to check the books (translated, that means, I’m going to take a break and walk around the shelves reading, so then if Frank (my boss, who spends most of his day watching game shows on the mini television in his office) asks (which he almost never does), I can tell him I was working.
This and computer solitaire is how I mainly spend my day.
“Look, Pen,” said Athena following me towards the K section. “Besides a new case of chocolate pudding, the thing you need most is- Jesus Christ!”
“I’m not religious, Athena. I’m also not Christian, if anything I’m Jew-”
Athena spun me around and I got a good look at what she had been swearing at. Hunky Back Boy was standing in the K section, looking over a book by one of my favorite authors.
I made to run for it, but Athena grabbed the back of my shirt, and pushed me into the aisle. Thanks, Athena, love you too.
Surprisingly, I actually have good coordination; I just don’t have good coordination in front of people, especially hot guys.
Which is what happened here: basically I tripped over nothing and landed flat on my face.
By now I wasn’t worried about what swear word I had just yelled, or that the most gorgeous man in the universe had just seen me fall on my face, because I was trying to remember when was the last time we cleaned this carpet.
Ugh, this is so gross.
“Jesus Christ bananas huh?” asked Hunky Back Boy. “That’s actually one I’ve never heard before.”
Oh…so that’s what I said.
I looked up from the carpet and saw it.
(Insert that music that movies always play when they show something cool).
I’m never going to doubt Audrey again. I have been struck dumb by this man’s face. Puberty was insanely good to this guy.
“Need some help?” he asked, offering me a hand.
“Mamanana,” I muttered.
Oh no, not again, please not again.
“Thanks,” I said, taking his hand, which was all nice and rough – this guy obviously played sports.
At that moment, I realized something. I just said a coherent word, and one that was not in a foreign language or meant something that I didn’t mean to say.
No, that didn’t happen, I was just being hypothetical…again.
“So, want some oranges and apples to go with those bananas?” asked Hunky Back Boy, giving me a crooked grin.
“Very funny,” I muttered, turning bright red. I checked my glasses to make sure they weren’t broken and also as an excuse to not look at Hunky Back Boy in the face.
As the awkward silence settled around us, I looked at his face again. Instead of turning bright red again, I was actually confused.
Because he looked very familiar. The question is whether that’s a good or bad thing, if I know him from university it’s most probably a good thing. If it’s from Hogwarts,then it’s not as good – I was kind of a dork in Hogwarts.
Yes, it is possible to be more of a dork then I am now.
I think Hunky Boy also recognized me, because I saw his right eyebrow go up. “Penelope Clearwater?” he asked. “Is that you?”
“Er…yeah,” I said. I hate when someone recognizes me and I have no clue who they are; it makes me feel like an idiot. “So, how have you been… buddy?”
The best thing to do is to pretend that you know the person until you actually do remember them.
“You don’t remember me at all do you?” asked Hunky Boy, now looking a little put off. He was talking to me in a very heavy Scottish accent, it was really quite sexy.
I gave him a confused look. “Of course I know who you are… pal.”
He gave me a confused look. I considered telling him that I had recently suffered from amnesia.
“All right, I’m not entirely sure who you are,” I confessed. “But you do look familiar… so?”
“Oliver Wood. We only had seven years worth of Potions together, and I copied off your homework. Do you remember now?”
This has to be some kind of sick joke. Wood had been a tall burly kid who somewhat resembled a sheep dog because he didn’t cut his hair enough. He barely talked and when he did it was about Quidditch, which he spent most of his free time playing.
But this couldn’t be Oliver. For one this guy was huge – sure, Oliver was burly, but never like this. For another, he had a haircut. I could actually see his face.
“Wow, you’ve… er… changed,” I stammered. “Last I saw you, you were sobbing because you won the cup.”
Obviously he’s changed, dimwit, why don’t you think of another extremely noticeable fact?
“You haven’t, not really, anyway,” said Oliver, casually skimming over the back of a book while he talked to me. “So you work here?”
I shrugged. “Sort of, what about you? What are you doing?”
“Got into Quidditch,” Oliver answered, quite proudly. “I’m actually the keeper for Puddlemere United, top of the league.”
“Good for you,” I answered.
“What have you done with your life?” asked Oliver.
Here’s the thing. I know he didn’t mean to be rude, and I know I probably overreacted, but that question kept pounding in my head. I mean, honestly, what have I done with my life? The correct answer is nothing. I don’t even volunteer. I’m that pathetic.
So I lied.
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