Chapter 6 : Scavenger Hunt, Part One
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The crisp night wind is swaying my hair around my face, as I pull my oversized sweater tighter around my body. It’s not freezing cold, but it’s unpleasant nonetheless. I’m a summer kind of person, so anything on the Pitch in any form of darkness during the after summer/early fall calendar is not my cup of tea. I’m looking around at all the expectant students waiting patiently for their names to be called. The lights are turned on in the Pitch so everyone can be seen. But apparently not everyone wants to be seen. Fred’s been avoiding my eyes since he first started reading the names off of the list in his hands. Or maybe I imagined it - but it was like he was forcing himself not to glance my way. But he stared at everyone else in the crowd…Oh, whatever.
Regardless, Fred’s bound to look at me sooner or later.
Because here is the undeniable fact: The Scavenger Hunt is happening as we speak, so he can’t skip my name and not call on me. Especially because of this particular event and my lack of general excitement. This is the event that every Gryffindor student has decided to participate in. The event that I’ve been forced to go to because I helped make up the list. And also because I’m a softy and Lee made me feel guilty. It’s not that I don’t want to be here, I mean- No, wait. That’s exactly it.
I don’t want to be here.
I don’t like crowds and I don’t like hidden agendas.
And I could be doing some serious leg stretches right now. The Northern European ballerina in me wants to cuddle up in some knitwear and do spins.
I also know that Lee used up some of my ideas to make up the list, and I know they’re not pretty. I just hope my group's list doesn't get the worst picks.
“Jameson, Lanse, Gerdilla, and Ulliel please come up…”
And I don’t like Fred Weasley being in charge of anything whatsoever. Even a list. Makes me worrisome. Like I’m giving the a child a pair of keys to heavy machinery.
“Rooney, O’Hara, Balotelli, Acres…”
Fred’s voice is giving off a ring that echoes to the bleachers and back.
I shouldn’t be nervous. Right? I really shouldn’t be nervous. And yet I am. But Sofia Thorne, whom is standing anxiously by my side isn’t - so I shouldn’t be. Right? Maybe his ambivalence to me is just annoying me so much that I’m making it into something big in my mind, when really there’s nothing there. But is Fred’s absent stare signaling something to me, something that I should be paying attention to? Maybe it’s a sign.
Like my group is really going to suck, or I’m going to get eaten by a wolf in the forest, or they have a different list for me because they like to torture me.
I should stop watching horror films.
“I don’t like this,” I murmur hesitantly, leaning towards my best friend. “Let’s leave.”
“Honey,” Sofia grasps my arm, “Calm down. What is the big deal?”
“I shouldn’t have came. I just don’t feel like I should be here,” I explain quickly.
“Akris, Bell, Spinnet, and Wood step forward…”
She gives me a concerned look. “Why are you so nervous? You were fine a few minutes ago.”
“Sof, it’s been ten minutes and he’s still pulling out names. You haven’t been called. I haven’t been called.”
“Blane, Croom, Koonie, and Loveless come up…”
“Is there a specific reason why you find that set of information alarming?” Sofia asks me with intrigue, looping her arm through mine and nudging my shoulder with hers.
“Bleu, Macafferty, Athena, Riggins…”
“I just…” Fred catches my eye for the first time since, well, the last ten minutes. He stops calling names for a nanosecond - but then he corrects himself and pretends he never caught my stare. “…Don’t like being chosen last.”
“Makus, Flynn, McAllister, and Thorne…”
“That’s me!” she states, squeezing my arm. “Gotta go have fun, now.”
“Meh,” I gurgle.
“Don’t worry,” she smiles at me, sighing at my obvious immaturity. “You’ll be fine, stop fretting and have fun! Let loose!” She plays with a string of my hair before flouncing off to meet her group, and a very happy looking Andrew McAllister.
I wish I could explain the sudden uneasy expectancy running through my veins right now, but I can’t. I feel like I should be sweating. But it’s already so cold and windy out that I can’t sweat at all. I’m just…clammy. Nervous and clammy. Not a combination that usually excites people.
Why hasn’t he said my name yet?
Most of the team is gone already. Well, except for Angelina Johnson and George Weasley…
Oh and Matthew Bridges-
I look around again. Lee Jordan waves at me, and smirks, as Fred finishes the last group. I can hear his words echo back into my ear with each syllable.
“And lastly! Jordan, Whitely, Russo, and Bridges…”
See, THIS is why I was nervous prematurely! My female intuition told me that Lee would set me up! Do you know who I’m left with?!
Both of the twins!
“Johnson, get you’re cute little arse over here,” Fred smirks, receiving a slap on the shoulder by George.
She walks over to the last three of us with a glare. “Talk about my bum one more time-”
“Now remember, children,” Lee remarks, beginning to walk backwards away from us and towards his own group, “Play nice, and follow the rules of orderly conduct.”
“Which include?” I have a feeling Fred already knows, but he’s asking just for good measure.
“No groping of bums, eye gauging as self defense, flaunting any parts of female estrogen as forms of seduction, ogling other testosterone not found in your group, and undressing someone with your eyes. Well, the last one’s optional. Actually, it’s all optional. Cheers!”
“I want a refund,” I blurt out instantly.
George chuckles. “I’m afraid there is no refund,” he shrugs.
Angelina and I subconsciously look at Fred and George with curious eyes. I cross my arms.
“What, Lyden? Don’t like your group?” He crosses his one foot over the other and rests his arm on top of George’s shoulder.
I can hear the mockery through his words.
“Well I certainly don’t,” Angelina scoffs. “You’re a pain in my ovary, Weasley.”
Fred grabs at his heart. “I hope you directed that at George!”
This is a disaster!
It’s raining. Buckets of water are being dumped by mother nature. Thundering and lightening is being executed by the clouds. Even the words ‘torrential downpour’ would be an understatement right now. I’m too bloody cold to be angry and I’m too occupied with finishing this stupid scavenger hunt list to care about being angry.
See? I can’t even make sense anymore. I hate not making sense. I’m rambling because of my aggravated stature!
“Er, I think we took a wrong turn,” George declares, scratching his head. Angelina flicks his forehead hard.
It’s been fifteen minutes since we’d started. Things were going okay, not too exciting. But at the same time, not as boring as I had imagined. It wasn’t particularly awkward working with Angelina and the twins, but it was quiet. We did the tasks in silence. And you’d think that would make some sort of strange tension between all of us, but it didn’t. Angelina and George and Fred were people I had grown used to, so it wasn’t necessarily terrible. Obviously, they weren’t my first choice for this scavenger hunt, but having them around wasn’t unpleasant, either. At least, not in that sense.
But it was definitely unpleasant in another sense. As in, the scavenger part.
We got a list of ten objects we were supposed to obtain. One of them was a rare leaf off a tree near the Quidditch Pitch. That was easy:
1. Pull a leaf off of Phyllis (The Quidditch Pitch watching/luck-bringing tree)
Lee totally made that name up. Who names a tree Phyllis?
The other nine… Not so easy. Numbers 2 to 5 were nearly impossible.
2. Scrape off a piece of bark from the Whomping Willow.
5. Find a Decadent flower west of the Astronomy Tower and take the small crystal inside.
What made me the most angry was that those two were the ones I made up with Lee! What a booger.
Did I mention that Decadent flowers were worse that Venus Flytraps? No? Well they have human molars for teeth.
Most of the items on the list were in our possession, and we had only two left to take care of. Angelina and I had taken turns in grabbing the items with the boys. They desperately would try to start conversation, but Angelina and I would dismiss them almost instantly. I felt kind of bad about it, to be frank, but we were too angry and cold to care about making conversation. Our goal was to complete the list and get the hell back inside, into our warm and cozy beds. The longer we stayed out here, the more irritable we were bound to get.
“Weasley,” Angelina barks, mid-walk down the hillside. Her eyes are facing forwards, away from the twins.
George, who has been staring at her bum for about two and a half minutes, grunts. “Hm?”
“Are you looking at my arse?” She questions him as we keep walking. “Because if you are, I may have to insert my foot somewhere in your nether region.” Is it weird that I sense her to be secretly playful with her words? Or am I reading into her voice too much?
That seemed to have shook George Weasley out of his trance fast enough to share a face with Fred. Angelina and I were already ahead of the boys, but I could still turn around and see the shame on George’s face. I can’t believe he got caught ogling at her. Angelina must have eyes in the back of her head to notice that!
“Now, technically,” Fred begins, wagging his finger. “Staring at people’s bums is not a crime. Lee said so himself. He encouraged it, if I remember correctly.”
“Sodding Jordan. He’s gonna get his feet severely stomped on as well! It’s freezing!” Angelina Johnson responds bitterly. “What the hell kind of House leader lets out twenty-something groups of Gryffindors out when the weather can give them Hyperthermia?” She shivers as she stomps on the blades of grass.
“It’s actually Hypothermia. Hyperthermia is in extreme heat,” I correct instantly.
She throws me an expression that shows how irritable she’s really become over the course of the evening.
“Oh! Burnt like toast on Sunday morning!” Fred announces, his arms raised up in praise.
“Please stop,” are the words that escape my mouth.
“Don’t hate me ‘cause you ain’t me.”
“Funny, because I hate you regardless,” Angelina intervenes.
“Oh! Do you see this, George? Such hostility…It’s a shame. Here we are on a wonderful, slightly damp, and chilly night, with nothing but the stars -”
I turn around abruptly and he stops walking. I look at him and he’s just about frozen, staring back at me. His hair is matted to his face and strands of his red hair are slicked to his forehead. I ignore how cute he is just staring blankly back at me like this, and grab the list from his hands. I turn around again, leaving him shocked. I read the last thing off the list out loud, reminding everyone that we still need a clay planting pot from the greenhouse.
The feeling of more rain seeping down my back quickens my pace, letting George, Fred, and Angelina fall behind. Small talk has disintegrated, and so have the sexual innuendos. And the booty ogling. My hair is soaked by this point, down to the skull. I’m glad I didn’t wear too much makeup, because I’d look like something out of Lord of the Rings right about now.
After another ten minutes of walking and passing other groups of students heading in the opposite direction, I see the greenhouse in my peripheral vision.
“Glory!” Fred exclaims exasperatedly, in happiness.
“Do you think it’ll be warm in there?” George asks, his teeth chattering together. He begins rubbing his arms.
“Well it won’t be as cold, that’s for sure,” Angelina reckons, her voice getting coarse. “They’re meant to retain heat, so let’s hope for the best.”
“Come on,” I call, jogging down the hill. “The peak of the storm is going to approach soon.”
A cackle of thunder scares us to bits. Fred yells, “MOTHER OF MERLIN!“ and almost falls down the slippery hill but grabs onto George’s waist the last minute. Angelina and I whip our heads around.
“OY!” George bellows, grabbing onto his pants. Fred regains his balance and chuckles, mumbling an apology as Angelina and I try to hide our laughter.
We finally reach the doors to the greenhouse, but Fred pushes me aside before I can open the door.
“Don’t just stand there! I’m turning into a block of ice. Tear this bitch off it’s hinges!” He lifts his leg up.
Don’t!” I beg. What an irrational prat!
“Hi- YAH!” The door blasts open, luckily with its hinges and it’s frame still in tact.
He just karate kicked the door down!
My god, what is wrong with him!?
“You could have broken the door!” If he had broken the door, then he’d get in trouble. And so would we; punishment would ensue. Which means detention would be in order AND I CANNOT GET DETENTION AGAIN! That’ll cut my practicing time in half! And Lord only knows what Oliver Wood will have in mind as punishment.
“Fred! You half-arsed idiot!” Angelina barks, reaching for him and then deciding to grab onto his ear instead. She drags him inside the newly opened door.
“OW! Ow…Hey, the door’s got a knack and it can’t open if you don’t push it! The knob doesn’t work- it doesn’t turn!” He mumbles profusely, wincing at the her grip. “I’ve broken into the greenhouse before,” he informs us, his hot breath making clouds of smoke come out of his mouth.
“Do me a favor, Angelina. Don’t let go any time soon,” I declare, taking a step inside the greenhouse. I feel an instant change in temperature. About fifteen degrees warmer, but it’s cold.
“You’re lucky you didn’t break it!” I exhale through my nose in annoyance.
What’s gotten into him lately? I swear, he’s turning into someone I can barely recognize. He’s crazier than he was last week. And Fred’s one of those I-welcome-whatever-you-throw-my-way kind of guys, but he’s turning into a real instigator!
“Well, I didn’t break it,” he pants, tugging on his ear, which only makes things worse. Considering Angelina Johnson’s about ready to kill, he hasn’t even gotten the worst of it yet. Fred’s ear is turning beet red. And he’s a very pale person regularly, so the cold (that’s drained him of his color) mixed in with his pale-like (more or less porcelain) features are giving him a ghostly appearance. The only thing of noticeable color at this point are his freckles and the one ear he has turning scarlet.
“You could have gotten us all in a week’s worth of detention for property damage, you dungbeetle. Do you think I like telling our captain that we can’t make practices because we have detention?”
“Oh, calm down, guys,” George intervenes impatiently. “We’re inside, yeah? It’s already warmer in here. So stay focused. Let’s look for the damn clay pot!” He moves around, trying to get his heart pumping. Meanwhile, I’m still glaring at the impossibility that is Fred Weasley. George is so used to Fred’s antics; he isn’t shaken up in the slightest. I thought Fred’s foot had split wood when it collided with the door!
“I’d love to,” Fred struggles to get out, since most of his attention is on his pain stricken ear. He’s trying to wriggle out of Angelina’s painful grasp and talk at the same time. “But Angelina’s finger is currently trying to pierce through to the other side of my cartilage.”
“Argh!” She lets go swiftly, his head numbly following her arm where she gives it one last tug, and she marches over to the potted flowers without making eye contact with anyone.
Fred grips his ear and pouts, grabbing it with both hands. He begins to stroke it, his head facing the floor. “She almost cut off my circulation!”
I shake my head. “…Right. That’s exactly how that works.”
“My ear is a very important part of my anatomy. I’d like to have two!” He jabs bitterly, still massaging his ear, hoping blood will start to flow. George goes off and walks towards Angelina across the greenhouse, leaving me with Fred.
I make sure they’re out of hearing range, and walk over to Fred who’s still collecting himself.
“Well here’s some advice: stop giving her reasons to cut off parts of your anatomy. Because I can think of something else she’s willing to cut off next if you piss her off again.”
He brushes himself off and fixes his zip up sweatshirt, putting on his hood. “Whatever,” he scoffs. “Everyone needs to relax.”
“That’s kind of hard to do when we’re all very irritable and impatient. We’re freezing, Fred.”
“You need to lighten up,” he fruitfully says. “You’re too uptight, remember?”
I ignore his jab and try to stop myself from gritting my teeth together. I sigh to myself and exhale slowly.
“What’s with you?” I whisper, leaning in close to him.
Fred’s face looks bewildered at my question. “Nothing.”
“You seem different…”
“You women, always analyzing things.” He rolls his eyes and looks around the greenhouse, his wet hair whipping around his face. He walks over to George who’s currently looming over people’s Herbology assignments.
Angelina calls out for me and I walk over to her. “Any extra pots?”
“There is none! Everyone’s taken the empty ones. The only ones that are left have plants in them!” She throws her hands up in aggravation. “I can’t believe this! What now?”
George and Fred turn their attention to us. “Did you say what I think you just said?” George asks, knowing perfectly well what Angelina just said.
I frown. “Looks like we aren’t finishing the scavenger hunt any time soon.”
“This is unbelievable!”
Angelina spins around. “What do you want from me, Weasley? Maybe if you weren’t looking at what you got on your last Herbology assignment and helped me look for a pot we could have found one by now.”
George doesn’t say anything but Fred gets ticked off by her outburst. He looks at his twin brother and then at the girl standing beside me. “Relax, Johnson, will you? If you needed help, you could have asked. Besides, if you can’t find any, what makes you think we can?”
“Guys,” I intervene, putting a hand on Angelina’s shoulder. “We won’t get anything done if we argue. Let’s just…let’s calm down. Fred’s right. If we relax, we’ll have a clear head.”
Fred raises his eyebrows at Angelina in an ‘I told you so’ manner.
“I know that he’s getting on your last nerve, but just try to not let him get to you,” I murmur in Angelina’s ear. “It’s the coldness talking.”
She just lets out an, “Ugh!” before ripping her shoulder from my grasp. She starts going through the back tables in search of any empty pots she may have missed.
I turn back around and George is sulking. Poor guy.
“Don’t worry about it, George. She’s just not in the brightest mood.”
“She’s never in the brightest mood,” Fred comments, fixing the belt around his pants.
George narrows his eyes at him. Fred does the same.
“What, you’re just gonna let her walk all over you?” He challenges.
I stomp across the room with my hands raised. “Wow, okay. Enough already. I understand we’re all quite angry with each other at the moment, but we’re in this together whether we like it or not. The night’s not over yet, so let’s not make it worse than it already is, yeah? George, come with me. Fred…don’t destroy anything.”
He guffaws in fake laughter as I take his brother by the hand and steer him to where Angelina is. Walking through the dirt and the grime, and the thunder smacking loudly against the glass walls, we make our way to the very back of the greenhouse.
“You may need to come up with a new method of getting her attention,” I advise.
George’s face is expression-less for a moment, and then he squeaks a reply. “Am I that obvious?”
I give him a small smile. “Sometimes, but most of the time you just seem afraid of her. Which kind of works for the both of you, in a sick and demented way.”
“I just don’t get why she snaps at people the way that she does,” George confides in me solemnly. “And it sucks, because I can’t stop looking at her regardless if she’s mean to me or not.”
I look at him and he tries to shake off his soft demeanor by saying, “Don’t tell anyone I said that,” in a rough and ragged voice… which is completely forced.
Awe! He’s so sweet… and utterly infatuated! What is it with the boys of Gryffindor? They’re just so complicated. All of these students in my house that should be dating aren’t! They have such couple potential, too. They’d balance each other out, Angelina and George.
“I don’t know what to tell you, George. But I can most definitely say that a lot of people, not just Angelina, need to get their attitudes in check. Like your brother, for instance.”
It comes out before I can stop myself.
“So my brother’s bothering you guys, eh?” He teases, his expression changing completely.
“Angelina wants to make him suffer a pain worse than death, and I just want to wring his neck. So yes, I’d say Fred’s bothering us.” I almost trip over a snapping root.
“Don’t worry about him, Liv. He just doesn’t think before he acts.”
When George and I finally reach Angelina, she’s on her hands and knees digging under an old end table.
“Why is that even in here?” I ask curiously. Another smack of thunder hits us.
“I’m not sure,” she says. “But I see a big pot behind this empty box. I just can’t seem to reach to push it out of the way.”
“Here,” George volunteers, kneeling beside her. “I’ll get it. I have longer arms.”
Taken aback by his bluntness, Angelina just mutters, “Oh…um, thanks.”
She gets up and steps back, letting George push through the remains under the end table. I smirk on the inside. He’s getting somewhere!
“Ow!” exclaims Fred from across the room. Following his outburst a second later is a humongous crash to the floor. As in, objects…being broken. George and Angelina stop in their tracks but I tell them to just continue with what their doing, as I turn around and practically run back across the other side of this huge green house.
I find Fred on the floor, gripping his foot. And next to him, in a million pieces, is someone’s Herbology project.
“Oh my god!” It comes out of my mouth automatically as I survey the damage; the dirt is everywhere, the exotic plant (that probably took 3 months to grow) is snapped in half, and the pot is broken into a million little shards of hardened clay.
“It fell on my damn foot!” Fred defends, rolling over the ground with his foot in hand. “My toes are practically broken!”
I take a deep breath, and look at the broken project lying at my feet with forlorn eyes. “Oh, boy.”
I’m starting to panic.
“Sprout is going to explode, Merlin - she’s going to stuff me into a pot and water me until seeds spew out of my nostrils…”
It’s quiet for a second, and then I realize I’ve said that out loud.
“Wow,” Fred bursts, laughing at me. “And here I was thinking you didn’t have an imagination!”
A childish part of me really wanted to stick my tongue out at him right then, and it was a strange thought… But it passed.
“What are we going to do?” It comes out quiet, and worriedly. I don’t mean it to sound like this, but the weight of getting in trouble again begins to suffocate me.
“Relax, Lyden.” Fred’s eyes survey me, and he gets almost serious. But a smile is still standing behind his face. “Trust me.”
My eyes meet his. “I blame Lee,” I conclude, exhaling my worries away.
“He’s getting a good slap in the arse for choosing tonight to host it, I’ll give you that. I can deal with a little rain, but everyone else apparently can’t. And I don’t wanna be stuck with irritable people that want to kill me the whole night.”
I feel a pang of guilt hit my stomach. “We don’t want to kill you,” I say, looking at the ground.
His eyebrows rise and he gives me an ‘are you kidding?’ look.
“Ok, so some of us want to hurt you…”
I take a seat next to him, a few feet away from the broken Herbology project. I feel the dirt under my bum and ignore it.
“It’s just that, well, we’re freezing. And wet. And angry. We just want to do this quickly and go back into our warm beds. Some of us didn’t even want to do this scavenger hunt to begin with, either.”
Fred keeps rubbing his injured foot. “Let me guess, you’d rather be dancing?”
The way he said it wasn’t spiteful or mean, but he said it in a kind of inevitable way, like he knew my move before I made it.
Am I that predictable? I’m not sure if I like that or not… What does it mean, to be easily read like an open paged book? Back when I served detention with him, he seemed to already have me discovered. I was the prim and proper, tiny little dancer, or so Fred reckoned. He knew the things that were in my comfort zone that I never even shared with him - he knew what I liked and he toyed with me, proving that he knew what kind of girl I was. And now, in this greenhouse, his knowledge of me is growing, because he can read me. He’s figuring me out slowly. I’m not sure I want him to know what I’m going to do next; I mean that in a general sense. Call it female intuition but there’s something about him that worries me, like I’m going to let myself go in front of him and his predictability will be proven. And I feel this way all because he knew were I’d rather be than here…
It takes me a minute to realize I haven’t said anything back.
He chuckles. “At least you’re honest.”
“Where would you want to be right now, instead of here?” I ask him. Another strike of lightening makes itself known outside the walls of the greenhouse, shining in the dark sky for a mere second.
He moves a strand of soaked hair out of his face. “Well, besides searching the common room for a girl I’ve been pursuing to snog,” he teases, inhaling a breath, “I’d have to say the Boys’ Dormitory.”
“Why?” Unlike him, I can’t find reason behind his words.
“I guess…I don’t know. Sometimes, all a guy needs are his boys.” He turns to me, his eyes not leaving mine. He’s waiting for me to say something, or perhaps make fun of him?
The rain begins to pound the roof of the greenhouse, and it makes me jolt upright. Which was very much needed actually, because I was in a gaze. I mean, in his eyes, sure, but not THAT kind of gaze.
Don’t look at me that way.
“You have a heart?” I’m horridly surprised.
“Somewhere down in my chest, I think,” he responds with wit.
“Those are called lungs. And you have two of them.” My reply makes Fred scoff and laugh at the same time, giving me a once-over with his eyes.
I’m sure he didn’t predict that.
“You sarcastic demon!” Fred’s mouth drops. “Who are you?”
“Olivia friggin’ Lyden,” I declare loudly, nodding my head. This sends droplets of water to spew all over the place. And one big fat drop is headed toward Fred.
I stare the fat drop in question, my eyes following its downfall. And of course, it is headed towards his face. This is all happening so quickly that Fred doesn’t even know I’m doing it. This is just life going on in slow motion. I’m just uptight and worrisome like that, you know? I must know where the drop ends up landing. Or else, I’ll get some sort of anxiety if I don’t see it fall. Did it end up on his nose? On his eyeball? I’d never know.
I don’t understand why I’m like this sometimes.
The drop has ended its journey on his lips.
The big drop makes a splash as it lands on Fred Weasley’s lips.
Well, to be technical, it’s his bottom lip. I’m not surprised that I’ve sent a drop his way, or worried, I don’t think. Just indifferent, I guess. I wonder if he’ll wipe it off? Will he think I spat on him by accident and be grossed out? I can’t really say I know what he’s thinking because I can’t see his face at the moment. He’s not really facing me, well - I mean, he is. But his eyes, they aren’t looking at my eyes because I can sense when someone is staring at my eyes. So he can’t see that I am staring at his lips.
I’m staring at his lips!?
I look up, to make sure that he’s not staring at my eyes that are staring at his lips. Only three seconds have passed since that drop of water sailed off of me and towards Fred, so I must know what his eyes are looking at! Three seconds are a large gap of time in the slow motion world. And this is Fred here, he’s a fast paced kind of lad. So I glance up quickly, hoping I haven’t been caught.
And… He’s staring at my lips.
He’s staring at my lips!?
He doesn’t stare at them for long, because Angelina and George come back just in time to knock us out of our stares.
“We have it!” she calls, appearing in front of us with the heavy pot in her hands. She places it on the ground just as George slowly walks towards us. My eyebrows furrow at his expression. He looks completely dazed. Uplifted, even. Like he’s in a trance.
“George?” I ask, just to make sure he knows where he is.
“Yeah, Liv?” he asks dreamily, his eyes staring into space. It’s like he isn’t even speaking to me.
I’m about to say something when Fred cuts me off. “You look concentrated,” he says.
I purse my lips at Fred.
Fred’s eyebrows come together, as if to say: What? Stop looking at me like that.
“Ignore him,” Angelina Johnson cuts in, glaring to no one in particular. Until George dreamily sighs and she has someone to particularly glare at now. She’s annoyed with him, that’s easy to see. But I can’t see why. Also, Angelina looks expectant. Like she wants to change topic quickly for the sake of getting caught. But what is it that she’s afraid of?
I look at Fred, then at Angelina. My head switches back and forth.
Did something happen?
“Oh…” Fred smirks, catching on. He starts wagging his finger. “That’s just dandy, then.”
I don’t get it.
“Shut up, Weasley. You don’t know anything,” she snaps, reading his suggestive face.
I put my semi-cold hands up. “Wait-”
“So I get all the hate in the group and he gets all the love, is that it?” Fred quips, trying not to smirk.
My mouth drops, as I quickly mumble an, “Oh,” before plugging my fingers into my ears.
She can really screech, you know?
“Hey, don’t make fun of my happiness,” George absentmindedly tells his brother.
Fred senses my confusion and raises his eyebrows. “His lips are swollen, Lyden. Take a guess.”
Oh my god, THEY SNOGGED!
Angelina growls at Fred, then turns to his twin brother. “George, you IDIOT! Why couldn’t you act normal?”
He tries to respond with a serious face but it only lasts for so long. “Sorry,” he grins.
Fred adds fuel to the fire. “I thought this was the greenhouse, not the love shack.”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” she exclaims, throwing her hands up in the air. Something tells me I should be relieved that she put that pot down, because if it was still in her hands it would have went flying.
“Fred!” I slap his foot.
“That hurts, woman!” He grips his supposedly bum foot.
Another angry cry escapes Angelina before she goes off stomping in the opposite direction, towards the darker part of the room. George just stands there, looking a tad vacant.
“Er, maybe you should go and try to calm her down.”
“Yeah?” George airily mumbles.
Fred scoffs. “Oh, yeah, that’s definitely what he should do... If he wants to become a eunuch!”
I lean my head towards him, and whisper so only he can hear me. “Fred. George needs to redeem himself. He’s got a soft spot for her, you know that. She’s going to wake up still hating him if he doesn’t fix it. Besides, I think that when people aren’t around, she has a soft spot for him, too.”
He sighs and turns to George, knowing I’m right. “Hey, man,” he raises his hands in defeat. “If you want to, go ahead. Just make sure you don’t get kicked.”
He runs off before I can even say anything remotely cautionary.
“You’ve sent him to his death,” Fred concludes amusingly, scratching his head. His wet hair is on end. I can only imagine how much of a drowned rat I look like.
“He’ll be fine. I think she puts up a front, most of the time,” I say honestly. “She doesn’t like a lot of the people she has to hang around with, but it’s probably because she’s afraid of showing emotion, I think. It’s like she thinks we’ll see her as weak or something.”
“Well, well, well, look at you. Miss I-Can-Read-People. Didn’t you say that one shouldn’t assume what is obvious about someone unless you really know them?”
My cheeks get a bit red. “That’s different. You were annoying me,” I bluntly state, rubbing my arms.
He scoots closer to the wall, and rests his head. “You’re just bitter about me figuring you out,” he taunts.
“Because you don’t have me figured out.”
“We’ll see about that.”
The rain slows down a bit but still hit’s the roof of the greenhouse like bullets. It’s almost pitch black outside. I scoot back to the wall, and closer to him.
“You seem very certain about yourself.”
Fred, who still has his head resting against the wall, turns to look me in the eyes. His face is no longer moist with precipitation.
“That I am.” He raises his eyebrow ever so slightly.
I look at his profile for far too long before speaking again.
I chew my cheek. “How’s your foot?” I point to his injury.
“Eh, it’s healing.” His voice is soft, mediocre even. He’s very calm now.
I nod silently.
“Nothing a little heat can’t fix.”
I choke on my own saliva a bit. Mainly for two reasons: Number one, he sounds suggestive and still unbelievably calm. And I’m exploding inside. Number two, it amazes me that even a seventeen year old boy doesn’t know the right temperature to apply to a foot injury. Because he is very inaccurate.
I should say something.
“Are you cold?”
He hides back his smirk and scoots closer to me. “Yes.”
Our shoulders are touching. Should I be nervous? Should I pull away? To be honest, I really have no intention of moving because the body heat on the left side of me is keeping me warm. And now that it’s been introduced, I’m not content with letting it go. I’m still really cold.
It’s quiet for a while and I can’t help but wonder what Fred and Angelina are doing. I don’t hear any pots breaking or other projects crashing… Or angry bursts of outrage. Maybe she isn’t killing him?
I smile knowingly to myself. She kissed him. I can’t believe it. And here she was, convincing everyone she was cold-hearted. I knew she had a thing for redheads!
“What are you smiling about?”
Fred rolls his eyes in response. “Please. She’ll go back to barking orders in no time.”
I fold my hands and rest them on my lap. “You really don’t like her, do you?”
“It’s not that I don’t like her, it’s just that I don’t like my brother turning into a love sick puppy because of her.”
I cross my arms, and look him straight in the eye. “What if it was you?”
He stares at me for a moment, a blank expression etched across his face. “What?”
“If you were in George’s position what would you do?”
“Easy. I wouldn’t be in his position,” he smugly tells me.
“He’s too timid to make a move,” he explains in a raspy voice. Fred looks into my eyes with such an intensity, I forget for a second where we are. “And I’m not.”
You know, it’s moments like these where I have to tell myself that Fred Weasley is simply unidentifiable with the rest of mankind. And it bothers me because he has me all panned out, even if I say he doesn’t. Of course, I’m going to do something shocking when he doesn’t see it coming, but irregardless - I’m always the one who can’t decide his next move. Not the other way around. This kid is a walking mystery. And I wish I understood him.
But right now, I just have the biggest urge to act like I know what he’s saying, or what his next move is. Like I can read him the way he says he can read me.
“I knew you were going to say that,” I lie.
Fred scrunches his face together instantly. “Really.” Oh, god. He can tell I’m lying.
“Yeah, it’s such a Fred answer,” I wheedle, hoping he hasn’t caught on.
“You’re trying really hard to read me, aren’t you?” Fred smiles accusingly, his eyebrows raised.
“You can giggle all you want, but I’m going to prove to you one day how reckless I can really be.”
Fred seems doubtful. “I’m sure I’ll see what’s going on ahead of time.”
Oh, he said that just to spite me! My mouth parts ever so slightly, in a shocked manner. “No you did not.”
He laughs again.
“What plan do you have in mind? You know, this plan to prove how unpredictable and careless you really are?”
“If I told you, then I’d have to kill you,” I whisper, leaning closer to his face. He better know I mean business.
“You couldn’t pull off a reckless operation of reckless endangerment without a Weasley, and that’s a fact.”
“I may not know what you are planning, but I’m sure it has something to do with you and your best friend Sofia. And my knowledge of pranks and heists clearly tell me that you’re doomed without a male lead.”
My gasp is loud, matching my thoroughly annoyed pair of eyes. “So you’re saying I couldn’t pull anything off without a man?”
He shrugs, loving the fact that he’s got me riled up. “Not to be sexist, but guys have more connections. It’s a known fact. We’re stronger, taller, and more efficient when it comes to scaring people. Those are traits one needs to pull of a heist or a prank or whatever it is that you plan on shocking me with.”
I cock my head to the side, my glare boring holes into his dimply smile. “For the record, I didn’t say this plan was to prove anything to YOU. And not to be sexist, but guys can’t crawl into small corners, look cute and innocent, play the ‘scared little damsel in distress’ card, or wear sky high 4 inch heels. It’s a known fact,” I mock. “And for the record, those are all a girl needs to get any job done.”
I feel quite proud of myself right now.
Fred whistles, looking at the floor. “I see,” he smirks.
You bet your bottom dollar he sees!
“Yes, so… get ready.”
Oh, I am SO determined to bring him down. He thinks I can’t do it? I’ll beat him at his own game, you watch.
Fred Weasley bites his lip, and I swear his eyes just smoldered at me. “Can’t wait.”
The rain subsides, and so does our conversation. After a few moments of silence, it’s no longer awkward and we accept it. Forgetting about Angelina and George, my eyelids take over my rational thought as they droop every five minutes. Fred tries hard to stay awake, too. But it becomes a challenge. I get so tired I don’t even realize my head falling onto his shoulder as I doze off.
Tralala... :) Hope you enjoyed this! Any grammatical errors? Lemme know!
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