“So I’ve decided that I’m not going to get a job when we graduate.” Jen told us as we left Charms two weeks after ‘the incident’ as I now call it in my head.
“What are you going to do, then?” I asked, amused.
Jen likes to say something along these lines in the beginning of every school year.
Call it another tradition, if you will.
“Mmm... I dunno. Travel, I suppose. Meet Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome and ride off into the sunset towards his gigantic mansion.” She stared dreamily into space.
I laughed, “Good plan Jen.”
“What’s a good plan?” Noah asked, appearing at my side with Freddy and Potter trailing behind us.
Things with Potter have been more or less completely awkward.
I resolutely ignore his presence as he constantly attempts to catch my eye.
It takes a lot of work ignoring a person who seems to be everywhere at once.
I smiled, “You sure do pick some awkward conversations to pop yourself into.”
Noah chuckled and nudged my side, “It’s a talent of mine.”
I nudged him back, “I’d find yourself a new talent.”
He laughed loudly again, the sound still surprising me.
It’s a nice laugh.
“Oi! What’s so funny?” Freddy yelled from behind us.
No need to shout.
We’re only five feet away.
Noah smiled down at me, “It’s Walker here. I’ve discovered her hidden skill at being hilarious.”
Compliment or insult?
I looked up at him, “I can’t tell if you just complimented me or insulted me.”
“A bit of both, I’d say.” He smiled crookedly.
Who, me? Melt at the sight of that smile?
You must have me confused with someone else.
“So Freddy, I seem to remember something about you carrying Jen all the way to the common room first night of term...” Addie grinned at us while Jen blushed furiously.
Freddy smirked, “That’s nowhere near as interesting as Tiff and- OW!”
Potter whacked him hard on the head.
Did Potter just save me from public humiliation?
Or more likely he saved himself.
Probably doesn’t want the whole school knowing he snogged someone like me.
Even if I kissed him first.
And it was a dare.
“Lookin’ hot today Walker.” Jason Macnair, the most vile Slytherin to ever walk the planet, sneered at me.
Jen and Addie have spent every night the past two weeks obsessively discussing the fact that we ran into the Valiants our first night back.
They talk for hours.
I get no sleep.
I look terrible.
“I may look like shit but I still look better than any girl you could ever get with.” I smirked back.
I just brought the heat and gave Macnair a third degree burn!
...Maybe second degree.
It wasn’t that good of an insult.
He colored angrily and stepped closer to me as everyone snorted at my retort.
He laughed cruelly, “With your indecent blood any girl is better than you. You’re half muggle, aren’t you? You’re filthier than a mudblood.”
And that’s when I truly realized that James Potter, son of heroic Harry Potter was standing next to me.
He was only standing next to me and not pounding Macnair’s face in because Freddy and Noah were struggling to hold him back. He bellowed swear word after swear word, calling Macnair every dirty name in his repertoire.
But I remained calm.
Seven years of the same comments hardens a person.
I laughed a carefree laugh, “Mudblood? Is your father still spewing that bullshit back at the Macnair manor? Oh, that’s right, he’s in Azkaban. How silly of me to forget.”
I can be wicked when the situation calls for it.
I was saved from the arse kicking of a lifetime I’m sure I was going to get by McGonagall opening the door to her classroom.
Macnair was visibly shaking with the anger he wanted to unleash on me but couldn’t.
I smiled sweetly at him, “Have a good day Jason.”
I headed into the classroom without looking back.
I calmly took my regular seat in the back row of the Transfiguration classroom, taking out my books and absently twirling a quill between my fingers.
Somehow, I have absolutely no idea how, I ended up sitting next to Potter and some Slytherin I don’t know while my friends were sitting five rows in front of us.
I turned to look at Potter coldly, “Need something, Potter?”
He was breathing heavily through his nose as he searched my face, “How do you do it? How are you so calm right now? How... how come you don’t want to throttle him for saying that?”
Whoa there Potter boy.
Why does he even care?
Merlin, thats been my mantra all freakin week.
Thanks a heap, Potter.
I shrugged, “You get used to it.”
He stared at me wide eyed before running a hand through his hair angrily. He took off wire rim spectacles and rubbed his eyes furiously.
He’s really, really angry right now.
All because Macnair called me a dirty name?
That’s sort of human of him.
And hold up, he wears glasses?
“You wear glasses?” I blurted out.
He stopped rubbing his eyes and smiled down at me, ”Only when I sit in the back row of classes. Can’t see the board.”
“Then why aren’t you sitting in the front?” I asked, confused.
His eyes flitted to the Slytherin before he answered, “Because you aren’t sitting in the front.”
I couldn’t help it.
And now I want to kill myself because James Potter has that damn smirk on his face.
Does he even have other facial expressions?
I turned resolutely towards the front of the class, determined to ignore him.
It didn’t work.
Curiosity burned my insides, eating me up until I could barely stand it.
Here it was, my first chance in two weeks to ask the questions I’d been dying to ask from the moment I woke up in Potter’s bed.
“Why are you paying so much attention to me? You go from never speaking to me to going out of your way to be near me. What gives?” I finally whispered quickly, dying to get the words out.
He smirked at me, but it didn’t contain the normal amount of mockery. Just... amusement.
“I thought you already figured that one out.”
“So I am just an easy shag for you?” The words hurt.
They were a physical pain cutting their way up my throat.
Merlin’s soggy knickers, I’m dramatic.
Nobody wants to think they’re just an easy lay, a hit and quit type of gal.
He shook his head at me, the amused smile still on his face. “Never, Tiff. Like I tried to say before, I just want to get to know you. You... confuse me.”
The bloody hell?
I’m possibly the easiest person to figure out.
The thought that I could confuse James Potter, the most mysterious person at this school despite being the most beloved, made me giggle.
Still chuckling quietly, I managed to get out, “How on God’s green earth do I confuse you?”
He smiled a small but genuine smile at me, “Everything you do confuses me. The way you act towards me, mostly.”
Really? Let me help you out there, buddy.
I act this way because I dislike you, Potter.
But can I really be so mean as to say that to his face?
I said softly, “Is it really that hard to figure out?”
He didn’t say anything but stared at my face for a long and uncomfortable moment.
I couldn’t take it anymore, I blushed and turned to face the front of the room again.
Fifteen minutes later, after taking copious notes on human to animal transformations, a carefully folded piece of paper fell on top of my papers. Making sure Potter and the Slytherin weren’t looking, I quietly unfolded it under the table.
Watch your back Walker.
I looked around and saw Macnair attempting burn a hole in my face with his glare.
I rolled my eyes.
Threatening notes in class?
I wrote back, Threatening people through notes now, are we? I really must congratulate you on reaching a new level of pathetic Macnair. Not many others could have done it.
I crumpled it back up and threw it at the back of his head. It hit the target and bounced off under his chair. He turned around and shot me what should’ve been a heart stopping glare but lacked the right kind of fire behind it.
He returned the note thirty seconds later but I didn’t get to read it. Potter, with his annoying Quidditch perfected reflexes, snatched it out of the the air before it could land on the desk.
“Give it here, Potter!” I hissed, “That’s an invasion of personal privacy! That’s-”
But I didn’t finish my sentence.
The look on his face as he read whatever Macnair had written stopped the words in their tracks.
He looked beyond livid.
He looked murderous.
His entire body was shaking just like Macnair’s twenty minutes ago, his shoulders tense and the veins in his neck prominent as he attempted to keep his cool.
The note remained crumpled in Potter’s fist.
I needed to know what it said.
Potter seemed to be in a rage induced coma, he didn’t move, he didn’t blink. I gently pried his fingers away from the note and took it from his hand.
I slowly smoothed it out and read carefully, Watch yourself you filthy slut. I’m going to get you. That sweet arse is going to be mine. At least until I’m done with it.
What a slimeball.
He seriously needs to get over himself.
Potter still hasn’t moved.
“Potter?” I put out there, wondering if he’d respond.
Maybe he’s been stunned.
“Potter.” I poked his side.
Maybe I need to get closer.
I scooted my chair closer, “Potter!”
I might as well not have existed with the amount of attention he was giving me.
His eyes were locked on the back of Macnair’s head.
Still not blinking.
Sort of creepy.
Maybe I need to get really close.
Let’s see if I can do this without barfing.
I scooted my chair right next to his, rested a hand on his shoulder, leaned in and whispered in his ear, “James Potter.”
His reaction was instantaneous.
His face whipped around to mine, his cheeks flushed and a smile on his lips.
And then he saw the smoothed out paper on my desk.
His expression darkened as his jaw clenched tightly.
“James, what’s wrong with you? You look like you’re gonna burst a vessel.” I nearly shouted, bewilderment clouding common sense.
McGonagall cast a stern look our direction but decided we weren’t worth yelling at.
His expression cleared and his eyes took on a look of happiness as he smiled at me, “You called me James.”
“Whatever Potter. Why are you freaking out?” I asked again, hoping he’d forget that I’d just called him James.
He smirked but thankfully let it go, “How can you let him say those things to you?”
“Potter, Macnair barely has two braincells to rub together. Honestly, we should be giving him a gold star for being able to actually string an entire sentence together.”
That’s how I let him say those things to me.
How I’m able to control the rage and release it.
I’m better than him.
I will go far in life and he’ll be stuck in the same mindset, forever judging people and terminally unhappy.
That’s how I let him say those things to me.
He cracked a smile and looked down at his hands. He looked up at me and smiled crookedly, “Maybe you can be funny without being pissed. I thought it only came out when you were on the drink.”
How dare he!
“Why does everybody keep saying that? I’m hilarious, goddammit!” I exclaimed, shoving Potter’s shoulder playfully.
He grinned, “Sure you are Walker.”
I glared, fighting against the smile that was dying to come out, “You’re just jealous.”
“It was always obvious. There were so many signs.” I deadpanned.
“And here I was, thinking I was being subtle!”
I cracked and let out a laugh, “Subtlety is not a word I’d use to describe you.”
The Slytherin finally turned to us, exasperated, “Can you be quiet?”
“No.” Potter and I said at the same time before smiling at each other.
What am I doing?
This is Potter.
I must be out of my mind.
I’m actually getting along withhim.
Either he’s not as bad as I thought he was or... I’m just as bad as he is!
What’s the world coming to!
Yeah, I kinda do enjoy being this dramatic.
The Slytherin glared at us before scooting as far away from us as possible.
Which made us laugh.
Which made me mad.
“Stop doing that.” I demanded.
His brow furrowed, “Doing what?”
“Making me laugh!”
He smirked amusedly, “Do you not like to laugh?”
“Not when it’s you making me laugh.”
He sighed and shook his head, “Just when I thought we were making progress.”
“Yes, I’m sure you’re severely disappointed that you don’t get to have my friendship.” I rolled my eyes.
“I am, actually.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I don’t lie.”
I scoffed, “Ever?”
I turned to look at him, “Now that’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard.”
His green eyes observed me in a way that made me tingle.
Stupid Potter. He’s messing with my head, I tell you!
“Believe what you want Walker, but I don’t lie.” He smiled smugly, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back in his chair.
Maybe I can have some fun with this. “So, if I asked you a question you’d always tell me the truth?”
“Why do you always ruffle up your hair?”
“I make you nervous?” I asked, surprised. He’s been doing it constantly for the past thirty minutes.
“A bit.” He smiled.
That’s sort of... cute.
Ah! Rebel, brain! Rebel against the cuteness! “Why do you pull so many pranks?”
“Because it’s fun. Don’t you think they’re funny?”
I didn’t look directly at him, “No.”
“You’re lying.” He smiled smugly, an eyebrow raised.
“I never said I didn’t.” I smirked at him.
His smile grew and I could feel my cheeks heating up embarrassingly.
No! I’ve always been able to resist the Potter charm!
Not that it’s ever been aimed directly at me, but still.
“Do you always have to smirk?” I asked, gesturing at the expression in question.
The smirk deepened, “Yes.”
“Do you really think your stupid seduction techniques work?” I asked, irritated.
He studied me for a long moment, his eyes roving over my face. He put his chair back on all fours before leaning in close to me, gently brushing my hair over my shoulder so my neck was exposed. His fingers traced their way up my neck as his thumb grazed my jaw, his touch too light to be a tickle but heavy enough to send shivers down my spine. My breathing hitched slightly as my heart raced and he smiled as he whispered, lips ever so lightly brushing my ear, “You tell me.”
Yes it definitely, definitely worked.
No way in hell am I telling him that.
I shoved him away from me, “You’re disgusting.”
He clasped his hands behind his head, smiling satisfactorily, “You’re just jealous.”
I scoffed, “Of what?”
“Of the fact that you can’t seduce like I can.”
He thinks I can’t be seductive?
That settles it.
I’m teaching a lesson Potter won’t forget.
The bell rang, signaling the end of class. We got up and gathered up our stuff.
Oh, you are so in for it Potter...
“So, did I pass?” He asked as we stepped into the hallway.
I smiled wickedly, “Nope.”
He looked startled, “When did I lie?”
I slowly walked up to him, watching him watch me. I slid my hands up his neck and onto the sides of his face, pulling his ear down to my lips. I whispered, “You lied when you said I only make you a bit nervous.”
I let my lips ‘accidentally’ brush his cheek as I turned my face toward his, hearing his sharp intake of breath at the touch.
I pulled away and grinned at his stunned expression.
I could feel his eyes watching me as I sauntered away.
And then I felt like bursting into tears.
Which is crazy, I know. And ridiculously girly.
But I’m not the type of girl who does that kind of thing.
The girl who’s confident enough to boldly flirt with James Sirius Potter.
Even if I didn’t mean it, it just... isn’t me.
And it really, really bugs me that Potter can turn me into that kind of girl.
“You shouldn’t do that to a guy.”
I looked around quickly.
Who had seen me tease Potter?
The guy I secretly fancy just saw me hit on his best friend.
Noah’s leaning against the wall, hands in his pockets and in a prime location to watch everything that just happened.
“Excuse me?” I asked, pretending like I hadn’t heard what he’d said.
“You shouldn’t do that to a guy.” He repeated, shoving himself from the wall to walk up to me, smiling, “Poor bloke’s probably had a heart attack.”
“Nah, he’s fine.” I said, waving a hand dismissively.
“I think you’re doubting your abilities. If you can do that to James you’ve got to have some skill.”
He thinks I’m a good flirt!
Compliment or insult?
I can never tell with him!
He laughed, “You’re trying to figure out if I meant it nicely or not, aren’t you?”
He stepped closely to me, toe to toe.
I smiled softly up at him, “Maybe.”
“Well, it depends.” He informed me.
“On what?” I asked, my heart beating rather fast.
“On whether or not you flirted to get James to like you.”
“Definitely not!” I exclaimed, eyes wide.
He grinned down at me, “Then I meant it very nicely.”
A strand of hair had fallen over my eyes but I was too transfixed by his smile to do anything about it.
Noah noticed it, though. He slowly reached out and tucked it behind my ear, causing my heart to completely stop before pounding furiously in my chest.
“I’ll see you later, Tiffany.” He smiled and walked away, leaving me breathless in an empty hallway.
Those boys are too good at seduction.
“I hate you.” Jen informed me when we’d finished our afternoon classes and had collapsed on our beds to relax before dinner.
I considered this for a moment. “Okay.” I accepted.
She chucked a pillow at my head, “Don’t you even want to know why?”
I considered this for a moment. “Nope.”
She launched herself from her bed onto mine.
Which is saying something, since Addie’s bed is in between ours.
“Skills.” I complimented.
“Thanks!” She grinned, but then her face took on a serious expression as she criss-crossed her legs, “Oh, so I hate you. I hate you because you didn’t tell me you fancy the pants off Noah Parker. And we’re supposed to be best mates!”
Crappity crap crap crap.
The one thing Jen hates the most is being kept in the dark.
Like I said, she’s miss gossip queen.
Play it cool, Walker.
I shrugged, “I thought it was obvious.”
She smacked me.
Across the face.
It hurt like hell.
“OW!” I cried, clutching my cheek.
“Jen!” Addie scolded.
Oh, so now she wants to intervene.
Could’ve used her help thirty seconds ago, when my face didn’t have a red handprint!
“You deserve it! It was not obvious. Not at all, you twit!” Jen crossed her arms huffily.
I couldn’t help it. I giggled. “Twit?”
Jen couldn’t stop the grin on her face as she shoved me lightly, “Shut up.”
“How did you find out?” I asked curiously.
“We saw you just about die when he was putting the moves on you in the hallway after Transfiguration.” She smirked knowingly at me.
If she saw that...
Did she see what happened with James?
“Were you guys spying on me?” I accused, eyes narrowed in suspicion.
“No!” Addie cried, sitting up, “We’d walked all the way down the hall when we realized you weren’t with us! So we turned around and that’s when we saw you with Noah.”
They always seem to miss my interactions with James.
I mean Potter.
It’s not like I want to keep the fact that Potter and I have snogged and fake flirted a secret from them, I just don’t want them getting the wrong ideas.
Which they would.
Since they’re boy obsessed idiots.
“So... do you guys think he likes me back?” I asked hopefully and somewhat shyly.
They immediately besieged me with assurances of ‘obviously!’ and ‘how could he not?!’
I have to admit, it did make me feel better.
“Honestly Tiff, did you see the way he was looking at you? There’s no way he’s not into you. It’s so perfect too, it being seventh year and all.” Addie, always the romantic, sighed.
I have to agree with her, though.
Things with Noah are just so... comfortable.
And I really, really like it.
A/N: And here it is, chapter five. What did you think? Like it? Not so much? Let me know pretty please!
OH, and whaaat do you think of the new banner? Pretty precious, right? Did you just about melt when you saw it? I did :)
And Oh, what did you think of all that flirting, eh? It was one flirt heavy chapter! :)
So leave me some love (or hate if you want, preferably love) and I'll be happy and update lightning fast!