credit to dumbledear! @ tda for the completely dazzling chapter image of Freddie Weasley and Frank Longbottom!
I couldn’t help but smile at her attempted glare, but caught myself and made a show of pouting my lip and putting my hand over my heart, as she basically stomped out of the classroom. I smiled to myself, gathered my things, and made my way to Charms.
I was excited. Double Charms with Wood was one of the highlights of my week. Along with Potions, where Wood is my partner, DADA, where Wood sits in front of me, Transfiguration, where Wood sits a few seats in front of me, giving me the full advantage of staring at her shiny hair, and Quidditch practice… where Wood just so happened to be. I stopped short outside the Charms classroom, realizing my mood was still following the old trend, constantly being affected by a certain something, or someone. I shook off the thoughts before they could totally dominate my mind; they were the musings at the back of my head, the feelings I kept at bay, they weren’t welcome and were all part of a hopeless endeavor. One I do not plan on pursuing, knowing how it would end. I took a deep breath and made my way into the room. I noticed Wood whip around when the door shut behind me. She gave me one last shot at a dirty look, but when I smirked she seemed to give up and smiled at me, patting the seat next to her. I slid into the chair and looked over in her direction. She was still smiling and I noticed that her long, wavy brown hair was now braided to the side. I kind of just stared at it for a moment and found myself impressed by how shiny it was. My hair could never be that shiny, no matter how much (scent-free, no floral scents please, I’m a man) conditioner I used. It looks soft, I thought, as my hand seemed to start moving on its own accord. She raised her eyebrows as I gently took hold of the long braid, brushing my fingertips down it.
“Your hair is soft,” I said, finally meeting her gaze. Her green eyes looked conflicted and we just kind of watched each other for a moment. I didn’t know what sort of emotions my own eyes were showing, because I was too caught up with observing Allison. Her hair, her eyes, her mouth; I couldn’t help it. Suddenly I felt a hand ruffle my hair none too gently. I quickly turned around to face a smiling, dark-skinnded boy with a mischievous and suspiciously knowing look in his eyes.
“Your hair is soft, too, Jamesie!” He exclaimed.
I dropped my hand from Allison’s hair and gave my cousin, Fred Weasley, a look of pure loathing. He merely laughed, nodded in Allison’s direction, and went to sit in the front of the class next to our friend Frank Longbottom. Longbottom seemed to ask Fred what was going on since he was still chuckling. Fred whispered something to the blond boy beside him and Frank then turned to me and winked at me, with a smile on his stupid pale face as he waved his stupid pale hand at me and Wood. I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples, leaning over the desk. This whole situation was headache-inducing. That’s it, I thought, this whole thing, whatever it is, will now be known as “the Headache-Inducer. Because they know that thing I know, but refuse to talk about; the thought at the back of my head.
I felt a soft brush against my hair and my eyelids flew open and landed on Allison, who reached up to touch my hair again with her small hand. She had a half smile on her face, green eyes now looking amused.
“He’s right,” she informed me, placing her hand back on the table, “your hair is really soft.”
I felt my ears heat up, my way of blushing that Dad said I got from Uncle Ron. A loud laugh was heard from the front of the classroom, but was then muffled by what I could only assume was Frank’s hand. I looked over at Fred, who was now facing away from me and laughing quietly with Frank. I turned back to Allison, who had an unreadable expression on her face, and I opened my mouth to say something, anything, but didn’t have a chance to. Professor Flitwick, short as ever, decided to show up just then and order everyone to quiet down and open their books to page two hundred and ninety four in his high-pitched voice. Allison rid herself of the confusing look and replaced it with a friendly smile, took out her things, and then gestured for me to do the same.
Don’t ask me what we learned that day, because I have no idea. My mind was racing at one hundred miles per hour, because every time a certain green-eyed brunette popped into my head, which was often, I quickly thought of something else. Quidditch, Potions, Fred’s strange black and red hair color, but everything I thought of always led me back to the same thing, the same someone and it was driving me insane, more so than usually, but then again, it has always been this way.
Something was off; way, way off. I mean, James always acted weird around me, but I thought that was just because I was probably the only girl he hasn’t snogged in our year, but today was completely different. He was touching my hair with a look of awe on his face, Fred looked at him like he knew a funny secret or had a prank in mind (which was often, but this time James looked fit to explode by how red his ears were turning), and Frank Longbottom kept glancing over at us and smirking. Frank Longbottom doesn’t smirk. Something was up and to cap it all off almost every girl in the class was giving me the stink eye, a few of them looking ready to break down and cry. Ridiculous.
I didn’t enjoy all of this attention and I suddenly felt like sitting on my own in the corner and hiding behind my Charms textbook. Don’t get me wrong, I like people. I just don’t like spending too much time with them or having them notice me too often. I preferred watching others interact and listening to my friends’ conversations than actually participating in them. Unless it’s Dominique; she was the only person who I didn’t completely shun at times. If I did, she would probably smack me. Whenever I got into one of my isolated moods she was by my side right away saying something like, “C’mon, get out this funk. Stop being such a Boo Radley. Come taaalk to me. Come plaaay!” I smiled to myself. Dom was a really good friend, without her I don’t know where or who I’d be. She would know what was going on with James. Speaking of which, I glanced to my left, over at him. His hazel eyes were glazed over as he stared absently at the front of the classroom. After about five seconds he smiled, then scowled, smiled, then scowled again. He was so strange. I felt my cheek where he accidentally hit me. It was sore to the touch and I pressed it too hard, wincing involuntarily. This shook James out of his reverie, and he looked over at me, brows furrowed again. Something in my chest squeezed.
“What’s wrong?” He mouthed. I pointed to the bruise on my face and shrugged. He looked extremely guilty.
“Its fine,” I mouthed back. He bit his bottom lip for a second before gasping excitedly. A couple people looked over at us in annoyance. He held up his finger, signaling for me to wait and started rifling through his bag and soon came out with half a bar of Honeydukes milk chocolate, my favorite. He held it out to me, but I shook my head, putting my hands up in front of me. He rolled his eyes and stuck the candy in the front pocket of my backpack anyways. I smiled and leaned a little close, but not too close, because he looked like he was about to be sick as I drew near. Do I smell? I thought.
“Thanks,” I whispered. He leaned closer to me, closing the gap, placing his mouth incredibly close to my ear.
“No big deal,” he whispered back, his hot breath blowing against my neck, giving me goose bumps. He pulled away with a smile on his face, his ears and cheeks turning red again. Fred started having a coughing fit.
“Mr. Weasley! Are you alright?!” Flitwick squeaked. Fred cleared his throat, a big, goofy smile on his face.
“It’s all good, Filius,” he turned around and winked at me. James started rubbing his temples and mumbling something along the lines of headache and inducing.
. . . . . . . .
Later, when the bell signaled for class to end, I quickly gathered my things, sent James a strained smile, more like a grimace (very attractive, I know), and rushed to Gryffindor tower with the plans of spending my free period having a full-on panic attack (Allison Wood style aka lot’s of rocking back and forth and talking to my cat).
“TREACLE TART!” I yelled at the portrait of the Fat Lady, who looked extremely affronted by how aggressive I was, but swung open for me nonetheless. I ran through the common room, up the stairs to the sixth year girl’s dormitory, and slammed the door behind me.
“Jeeeez Wood. Why are you such a freaking spaz? And what’s wrong with your face?” Dome questioned from her lounging position on my bed, playing with my Persian cat, Bilbo.
“First of all, get off my bed. Second, what are you doing here? I thought you had Herbology,” Dom rolled her eyes as she rolled herself off of my bed.
“Cancelled,” she informed me, suddenly becoming very interested in her cuticles, “Apparently some student practically gave Longbottom a brain embolism yesterday when I --- I mean--- they accidentally set a Venomous Tentacula on fire and they’re like, worth a lot of money or something…”
Dom then shrugged and flipped her strawberry blond hair back as I laughed at her, momentarily forgetting all hazel- eyed boys.
“So, when’s your detention?” I asked, shrugging off my robes and taking a seat on my bed. Bilbo waddled over to me (he was a tad overweight) and sat on my lap, quickly dozing off as I stroked his head.
“FRIDAY NIGHT!” Dom cried dramatically, she did most things dramatically.
“I’m sorry, baby,” I laughed, as she squinted angrily at me and sat on her bed.
“How’s your day so far?” she asked, changing the subject. My hand stiffened where it was scratching behind Bilbo’s ears and I looked visibly uncomfortable.
“Fine,” I replied too politely and placed Bilbo at the foot of my bed, taking my Muggle Studies notes out, planning to start the essay. I was going into full-on introvert mode when my noted were forcibly taken from my grasp.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! I don’t think so, little lady! What happened? Spill,” the last word was a demand as Dom threw my notebook onto the nightstand beside me and sat next to Bilbo. I sighed.
“It’s just…” Dom nodded, expecting me to continue. I felt the familiar anxiety and pain gather in my chest that occurred when forced to talk about uncomfortable things (or when in crowds, giving oral presentations, tests, overly social situations, etc.), “James. He has always been weird, but today, he’s just been downright strange.”
Dom gestured for me to continue with a wave of a hand, looking for more information. I took a brief glance around our dorm, we were all alone, and so I continued.
“In Muggle Studies he hit me in the face,” Dom’s eyes widened in horror, “BY ACCIDENT! IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!”
Of course, Dom looked extremely relieved when I clarified this.
“Well, then he kind of touched my face and blushed, blushed, like he regretted doing it. It was just awkward, so I pretended to be mad at him. Then, when we had Charms, he touched my hair,” I absently let my fingers graze over my braid, where James’ fingers were not so long ago. Dom raised her eyebrows, “and said it was soft. Then Fred came over and said something about James’ hair being soft, too, and James got mad. AND FRANK LONGBOTTOM SMIRKED. WHAT THE HELL! And then James gave me some chocolate because of this…”
I gestured to the bruise on my face and Dom winced sympathetically.
“And blushed…again. This is weird. Too weird. I don’t get it,” I sighed, falling back onto my pillows. Dom erupted in laughter until she rolled off my bed again with a quick ouch, but resumed laughing again. I think she’s insane. I looked over the side of bed to see her flat on her back, taking in deep breaths, “What the hell is wrong with you?!”
“Oh my. Oh my, Oh my, Oh my,” she sat up, shaking her head, “Sometimes you are impossibly thick. Now c’mon. I think I have some cream that will get rid of that bruise.”
I continued staring at her from my bed as she made her way to the bathroom. When she noticed that I wasn’t following she looked back at me, I had a seemingly permanent expression on my face, and she laughed again.
I scowled. Why did Merlin feel the need to give me not one, but two completely nutty friends? WHY?!
A/N: Here's the thing, I was totally apprehensive about continuing this story, but then something unexpected happened....I fell in love with James. Please R&R and tell me what you think! :)
p.s. the chapter title is a Belle and Sebastian song and the last chapter title was a Hot Hot Heat song
p.p.s. Thank you poisoned_thoughts for favoriting and wolverine83 for being the first reviewer! xo