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Chapter 32 : Hostages
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For all of the people asking about my stories and commenting on the forums about them during the April Fool's prank. I love you all. <3
The night was black around me. Not just the sort of black from the inside of a hat. No, this was an eerie black that engulfed you. The kind that swallowed you whole and forced you to retreat inside yourself for warmth and sanctuary. But ducked behind a rotting carcass of a tree was hardly the place to be finding my inner Jane Perry. Instead, I scratched my nails against the bark, peering from a fierce Katie to the two bodies making their way through the trees.
“You ready?” whispered Katie, moving her hair from in front of her eyes.
I nodded a little, my stomach exploding in nerves. Of course it was nothing compared to the vomit episode of sixth year beside the Quidditch pitch, but it wasn’t every day you found out you were playing in the Final after the Seeker gets hexed and you fall for your git of a Quidditch captain. Those are special, vomit-worthy circumstances.
My eyes focused on who I assumed to still be Oliver and Lee judging by their body language. Lee was peering behind trees. Fingernails scraped in front of me. Nervous habit. Not to be confused with the depressed habit of becoming an egg chef. One time deal.
“Sure,” I said, glancing over. Katie was gone. I looked up. Lee and Oliver were gone. My heart exploded, eyes searching the surrounding forest. Nothing. No crunching leaves. No giggles. The only sounds were more splashes and angry swear words from Alicia’s squeaky clean mouth.
Fuck. Fuckity fuck. I was alone, crouched behind a damn tree, while two blokes were on the loose trying to capture me and throw me in a pond. Katie had been captured. Or she sank in quicksand. Either was highly likely with the kind of night I was having.
Feeling tiny droplets of sweat caused by summer humidity and humiliation, I moved to the end of the tree, knees cringing against the sharp edges of twigs. There were still no arms around me. No scarves covering my mouth so I couldn’t scream. But I still saw no one creeping in the darkness. Propping myself up, I flew to the next tree, pressing my upright body into it, wishfully hoping no one had heard the snapping leaves on the forest floor.
If they didn’t hear that, they probably heard my breathing. Sounded like a dinosaur.
A dinosaur in labor. With a boulder.
I shoved my fist in my mouth, peered around the tree, and skipped to the next one. My legs were burning already just from crouching and leaping. I should have trained for Quidditch over the summer.
Not that I was going to play.
Because I wasn’t.
But if I was, I should have trained over the summer. If not just for the random game of Keep Away that was happening between the girls and the guys. Keeping myself away from Oliver in this messed up game of Hide and Seek. That I was currently winning.
Seek if you dare, Oliver Wood, I thought, my fingers curled around my wand tight as I inched closer to making another run for it.
The fire was four trees away. Four trees, each separated by a patch of unguarded land. Splashes echoed from the pond. Angelina was shrieking angrily. I whipped around, hearing a few noises to my left. Far off the path was one figure. It looked like Oliver’s build, though him and Lee were relatively similar, Oliver only a few inches taller with different hair. I squinted. In the dark it was difficult to tell. Still. Where was the other? Had he been the one to get Katie? And now I was last?
I focused on the fire. All I had to do was get to the sanctuary that was the fickle bonfire flames. I wasn’t altogether sure who decided that was base. Or the safe place. For all I knew, I could still be thrown over a shoulder and carted off spewing off curse words.
At least I had to try. My name was Jane Perry after all. I did things simply to spite people. Mostly people like Libby, who I was trying not to think about spending yet another year with. At least she couldn’t try to steal Oliver away from me. I imagined that being something like her sauntering up batting her eyelashes and fixing her bra while explaining to about Oliver a new bunny costume she purchased over the summer holiday. And then I would throw up. Because Quidditch nerves are about the same as being disgusted at Libby for breathing. Or blinking, really.
I skipped to the next tree. Still, nothing came out of anywhere and grabbed me. My fingers gripped my wand, heart hammering. I pushed my good-for-nothing hair away from my eyes. That was the last thing I needed. Three trees to go.
I heard muffled screams. I didn’t like that they were muffled.
I could feel the branches cutting into my ankles. There would either be blood or large scrapes when I managed to get to the fire. I stuck my toe out from behind the tree and then ran to the next one, placing my body behind it and catching a glimpse of the roaring fire. I couldn’t see much over there, but I did see a few chairs.
“Jane! Jane, RUN!”
I didn’t need to be told twice by whomever it was that told me. My legs took over, almost sending me to the ground as they carried me around the remaining trees, body jerking against the bark. Calloused fingers gripped my shoulder before I shrugged them off, a loud grunt behind me signaling the attacker had gone head-first into a tree.
I dove into the clearing, stomach finding the ground in a remarkably painful experience. I was certain I looked like a complete twat spread out on the grass, arms wide, with my face half in the soot surrounding the fire.
“She runs like that from all the laps,” Katie said, peering to her right. She was propped up on one of the chairs, long legs extending in front of her, one crossed over the other. She had a pompous smirk on her face, wand dangling from her lean fingers. Her eyes flickered to her left side. Mine followed.
Lee Jordan’s hands were bound, matching his legs, and there was a large piece of tape across his mouth. I could still see his scowl.
“Bad luck, Lee,” I said him, hoisting myself upright with a smirk to match Katie’s. “No leg comments? Or should I leave that to the twins?” I turned to his captor. “It’s good to have you back.”
“Good to be back,” she said with a devilish glint in her bright eyes.
I took a moment to pinch Lee’s cheek before looking over my shoulder, hearing the frustrated breathing of a pained Quidditch star.
Katie leapt up. “Stand back, Oliver,” she said, her wand raised and pointed over my shoulder. “I have a hostage. You will have to trade for him. Or give me a foot massage.”
I heard Oliver’s delicate laugh behind me resonating from the back of his throat. “I’ll give you a hamster for Jordan. Fair trade.”
Lee yelled against his tape.
I peered around, my eyes finding Oliver’s chocolate brown ones in the dim light. The side of his face has scratches on it and his shirt was torn. There was dirt on his cheeks I could only mistake for war-paint if I was half-blind. He seemed to notice where I was looking.
“You gave me a run for my money,” he said quietly, cocking a brow.
“Shush or I’ll turn you into a hostage,” I said with a confident nod. Then I prodded him with my wand.
“Oh, just take him hostage, Jane,” Katie said impatiently, plopping back down in her seat and giving Lee a little shove with her foot. “Just in case Fred and George come back and want to barter.”
“You two play dirty,” he noted in a low growl, motioning to his shirt again.
“Considering we didn’t even know it was a game,” I said, reaching down and pulling my finger against my pants, “I think we played quite fair. You’re the one playing dirty, Wood.” I wiped the dirt on his stomach.
Half to prove a point. Half to touch his stomach.
I glanced up at Oliver. He shot me a look that clearly suggested after my touch he didn’t mind being a hostage. He raised his hands in surrender.
“Tie me up?” he asked in a rough undertone. I blushed.
Damn Oliver Wood. I tried to forget it, forcing myself to remember the days I hated him. Like when he was the reason Roger and I broke up. And then I got drunk with him. And then we fought all the time. And he snogged me to get me to shut up. And then he forced me onto his stupid Quidditch team, where I fell into his arms catching the Snitch and he kissed me. Right. Hated him the whole time.
I flicked my wand out of irritation and bound his hands. “Sit down before you fall down,” I mumbled with narrowed slits for eyes, taking up a spot beside Katie. “Do you think they survived?”
“Hardly,” Katie whispered. “I could hear their screams the whole time.”
“I am here,” Fred Weasley said, stepping into the clearing, “To negotiate the return of—what the fuck, Lee? How did you get caught?” He had Angelina strung over his shoulder, hitting his ass hard with each step.
Oliver held up his hands with a smirkish smile.
“Fucking WOOD!” Fred snapped. “Come on. I’ve got a girl here and one back there. And you have two guys here. But I have George too.”
“And I have Jane,” Katie said, rolling her eyes. “Looks like we’re at a stand-still.” She kept her wand on Lee. Not that he could move anyway. His head started lolling to the side out of boredom.
“I will give you Ang for Oliver,” offered Fred weakly.
“She getting on your nerves?” I asked. I winked at Angelina and she slapped him hard again.
Fred narrowed his eyes at me, rubbing his bum for a moment. “Yes. She almost got me in the water and I don’t want a slip up like that again. So what do you say?”
“No.” I didn’t say it. Alicia walked up, smacked Fred on the back of the head, and took a seat next to me. “I can’t believe he was going to give Ang up. Someone’s sleeping on the metaphorical couch tonight.” Her body was still dripping wet, hair stuck on her neck and back. She paused for a moment to wring it out as she watched. “I need a damn snog after all that.”
Fred’s jaw fell lopsided, clearly stunned by the fact that she was not being carted around by George. “Um.”
Alicia ignored his sound, pushed past everyone and sauntered over to Lee, sitting down in front of him. She ripped the tape off his mouth and he would have yelped had her lips not been on his.
“So what are the demands for the return?” Fred said like a true commander. He even puffed up his chest a little. Which didn’t make him taller.
“You have Ang,” Katie pointed out, still letting her wand loll in her fingers. “We have Lee, Oliver, and George. Give yourself up, Freddo.”
“Never!” Fred cried. “Where have you hidden George?”
“In the furthest bedroom of the tallest tower,” Alicia said, detaching herself from Lee’s lips for a moment to giggle. “I even added a dragon and some swords. And I gave him a frilly nighty.” She kissed her beau again.
“I’m going to find him,” he said, narrowing his eyes and slapping Ang’s ass. “We have twin-connect. It’s like mind power.” He paused dramatically and turned around, peering at the forest. “For twins.”
Oliver stood up and yawned. “I’ll come with you,” he said.
I motioned to the ropes around his arms like it was obvious. Which it was, by the way.
He rolled his eyes at me defiantly, stretched his muscles, and tore the bonds. Then he ruffled his hair and followed Fred into the forest with laughter.
“You going to do that?” I asked Lee. He flipped me off with a still-wrapped up finger.
Once Fred, Oliver, and a disgruntled Angelina had vanished into the trees I turned back to Alicia, who was replacing the tape on Lee’s mouth and looking satisfied. “Hmm?” she said lightly, using her wand to dry herself.
“So where is this tower?” I asked with a grin. “I’m dying to see George in something frilly.”
We found George Weasley quite a ways away next to a small creek and down a hill. He was bound to a tree with a piece of tape over his mouth. His scowl was more defined, though I think it was more because his shoes were covered in mud. He struggled against the bonds as we approached, Alicia leading Lee with her wand. Power struggle.
“Hey, Georgie!” I said cheerfully, pinching his cheek casually. “Comfy?”
He said something I couldn’t quite make out into the tape. I counted at least four swear words.
“Fred is on his way to finding you with twin-connect,” Alicia explained with a laugh. “With that wit, I’d expect him sometime next week. Don’t worry, I’ll bring you pancakes or something.”
Another stream of mutter-anger.
That was when I jumped, nearly tripping over a log as I heard Angelina’s shriek through the forest. I took off running , glancing over my shoulder as her voice lit up the night.
“Katie—stay here! I’ve got Lee as leverage!” Alicia cried, forcing Lee on with her wand at a run.
They were further ahead of me as I tore through the trees, leaping over fallen trees and around stranded boulders. Why there were boulders in the Weasley thicket of forest was beyond me, but they made for nice obstacles. I stubbed my toe on a smaller stone, pausing only to hold it in irritation.
Fuck, that hurt. I bit my lip hard, tasting the bitterness of blood.
“Fred, you’re ridiculous!” Alicia cried loudly. “You’re full of so much shit.”
She was several meters ahead and I couldn’t see the group, but I did hear Fred’s laughter. I mentally hated him for being the reason my toe was throbbing with pain, but turned, heading back toward Katie and George. I didn’t want her to kill him while they were alone together. Oliver was laughing now. Gits, the whole lot of them.
I limped through the darkness, twigs under my feet cracking in the semi-silence. It wasn’t a long journey back, just enough to start hearing voices in the trees.
“Oh, that’s rich of you!”
“How so? I couldn’t pick a fucking napkin color!”
I picked up my pace.
“Maybe if you had CARED enough like you did when we first started dating!”
“Bullshit! That’s bullshit!”
“Don’t you tell me what it is!”
I spotted them just down the hill. George was untied and his finger was pointing at her. Even in the darkness I could see the scarlet blotches on his face. Katie was only a couple feet from him, her hair disheveled and her hands shaking. This was not good. Yet, I couldn’t move. I stayed behind a large fallen tree, watching them.
“Maybe if you wouldn’t have fucking picked a bunch of shit that looked the same!”
“You never loved me!” Katie shrieked, shoving him hard on the chest.
“I ALWAYS LOVED YOU!” George cried, throwing his hands in the air. “Typical Katie Bell, bloody fucking DRAMA QUEEN!”
“I am not!” she said. “You’re arrogant and insufferable and a big fucking git!”
“You’re a fucking git!”
“You’re a git who can’t think of insults because he’s such a fucking git!” She shoved him again.
“I can’t believe you just dropped an f bomb at me!” George roared, kicking a few twigs at her, but they fell short.
“What the hell,” whispered Alicia, sinking into the dirt beside me. Everyone else was with her, all of them staring at Katie and George with their jaws lopsided. “Get down,” she whispered to them.
“Need some popcorn,” Oliver mumbled, kneeling down on my other side.
“Fuck!” Katie cried, kicking sticks at him and hitting his legs. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! What are you going to do about it, George? Go cry to your twin?”
“DON’T YOU BRING FRED INTO THIS!”
“I’ll bring whoever I want into this!” she snapped. “Hell, I’ll bring in Jane! You like her legs anyway, don’t you? Want to break up her and Oliver, hmm?”
Oh, great. Now I was in the stupidest fight of the century.
“Don’t be STUPID!” George said, running his fingers angrily through his hair. “Jane’s one of my best mates and she knows how I feel about you!”
“How the hell do you feel about me, George?” Katie said, rolling her eyes. “Like you want to off me? Like you don’t want to play on a Quidditch team with me next year because you’re going to have to GET THE HELL OVER IT BECAUSE I’M A BETTER PLAYER THAN YOU ARE!”
“I FEEL LIKE YOU ARE SO FRUSTRATING!” George said wildly, moving closer to her to yell. “I can’t stand you, Katie! You’re such a diva and a princess and you need to just back the fuck off and deal with shit!”
“I’ll deal with YOU!” she shrieked, inching closer.
“And what the fuck are you going to do to me?” George said, this time quieter as he rolled his eyes arrogantly. I wanted to know if Oliver taught him that.
Katie stared at him for a moment. Her fists were shaking, balled at her sides. They were only about a foot apart, him staring down at her with daggers in his eyes, her looking up in equal hatred.
And then Katie grabbed his face and kissed him hard.
“What,” whispered Alicia and we all made noises that seemed to agree with her word. I couldn’t get a word out, let alone a thought.
George threw his arms around her waist, pulling her to him and she jumped, wrapping her legs around him. He held her tight, kissing her aggressively and she tangled her fingers in his hair.
I even saw her bite his bottom lip gently and tug it away with her teeth.
George kissed her harder, pressing her up against a tree as he held her there. Katie pulled on his hair gently, then firmly, then she pulled it so hard his head flew back and she bit his neck from his ear to his collarbone.
“We should go,” whispered Angelina, her eyes wide and she nudged Fred.
“And miss the opportunity to gloat?” he said. “I don’t know…”
“Fred,” she said in a warning tone.
“They’re going to do it down here if someone doesn’t stop them.”
I glanced back at them, his body engulfing hers against the tree as they kissed, George’s hands on her hips, gripping her skin hard.
“So what’re we supposed to do about it?” Ang whispered.
Fred stood up and put his hands to his mouth like a makeshift megaphone. “Oy!” he cried and George leapt back so fast Katie very nearly fell to the ground. Luckily, the tree saved her. But it didn’t save her from a horrible instant blush. “Get some, bro!”
Angelina hit him hard on the thigh.
Katie and George’s faces burned like the fire in the clearing.
Later that evening I was back in the cottage with mostly everyone else. I was perched on my bunk, lounging with my head on Oliver’s chest as we laid there listening to Fred go on about different things he could have totally said to George to made that blush more prominent.
Katie and George had retreated back to the bonfire shortly after we caught them sucking each other’s faces off. They needed to talk. If any two people needed to talk, it was them. When they left, they were holding hands.
I squeezed Oliver’s hand absentmindedly.
“I could have sung the George and Katie sitting in a tree and changed the lyrics,” Fred said. He was on the sofa with his feet hanging off the side lazily. “George and Katie, sitting in a forest, on her face snogging like a tourist!”
Ang smacked him with a pillow.
“Or I could have said, hey, home-skillet, save some for me!” Fred said, receiving another smack to the head, this time with her hand. “What? Katie’s pretty.”
“Dig yourself in a little deeper,” she mumbled bitterly from her post at his feet trying to get a stain out of her sweater.
“OR!” Fred cried, making Oliver jump and me bite my tongue hard. “Or I could have just brought down two of the same colored napkins and saw what happened.”
“You’re horrible,” Alicia said from above me. Lee’s foot was dangling off the bed. “Leave them alone. We want them to work it out, remember?”
Fred glanced up to the bunk and was about to say something when his jaw dropped. “Are you eating up there?”
Alicia paused. “Of course not.”
“What do you have?!”
“Bugger off,” Lee mumbled.
Fred jumped up onto the couch and peered up to where they were. “Are those—those are cookies! You’ve got cookies!”
Oliver’s head lifted. “I want cookies,” he said lazily but didn’t move.
“Go away!” Alicia cried and the bed squeaked a little.
“Oh, hell no!” I watched Fred as he grabbed the side of the bed and, totally ignoring the fact that there was a ladder on the side, hoisted himself up onto the bed with Alicia and Lee. Angelina raised an annoyed brow, but went back to her sweater.
“Fred!” Alicia said, her teeth gritted together by the sounds of it. “Gerroff! NOW!”
“GIVE ME COOKIES!”
There was some shoving and I momentarily wondered if the bunk would come crashing down on me. Oliver gave me a look that suggested he was wondering the same thing.
“You don’t deserve them!” said Alicia and more shoving occurred. “They’re mine! You threw me in the pond! YOU GET NOTHING!”
“GIMME GIMME GIMME!”
“Don’t think he’s hungry, do you?” muttered Ang, pressing her wand harder into the material of her sweater. “Don’t see why he can’t just run up to the house and grab something. It’s his house.”
“Because Mum will catch me!” Fred whined. “Just give me a cookie—just one! C’mon!”
Alicia was cut off because the door to the cottage opened, Katie and George framed in the dark entryway. Her hair was falling in her face and she shoved it out, a playful smile on her lips.
“They’ve got cookies,” whined Fred to break the silence.
George squeezed Katie’s hand. “Then ask nicely and maybe they’ll share,” he said and moved inside the room, pausing only to plant a small kiss on Katie’s lips.
A/N: GEOKAT. That is all.
Oh, and I love and miss you all. You are fabulous readers and you're my favorites and I want to snuggle all of you ;) But not in an awkward way. Well, maybe a little. ANYWAY, I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. It was fun for me to write even though it was short. But it had to end there. It ended itself! On Geokat ADORABLENESS.
Thoughts?? I'd love to hear them!
Next up: Something insane. But interesting. I just don't want to get up and grab my notes. Do you blame me?
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