“Wow. You can really eat.” James Potter’s voice was awed as he watched me take a bite out of another treacle tart.
What a terrific compliment.
I’m so glad I accompanied this lovely fellow to the Hogwarts kitchens. If I had known he’d shower me with sweet nothings like that one, I’d surely have done this sooner!
I swallowed, “Once again, you show your amiable ability to use those smooth words to put a girl at ease.”
He smirked, pushing his hair out of his eyes, “And you use sarcasm as a defense mechanism and have a really impressive appetite.”
Pfffft. Sarcasm isn’t a defense mechanism.
It’s a way of life.
A slightly cynical yet surprisingly witty way of life.
“Don’t try and get all deep and real with me, Potter. I’m eating.” I rolled my eyes.
He smiled, leaning back in his chair and glancing around the kitchen at all the hustle and bustle.
I thought he’d been making some inappropriate joke when he’d told me to tickle the pear, but once that misunderstanding was all cleared up and we had stepped inside, I’d stood stock still from shock.
The smells of dinners being cooked and desserts being baked wafted deliciously over to us, the scent bringing a delighted smile to my face.
That was nothing compared to what the place actually looked like. Shiny pots and pans hung from the ceiling as ovens and stoves lined the walls. Cooking counters and tables made a maze of the place, every surface covered in foods I was dying to try.
And then there were the house elves, all clamoring around our knees as they attempted to all at once fill our needs.
James had laughed and asked them to bring us a little bit of everything, to which they happily complied.
I then proceeded to eat so much my stomach is now aching something fierce. But this chocolate cake is just so gosh darn delicious.
This place is amazing.
I may never leave.
Jeanine can visit if she wants.
“Walker?” James called, leaning across the table and snapping his fingers in front of my face.
I started abruptly out of my reverie, “What?”
He gave a half-smile, “You spaced out on me there.”
“Well maybe if the conversation had been more stimulating I would’ve stayed focused.” I teased.
“Or maybe you just space out for ninety-five percent of your day and it has nothing to do with me.” He raised an eyebrow, amusement evident on his face.
But how does he know that?
Has he been watching me?
What a creep.
He rolled his eyes, evidently reading my expression, “I’ve been in classes with you for almost seven years. I’ve seen you enough to know you space out a lot. It’s not like I’m some weirdo who stares at you all the time.”
Alright, so maybe he doesn’t watch me.
And it’s sort of surprising to know that he’s actually noticed me before this year, since there’s abundant evidence to the contrary.
Not counting that thing in second year.
But he basically just read my mind.
So I will continue to say, what a creep.
I smirked, “Sure you don’t Potter. You keep trying to convince yourself that and maybe one day it’ll come true, and you’ll keep those wandering eyes of yours in check.”
He let out a short laugh, “My my, aren’t we a bit full of ourselves.”
“That’s rich, coming from cockyness incarnate over here.” I gestured at him with an irritated flourish of my hand.
He sighed, running his fingers through his hair as rested his elbows on the table, “Do you really think that?”
Yeah, so he’s been especially nice today. But he’s not usually like this.
I shrugged, “Usually.”
The disappointed look on his face disappeared slightly, “Usually?”
Ugh, why does this guy always want to go in depth about things?
Why can’t he just accept what I say and leave it at that?
Oh yeah, ‘cause he’s James Potter and can’t stand the thought that he’s not adored by all.
I sighed uncomfortably, “Yeah, usually. I mean, not today. Today you’ve actually been pretty fun and not just a big ol’ insensitive jerk about stuff.”
The disappointed look on his face disappeared completely as he grinned, “You really hate talking about this, don’t you?”
I smiled, “Feelings aren’t exactly my strong point.”
He snorted, “So I’ve gathered.”
Oi! I can be sensitive!
I swatted his arm across the table, “Oi! I can be sensitive!”
He bit his lip to keep from laughing and looked away, “I’m sure you can Tiff.”
I shook my head at him, slightly unable to keep a smile off my face, “You can’t even look me in the eye when you say that.”
“I’m not a very good liar. That’s why I don’t do it very much.” He informed me with a sigh.
I completely forgot he doesn’t like to lie.
I will store away this information until a further, more important, time when I will use and abuse this knowledge.
I laughed, “Oh yeah! I forgot you never lie. I’m going to use that to my advantage one day.”
He groaned in an over dramatic way and covered his face with his hands, “I’m not looking forward to that day.”
“You jest! Surely you cannot wait for the time when I will interrogate you about your innermost thoughts and feelings!” I cried, clutching a hand theatrically to my chest.
He rolled his eyes, grinning, “You’re an odd one, Tiffany Walker. But in a good way.”
That’s a weird thing to say.
But James Potter is a weird guy.
“Yeah yeah, that’s what they all say.” I smiled.
“So, you glad I brought you here?” James asked, a knowing grin spread across his face as he watched me take another bite of the cake.
I nodded happily, if somewhat warily.
I bet he wants me to do something for him now.
You know, in return for showing me the most heavenly place on earth.
“Are you going to say thank you? It’s only polite, you know.” His grin was cocky.
I don’t like cocky grins.
I smiled sweetly up at him and said, my voice laced with sugar, “You’re right Potter. Thank you ever so much.”
And then I took a piece of the cake sitting innocently next to me, leaned across the table, and smeared it slowly all over his face.
He gaped at me for a full twenty seconds, wiping the chocolate icing from his nose. Then a wicked grin appeared, “You’re going to die.”
I squealed as he picked up a pie that I hadn’t had a chance to try yet and sprung out of my seat, running away while giggling madly.
“Oh Walkerrrr!” He called, “Where are yooooou!”
I was hidden behind a barrel of apples.
But excellent for my current predicament.
“Marco!” He called just inches from my hiding spot.
“Polo.” I whispered. How could I resist?
He heard me.
“AHA!” He peered over the top of the barrel to see me cowering.
Tiffany Walker does not enjoy washing pie out of her hair.
“My my, how the tables have turned.” He grinned, pushing the barrel aside with one hand as if it weighed nothing.
“Be gentle.” I whispered, screwing my eyes shut.
I heard him laugh and felt him drop down next to me. “I wont hurt you.” He murmured in my ear.
His breath on my ear made me shiver.
I opened my eyes and smiled sweetly. “Does this mean you’re going to spare me?” I asked hopefully.
His upsettingly cute dimple showed as he daringly left a soft kiss on my cheek. “Not a chance.” He whispered before gently placing the pie on my head.
I don’t know what I felt more, the sticky blueberries running down my forehead or the kiss that tingled on my cheek.
I knew which one I was more pissed off about, though.
“Potter!” I screeched while he guffawed.
He slung and arm over my shoulders while I spluttered in indignation.
“Hey, look at it this way, at least now we taste great together.” He swiped a finger through the blueberry on my face and the chocolate on his and popped his finger in his mouth. “Mmm. Delicious.”
“You’re ridiculous.” I informed him, while swiping some of the blueberry to try myself.
That is pretty tasty.
“Ridiculously adorable.” He replied cheekily.
I snorted and got up, taking an apple from the barrel.
“Well, I’d love to stay and chat but some dumb prat just dumped pie in my hair, so I’d say I’m in need of a shower.”
“The prat is genuinely sorry about that.” James said, his cheeky half-smile making me shake my head indulgently.
“No he’s not.” I sighed, taking a bite from the apple, feeling a little of the juice dribble on my chin.
James let out a breath with a hint of a laugh as he stood up, stretching as he walked over to me. He groaned as an odd spot on his lower back gave a loud pop.
I smirked, “Does the old man need to have a lie in and rest those aching bones?”
James puffed himself up, pounding a fist to his chest in a manly way, “I’m a Quidditch player. Physical injuries and stiff joints come with the territory.”
“Shame that head injuries happen so often as well. Especially to a chaser like you, eh?” I smiled.
His mouth hung open a bit before he let out that boom of a laugh, “It still surprises me that you take the piss.”
What is with this kid and pretending we’ve known each other our whole lives?
I know you want to be friends JimJams, but it takes time.
Patience, I believe it’s called.
I’m not very well versed on the subject.
I wiped the juice from my mouth before taking another bite of the apple, stalling to figure out what I wanted to say.
I swallowed before speaking, “What d’you mean, ‘still’? I’ve really only known you what, three weeks? A month? I’d say that’s still in the time frame where surprises are allowed. Expected, even. It’s called getting to know someone.”
He rolled his eyes, “That’s not what I meant.”
I shrugged my shoulders lightly, spinning the fruit between my fingers, “I’m sure it wasn’t.” I nodded in a condescending way as he glared at me and snatched the apple out of my hand, taking a bite from it himself.
I stared at him, my mouth open in an ‘O’ of indignation, “That‘s my apple.”
He took another bite, smirking, “I do believe it’s mine now.”
The bastard took my apple.
And sure, you could be reasoning, ‘Hey Tiff, there’s a whole barrel of non-Potter-germ-infested apples right there next to you, ripe for the taking. Why not have one of those?’
It’s the principle of the thing, I tell you!
Nobody takes Tiffany Walker’s apple.
Nobody’s really tried before, to be honest.
But nobody will again after this day!
James Potter shall be my example, my warning to the world.
I held my hand out to him palm facing up, oddly noticing the way the lights hanging right above us brought out the teensiest bit of an auburn tinge in his black hair. Odd because I usually don’t notice random stuff like that. “I would like it back, please.”
He reached forward and pinched my cheek, “Aw, you even said please.” He took another bite of the apple.
Now, I have to carefully consider my options.
He can definitely best me in magic, so dueling’s out. Plus, that’s sort of extreme for what we’re fighting over.
A half eaten apple.
He’s got at least a foot height advantage on me, plus he’s ridiculously strong, so no physical altercations.
Seems like there’s only one option left, then.
I sighed, sidling up to the shiny copper countertop to my right, noticing a particularly promising mixing bowl in the middle of the counter. Almost as if it were waiting for me.
Maybe it was.
Hogwarts is awesomely strange like that.
“What are you doing over there Tiff?” James called from behind me, his voice suspicious and his footsteps fast approaching.
I sneakily reached my hand in the bowl and felt the soft goodness of flour as my fingers made a fist around a handful of it.
I quickly turned and threw the flour at him, watching in shock and delight as it coated his face and hair.
He looked like a ghost.
A ridiculous, cake covered, grinning ghost.
A laugh escaped my lips as his arms made a wild grab for me, his mouth bellowing, “Tiffany Walker! You’re a dead woman!”
I laughed again, feeling my sides begin to ache, “You could never kill me Potter, you’ve said so yourself!”
“I could change my mind!” He crossed his arms petulantly.
“No you couldn’t.”
“You’re right, I couldn’t.”
I caught a glimpse of myself as I passed a particularly shiny pan and snorted. I looked just as ridiculous as James did, my blond hair plastered to my head, stained blue with chunks of pie crust and blueberries slowly dripping down my face.
“Potter, I’m never going to get this blue out of my hair. I’ll be a blueberry forever.” I glared at him, leaning against the table we’d just been eating at.
He dodged a passing house elf as he came over to sit on the table next to me, “Need I remind you who started this battle?”
Reminder not necessary.
“I believe it was you, since you’re the arrogant jerk who provoked me.” I said petulantly, my gaze focused on the hubbub going on around us.
We’re probably a nuisance to these poor house elves, causing a mess with flour and pie.
I sighed. Now I feel bad.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say, Tiffany.” James stated, crossing his arms over his chest and pushing out his lower lip in a pout.
“That’s life.” I smirked.
I don’t need him to tell me that I’ve been mean to him. I’ve been rude and slightly insufferable since the moment he decided I was somebody of interest.
I’ve been hopeful that it’ll make him realize I’m not worth following around all the time.
Not working out so well.
“You know how I deal with people like you?” James asked, sliding off the table to stand unnervingly close to me.
I can see his freckles from here.
I swallowed quickly, not wanting him to see that he makes me slightly nervous.
I’m no trembling bimbo!
“How?” I asked, my voice a whisper.
His green eyes held a mischievous glint as his famous smirk grew, “I tickle them.”
My eyes widened. James Potter was going to try and tickle me?
Hell to the no!
I smirked back, trying my best to exude the same amount of confidence he had, “What, even guys? ‘Cause that sounds slightly-”
His hands shot out and tickled my sides, his fingers delivering torture in its finest form.
I couldn’t breathe, unwanted laughs wheezing out of me.
“P-Potter!” I finally managed, attempting to squirm away from him.
Even as my body screamed from lack of oxygen and my sides were going crazy from the tickle torture, I was still sharply aware that his body had unconsciously gravitated towards mine, his legs pressed up against me as he laughed at my misfortune, his fingers continuing to attack me.
“Yes, miss Walker?” He sang, his grin enormous.
I glared at him and returned the favor, tickling his sides to no avail.
The bastard’s not ticklish!
“What’s going on here?” A voice bellowed from across the room, making James stop suddenly and look behind him.
His hands rested on my waist as he looked over his shoulder.
I stood on my tiptoes to see over James’s tall frame and I suddenly wished I hadn’t.
Standing there, brooms over their shoulders and amused smirks on their faces, was the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.
Oh, and I bet you’ll never guess who’s the Captain of the team and currently glaring furiously at the pair of us.
Alex Collins, the guy who so boldly (stupidly) tells everybody that he’s in love with me.
The world sure does have a hilarious sense of humor.
A/N: Ta-da! Chapitre (That's French, how very bilingual of me!) Seven! Now, I know it took me a smidge longer to get this chapter out than it normally does, but I hope I made up for it with an entire chapter of just Tiff and James! :)
So what did you chaps think? What about their little food fight? Are you stoked like I am that Tiff admitted she doesn't completely think hes the cockiest guy alive? And the tickle fight! What did you guys think about the tickle fight! :D
Anyways, I hope you guys are still lovin the story. Huge thanks to all of you that review, especially you guys who review every chapter. :)
Alright, that's the end of this longer than intended Author's Note!