Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter and the title of this chapter is courtesy of the Soup Dragons.
I didn’t sleep at all that night. And be honest, you wouldn’t have either if the girl (or boy, as the case may be) of your dreams kissed you after spending the day with you. This proved many things. First of all, it proved that despite being in my presence for several hours, she didn’t want to kill me (unless she intended for me to die of a heart attack following the kiss, which to be fair was a possibility). It also proved that she maybe liked me. I mean, she kissed me. As in her lips touching my lips and such.
And maybe it hadn’t been that much of a kiss when compared to a full blown snog or something, but it definitely meant something. Especially to me. This is Sarah Simpson we’re talking about here. And she had kissed me.
Anyway, I spent the entire night practically bouncing with excitement and with my mind racing over millions of things, all revolving around The Kiss. You can’t blame me; The Kiss was essentially the biggest, most important moment of my life.
My tangible excitement had begun to annoy Mark, Hunter, and our other roommates quite a bit during the night. I woke them up several times after inadvertently making too much noise. A fair few insults had been thrown my way by all of them.
They didn’t understand, though, because they didn’t know. I hadn’t told them. I would eventually, at least Hunter and Mark, but for awhile it felt nice to have such a big, juicy secret all to myself. It was a special thing and I wanted to keep it to myself for a little bit. It seemed more precious that way.
Also, I was a bit scared that if I verbalized The Kiss, I would wake up from a dream and realize none of it actually happened.
It seemed a likely possibility.
But despite not getting any sleep, I wasn’t very tired the next day. In fact, I was still flipping (mostly internally) with excitement during lunch.
“What’s got you all keyed up?” Sydney asked as she piled some salad onto her plate.
A grin spread across my face. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“Sarahkissedme!” I screeched.
“Sarahkissedme!” I repeated.
“James, you’re going to have to slow down. I can’t understand you in the least.”
“Sarah kissed me!” I echoed, barely able to slow myself down.
Sydney gaped at me. “What?”
“Sarah kissed me,” I said again, beginning to get a little worried for Sydney’s hearing.
“No, no… I heard. I’m just… surprised, is all,” she admitted slowly.
“I was, too,” I divulged. “It was right when we got back to Hogsmeade.”
“We?” Sydney questioned, her eyebrows raised.
“Yeah; me and Sarah. After you lot buggered off, I found Sarah comforting some third years who had been hexed. We spent the day together after that,” I explained.
“Oh,” Sydney said. “Well… it sounds like you had a lot of fun. I’m happy for you.” She smiled at me, but it looked slightly strained. Maybe she was still tired.
“You really should try and sleep more,” I told her concernedly, “You’re looking awfully tired.”
Inexplicably she blushed and I was about to ask her why when Mark and Hunter came over and plopped down in the seats beside us.
“How’s it going?” Mark asked as he shoved a roll into his mouth.
He’s such a charming boy. It’s incredibly shocking that he doesn’t have a girlfriend.
“Alright, I guess,” I replied, feigning boredom. “I mean, if you count Sarah Simpson kissing me as alright, that is!”
“SARAH KISSED YOU?” Hunter shrieked.
“Jesus, do you think you could maybe scream a little louder? I don’t think the folks at Durmstrang heard you,” I hissed.
I didn’t actually mind him yelling it. I had quite a keen desire to yell about it myself. But I was trying to contain the urge because I figured it might be slightly embarrassing and I was making a real effort to reduce my weekly quota of boneheaded moves.
“Why Durmstrang?” Hunter queried, furrowing his brow.
“I don’t know,” I responded exasperatedly. “Point is: shut up.”
“Fine, fine,” Hunter surrendered.
“Seriously, though, tell us what happened, mate,” Mark prompted.
I grinned and launched into a very detailed account of the day I had spent with Sarah. Right down to the type of things we looked at in the stores (although I didn’t mention about how she had commented that the pixie vest went with my boxers; that was still a bit of a sore spot with me as far as Mark and Hunter were concerned; they’d spent days teasing me mercilessly for that incident).
“I can’t believe this,” Hunter commented when I finished, shaking his head in disbelief.
“It’s just so unbelievable,” Mark added.
“What’s unbelievable is how alike the two of you are,” I muttered.
“Don’t change the subject,” Hunter snapped. “We need to analyze this.”
“Analyze it?” I echoed.
“Yes,” Hunter replied matter-of-factly. “We need to think this through and figure out a way to find out if she likes you. You know, like if she’d be interested in a date or anything.”
“Do we have to?” I groaned, butterflies creeping their way into my stomach.
“Or he could just go snog her senseless like you did with Andrea,” Mark suggested to Hunter, who scowled at him.
“I’m not sure I’m up for trusting any sort of plan the two of you come up with,” I told them seriously.
Mark and Hunter plans practically came with a guarantee that they’d be shitty and ridiculous. If not outright dangerous. Not that I’m much better of a planner (Slytherin hostage situation ring any bells?). But I was certainly smart enough not to trust the pair of them with my love life. Especially when you consider the fact that Mark doesn’t even really have one and Hunter only has one by some sort of miraculous fluke which made Andrea Mercer like to snog him.
“We are great plan makers, I’ll have you know,” Hunter said.
“Then you’re in denial,” I stated.
“Hmph,” Mark huffed.
“Just let him and Sarah work this out between themselves,” Sydney cut in, breaking a silence that had held her. “I’m sure they can handle it on their own.”
“That’s no fun,” Hunter grumbled.
“You guys never let us have any fun,” Mark continued on, folding his arms across his chest like a child.
Sydney rolled her eyes and I said, “I look forward to the day the two of you grow up and stop acting like toddlers.”
“Don’t hold your breath,” Sydney added teasingly.
“I don’t like it when you two gang up on us,” Mark whined.
I snorted. “Now you know how we feel.”
Hunter flicked a spoonful of peas at me.
Gosh, I’m lucky to call these people my friends.
Lunch went smoothly after that, which was good because I didn’t fancy anymore food in my hair. It was a Sunday so there wasn’t much going on but finishing homework, which is exactly what the four of us went up to do in the common room later that day.
“Oi, did you finish the Transfig essay?” Mark asked as we lounged about in the common room.
“Yeah,” I replied. “Trade you for the DADA?”
“Done,” Mark agreed and we switched papers.
Sydney shook her head. “You lot are despicable.”
“Aw, don’t be like that, Syd,” Mark urged, a grin on his face.
“You’re cheating,” she pointed out, saying the word ‘cheating’ like it was some sort of awful word she wouldn’t want her mother to hear her saying.
“It’s not cheating,” I argued. “It’s trading.”
Sydney raised her eyebrows at me. “Trading? Is that what you crazy kids call it these days?”
“Not only do you act like my grandmother, you also speak like her,” Hunter cut in teasingly.
Sydney hit him with a cushion. “Tosser.”
The three of us gasped theatrically. “You said tosser! Sydney said tosser!”
“Oh, shut up,” she growled, a blush rising on her cheeks.
“Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” Mark asked her.
“Shame on you,” Hunter reprimanded, wagging his index finger at her.
Eventually we did get around to finishing up all of our homework. Took us awhile, but it did happen. Hunter, Mark, and Sydney went to dinner after that, but I stayed behind because I wasn’t very hungry. I had previously eaten an entire pack of Chocolate Frogs – don’t judge me.
Sitting around in the common room alone wasn’t particularly amusing, though, so I decided to go for a walk. The corridors were mostly deserted except for a few students scuttling off to dinner and eventually I found myself near the library where I quite literally ran into Sarah.
Fortunately, I managed to keep my feet this time.
Unfortunately, I also managed to knock her to the ground.
“Sorry,” I mumbled in embarrassment as I reached out a hand to help her up.
“It’s alright,” she said, smiling at me. “I should be used to bumping into you by now.”
“So…” I trailed off after a few moments of awkward silence. I rocked back and forth on the balls of my feet.
“What are you up to?” she asked eventually.
“Taking a walk,” I replied. “You?”
“Just finished up my homework,” she answered.
“That’s good. Finishing homework is good.”
“I had a lot of fun yesterday.”
“That strangling scarf was really something.”
“It was, wasn’t it?”
Jesus Christ. I might as well have morphed into a tapestry on the wall for all the stimulating conversation I was providing. I couldn’t figure out what was so awkward between us. We had kissed. Shouldn’t she be leaping into my arms or something by now?
It really sucked, this situation did. I hate when things like this get complicated because I’m usually too socially inept to figure out why and fix it.
Hopefully it would work itself out on its own. Or something. Hopefully.
“About yesterday,” she began, sounding more awkward than I’d ever heard her sound (although still a million times less awkward than I am on any given day), “spending time with you was really great. I can’t remember ever having so much fun in Hogsmeade. You’re not like any other boy I’ve ever been with.”
I gulped as fire erupted in my stomach. I don’t think I had ever been so nervous and excited as I was at that moment. My palms began to sweat and I think my forehead was getting a little clammy. I shifted awkwardly on my feet and looked anywhere but into her eyes; I couldn’t bear it.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’re different, and I like it. I like you.”
Holy shit. Holy shit.
My mind was racing faster than a champion broomstick flyer but I couldn’t pick out a coherent thought.
“Umm…” I began, the fire burning more powerfully. “I…”
I was completely and utterly speechless. It felt like someone had put a Silencing Charm on me.
She frowned at me and looked a little put out by my inability to form lucid sentences.
“I…” I tried again, determined to get through this moment, but I was interrupted.
“Sarah, I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
I could swear my heart stopped, or at least skipped a few beats, when I saw Matthew Moment-Ruiner-and-Interrupter-of-Important-Conversations approach us. He glared at me as he came to stop before us and I glared right back.
What a douche.
“What do you want?” Sarah asked coldly.
“I just want to talk,” he replied. He looked like a puppy that had been kicked by some mean bullies. I’m sure he had spent quite a bit of time perfecting that look.
“About?” Sarah prompted.
“What about us?”
“Do you have to make this so hard?” he asked in frustration.
“Yes,” I answered for her, immediately blushing as they turned to look at me.
“This is none of your business, Potter,” Finnigan spat.
“Leave him alone,” Sarah demanded of him.
“You’re defending him?” The git of all gits asked.
“Yes,” she snapped frostily.
“Sarah, please listen to me. I really want to apologize to you,” he pleaded.
She sighed in exasperation and ran her hands through her hair. “You have five minutes.”
“I’ll just… be going then,” I muttered in defeat and walked away, my shoulders slumped and my hands stuffed in my pockets.
It was just my luck that Finnigan had come over, all remorseful and apologetic. I had no doubt that he would be able to win her over (as I will very grudgingly admit that he is a bit more attractive than your average bloke and can, unfortunately, be charming when he so tries). They would be getting back together; the Hogwarts rumor mills would have it spread around the entire school by morning. Then I would find a nice quiet corridor, with a very solid bit of wall and bang my useless head against it for a week.
I walked slowly to the common room. I wasn’t sure how badly I felt like facing people at that moment. It was pretty upsetting to see the girl of my dreams jump back into the arms of the enemy just as things were (miraculously) beginning to warm up between us. I mean, before we had become Potions partners, I didn’t even have hope that we could ever get together. But then things started happening and I couldn’t help but feel optimistic about it. And then that total tosser Finnigan pops in again and all the progress I made was kicked to the curb.
Damn. I sound so pathetic. Frankly, I think I am pretty pathetic. At least at this moment in time. A bloke really can’t help but be pathetic in a situation such as this. It’s a natural occurrence… like a midlife crisis or puberty.
Even at my slow pace, I did reach the common room eventually. I didn’t want to be too morose, so I shuffled over to my friends who it seemed had just gotten back from dinner and plopped down onto a chair by them.
“What’s up?” Mark asked.
I shrugged. “I think Sarah and Finnigan are getting back together.”
“Are you serious?” Hunter questioned incredulously.
“Yep,” I replied unenthusiastically.
“Damn,” Mark breathed, looking uncharacteristically sympathetic. As did Hunter. They could be good friends when they felt like it.
“Birds, man,” Hunter commented in commiseration, as if he was meaning to say that girls are girls and there’s nothing you can do about it. I quite agreed.
“I’m sorry, James,” Sydney said, reaching over to squeeze my hand and give me a sad smile.
“It’s alright. Life goes on, eh?”
If only I actually believed that.
A/N: I know it's been longer than usual since my last update, but I was out of town for a few days and then I came down with a nasty bout of flu. :( I'm feeling better now but it was pretty bad for awhile there.
Also, a shameless plug for a new story I have out. It's called 'honey.' and it's a Dramione. o_O Not a pairing I normally write (at least seriously, as I did do a parody of it) but I now have one nonetheless. It's a rather lonlely story if you want to check it out!
And lastly, I must thank Eldy for the beta work and for his waiting patiently for me to finish the last chapters of this. (I swear I'm working on it!)
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