Chapter 12 : She Drives Me Crazy
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“My little sister got her first kiss before I did.”
“Well, my mom walked in on my first kiss and kicked the boy out of our house.”
“When I was ten, I had a crush on a girl but she said no when I asked her out and then went out with my brother instead.”
“In primary school, my brother went up to the weirdest boy in our grade and told him I liked him. He asked me out and I said yes because I didn’t want to be mean. He picked his nose! And tried to wipe it on my jumper!”
“Okay, you win. That’s disgusting.”
Sarah laughed and cheered at her so-called victory. We were sitting in the common room one Friday night, just chatting until we had come up with the idea to compare embarrassing stories and see who had the most shame-inducing memory. Bogey picking and subsequent shirt wiping definitely topped Lily getting her first kiss before me. Although that was pretty humiliating.
“That was an awful time in my life,” she commented with a self-mocking grin. “I wish I would have known about magic then, I would’ve hexed him into oblivion.”
“You’re muggleborn?” I asked curiously.
“Mhmm,” she replied.
“I didn’t know that,” I admitted.
I was a bit surprised that I didn’t know that about her. It was generally something witches and wizards knew about each other, and especially considering how obsessed I had been with Sarah for the past seven years, you would have thought I’d know about her blood status.
“Does it bother you?” she asked hesitantly.
“You do know who my father is, right?”
She laughed. “Okay, good point. I was just checking.”
“Understandable. I forgive you,” I told her dramatically.
“Oh, thank you ever so much for your generosity,” she replied in the same type of voice.
“You’re quite welcome.”
“I was wondering,” she began a few moments later, “if you’d like to go to the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff match with me?”
The Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff match was on the next day, Saturday. It was the last game before the winter holidays. I had been planning on going with Sydney, Mark, and Hunter as usual, but I was sure they’d understand my going with Sarah instead. I mean, it’s Sarah Simpson. It’d be understandable if I transfigured myself into a flobberworm and dedicated my life to following her around in my flobberwormy-ness.
“Sure,” I answered brightly. “That sounds fun.”
I was being casual, or as casual as I could be. Because going to a Quidditch match with Sarah didn’t sound like fun, it sounded like the greatest thing to happen to anyone since the invention of Chocolate Frogs. And that was a pretty damn good invention.
“Great,” she chirped. “It’s going to be a good match. We can cheer for Ravenclaw to lose.”
I had forgotten that Finnigan was a Chaser on the Ravenclaw team. But now that I was reminded, I would definitely be rooting against them. Wholeheartedly.
“Well, it’s getting late. I’m going to go up to my dorm,” she announced. “I’ll see you this weekend.”
“Goodnight,” I called as she walked up to her dorm.
Realizing that I was pretty tired as well, I headed up to the dorm and crawled into bed, excited thoughts about the weekend racing through my head. I woke up to the sounds of arguing. More specifically, to the sounds of Hunter and Mark arguing.
Their arguing had a distinctive sound. It was kind high-pitched and childish. Not to mention completely ridiculous.
With a groan, I peeled my eyes open to reveal Hunter and Mark standing opposite each other in the middle of the room, gesturing wildly and screeching at each other. Fred and Kelton were already gone, probably at Quidditch practice.
“What the hell is so important that the two of you must argue so damn early in the morning?” I growled at the pair of them.
“For your information,” Hunter began haughtily, “Lyons here has taken it upon himself to nick my lucky socks.”
“Your lucky socks?” I repeated.
“Who the hell has lucky socks?”
“I do. And this tosser,” he said, pointing at Mark, “has nicked them.”
“I didn’t take your stupid lucky sucks,” Mark defended.
“Oh, Jesus,” I muttered, rubbing my eyes and falling back into bed.
“I don’t believe you,” Hunter said to Mark. “I mean, it’s one thing to nick them but another thing entirely to then have the nerve to prance about in them around the dormitory.”
“I’m not prancing! And these aren’t your socks!” Mark insisted, gesturing to his feet.
“Yes, they are.”
“No, they aren’t.”
“Yes, they are.” He crouched down at Mark’s feet and began to examine the socks he was wearing. “See, mine had a little star embroidered on—oh. It’s not there.”
“I told you,” Mark said and stuck his tongue out at Hunter who stood back up to his full height.
“Well, where did my lucky socks go, then?” Hunter questioned disappointedly, a very mature looking pout forming on his face.
I groaned and rubbed my face with my hands. “Hunter… are you perhaps wearing them?”
“No!” he yelped and looked down to examine his socks. A look of realization dawned on his face and then a blush as he realized he had just spent a fair amount of time yelling at Mark for stealing a pair of socks that he was in fact already wearing.
“Twat,” Mark muttered, only sounding half-serious.
“Sorry,” Hunter mumbled back, looking appropriately abashed.
“You’re forgiven… twat.”
“I’m tired. Quit being loud,” I grumbled and shut my eyes, trying to will myself back to sleep.
“Don’t you have a date with Sarah today?” Mark asked casually.
“Why yes, I do,” I answered pompously, sitting up again.
“Good for you,” Hunter told me.
“You should get dressed. Sydney is waiting for us downstairs to go to breakfast,” Mark commented.
I nodded and stood up obligingly. I may have been going to the game with Sarah, but I was still going to have breakfast with my mates. I planned on meeting up with Sarah afterwards, at the pitch.
“Does this look okay?” I asked Mark and Hunter after putting on an outfit.
“Yes,” Mark said in a bored voice. “It looks fine.”
I looked down at my jeans and black t-shirt with a Gryffindor scarf. “That didn’t sound enthusiastic.”
“Whatever, mate. Let’s just go,” Hunter urged.
“No, I need to change,” I decided and put on a Gryffindor jumper instead of the scarf. “How’s this?”
“Absolutely brilliant!” Hunter exclaimed in sarcastic excitement.
Heaving a sigh, I motioned for us to leave the dorm. We met up with Sydney downstairs and headed off to the Great Hall for breakfast.
“I’m excited to see this match today,” Hunter noted as we ate our breakfast.
“Me too,” Mark agreed. “It’s going to be good.”
“Who are you all rooting for today? Hufflepuff, I hope?” I asked.
“Yeah, those Claws piss me off,” Mark said, Hunter nodding in agreement.
“Ravenclaw, actually,” Sydney cut in.
“You’re cheering for Ravenclaw?” I queried in surprise.
Sydney had never really had much of a stance on Quidditch, so it was surprising for her to make a decision like that. In matches that Gryffindor wasn’t a part of, she usually just rooted for whoever we were rooting for because she didn’t take much care into learning the ins and outs of the game and the statistics for whose victories would most benefit our chances at getting the Cup. She would just take our word for it and cheer for the team we needed to win.
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Why?” I asked incredulously.
“Well,” she began, “I’ve been chatting with Walter lately and—“
“Walter Kloft?” Mark interjected and she nodded. “What are you talking to that prick for?”
“He’s not a prick,” she mumbled defensively, saying the word ‘prick’ very quietly. That was Sydney for you: never wanting to say a bad word.
“He is,” Hunter stated.
“Definitely,” I added.
“You guys could try to be nice, you know.”
“Why would we try and be nice to Walter Effing Kloft?” I asked.
“Because he’s asked me out on a date over the holidays. He’s very nice. There’s nothing wrong with him. I think you all would maybe even like him if you made an effort to get to know him.”
The three of us gaped at her as she blushed furiously. I could hardly believe it! Sydney and Walter? Their names didn’t even sound good together. The idea of them being on a date together made me sick to my stomach. Sydney was one of my best friends – I didn’t want her going out on a date with some Ravenclaw tosser who clearly didn’t deserve her.
“Did you say yes to him?” Mark asked.
“I… I said I’d think about it,” she replied hesitantly.
“Well, go find him and tell him to bugger off. You’re not going out with him,” Mark went on. “In fact, you’re not allowed to talk to boys at all!”
Her eyes flashed angrily; a look I’d never thought she could possibly have on her face. She crossed her arms against her chest and the flush on her cheeks continued to burn on, although it looked more out of anger than embarrassment.
“I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions, you know,” she snapped at us.
“Of course you are. But in this case, we’re going to go ahead and make the decision for you regardless. You. Are. Not. Going. Out. With. Walter. Git. Kloft,” Hunter stated emphatically.
“I’m going to go,” Sydney announced, standing up from her seat and walking away before any of us could say anything else.
“Sydney’s mad,” I said as the three of us watched her walk away. “Sydney’s never mad.”
“She’ll be fine. Once she sees reason,” Hunter asserted.
“I guess she’ll be sitting with Walter at the match then,” Mark commented. “He’s not actually on the team.”
“We should probably get going,” I suggested. “The match will be starting soon.”
We finished our food quickly and began the trek to the Quidditch pitch. There were a lot of people headed down there at the same time as us and I was sure the stands were going to be filling up quickly. I hoped Sarah was already there with a seat saved for me.
“Have fun with Simpson today, mate,” Mark told me as we approached the stands to the pitch.
“I will.” I grinned. “See you two later.”
I waved goodbye to them as they headed up to find some seats and began to look around for Sarah. Eventually I saw her sitting up front with an empty seat next to her. I caught her eye and she smiled, motioning for me to come over to her.
“Hello,” she greeted brightly as I squeezed into the spot next to her.
She looked beautiful as ever in her tight-fitting jeans and Gryffindor scarf. I was glad I had nixed the scarf idea earlier. I wouldn’t have wanted to be matching with her. That would have been weird. Plus, scarves looked a lot better on her than they did on me. Everything looked better on Sarah Simpson than it did on anyone else. She was that sexy.
“Hi,” I returned happily.
“I was beginning to worry you weren’t going to make it,” she commented.
“Well,” I began awkwardly, clearing my throat. “I’m here.”
She grinned. “The game’s about to start. I saw Finnigan when he was warming up. Looked like a total prat.”
“That’s fitting… since he is a total prat and such.”
She tilted her head back and laughed; a sound that made a shiver run down my spine. I didn’t think I would ever get over the butterfly-in-my-stomach feeling I got when I made Sarah laugh.
“Here they come,” she announced as the players began to fly out onto the pitch and the announcer began to shout.
“Today’s match is a big one between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff! This is the first game of the season for both teams and an important one for seeing how the four houses stand when ranked against each other.” The announcer paused. “And the Quaffle has been released! Let the game begin!”
Hufflepuff scored the first goal, an incident which caused both Sarah and I to jump up from our seats and cheer. It seemed a lot of Gryffindors were rooting for Hufflepuff, or rather, against Ravenclaw. Some of the Hufflepuffs seemed confused as to why we were cheering for them, but went with it anyway.
“YEAH! HUFFLEPUFF! ROCK THAT PITCH UP, BLOKES… and ladies!”
I looked over to the roaring voice and saw none other than Mr. Loudmouth, the bloke I had been sitting next to at the Gryffindor and Slytherin game. I stared at him in slight astonishment. Who the hell was this guy anyway? The only time I had ever seen him was at the Quidditch games.
He was donning a very similar outfit to the one he had been wearing previously but this one was in Hufflepuff’s colors. The spandex suit was yellow and the shorts black, making him look a little bit like a bumblebee.
“Who is that guy?” I asked Sarah, pointing at that guy.
She shrugged. “No idea.”
It ended up being a surprisingly quick and decisive match. Everyone had predicted that the two teams would get out there and battle it out back and forth for a long time, but in the end it turned out to be a fast match. Hufflepuff continued to outscore Ravenclaw until it was 100-30 and then the Hufflepuff Seeker, a lithe fourth year girl, caught the Snitch without much struggle or competition from the Ravenclaw Seeker.
Finnigan hadn’t scored any of Ravenclaw’s three goals. A fact I made sure to note and share with Sarah, who said she had also noticed that. We grinned at each other.
“That was a lot of fun,” Sarah commented as we strolled back to the school along with most of the Hogwarts population.
“It was,” I said, nodding in agreement. “Ravenclaw got their arses handed to them.”
She giggled. “The best part was when that Hufflepuff Beater got Finnigan right in the stomach. It looked like he was about to vomit all over himself.”
“It’s too bad he didn’t vomit all over himself. That would have been a lovely bonus to their defeat.”
“Well, at least Hufflepuff won. I think most people wanted them, too. Even the Slytherins seemed like they were cheering a bit for Hufflepuff and they generally don’t like them one bit.”
“Maybe Ravenclaw will lose all of their matches this year,” I mused. “I may even root for Slytherin when they play each other. Although that’s questionable.”
“Very questionable,” Sarah agreed. “In a perfect world, they would both lose.”
I laughed. “Yes, in a perfect world.”
“I’m glad we sat together today,” she said.
“Me too,” I replied and then did something very bold. Something very, very bold.
I reached out and took her hand in mine. And she didn’t yank it away.
How smooth am I?
A/N: I have exciting news, guys! I just finished writing the last chapter! The sad part is that there are only two left after this. :( But alas, all things must end. Chapter thirteen is done and beta'd and fourteen is with Eldy, so updates shall be very quick. This story will likely be marked completed in a few days. Sigh. I can't believe it.
As always, thank you to Eldy for the beta work. I don't know how he manages to beta AND write so much amazing stuff (check out Tales of the Crusaderverse!) but he does. I bow down to him. Not really, though. I am far too cool for that. :P
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