“Could you shut up now, please? Your sniggering is going to get us caught.” I grumbled, hiding my embarrassment with annoyance.
James nudged me as we crept our way back to the common room, our pre-dinner snack turning into one of the longest and most uncomfortably awkward nights of my life.
“What!” I snapped, refusing to look at his dimpled face as he continued to nudge me.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to recover my dignity after this.
It was awful.
“Come on. Admit it. It was funny.” He poked my arm.
It was funny.
But only a little bit.
The rest was humiliating.
I swear I may never talk to Alex again.
“It wasn’t funny.” I crossed my arms petulantly as I mumbled “Puffapod” to a huffy Fat Lady who swung open as slow as possible just to piss me off.
The Hefty Lady and I don’t get on very well.
Apparently, for some ridiculous reason that I won’t even try to guess at, she doesn’t appreciate the multiple name changes I have given her in my many years at Hogwarts.
Strangely she enjoys the name ‘Fat’ more than Chubby, Chunky, Husky or, my personal favorite, Tubby.
Seriously, how cute is that? The Tubby Lady! Adorable doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Trust me, I’m not making fun of her because of her weight.
I was no fairy myself when I was younger.
Got a fair share of taunting back in the day when I had a bit of baby fat on my bones.
Lucky for me I grew a bit and the puppy poundage was lost.
Really, I tease her because she’s a right bitch and it amuses me to no end how little flecks of paint can get so red from rage.
It’s totally awesome.
And I know I should leave her alone, I’m an adult now, I set a terrible example for the impressionable eleven year olds, yeah whatever.
I’ve heard it all before from an amused Jen and a slightly disappointed Addie.
But honestly, her retaliations are completely the brightest bit of my day.
One time, she got this gang of other portraits that I’ve managed to disgruntle and they followed me around all day, shouting terribly rude things as I walked from class to class, popping in and out of paintings across the castle.
I swear I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.
I really can’t help it that spiteful paintings amuse me more than they should.
“Lovely to see you again, sweet Lady of Ample Proportions.” I grinned at her as I passed through the portrait hole.
“It’s the Fat Lady you annoying little - ” Her screech was cut short as her painting swung shut behind James.
“What did you just call her?” He asked, collapsing on the couch with a grin, the rest of the common room deserted.
I smirked, “Don’t worry about it.”
He smiled at me and patted the spot next to him on the couch.
I could go sit and have to talk about this mortifying night, or go to bed and be bombarded with questions by my friends and have to explain why I’m covered in freakin pie.
Couch it is, then.
I sighed, jumping up on the squashy seat cushion and bringing my knees to my chest, my body turned to face him.
“I’ve never seen anyone so angry in my life.” James barely managed without laughing after a moment of silence.
I groaned, my head falling on my knees, “Do we have to talk about this? We were both there. There’s really no need to discuss it in detail.”
“We either talk about it now or tomorrow at breakfast.” He warned me, a grin in his voice.
Is that a flaw in his plan I see?
I raised my head to look at him and criss-crossed my legs, “But we don’t eat breakfast together. Why would we start now?”
He brought a hand to his chest, the flames in the fireplace dancing across his amused expression, “Tiffany, you wound me! Surely we’ve become close enough to eat a meal or two together?”
I mean yeah, today was fun.
And we get along smashingly, which is actually extremely surprising.
But I’m big on trust.
He hasn’t done anything to earn it.
Or to regain it, more like.
I clucked my tongue in a condescending way, “I dunno Potter, I’m quite in demand at meal times these days. Especially breakfast.”
“I can be quite persuasive, Walker. I’m sure I can weasel my way into your breakfast somehow.”
I don’t doubt it.
Especially since people bend over backwards to accommodate this guy.
“Yeah yeah I get it, you’re popular. No need to gloat about it.” I teased.
“You’re just jealous.” He smirked, stretching out so one of his legs ended up in my lap.
I scowled, “Do I look like a foot rest?”
“Actually - ”
I threw the pillow behind my back at his face.
After a satisfying thwump sound it fell from his face to his lap as he glared at me, “You just threw a pillow at me.”
I shrugged innocently, “If you’re going to be mean, I’m going to throw the nearest object at your face. That handsome mug of yours is lucky it was only a pillow.”
He winked at me as his eyes twinkled merrily, “You think I’m handsome?”
I’m lucky it’s dark in here.
I can feel my face burning like crazy, a tell tale sign that I’m blushing furiously.
I looked away at the fire quickly before realizing that made me look sheepish.
I stared him in the eye, smirking, “Oh dear, is that head of yours going to get even more inflated?”
He snorted before tossing the pillow back at me, “It just might. It’s not often Tiffany Walker compliments a bloke.”
“Just because I’m not complimenting you doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”
He makes me seem like a cold hearted spinster.
“Like with Collins?” James asked quietly, staring at his foot still in my lap.
It was my turn to snort, “Yeah, right. Hitting on Alex would be like hitting on a brother. Eugh.” I shuddered slightly.
James’s gaze returned to mine with a half-smile, “He obviously doesn’t see you like a sister.”
The bloke thinks he’s in love with me.
He’s terribly deluded, poor fellow.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I lied, my eyes focused on the shoe in my lap and I busied myself with untying and retying his shoelaces so I didn’t have to look at him.
“Pfffft. Right. So what do you call that humungous act of jealousy that he just performed in the kitchens? You think he just wanted to hex me for fun?” He scoffed, showing the pink tinged skin on his forearm that Alex’s stinging hex has created.
“Quidditch rivalry?” I suggested weakly, smiling apologetically for James’s injury.
James is right, though.
Alex was ridiculously and unnecessarily jealous. He was almost out of control, just because he saw James tickling me.
“What do you think you’re doing with him?” Alex had shouted. “Do you think he actually cares about you? He doesn’t give two fucks about you.”
He had looked ready to punch James in the face but his Quidditch mates held him back, bewildered looks on their faces.
James had simply laughed and he shook his head at Alex, as if Alex just wouldn’t understand.
Understand what, I’m not sure.
I wasn’t quite as calm as James, though.
I mean really, how dare he insinuate that I’m like the slags that James hooks up with?
I have class, thanks.
“What the hell, Alex. Why are you being such a prick right now?” I had asked angrily.
“Jealous.” James muttered from behind me, the amusement had been evident in his tone.
“Got something to say, Potter?” Alex shouted, his eyes scarily flashing.
James had placed his arm protectively around my shoulders, causing Alex’s skin to flush in anger.
“I’ve got nothing to say to you, Collins.” He’d spoken calmly.
His calm demeanor and level head had surprised and relaxed me, causing my anger to abate somewhat.
Alex, unfortunately, did not have quite the same reaction as I did.
“Yeah right, he did not attack me because of Quidditch.” James scoffed, bringing me out of my reverie, “He did it because he thought we were hooking up and he hexed me due to jealous rage.”
I sighed, my head flopping back on the cushion behind me.
“Thanks for not hexing him back.” I said softly, staring at the ceiling.
James could’ve brought Alex to dueling shame if he had wanted to, but he didn’t.
Even after the hex had been delivered and I’d lost my temper and slapped Alex across the face, James had remained untroubled, even smiling slightly.
He’s an odd one, that’s for sure.
“You would’ve been upset if I’d hexed him back.” He murmured.
I glanced over at him to see him staring at the fire absentmindedly, his thoughts somewhere else.
“You’re probably right.” I sighed, gently shoving his foot off my lap and standing up.“Well, I’m beat. I’m gonna head on up to bed.”
I smiled and started my walk up the stairs when I heard him call my name.
“Yeah?” I asked, turning my head to look back at him.
He smiled his dimpled smile, “I had fun today.”
I half-smiled back, “Me too. You’re alright, Potter. When you’re not being an ass, that is.”
His answering grin made it hard to breathe as I raced up the rest of the stairs.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“So, was there any particular reason you decided to take a shower at twelve thirty last night?” Addie asked me, putting on a pair of earrings as we got ready for breakfast.
My eyes widened slightly as I shoved my feet in my shoes, “Er. I felt... dirty?”
“You are dirty.” Jen smirked, coming out of the bathroom and throwing her curly brown locks up into a pony tail.
“Yeah yeah I’m just one big sex fiend. Can we go?” I asked impatiently, my stomach grumbling.
You’d think after the feast I had last night I’d be super full.
Not the case.
“Calm down, I’m almost ready. Yeesh.” Jen grinned at me, tossing me a gold bracelet she thought would go well with my pretty turquoise blouse.
“Oooh, this is pretty, thanks.” I blew her a kiss while slipping it on my wrist.
“Kiss my ass later, Walker. I’m starving.” Jen said cheekily, sashaying past me through the open doorway.
“Sassy bitch.” I muttered to Addie who snorted.
“Trust me, she tries.” She shook her head indulgently.
“Don’t I know it.” I sighed, jumping over the last few stairs into the common room.
“You’re going to break an ankle doing that.” Addie informed me, gracefully and appropriately walking down the stairs.
“Thanks, mum.” I scrunched my nose at her.
She bopped me on the nose as we climbed through the portrait hole, “Just because I care about you. And I don’t want to deal with your whining when you hurt yourself.”
I placed a hand to my heart, “That’s touching.”
She rolled her eyes, “I’m sure you’re just about melting inside.”
“I’m just a puddle of mush at this point.” I told her.
She shoved me playfully, accidentally pushing me into a group of fourth years by the looks of them.
“Sorry about that. She’s super violent. I’d run if I were you.” I attempted to deadpan, yet unable to keep a grin off my face.
They shook their heads amusedly before picking up their pace.
“They’re scared of you, Adds.” I elbowed her, carefully stepping down the marble staircase so as not to slip and fall.
Which has happened.
I mean seriously, marble is slippery.
Steps made out of that stuff?
None too brilliant, that idea.
“I’m sure they’re shaking in their knickers.” She smirked.
“When did you get so feisty Campbell? You used to be so sweet and innocent.” I sighed, determinedly not looking at the Ravenclaw table as we made our way through the Great Hall.
She snorted again and I decided in that moment that my friends and I do that entirely too much. “
You’re not the only one who’s allowed to abuse sarcasm, Tiffany Marie Walker.” She said exasperatedly, shoving Jen aside on the bench at the Gryffindor table so she could squeeze in.
The only available spot left was on the other side of the table.
Which means I have to walk all the way back around the table and pass the Ravenclaws.
Or, I could be a total bint and just walk over the top of the table to the other side.
Eh, I’m feeling pretty bint-y today.
“S’cuse me.” I muttered to a third year, shoving him to the side, quickly jumping up on the bench and speedily walking across the tabletop to plop down on the bench on the other side.
I grinned at Jen’s disgusted face as she said with revulsion, “We eat here.”
“Nice job Jen, excellent deduction skills.” I buttered a a piece of toast and poured myself a glass of orange juice.
“You just put your feet where I put my food.” She looked down at her plate, as if to prove that she was indeed eating where I had walked.
“Keep your food on your plate and you’ll be fine. Wuss.” I smirked, chewing on my toast.
She pushed her pancakes closer to the center of her plate, making sure none of the edges were touching the table.
I’m not freakin contagious.
“So why’d you get in so late last night? Late night shag?” Jen winked at me.
“Yes, exactly. How’d you know?” I took a sip of my juice.
“You suck at stealth.”
“Rats.” I sighed, “And here I was, assuming I’d deceived my best mates.”
Addie smiled, “No but really, why were you so late last night?”
I’m gonna have to tell them I was with James last night.
Jen’s going to murder me.
Might as well finish this piece of toast, then.
It is my last meal, after all.
“God, could you chew any slower?” Jen scoffed, rolling her eyes.
I sighed, dropping the crust back on my plate and looking at Jen, “Don’t freak out, okay?”
She immediately looked slightly alarmed but said slowly, “Okay, I won’t.”
I took a deep breath, feeling ridiculous for making this seem like such a big deal.
Which it isn’t.
But to them it will be.
“I had dinner with Potter last night.” I mumbled.
Both Addie and Jen’s eyes got wide, “James Potter?” Addie aksed, sounding surprised.
I rolled my eyes, “No, Harry Potter. Yeah, of course James Potter. You okay over there, Jen?”
Jen looked like she’d been paralyzed.
She didn’t move at all.
At the sound of my voice she came to life, her cheeks flushing red as she screeched, “You had a date with James Potter?!”
I’m so dead.
A/N: Hello, dearest readers! Did ya miss me? 'Cause I missed you guys! I'm terrible for taking so long to get this chapter out but life is just so intrusive on my HPFF time! Silly life, doesn't it know what my priorities are? :P
Next chappie will be out sooner, pinky swear!
So, what did you lovely people think? Liiiiike it? :D I hope you did, I love writing Tiff and Jen and Addie's friendship :)