“Are you sure?” she arched one of her perfect blonde eyebrows at me though I could tell she was feeling impatient, “because it’s not a big deal; we can wait for you. We’re only going to be able to eat for ten minutes as is.”
“As much as I appreciate the sentiment, and acknowledge the fact that it’s your fault that I’m holding everyone up, I can assure you that I am fine on my own,” I insisted, crawling around the dorm on all fours, searching for my Charms book that Dom kicked last night when Fay, as casual as can be, mentioned Frank looking upset that day, and asked Dom if she knew anything about it.
Dom said something like, ‘can’t we all just go one bleeding day without talking about him?!’ let out a frustrated groan, and kicked my innocent textbook across the room (I was far too tired to be bothered with any aspect of the situation at the time to scold her).
“Fine,” Do shrugged, grabbing hold of both Imogen and Faylinn’s robes, “See you in Transfiguration then.”
“Mhmm,” I replied, shuffling through the junk under my bed. I continued my search for a good fifteen minutes before I finally found my book by a pile of Imogen’s dirty robes. Ew.
I ran down the stairs to the Common Room, pausing on the last step to take deep breath before stepping down and looking around.
He wasn’t there.
James had made it a habit, much to his fan girls’ dismay, of meeting up with me in the Common Room before breakfast, but I guess I was too late. I checked the grandfather clock to my right. I was very late, I noticed as I ran out the portal into the hall. I had barely enough time to run across the castle to Charms.
“Slow down! You’re going to hurt yourself!” The Fat Lady cried after me. I turned my head in her direction, for only a moment, to assure her that I’d be fine when I ran into something solid, knocking myself backwards in the process.
“What was that you were saying, dear?” I hear the Fat Lady call behind me. She couldn’t see me, but I had no doubt that another painting had already slipped into her portrait to have a laugh at me expense.
“Bugger off,” I groaned in pain, eyes closed.
“You all right Alli—Wood?” I recognized that voice and groaned again, this time not in pain. I opened my eyes and was met with the navy blue irises of Joseph Finch-Fletchley: Git Extraordinaire, who was holding out his extraordinarily, git of a hand towards me.
“I’m fine,” I snapped and his hand retreated into the pocket of his robes as if my words had burned it.
“Listen, I wanted to talk to you—” he started.
“Wood? What’s going on? You okay?” Another voice I recognized, but this one made me smile instead of grimace. James jogged over to where I was still splayed out on the floor from the direction of the Great Hall. He gave Joseph a curt nod, although the flicker of annoyance in his eyes clearly displayed his poorly hidden dislike, “Finch-Fletchley.”
He then turned to look down at me, a smile tugging on his lips as he held out his hand. I was about to grab it when he started talking again.
“Well Wood, hurting ourselves by practically doing nothing again, are we?” I sent him a dirty look, feeling a twinge of familiar aggravation, as he smirked. I ignored his hand and stood up on my own.
“I ran into Joe and fell. He is as much to blame for this situation as I am,” I informed him, brushing off my robes and continuing in a much slower pace to Charms.
“Farewell, Fletch,” I hear James laugh behind me, “Allison! Wait up!”
“Wood!” I turned my head to see Joe still standing in the same place as before, “I really am sorry.”
From the look in his eyes I knew he meant for more than sending me flat on my back.
“Git,” James muttered. I elbowed him in the side; he pouted.
“And I do need to talk to you,” Joe added sheepishly, pushing his wavy, light brown hair out of his eyes; I cursed his good looks as I nodded. With that, he turned on his heel and walked away.
“What was that?” James asked, biting his upper lip as we neared the Charms classroom, “What does he want to talk to you about?” he tried again when I didn’t answer right away.
“Hell if I know,” I replied, shrugging nonchalantly. When, on the inside, I was wondering the same thing.
“Mister Potter, Miss Wood,” Flitwick squeaked from his podium; the whole class turned to look at us as we entered and I flushed. Stop looking at me! “How kind of you to join us… ten points from Gryffindor for lateness, detention if it happens again.”
“Sorry, Professor,” Potter and I grumbled in unison, taking out seats. Gwen turned to look at us from where she was sitting with a fellow Ravenclaw, Roxanne Weasley, at the front of the class, sending us a smirk. I rolled my eyes playfully while James gave her a hard look, trying to convey a message with his own. Gwen pouted and faced Roxy to whisper something in her ear at which they both giggled.
“Ladies! Shush!” Flitwick tried to scold, but ended up just grinning at the two girls in his house. Frank and Freddie, who were sitting at the table next to them, looked scandalized at our Professor’s facial expression, probably thinking back to all the time he reprimanded them.
“Now, back to what I was saying…” Flitwick continued, but I tuned him out. I had an E in Charms; one day of distraction won’t get me a T.
Joe’s face came to mind when I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my side and winced, earning a few glares from the surrounding Ravenclaws, causing me to sink further into my seat and turn towards the source of my pain: James Potter. He was watching Flitwick intently, but from the unfocused look in his eyes and the way the left side of his mouth was curling up slightly, I knew he wasn’t listening.
I sighed in exasperation which caused his smirk to grow, and opened my textbook, so as to at least look like I was paying attention. I then felt another poke in my side; this time it was gentler.
“What?” I hissed, keeping my eyes trained on the words in front of me. James pulled lightly on the sleeve of my robe, like a child trying to get an adult’s attention. I turned my head a bit to look at him, “Yes?!”
He nodded gently for me to look down. That’s when I saw it.
Sitting there, resting on James’ knee was a blueberry muffin.
. . . . . . . .
“Joe?” I asked in surprise. He was leaning across the hall from the Charms classroom, fiddling with a quill. When he looked up and saw me he smiled, pushing himself off the wall. His gaze hardened however when he saw who was right behind me.
“Wotcher, Fletch,” Potter greeted as he placed a large, warm hand on my shoulder; sending a warm tingle down my spine. He turned me to look at him and said in a low voice, so only I could hear, “Are you going to be okay?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said distractedly, too busy watching his lips form the words than to bother with actually hearing what he was saying. My response seemed to worry him more so I shook my head of its fuzzy feeling and cleared my throat.
“You sure?” he asked, brushing some of my hair behind my shoulder.
“One hundred percent,” I assured him, “It’s just Joe.”
He nodded stiffly, letting his hand fall from my shoulder and down my arm until it was holding my own, giving it a quick squeeze before letting go.
“I’ll see you in Transfiguration,” he whispered, searching my eyes for what I assume was some hint of apprehension about being left alone with my ex. When he found none he relaxed a bit, but not much, so I sent him a smile, which he couldn’t help but return. With a look of warning in Joe’s direction, and a small squeeze to my forearm, he started to walk away to go to Herbology.
I sighed and turned to Joseph, who looked half afraid/half irritated, and raised his eyebrows at me.
“Well, I can’t say I’m all that surprised,” he shrugged and began walking in the opposite way as James, gesturing for me to follow.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, tightening a strap on my bag that James as earlier playfully loosened.
“You and Potter,” he said, waving a hand in the direction James left. I continued to look and feel confused instigating Joe to sigh impatiently, “You two are together now, yeah?”
I spluttered for a moment, thoroughly entertaining the boy in front of me.
“What? Of course not!” I exclaimed, “Why would you think that?”
“Well, for one, he’s fancied you for ages. I can’t even begin to count the number of death glares I received last year,” I lightly smacked him on the arm at which he merely shot me a look that said I was far too weak to cause damage, “Also, he looked like he was moments away from punching me in the gut right then while you were far too flushed by his mere presence for me to assume that you don’t harbor any feelings for him.”
“Ugh, shut it, Finch-Fletchley,” I groaned, remembering why I didn’t enjoy spending too much time with him. Not only was he good at reading people, but he also knew it. Making him far too pompous for my taste, “What do you want?”
“Well, uh, here’s the thing,” he stopped suddenly and looked around the corridor. Upon spotting a few young, straggling Ravenclaws he let out a frustrated groan and settled on pulling me into an empty classroom. I made a noise of protest, but he shot me another look, “I’m not trying to take advantage of you, my sweet, innocent Gryffindor; Hufflepuff’s honor.”
He raised one hand and placed the other over his heart. When I looked perplexed again he let his hands drop.
“It’s a Muggle thing,” he explained and I nodded, feeling highly uncomfortable in this whole situation.
“So,” I started, awkwardly. He shuffled his feet a bit before leaning against a dusty desk, “What is it you wanted to talk about?”
He pushed his hair out of his face and looked down at his hands, obviously struggling on how to start.
“It’s, uh,” he stammered uncharacteristically, wringing his hands and tapping a foot against the floor, “Uh, it’s, well, about a friend of yours.”
“Dom won’t go out with you,” I told him tonelessly. If I had a sickle for every time a guy approached me about Dom I’d be as rich as the Malfoys, I thought, now thoroughly annoyed. Joseph looked up at me, eyes wide.
“No, no,” he said, waving his hands in a spasmodic motion that reminded me a great deal of Freddie’s jerky movements, “Not Dom; everyone knows she’s off-limits.”
I raised an eyebrow in question, a look the aforementioned Freddie taught me second year, “What do you mean?”
“Well, er, I don’t think anyone fancies being hexed by Frank Longbottom anytime soon. He is at the top of our DADA class after all,” Joe explained, tapping his fingers against his thighs.
“Oh,” I nodded. Well, Dom wouldn’t be happy if she heard this, I thought, smiling internally.
“So, yeah, not Dom, no,” Joe shook his head.
“Who then?” I asked, “Get on with it.”
Joseph let out a large sigh and buried his face in his hands, looking uncommonly embarrassed.
“Fenemph Feneganph,” he mumbled into his palms.
“Come again?” I asked, smirking. It was like we completely switched rols.
“Faylinn Finnigan,” he whispered harshly, lifting his head.
“I see,” I nodded understandingly. Faylinn was what you could call and Irish beauty. With her long, curly blonde hair, fair complexion, and striking green eyes. While mine seemed dull and muddy, hers were vibrant and clear; almost as pretty as Albus Potter’s eyes, I daresay, “Why did you decide to approach me about this?”
“Well, you are her friend, yes?” he asked, looking at me like I was Vinny Goyle trying to answer a question in class (i.e. like I was an idiot).
“Yes, I’m her friend,” I spat, feeling the anger run through me, “and if you continue to look at me like I’m some hippogriff dung stuck to the bottom of your show then don’t even think that I’m going to help you.”
I turned on my heel to make my dramatic exit, but he grabbed my wrist to stop me.
“Look, I’m sorry, Allie,” his blue eyes pleaded with me and he reverted back to calling me by my nickname, “You know I respect you. I’m just still a little bitter.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about how you broke up with me!” he exclaimed, “and how everyone in this damn school thinks it’s the other way around and are treating you like the victim and looking at me like I’m a huge prat when I’m the one who was chucked!”
“I thought it was mutual!” I countered, pulling my wrist from his grasp. He looked at me incredulously.
“Of course it wasn’t,” he said in a gentler tone, scratching the back of his head, “Listen, it’s not like I’m pining over you or anything; I like Fay no. I was just hoping you’d talk me up to her or something.”
I took a second to just look at Joe. From his shaggy hair and his downcast navy eyes; to his skewed yellow and black tie, down to his old, gray, trainers. He was still the same.
“Fine,” I muttered. He looked up at me with hopeful eyes, “I’ll do it, but I doubt it’ll be much help.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” He shouted, wrapping me up in his arms and I couldn’t refrain from giggling. When he let go he took a step back to look me right in the eye, “We were friends once, remember? I would like it if we could be again.”
“Of course, you insufferable prat,” I told him, elbowing him lightly in the stomach before making my way out of the class room and back into the corridor.
“Abusive!” I heard him yell behind me, but I simply laughed and continued on my way to Gryffindor tower to spend my free period thinking of ways to bring up Joseph to Fay.
“I just don’t like it,” I grumbled whilst poking at the pulsing green pod on the table in front of me.
“Well, you don’t have to. They’re not even friends,” Frank shrugged, looking at Dom from the corner of his eye, before turning to give his full attention to me, “and use the spade to stab it or something.” He told me, gesturing to my struggle.
“Yeah, yeah,” I mumbled before poking harder at the pod again, but this time with the sharp edge of the small shovel, causing it to burst it’s tubers into the bowl it was in. I held back to impulse to gag, much like how I had to when I saw Finch-Fletchley waiting outside our Charms classroom earlier.
“Well, I guess we’re done. That was the last pod,” Frank said, pushing the Snargaluff plant further away from us.
“I just can’t figure out what he would want to talk to her about,” I groaned.
“Maybe he wanted to beg for her to take him back,” Frank suggested unhelpfully; I sent him a glare that went unnoticed as he continued to watch Dom sketch the gnarled stump in front of her.
“What happened with you and Dom?” I asked, hoping to put him on the spot; Frank jumped slightly in surprise and blushed. I tried not to laugh.
“Well, I don’t know how to say this without angering you,” Frank half-whispered, “thus ending with me in the hospital wing.”
“Oh Merlin,” I rolled my eyes, “What did you do? Just spit it out.”
Frank let out a deep breath and scratched the back of his blonde head, “I may or may not have kissed her after Ancient Runes last week and she may or may not have run off and she may or may not have refused to speak to me since.”
We sat there in silence for a moment as I pondered on what he said; Frank’s face clouded with guilt and apprehension. Yes, I felt the urge to punch him right then, but yet, at the same time, I also had another, more powerful, uncontrollable desire…
I suddenly burst out laughing, promptly falling from my stool and gaining attention from the whole class, including Dom, who was looking over at me with curiosity and amusement as Frank blushed crimson.
“Merlin, James, will you shut up?” Frank pleaded quietly. Professor Longbottom looked over at us with poorly concealed amusement in his eyes as he tried to give me a warning look.
“What’s going on?” Freddie turned to look down at me from where he was working with a giggly Slytherin girl.
“Longbottom,” I wheezed, silently laughing, “He—he—oh gods—you tell him, Frank.”
“If it’s got to do with Dom, then I already know,” Freddie told me, and I looked up at him with surprise and struggled to my feet. I saw a few Slytherin girls looking over at me and sent them a wink which caused them to giggle and blush.
“What do you mean you ‘already know’?” I asked, settling back on my stool and facing toward Freddie.
“What I mean is that my boy Frank already told me, probably assuming that I wouldn’t freak out like he thought you would, but as we can see, you took the information better,” Freddie told me, “because I smacked him upside the head.”
“He did,” Frank confirmed, rubbing his injury.
“Why am I always the last to know things?” I complained in my best whiny-Rose voice.
“Because you’re the most volatile,” Freddie explained, jerkily moving his head to get some of his dark red hair out of his eyes, before his partner poked him rather harshly on the shoulder, forcing him to turn his attention back to their work.
“So,” I said, turning slowly to face Frank, with a huge smile on my face. He was fidgeting with his tie, looking everywhere but at me, and I suddenly felt bad. I didn’t want to think about what it would be like if I was in his position right now; the grin quickly slipped from my face, “Want me to talk to her, or, uh, something?”
“Well,” Frank paused, looking towards Dom again, catching her eye. She quickly turned to look back at her notebook, a blush quickly creeping up her neck. Huh. Frank looked at me again, “Yes, but only because I want to know why she ran off. I’m not going to force her to like me or anything. I just want to know why she doesn’t.”
“No problem, mate,” I said, giving him a pat on the shoulder before we resumed taking notes on the vomit-inducing tubers wriggling in front of us.
. . . . . . . .
“So, Halloween is on Sunday,” Dom said, sitting down on the couch next to me as I finished my potions essay; Allison was on my other side reading a book, with her feet tucked under her.
“Your point being…?” I asked, not looking up from the parchment.
“My point being that we need to plan some sort of Gryffindor bash!” She cried dramatically, slinging an arm around my shoulder.
“You’re right, my genetic nuisance,” Freddie announced, walking up behind the couch and patting Dom on the top of her head, “and I’ve got it covered, so, all you have to do it show up.” He smiled smugly.
Dom rolled her eyes, but smiled anyways, “Fine, fine. I trust you, Weasley.”
“Good,” Freddie said, “I was just so worried that you didn’t for a moment.”
Dom punched him lightly on the arm before looking around me towards Allison.
“Hey, Allie, want to head up? It’s nearly eleven,” she asked, glancing at my watch. Allison nodded, closing her book.
“Yeah, I am getting a bit tired,” she yawned, stretching her arms above her head and I couldn’t help but notice the sliver of white skin on her stomach that showed at her t-shirt rode up. She smiled at me, hopefully not detecting my wandering eyes, “Night James.” She said, and kissed me on the cheek, right at the corner of my mouth before running up to her dorm.
I sat there in shock for a moment until Freddie started chuckling and punched my shoulder, “Progress!” He proclaimed and went to find Frank, probably to tell him what just occurred.
“Well, well,” Dom said, nudging me with her shoulder, “It seems as though things are working out, eh?”
“Um, yeah, I guess,” I shrugged, trying to sound indifferent, but my nosiness got the best of me, “Does she like me?”
“From I can tell…” Dom started, reveling in my anxiety, “Yes.”
I restrained myself from fist pumping and settled with one, excited, “Yes!”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m happy for you, mon cousin,” Dom yawned, “but it’s time for me to get some shut-eye.”
“Hey, Dom, wait,” I said, remembering what I needed to talk to her about.
“I know what happened,” she looked at me, confused, so I decided to elaborate, “with Frank.”
Dom flushed the deepest red I had ever seen and started tugging on the ends of her strawberry blonde hair.
“Why did you run away?” I asked softly, sensing her totally un-Dom-like vulnerability at that moment.
“It’s just…” She whispered, her caramel eyes looked up at me, big and wide, reminding me of when we were kids, going on adventures behind the Burrow and she’d grab my hand when she got scared of something in the shadows, usually a garden gnome, “I’ve never really…”
Dom sighed, scratching her cheek. I stayed quiet, not wanting to push her. She looked down at her hands in her lap.
“I do like Frank,” she admitted, the blush never leaving her cheeks, “and I’ve never really had any feelings for anyone before and it’s scary. I didn’t know what to do. So I ran.”
I wrapped an arm around her small shoulders and she curled up into me.
“It’s okay to be scared Dom,” I said in a low voice, “Don’t you think I’m scared every time I walk into a room and Wood is there? I suddenly feel as though everyone is watching and judging everything I do and I can’t control the things I say and I end up sounding like an idiot. I’m petrified.”
Dom nodded slowly, but didn’t say anything.
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, Dom,” I told her, “I hope you know that.”
“I do,” she said, “I do.”
This is my longest chapter so far! Ah! I hope it's at least semi-satisfactory after my horrible Chapter 5. Sooo.... what do you think? I apologize if everyone is getting bored of the small amount of "action" going on between Allison and James, but maybe Halloween will change that? *wink wink* Please review! xx
p.s. the chapter title is a song by Two Door Cinema Club (good band!)
p.s.s. Thank you for LSU4evr for reviewing! and thank you so much to Alivi, beatergirl21, BroomStickChick, butterbeerqueen, cleopatra82, coldplay465, couldyoureallyknow, dinasayah, ElectrixxSoul, emixoxpotter, expectopatronumHP, finger licking good, Greene, harryandginnylover, Hellli, HermGinnyHarryRon, ibelieveinmagic, Itsjustafairytale , jabberwocky09, Jaime, jane_ascher, jennie8lynn, JL6, kaaysquared, LillianRedden, lilyan potter, lilylunapotter26, lily_potter4ever, Lira, Lost4ever4ever, LSU4evr, lunaginny, Marissa, mnm, Music_Lover, m_vicky, padfoot88, silver8, SiriuslyRedPadfoot, Slytherin_Ravenclaw_chick, The Sockpuppet, theupsidedownquibbler, WhiteBoots88, and xxDobbyX for favoriting ( I think this may be the last time I list all of you, haha!)
p.s.s.s. I wrote a Dom/Frank one-shot that takes place after they graduate, but it has too many spoliers, so I can't post it until this story is finished! But I love it. It's sort of a songfic for the song I see a Cloud by Misty's Big Adventure. And, I was wondering if anyone is interested in a one-shot companion piece about what happened after that Ancient Runes class on that fateful day...? ;) (sorry for the long note!)