Chapter 9 : It's Chapter Nine, chaps!
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“Of course not. Don’t be silly.” I told her, buttering a biscuit calmly as I tried to remain blasé in the face of a fire breathing dragon.
The dragon, of course, being Jen.
Ah, good ol’ Jennifer.
I can always count on her to blow things way out of proportion.
“He took you to dinner. That’s a date, Tiffany.” She seethed, her palms planted on the table as if she was about to launch herself at me.
That would be gnarly.
Her entire complexion was red, her eyes flashing with bitch anger and full to the brim of best mate betrayal.
It was honestly quite freaky.
“It was only the kitchens. Hardly five star accommodations.” I rolled my eyes.
Stay calm and sarcastic, Walker.
Don’t let her see your fear.
“Are you kidding me? Everyone knows the kitchens are incredibly romantic!” She sighed exasperatedly while covering her face with her hands.
Yeah, the tiny elves making a racket while they cook and the whole pie-in-hair thing is super romantic.
I’m totally wooed.
“Jennifer O’Conner. Listen to me. It wasn’t a date. I would never, ever, hurt you like that. Okay?” I leaned towards her, staring her in the eye until I saw her waver.
“Well... if it wasn’t a date, then what the bloody hell were you doing with him! I thought you hated him?” She asked accusingly, crossing her arms over her chest.
Addie, attempting to stay free and clear of any and all conflict, was chitchatting with the third year I’d shoved aside to make my walk across the tabletop.
I feel like I’m in a dream or something.
I mean honestly, how is this real life?
I’m being accused of going on date with James Potter, by Jen, while Addie strikes up conversation with a thirteen year old whose eyes are definitely not looking at her face.
I sighed, running a hand through my blond locks before setting my elbows on the table and forming a steeple with my fingers, “I do hate him. Well, sort of. I can’t really ever like him, ‘cause of second year and all, but he’s not the devil’s child, I guess. Anyway, McGonagall asked him to tutor the second years yesterday too, so he was helping out with that. And after all the kids were gone I mentioned I was hungry and he took me to the kitchens for food. End of story. Well, sort of. Alex was there, but that’s a tale for when you’re through with being mad at me.”
I raised an eyebrow at her contemplative expression until she blew out a harsh breath, “It was a fucking date!”
I sighed again, squeezing my eyes shut for a moment so I wouldn’t yell at her, which wouldn’t help anything, “Jen, you know my aversion to that boy. Do you really think I would ever willingly go on a date with Potter?”
Addie, whose conversation with the third year ended awkwardly and had since turned back to our argument, snorted and shook her head.
“Well then he probably thought it was a date, which is just as bad!” Jen cried, no longer looking ready to kill and now just looking dejected.
Too many mood swings.
I laughed, “No fucking way. Potter wants to date me just as bad as I wanna date him. Which is not at all.” I quickly clarified.
Why does this morning have to be so stressful?
I was so looking forward to a leisurely Sunday morning.
Now that’s all ruined and I’m distinctly put out.
“I don’t believe that. I mean, he actually talks to you. He doesn’t talk to anybody.” Jen sighed, resting her cheek on her hand.
Is she serious?
James talks to everybody.
He’s a networking master.
I laughed, “You make him sound like some social pariah.”
She rolled her eyes while absently chewing on her muffin, “You know what I mean. He only talks to people in his Wotter circle and the lucky outsiders that they’ve known forever. So obviously he fancies you.”
“You’re on crack woman.” I inform her, flicking my crumbs at Addie just because I felt like it.
I like to believe I’m full of whimsy, while in reality I’m just stupidly impulsive.
i.e. snogging James Potter.
But that’s a secret.
Very hush hush.
The Jennster would destroy me if she found out.
“I’m not on crack! I just know what a boy fancying a girl looks like. Which you apparently don’t.” She said huffily.
If I didn’t love her so much I’d probably hate her right now.
I narrowed my eyes at her, “Are you doubting me, Jenny? I know exactly what a relationship full of fancying looks like!”
Addie raised an eyebrow with a smile, “So are you saying it’s a relationship between you and James?”
“Then why is he so hellbent on spending time with you?” Jen questioned, her curls in her ponytail bouncing as she cocked her head to the side.
“He’s not.” They gave me identical ‘shut-up-and-tell-us-the-truth’ looks and I sighed, “He thinks it would be a good idea to be friends.”
They stared at me as if I’d spontaneously grown an extra head.
Apparently the idea that James Potter wants to be friends with me is more surprising than the idea that he fancies me.
“Besides, he doesn’t want to spend all that much time with me. I’m pretty sure he just feels guilty for completely ignoring me for the past six years.” I said, not meeting their eyes.
For some reason I don’t think that’s entirely the reason he wants to friends.
I think he’s more interested in friendship because of the fact that we kissed.
Must’ve been one hell of a good snog.
Jen looked down her nose at me, “Honey. If that were the case, he’d be wanting Addie and I to be best mates with him too. He’s ignored us just as much as you. If not more, actually.”
I glared at her smug expression.
Stop ruining my excuses Jennifer!
“Yeah well you’re ugly.” I said happily, pouring myself my third cup of coffee.
It’s the drink of the gods, I’m telling you.
She placed her hand over mine and smiled sympathetically, “I think it’s really brave you can go out in public looking the way you do. I don’t think I could handle looking so disfigured all the time. It must be so hard.”
I gave her a heartwarming grin, “After seeing that horrific thing you call a face I’ve somehow learned to manage much better. So really, I should be thanking you! Or should I be thanking your parents and their spectacular ability to make such horrendously ugly babies?”
Before you go off thinking that Jen and I are horrible people who hate each other, let me clear that up:
Jen and I are not horrible people who hate each other.
Ever since third year, every so often, Jen and I get into Ugly Fights.
Basically we just insult each other until we get bored with it.
I don’t know how or exactly when it started, but it did.
Addie thinks it’s terrible.
Her disapproval adds to the fun.
Addie groaned into her hands, “Please, not this again! You guys always do this in public. It’s humiliating.”
Jen put on a mock affronted expression as she turned to look at me, hand pressed to her chest, “You know, I think she’s embarrassed to be seen with us. Our ugliness must truly be horrifying.”
“Oh, how tragic.” I grinned before standing up and slinging my bag over my shoulder, “Well gorgeous ladies, as much as I’d love to continue this uplifting conversation, I still have that potions essay to do.”
I have to spend my Sunday working on a stupid essay.
In the library!
And I think it might even be close to raining today!
Sigh. Best weather ever.
Addie looked at me disapprovingly, “It’s due Wednesday.”
“It was assigned last Wednesday.” The disapproving look deepened.
“Also a part of my knowledge.”
Jen started suddenly and looked up at me while reaching into her pocket, “Oh! D’you mind swinging by the Owlery and sending this letter to my brother? He’s been bugging me since forever to write.”
Ah, Jeff O’Conner.
Hunkiest hunk to ever be hunky.
Doesn’t hurt that he works with dragons either.
I took the letter from her with a somewhat dazed grin, “Sure! I still have this letter to send to Jeanine anyway.”
Jen and Addie snorted simultaneously.
They think Jeanine’s kooky and hilarious.
That just about sums her up.
“Well I’m off then. Unless you guys wanna come with me and help with my paper...?” I trailed off hopefully.
Jen shooed me away, “Get your procrastinating arse out of here.”
I blew them a kiss before walking merrily out of the hall.
As I passed the end of the table closest to the Great Hall’s doors, I spotted Noah eating with Scorpius and Rose, an adorable smile lighting up his face.
No Freddy or James to be seen.
They must still be asleep.
Noah caught my eye while I stared at the way the sun glinted off his golden hair and he gave me a soft smile.
I watched his lips form my name, “Tiffany!”
I halted and blushed before giving him a quick wave and picking up my pace.
He caught me staring and probably thinks I’m a freak.
A staring, blushing, totally creepy freak.
“Hey, Tiff! Wait up!”
I turned my head to see Noah scrambling to get off the bench and jog his way up to me.
My heart slammed into overdrive as he approached and I thought my blush really couldn’t get any deeper.
I’m sure a quivering wreck is exactly what he wanted to talk to this morning.
“Oh, hey Noah. What’s up?” I said when he’d fallen into step with me, pleased at the way my voice stayed level.
He let out a breath and a grin, “Thank merlin you walked by right then! Scorp and Rose were getting all cute and touchy and I didn’t think I could stomach much more of it.”
My laugh echoed around the Entrance Hall, “Well I’m happy to be of help.”
“So, where are you rushing off to?” He grinned down at me, taking the marble steps two at a time.
Those things are slippery.
“The Owlery. Then the library, probably. Still got that Potions essay to work on unfortunately.” I sighed, running a hand through my hair.
He sucked in a breath through his teeth, “Bad luck. I dropped Potions last year, couldn’t stand that ruddy subject. Anyway would you like some company up to the Owlery?”
I smiled up at him, “Love some.”
His arm brushed mine just then and I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a moment.
I need to get it together.
Flip flopping stomach? Check.
Pounding heart? Affirmative.
This is getting ridiculous.
We walked in a somewhat pleasant silence, only slightly tinged with awkwardness as I tried to think of something not idiotic to say.
Any other time with any other person and my brain’s on rapid fire with quirky things to say.
Not so much.
My brain completely freezes up.
A smidge inconvenient, really.
“So who’re you writing to?” He finally asked me, his gaze on mine.
“My mum Jeanine. I’ve been meaning to write for ages and now she’s probably going to murder me for taking forever. Oh, and Jeff, Jen’s brother.”
His eyebrows furrowed, “You keep in contact with Jen’s brother? Didn’t he graduate like three years ago?”
I wish I was still talking to Jeffy.
I laughed, “Oh, no, it’s not from me. Jen just asked me to send it for her.”
His expression cleared and he smiled, “So what’s your mum like?”
He’s asking about Jeanine?
Insert Tiff melting into a puddle of goo here.
I smiled fondly, my eyes on the floor, “Amazing. She’s absolutely brilliant. She was on the fast track to becoming a Healer until she met my dad, actually. Jeanine’s completely off her rocker, of course, but she’s hilarious.”
He laughed and my toes practically curled at the sound.
It’s a really, really nice laugh.
“You call your mum by her first name?” He gave an indulgent half smile.
“Of course I do. How come that’s always a sticking point for people?”
He nudged me as we stepped into the Owlery, “Maybe because it’s different.”
“It seems like everything about me is different.” I sighed, rubbing my arms to try and keep warm in the freezing tower.
“In a good way.” Noah smiled down at me, once again tucking a stay lock of hair behind my ear.
I hadn’t realized we’d gotten so close we were practically touching.
“Here.” He suddenly said, breaking eye contact and shrugging out of his jacket.
He’s giving me his jacket.
Chivalry is definitely not dead.
It lives inside Noah Parker.
“Are you sure?” I asked him, a soft smile playing on my lips.
“Of course. Can’t have you catching a cold, now can we?” He whispered, standing behind me as helped me put his jacket on.
His hands lingered on my shoulders, his thumbs rubbing circles and sending tingles everywhere.
I took a deep breath and slowly turned around to face him, only slightly surprised to see his face so close to mine.
His eyes are amazing.
They’re this sparkly turquoise/sky blue combination with little gold flecks every so often.
It’s sort of hypnotizing, staring into them.
I can read all of his emotions in his eyes, not like James who keeps his eyes unreadable and I’m constantly guessing.
What the hell?
Why did I start thinking about James?
It was then, right when I was scolding myself for letting my thoughts wander when something changed in the depths of Noah’s eyes and all of a sudden, loud and clear, I could see The Look.
You know the one.
The one where you’re laughing and joking about something unimportant and out of nowhere, he gets this Look in his eyes.
Half determined and half terrified, it can only mean one thing.
His lips are going to be on yours in mere seconds.
That’s the Look I was getting from the boy whose hands were gently cupping my face.
Noah Parker’s about to kiss me.
A/N: AHHH CLIFFY! Tee hee :D Who's freaking out right now? Who's so excited they ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS?! Oh, also, I apologize for the excessive amount of italics in this chapter. I got a little italic-happy :)
Anyway, I'm dying to know what you guys thought of this chappie, so let me know in one of those nifty reviews! :)
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