A/N: I’m soo sorry it took so long for me to write this one. I was having problems sorting out the sequence of events. I have a story board that’s half-finished, and I’m still not sure how some things should play out. I decided not to introduce you directly to Jasmine this chapter, but I felt bad, so I gave you a short look into James’ and Dixie’s past. I hope you enjoy it! :D Leave a review, tell me how I’m doing?
& here we have the yummy Nolan Saunders. phantasmagoria @ TDA.
- - - - -
The fire crackled in front of us as we sat in the Common Room. The heat of it sent prickles up my arms, but I paid it no attention, staring into the flames morosely.
“It’ll get better, Zee,” James murmured from next to me on the couch, and I closed my eyes briefly.
“I don’t think it can get any worse.”
My voice had turned scratchy and hoarse, tickling my throat uncomfortably, a tell tale sign of my weakness.
I took a swig of the Firewhiskey in my hand to cover it, then pressed the cool glass of the bottle against my cheek.
There was the slightest pressure on my hand, and I glanced up, surprised.
James smiled weakly, shadows hanging over half of his face.
Slowly, he interlaced his fingers with mine, all the while watching me.
My heart was in my throat as I kept his gaze. His eyes were hazel, a golden color in the light of the fire.
There was nothing right anymore. So I did the thing that felt like it was.
I leaned forward, and pressed my lips against his.
- - - - -
Kill me. Just really, kill me now.
Her laugh rang through the dungeon, and from the corner of my eye, I watched Jasmine place a soft kiss on James’ cheek.
Nobody paid much attention to them. Professor Slughorn cast a disapproving glance, but apparently didn’t have the energy to waddle over there and yell at them.
“Slut,” I hissed under my breath, and threw the crushed spider eggs into the cauldron.
They went in roughly, splashing a little of the potion over the edges.
My Potions partner dodged out of the way of the falling liquid, brushing his Ravenclaw robes off.
"Somebody's ticked," The boy remarked mildly, propping his elbows up on the table and staring at me.
I rolled my eyes at him, peering into the cauldron. "What are we even making?"
The boy peered up at the chalkboard. "Looks like we're brewing Volubilis Potion."
He looked at me unbelievingly.
"It alters the voice of the person who drinks it. Have you been listening at all today?"
"I've got better things to do," I tilted my chin up defiantly. "And who the hell are you, anyways?"
The boy winked, then stuck his hand out boldly for a handshake.
I blinked at him, and twirled a piece of blonde hair around my finger.
"Never heard of you."
He dropped his arm lamely, then attempted a smile.
"You wouldn't have. But I’ve heard of you. Dixie Kasnic, right?"
"That's me," I leaned towards him, grinning my most vampish smile. "What‘ve you heard?"
I was in my full-on flirt mode now, but I could still hear James talking to Witt.
Witt was giggling furiously, shushing James. They seemed to be in their own world, and James wasn't paying the least bit of attention to me.
Well.. I could change that.
I was now looking up at Nolan through my eyelashes. Overused move, yes, but effective nonetheless.
"Oh, I've heard things." He replied.
"Very bad things," He said solemnly, face serious and blue eyes unwavering.
"Well you can't trust everything you hear, Nolan Saunders." I smiled.
He copied my pose, edging closer.
Our faces were inches away from each other, and pieces of brown hair fell into those stormy eyes.
Nolan blinked slowly, eyeing my face, then smirked.
"You can go easy on the flirt, Kasnic. Potter's not paying attention."
He sat back, satisfaction evident on his face as mine flushed with anger.
Yet I couldn't help but turn my head and see for myself.
It was true. It seemed like James hadn't looked up once from his girlfriend
I turned back to Nolan with pursed lips, my mood having officially taken a nosedive off the Eiffel tower.
"Don’t flatter yourself, Saunders,“ I said dryly, and tossed my hair for effect. “I was not
flirting with you. Besides, even if I was.. It wouldn’t be because of James Potter." I lied, crossing my arms over my chest defensively.
Nolan laughed, amused.
"Of course not. You don't have to lie." He shrugged, and then stirred the potion almost absentmindedly.
"It's pretty safe to say everyone knows about your obsession with him."
I gritted my teeth and sent Nolan my most frightening glare.
"You don't even know me." I started, and then set to work chopping the mint sprigs.
I hacked at them with the cutting knife viciously, continuing on through gritted teeth.
"And you're not worth my time right now."
Do not pummel this kid, Dixie.
Do not pummel this kid.
"I know enough about you, actually. Now could you quit taking your aggression out on our assignment, please?" Nolan questioned.
My hand was steadily rocking the knife back and forth, cutting mint sprig after mint sprig.
As he talked, I spun around towards him, dropping the knife on the table, and fixed him with a stare.
My "bitch-step-off-now" stare; my favorite and most often used.
"You don't know jack shit about me, Saunders." I said flatly, gritting my teeth.
Nolan rolled his eyes, nudging me out of the way easily. He set to work slicing the sprigs easily, his movements smooth and gentler.
"I know your full name is Dixie Rae Kasnic. You're a 7th year Gryffindor. You're perpetually angry-"
He paused and looked sideways at me, studying me quickly.
"-And you're only ever seen with one friend. Which could be because you're so angry all the time."
I couldn't find any room in my head for anger. It was true; I had practically no friends.
Emily? We actually used to be pretty good friends. Now.. It’s like we barely know each other. I don’t feel as if I can trust her with anything.
I brushed off the hidden insults easily, forcing a smiling up on to my face. "And I'm the stalker here? You certainly know a bit about me."
Nolan shrugged carelessly, scooping up the mint sprigs into one hand and tossing them into the cauldron.
He opened his mouth to retort, then stopped abruptly.
“Erm..” Nolan mumbled, watching our potion. “Is it supposed to be that color..?”
This time I
out of the way, peering cautiously into the cauldron.
The contents were a bright, wicked orange; a far cry from the calming lilac we were supposed to have.
The liquid began bubbling, spitting at us and hissing uncontrollably.
“Well, shit,” I heard Nolan remark from behind me, but I paid it no mind.
Before I’d given it much thought, I had switched cauldrons with someone else, using a quick spell a former friend had taught me.
Nolan made a sound of protest when he saw what I was doing, but I ignored him.
Three seconds later, our ruined potion exploded into Jasmine Witt’s face.
She screamed, an ear piercing cry, and stumbled backwards away from her table.
James grabbed her arm in surprise, but she dragged him back with her. They toppled sideways, bumping heads together, and landed in a tangle of limbs on the stone floor.
The cauldron tipped over as they collided with the desk, spilling the rest of the bubbling orange potion onto the stone below.
Silence hovered through the room, thick in shock, as Hogwarts’ newest It couple sputtered on the floor.
Then I, my classy self, burst into laughter.
Heads swiveled towards me, surprised at my audacity, but I was too caught in the humor of it all.
God, this was perfect. I hadn’t planned to sabotage their relationship just yet, but now I had started it without even intended to.
Beside me, Nolan broke out into nervous chuckles, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Sorry, Professor Slughorn,” He apologized to the serious old man staring at me. “It was a little funny, though.”
He nudged me sharply in the side, frowning at me in annoyance.
I sobered, taking a deep breath to fill my lungs back up, but I hung onto my smirk.
“Fucking hilarious is more like,” I muttered, but Nolan was the only one to hear.
Slughorn jiggled his way across the Potions Classroom, offering both of his wrinkly hands to James and Witt.
James pushed himself up on his own, ignoring Slughorn’s help, and then pulled Jasmine to her feet.
“Oh dear,” Slughorn sighed at the sight of her, and I smiled openly.
Her brown hair was everywhere, and black soot covered half her tan face. There was a forming bruise on her forehead where she had knocked heads with James, and one of her eyebrows was blown half away.
In short, she looked like she had just been dragged through a fireplace.
“Are you okay?” James murmered, pulling her close . I would have been jealous, but Jasmine’s face was too much for me to be envious of her right now.
“Yeah,” She answered immediately, and then gasped. Her blue eyes widened in horror, and one hand went up to her throat.
“My voice,” Jasmine patted her neck frantically, then turned a beseeching look towards Slughorn.
“What happened?” She demanded in a low, gravelly tongue.
I bit my lip, grinning, and Nolan shook his head in disapproval at my happiness.
“Perhaps next time you should be more careful when handling potions. The Volubilis has altered your voice a few pitches down.”
Jasmine’s face was a bright red, flushed with anger and embarassment. “But, sir, we-”
“Now, now,” Slughorn warbled, and I almost pictured him waving a finger at her. “No excuses. Mr. Potter, could you escort Miss Witt to the Hospital Wing?”
James nodded curtly, and placed one arm around Jasmine, as if she needed help to walk.
“What a drama queen,“ I murmered to Nolan when they were gone from class. “She has an altered voice, not an amputated foot.”
“That was a real bitchy thing for you to do,” He said seriously after a pause, staring down at the purple liquid that would surely give us an O.
I smiled, scooping up the potion in the little vial we were given. “You think that
was bitchy of me? Guess you don’t know me, after all.”
“Yeah,” He said, and collected his notes from the table. The bell rang, signaling the end of class, and Nolan turned to me.
“But I don‘t think you know yourself, either.”
He paused with his blue eyes on mine, letting these words sink in.
“See you later, Kasnic.”
He was gone before I could think of something to snap back.
A/N: Gosh, Dixie changes her moods pretty quickly. I hope the ending didn’t make you think I was trying to sound all epic or anything, haha. It’s not really a big deal, what Dixie did, but Nolan thought it was pretty harsh. And speaking of, I hope you like Nolan. I don’t expect you to fall in love with him automatically or anything, of course. But what do you think? Too nice, too strange? Tell me in a review. As it currently stands, it seems to me like Spiraling will have around 25 chapters if i'm lucky, hopefully a little more. I want to have it finished by the end of summer. That's my goal, so I'll have to get my butt in gear. It's not going to happen, though, so if it stretches to the end of the year.. Sorry?