Chapter 9 : You And I Know
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I slammed my stack of textbooks onto the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall on Monday morning, my copy of The Catcher in the Rye on the top of the pile, right in front of Dom, causing her to start and lift her head from where it was laying on her folded arms.
“You told.” I said in a low, cold voice.
“Wha—what?” she yawned, picking cereal out of her hair.
“You told James about the list.” Her eyes widened.
“Wha—? No! Of course not!” She denied, “Why? Did he say I did? I mean—”
“Save it.” I said, lifting a hand and facing the palm in her direction, taking a seat across from her, “No, he did not say that you told him, but how else would he know? You’re the only person who could’ve told him; besides me that is and I most definitely didn’t.”
“I’m sorry,” she finally blurted, hiding her face behind her hands, “but I let it slip during breakfast on Saturday and Frank asked ‘what list?’ and I tried to cover it up, I swear, but I’m not exactly very smooth, sort of like Louis in that respect—I mean have you heard the word vomit that spews out of that boy?—and Rose told me not to insult her intelligence, and you know how she drives me crazy, and James just looked so concerned and Freddie actually listened and—”
“Wait, what? Frank, Rose, and Freddie know, too?” I asked, exasperated. Dom sunk lower in her seat and nodded, “Merlin Dom! It’s like you want me to smack you!”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” She clasped her hands in front of her, elbows on the table, and her head hung low; begging for forgiveness, “What words must I utter to earn your pardon?!”
“I don’t have the energy to deal with this and in all honesty I should just be impressed that you kept it a secret for this long anyways.”
“Question: Should I be offended or complimented by that statement?” She lifted her head to look at me, a confused expression on her face.
“Perhaps a bit of both.” I shrugged, pouring myself a glass of pumpkin juice.
“I can deal with that.” She nodded before smirking at me, “So, where did you and James run off to last night?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but we went to the Quidditch pitch.” I felt my face heat up.
“AH—ah! You’re blushing!” She exclaimed causing me to shush her before she continued in a lower tone, “What happened? Tell Dominique. Dominique listens. Dominique cares.”
“Stop referring to yourself in the third person; you sound like a House Elf,” I sighed, shaking my head, “and if you must know we…we…”
I lowered my voice and leaned in closer to my friend, “we kissed.”
“HUZZAH!” She pumped her fist in the air, earning a couple of dirty looks from a group of seventh years a few seats down from us nursing hangovers, “Freddie owes me ten sickles!”
“Could you be any more embarrassing?”
“Yes, yes I could.” She answered seriously.
“Why are we even talking about me and James? We should be talking about you and Frank.” I smirked as a violent shade of red travelled up her neck, “You two are dating now.”
I wiggled my eyebrows suggestively.
“Soyez tranquille.” (be quiet) she muttered.
My following laughter sounded throughout the Great Hall causing a collective groan to erupt from at least one third of its inhabitants and the stink eye to be directed to me not only from most of the students, but half of the staff table as well.
Everyone needs to learn how to handle their firewhiskey.
“Up, up, up child!”
“Ugghh.” I replied, burrowing my face further into my pillow.
“No, no, no child!”
“Stop saying everything in threes!” I heard Frank groan from the bed beside me.
“And stop calling me a child!” I whined, rolling over and running a hand through my hair. I squinted my eyes in the face of the bright, yellow light pouring in through the window.
“I refuse to, children!” Freddie exclaimed, “It is now that time of the day where we all congregate in the Great Hall for a good ole nosh of eggs, waffles, and the like. Now onward, children! Up and at ‘em!”
“Sweet mother of Merlin.” Frank cursed, rolling out of his bed and onto the floor, “Why is he like this? Why did the wizarding gods of whatever and whatever bestow upon us a dorm mate as annoying as he?”
“I hear thy words and me no likey thy attitude!” Freddie yelled from the bathroom, “It’s a new morning, a new day, a new week! We have things to do! People to see! Bacon to eat! Now c’mon you lump!”
I had just closed my eyes again when suddenly my pillow was tugged from under my head and an uncontrollable moan escaped my lips.
“The sun… too bright… the time… too…early.” I complained.
“I hear thy grievances but alas! Me don’t care; me just want sustenance.” Frank jabbed my cheek with his wand for emphasis.
“Since when do you know all these big words?” Frank asked as he pulled on his uniform pants, nearly falling over in the process.
“Roxanne’s a Ravenclaw. Perchance she rubbed off on me. Maybe.” Freddie looked pensive for a moment, “Probably.”
“You’re mad.” Frank deduced, “Incredibly, undeniably, and irreversibly mad.”
“Now those are some big words, my friend!” Freddie clapped him on the black jovially, “And you know what else? I may be mad, but I know for a fact that you youknow-youknow’ed Dom into oblivion last night!”
Frank at least had the decency to blush over his smirk.
“I regret nothing!” He announced, throwing his arms into the air and walking into the bathroom, “Now I’m going to brush my teeth because I can predict that I will continue to snog your aforementioned cousin—my girlfriend—this morning. In the Great Hall. In front of everyone.”
I opened my mouth to say something but suddenly Frank’s toothbrush was sticking out the bathroom door and waving wildly in my direction.
“And yes— before you ask— I have no shame.”
I rolled my eyes and pulled myself out of bed, doing the toe touches and arm stretches that Louis always tended to perform whenever he stood up after sitting or laying down for an extended amount of time and started walking towards the bathroom.
“Wha’? Why is everyone awake?” A head of tousled brown hair suddenly appeared from behind the curtains of the bed across from mine.
“Cael, m’boy!” Freddie greeted our ever elusive dorm mate.
We had never been too close with Cael, but he was always the guy that was just there, you know?
Always your Potions partner when your friend was sick, always there to help you with that Transfiguration essay or always a few seats down at meals. He was an acquaintance to us and mostly hung out with the two other beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team who were seventh years: Tristan Knights and Owen McClellan.
“Izzit the mornin’ already?” Cael questioned in a deep Irish brogue.
“Yes it tis, child—”
“He’s been calling me a ‘child’ all morning; ignore it.” I called out to him after kicking Frank in the shin for taking up too much space in front of the mirror as I brushed my teeth. Cael made a sound of understanding, obviously used to Freddie’s antics.
I walked out of the bathroom to find Freddie sitting on Cael’s back and mumbling every other word coming out of his mouth; I only caught “attack”, “bubotuber pus”, and “gingers”.
“About ready to go? Bugger.” Frank stepped out of the bathroom behind me, kicking me firmly behind the knee. I reached out to smack him upside the head, but retracted my hand quickly, “Know what? Not even worth it right now. I am relaxed. Chilled. Cool as a cucumber.”
“Cucumbers are cool?” Freddie looked confused, quickly tapping his fingertips against each other and still sitting on top of Cael who was already sound asleep again.
“The coolest,” I assured him, “but that’s not the kind of cool I was talking about, but now that I think about it, I’m that kind of cool, too. That’s what I am. Cool.”
“Does this whole new conquest of all things cool have anything to do with Allie?” Frank queried as he leaned against my bed post.
“No—maybe—yes.” I admitted.
“It’s obvious you two did a little youknow-youknow out on the pitch.” Freddie pointed out, jumping down back onto his own two feet and mumbled something that sounded like, “The pitch, yes. It’s only logical.”
I swear he acts like this solely to freak us out.
“For the most hormonally controlled guy in Gryffindor you sure have a problem with saying the word snog.” Frank observed and Fred covered his ears.
“My mum said that she never wanted to hear me say that word to her ever again and I’m afraid she has this room—what was it called on that Muggle show we watched?—wired, bugged, I don’t know! She scares me!” Freddie practically whimpered. Frank decided to ignore the outburst.
“So,” he started almost awkwardly, turning to me, “anything you want to talk about?”
“She doesn’t want a relationship, but I should be cool with that, right?” I scratched the side of my face casually, “I guess I am. I think I am. I sound like a ruddy girl. It’s not a big deal.”
“Maybe you should talk to her about it?” Frank asked, obviously looking uncomfortable with this conversation; I was feeling it, too.
“Yeah, I think I will. Today.” I decided, pulling on my robes.
“Changing topics!” Freddie announced, pulling Cael’s pillow out from under his head and hugging it close to his chest, “We need to discuss you-know-who’s you-know-what.”
“Allison’s list?” Frank guessed. Freddie was suddenly in front of our friend, hand clasped over his mouth.
“SHHH! There are unwanted ears a-listenin’. Traitors. Spies.”
“That doesn’t even make sense.” Cael yawned, “I am neither a spy nor a traitor and I doubt that whatever is on this list that Wood has will affect me in any way, but I’m going to go into the bathroom now. Have your little talk. You can leave without me even though I know you were all so anxious to wait.”
Cael rolled his eyes along with his sarcasm and dragged his feet to the bathroom and slammed the door shut.
“Did I offend him?” Freddie asked innocently; his hand still over Frank’s mouth before it was slapped away by the blonde.
“You offend everybody just by existing.” Frank told him, but my cousin seemed unaffected by the statement.
“Okay, so, the list. What was it called again?”
“Things You Shouldn’t Do.” I recalled.
“Okay, as her youknow-youknow partner, James, you are in charge of finding out what else is on said list.” Freddie announced, making his way out the door and down the stairs, “We’ll find out what item number two is and we will get it ruddy crossed off by the end of the week, alright?”
“Alright.” Frank and I chorused, following Freddie out the portal and towards the Great Hall.
Today was going to be an interesting day.
As per usual, I entered the Potions classroom before James and most of the class. Professor Slughorn waved jovially in my direction from where he was sitting as his desk eating some sort of yellow-colored candy. I carefully pulled out all of my supplies and set them down neatly on my desk, lining up my quills parallel to my parchment.
I get a little neurotic when I’m antsy.
Which, I suppose, is all the time.
I just didn’t know how I was supposed to approach this whole hey-we-snogged-and-I-would-really-like-to-do-it-again-but-I-really-don’t-want-a-relationship thing (was that too much?) with James. Sure, he seemed a bit displeased when I first voiced my preferences, but I bet he’ll warm up to it in time. It’s a boy’s dream, right? A relationship of sorts that is all physical and no emotional. Okay, maybe a little emotional. We were quasi-friends first.
Just all these labels and expectations, and I don’t know about you, but they give me heart palpitations and I cannot stand the pressure or attention or just anything anymore. You can call me weak and incredibly un-Gryffindor-like, but I don’t care. If James utters the words “girlfriend”, “go out”, or “dating” I’m bound to go into some sort of anaphylactic shock (I’m allergic to commitment? No. I’m allergic to stress? Yes.)
I looked around as my fellow classmates began to file in, most of them grumbling about the cold temperature of the dungeons or the early hour in which we had to be there. I watched as some of them came in laughing and just, overall, enjoying their lives and I thought ‘Why can’t that be me?’
I hastily pulled out my list; the wretched list that apparently everyone in my immediate circle of friends knew about and quickly scanned its contents before folding it neatly and putting it back in my backpack. Maybe breaking one or two rules won’t kill me. I felt like changing things up a bit. My life was changing, everything and everyone around me was, why can’t I change, too?
“Wotcher Wood.” I heard a familiar voice greet me. I turned my head slightly to find a pair of hazel eyes looking right back at me, showing the same confusion that mine probably conveyed.
“Hello James.” I smiled and his whole demeanor seemed to relax as if he was expecting something completely different and grinned back, his eyes flitting to my side of the desktop.
“As always, a nice little set up you got there.” He noted, smirking at the undeniable neatness of it all. I looked down and skewed my notebook, slightly wrinkled my scroll of parchment, and placed my quill at the top of my desk, sighing with satisfaction. A little chaos never hurt anyone and if I was going to break some rules then I might as well step out of my comfort zone.
“Whoa. Don’t go too crazy.” He joked. I playfully smacked his arm with the back of my hand and surprisingly didn’t blush. He caught my wrist and suddenly my whole body felt warm as I looked at his hand before he suddenly dropped it and cleared his throat, his ears tinged a slight pink.
I will not allow things to be awkward.
I poked him in the side and giggled quietly causing him to look at me, startled.
“Who slipped you a pepper-up potion this morning?” He asked, his eyebrows practically disappearing beneath his fringe.
“No one.” I said, playfully smug, “I am allowed to be in a good mood, you know.”
“That is true.” He agreed and gently tugged on a wayward curl of my hair, “You just seem especially risky today. When you crinkled your parchment I thought that you were having some sort of mental breakdown.”
“Oh, hush you.” I smiled as he gave my hand a quick squeeze under the table. This was going better than expected, “So, I’ve been thinking—”
“Sounds dangerous.” James interrupted. I jabbed him lightly in the ribs with my elbow causing him to dramatically clutch at his side and wince.
“I believe I told you to hush.” I smirked, “As I was saying… I was thinking about what you said about me staying longer than an hour at the party and I found it rather odd that you knew that that held some sort of significance.”
James suddenly paled.
“Oh, does it?” He nervously ran a hand through his already disheveled hair, “I just—you know—noticed that you never stay that long at the parties and such—”
I cleared my throat and pat his hand that was nervously tapping against his knee.
“Calm down, James, I know that Dom told you about the list.” James nodded, looking unsure of how to reply, so I just continued, “And I was wondering if I could enlist you for some help.”
“I’m not going to help you carry it out, if that’s what you mean.” He told me.
“Well, no, I wasn’t going to ask you that,” I said, brows furrowed in confusion, “but if I did, why wouldn’t you?”
“It just seems unhealthy is all.” He shrugged, “Planning out your life like that, giving yourself ground rules. You need some leeway here, some freedom from your neuroses.”
“Excuse me, I do not have neuroses!”
He gestured to my now-unkempt workspace and I frowned.
“I don’t think I really have to make an argument here, just simply gesticulate.” He made a strange face for a moment, scrunching up his features, “Remind me to never use that word ever again. Freddie would love it.”
I brushed off the comment with a wave of my hand before crossing my arms over my chest again.
“Come on, Allie,” James looked at me, obviously sensing an impending argument of sorts, “even you have to admit that you’re a bit...um…neat-freakish at times.”
“Is that your nice way of saying ‘controlling’?” I asked. James just shrugged again and I groaned, “I was going to ask if you could help me break a couple rules off my list, but if you think I’m so controlling then—”
“Oh, no, I’d totally help you.” He put a hand on my shoulder. I gave him a disbelieving look, “Seriously. What else is on it?”
I mumbled then and even I didn’t completely understand what I said.
“Huh?” James moved in closer, lowering his head so he could hear better. My head was suddenly filled with that autumn scent I told him so much about.
“Never gain too much attention.” I recited from the top of my head.
James leaned back then, taking the fall scent with him. I almost pouted.
“Huh.” He rubbed his chin then scratched his unshaven cheek, looking all too pensive for my liking, “That one should be easy to break if you ask me.”
He leaned towards me again, tapping me slightly on my nose; my face heating up.
“Next Hogsmeade weekend is next week.” He informed me like I didn’t already know, “I think we can cross that off then. Don’t you think?”
He gave me his charming smile then and all I could do was nod dumbly.
Quickly, before I could fully comprehend what was happening, he closed the distance between us and pecked me once, lightly, on the lips, right as the last person entered the class. I heard a few sharp intakes of breath and hoped to Merlin that none of them were James’ crazy fangirls. As he leaned back into his seat he swiftly tucked a strand of my hair behind my hair and faced the classroom, leaving my dumbfounded.
“You’re going to pay for that.” I whispered as Professor Slughorn began to address the class.
“I surely hope so.” James replied with a smirk on his face and with a quick wink he turned to our teacher and successfully ignored my continuous poking for the rest of the class.
A/N: So much fluff in this story! And they will talk about the whole relationship/friendship/snogship soon! I'm sorry that it has taken so long to update! Horrible case of writer's block. But but but! Exciting things have happened!
1) I went to see Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway and afterwards I met him and got his autograph!
2) I have my Louis/OC fic up. It's called L'Appel du Vide and I'd really appreciate it if some of you would go and check it out! :D Thank you!
and please review!
p.s. chapter title is a song by Ra Ra Riot (incredible, amazing, brilliant band)