Chapter 10 : The big TEN
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I will punch you if you wake me up from this fantastic dream.
However, on the off chance this is in fact real life, please feel free to slap me across the face so I can get grip and stop freaking the fuck out.
Noah’s hair blew away from his face just then as a particularly gusty breeze blew through the tower, revealing his amazing eyes and causing my heart to swoop ridiculously low.
Holy crap. I think this might be real life.
No way in hell could I imagine him looking this good with his hair all windswept and his cheeks flushed from the cold.
“Tiff...” Noah whispered, his fingers resting on my face and sending waves of heat down my cheeks all the way to the tips of my toes.
He was so close to me, his chest lightly pressed against mine as I craned my neck up to look into his eyes.
Holy good goddamn.
He’s really going to do it.
He’s going to kiss me.
Is it normal to feel like I’m about to hurl?
With Freddy it was kind of like, Oh hey, you’re cute.
Let’s hook up.
I have a feeling this has a touch more depth to it than that.
What the fuck should I do?
Well, kiss him, obviously.
But do I do it first?
Should I just stand here flipping out until he mans up and snogs the hell out of me?
No way, Tiff.
You are one fierce freakin Gryffindor.
Stop with the dilly dallying and make a move.
You got this.
I took a deep breath before reaching up and locking my fingers behind his neck and getting a pleasing response as his hands travelled down to my waist, his eyes focused solely on my lips.
The anticipation is literally killing me.
I am dying a slow, painful, kissless death.
And I know just the person to save me.
I stood up on my tiptoes, smiling ever so slightly at the nervous look on Noah’s face, his adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed thickly.
“Fancy meeting you here.” I whispered, cringing a little bit as the corniness of my words sunk in but attempting a confident and sexy smile anyways.
It probably looked like I was being forced to grin at gunpoint.
Tiffany Walker knows how to reel in the lads with her womanly wiles.
Play it cool, Walker.
You got this.
Noah grinned crookedly and pressed his forehead against mine. “It’s quite the coincidence, I’d say.” He whispered back.
Score. He took my awkwardness and spun it into something adorable.
My breath caught in my throat as he moved one hand to caress the side of my face, the ends of his fingers tangling in my hair.
“Very coincidental.” I answered breathlessly.
Holy shit, just stop talking now.
You’re embarrassing yourself.
Noah moved one of his hands forward, ever so lightly pushing aside a wayward lock of hair that had blown in my face. His thumb traced the outline of my bottom lip, grinning triumphantly as I inhaled sharply at his gentle touch.
I narrowed my eyes playfully as a corner of my mouth quirked up, “You’re enjoying teasing me, aren’t you?”
His cheeks flushed as his smile grew, all the while he was backing me up so my back was resting against the wall behind me. He ducked his head towards mine until his lips brushed my ear, “Maybe a little.” He pressed a quick kiss at the beginning of my jaw, just below my ear.
I am now officially a wreck.
I am a breathless, weak-kneed, blushing wreck.
And it’s all shy little book worm Noah Parker’s fault.
Where in the hell did he get such smooth moves?
Not that I’m complaining.
The boy’s got skill.
With looks like his and his talent at making even me melt, it’s a wonder his player status hasn’t shot through the roof.
I wonder what he sees when he looks down at me.
In my mind’s eye I picture a shorter than she’d prefer girl with long blond hair getting blown around her face, her green eyes wide as she tries with all her might to calm the blush that blooms across her cheeks.
I probably look terrified.
That’s always attractive.
His lips brushed along my jaw, grazing across my cheek until they hovered directly above my mouth.
This is it.
I am seconds away from kissing the boy of my dizzyingly fanciful daydreams.
So how come apprehension has suddenly lodged in my chest and is currently making it impossible to breathe?
His eyes closed as his hands pulled me slightly towards him, lifting my head off the wall.
I closed my own eyes and took a deep breath, preparing for contact when all of a sudden-
No, not literally.
But it was just as bad.
It was like I was spewing words. Without any control.
Can you develop Tourettes spontaneously?
Because that is literally the only explanation that comes to mind.
His lips had just barely brushed mine when my eyes shot open and my mouth blurted, “I have letters in my pocket.”
His eyebrows scrunched together as he opened his eyes and he licked his lips quickly before saying slowly, “Um, yeah. Are they really important? Do you need to send them right now?”
The way his hands were gripping me tighter than they had before was giving me the impression that he thought this was a bad idea.
In fact, I was getting an even clearer impression that we he wanted to be snogging me as of thirty seconds ago.
I could just be making that up, but the way his eyes refused to leave my mouth was giving me that general idea.
“They sort of hurt. Their edges are kind of sharp.”
Which is true.
But not something he necessarily needs to know.
My Spontaneous Tourettes apparently disagrees with me.
His grip loosened and he stepped a little back from me, his face still looking confused, “Oh, um, you should send them then.”
Did I seriously just ruin a snog with Noah Parker?
Was that really me?
Dear merlin I hope this a dream so I can wake the hell up.
I ran a hand nervously through my hair as I scuffed my shoes, looking at the stone and animal bones beneath my feet.
Come to think of it, this isn’t a very romantic first kiss spot.
Hey, maybe my subconscious was just trying to help me out by stopping this kiss!
Who the hell am I kidding?
I would kiss this boy anytime, anywhere.
You may be wondering to yourself, Hey, Tiff, if that’s the case, why aren’t you grabbing him by that luscious head of hair of his and snogging the daylights out of him right now?
Well, it could have a little bit to do with the fact that he now looks painfully uncomfortable and like he’d rather be anywhere but here.
Really well done, Tiffany.
Just, really smashing.
He probably thinks I’m some big tease who’s playing stupid mind games.
Noah raked a hand through his hair and looked at me awkwardly, “Hey, so, I should probably get going before Freddy and James wake up. You know how needy they are.” He chuckled slightly.
I smiled gratefully at his attempt to ignore the fact that I just annihilated the mood with my Spontaneous Tourettes Syndrome.
Which better actually exist.
Otherwise it’s possible I’m as crazy as Jeanine.
Dear lord almighty I hope that’s not the case.
“They are a little high maintenance.” I agreed with a smile before starting a little, “Oh! Here’s your jacket back.”
I had one arm half pulled out of a sleeve when he stopped me and pulled it back up my shoulder, “Keep it for now. It’s a small castle, I’m sure I’ll get it back someday.”
I swear that grin of his turns my knees to a wobbly mess every time I see it.
I quirked an eyebrow at him, “You never know, I could be a notorious jacket stealer. You may never see it again.”
He took a step back from me and looked me over slowly, causing me to blush before he stepped close again, “You know, strangely, I think I’m okay with that.”
He pecked me quickly on the lips before turning around and striding away. “Good luck with those letters.” He called behind him before rounding the corner and disappearing down the stairs.
If I ever breathe normally again, it’ll be a miracle.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I hate, hate, hate Potions.
It kicks my ass.
I try, so unbelievably hard, and I’m still atrociously awful at it.
Tad unfortunate, I must admit.
Totally shatters the illusion of perfection I had going, eh?
I plunked my head down on the library table that I’d set up camp at, books sprawled haphazardly across the tabletop as I attempted to do my Potions essay.
Not going too well.
Especially since it’s started raining and I love the rain.
But instead of curling up with an awesome book I’m stuck here.
With this stupid essay.
I’d call it dirty names if it had feelings.
“Erm, Tiffany?” A voice asked from above.
“Yes?” I replied, not bothering to lift my head up.
It’s too heavy with thoughts of Noah Parker’s tiny little kiss he gave me.
I mean really, what was that?
What did it even mean?
Oh, no you don’t Tiffany.
You will not obsess over this right now.
That is to be saved for the middle of the night when you definitely will not be able to sleep.
“Sorry to bother you, but all the other tables are full, and I was wondering if maybe... I could do my work here?” The voice asked, half hopeful and half apprehensive.
If I say yes, then I’d have to give up my lovely sanctuary of silence and I would obviously get distracted by this oh-so intriguing mystery fellow that I would for certain never get my work done.
On the other hand, they might be able to help me with my essay.
I raised my head to permit their presence in my personal bubble and my eyes widened in surprise.
Or Baby Potter, as most people call him. A sixth year, I believe. He looks like Harry Potter minus the bitchin scar so people never deny him anything.
I nodded, “Sure, have a seat.”
“Thanks.” His mouth gave a small smile.
“So what’s new, Alby?” I asked, grinning a tad cheekily as he pulled his books from his bag.
Albus Potter is really the only Potter I can mildly stand.
We bonded last year after I helped him get his cat back from Peeves.
But really, who takes a cat?
Seriously Peeves. That’s low. Even for a poltergeist. Learn some respect.
Albus is a bit quiet but it’s unbelievably cute and all the sixth year girls fall for his dorky shyness.
But he isn’t a player like his brother.
No, he’s a gentleman.
He even holds the door open for girls.
Chivalry, thy name is Alby.
He rolled his eyes and then looked at me, “You know I hate it when people call me that, right?”
I held a hand dramatically to my chest and widened my eyes, “You know, I simply had no idea.”
He shook his head but smiled slightly, flipping to the page he needed, “You’re ridiculous.”
“Ridiculously adorable.” I quipped.
And then I had a minor heart attack out of shock.
I just stole a line from James Potter.
Which means I don’t think everything that comes out of his mouth is totally idiotic.
Revelations on a rainy day, eh?
“So, whatcha workin’ on over there Alby?” I asked nonchalantly, glancing over.
“Charms.” He muttered, distracted by his work.
“Charms, eh? Cool, cool. Very cool. Charms is uh, pretty cool...” I nodded my head, wondering how long it would take for him to catch the hint and do my Potions for me.
He sighed, “Was there something you wanted, Tiffany?”
I ran a hand through my hair and scoffed, “Who, me? Pfffft. No way. I’m totally fine.” He looked up from his parchment and gave me a look, “Well actually, now that you mention it, I’ve got this Potions assignment that has tall, dark, and bespectacled written all over it.” I batted my eyelashes theatrically at him.
He sighed again, reaching his hand out for it.
I knew there was a reason I liked him!
“Tiffany,” He complained, looking it over, “You’ve only done the first sentence!”
I crossed my arms over my chest and pouted, leaning my elbows on the desk, “It’s not my fault it’s raining.”
He stared at me incredulously, “What does that have anything to do with it?”
“Who can get work done when it’s raining? It’s way too special to be wasted doing schoolwork.”
Al stared at me for a long moment, his eyes darting over my face as though really seeing me for the first time.
The scrutiny made me uncomfortable until he finally looked back to my paper, shaking his head and smiling, “You’re like James.”
Excuse me, Baby Potter?
Those noises coming out of your mouth sounded like words, but they made no sense in that order.
“How so?” I asked, startled.
“He loves the rain. Says it should be a special holiday when it’s stormy.” Albus replied, never stopping the constant flow of words his quill was creating.
My mind = blown.
Because I said that precise thing to Jen over the summer.
“Oh. I see.” Was all my brain could come up with as a reply.
He nodded in response and set to work on the details of my essay.
I couldn’t stand the silence.
So I began a noble quest to engage Albus Potter in some idle chitchat.
“So Alby, how come you’re so awesome and your brother is so not? I thought the middle child was supposed to be the rotten apple.” I grinned so he would know I was teasing.
He smirked briefly, “God doesn’t give with both hands.”
I laughed and tilted back in my chair, balancing it on two legs.
“That’s bad for the chair.” He informed me.
No wonder he’s a Prefect.
“Good thing I have this magical thing called magic then.” I smirked.
“So clever Tiffany.” He muttered, absorbed in my too boring for words Potions assignment.
He’s obviously not interested in helping me out with my noble quest.
Maybe he’s interested in chitchat with some depth, then.
He seems like the type to enjoy that.
“So James is a prat, eh?”
Something about being around Baby Potter is making me think of Big Potter and how much he’s been buzzing around me lately.
And how that confuses me.
I don’t like being confused.
So I shall publicly dislike Eldest Potty ‘till I figure out what his motives are.
He definitely doesn’t want to actually be friends.
That’s just crazy talk.
Albus didn’t even smile or toss me one of his famous ‘I’m way more mature than you but I’m tolerant enough to indulge your five year old tendencies’ looks.
“He can be.” He finally said flatly.
“Yeah, he’s been all up in my business lately.” I said sourly, planting the chair back on its four legs.
“Most girls would be thrilled.” He sounded amused.
“Do I have ‘dumb bimbo’ written on my forehead?” I scoffed.
He looked up and studied my forehead. “No, but I can see a faint outline of ‘smart ass’ somewhere on there.” He grinned for the first time since sitting down.
Baby Potter is much more serious than Big Potter.
Not so sure I like it.
“Good one Alby. Full marks.”
He snorted, “Did you just grade my joke?”
“I thought you might appreciate it.”
“What are you implying?”
“I think you know what I’m implying.”
“I’m sure I don’t.”
“Don’t you have my essay to do?” I grinned.
He rolled his eyes indulgently and went back to work.
I doodled a dragon on the corner of one of Albus’s Charms textbook pages, letting my mind drift as the constant drumming of raindrops hitting the windows relaxed me.
Albus’s voice startled me out of my reverie, “Hey, uh, Tiff? You um, drew over the paragraph I need. Can you tell me what it says underneath?”
I glanced over at my Potions book and noticed the rather large heart with the words 'Noah Parker + Tiffany Walker = True Lust Forever' inside, which the lovely Jennifer O'Conner had drawn all over the page when I wasn’t looking.
“That bitch. Last time I partner with her in Potions.” I muttered jokingly while leaning over to look closer at the words, although an unwilling blush spread across my cheeks.
I mean, seriously. This is James's little brother. What if he tells him?
That would be horrific.
Albus chuckled, “I’m guessing that’s not your handiwork, then?”
“Hell no. It would be way better drawn if I’d done it.” I joked.
Albus laughed before leaning in closer to see the words beneath the embarrassing drawing that I was going to murder Jen for later.
"Well don't worry," Alby whispered conspiratorially, "I won't tell."
I grinned at him gratefully.
What a champ.
“Hitting on my brother, Walker?”
Albus hit his head against mine as the deep voice startled us from behind as I snapped the book shut quickly.
I didn’t even need to look up to know that James was standing behind us, “Of course.”
I glanced at Albus to see his cheeks reddening rapidly as he scooted farther back in his chair, making me laugh.
“Relax kid. She’s joking.” James boomed out his laugh before taking the chair across the table from us.
Albus sighed and pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, “Did you need something James?”
James glanced at me, mischief alight in his eyes, “I am actually in need of assistance from your lovely study buddy.”
I looked away quickly, not wanting to admit that him calling me lovely made me slightly uncomfortable and more than a little nervous.
I also didn’t need any extra excuse to stare at him.
Because I would.
That boy is looking damn fine today, with his forest green t-shirt making those eyes pop and offsetting his dark hair really, really nicely.
He's still a git whose motives are yet to be determined, but I can admit that he is way too attractive.
I sometimes hate that I notice things like that.
I narrowed my eyes at him suspiciously, “What for?”
He smirked and crossed his arms behind his head, “It’s a surprise.”
I lifted my nose in the air in a mock snooty way and crossed my arms over my chest, “I don’t like surprises.”
He smiled, “I think you’ll like this one.”
I quirked an eyebrow at him before challenging, “And if I don’t?”
“You can hit me.”
A/N: Okay. So. I am a legitimately terrible person. It's been way longer than I'd ever care to admit, and for that I am a billion times sorrier than you could ever imagine.
But hopefully you enjoyed the chapter! It was a smidge challenging to write, and for that reason I am extremely interested in what you guys thought of it! Plus, you folks are just plain ol fun to talk to :)
Again, I am so sorry for the long space between updates! the next one will be much faster, promise!
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