Disclaimer: Everything you recognise belongs to J.K. Rowling. All the other crap is mine :)
We had a full class in Astronomy that night (in First Year I would never have believed that a 'full' class could be just four people, considering how many classmates we had back then), so Professor Sinistra actually had to teach us. Bet she was gutted. Though for most of the lesson she just checked our constellation maps, so there wasn't really much teaching involved. I wouldn't mind – after all, lessons with little actual work are the best kind (yet another Bad Ravenclaw moment, I know) – but it was after midnight and I could have been sleeping. If only I didn't find this subject so interesting, I could have been snoring away in the dorm with everyone else.
At the end of the lesson, the Jones twins and I headed down the tower staircase while Wood stayed back to speak to the professor. When we reached the foot of the stairs, I said goodnight to the twins and stopped in the shadows, waiting for Wood. He still needed paying back for sneaking up on me twice.
Five minutes later, I was falling asleep on my feet, on the verge of giving up and going to bed. Then I heard footsteps descending the stairs; they were loud and heavy, so I assumed it was Wood stomping his way down (Professor Sinistra wore heels, so the sound would have been more of a sharp clack rather than the thud thud I was hearing). From my hiding place to the left of the staircase, I saw him step down into the corridor, so I casually stepped out and said,
"Fuck!" Wood yelled, jumping a foot in the air. Literally, I swear. Ha, revenge is rather nice, isn't it? At that moment I completely understood all those sayings about it.
"Is that pee I spy puddling around your feet, Wood?" I teased, causing him to glare at me. I'm sure he glanced down for a fraction of a second, but that may have just been wishful thinking on my part. After all, I do have a rather overactive imagination.
"What the fuck were you doing lurking in the shadows, Green?"
"Waiting to scare the shit out of you, duh," I replied, sending Wood a grin before I started to walk down the corridor with Wood not far behind me. Considering that the corridor was lit only by flickering torches, I'm sure the eerie illumination made my face look quite terrifying. Mwahaha!
"Your face is enough to do that," Wood retorted. Ha, knew it.
"Oh, ouch," I replied sarcastically, biting back a grin. "So how'd it go with Sinistra? Any magic happen, if you know what I mean?"
"Very funny, Green. She just wanted to tell me that if I hoped to succeed in Astronomy I should stop copying your work."
I snorted. "She really said that?"
"Wow. She's good."
"She didn't seem to know you let me copy, though. I considered letting her in on the secret, but I didn't fancy my chances against your temper." Wood ducked out of the way as I swung my fist towards him.
"I'd thank you, but I'm not sure withholding information to save your own skin is as noble as you'd like to think," I said, once again damning his impressive reflexes.
"What ever happened to gratitude?" Wood asked, a hint of teasing in his voice.
"It fucked off to Mars along with all my other manners."
"I can believe that." This time, my knuckles collided with his bicep. I'd laugh victoriously but I always seem to forget that punching solid muscle hurts me. I bit the inside of my bottom lip to stop myself from swearing.
"You can be a right arse sometimes, you know," I told him nonchalantly, because while it was true that he was an arse, I wasn't actually offended by what he'd said. I mean, he was only agreeing with what I'd said. Although, now that I think about it, I'm sure it's socially unacceptable to agree when a person criticises themselves. Hmm ... perhaps I should ask someone about that later.
"As opposed to a left arse?" Oh ha-dee-ha-ha. It is so lame to smirk at your own bad jokes, Wood. Only I'm allowed to do that.
Although ... that was actually kind of funny ... Must. Not. Laugh. I'm supposed to be annoyed.
I rolled my eyes instead. "Now you're just being a twat," I said, trying my hardest not to smile in amusement.
"Such foul language," Wood tutted. "Not very ladylike, is it?"
"Well, given that I can hardly be classed as a lady, I don't suppose it matters, does it?"
"Fair point." There he goes again, agreeing when he shouldn't. My fist barely made contact this time, and he flashed me a little victory smirk. "And you're just proving it now."
"Do you enjoy irritating people?" I asked him, mimicking his earlier question about me disgusting people.
"That depends; are you irritated right now?"
"Perhaps," I admitted; after all, it was obvious anyway, there was no point denying it.
"Then yes, I enjoy it."
"You're such a bitch," I laughed.
"Excuse me? I'm a bitch?"
"Yep. Annoying people on purpose – that's bitchy. Ergo, you are a bitch."
"And disgusting people on purpose isn't the same thing?"
"Of course not," I answered, grinning.
We reached the top of a staircase and I stepped down onto it.
"I'm this way," I said, pointing down the stairs.
"Night, then," Wood said.
"Night!" I started walking down the stairs when Wood shouted after me.
"Don't be late for Transfiguration tomorrow!" I looked back at him and he was smirking teasingly. I stuck out my tongue at him, then carried on down the stairs. I would not dignify that with a verbal response.
When the post arrived the next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar Tawny owl land in front of me.
"Hey Opal," I said cheerfully, abandoning my cornflakes to pull the letter from the owl's leg. Immediately, she took off gracefully from the table and flew out of the Great Hall. I knew I'd be able to find her later, resting in the Owlery.
Opal belonged to Charlie Weasley (she was so named because of her very pale colouring), another Weasley with whom I got on well (really, the only Weasley I didn't like was Percy, though I hadn't actually met Bill, the eldest, or Ginny, the youngest), mostly because we shared a love of animals. I met Charlie in my second year, when I first went to Hagrid's for tea. Since Charlie had been a Fifth Year, I'd felt rather intimidated, but he was nice to me and once we got talking about animals we didn't stop. We'd often see each other at Hagrid's hut, and when Charlie left at the end of my fourth year, he promised to write to me about Romania, and he did.
His latest correspondence read:
Greetings from Romania!
How's my favourite redhead doing? And in case Fred and George have nicked this off you, yes boys, I do like Heather more than you – she never charmed my model dragons to chew on my toes while I was asleep!
Sorry this letter isn't very long; most of our females are incubating at the mo, so work is pretty much 24/7 because they're so high-maintenance and stroppy. Women, eh?
We had our first hatchling the other day, so I took some photos for you and included them in this letter. She's a Hungarian Horntail, and she's got a red hot temper – figuratively and literally – even at such a young age, so I named her after you. I mean that in the nicest way possible, of course, ha ha!
Got to dash now, there's another youngster smashing its way into the world. Hope Hogwarts is keeping you busy as ever – make sure to tell me all about it when you write back (which better be soon or I'll start to think you've been buried alive under an avalanche of books).
P.S. Tell Hagrid I said hi!
"Is he ever going to forget about that?"
Still grinning at the letter, I turned to see Fred and George standing behind me. As usual, they had seen their brother's owl and simply had to know what he'd been saying to me. Nosy buggers they may be, but my life would be so much less entertaining without them in it.
"When did you charm his model dragons?" I asked.
"In our second year," George told me proudly.
"Good times," Fred said, grinning.
"So where are these pictures, then?"
"Yes, we simply must see baby Heather!"
"Oh, I forgot about them!" I said excitedly, opening the envelope again to see three photographs of my dragon counterpart.
The first photo showed her still in her egg, the top broken off and strings of the egg membrane clinging to her nose. She looked kind of gross, but cute. The second photo was of her standing between her mother's huge clawed feet, smoke spiralling from her nostrils as she snorted at the camera. The last was definitely the best, because it was by far the cutest one. Heather the hatchling was fast asleep, curled up in a ball next to her mother. Every so often, she would twitch in her sleep, and little puffs of smoke would rise from her nostrils as she snored.
"Oh my god, look how cute she is!" I squealed, showing my friends the photos.
"Dragon's aren't cute," Kate said.
"Agreed!" said the twins. I turned to glare at them, and they made a hasty retreat. Just because they had red hair too, didn't mean I wouldn't use my redhead temper on them.
"They are so! Look at her little wings!" I argued.
"Look at the not-so-little spikes on her tail," Alice countered.
"You guys suck. No appreciation for true cuteness," I tutted, placing the photographs back in the envelope.
"Who's cute?" Another voice joined the conversation, one which was becoming more familiar with every day. This time, however, it didn't make me jump a mile.
"Not you," I replied, without turning around.
"I should think not! I'm a man, not a puppy," said Wood, sliding onto the bench beside me. Based on my occasional peeks at his muscles, I had to agree with him on that one. Still, I snorted at him while shuffling sideways to put some space between us.
"Right." I rolled my eyes. "What do you want this time, Wood?"
"I thought I'd offer to escort you to Transfiguration. Wouldn't want you to be late like you were last Wednesday." How did he manage to mock me while making it sound like he was just being nice? Damn him!
"Chivalrous as your offer may be, I think I'll manage. As you can see, I already made it out of bed and down to breakfast without any assistance." Wood just smirked, clearly not bothered by my rejection.
"But if you don't eat your breakfast any time soon, you'll never make it on time." Ah. Perhaps that's why he wasn't bothered; he had another way to embarrass me up his sleeve. I looked down at the bowl of soggy cornflakes in front of me and pulled a face.
"I was eating my breakfast, but the post distracted me," I defended, and I saw Wood's eyes flick to the letter still in my hand. Quick as a flash, he snatched it from my fingers.
"Letter from your boyfriend, Green?" He teased.
"Obviously," I said dryly, trying to ignore the muffled laughter coming from my friends. Why did everyone enjoy annoying me? Maybe I should work on being less annoyable.
"Who's Charlie, then?"
"Charlie Weasley. He writes to me to tell me about the dragons he works with," I explained. A muscle in Wood's jaw twitched.
"Oh," he said shortly.
"You don't like Charlie?"
"Of course I like him, he's one of the greatest Seekers Gryffindor has ever had! But he just had to run off to Romania to play with bloody dragons instead of playing Quidditch," Wood told me heatedly. I rolled my eyes but held in my laughter. Laughing when he was being passionate about Quidditch always seemed to lead to a very angry Oliver Wood.
"Not everyone takes Quidditch as seriously as you, Wood. Dragons were far more important to him than Quidditch."
"But it's such a waste! He could've played for England with skills like that!"
"He'd have been shirtless in Witch Weekly by now if he had," I heard Alice whisper glumly.
"Mmm," Izzy agreed. Sometimes I wondered if they ever talked about anything else.
Suddenly, Wood let out a bark of laughter.
"What?" I asked.
"He named a dragon after you because it's bad-tempered? Brilliant!" He laughed. I snatched the letter back off him.
"Yes he did, and she's beautiful, so shut your face."
"A beautiful dragon?" Wood said sceptically. "You're just as mad as Charlie."
I pulled out the picture of Heather sleeping and showed it to Oliver. "See? She's so cute!"
"Er ... sure, very cute. For a scaly beast with spikes and fangs and fire breath." Wood smirked.
I huffed and put the photo and the letter away. "You're all blind." I grabbed a piece of toast and began to munch on it, glaring at my glass of pumpkin juice while my friends continued to entertain themselves by laughing at me. I suppose I shouldn't have expected them to understand – most of them think human babies are the cutest things alive, so they wouldn't appreciate the adorableness of a baby dragon. Lunatics, the lot of them.
After my second piece of toast, I heard Wood sigh next to me, so I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Are you coming to Transfiguration, or what?" He asked impatiently.
"If you'd listened the first time, you'd know that I told you I didn't need an escort. But since I'm now ready to go, and you're still sitting here waiting, it looks like I don't have much choice but to walk with you, do I?" I said, before getting to my feet. "Come on then, wouldn't want to be late!" I added with mock-urgency.
Wood smiled and shook his head as he got up. "Always have to have it your way, don't you?"
At lunchtime, my meal was once again interrupted by the arrival of Oliver Wood at the Ravenclaw table.
"Isn't there anyone at your own table you could be annoying instead of me?" I groaned as he leant over to place a piece of parchment in front of me. He placed one hand on the table beside me to prop himself up while I read it.
"Your kind words never cease to amaze me, Green," he joked. "I've just had my Quidditch practice timetable approved, and I thought you might like to see it so you know when I'm free to work on Transfiguration. I'd hate to inconvenience you by making you read it, though," he added scathingly.
I felt my cheeks heat up a little with shame. I really was such a bitch. Occasionally I really did feel bad about it; this was one of those times.
"Oh," I said sheepishly. "Thanks."
"You can keep it, I've got another copy. Wouldn't want to encroach on any more of your time." Hearing the coldness in his voice, my head shot round in his direction. For once, I was thankful to see the smirk on his face – at least I didn't have to embarrass myself further by making a grovelling apology.
"Thanks. Again," I said, offering him a smile.
"No problem. I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of your lunch unannoyed," Wood said, still smirking.
"You're kidding, right? You've met my friends."
"Hey!" Came the Annoying Chorus.
"We only do it because we love you," Jenny said, giving me a cheesy grin.
"Exactly!" Alice agreed. Then she sent me a look which clearly meant 'so does Wood'. You know you've been friends with someone too long when you read every look they give you in full sentences. I rolled my eyes at her.
"Feel the love, Green. I'll see you in Charms." Smirk still firmly in place, Wood took his hand off the table and walked away. I stuck my tongue out at him, even though his back was to me. "Very mature, Green!" My jaw dropped, and Wood turned his head slightly to quirk an eyebrow at me. So unfair! Slowly, I withdrew my tongue and looked down at my plate.
"Yeah, Green, feel the love!" Izzy cried, throwing her arms around me.
"No! No touchy!" I squealed, wriggling me way out of Izzy's grip ... and onto the floor. Cheeks blazing, I jumped to my feet and straightened my skirt. Bloody lucky I was wearing thick black tights – I did not need the entire Great Hall seeing my rainbow-coloured underwear. I sat back on the bench delicately, wincing as pain shot through my butt from where it had hit the floor. I grinned despite the pain and embarrassment – I tend not to notice people laughing at me if I'm busy laughing at myself.
"If you practiced hugging more often, we wouldn't have to force them on you," Kate said sagely.
"You don't have to attack me with hugs; you choose to because you know I hate it."
Between Charms and dinner, I was firmly glued to my seat in the library. The essay we'd been set for Charms homework lay completed on the table beside me, ink still glistening, and I was re-reading Charlie's letter before I wrote him a reply.
Good afternoon, my favourite Weasley!
You were right about Fred and George – they were reading over my shoulder before I'd even reached the end of your letter. Wouldn't surprise me if they were somehow reading this as I write it ... perhaps not – what on earth would they be doing in the library anyway? Ha ha.
Heather the Horntail is absolutely adorable! Thank you for the photos - they may have contributed to my forgiving you for the blatant dig at my somewhat quick temper. I couldn't find anyone else who thinks she's cute, but some people just have no taste. Wood told me I was just as mad as you, but I'd hardly call that an insult. Besides, he comments on my insanity at least seventeen times a day anyway. Although the word he normally uses is 'mental', accompanied by a disbelieving head-shake.
Hogwarts is treating me as well as ever – feeding me until I burst and working me until I collapse, but no pain, no gain, correct? Although, being late for the first lesson of the year (Transfiguration, no less) was almost too much for me. On a happier note, I'm the only person taking Care of Magical Creatures, so Kettleburn and I spend most lessons drinking tea under a parasol. Eccentricity is so underrated.
Now, for the BIG FAT NEWS. Hagrid and I are ... wait for it ... RAISING A BABY UNICORN! Jealous?? His name's Maxwell, and I'm documenting his upbringing for my COMC project. Fantastic, no? I'll send you a photo once I get round to taking one – so far I've been far too busy cooing at him.
Anyway, good luck with the rest of the hatchings! I expect more photos!
P.S. Almost forgot, Hagrid says hi, too.
While I was letter-writing, I realised I should probably let my mum know how I was getting on, too. I'd sent her a quick letter to let her know I'd arrived at school the week before, but she'd probably want to make sure I hadn't blown myself up or something. Not that I'm in the habit of doing so, but in her head, learning spells = accidental self-explosion. I think it's the view of magic most Muggle parents have when they send their child off to Hogwarts.
Just wanted to let you know that school's going fine, and I remain in one piece. Well, there's a huge chunk missing from my pride since I was late for my very first lesson, but I'll live. Professor McGonagall punished me by making me work with a boy – ew! The girls all think it's hilarious, but they are just silly teenagers, after all. While I am a mature, slightly batty, woman trapped in a teenage body. Woe is me!
I'm helping Hagrid raise a baby unicorn, which is quite possibly THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD EVER, so prepare to be bombarded with photos when I come home for Christmas. He's called Maxwell (yes, after the Beatles song – don't you roll your eyes at me, mother!), and he's absolutely beautiful.
Say hi to Bobkin for me! Give him a big cuddle from me, complete with high-pitched baby talk, please! Tell him I miss him.
I suppose while you're at it you could say hey to Dad and David, too. Tell David to get a shower, he probably smells :P
Love you all (except David),
I'm sure, deep down, I did love my brother, in that sisterly way you have to. Doesn't mean I was going to say it though. That would ruin our brother-sister dynamic, you know? You can't say 'you stink, butthead ... but I love you', can you? And yes, most of our insults are that immature. It's more fun that way.
I folded both letters and put them into envelopes bearing the recipients' names, then got them back out to check I'd put them in the right envelopes. I had. Packing up my stuff, I headed out of the library and went up to the Owlery to send my letters off before dinner.
Opal flew down to land on my shoulder as soon as I entered, while my own owl, Murray, merely hooted at me from his high perch. It wasn't that he was being unfriendly, he just knew that if he tried to land on my shoulder, he'd probably kill me. This is what happens when you choose an enormous Eagle Owl as your pet. He's gorgeous, though, and really quite gentle. I can only hold him on my arm for five minutes at a time, so usually he has the decency to sit next to me on a windowsill instead.
Once I'd tied Charlie's letter to Opal's leg and sent her out of the window, Murray flew down and landed on the windowsill I was standing next to. I stroked his plumage and grinned as my fingers glided over the soft feathers. He nudged my fingers with his beak, but I shook my head.
"Sorry, Murray, I haven't got any treats for you today. I'll give you extra when you get back from taking this to Mum, though." He ruffled his feathers (and I swear he gave me a withering look), before offering me his right leg. I tied the letter on and stroked his wings one last time before he set off.
(Huge) A/N: Yes, I did steal the "No touchy!" line from The Emperor's New Groove, I do apologise, but I love it :D
Thank you to blimmchen for joining BellatrixisFred,TheMissQwerty and KilledByDrapery in the crew of lovely continuous reviewers!
So, here it is, chapter 7. Finally.I started uni a couple of weeks ago and it's, in a word, horrific. However, I'm determined not to let it affect story updates too much, because I genuinely don't think I'll survive if I don't get to disappear into my Oliver-filled imagination fairly often xD
Also, just a warning: time is going to jump forwards more from now on, otherwise this story would end up being hundreds of chapters of meaningless filler xD
Write a Review Guaranteed To Raise a Smile: Beautiful Dragons, Unwelcome Hugs, and Letter-Writing