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Chapter 5 : Bring On The Awkward
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Oh Merlin, why didn’t I drop this sodding class? I mean, who in their right mind would opt to continue studying the history of magic with a creepy ghost teacher who didn’t know he was dead and walked around for days as a ghost until McGonagall told him to please arrange for someone to remove his body from the teachers' lounge because it was starting to stink up the place?
Me, that’s who.
“… the mid-17th century saw a drastic turn in the Goblin Movement. The alliance between the leader of the Goblin Liberation Party, Gooble-Metzac III and the opposing party heads…”
I looked around the class and felt even worse about myself. No one was in this class. No one normal, that is.
The class consisted of five people. Five.
Up in the front were two Ravenclaw girls who looked more than excited to be here. Why were they excited? Well, either they had some kinky thing for ghosts or they enjoyed History of Magic.
Of course, the second option is completely absurd.
They were scribbling notes enthusiastically, hanging on every word that Professor Binns said. All the way at the back was some creepy looking kid who I’d never seen before. He was picking his nose while staring out the window.
Then there was Rose and I. Having her here was a nice reassurance of my sanity. She was asleep with her head on her desk, shining red hair fanned out around her.
I turned back to Binns and sighed, letting my chin rest on my palm. I wonder if McGonagall will let me drop this class. Ok, maybe she’ll make a big deal out of it, but then I won’t have to go through this torture every day. I could be out by the lake with Alec, Pippa, Scorpius and Albus.
I could picture it; the lake, with its black water glistening in the afternoon sun. The lake in the afternoons reminded me of London at night. Muggle London, of course. The city, with its glinting lights and speeding traffic.
My eyelids grew heavy and Professor Binns’ voice dissolved into the sounds of London. There was traffic and lights and noise. I loved it. It was easy to drown things out in the city. Everything was so loud and lively that it was easy to become a part of it. More importantly, it was the only way to get away from the hounding reporters and the dreary Ministry officials.
Suddenly, I felt something hit the side of my face and my eyes shot open. I blinked a few times at the sudden brightness. For a moment, I didn’t know where I was. Then, Professor Binns’ monotonous voice came back to me.
I glanced around the class. The Ravenclaws were still scribbling and Nose-Picker was now rolling his snot into a ball between his thumb and forefinger and examining it with such enthusiasm that you’d think he just discovered the thirteenth use of dragon’s blood.
I looked at Rose, expecting to see only her shining red hair. However, she was awake and gesturing wildly at the floor. I glanced down and saw a piece of folded parchment lying on the ground.
Passing notes to each other had become somewhat of a ritual between Rose, Pippa and me. I stooped down and grabbed the note.
Welcome Back Party in the Room of Requirement tomorrow night. We’re going. No arguments.
How is it that she knew I was going to protest? We’d been at school for a week. I’d never talked to her properly before this and yet she knew what reaction I’d have as though she’d known me for years.
That girl is one piece of work.
I turned to her and shook my head vigorously. She just rolled her eyes at me. On cue, the bell rang signifying the end of class.
Binns didn’t notice. Not that that stopped us.
Rose, Booger Boy and I leapt up from our seats and raced to the door.
Again, Binns didn’t notice.
“Come on, Katie!” Rose protested. “I promise it’ll be fun!”
“Drunk people and loud music is not what I’d call fun,” I said, smiling at her enthusiasm.
“Please!” Rose said, pouting at me. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Tate’s gonna be there,” she added slyly. I immediately turned red.
“W-what does that have to do with anything?” I stammered.
Merlin, I am such a loser.
“You mean apart from the fact that you want to snog his face off?” Rose asked politely.
“That would be gross, Rose,” I told her.
“Oh, you know what I mean!” she said impatiently. “Besides, Pippa would probably drag you kicking and screaming if she had to and I would help.”
“Where are we dragging her kicking and screaming to?”
Pippa and Albus were right behind us.
“To the party tomorrow night,” Rose said. “She’s refusing to come.”
Pippa looked so scandalized that Albus actually burst out laughing.
“There is nothing funny about this, Albus Severus!” Pippa snapped. Albus immediately shut up and I took the opportunity to smirk at him behind Pippa’s back. However, when she rounded on me it was his turn to smirk.
“What do you mean you don’t want to come?” she asked, giving me the evil eye. I’ll admit; I was slightly scared for my life.
“I-I well, um… it’s just-“
“You are not skipping this, Katherine!” Pippa said in the most threatening voice I had ever heard. I decided it would be stupid to point out that I don’t like being called Katherine.
The four of us stood in the middle of the corridor with Pippa glaring at me, Rose completely siding with her and Albus smirking his arse off. We must’ve been quite a sight. Except if Pippa decided to rip my head off which, might I add, she looked pretty close to doing.
“Do you know how many times Tate asked me if you’re going?” Pippa demanded of me. Instantly, heat rose to my cheeks.
“Uh… No,” I said lamely.
“Six times, Katherine. Six.”
This was certainly news to me. Sure, I’d seen Tate everyday either during classes or in between. I thought it was a bit weird that I saw him every day, but I convinced myself that it was just a coincidence or it was because he was friends with Rose and Pippa. They constantly teased me about it of course, but I never thought it was actually true. But it was, apparently. I waited for something to happen. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was expecting something, anything.
Nothing happened, of course.
“Wait… Tate? Am I missing something here?” Albus asked.
“He’s obsessed with Katie,” Rose said knowledgeably.
Al just blinked at her.
“He’s not obsessed with me,” I mumbled. Ok, this wasn’t something I wanted to have as a topic of discussion. Especially in front of Albus Potter…
And I’m not entirely sure why.
Maybe it’s because I told him his eyes were pretty.
Or maybe it was because his eyes actually were pretty.
Either way, this was awkward. Even more awkward than that time the Head of the External Relations Department asked Nikki to marry him.
Wonderful story, that.
“The boy’s in love with you,” Pippa said flatly. “He has your time table memorized.”
Ok, say what you like about me, but I find that slightly creepy. Well, not as creepy as I find the Head of External Relations Department. But still.
Maybe I could just change the subject.
“So… did you guys hear? The goblins want more minority concessions! Can you believe that?!” I said loudly.
Rose and Pippa stared at me like I belonged in St. Mungo’s. Al rolled his eyes.
All four of us jumped at the sudden interruption.
Standing behind me was Tate, grinning broadly from ear to ear. Rose waved at him, grinning broadly, Pippa squeaked and Al was smirking.
“So,” he said, turning to me and ignoring Albus. “How was History of Magic?”
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