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There's So Many Bitter, We'll Have to be Believers by StrictlyRude
Chapter 5 : A Good Time at Your Expense
 
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I sighed and placed my quill down. I'd just proofread my Transifiguration essay for the sixth time. All week I'd been searching for ways to keep my mind busy, and submersing myself in my school work was the best way I knew how. It was the method in which I coped my entire life. If I could focus every last ounce of my attention on my assignments, then there was no room left to deal with the parts of my life I found difficult. Academics were easy, feelings not so much.

The impending visit with my mum was paramount, and I grew ill upon the slightest thought of it. Forget butterflies in my stomach. These were bats flapping angrily, determined to force their way out. When I wasn't obsessing over Saturday, I was consumed with thoughts of my father's reaction if he found out. I knew he would be furious, and Dad wasn't someone I looked forward to agitating.

As if this wasn't enough for my emotionally-challenged mind to tackle, Fred seemed to pop up everywhere. Every corridor I walked, he was there. Every time I sat down to eat, he was in the Great Hall. Every time I took a walk through the grounds, he was outside too. It's not to say that he was following me, not at all. Usually I encountered him and George preying on some unfortunate first or second years in between their constant attempts to upset Umbridge. Almost always they were committing some infraction of the rules, so I told myself I wasn't avoiding Fred, just the obligation to carry out my duties as Prefect.

It wasn't that I didn't want to talk to him; I just didn't want to talk to him now, and whenever he noticed my presence he made to converse. Frankly, I wasn't too interested in the company of anyone. Normally, I savored my privacy, but I very much enjoyed socializing. Chatting, flirting, joking, I loved all of that, as long as the topics didn't penetrate the surface, and they rarely did among students. However, I was spending far too much energy dwelling on my mother this week to spare any on conversation. I sought to be alone whenever I wasn't in class, but solitude can be hard to find at Hogwarts, especially when you share a dormitory.

Eventually I took solace in the library. Among the books was the perfect place to disappear. Most students didn't bother coming to the library, and those who did either studied in silence or were ejected by Madam Pince. I also had all of the essentials to bury myself in my work with the least chance of running into Fred.

"Oi! Finally!" A voice seem to bellow into my ear, and I snapped my head up, ready to duel my ambusher.

"Merlin's beard, Fred! What are you doing? You scared me half to death!" I hissed and lowered my wand which I had instinctively drawn.

"Well I was starting to feel ignored. And me? Come on. How are you going to ignore this?" Fred said pulling out the chair next to me and sitting down in one smooth motion. "I mean, first the corridor, then by the lake, and then the corridor again, and now the library? That's low, Callaghan. You know, this is the first time I've been in here all term." He gestured dramatically, sweeping his arm out in front of him as Madam Pince eyed him suspiciously.

"I'm so shocked," I said, burying my face into the book in my hands. I just hoped I could convince him I wasn't interested.

"That was a little rude, but I'm not convinced." Great. "And I think you'll be happy to know that I have every intention of spending tomorrow night with you." Fred flashed me a smile, but I wasn't cracking.

"I can't; Gotta finish this essay. Sorry." That was good: distant and to the point.

"And then go to Herbology?" he remarked, a laugh tugging at the corners of his mouth. Apparently he wasn't going to let that go easily.

"I had to do something. It's not exactly your concern," I said, a bit snappier than I intended. Normally I would have laughed, but I could feel myself getting defensive.

"Okay, what's up with you?"

"Nothing," I said shortly. My irritability was breaking down my politeness.

"The other night you were joking and...getting close. And I know you broke up with your boyfriend. I saw him with some Hufflepuff. So what's up?" He moved to put his hand on mine, but I pulled away.

"I have a lot to do. I'm not avoiding you," I snapped at him.

"Interesting choice of words," he remarked quizzically. "I don't remember saying you were."

"Can't you just leave me alone?" I groaned desperately, knowing I had foolishly given myself away. Again.

Glancing sideways I caught Fred's down turned mouth, but there was still a sparkle in his eyes. The guy had spirit. "Come on, Callaghan. Just spend some time with me. Once, tomorrow night. After that you're not obligated to do anything."

My brain was ordering my mouth to release a firm 'No', but my mouth decided not to cooperate. I closed my book and laid it softly on the table. I studied the expression upon Fred's face. He stuck out his lip in a pout and batted his eye lashes dramatically. I sighed heavily. "Okay. Fine." Fred's face lit up. "But only for a little," I added. It didn't matter though. Fred had gotten what he'd come for.

"We'll see about that." That stupid smirk was plastered on his face again. "Now if you'll excuse me, George and I have some business to attend to." As if on cue, George poked his head out from behind a bookshelf with a goofy grin. "Maybe if you're lucky, I'll fill ya in tomorrow."

I gave them both a curt wave, and they gallivanted most conceitedly out of the library, leaving me to check my essay for the seventh time.


A/N: I have a few of these chapters completed and waiting to be posted, but a new story (which may or may not be about Mr. Sirius Black) has been poking and prodding at me from the back of my mind. Iíve been trying to write more of this one, but Iíve had to give in to my new idea as it wonít leave me alone. Once I get some of it out of my system, I promise Iíll return this one. In the meantime Iíll start uploading the few chapters I have written. Please review.


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