Chapter 7 : Walking On Clouds
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I wasn’t sure what everyone was trying to achieve because, as far as I could tell, all they were doing was running around like plucked chickens.
Tate’s grip on my hand tightened as he tried to pull me forward.
“Are you crazy?” I screamed over the noise.
“What?” he screamed back.
“We’re gonna get trampled!”
“Katie, there isn’t another way out of-“
Before he could finish that sentence, a wave of bodies crashed against us and, just like that, I was lost. Again.
Well, this is just bloody fantastic.
I stood on my toes to see where the doors were. McGonagall, Filch and what seemed like every other teacher in the entire school were standing between us and our only way out of here.
And I was supposed to be in the Hospital Wing with a concussion.
I knew this was a bad idea!
I’ve never had detention before. Then again, I’d never snuck out of the Hospital Wing before. Actually, I’d never even been in the hospital before.
There’s a first time for everything right?
It smelt of alcohol and sweat. Everyone was trying to find a way out like cattle in a cage. I had an advantage over these people. I wasn’t trashed out of my mind. There had to be some way-
My scream mixed with the sound of the pandemonium around me and no one noticed as I was pulled roughly under Al’s invisibility cloak.
“I’m trying to save you here and your screaming really isn’t helping!” Al screamed into my ear.
“What about Tate?” I screamed back.
“There isn’t time!”
“But we can’t just leave him here!”
“Ok, how do you propose we find him?”
Albus grabbed my elbow firmly and pushed our way through the crowd. As we neared the door, my heartbeat increased and I stared at their glowering faces in fear.
“Shh,” he whispered into my ear. His breath was hot and it tickled. I immediately shut my mouth as his grip on my elbow tightened. Then, suddenly, he was pushing me forward, right at Professor Slughorn. I bit back the scream that rose involuntarily.
I think I was a centimeter away from colliding head-first into Slughorn when Al pulled me to the left between Professor Sprout and McGonagall and, just like that, we’d escaped.
The door was open and Al pushed me through it first. The sudden silence in the corridor left my ears ringing. I blinked up at Al in wonder.
“That was brilliant,” I whispered to him.
“You’re welcome,” he whispered back. “Haven’t I always told you that saving damsels in distress in my area of expertise?”
“Ok, you don’t have to get cocky about it,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“This is the thanks I get for keeping your permanent record unblemished,” Al said, sighing dramatically.
“Thanks you, Albus, for keeping my permanent record unblemished,” I deadpanned. The boy was incorrigible.
“You’re welcome, Katie-cat,” he said happily. “I do expect something in return though.”
I looked at him, eyebrows raised. I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not.
“I’m afraid to ask,” I admitted.
“You’ll know when the time’s right,” he said evilly.
“You haven’t a clue yourself,” I stated dryly.
“That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be worried.”
“Whatever you say, Al.”
We were at the hospital wing now. The doors were shut and I reached out gingerly to push it open. When I peeked in, the room was deserted. I sighed in relief and slipped out from under the cloak, walking towards my bed.
Al leaned against my bed as I slipped under the covers. Neither of us said anything for a moment. I t was Al who broke the silence.
“So… how was tonight?” he asked conversationally.
“Well, considering that I spent most of it stranded on the dance floor, not so great,” I said lightly, lying down on my pillow.
“Don’t worry. The next one will be better,” he chuckled.
“Next one?” I echoed, my eyes going as big as dinner plates.
Before he could answer, we heard a noise somewhere outside the hospital wing. Albus and I glanced at each other and, without a word, he disappeared under the cloak. I pulled the covers over me and shut my eyes.
“Good night, Katie-cat” I heard Al say.
“Good night,” I whispered back. Then I heard his soft footsteps walking away from me. The door opened a crack and Al was gone.
I was on a mission. I had to find Tate. I knew he was in trouble; of course he was. The entire school was. Rumor had it that not even a single person had gotten out.
Rumors were almost never true, of course, seeing as I was punishment free.
Since McGonagall couldn’t possibly punish the whole school, she’d just decided to cancel the upcoming Hogsmeade trip. I don’t think anyone really cared though. The party had been a big hit (for whatever reason) and everyone had had fun.
I was walking through the grounds in search of Tate. I hadn’t seen him at breakfast and since Rose, being the prefect she was, refused to tell me where the Ravenclaw Common Room was, I had been reduced to prowling the castle hoping to run into him.
Honestly, I felt bad. I know it was Al’s cloak and all and I had no right to ask him to help Tate, but I still felt horrible.
I checked by the lake first and, of course, he wasn’t there. This was stupid. He was probably in his Common Room right now telling all his friends about what a bitch I was. You see, everyone knew we got away. They didn’t know how, but they knew we did. I wasn’t sure if we were the enemies or the heroes. The Great Hall had broken into whispers this morning when I’d walked in with Rose and Pippa.
“Great practice guys!”
I spun around at the sound of Tate’s voice.
He was in his Quidditch robes with his broom over his shoulder. He was saying something to his team. Just as I moved to walk towards him, he, along with his team, turned and walked towards the changing rooms.
“Tate!” I called. He didn’t hear me.
I began to jog as the team neared to changing rooms. By the time I was in earshot, all of them had disappeared into the changing rooms.
Now, I really didn’t think what I did next through properly. I guess I was too caught up in getting a chance to talk to Tate that I didn’t realize when I’d made a decision to barge into a changing room.
A boys changing room.
So, to sum it up, I walked into a room filled with half-naked, sweaty guys.
If you were wondering, this isn’t very good for someone with my level of tact and sophistication.
All the semi-clothed man-children turned to stare at me. The ones with grace quickly grabbed something to cover themselves with. The others, being your average, run-of-the-mill cocky losers started with the embarrassing comments.
“All you had to do was ask, love!”
“Is it fair that we’re the only one’s naked?”
“The second shower stall is free, if you can’t wait.”
“I don’t think my girlfriends will mind…”
Yes, girlfriends. With an ‘s’. Plural.
Is it some sort of rule that arrogance has to be mandatory among all Quidditch players?
Tate’s voice broke me out of my previous open-mouthed, red-faced stupor.
“Tate!” I said in relief. “Hi.”
“Hey… what’re you doing here?”
I tried to peek around all the other guys to find Tate. I wasn’t sure if that was the smartest idea because the moment I found him, I pretty much went back into my semi-coma.
The boy was hot.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen abs that perfect.
Say something, Katie!
Yes. I said ‘Uh’. Perfect.
Tate had the refinement to grab a shirt from somewhere and put it on. I snapped my jaw shut and, for the first time, noticed his smirking teammates.
“I uh… I wanted to um… to talk to you,” I said, staring pointedly at the floor.
Cue the wolf whistles.
“Shut up,” Tate snapped at his teammates as he walked towards me and grabbing my hand.
“Someone’s gonna get lucky!”
“Call me if you decide to ditch him!” were some of the cries that followed us as Tate pulled me away from his egoistic teammates.
Tate stopped by the stands and turned to face me, looking slightly apologetic.
“Sorry about them. They’re just…”
“Hopeless bored with their lives?” I supplied. Tate laughed.
“Yeah. I guess you’re right,” he said.
“Are all guys like that? Or is it just the ones that play Quidditch?” I asked innocently.
“Are you insulting me?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Little bit,” I said grinning.
“I’m going to let that one pass. Anyway, what did you want to talk about?”
The smile slipped off my face and I bit my lip, looking past him.
“I just wanted to say that uh… I’m sorry about yesterday. I mean, for leaving you there. I mean, I should’ve tried to find you or something,” I said hesitantly.
“It’s not like McGonagall can give three-quarters of the school detention. It’s ok,” Tate said, shrugging lightly.
“But I should’ve at least tried to-“
“Katie,” he cut me off, moving closer to me. “It’s fine.”
I couldn’t say anything even if I wanted to. I was too aware of our close proximity. I just stared at him like a complete loser.
Wow, I’m such a catch.
He stepped even closer and bent down. I stared stupidly at him as his face neared mine.
“But don’t get me wrong. I’m very hurt,” he said, smirking at me.
“Um… I-I’ll make it up to you,” I said, my voice shaking.
“Yeah?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at me.
“Uh-huh,” I said, nodding vigorously.
“And how do you plan to do that?”
“Um… I’ll buy you chocolate?”
I don’t even know how that sentence ended as a question.
“Hmm… not good enough.”
I stared stupidly at him as he grinned back with a glint in his eye.
“How about that date that was supposed to happen last night?” he said. His hand found mine and our fingers intertwined.
“I never agreed to that date,” I smirked. Tate faltered. It was my turn to mess with him.
“You’re ex-girlfriend knocked me out before I could say anything,” I said nonchalantly.
He let go of my hand immediately and took a step back.
“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to-“
I snorted with laughter at the look on his face. It paved way to a fit of giggles as comprehension dawned on him. His expression was priceless. I should really do this more often.
“You had better say something positive,” I warned.
“Brilliant. I was going to say brilliant,” Tate smiled, taking my hand in his again. I smiled back at him. And, just like that, my heart rose and I felt oddly light, like I was walking on clouds or floating in water.
It felt nice.
I guess Pippa was right; guys as great as Tate wouldn’t possibly wait around for girls like to me make up my mind about them.
But right now, my decision was pretty much set in stone.
That felt brilliant too.
A/N: Is anyone liking Tate more now? ;) I just wanted to even out the playing field! So... Al or Tate? I'm kinda like the Al/Katie friendship thing right now but they'll be SO cute together!! What about you? What do you think? Comments? Views? Suggestions? Leave a review!!
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