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Ivy in Wonderland by emerald_princess
Chapter 18 : The Inner Musings of an Idiot's Mind
 
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James

Perhaps that wasn’t the greatest of ideas. I didn’t even know what I had been thinking. I pretty much gave her an invitation to snog me! God, I was such a prat, I would never live it down. Hopefully she just thought it was a joke…

I mean most of the time she’s an irritating, impatient, bad tempered cow but if I’m honest I’ll admit I didn’t want to go back to not being friends with her.

She had to think it was a joke. Even if it wasn’t. Even if I was kind of hoping (deep down inside) that she hadn’t taken it as a joke and would take up my invitation. I really wanted to snog her again, maybe that’s what had gotten the better of me in the hospital wing just before. A bit of lust, easily handled. I could just go find another girl to snog and get over it. I mentally chided myself for being such an ass. Even if it was only in my head I didn’t like degrading girls, there were too many in the family for me to ever think of them as any less then equals. Right now though it took a lot of energy to care, I needed someone to snog. 

Maybe Clarice Fischer in Hufflepuff, I had always thought she was attractive and she seemed nice enough. I considered this mulling over her appearance. Dirty blonde hair and long tanned legs with a pair of big brown doe eyes that could melt the heart of many a better man. Blonde and tanned had always been more or less my type, or so I had thought, but today it just seemed boring and cliché to me. Maybe someone with darker hair. 

Upon making this decision I ran into Al in the hallways, he seemed in a hurry so I decided to stop him and start up a conversation. 
“Hey Al!” I greeted him.
He smiled down at me, his irritation clearly visible. I remembered when he used to be shorter than me; I had teased him about it until last summer when out of nowhere he had shot up and now he was just a little bit taller. Now he took every opportunity to get his vengeance on me with snide comments about my height. I wasn’t that much bloody shorter than him! Prat. I stopped myself from letting my thoughts go off completely on a tangent and decided that because I had started the conversation I should probably put some effort into it. I had only done it to annoy him but now it was just annoying me, I needed time to think about snoggable girls not sit here talking to my little brother!
“So how’s it going?”
“Fine. I’m fine. I’m kind of busy though so… maybe we can talk later.”
I was caught between irritating Al and stopping this torturous conversation before I had to think too much. I chose the former.
“No, no that is out of the question. What are you in a hurry for?”
“None of your business. How’s Ivy?”
“You only saw her like an hour ago, she’s fine.” I snapped back shortly.
I didn’t know what it was but there was something about the look Al gave me when he mentioned Ivy that made me annoyed. He had been like that ever since Ivy and I had become friends. It was like he knew something I didn’t. It was bloody aggravating. 
With my thoughts distracted Al took his chance to escape. I was caught between outraged and relieved.

If this is ever repeated to anyone I will deny it completely but I have to admit, I love my brother. Conversations with him are stressful because I might do something nice and give it away. They are also stressful because he is so much smarter than me. Well, more like smart in a different way. I’m good with defence, potions, pranks and witty comebacks; I have a superb vocabulary and am altogether actually quite intelligent although lacking in common sense and modesty. I have, you know, normal smarts. Al is different. Most of the time he is quiet and everyone thinks it is because he is shy but really he just doesn’t feel the need to talk if he hasn’t got anything he wants to say. A lot of people struggle to make conversation with him because most of the time he just finds it silly and trivial. The thing about Al though is that he sees things no one else would. He observes. He understands everything better than anyone else I’ve ever known because he delves deeper, he knows me better than I know myself, and he knows a lot of things about a lot of people without having ever struck up a conversation with them. He reads people, he explores places and he does all this not so he can find meaning in life or change the way people are, he does this and then accepts everyone as they are, he lets everyone be. It kind of scares me how amazing my little brother is. 

I decided that instead of thinking about Al I should concentrate on the task at hand and looking around me properly I realized I had been walking in the general direction of the library. Perplexed having thought I was heading towards the kitchens I entered the library. I’ve never really found the library a great place to relax like other people seem too.   It just has this air of gravity about it that makes me think that if it were a person it would be weighed down by the world. Taking a seat in the far corner I let my gaze flit lazily across the room, noticing occasional people. The first person who really caught my eye was Jacqueline Belle, a sixth year Ravenclaw who sat in her own corner of the library hastily jotting down a last minute essay. Flecks of ink sprayed unnoticed over her freckled face and she bit down on her pretty pink lips with concentration. I found myself noticing for the first time that she was rather pretty. She had dark hair that reached just below her small shoulders and she was very petite and timid looking. Her skin was pale, sprinkled with cute freckles and her eyes were almost as big and brown as Clarice Fischer’s were. I found myself almost compelled to go over and talk to her.

And why shouldn’t I? I was James Potter and she was a pretty, intelligent girl who I was interested in (albeit a bit suddenly.) With that settled I approached her. I was a bit cautious about it, conscious of the fact that I didn’t really know her. How should I approach this matter? What would be my excuse for talking to her so randomly? It was commonly known that I was good with girls, I could get any girl I want and I didn’t have to try, I just chose not to. All of that was a complete lie. I had to work myself up just to start a conversation with someone of the opposite sex and most of the time we just ended up being friends. I had a lot of friends. I never had a problem with that, my brief flitting crushes turning into friends, they were better as friends then they would ever be as girlfriends anyway. I was good with casual friendship, never with flirting. At the beginning of the year I had received a few occasional snogs in broom closets and had been enjoying my success immensely but every time I saw a female relative or female friend I would feel like a terrible human being. Snogging girls in broom closets and then just walking away didn’t really sit right with me. Ivy didn’t count, that had been an accident. An incredibly enjoyable accident but an accident all the same.

While mulling over these thoughts I reached the table. Jacqueline was looking up at me a bemused scowl marring her pretty features and for a moment I was afraid I had been standing at the table gaping into the distance for minutes. 
“Do you want something?”
“Oh…” I began casting around for the reason I was there. I looked down at the book in her hands, “I was wondering when you would be done with that book. I kind of need it for an essay.”
“I’m sorry!” she exclaimed tiredly, “I had no idea, it’s just I’m finding this so difficult.”
I exalted in my head. She had left it wide open for me to continue the abrupt conversation. 
“What is it? Do you need some help?” I asked politely sitting down next to her so casually it was as if I had been invited. 
I seemed to be improving at this whole thing. I smirked quietly to myself as she flushed a little. She clearly wasn’t used to the attention she was receiving, especially from someone like me.

Don’t hate, appreciate.

“It’s this stupid charms essay we have to do. I don’t even remember practicing this in class.” She gestured to her parchment and I leaned forward slightly to read it. Well more to be closer to her so I could enjoy the sight of another pretty flush that crept up her cheeks at the close proximity. I heard her swallow a little bit and couldn’t help feeling pleased with myself. Glancing quickly at her plump lips I decided she would be quite fun to snog and would maybe even take my mind off a certain someone who even now kept popping into my mind uninvited. I kept comparing them both and to my despair Jacqueline never came out on top, it was always the other one. The other one had prettier skin, more beautiful eyes, darker longer hair, she was funnier, smarter, her smile was prettier, her wit sharper, her enthusiasm more infectious and it struck me how I had never really liked timid girls and how very timid Jacqueline was. But even as I thought all this I kept on talking to Jacqueline, kept the conversation flowing because I knew I didn’t fancy the one who I was thinking of constantly, I couldn’t fancy her. A bit of flirting with Jacqueline and perhaps a snog would get my thinking straight, but perhaps I should have chosen someone more superior to the certain someone because it would have been easier to concentrate on them instead of her. Thinking about it though I did surmise that it would probably be impossible to find someone who in my mind was superior. This thought scared me and I backed away from it into safer territory. I didn’t want to think about where thoughts like that could take me.

Plastering a grin on my face I continued my conversation with Jacqueline as if I actually cared and was quite successful. She was really quite interesting and I thought she could turn out to be a really fantastic friend. 

I could hear the crickets chirping as I strolled along the corridors to the Ravenclaw common room. Jacqueline was laughing at something I had just said and the sky outside was very dark. The corridors echoing with a reverberating silence. Jacqueline didn’t seem to notice as she continued laughing. She already felt comfortable with me and I with her and I decided I couldn’t stoop so low as to use her for a cheap snog. She was far too nice. However, if she did happen to kiss me I would be all too happy to kiss back. This fact made me hate myself a little bit but I pushed it back into my mind concentrating on the conversation I was having. 
“So what do you plan to do when you get out?”
I shrugged, “I don’t know, I like quidditch and defence a lot, so probably something that involves either one of them.”
“I like herbology.” She told me, “I want to do something involving them.”
“Sounds cool. Uncle Neville would love you.”
She laughed. 
“Apart from all you Potter’s and Weasley’s I’m his favourite student.”
“So basically apart from the better half of the school you’re Professor Longbottom’s favourite.” I clapped mockingly as she continued to laugh.
“Don’t be mean!” she chastised as we reached the entrance to her common room. 
“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”
For a brief moment I thought of a certain someone’s obsession with Wonderland but upon noticing Jacqueline turning to me I gave her my full attention. 
“Um…” she started awkwardly, “I know this is a bit forward but I really enjoyed hanging out with you today. You’re really sweet. Um…” she spluttered to a stop and then before I knew it she was on the tips of her toes and her lips were on mine. And of course I kissed back but even then I couldn’t help thinking, the other ones a better kisser, she tastes better, and it feels better when she smiles against your lips then it does with Jacqueline.

And suddenly I had the urge to open my eyes. As I did I noticed her. The other one, the certain someone standing behind us, mouth agape, blue grey eyes wide and shocked. And she was still more beautiful in every way.

A/N: I'm quite proud of how quick that update was.  I hoped you liked the chapter and if you can't work out who the certain someone is then I don't even know why you are reading this story.  Anyway what do you think of Al?  What do you think of James POV?  Was it interesting or did you hate it?  Most importantly what do you think will happen next?  PLEASE leave a review if you have time... I'd love to know what you think!
 


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