Chapter 12 : Twelve, brought by Xmas Elves
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"Well," Addie began awkwardly, "they do spend a lot of time with her. And, you know, it's never really seemed like she's trying to ditch us for them, so if I'm honest, I don't really see what the prob-"
"The problem, Addie, is that Tiffany has changed. For the worse. And trust me, they do not like her. They just put up with her. I can tell."
I gotta say, this is one of the weirder things I've done.
I'm sorta stalking my best mates.
Well, not stalking, per se.
Just casually listening to their conversations from a distance.
Yeah, sure, it sounds a little crazy when you word it like that.
But I feel like doing crazy shit's allowed when you're fighting with one of the aforementioned best mates.
"Oi! We like you loads, Tiffybear." Freddy elbowed me in the side, frowning in the direction of Jen from the gaps in the bookshelf we're hiding behind.
Oh yeah, Fred's here too.
Maybe I should explain.
Well, it all started last night when Jen decided to be a crazy bint and rant at me for being nice to our roommates, and calling me a brown nosing wannabe and other equally pleasant things. So I told her that's a laugh and a half when she's the one who's been raving about the Wotters for years.
It got a little nasty.
Basically, Jen and I aren't on speaking terms.
So, what am I doing here, hiding in the Care of Abnormally Dangerous Creatures section of the library?
Trying to see if Addie will side with Jen or myself, that's what.
Also because I'm a nosey bastard.
What else is new.
What is dear ol' Freddykins doing here, you may ask?
He came barging into my room this morning, demanding my precious Arnold, saying that he needed him to snuggle because all the other bunnies had already been returned to their supply closet.
Dream on, bro.
Arnold Franklin Walker is mine, thank you kindly.
A little bit of a name calling war ensued, until a peace treaty was decided and we thought it best to talk it over breakfast.
I just needed him out of my room long enough for me to decide a safer hiding place for Arnie.
So we took an amiable stroll down to the Great Hall, making as much polite small talk as was possible while still knowing full well that we were in a fierce custody battle over my bunny.
"And how is the team shaping up this year, Frederick?" I had inquired.
"Wonderfully, thank you Tiffany. And how is your schooling coming along?"
Just as I was about to answer, Addie and Jen (who hadn't been in the dorm when Freddy woke me up) were to be seen walking towards the library, talking quickly and quietly.
So, naturally, I followed them and Freddy tagged along because he claimed we have unfinished business, and we both have a double free period anyway.
I've decided not to question why these Wotters keep popping up in my life and are determined to spend time with me.
My brain hurts less this way.
I also kind of a little bit enjoy their nuttiness.
And here we are, listening to Jen bad mouth me to the moon and back while Addie tries to do her work while looking immensely uncomfortable.
I patted Freddy distractedly on the arm while peering around several large books, "That's nice Fred."
Freddy sighed and leaned against the shelf, looking bored, "Hey, Tiff?"
I stood on my tiptoes, carefully scrutinizing the enemy territory, "Yeah?"
He turned towards me, his bottom lip jutted out, "Can we go? I'm bored and there's only ninety minutes left of our free before we have to get to Charms."
I looked at Addie, wondering what Jen would do if I sent Freddy over there to cause a diversion so Addie and I could sneak out to do something fun.
Jen hates fun.
She's a fun hater.
That's not true.
I'm just bitter.
I sighed, running a hand through my hair, "Yeah, alright, let's go."
He grinned at me before bending down and picking up our bags and swinging both over his shoulder.
That was nice of him.
He wasn't even this gentlemanly when we were actually dating.
"Where to?" I asked him after shoving open the library doors and beginning to walk down the hall.
He shrugged, scratching the back of his neck, "Dunno. Well, actually, we could… maybe… you know…"
That expression looked awfully familiar.
Like I'd seen it for two weeks during my fifth year.
I looked over at him warily, "We could maybe what?"
He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, "WecouldmaybegoplaywithArnoldifyouwant."
Oh thank merlin and all his saggy knickers.
I grinned, "Yeah, that sounds ace."
He beamed, "Excellent!"
Freddy groaned in ecstasy, his face full of fluff, "Tiffany Walker, you know how to pick the best rabbits."
I smirked smugly, stretching out on a couch in the common room and sighing contentedly, "Oh yeah, I sure know how to pick 'em."
"Pick what?" Noah asked, jumping over the back of the couch to land next to me, an arm slung casually over my shoulders.
I smiled at him while my insides went wild and he looked down, coloring slightly, "I did it again, didn't I?"
"Did what?" Freddy asked, pulling Arnold away from his face to look at us while I laughed and nodded in response to Noah.
Noah looked at Freddy, "Apparently I jump into conversations at awkward times."
"And you do it a lot." I reminded him, poking him in the side.
Oh hells yeah I get my flirt on with cute blokes.
Freddy sat in thought for a moment and then snorted, "Yeah, now that I think on it, you do always seem to pop in at the most inconvenient times."
Noah threw a pillow at Freddy, "Thanks for that mate."
"Tiff said it too! I don't see any pillows being aimed at that ugly mug."
Oi, fuck you.
Noah moved his arm from my shoulders to my waist, pulling me protectively closer, "You do not insult the fair maiden, Weasley!" he cried theatrically.
Fred carefully set down Arnold before flinging himself down at my feet, his hands on my knees and his eyes beseeching, "Forgive me, princess Walker! I meant no offense with my horribly rude comments. Tis only a joke. Besides," he added, leaning in close and speaking low, a wicked grin on his face, "you know I don't snog ugly broads." He flicked my jutted out bottom lip.
As horrifically offensive as that sentence was, I do feel a little better.
And now I feel like a shame to my sex.
The bell rung signaling the end of first period and Freddy and I shot each other smug grins, since we still had another hour of doing nothing.
Noah groaned, "I've got to get to Muggle Studies. See you in Charms?"
I nodded, smiling somewhat shyly when he pressed a swift kiss to my cheek before picking up his bag and jogging out of the common room.
I felt my cheeks burn with Freddy's scrutinizing gaze on me while I resolutely avoided his eyes.
"Yes?" I asked, looking at the ceiling.
"Anything you want to talk about?"
I pressed my lips together, staring at the coffee table in front of me, "Nope, don't think so."
Freddy leapt from his armchair onto the couch next to me, putting his face right next to mine, "Spill, woman."
I smiled despite myself, looking into his inquisitive face, "You can be such a girl sometimes, Weasley."
He shrugged, "I called you ugly, you called me feminine. We're even. Now fess up Walker."
Let's think about this.
I got in a fight with Jen before I could squeal about my kind of kiss with Noah.
So it's kind of all pent up inside me.
And I'm a little too comfortable around Freddy already.
So why not, eh?
I took a deep breath and looked at Freddy, "Noah kissed me."
His eyebrows shot up into his hairline, "He kissed you?"
"Well, my Spontaneous Tourettes got in the way a bit."
I gave him a look, "Stop that."
He smiled, "Sorry, I'm just a little confused. He kissed you kind of, but you got nervous and your word barf stopped it?"
You know me too well, Freddykins.
I nodded, "Exactly."
"Do you fancy him?"
I shrugged, "A little bit, I guess."
He looked at me intently before shaking his head and snorting, "You do realize that you've now snogged three-quarters of the Valiants, don't you?"
I let out a disbelieving laugh, "I'm a slut."
"A skank." Freddy supplied.
"You're a painted woman."
"Nice one," I grinned appreciatively.
"Have we walked in on something?" A laughing voice sounded from the portrait hole.
We turned to see James and Ted Oakwood looking at us with highly amused expressions on their faces.
Fred grinned, stretching out languorously on the couch and putting his feet in my face, "Oh, just a bit of heavy petting. You know, the usual."
I rolled my eyes and smiled at James and Ted, shoving Fred's feet out of my personal space, "How much did you hear?"
They looked at each other, grinning, "We walked in somewhere around floozy, didn't we Ted?"
Ted shot me a wink, "Yeah, that sounds about right."
I laughed, "Then it sounds like you didn't miss much."
"Do I even want to know what you were talking about?" James asked, stealing Fred's spot on the couch by shoving the rest of him off the couch so he landed with an oof! on the floor.
I shook my head, "Nah, probably not."
"I'm going to do some studying in the room!" Ted called, already halfway up the stairs.
"Well, he's in a hurry." I commented.
Fred snorted from the floor, "He's not actually studying."
I shot a cautious glance at James, "Then what's he doing up there?"
He shoved me playfully while letting out his booming laugh, "Get your mind out of the gutter, Tiffany Walker. He's writing a letter to his long distance girlfriend."
I really do need to get my mind out of the gutter.
"Where's his girlfriend live?"
"France. She's at Beauxbatons."
I raised my brows appreciatively, "Good on Ted."
James smiled, "That's what we said when we heard."
"You know Tiff," Fred's muffled voice sounded from the floor, "you're a bit like a bloke."
Oi, fuck you.
I nudged him in the side with my foot, "That's the second mean thing you've said to me in ten minutes Weasley."
"What was the first?" James asked, stretching his arm out on the couch cushion behind me.
I jutted out my bottom lip again, "He called me ugly."
James's brows furrowed and he glared at Fred on the floor, "No saying mean things to Tiff," I grinned smugly until he added, with a wicked grin, "she's obviously fragile."
I shoved him hard, unable to stop the laugh that responded to his.
"I'm joking Tiff, I'm joking!" James held up his hands in surrender, his eyes alight with merriment.
"Damn right you are." I muttered, smiling despite myself.
"Besides," James continued, poking me in the side, "we all know that you're the farthest thing from ugly."
My stomach swooped down and finished with a triple backflip.
All because James Potter thinks I'm not ugly.
I need to get a grip.
Since when do I care if James thinks I'm attractive?
He's seen me with makeup all over my face, hungover and very sassy.
So, basically, me at my worst.
Here Tiff, I'm giving you a free of charge smack in the face to get your shit together.
Hope it helps.
I blushed, avoiding James's gaze by glaring down at Freddy who was watching our interactions interestedly, "Yeah well, Fred still called me a man."
Freddy rolled his eyes and batted at the long hair that had swung down with my face, "You know I didn't mean it like that. I just meant that you sometimes act like a bloke, but in a good way."
I rolled my eyes, "Glad you cleared that up for me."
James pulled me up by the shoulder so I was looking at his amused expression, "What he's trying to say is that you're jolly good fun to be around, and not annoying like some girls can be."
The somersaulting tummy is back.
I think it's considering a career as a gymnast.
I strongly advise against this profession, stomach.
I smiled at James before glaring pretend angrily at Freddy, "You could've just said that, Freddykins."
He threw his hands up in exasperation, "That's what I said!"
The bell rung once more and I sat up and grabbed Arnold before dashing up to my room to set him on my bed.
Fred and James were waiting for me when I came down the stairs.
I'm both rather touched and feeling sort of odd.
It's just a weird thought that I'm kind of actually friends with some of the Wotters.
James handed me my bag with a smile when I'd reached the common room.
"To Charms!" Freddy bellowed, his fist in the air.
James and I looked at each other amusedly before murmuring together, "To Charms!"
We had almost made it out of the Portrait Hole when Rose came stumbling up to us, mascara and tears streaming down her face.
"Rosie! What's wrong?" James cried, putting an arm around her shoulders.
She stuttered unintelligibly before managing to get out, "Sc-Scorpius br-br-broke up with m-me!"
A/N: Dun dun dunnn! Well, I just wrote this all in two hours, and it's about three in the morning, so I'm not entirely sure about this chapter. But I wanted to hopefully get it out to you guys before submission closes for the holidays as a little gift to you guys, since I've been horrendous at updating lately. But I really, truely, honestly mean to update more regularly from now on!
So, what did you lovely folks think? What about Tiff and Jen's fight? Or Tiff and Freddy's friendship? Or about Tiff's newfound butterflies! :D
Happy Holidays! xx
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