Chapter 17 : Practically Stalking
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I can just imagine a legion of old ladies with carpet bags and thick coats marching across the countryside like a line of mutant ninjas, waving their walking sticks in the air, and shouting that the noise needed to be turned down, because it was interrupting their cat’s sleep.
That’s a very funny mental image when you think about it.
Lily peered at me curiously as I chuckled out loud, her expression clearly telling me that she was fearful for my sanity. I stifled my snigger and looked back out the window.
There was a moment of silence as the radio station changed the song, and I used my sleeve to wipe some of the condensation off the window, so I could see down into the grounds better.
I had been looking out onto the fields for the best part of the last hour.
Lily couldn’t understand why I was sitting on a freezing window ledge next to a window without a view of the lakes and mountains.
Well, the reason itself is relatively simple.
Hugo is going for his evening jog, pounding up and down on side of an unused field.
It is absolutely incredible to watch, his legs look all muscular and strong and his arms look powerful yet still gentle. I sighed and leaned my head against the glass.
The new song was a slushy love song, filled with piano solos and a woman voice, which warbled loudly out of the speakers that Lily had rigged up around the room last year.
If my life was a movie, then this is the type of song that would be playing in the background as it showed me looking out of the window, with a false, dreamy smile plastered on my face.
But luckily, my life is not a movie. It would be so bloody boring the director would feel like committing suicide after a couple of days.
“Whenever I look into your eyes, the world becomes alright,
and I feel like I can do anything, like I can duel with anyone, and win the fight.”
I dragged my eyes away from the window and turned to stare incredulously at the Wireless. I noticed Lily look up from her essay and stare at the same place.
“Who came up with those lyrics?” I asked, my voice confused and my head shaking in disbelief. “They are bloody dreadful.”
Lily nodded and laughed hollowly, shaking her head and turning back to her essay, a grin still playing at the corners of her mouth.
I looked back out of the window and choked back the gasp that was about to shoot out of my mouth.
Hugo was dragging a heap of metal bars propped up on legs across the field, setting one up every couple of metres. I swallowed carefully to make sure I wasn’t about to start drooling.
Hugo set up the last hurdle and began to job slowly back to the start, his hair bouncing around his face and the evening sunlight shining off the sweat on his arms.
That may sound a little sick, but I can tell you now, it’s bloody sexy.
I pressed one of my hands up against the glass to steady myself as I shifted into a more comfortable position, twitching my wand at the wireless to turn off the bloody awful song that was still blasting out.
Some cheerful pop music came on, and I relaxed against the side of the window frame, more pleased with the music than I was before.
I didn’t notice Lily get up off the bed and pad over to where I was sitting, and I didn’t notice her peer over my shoulder and look down on the sight that I was so engrossed in. I only noticed her when she let out a quick bark of laughter and patted me on the shoulder.
“You’ve got it bad, girl.” She said, in a false American accent, swinging her arms around and smirking at me as I scowled.
“Yeah, well, you were the one that almost started crying yesterday because Lysie was wearing a long sleeved jumper, so you couldn’t see his ‘beautiful arms’.” I shot back, and she pursed her lips before clapping me over the back of my head.
“Touché.” She muttered unwillingly, and she padded back over to her bed, where she began to pull on an old pair of my flip flops.
She also tossed me a pair, which promptly bounced off my forehead.
I am a pathetic excuse for a human being.
Gee, thanks for being so encouraging, snide comment maker. You’ve really made me feel better about myself. NOT - again, just making sure that you understand the difference between my grateful tone and my sarcastic one.
No offence, but you don’t seem like the brightest bulb in the box.
I pulled on the flip flops and leapt to my feet, but my legs had gone dead from being sat on for over an hour.
You know, you have to hand it to the house elves, this carpet really is spotless. And I know this because I am currently lying face down on it, trying to climb back to my feet.
I am failing miserably at the aforementioned task.
When I managed to haul myself to my feet, with a little help from Lily, I stumbled to my bed and pulled on an old cardigan.
I followed Lily out of the dormitory, tripping slightly on the top stair of the concrete steps that led down to the Common Room.
“Move over!” I hissed, elbowing Lily in the ribs and trying to shove her sideways slightly so I could see through the bare patch in the bush.
I tried to ignore the throbbing in my leg. I had leant on a thorn a couple of minutes ago, and for about sixty seconds I thought I was going to pass out with blood loss.
And then Lily told me that the thorn hadn’t even broken the skin, so I had to stop hyperventilating.
I am rather pathetic when it comes to things like that.
Hang on; do you want to know why Lily and I are crouching in the middle of a large clump of thorn bushes?
Well, Lily decided that we were going to go down and talk to Hugo while he was jumping over his hurdles, which I eventually agreed to, despite some initial resentment. On the way down we passed a window which showed us that Lysie had joined Hugo, and they were now jogging together.
Lily had nearly passed out at this point, and I had to help her along the next couple of corridors, with her arm nearly throttling me as it was wrapped around my neck. That girl needs to go on a serious diet, she is so bloody heavy.
When she had got a grip on herself, we headed out the front doors and snuck along the edge of the Forbidden Forest, keeping in the shelter of the shadows, and making sure that we couldn’t be seen by the two boys pounding up and down the adjoining field.
The little bitch then used her violent tendencies to secure the best spot in the clump of bushes, just behind a bare patch that was the perfect vantage point to watch the two lads.
I wiped my chin absent mindedly to keep a check on the drool situation.
That sounds disgusting when you write it down like that.
Lily elbowed me back and yanked a clump of my hair out of the bush, where it had gotten stuck a few minutes ago.
I was so busy ogling I didn’t even notice. That is the extreme level of patheticness I have now reached.
Hugo stopped jogging a couple of metres away from the bush, far away enough for me to see most of his figure but close enough for me to see his body in all of its up-close glory.
He stretched his arms to one side and cracked his neck the same way, before twisting his hips to the left slightly and doing the same in the other direction. I watched him with extreme fascination, only noticing that Lysie joined him when Lily elbowed me in the ribs with her extremely pointy elbow and hissed –
“He’s there! He’s there!”
Yes, Lilith darling, I do possess a pair of eyes and I am capable of seeing people on my own.
Sometimes it is more like having a pet dog than a friend, to be honest. Except not as affectionate, less furry and with a drier nose.
Other than in the winter, when Lily’s nose runs like the tap in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, which hasn’t stop drizzling since the Battle of Hogwarts when it got hit by a stray curse. Professor McGonagall told us that there was a reason they kept the tap there, even though it has never worked properly, but she wouldn’t tell us why.
I think they’re keeping something under there, like a magic trapdoor to a secret vault, or something.
Nah, probably just my imagination. Yes, my social life is slow enough for me to sit around, thinking about these things.
“Hey, budge over, I want a better view.” I hissed at Lily, making an effort to keep my voice down now the two of them were so close.
Lily shifted sideways slightly, but because of the way she was squatting she stumbled for a moment and grabbed hold of the bush to try and steady herself. She squealed loudly – right down my earlug I might add – as the thorns on the branch stuck themselves into her hand.
She shot backwards to try and pull away from the bush, but her sleeve was caught in the brambles, and as a result she snapped the branch off with a loud CRACK.
She fell backwards and landed on her arse, oofing audibly as she did so.
“Very ladylike.” I grinned, as she scowled up at me from the mud, trying to yank her skirt back down her thighs, and failing miserably.
I didn’t realise exactly how loud the two of us had been during the last couple of seconds.
It only dawned on me – which felt like a bucket of cold ice being poured down my spine – when someone cleared their throat from behind my head and somebody else chuckled quietly.
I whipped around and tried to widen my eyes to dinner plate proportions when I saw
Hugo Weasley staring at the two of us, his arms folded and one of his eyebrows cocked much higher than the other.
“Hello.” I said pleasantly, as though it was perfectly normal to be found sitting in a thorn bush, covered in scratches with leaves in your hair, next to someone who was lying on the ground, covered in mud and also smiling innocently.
Hugo cleared his throat quietly and continued to stare at the two of us, his face growing more amused as time went on.
Eventually the backs of my knees began to ache, so I went to stand up, but found them dead for the second time that day.
I stumbled backwards, tripped over my own feet, and began falling. Hugo shot his arms out and wrapped them around my waist, and proceeded to pull me over the thorn bush.
I tucked one of my legs in before it made contact with the brambles, but my other leg was dead from being squatted on.
Seriously God, what the fucking hell have I ever done to you? Would it kill you to let something go right for me just once in my life?
I’m going to take your silence as you laughing and going “YES!” with a load of thunder claps and other impressive shit like that.
My legs dragged across the thorns and I felt one of them dig into my leg and split it open. I swallowed hard against the churning and rolling over of my stomach, and guessed that my skin would be a pale green colour by this point.
Well, everyone knows that it is now the new sexy thing to look like pea soup. I’m surprised Hugo hasn’t tried to jump me yet.
At least I’ve not reached the level of patheticness where I pass out yet.
Lysie stepped around the bush and scooped Lily up in his arms, brushing some mud off her face and carrying her like a giant, overgrown, mutant baby. She smiled up at him and he smiled softly down at her, looking into his eyes.
She’s the one who gave our (excellent) hiding place away, and she’s the one who gets a romantic moment with her sweetheart. Whilst I sit in the middle of a field with Hugo standing over me, trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding.
I avoided looking at my leg at all costs. Throwing up on Hugo would definitely set our relationship back the half a metre it had managed to crawl already.
Hugo bit his lip and then stood up straight, and I wondered for a moment whether he was going to walk off and just leave me sitting here like a pathetic twat.
But I should have known that Hugo would never do something like that.
He whipped his shirt off over his head, and threw it down on the floor next to my leg, before throwing himself down on his knees next to me and smiling reassuringly.
I gaped at him like some kind of deformed goldfish, ogling his bare chest like some sort of paedophile. It was shining in the evening sunlight due to the thin layer of sweat that coated it, making each one of his muscles seem even more defined and chiselled than before.
He caught me staring and grinned widely, but I barely even noticed and did not look away.
“When you’ve lifted your chin up off the floor...” Hugo smirked, and I vaguely used my hand to swat his arm, but barely even registered that he was talking to me.
I only looked away when I felt a sudden pressure on my leg. Hugo had ripped his shirt in half, and was tying one half around the giant cut on my leg, tying the second one on top of it when the blood began to seep through that.
Okay, the bloke has been watching way too many slushy romance movies, because that’s what the ‘heroes’ always do.
“Does that feel any better?” He asked quietly, and I nodded, my curls bouncing around my face.
He smiled, and then he looked thoughtful.
“Why were you and Lily hiding in a thorn bush?” He asked, grinning. I scowled and thought desperately around for a reason that two sixteen year old girls would be squatting in a thorn bush, doing nothing in particular.
“Crumple-Horned Snorcack hunting.” I said brightly, and then cringed when I realised what I said. Hugo cocked an eyebrow disbelievingly and then looked over his shoulder to where Lily and Lysie were talking intensely.
“Oi, Lily, what were you two doing in the bushes?” He called, and Lily’s eyes widened as she stared at me desperately.
“Hunting.” I mouthed, and she winked.
“Nargle hunting.” She said brightly, and I winced. Hugo grinned at her and then turned back to me, smirking so wide I had to suppress the urge to hit him very hard.
“Well, we need to go, come on Lily.” I said loudly, and I hauled myself to my feet, stumbling over to where Lily was sitting, and trying to pull her up.
She flung my arm over her shoulder so I could stand up straight, and I grinned at her appreciatively.
Together we hurried back up the castle, stumbling a little and tripping over knotted weeds.
When we got into the castle I elbowed Lily viciously in the ribs.
“Nargle hunting!?” I said, shaking my head and looking at her despairingly.
“You said hunting, so I just guessed. What were you on about?” She asked, pursing her lips and folding her arms.
“Crumple-Horned Snorcack hunting.” I muttered, as Lily roared with laughter.
“Even Luna Scamander admitted that they don’t exist, so why on earth would be hunting for them?” Lily asked, shaking her head at me.
Don’t you try and act all superior with me, missy.
Maybe Nargles would have been the logical solution, but... You have ginger hair.
In response I decided to be poised and mature, so I stuck my tongue out and stalked off down the corridor.
I know you are all jealous of my coolness.
Just admit it and learn to get on with your life.
disclaimer: none of this belongs to me (sadly).
hello :) so i hope you all had a really happy christmas, and i just want to apologise for the length of this chapter. it is only filler, and the next chapter does have a little more plotty stuff. so, yeah...
you feel like reviewing anyway? (i think you do...)
ellie :) x
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