Chapter 7 : Chapter Six
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George had never had such satisfaction after a long day of practice; he stood behind one of the greenhouses. The rain fell on them as Heather pulled George further into the bushes.
“Heather, where are we going?” he asked playfully.
She played with his hair, a sly smile dancing on her lips as she pushed him to the wall. “Oh, don't be so impatient, George,” she whispered. His heart thumped against his chest; he had no clue what was he supposed to do.
Heather pulled him once more until they stood in a dark corner that was illuminated by the distant thunder. “The Dementors?” whispered George, as she put a finger on his lips.
“Don't worry... nothing's going to happen.” Heather pulled him towards her, running her fingers through his hair. She was so close. Her hot breath played at his lips, and instinct told him to close his eyes .
George felt her pull him down towards her. The rain began to fall harder as she put her lips on his. They felt smooth as he tried to imitate their movements, his mind blank. All he could taste was the salt of his sweat on her lips mixed with something sweet and sticky (lip gloss, perhaps?).
Right now, he could use those stupid articles in Witch Weekly, or Fred's advice.
He ran his fingers through her hair as he tried not to smile.
She pulled herself away. “What are you staring at?” Heather asked sweetly taking his hands and pulling him away from the stone wall.
“Oh, nothing – just at the way you keep staring at me,” he smirked, wrapping his arm around her waist.
“I'm hard to resist, aren't I?” George sighed internally, knowing he was lucky enough to share a certain characteristic with his twin: They both reacted quickly to what could be embarrassing situations.
She giggled as he leaned in for another kiss. A month had passed since they had started flirting; ending up in this, kissing in the dark behind the greenhouse under what was probably the worst rainstorm to hit Hogwarts in ages.
She held on to his jumper for dear life as he pulled her to a wall. Heather grabbed his hands, slowly putting them on her skirt. “I know you want to,” she whispered. George opened his eyes, only to meet hers. She wore a mischievous smile.
Impulse said yes, but his conscience said no... He took a glance to the side and saw something blonde. George blinked; it was just a trick that his mind was playing on him. Definitely guilt. His heart thumped loudly. If he said no, she'd probably laugh her arse off at him, but if he said yes... he'd rush himself.
A little experimenting couldn’t hurt.
Though as always, his impulse got the better of him, and before he knew it, George had Heather closer than he had imagined having a girl.
“It’s cold!” complained Katherine, holding her cloak closer to her body on her way to the Gryffindor common room. The halls had several extras torches to light the way, yet it was like having none. Inside or outside the castle, the problems were the same: Low visibility and low temperature. She heard her bag rip itself open. “Aw, c'mon!” yelled the fifth year angrily, leaning down to pick up her books that had scattered all over the floor. She heard a whistle and turned; it was a tuft of red hair that came toward her, wearing a cheeky smile
“Fred,” she said, gathering her things. He knelt down next to her, repairing her bag and dropping her books in.
“Sorry about that,” he said, having her turn to glare at him. “I already apologized!” He held a piece of old parchment.
“What is that?” she asked. He smiled.
“Aww, dear Katherine, ask no questions – ”
“Yeah, I know. I already heard George say it...” She stood up, and they heard footsteps come towards them.
“C'mon, Mrs. Norris, hurry! We'll finally catch that red-haired criminal!”
Katherine's eyes widened as Fred's smile grew wider. “C'mon!” He turned, taking her hand and pulling her with him.
“Fred, what did you do to anger Filch?” she yelled as they turned the corner; the young Weasley laughed.
“Oh, nothing. I just 'borrowed' a few items from him.” He shoved Katherine behind a tapestry. “Really, there's no harm done – and besides, those things were actually mine to begin with!”
Katherine was completely bewildered, but kept her mouth shut as Filch's footsteps drew closer. She shut her eyes, hoping this was all a nightmare. She could hear Fred's breathing as Filch's footsteps died away.
“Fred!” she hissed. He turned, shrugging, as they left the tapestry behind.
“Sorry. How about I make it up to you at Hogsmeade?”
Katherine snorted. “Sorry, but I've... er.” She couldn't bring herself to say the word without blushing, something that Fred noticed.
“A date,” he said, in disbelief. “With Blackwood?”
“Yes! Now quiet down!”
He laughed, while she brought her eyebrows together. The simple thought of that date made her nervous... She could feel herself choke up at the simple thought of Michael... Was she in love?
The portrait swung open, and Fred walked in first, babbling on about something that Katherine had been ignoring. “Kitty.” Her blue eyes turned to Fred, who stood next to Angelina.
“What happened?” she asked. Katherine smiled, shaking her head.
“Just thinking... er, have any of you seen George?”
Fred shook his head. “I've been looking for him myself.”
“Well, that's odd,” said Katherine without a second thought, as she settled down into the armchair near the fireplace.
Fred stifled a yawn. “Well, ladies, if George enters through that portrait, make sure to send him straight upstairs.”
“Sure thing, Fred,” said Angelina with a smile, her dark eyes following him up the spiral steps. The raven-haired witch frowned, dropping her bag on the floor. Lately, Angelina's behavior towards Fred was... well, a bit more obvious, you could say, so obvious that at their last practice their captain noticed.
“Angelina,” began Katherine, crossing her arms over her chest. She turned.
“Katherine, I know,” she began, but was interrupted by Katherine, who continued.
“Angelina, just tell Fred you fancy him... all you two do is look at each other.”
She couldn't tell if Angelina was blushing – all she knew was the girl’s eyes went back to the spiral staircase. “I can't... I..”
“Angelina, you're pretty, great at Quidditch, and you've known him for years,” whispered Katherine with a small smile. “You've got nothing to lose.”
“I suppose...” Angelina stood up, stretching. “Are you coming? I promised Alicia – ” Katherine nodded.
“I'll meet you there.”
Angelina raised an eyebrow, but turned away. “All right, but don't stay up too late!” Katherine watched her disappear up the spiral steps before she pulled the small leather book from her bag.
“Mum, you must have left something...” she muttered, flipping through the pages, hoping to find any more names. Not a minute had passed before she noticed a name alongside a couple of torn pages.
I still can't believe it...No one knows, though, and no one must know... Pierre Delacroix found out... I'm just lucky I convinced him not to bring any authorities into this...
The simple smell of him was enough to haunt me for the rest of my life.
“Pierre Delacroix...” whispered Katherine, frowning. That name... she shot out of her seat, taking her bag and journal with her. He was the Healer that had once been to her father's Christmas party three years ago, the man she spilled punch all over! Again his name showed up in her mother’s journal.
She'd write him a letter this instant. The owl could get there before morning.
Katherine had her foot on the floor as the heard the portrait swing open.
“George!” she said, excited, throwing her bag on the floor and hoping to share the news with someone. The redhead gave her a weak smile as he rubbed his neck, looking dazed. Katherine frowned. “George, are you even listening to me?” she asked; he gave her a small nod.
“Sorry, just still a bit distracted.”
“What the hell is that on your neck?!”
“This?” George pointed to a love bite that was as red as his hair.
She gave him a disgusted look. “Yes, that!”
George laughed. “It's a love bite, my innocent maiden. What, you didn't think I was out hunting dragons?”
Katherine felt her stomach turn and her throat burn as she rolled her eyes. “It's not what it looks like, Oh King of Romance.”
George scoffed. “Yes, well, you'll soon be coming with red marks on your neck, too.”
He laughed now, walking towards her, his brown eyes glowing. “Well, what were you so excited about?”
Katherine picked up her bag as she took a step back. “Well, I found – ” Suddenly, he was just a foot away from her, his hand on her shoulder.
“Katherine – “ called Alicia. She was already in her pyjamas. Alicia stood at the bottom step; turning to George, she spoke again. “Fred was looking for you.”
“Alicia – ”
“She’ll be right up,” said George, winking at Alicia, “as soon as she’s done with me.” Alicia pressed her lips together.
“George, I’ll talk to you later,” she whispered, and he smiled. “Two hours tops,” added Katherine, pointing to the couch that sat before the fire. George nodded, both of them walking towards the spiral steps.
She heard George chuckle as Alicia dragged her up the steps. “What is it?” asked Katherine as she was pushed into the dorms; Angelina sat on the edge of Alicia’s bed, tugging on the end of one of her braids and wearing a frustrated look. As usual, all Alicia wanted was the three girls to sit and talk about whatever had happened lately. Although frustrating, it made Katherine smile, if only a little. It was something she missed during the summer.
As Alicia went on about a Hufflepuff boy who had caught her fancy, Katherine pulled out a piece of parchment. Out of her bag, she pulled out an ink bottle with a quill.
What to write? The truth?
It’s Katherine, Thorfinn’s daughter. You once said to me to owl you if I needed anything. I have my mother’s journal, and she mentions you quite often.
“Are you listening?”
“Of course, Alicia, James spoke to you during Herbology,” answered Katherine, looking up. “Though I still think he has a weird nose.”
“Saturday – finally a weekend!”
“What's the point of a weekend for you two?” asked Alicia. “All you two do is spend it in detention.” Katherine, who sat next to George, nodded.
“It's pretty much true, mate,” said Lee after gulping down a goblet full of juice.
Fred smacked him. “Be quiet, Lee. ‘Sides, you've got detention, too!” George laughed into his eggs as he watched Lee scowl.
“Don't remind me.”
“What did you boys get detention for this time?” asked Katherine, and they all stared at her as if the answer was obvious.
“Katherine, dear, you know ol' McGonagall doesn't have a sense of humor,” began George, as if he was trying to explain the five exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration to a five-year-old.
“She didn't find it funny when we turned Selwyn’s hair green,” said Fred, shaking his head.
“See, we thought it would bring her House pride,” George smirked, resisting the urge to turn his gaze toward the Slytherin table.
Fred, though, went on. “But instead, she got pretty angry.”
“Well, what did you expect?” snapped Angelina, rougher than usual; she was probably still upset about the night before, and oddly, Katherine decided she'd interfere after lunch. She'd admit that maybe Angelina wasn't her closest friend, but the girl had confided in her various other times, and she wouldn't forget that in her second year it was Angelina that often made her get out of bed. It was Angelina that had introduced her to Quidditch at Hogwarts...
Katherine stood up. “Where are you going?” asked Lee. “The fun’s just begun!”
“Sorry, lads,” she began, knowing it annoyed Angelina, who immediately cleared her throat. “And ladies. But I promised Michael I'd meet him by the lake.” She smiled to herself sheepishly as she turned on her heel before any of the boys could think of something to tease her with.
Katherine walked out the doors, and there was Michael, only feet away, waiting for her as always. He took her hand, smiling “You look especially nice today.” Katherine smiled, pulling on a strand of her hair nervously.
The past month, it had all seemed too wonderful, everything from the way he always noticed small details to the way he always smiled at the instant he laid his eyes on her. Katherine even found herself staring at him sometimes in Arithmancy, or even during lunch. She never thought she'd end up acting like such a love-struck teen.
They held hands while taking the usual tour around the grounds. Katherine stopped in the middle of the stone bridge, one of her favorite spots in the entire castle, probably because of the view it had towards the lake and the forest that lay beyond. Though the sky above them was a murky sort of grey, she couldn't help but still find the site as beautiful as ever. “You love this place, don't you?” he asked, wrapping his arms around her and laying his head atop of hers.
She nodded. “It's sort of calming, you could say.” Katherine felt his chest against her back, and her face began to heat up as she wrapped her fingers around his.
“You know, it's been a little more than a month,” he whispered, and she nodded again, though this time he released her. “And I really enjoy spending time with you...”
“I do, too.” He turned her around, cupping her chin in his hand. It seemed like he had suddenly taken her breath as his face came closer, and she stared into his dark eyes. Katherine could see her frozen reflection.
“I really like you,” he whispered, before closing the small gap that remained between them, pressing his lips against hers. She didn't even notice her eyes close themselves as their lips moved together, as if synchronized. Katherine felt him pull her closer, leaving no space between them. It was literally like flying. She could hear herself scoff internally... like flying?
Michael Blackwood's lips felt like flying, and Katherine smiled at the thought. “Katherine,” said Michael, pulling away, his eyes open. He stared at her with a lopsided smile. “Blimey...”
Katherine laughed; she laughed harder than she had in the last month, and seconds later, Michael joined in, both of them holding onto each other as they made their way across the bridge and into the castle.
Without a care in the world, for now Katherine wasn't reminded of O.W.Ls, of homework, or of her broken family. For now, it was just Michael.
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