chapter image by ladycobra at tda!
As geeky as it sounded, tutoring was the highlight of my day. Hours would be spent counting down until I could finally make my way to the library and be greeted with the drop-dead gorgeous face of Louis Weasley.
Luckily for me, our tutoring session was straight after breakfast so once Emily had left for her lesson with a mischievous glint in her eye, I hurried to the library. I knew that I’d be early but I wasn’t worried about that. The plan had been to get in a little bit of practise before Louis arrived so he wouldn’t think of me as a total pillock. Unless he already did which in that case I needed to change his mind on me and fast.
Nobody married pillocks.
So I just needed to add that to my list of goals to achieve before the end of Seventh year. As if I didn’t already have enough, not to mention that I hadn’t even achieved any of them yet. I was going to have to work fast if I wanted to get any of it done.
And I probably wouldn’t get any of it done but it didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try. Because, come on I was A Hufflepuff – we were renowned for our hard work. Really, I was just a walking stereotype.
I sat down at the table and opened the Charms textbook I’d taken from one of the shelves. Opening it up, I realised the stupid I really was. Everything just seemed foreign to me. Fifth year charms were a piece of cake, Sixth year was hard but I learnt enough to pass but Seventh year? Everything seemed to be in a foreign language to me.
What was the point in non-verbal spells? It would be easier to just say it and be done – but no, Hogwarts has to make everything harder for everyone. Well, everyone else seemed to find it as easy as pie but not me.
It’s not as if I didn’t try in Charms because I honest to Merlin did but I just physically couldn’t do it. And I feared that no amount of tutoring would be able to change it. Only time would tell and hopefully time would tell quickly. Being awful at everything was really starting to take its toll.
I didn’t get much study time – none at all actually – because that was when Louis decided to turn up looking as if he had just rolled out of bed. While he still looked good, it wasn’t one of his best days. Not that I was complaining, any Louis was a good enough Louis for me.
“So we’re doing Charms today, am I right?” Louis asked after had sat down.
Hesitantly, I nodded.
“Great! I love Charms.” Louis smiled brightly at me.
Couldn’t say I felt the same.
Louis opened up to the dreaded page in the text book: the non-verbal spells page. I internally groaned at that because it would have made me show Louis how terrible at Charms I really was.
“I…I’m r-really, um, bad at thi- at this,” I said stumbling over my words more times than ever. I needed to gain more confidence in myself, honestly. It surprised me how people even understood what I was saying considering the amount of stuttering I did.
“Don’t worry, I used to be terrible,” Louis comforted me.
Yes, back in fifth year.
Back in fifth year I didn’t even know that it was possible to do a non-verbal charm, I didn’t quite grasp the concept even after it was taught. I’d always known I picked things up slower than most people but non-verbal charms were something my brain had never managed to process.
I’d said it once and I’ll say it again, what was the point in non-verbal spell?
They were pointless.
Now I wasn’t one of those stupid “oh I hate school! Rebel, rebel, rebel!” people. I actually enjoyed school (even the non-Louis related things) and wanted to make something of my life.
“Right then, let’s start,” Louis said.
The lesson lasted only an hour so soon enough Louis and I were packing up our stuff. The table started off relatively tidy but by the end of the tutoring soaking wet quills were strewn across it; a piece of paper I’d used the engorgement charm had fallen onto the floor and we were both feeling extremely happy thanks to the cheering charm.
The only Charm I’d done non-verbally was the cheering one because I actually knew how to do it which was quite the accomplishment.
Once we’d finished tidying up, Louis and I walked out of the library and made our way to the Great Hall for lunch.
“That was a productive lesson,” said Louis.
“Yeah… it, um, it was,” I agreed.
“You’re definitely starting to come out of your shell.” Louis glanced at me making me blush. “Only by a little bit but it’s happening.”
“Er, thanks,” I said quickly.
“Shy people confuse me,” Louis went on, “They make me wonder why they’re shy because it just doesn’t make sense.”
“Because, I don’t see the point of not speaking in front of certain people. No offence or anything. I mean, I understand that you can’t help it but it’s just what I think.”
Louis looked horrified. “Oh merlin, I haven’t offended you have I? Honestly, I didn’t mean to.”
Louis’ genuinely upset face made me give in. How could I have resisted that? It was positively beautiful and I envied Zoe for her being able to stare at it for ages without thinking she was weird.
“No… don’t, um, don’t you, er, don’t you worry,” I assured him.
He let out a sigh of relief and went back to his usual cheerful self. Happy Louis was my favourite Louis.
“So what do you do for fun?” Louis asked.
It was a good question. What did I do for fun?
“Um, I eat…”
It had been confirmed, I was the most boring person to ever walk this planet. I didn’t do anything for fun. My days were spent eating, sleeping and learning. No matter how much time I had on my hands, I never did anything that I actually enjoyed.
“Is that it?”
Feeling embarrassed, I slowly nodded.
“Loria, that is pathetic!” he exclaimed.
I blushed and stared at my feet as we walked. Ignoring the confused glances of the other students who were probably thinking something along the lines of: ‘who is this strange girl walk with Louis Weasley?’ Soon enough, the rumour mill would get wind of it and think I was a new girl (although I didn’t even think we’d ever had a new girl at Hogwarts) and decide that Louis was cheating on Zoe with me. With her wasn’t, sadly.
Not that I wanted him to cheat on Zoe with me because Zoe was lovely and I’d hate for her to be upset like that. If her and Louis were going to break up, I’d want it to be a mutual decision between them.
“You and I are now friends.”
Phase 1 of my plan complete, and the best part? I didn’t even have to try. Unknowingly, Louis had brought me a step closer to marriage…I mean us being together.
“And do you know what friends do? They have fun together which is exactly what we’re going to do.”
Louis laughed. “Nah, I’m starved. I’ll owl you or something or come and see you at breakfast. It’s weird actually, I don’t think I ever see you at breakfast.”
“I’m, er… always late,” I said.
We walked in a comfortable silence for a while and that’s when it hit me. I was now friends with Louis Weasley. The Louis Weasley who I’d fancied since first year. This wasn’t any romance but it was some form of relationship which at that point, was good enough to me. Who was I to pass up this?
“Why are you, um, doing this for me?”
Louis paused in thought.
“Because I live to have a good time, you know; life is too short and all that crap. So by helping you learn to have fun, I have fun in the process so it’s a win-win situation,” he told me.
None of it really made sense to me but I nodded as if it did. The things I did to please this boy were unbelievable. Although at least I acted like me because how tragic would it be if I put on an act and then he fell in love with me? But it wouldn't be me, it would be my alter ego. I'd hate that because if Louis and I were going to marry then I'd want it to be because he wants me in particular.
It couldn't be difficult. To fall in love, I mean even if I do have plenty of flaws. I just had to hope that although he did go for Zoe, he didn't mind girls with a bit of meat (or in my case, flab) on their bones. I wasn't like overweight or anything but I definitely wasn't Zoe's level of skinny. Hopefully he didn't believe in all that body image crap. I most certainly didn’t.
Fingers crossed, Loria, fingers crossed.
"What's your favourite colour?" Louis asked out of the blue.
"Well if we're going to be friends, I want to know more about you."
Oh... my, um, my favourite colour is, er, green," I said.
"Green? Very Slytherin," Louis joked. "Mine's orange."
Orange? I always put him down as a bit of a blue or red person. If I went to major stalking levels of stalking, this would be going right into a file on him. But I wasn't like that, I didn't have Louis file or anything...honest!
"Er, blueberry and apple pie."
Louis grimaced. "Hate it."
Was he serious? How could anyone hate blueberry and apple porridge?
"How could you hate it?"
Louis looked slightly shocked for a second, maybe because of the fact that I actually spoke to him without stuttering or making a fool out of myself.
Holy Merlin! For the first time ever, I'd managed to speak to Louis without looking like an complete and utter fool. This was a day to be remembered, something to tell the kids. And yes, there would (hopefully) be kids but I didn't want to be thinking ahead of myself, it was starting to feel a bit creepy.
"The feel of it and the taste it's just...disgusting."
I had to think about that. I didn't want to answer wrong but I didn't really support a Quidditch team.
"Er, Montrose Magpies."
Louis shook his head. "No, it's all about the wasps. You need a little Quidditch tutoring." He winked and I swooned.
Internally of course, on the outside all Louis could see was the increased redness of my face. As much as I tried to control it, my face kept heating up. I was surprised that nobody had come up with the genius name of Tomato Girl. That would have been fitting.
"Hmm...who are your closest friends?" Louis asked.
"Er, Emily Savage."
"Is that it? What about that Breanne girl?"
"I...I, er, I don't know," I admitted because I didn't.
Were Breanne and I still friends? That was unknown to me although I was receiving the vibe that we weren't considering she was still ignoring me and if Breanne Byrne started ignoring you then, well, it was clear that you were no longer worthy of her time.
"She's been with Zoe a lot lately," mused Louis.
"Yeah, it's weird because Zoe can't stand her and I know Breanne hates Zoe. Actually, a lot of girls hate Zoe. Why is that?"
"I'm, er, not sure," I lied. Louis looked confused. "I,um, like her though!"
I was met with Louis' bright smile. "Really? It's nice to know that someone does. I worry about her sometimes, you know? I mean, she had me but no one else."
"Oh," I replied lamely.
"The poor thing. Zoe's really lovely, y'know? I really like her which is weird because I never really like girls that much but Zoe's different. I think it's the pink hair."
Note to self: dye hair pink.
Then my whole world came crashing back down on me. Louis really like Zoe and Zoe really liked Louis. I had no chance whatsoever. Before, there was the possibility that Louis didn't like Zoe as much as she liked him but my worst fear had been confirmed. Neither planned on breaking it off and both were in very deep...like. I refused to say love.
It was at that precise moment where I really began to detest Zoe. I'd fancied Louis since first year yet she was the one who ended up with him. That was hardly fair. But I couldn't change their minds.
Emily might have been able to, but not me. I wasn't manipulative enough to do that and I'd feel to awful bout it because as much as I didn't want to admit it, Louis and Zoe were a cute couple and she did deserve someone as nice as him. But what about me? Who did I end up with?
I figured it was time to start naming the cats.
Louis and I walked in silence after that. Him content and me jittery. I was jittery and I was nervous. No matter what brilliant plan Emily thought of, it wouldn't work. If two people felt this strongly about each other, there was no way any silly plan would be able to break them. If they truly did...love each other then it wouldn't affect them.
I just had to hope and pray to every god known to man (and Merlin) that it was just a Seventh year fling. But I wasn't as stunning as Zoe so in what world would he choose me over her? That kind of thing didn't happen in really life. Dreams and imagination, sure, but not in real life. In real life it was almost unheard of.
Not to say it didn't happen but it just didn't happen to people like me.
"See you later," said Louis as we reached the great hall.
In a way, I was relieved because as much as I loved Louis, the whole situation was starting to become unbearably awkward.
"Er, um, b - bye," I stammered before hurrying away towards the Hufflepuff table.
I scanned the table and spotted Emily at the end sitting next to Alfie. Alfie was smirking and Emily was scowling, she was red faced and scowling. But I could tell the red face wasn't from anger because Emily fancied Alfie. Emily Savage had a crush on Alfie Markson. She hadn't outright told me but Merlin knew I had enough experience in that department.
Emily's faced switched from scowling to being relieved as she saw me sit down opposite her.
"So is it a date?" Alfie asked.
Emily didn't reply.
"I'll take that as a yes. Meet me here at ten, sweet cheeks."
Emily visibly cringed at that line and I couldn't blame her. Even if Louis had said that to me, I wouldn't find it endearing in any way.
Okay, maybe I would but I was near obsessed with Louis and anything he did made me want to worship the ground he walked on. Louis was like a god.
So maybe he was slightly shorter than average but only by an inch, it was barely noticeable really. His looks and intelligence and kindness made up for it. Anyway, his slightly shorter than average height went perfectly with my seriously under average height. We were like a match made in heaven.
Louis and Loria…it even sounded good.
“Loria.” Emily snapped her fingers in front of my face.
“What?” I stared dumbly at her.
“I was speaking to you but you were just, like, out of it. Like this.” Emily demonstrated how I looked by staring into the distance with her mouth hanging open. It wasn’t pretty.
“Oh…sorry,” I apologised.
Emily sighed and rolled her eyes. “Anyway, as I was saying. The plan for the Zoe and Louis split is as follows – “
“I can’t do it,” I interrupted.
“What do you mean?” she demanded.
“I mean, that Zoe and Louis really like each other and I can’t just split them up! That’s just horrible. Yes, I know I’m, like, in love with Louis or something but so is Zoe and do you know what’s different with her? Louis actually feels the same.”
“No,” said Emily.
“No you will not give up with this. Seven years of nights of mine have been spent listening to you complain to Breanne about Louis and now’s your chance. I won’t let you throw it away.”
Emily shook her head and knew she had won. I wasn’t going to argue, from past experience I knew that I couldn’t argue to save my life.
“Fine,” I said glumly feeling defeated.
Rubbing her hands together, Emily went through the plan: “So you know that Ravenclaw boy, Scott Boot? The proper eccentric one with the blue hair?”
I didn’t, but I let Emily continue.
“Well, sources have told me that Zoe used to have, like, the biggest crush on him before she and Louis got together. She even dyed her hair pink for him, can you believe it? Anyway, what I was thinking is if we get her and Scott together we can work on improving your confidence and making Louis realise that you’re the girl for him.”
Manipulation. I shouldn’t have expected any less from Emily.
“Well I guess that could work…”
“I’ll deal with Scott, you can deal with Zoe. You’re going to Hogsmeade with her and Louis aren’t you?”
“How do you even know all of this?” I questioned.
She awed me with her mad techniques of being able to know everybody’s business.
“I have my sources.” Emily tapped her nose secretively.
“So how are we supposed to go about this?” I asked.
Emily faltered. “I hadn’t really thought about that. I just thought we could put them in situations together and see where that took us.”
“And how would we be able to do that?”
“I don’t know! I’m not a complete genius, you know. But it should be easy considering their history. Zoe must still have some feelings for Scott otherwise she would have changed her hair back.”
She had a point.
Emily’s plan was, while a possibly great one, quite a cliché one. It involved the typical love triangle type thing with past loves and the like. But who knew? In the books they always turned out alright in the end so who was to say that this wouldn’t?
Like Emily said, we’d just have to see where this took us.
so this too slightly longer than I expected but I'm quite happy with parts of this. It's not the best chapter but I needed something to get the story going and this was the best rewrite of it (out of 3, in case you wanted to know) It's also a long chapter which I'm quite proud of cause I can never seem to get past 2500 :) There was some slight teenage angst on Loria's part, so I apologise for that :) Anyway, i hope you didn't think it was too
horribly awful! :D