Chapter 5 : Hieroglyphics of the Male Variety
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On a side note, Andrew told me last year that Jack and I would be the perfect couple. Apparently we’re both extremely murderous.
But moving on.
Honestly, what kind of bloke actually blackmails someone into joining their Quidditch team? I really long for the days before Hogwarts, in which I dreamt about all the normal friends I would have.
Yeah, that was wishful thinking. Normalcy does not exist at this school. Ah, to be young and naïve.
See, I wish I had a Time-Turner. I wish I had a Time-Turner so I could go back in time (shocker!) and tell my eleven-year-old self, “Lexi, don’t get your hopes up too high. And certainly avoid at any cost people by the names of Chloe Everson, Andrew Sutton, Justin Hopkins, and Oliver Wood. They will only screw up your life and more likely than not cause extremely embarrassing situations that you’ll want to die of shame from. Like, hypothetically speaking, an event that could occur in your sixth year, in which your future fiancé/future husband/future father of your children happens to overhear you yelling about your fake relationship with your fake boyfriend.”
Yup. Isn’t my life just smashing?
“Bloody hell,” Oliver mutters. “It just had to be him, didn’t it?”
Oi! I really don’t like that condescending tone, mister. That’s the future father of my children, that is.
“Fake,” Noel repeats in that oh-so sexy voice of his. “I knew it. I knew you two would never date. You row far too much to ever be more than tentative friends at best.”
“What do you want, Hemsley?” Oliver says viciously.
“What do you want to keep this quiet?” he hisses, glaring at Noel intensely.
Noel laughs his beautiful, melodious laugh and says, “Wood, are you actually suggesting that I would blackmail you?”
“Yeah, Oliver, are you actually suggesting that Noel would blackmail us?” I chime in sweetly. “What kind of person would blackmail someone into doing something they don’t want to do?”
Oliver fidgets uncomfortably and runs his fingers nervously through his hair, a habit that is growing quite annoying - it almost makes me want to kick him. Of course, I want to kick him most of the time, but that’s really irrelevant.
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to say anything,” Noel comments, breaking his alpha male stare down with Oliver so he can turn to look at me. “But then again... This could work to my advantage. How about a deal, Lex. You come with me on a date in the kitchen tonight, and I’ll keep my mouth shut. Sound good?”
Did I just hear that correctly?
Because I swear to Merlin it sounds like Noel Hemsley just asked me on a date.
OH DEAR GOD, I’M DEAD. I’M DEAD AND IN HEAVEN. THIS IS HEAVEN.
“So, what do you say, Lexi?” Noel murmurs as he slowly makes his way closer to me.
His lips look so delicious. Merlin, I could just stare at them all day. Or preferably snog them all day. Mmm.
“I’d say you can blackmail me anytime you want,” I somehow manage to choke out.
Oliver stiffens in my peripheral vision; his right hand clenches into a fist and he looks just about ready to pummel the shit out of Noel. Why, I do not know. Must be some weird guy thing. I swear males are a totally different species.
“Do you know where the kitchen is?” Noel asks, catching my gaze and holding it.
I swallow tightly and shake my head, too frazzled to speak.
A slight grin pulls up at the corner of Noel’s mouth and he leans closer to me, whispering the way to the kitchen in my ear.
If he doesn't stop being so fricking sexy, I’m going to combust.
I’m sure that would be highly attractive.
“See you at six?” Noel asks.
Oh my God, if he doesn’t leave soon I’m going to attack him with my lips.
“Uh-huh,” I hear myself say.
He winks at me and nods curtly at Oliver before walking off down the hallway, leaving us in silence.
Holy fricking shit, it is not fair for one bloke to be that attractive.
“Come on, you,” Oliver mutters, grabbing my arm roughly. “Let’s get back to the common room.”
“Ouch! Let go of me, Wood,” I hiss as I claw at the fingers digging into my arm.
“I would, but I think you might go and jump Hemsley, what with the way you were drooling all over him.”
“Gee, Oliver, I didn’t know you were the jealous type,” I remark snidely, finally yanking my arm out of his grasp.
“I am not jealous,” he spits out immediately.
“I was only joking.”
A slight flush creeps over his face as he jerks his eyes away from mine. “Yeah, whatever. I just don’t like Hemsley. Let’s leave it at that.”
“Okay. But -” I stop as I realise where my train of thought is heading and how irrelevant said train is after our fight in the middle of the corridor.
“Where does this leave us?”
“Right where we were before. You join the team, I’ll be your cover. Nothing’s changed. We had a spat, we’re over it. Let’s just please go back to the common room now.”
Oliver strides ahead of me, not bothering to allow me to keep pace with him. As I study his retreating figure, a little nagging thought itches at the back of my brain. It’s completely stupid, but -
“Oi! Lex, you coming?” Oliver yells over his shoulder, finally pausing to allow me to catch up.
It’s completely stupid, but I can’t help but feel like there’s something he’s not telling me.
“Who’s up for a game of Exploding Snap?” Andrew asks, glancing around at our little circle of friends.
Yeah, that’s right. I have friends. So suck it.
I curl my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them, and drop my head heavily onto Oliver’s shoulder. He lays a kiss on the top of my head and shifts a bit on the common room couch so he can wrap his arm around me, fingers rubbing my shoulder gently.
Here’s the weird thing about this whole situation. I mean, beyond the obvious part of the ‘fake dating’ thing. We’re not the best of actors - well, at least I’m not. I usually can’t tell a lie to save my life, and to be honest, I still have to mentally keep myself in check so I don’t flinch away whenever Oliver touches me. It’s just awkward, you know? And I pretty much have to force myself to act all cutesy-coupley - which let me tell you is not me at all.
But I feel like Oliver doesn’t even have to think about it. Like right now, how the hand that’s curling around my shoulder is just rubbing my shoulder without any apparent conscious effort on his part.
It’s really freaking me out.
Either he’s one damn good actor or... I don’t even know.
“Aw, look how cute, Andrew,” Chloe coos from her seat by the fireplace. “Isn’t it so nice when two friends date?”
Gee, way to be subtle, Clo.
“Er - well - uh -” Andrew looks distinctly uncomfortable as he continues to mumble out incoherent phrases, leaning away from Chloe and her shamelessly batting eyelashes.
I know for a fact that she spent ten minutes perfecting her mascara for him this morning.
Too bad he doesn’t care.
“Exploding Snap?” Andrew asks again weakly.
“I’d be up for a game,” Justin says, glancing up from his book.
“Oh, let them be, Andrew! Can’t you see they’re in Coupleland?” Chloe hisses, smacking him on the arm.
I lift my head and raise my eyebrows at Oliver in a ‘Really? Are we that convincing?’ look. He simply dips his head in agreement, and I drop my head back onto his shoulder.
Woah. I think we just had a silent conversation. Okay, now this is really getting freaky.
“Coupleland?” Andrew asks sceptically.
“Yes! It’s where friends are when they date.”
Seriously, Chloe. You are the Queen of Subtlety and Subterfuge. You should just drop out of school and go work for MI6.
“Oh, shoot,” Chloe says suddenly. “I forgot that I have detention tonight. I’ve got to run.”
“Detention? For what?” I ask, lifting my head again in curiosity.
“Apparently it’s inappropriate to lock Prefects out of the Prefects’ bathroom,” she mutters darkly.
Ah, right. She was holed up in the Prefects’ bathroom (which I gave her the password to - don’t tell anyone) for a good hour this morning, perfecting her makeup for Andrew.
Which, as aforementioned, he couldn’t really care less about... but don’t tell her that. You think I’m violent? Oh, I am nothing compared to the wrath of a Chloe scorned. When she transforms from the Mermaid-above-water into the bitchy Veela, you better run away as fast as you can.
“All right, I guess I should go,” Chloe sighs, pulling herself to her feet and exiting the common room.
Andrew and Justin begin their Exploding Snap game, and Oliver and I sit mesmerised in silence for a few minutes. Every so often he’ll kiss the top of my head or do something else distinctly coupley, but before long, I don’t even notice anymore.
I bet Noel would be just as sweet to me...
“Shit!” I screech, sitting bolt upright and scrambling off the couch. “What time is it?”
“Er... five of six,” Justin says slowly. “Didn’t you learn how to read a clock?”
Five of six. It’s bloody five of six - I have a date with Noel at six precisely.
OH MY GOD, I HAVE A DATE WITH NOEL IN FIVE MINUTES.
“Erm, I have a... tutoring session! At six! In the library!” I spew out wildly, running my fingers over my clothes in an attempt to make them worthy of a date with Noel.
OH MY GOD, I HAVE A DATE WITH NOEL IN FIVE MINUTES AND I LOOK LIKE A FRICKING HOMELESS TROLL.
“Psycho bint,” Andrew mutters under his breath.
I shoot him a glare and make a mental note to kick him for that one later before beginning to make my way towards the portrait hole. I’ve only gone about three steps when I hear Oliver say, “Oi! Keep those eyes a bit higher, yeah?”
I spin around in confusion to find him shooting daggers at Andrew and Justin, who grin sheepishly at me and then dart their eyes to the floor.
“Okay...” I say confusedly, not quite sure as to what’s going on.
“No one’s allowed to stare at my girlfriend’s arse except for me,” Oliver continues.
I feel my cheeks flush with heat as I realise what’s going on, then turn around as quickly as I can and continue walking towards the portrait hole.
“Oi!” Oliver yells again, and then the sound of two groans issue from behind me.
“No need to punch us, you bloody wanker,” Justin mutters.
I climb out of the portrait hole before I can hear the rest of the conversation, but I’m fairly certain that it’s going to end in more pain for Andrew and Justin.
Ah, happy days.
You know you’re messed up when the suffering of your best mates brings a smile to your lips. Maybe Andrew was right about the whole Jack the Ripper thing. Too bad poor old Jackie’s dead...
Dear Merlin, what is wrong with me?
As soon as the portrait swings shut behind me, I take off at a sprint down the corridor, shoving into tiny people and pushing them out of my way.
I have a date with fricking Noel Hemsley, so they can shove it. Move or be moved, second years. It’s as simple as that.
I skid down the hallways at top notch speed, breathless by the time I finally make it to what is (supposedly) the kitchen.
Bloody hell, I’m so out of shape. Apparently kicking and/or hitting people only builds muscles. I really need to start working out... this is kind of pathetic.
After tickling the pear (seriously, who comes up with this stuff?) and pulling open the portrait, I climb into the kitchen, still panting like a dog on a hot summer day.
So now I look like a fricking homeless-troll-panting-dog-sweaty-pig hybrid.
I’m sure Noel won’t be able to keep his hands off of me.
I’m so bleeding attractive. It should seriously be illegal to look this good.
Noel’s adorable dark haired head whips up from the table he’s sitting at when I step into the room. He grins at me and says something, but I can’t hear him over the clatter of the little pibsqueaks we like to call ‘house elves.’
To be honest, the little buggers have always freaked me out a bit. Those eyes are far too large for that sized head, or any head, really. It’s so fricking creepy.
I grin back at Noel and send him a friendly wave, the perfect image of calm and collected.
Yeah. Sure. Now not only am I deranged, but also delusional.
Noel raises an eyebrow as I approach him and says smugly, “Been running in the halls again, have we?”
“I was chasing after perpetrators again, obviously.”
“Oi! I’m Head Boy, you can’t tell me to shut it!”
“I can and I will tell you to shut it.”
“That’s what I like about you, Lex,” he says, tracing a pattern intently onto the table with his finger. “You’ve got spunk.”
Noel glances up from drawing his pattern and looks me dead in the eyes, his green ones sparkling mischievously in the light.
WHY IS HE SO BLOODY SEXY?
I swallow roughly as his hand gently reaches out to grab mine, focusing all my mental ability on not hyperventilating.
In and out. Slowly. Breathe slowly, Lex. It’s only Noel. Only the sexiest bloke ever known to walk these halls. And he’s touching your hand.
OH MY GOD, HE’S TOUCHING MY HAND.
In and out, in and out, in and -
Noel’s grin broadens a bit as his fingers curl around mine.
Yeah, just keep on grinning, buddy. You’re not going to be grinning when I faint due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. Of course, then he’ll have to give me mouth to mouth resuscitation...
FAINT, LEXI, FAINT!
Damn. It’s not working.
Maybe if I hold my breath...
“Uh, Lex? Why are you not breathing?”
Dammit, Noel! Can’t you see that I’m trying to faint, here?
Note to self: get head checked, just to make sure that I’m mentally stable. Also: kick Andrew twice in the shin just because he’s being a bigger prick than usual today.
I take a deep breath to show him that I am not actually mental (well, I might be, I’ll have to wait until I get that checked), but the air flows out of me as Noel tugs on my hand and pulls me crashing into his chest.
OH MY GOD, I’M LEANING AGAINST HIS CHEST. HE’S PRACTICALLY HUGGING ME.
My life is now complete. Goodbye, world. I shall die a happy (but mentally unstable) woman.
“How about that dinner?” Noel murmurs.
I nod against his chest and I’m pretty sure that I black out for about 1.03982 seconds.
We don’t wind up eating dinner.
Instead, we snog.
For two hours.
I swear to Merlin that I’m in love with this boy.
Let’s just say that it’s a good thing those house elves were in the room. And that there wasn’t a bed. Otherwise I’ve got a feeling things might have turned out a bit differently.
Oi, don’t look at me like that. I’m not a bloody tart.
Sure I’ve snogged two different blokes in the past twenty-four hours, but in my defence, one of them was Oliver and he doesn’t really count.
Besides, I’m in love with Noel, so that makes me snogging his brains out totally okay. Right?
Oh God, I’ve turned into a fricking tart. Or even worse - I’ve turned into Chloe.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the girl to death, but let’s be honest here: she’s quite the flirt. I mean, not in the ‘look at me, I’ve slept with the entire school’ way, but she’s not exactly one to turn down an offer to snog, either.
But now back to my tartish reality.
“Did you enjoy your meal?” Noel whispers against my neck, which he’s been nipping at for the past five minutes or so.
“Delicious,” I breathe, eyeing the untouched plates of food in front of us.
He chuckles his special Noel chuckle and shifts slightly, sliding me off of his lap, which has been my chair for quite some time now. “You should probably get going. Don’t want Wood getting too worried about you.”
“Ugh. Don’t remind me,” I groan, covering my face in my hands.
“I’ll get Danny to back off,” he says quietly.
“Really?” I perk up immediately and uncover my face, peering at Noel hopefully.
“Uh-huh. I assume that’s why you’re in this whole mess. I love the bloke to death, but he can get... aggressive.”
“That’s putting it nicely.”
Noel chuckles again, but soon a silence overtakes us. Only the random squeaks of the freakish house elves occasionally cut through as I stand there awkwardly, totally engrossed by my beautiful, gorgeous Noel.
God, that feels so amazing to say.
Suck on that, bitches.
“Lex,” he murmurs, running a finger up the length of my arm. Goose bumps erupt at his touch and wind up my arm, following the path of his finger. “I was thinking that maybe you’d like to switch to my patrol during Prefect rounds. You know, just the two of us. Could be a lot more fun that way.”
I feel my face begin to heat up as I understand what he’s implying and nod in agreement. “Well, it’s better than spending rounds with Percy, I suppose.”
“Hey!” Noel laughs, smacking me on the arm.
I laugh too, then realise that we've spent a ridiculous amount of time just staring at each other silently. “I should go,” I say unwillingly.
“Yeah, you really should.”
“So I guess this is goodbye, then.”
Noel shrugs noncommittally and goes back to tracing his pattern on the tabletop. I, meanwhile, bite my lip anxiously, arguing internally over what I should say to him. I’m dying to ask what exactly this is. Are we a couple? Are we just having fun? What exactly is happening between us?
But Noel looks like he doesn’t want to talk anymore, so I just bid him farewell once more and awkwardly head out of the kitchen.
Even if he doesn’t want to label us, I think this was still the best day of my life. And that’s taking into consideration the fact that today I also began to fake date an annoying bloke and got woken up at the crack of dawn by said annoying bloke and had Danny Kershaw practically trying to shag me in the Great Hall and got blackmailed into joining a Quidditch team. So yeah, I’d say that I’m pretty fricking happy right now.
I’m on the third floor, nearly halfway back to Gryffindor Tower, when the sound of echoing footfalls come ringing down the corridor and Oliver’s very irritated looking face appears in my line of sight. “Where the hell have you been?” he demands, striding furiously towards me.
“In the kitchen with Noel.”
“The guys told me to save you from ‘studying’ an hour ago! An hour, Lex!”
“Jeez, calm down. You knew where I really was.”
“No, I didn’t! I’ve got no clue as to where the kitchen is! No one does, except for you and Hemsley, apparently.”
“So you’ve been looking for me for an hour, then?”
“Yes, Lex, I have -” He stops mid-sentence as he finally reaches me, jaw quite literally dropping open. “What the fuck?” he practically yells, dark anger crossing over his face. “What were you two doing, Lex? Shagging?”
I flinch away from him at his tone and narrow my eyes, totally confused as to what he’s going off about. “No, Oliver, don’t be ridiculous.”
Of course, that’s not to say that I didn’t want to...
“Then how the fuck do you explain those?” he demands, staring pointedly at me.
“What are you talking about?”
“For the love of -” Oliver mutters, grabbing my arm roughly and forcibly dragging me off for the second time today.
Oi, I don’t like being manhandled. I don’t care about his stupid ‘no violence’ rules - if he doesn’t start treating me like a lady, he’s going to get a very nasty injury sometime in the not so distant future.
Oliver shoves me through a doorway which I vaguely recognise as the entrance to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom and I stumble into the room gracefully (not), nearly slipping on a huge puddle of water. “What the frick, Oliver?” I yell, turning to scowl at him, but he’s already shut the door.
“Mirror,” he calls from behind the door, still standing out in the corridor.
I sigh and cautiously cross the flooded floor to the sinks, raising my eyes slowly to look at myself in the mirror.
“Fricking hell,” I mutter as I observe my own reflection.
I am going to murder Noel.
(You know, after I murder Danny, Oliver, Andrew, and Justin.)
I gingerly brush my fingers along the line of bruises on my neck, cursing Noel to the deepest pits of hell for every hickey he’s left.
“Okay, so we might have snogged a bit,” I concede as I exit the bathroom and re-enter the corridor.
Oliver glares at me, arms crossed tightly across his chest. “Can’t you hide them or something?”
“Well, that depends. Do you happen to have a scarf with you?”
His glare transforms into a scowl and he reaches out a hand to tug the collar of my shirt up. “That’s a bit better,” he muses.
“Really?” I ask hopefully.
We turn around and begin to walk back towards the common room again, an awkward silence hanging over us.
“I still don’t understand why it bothers you so much,” I comment after a brief period of time.
“Oh, gee, Lex. I don’t know why it would bother me, besides the fact that now everyone’s going to think that I did that to you.”
“Yeah. So the next time you snog your boyfriend, do me a favour and try not to get so kinky, would you?” he spits out bitterly, not once breaking his stony stare forward.
I nod in understanding, but I feel like there’s something he’s not telling me again.
Why can’t boys just say what they mean? It’s really not that difficult. Sometimes I swear they speak a totally different language. I may need to invest in one of those Rosetta Stone thingers.
We don’t say another word until we reach the Fat Lady’s portrait, at which point Oliver mutters the password to her moodily. I climb through the portrait hole nervously, tugging my shirt collar up a bit higher in a futile attempt to cover up the marks on my neck.
The first thing I see when I land in the common room is our group of friends sitting in our regular spot in front of the fireplace, so I speed walk across the room in an attempt to escape to my dorm without them noticing me.
But alas, it was not meant to be.
“Just where do you think you’re going?” Justin calls after me.
I groan and spin slowly on the spot, continuing to curse Noel with every passing second.
“Holy shit,” Justin breathes, speaking for both Andrew and Chloe as well as all three pairs of eyes land on the offending bruises.
Oliver grimaces as he reaches for my hand to pull me over to the couch, eyes darting between Andrew and Justin. I blush furiously as they all continue to stare, and Oliver ducks his head once he sits down, pretending to tie his shoe.
“Okay, so now we know never to send Oliver to get Lexi again,” Justin cracks, breaking the tension.
Chloe’s mouth gapes and I expect her to make some smartarse comment about friends and snogging to Andrew, but she says nothing.
Andrew, however, opens his mouth and says, “Didn’t know you two liked it rough.”
Justin snickers, and I glance over at Oliver, pleading silently with him to let me do what I do best. He nods his head slightly in agreement, so I stand up and walk towards Andrew, smiling sweetly at him.
And then I kick him in the shins.
A/N: Hello, my lovely readers. I know it’s been a long time. I’m sooo sorry. Don’t hate me - I’m really trying with this story, but I just keep getting writer’s block. Please don’t give up on it. I promise that I’m going to push through until the end, though that could take a while. Anyway, I’m sorry about the long update time (again), but maybe you could be kind and leave me a review? I’d love to know what you thought of this one. How do you feel about Lexi and Noel? Lexi and Oliver?
P.S. I don’t own Jack the Ripper, MI6, or the Rosetta Stone, in case that wasn’t obvious :)
P.P.S. I apologize for any horrendous grammar mistakes, as I haven’t had time to go through and edit yet. Hopefully it wasn’t too awful :D
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