Chapter 16 : Turning the Page
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Fred and I haven't talked about the kiss since last night. However, I can't help but give him a tacky smile every time we make eye contact. Every time, I can feel myself blush after I look away. As of this current moment, we're at lunch and our knees are touching under the table. My hand is resting on my leg, and twice- take that back, three times his rough knuckles have grazed the back of my hand. Every time that happens, I blush again. As I steal glances, he's grinning into his sandwich like a child getting their first toy broom. If it wouldn’t be too strikingly obvious, I’d be smacking the back of his head to wipe the smirk off his face. But I haven’t told Sophie yet, and I doubt he’s told Al, so that may give it away.
Stupid Albus Potter.
"Are you guys holding hands!?" Al asked suddenly, causing us both to jump and put both of our hands on the table, apart.
"No!" We both said simultaneously. Al started to laugh again, and wrapped his arm around Sophie. She looked up and smiled to him, in love as ever. He adjusted so he could kiss her and I simply rolled my eyes at them.
"I would have sat with Roxy if I knew I would have had to watch this," Fred leaned over and chuckled, "Come on Hannah, let's go. Magically I'm no longer hungry." He then mumbled, pushing his plate away in mock disgust. I laughed, and followed him away from the hall. We walked in silence back to the Gryffindor common room, both obviously unsure of where to begin the awkward conversation that we were about to have.
"Err; well I can't think of any way to make this more blunt and awkward so I'll just say it. Let's go upstairs, it'll be quieter." Fred grinned at his failure of a joke. I chuckled nervously and nodded, before following him up to the seventh year boy’s dormitories.
With each stone step I took I tried to formulate a sentence in my head to begin this discussion, but all I managed to pull out of my brain was how much of a mess my life is right now and I shouldn't have kissed back. By the time he reached for the handle of the door I was hitting myself in the forehead for thinking of telling him I didn't like it. Because the truth was, I did. My heart races every time I think about that smile he gave me right before it happened. My stomach flutters every time I think about his hand on my cheek, and his eyes smiling to mine. The whole conversation with Scorpius weather or not I liked Fred was mocking me as the realization of ‘more than friends’ was coming truer by the second.
“Err, hold on,” Fred said suddenly, slamming the door shut in my face. I could hear him scrambling around as he muttered cleaning spells to clear the odor out of the air. I started to laugh as the door opened again and he gestured for me to come in.
Here goes nothing.
"Fred," I began, taking a deep breath before I unloaded. "I want to tell you this in the right way so you understand that I'm a mess and you don't want to get mixed in all the things that are wrong with me your my best friend and that kiss was magical but my life is such a jumble of-"
He was kissing me. I started to laugh against his lips when he grabbed my wrists to keep me from hitting him; he knows me too well. I could feel him grin against mine as I gave in and begun to kiss back. My eyes fluttered shut as I relaxed my shoulders, giving him the notion that I wasn't going to hit him. He let go of my hands and wrapped his arms around my waist. After a few seconds he pulled back, just enough that his lips were almost touching mine.
"I've wanted to do that since I was fourteen. You talk too much." He whispered, grinning like he had just gotten smacked in the face with a bludger. That time, I really did hit him. He laughed, trying to pretend like it didn't hurt and continued. "Hannah, I don't care how much of a mess you think you are. To me, you're perfect; you’ve always been perfect. "
Perfect? I looked up from the freckles on his cheekbones I had fixed my eyes on, into his eyes. The most mesmerizing brown, they always looked like they were smiling. This time, I moved forward quickly and kissed him. His eyebrows rose in surprise at first, but after realizing he said the right thing, he wrapped his arms tighter around my waist. As I ran my fingers through his gingery hair and pressed harder into the kiss, I felt my eyes fall shut. I couldn’t help but slip out an accidental whimper as I felt his hand tickle up the small of my back. The noise proved to be a simple tease for him, causing him to take a step towards me; in his attempt to rid the little space between us, he pushed me to back into the four-poster behind me and I fell over.
"Oops," Fred mumbled, slightly out of breath as he laughed and sat down next to me. I sat up, and we smiled to eachother. For a half a second I thought this was going to be the new start of ‘the talk’, before we simply continued where we left off. After all, who needs to talk when you can snog your best friend who’s liked you for five years? I felt him slowly drag his hand towards my back again; in retaliation I pushed him away and pressed my forehead to his.
“Mean,” I whispered, locking eyes with him.
“Don’t pretend you didn’t like it,” he quickly retorted. I replied by pulling him into another kiss and biting his lip a little, causing him to pull back. He was giving me a look of utter shock at the playfulness in my snogging, so I bit my lip in fear that I had gone too far.
“Don’t ever bite your lip in front of me again,” He chuckled as his surprise quickly turned to a grin. He brought his hand up to my cheek and pulled me back to him. As I moved my fingers to the back of my neck, he began to deepen the kiss-
"You bloody hypocrite. Pushing away your lunch, and then I have to walk in on this; and on my bed!?”
I pulled away from Fred quicker than a Firebolt, standing up and moving away when I heard Al's voice. By the time I looked back over, Sophie was clutching her stomach from laughing, and Al was trying to look upset, but his laughter was overpowering his ability to keep a straight face. "I mean good Godric I'm glad it finally happened, seriously Hannah," He continued, turning to me. "It's about bloody time he plucked up the courage." He then turned back to Fred, and said, "It's about damn time and all, but did it have to be on my bed?"
"Sorry mate. Five years of pent up attraction will do that to a guy," Fred shrugged as he grinned towards Al, a slight pink color dusting his cheeks. I bit my lip, and glanced awkwardly over to him. He smiled and winked back to me, causing me to blush and Al to make a gagging noise. These boys are seriously mean to eachother when it comes to girls.
“I need to pack, do you guys mind finding a more… private place to snog?” Al asked.
“Sure,” Fred shrugged, and he grabbed my hand. He dragged me the three steps across the dorm, and pushed down on my shoulders so I was sitting on his bed. I started to laugh at Al’s disappointment as Fred joined me on his bed. It was fairly clear to everyone in the room that Al and Sophie were up here to do the same thing, and Fred and I weren’t going to give up so easily.
Fred and I… I started to smile. If anything I suppose I had to give Scorpius credit. I would have never known to look for the signs from Fred if Scorpius would have shut up about them.
I looked down to our hands; inches away, it would only be a small movement for me to grab his hand as he sat and argued with Al. It was so easy yesterday to grab ahold at the dance; yet now I had to force myself to inch my fingers forward. Just as I was about to make my move he started to flail his arms in the air in a winded explanation about how he and Al share the dorm, and he was perfectly free to finally snog his best friend whenever he wanted. I brought my hand up to my mouth and covered a laugh to make my movements look intended, seeing as how reaching through the air randomly looked a little insane on my part. Ignoring Al’s retaliation, Fred turned back to me.
“What’s so funny?”
I gave him a crooked smirk as I repeated, “Perfectly free to finally snog my best friend whenever I wanted?”
“Err, well, if you want to,” He stuttered.
I simply laughed and grabbed the collar of his shirt. Before he could get another word in I yanked his lips to mine. A loud sigh of annoyance quickly came from the other side of the room interrupting us. I pulled away just enough so I could rest my forehead on his like I had seen Al and Sophie do the previous night.
“What would twelve year old you say if he could see this?” I chuckled softly. He started to laugh and shook his head, not even wanting to bring up the topic.
“He’d probably kick me in the bludgers for not doing it sooner,” He muttered with a soft chuckle. I placed a few more small kisses on his lips before we heard Al groan.
“I’m going to kick you in the bludgers if you don’t leave,” Al muttered as he waved his wand around the room, collecting his dirty clothes. I started to chuckle before I stood up and told Fred I needed to go pack anyway, and he should too.
“Don’t give me that look,” I said as I took a step backwards. He only stuck his lower lip out further, and opened his eyes wider. “You know I have absolutely no problem resisting your puppy dog eyes,” I added, heading for the door. I started to smile as I heard his bed creak from him standing up, closely followed by a pair of footsteps following mine. I laughed when he wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed the back of my neck. As he let a small sigh go in the same place, I felt a chill run involuntarily up my spine; I took a few steps forward so we were outside the dorm room. The door instantly slammed behind us; Al must have charmed it shut. I started to laugh while Fred continued to kiss my shoulder, and smiled when he spun me around.
“Can you still resist it?” He grinned, before giving me the same look.
I brought my hands up to my eyes, covered them, and said, “Of course.”
He started to laugh and kissed the back of my hand. I peeked through my fingers to see him smiling down to me.
“You’ll visit over Christmas, right?” He asked.
“Don’t I always? Plus, we’re going as a date to Victorie’s wedding.” I chuckled, putting a suggestive emphasis on the word date. He nodded, dropping his arms off my waist. I sighed before saying, “Go pack. I’ll race you.”
With a last kiss goodbye, he turned around and grabbed the door handle. After shaking it for a second he said, “I think Al locked me out.” He was correct, and even with an unlocking charm the door wouldn’t open.
I started to smirk as I took a step towards the stairs and said, “I guess I’m going to win.”
“Hannah, wait!” He laughed, but it was too late. I already booked it down the stairs and headed towards the girl’s dorms. I stopped for a second to peek behind me, and sure enough he was rushing after me, grinning. I started to laugh as I headed back up the girl’s stairs, stopping on the third step up. Just out of his reach, he could only sit and beg at the base of the stairs without setting off the slide charm for keeping boys out of the girls dorms.
“I dunno,” I grinned, placing a foot on the fourth step. He tried to reach for my hand on the railing, but I quickly moved it so he almost fell forward.
“Bloody hell you flirting with me is hot.” He muttered to himself, taking a step away from the stairs and placing a hand on his forehead.
To that I ran down to the bottom step and put my hands on my hips. “I wasn’t flirting with you.”
He let out a snort, and rolled his eyes.
“I wasn’t!” I repeated, before smiling. I watched him laugh for a second before I leaned in closer and placed my finger on his chest. I heard the breath catch in the back of his throat as our noses were almost touching. I simply held the smallest smirks I could manage, and whispered, “If I was flirting with you, you’d know.”
With that I turned around and booked it up the stairs. I had to use every ounce of willpower I had to ignore his calling as I shut the door to my dorm room. I smiled as I leaned up against the wooden door, finally letting the last eighteen hours of my life catch up with me. Closing my eyes and sliding down the door, I leaned my head up against it and laughed to myself.
I nearly jumped out of my shoes as a high pitch voice suddenly filled the room. I stood up rather ungraciously to find Minky sitting on my bed.
“Minky! Hi. What’s up?” I said quickly, trying to regain some of my grace I had lost. She smiled politely, before walking over to me.
“Minky has another note for Mi-“
“Hannah.” I interrupted, smiling down to her.
“Hannah should know that Minky defended her against the angry Malfoy boy.” She said with a downcast glance as she handed me the piece of parchment.
“What do you mean, upset Malfoy boy?” I asked her slowly.
She looked worried, like she had said too much.
“Minky, please tell me what happened,” I pressed.
“It’s just,” She paused again. “Minky saw the way Hannah looked at Mr. Weasley in the kitchens. So when she heard the Malfoy boy say those things about Mr. Weasley as he was asking Minky to deliver the note, she told him that Hannah and Mr. Weasley were good for eachother.” Her eyes suddenly got watery, so I cursed to myself before rushing over and sitting next to her. “Minky shouldn’t have intervened!” She wailed, burying her face in her hands.
“Minky, no. Thank you for saying those things.” I tried to gently reassure her. I cursed Scorpius in my mind for making something as kindhearted as this elf cry. She simply sobbed harder as I tried to pat her on the back. I’d have to go for a different approach.
“Do you really think Fred and I are good for eachother?”
She looked up at my question, finally calming down from her sobbing. “Well, yes. Minky only assumed Hannah was seeing the Malfoy boy because Mr. Weasley hadn’t asked her out yet.” She shrugged. “Minky doesn’t really like the Malfoy boy, but it’s a Hogwarts’ house elf’s job to deliver letters whenever the owls need a hand.”
Apparently I was the only one in Hogwarts who didn’t ‘realize Fred’s feelings’ and was just waiting for him to ‘pluck up the courage’ as Al so bluntly put it.
“We kissed,” I whispered, “Fred and I.” I don’t know why, but I felt suddenly compelled to tell Minky all about the previous night at the dance. She may be of a different species, but clearly she’s got the Fred and Hannah situation figured out a little bit better than I do. “I- I like him. I suppose I’ve always repressed a little bit of a crush on my best friend. It’s Fred, how could I not? And I do still- at least, I think I still- I like Scorpius. Even if I’ve been the one helping him cheat on Rose, I’d never do that to Fred. I don’t know what to do.”
“If Hannah doesn’t mind, Minky has an idea that may help,” She said quietly. I simply gestured for her to go on. With a small sigh, she began. “Minky thinks… That Hannah should give Mr. Weasley a chance to be with her. She wants Hannah to be happy, and that’s all Mr. Weasley ever wanted. Mr. Malfoy is being-”
“Selfish?” I suggested lightly.
“Minky doesn’t want to talk badly abou-"
“Minky, you’re right. Thank you.” I cut her off before she started her ‘respect for wizards’ spiel.
With that we exchanged goodbyes before she dissaparated back to the kitchens. I looked down to my hands, and ran my fingers over the letters of my name spelled out in his handwriting. I could only assume this was a suggestion for another secret meeting. I could only imagine what he’d have to say about how close Fred and I were at the dance; thankfully we were alone for the kiss or I’d never hear the end. Then he’d beg me to stay away from him. After feeding me some more empty promises about when he’d cut things off with Rose, he’d simply break them a week later and snog her in front of me.
I sighed, and set the letter down on my table. There was a lot of guesswork floating through my brain about Scorpius Malfoy. However, there was one thing I knew for a fact. I knew that the way I was feeling right now about Fred Weasley meant something.
It was my turn to be happy. It was my turn to be someone’s only one. I took a deep breath as I pulled out my wand and pointed it at the letter.
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