by cast!el at the-dark-arts
The Great Debate: Laughs vs. Giggles
There was a bubbly sensation in my stomach that I couldn’t quite place, it wasn’t butterflies. Butterflies felt like someone was tickling the inside of your stomach; I knew how to handle them. This was something worse, much worse. I wasn’t just nervous, I was afraid, with a ladle of panic, a teaspoon of insecurity, and stir in two cups full of jitters with another three cups of refined excitement.
Today was the day, the day that I finally started my endeavour into happily ever after and once I was there I was going to clutch onto it with my dear life. My week as Fred’s shiny new girlfriend was fun, but it hadn’t felt complete. It hadn’t been stamped with the ultimate label of authority that said, ‘THIS COUPLE ARE NOW OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL AS THEY HAVE BEEN ON A COMPLETELY AVERAGE BUT OH-SO WONDERFULLY CLICHE DATE TO HOGSMEADE.’
I knew what these dates comprised of. Hannah, Georgia, Jordan and Cal had all been on one of them. These wonderful dates, which they had all claimed to only be ‘alright’ and rather ‘dull’, were a right of passage, and I was going to do it. Of course, they hadn’t been this excited for theirs. But they were not the ones who had waited for this to happen since they were in first year. They haven’t read a thousand different but essentially the same retelling of a Hogsmeade Date, in every single Fifi Lafolle book. Don’t get me wrong, I have every respect in the world for Fifi Lafolle, but she, according to my mother, my brother and Cal, is to blame for my unrealistic expectations. Expectations that I couldn’t even meet myself, because I couldn’t choose a decent outfit.
My eyes scanned around the room, peering at both Jordan and Cal who were sitting on their respective beds. I grinned to myself, I could kill a bird with two stones, or kill two birds with one stone, or whatever that muggle idiom my dad says is supposed to be. Anyway, why would you even want to kill a bird in the first place?
“Cal, Jordan,” I whined, exaggerating ‘my pain and confusion.’ Desperate times called for desperate measures, even if that meant lying and cheating for the greater good. I couldn’t deal with my best friends not being best friends, not when I needed them and certainly not when they needed each other.
They both locked eyes, glared and then turned their attention to me.
“What should I wear? I don’t know what to wear? I don’t want to look like a tart, but I want to look pretty. Do I need to dress sexy? I don’t own any sexy clothing. What even constitutes as sexy clothing?”
Jordan was the first to respond, quickly getting off her bed and she dived into my trunk, wading through all my clothes.
She pulled out a cute green dress. I held up the outfit to Cal, Georgia and Hannah. Georgia nodded, Hannah seemed unresponsive, shrugging with no interest. Cal, however, snorted.
“Merlin, Jordan do you want her to look like an elf?”
Cal continued, “It’s horrible and it’s a seasonal dress. no offence Lonnie.”
I would have been particularly offended, since this was one of my favourite dresses, if I hadn’t known that Cal was looking for an argument with Jordan.
She stood up and took action, which included barging Jordan out of the way, grabbing my absolute favourite light blue dress, yanking out a dark blue cardigan and black tights at lighting speed. She levitated the bundle of clothing onto my bed, without her wand silently to show off. And with the same angry pace, that she had stormed out of the room the day before, she hiked to her bed and landed with an audacious thud.
The outfit was perfect.
The manner of which it was chosen, however, was exactly the opposite.
“Thanks Cal, thanks Jordan,” I said, picking up the clothes.
I walked to the bathroom, changed, put on make-up very. My stomach flipped and summersaulted repeatedly. I needed a break, I needed to think. I needed to go to the library.
In every fairytale I have ever read, the princess either has no friends or her only friends are not normal, in other words they are (usually) animals. The luckiest she’ll ever get is dwarves, talking animals or fairies. Why can’t she have any friends? Friends that she cares about, friends that she remembers when she strolls into the sunset with prince charming?
The question isn’t rhetorical, there’s an answer and it’s one that breaks my heart. It’s a literary device. It’s so much harder for the princess to ride off into the sunset with prince charming and his steed, if she actually has a life, if she has a loving group of families and friends holding her back.
Do friends hold you back? Is that’s whats stopping me from getting a real happily ever after?Because however much I love love, and anyone can tell that I am head over heels, way in over my head, in the deepest trench of the ocean of love in love with love. I’m not sure, but I think I might love my friends and my family a bit more, than my happily ever after.
This will work out. I will have both, even if it makes me greedy. There isn’t an option. It has to pan out the way I want it. It just does, because my happiness and future depend on it.
It hadn’t been my brightest idea to run away to the library, but it gave me an escape to the tense atmosphere, I had been craving so desperately to escape. I prayed that I wouldn’t ruin my outfit, knowing myself I would spill century old book dust on it, or trip over and spill ink from someone’s pot all over my body, because I am so coordinated.
Since I had forty five minutes to kill (murder?) before Fred was expecting to meet me, I could take out some books I wanted to help myself with alchemy and herbology. I had made a vow to myself before the school year had began, promising myself that just because I wasn’t smart (and I was okay with that, really I’m okay with that), I wasn’t going to slack. In fact I was going to work harder than ever, because I wanted to do well on my NEWTs.
My future and I guess part of my happily ever after relied on good NEWT results to get a good job, bringing back the painful cycle of why we even bother going to school, which is to get money and earn a decent living. And, I’m not trying to say that my happily ever after is dependant on money, because that would be disgusting and I would be living an illusion. I’m just trying to be realistic, instead of idealistic for once. Money sure does help with having a happily ever after.
It took a couple of minutes to pick the right books, then to perfect my polite smile so Madame Pince wouldn’t be too moody that I was clearly exceeding my borrowing limit, seeing that I had another five library books in my dormitory. Not all Fifi Lafolle, before you ask.
Just as I planned to walk out, feeling rather chuffed with myself for charming Madame Pince, I heard a giggle. It sounded like jingling bells and summer breezes, and lots of the other mediocre pretty things that people compare laughs, giggles and chortles to. It also sounded ridiculously familiar, I knew for a fact I hadn’t heard it before, but I could almost place a name to the soung.
I tip-toed down one of the aisles, and rather subtly peered over a row of books to see Ajoke and James, together. They seemed to be lost in a summer lust, as Ajoke giggled and spun away from James. They both looked happy. More than that, they looked content, no sardonic blanket expression covering their features. They didn’t look as emotionally dead as they usually did, they -dare, I say it- looked alive.
“Is this the book you need?” James said.
He seemed to turn in my direction, and look right at me, I thought. Suavely (I have to add), I ducked and closed my eyes. He hadn’t noticed me. I rose back up and continued observing the ‘happy couple’.
“Nooo,” she teased, her voice was lighter than usual.
In fact both their voices were, they seemed to be using upward inflections and sounded genuinely happy. They sounded like a happily-ever-after, bordering on true love sort of couple. The type of couple I wanted Fred and I to become.
I had been wrong, really wrong. They had an odd skill at making each other alive, it seemed. After watching this, Ajoke would have to be really heartless and headless to cheat on James, because she’d really be cheating on herself.
“Having a fun time spying?”
I shivered and squeaked. I turned around and glared up at Tarquin.
“That wasn’t funny,” I said, folding my arms across my chest.
“I’d say your odd antics are rather amusing,” he replied.
I stuck out my tongue as a response. Somehow, without much thought or panic, I had successfully perfected the art of banter, with a boy, or at least Tarquin. That, I decided, was quite a feat and achievement, which called for celebration.
Tarquin began to spew out a myriad of long words. I quickly got lost in my thoughts. Fred liked me shy, he liked me cute and quiet, he probably wouldn’t like a snarky loudmouth, something that I was slowly becoming. I was becoming Lonnie! and I hated her, I really did and I’m pretty sure everyone else would hate her, if they met her.
“Lonnie, are you listening?” He asked.
“You lost me at bellicose intentions,” I replied.
“Bellicose is like pugnacious.”
I looked up at him blankly.
“Let’s leave it,” he suggested.
I nodded, “I need to go now, anyway. See you later, right?”
“Right.” He answered with a firm nod.
I think it’s sufficient to say that I semi-quasi-worship fairytales. I read them daily, I think about them constantly. I dream about them when I am awake and they haunt me when I’m asleep.
But what really gets me about them is the antagonists. They never really have clear motivation, except for wanting everything to fail. What does Mother Gothel even want? What is the Sea Witch’s problem? I’m sure they have them, motivations and desires, but I can’t figure them out. But what I do know is, they come in to the fairytale just as everything is coming together, just as all the strings are being tied together and make a mess and temporarily delay the ride off into the sunset.
The thing that worries me is: Where is my antagonist? Who is going to try to ruin my fairytale? Will I ruin it myself or will someone else? Will the all dreaded fan club finally appear and decide that I’m not worthy and cast me away?
This fairytale is going to happen. I’m sure of it, because I’m the one who’s going to make sure it happens, even if it means slaying my own dragons. I just don’t know what the dragon looks like or where it’s lurking or how I’m supposed to slay it. But as soon as I know, I will get rid of that Hungarian Horntail quicker than Harry Potter on a firebolt.
I had just enough time to make it to my room, put the books down and leg it to our meeting point, so I wouldn’t be shamelessly late.
I sprinted towards the common room, dodging the odd little person who was in the way. I made it there quite quickly fortuately, being a hufflepuff had its many benefits, especially with an easy access common room. It wasn’t in the middle on nowhere like the Ravenclaw common room. There was an obscene number of stairs that had to be climbed and conquered before you could enter their blue common room.
With a lot of deep breathing, I got to my dormitory, ignored the tense atmosphere, ditched my books on my bed and straightened myself out for a quick walk to the meeting point Fred and I had agreed to meet at.
The swarming raven sensation in my stomach picked up and various doubts started to swirl around my head. What if this actually was an elaborate prank? What if this was some horrible misunderstanding and this wasn’t actually a date? What if Fred stood me up? What if Fred did turn up but had another girl with him? The possibilities were endless.
This would have been a lovely time for Lonnie! to appear with encouragements full of false bravery and bravado, telling me that of course Fred would be there waiting for me as he had gone out of his way as Mr. E to woo me.
But that didn’t come into my mind as I feverishly ambled down the corridor, threading my fingers through my hair, so it didn’t look overdone. Messy hair was in fashion, but then again I didn’t want to look like a slob.
I had the worst case of first date jitters known to man. It wasn’t natural to be this nervous, this was supposed to be easy, this was supposed to be the simple part, where I was whisked off my feet, but it felt like I was sinking in quicksand.
“Oh, there you are, I was wondering if you’d turn up,” Fred said, smirking.
All that and I had been late. Late to my own first date, if I hadn’t been to nervous and shy, my self anger and hatred would have shone through.
“Oh, sorry, I lost track of time in the library with Tarquin.” The words slipped out of my mouth. Only a genius would admit she had been late to her date, because she was spending time with another guy.
“Tarquin Grant?” He asked.
It occurred to me, then, that I knew very little about Tarquin, so little that I didn’t know his last name. “I don’t actually know, he’s in ravenclaw, I met him in detention.”
“The detention that James gave you, right?” He said, as he slowly moved closer to me and wrapped an arm around my waist.
I nearly swooned and died right there. But as luck would have it, I kept my composure like a true lady, making my mother proud wherever she was.
“That’s the only one.” I smiled.
“Just checking,” he said, letting go of my waist.
He combed his hands through his handsome prince hair and then knitted our fingers together. He leaned into my ear. “You never know, you might have become evil and wracked up a ton of detentions.”
“I doubt it,” I said, giggling, but my mind was still reeling and I felt dizzy, nauseous and generally unsure about everything.
“Didn’t think so, c’mon we better get walking.”
He had me in the palm of his hand, as my heart melted like butter.
I have never been afraid of how I have felt until now. Sort it out, yeah?
As we walked, the jitters did not relent, they acted like the ocean, drawing back and then crashing against the shoreline. Again and again and again. Why couldn’t I just live in the moment? I should have felt happy, high and light as a feather.
I let Fred speak, allowing myself to learn more about him. He told me all about the pranks he had pulled with Robin. I noticed how he didn’t seem to mention James in any of these grand plans they had executed.
The conversation lulled and I decided it was time I got to know my prince charming even better and overcame my stage-fright. if this was going to work, I was going to have to, you know, actually speak to him.
“Is there a particular reason you like pulling pranks?” I vomited the words out.
I felt a cold wave of relief as I finally spoke, like a stamp of success or a nod of approval from Lonnie!.
“I dunno, I guess it’s a good laugh. People take things so seriously sometimes. it’s your life and your only going to live it once, you might as well smile and laugh your way through it. Or even better make people smile and laugh. It’s like a secret sign of success.”
I mulled over his words. We had such different outlooks on life, but in some ways they were really similar. Happily ever afters were about happiness, and so were smiling and laughing, they were just the physical manifestations of happiness.
“What are you thinking?” He asked, snapping me out of my reverie.
“Not much,” I said, tugging at the end of my dress.
“You know, you’re one of those people who are really hard to make ‘em laugh or smile.”
“Am I?” I pouted.
“It’s like you only save them for special occasions. You giggle, but you don’t laugh.”
“And since your a professional in the different types of laughter and making people laugh, you have to tell me the significant difference of a giggle and a laugh,” I teased.
“Well, from my professional opinion, a giggle is a cover, it’s slightly forced. Sure, you’ve found the joke funny, but it hasn’t shaken you. Your in control of your giggles, your not in control of your laughter. You giggle from your brain, you laugh from your heart. Laughter is an ancient form of magic.”
Despite his words, I giggled in response. I didn’t notice then, but the smile on his face was awfully forced.
“I believe we have arrived, where to first, milady?”
I giggle once again. He was chivalrous and perfect. He knew what to say and when to say it. Despite the fact I was completely head over heels with everything he said, a little voice in my head told me it was contrived. That everything he said was fake and plastic. That, in fact, he was fake and plastic.
I brushed it aside, it was the nerves, they had grown so wild they had started speaking. They needed to be ignored and that was exactly what I was going to do.
“I would like to go tooo…,” I framed my chin with my thumb and index finger in thought, and then answered, “Scrivenshaft’s, please.”
Fred nodded and I led him into the shop. The door chimed as we entered.Scrivenshaft’s was never busy, most people avoided doing anything school related when in Hogsmeade, which included stationary shopping.
I tugged Fred by the hand lightly and picked up an imperial blue pheasant quill. I kneeled down on the shop floor to pick up some of the dragonskin brand notebooks. I flipped a book open and stroked the paper to gauge it’s quality. After a moment of deliberation, I decided it was good enough. I picked up another two.
“Done,” I announced proudly.
I rooted through my bad to find my purse.
“That’ll be nine galleons and a sickle, dear,” the shopkeeper said as she smiled at me.
I usually spent lots more when I was in this shop. Shrugging, I pulled out the appropriate coins and collected the bag from the shopkeeper.
“You just spent a lot of money,” Fred said, stating the obvious. I wondered where he was going with this.
He chuckled and then said, “I knew it! I knew you were one of those rich people who lived in a mansion and don’t think much of money, that’s the only way you’d be willing to spend nine galleons on stationary.”
“Shut up,” I grumbled playfully, pushing him as I said it.
I blushed and mumbled that I wasn’t wealthy or rich. I left out the fact that my parents were.
“It’s fine, it just means I know your not in it for the fame or wealth of the Weasley name.”
Deciding to be bold, I put my hand in his.
“Not at all,” I replied.
After that odd conversation, I decided we were still pretty clueless about each other.
Somehow, in amongst our banter, if you could call it that, Fred had pried the bag from Scrivenshaft’s out of my hand and was holding it.
“Where next?” He asked.
“Well, I think it’s only fair you choose the second place we visit,” I said.
I figured that princesses are all about equal rights, not to Cal’s extreme though. They would have still championed woman’s rights, and part of being a true feminist, I think, is being able to realise there are significant differences between each gender and they should be accepted and utilised. Boys make good princes and are quite skilled at whisking girls off their feet.
“I could do with going to Honeydukes, our dormitory sweet supply is at an all time low.”
We strolled into the shop, and parted ways, staring at various items of confectionary. My teeth started to ache just staring at all the sugary goodness.
I thought about picking up one of the chocolate wands, but stopped as Fred poked me.
“You scared me,” I joked, rather pathetically.
“Do you want some jelly slugs?” He asked.
I shook my head.
“Come along, I need to pay for all of these.” He gestured to the large pile of sweets, cradled in his arm. He paid quickly and grabbed his bag.
We exited the shop and he, somehow, started talking about quidditch. Like most boys, he knew how to smoothly transition the topic of conversation back to quidditch.
“Wait, so you don’t go to quidditch matches?” He was so shocked it was funny.
“Nope, not at school,” I replied, chortling lightly.
“How can you…? I am lost for words.”
“I am tortured with quidditch at home, my family are obsessed, my dad goes to all of his team’s matches without fail and drags me along with him, during the holidays.”
“Before we continue this date, we have a life or death situation to face, worse than Voldemort. What team do you support?”
“I guess I support the Chudley Cannons, purely based on their motto,” I answered.
Fred broke out into a smile, “I knew you were my kind of girl. Now that issue has been sorted, whither are we bound? Three Broomsticks or Madame Puddifoots?”
I had been into Madame Puddifoots before, when Jordan and I had been spying on Cal during a disastrous date. The place was quaint, but a little sickly, it was surrounded my couples that were in lust, not love and the prink doilies created a nasty sort of environment.
Fred heaved a sigh of relief, “You are exceptional are making choices. You can’t imagine the number of dreadful dates I’ve been on in that horribly frilly place, it’s so pink.”
Of course, someone like Fred had been on hundreds of these dates. Of course, this was special for me, but was it special for him? How many dates had he been on? What was I, girlfriend 52?
“Hey!” I shout in mock protest, trying to shake off my doubtful thoughts. “I like pink and I wear clothes that are a bit frilly sometimes.”
“Yeah, but it’s cute on you, not furniture.”
He had this uncanny ability to disarm me with his charm, he didn’t even need to use a spell or his wand.
“What do you want?” He asked.
“Just pumpkin juice, I’m not a fan of butterbeer, it’s a bit too sweet for me.”
“You’re sweet enough as it is.”
Once again, I giggled in response. He was trying hard to get me to laugh uncontrollably, with his tacky lines, but he couldn’t. He wasn’t there yet; we weren’t there yet.
Of course, he bought the drinks. I knew it wasn’t worth arguing that I wanted to pay with him, knowing someone chivalrous like him would want to do it himself. Especially, since I was only getting pumpkin juice.
We sat opposite each other on a table and he started to tell me about the mess he had made when he had tried to work for his dad in the summer to make some extra money, and how he never realised running a business was so complex. I chimed in occasionally, telling him that I had never been bold enough to work in one of my father’s four apocatheries in fear of destruction.
As he continued to speak, I zoned in and out and thought about how his voice was comfortable and the reality was that I could get used to this, the idea of me and him together.
It’s above my usual length, which could make up for the wait. This chapter was an absolute struggle to write. I hope you enjoyed the fluffy date with the cheesy lines! :) Opinions on Fred/Lonnie are welcome! You all seem to be James/Lonnie shippers! Give Fred a chance, have an open mind! :)
Harry Potter and his world are owned by the magnificent JK Rowling.
And here’s a teaser for the next chapter: ‘‘Oh, Andrew you’re so good at flying, won’t you teach me how to fly? So, then I will have valuable book time to see you shirtless, ogle at your abs, and successfully steal you away from your evil girlfriend,” he said in a falsetto.
I couldn’t help but burst into a raucous laugh. Why should he be able to make me laugh? He shouldn’t, and as hard as I tried to stop, I couldn’t. He had got to me.
Please review! :) ♥