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Chapter 4 : Let's Get Grizzly.
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Splendid, Spectacular, Superb (and many more exlamations beginning in S) Chapter Image by mixer @ tda!
I woke to the noises of squealing, clapping, and the sound of miniature feet pattering across a hardwood floor.
Convinced I was lying in my bedroom back in my flat, it took me a couple of disorientated seconds to realize that my building was not, in fact, being invaded by a parade of drunk leprechauns, and that I was still at the Malfoy’s house, lying spread-eagled in a large bed. A bed which had the smell and feel of what I hoped heaven to be like when I one day reached it.
With a heavy groan and a rub of the eyes, I managed to pull one leg out of the doona and over the side of the mattress. After another immense effort the other leg soon followed, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my borrowed bed, blinking into the harsh morning sunlight, the faint echoes of Lia’s passage past my door still resonating back to me.
As I laboriously began to dress for the day, last night’s encounter with Malfoy slowly sifted back to me. The late night search for jelly beans. The noisy return. The blocking of the door, the wall, the breath, the fingers against my shoulder.
I pulled an loose green sweater over my head and shimmied into a pair of old jeans, trying not to shed Malfoy’s motives into too much of a sexual light. But Christ, how could I not? The guy had hooked a finger in the sodding waistband of my pants. He had slipped off my singlet strap, whispered in my ear, smirked a stupid fucking smirk that had made my knees tremble.
If anything, this should have made me hate him even more. But for a reason I did not want to dwell on, it seemed to have done the opposite. I no longer saw him as an arrogant fool with a pointy face and girly shoulders.
He was now, despite my efforts, an arrogant fool with hypnotic eyes and a shiver inducing smile.
No. I told myself harshly, gathering my red curls into a ponytail. You are sleep, and let’s admit it, a little sex deprived, my girl. You don’t know what you are thinking about. You just need a good shag and some male attention from the right kind of guy. Tonight you are going to dress in an inappropriate dress and flaunt it at the Three Broomsticks.
Brilliant. And all thoughts of Malfoy’s lips will fall right out of my mind.
Once dressed, bed made (I’m going to miss you, Oh feathery perfection, Oh jewel of sleeping entities!) and bag packed, I made my way down to the kitchen for a quick bite to eat before saying thanks and bye and being on my way, to work.
If I played my cards right, I may not even have to run into Malfoy at all.
“Good day Weasley. You’re looking horrid this morning.”
I emitted a strangled laugh (something along the lines of a garbled ‘eskibledyk!’) and averted my eyes from the tall blonde form leaning casually against the kitchen counter. As my gaze swept over every surface in the spotless room, I noted with a sinking heart that Malfoy and I were the only two living things in here.
“Toast?” Malfoy asked. My eyes flicked unwilling to the slice of wholemeal goodness he was holding out to me with a smirk. I waited mutely. He waited too. There was silence for a while.
‘A simple ‘No thank you, Oh embodiment of perfection’ would have sufficed.” Malfoy said finally, shrugging as he placed the bread back on the breadboard. I didn’t answer, and instead poured myself a glass of orange juice and sat down at the table, sipping it silently. He did the same. I tried to ignore him.
“Is this about last night?” He sighed after a moment. I flinched, tightened my grip on my glass, and turned my scowl to face him. His brow was quirked and his mouth lifted into a grin.
“Why would you say that?” I asked him carefully, tracing the rim of my cup with the tip of my finger. I flicked my gaze up to him again, and saw his smile widen.
“Is it because I didn’t give you any of my jellybeans?” He continued, crossing his arms over the table top and leaning forward slightly. “Is that why you’re giving me the silent treatment?”
I tried to understand why Malfoy would his insult his manhood to the point of comparing it to jellybeans, before realizing with a stab of embarrassment that he didn’t mean his metaphorical, sexual innuendo beans, but the real beans he had gone to buy at the shop last night. I blushed and avoided his gaze, trying to swallow the lump in my throat so I could give him a semi-acceptable answer.
“Yes Malfoy.” I managed calmly. “It was the fucking jelly beans.”
I sent him a scathing glare and pushed myself up to standing, my chair scraping against the tiled floor. He followed my every move with a slow, amused gaze. I thought of his fingers grazing my wrist. I thought of how it would feel to punch him in the face. Both were equally as thrilling.
“It’s too early for this.” I muttered, and, after downing the rest of my orange juice like the badass that I was, I walked out of the room, fists clenched, chin high, Malfoy’s eyes burning holes into my back as I went.
“No, Albus, this is a woman’s night only.” I said firmly, stuffing my gloved hands into my coat pocket. We were standing in the cover outside our flat, the falling snowflakes muffling the glow of the streetlamps lining the footpath. Lucy saw me shivering and put an arm around my neck, rubbing my shoulders in an attempt to warm me up somewhat. I sighed and rested my head on her shoulder. It had been a long and busy day.
“That, my dear, is called sexual discrimination.” Al pointed out grumpily, shuffling his slippered feet. He was dressed in a pair of old tracksuit pants and his magenta (it was pink. The guy was deluded) dressing gown. Ivy, Luc and I were rugged up in numerous jumpers, coats, scarves, and gloves that covered our light, indoor outfits. We were on our way out for the night, and Al wanted to tag along. We were attempting to dissuade him.
“We haven’t had a night to ourselves in a long time.” Lucy told him. “And anyway, you hate late night bars. You won’t enjoy yourself at all.”
I saw his eyes flicker to Ivy, who was watching our exchange with guilty eyes. I thought I could see what was going on. “Look, we won’t be long, and we can take care of ourselves.” I told him reasonably. “If I remember correctly, you’re generally the one who’s arse we’re saving, and not the other way around. Just enjoy having the flat to yourself for a couple of hours, and don’t worry about us.”
He seemed to hesitate, and glanced back at the building behind him, before shrugging in sign of defeat. “Fine.” He sighed. “But behave, yeah?”
We smirked. “Of course love.” Ivy said, reaching up to place a kiss on his cheek. “You know us. We’re perfect angels.”
It was a toss-up between The Three Broomsticks and The Grizzly Griffin, and after a short debate, The Griffin won out. Unlike The Three Broomsticks, the place was loud, packed, and had an atmosphere of pink lights and alcohol scented breath. Exactly what I was in the mood for tonight.
Earlier today, after thanking Mr and Mrs Malfoy and saying Goodbye to the girls, I had apparated to the Leaky Cauldron to find it in complete upheaval. There was a line from the door to the counter, tables weren’t cleared, people were getting hot and agitated. There had been a spillage of some kind over by a booth, and a curious purple goo was edging along the floor. And behind the bar, a flustered looking Teddy Lupin was trying to organize the mess.
After accosting Ted and demanding to know what the hell was going on, I found out that Sally the waitress had called in sick, my co-cook and boss, Hannah Longbottom was home spending time with her pregnant daughter, and poor Teddy, the barman, had been left alone to handle it all since seven this morning.
The rest of the day had been rushed and unorganized. I had had to juggle cooking and table clearing while Teddy did drinks and orders. Not to mention a large group of elderly Witches who had come to check into the inn, and hadn’t been satisfied with any of the rooms we had offered them. I had come home annoyed, impatient, and ready to spend the rest of my night clearing my mind with drinks and dancing.
“Merlin, these are some drunk twenty-somethings.” Lucy said once we pushed through the doors to The Griffin. I surveyed the room as I unwound my scarf.
The lighting was low and warm, and the music dim, mellow, and barely audible over the sound of chatter emanating from – Lucy said it – A load of drunken young witches and wizards. There were a couple of wooden tables scattered through the room, and the crowded bar housed a long line of occupied leather stools.
“I’ll find us a table.” Ivy told us over her shoulder as she glanced at our surroundings on her tiptoes. She had already unloaded herself of her pile of winter clothing, and was looking very pretty in a cute pale pink dress. I could see why Al was worried. But Ivy was a good girl, she would never dream of giving into any inappropriate advances.
“You never told me how last night went.” Lucy said as she slipped off her coat. She had on a tight, high waisted leather skirt tucked over an old T-shirt, something I which I wished I could pull of but sadly, could not. Lucy made it look dressy and refined. I would have made it look like I was a lady with a questionable career who had forgotten to take off her pyjama shirt that morning.
“Hmm…” I said, buying for time as I debated whether or not to tell her about the Jelly Bean Incident. I soon decided not, and shrugged at her waiting expression. “The girls were great, Malfoy was a prick, and we had pizza for dinner. How’s my hair?”
I had opted for the hair down and messy look, and was starting to regret it. I scowled as curl fell in front of my eyes.
“You sexy thing you.” Lucy laughed, ruffling my hair fondly. “You know, you’re actually looking mighty fine tonight. You don’t have a hot date we aren’t aware of, do you?”
I grinned and shook my head. “Not yet I don’t.” I said with a cheesy waggled of the eyebrows. Lucy responded with a knowing wink, and we weaved our way through the crowd to where Ivy was waiting at an empty table, Lucy keeping up a stream of inappropriate comments all the while.
I had taken a particular care with my appearance tonight. I had chosen the most discreetly flattering dress I owned, a backless number of a dark magenta. It was flattering, and I was in heels, and, well, with a dash of red lipstick, I was sufficiently optimistic about my scoring chances this night.
“I’ll get the drinks,” Lucy offered as I slipped into a seat across from Ivy. My cousin threw her coat over the back of her chair and pushed herself back into the throng, elbowing her way up to the bar and the cute brown-eyed waiter man.
We didn’t see Lucy again for another hour.
“I’m worried about you, Rose.” Ivy said a while later, sipping slowly from her colourful cocktail glass. We had decided to acquire our own drinks when it became obvious that Lucy wasn’t going to return anytime soon. “We all are, Al, Luc and I. We’re worried that you aren’t making the right life choices.”
I glanced up at her with raised eyebrows. “How did we get to this?” I asked her, fishing for the olive in the bottom of my glass. Ivy smiled and placed her chin in her hand.
“I was watching you fight for that olive and it made me think of your daily struggles.” She said simply.
I stopped my quest for the fruit to roll my eyes. “Such comfort and support you give me, dear.” I told her, supressing my grin. Ivy smiled slightly, but then her brow furrowed, and the concerned look returned.
“But really, Rose. When are you going to get your life together?”
This was the thing about Ivy. Her soft blonde hair and big blue eyes gave you the impression that she was a sweet, discreet girl who spoke nothing but kindness, but in reality, she was bluntly honest. She didn’t do it on purpose, she always meant well, but it seemed to me that she let things slip and didn’t realize how they sounded. She didn’t ‘carefully word’ her sentences before letting them out. She just said them as they came.
“I’m eighteen, miss. And I’m doing fine! You guys have got to stop freaking out on my behalf. What could be wrong with my life?” I shook my head and let out a happy exclamation as I finally got hold of the blasted olive. I popped it into my mouth and stared at my friend. She seemed doubtful.
“You’re a clever girl, Rose! And you’re working in and inn. You could be the next freaking editor of the Daily Prophet or some sod, but instead you’re cooking up a storm at the Leaky Cauldron and waiting tables in the Three Broomsticks. And babysitting.” She shook her head ruthfully. “Rosie, you’re as smart as I am, and you’re babysitting. What are you scared of?”
I paused. In all truth, I wasn’t sure how to answer that. What was I scared of? I stared at my empty drink, musing. Why was I putting off going to an interview for a real job? Why was I blaming my procrastination on a need for rent money? Sure, our flat was a little over our budget, but Al, Ivy and Lucy were all contributing a small amount as well. And I was bloody smart. Not as smart as Ivy, but smart still. My grades could get me a very good position in a well-paid job, if I completed the required studies. And once I was financially secure I could focus on my writing… maybe get a job as a journalist… But no. I just couldn’t see it happening.
“I can’t answer that question, Ivy.” I told my friend with a small shrug. “I wish I could. I just don’t know.”
Our conversation was interrupted by the return of our friend.
“I come bearing drinks!” Ivy and I glanced up at the sound of Lucy’s cheery voice. She was balancing three shot glasses filled with a blood red liquid, her tongue between her teeth as she attempted to place them all on the table without any spillage.
“It’s only been an hour.” I said jokingly, smirking at Lucy’s exasperated expression. Ivy pointed at her colourful cocktail.
“I’m perfectly happy with this fruity goodness.” She said, smiling sweetly. “Those shots look dangerous.”
“Yes, they most likely are.” Lucy answered matter of factly. “And you are both going to down them before joining me at that there table with those two attractive gentlemen.”
I glanced over to where she was pointing, but could see nothing through the wall of bodies that filled the middle of the room. Lucy slid one of the shot glasses my way with a pointed look. I accepted it, and downed it with a grimace, shivering at its bitter taste.
“What is this?” I asked Lucy, staring at the last dregs of red liquid in my shot glass. My cousin shrugged.
“No freaking idea man. Ivy. Your glass is full.” She turned an accusing stare towards Ivy, who was staring steadily right back.
“And it’s going to stay that way. Luc, I have school tomorrow. I can’t afford a headache and a craving for chicken wings.”
Lucy sighed, drank her own shot, and slammed it back down on the table. “My dear, think not of hangovers. Think of this delicious red beverage-”
“It’s not delicious.” I felt the need to point out.
“That will make you feel happy and content-”
“Most likely you will vomit it out in the next hour or two.”
“And help you enjoy the best night of your freaking life!”
“It’s really not that great.”
“Rose!?” Lucy turned to me in exasperation. “Why the pessimism?”
I grinned and shrugged. “Sorry Luc. Don’t know what came over me.” I reached over for the last shot glass as I said this, swallowed down that crimson bitterness, and stood up. “Now, show my these two fine gentlemen you were talking about!” I said to Lucy, gesturing for her to lead the way. “And Ivy, bring your fruity goodness. Sorry for drinking your shot.”
Ivy didn’t seem to mind in the slightest.
The two boys at that there table seemed to be in their early twenties. One was dark and handsome with an air of blazé confidence, and the other a less conventionally attractive guy with blue eyes, dark berry coloured hair and a rather scruffy appearance. Lucy introduced them as Henry and Eddie.
“Henry, Ed, these are my friends Rose and Ivy,” She told them, sliding in next to the handsome Henry. Ivy grinned in greeting and sat down next to Lucy, so I took a seat next to the blue eyed Eddie. He held out a rough hand towards me, and I shook it, trying not to wince at the sly kick Lucy sent my under the table.
“Heya.” I said, giving him a smile. He grinned back, and the action gave his kind features a bit of spark. I decided that I liked this guy.
“You know, I recognize you from the Three Broomsticks.” He said, and I decided that I liked his voice as well. It was warm and welcoming. I waitered at the Three Broomsticks some days, but not often. I was surprised that he recognized me, I certainly couldn’t remember seeing him before. But my thoughts were starting to get distant, and my fingertips to tingle. Lucy’s Shots of Doom must have been stronger than she knew.
“It’s the hair.” I started to babble. “I’m always getting recognized for my hair.”
Ed grinned at this. “I’m not surprised.” He murmured, before and ruffling his own head of messy redness. “It’s natural.” He assured me, in all seriousness. I surveyed the dark auburn colour with a sceptical eye. Eddy laughed. He had a nice laugh as well. Damn, I was grateful for Lucy’s ability to approach total strangers.
“You put my entire family to shame.” I told him solemnly.
“So Eddie.” Lucy jumped in, resting her chin in her hands and leaning forward slightly. “You said you worked in the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad. The things you must come across!”
Ed chuckled and shared an amused glance with his friend.
“I do have an interesting story, now that you mention it. Let me tell you about how I first met Henry…”
Lucy’s gaze flicked towards me, and I now understood the meaning for the kick she had sent me earlier. A couple of days ago Lucy had come across a section in the Daily Prophet that mentioned an opening in the Reversal Squad (They were looking for an assistant or secretary or some sod). She had read it to me with excitement, but I had brushed it off, because - quiet frankly - that was not what I wanted to do with my life. Lucy had riposted by saying bartending and babysitting were hardly better, and I had then stayed silent. She had a point.
“… Long story short, getting into a fight with a drunk dragon tamer is not a very good idea.” Henry chuckled, shaking his head at the memory.
“Amen!” I said, raising my glass in acknowledgment.
“You were the talk of Level Three for weeks.” Eddie sighed, taking a long sip of his glass. “They called you the Breather of Fire.”
“My three seconds of fame.” Henry answered with a grin. “Can’t say I miss vomiting flames, though. Do you know how many drapes I set on fire by accident?”
As the night progressed and drinks were downed, Henry had to make his goodbyes – much to Lucy and I’s disappointment – with promises of hopefully seeing us around soon. I agreed with his hopes completely, seeing as he was a very attractive man handsome enough to eclipse Malfoy from my mind completely, and, well, was someone I would very much like to get to know. In a friendly way, though. He wasn’t really my type.
Lucy disappeared again soon after Henry’s departure, and Ivy soon followed. I suddenly found myself sitting in a corner booth alone with Eddie.
We were snogging. I couldn’t remember how it had come to this - we had been lost in conversation not long ago - but I was sloshed off fruity cocktails and blood red shots, and he was a very good kisser. Who was I to complain?
“I like you, Eddie.” I managed to say between kisses, my fingers running through the hair at the nap of his neck. His hand slid further up my leg. “Your hair is not natural, but I like you.” Ed gave me a wolfish grin and kissed the side of my mouth.
“I like you too, Rose.” He murmured, moving down to my neck. “And the locks are all real, I swear. It’s a very authentic burgundy.”
I shut him up with a kiss. And another. The kisses intensified, his hand was halfway up my thigh, and his hair – natural or not – smelled bloody nice. When his fingers brushed my exposed back, I came to a split second decision:
Clothes were going to come off, and soon.
Ed and I exited the bar, stumbling and laughing, his arm around my shoulders, the both of us belting out old 90’s songs we had discovered our shared fondness for.
“So…” Eddie said, coming to a halt and placing both his hands on my shoulders. I stared back at him, my breath frosting, my nose starting to go numb. The street light behind Ed was making his hair glint gold and red, and his cheeks were flushed a light pink from the cold. I felt sick. “Your place or mine?” His smile was kind and cheesy, and I giggled.
“You’re a dork, Edmund.” I laughed, shaking my head. The world was spinning a little, so I grabbed hold of his elbow to steady myself.
“It’s Edward, actually.” Eddie informed me, cocking a dark brow. “And you, my dear, have not answered my question”.
I placed a finger on my chin and stared up at the dark sky, pretending to give my answer great thought. I wasn’t really. I didn’t care where it happened at this stage. “Eenie, meenie, miney…” I began.
“Who’s the dork now, huh?” Eddie asked me, picking up my scarf that was trailing behind me in the snow. He wrapped it slowly around my neck again. “Let’s say we do it in an alleyway and get it over with?”
“You’re such a romantic. I know this great alley off of Carnaby Street-”
Ed placed a finger on my lips. “How about mine then?” He offered with a smile that, I must admit, I was beginning to become rather fond of. “I live with my mum and her five cats, but it’s cosy,”
“You better be joking, genius, or an alleyway it is.” I laughed, kissing him on the nose. “Lead the way then.” I offered him my hand and he took it with a sideways grin.
“I don’t really live with my mum.” He told me solemnly, before spinning on the spot, and apparating the both of us away from that snowy, deserted street.
A/N: Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? I'm sorry for the abnormally long wait, but I had a bit of a break from HPFF these past couple of months.
What do you think of this fourth chapter? It feels different from the other three for some reason, but that could just be me.
Please don't think of Rose as some slutty one-night stander, she's eighteen, she's aloud to have a bit of fun (: And I'm not done with Ed, he will come back into the story some time soon. But what did you think of him?
So. Reviews would be lovely, a little encouragment to get me going again, yeah? Favorite quotes, what you like and don't like about the characters, what you think awaits them in the near future...
Stuff like that I love (:
Thanks for reading!! You're all awesome!
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