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Chapter 11 : You want a revelation
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She ran around the school like a maniac, searching for Kristie or any of her friends, really. They were nowhere to be found. Finally, she bumped into Brianna Pierce, who told her where the others were, before Tessa died of exhaustion.
"Took you long enough", Kristen said. "I sent Zander to find you at least 40 minutes ago."
"Oh, he found me. We chatted sweetly for a pretty long time, before he remembered to tell me you were looking for me."
"Twit", Mona remarked.
Tessa sat next to her and put her head on Monica's shoulder. She still couldn't breathe. Mona began to soothingly stroke Tessa's hair.
"I sprinted across the school like a lunatic", Tessa whined. "You better tell me what's all of this about."
"We're waiting for Matthew and Will", Sam said.
"Will ?", Lexy asked. "Nobody told me Will was coming !"
"Complaining ?", the said boy waltzed into the room. "Tessie, dearest, you ought to know that scurrying through the corridors like that doesn't make you look very sane."
"Good. Now people will know not to mess with me."
"Or what ? You'll make them chase you until they die ?"
Tessa was in no condition to argue. Will took the place next to Lex.
"Hey there, gorgeous", he winked at her.
Lexy's eyes became wide and her cheeks slightly pink.
"For the love of god, Turner, control your hormones !", Mona cried out.
"But she's blonde ! And small ! And cute !"
Lex's face was completely pink by now. Tessa chuckled and received a glare from her friend.
William's fetish for blonde girls was widely known around the school. People unfairly assumed that Matthew was the bigger womanizer, when in fact it was Will, who had constant flings.
"Tessa, where's Matthew ?", Kristie asked.
"How should I know ?"
"You're his girlfriend !"
"I don't keep track of him."
"And you should", Sam interfered. "He's probably with Walters and Longbottom. He should be here soon."
Tessa started coughing. Her throat was dry and scratchy, and her lungs were still recovering from the long run. There was a reason why she preferred flying. All of her friends turned to her, with concerned expressions. She hated when they did this. She needed to focus their attention on something else.
"I heard what happened to you", she turned to William.
His smile vanished and his eyes hardened. He subconsciously touched his lip.
"I'm gonna kill Arscott."
"No, you don't have to", Tessa looked him straight into the eyes. "Thank you."
She was actually intended to thank him somewhere private, but decided it wouldn't be fair. His actions helped all of them, so he deserved all of the recognition he could get.
"Don't mention it."
"What happened to you ?", Sam questioned.
But he never answered her. It was clear that he didn't want to tell the story. Will and Matthew were very similar when it came to this - they caught the attention easily, enjoyed their popularity and good looks, but when asked a personal question, they immediately closed off. Tessa always knew that Matthew was hiding something, but she never actually realized that Will might be too.
Lexy was, almost unnoticeably, inspecting William's injuries. Her green eyes were filled with worry. She looked like she desperately wanted to touch him, to comfort him, to help him in any way possible. It would have taken just one glance from Will and he'd figure out her crush. However, he was too busy gazing at the floor to notice the world around him.
Tessa felt her heart sink a bit. She had always been overprotective of Lexy, feeling obliged to keep her safe from anything and anyone. Right now, she felt like screaming in Will's face, forcing him to notice her friend. But Lexy wouldn't appreciate that. Neither would he. Some things Tessa could not control, could not make happen. Maybe if she locked them in a broom closet...
She also couldn't help but wonder if she got the same look, when talking with Matthew. She still wasn't sure how much she liked him. That was part of the reason why she agreed to date him. Was she ever going to radiate love and pure devotion when around him, just like Lexy was right this moment ? She surely hoped not. That way she'd seem vulnerable. Theresa Davies did not do vulnerable.
Who was she kidding, the only things that made Tessa radiate love were small fluffy animals. And Matt was nowhere near small, with his 6'2 frame. He wasn't cute enough too.
"Well, aren't you a jolly company ?", Matthew's deep voice filled the room. "Tess, what's this about you making a wild sprint across the school that I'm hearing ?"
She made a face at him.
"Now that we're all here I can, finally, tell you what I saw", Kristie stood up. "I had Herbology, in a classroom, mind you, when I saw someone near the Forbidden forest. I first thought it was one of Walters' men, but he was too tall."
"Define tall", Will chipped in.
"Taller than you. Taller than Matthew too. Dark haired, possibly around his mid-twenties. He looked around, went into the Black lake, took something out of it and went back in the forest. I tried telling the professor, but he paid no attention to me."
"He took something out of the Lake ?", Will was sceptical.
"The guy dives into the freaking Lake, I'm sure that taking something out of it is like a hobby for him or something", Mona said.
"He went out in broad daylight", Matthew cut it. "When he could be easily seen. Quite contrasting with his previous behaviour, don't you think ?"
"Your point being ?", Sam rose her eyebrows.
"He knows we're trapped inside."
It made sense. Tessa's brain immediately started searching for good explanation of the situation. The mystery guy was first noticed after midnight. He panicked when he saw that someone was watching him. He was frightened enough to jump in the Black lake. He was clearly afraid of being caught. Now he seemed to be strolling the school's grounds unbothered. And on the first day after their winter break was over, too.
Therefore, he must've been working with Walters all along. But why wasn't he in the castle then ? Surely they didn't think Longbottom threw the artifact at the bottom of the Lake. Or maybe he did. Maybe the guy was just an idiot, thinking he'd go unnoticed, when the students and the teachers were occupied with Walters. Tessa felt like her head was about to explode.
"And what do we do now ?", Lexy asked.
"We do nothing", Matthew said curtly. "We keep quiet and pretend to be oblivious. All of our plans should be put on hiatus. Right now, we need to observe and gather information. And don't tell anyone about what we know. I'm not sure we can trust other people. On that note, we have to find a place to meet. It's too risky to do in empty classrooms. Now," he rose from his seat, "let's get out of here, before someone finds us and starts asking questions. "
"Yes, sir", Tessa muttered.
"So, tell me how you two got together !"
"But whyyyy ?" Will whimpered. "Was is that embarrassing ?"
Tessa was very aware that the whole Slytherin table was listening to their conversation, instead of eating their lunch.
"I was honestly surprised, when Matthew told me ! You and Mona have kind of a... reputation."
"We do ?", Tessa threw a glance at Monica.
"Oh, yes. Apparently, we're prudes." Mona shrugged. "It's not my fault nobody deserves me."
"It's now my fault I never needed a boyfriend."
"Then why are you with Matthew ?", Will tilted his head.
"Not needing doesn't mean not wanting. Now eat your lunch."
Matthew was watching them with mild amusement, shaking his head lightly.
The Slytherins were still eavesdropping. Tessa started clattering with her fork nervously, hoping that they'll get the hint. No such luck. Mona furrowed her brows, confused of Tessa's sudden annoyance, when she noticed they had audience.
"Theresa, I think my period is to come soon, do you still have this anti-cramp potion your mum gave you ?"
Immediately half of the boys started choking. Mona grinned like the Cheshire cat.
Tessa muttered a quiet thanks. She still didn't know what was the big deal. Strangest things have happened - Scorpius Malfoy marrying Rose Weasley, for example.
"Leave them be, they're just searching for a scandal", Mona said disapprovingly.
"And scandal we shall give them", Matthew announced. "Come on, get up, I want to go for a walk."
Tessa was suddenly very suspicious. It took him quite a while to convince her that he just wanted to spend some time with her and that nothing bad would happen. Still not believing him, she let herself being lifted from the bench. There was a very strange twinkle in his eyes. She understood the meaning of it too late.
Once Matthew got Tessa to get up, he sneaked his arm around her waist, pulled her to him and kissed her. In the middle of the Great hall. In front of everybody. Tessa put her arms on his chest, intending to push him away, but she couldn't - his grip was too firm. Now they looked even more intimate. Tessa really wished that the ground would open up and swallow her.
There was a sharp intake of breath behind her back and suddenly The Squealing Squad began wailing. Ian Cornfoot was cursing like crazy. Deciding the show was worth it after all, Tessa wrapped her arms behind Matthew's neck and pulled him closer. Mona was laughing. Will cheered. Kristie whistled. Tessa pulled away.
"Enough", she whispered to the boy in front of her. She began feeling embarrassed again.
Matthew pulled her even closer to him.
"Happy now ?", he smirked at his shocked classmates.
Tessa pushed past him and left the Hall. When Matt caught up with her, she hit him on the shoulder. Hard.
"What was that for ?", he didn't even flinch.
"You're seriously asking me ?"
"Come on, love, you were enjoying it and you know it."
"Where are we going ?"
"The Astronomy tower."
Finally somewhere peaceful and quiet ! Thank Merlin that Longbottom cancelled all the classes, in order to give his students time to recover from the interrogation and the shock that Walters caused them. Nobody was in condition to concentrate today.
Tessa loved the Astronomy tower. It offered a spectacular view of the Forbidden forest, the Black lake and, of course, the sky. Sceneries like this made her almost sad that technology didn't work in Hogwarts. All the breathtaking photos she could have made...
Tessa turned around. The cold made Matthew's skin even paler, his eyes seemed darker and his hair - almost white. Again he reminded her of a winter landscape. He felt her staring and arched an eyebrow questioningly. She shook her head. He sat on the floor and motioned for her to do the same. She did. He noticed her shivering and unceremoniously pulled her to him. With her back pinned to Matthew's chest and his legs on both of her sides, Tessa surely felt warmer. She wasn't sure it was entirely due to him shielding her from the cold.
The position they were in was strange and unfamiliar to the girl, making her feel slightly uncomfortable. But since they were together now, an even more peculiar thought, those types of physical contact would become more frequent and Tessa would have to overcome herself.
She leaned on him, closing her eyes. These days she wasn't getting much sleep. It seemed that Fate or some other cruel force heard her complaining that she was bored and decided to assist her needs, bringing an artifact and a bunch of crazy people in her life. 'Be careful what you wish for', people said. Well, she'd keep her mouth shut from now on. The day came, when she actually missed the good old school drama.
"Tell me what the problem is", Matthew murmured so softly, that Tessa almost didn't hear him.
"You mean except the whole deal with the artifact and that I'm sleep deprived ?", she answered in an equally quiet voice.
"That's pretty obvious. I was talking about your trust issues."
She stirred nervously. His hands started tracing up and down her hips, trying to soothe her. She was getting the same feeling like back in Sixth year, when they, she mentally rolled her eyes, snogged.
"Let's make it this way - you tell me what's wrong with your back, I tell you why I don't trust people."
"There's nothing wrong with my back."
"And I am, in fact, very gullible."
He sighed, blowing some of her hair in process.
"Tell me something else, then. Why did you agree to this ?", his right hand pressed her thigh to indicate his point.
Because she felt drawn to him. Because ever since the library accident he sparkled something inside of her. Because no matter how hard she tried to ignore it, there was something between them, a build up tension since Third year. Because she could pretend to be indifferent to him as much as she liked, she could even believe herself, lie to herself - but it was never true. Tessa got everyone fooled, even herself, convincing the world that she didn't care about Matthew White, but deep down she was aware of the truth - she noticed him a little bit too much. When he was entering a room, exiting, talking. Her peripheral vision was trained to react to the slightest motion he'd make. Even when she was hooked up on Zander, she couldn't shake her feelings towards Matthew off completely. Exactly the reason why she ran away and did her best to avoid him for the rest of their Sixth year.
She sounded like a stalker. Or like one of The Squealing Squad. Truly pathetic, in her own opinion. There was no way in hell she'd admit all of these things out loud.
"I don't know", she whispered.
"You are lying", Matthew didn't sound angry, just slightly disappointed.
"Why did you decide to go after me ? You never showed any kind of interest before."
"You're a delirious idiot", he laughed.
"Why, thank you, Matt. Such a gentleman you are, you always know how to make a lady feel special."
"You don't need me to make you feel special, you know you are." That was true. The day she felt like needing a guy to make her feel extraordinary would be the day she'd hang herself off the Astronomy tower. "I knew you could be oblivious, when it came to people's feelings towards you, but I never knew it was that bad."
"Hey, I'm not oblivious !"
"Yes, you are. When did you notice that Richardson was flirting with you ?"
"Wrong", Matthew chuckled. "It took you almost three months. You didn't even notice Nick's crush, when we were Fifth year. Same goes for Zander."
"Zander liked me when we were twelve, that's hardly relevant", Tessa argued.
Nick had had a crush on her ? Nick, like in Nicholas Tripe, the third chaser of their Quidditch team ? She suspected something, but it passed too quickly and she convinced herself that she was imagining things. And anyway, back then Kristie had her eyes on him.
"Wrong again. He did when we were fifteen too. You were just to blind to see it. It was quite entertaining, actually."
"You're avoiding my question", she said grumpily.
"Awww, someone's mad now", Matthew teased her lightly. "I'm not avoiding your questing, I'm proving a point. Who said I was never interested in you ?"
"And, as we just found out, you're not a very reliable source."
Tessa glared at him.
"Love, I've been practically stalking you ever since you broke a glass in my head."
"It was an accident ! If I knew that was the key to your heart, I would've never done it !"
"You sure ?", he purred in her ear, making her shiver. "Thought so", he smiled cheekily.
Spontaneously and maybe out of pure grumpiness, she bit his neck.
"You really shouldn't have done that."
Matthew put his index finger under Tessa's chin, tilted her head up and crashed his lips onto hers. Breaking away, he turned her around and pulled her on his lap, their lips meeting again. Her hands went in his hair, while his roamed her body, sparing a lot of time for her legs. He pulled away and started tracing feather light kisses down her neck, tickling her. She laughed a little and his lips were back on hers, his tongue invading her mouth. The heat between their bodies was unbearable, Tessa could almost feel it spreading around.
There was a loud crack, that made them jump apart. One of the flowerpots had broken, splitting in half. Tessa leaned slightly back, her hand on her racing heart.
"What happened ?", she asked, her voice trembling. The damned thing had scared the shit out of her.
"Our magic", Matthew explained, his eyes glued to the flowerpot. "Same thing happened when Forbs found us in front of the library, only then we broke one of the smaller candlesticks."
"I always thought you broke it."
He shook his head.
"Didn't you feel the magic emitting from us seconds ago ?" She did. "I made a research on this. It is known to happen when there's a sexual tension build between a wizard and a witch", Matthew looked at Tessa, smiling smugly. "From what I gathered just now, your nonchalance act was just that - an act. You actually want me, love. Now all I have to do is win your trust."
"Good luck with that", she snorted, getting up.
Tessa lifted her messengers bag. Merlin, the thing was heavy. An idea came to her.
"Can you hold that for a second ?", she passed the bag to Matthew. "I need to tie my shoe."
He took the bag from her. Immediately his arm dropped down and he hissed in pain. Tessa was examining him, curiosity and complacency written all over her face.
"Nothing wrong with your shoulder, huh ?"
Author's note :
So, I changed the chapter images with (hopefully) better ones.
Also, all the reviews and reads are appreciated ^^.
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