Chapter 2 : A Trace of Fruity Aftershave
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onlyInevitability @ TDA.
Do you ever think that if you daydream long enough, the most random of thoughts will just pop into your head and you won't notice until you've already thought them?
Like right now, I'm wondering if the phrase 'keep doing that then the wind will change and your face will stick that way' turns out to be true and I continue to roll my eyes, will it matter to me if my irises disappear and all anyone sees is white?
I let out a soft chuckle; it's not often I find myself funny enough to laugh at. I kind of doubt others would find it funny, except Jack of course. This must be the weird sense of humor Lucy keeps informing me of. Oh, who cares? I like it.
"Are you even listening to me?"
Right. Crap. Lucy's speaking, telling me about... Something she thinks is important. And I have no idea what that is. Double crap. I turn my head from side to side a couple of times, trying to pinpoint the general direction she could be standing, but I give up after a few seconds and just stare out in front of me. Not being able to find my friend; a consequence of not paying attention, unfortunately.
"Er," I stall and she sighs, dropping down onto the couch on my left. "Rewind; I want to make sure I got everything."
Nice save. Ciaran: 1. Universe: 0.
"You're an idiot if you think I'm stupid enough to believe that." Universe, Lucy beats us both. How do you feel being beaten by a girl? It sucks, doesn't it? "As I was saying, I think we're going to have to come up with another way to help you around school. I'm sorry, CJ, but I'm really not the best person to help you."
Yes! Oh, wait, she's apologizing; this is a sad time. I wrap my arms around my chest, more to stop myself from punching the air than anything else. "I understand, Luce, really. It's all good."
I really do understand. I don't want her focusing on me when she has her final year of Hogwarts to worry about. I'm actually surprised she lasted two and a half weeks without forgetting me. Maybe she really does love me more than school...
"You can breathe and finally be free of worrying," Lucy laughs. Of course she knows, do you really think I'd keep my worries from her, my best friend?
Okay, Jack told her when we went to visit on Saturday. Don't judge; I didn't want to hurt her feelings. I didn't except her to laugh, though, or tell me she'd be worried, too, if she were in my position. I may have already known that, but, as it turned out, it's still not something you actually want to hear. I refused to talk to her for the rest of the day. Well, until she gave me cookies. Damn sweet tooth.
"In every other way, I love this; we've been best friends since first year, yet this was the most time we've ever spent together," Lucy said, taking my hand. Yeah, people are surprised when they realize we're actually friends. They think we just sit next to each other in the Great Hall every day. "But I forget, you know that, I can't do things like go into the boys bathroom." We both laugh; yeah, she can't do that... Not that I need her to. I'd make everyone wait outside. "And I refuse to go into that dorm room. I don't know how you can sleep in there; you're the only normal guy in that room."
"Practice," I tell her, smirking slightly. It really did take practice; Hufflepuff lets in the strangest people. We're an awesome group of people, but strange nonetheless. Jack's obsessed with extreme sports, because he doesn't need to think about it; Simon loves collecting things; Declan believes in aliens; I want something I can't have.
Which of us is stranger?
"Why don't you get a seeing-eye dog?" Lucy sounds way to excited about that.
"My mum's allergic to them," I remind her. "And I can't walk a dog around school."
I don't know what she does, but she makes this little 'hmm' sound and tells me I might be right. She never tells me I'm right. This is a huge moment for me. I am savoring this moment. "We could find someone else in school who can help."
"Like who?" I ask curiously. "Do you know of anyone in all of my classes, who is willing to leave early and take me to the library and help me with my homework? Because I don't."
I can't think of a single person. But I know Lucy is trying to; she's really quiet. I'm scared. She starts mumbling, then she gets a little louder and she's going through a list of names. I don't know these names, I don't know these people. Does she know these people? I didn't know she knew so many people.
"Huh?" Mr Fruity Aftershave. No. No, no, no, no, no. No.
"No?" Did I say that out loud? "Why no?"
"Because I said so." She swats me on the arm. Ow. "Look, Lucy, I know he's your cousin, but I don't even know the guy." Just his aftershave. "It would be awkward and weird and what makes you think he'd even say yes?"
"He's a good person who will gladly help you." She snorts before I even have a chance to say anything to that. "He may be a little bit of a pushover, because he just doesn't know how to say no. If you were trapped on an island and starving, he'd give you the last of his supplies if you asked. It's like he'd rather please you before himself now, because he never used to be like that. Now, if I asked, he'd say yes."
I think about it. "No."
"Why not?" Lucy is actually protesting; she is producing an argument. She just cannot let it go. And I never win an argument against Lucy Weasley, so I doubt today is any different. "He's in all of your classes, he'd be willing to leave early, he's a tutor so he'll have no problem going to the library and helping you with your homework. He's perfect. And it'll be good for you to finally get to know more of my family; I intend to keep you in my life, so you'll have to eventually. Lou is the best one to know first."
I sigh. "I don't know. You and Jack are my friends; it's easy. I don't know about a stranger."
"He's not a stranger." I raise an eye-brow; she knows exactly what I mean. "He's my cousin and I trust him. And you trust me, so everything's fine." She swats me on the arm again, only lighter this time. "It'll be okay."
The swatting continues, until it becomes more like a persistent tapping on my arm until I feel the need to give in; nod, talk, something, just to make her stop. I stick to nodding, who knows what I might say. "Good." Thank God, the tapping has stopped. "Do you want me to ask him?"
"No, I'll do it." I will? Really? Mouth, I think your acting before Brain starts thinking. This is never a good thing. I must have a reason for this.
"Really?" Is that scepticism I hear?
"Yes. If you're going to let his inability to say no to anyone bring him into my life, I might as well ask him myself. You'll say great things about it, at least I'll warn him of what he'll be getting himself into." That'll give him reason to say no. Ah! I found my reason.
She's laughing at me. Is this a good or a bad thing? "You're not that bad, Key."
I'm just going to ignore that. "You can say that; you've never seen me at six am." She still hasn't, not even in these last two weeks; I've missed so many breakfasts because I've overslept. I'd probably look like a clown, too, except she had the courtesy of coming back after she'd gone for her breakfast and made sure I was up. Despite what the rumors say, no thanks to Daniel Scott, who is evil, I can get myself ready. It's just that I'm always half asleep and Jack got tired of it, which is why he lays my uniform on the lid of my trunk in the mornings.
Did she do that? No! She left me for food, which I missed! Damn Weasley.
"Are you really that bad?" More scepticism, only I like it this time; she doesn't believe those rumors, or any rumors, but the denial of these rumors are my favorite. It'll come as a shock to her one day. Is it wrong to look forward to that?
"Maybe one day you'll find out," I tell her instead. I hope she doesn't notice the tiny curve of my lips.
She doesn't. That's easy to deduce from what comes out of her mouth next, all cheery. "Come on, it's time for dinner."
Luce grabs my hand and pulls me up, pushing my cane into my hands. I call it a cane today; I want to be different. "What's the deal with that thing?" she asks. "I mean, you know your way around here well enough that you hardly use it and you're never alone around school or outside. So, why do you keep it with you?"
I step back a few paces, tapping my cane against the hard floor, and stretch it out just a little. Everyone is going to dinner and it's not long before he trips over it. I know it's him, I could hear his arrogant little voice from across the room. Lucy gasps, asking if he's alright. He says he's okay and I know it's true; I would have heard him if he had hit the floor. I know he's glaring at me, he always glares. "You should really be more careful, Tyler. Next time you might land on your face, and we wouldn't want that now, would we?"
I lift the cane up, hugging it to my chest, and turn in Lucy's general direction. "That's what it's for." I grin. Then I frown. Then I smirk. "You are shaking your head."
"I am shaking my head," she admits. She crosses the room, takes my hand and leads me out of the common room, to the Great Hall. "I don't understand what is going on between you two."
I laugh, swinging are joined hands back and forth just for the hell of it. Long story short, Tyler stole my football player collectable cards because people wanted to play with me and not him, so I hid his very expensive watch which was given to him by his grandfather. It didn't matter that we both got them back, it was war. I shrug. "We just never got along, you know that. He thought I was a freak after attention, I thought he was a spoiled brat wanting the attention. So, we annoy each other. It's all fun."
"No, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt," Lucy scolds me.
"Are you afraid I'll get hurt?" I laugh softly.
She scoffs. "No. I'm afraid he'll get hurt."
I squeeze her hand in my own. "I consider that a compliment from the great Lucy Weasley."
Dinner is a relatively quiet affair, between the two of us anyway. Everyone else is at their normally loud volume; people are laughing, joking, enjoying dinner. I like surrounding myself in the noise, feeling like I'm a part of the school without becoming involved. I'm more of the wallflower type, an outsider, and I like it. It's peaceful, it's easy.
Which is why I'm really not looking forward to talking to Louis Weasley. But I have to. Lucy will find out if I don't and just go to him herself and I don't want that. Oh, but what to say... I have absolutely no idea.
"Hey, Rox, what's up?" I turn my head slightly to the left; Lucy is talking to her cousin, Roxanne. It's all hushed and quiet. Considering the fact that it's Roxanne Weasley, who hangs out with James Potter and whose brother is Fred Weasley, she's planning something prank-related and the less I know the better. I go back to my dinner.
"Thanks, Lucy," she says, and then she grazes her hand along my back as she leaves. "Bye, Ciaran."
I wave a hand, but say nothing. I don't even know the girl. We didn't say a single word to each other for years, then last year I get all this; light touching and flirtatious words. Truthfully, it does make me wonder exactly what my seventeen year old body looks like. That's all she can go on, really. She's really not my type and I kind of doubt I'm anyone else's. I stuff a bit of beef into my mouth. "I thought you said you'd talk to her," I mutter after I swallow.
"I did," Lucy exclaims. "I told her you weren't interested and to back off before she got hurt. It's not my fault Roxy decided not to listen."
"I don't think you told her the most important part that ultimately makes up the reason I am not, nor will I ever be, interested."
"Oh, so you do want people to know that you're gay," she whispers the last word. I drop my head; I give up. "See, I didn't know if you did, you never said anything, so I assumed it was personal and something you'd wanna wait until you were ready to tell. So, I didn't tell her that. But if you do, I will tell her tomorrow," she adds quickly.
I hold up a hand. "It's fine. Just leave it." I push my plate away and stand up, cane in hand. "I'm tired, I'm gonna go to bed."
"No," I shake my head, smiling. "I know the way, I'll listen out for the stairs and I'll be careful, I promise. Good night."
I hear her shout good night as I walk away and I wave to her. I'm barely out of the door when someone knocks into me from behind and I have to grasp the wall for support. They call out a rushed sorry as they continue to run and I very much doubt they even turned around.
"No problem," I call out to no one. "Thanks for that."
Then I get a whiff of whatever left a trace on my shirt.
Oh, great. Now I smell of fruity aftershave.
A/N: I hope you are enjoying Ciaran and his slightly crazy thoughts, which make him fun to write. :D We get to see Louis in the next chapter, which is already written and who I think is awesome. :P
I would love to know what you think in a review. :)
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