Chapter 6 : On Fights, Flirtations, and the Art of Being Friendzoned (and James)
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another smashing CI by nala @ TDA
Chapter 6: On Fights, Flirtations, and the Art of Being Friendzoned (and James)
An atmosphere of amused hostility sweltered within the Wotter compartment.
“I’m just going to pop over to the Claws’ compartment for a bit,” Louis said, leaning close to me. I felt my neck turn pink, like some kind of romantic allergic reaction. “Don’t wander off, yeah?”
“Of course I won’t!” I exclaimed, trying to smile brightly without looking like a demented, lobster-necked lunatic. Too overenthusiastic, I mentally critiqued myself. Attempt to retain a certain hard-to-get, enigmatic aura about self.
“I mean, you know, given the lack of interesting phenomena on said train,” I added, feigning a yawn.
Apparently when I play hard-to-get, I turn into an apathetic nerd.
Louis stared, his eyebrow raised. I gulped internally. “Yeah, okay,” he mumbled as he strolled to the door.
That would have worked out perfectly on the yet undiscovered Planet Lemon’s Plans Actually Execute Themselves According to How She Imagines Their Executions in Her Head.
James did not miss a beat. The moment Louis slid the door shut behind him, my nuisance of a friend leapt across the compartment and into Louis’ recently vacated seat.
“What are you doing?” he demanded of me, his glasses falling off his indignant nose. If, you know, a nose could look indignant.
“What do you mean, what am I doing?” I widened my eyes to look as innocent as they possibly could. James looked up to the heavens in disgust.
“Come off it Lemon!” Lily smirked, curving her glitter-soaked lips at me.
“Yeah, come off it.” James agreed. I glared at him for seconding his devil of a sister who apparently could see right through me. Because apparently I was the most transparent person aboard the Hogwarts Express today.
“Do you like Louis or something?” Freddie inquired from his seat at my feet.
“What do you think bozo?”
“Don’t call me a bozo, twerp!”
“I am NOT a twerp, twit!”
“You’re all missing the point here. Lemon is in no shape or form allowed to like MY COUSIN LOUIS-!”
“Why the hell not?” I demanded furiously.
“Yes, leave her alone all of you, you’re all just being mean-!”
“SHUT UP ROSE!”
Rose fell silent and returned to her book, her nose twitching in annoyance she would never show.
“Don’t be rude to Rose,” I pouted, tugging on James’ sleeve. “And if you have a problem, we can talk about it outside. There’s no need to send out newsletters to your extended family.”
James rolled his eyes. “Just like there’s no need to exaggerate?”
“No, Lemon’s right,” Lucy added unexpectedly. All this time she had been silently drawing the Weird Sisters logo on her jeans while being silently judged by Molly. “If someone, especially Lemon, is lusting after our moronic cousin, I’d rather not know about it.”
“Don’t be vulgar,” Molly SCOLDED her instantly.
“What do you mean “especially Lemon,” huh?” I turned to Lucy, feeling hurt.
Lucy raised an eyebrow looking from me to James. “Given the situation, I mean.”
“What’s the situation-?”
“Snickets,” James interrupted, glaring at Lucy. “Let’s talk a walk.”
Oh horrid UNICORN, why is my teensy little crush on Sex-on-Legs Louis such a paranormally enormous issue with James?
After cryptically ordering me to talk a walk, James proceeded to do so for a good quarter of an hour before he managed to part his lips and mutter, “He isn’t good for you.”
I stopped in my now mechanical tracks and stared at him. “Really, James? You’re going to do this.”
He shook his head at me and leaned against the wall so he and I were on opposite sides of the corridor. “I know him better than you do.”
“No,” I sighed, “I know that. What I meant was that you can’t really tell me what’s good for me romantically after your summer of devil-may-care seductions.”
“Don’t dramatize everything,” James glared at me. “They were hardly SEDUCTIONS. I didn’t put on any skintight miniskirts to achieve my purposes.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. “It’s not a miniskirt. And I have no PURPOSES. I just think Louis is a nice person and I would like to know him better.”
False. It’s a miniskirt.
“Know him better,” James repeated, his face darkening. “Yeah I’m sure you want to do that.”
My mouth fell open. “You see? That’s what I mean!”
“You can’t judge me for wanting to have a love life! Because I’m not a freaking nun, James!”
“I’m just saying, why can’t you have a love life with someone other than Louis?”
“Name ONE GUY you would let me have a love life with!”
“Remember Ryker? Brian? REMEMBER DAMIEN WOOD?”
“Alright, alright, I remember okay?” James pushed his hair back in frustration, his face turning purple. “Stop shouting at me.”
I hadn’t realized I’d been shouting. That, UNICORN, made me feel kind of bad.
“I hadn’t realized I’d been shouting,” I mumbled, kicking his shin lightly to diffuse the tension.
“And now you’re beating me up,” he retorted, but smiling slightly.
I grinned weakly. “Sorry.”
“Nah,” he sighed, mussing up his hair. “I’m sorry. I just have very strong feelings about you, and uh, Louis.”
I nodded. “Well, it’s not like anything’s happening. I mean, you know.”
“And it’s doubtful that something will, you know.”
James looked up at me. “Lemon,” he started to say, “You’re-”
“Lemon! I told you not to wander off!”
We turned in unison to see the Weasley of the hour walking up to us nonchalantly, a secretive grin planted on his face. James turned purple – lighter than before but still quite unmistakably purple – and muttered a quick “later” before stalking off to who knows where.
Five Reasons Why James Is Wrong About Sex-on-Legs Louis:
1. All his jokes are funny, therefore we have the same sense of humor and he is right for me.
2. He totally opens doors for me every time I walk in and out of the compartment, which means he’s a gentleman and is right for me.
3. He has bluey blue eyes and anyone whose eyes are that blue HAS to be right for me.
4. Okay so I don’t know him that well, but he seems like he wants me to know him better so he must be right for me.
5. I just want to snog his face off.
Thankfully this time around I was in my dormitory and James wasn’t able to sneak a peek at my failed reasoning.
But UNICORN, I really do think I like Louis. Well, I mean I knew I wanted to jump him ever since I accidentally assumed he was The Wizarding World’s Next Top Scorpius. But now I think I see a less sexual aspect to it all. Of course, the sexual aspect is quite appealing since the last time I puckered up was for FREDDIE.
Anyway, I think Louis could actually be my first boyfriend. If I play my cards right and keep him away from James that is.
And for the first time, I have a feeling Louis might be on the same mental track as me.
THIS IS SO EXCITING.
“What’s SO EXCITING?”
I whirled my head around so fast I swear I got some kind of wizard whiplash.
“Holly! Oh thank Merlin,” I smiled at my Gryffie dorm buddy who had just walked in. “Where were you at the feast?”
Holly grinned back at me as she tied her long red hair into a ponytail. “I was eating with Malcolm, we didn’t really see each other much this summer ‘cause of France and all that.”
I struggled to keep up my grin. Malcolm Mills was one of my least favorite people at Hogwarts, pretty much completely loathed by Freddie (who had a huge crush on Holly), and overall just not very likable, even by Slytherin standards.
Holly Wood (yes, that’s what her parents named her, while her twin, Damien Wood (snogger extraordinaire), landed a perfectly decent and actually semi-attractive name) was, like me, an addition to the Wotter gang, mostly because she was my closest female friend that wasn’t already related to them (Rose) and because of Freddie’s aforementioned obsession with her.
That was a lot of parentheses.
Anyway, unfortunately for him, Holly and Malcolm had been attached at the hip ever since third year when his voice deepened and her chest enlarged. Sure, there was an emotional attachment in there somewhere but we all kind of hated him because he turned Holly into this girly mess of a girlfriend who ditched us whenever it suited Malcolm.
Holly’s not usually a girly mess.
Besides Holly, I share the sixth year dorm with the Longbottom twins (Mary and Alice), and Siara Friedlander (who we shall get to some other day when I’m not whining about James). I don’t know why you’d care about this piece of information, UNICORN, but just to keep you updated on life.
“So what’s exciting?” Holly jumped onto my bed and snuggled into my pillow.
I hesitated. “I guess I can tell you since James has pretty much broadcasted it to the entire Gryffindor table.”
“I sense this has something to do with boys. ‘Cause, you know, I haven’t forgotten how he reacted to my brother snogging you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Trust me, I haven’t forgotten either. And yes it’s a boy thing but it’s worse than normal because said boy is actually related to him.”
Holly’s eyes widened. “Freddie? Please don’t say Albus.”
“Merlin, no,” I gasped, feigning horror, “although hey, Freddie’s cute you know.” I had a tendency to give Freddie more credit than he deserved around Holly because despite his obnoxiousness, I did think they would be perfect together. Aw.
“Sure he is,” Holly waved a hand in impatience. “Tell me who it is.”
I sighed. “Louis. He got kind of…attractive of the summer or something.”
Holly burst into laughter. “Oh my, you are falling for not only his cousin, but his PART-VEELA cousin? I’m sure James is thoroughly enjoying this interesting turn of events.”
I groaned. “He’s being completely ridiculous of course. Says Louis isn’t “right” for me. But hey, how was France?”
“France was good,” Holly shrugged. “I really missed Malcolm, I wish Mum and Dad had let him come along.”
“Well, can you really see your parents letting a 17-year-old BOY tag along with you to the most romantic country on the planet?
Holly smirked. “Yeah they wouldn’t want me to be less than chaste now would they?”
My mouth fell open. “Oh my god, not you TOO.”
“What?” she grinned, her blue eyes sparkling mischievously.
“I thought you said you didn’t see him all summer?” I asked, dumbfounded. I mean, I’m what seems to be the last virgin at Hogwarts but I’m experienced enough to know that physical contact or even just being in the same country is maybe a tad necessary for sex.
Holly grinned. “He snuck out the night before I left for France. We thought it’d be a good idea to do it before I left so we’d have something to think about while we were apart.”
In theory, that sounds wonderfully romantic. But when you detest someone the way I do Malcolm and freak out about things like sex the way I do constantly, there is no way I could be part of a deal like that.
“Wait, what did you mean by me TOO?”
I sighed and closed my eyes. “James.”
“You and James? WHOA.” Holly’s eyes widened.
“NO!” I squealed, my eyes following the suit. “JUST JAMES!”
We have a first-night-back tradition, James and I, where he flies me down to the Quidditch pitch (after having flown up to the girls’ dorms of course), and we just sit around talking about anything and everything.
To be quite honest, UNICORN, I really wasn’t expecting him tonight. Though it make no sense to little old me, this Louis thing is really bothering him.
At this point I’m guessing Louis is either a serial killer or a serial impregnator.
Or both since they are after all very likely answers.
Or neither, and James is just an idiot.
Wait, what am I doing?
Top Ten Possible Things About Sex-on-Legs Louis That Could Be The Cause of James’ Dunderheaded Refusal to Allow Me to Crush on Him in Peace:
1. He is a serial killer.
2. He is a serial impregnator.
3. He has a serial cereal eater.
4. He is adopted, and is secretly the abandoned son of Voldemort.
5. That makes no sense, because why would the Weasleys adopt the son of Voldemort? He must be the son of Snape.
6. He has better abs than James. I secretly hope this is it.
7. He’s undergone a sex change operation through the course his life and actually Louise Weasley.
8. He’s gay?
9. He’s a vampire.
10. He’s a werewolf.
I curse the day I came across a certain teenage romance novel of a supernatural kind. It seems to have marred my thinking skills. Which weren’t all that great to begin with.
As I was mulling over whether or not I was dropped on the head as a baby (which is more likely to happen to me than most other children, given my unique parental situation), I heard a sharp rap at the window next to my bed.
Jumping slightly, I bounced off my bed to investigate. To my mild surprise, an airborne James was peering through the foggy glass, attempting to get my attention.
Well, I guess someone isn’t as grumpy as he was pretending to be.
I pushed the window open, careful not to accidentally hit James and send him flying off his broom.
“I wasn’t expecting you to come,” I whispered, careful not to wake Holly and the others.
James stretch out one arm to help me clamber onto the broom. “Why wouldn’t I come?”
“Because you’re mad at me and being kind of very mean,” I mumbled, grabbing his waist tightly as the broom staggered under my weight for a moment.
“Well, this is a tradition, and far be it from me to break traditions,” James grumbled, shoving my hair out of his face and leaning forward to get his broomstick moving again.
So Abs McGrumpy was still McGrumpy. And not only that, he is a McGrumpy St. Hypocrite because he so does break traditions.
Or should I be blaming it all on the alcohol?
I should probably quit while I’m ahead before the rapping begins.
So I chose to chortle attractively and ignore James till we reached the Quidditch pitch. In the total darkness of the night, it was somewhat menacing, and even after five years of this I would probably be completely terrified if James wasn’t here with me
Not that he needs to know that.
After about a decade of silence, during which James spread out a blanket and cozied down on it, I decided to do the same.
“Are you really super mad at me?” I finally mumbled, feeling a little hurt by his silence. After all it was starting to drizzle, and I didn’t need his silent treatment as I got wet.
James just turned his head to look at me, and did for about half a millennium. “No I suppose not,” he finally declared, returning to his examination of the sky.
“Well then,” I replied slowly, “you could act a little nicer, possibly. Especially since every time I open my mouth, a raindrop attempts to tickle my uvula.”
James sniggered, and despite my irritation with him, I felt a little better. If I could make him laugh, things weren’t all that bad. I still had my best friend.
“I guess I should apologize,” he sighed, turning onto his side so he could look at me better. I followed the suit. “I was just a little jealous I guess.”
“Jealous?” I spluttered sensually. “Jealous of what?”
James tousled his hair, looking sheepish. “Just you know, I like being your guy. Like the male person that you like best.”
I scoffed. “James, you’re like my best friend on the entire planet. I love you more than my own parents. Which isn’t saying much but you know, in the socially accepted order of loving people, you’re inappropriately high.”
James smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.
“What?” I felt a little let down. I had thought the declaration would appease him.
“Nothing,” he answered me, still smiling. “I love you too, more than any female on this planet. You’re pretty much tied with my mom at this point. And you know, more than all the guys because, well Freddie sucks.”
I giggled happily at this admonishment of Freddie, who had always been a reason for insecurity as far as James was concerned. You could say he was the Louis to my James, although not as intensely. Or romantically. Or incestuously, because Freddie isn’t crushing on James. I very much hope.
“Well, I’m glad we love each other, but,” I hesitated a little, “you have to promise not to fly off the handle if something happens with the Louis thing.”
James was quiet for a while once again, but this time he looked at me intently the entire time. Then he closed his eyes and let out a little bark of laughter.
“What?” I couldn’t tell if he was laughing at the idea of him not flying off the handle or the idea of something happening with the Louis thing.
I mean, I’m no Victoire Weasley, but I like to think I am dateable.
“I’m just laughing because I’m the mayor of the friendzone.”
I raised an eyebrow in what I like to think was an alluring fashion. Not that I need to be alluring around James.
“How are you the mayor of the friendzone? I’m practically the only female you’re genuinely friends with.”
“Well, your friendzoning was enough to elect me mayor.”
I shrugged uncomfortably. Firstly, because I didn’t like all this talk of friendzones. Secondly, because it’s hard to shrug whilst leaning on one shoulder.
“I didn’t realize I was friendzoning you. I didn’t think it was an issue.”
James frowned. “It’s not. I was just kidding around, don’t worry about it.”
But, knowing me even as little as you do, UNICORN, I did worry about it. A lot.
Ten Things I Worried About, Constituting Almost An Entire Night’s Worth:
1. The idea of friendzoning, and if I had made some kind of subconscious effort to elect James the mayor of it.
2. My nail beds, as they looked fugly.
3. The fact that I spend most of my time sharing my thoughts and feelings to a UNICORN.
4. My obsession with hyphens and alliterations.
5. The fact that I will never be as fantastic a superhero girlfriend as Gwen Stacy, no matter how well I copy her hair. Unless I go blonde. Probably not even then. Because such is my life.
6. Holly’s relationship with Malcolm and how much I hated it.
7. The fact that Malcolm Mills was an alliteration which on paper should mean he’s awesome but he sucks. So I can’t trust people based on that.
8. The fact that I trust people based on this.
9. Voldemort’s inevitable return to the living because he seemed pretty persistent if you ask me.