Chapter 7 : Lesson 7
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After Binns declared the end of the lesson and collected our essays I sprinted out of the classroom in search of Freddy. Even if he told me a million times that there is nothing bothering him, I wouldn’t believe it a single time.
It’s more than just a gut feeling telling me that there’s something completely wrong with one of my best friends, I’ve just known Freddy for too long to not notice such a change in his person.
I ran along the crowded corridors and tried to ignore the fact that I was going to be late for my next class. My feet seemed to have a mind of their own, leading me down the stairs, through the entrance hall and to the edge of the Black Lake where I saw the outline of a figure leaning back against a tree while throwing stones into the water. I let out a sigh and made the last steps before slowly sitting down next to him.
I took Freddy’s hand and toyed with his fingers, signalling to him that he could talk to me, no matter what. No words were needed at that moment, it was just two friends in silent understanding that the unspoken truth will be shared when time comes.
He leant his head against my shoulder and took a deep breath. I could practically feel the chaos that was going on in his head at this very second and realized that whatever was going on with Freddy was something big.
I stumbled into Charms class about 30 minutes too late, muttering something about not feeling well, before slumping down in the back of the classroom next to a frowning James, who eyed me suspiciously.
“Where were you, Autumn?” He asked me once I unpacked my parchment and quill, one eyebrow raised in expectation of the truth.
“I wasn’t feeling well.” I bit my lip and tried to not look into his eyes, as I knew my carefully built up ice castle would crack within a blink of an eye under his determined stare.
He snorted. “You can fool Flitwick, but I won’t fall for that.” Darn that perceptive friend of mine.
“I-” I searched for another lie, for I thought it would be better to keep the thing with Freddy to myself. If he wanted James to know he was hogging a secret, he would surely find a way to do so. “I suppose you don’t want to hear about the perks of my menstrual cycle, am I right?” I cocked an eyebrow, matching his, and noticed a faint blush creeping up his cheeks.
I knew it would work. Somehow, in my 17 years of being a witch I experienced that every time a girl mentions her period around a guy, there somehow seem to be alarm bells going off in his mind, It signals for them to not ask any further questions, for it would only result in information he does not want to receive.
“So what did I miss?” I asked him, unpacking my copy of “The advanced book of spells” by Miranda Goshawk and accidentally slamming it down on our table with a loud thud, disrupting Professor Flitwick in his rant and making the whole class turn to James and I.
“Sorry!” I called out with a sheepish grin on my face, silently scolding myself for my clumsiness. “Continue, please.” I added and tried to shoot a rather charming smile to our professor, whose pink tinged cheeks revealed my success in doing so.
He awkwardly coughed, making the heads turn around to the front of the room again. Meanwhile, James erupted into silent fits of laughter which he desperately tried to cover up. That, however, only ended up in him choking badly and me hitting his back so his lungs would fill with enough oxygen again.
When we sat down at the Gryffindor table in the Great hall, James’ laughing fit still hadn’t subsided fully and we were in a full on joking mood.
“Hey James!” I called to my best friend who sat on the bench across the table.
“What?” His head snapped up, the pea I flicked and aimed at his forehead bouncing right off its destination.
“Watch out?” I offered him before Ronda started laughing hysterically and I eventually joined in.
A smirk spread out on Jame’s face and he flicked some peas back at me making me giggle and squirm in my seat trying to dodge them.
“You’re going down, Fierce!” He growled, eyes shimmering darkly, flickering down to his plate and up, only to lock with mine again.
“You wish, Potter.” I hissed, grabbing some dozen peas without breaking our eye contact.
And then Pea War III started.
Hell broke lose as Ronda and I fought against James in an intense battle of peas over the Gryffindor table. I managed to capture the bowl of peas, earning Ronda and I a significant advantage, as James had to fight with the peas he caught from us.
Memories flooded back to me of our first Pea War in our second year here at Hogwarts. Freddy said something about Ronda’s nose being weird and she took major offense in that comment, chucking the first few peas at Freddy. You can imagine what happened next.
Ronda squealed as a pea hit her right on the nose and she squeezed her eyes shut, throwing the following peas blindly across the table.
Hitting Freddy in the face.
An uncomfortable silence hung over us, as nobody dared to continue the war. Freddy, who had been very much interested in stabbing the food on his plate before, not so much in our battle, lifted his head for the first time this lunch with a scowl on his features.
“Is it so hard-” he said through gritted teeth. “For you to be mature for just one day?!”
I inwardly raised both my eyebrows. That coming from Freddy? Master of pranks? Most immature person I know? I blinked.
He placed his napkin on the table angrily and stood up, “If you’ll excuse me.”
He strutted to the doors of the Great Hall, turning back to look at me quickly with a serious look on his face. The look that said it all.
“I think Freddy is PMS’ing.” Ronda interposed.
I looked across the table only to find James frowning for the second time this morning. “Maybe I should go check on him.” He pondered and was just about to get up when I stopped him with my words.
“No, I’ve got this.” I smiled, trying to achieve a reassuring look, and got up, leaving two of my best friends behind, showered by a wave of confusion.
I stepped through the enormous double wing doors of the Great Hall and looked for Freddy, whom I found leaning against a pillar.
I took a step towards him and he stepped away from the column. It’s time to get some answers.
And by the looks of it, I was going to get them right now.
Friends are usually more perceptive than you think.
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PS: ALL THE THANKS TO KRISTINA, MY PERFECT BETA <3
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