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Chapter 15 : The Good, the Bad, and Roger
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"I - what - sorry." Penelope flushed crimson, her head snapping so fast to the front of the classroom that she got a crick in her neck. Professor McGonagall stood with her lips pursed and an exasperated look on her face, pointing her wand at the chameleon that stood on the stand in front of the class and raised her eyebrows.
"Is there somewhere else you'd much rather be?" She said stiffly, "Or do you simply find the sky much more interesting than my lesson?"
"No, I'm, sorry, Professor," Penelope looked down at her desk and stared at a burn mark on it with furious concentration.
"Very well then," McGonagall said, turning back to the chameleon and going into a lengthy description about how to change it into a purse and back again; but once more Penelopeís mind drifted, as it so often did nowadays.
And it always seemed to drift back to the evening she and Oliver had spent on the Quidditch pitch, well mainly the changing rooms, last weekend. She had arrived back at her dormitory well past curfew and had to endure the smirks and snide remarks from Audrey and Kathy for the rest of the evening before she finally exploded and told them everything.
They couldn't have looked more pleased if Professor Snape had announced that he was leaving Hogwarts and his replacement was going to be one of the male models from Madam Malkinís underwear line.
"Well, anyway, that's what happened between me and Oliver so now I'd quite like to move on before I actually turn into a tomato." Penelope laughed nervously, trying to calm her stupid cheeks down into a more normal colour, and turned to Kathy, "Anyway, whatís happening between you and Ernie? How's it going?"
Kathy smiled, "It's gr-"
"Ernie?" Audrey interrupted, a disdainful look on her face, turning to Kathy, "You mean that fourth-year Hufflepuff?"
"Yes," Kathy said simply.
Just as Audrey was about to open her mouth again and surely land her foot in it, Penelope spoke over her, "Anyway! As I was saying, how's it going with him?"
Kathy smiled slyly and glanced quickly around the dorm to check that the other girls were sleeping, "Things are going great. He's so sweet. He always waits for me outside of my lessons and walks me to my next one even if it means heís late for his own." She sighed dreamily and gazed at the moon, "He's so romantic."
Audrey glanced quickly at Penelope and stifled her laughter. "Well, we're very happy for you, aren't we Audrey?" Penelope said, thumping Audrey hard and turning back to Kathy.
Audrey nodded quickly and took big calming breaths. Kathy took her eyes off the moon and tipped her head at Audrey, "Anyway, how are things going with your man?"
Penelope froze and turned to Audrey slowly, eyes as wide as Galleons and said, "And what man is this that you have failed to tell me about, Audrey?"
"Now, don't take things the wrong way," Audrey said testily, "but there's this boy who I really like and who I think really likes me. And, well, you found Oliver, who's actually kind of perfect for you, which is actually kind of perfect for me, because Derek asked me to go to the Yule Ball, and I really really really want to go. And since you're dating Oliver, I guess I'm allowed to, based on the aforementioned rule, and its previous stipulations, of course.*"
Penelope looked at Audrey biting her lip and wringing her hands, and could not find one single fault in what she had said.
Damn Audrey being a fellow Ravenclaw.
"So it's okay, right?" She asked quietly.
Penelope threw her hands up in the air in a dramatic defeat and smiled, "Yes, I guess so. But-"
She hardly got to finish her sentence, however, before Audrey has squealed and launched herself at Penelope, banging into her hard and causing them to both topple off the bed.
Penelope smiled to herself and packed her books away when Professor McGonagall dismissed them ten minutes later, giving Penelope a sly glance and shake of the head as she got up from her desk and walked towards the door.
Little did she know that Oliver was there waiting for her.
"Woah - hi." Penelope said, taking a step back and banging hard into the boy behind so as not to shoulder barge Oliver. "Sorry," she said as he walked past, muttering under his breath and hurrying up to the Great Hall for lunch. "I didn't know we were doing anything this lunchtime."
"We're not...yet." Oliver winked and took her by the hand, "I just thought it would be a nice surprise if I walked you to your seat."
"Walked me...to my seat?" Penelope said, raising her eyebrows and snorting with laughter, "Oliver, I'm not blind, I can find my own seat, you know."
"I thought I was being chivalrous." He said sulkily, dropping her hand.
"A true Gryffindor." Penelope sang and laid a hand over his heart, pecking him quickly on the cheek. "But I didnít know if you wanted everyone to know about us just yet."
"There's no better time like today." He grinned and took her hand again.
Oliver hadn't been so keen to tell the whole school, in a manner of speaking, about their 'relationship' just yet. He thought they should slowly drop hints to the Woodettes, hold hands here, a sly kiss there, so as not to put Penelope in mortal peril. Letting them know slowly was easier than them facing the sudden shock of it. Sure enough, two girls had already been sent to Madam Pomfrey for some Calming Draught after bursting into furious tears when they saw Oliver give Penelope a chaste peck outside of Ravenclaw Tower.
They walked hand-in-hand to the Great Hall, Penelope's heart beating frantically and already thinking of an escape plan should one of the girls launch a surprise attack on them. Oliver glanced down at her and her pursed lips, and wheeled her around to face him in front of the Great Hall's open doors.
"What are you doing?" She hissed, glancing at the whole school assembled for lunch. "I thought we were going to let them down gently."
"Screw gently," he said before pulling her roughly into him and slamming his lips on top of hers.
Penelope took only a moment to answer back to his urgent kisses with just as much fervour and energy as he was giving, completely immune to the wolf-whistles and shouts of "Get in there, son!" from inside the Great Hall. He put one hand in her hair and one on the small of her back, pulling her closer and kissing her even harder.
She was going dizzy, she hadn't had time to catch her breath before he kissed her and she could hardly think whilst he was kissing her like this. It was...unbelievable.
Oliver pulled away a few moments after this thought had run through Penelope's mind and grinned as she stumbled forward slightly.
"Wow." She said dreamily, cursing under her breath as soon as she had said it.
That bloody smirk rose on his lips and he raised an eyebrow, "Wow, am I?" But before she could answer, Oliver took her hand again and pulled her into the Hall.
People gazed at the open-mouthed as they walked in, a couple of boys at the Gryffindor table clapping whilst a few girls ran out of the Hall, hands over their faces and their howls of despair ringing through the silent castle. Every face watched them as they walked by, Oliver with a massive bloody grin on his face and Penelope trying very hard to cover her eyes from the mass of people watching them, whilst trying not to trip over.
"My lady," he winked as he dropped her hand and bowed when they reached Kathy at the Ravenclaw table, the lone person in the Hall stuffing food into their mouth and not watching Oliver and Penelope.
"Shove off." Penelope smiled in spite of herself and pulled him down for a quick kiss. "Go on," she pushed him, "get going."
Oliver grinned even wider and walked away, completely oblivious to the people staring at him, and sat down next to the Weasley twins, who patted him heartily on the back like he was a hero.
Roger and James walked down from the common room to the Great Hall after one of their free periods before lunch in conversation about who they were going to take to the Yule Ball in a month's time.
"Stella Capper," James smirked, "I asked her after Defence Against the Dark Arts last week and she could hardly refuse this face."
Roger barked a laugh and James glared at him, "Fine, if you think you can do better, who are you going to take?"
"Oh, you know, just...Audrey Clearwater." He winked, "So you better start taking those Galleons out of your Gringott's account, Dorny, because I have officially won our little bet."
"I wouldn't count on it."
Roger stopped in his tracks and looked back at James. "What are you on about?" He walked back up to where James was standing, transfixed at something Roger could not see.
"What are you looking-?"
But the answer was right there before his eyes.
Audrey Clearwater. With that weasel Derek Chambers. Holding hands.
She tore herself away from Derek and looked up the corridor. She froze.
"Roger?" She asked after a momentís hesitation and smiled weakly, "W-what are you doing h-here?"
"I could ask you the same question, but the answer is very obvious." He sneered down at her and turned to leave. "Let's go and teach that Oliver Wood a lesson." He muttered to James, cracking his knuckles and running down the corridor.
"Oh dear Godric Gryffindor, Penelope!" Audrey said, turning to Derek as the realisation of what this would do to the happiness her sister had finally found. She let go of Derek's hand and tore down the corridors after the boys, but even her Quidditch practises weren't much help in this field.
"She's going to hate me." Audrey said, a single tear running down her cheek as she stood in the entrance of the Great Hall and watched Roger march up the aisle to the Gryffindor table.
Roger was fuming. This was his bloody pride on the line and Oliver Wood was not about to ruin it for him. He had worked hard the past six years for that, and one idiot who thought he could short-change him and come out of the other side grinning was about to be taught a very important lesson.
No-one crossed Roger Davies.
"Hey, Wood," Roger called, not even bothering to keep his voice down or try to hide how he was feeling. Heads turned as he marched up the Hall, one hand balled into a fist, and the other holding his wand. Oliver glanced up as his name was called and sprang to his feet, glancing quickly over at Penelope to see that she wasnít looking.
"Come on, Davies," he said, trying to calm him down, "we'll go and talk about this outside."
"No," he sneered and looked around at the people who were now watching the pair of them with keen interest. "No, I think everyone deserves to hear what Hogwarts' beloved Oliver Wood has been doing behind his girlfriend's back."
Oliver grabbed one of Roger's arms and tried to pull him out of the Hall, but Roger twisted out of his grasp. Oliver quickly glanced around and saw that the whole Hall was now watching, including Penelope. She half stood up and furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
"What's Audrey doing with that cheese dick?*" Roger shouted, pointed at Derek and Audrey standing at the eve of the Hall, "I didn't pay you to take out Penelope so that some little punk could snake in with Audrey.*"
The effect of the last sentence was instantaneous. The whole Hall stopped talking immediately and all heads turned from Oliver and Roger to Penelope, half-risen from her seat and gazing open-mouthed at Oliver.
"Oliver, what-" She whispered, her attention completely focused on Oliver, but he wouldnít even look at her.
The Weasley twins stood up and towered over Roger. "I suggest you start running-" Fred said.
"-because we don't want all these witnesses to see us beat you to a pulp." George glared and folded his arms across his chest threateningly, Fred copying him a moment later.
Roger looked between them and smiled, "Boys, I haven't got anything against you..." One quick glance between them and the looks on their faces changed his mind, and he turned sharply and ran out of the Hall, the twins following quickly behind.
But not one single person looked at them; all eyes were on the silent conversation going on between Oliver and Penelope.
"Oliver, I don't understand," Penelope said, tears welling up in her eyes, "I thought-"
Oliver looked up at her and shook his head, trying not to look her in the eyes because every time he did, a fresh surge of hatred towards himself tore away at his insides, "Penelope, I'm so sorry..." He said, reaching one hand out towards her and blinking furiously, "I didn't mean to..."
"Save it." Kathy said, glaring at him and putting one arm around Penelope's shoulders, "You don't deserve her anyway."
Penelope was still looking at Oliver, a lump rising in her throat as she realised what had happened, but she still couldn't fathom the situation anymore than before. "Oliver..." she whispered again, a tear falling down her face as she looked at him. He lifted his head again and looked at her, his shoulders falling in defeat as he saw what he had done to her.
"Come on, Penelope," Kathy said gently, pulling her away, "come on."
Penelope tore her eyes away from Oliver and saw everyone in the Hall watching them intently. Her chest heaved up and down and she let out a muffled sob, tears falling freely down her face now, as she too sprinted out of the Hall.
"Penelope, I-" Audrey started to say as she ran past and held out a hand to stop her, but Penelope batted it away and sprinted up the stairs, not wanting to be near anyone again for a long time.
The lump in her throat grew larger as she ran up the stairs, her breathing even more erratic as she sobbed louder and louder, not even caring who heard or saw her. She felt sick. She felt almost empty. Like someone had shoved their hand down her neck and twisted her heart round and round and left it at the back of her throat, waiting for her to choke.
What had just happened? She asked herself as she ran up the stairs, crying even louder when she cast her mind back to fifteen minutes earlier and Oliver kissing her in the Entrance Hall.
What on earth had just happened?
A/N: The plot thickens! Once more, I am sorry for all the italics and for the long wait. I'm rubbish, I know. But oooh, what's going to happen? What's Oliver going to do? What's Roger going to do?! Stay tuned... (I should definitely be a TV rom-com voice-over) As ever, your feedback is much loved ♥
*taken from Paramount Pictures' "10 Things I Hate About You"
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