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Chapter 3 : Third.
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“Your things are already at the hotel. Quickly, come on, the Portkey is ready!” Professor Sprout ushered them all into the Great Hall and to a table which had a cushion on it.
“Professor, will you be coming with us?” Mary asked her. They all positioned themselves in a circle around the cushion.
She gave Mary a smile and patted her shoulder.
“No, I’m afraid I won’t. I still have a school to run. Professor Fletcher is already waiting for you there. You’re in safe hands.”
Meg resisted the urge to laugh. She raised an eyebrow instead. Fidgeting slightly, she reached out a hand and placed it on the cushion. She wasn’t comfortable being squished between Albus and Peter.
“Right, this is good-bye, students. I wish you all the best and hope to see you soon.” She gave them a smile and walked out of the hall.
Suddenly it felt like Meg was being flown through the air and spinning around. She closed her eyes and it was over as soon as it started. Rubbing her head, she realised she had hit the ground and winced when she touched a spot on her head.
“Need a hand?”
Her head perked up and she squinted her eyes to see who it was against the sun. Awkwardly, she grabbed Albus’ hand and nodded.
They looked at each other for another moment and Meg nodded again, making her way to Fletcher who was standing by the doors of the hotel.
“Finally! You’re here. So, you will be sent to your rooms with your partner, and you will begin preparing for the test tomorrow morning. Tonight, we will have a ceremony and meal. Come on in.”
Before they walked in Meg took a look at the outside of the hotel. It looked normal and boring. Plain white and very tall. As they walked in (on a red carpet) Meg’s eyes widened.
The chandeliers were made out of gold, the walls were shinning with gold, and the doors were patterned with gold, gold, gold and more gold. Fletcher walked up to the reception which was on the left corner of the room. A woman was sitting behind a screen and he asked her for the 4 keys. She handed it to them and Meg wondered if they were at a muggle hotel but was proved wrong when Professor Fletcher opened a door with his wand a levitated their suitcases up the stairs.
The lobby seemed empty apart from the 10 of them. It seemed deserted. There were staircases on either side of the room and two large doors in front of them.
“Here are your keys, you can go to your rooms, socialise, talk, and make brownies, whatever friends do together. If you’re hungry there are kitchens on every floor, so you don’t have to go far for them. I will call you when I need you to get ready for tonight.”
He gave the keys to the boys in the pairs and walked in the opposite direction of them through a door Meg didn’t see before.
She followed Gavin up the stairs. “What floor are we on?” She asked him.
He frowned. “We’re at the top.”
“At the top? We’ll be very high then; did you see how tall this building was?” She laughed quietly.
She frowned and looked at his face. He was still looking at the key with an anxious look on his face.
“Are you okay?”
They both stopped walking on the stairs and everyone brushed past them to their rooms. He suddenly seemed to realise Meg was standing next to him and moved his gaze from the key to her eyes.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
She bit her lip but shrugged and started to walk up the stairs again.
“If you say so.”
They walked for about 20 more minutes before they reached the top floor and Gavin looked for their door. He still seemed to be anxious as to where he stepped and when they finally got into their room he rushed to close the open window that was there and was breathing heavily.
Meg was concerned now.
“Gavin, what’s wrong?”
He coughed. “Nothing!”
Meg was startled at his sudden yell and crossed her arms. “Whatever.”
She hated not knowing what was bothering her friends. She thought Gavin as a friend and loved to help them when they were in need. Trying to get her mind off of it, she walked around their hotel room. They had two bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a walk in closet with all their clothes and a few new ones already hanging up and a living area with a few sofas, a coffee table and a Wiz TV.
After getting used to everything, she changed out of her school robes and into a pair of jeans and a long sleeved blue jumper, letting her hair down from the tight bun it had been in all day. She put her wand in her back pocket and knocked on Gavin’s door. He’d been in there since they had walked into the room and Meg was slightly worried.
“Hey, Gavin? You there? I’m going to check out the food in the kitchens. You want anything?”
After about 5 seconds she reached out her hand to grab the doorknob but before she could get hold of it, it was sprung backwards to reveal a red eyed Gavin.
“Have you been crying?” Meg put out her hand to see if there were any tears but he grabbed it and put it down.
“No. Of course not. Will you wait one minute? I want to come with you.” He looked at her and she nodded.
“Yeah, sure.” She smiled and walked to sit on the sofa.
He was definitely crying. Why would he be crying? Did I say something? Meg thought. She sighed and put her head in her hands. Why am I even bothering? I only met him properly two days ago.
“Right. Let’s go.”
She looked up at the voice and stood up quickly. Gavin had changed into a pair of jeans and black polo shirt. Meg thought he looked quite attractive and blushed, walking to the door to hide it.
“Any idea where the kitchens are?” She asked him as they walked around the top floor.
“Nope. He didn’t tell us where, so we’ll just have to explore ourselves.” He chuckled and Meg smiled.
Each floor had about 40 rooms and it seemed like they were going round in circles. Every corridor looked the same; red carpets, white walls and peach doors. The only thing that stopped Meg from screaming out in frustration was the numbers written in gold on the doors which told her she was actually getting somewhere.
“There it is.” Meg looked at Gavin from the corridor she was looking down and saw a door which said ‘Kitchens’ in fancy lettering.
They jogged over to the door, both of them suddenly feeling hungry and the smell of cakes and sugar hit her like a smack in the face when they walked in. She breathed in deeply. The scent of sugar was one of her favourite smells.
The kitchens were similar to any other kitchen, ovens, grills, cupboards, cabinets and the like. The stations were you cooked your food were made of oak, and the walls were brown, the floor wooden, and the cupboards brown too.
“So, do we just take anything we like?” Gavin asked, picking up an apple from a fruit basket and opened his mouth to take a bite.
“Yes, anything. No fee either.” The new voice made them jump and Meg put her hand on her wand.
They turned around to the voice and saw a very round and large lady standing there. She had red cheeks, curly blonde hair and was wearing a blue summer dress with an apron. She must’ve noticed that she had startled them and laughed.
“Oh, did I scare you? I’m ever so sorry, my dears. Let me introduce myself. Anna Fields. I cook for this floor. You two are...?”
“I’m Gavin and she’s Meg. Nice to meet you.”
He put out his hand and she shook it. “Nice to meet you too, Gavin.”
Anna looked over at Meg, expecting her to put out her hand too.
“Hello,” she said softly. She hesitantly put out her hand and smiled a little.
Once Anna had let go of her hand, she smiled at them both.
“Is there anything you’d like to eat? I can make anything, tell me what you want, and you’ll have it in 30 minutes max.”
Meg thought about it for a moment.
“Could I have cupcakes, please?”
Gavin raised an eyebrow. “Cupcakes? Really?” He laughed.
She shrugged and smiled. “Yeah. I like them. What’s so bad about cupcakes?” She titled her head to the side.
Gavin looked at her and smiled. “Nothing. I just thought you’d like a meal first?”
She shook her head. “Not in the mood. Cupcakes sound nicer.”
Anna laughed. “Cupcakes it is then, my love. And you Gavin?”
“I’ll just have some of hers.”
Anna nodded. “You can sit down by those tables or I can send them to your room.”
“We’ll be in our room,” Meg said. “We’re room 976.”
“Alright, they’ll be done in 30 minutes.” Then she disappeared behind another door.
“What do we do now?”
“We wait for our cupcakes.”
Gavin rolled his eyes and laughed.
After they left the kitchens they went back to the room and sat down opposite each other on the sofas.
“But how do we kill 30 minutes?”
She put a leg over the other and shrugged. Gavin was leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and looking at Meg.
“What was up with you when we came into this room? Why were you crying earlier?”
Gavin sighed and leaned back onto the sofa, scratching his eyebrow.
“It’s nothing. Really.”
“Look, I know we’ve only started to properly become friends, but you can tell me.” She smiled and titled her head sideways.
He looked at her closely, as though he was thinking whether or not he could tell her, but his jaw clenched and he suddenly seemed to snap.
“I know! But it was something stupid and childish, and I don’t want to talk about it!”
Meg blinked a few times out of shock and crossed her arms over her small body tightly.
“Fine. We won’t talk about it. I only wanted to help,” she practically whispered.
Meg hated being shouted at. Shouting was too loud; she liked things to be quite and calm.
Gavin’s face softened at her words and sighed. “I know, I’m sorry, can we just talk about something else?”
She was surprised at his quite voice. It sounded pleading. She nodded and moved to sit next to him.
“Well, we barely know each other, even though we’ve been at school together for the past 5 years, let’s play 20 questions. I’ll start. Favourite colour?”
“Blue. Favourite subject?” He moved so that his head was next to her knees and legs hanging of the side of the sofa.
“Charms. Best friend?”
“Benjamin Goyle. You?”
“Chloe Parker. Most embarrassing moment at Hogwarts?” She smirked.
He glared at her and crossed his arms. Sighing, he said. “It happened last year. I was walking up the Grand Staircase to go to Defence, but I tripped up the stairs and I grabbed a girl’s backside on the way down to try to stop myself from falling. It didn’t work. She screamed at me for a bit and walked off. She hasn’t looked at me since.”
Meg stayed silent and bit her lip.
“You can laugh, I won’t kill you.”
She threw her head back and laughed loudly. “That’s unbelievable! Merlin that must’ve been funny to see!” She shook her head and giggled.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Ben doesn’t stop reminding me about it every morning. What’s your most embarrassing moment?” It was his turn to smirk.
She blushed and played with her fingers.
“Oh come on! You have to tell me! I told you mine.” He sat up and faced her with his legs crossed.
“I was in my third year and fancied...Louis Weasley.”
Gavin’s jaw dropped. “No way.”
“Yes way. Anyway, I had just turned 14 and thought I was a woman and all that jazz. I saw him walking to the Great Hall and decided to tell him I liked him, but ended up tripping and I hit my head on a door...Which lead to the boys toilets. Everyone heard and saw me and I remember pretending to be knocked out so I wouldn’t have to see their faces.”
Gavin laughed and Meg hit him on the head.
“I mentally died of embarrassment. I haven’t been able to have a proper conversation with Louis without one of his friends laughing at me.” She crossed her arms and pouted at Gavin who was still laughing. She hit him again and laughed along with him.
Meg stood up when she heard a knock on the door and rushed to open it, feeling famished. She hungrily grabbed the levitating plate of cupcakes and put them on the coffee table, munching on one and holding another in her free hand.
“These taste so good,” she said with her mouthful.
They had white icing and were 8 of them before Meg had eaten two. They had spelled out Gavin + Meg.
She picked up another one and sat next to Gavin again.
“My turn again. Okay...What do you like to do for fun?” He asked, licking the icing of his finished cupcake off of his fingers.
“I like to read, sleep, draw, cook and think. You?”
“I’m usually playing my guitar.”
“Really? You can play?” She sat up straighter.
“Yeah. Why, are you surprised?” He raised an eyebrow and smirked.
“No, it’s just...Well, yeah I’m surprised.” She said and laughed. “You don’t look like someone who would play. Did you bring your guitar with you? I want to hear you play!”
“Maybe...I’ll think about it.”
“Oh please?” She put her hands together and pouted.
He studied her and put his half eaten cupcake down. “Fine.”
Meg beamed and punched the air. He laughed and walked inside his room, walking out with a black acoustic guitar.
He sat back down, placing his guitar on his lap and started to play.
It was slow, calm and Meg closed her eyes. His fingers went up and down the guitar as if he’d been born playing. It sounded lovely. She knew it was something her father and mother would slow dance to if she was alive. They loved to dance.
She opened her eyes to see Gavin staring intently into hers. The atmosphere seemed to change instantly. His playing became slightly lazy and off key and his head was leaning in dangerously close to Meg’s. She could feel his hot breath on her lips and felt a shiver run down her back. He put a hand on the back of her neck. They were less then a millimetre away then-
“Hey there- Whoa, am I interrupting something?” The nasal voice of Professor Fletcher made both of them jump to either sides of the couch. Gavin coughed awkwardly.
“No, Professor. Was there something you wanted?” Meg blinked at how high her voice had gone. She stood up to go to Fletcher.
“Yes, well, I was gathering everyone up- he pointed at the group behind him –and going to tell everyone about tonight. You were the last on my list as you’re right on the top of this very tall building.” He said, looking at Gavin and smiling unkindly.
Meg looked at Gavin and saw him giving Fletcher quite a frightening glare. Everyone piled into the room and sat down on the sofas. She greeted them all briefly and sat down. Albus sat next to her on her right and Gavin was on her left. She could sense Gavin was still feeling angry and held his little finger with hers. His head snapped down at their hands and she smiled comfortingly at him. She didn’t know why he was annoyed, but knew that she didn’t like it that he was.
She felt a pair of eyes drill into her back and leaned back on the sofa, ignoring Albus’ gaze. So far, he had done nothing but make Meg slightly agitated.
“Tonight, we will have a ceremony, which is basically just you lot dressing up nicely and walking into the hall on the bottom floor. Then we have the meal! I will talk a bit before you start to stuff your faces. It’ll only be the 9 of us in the room, but the whole of the Wizarding world will be watching us.”
Meg’s eyes widened as big as saucers.
“Like, live?” Albus asked.
“Yep, there will be a screen at the Ministry, Hogwarts, Durmstrang and other places were there will be many people, and one at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley so anyone who doesn’t work or attend any of the above can watch it at a public place.”
Meg nibbled on her nails. She didn’t like the idea of her face being plastered basically everywhere in the Wizarding world. She could barely handle seeing it in the mirror.
“So when do we actually start the test?” Peter asked him.
“In a few days. You’ll have time to use the actually really cool features the hotel has and have fun together.” His face seemed to scrunch up as if he’d just bitten into a lemon when he said the word ‘fun’ and Hannah let out a giggle.
“Is that it, Sir?” John smirked.
“Yes. That’s it. The ceremony will start at 7; you’ve got to be outside the two big doors by 6:30. Its 5:30 right now, so you have time to get ready.” He put out his hand as a good-bye and left the room.
“Right, well, we have an hour to get ready, Hannah, Meg, Mary, when you’ve all showered, bring over your make-up and the dress you’re wearing to my room. I’m on the 15th floor, room 567.” She sent the girls a warm smile and dragged John out the room. Mary and Hannah left, with their partner’s behind them and once they were gone Meg stood up to go and have a shower.
“Meg wait,” Gavin held onto her hand softly.
She turned her head to him on the sofa and smiled. “Yeah?” She sat back down again.
Before she could say anything else Gavin had moved so that he was hovering over her and pressed his lips roughly on hers. Her eyes widened in surprise but soon enough she closed them and kissed him back. He had his hands on either side of her face and hers were lost in his hair. She hadn’t kissed anyone before, but it definitely seemed like he had. He straddled her and pulled back, both of them breathing heavily.
His face broke out into a smile and Meg couldn’t stop herself from poking his dimples.
“You’re cute,” she said.
“You’re cuter,” he pecked her nose and she giggled.
He leaned his forehead on hers and closed his eyes.
“Look Meg, I know we’ve only just got to know each other and stuff, but I think I really like you, so I’m willing to give this a try.” He opened his eyes and Meg looked deeply into his.
She smiled and nodded. “Me too. And just between the two of us, that was my first kiss.” She grinned sheepishly and blushed.
Her face fell. “Why is that surprising?”
“It’s just that...” He studied her for a moment. “It didn’t feel like it was.
She blushed, pushed him off of her and stood up. “Well, I need to have a shower and go over to Sylvia’s room. I will see you later, alright?”
He stood up with her and pecked her lips. “See you later.”
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