Chapter 7 : Out Cold
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"You suck at being ninja-y James," I sighed as he attempted a commando roll on the footpath and bashed his elbow into a fire hydrant.
"I am an epic ninja!" James said and attempted a high kick. "Hi-ya!"
He clutched his nose and I realised that he'd kneed himself.
"Ow," he winced and then let go off his face. His nose was bright red and I couldn't help noticing that he looked like a clown. I burst out laughing.
"You... fail... James Potter," I managed to say between bouts of laughing.
"Shuddup," he said nasally which sent me off into another peel of laughter.
We'd left Louis and Fred with their butterbeers when Luke and Rose had left. I'd also given them Layla's stuff which they'd promised they would take back to school and give to Layla.
Being stuck with James for the whole day had been surprisingly fun. He had this light and carefree air about him that made me just want to forget everything and laugh.
And besides, he voluntarily was going to spend a whole day with me.
Just that thought alone made me burst out laughing again. James sent me a quizzical look and I realised that I must have looked like an idiot. People who burst out laughing at random intermissions when there is nothing to laugh at are always considered in some way loopy. I just smiled nicely back at him.
James and I continue stalking Rose and Luke. They, surprisingly, don't seem to be doing much other than talking and laughing. Well, it was more like Rose was doing all the laughing and Luke was just gazing adoringly at her.
I sighed softly. What would I give for a guy to look at me like that?
"Snap out of it, Greene." James snapped his fingers so close to my face I jumped backwards. I glanced around to spot Rose and Luke but they are nowhere to be seen.
"We have work to do!" James cried gleefully and skipped around the corner, presumably where Rose and Luke had disappeared to.
I followed him around the corner and proptly bumped into his.
"Ugh, what are you doing? Keep walking!" I exclaimed and peeled myself away from his back. I stepped around James to keep walking when I saw exactly what he saw.
Rain is seeping through my thin shirt. The wind feels like it has ice in it as tears at my shirt and makes my eyes water but I'm too afraid to blink in case I fall.
My running eyeliner is irritating the contact lenses in my eyes but still I force them open. I so don't want to slip down this muddy slope because if I scream, there's no one to hear me.
Lightning cracks in the sky and momentarily the whole world lights up in eerie blue light and for a moment I feel like I?m in a bad horror movie.
Or at least witnessing something that I had no desire to see.
James was frozen, his mouth slack staring at the sight in front on us: Luke and Rose kissing.
Or was Rose just trying to eat his face off?
I glanced back at James and saw his shocked expression. It slowly melted to confusion and horrified.
"Uhh, James?" I said softly so Rose and Luke wouldn't be able to hear us. My voice must have been like flicking a switch because he suddenly blinked and shook his head.
"What the fuck?" He muttered.
"Uhhh..." I said and looked at him, wondering whether he would do something he would regret later.
"What the fuck?" He repeated and stormed over to the couple.
"James?" I said and ran to catch up with him but either he did't hear me or he chose to ignore me. Rose had realised that an angry James was coming towards her- or rather coming towards Luke.
"James," Rose said uncertainly and stepped between him and Luke.
"Get out of the way, Rose," James growled.
"Go awa-" Rose started to say but Luke cut her off.
"It's fine, Rose," he said a little cockily, "I can handle myself." Rose looked uncertain but Luke stepped casually around her before she could do anything.
The poor guy never suspected the James would launch himself at him and let fly with a few punches to his face.
"Get off him!" Rose cried hysterically and tried to pull James off Luke. She managed to grab one of his arms but James was still desperately struggling. I, by some miracle, grabbed James' other arm and together we pulled him off Luke.
"What the fuck, James?!" Rose screamed hysterically. James was muttering some repeatable words while Luke was trying unsuccessfully to stop his nose bleeding. He was going to have a beautiful black eye tomorrow.
"Get off me!" James struggled wildly as he tried to shake Rose and I off. He shoved his elbow into my stomach and all the air whooshed out of my lungs. I dropped his arm as I struggled to breathe.
I glanced up just in time to see James shove a crying Rose of him and launch himself at Luke again.
"James!" I cried.
"Stop it, James!" Rose choked through her sobs, "Please stop!"
James was momentarily distracted and glanced back at us. It gave Luke just enough time to throw a punch and knock James out.
We are all sitting in a circle, lazing around in the sun.
Maddy is talking about Charlie, her crush.
"Just bloody ask him out!" Em cries and rolls her eyes.
"Yeah, Mads," Chloe nods, "Everyone knows that he likes you back."
"But what if he says no?" She moans. I glance over to Penny: she's picking at the grass and looking slightly angry.
Everyone knows Charlie liked Penny for about 3 years but he was too scared to ask her out because he knew that she liked him only as a friend. He'd just gotten over her and now likes Em but everyone also knew that he was never going to have the balls to ask Em out.
"Guys!" Maddy shrieks, "What do I do? What if he says no?"
"Then at least you know he doesn't want to go out with you!" Penny finally snaps and Maddy's eyebrows arch in surprise.
I bite my lip and will Penny to restrain herself. Just because she's started to like Charlie doesn't give her the right to start hating on Em.
And besides, we started to finally be a group again. That is me, Paige, Maddy, Penny, Em and Chloe.
"We should do something this weekend," Paige, not-so-subtly, changes the touchy subject.
"Yeah," I nod enthusiastically, "Let's go ice skating."
"Yes, we should," Maddy says and her eyes light up, "We could invite Charlie and get him to bring some of his guy friends along!"
I cringe: so much for the change of topic.
I cringed as James' head thudded dully against the concrete.
"That was unnecessary, Wood," I said coldly and went to check on my fellow ninja.
I rolled him over into the recovery position so he wouldn't choke on his tongue and used his leg to prop him up.
Rose kneeled down beside me.
"He's out cold," I explained.
"At least he's still breathing," Rose said and laughed nervously.
"Yeah," I said, "Maybe you and Wood should leave, Rose. It mightn't be the best thing for James to come around and see him here."
"Ok, well...I'll see you back at school then," Rose said awkwardly and led Wood away.
I plonked myself next to James and resigned myself to waiting.
I pulled my coat in tightly around myself. The sun was starting to set and it was getting chilly.
I willed James to hurry up and wake up because we had to be back in school within the hour.
"Come on, James," I muttered and pulled up my hood. James groaned loudly and I rushed over to him.
"Tessa," he said as his eyes flickered open.
"Where's Wood?" He muttered and rubbed his eyes, "Let me get at that bastard."
"He's gone back to school," I said and helped him up.
"Meh," he shrugged, "I can get him back later."
"James Sirius Potter, you will not be attacking Wood any further!" I said in my most patronising voice.
"Shut up, Tessa," he said with a smile, "You can't stop me."
"Sure I can," I said.
"Show me!" He dared me and his grin widened.
"Not now," I said and suck my tongue out, "We have to go back to school."
"Cop out," he teased and stuck his own tongue out.
James growled softly as we walked into the Great Hall and he spotted Wood. Fortunately for Wood, James had me.
"Restrain yourself," I warned James and took a seat next to Rose as he went to sit with his friends.
"A spastic owl delivered this for you," Rose said through a mouthful of food and handed me a rolled up piece of parchment: another letter from this mysterious Disaster Button.
The Fray is so not better than Snow Patrol! Ugh, you have no taste in music at all.
The Hunger Games is an amazing series so at least you like to read good books.
AND AS IF YOU DON'T LIKE QUIDDITCH. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!
And as for what is meant to be said in these letters...I think only Merlin knows.
Anywho, how was you day today? Did you enjoy Hogsmeade?
Talk to you later,
"Another letter from your pen pal?" Rose said as she leant over my shoulder.
"Yep," I said, "Have you talked to yours?"
"Merlin no!" Rose exclaimed, "Mines Fred."
"What? How do you know?!" I asked.
"I got his first letter. It's his messy chicken scrawl," Rose shrugged, "I could recognise it any day along with his atrocious spelling."
"That's not fair," I pouted, "I have to swap letters with this over enthusiastic Quidditch fan."
"It can't be that bad," Rose said sympathetically. I sighed.
"Actually," Rose said and took a second look at the letter, "The handwriting looks familiar."
"It does?" I said hopefully ,"Whose is it?"
"Uhhh," Rose squinted and looked at the paper again, "I don't know, Tessa, but it definitely is familiar. Why are you so against writing to this person anyway? I wish I had someone else other than Fred. It would be so exciting! And all that mystery as to who you were writing to..."
"Do you want to swap?" I asked and pushed the letter towards her.
"We can't do that Tessa!" Rose laughed.
"Do what?" Louis said as he sat down next to us.
"Nothing," Rose said and handed the parchment back to me. Louis raised his eyebrows and for a second, I thought he was going to make a lunge for the parchment.
"Your pen pal letter?" He asked me. I nodded.
"Have you written to yours?" I asked.
'Yep," he said, "He- or she- seems pretty cool." I sighed.
The only thing this Disaster Button and I seemed to have in common is that we both liked The Hunger Games.
The next morning, I wrote back to Disaster Button.
Dear Disaster Button,
Snow Patrol is good but The Fray is just so much better.
And I never said I didn't like Quidditch, I just said that I wasn't a huge fan. Besides, it's just so violent. Broken arms...broken ribs...blood noses...bruises...concussion...And I don't get how the snitch is worth so much?! A team can win just by catching the snitch so really, you only need a good seeker on you team and you've basically got the match under your belt! Your chasers and beaters could be bad and your keeper doesn't have to be anything special- they just have to keep most of the quaffles thrown out of the goals.
I had a great time at Hogsmeade. What about you?
I folded in up as I made my way to the Owlery.
The cool early morning air made my cheeks tingle and I pretended that I was a dragon as I blew into the air.
I wondered about the crazy seasons in Europe. It was only October but it was considered the middle of Autumn. Back in Melbourne, it would have been warming up.
I heard about the freezing winters here in Scotland and about how it would snow.
Imagine that! Snow! I'd never seen snow before but here I was in Europe and hopefully I would have a white Christmas.
Mum had told me that I would be going home for Christmas but after being at Hogwarts for a while, I wasn't so sure.
Christmas with Mum would literally mean Christmas with Mum. We'd probably stay home and she'd cook something that would only be semi-edible. It would just be the two of us and she'd probably get out her wine and get drunk and tell me my embarrassing baby stories and then eventually pass out on the couch.
Whereas, if I stayed at Hogwarts, maybe some of the Weasleys and Potters would stay and we could have the best Christmas ever and maybe we could have a snowball fight...
But who am I trying to kid? Mum would never let me stay at school for Christmas and even if she did, the Weasleys and Potters would probably be going home anyway and if they did stay who's saying they would want to spend Christmas with me?
I finally reached the Owlery and ascended the massive flight of stairs.
When I finally went inside, I found out I wasn't alone in posting early morning letters: a jet black haired boy in Slytheirn robes was stroking a snow white owl.
He looked vaguely familiar but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
His name kept bugging me as I attached my letter to my owl, Cheese, and sent him off.
Suddenly, it came to me.
"Albus!" I said before i could stop myself.
"Um, yes?" The boy said and turned towards me. His resemblance to James was staggering but at the same time he was completely different. James exuded an air of confidence and a touch of arrogance whereas this boy looked like he wanted to make himself as small as possible.
"Oh, um," I stuttered as I realised that I had to come up with a viable excuse for yelling out his name, "Uh, you're James' brother, right?'
"Yeah," he said.
"I knew it," I said and gave him a smile, "You two look so alike."
"I hate it when people say that," he said and the snowy owl on his arm flew up into the tower.
"Oh..." I said, completely at a loss as to what to say.
"But you're the new girl, right?" He grinned and I realised that he wasn't too fussed about what I'd just said.
"I hate it when people say that," I said teasingly, "I'm Tessa."
"Nice to meet you," Albus said, "James was telling me about how you two were ninja's at Hogsmeade yesterday."
"Really?" I grinned, "It was actually epic. Except for the bit where James punched Wood and then Wood knocked him out."
"Uh,' Albus groaned, "My brother is actually an idiot. How on earth did you spend a whole day with him?"
"It was actually really fun," I said defensively, "We stalked Rose and Luke and we were going to come up with theme music! I just don't get whyy James is so against Rose dating."
"That's James for you," Albus shrugged, "It's not just him, though. Fred and Louis aren't completely innocent either."
"I heard about that," I said and shook my head, "I still can't imagine Louis bashing people up."
"It's all his Veela genes!" Albus laughed, "Makes him seem like an angel!"
"He's a Veela?!" I exclaimed. That was why he was damn attractive!
"Well, he's only one eighth but it doesn't stop all the girls going crazy," Albus shrugged. I wondered if he could see the heat rising in my cheeks. Did he know that I liked him?
"That's not fair that he's Veela," I pouted.
"It's not fair that I have to be related to him!" Albus exclaimed, "Anyway, it's time for breakfast."
a.n. Hey guys!
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