Chapter 4 : Fourth.
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After her shower, Meg wrapped a towel around her body and opened up her wardrobe. She only had about 3 dresses because she never thought she’d have to actually wear them. Obviously she was wrong and she laid them out on the bed.
The first one was purple, knee length and had a halter neck. The second was red, strapless and looked like it would go just above her knees, and the last one was black, strapless and went above her knees. Personally, she liked the purple one, but knew the other girls would force the black one onto her.
She threw her underwear on and a strapless bra; slipped on some shorts, a one shouldered top and her flip flops. She didn’t see the need to get all fancy till she got to Sylvia’s room. Her black dress in one hand, make-up bag in the other, she started walking down the stairs to the 15th floor.
As she walked down the corridors, she thought about Gavin. She knew she liked him too and didn’t see the harm in giving it a go, they had lots of time to get to know each other, and it would certainly be an experience for her.
Sighing contently, she knocked on the door numbered 567 and slouched onto on leg slightly. In less than a second Sylvia swung open the door and pulled Meg in.
“Finally you’re here! We’ve all fixed each other up, now it’s just you we’ve got to worry about! Let’s see your dress then.”
Meg handed over her dress and sat down on Sylvia’s bed. Hannah was wearing a peach coloured dress that flowed down to her knees and had halter neck; Mary was wearing a strapless floral dress that was patterned with flowers and Sylvia was wearing a blood red strapless dress that hung to her sides and went just above her mid-thigh. To Meg they all looked stunning.
Quickly she slipped into her dress and let them all fuss over her, laughing slightly. Hannah was doing her hair, Sylvia her make-up and Mary was looking for a pair of shoes that would go with her dress- she settled for a simple pair of black heels. Sylvia stepped back and looked at Meg as if she were something she had just painted and sighed dramatically.
“I am amazing,” she breathed out.
Mary rolled her eyes and laughed. “You do look nice, Meg.”
Mary’s mouth opened wide with shock. “Nice? Nice?! She looks like she’s just come out of Witch Weekly!”
Hannah sighed at Sylvia. “You haven’t even given the girl a chance to look at herself- here you go.” She handed Meg a mirror and her eyes widened.
Her skin looked even paler than earlier, but it wasn’t the kind of ill pale anymore, more of a china doll pale, and her red lips helped with that a lot. Sylvia hadn’t put much eyeliner on her, but she had put on enough to make her dark brown eyes pop out and look big. Her hair was let out in its ringlets and flowed down her back and she blushed a little.
“Thank...Thank you.” She smiled shyly at the older girls.
They beamed down at her and Hannah grabbed her hand. “C’mon then! Let’s show the Wizarding world how fabulous we look tonight.”
Laughing, together they walked down the stairs, holding each other’s hands and giggling whenever one of them tripped a little. When they finally reached the bottom floor they walked towards the giant doors and saw that all four boys were there already.
John smirked and reached out for Sylvia’s hand, who took it eagerly. Peter’s eyes seemed to bulge out of its sockets, Albus only raised an eyebrow but Meg swore she saw a smile on his lips. Hannah and Mary went of to their partners and Meg stood in front of Gavin, shyly tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear.
“Hi,” she said, looking to the floor.
He grabbed her hand and kissed her knuckles, making her bite her lip and blush furiously. She finally looked over at what he was wearing. A black suit and a black tie. Simple, but it made Meg’s inside flutter.
“Hi,” he replied and smiled at her.
They stared at each other for another moment and Meg giggled quietly. She felt pretty. Very pretty.
“Alright, everyone! I’m glad you’re all here on time. Once the doors open, you’re live. Everyone can see you. We’re going to walk in with me at the front, then the 7th years, first pair of 6th, second pair of 6th, then the 5th years. When you walk in you will wait at the doors for a moment so the commentators can introduce you, then you will sit were your name is. Understand? Good. Get in order, quickly!”
Everyone rushed to get in line, Meg ended up behind Hannah and Gavin behind Peter. She suddenly felt nervous. What if she tripped? What if she did something stupid? She bit the inside of her gum and played with a piece of her hair, something she did when she was nervous or scared.
Gavin seemed to notice how she was acting because he bent down to her height and kissed her lips softly, taking her off guard. “You’ll be fine. You look beautiful,” he whispered in her ear and smiled encouragingly at her.
She kept her eyes on him and nodded, not trusting her self to speak and sighed out of happiness.
The doors opened loudly and the light from the room made Meg squint her eyes slightly. Slowly, they walked forward, she couldn’t see properly what it was like inside because of her height, but before she knew it she was standing at the front of the room with a levitating camera a few feet in front of her.
Not sure what to do, she bit her lip but spotted Fletcher making a semi circle with his finger and quickly smiled at the camera, understanding his gesture. She smiled a little more and when the camera moved from in front of them she walked inside, looking for her seat.
The room reminded her of the Great Hall slightly, but without windows and only a small round table in the middle of the room instead of 4 long ones.
She sat down, Albus on her left, Peter on her right and Sylvia opposite her. She smiled at Peter and whispered a ‘hello.’
She rubbed her hands underneath the table and waited for Professor Fletcher to speak.
“You look rather lovely tonight.”
Meg jumped but hid it and looked over at Albus, blushing.
“So do the rest of the girls here.”
“Yes, but it looks like you actually tried.”
Meg was taken back and raised an eyebrow, confused. He confused her. Usually, she was good at observing and reading people, but he was acting like a book that was too irritating to even look at. She wasn’t going to deny that he also looked lovely too, wearing a black suit and waist coat with a emerald green tie.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand.”
“Oh I think you do,” he snapped back. He motioned over to Gavin with his eyes and Meg crossed her arms. Albus snickered.
“So, are you two a thing now or what?”
Meg frowned and sent him a glare. She hadn’t ever been this way with anyone before, but right now Albus was pulling on her strings like a child and she did not appreciate it.
“What’s it to you?” She asked, and then slowly smirked. “Jealous?” She knew he wasn’t, no-one would be.
“Of you? No, not really. Gavin isn’t my type, you know?” He replied, smirking back.
Meg clenched her jaw and sat back on her seat, ignoring him completely.
“Hello, witches and wizards! I hope you are all feeling wonderful this evening, or morning, whatever it is for you wherever you are in the world. I am delighted to have you with us whilst we celebrate these brilliant minded students on what they will be doing in just a few days time.” Fletcher spoke, everyone in the hall feel silent and listened to him speak, hoping that they’d get some more information on the test. “The test they will be doing in a few days is not like any ordinary one, it isn’t a test of the brain, but a test of the mind.”
Meg frowned and whispered his last words to herself, confused. How would he test our minds?
“I want to see how far these clever children can last with what they will be given. Now, I hope you all stick with them throughout their journey, as it will be all broadcasted live, and enjoy it as much as myself and these students surely will. Let’s eat!” He clapped his hand twice and food appeared on the table just as it does at Hogwarts and Meg felt slightly homesick- or rather, school sick.
She filled her plate with roast beef, some vegetables and filled her cup with pumpkin juice, eating slower than usually; reminding herself many people were watching her eat. It was silent for a little while, apart from the sounds of knives and forks hitting plates and one or two voices.
“So, let’s go around the table, tell us something about yourself that not many people know,” Fletcher said. “I’ll start, not many people know that I received an O for all my subjects whilst I was at school, John, you’re up,” he pointed at him.
Meg bit her lip and tried to think of something for herself.
“Well...I have this rather odd issue where I can’t walk down or up a stair case with anyone, it’s got to be only me,” he laughed quietly.
“Why? Your ego that big that you need a whole staircase for it?” Mary chipped in and everyone laughed.
“No, it’s not that,” John chuckled.
“Then what is it, John?” Fletcher wiped his hands on a tissue and looked at him intently.
John stared back at him for a moment in a slightly challenging way, and then he finally said: “No reason.”
Fletcher nodded slowly and smirked. “Of course.”
“Mary, how about you?”
“The Sorting Hat was considering putting me in Hufflepuff,” she said.
Everyone was shocked and many gasps went round the table.
“Really? That would be strange, seeing as you aren’t...Hufflepuff-ish,” Sylvia said.
“I know, that’s what I told the hat, and it put me in Ravenclaw instead.”
“I’ve never stepped a foot in the Forbidden Forest.”
“Why not?” Fletcher asked, again with that creepy look.
Hannah’s eyes widened. “For the obvious reason- It’s forbidden.”
“I’ve been there,” Albus said.
Many voices seconded his comment and Hannah shrugged.
“I became an aunt last week!” She exclaimed happily.
Meg smiled and everyone congratulated her.
“What’s the baby called?” Peter asked.
“My sister named her Annabeth, she has a thing for long names,” Sylvia rolled her eyes and smiled.
“That is lovely, Gavin?”
“I once left my little cousin on my broom in the air for an hour or two, he was scared stiff and didn’t know how to come down, it was funny to watch,” he laughed and everyone shook their heads at him.
“Why? Is he scared of heights?” Fletcher said.
Gavin stopped laughing and frowned. “I suppose.”
“Peter, your turn.”
Peter looked around the table and scratched the back of his neck, obviously in thought. “I used to have a pet snake.”
“Why don’t you have it anymore?” John asked.
“It got out of it’s box and just left,” he shrugged. “I didn’t even like it much, it scared my mum.” He laughed shyly.
“Meg? How about you love?”
Meg’s eyes widened and she bit her lip again.
“I...I had an operation once,” she said slowly and looked down.
“An operation? Whatever for? Was it serious?” Fletcher asked, his voice sounded curious, but his face looked very smug.
“It...Yes, it was serious, I had an accident.” Meg closed her eyes lightly.
Nobody knew about that night, not even Chloe, and she wasn’t about to let the whole Wizarding world know.
“Alright then. Albus? Your turn.” Gavin said quickly, sensing Meg’s discomfort.
“No- Wait a second. What happened in this accident? Did anyone get hurt badly?” Professor Fletcher said, putting up his hand to hush Gavin.
Meg frowned slightly. She didn’t like the tone in which he was speaking to her with. Meg looked closely at the Professor, there was something rather strange about him, whenever he spoke to any of them he seemed to know more about them than the student would like.
“It was nothing. I survived. End of.” She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. She hadn’t snapped like that to anyone before. But she also didn’t want to be reminded of what had happened that night, though thanks to the Professor it was all coming back to her.
“Alright then. Albus, your next,” Gavin repeated.
Meg had leaned back on the chair and couldn’t see how concerned he looked. She didn’t want to look up and see everyone’s curious eyes on here.
“I can’t swim.”
“Really? Why haven’t you ever tried to learn?”Asked Fletcher. He was still looking at Meg with his beady eyes.
Albus frowned. “Who said I haven’t tried?”
Fletcher’s eyes snapped off of Meg and he looked at Albus, his eyes widened a fraction on an inch.
“I was only assuming, by the way you had said it. So you have tried?”
“No. I haven’t.”
Silence fell at the table. The food disappeared and reappeared but this time with deserts. Meg leaned forward and put some pudding onto her plate. Conversations started around the table, but Meg did not include herself with any of them. She ate her pudding in silence and drank her coffee in silence. After she had finished she wiped her hands on a tissue and leaned her head onto her palm. She didn’t feel in the mood for socialising anymore. Meg had this problem which was if she was happy one minute, it only took a small thing to bring her down and her mood is changed instantly. All she could think about was the car cra-
No. I won’t think of it. I will smile and pretend I’m alright.
A tapping on her arm brought her out of her thoughts. Slowly she turned her head to Albus and looked at him without an expression.
“Did you want something?”
“Not really. Only wanted to ask you if you wanted to go outside for a bit, it looks like you need the fresh air.”
Meg thought so too. “But I can just up and go by myself, I’d look mad, I’ll just wait till this thing is over,” she shrugged and turned forwards again.
“No! What I meant was you go outside with me.”
For the first time since they arrived at the hotel Albus looked slightly sheepish and embarrassed. Meg bit the inside of her gum.
“Sure thing. I think I’ll need someone to stop me from jumping in front of a train anyway, even if it is you,” she laughed and smiled. “I’m not sure how we’re going to be able to just leave the hall though.”
Albus chuckled. “Alright, leave this to me.”
Meg watched as he leaned over to tell Fletcher something. He pointed over to Meg at one point. She only heard a few words which were ‘get something’ and ‘be back soon.’ Fletcher looked a bit annoyed but he nodded anyway.
Albus patted her hand and they both stood up, earning glances from everyone. Gavin raised an eyebrow at Meg and she mouthed to him ‘need some fresh air,’ then smiled slightly. He nodded and continued eating his apple pie.
Once they had walked outside the hotel, Meg gasped as the cold air hit her, shivered and wrapped her arms around her torso. She looked to the floor and they stood in silence for a moment, before Albus suddenly took his blazer off and put it on her shoulders.
“You’re obviously colder than I am,” he said.
“Thank you,” she smiled at him, slightly confused as to why he was abruptly being so nice to her.
“Don’t take it personally, I’m only being polite,” he replied and Meg’s smile fell from her face.
Spoke too soon.
Meg rolled her eyes and looked away. Silence fell once again and Albus coughed awkwardly.
“What happened back there?”
“What do you mean?”
Albus’ eyes narrowed and he licked his lips.
“I mean with Fletcher.”
Meg sighed. She knew exactly what he meant.
“Do I have to talk about it?”
“Then I won’t.”
“But I’d like to know.”
Meg laughed. “So I have to tell you just because you’d ‘like’ to know?” She raised an eyebrow.
His jaw clenched. “No. I’m just curious. I want to know about it. I want to know about you.”
Meg frowned in confusion and even Albus seemed surprised at his own words. Why does he want to know about me?
“I don’t understand?”
“I don’t either.”
They looked at each other for a moment. Their eyes locked.
They are very green. A very pretty green.
Albus laughed. “What?”
Meg’s eyes widened and she blushed. She didn’t realise she had said that out loud.
“I meant your eyes, they’re green,” she said quietly. She bit her lip and looked down.
Albus chuckled again and lifted her head to face his with a finger.
“You said they were pretty too.”
“I did not.”
“You did too.”
She crossed her arms and pouted, which made him smirk.
“Your eyes are pretty too.”
Meg looked up to him and bit her lip to stop herself from grinning at the blush that was creeping onto his cheeks.
“You don’t have to lie to me to be polite, Mr. Potter.”
“But I’m not lying.”
Meg laughed. “Of course you are my eyes are utterly dull. And anyway I’d rather you just say the truth instead of-
Meg was caught off guard and interrupted with Albus’ lips suddenly on hers. Kissed twice today. She thought. Who would’ve thought it’d happen to me? She wanted to pull away; she knew it was wrong of her to like the feeling of his lips, his soft, tender lips, she knew she was almost being whore-ish by kissing back after getting with Gavin only that evening, but she couldn’t stop herself. His lips worked on hers in ways she hadn’t ever dreamed of. Her hands lost themselves in his hair and his hands gripped onto her waist tightly.
After what seemed like hours they pulled apart and Meg stumbled out of his arms, almost tripping over his blazer that must’ve fell off of her shoulders.
He was looking at her, breathing heavily and his hair was a complete mess, his shirt all creased from where she had grabbed it.
The realisation of what she had done hit her and she felt like crying.
“I’m sorry; I don’t know why I did it...I just-
Meg didn’t listen to what he was saying but pushed past him straight to the staircase, ignoring Albus who was now calling for her, saying her name over and over.
She didn’t listen, but took her heels off and ran all the way up to the top, she didn’t care if Albus was following her, she’d get to the top before him anyway; she had done cross country for 5 years.
Once she got to their room she tried opening the door but let out a sob as she remembered Gavin had the key and her wand was inside. Defeated, she turned around and slide down the door and put her head in her hands, her heels somewhere on the stairs where she had dropped and cried silently, feeling utterly hopeless.
Uh-oh. Tut tut. Naughty Meg.
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